Biggest signing of the summer

by .


So here we go people, the summer of change continued at pace. Yes people, the reign of Tony Colbert has come to an end. The biggest, most important signing of the summer has taken his up his new role in Austria.

Shad Forsythe, take a bow son. The crowd haven’t gone wild, but fear not, they will when they see what having a proper fitness philosophy can bring.

Now, let’s lay the foundations, you can bring Jonny Ive in to help you design your new mobile phone device, but if the CEO still wants to be involved in the size of the logo, you’re going to have problems (unless the CEO is Steve Jobs. Kind of killed that analogy didn’t i?). So Shad can affect many things, but he’ll need collaboration to make things work to best effect. So in short, if Arsene doesn’t adopt his advice, we’ll still be in trouble.

However, let’s look at best case scenario, because I’m noted for being a positive blogger. Shad is a strength and conditioning expert. So the widely held view Arsene had around bulky players losing pace is one that’s going to be cast to the kerb. Shad will build players up, make them stronger and make them more robust. It’s true, within a year, we’ll have a team of Ronaldo like gladiators.

Where he’s not the ideal candidate is the area that’s the most important. Managing the players work load. Arsene Wenger and Tony Colbert had the philosophy that you train players to match fitness 2-3 times a week, that way, you have the fittest players which is advantageous in the last 10 of a game. That’s not insider info, that’s something he’s said on This was ok in the early days, but as the game increased in pace; players sprint 80% more now than they did 8 years ago, it caused massive fatigue problems which led to major soft tissue injury melt down.

Remember, all soft tissue injuries are preventable to some degree. Our injuries, despite protestations and general ignorance in the media, were not an accident. They were down to incompetence. But incompetence that was derived from a lack of education and a lack of expertise.

So first thing on the agenda will be working out how often and how hard players train. A major breakthrough if he can bring those numbers down. Big clubs hardly train over Christmas, Arsenal are out across the whole period.

He’ll also work on tailored programmes for players. Every individual has differing circumstances. Young players, settled in a St Albans flat will require a different programme to a 31 year old player returning from a hamstring injury who also has a newborn to contend with. Players will all be given different regimes to work to. Just like at other top clubs. United were excellent at this, preserving their old guard for years beyond their sell by dates. This article from Ryland Morgans gives great insight into how you work with a modern manager when you’re one of the most important people at a club.

The major one for me is game time. Playing your best 11 in every game isn’t a sharp way to get the best out of a squad. Psychologically, is self defeating. You’ve seen how Vermaelen (injured, so may have to stay) has been totally destroyed by a lack of rotation. Physically, it’s crazy. Hopefully, we won’t see Ozil lining up against Coventry for 90mins this season. Rotate for freshness. Rotate with the consideration of having the freshest most competitive team for the last 10 games of the year. That was a Ferguson trick he consistently pulled. United were, under him, the best in the world at recovery and rotation.

Other areas he’ll have to look at is prematch preparation. So, how is the warm up being run. I mean, I’ve seen how they do it at the training ground. How can you run warm up sessions with guys too old to execute the moves! He’ll also have to pay close attention to post game recovery. Shad Forsythe will be in charge of so many marginal gains opportunities. He’s as important as Steve Bould in the set up. As he should be. The fittest teams prevail these days. Dortmund of 3 years ago, Barcelona under pep, the most average United of all time in Fergies last year… Liverpool last season.

What I like about him is he’s not the best candidate, that’s going to play it one of two ways, it’ll take him two seasons to get it right… Or, he’ll speak to his mates in the game for support and nail it first time round. Because that’s how dynamic people operate. Arsenal are king maker here. With some people, that works a treat, with some, they crash and burn. It’s basically like taking Joachim Lowe on as manager. Could be incredible, could be disappointment central.

No, actually, it can’t be disappointing because Tony Colbert is that bad. This is a success regardless.

For me, it’s been an emotional day. So much bitching, so much moaning… it’s all culminated into a moment where I’m genuinely more excited about this than I am about Sanchez. I think this is a step in the right direction. It’s chipping away at Wenger’s harem of under-achievers and it’s installing a world class infrastructure that the club control.

Where will the club look next? My guess? The scouting network. Again, another area of our set up that is dated, expensive and not producing the goods. We need a fresh approach to bringing in the worlds best talent. Clubs like Dortmund are leading the way, heading into new territories, digging out super players that have all the modern day attributes needed to succeed in Europe.

Still, let’s take it one step at a time… today is success. Today is progress. Today could be the most important summer celebration in the whole 7 years we’ve been writing this blog.


P.S. Shad likes blogging too, read some of his stuff here. He’s not as good as me though, right? Right guys, tell me he’s not that good?

594 Responses to “Biggest signing of the summer”

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  1. gambon

    Not sure on Carvalho, but havent seen much of him.

    Martinez is the one i want Wenger to pursue. Look at Bayern, they have Schweinsteiger, Thiago and Pep loves Lahm at DM, they also signed ROde

    Is there even room for him in MF?

    For me people are massively exaggeratng how well we’ve done, or in all honestly theyve been fooled into thinking we have been heavily strengthenng, when we really havent

    A DM and another Sanchez level attacker are certainy required.

    Dont get the links to Khedira, and dont see where Pogba or Vidal would fit in, unless Ramseys being demoted.

  2. Toli83


    Or Kevin Strootman, We actually discussed him on here 2 years back.

    Roma talking big money but could be got for a lot less. Funny how we could have clearly had him for £12 million only 2 or 3 seasons ago.

  3. nigel tufnel

    ok, Gambon,

    I get your thinking about Lukaku, it’s probably a very big deal for Everton fans, and I’m happy for them. Good for the league also.

    Most of your points are fair. But I think the jury is out about him being better than Sturridge. I’m curious over time how that will go., though different types of players.

    and DEFINITELY not better than our Alexis, that, I don’t have to wait to see.

    But then again, I’m speaking as an Arsenal supporter.

  4. Dan Ahern

    I’d sell Campbell and Podolski long, long before considering Cazorla. He has almost unrivaled touch and close control at the club. His shot is awful recently, but luckily we’ve added a great finisher who also serves as an outlet for Santi’s clever passes.

    Podolski also has an unique skill in that he pops up and finishes like no other (mostly against crap teams). But we wouldn’t miss him much. He’s extremely limited.

    Campbell had a fun World Cup and serves as a pacier alternative to Giroud, but honestly, I don’t think he’s at the level to play for this club.

    Sell Poldi and JC and we’ve got Khedira’s fee covered.

  5. BacaryisGone

    No disagreement with you Gambon that Everton have done an excellent job with their money available but they’ve not improved from last season yet, hence the question ‘where are they going?’

    Here’s a combined Arsenal/Everton XI. I’ve given the benefit of the doubt to Everton to balance the side out a little.

    Coleman Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
    McCarthy. Ramsey
    Walcott. Ozil. Sanchez

  6. Nasri's Mouth


    Martinez would be the dream, but Lahm and Schweinsteiger are both 30. Can’t see them letting him go

  7. Byo

    @Bamford/ and ilk:

    Where is the objective evidence that Arsenal desperately needs a CF. Giroud with 16 goals/ 8 assists is more than decent for a guy still finding his legs in the league.
    Where is the objective evidence that Lukaku is a better striker than Giroud?

    I will grudgingly agree that a DM is needed though.

  8. gambon

    The flip side f the Lukaku deal is that Chelsea have also done excellent business for the last 12 months or so.

    Courtois, Luis, Zouma, Matic, Cesc, Costa really are excellent signings and Schurrle, Drogba offer great squad options

    They have sold and bought well.

    £60m net and a lot of good players.

    I would make them favourites certainly.

  9. Leedsgunner

    Lukaku — We could offered Chelsea, the sun, the moon and the stars. He would have never been sold to us. Maureen detests Wenger, and I think the feeling is mutual. Great signing for Everton. Good hard working team under a good hardworking manager. I wish them well, frankly I like them over the whinging Reds and the idiot know it all Brendan Rodgers any day of the week.

    I wonder after such a massive outlay they would looking to sell? A cheeky bid for John Stones or James McCarthy in order perhaps? Or maybe a Cazorla Barkley swap? They won’t go for it of course. They are notoriously good negotiators.

    As important as bringing in new players we need to let our fringe players go.

    Jenks, Miyachi, Afobe, Coquelin — surely we could recoup at least £10m for this lot? We then can put that money toward purchasing a class DM or a striker…

  10. gambon

    “Where is the objective evidence that Arsenal desperately needs a CF. Giroud with 16 goals/ 8 assists is more than decent for a guy still finding his legs in the league.”

    Are you kidding me?

    So teams win the league with decent strikers now?

    No, teams win the league with world class goal scorers.

    Go back to my post from February for objective evidence.

    Giroud has a terrible games per goal rate
    Terrible goal and assist per 90 minutes rate
    Terrible Pass completion
    Terrible shots per goal

    I also remember an excellent piece from Stats bomb this time last year showing just how terrible Girouds fnishing is.

    Not only does he miss way too many chances to even be classed as an average striker, he misses a ridiculous amount from easy positions.

    A world class striker scores 1 in 4-6 shots, but from central “easy” positions scores at a much higher rate

    Giorud has been missing a huuge % of chances from these central positions, cos thats the only position he scores from

    You must have noticed how many of Girouds goals are left foot, less that 10 yards and at home

    Not even close to good enough.

  11. Paulinho

    NM – I think Carvalho has cult hero potential as well. He would just give us a different dynamic, a ball playing brute that that likes to cover the central area in front of the back four and can also burst forward and eat up ground in transition.

    Amazed Portugal picked Veloso ahead of him, although as I said he probably is a bit of unpolished diamond at this point.

  12. Thomas

    De Bruyne bought for £7m sold for £16.5m

    Mata bought for £23m sold for £37m

    Luiz bought for £22m sold for £50m

    Lukaku bought for £18m sold for £28m

    Some great business right there.

  13. gambon

    “Lukaku — We could offered Chelsea, the sun, the moon and the stars. He would have never been sold to us. Maureen detests Wenger,”

    This is bollocks

    He sold Gallas and Diarra to Wenger

    Theres a big difference between us offering £28m for a striker, and us asking to borrow a striker with no upside for Chelsea

    And stop with this “everyone hates just Arsenal, no one else, just Arsenal” bollocks

    Mourinho sold a world class player to Man Utd just 6 months ago

    Also, if you think its even Mourinhos decision where surplus players go you may want to look at the Chelsea hierarchy.

  14. Toli83

    Doesn’t anyone see that Wemger doesn’t value that position anymore, he wants a quarter back style player, just someone to keep the ball ticking over .

    A midfield destroyer isn’t his belief these days.

  15. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: Or maybe a Cazorla Barkley swap?

    Barkley’s just signed for another 5 years, and we’ve got our very own Barkley in Chamberlain. I’d take Stones though.

    I’d bet all 4 of those leave us this summer but I think (?) Miyachi is injured, Jenks and Afobe look like loans

  16. gambon

    Thomas makes an imortant point

    There seems to be a myth perpetuated by Arsena fans that spending money is in some way dangerous, and every signing is destines to fail.

    When you spend big money on players you dont throw money away, you just transfer assets from the bank account to the pitch

    Chelsea have done a good job of accumulating assets that have really paid off i the FFP world

    Meanwhile we have loads of cash that gets you less and less every year

    This is why its inconcievable to keep going into the season with £120m in the bank

    Its always better to invest that £120m into the pitch

  17. nigel tufnel

    will be very interested to see how Alexis gets used once Theo comes back. I wonder what Wenger is planning up front.

  18. gambon


    Dont talk about Strootman

    I said over and over we should sign him when he went to ROma. Such a great player.

  19. Toli83

    That £16 million on chambers could have got us Benteke with some change I imagine, no way would he have stayed at Villa, would have given us what we need right now instead of future.

  20. Nasri's Mouth

    @Nigel Tufnel

    Part of the reason I’m excited by Sanchez is seeing how Wenger uses him. He’s said he’ll start on the right until Walcott’s back, and then he can play with Giroud or instead of him.

    If with him, then does he play Ozil wide left? Dunno, but I’m definitely looking forward to it

  21. kwik fit

    I think you’ll find the initial cost for Chambers is 8m. It will only rise to 16m if he become’s the player we all hope. So its a risk but not as much as is made public. Selling teams like to include all potential add ons as it is an attempt to appease disgruntled supporters.

  22. Leedsgunner

    “Where is the objective evidence that Arsenal desperately needs a CF. Giroud with 16 goals/ 8 assists is more than decent for a guy still finding his legs in the league.”

    … Is Giroud a winger, or perhaps an attacking midfielder…. if he was this would be a decent return. He is a striker. In fact last season he was our only striker effectively. If. It wasn’t for our very productive midfield contributing goals until January we would have been mid table mediocrity — because Giroud’s form became worse and worse as the season went on.

    We need a striker. Giroud’s a Plan B striker. “Finding his feet?” What’s that about? It was his second season. Stop making excuses for a journeyman striker who has had the good fortune to play for a good a team as Arsenal. He’s nowhere good enough.

    I’m not saying he’s completely useless but we need someone else to go to when p*ssing in the wind doesn’t work.

  23. Harry Redknapp

    how can giroud still be finding his legs in the league? he looks like he is but he has shown no signs that he will do better.

  24. Nasri's Mouth


    Wenger’s signed Sanchez to play up front. He’s not bought him to push Walcott back on the bench

  25. Toli83


    Could argue Kroos is worth £20 million so Benteke is worth less.

    Villa are in no way in a position to negotiate if we got him to politely tell them to fuck off and he won’t play for them again. Not that I agree with that but that’s how it’s seems to work these days.

  26. kwik fit

    So Stanley Collymore is an ITK. Have you ever heard such nonsense. The guys is a complete Asshole 🙂

  27. Dissenter

    I’m surprised that there was even a debate about using vanishing spray in the premier league.
    Low cost technology that stops encroachment in its tracks.

    Now they have to find a way to help referees measure 10 yards properly. Cant they just use hand held laser tool? I can swear that old Trafford free kick measurement was always 6-8 yards for opposition teams under SAF.

  28. gambon

    Dont think Sanchez has been bought as a central striker

    Look at where he has played throughout his career

    Look at the CFs Wenger has played with,Anelka, Henry, Adebayor, RVP, Chamakh, Giroud…….none of them remotely like Sanchez.

    Walcott even said “teams will be scared with us two on the flanks” – has Wenger told him the plans?

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    Toli83: Could argue Kroos is worth £20 million so Benteke is worth less.

    Different position and different league though

    Benteke and Lukaku are both strikers, with a similar style, so I think it’s fair comparison.

  30. Harry Redknapp

    well i would expect chambers to be 1st choice back up straight away. 16mill, bellerin has not even played a game. jenkinson will have a good season i think

  31. kwik fit

    That news is positive Toli as Wenger can’t be thinking of using Chambers as a DM this season. Plus we ‘ll need another CB.

  32. Relieable sauce

    with ffp & player power it may have been possible to sign lukaku imo, after all CL football is what its all about so we are constantly told by wenger & the bods.
    A genuine shot at being afcs #1 st plus cl may have been enough for him to refuse efc.
    Imagine he turned out to be our dd mkII & tormented the chavs like the original did us. How sweet would that be. The very least it might have screwed with the chavs plans. Win/win.

  33. Byo


    I found the “Statbomb” article you referenced. The writer made some very good points, backed up too.

    But I think it is pure hyperbole to attach the term “terrible” to Giroud’s performances. Sure, he could use more goals.
    But Arsenal system has been known to make some average strikers look good, eg Adebayor.

  34. Harry Redknapp

    chelsea talk about financial fairplay but roms still payin their wage bill. a few player sales dont change everything for them.

  35. Harry Redknapp

    adebayor was better than average at one point. he was hard working mobile aggressive and scored a few top goals. it was ego that brang him down. a much brighter footballer than giroud

  36. Leedsgunner


    I know why you say that but after such a big injury a stint on the bench might enable Theo to fully recover. We’re often rushing players back (Theo last season is a classic case of this) only for them to injure themselves again…

    A DM and a striker is a must for me if we are to progress beyond fighting for fourth in the league. Especially if someone like Balotelli is available — as I have said before he has his issues he is still a class talent, I would be in there all the more if AC MILAN is interested in our fringe player like Campbell… but who knows what is really going on?

  37. Dissenter

    I’m not sure that Chambers was that much better that Jenks.
    22 games in the league in a club where survival is the expectation is a lot different from the playing in a grumpy Stadium environment at the Emirates, especially when the annual fourth place race starts in the spring.

    Jenks has played well in some good games, at the Allianz Arena last year. He’s been badly treated, imo.

    Jenks lives and breathes Arsenal, yet we tossed him away without a season to prove himself.

  38. gunnergetyou

    I dont see the problem with Ramsey being played in the middle alongside another so called box to box CM.

    Our best midfield under Wenger was probably Petit and Vieira, Neither of them were out and out DMs. Petit was very effective getting forward providing goals and assists as was Vieira. You could even say the same about Gilberto although he was a bit more conservative. The most defensive MF we’ve had in recent years was Flamini and then Song for a season before he decided that he could be a play maker instead.

  39. gambon

    “Jenks lives and breathes Arsenal,”

    So does Keyser but it doesnt mean we should play him upfront. Hes too fat

    “yet we tossed him away without a season to prove himself.”

    Erm, hes been with us 3 seasons. Thats 57 games and probably 1000 training sessions.

    Not to mention he just isnt good enough

  40. rollen

    Jenks has played well in some good games, at the Allianz Arena last year. He’s been badly treated, imo.

    Jenks lives and breathes Arsenal, yet we tossed him away without a season to prove himself.


    also his epic goal celebration

  41. gambon

    “Our best midfield under Wenger was probably Petit and Vieira, Neither of them were out and out DMs”

    Yeah but both were primarily defensive/destructive players.

    Petit and Vieira for example are vastly superior from a defensive standpoint to Ramsey and Khedira for example.

  42. Nasri's Mouth


    Well, there’s always a risk with big injuries, but he seems to be progressing well and on schedule, and I’d imagine that they’re planning that Walcott will recover 100%

    I think Sanchez is basically Wenger’s 2nd attempt at signing Suarez. They’re not identical, but they’re both fast, good dribblers, never stop, a pain in the arse for defenders and tend to move around the pitch. There’s an obvious question mark about whether he can play with his back to goal because of his height, but he’s built like a boxer, and his pace is going to scare defenders into getting too close to him.
    As long as Walcott’s fit, he’ll be a starter IMO

  43. Nasri's Mouth

    Jenks will get his chance in the PL this season. If he gets a run of games we’ll see whether he’s good enough

  44. Harry Redknapp

    jenkinson started the season a couple years back and didnt really put a foot wrong. sagna came back and he was limited. i think he will be a good player with a good run of games.

  45. Toli83

    I wouldn’t say jeanks has been badly treated, look at where he was a few seasons back.

    Just hope Debaucy can stay for all the games, as all of our back ups are 2 years away from being able to be trusted a decent deputy.

  46. Leedsgunner

    “yet we tossed him away without a season to prove himself”

    He didn’t play for free. He was paid good money as a first team member. What was Jenks best game last season? His best game was when we played Coventry — a team in League 1.

    Furthermore with Sagna’s future up in the air all last season Jenkinson had more than enough incentive to step up and make his mark on the team — he didn’t.

  47. Toli83

    Jenks really lost it in some games though. Chelsea in carling cup springs to mind.

    He’s a massive confidence player, really hope he does well at West Ham and comes back stronger but can’t help but think Bellerin is prob the future there.

  48. Nasri's Mouth

    Jenks has looked pretty good when he’s had a run of games, but has looked shaky when he’s come in for a single game. Hardly ideal when he’s a back up. Still, I think after a year on loan with West Ham, we’re in a win win situation.

    Chambers played a fair amount last season, he’s a better bet as a back up for this season

  49. Leedsgunner


    Call me a cynic but our injured always seem to be progressing well on schedule then BANG! We need to give our players a chance to sensibly come back to full fitness.

    Why did we have to do this? All the results of having a small squad lacking in depth and quality.

  50. Nasri's Mouth


    Ha! yeah, that has been true and it might be again, but I doubt Wenger has bought Sanchez on the assumption that Walcott is broken permanently.

    And at some point Wenger is going to have to give Chamberlain a run

  51. Dissenter

    Nasri’s Mouth
    “Chambers played a fair amount last season, he’s a better bet as a back up for this season”

    How did you come to this conclusion?
    You’ve gotta crystal ball?

    I mean, how do you make a leap from 22 games at mid-table Southampton to Arsenal back-up? Especially when Debuchy is not exceptional either. For all we know, Debuchy’s back-up might end up as the staring RB quickly.

    How many stand-out games did Chambers have at Southampton. He wasn’t one of the stand-outs in their team last year, as far as I can remember.

    Even Wenger admits it is big gamble.

  52. afturburn

    I agree that Lukaku could have been had.

    But he did disrespect our club on Twitter regarding the Ozil transfer not long ago, it’s kind of amusing he goes to a lesser club. I’d imagine it was a non-starter after that tweet.

  53. Toli83


    And Gnabry? I actually thought he was a star when featured last year, great talent.

    He could really be the one that breaks through.

  54. Roaaary

    I see the DM position as a quarter back role in the modern game. The best DMs used to sit and just protect like makelele but as the game has changed, I think the DM needs to be the controlling player, dictating play.

    That’s why wenger has stuck with arteta I think. Carvalho looked solid in the 2 games I saw of him but I’m not sure he is mature enough to control a game.

    For that reason I’d like to see someone with experience like khedira

  55. Roaaary

    And in relation to jenks, he has had a few good games but positionally he is inept. He doesn’t have the knowledge and clearly hasn’t developed in the way wenger hoped.

    It’s a shame but we need ruthlessness. I just wish wenger applied the same ruthless streak to sanogo and arteta

  56. Nasri's Mouth


    I wasn’t very clear. I think given the amount of experience Chambers had in the PL last season vs Jenks amount of games last season, I’d rather have Chambers as a back up than Jenks

    That’s not to say that Jenkinson wont come back in 12 months, or that Chambers wont end up as a CB as his favourite position.

    And I agree, it’s possible that Chambers will overtake Debuchy

  57. Nasri's Mouth


    He only got games because of other players injuries, a loan might be the best bet. Maybe they’ll want to keep him until they’re sure about Walcott’s comeback though

  58. Alexanderhenry

    Bamford, why arsenal FC have conducted their finances over the past 8 years the way they have is a mystery to me and to just about everyone else. what is not a mystery is the fact the owner, Stan kroenke, decides on the budget. He is the owner after all.
    Until last season we followed the ‘self sustainable’ model. Gazidis used that word ‘self sustainability’, over and over again like a mantra. It was just a nice sounding pseudonym for ‘zero net transfer policy’. Before last season Gazidis changed his tune and said arsenal had now come out of the self sustainability period, and were now in a position where they could go out and spend significant amounts in the transfer market. He said we were a couple of years away from being in a similar position to bayern Munich.
    He did not specify exactly how much wenger hadto spend and also did not specify whether the transfer kitty included wages. Personally I think wenger spent every penny that was available to him. This transfer he has even more to spend as Gazidis said he would ,and I think he’ll do the same and spend all of it.
    On debt repayments, nothing has changed. We pay off the stadium like a mortgage and it accounts for roughly 7 per cent of total club expenditure. It will fully paid off by 2031
    On commercial revenue. That must have increased because of the new puma deal.
    Arsenal have more available cash than any other premiership club, so I’m sure there is at least 100 million that the club COULD spend, probably more like 150 million. Whether wenger is ALLOWED to spend all of it is another question. Bear in mind that arsenal have the reputation of being the most secretive football club in England.

  59. Leedsgunner


    What’s the common link between Cazorla, The Ox, Rosicky, Theo, Ramsey and Kallstrom?

    They were all laid back with long injury lay offs — I cannot believe all of them are so injury prone. They became that way because they were overplayed and not given sufficient rest to last the season. Why? As we all know Wenger doesn’t rotate as he should? Why? He doesn’t trust his fringe players. Why? They are not of sufficient quality. Whatever way you look at it — it is bad man management.

  60. Leedsgunner

    Further to my most recent post – our injuries were also due to bad luck — Ox and Cazorla were injured at the beginning of the season but Wenger’s poor man management still stands.

  61. Dissenter

    I think someone ha made this point already.

    Lukaku for 28 million is the signing of the summer.
    A 21 year old CF with three years of proven scoring pedigree in the premier league is unbelievable.

    He can play for Everton for 6 years and still get sold for more that 28 million, if he stays healthy.

    I hear his contract is 75k weekly which is a shame for him. I consider him a 100-150k weekly striker already. He would earn that if he were English.

  62. Nasri's Mouth


    Well, I don’t think you can blame Kallstrom’s injury on Wenger 😉

    Lets see what Shad can do for us this season. The club are reacting positively (eventually). If we’d have managed to have players like Ramsey and Walcott available for more of the season last year, we’d have been pretty close to the top.
    Fingers crossed for this season

  63. Leedsgunner

    “Well, I don’t think you can blame Kallstrom’s injury on Wenger ”

    Are sure? Maybe Kallstrom broke his back with astonishment when he heard AFC had come calling. Maybe I’m being harsh. I just blame him for signing him in January… and making us the laughing stock of the January transfer window. 🙂

  64. nigel tufnel

    nasri’s mouth –

    I like the way you put that… wengers 2nd attempt at suarez.. yes, that’s how I see it — basically the next best thing to Suarez, a guy defenders hate to play against. I think Koscielny told Wenger that Suarez was the toughest to defend.

  65. Cesc Appeal


    They sound like rubbish to be honest. Can dream it meant we were after Vidal, but I don’t think so.

    Most likely to arrive is either Khedira or Carvalho in my opinion. Would be happy with either.

    Some stuff tonight that Madrid would rather sell him now than see him walk on a free next summer to Munich. So, fingers crossed. So important we fill that position.

    I fear Wenger might give Wilshere 2-3 weeks as CDM and see how it goes before the last few days of the window and try to pull something out. Only 4 weeks left now.

  66. BacaryisGone

    There’s little doubt that our squad has holes in it, but let’s look at the sunny side of our squad for a minute:

    1) Three players, one for each of the last summer transfer windows, all capable of producing jaw-dropping moments of brilliance. Having Ozil, Cazorla and Sanchez in the same team could be a rare thing of beauty. Not quite Pires, Bergkamp and Henry but not too shabby.

    2) A raft of talented young British players (Gibbs, Chambers, Walcott, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ramsey and what the hell, Carl Jenkinson too).

    3) Great CB partnership.

    4) Two quality keepers.

    Of course, #5 should be a bruising but graceful, leave no prisoners while setting an attacking platform DM. Maybe we can add this before the window closes.

  67. Bobby

    Christ, wat a pack of totally like, unfettered bull shit most people on here spout. You say it almost like you truly believe it!!

  68. Relieable sauce





    Personally id like us to play this formation as i dont believe we have the right type of players to play with the lone deep lying cm. MA is not a dm or a playmaker & it seems far to easy for other teams to combat it at times with so much focus on the one player.
    Id like to see upgrades for MA & OG & would be ok with selling SC & LP to help us achieve that.

  69. Gustav Graves

    Yaya was the next Viera and we “almost” signed him.
    Pogba was the next Viera and we “almost” signed him.

    How many “next Vieras” are gonna be linked to the club until we actually sign one?

    Carvallo is a beast.
    I follow Portuguese football and Portugal in general and I can honestly say the dude is all upside. He can boss the midfield and hes only 22.

    The reason Veloso started ahead of him in the world cup is all drama with Paulo Bento, the FPF and Jorge Mendes.

    Bento and half of that team that was called up all use the same agent(Mendes)
    so there are rumors about that that team was called up due to the agent and $$$ (player shines in WC, player gets new lucrative contract etc,etc….)

    Fans of Portuguese football know that that team was a joke. There was no way half those guys should have been called up and starters. ( Veloso, Miereles, Nani, Almedia, Postiga,)Look it up as im sure most if not all the ones I just listed are represented by Mendes.

    Anyways…Khedira would be cool, but for the future id put my $ on Carvallo.

  70. jwl

    Until a couple of months ago, we have won fcuk all since vieira left. We need a midfielder who enjoys tackling the opposition and then quickly gets up with ball at his feet to start attack, another vieira. And it is outrageous that Vieira works for Man City – surely we can find a role for legend at Arsenal. Wenger is a twat for not having bergkamp and vieira working for us instead of elsewhere.

  71. moray

    nigel, are they negotiating signings from the back of parked cars now? Or in the casualty wards? How does Collymore get to have the inside track?

  72. Gustav Graves

    I hope he doesn’t make anymore joke signings ever again.

    Looking back on things I’m trying to pinpoint when it seemed like he (Wenger)lost the plot. Was it when he let Viera go to city? When Henry left to Barca?

    The Arshavin signing seemed to me the begining of him losing the plot on the whole TM…

    Whatever and whenever it was I guess doesn’t matter if he’s back on the right track now…

  73. the Norse God

    Apparently Khedira ain’t going to Munich soon, as Marca reported

  74. ilerioluwa

    Bacary is gone, Look on the bright side of things?. Nah, not really. Don’t worry, When we are sputtering to our next 4th position or another big team is giving us a hiding, we should think of all the things bacary mentioned and feel better, right?.

  75. Dark Hei

    The narrative is already written.

    If Arsenal loses, it is Wenger’s fault.
    If Arsenal win, it is in spite of Wenger.

    And I can’t help but feel that someone within the club is feeding negative information to bloggers like Pedro. It seems like there is someone within the setup, probably coaching, who has a bone of contention.

    Because Pedro is certainly writing as if he is indeed having inside info on something as confidential as Tony Colbert leaving the group. Shad Forsyth is confirmed, as it is public knowledge but Colbert’s situation is not even on NewsNow.

  76. moray

    Gustav, Wenger didn’t want Arshavin; had him foist on him and destroyed the guy out of spite by playing him out of position.

    Wenger’s problems stemmed from him getting too much power over too many parts of the club. As such, nothing was done well. Our training, scouting, player negotiations and tactics all suffered as a result.

    Hopefully now the Board have clawed back some degree of control over things and Wenger can start to concentrate more on the areas he has been neglecting of late and which are more the responsibility of the coach: areas such as tactics, player preparation and fitness. If he does (and if he makes a couple more critical signings) then I think we could have a good year.

    What does worry me is the fact that he is fully able to be way too loyal to under-par or under performing players. For instance, so long as Sanogo is in the squad, there is a chance Wenger will play him against Bayern Munich in the CL later stages. The fact that our captain and vice-captain are not really good enough to play for us any more is also a concern. Arteta in particular cost us points last year because his legs have gone and he is a year older now…

  77. Nasri's Mouth

    moray: Gustav, Wenger didn’t want Arshavin; had him foist on him and destroyed the guy out of spite by playing him out of position.

    With a statement like that I bet you’ve got loads of proof

  78. Gustav Graves

    Yea…that whole Arshavin epesode left a bad taste.

    I hear you on the loyalty thing.
    Misplaced loyalties can lead to all kinds of unfortunate happenings on and off the pitch.

    I’d go so far as to add misguided faith to that statement too.
    IMO that’s what Diaby has…a whole lot of Wenger faith.
    Sir Alex,Jose, Ancholloti, any of the “big name” managers would have sold him off years ago.

    Maybe Wengers just an old softie now.

  79. Nasri's Mouth


    In fact your post is pure comedy

    First you say that the club bought a player against the managers wishes, something that really only happens when the relationship between the club and the manager has reached breaking point and they’re about to go their separate ways, and then you contradict yourself by saying Wenger had TOO much power, though weirdly not enough to stop someone else doing that part of his job that should be exclusively his, IE deciding which players to buy


  80. Dark Hei


    Wenger didn’t destroy Arshavin. The trio of Arshavin, Cesc and Nasri played some beautiful football together (go lookup archives). But Wenger did not supply them with a base strong enough to accommodate them. We conceded more than we could score and there was a big lack of maturity within that cohort. But back then, we played some of the most beautiful football around. It was only until we got Ozil last season did we begin to play pretty once more.

    Eventually Arshavin got lost in the post Cesc setup. His mind was clearly elsewhere. He started losing possession, making increasingly risky passes; it was as if he lost his focus. He wasn’t on the same wavelength with Gerv, Walcott and Ramsey and he was certainly one of those that played especially poorly in the 8-2 hammering.

    I think that when we went post Cesc, playing direct football and focusing on results, Arshavin got lost in translation there. He would have been an absolute gem in this current setup, playing 1-2s with Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey.

  81. moray

    NM, firstly I’m not sure what the problem is and why you’re on my back all of a sudden: this is the second sarcastic comment you have made on my postings recently, but I’m glad you have more of an inside scoop on this.

    The truth is that nobody knows exactly what the inside story is, but it is very clear there has been a tug of war over the last few seasons within the club. We even heard about Wenger designing the dressing rooms in the new stadium. Wenger has been prepared to go into seasons with incomplete squads. The Arshavin signing bears no fingerprint of a Wenger signing, nor does the panicky signings of Santos, Mert, Arteta etc. The fact Arshavin was played repeatedly out of position and dropped for key games suggests to me Wenger was not involved or completely supportive of this signing.

  82. Nasri's Mouth

    moray: Dark Hei, have Tony Colbert’s contract expiring on 30.06.2014

    As do all the Arsenal training staff

  83. babatunde

    Chambers is okay as a signing, but the 16m seems a bit excessive. he better not be our dm signing though

  84. Dark Hei


    “Dark Hei, have Tony Colbert’s contract expiring on 30.06.2014”

    Lol, ok now I look like an absolute tool. Still, I maintain that Pedro has info on the inside. I mean he can point out that Shad is the club’s appointment and has nothing to do with Wenger.

  85. moray

    Dark Hei, that team did play some wonderful flowing football. But you’re right, football that ultimately lacked bite up front and at the back.

    That team was also built around Cesc and his skills, so maybe there was no place for Arshavin in the end, but I still feel he had a lot more to offer. We all said the guy was a top 5 in the world signing at the time, so did he ever get to show that off?

  86. Nasri's Mouth


    When people post BS and claim it as fact without any knowledge at all I tend to call it whoever posts it.

    Wenger has an awful lot of influence at the club, for various reasons, (length of employment, early success, relaxed attitude / gratitude of the board, whatever). It’s a regular criticism on here that there are no ‘football’ men on the board to stand up to Wenger, so who exactly would have bought Arshavin? Fiszman? Hill Wood? Gazidis, when he’d joined a couple of weeks earlier?

    Only one person signed Arshavin, Wenger

  87. moray

    Dark Hei, “I mean he can point out that Shad is the club’s appointment and has nothing to do with Wenger.”

    Nah, like I said before there are only a few people who have the full story, and it will most likely be many years before we get the truth. All we can do at this stage is speculate using the evidence in front of us.

    Bottom line is, how realistic is it that Wenger has suddenly changed his MO with regards to his staff and signings. I read a few articles which supposed that Forsyth was coming in to work alongside Colbert, but this would be a normal way of pushing someone out of a company without making too many waves (particularly if they were popular).

  88. Dark Hei


    Arshavin have all the attributes of a Wenger singing.

    1. Small and petite
    2. Outrageously skilful
    3. Signed on the very last dot of the transfer window

  89. Nasri's Mouth

    I’m pleased the club have brought in someone new to help with the injuries situation.

    Of course if it works, he’ll be the reason for it, if it doesn’t it’ll be Wenger’s fault.

  90. moray

    NM, okay mate. Point taken.

    I guess time will tell. Neither of us know for sure so we just go by the evidence we can see. There have been several signings over the past few seasons that don’t resemble Wenger signings.

    I think we will both be surprised when the behind the scenes stories about the political shenanigans at the club come out…

  91. moray

    @NM: having the information and data on the player fitness is one thing. Acting on it is another.

    Acting on it is 100% Wenger’s responsibility.

    He has admitted himself that he played Ramsey, Wilshire etc in the red zone.

  92. bergkamplegend

    “Steven Gerrard has revealed he told Luis Suarez to stay at Liverpool last season as he was too good for Arsenal.”

    Anybody read this ??
    Piece of shit of a false captain who fell like a donkey to offer the title to City.

  93. Dark Hei


    Changes to coaching staff are a continual thing. Gary O’Driscoll, James Collins, Ben Asworth all joined not too long ago. Certainly prior to Wenger’s new contract.

  94. gunnergetyou

    These Cazorla stories just wont go away. I’ve got a feeling Wenger might pull that trigger. £15m for a 30 year old AM might be too much for him to turn down but my arguement if he does sell him would be that he should’ve got Cesc because unless he’s got something big lined up this decision will look like more and more of a mistake.

    This should also have no bearing on whether or not we sign a replacement for Arteta.

  95. Nasri's Mouth


    To an extent that’s true, but I’d imagine Shad’s role is to put into practice training regimes and styles that will help prevent preventable injuries.

    If that doesn’t have any effect on the players, then he’s also to blame.

    Meh, to be honest, I don’t really care about it, all I care about is getting the players available for more games.

  96. Emiratesstroller

    I expressed the view yesterday that Bayern were not interested in bringing in
    Khedira. That was a view based on the fact that if they were then certainly it
    would have formed part of negotiation when Kroos was sold to Real.

    I am sure that Arsenal are interested in the player, but are not prepared to pay
    both a high transfer fee AND wages, which would inflate our current pay scale.

    Khedira is a very good player and both Champions League and World Cup Winner, but he is not a major super star and frankly not the ‘only pebble on the beach’.

    What is very clear this summer is that there is not a huge amount of money
    floating around the transfer market particularly outside the Premier League.

    The Bundesliga Clubs usually do their business early. So far only Borussia
    Dortmund have spent serious money there. There seems to be far greater emphasis on youth development and stability.

    The Spanish and Italian Leagues do have a fair turnover of players but most
    of the clubs do not have a pot of money to piss in apart from the three major
    clubs in Spain.

    There is of course money to spend in EPL. Chelsea and Liverpool have done
    already quite a lot of business this summer. Man City appear t o be fairly
    constrained this Summer and I am not sure just how much money Spurs have
    when you consider that they are about to embark on rebuilding stadium.

    The only two clubs which appear to be willing to spend money and have still
    some mileage to do so are Arsenal and Man Utd.

    In the case of Arsenal I believe that any further investment will focus on DM/HM and perhaps CB should Vermaelen leave.

    Arsenal have done already the bulk of their transfer business. As I expressed
    before they are not under pressure to complete any further business in haste.
    There are still quite a few decent players floating around whom we can buy
    including Khedira.

    My guess is that Arsenal will only buy Khedira if both price and wages are right. If not they will look elsewhere.

  97. Radio Raheem

    It’ll be Wenger to blame or praise. After all, he approved Shad Forsyth’s employment. But this might be too logical for some. Frankly, this is all pointless as no one has all the information available to them or the expertise to judge if they did.

  98. Nasri's Mouth


    I think the Khedira/Bayern deal is for next season. IE they sign him when he’s out of contract.

    The advantage of this story is that if he stays at RM the people who made it… err… discovered it, can say “See! We told you!” and by next summer it’ll have been forgotten if he goes somewhere else

  99. qna

    Lukaku, 21 yo, £25m + £3 add ons, £75k/wk
    Likely be able to sell him for at least 25m in 7 years time after he bangs in 140 goals for the club. How does everton have on its books a better striker than we have? A loan is one thing, but to own a 21 yo with already that many goals. Not even at his prime yet. The new drogba me thinks. Well done to Everton. Hope they finish above L’pool for the next decade on the back of this.

    We have only added Sanchez, a 15 goal striker. City, Chelsea and United will all have strengthened more than us.

    Go and get Balotelli at least Arsenal current squad is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

  100. Nasri's Mouth

    It’s interesting to read some of the details about ManU’s shirt sponsorship deal

    (a 30% drop if they fail to qualify for the CL 2 seasons in a row, etc.)

    Would be interesting to find out about ours

  101. qna

    Cant fault Gerrard’s opionion that he shared with Suarez. Sure over the past 9 years Arsenal have mostly finished above Liverpool. But unless you buy into 4th place is a trophy, there is nothing seperating the two clubs. Then historically domestically and in europe they shit all over us. So we can offer a group stage plus 1st knock out stage of UCL; that is hr only difference that Suarez would have. Factor in how forgiving the pool fans have been to him, Gerrard was right. It was basically a sideways step, like spuds to everton or vica versa.

    No need to hate on Gerrard. Its the truth that hurts.

  102. Nasri's Mouth

    @Dark Hei

    Yeah, and the chances of them dropping out for 2 seasons is pretty damn slim 😀

    ManU are a commercial monster, down to their hard work and their massive footprint

  103. gunnergetyou


    Apparently Cesc helped to convince Sanchez to join Arsenal instead of Liverpool too so i guess we got the last laugh in the end, and got the best out of the Suarez to Barca deal.

    Maybe Stevie’s feeling a little bitter

  104. Nasri's Mouth


    Yeah, it’s very possible

    Whatever, unless RM considerably drop their valuation of him we’re not going to be paying him £134k/wk net

  105. Leedsgunner

    “You’re too good for Arsenal.” Steven Gerrard to Luis Suarez.

    Was that before we knocked them out of the FA Cup last season?

    What did Liverpool win again last year? Exactly.

    Arsenal FC – 2014 FA Cup Champions

    Ps. Whose mistake gifted Luis Suarez the winning goal that effectively knocked England out of the World Cup again?

  106. Wallace

    Lukaku could easily turn into the new Drogba. but, despite his promise, you have to wonder why all the big teams allowed Everton a free run at him. there was talk of Dortmund and a few other big European teams being interested, but it’s admirable old Everton who’ve stumped up the cash.

  107. qna

    Maybe a repeat post. Nasri. If Stevie did say the opposite it would still be true. The argument is that its a sideways step. For Sanchez its better to go to us because we are more likelt to offer champions league. But as it stands we are 7/1 long shots to win the league well behind 3 other teams who are more likely. Liverpool are 10/1. Worse but not by much.

  108. moray

    Liverpool don’t have a chance of competing next year without Suarez.

    Great to hear Gerrard giving advice to him. I suppose Gerrard also felt he was too good for Liverpool a few years ago when he almost signed for Chelsea…

  109. qna

    Wallace of the other big teams, only Arsenal needed him. Your point is valid re chelsea but they have go somebody better and they actvely buy and sell players with value. Mata, Luiz etc. Even I didnt have him on my dream list because I want someone better. But I have never had Giroud, Podolski, Sonogo, Campbell, Jackson M, Remy, Ba, etc on my list either. But if I had them on my list Lukaku is better than all of those.

  110. Keyser

    Lol it is actually quite funny, and also slightly disturbing, how easy it is to slowly re-write history or twist things to suit your agenda, even if you’re unsure of who sanctioned, requested, or wanted us to sign someone like Arshavin in the first place, it really isn’t difficult to logically look at who and what he was to work out why he faded.

    Moray’s not on his own either, Bamford13 wondered about Myles Palmers perspective or bias yesterday, he regularly posts up letters like this one, providing a little snide comment at the end.

    “In my view, Wenger and the board bumbled and blundered their way through the last decade and only when the almighty thrashings from Liverpool, City and Chelsea heaped humiliation on the club were they forced to perform a U-turn on recruitment.”

    I suppose it’s only football and people aren’t always as objective or logical as they normally would be, but then there’s always that nagging doubt they apply the same to their normal, everyday, lives to.

  111. Dark Hei


    Stop trying so hard to be Stevie G’s pet parrot. We have already heard his comments from other sources. No need for you to come over here and vomit out the contents.

  112. Admir

    Stevie G is a lad who – as someone put up nicely – retired from not winning anything with national team to concentrate on not winning anything with Liverpool.

    During his career his Liverpool have ended above Arsenal only four times in fifteen attempts while Arsenal have won two league titles to Gerrard’s and Liverpool’s zero.

    Prior to 2014-15, Liverpool had ended below Arsenal for three seasons in a row with an average gap of 12 points despite having Suarez.

    Anyway, I agree with Pedro regarding Forsythe even if I’m very excited about Alexis as I believe Chilean will improve all lines of our team – there won’t be an easy pressure on our left full-back like it happened last season (especially with Monreal in charge), Giroud will operate with more space with Alexis and Walcott stretching the opponents’ defenders and Özil will have someone to pick with his fantastic through balls. I also expect our full-backs to contribute more in terms of final product – last season we got just one goal each from Sagna (set-piece, Stoke), Gibbs (from an open play, Fenerbahče) and Jenkinson (from an open play, Norwich). Compare it with, say, Coleman.

  113. moray

    @ Keyser: but then there’s always that nagging doubt they apply the same to their normal, everyday, lives to (sic)”

    Who is re-writing history and twisting things to suit their agenda now? For many of us this is just a football blog that we dip into occasionally, but as you are on here 24/7 then I guess it is much more for you.

  114. bergkamplegend

    I remember seeing a TV report, about some liverpool fans entering at Goodison Park for the match everton-man city.
    They put everton shirts over their own liverpool shirts, to enter the stadium unnoticed. At the end of the game they remove their everton shirts, and a security officer, hilarious, asks the cameraman: “so you’re unemployed too ??” LOL

  115. Keyser

    Moray – So basicaly when you talk of Arshavin, you put little thought or logic into it you’re just venting, phew, otherwise.. Well, it already seems like a Sore topic, so I’ll leave it.

    New Post.