by .


“I think [Welbeck] has an interesting potential and let’s see how he develops. He has a good mentality, good physical potential, good technical potential, he contributes to our team play because he doesn’t lose the ball up front and those are important qualities. [Henry] is a good act to follow, you know … I have nothing against it.”

No Arsene! Don’t do this to us. Thierry Welbeck? WELBZierry? Danielle Welbacary?

It’s too tantalising a propsect. I get it though. The frame, the cutting in from wide, the wayward composure at a young age… the smile (come on, Thierry used to be a smiler). Confidence breeds everything in football, well if you have the basics. Whatever happens, he’s proving his value in a more prominent way than Giroud. If he gets his head down, works on his game, well… he’ll have a good career and I’m sure he’ll become a fan favourite.

Results worked for us yesterday. United unravelled in spectacular fashion against Leicester… losing a 2 goal lead! I’ve penned quite a bit on Pearson, mainly because I have LCFC fan in my ear everyday. He’s a smart manager and he’s working wonders with this squad when you consider the horrendous start they’ve had. LVG really has had a shocker based on that cash splurge. Title klaxons feel a bit premature if you ask me.

Chelsea / City was as joyless as usual. Seeing Frank Lampard bury the equaliser was a bit special. A draw suited us. Liverpool are learning the hard way what extra games brings to the table… no zip in their game at all. Finally, Spurs took a 1-0 HAMMERING against WBA.

… it’s fair to say the metaphorical hardon I had for this weekends results wasn’t Viagra induced.

Hilarious scenes at Fulham. Felix Magath bantered the Fulham squad into oblivion with calls to heal a Hangeland injury with a lump of cheese. After losses he’d call players into a meeting room, stare at them for 3 minutes without saying a word. Then ask them to leave. I love that. Get to a certain age and say,

‘fuck what the doctor says, GOD IS A MORE POWERFUL HEALER’

‘Who is God?’

‘Me, now hand me the Monterey Jack, immediately’

That’s a meeting I’d have wanted in on.

Feeling the urge for cheese puns… may-brie that’s not s gouda idea?


They’re playing poorly, but hey, I remember when they were basically rooted to the bottom of the league and we had that ridiculous draw with a Bentley screamer to finish. I think that was around the time we started involving ourselves in the high scoring school boy  games Alex referred to the other day. Anyway, our form is marginally better after the weekend. My worry is that the result was slightly aided by a sickness ravaged Villa squad. Spurs will be a different type of test. I’m always confident going into these games, but Pochettino makes me nervous, I really think he’s the best thing to happen to them management wise in years. Smart, astute, good with youth and very modern in his approach.

We’ll see though… making the jump from an expectationaless midtable team has foiled many a man…

Head on over to the Swiss Ramble’s take on Arsenal’s finances. £168m wage bill these days, I’m sure I heard that was higher than Chelsea’s. That £200m cash in the bank is also pretty much higher than anyone else’s. Not all for spending, but still an embarrassment of riches considering our squad lightness. Also some critiquing of the board for our slow uptake of secondary deals compared to our rivals.

Finally, a piece on the Portland Trailblazers and how they brought more young people into the game. Really interesting read on how they used UX and personalisation to drive more sales. Part of the issue for Arsenal and tickets is that 99% are sold. The issue is how do you make it well bloody easy to give your ticket out and for the club to ship it back out in seconds… because a 53k ‘actual’ attendance isn’t good on a financial level (selling stuff) and a ‘ new fan on-boarding process’.

Right, that’s me done. HAVE A GOOOOOOD DAY.



392 Responses to “FINANCE OPEN TOP BUS ANYONE… or not…”

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  1. Biggus

    I have to agree with Dissenter on Mario; he seems to be a luxury player that chips in some good looking goals but when you need a prolific striker, he’s not your man. He has good technique and very good at hold up play but I don’t think he’s someone that would get you 25 goals a season(unless you get loads of penalties)

  2. salparadisenyc

    I’m going to have to agree with the others, just say no to “Welbz”.

    On a playing front, his qualities much more in line with what i’d come to understand as a “Wenger” striker. This of course was well before Chamakh, Bendtner and Giroud entered the fray, although Bendtner may not be the best example as he was with us for nearly a decade. Face palm.

  3. Bergkamplegend

    “unless you get loads of penalties”

    == >> unless you play for yoonited… before SAF’s retirement of course LOL

  4. Romford Pele

    FK sake Gervinho, don’t ever leave your house without that headband again!!

    State of that hairline!

  5. salparadisenyc

    On another notes, anyone catch Barca this weekend?
    Rakitic looks a very shrewd buy, love his style. Makes cashing in on Fabregas look a smart move.

  6. qna

    Dissenter I have seen Mario boss top class defenders in vital club and internationals on numerous occasions. He was completely dominant. I have seen him regularly have first touches that only top players like RVP and Rooney have. That is the difference. Welbeck and Giroud will never be that good. Not even close. Problem with Mario is his attitude has thus far prevented him from taking the next step. But even his first half season at Milan was incredible. Mario is like Rooney, both are their own worst enemies.

    I honestly cant beleive there is a debate about which is the better player. The only issue with Matio is temperement and discipline. I think he is worth the risk. Especially for penny pinchers like Arsenal. All ifs and buts now.

  7. Romford Pele

    “On another notes, anyone catch Barca this weekend?
    Rakitic looks a very shrewd buy, love his style. Makes cashing in on Fabregas look a smart move.”

    Yeah they were very good. Neymar seems to be really coming into his own atm. And they have started their heavy pressing again which hasn’t been seen for a few seasons. Rakitic’s goal was sweet – always been a top player though!

  8. DUIFG

    On another notes, anyone catch Barca this weekend?
    Rakitic looks a very shrewd buy, love his style. Makes cashing in on Fabregas look a smart move.

    guy is a boss, him feeding that front 3 will be naughty!

  9. qna

    By the way. Mario must have put in more “world class” performances than Ramsey has, yet accoring to some on here Ramsey was a world class player that any club would have in their first team just a few weeks ago.

    Mario is as a world class CF about where Ramsey is as a world class CM. I would back Mario to get their sooner than Ramsey.

  10. Romford Pele

    Just seen that Sanogo is injured… Hmmm. Something like this tomorrow then:

    Bellerin Chambers Hayden Monreal (?)
    Diaby/Flamini Wilshere
    Ox Rosicky Poldi


  11. Romford Pele

    Jury is still out on Balotelli. Immensely talented player but you worry about his fuse and his lack of workrate. You can never fault Ramsey for his endevaour. Not sure anyone has been calling him WC. Both are very good players as it stands.

  12. Biggus

    I don’t doubt Mario’s technique but like you said, he is his own enemy. Look at players like Ibra, he’s a certified world class and some things he does is just amazing for someone his frame.

    Personally in regards to technique, Mario edges Welbeck in my books and also is more likely to be in the world class bracket than Welbeck but for the purpose of Arsenal, I don’t mind Welbeck over him

  13. qna

    Romford I agree the jury is out on him. I am saying that he has already put in numerous individual performances that were absolutely world class. That is where the hype originated from. That is why inter and then city signed him. He went to milan and scored 12 in his first 15 or something ridiculous. He has already proved himself on the pitch on numerous occasions.

    The jury is out on him because he has not brought those excellent performances consistently enough. On top of that he has poor on feild disicpline and gets selfish cards. On top of that he has a party boy/bad boy image. His most negative aspect is not his football, its the possible instability and discord he can bring to th3eteam.

    As a player I think its only consistancy that the jury is out on. But people on here are somehow equating Welbecks football ability with Balotelli. I could understand the argument that welbeck wont destabilise, but what I have been reading is just club or country patriotic nonsense that they are currently comparable as players.

  14. Dissenter

    I guess we just have to disagree.
    The only thing world class about Ballotelli is his notoriety.
    He doesn’t score enough goals to be even lumped in the same range as RVP, Aguero, Costa and Falcao.

    Milan Baros was highest goal scorer in Euro 2004 yet none will consider himmworld class because of that. I wouldn’t ascribe much to Ballo’s 2012 exploits in the 2012 Euros.

    He’s good eye candy for the media. Track how many stories about Ballotelli are in the papers; problem is that it’s not all in the sports pages. He’s on the opinion page due to the racist abuse (not always his fault), on the fashion page due to the new model he’s screwing ( good for him) and in the auto pages due to the sports car he’s driving. Damn he’s even on the crime page due to the fire-setting behaviors.

    The fact that we won’t stop reading about him doesn’t make him world class.

    Liverpool would have been ok with Borini deputizing for Sturridge.
    I’m glad we dodged the bullet.

  15. Romford Pele

    QNA – I don’t disagree. I remember Balotelli destroying Germany in Euro 2012. But the baggage he comes with is something you have to deal with. Also, he isn’t really suited to Liverpool’s high pressing game. Doesn’t run the channels like Suarez did or Sturridge does. They’ll probably have to evolve a bit to accomodate him.

    I think he does have more natural ability than Welbeck though I’ve always thought this. Balotelli with his head screwed on should be one of the top strikers in the world. Time is still on his side. That said, for the way Arsenal play i’m very happy with Welbeck and what he brings. High workrate, pressing from the front, combination play with teammates. I think it’s a tad unfair to judge him until he has that season up top. I think he can be very good for us. How good? We’ll have to wait and see but i’m not making any definitive judgments yet.

  16. qna

    Biggus. We have welbeck now. So i see him as our new 2nd choice striker, relegating Giroud to 3rd. A slot is now open for first choice – not that I am expecting us to get a Cavani anymore.

    But we should have taken a punt on Balotelli. Sure, I acknowledge the risk, but there was a huge posssibility of Balotellis upside being materialised and that upside is potentially as high as WORLDS BEST STRIKER given his age and talent. People saying welbeck could be the next Henry are just being deluded. He will be what he has been for United. Possibly a bit better, but would still never ever better than Rooney, RVP or Falcao.

  17. Dissenter

    Quick question for you.

    Did we miss one by not signing Song back?
    Flamini left us on more perfidious terms and we re-embraced him. He suckered Wenger into losing him and Diarra at the same time. Song had been trying to make peace with Wenger but Wenger is giving him the cold shoulder. He released a video in Wenger’s 1000th game.

    Song would have made us stronger from day one, fits into it style and is more vastly experiences that when he left two years ago.

    He really bossed the Liverpool defense and made Gerrard look like a geriatric.

  18. Mayank


    Balos great performances have come intermittently over a fairly large period. While Ramsey’s have come over the last 20 months. On a fairly consistent basis. Ask any top manager in the world who theyd rather have. I expect the answer to ve unanimous. Ask any fan and I expect 90-10 to Ramsey.

  19. Dissenter

    Andrea Pirlo destroyed Germany in the Euros not Ballotelli.

    Pirlo made Lowe rethink his strategy afterwards to a more possessive game.

  20. qna

    Anyway enougb of this. I got into this same cycle of arguments with legrovers about Ramsey a couple of months ago. People were up in arms at me saying ramsey was not world class and we should bring in khedira plus a cdm and ramsey as a sub. Did not go well and all my arguments made me sound like I was anti ramsey. Far from it. I am a big Ramsey fan. I admit in the case of welbeck I have never bern a fan, but I do recognolise he probably is as good as giroud. My issue against him was that we desperately needed a CF a level above what we had. Oh well. I hope I am wrong. I would love any of our donkeys to prove me wrong. I promise.

  21. Romford Pele

    Dissenter – Miss Song? No IMO.

    He was let go because his attitude and discipline sucked. He actually rarely did what he was supposed to do. I think a few of those elaborate passes to RVP have clouded the views of sum.

    We definitely missed out on not signing a DM, but you have to ask yourself why Song has ended up at West Ham and no other top club took a punt on him.

  22. Al

    The issue with Balotelli and it is a well known fact is that he is a poor trainer. trains half-arsed and doesn’t take it seriously.

    Messi and Ronaldo the best 2 players in football who are also naturally lucky to be gifted are known to be some of the hardest trainers in football.

    Thats the difference. They take the game seriously and it matters to them so will do everything possible to be the best and win.
    Football simply does not have the same importance for Balotelli.

  23. Romford Pele

    Dissenter – for sure Pirlo was the architect but Baloteli brought all that power. Ate Badstuber and Hummels alive that day.

  24. Dissenter

    I think you’re being grossly unfair to Welbeck.
    Unlike Balo he’s never had the chance to be the top dog in a big club.

    He had a successful loan stint at Sunderland as a youngster.
    We need to give him a season before judging him so harshly.

  25. qna

    Mayank. I dont disagree with anything you have said. I would rather Ramsey myself. I said i think balo will address his issues and score 25+ before ramsey hits his heights of last year again.

    Dissenter not sure how many times you have seen balo. Maybe worth a look at his youtube vids. It will show his potential upside. I hate his celebrations by the way. Arrogant cunt. But so was RVPs.

  26. qna

    Dissenter. Maybe you are being overly generous to welbeck rather than me being critical. This is not a hold your hand and braid youtlr hair business. Balo is the same age as Welbeck. If they based their team on him its because he earnt it.

  27. qna

    Alfie. I said that was his potential upside. Not that he is. 23 yeard old. A beast of an athelete. First touch as good as any forward in the game. Power. Pace. Powerful shot. Gets the dead ball swerve going regularly. He just needs to put it together week in week out.

  28. Mayank

    “I said i think balo will address his issues and score 25+ before ramsey hits his heights of last year again.”

    No evidence of this. Balotelli lives in this strange paradox where the less consistent he is the more people are convinced he’ll snap out of it and start to deliver. I know he’s still young but I look at him as another adebayor who has enough ability to not even need to put in those 6 months of effort ade does around contract time.

  29. Dissenter

    Actually I’ve watched Ballotelli too many times. I saw half of Milan’s games last year in Serie A.
    YouTube videos are a joke, synopsis of all the best of a player made by his agent. The better test is watching the player for 90 minutes.

    Ballotelli is capable of doing the most outrageous things with the ball such as the 86th minute wonder goal against Bologna in February 2014. He was a ghost until the 86th minute, didn’t press and was just strolling around the field. For a midfielder, there’s nothing worse that a striker that isn’t moving all the time.

    Danny Welbeck would have given his team more from the first to the last minutes.

  30. Al

    Hopefully we don’t wast our time playing Podolski Up top.

    Tomorrows team is quite simple. Play Akpom up from with Campbell on the RW and Podolski on the LW.

    Diaby, Wilshere (double DM) and Rosicky in that AM role…

    SIMPLE and attacking and packed with pace.

  31. Al

    There is a huge Reason why the milanista wanted him gone last January and fans were protesting against him and it has nothing to do with his race.

    Like Dissenter said if you watched him play, the in game attitude and work rate was disgusting. Just did not run and was a static target and not in the good hold up way.

    If thats the type of performances and heart he showed playing for the team the team he supports then that tells you everything you need to know about his character

  32. salparadisenyc

    I was desperate in terms of our need for a striker, furious we passed on Balotelli when it became very apparent Benzema was never going to happen. Welbeck for me was a nice surprise as I didn’t really see it coming on deadline day and he really is a very Wenger signing of old. The potential is there but hasn’t been fully culled out, like many including Henry. Not saying he’ll remotely hit those heights but if you watch him with a fresh eye he could prove to be everything we need. All the better coming form where he did.

  33. Dissenter

    Fuck it . I quit.

    I predict she’ll be in the Alaskan state penitentiary in two years. She has a target on her back now.
    She’s so immature. Why quit live on air with “Fuck it”
    I bet her father is really proud of her.

  34. qna

    Dissenter you are kind of supporting my point. The key with Balotelli is potential upside. If you can bring consistincy to his game and motivate him to be present for 90mins you know youve got one of the worlds elite. Your point on youtube videos is right when judging new talent. But for my argument – what balotelli has proven to be in his locker at the highest level – its relevent. I am saying a good manager can tap into those inconsistent but out of this world highlights and bring it out of him for 70mins week in week out then you have made suarez/zlatan out of 16m. You will never have that potential upside with welbeck.

    Its a risk-reward that we should have looked at and in this case the reward was well worth the risk.

  35. Leedsgunner


    Thumbs up for that formation. Although you are assuming Diaby will be fit…

    If it was up to me I would phase Arteta out by playing him in these cup games rather than in the league matches but Wenger is determined to play the game his way by making Arteta captain… lol.

    I have this horrible feeling that Arteta is going to be exposed by the Spuds in the NLD…

  36. Le Prof


    ‘I really hate that 4-MESS-1 formation.’

    It wasn’t funny the 1st time let alone the 25th time.

    We look like a bunch of blokes who’ve never met before kicking a ball between each other.’

    Lets not be too dramatic shall we? I agree 4231 should be the way forward but try be a bit balanced. That same formation you’re complaining about beat city 3-0, got decent results vs Everton and City and is a bit of a stretch to say we were strangers. Maybe the integration of the new additions and out of form players was stifling the efficiency of said formation?

  37. Al

    really don’t rate Ajayi. He is is a calamity and an accident waiting to happen. The awareness and composure is just not there.

  38. cladicus


    I agree that Balotelli has potential to be a great player, but to rave on and on about how great he will be and then dismiss Welbeck as only being as good as he was at United is a bit disingenuous.

    You are basically saying that the guy who has a questionable work rate and mental state, will undoubtedly reach greater heights in the game than a guy who works hard and is a good professional.

  39. Romford Pele

    Al, was just putting him there to make up the numbers. Hopefully we don’t need him. But because of how Wenger has handicapped us, need to give Kos/Mert a rest where we can.

  40. qna

    Milan were a poor team with poor service and no chance of winning. Add to that racism and the player was disenfranchised. Seeing the control he had when he was attacked on saturday with no cause shows me he is trying. Its not going to be easy, but if they work it out he will be regarded up their with costa by the end of the year. Balotelli would have had better service with Arsenal. We really missed a trick. Lets see who is right in the long term.

  41. Dissenter

    Potential with a hard working ethic is nothing.
    That’s why I am against us signing Ballotelli.

    I’ve seen more in Welbeck in three games to suggest that he gives us something entirely different from Giroud.
    At the risk of repeating myself over and over again. Ballotelli is what we Americans call eye candy.
    He’s make good watching on YouTube but watch him over 90 minutes to make up your mind. I just went to the daily mail site, there are five stories about Balltelli and none about football. If that’s the notoriety you are looking for that’s fine.
    Sanogo is the player creating the confusion. I’ll be more that happy with a CB option of Giroud/Welbeck/Akpom.

    I wish Ballotelli all the luck in the world. We’ll see how things unravel.

  42. Al


    My concerns about Arteta are a whole lot less when he is playing alongside Ramsey due to the ground Ramsey covers and in the 4231 formation. Also Spurs just don’t worry me in Midfield.

    That being said the team will kick up another gear once we get that right DM.

  43. qna

    Cladicus. Maybe. But I find it funny that now we are adding work rate as some tangible metruc that justifies Welbeck as a quality CF. I dont rate welbeck because of his ball control. Actaully few englishmen do for some reason. He has movement, pace and power but a weak shot and a poor conversion rate. Balotelli is a CF beast. Has all the technical qualities. His issues are in his head and not with his skills. I back him to sort out his head before I back welbeck to miraculously develop is technical qualities overnight.

  44. Al


    Yea i know but find it worrying Arsene even mentions Ajayi.

    Kos needs a break but i just don’t feel as confident in playing Hayden with BFG as i would with hayden playing with Kos.
    We really are pushing our luck in Defensive due to the managers negligence

  45. Romford Pele

    “technical qualities”

    Mate, this is where Welbeck is pretty decent. You don’t accumulate a 97% pass accuracy in a game if you’re not decent technically. Look at some of the link-up play from the weekend’s game:

    Now of course he’s not complete. Still a work in progress. But he’s showing promising signs.

  46. Romford Pele

    “Kos needs a break but i just don’t feel as confident in playing Hayden with BFG as i would with hayden playing with Kos.
    We really are pushing our luck in Defensive due to the managers negligence”

    Play Hayden with Chambers tomorrow?

    Obviously we’re not in an ideal situation due to Wenger’s negligence. Ideally we would’ve bought another pacy young CB like Kos. Fabian Shar would be a decent shout. Benatia is obviously the main one but Wenger was never gonna spend 30m euros on a CB, so off to Bayern he went.

  47. Romford Pele

    I work in St James Park and the Schalke team were staying in a hotel across the road last week. Mate got a picture with Draxler. My boy 🙁

  48. cladicus


    Welbeck’s ball retention has not been bad since joining us. He has also been a model professional. He left his boyhood club, came in kept his head down and has done a good job for us. If he makes the chances against City and Dortmund count then we are talking great start.

    Balotelli is already having moments on the field that will lead to red cards down the road. I personally have nothing against him. I hope he does turn it around. I just know that in all my years of watching sports that these type guys rarely do.

  49. qna

    Romford. I am talking about as a cf. His first touch is not what I consider that of a top quality CF. Like RVP or Rooney. He has a poor conversion rate too. A top quality forward puts away even half chances. Thats what we have been missing IMO. We have enough flat track bullies.

  50. Al

    Chambers and Hayden may work depending how strong the midfield is. Cant really afford to play them both as our CB if the midfield has a couple of inexperienced players in it. If the Midfield is diaby, ox ,and rosicky they will dominate enough so you can get away with it.

    Also i think 1 more yellow for Chambers and he gets suspended…Not 100% sure.

  51. Dissenter

    Mesut Ozil on Danny Welbeck: ““When you analyse [Welbeck’s] game, you notice that he makes a lot of runs and knows where he needs to be. We’re pleased to have a striker like him here. He makes the game simpler for us through his runs and speed.

    “[On Saturday] he proved again that he is very dangerous in front of goal and personally, I’m happy for him because in recent games, he missed a few chances. Things worked really well for him on Saturday and that’s why I’m pleased for him.”

    I am Mesut Ozil…and I approve this message. 😉

  52. Dissenter

    “Romford. I am talking about as a cf. His first touch is not what I consider that of a top quality CF. Like RVP or Rooney. He has a poor conversion rate too. A top quality forward puts away even half chances. Thats what we have been missing IMO. We have enough flat track bullies”

    So now you’re comparing Welbeck to Rooney/RVP?
    Are you comparing Ballo’s conversion rate to the elite strikers too?

  53. Romford Pele

    QNA – He’s played CF in his first three games here and i’ve been encouraged by what i’v seen. The ball sticks. Like I said, he wouldn’t have such a high pass percentage if hat wasn’t the case.

    Sure, his finishing needs improving but like Wenger said, he hasn’t played CF for a long time so he’s lost the instinct that comes with playing in that position. He needs a run of games and i’m sure he’ll be fine. Took three games to get his first goal, Henry took nine. Now i’m not comparing him to Thierry but Henry was ballooning shots into row Z left, right and centre when he first came. Composure comes with time. He has the technique to make it in that position.

  54. Romford Pele

    “Also i think 1 more yellow for Chambers and he gets suspended…Not 100% sure.”

    Ah forgot about this.

    I like Chambers a lot, classy on the ball and combative in the challenge but sometimes he really does show his age and dive in where it is a tad unnecessary. He’ll learn. Likely to start the NLD providing he doesn’t get booked tomorrow.

  55. DUIFG

    I would love it if united had sold us a gem, you just know SAF will be fuming they let him come to us for a relatively small sum.

  56. Romford Pele

    Tbj i’d love to know what old red nose thought of the sale. He was a massive advocate of Welbeck. Wenger did say that the two had spoken about Danny.

  57. Dissenter

    I think SFA rated Welbeck highly.
    Did in the bench Rooney for Welbeck against Madrid?
    SAF really wanted to win the CL that year, that I think was the reason why he really bought RVP.

  58. DUIFG

    SAF definitely had a soft spot for him, if you remember at the back end of his tenure rooney was getting put to one side a bit could have been welbecks time.

    Issue was always going to be could he resist buying ready made WC in or waiting for danny to come good. not sure he had the patience of wenger/his board would allow the manager to give pet projects time to grow into something

  59. Ozy

    Dissenter, can you clarify?

    “He’s on the opinion page due to the racist abuse (not always his fault), ”

    When is racial abuse his fault?

  60. qna

    Al. Interesting read. I base my judgements on the games I have seen a player play. I have seen Welbeck quite a few times. He just does not have the quality of the top strikers that you mentioned even if his goals per 90 minutes is better. Like I have said. I expect him to get 10-15 goals and be our 1st choice striker. But I have higher expectations than that for a top sides CF and he isnt it. We should go out and buy one however. Balotelli isnt that man right now either, but I expect that by the end of the season he will be regarded as that good again. Welbeck will not. That is all I am saying. Throw all the stats and opinions at me but this is my personal judgement at this time. I would love to be proven wrong and the new henry gets 30 goals on the way to leading us to the trophy.

  61. Wallace


    Bellerin – Chambers – Hayden – Flamini/no idea

    Coquelin – Zelalem

    Ox – Diaby – Rosicky


    i’m cool with us gambling and resting most of the first team…

  62. Cesc Appeal

    Got any Serie A watchers who know a lot about Kevin Strootman? Supposedly Van Gaal wants him in January?

    Injured at the moment I think.

  63. Romford Pele

    “Got any Serie A watchers who know a lot about Kevin Strootman? Supposedly Van Gaal wants him in January?”

    Mate, he’s top notch. Part of that Roma central trio (one of the best in Europe IMO) that includes Pjanic and De Rossi. More of a B2B rather than a DM but has the physicality for the PL and an absolute cannon of a left foot. £60m is obviously stupid money but that’s the market today.

    Have a soft spot for Roma and Garcia is building a very good team there so it’d be good to see him stay. That said, nobody turns down United.

  64. NYCgooner

    Jumping in late on this Welbz/ Balo debate.

    I used to be a huge fan of Balotelli in the past. He is truly a talent but at the highest level everyone has talent. What sets the great players apart is their attitude and work ethic. Balotelli unfortunately is severely lacking in both of these. Watch him for 90 minutes and you see a player that walks around a lot, sulks and loses focus much too often.

    Welbeck, while he may not be blessed with all the natural talent, certainly has enough to be a very good, dare i say, even a world class player if placed in the right environment and with the proper coaching. He actually has a much better touch than people give him credit for. He still needs to be more clinical with this will come with experience and more confidence.

  65. Al


    Everyone has their own preference and opinion But when you make statements that he is bad technically (arguable) or has poor conversation rate to justify your argument about Balotteli when your factually wrong you need to admit your wrong in that aspect

    But anyway

  66. Al


    Have you any idea how everyone is scouting/watching Roma and not thinking to themselves……JESUS CHRIST WE HAVE TO GET PJANIC ASAP..

    Because i can’t figure it out

  67. Wallace


    ah, it’s your fault. a while back you floated the idea of Zelalem as a possible Arteta replacement(you weren’t keen), and i found the idea interesting. you sure he’s not in the squad? he’s in the training pics…and is number 64 Crowley?

  68. Romford Pele

    Al, I think there may well be a lot of bids for Pjanic at the end of the season. Kid is just…. WOW. Now Roma are back in the CL, he’ll be able to show his talents on the biggest stage. Did well against CSKA last week (Gervinho was MOTM lol) but games against City and Bayern may be the making of him. Even if he doesn’t shine, there’ll still be people watching. I guess maybe it’s because none of the top clubs really require playmakers atm.

    Madrid – James, Isco
    Barca – Messi, Rakitic, Iniesta etc
    Atletico – Koke, Arda
    United – Mata, Rooney, Di Maria
    Chelsea – Cesc, Hazard, Oscar
    City – Silva, Nasri (could be a spot for him here)
    Arsenal – Ozil, Santi, Rosicky ( would love him but that’s just greedy lol)
    Bayern – Thiago, Gotze

    So you’re only really looking at City. Who knows though, things change quickly.

  69. nasri's mouth

    Balotelli is a pretty weird choice for Liverpool. Skillful player but pretty much the exact opposite of Suarez, the player they built their team around.
    He doesn’t really fit into their style at all. Rodgers is going to have to either radically change their style of play to get the best out of him or persuade Balotelli to run a whole lot more, (and that’s not going to be easy).
    I wasn’t a massive fan of Welbeck but he’s a much better fit than Balotelli. He’ll give the team so much more (is the assist for Ozil ) regardless of whether he outscores Balotelli

  70. Romford Pele

    “he’s in the training pics…and is number 64 Crowley?”

    Is he? Ah maybe you’re right then. But yeah, not completly sold on him tbh, much prefer Crowley. Guess my main point is that we have enough fringe players needing gametime that I don’t see where the youngsters fit in. Only Bellerin and Hayden but that’s born out of necessity really.

  71. salparadisenyc

    Speaking of Strootman

    James Horncastle ‏@JamesHorncastle 4m
    Pallotta: Kevin Strootman is not for sale and has never ever been discussed in that vein at Roma. They are wasting paper”

    Gambon was a big advocate of us signing Strootman from PSV in 2012 and 2013, and of course Wenger passed with the player going to Roma. Dudes a beast, hopefully he’s able to get the form back post injury. Been injured for 6months +. Would of been huge for Van Gaal this summer, with that connection i’d imagine if anyones to get him its United and the carciture that Louis Van G.

  72. qna

    Al :”Everyone has their own preference and opinion But when you make statements that he is bad technically (arguable) or has poor conversation rate to justify your argument about Balotteli when your factually wrong you need to admit your wrong in that aspect”

    Well Al I am not factually wrong. The article you point to is goals per 90mins not conversion rate. Welbeck had a conversion rate of 9 goals of 46 attempts. That is not high at all. Top converters have double that as a strike rate. This was my main problem. Arsenal is full of guys at this level. Replace like for like and we dont improve. Put a top striker that converts 20 of 46 attempts and we are playing at a different level.

  73. SomeRandomGunner

    @Romford I agree fully regarding Welbeck and his finishing. I do think he is very talented , that one turn against Dortmund was real class though finishing was not top notch , i think if he improves his composure he has the technique to execute it .

    This is that awesome turn,

    pass to Ozil was exquisite too. He had a very good shot from left which was not too far off .

  74. Swissguns

    Seriously, am genuinely curious. Has any football player ever sustained a 1 in 2.1 conversion rate for even 1 season? Even 1/2 a season?

  75. Swissguns

    I actually think Welbeck will be on track to do some great things this year given the opportunity, but at 24 is still 3 years away from his peak when you consider most forwards careers. Patience (I know!)

  76. SomeRandomGunner

    @Swissguns, Actually i feel Welbeck may come good for us next season , no need to wait for 3 years. The turn against Dortmund leaving Hummels dead shows what he can do. This season i expect him to score more than 10 . Next season close to 20 PL goals.

    I had no prior opinion about Welbeck and fairly meh about the signing , he has been impressive in the short time he has been here.

  77. london gunner

    Look I hated the Welbeck signing!

    But I concede his a great second choice striker!

    Should this stop us signing a worldie next summer? Hell NO!

    We still need a striker on the level of thierry we only ever won serious trophies under Wenger with a WC striker

  78. NYCgooner

    Welbeck took a shot on Saturday that went clear over the goalpost and into the crowd and I couldn’t be more happier. The fact that he was willing to attempt to curl a shot into the far corner from outside the box makes me think he actually has a lot in his bag. He’ll come good i’m sure.

  79. NYCgooner


    We might need to but lets give him and run of games and see what he can do. If i had to prioritize, I would say getting a DM and another CB is more pressing than CF at this point.

  80. london gunner


    Not might need to! We do need to!

    I think its time as fans we expect more instead of settling for good lets settle for great!

    We can easily sign a CB in jan or next summer and a DM.

    With podolski and Sanago sold next summer thats 150 k of the books easily enough for a WC strikers wages. Hell we could even sell Giroud then we would have silly money for a WC striker.

    We would have WC striker, Welbeck, Cambell, Akpom.

  81. Swissguns

    Absolutely agree that DM and CB are first priority. Don’t know what names you’d care to suggest London Gunner? Not being contrary, just curious.
    I personally think that between Welbeck,a fit Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez and the young ones coming up like Akpom we’re pretty good at the forward positions atm.

  82. nigel tufnel


    Your estimation of balotelli is way over the top. Just look at his goals from open play stats from last 2 years. Also look at his assists and key passes numbers …. horrible.

    He doesnt help his teammates, doesnt work hard, milan did all they could to get rid of him, his price has gone down on every transfer…

    Welbecks work rate is so much better , his stats from when he played cf last year were good… gets on with teammates, … balotelli was despised according to credible reports….

    Just open your eyes to thw facts. Balotelli has nothing but physical potential. Forget about him..

  83. Swissguns

    I just think that there’s a law of diminishing returns as you stockpile forwards especially. Falcao may score 25 at Manure, but at the expense of RVP’s and/or Rooneys output. Synergy is rarely occurs like it happened at Liverpool with SAS,but I think we’ll not see another forward come in in any event.

  84. Al

    Guys can we stop perpetuating this myth that Welbeck is ALL about his work rate….that is a BONUS but let’s stop ignoring his other qualities.
    He has fantastic movement, technique and physical attributes you desire for a front man.

    PLEASE let’s stop just going on about it because some will use it as a way to bash him and try make it out that’s what his game is all about when it clearly is not

  85. Dissenter

    Nice of you to be so picky.
    When I said Balotelliis not to blame for all the racial abuse, what I really should be saying he’s also a mid-sized dick too.
    It doesn’t excuse the racial abuse he takes though.

    Take for instance this weekend. Liverpool lost on Saturday, United lost on Sunday. Why is Ballo tweeting about United’s demise? Shouldn’t he be reflecting on his poor performance at West Ham.

    It doesn’t excuse the racist blowback, just explains why his lack of common sense sometimes makes him more vulnerable to abuse.
    I’m sure the idiot who called him monkey will be found, punished and shamed however he needs to stop being such a child.

  86. Wallace


    “I just think that there’s a law of diminishing returns as you stockpile forwards especially. Falcao may score 25 at Manure, but at the expense of RVP’s and/or Rooneys output. Synergy is rarely occurs like it happened at Liverpool with SAS,but I think we’ll not see another forward come in in any event.”

    good point. usually when a team has a great striker no-one can remember the back-up.

  87. Swissguns

    I also get the idea of having a “game winning” striker, just would be scared if that was the only game winner we had. Costa’s on fire atm, hope it doesn’t continue, but they have players to take up the slack if he slows down. I think we have those players as well in Walcott, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud, and maybe Wilshere if he starts firing.
    Genuinely excited to see a front three of Welbeck , Walcott and Sanchez, with others pressing for a place as well.

  88. london gunner


    I expect a lot of World Class talent to reveal itself next summer.

    I have my eyes on a couple of strikers who I believe will develop into WC strikers next summer. I have a dossier so to speak.

    Jovetic, Lukkuka(whose far better than Welbeck)adem ljaic, luis muriel, benteke,draxler and origi

    Also Cavani, benzema ect

  89. Dissenter

    London gunner,
    Yes we need a world class striker
    However, thus is further down the priorities right now.
    One elite defensive midfielder and a fourth FB(that can also play DM) comes first.

  90. london gunner

    swiss guns

    But we are no where near Man united strikers over stock pile situation.

    A world class striker and Welbeck would hardly be an extreme situation in fact its just what we need.

    WE very much need a WC striker to make up for Wengers tactical deficiencies and we need a capable back up in Welbeck.

    Hell we can even play 442 against some of the lesser sides and score tons of goals. Like what City do they often play 442 against lesser opposition then switch to a loan striker against the chelsea’s and bayerns of the world

  91. Lee


    Nobody has based their team around Balo.
    Shipped out at inter
    Then city
    Then Milan
    Tell me one game (apart from the Germany game) that he has dominated? He is not a game changer not a big game player.
    Big players take the game by the scruff of the neck. RVP had good reason to be arrogant. He was and is pure class, balo is not in his league.
    I’d prefer giroud.
    And I don’t rate giroud
    If balo is 2nd choice at Liverpool why would he be first at arsenal? He wouldn’t.
    And I will show you why come may

  92. Swissguns

    london Gunner
    It may well be as you say. Wouldn’t it be great if we already had what we need by then?
    I like all the names you suggest, I’m sure there are dozens more unknowns as well. As your scenario resolves itself in the summer, it does leave us with the great chance indeed to see how the boys we now have come along, and if the need is indeed great I’m sure Wenger’s right on it! After all he did resolve our crushing need for defenders this window

  93. london gunner


    But one of the two signing you have mentioned is not a hard signing to make.
    There is a wealth of 4th choice talent.

    An elite DM is more complicated but it isn’t to much to ask for a WC striker and a WC DM in one window… I mean Chelsea signed Cesc and Costa..

    All the big clubs in europe can make multiple big signings in one window. Are we that pathetic that we have to throw up the white towel and go don’t want to to hard! Fuck Man United in chaos got Falcao and Di Maria.

  94. london gunner


    Looks like someone who watches a lot of football to me.

    I don’t know you nor do I care to do. So don’t bother commentating at me or to me.

  95. tunnygriffboy

    Welbeck must be quite thrilled not to be involved in CC tomorrow. It prob the case it one of the few chances he’d get to prove himself at manu. Confidence is a curious thin. After the goal on sat and knowing that he’s the main man will do wonders for him. I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised with him this season.

    At 24yrs old he is yet to hit his peak as stated earlier. He’s not the only one. 7 of team started v Villa were 25 or under. Against Dortmund it was 8. There’s huge potential for growth in this team. Need more experience at the back.

    So frustrating. Two world class players at CDM and CB and we’re really competitive.

  96. london gunner

    Arteta and Flamini out of contract next summer.

    Wenger may be a stubborn fool at times but he will surely sign a DM

  97. nasri's mouth

    Jovetic isn’t really a striker, and its unlikely ManC would sell to us.

    Lukaku has just signed for Everton. They’d only sell if we offered over the top money next summer which would be stupid.

    Muriel isn’t that good

    Benteke isnt that good

    No real evidence that Draxler is ever going to be a striker and he’s probably going to Bayern

    Origi, see Lukaku

    Benzema isn’t leaving RM

    Cavani may be possible

  98. Dissenter

    London gunner,
    Good point about making multiple signings in a transfer window
    I was making the comment with Wenger’s doctrine of “never do enough” in mind.
    Something that if Theo regains his pre-injury form we’ll be fine. We might be the paciest side in the league. There’ll be goals from every direction.
    Theo/Sanchez/Giroud can easily get 50 league goals between them. The midfielder/odd defenders and the back-up strikers can share 50 goals between themselves.

    100 goals can be easily scored even without a world class CF.

  99. Cesc Appeal

    Mertesacker will need replacing soon, Koscielny isn’t young either. That’s why I’d have liked someone like Reid, not necessarily a guy you think “nailed on starter” but someone who could very easily rise to the level where he’s picked ahead of Mert.

    If we had landed Sokratis he’d have been a guaranteed starter in no time.

    Agree Tunny, need WC in CDM and a CB. Really could still do with a ST as well but that’s down the list. Wonder how long it will be until we actually see some movement there, the need was obvious enough during the summer. Worried this will be one of those issues we talk about year after year.

  100. salparadisenyc

    Garcia has done some pretty fantastic things with Roma, he sorts that defense which already is strong (ish) could be looking at an Atletico type season. Either way they will surely compete for the Serie A title.

    Rudi is in a tight race with Klopp and Simeone to replace Arsene for me.

  101. london gunner

    N Mouth

    “Jovetic isn’t really a striker, and its unlikely ManC would sell to us.”

    Certainly disagree he can be played as an outright striker just because his versatile and can play other positions as well doesn’t mean he can’t play as striker… In fact he did very well at times for Fiorentina ( I realise he wasn’t always played in this role in fact he was played in many different ones)

    But with the right offer I think we could get him his got aspirations to be a number one striker not a perennial side kick to aguero boys got to much talent to be in the shadows of another for the best years of his career

    “Lukaku has just signed for Everton. They’d only sell if we offered over the top money next summer which would be stupid.”

    Depends how he develops this season/ how promise he shows. At 19 he was dominating games in one of the toughest games in the league. Fuck as a teenage he was one of the higher scorers in the league boy is a serious talent and serious talent costs. Hardly stupid buying one of the most promising young strikers in world football whose put in consistent performances and goal records for 2 seasons now (would be 3 next summer)

    Benteke is a phenomal cannoball of a player he suffered a shitty injury and did a Ramsey (aka regressed/stagnated) He will come good his shown to much talent at a young age (and to much hard and hard work ethic not to recover his former promise)

    The world and his horse thinks Draxler can be a striker. Its a gamble though I will concede.

    As for Origi I believe Liverpool wont get CL football. With the right money we can get him they underpaid for him so we offer them an added 5 mill on top for what they paid and we get a serious talent(liverpool will certainly need the money without CL football). One of the best young talents of WC2014 To be honest

    Cavani well we agree on.

    Needless to say there is better talent out their than what we have. Its not going to be easy but top clubs get top things done!

  102. london gunner

    Only thing that worried me about Klopp is that I get a niggling feeling his style of play leads to player burn out.

    Simeone is great but he doesn’t seem to really favour pace (even though his team is somewhat counter attacking) Simeone has a very slow team bar griezmann.

    Rudi Garcia sides play lovely counter attacking football don’t think he will wont to leave Roma anytime soon.

  103. NYCgooner


    Marble is like the crazy uncle in the family that you try to hide when company comes over. You could be having a deep intellectual conversation about the meaning of life and he will interject with something like…………I love eating graham crackers with my sombrero on!!

  104. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc/ Wallace

    Three of us agree we need WC centre mid. I think we need a top defender with pace. Gives us the option of really pushing our line up allowing us to press with Sanchez and Welbeck leading it. Much as I love Mert for his leadership ( that’s another issue ) his pace causes us problems.Because we haven’t got cover we may have to get it in Jan meaning we may not buy the top class defender we need next summer.

  105. cladicus


    Same for me on Klopp. He runs them to death, they get injured, they get healthy, they leave. Seems to me that is the formula.

    I love Simeone’s style, and demeanor. He seems to relish beating sides that have a little more money/talent. Not saying that Atletico doesn’t have talent, they do.

    Roma is just a blast to watch. Love catching their games on.

  106. cladicus

    As far as strikers go, how many are there that are truly “World Class”? Seems to me to be about five guys that fit that category, then you have about twenty guys next rung down, then serviceable guys like Giroud.

  107. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, I think Mert will really start to age fast as well. Love him, steady influence on the back line and has good chemistry with Kozz – but we’ll need much better and soon as well. A solid, strong player who’s more pacey than Mert.