How Arsenal nearly signed the best player on the planet

by .


Good morning to you!

I’ve been getting massively into American TV. I don’t have enough meds in my life. My yoghurt doesn’t have enough protein in it. It’s also clear I need to by 1 suit and get 3 free. I’ve been brainwashed and I love it.

Jorge Mendes, the super agent, has a book out. It basically claims Arsenal didn’t sign Ronaldo because we couldn’t / wouldn’t pay the fee.

“There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal. David Dein is a spectacular person but, with the construction of their stadium, they were left with very little money and it wasn’t possible.”

Ronaldo also recounts his trip to Arsenal: “We were travelling by car and Jorge was calling us constantly telling me to hide so no one would see me. We went to a service station and I had to hide my face. I remember back then that Jorge was going crazy, those were Jorge’s craziest days.”

That’s one of those moments you wish we’d been a bit more speculative… it is what it is.

Throw another ‘nearly’ on the barbie mate…

Yaya Sanogo and Chamakh have both scored today. Imagine being there, in the ground, when something of that magnitude happened? A real ‘I was there’ moment.

We take on Brighton tomorrow. They’re not doing well in the championship. They’re right down the bottom. They have however won 4 of their last 5. So they’ll be confident. Hopefully we’ve planned for them. Hopefully we don’t give them too much respect. Hopefully we don’t need a full first team to kill them off.

I’d imagine we’ll have a super strong bench, so if it doesn’t go well, at least we’ll be able to call in calvary.

Finally, Joel Campbell is being sent over the Villareal as part of the Paulista deal. I read somewhere he might get a new deal with Arsenal. That makes little sense unless we’re just trying to secure a good fee for him when we bin him off…





415 Responses to “How Arsenal nearly signed the best player on the planet”

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  1. luke

    from sky…


    Villarreal have confirmed an agreement is in place for defender Gabriel Paulista to join Arsenal. As part of the deal Joel Campbell will go the opposite way on a loan until the end of the season.

    We’ll bring you more info when we have it.

  2. Thomas

    “That arse wipe Moaninhio should be sacked for this.”

    Lol imagine wonder how many times Wanker should have been sacked then for all the embarrassing results? At this rate he should probably leave football and never return.

  3. Thomas

    Nasri’s Mouth January 24, 2015 19:11:15

    Leedsgunner: I see moneybags City have lost to Middlesborough

    Last time they played, City lost 8-1, so it’s quite an improvement really


    Erm they actually won 1-0 the last time they played.

  4. GoonerInNY

    Rhys and tunny,

    I see your points. I know how the FA Cup works (I’ve been supporting Arsenal since 1998, well before it was easy to see games in the U.S.). I understand what you are saying, in that the allure of the competition is that anyone can win it.

    I guess my point is that given all that has gone on with Arsenal the last 5-10 years, it’s hard to enjoy the success without beating the top two teams, because we keep losing to the top teams in the competition that matters more, the league.

    Put another way, if I supported Fulham and Fulham made a run to the finals without playing any of the top teams, I would be in heaven. But I look at Arsenal as being a top team who hasn’t won anything over the other top teams in a long time, so it’s harder for me to enjoy the cup when they avoided the top teams.

    Proffa, I don’t need your help, so don’t worry. Keep you palm in your face all you like.

    Midwest, I thought of March Madness, and you can even say the same thing about post-season playoffs in any American sport (e.g. the Royals and Giants were wild card teams last year). My comment about Arsenal and the FA Cup was due to what I discussed above, about all the losing to the top teams making it harder to enjoy a victory when we avoided the top teams.

  5. vicky

    Awesome FA cup results and now Paulista’s official announcement !! What a day !!

    With Poldi,Sanogo and now Campbell out, we could see an attacking player brought in to the side

  6. Leedsgunner

    I wouldn’t put it past Wenger to rub the salt in the wound a bit if we win tomorrow and name check Chelsea and Man City. For once I wouldn’t blame him (although it would be classier if he just ignored him).

    Now only if Cambridge United could do over Man U over it would make it a perfect round as far as the Arse are concerned.

    Did Liverpool and Tottenham make it through?

  7. MidwestGun

    GoonerinNY –
    Ok… I got you. Don’t think it was a cultural thing then,didn’t need a qualifier. Still love me some FA Cup. For me it’s not even about AW in that competition, it’s about the players pride coming out no matter who we play.
    For instance, Santi’s freekick goal will always be in my memory hat, like Sal likes to say.

  8. Wallace

    really nice first touch from Sanogo for his goal. sounds like him and Chamakh gave the Saints a bit of a runaround.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Actually shocked we’ve bought a CB, and not some last minute ‘holy shit plug a hole’ signing, but a thought out, scouted buy for ACTUAL money (£15 Million.)

    AND navigated a loan going the other way.

    Really nice to see, building a squad now. Just adding Paulista means we have Mert, Kozz, Paulista and Chambers which instantly feels much better.

    £15 Million for a player who really will be on the bench to begin with would have been unthinkable for Wenger a few years ago, that was a record signing a few years back.

    This is how we need to be behaving.

  10. TOLI83

    Agree with Cesc, looks good. Need physical players in our team.

    However is it going to be easy getting a visa – I’m no expert on this???

    We really need a forward still, a proper winger not a squad player. Maybe these pedro rumours are true???

    Doubt we will see a DM until the summer unfortunately.

  11. Emiratesstroller

    After deducting loan fee for Campbell we appear to have agreed a transfer fee of £10.5 million for Paulista.

    One has to assume that Arsenal have already secured agreement of FA to work permit otherwise I cannot conceive that this transfer would have been announced so publicly by both clubs.

    On a different matter I think that it is just as well that Arsenal are playing on Sunday in view of Friday and today’s results. If there is a wake up call to players in EPL and more importantly the top teams this was it.

    Arsenal now know that they have to take the Brighton fixture seriously and that it will not be a pushover. We will be put under severe pressure and for this reason I would be inclined to play ‘experience’ rather than ‘some of our
    ‘younger’ players.

    We need to win this game and we have a full week before our next game to
    recover. Personally I would play the nucleus of the team against Man City
    apart from those positions where we have genuine replacements.

    On this basis I would play Walcott for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil for Cazorla,
    Gibbs for Monreal, Chambers for Bellerin and Szczesny for Ospina.

    It is most important that we keep Szczesny in the frame. I know that a lot of posters will disagree with me, but if Ospina were to get injured or lose form then we would need him.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Think we might see a stronger line up tomorrow than a lot of people think. With a lot of ‘big clubs’ losing out today and let’s face it the fact the players have had 7 days recovery and get another week until Villa we may see a stronger set up.

    I can see maybe Coquelin still playing, Giroud as well…possibly even Sanchez.

  13. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Hope so. Would be nice to be able to get Kos healthy. Should have been done last summer. Always about 6 steps behind on tw moves. But at least we are plugging a hole with non-crocks or has beens by all accounts.

  14. Ustynobaba

    Will this be the last signing for this window???I wish we can get another play in the wing so that the summer wont be that much on us,but knowing who Wenger is,its hard to see it happening

  15. Cesc Appeal


    FA have a new rule coming in in the summer saying if a player is worth £10 Million or bought for I should say he instantly gets one…I think.

    Paulista has a buyout of £15 Million, I think we should be fine even thought that rule isn’t quite in yet. I can’t imagine Arsenal and the FA haven’t already been speaking.

  16. Leedsgunner

    For what it’s worth if the Paulista announcement is true I think it is a fantastic deal – we strengthen where we need to and at the same time unload our deadwood.

    Small glimmers of hope as our club behaves like a club interested in competing. Credit where credit is due. Thank you Wenger and Gazidas.

    I suspect the loan for JC is one with an option to buy. I wonder what the price tag is £10m maybe? Whatever the amount I hope the boy does well and makes a career for himself.

    I just wonder if there is another signing in this window? A proven DM? Dare we hope?

  17. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah certainly, need to move straight away in the summer for 2 CM/CDM’s then to be honest in terms of proper pressing matters we’re okay then.

    Maybe do with a GK, a ST for sure and question marks over Gibbs for me…but in terms of urgency, two CM/CDM’s and we don’t have any.

  18. Marko

    Gabriel done it seems. Maybe a DM or forward before the window closes to set us in good stead for the remainder of the season. Likely a midfielder given the comments Wenger made earlier in the window

  19. northern gooner


    doing the last fav at haydock park has got me out the shit on a few occasions in the past.

    After all the crazy results today i might plump for an old school 1-0 to the arsenal tomorrow

  20. Marko

    Gotta give us credit though we identified someone we liked and seemed to got the deal done really quick. I know we should of maybe gotten him in at the start of the window but I don’t think Gabriel was available at all to be honest. Villarreal are losing an ever present in their defence

  21. Proffa


    ‘making it harder to enjoy a victory when we avoided the top teams.’

    Hadn’t won anything for 8 years and you have some moron not being able to enjoy it because we didn’t play either of the top teams on the way to winning the cup?
    Really? Great logic.

    You just don’t get it.

    FYI we beat Liverpool (2nd), Everton (5th) and the Yids (6th) on route to the final.


  22. Keyser

    I’d wait to see how he plays before making any real judgement, as long as he’s relatively quick and good on the ball, I think Mertesacker and Chambers have enough about them to offset any bedding in time.

    I’m worried at us loaning out Campbell though, I suppose all 3 in Podolski, Sanogo and Campbell could be recalled, but it seems like Wenger having got most of the defence fit wants to see how far he can push who we have left, that he really believes Walcott and Ozil will play a significant part, and that Welbeck is obviously the best of the other options we have.

    The worry comes in that we’ve just seen Citeh, Chelsea, Tottenham, Southampton go out, Liverpool and Man United draw, we don’t have the balance or the strength in our spine to handle many more games then these other teams in our quest for 4th.

    Southampton have almost done the hard part, they’ve managed to go this deep into a season, keeping as many players as they have fit and they’ll be playing a game a week here on in.

  23. WindyCityArse

    Hope the Paulista rumors are solid – always feel that until it’s on, we are fully capable of faacking it up.
    Still need major upgrades at GK, a DM and a proper world class striker.

  24. Wallace

    i think Gnabry’s return to fitness has allowed Wenger to let Campbell go. although the Metro quotes Campbell’s agent as saying he’s signing a new contract before packing his bags for Spain.

  25. Emiratesstroller

    If you read Sky Sport Announcement the agreed fee for Paulista is £11.2 million and Campbell goes out on loan for a fee of £0.7 million. According to my maths that means he is in effect costing us £10.5 million.

    Leeds Gunner

    I would not describe Campbell as ‘deadwood’, but as I said many times before
    he is clearly surplus to requirements.

    Earlier today I analysed the players who should be retained next year. I suggested that we do not need more than 13 midfield and forward players in squad.

    If you look at current players who should be retained I don’t see any future
    for Campbell at the club, because Sanchez, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain
    are clearly ahead of him in the pecking order for positions where Campbell
    can play and you have also to factor in that Ozil will be in starting lineup as well and needs to be accommodated.

    My view that there are now very few slots in the squad, which need to be filled
    in the Summer.

    Arsenal have in effect spent in this transfer window just £13 million on two players and that is about £7 million less than the budget which was supposed to be available in January.

    My view is that Arsenal will have in summer a maximum of £60 million plus any revenues received from sales. I suspect that Arsenal will make one major
    purchase as they did in last 2 summers when they bought Ozil and Sanchez and then perhaps another couple of additions at more modest prices.

  26. Keyser

    Gnabry’s not fit, Welbeck’s two weeks away, neither Ozil or Walcott are likely to hit their stride right away, we have about 3 weeks until our Champions League game, if Monaco are as difficult to break down as they were in pre-season we’re going to struggle.

  27. Keyser

    “You just don’t get it.”

    Nor do you, this is hardly helpful, right now you can see all opposing views as relevant, I really don’t understand people who think either 4th or the FA Cup is guaranteed.

    Even if I wanted to believe that the FA Cup is this great instition that must be taken seriously it’s still a cup competition and we could go out just as all those other teams have, it also doesn’t change the fact that 4th could be absolutely massive this year.

    Moreover the cynical part of me looks at the teams other teams put out and it seems to show how little concern they might have at going out. Or even worse how erratic and lax these teams can be given the wealth of options.

  28. MidwestGun

    I’m actually pretty happy for JC, he needs to keep developing and play more regular. I like him as a player, guessing his National team was helping to push him for a move also as he is a vital cog for Costa Rica.. Personally, I would have pushed for a permanent move if I was him but whatever, hope he tears it up.

  29. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah I would have as well. But Campbell will get sold in the summer I think, sooner or later he will get a permanent move somewhere.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Villarreal have an option to buy.

  30. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Having the loan thing hanging over his head again. Seems to be the story of his career so far. As a player I would want to be more settled on my future.

  31. Leedsgunner

    Coming to think of it Southampton being eliminated is bad news for us. Nothing will stop them pushing for the Champion’s League place… talk about a tight race to the finish! 😉

  32. Leedsgunner

    Was Miyachi’s loan to FC Twenty a season long loan? Hopefully he’ll be sent on his way as well… Wenger is on a roll!

  33. Proffa


    “You just don’t get it.”

    Oh I get it alright. I’m talking about last season and people not being able to enjoy the cup
    win because of not facing Chelsea or man c en route. People are actually using that to devalue the win and it’s bollocks.

    4th isn’t guaranteed this year but considering previous years exploits and performances that lead us to seriously doubt finishing top 4, were in a relatively comfortable position with players coming back and a much need defensive addition.

    As for thinking the cup is in the bag this year? Well that’s just foolish but again we’re in a very good position to do so. We’d take most to all teams at home but theres any number of teams that could be banana skins away from home…utd, Liverpool, stoke etc

  34. Marko

    Whether or not he’s gone in the summer I still wouldn’t give up on Campbell and class him as deadwood. He’s still young and certainly hasn’t played or developed enough to be classed as a failure for me.

  35. Keyser

    If he wants to progress he’s far better off trying to break into our first team, I think he could get a full pre-season next year to really see how he does, or cynically we know Villereal don’t have much money, even with what we’ve spent with them and are putting him in the shop window.

    I don’t think he has a buyout clause, not sure on Podolski’s either, I’ve just remembered I think Wenger dismissed that, not sure.

  36. Keyser

    No we scramble to 4th every year, generally the more games we play the more precarious our position, and in comparison to other teams near us we’re playing more now and until the end of the season.

    You can’t highlight hypocrisy and then be follow in the same vain, there’s a reason the FA Cup isn’t as valued as the league.

  37. Marko

    RS I’ll be honest and say I haven’t seen him. Mostly cause Sky mostly put on Barca, Real and Atletico matches but Villarreal have been unbeaten since mid November and conceded 17 goals only bettered by Real and Barcelona this season and also ended Atletico’s unbeaten home run (1-0) on the way and Gabriel’s been ever present. All in all highly regarded and rated and given who was maybe available (him, Reid or Perrin) we done well. In fact given his personal form for Villarreal I expect him to push Mertesacker hard and to play quite a bit before the season ends

  38. Chris d

    szczesney. Ospina
    Bellerin Debeuchy
    Chambers Mertesacker
    Paulista. Kos
    Gibbs Monreal
    Flamini. Coq
    Ramsey. Cazorla
    Theo. ox
    Wilshire Ozil
    Rosicky. Sanchez
    Giroud. Welbeck

    One team for cup one for pl games chop and change for injuries/form but enough to rest players and not have too many games compared to teams who have gone out in today’s shocks and chasing top four

  39. Leedsgunner

    It’s amazing how one key player can give the entire squad a lift. I do hope this signing goes through as it sounds exactly the type of player we need – a first teamer ready to go into battle with us. Hopefully it wil give Kos the breathers that he occasionally seems to need to manage that Achilles of his. He is going to be a key player in that tight tight battle for fourth!

  40. Leedsgunner

    Now to make this transfer window perfect I would love us to sign a DM around the same age to this Paulista fellow. Obviously Schneiderlin would be ideal but I cannot see Southampton selling now. They will want to keep their best players for that 4th place fight — and right how I would even say they are slight favourites because of the lack of other cup games they have to play. Sven and/or Lars Bender would be also a great buy but dare we dream it? It’s just such a strange feeling to see the club acting sensibly and with intent! Keep it going Arsene, keep it going!

  41. tunnygriffboy


    I sense you’re a bit anxious. You’re worrying about 4th place and our attacking options. Re Campbell going I think Wenger puts him behind Giroud, Welbeck, Alexis, Ox and Theo. I also think he’d use Ozil and Santi wide before him. We also have Akpom and Gnabry in the background. We may even bring in another player.

    Re 4th place. We will have a lot of fixtures but fa cup will be on the weekends as long as no replays. Liverpool have CC semi next week and an fa cup replay to fit in. They also have spursday night football to deal with. Totts have a CC semi and possible final to play and of course the competition that was made for them.

    The worry is man u ( they have a bitch of a March when they play Everton, City, Chelsea and Lpool ) and Southampton. Saints will depend a lot on the fitness of Schneiderlin, Wanyama and Alderwield. I think they’re out for a couple more weeks yet.

    With our players back do you not think we could go on a run. We’ve had a poor first half of the season and we’re 3pts off 3rd.

  42. Radio Raheem

    “If you want to contribute you have to be at it every single day in training in order to be in the squad on matchday.
    “It is difficult for him [Balotelli] but he knows the level of [where] this team is at – you see the aggression in our pressing and if you can’t do that you are not going to be a part of what this team is trying to achieve.
    “We had an hour or so yesterday chatting and he understands where he is at.”

    How thick is this cunt Rodgers? I mean what’s new about Balotelli?

  43. TheBayingMob

    Paulista, really!? WTF … Here are the work permit rules …

    “A player must have player for his country in at least 75% of its competitive A team matches of which he was available for selection, during the two years preceding the date of the application ”

    But I believe he only needs to have been in the squad, has Paulista (uncapped for Brazil) been selected in 75% of Brazil’s previous international matches?? I’m not sure on that one … failing that .. “it is still possible to seek a work permit premised on the player having exceptional ability and potential to contribute to English football”

    We’ve failed down this avenue before (for Wellington) although, laughably, we succeeded with Denilson. Go figure that one out over a fucking huge bong. I just don’t get why we have to make it soooo fuuuuuuuuuuuuuucking complicated.

  44. Leedsgunner

    Memphis Depay of PSV available for £15m – fantastic player I would love to see him in our shirt. A natural or worthy successor to Tomas Rosicky with an eye for the net… and no work permit issues to deal with.

    Having said I really hope we see Rosicky play tomorrow!

  45. TheBayingMob

    I know middle aged men who cream in their pants at the idea of Ballotelli. Always seemed like a waste of fucking skin to me. All that talent, but, what a enormous cunt. What a waste. All those who were pulling their cock off at the thought of signing him in the summer, hang your heads. Bullet dodged. Utter wanker if ever there was one, I’m sure if I spent more than a few minute in his company I’d want to shoot the twat in both kneecaps …

  46. Leedsgunner

    Baying Mob

    Apparently the FA is now acting as a proxy for the UK Home Office with the power to award work permits and it’s now understood that if a player is worth over £10m he’ll be deemed an exceptional talent. I can forsee this particular criteria being abused and just drive prices of mediocre and average players up to make the “exceptional talent” test meaningless but at this exact moment I don’t give a damn! I’m just pleased we are acting with intent again.. (seemingly).

  47. Keyser

    tunnygriffboy – More of an acceptance of where we are. Southampton and United are above us, both will play less games under less pressure. We aren’t especially balanced, and we aren’t efficient in attack, limiting those variations puts a lot of faith/hope in injured players regaining form.

    It annoys me how people seem oblivious to this, if Chelsea/ Citeh have better squads than us, then us playing more games with less options isn’t a good thing.

    35% possession at best means we allowed them it, at worst it means we couldn’t help but allow them it, that really doesn’t bode well for us having to adapt to any bad luck, unforeseen circumstances.

  48. TheBayingMob

    “Apparently the FA is now acting as a proxy for the UK Home Office with the power to award work permits ”

    The blind leading the blind!!! hahaha … cheers for the info I didn’t know that .. obviously …

  49. Radio Raheem

    By the way there is a very good cop series on BBC four called Spiral. It’s French with English subtitles. There aren’t any extravagant props so what you get is good old story telling and a plot that moves rather briskly. It’s what a good drama series should be: like an onion; unravel one bit only to find you’ve more layers to unravel. Check it out.

  50. Leedsgunner

    Isn’t Fortitude just Broadchurch in snow? 😉

    By the way i’ve really enjoyed your posts today Keyser — and I understand your causes for concern in letting JC go, and you’ve raised some very valid points. Maybe Wenger has an attacker up his sleeve… someone he’s actually going to trust and play. Sanogo, Campbell and Poldi were just not trusted… therefore became passengers. Having passengers in any organisation, I would argue invites complacency.

  51. tunnygriffboy


    I’ve watched all the Spiral series from the first series. Excellent show. Great characters and have learned a lot about how the French justice system works. Top top show.

  52. Marko

    Spiral? Have to give it a go. Also yes Fargo is brilliant the best show of last year imo. People should give Gomorrah a go too. Brilliant Italian crime drama on sky atlantic last year

  53. mano'gunner

    I’m just worried that Paulista joins filling up Wenger’s one big signing per window quota only to have the ABA FA reject the work permit application.

  54. GuNZ

    OK, just caught up on everything. Gabriel to undergo medical on Monday before signing and still no mention of what the work permit status is. Reuters label it ‘the basis’ of a deal. So, to stretch my fishing analogy from yesterday (possibly to the breaking point), you can get your catch onto the shore but if it doesn’t meet the legal size requirement you are obliged to throw it back. Still too many unknowns here for me, believe it when I see it actually happen.

    As regards tomorrow morning (your today afternoon) I have just been onto the ‘Seagulls’ website and they fancy themselves at 7/2 to go through under any circumstances including replay. Those are not the odds of a team running scared. They fancy themselves to shit on our heads.

    My prediction is either a complete and utter route (a 0-6 to the Arsenal or similar) or we are in trouble. We tend not to string too many good performances together on the trot so track record this season makes us vulnerable in that respect. Moreover, my gut instinct is still not kicking in on this one and the planets are badly misaligned at present as the results at Chelsea, City, Spurs, and Southampton amply demonstrate. No matter, I shall be up at 5 am regardless.

  55. GuNZ

    And where the fuck is Daze? Has his home planet/parallel dimension been invaded and he’s been called back to help or something? I’ve been forced to trawl through too many posts that sound like the boring side-commentary from the crowd that you get in the Billy the Fish section of Viz. Bring back Daze!

  56. Emiratesstroller

    I do think that Wenger is at long last beginning to ‘listen’.

    First there appears to have been a mild revolution in changing room before
    Man City game and the players [not coaches] forced on him the tactics played in that game.

    Second Arsenal have been compelled to rebalance their squad with increase in personnel in defence with arrival of Paulista who will I suspect rotate with
    Mertesacker and Koscielny rather than be a 3rd string. We now have a full
    complement of defenders.

    Wenger needs to renew contracts of Coquelin and Akpom in next few weeks,
    which is why I think that he has given former a starting place and the latter
    has in effect replaced Sanogo in squad.

    Moving onto Summer it will be interesting to see how many players and who
    will be offloaded. Personally I don’t see any of the loanees return. They are not
    better than those retained and I am sure that the club will use their business
    brain and rebalance finances if at all possible.

    Diaby will be released and personally I would have thought Rosicky and
    Flamini as well. They are wrong side of 30 and not getting better and presumably cost quite high wages.

    There is also going to be question marks about some of the other players in
    current squad. Szczesny [+ father] may agitate for move if not reinstated as
    first choice goalkeeper. Walcott could also leave if he does not renew his contract which expires in 2016 and there might be one or two other surprises.

    Arsenal will bring at least two or three new faces. My guess is that it will be
    Schneiderlein, a forward and goalkeeper if Szczesny goes, but I don’t see now
    wholesale changes to squad and frankly it is not necessary to do so.

    What we need to do is to get the balance of team right with some rotation and
    above all the correct tactics for opposition we play.

  57. GuNZ

    I wonder how many posters are actual Emirates plants? After all it is sound practice to infiltrate and dilute seditionists.

  58. Rosicky@Arsenal

    @ Emirates stroller

    I dont think Theo Rosicky or Flmaini to leave as all 3 plays well whenever given the chance.

    Theo being unfortunate having injury i dont see him leaaving in the summer the same with Roiscky &Flamini.

  59. Wallace


    “I wonder how many posters are actual Emirates plants? After all it is sound practice to infiltrate and dilute seditionists.”

    for a while now it’s been my belief that Daze is actually Vic Akers(kit man). still wound up and frothing about the Flamini shirt sleeves incident. and if you’re not Giroud, currying favour with the rest of us by continually slagging yourself off… yeah, we got you.

  60. Leedsgunner

    GuillemBalague speaking rubbish as usual (or someone impersonating him) because Moyes is the manager of Real Sociedad and NOT Villarreal.

    Besides that small fact the important thing to remember is we are getting a new defender!!! Yes!

  61. Leedsgunner

    It will be a sad day when Tomas Rosicky hangs up his boots… such an immense talent blighted by injury…

    Two valuable roles he could play for us after us:

    1. Become a coach – he is one of the most disciplined pros we have. For him to play at the level he is despite the injuries is something our players could emulate and learn from. A consummate professional. A natural leader and coach.

    2. It is well known that he is a BvB legend. Reus is on record saying he idolises him. Well I think Tomas should become our scout for the Bundesliga and our unofficial roving ambassador for BvB. Tomas go and work that star power and charm Reus over to the Arsenal… and bring along Sven Bender, Sokratis, and Ginter as well! 😉

  62. GuNZ

    I should be over the moon today. Wenger has (allegedly) proven himself capable of outmanouevering the mandarins of Whitehall (or wherever the HO is in this outsourced era), my darling club has, for the first time this season, tipped the see-saw between pivotal players at the physio and available in its favour, and someone or something, some force of the light anyway (players, Bould, whatever) has forced a volte-face by Arsene when it comes to defensive solidarity in important games. But tomorrow we play Brighton. Will the lunatics be allowed to run the asylum once again?

  63. nasri's mouth

    I’m curious to see how the media react to Gabriel getting a work permit (assuming he does). Some of the journos were tweeting that he had no right to, it made a mockery of….etc

  64. GuNZ

    The FA Cup is about passion. Naked, unalloyed fill-your-lungs-with-high-octane, have a fucking crack because it may be the only chance you get for years, suicidal fuck-it-all-to-hell it’s the only stage I will ever have to make a name for myself aggressive football. It’s an English thing. Do the high flying multi-national teams get that? They may say they do but they were brought up on their own countries’ cup competitions so I would say any attempt to placate their respective fan bases to the contrary is platitudinous sycophancy. Maybe that’s why your Chelseas and Cities etc. got dumped yesterday. Either that or it’s a conspiracy to re-direct Arsenal’s energies . .. . .

  65. afcmacca

    KEYSER- Mourinho bought on cesc and hazard dont play that shit card mate! he wanted to win big time! if AW retains Fac Cup i will be a proud and happy Gooner whoever we beat on route! Lets keep it all positive til we actually fail this season COYG!!!!!!!!

  66. nasri's mouth


    This ‘sudden’ change happened a while ago.

    We were similarly defensive against Chelsea, we just got ‘unlucky’ with a piece of great skill by Hazard whereas against ManC we got ‘lucky’ that they were missing Toure, Nasri and Aguero wasn’t fit. Fine lines

  67. nasri's mouth

    Chelsea losing yesterday shows their ‘strength in depth’ is a bit of a fallacy. If they’d suffered anything like our level of injuries they’d be bolloxed.

    We really need to get it sorted, one way or another

  68. Johnty79

    Paulista is aggressive but to small. What we have is koz mark 2 . Not physically strong enough to play 2 games aweek..why wenger didn’t go for di vrij or read us beyond me. Another example of wenger trying to be clever to the detriment to the team.

    I’m yet to be proved wrong on these things.

  69. nasri's mouth

    Oh and (without any kind of chicken counting at all) I couldn’t care less which teams we beat when we’ve won the FA Cup. I still go mental when I see the players holding that trophy

  70. GuNZ


    Then why did Wenger make such a deal of it in the press? Opportunism?
    Against Chelsea perhaps a more concerted mental discipline would have held even the most gifted striker at bay. Great skill, while laudable, is a stifleable (is that even a word?) commodity. Look at Middlesborough yesterday. Perhaps they learned a thing or two from the Arsenal show of a week before? Superb defensive performance by the Geordie lads or so I’ve heard from a ‘Boro mate of mine.

  71. Dusty Kart

    Well said GuNZ and macca still can’t get me head around why some posters are mocking the FA cup its still a major trophy isn’t it?

  72. nasri's mouth


    Regardless of mental strength, tactically we set up in a similar fashion against Chelsea.

    Previously we’ve played higher up the pitch, or more spread out.

    Did Wenger make such a big deal of it? The press did, but Wenger actually downplayed it, saying we HAVE played this way before

    We should have done it a couple if seasons ago of course but…

  73. Emiratesstroller

    The point is that Arsenal can only register a maximum of 25 players and we have had too many players in the squad who receive fat salaries for doing very little.

    If you look around Europe there is now a trend to cut down your squad size. Both Chelsea and Real Madrid are now doing this, because at the end of the day even allowing for injuries there are always going to be players surplus to requirements who play few games.

    That was the problem with Campbell. Even when both Walcott and Gnabry were out with injury he got scarcely any game time.

    I think that there is consensus that Arsenal need a top class CDM and with
    Coquelin also being factored into equation plus Wilshire as well that does not
    leave much room for Flamini. Also I don’t see what role Rosicky will fulfil. He
    is 35 going on 36 next season and he is not going to get 10 games a season unless you have a massive spate of injuries.Are you going to pay £30-50 K per week for such players?

    Akpom is being offered a new contract. However, his retention will depend like Sanogo on whether he can perform in first team at Arsenal’s level. This
    is always the dilemma.

    Posters on Le Grove and also everywhere else expect Arsenal to recruit better
    and more expensive class players. However, to do this you need to make space
    for them and also ensure that they play enough games to justify the sort of
    wages we pay.

    That has been frankly the problem at Arsenal and for that matter at clubs like
    Man Utd and Spurs as well. We have had inflated squads paid inflated wages for very little return from certain players.

  74. GuNZ


    Sure, but this is the first time, to my knowledge, Wenger has actually allowed that his players went beyond their tactical remit.

  75. Wallace


    i’m originally from the NE. don’t be calling the Boro players Geordies. bit like asking a Kiwi if New Zealand’s part of Australia 😉

  76. GuNZ

    Apologies Wallace

    Met a few lads down the Raglan pub a few weeks back (actually meeting back up with them in Auckland on the 29th before they fly home) and they were from Durham and Middlesborough and farmland around there and it was the nearest I could equate their accents to.

  77. Shaun Wolson

    I made a comment last night that was taken as disparaging towards the FA Cup. I actually used to love the FA Cup – back when it was taken seriously by ‘top flight’ teams. Even the ‘shocks’ have been devalued by the inclusion of little used squad players in, say, the Chelsea team last night. Back in ’71 this was the team that Colchester United beat- back in the day when’re the FA cup really meant something…
    Leeds United: Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Terry Cooper, Mick Bates, Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Alan Clarke, Mick Jones, Johnny Giles, Paul Madeley

  78. Shaun Wilson

    I made a comment last night that was taken as disparaging towards the FA Cup. I actually used to love the FA Cup – back when it was taken seriously by ‘top flight’ teams. Even the ‘shocks’ have been devalued by the inclusion of little used squad players in, say, the Chelsea team last night. Back in ’71 this was the team that Colchester United beat- back in the day when’re the FA cup really meant something…
    Leeds United: Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Terry Cooper, Mick Bates, Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Alan Clarke, Mick Jones, Johnny Giles, Paul Madeley

  79. Rosicky@Arsenal

    @ Leeds gunner

    Really appreciate tributes to Rosicky.
    What a fantastic player he had been for country & club.

    Hope to see him as long he is fit & agree to your point if he remains with the club even after he retires.

    who knows he is already teaching the young guns with his experiene in the game.

  80. GuNZ


    I agree mate! I hope the magic is not limited to those of us old enough to remember games like that. Look at the names in that Leeds squad. Doubt if they’d ever heard of the Copa Del Rey or the DFB-Pokal or whatever the French play for. The point I was trying to make earlier is how can a French or German or Spanish or Outer Mongolian player, get as empassioned about a tournament that means so much to 90% of the audience crammed into a stadium watching you perform as say, David O’Leary who was born in Stoke Newington and a Gooner from birth?

  81. GuNZ

    Dusty Kart

    aka The Harbour View Hotel, Bow Street Raglan. Don’t put on the Arsenal at 3 or 5 am in the morning. Fucking cunts. send them a letter.

  82. GuNZ

    I am getting seriously concerned about Monsieur Daze. He can’t be busy because he’s really Arsene Wenger masquerading as a poster as, quite frankly, Arsene simply does not possess such a breathtaking facility for gratuitous profanity. I can only hope, for Daze’s sake, that if he cannot post to Le Grove, it is because he is currently chained to a wall by Penelope Cruz Sanchez.

  83. N5

    “Given the potential work permit issues, he said there was a 50-50 chance the player would move to the Emirates Stadium. ”

    So it’s not a done deal then.

  84. Wallace


    reading between the lines of some of his posts, he did stake quite a lot on the Gabriel transfer being a complete fabrication. probably lay low for a few days then resume the onslaught under a new moniker.

  85. GuNZ

    OK gents, off to bed for a few hours shuteye then up at 5 am. Go you beautiful red and white things (or yellow and blue things) . . . . and Giroud (prove me wrong you concord-nosed string of gallic piss, please).

  86. Radio Raheem


    Cheers I‘d give it a go. Heard about it a while, I’ve only recently just seen Orange is the New Black so Fargo’s next…then is Transparent.


    It‘s on on Saturday nights 8/9pm. They are on episode 6 of season 5. You can catch up on all of this season’s episodes on IPlayer. And thanks I‘d have a look at your suggestion.


    Yeah I’d only seen two other seasons. I won’t be surprised to see it go to up to 10 seasons if they maintain standards.


    No worries mate.

  87. Marc

    Henry Winter on Sunday supplement has decided having had his head removed from Fergie’s arse to insert it into Rooney’s arse.

    How do these guy’s earn a good living being so wrong so much of the time?

  88. Nasri's Mouth

    N5: So it’s not a done deal then

    We’ve signed him (bar the signatures, I know, I know…) now it’s the work permit to be done.

    On appeal (IE for those that don’t qualify by being an international etc.etc.) there is a 79% success rate.

    I’d imagine that as Gabriel is expected to go straight into the first team, cost more than £10mill, which is a figure being used as a benchmark to justify a player being decent.

    The FA want to tie up the work permit issue and will do in the summer, BUT what they want to stop is the number of cheap (hence the £10m) imports stopping young English players coming through. I don’t see how Gabriel being an issue there, so I’d say our chances are considerably higher than 79%

    But of course, this is the FA we’re talking about…

  89. Nasri's Mouth

    N.eil Ashton’s an actual idiot. Not just a pretend one.

    Henry Winter likes the sound of own voice too much

    I’m pretty sure Oliver Holt on twitter is an actual parody acc.

    Martin Samuels pieces for the Daily Mail are bad enough for him to write front pages for the Daily Mail

  90. Cesc Appeal


    I think I’ve read as well if we fail on the WP issue now, not very likely, then he will link up in the summer when the new rules (over £10 Million) come into force…that wouldn’t really be ideal.

    But I doubt Arsenal have plumbed £12-15 Million into a player without having consulted the FA or sought legal advice or something and made a calculated risk.

    Knew Campbell would go the other way as well, that was the probably the hold up…though by Arsenal standards it’s not really a hold up. Our transfers can last as long as Medieval sieges!!

  91. Radio Raheem

    Now that Paulista’s move is so public some FA chump might see this as ideal opportunity to make name for him/herself. Work permit declined!

  92. Goondawg

    Lol Thomas you are so dumb, Why do you support Arsenal man? You literally have nothing positive to say. We win, you still moan. I bet you grieved when we won the FA cup

  93. Byo

    Some of the comments here are just tiresome:

    -Call for a “proper striker”. Can anyone tell what this means?
    -Call for a defensive signing. Done. Now they ruminate over work permit! Has it ever crossed minds that there are people in the club paid to do their job?
    -Oh “Paulista is too light”. What is the proper weight for a CB?

  94. Goondawg

    “Given the potential work permit issues, he said there was a 50-50 chance the player would move to the Emirates Stadium. ”

    Whenever Wenger talks this openly about a transfer, pretty much conclude that it’s a done deal.

    Wenger saying its 50-50, tells me that it’s 99% done lol. There’s question marks about the work permit, but Wenger said in the press he opted not to sign Di Maria cos of the work permit, which means he knew that the work permit was very unlikely. I dont think we would have bought Gabriel if that would still be an issue here

  95. Goondawg

    Work permit wont be an issue. Paulista plays for Brazil, one of the biggest footballing countries. Chelsea signed Willian under similar circumstances from Shakthar Donetsk, and he hadn’t played for his country, and was accepted as n “exceptional talent”. They argued that he shouldn’t be punished for not meeting the appearance fee quota, cos if had played for a minnows team like Bolivia or something he would have smashed it