Arsene probably thinks Arsenal can catch Chelsea. Do you?

by .

Capture

Hump day? Get the f*ck out of my face with hump day. You’re an embarrassment. Go and sit in the kitchen and think about how you just greeted the office.

I tell you what though, international week gives me the hump. It’s an excuse for the whole world to bitch about all the boring stuff.

‘WE NEED MORE HARRY KANE’S!’

Oh dear. Really? IS THAT WHAT LIFE HAS BECOME FOR US!

It’s like saying we need more reality TV stars, or more X Factor episodes. I don’t like to read it. I really don’t.

I tell you what is an interesting thought, and I might write it up. But have Arsenal damaged their squad going all operation English? Chambers, Theo, Jack, Jenks, WELBZ, Chambo… I mean they’re quite an expensive crew who haven’t really delivered much past being good squad players. Is it worth it? I know we have to have them because of quotas. But are they kicking us up a level?

BIG QUESTIONS WE DON’T LIKE TO ANSWER BECAUSE IT SCARES US TO

I love the boys, but you do feel like they’re the builders in a studio of artists.

Tomas Rosicky is in the papers this morning basically asking Arsene Wenger to give him a go in the team for a bit. I can’t imagine the Czech is going to sign another deal with us, all he wants to do is play soccerball with his pals, but it’d be nice if he had a terrific goodbye final 9 games. He’s also at the age where you wonder if he might be worth keeping on in a coaching capacity. Arguably, he’s one of the most technically gifted in the side, he’s a hard worker, incredibly personable and he’s played at the highest level for many years.

Plus, he ages backwards. Look at his face. Look at his improved fitness as he grows older. It’s messed up.

Injury news is looking sweet. Jack, Debuchy and Arteta are all back in contention for the Liverpool game. I’m not sure any of them could be considered for a start. They’ll be incredibly rusty and others are playing really well / they’ll mostly have had a rest over the last week or so. I still find it quite amazing we’re giving Arteta another deal. We’re shifting players on that are one dimensional like Theo and Lukas, but we’re keeping players who can’t hack the pace anymore? Unless it’s a coaching thing, it makes little sense to me. Arteta slows our game dramatically, he’s incredibly injury prone and yeah, those are the only two points I have.

Arsene Wenger has said that Chelsea are too far away to catch. But anything can happen. GOOD WORDS.

I think the exciting thing about the run in is that there are no guarantees for anyone. It’s the most bestest Premier League in years. David Moyes slagging it off as poor. It’s a total lack of understanding about its strength… and hey, look, David, you couldn’t win it. Why should a league be defined as good / bad based on whether it has one or two totally exceptional teams? It should be about whether it’s a competition or not. A few weeks ago, it looked like it wasn’t. Now, out of nowhere, it’s become a race. Blink and something changes.

Isn’t this what we’ve been crying out for over the years? Yes it is. Strong teams all over the place.

If we took the approach of the European countries when it came to protecting our Euro interests, it’d be even better.

One element of the league I love, is that when it doesn’t succeed, it’s about English people and their archaic approach to football.

Then in the next breath, we’re bemoaning a lack of English input.

Guys and gals, if the league isn’t up to scratch, it’s not because of English input. It’s the foreigners and all their sweet technical know how killing it.

Anyway, I love the Premier League. I love the power, the pace, the skill, the passion, the fight and atmosphere. Love it. Love it like Kevin Keegan loves seeing United lose. Love it like Sanchez loves kicking the ball. Love it like Lukas Podolski’s social media team love ignoring the fact he’s on an appalling run of form.

F*cks given? Get me on the social boys.

F*cks given? Get me on the social boys.

Right, I really have to go to work to do some stuff. I’ve been in bed at 10 every night since Sunday. What have I become?

Responsible.

 

 

446 Responses to “Arsene probably thinks Arsenal can catch Chelsea. Do you?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Goondawg

    “Raheem Sterling is expected to become the third Liverpool player to withdraw from the England squad this week after the European Championship qualifying match against Lithuania on Friday.

    The Liverpool winger trained with his team-mates at St George’s Park yesterday and will be fit to play at Wembley, but is carrying a slight toe injury and is unlikely to be risked in the friendly international away to Italy on Tuesday.”

  2. Hitchy

    This Liverpool nonsense is getting out of hand. Fingers crossed other nations give our players the same kid of rest. Koscielny and Sanchez getting a break would be good!

  3. Leedsgunner

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2407257-20-players-who-could-win-big-moves-with-huge-end-to-the-season

    Very interesting read. The prospect at no.1 sounds very intriguing, and from Udinese as well. They have such a good scouting set up and their record and discovering, developing and then selling on finished players is second to none. We should definitely learn from them and then emulate them — good scouting is going to become even more crucial with these new home grown rules coming in.

    The new home grown rules also make players like Ings of Burnley a no brainer. EPL proven, English and free? Yes please. You know Man City and Man United will be looking at him, why shouldn’t we?

  4. Hitchy

    Also would like to keep Rosicky in the team and put him through coaching badges/ scouting training for the last 2 years that he can feasibly play for.

  5. qna

    I could not agree more Pedro – in fact I think you have put it mildy. Arteta is like an albatross thats been hanging around our neck since he got here. He was bought in to replace Fabregas in the first place. What a shit can job he has done of that. In fact, you could almost draw a line between Arsenal before Arteta and after Arteta. True its not Arteta’s fault that the club basically decided to give up on winning trophies entirely the day Fabregas left, but he was there answer. So after, it was realised he was a below average AM, he was pushed back to a CM with defensive responsibilities. Again, Arsenal has been an absolute girls blouse lightweight during this period. We have been absolutely smashed by any half decent club during this period – in the most humiliating period in our modern history.

  6. Romford Ozil Pele

    “He was bought in to replace Fabregas in the first place”

    No he wasn’t. At no point has Arteta played as a no.10 for Arsenal.

    “We have been absolutely smashed by any half decent club during this period – in the most humiliating period in our modern history.”

    Arsenal have experienced much worst times, believe me. Also we were getting smashed by big teams while Cesc was here so i’m not sure of your point. To try and pinpoint all this on Arteta is just silly.

  7. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: He was bought in to replace Fabregas in the first place.

    No he wasn’t.

    He was brought in as a DM

    Just because he wasn’t playing as one at Everton doesn’t mean he didn’t have the skillset to play as DM.

  8. karaul

    leedsgunner

    bleacherreport – good list.

    my favourites – left back Jonny from Cleta Vigo and Dybala.

    but where is nabil fekir?

    these three would improve our squad distinctly. + DM of course

  9. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: The new home grown rules also make players like Ings of Burnley a no brainer. EPL proven, English and free? Yes please. You know Man City and Man United will be looking at him, why shouldn’t we?

    This is the problem with rules that prioritise being English over being talented.

    He’s not good enough to start for us, he probably wont ever be. If clubs are interested in him purely because he’s English, then his price goes up, and he’ll end up sitting on the bench, which doesn’t help him, doesn’t help his country, and ultimately just puts more money in his and his agents already bulging pockets

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: So after, it was realised he was a below average AM, he was pushed back to a CM with defensive responsibilities.

    This is BS too

  11. Leedsgunner

    Arteta was bought in a panic along with Park and Santos in 2011 when we had the heart of our midfield ripped out when Cesc and Nasri decided to do a “van Persie” on us… the truth is he was bought 5 years too late.

    The players we should have brought in that summer were De Bruyne (who was still at Genk) (who Chelsea bought for £8m) or Christian Eriksen when he was at Ajax. In 2011 PSV bought Dries Martens (who was 24 at the time and Kevin Strootman who was 21) for a combined sum of €13m. (Why didn’t we spot them?)

    Do you want to know how much we paid for Arteta? £10m. (Galling I know).

    I know, I know hindsight is 20/20 but 2011 was one summer when our scouting system really needed to come up trumps for us to rebuild the heart of our midfield with quality replacements…

    Or our fitness/rehab department needed to actually provide “new signings” by conditioning our injured players back to battle. Sadly if Wilshere and Diaby were fit they could have made the positions their own but they were still mired in injuries — no change there then in 4 years!

    Arteta was a very expensive shop gap designed to save Wenger’s face. To be fair to Mikael, he gave us 18 good months after he came. £10m for 18 months (plus wages) is not good business. He is a consummate pro and an excellent penalty taker but he should be nowhere near the first team squad.

  12. kassim

    I doubt it. For starters the gunners make too many passes to score let alone shoot,
    Liverpool play in a similar style to the gunners and were hit by high ball to Herrra who passed to the galloping Mat a to score. Three crucial passes giving defences less time to react.
    You see Pool’s style like Arsenal’s gives defenders time to regroup.
    I hope I am wrong but as PV4 said in football never say never.

  13. Romford Ozil Pele

    “For starters the gunners make too many passes to score let alone shoot,”

    What does this even mean?

  14. qna

    NM: No he wasn’t.He was brought in as a DM

    Your full of shit mate. He wasnt brought in as a DM. The first season he was at Arsenal, Alex Song was our DM. Who is full of shit.

    ROP: “He was bought in to replace Fabregas in the first place” No he wasn’t.

    Yes he was mate. Look at our ins and outs in 2011. In 2011, we let Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy go. We let go three WORLD CLASS We brought in Gervinho the useless prick to replace Nasri, Santos, the hack to replace Clichy and a mid-table wannabe who would never make the Spain national team for the world class Fabregas.

    You guys think you know more than everyone one here, but the truth is your just as full of shit and fallable as the rest of us.

    Note here I have used the words WORLD CLASS – I dont throw this term to players readily. We haven’t brought in what I consider world class until Ozil last season. Yet, we have let go the three I mentioned along with Henry and RVP, not to mention our 30 goal a year striker without a thought of bringing in high quality talent – quite the opposite, the guys we brought in to replace these were all bargain basement shit.

  15. Wallace

    you see how much Utd have improved since Carrick returned, and i don’t think Arteta’s far off Carrick. as Romford said yesterday, he’s an excellent player to bring on with 15mins of a tight game left.

  16. Romford Ozil Pele

    “The players we should have brought in that summer were De Bruyne (who was still at Genk) (who Chelsea bought for £8m) or Christian Eriksen when he was at Ajax. In 2011 PSV bought Dries Martens (who was 24 at the time and Kevin Strootman who was 21) for a combined sum of €13m. (Why didn’t we spot them?)”

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We could say buy X or Y but there is no guarantee they’ll turn out a success. You’ve named players who have gone onto blossom but then equally you could name another 20 with potential who have completely dropped off the radar. It works both ways.

    The summer of 2011 was definitely a shambles and Wenger has to take the bulk of blame for that. Maybe not so much Nasri but we knew Cesc was going to leave from the get-go so a replacement should’ve been brought in if there ever was a semblance of doubt. Agree on Arteta being brought in later than he should’ve been but I think he was a decent signing and has done a decent job for us. brings a calming influence to the midfield. Not without his flaws, of course, but then who isn’t?

  17. Leedsgunner

    London G

    With these new crazy HG rules coming in, I fear Jack will never be unloaded now, the fact that he’s English makes him that much more valuable. He’ll live off the tantalising promise of “potential” for the rest of career. The fact that he’s now 23 and should be transforming potential into reality will be ignored because AFC will want to fulfill their HG quota with somebody half decent. The same with Walcott and Gibbs… Arsenal should do better than them but their nationality now saves them from being jettisined despite the fact that physically they are nowhere robust enough.

    These new HG criteria are not going to promote English excellence just protect English mediocrity.

  18. Wallace

    i don’t think we’ll catch them, but i definitely think Chelsea are going to drop a few points between now and the end of the season.

  19. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Yes he was mate. Look at our ins and outs in 2011. In 2011, we let Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy go. We let go three WORLD CLASS We brought in Gervinho the useless prick to replace Nasri, Santos, the hack to replace Clichy and a mid-table wannabe who would never make the Spain national team for the world class Fabregas.”

    Just because he was brought in doesn’t mean he was directly replacing anyone. People only make the Arteta comparison to Cesc because they’re both Spanish and come from La Masia. That’s where it ends really. Cesc did a lot of his better work further up the pitch. I never got the feeling Arteta was that type. And the way Wenger deployed Arteta backed that up.

    “Yet, we have let go the three I mentioned along with Henry and RVP, not to mention our 30 goal a year striker without a thought of bringing in high quality talent – quite the opposite, the guys we brought in to replace these were all bargain basement shit.”

    We’ve only really started spending money since summer 2013 so there’s your answer really. When we’ve let so many go, replacing them will of course take time. In the space of 4 years we basically have a new team to what we had in 2011. With that turnover, there will of course be inconsistencies. Now i’m not saying Wenger shouldn’t have done better. Quite a few of his buys were definitely questionable but you talk like you’re playing Football Manager. Plus buying a raft of so called World Class stars isn’t a guarantee of success.

    We definitely have weaknesses and need to upgrade but the overhaul of which some talk of wont, and shouldn’t happen, IMO.

  20. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: Your full of shit mate.

    qna: In 2011, we let Fabregas, Nasri and clichy go. We let go three WORLD CLASS

    I’m full of shit?

    As for Arteta, go back and see how he played even at Everton. It was obvious that he knew exactly how to play a defensive role, either because of his early years at Barca or because he was schooled under Moyes.

    Either way, the idea that he was perceived as a replacement to Cesc is just bonkers it really is.

    Leeds has it right in that we should have brought him earlier.

  21. Emiratesstroller

    All clubs in EPL are now under pressure to increase the number of Home Grown/British players in their squad. Obviously that means that Arsenal need
    to keep or recruit the best talent, which is currently or likely to be available in
    the future to meet those requirements.

    The problem is that at the moment very few English players are ‘top draw’ and frankly none of those currently on our books are guaranteed an automatic place in our best 1st X1. So the real question which needs to be asked is are
    they good enough to make the squad i.e. the top 22 from which we will pick
    the bench.

    At the moment I would suggest that Gibbs, Wilshire,Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain would be guaranteed a place in the squad. Walcott would probably merit a place, but if his wage demands are excessive he is probably someone that could be offloaded. Jenkinson will be offloaded, because we have on
    the books Debuchy and Bellerin who are probably now rated above him in pecking order.

    This leaves Chambers and to be honest I need to be convinced that he is good enough to play for us or what might be his best position. He has just joined us this season and at the age of 20 probably has another season to show what he can do.

    Akpom is also on our books but I suspect is still young enough as well as being
    inexperienced to be classified as potential to be loaned out to gain experience.

    Today’s media rumours suggest that we could be in for Smalling. If that is true
    it is yet another squad player. Noone is surely suggesting to me that he is better than Mertesacker/Koscielny/Gabriel in CB position or Bellerin/Debuchy
    at right back. The only justification for recruiting him is that he is English.

    At the moment we are not short of Home Grown/English players and I would
    prefer that Wenger concentrates this Summer on buying 2/3 players of genuine quality to improve our first team rather than squad. The positions where
    we should consider improvement are DMF, LW,GK. frankly there are no English players that I would wish to recruit for those positions.

  22. Thomas

    “He was brought in as a DM”

    Lol that’s even worse then. Why go buy an Everton level offensive midfielder and then convert him into a DM? Why not buy a proper DM from the beginning? Typical Wenger.

  23. Nasri's Mouth

    Thomas: Why go buy an Everton level offensive midfielder and then convert him into a DM? Why not buy a proper DM from the beginning?

    Because he already had the skills to play in a defensive role. There was no ‘converting’

    Is that so tricky to understand ?

  24. Nasri's Mouth

    Remember that while the new work permit rules have been put in place, the rules over home grown players, (and they don’t need to be English) have to be approved by the PL clubs first

  25. Leedsgunner

    I would take Jones over Smalling anyway but to be honest I would not look at anybody in that Man United squad.

    Just like a settled back four can make a goalkeeper look better than he is, a WC goal keeper can make defenders look better than they are. If it wasn’t for De Gea nobody would be yearning for Smalling. He’s average at best, and has horrible lapses of concentration.

    Again the only reason he has become valuable is because of his nationality NOT due to his ability.

    Ironically I fear, these home grown rules will prove the death knell for England football UNLESS the coaching set up is changed. Mediocrity will be championed which in turn will be exposed on the international stage and in tournaments (if we qualify.)

  26. Nasri's Mouth

    @Leedsgunner

    I can understand why we were interested in him, Smalling looks like he has the talent in there, but makes too many mistakes still. That might be down to LvG messing about between a back 4 and 3 and personnel.

    I don’t see why we’d want him now.

    Jones was seen as some sort of super player, CB / DM combined, but he’s regressed really

  27. Leedsgunner

    “Plus buying a raft of so called World Class stars isn’t a guarantee of success.”

    True, but it sure increases your chances — plus it gives you a fear factor before you step on the pitch.

  28. Romford Ozil Pele

    Smalling… Hmm. Wenger did want him in 2010 before he moved to United so maybe there is interest again there ( he wanted Jones too). From talking to United friends, the opinion seems split on him. Some think he’s terrible, others think there’s Rio Ferdinand potential in him. Like Jones, he’s still young so inconsistencies are normal. He does seem to be LVG’s first choice though and United are about to offer him a new deal so let’s see how this pans out.

  29. mysticleaves

    Hey there folks. Check out my two best blogs opinion on Arteta in today’s post respectively

    Le grove’s Pedro
    I still find it quite amazing we’re giving Arteta another deal. We’re shifting players on that are one dimensional like Theo and Lukas, but we’re keeping players who can’t hack the pace anymore? Unless it’s a coaching thing, it makes little sense to me. Arteta slows our game dramatically, he’s incredibly injury prone and yeah, those are the only two points I have.

    Arseblog’s Andrew
    At 33 Arteta is hardly one for the future, but I still think he’s got a part to play in this team. For a start, I could see him play alongside, or at least close to, Coquelin in certain games. His calmness on the ball and his experience are good assets for us to have. There’s also the need to ensure Coquelin doesn’t wear himself out and I’d still pick Arteta over Flamini if that were the case.
    He’s an important man around the dressing room too, a good, professional leader and an example to the younger members of the squad, and the one year extension he’s already signed means he’ll be around next season.

  30. Leedsgunner

    We have a Smalling type of CB already anyway imo — his name is Calum Chambers. 😉

    I wonder if these new rules mean Hayden will now be given a new lease of life… well to go FA, hurrah for England — 2022 World Cup Champions — obviously.

    *facepalm*

  31. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: and United are about to offer him a new deal so let’s see how this pans out.

    Ahah…

    Player A is looking for a wage rise from his club

    Agent checks to see who was interested in A previously

    Agent links A to Club Z

    Player gets wage rise

  32. Romford Ozil Pele

    “True, but it sure increases your chances — plus it gives you a fear factor before you step on the pitch.”

    Depends on what side of the fence you sit. United on paper have Rooney, RVP, Falcao, Mata, Di Maria. People perceive these guys as WC players yet they don’t really strike fear into anyone. Buying top class talent is of course important, but then you need to have the right balance.

    Even though LVG and Wenger have their flaws, I do subscribe to their notion that you shouldn’t depend on individuals too much because the sum is greater than it’s parts. Naturally when the collective is functioning well, certain individuals will have the opportunity to stand out but it’s important to get the right balance.

  33. bennydevito

    Morning Grovers,

    Good post Pedro and I agree that our English core isn’t as good technically as our foreign core – and that’s the problem, if English clubs are forced yo field more English just because they’re English, until the coaching at grass roots level is improved having more English is going to make the Premier league weaker and we will suffer in Europe. It’s a bizarre thought process, it’s like positive discrimination in the civil service recruitment policy where people from other ethnic and disabled backgrounds get employed over better qualified white people just to fill their equal opportunities quotas. It’s bloody farcical.

    Just wanted to revisit a comment made yesterday that I have to correct:

    MadeToLoveMagicMarch 25, 2015 08:22:49
    Ive been commenting since around 2010,,This place was in its hay day around 2011Ivory goonz, lurch, gambon , surfer, willybilly, ice, and many moretoday the grove is a little more sterile,, thats because the akb debate itself has become sterile. Everyone knows the arguments, now we have to just wait and see…. The irony of legrove is that it has historically been anti wenger, but it is this negyness or realism to others has been the reason for its success..Big shout out to all the people who comment on this blog, it has had its moment , pedro will go on to be a successful writer but once wenger leaves the whole point of le grove will be gone to

    I’m sorry but this is wrong. LeGrove is NOT and never was set up as an anti Wenger blog. Geoff set up LeGrove in honour of Wenger signing a contract extension in 2007 and that’s why he named it Le-Grove. He was very pro Wenger actually and it really annoys me the wrong opinion of LeGrove being peddled. Once Wenger started showing signs of being past his best, pissed off gooners would come on to have a rant and it was/is the only blog where true open debate can take place. You try going on Untold Arsenal or a Cultured left foot and go against their grain – no chance. LeGrove is not, and never has been anti Wenger – it’s actually about having the balls to highlight the glaring incompetence and strive to bring about change for the best interests of Arsenal.

    Arsenal AFC 1886. Not Arsene Wenger 1996.

    I see people on Twitter constantly digging at Pedro – it’s all out of bitterness and jealousy. Some twat by the name of P.I.m.p – Poznob I’m a penis – even set up a parody Twitter account called lol grove with it’s sad little agenda of just persecuting Pedro basically. Sad little man.

  34. Romford Ozil Pele

    “In other news England are set to play 442 again.Hodgson is a lunatic.”

    If it’s a diamond, that’s cool. If it’s a flat 4-4-2, i’m not watching the game.

  35. Leedsgunner

    Funny enough — I have for a long time thought Wenger would be a good international manager. He doesn’t have to deal with pesky contracts, or transfer windows — just watch games all over the place.

    I suspect he doesn’t take it because at heart he’s a very proud man, unable to take the criticism if his squad bombed out. Although I just wonder as a final hurrah to his career he’ll take the reins for the next international tournament. I mean, the French have a serious group of players now and coming through. If Wenger wanted the glory and the adulation of a nation forever, this present group of players probably could give it to him. Strength and depth all over the pitch.

  36. Dissenter

    Nasri’s mouth and Rumford,

    Nice attempt to revise history, thankfully you can’t wipe our memories clean.

    Arleta was a pauper’s Cesc Fabregas at Everton, there was never a time he threatened us when we played them.
    He was brought in as part of the Wenger super market dash after united smashed us. He was so desperate, he took a 10k weekly pay-cut to make it happen.

    He was brought in to soften the impact of Cesc leaving us. He was brought in for attacking midfield responsibilities. He’s lost his legs so we relegated him to defensive midfielder.

    He’s living proof we’ll never win another championship under Wenger .
    Don’t you like his Diaby-esque return, in time to sign his extension.

  37. Bamford10

    Nasri & Leeds

    Agree with Nasri that Smalling is improving, maturing. He used to be error-prone, unfocused, cocky; recent performances suggest he is growing up. He’s playing well. United will never let him go.

    Jones no longer seems as promising, but he’ll likely improve going forward as well.

    Pedro

    No chance we catch Chelsea, but the more important question for me is whether we are capable of winning the remaining big games, beating the better teams, including Chelsea.

    Can we beat Liverpool? Chelsea? United? Can we win the FA Cup? People are filed with confidence right now, but I remain a little skeptical. I think we can better Liverpool, but I think Chelsea and United are both stronger than we are, and I think this will be exposed in our matches with them.

    Regardless, whether we have what it takes to beat the better teams is what we should be focused on IMO.

  38. mysticleaves

    To be fair though, one of the sticks used to beat Wenger was how he always bought inexperienced (young) and foreign players. That he sould rather buy premierleague ready players.

    Arteta was that. 28 and played in the PL for long. Now its used to beat him again.

  39. Dissenter

    Nasri’s Mouth,
    “Because he already had the skills to play in a defensive role. There was no ‘converting”

    Not so fast, the dude never played defensive midfield for a smaller club yet you expect him to excel at that responsibility in a massive club like Arsenal.

    Your post is a perfect example of the difference we have about the defensive midfield position.
    You and Rumford believe that any half-back central midfielder with some passing intelligence can do it.
    I believe its a specialist position in itself. Arteta is “good enough” in a key position where excellence is the minimum because of the way we play.
    We can agree to disagree, I guess.

  40. Goondawg

    Lol some fans have short memories. Arteta had two good seasons when he first joined, I remember he did a good job at DM before injuries and age stepped in, and was crucial to our push for top 4 after our horrendous start, for 10mill he was a good signing, not a marquee one. His pens were on point

  41. Bamford10

    Nasri may not have been “world class,” but he was very, very good — a much, much better player than Gervinho, obviously.

    That was the essential point above.

    And QNA makes a good point about Arteta and Cesc. It’s hard for me to recall how Arteta was played when he first came, but was he played more as a CM? Was he seen initially as a replacement for Cesc? I think it’s more likely that he was seen as a CM and that Wenger thought Wilshere or Ramsey could replace Cesc as the CAM, but I don’t recall all of this clearly.

  42. Dan T

    “we let Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy go. We let go three WORLD CLASS ”

    There are no words for this….

    Do you have Discalculiar? Have you watched Clichy or Nasri play? Do you even lift bro?

  43. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Do you have Discalculiar? Have you watched Clichy or Nasri play? Do you even lift bro?”

    LOL haha

    As for those who think Arteta played as a CAM/No.10 – they only watched MOTD highlights. Guy has never been that type to slot through balls in behind.
    He scored a lot of goals (mostly free-kicks/pens) so people thought he was primarily an attacking player but this has never really been the case. He’s more Xavi than Cesc when it comes to playing style.

  44. Byo

    The reality is Arsenal have the requisite number of veterans(i.e >30 Yy.o) in the squad.

    Diaby, Flamini, and possibly Rosicky are the only one I can see leaving at the end of the season, Arteta already signed a 1- year extension.

  45. Romford Ozil Pele

    SRG – don’t understand why. I’m not saying Arteta is as good as Xavi in anyway shape or form. Just saying that Arteta resembles him more in playing style whereas people were trying to say he was a Cesc replacement, which he never was. If I remember correctly, we had a failed bid for Mata in that summer. He went to Chelsea. That was the Cesc replacement right there.

  46. mysticleaves

    Romford to be fair, Arsene went for Santi that same year but Malaga signed him. Then he got Arteta and played him no 10 for a season.

    Then next summer Santi came from Malaga and then took the no 10 spot and Arteta slotted in to CM role seamlessly.

  47. gambon

    In terms of these new homegrown rules….do people know if current “homegrown” players will cease to be homegrown, or is it just in the future that things will change.

    Ie- Someone like Bellerin is homegrown under current rules, but probably not under the new rules. Does that mean he will cease to be homegrown or will the next 19 year old that joined at 16 be denied homegrown status?

    In terms of our current squad, we have:

    Martinez
    Szczesny
    Bellerin
    Chanbers
    Gibbs
    Ramsey
    Wilshere
    Coquelin
    Theo
    Chamberlain
    Welbeck
    Akpom
    Gnabry

    So we just about make it. Howeve rthis doesnt give us much room to manouvre.

    If the rules change we would probably lose a number of these such as Martinez, Bellerin, Coquelin, Gnabry (he may have signed at 15)

  48. Romford Ozil Pele

    Gambon – pretty much. People like Szczesny will cease to be home grown. Not sure about Coq and Gnabry, what age did they join? Actually wasn’t Coq in the F.A Youth Cup winning team with Jack in ’09. Maybe Martinez is in that camp too

  49. Leedsgunner

    Bamford

    “No chance we catch Chelsea, but the more important question for me is whether we are capable of winning the remaining big games, beating the better teams, including Chelsea.”

    This has to be the focus for the team from this point on. Come the transfer window we need to recruit players that will help us do this regularly as well as develop for the future.

    If it was me I would focus my energies on players between 17-25. Obviously if a very good/WC talent become available who was post 25 and the price was reasonable you would have to think about it.

    The Arteta purchase stems from the fact he was neither of those things — he was neither WC or between 19-25 able to develop further. As I said we bought him too late… then with age, injuries caught up with him and hampered his pace which was going anyways.

    As I said yesterday I would offer TR7 a role at the club + 1 year extension more over Arteta any day of the week. I’m not saying Arteta is a bad player, but I don’t think for the money we will spend he is what we need.

  50. gambon

    Romford

    Coq joined as a 17 year old, played his first game in preseason.

    I think Martinez, Coq, Bellerin will all lose their HG status.

    Szczesny, should be OK, think he signed at 15 didnt he?

  51. SomeRandomGunner

    @Romford i understand what you meant. But looks like lot of people here do not like Arteta very much 🙂

    Dude was averaging 78 passes per match compared 40 by Coq .
    Surprising thing is according to squawka he passed the ball forward more than 60 % of time with his average pass length 17m with pass completion of 91.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    Mystic – I disagree. Like Goondawg says, people have very short memories. The season we signed Arteta (2011/12) is the season Song went AWOL and thought he was Zinedine Zong. Song kept on this those stupid Hollywood balls to RVP. A few of them worked but most of the time it was shite. And if it wasn’t for Arteta holding the midfield together, we would’ve gone to pot. RVP got the plaudits that season, rightly so because of his goals. But people like Arteta and Rosicky were instrumental in a season where we were nothing short of diabolical.

  53. Romford Ozil Pele

    Gambon – yeah you’re right. Knew Coq joined at either 16/17. So under the new rules he doesn’t make it. Was Szcz 15? Blimey so he’s been here nearly a decade? For what it’s worth I don’t see this Dyke rule going through. A lot of the clubs won’t agree to it, especially the top ones.

    But if it does, rumours that we’re after Smalling makes sense. I think I need to start watching more of Smalling again. Look at United fans talking about him. They all think he’s their new Rio and are annoyed with his links with Arsenal: http://www.redcafe.net/threads/chris-smalling-2014-15-performances.394006/page-70

  54. gambon

    “If the new HG rules come in i dont think a PL club will win CL for long time”

    Not sure about that

    You can still have 13 non HG players cant you?

    Thats a team and 2 subs who can be from anywhere.

    With the money thats soon to be in the PL, I would say there will amost certainly be a couple of PL champs league winners in the next 10 years.

  55. mysticleaves

    Romford are u disagreeing with the fact that Arteta played CAM for a season?
    Am not talking about holding the midfield together, am talking about the position Arteta play in his first season.

  56. mysticleaves

    More so, Romford, I am more Andrew Magnam than Pedro on the issue of Arteta. I have never blamed him alone for our problems the past 2 seasons

  57. gambon

    Arteta didnt play CAM during his first season.

    He played his first few games there, but Ramsey was given a chance there, as was Rosicky. Ramsey was terrible.

  58. Romford Ozil Pele

    Mystic. Yes I disagree. That’s the season we lost 8-2 and then bought all those players. After that you had Song and Arteta as the constants in midfield, then Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky all operated as the third midfielder. Ramsey began to assert himself later in the season – was the springboard for his awesome 2013/14. Wilshere was in and out of the side with injury (what’s new). And Rosicky played more after Christmas. Song and Arteta were in the pivot most of the time but Song went off on his usual marauding runs which meant Arteta was the one covering.

  59. alex cutter

    “Too late to catch Chelsea. Too late bro.”

    The season could go on another six months and we’d never get any closer to Chelsea than we are now.

  60. Leedsgunner

    ” Song and Arteta were in the pivot most of the time but Song went off on his usual marauding runs which meant Arteta was the one covering.”

    So did Arteta become our DM by default, not even design? lol. That’s man management isn’t it at its very best… Wenger style. At the very least Wenger should have taken Song to the side and told him to stay put….

    Thanks for nothing Zinedine Billabong Zong.

  61. Emiratesstroller

    First of all the new FA regulations do not come into force immediately in 2016.
    They are progressive so that you do not have to go out on market and recruit a
    whole load of Home Grown/English players.

    However, it does mean that Arsenal do need to analyse their current squad, what is coming through the youth programme and what other players might become available in transfer market.

    The new regulations will of course ‘inflate transfer fees/wages’ for such players particularly when you factor in the new tv funds, which will be made available to clubs.

    My concern with the new rules are that whilst in long term it may force the
    clubs to improve their youth programmes it will not improve the quality now.

    London Clubs are also at a considerable disadvantage with recruitment, because when you recruit youth players they need to live within a set distance
    of club. Obviously there are a large number of clubs competing for best talent.

    At the moment we are not short of home grown talent, but the real problem is
    none are genuine world class.

    I agree with the statement that you do not need to build a first team full of world class talent. It seldom works, but at the moment we are still short of
    probably two or three such players who would allow us to be considered genuine challengers for League Title or Champions League.

    The real problem is that the existing and new regulations puts clubs who
    have decent English players under increased pressure in contract negotiations. We see this with Walcott. Bluntly here is a very average player who is
    able to hold the club to ransom. If he was any other nationality noone would think twice before offloading him and buying a better standard overseas player for less money.

    That is likely to be the case until such time that there is a much larger pool of talent available.

  62. mysticleaves

    Nasri may not have been “world class,” but he was
    very, very good — a much, much better player than
    Gervinho, obviously.
    That was the essential point above.”

    Gervinho was a bigger player in every sense of the word when he came compared to when Nasri came to Arsenal.

    Pre 2007, we had Hleb and Rosicky. Pre 2011 we had Rosicky/Arshavin. So I don’t really know how Gerv was bought to “replace” Nasri.

  63. london gunner

    Arteta was listed as a Cam before and after his first season at Arsenal on fifa.

    The boy was a CAM he was NEVER A DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER even when he was played further back. He converted to a holding mid not a DM.

    Either way he certainly was not good enough for the role at any stage of his career to be played as subistute from a DM in an Arsenal first 11.

    Fact is we played some of the most slow paced, turgid football with Arteta in the team. He slowed things down in a negative way and killed creativity and dynamism.

    I am so glad he is nowhere near the first 11 and Coq for me is a far better player to have in the middle.

    You might say are possession rate suffers without an Arteta. I say get the fuck right off tika tikka style footballs dick! WE WIN MORE GAMES WITH LESS POSSESSION FACT!

  64. Romford Ozil Pele

    I don’t think Gervinho was a Nasri replacement, he was bought as an alternative. Had Nasri not left, I think Wenger would’ve moved him into the middle.

    Nasri has always been a very talented player, albeit an inconsistent one. He mas major personality issues though, hence why he can’t even get called up for the NT. He used to beef with Gallas a lot when he was here. I sided with Nasri at the time, but with all that’s gone on since, could’ve well been wrong there.

  65. mysticleaves

    Ah! London, thank goodness. I was beginning to think I was the only one who thinks Arteta was bought as a CAM

  66. blsany

    Petr Cech is tired of the chavski bench.is there any chance of us signing him at all?Cech,Ospina,Martinez would be good GK’s competition.Ospina could learn so much from arguably one of the best keepers in recent history.

  67. Romford Ozil Pele

    Arteta did a very good stabilising job at a time when Cesc, Nasri, RVP, Song had all left and Wilshere was broken. So that’s our whole attacking set-up gone in the space of two seasons, you think we won’t suffer?

    People are mistaking my comments and think i’m saying that Arteta should be the DM for the next five years. NO. That’s not my point. Arteta had a role, and did it adequately IMO. Now he can not be relied upon to do it as his legs have gone.

    Tbh i’m not even sure how this debate has escalated so much. All I said after the Newcastle game was that he’d have been a good sub to bring on to stem the tide and wave of pressure that was coming against us.

    LG, You talk like slowing the game down is a bad thing? You can’t play at 100mph all the time. It isn’t sustainable and it also doesn’t allow you to get a full grip of the game. At times you slow it down and at other times you speed it up.

  68. Romford Ozil Pele

    Arteta was never a CAM. At Everton he was a CM. Cahill was always the one who played behind the main striker, whether that be Saha/Yakubu or others.

  69. london gunner

    The home grown rule does actually have some logic behind it.

    Think about it like this, if English premier league clubs know that they are going to have choose a large percentage of their players from a pool of just English talent. It forces them to focus on developing English players into players of the quality of their European counter parts otherwise half their team will just be shite and holding back the other half.

    Essentially it forces the hand of English clubs to take seriously the youth players, youth academy and grass routes level football, otherwise these English teams will directly suffer in consequence especially the top 4-6 in European tournaments . These clubs will now have an added motivation to make the youth of Britain as good footballers as possible rather than just pinch a sexy young thing from Spain or France ect.

    This may then force these English clubs to take a serious look at academies like Barcelona and how they develop their talent. Which could lead to hiring European coaches and tactical experts and bringing them into the fold within England’s grass routes/academies .

    Premier league clubs aren’t going to just settle for a half team full of average English players they will funnel millions into insuring their English half is as good as the foreigners because they will have no other choice.

  70. Leedsgunner

    “Petr Cech is tired of the chavski bench.is there any chance of us signing him at all?Cech,Ospina,Martinez would be good GK’s competition.Ospina could learn so much from arguably one of the best keepers in recent history.”

    Apparently Chelsea will sell him to us for £20m. That would be a no then… bearing in mind Man Utd bought De Gea for £20m. In hindsight, Fergie did know what he was doing, didn’t he? He replaced their Seaman/Lehamann equivalent with another classy keeper. True had a very shaky season but his true class is coming out now isn’t? He is saving their season. They would be nowhere near the top 4 if it wasn’t for him.

  71. Romford Ozil Pele

    I’d be honestly shocked if Mourinho would sell us Cech. He didn’t loan us Ba so why would a player who would directly improve a rival be let go? Cech wants to leave but I don’t think Mourinho would let him come here, he’d have no shortage of buyers abroad. And is a 32 year-old GK really worth £20m?

  72. Goondawg

    Lol fuck using the video game Fifa as a base for your argument.

    They still have sanchez’s work rate as high attacking, and just medium defensively.

    Written them a strongly worded email as well, telling them to fault this error. Gabriel, Bellerin and coquelin are so shit in the game! I get thrashed

  73. qna

    To respond to all those that question Nasri and Clichy. At the time they were sold both of these guys were world class .

    We still havent replaced Clichy to this day. He made some mistakes as all defenders do, but he was in the top 5 left backs in the world when he left us. Of that I have no doubt. To those that say he was shit, I am sure they would come to the same conclusion about most top left backs with the same level of scrutiny.

    Nasri at the time he left us looked like one of the best attacking midfeilders in the world. Not in the top 5 – but that list is hard to crack. But he was absolutely top draw before he left and no gunner fan can say otherwise with a straight face. Of course the way he left and the things he did/said later can make it hard to admit that. But he was top draw the year he left. I would agree he hasnt reached those heights since he left. But his trophy cabinet puts our players’ to shame and he was a part of those trophies dont kid yourself otherwise. At the time he left he was without a doubt world class.

    Its also nice to know that LeGrove has such ITK phycic wenger whisperers that know all this back story that Arteta was going to be purchased anyway because he had this secret talent for being a DM star – which apparently they got wrong anyway cause he was a terrible DM and Arsenal have been nothing short of Mediocre since he joined. Possibly with the exception of these last few months – while he has been injured nonetheless.

  74. Leedsgunner

    RoP

    I’m NOT saying Cech is worth £20m or that Chelsea will sell him to us. I’m with you, and I said as much yesterday. Maureen will never evger sell to us. i think he would probably poke his own eyes out before he sold to us.

  75. Romford Ozil Pele

    “top 5 left backs in the world when he left us”

    Clichy top 5?! Lol he was horrendous. I would’ve driven him to City myself. Give me Monreal any day of the week.

  76. london gunner

    ROP

    Mate you are utterly rewriting history like QNA or Dissenter said.

    IMO the football with Arteta in the team was utterly dire, lacklustre and poor beyond excuse. He was never ever good enough for the team. Whether he was a cesc replacment is’t the point the point is he was never Arsenal standard.

    Also, its fine bringing Artea on to close out a game and slow it down then, but to start a game at snail pace is unacceptable. He really hurt as creatively and was a frustrating player to have in the team as imo we suffered not just from a lack of points, but aesthetically after all football is entertainment.

    You are exaggerating where I am coming from, I am not saying we need to Klopp it and play at 100mph. I am just saying we need balance, some forward momentum and aggression, we never had that under Arteta. Arteta was like playing on to much valium.

    Arteta wasn’t just a wet blanket he was a wet mattress and a wet pillowcase as well.

  77. blsany

    leeds
    Yeah that is too steep for a player coming to the end of his career.Agreed with you on DDG.For me he is the best keeper in the BPL.Lloris can sometimes be too gung ho ,Courtois might not be very good with his feet.DDG doesnt really have a weakness.

  78. Thomas

    “Because he already had the skills to play in a defensive role. There was no ‘converting'”

    ______

    Nor good enough skill.

    “His pens were on point”

    ______

    *cough* Fulham *cough*

  79. mysticleaves

    So Romford, if Arteta didn’t play CAM in 2011/12 who did?

    Nasri played it for 3games before he was sold, Wilshere was injured the whole season, Rosicky was in and out with injury and Ramsey sure as hell did not play CAM

  80. Leedsgunner

    Tell you what if the club has any desire of thrown £20m at a player — go out and bring in Ricardo Rodriguez — the Swiss LB. Young and ridiculously talented… and good value too. We would have the position sorted for the next decade or more. Brilliant player… or what about Valencia’s Gaya? Excellent talent and bags of potential.

  81. qna

    ROP. Yes. Top 5. At the time Arsenal were playing beautiful football. Universally admired. The type that had Barca raiding us. Clichy was an absolutely massive part of that. He is still the blue print for our full backs including Sagna on the right.

    We are now a very different team. Perhaps Vermaelen was bought out of nostalgia but the I doubt Barca send many scouts to watch us these days.

    I would add that Arteta has been a huge point of difference between this Arsenal that was once admired and the Arsenal that has now got half the fans saying Wenger out. Garbage in garbage out.

  82. mysticleaves

    QNA.
    Mate, clichy was a solid left back, end of. Arsene willingly ditched him for Clichy, he never said he wanted to go. So there you go.

    “But he was top draw the
    year he left. I would agree he hasnt reached those
    heights since he left.”

    Surely, if he hasn’t reached those heights again, wouldn’t you say its form that he had for those 3-4months?

  83. blsany

    “Clichy is a very good looking rich guy, but he is a terrible at left back.Not everyone can be Giroud and have it all ..”

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY.

  84. london gunner

    Lol no one in the history of the world has said Clichy is world class! I refuse to believe anyone has said this.

    Clichy is a poor man’s Gibbs and Gibbs isn’t exactly setting the world alight.

  85. Mayank

    Now Arteta is one of the players that infuriates me the most. I think we should have someone better than him in out first team. However I don’t understand the outright hate for him. And as a squad player /coach I’m perfectly fine with him.

    If arteta had played at the emirates we’d be worrying about the cl qfs right now rather than the pipe dream that is the pl. He’s an asset albeit a flawed one.

  86. Dissenter

    The comments about Arteta on every newspaper or gooner blog tells all you need to know about him. People understand that he was probably, just-above passing grade initially but know that he is physically gone. Anyone suggesting the contrary?

    Wenger likes to take the easy route, he wont buy a Schneiderlin-type player so long as the Arteta is still around, as captain he would be certain to get games just for that..

    It seems the whole point of Wenger’s sunset period is just to keep Arsenal in the picture, not to win big trophies. If the goal was to compete for the CL or league, why isn’t he ruthless enough?

  87. gazzap

    Why is Ozil talking about winning the Balon Dor? Ridiculous.
    Football is a team game, he should be talking about winning the Cup or the league or the WC again. Why does a footballer want an individual award like that? Even the top footballers rely on the play of their 10 teammates to do anything.

    As others have said, if Ozil’s teammates make the right runs and give him the ball in right areas it makes him look good, otherwise he doesn’t look good. So it shows it’s a team sport and he shouldn’t be looking at personal awards.

    Apart from that, he isn’t playing anything like a Balon D’or winner but that’s besides the point.

  88. Romford Ozil Pele

    LG – Like you say, in your opinion. There were a lot of things wrong with Arsenal post Cesc-era so why we concentrate on Arteta is anyone’s guess. So many things wrong with the team.

    Again, you haven’t read my comments. Where in the last two days have I said Arteta should start? I haven’t even said we should offer him a new contract. But when we’re closing out games, I think he’s a good option to have currently. Certainly a lot better than that headcase Flamini.

    I’m not even disputing that Arteta isn’t good enough. I said he would’ve been good to bring on at the weekend over Gibbs/Flamini etc. That was it. Why people are going off on another tangent is anyone’s guess.

  89. mysticleaves

    Leeds, I think Monreal and Gibbs have the LB position held down for the next 6 years.
    Monreal goes, Gibbs takes over. Not a bad guy to have as your LB considering he’s not different from Clichy and people label him WC

  90. Romford Ozil Pele

    QNA, Clichy is the blueprint? Says who. He cost us against Birmingham in ’08. He cost us against Birmingham in 2011. He was an absolute liability. Could run as fast as he wanted he was absolutely clueless on the ball.

    LOL re Barca, more often than not they always ended up signing the wrong Arsenal players so I wouldn’t use them as a blueprint.

    Mystic – Ramsey, Benayoun both had spells there. Rosicky took over in the second half of the season. For a lot of the time we were playing 4-3-3 with wide forwards in Gervinho and Walcott. It’s why Song constantly kept breaking forward thinking he was a playmaker himself.

  91. Dissenter

    No hatred for Arteta from me. I think my disgust is at Wenger for playing nice-man when ruthless-manager-in-pursuit-of-glory is what is required. We are not going to win any big trophies under Wenger because his goal is to save money for Kroenke.

    And I respect the comments that are contrary to mine.

  92. qna

    The key difference is that in 2011 Arsenal were a team to be proud of. The players on that team did something special. We were just a signing or two away from something truly great. But we went the opposite way and fast. Downgrade after downgrade until we were like a fucking Atari.

    Clichy was part of a good Arsenal team that were admired. The same cannot be said about Monreal or Gibbs.

    We are finally, finally back on the way up. But the sooner we complete the clearout of mediocrity like Arteta the better.

    And if it makes people feep better to rewrite history of how valuable Clichy and Nasri were to us back then. Then so be it.

  93. MidwestGun

    He was never ever good enough for the team.
    ________
    London –
    As Mr. statistics you might wanna check out who was in the top 11 team of the Premier League in the 2011/12 season on who.scored.com. That’s right, Arteta and RVP. Along with Rooney,Bale,Silva, and Modric.
    Since then you are correct he hasn’t been the answer. But he wasn’t garbage in…. as some suggested. If anything as Leeds said he was transfered too late as age has diminished his ability. Nobody is really suggesting he stay and is the answer,, so basically everyone is argueing over what? … i have no idea

    I believe Romford’s point is still valid, sometimes you need a cm with close passing, one touch ball skills who can slow down and take the sting out of the game. Coq and Ramsey don’t have that ability so much. .

  94. gambon

    I would say Clichy was part of an Arsenal team that played attractive football, but was hugely flawed defensively, and he was a big part of that.

    Wenger is responsible, as Clichy immediately looked better once he went to City, but lets not pretend he was a top player.

    Cole was a world class player, Clichy barely fit to lace his boots.

  95. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Well that was the liability Koscielny”

    Well yeah he was bad but he’s improved immeasurably since then. I was talking about the first goal they scored that game, Clichy’s fault.

  96. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Wenger is responsible, as Clichy immediately looked better once he went to City”

    He’s won trophies but i’m not sure he’s improved as a player. Like at Arsenal, he’s always the one caught napping when a team is trying to play offside.

  97. MeGunner

    There are a lot of smart people on Le Grove. I got educated on here that Song was a liability. I didn’t believe until he left. I felt Clichy was a good player but people told me he wasn’t. I paid attention and by God he’s a very average defender. Just lucky to be part of a team that played good football. Clichy was never world class.

  98. london gunner

    Midwest

    You say what you want, but Arteta was never good enough and that’s the simple truth. Any basic CM if instructed by a capable manager can slow play down and take the sting out of the game. Its a simple matter of passing backwards and sideways endlessly with no risk no thrills passing. Arteta could do this, but the problem is he did it to much to the detriment of our attacking game. In short he had nothing else to offer bar penalties. Lad was never worth 10 million more like 5 max.

  99. mysticleaves

    Fair enough gambon, but I could have sworn Arteta play CAM. Though I will still swear he played it once in a while for us.

  100. MidwestGun

    London –
    If everyone could play like Barca in their heyday, they would. It’s not as easy as it seems. Arteta was part of that Spanish generation that understood it. The game has changed since then. Personally i like the direction we are going with a strong tackling cdm (Coq) paired with a gifted on the ball player like Santi. But Santi isn’t young either.