I came, I saw, I left

by .

Courtesy of @the_cros

Courtesy of @the_cros

Hello everyone, Alex here. Yesterday I kindly accepted an invitation on Pedro’s behalf from the Sun to go to their HQ in London Bridge for a Q&A with the one and only Thierry Henry. Some other bloke from Tottenham may also have been on the panel.

The great and the good from the Arsenal blogosphere were there – at least I think they were as I dont know what any of them look like. Embarrassingly for me, no sooner had I gained access to the area where the event was being held than I had to leave due to an UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCE. You can read my timeline to see how shockingly bad things went. I managed to tweet about how windy it was then about the fact the fella from Arsenal Fan TV was let in ahead of me in the queue and that was about it. Absolutely pathetic. Luckily the Sun are going to send me a transcript of the event so I can provide you with some #analysis on that which I’m sure you will find fascinating.

So given my complete failure to provide any kind of coverage, I’ll run through what could have been…

Had I been able to attend the event, I would have been greeted by friends and well wishers all around, thanking me for my stellar work on Le Grove over the last few years. Thierry would have greeted me with a fist bump and a hug. We would have laughed about old times and he would have quoted his favourite blog posts to me etc.

I had two questions I wanted to ask him:

1. Who is the best player he played with at Arsenal post Invincibles? This would discount the obvious choices. I expect he would have said Cesc or Persie but maybe there would have been a curveball, Adebayor or Rosicky perhaps?

2. What does he think is Arsenal’s strongest XI right now? As much as I love Thierry I dont really care what he thinks about this – partly because his punditry is “meh” and partly because there is no right answer. It was merely to “get the debate going”.

So let’s throw it out there – what do you think is Arsenal’s best XI at the moment? For me…

  1. Cech
  2. Bellerin
  3. Monreal
  4. Koscielny
  5. Mertesacker
  6. Coquelin
  7. Ramsey
  8. Alexis
  9. Ozil
  10. Oxlade-Chamberlain
  11. Giroud

Looking back at that, even I can’t believe I’ve left out Walcott and Cazorla but that is a team with the right balance up top and with energy and dynamism in the centre of the park. As strong as that first XI is, the one position where there is a question mark is probably Giroud. As much as I love the big shire horse, he’s never going to quite be at the level of those around him (Ozil and Alexis who are world class, Ramsey who is on his way to world class, and Ox who has the potential).

The other big concern is still what happens if Coquelin gets injured. As much as I find Van Gaal’s fradulent transfer activity this summer hilarious (as if he has any idea what he is doing), the capture of Schneiderlin was key as he is a quality player and exactly the one to replace and ageing Arteta. There are still a few weeks to go so let’s see what happens but for me, getting reinforcements in this position is more important than CF.

And finally the “feud” between Arsene and Mourinho continues to rumble on. Is it really a feud when one person consistently acts like a bellend while the other maintains his dignity? I don’t even think Jose is doing it for mind games anymore. He looked like he’d spent the night in a bus shelter at the Community Shield, clearly he needs help. As for changing the narrative, I wouldn’t want to give him that much credit. Rather his behaviour can be explained by a few possible causes:

  1. He has a micropenis
  2. He is sexually attracted to Ospreys but is unable to meet any so takes his frustration out on football
  3. He only knows how to win ugly and with dirty tricks and it eats him up that his teams will never be remembered for playing great football
  4. All of the above

Maybe this is all conjecture but when you think about it I’m 100% right.

Right that’s all from me. Hopefully I’ll be allowed to cover some other Arsenal events in the future and do a mildly better job. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel (if you want).

Speak soon x

476 Responses to “I came, I saw, I left”

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  1. Arsene's Nurse

    Wilshere should be protected in training. If he has to wear great big ankle protectors and extra copies of the Radio Times down his socks then so be it.

  2. tunnygriffboy

    Gutted for Jack. He came back early from pre season as well to get himself fit. I think he’s an excellent player. Whether or not he started he was there as a top option to rest and rotate Ramsey, Santi etc without weakening the side. I’m just pissed off.

  3. tunnygriffboy

    We just have to get another top class midfielder in and fuck Flamini off so that a space is opened up for when Jack is back. Put me on a massive downer after the weekend and looking forward to Sunday. Bollox.

  4. Relieable sauce

    Jack should retire from Arsenal to prolong his England career.

    Sad news for him but it was never going to be too long before he got injured if we are honest, shame because he was able to provide good cover for Santi, Ozil & Ramsey.

    1 injury prone midfielder out & we are depending on Flamteta already. Scary thought.

  5. Wallace

    so disappointed for Jack. if it is 3mths….the way he finished last season i was really hoping he’d catch a break this year and nail down that spot alongside Coquelin.

    still got two combinations for the CM in Coq/Cazorla & Arteta/Ramsey, but Jack was the wild card for me this year. was happy with us going into the season with the current squad, but wouldn’t be surprised to see a CM come in now.

  6. underrated Coq

    This might sound ugly or incredibly harsh but I’m past the point where I feel sorry for Jack Wilshere. Now he’s just become a source of annoyance, taking up and wasting a slot in Arsenal’s roster. Diaby mk II.

    Yes, its sad to see someone not being able to fulfill their dreams but you know what? There are millions of people out there who are never able to live their dreams. At some point, you gotta realize you are just not cut out for it and have to move on and find something else. That’s life.

    Arsenal should have encouraged Man City when they seemed to be interested in taking Jack off our hands. Could have invested that money in getting a better player and one that could actually be relied upon.

  7. Emiratesstroller

    Wenger has known for sometime that he had on his books several “talented but injury prone” players and has chosen to do his usual and shut his eyes to the problem, which is why each year we have landed up with a huge injury problem, which has often cost us dear in the EPL.

    It took him eight years to recognise that the problem with Diaby’s injuries were not going to be resolved and this summer he has finally offloaded him but after spending a small fortune on his wages and almost certainly medical bills.

    Yet we could be repeating once again the same exercise with Wilshire who seems to have “fragile ankles”. It is sad enough if a player gets injured through
    a poor tackle in a competitive game, but even worse if it is caused by a tackle from one of your own players in training.

    I made the point earlier this summer that I thought that the priority in making
    a signing this summer should be a central midfielder, because I was concerned by the lack of genuine “fit for purpose” cover if one or two key players
    got injured. We became reliant in their absence on Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky.

    The problem is not just the potential loss of Coquelin in DMF, but also the risk
    of losing both Wilshire and Ramsey for any length of time.

    It was why I have stated consistently that Arsenal should have bought Schneiderlein who could play both defensive and central midfield positions. In my
    view this was far more of a priority than buying a striker.

    Let’s face it we know that the striker options available this summer are very
    limited and few are significantly better than what we have got and will cost
    grossly inflated prices if sold.

    Our forward line is in my view adequate even if it is not comparable with the
    likes of Barcelona, but it is certainly good enough to play and win in EPL. After
    all the main competition there are currently Chelsea and they are not exactly
    prolific goalscorers.

    Yet the weakness in midfield if any of our main players are injured is clear for all to see and would be solulable with a little foresight.

    Sadly Wenger’s indecisiveness and lack of anticipation of potential problems
    could cost us dearly. He did not follow through interest in Schneiderlein and
    allowed him to move to Manchester United. Another potential acquisition Vidal has moved to Bayern.

    What I do know is that we cannot afford to go into the new season with Wilshire out for 3 months and dependence on the likes of Rosicky, Arteta and
    Flamini playing in starting lineup even against fairly moderate opposition.

    My view is that Wenger must move now and buy the best central midfielder
    that money can buy and if that takes up the bulk of his budget forego the option of bringing Benzema for the marginal improvement he will offer to team.

  8. Wallace


    “What I do know is that we cannot afford to go into the new season with Wilshire out for 3 months and dependence on the likes of Rosicky, Arteta and
    Flamini playing in starting lineup even against fairly moderate opposition.”

    i’d still class Arteta as the fourth option in central midfield, Flamini as the fifth, and Rosicky – unfortunately, in my view – is still nowhere near a starting spot.

  9. Emiratesstroller


    Having watched Arteta play over last three seasons and his pre-season performance when he played in friendlies he is not remotely good enough in starting lineup and I would be equally concerned if we were attempting to hold onto a narrow lead and brought him on to shore up midfield.

    Technically he is still a “neat” footballer, but he lacks the physicality and pace
    to cope with younger and better players. If you watch his brief cameo performances pre season you see this.

  10. Wallace


    i think he can still do a good job for 10-15 games a season, and, more importantly, he’s the best partner for Ramsey in the middle. that said my prefered midfield purchase would be an updated version of Arteta.

  11. vicky

    Arteta and Flamini are not even close to the level of Rosa and you guys think they are more deserving of a first team spot than TR7 ? It’s not joke Friday,is it ?

  12. Wallace


    “Arteta and Flamini are not even close to the level of Rosa and you guys think they are more deserving of a first team spot than TR7 ?”

    i didn’t actually say that. i think he’s got far more to offer than the other two, but the reality is about 3 players have to get injured before he even gets a sniff.

  13. vicky


    “i’d still class Arteta as the fourth option in central midfield, Flamini as the fifth, and Rosicky – unfortunately, in my view – is still nowhere near a starting spot.”

    I think you made these comments,didn’t you ?

  14. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s be clear two seasons ago Arsenal lost 4 away games against Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Everton and were thrashed.

    Part of the problem in those games was the lack of physicality and pace in midfield which was too often overrun.

    There were also games last season where we played Arteta alongside Flamini
    and our midfield was totally pedestrian.

    The point is that Wenger has recruited just one new player this season and most pundits and supporters have argued we need three i.e. gk,dmf and st.

    From my point of view the dmf/cmf was more a priority than st and I would have argued that we should have offloaded at least one or two of Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky. I see absolutely no logic in renewing their contracts.

    Arsenal are not short of experience in the current squad even in absence of these players.

  15. Wallace


    ““i’d still class Arteta as the fourth option in central midfield, Flamini as the fifth, and Rosicky – unfortunately, in my view – is still nowhere near a starting spot.”

    I think you made these comments,didn’t you ?”

    yeah, but you’re reading it as though i’m saying Rosicky is behind the other two, which, to me at least, i’m patently not.

  16. Samesong

    But according to Robson who was working for the club as a match analyst three years ago, the strict and tiring routines which Wenger’s men go through in training sessions are what should be investigated.

    “I met one of the members of Arsenal’s sports science department and he said he told Arsene Wenger on many occasions that ‘you are working the players too hard’ and Wenger took no notice.” Robson told ESPN FC

    “In fact, the rest of the coaching staff told him to be careful what he says because Wenger could get him out of the club” he added

  17. Samesong

    This transfer window there’s been alot of movement with the smaller clubs. Will this season be tougher for the bully boys?