Flamini is back, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

by .


So we have a nice two-day break until the Newcastle game on Saturday. Excellent, that means you can have a wild New Years Eve… on me.

Good news on the injury front.

Flamini is back.

Pause for breath.

Arteta is NEARLY back.

Also Jack Wilshere, Wenger insists, could be back for February. No doubt he will, he’ll want to playing in Euro 2016. It’ll be interesting to see whether he can string that many months together without another breakdown.

Wenger also busted out some stats about the team that is top on New Year’s day usually go on to it. I think we’re one of the few over the last ten years to have to accolade of being top New Years and NOT taking the pleasure of winning it.

He also spoke about mentality, something we’ve questioned on here all season…

“You question our mentality, I don’t,”

“We have to rise above that and show that we can deal with all that and I believe we have to be guided by playing better football and being a real team in every game and show that we can be competitive.”

Not really much of a defence. The only answer to showing that we do have great mental capabilities is indeed winning the league. I’d take that slice of ‘up yours’ all day if the manager could whip the boys into winning the league this year.

What I am getting pretty bored of is this insistence that this is ‘our time’… if it passes us by, say hello to another ten year drought.

What makes anyone think United will get it right next year? Or that Chelsea are a new manager away from romping the league? I mean, we’re in the mix because we’ve been, in the main, really good most of the season. The reason we’ve been good is because we have a settled team, we’ve worked on our backroom weaknesses, finally paid attention to the opposition and we have some very good players hitting their prime.

That’s not a fluke. We’d be up there this season even if Chelsea were firing on all cylinders.

So sure, this season is a great opportunity, but I don’t think there’s a luck in other teams being bad… I think you have to give credit to other teams around them using that money they’ve received really, really well.

I’ve always been told that not enough credit is given to lower level clubs and their managers who do more with less money. Now we’re starting to see that actually, when you give smaller clubs more money, they do more with it because that’s how they’re used to working. They’re more efficient, they think about where the cash is going and now we’re starting to see that work. Look at Spurs quietly coming up behind the pack. They’re massively under the radar, but you can’t deny they’re now a threat this season.

Anyway, it’s New Years Eve, thanks for joining us again in 2015, and here’s to an incredible trophy laden 2016!


279 Responses to “Flamini is back, HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

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  1. Sam

    Good news!

    Everyone evacuated before the fire spreads
    Only RedTruth got drunk n now stuck on 63rd floor. Firemen can’t reach, he’s finished

    Bye bye RedCunt

  2. bacaryisgod

    Nice post, but not sure I buy the generalization about small clubs being more efficient with their money. For every well-managed and owned Leicester and Watford, there’s a counter-balance in QPR and Aston Villa.

    As for Tottenham, they mostly squandered the Bale money from Madrid. Even with Lamela showing some form finally after two seasons of dross, they busted on Capoue, Soldado, Paulinho and Cliriches with only Eriksen and Chadli meeting expectations. Their improvement has had more to do with identifying and nurturing young talent than efficient transfer spending.

    Elneny looks to be an excellent addition to the squad and he’s a player I can see playing alongside Coquelin at some point too.

  3. bacaryisgod

    I think we’ll find out very quickly how serious our title challenge is. We have without doubt the toughest 4 match stretch of the season coming after the Sunderland F.A Cup game. Away to Liverpool and Stoke followed by tricky home games against Chelsea and Southampton. If we can pull in a minimum of 7 points out of the 12 available then we really should consider ourselves joint favourites for the title.

  4. bacaryisgod

    One last thing-excellent 2015 Pedro.

    You’ve pulled the site up from being a petri dish of hostility to one that encourages debate and balances tough criticism with a reasonable amount of optimism. Great job.

  5. Marko

    Also am I to believe Flamini is the co-owner of a company worth 20 billion?!? Is this true? Fuck me why doesn’t he just buy Arsenal and make himself captain

  6. Busayo ojuolape

    Well done Lads, I have this blog every year since about 2010. However, this is my first time posting on it….
    Great work, I know how much you put into it, having once had a blog, and discontinued due to lack of time.
    Hope we win it this season, we deserved it.

    Happy new year to all ‘gunners’ in Nigeria, Africa and World-wide.


  7. somerandomperson

    Excellent points about our league challenge Pedro. Over the 10-12 years we have gradually grown even with all ins and outs and player sagas. We have a better team better stadium and more powerful financially.

    Every year started with this is the year Arsenal will drop out of top 4 , but that never happened. Now we are upgraded to “will be top 4” but we will never challenge. We challenge.

    If we manage the transition from Wenger well we will be challenging for title most years .

    All this talk of Arsenal will not have another chance like this in next decade is just bull cr.ap . Arsenal are the symbol of consistency and steady improvement. We are not liverpool whose few peaks coincided with one or 2 players in form of their life.

    Now how much of our consistency and steady improvement is down to Wenger we will know when he steps down.

  8. somerandomperson

    @Marko Flamini is a co-owner of a company . But I highly doubt it is worth 20 billion . But last I heard it is an alternative energy research company and had a major breakthrough in its research.

    It looks like the market worth is 20billion not the company’s worth. In any case Arsenal and football are too small compared to the effect of what he is doing .

  9. Marky Mark

    Brilliant from Le Grove all year long. Thank u and happy new year. The only arsenal related goodness I read EVERY day without fail.

    Now I suspect this is neither the time nor the place but I find self back in London for new year and have already promised my season tickets to friends. Would love 2 or 3 tkts to the Newcastle game if anyone knows anyone.

  10. Sam

    Chelsea fans are calling for their club to sign Mesut Ozil
    these idiots should focus on signing relegation fight specialists like Joey Barton n Shaun Goater.
    and hire Harry Rednapp at least as a consultant before its too late

  11. Jamie

    Flamini’s company isn’t worth anywhere near the figures being bandied about, although one day it may well be.

    If there’s a demand for the way his company produces levulinic acid (assuming they can meet that demand), and his company goes public, his holdings could be worth a significant amount of money in future. Not today, though.

    It would be pretty funny if in 10-15 years he sells his share holdings for billions and buys Arsenal. Surely a couple billion would make his the wealthiest sportsman in history?

  12. somerandomperson

    @Jamie Right . For now may be his company is worth few 100 million because of the intellectual property (that is assuming they have really made breakthrough) .

    Also it looks like there are several other investors than Flamini in the company. But even if he becomes a billionaire he is not going to piss it up by buying a stupid football club. From his speech he sees football as a job where he can make money .

  13. Ben D

    Happy New Year to everyone in this community and gunners everywhere. May 2016 bring us the PL trophy (finally)…..and then we go on to show it wasn’t a fluke by winning it again soon…..I know, but I can dream, can’t I?

    Thanks Pedro, I don’t know how you manage it.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    Happy New Year Everyone

    Looking at relative strength of Leagues in Europe you have to say that the EPL
    is financially the strongest in Europe when it comes to investment, stadium
    income, tv and commercial revenues.

    Nevertheless when it comes to football performance we do not punch our weight in European Competitions relative to our financial clout. That is in
    part due to the competitive demands of our Domestic League.

    There are in my view other factors which neutralise our performance levels
    and one is that we fail to make the best use of domestic talent. We recruit into
    England far too many average overseas players in preference to home grown

    What is also obvious is that EPL clubs are very often paying “inflated transfer
    fees and wages” for rather mediocre players.

    Nevertheless I do believe that moving forward the playing levels in England
    should improve provided that our Academy System including at Arsenal improves and we become more discerning in recruitment of overseas talent.

    The major risk to the EPL are not the domestic leagues in Germany, Spain, France and Italy, but the possibility of a European League [replacing the
    Champions League].

    That agenda has of course been discussed on a number of occasions in the past.

  15. qna

    ES: The major risk to the EPL are not the domestic leagues in Germany, Spain, France and Italy, but the possibility of a European League [replacing the
    Champions League].

    Bring it on a European league would be fantastic.

  16. Dream10


    We need to start our rebuilding this summer regardless of a league title or not.
    We have a high wage bill which does not correlate with the quality in our squad.
    This is particularly true in the goalscoring department. Even someone like Alexis, who is a recognised star should be looked at closely. Is it worth investing 150k a week for five years to keep him? At times, he has shown his class, other times he has not.
    A new project is needed at the club. Welbeck, Wilshere,Walcott are all on at least 100k a week. Do their performances merit their weekly wages?

  17. qna

    I actually think that a European League could be done without killing English football, or the rivalries within English football.

    If I was charged to design the EL, I would set the following criteria.
    A) Promotion system should be maintained
    B) Number of games a club plays in a year (in all competitions) should not increase – what is it now 60? 65?

    This would be my formula (applied to any league – consider EPL as the example). Assume EPL has X=4 spots in the EL.
    1) Take the top 10 teams of the previous EPL season. Lets call this mini-league EPL+
    2) Have each team play home and away games against each other. This is 18 match days, which would take between 9 to 12 weeks of the season.
    3) The top X=4 teams get promoted to the EL. Since these X=4 teams have already played each other home and away, they dont have to play each other again in the EL. But the results of the fixtures amongst these 4 teams are carried forward (points, goals for, goals against from 6 match days of the EL).
    4) The 6 teams from the EPL+ league which did not gain promotion to the EL, would, then re-join the regular EPL with 14 additional teams. The results of fixtures between these 6 teams are also carried forward into the regular EPL league (10 matches).
    5) Note that results of matches between the top 4 teams in the EPL+ league and the bottom 6 teams in the EPL+ league would not be carried forward. So although 18 matchdays were played by each club, only 6 or 10 of those would be carried forward.
    6) During the 18 matchdays of the EPL+, the 14 teams of the regular EPL must complete at least 10 matchdays each. For the remaining 8 matchdays, I suggest that they play the Carling cup, with the teams from the EPL+ being now excluded.
    7) From this point on, the normal league seasons can commence. The EL and the EPL.

    I am also sure that winning the EPL+ league would be a celebrated trophy in its own rite – champion of the top 10 clubs in England and Wales?

  18. Emiratesstroller

    Frankly I don’t believe that you can play your top level players in both a European League as well as EPL.

    They will need to play on a level playing field with those from other clubs in Europe. What will be controversial is to decide which clubs were selected from England to play in league.

    Most likely you would have to operate a franchise bidding process, because I
    doubt that England would be allocated more than 4 teams in the European

    If you were allocating on financial clout then the 4 clubs who would be selected would be Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal. However, I suspect that
    both Liverpool and an emerging Spurs once they have built their new stadium
    would also make a claim to be included as well.

    Another issue for me is that clubs like Arsenal should be investing better in youth but playing them as a team in a competitive league system as is the case
    in Spain, Germany and Italy.

    At the moment we farm out players like Gnabry, Akpom, Zelalem and Hayden
    to other clubs and very often they land up sitting on a bench or playing at the
    same level if they had remained at Arsenal with no material benefit either to club or themselves.

    I broached the idea of Arsenal operating a dormitory club in lower leagues with Ken Friar many years ago after watching Real Madrid’s B team thrash Leeds United in a summer tournament. Sadly the idea was not taken on board.

  19. qna

    Emirates: Frankly I don’t believe that you can play your top level players in both a European League as well as EPL.

    No I dont think that will work either. If you read my post above, I am suggesting a promotion system. In any given year, the EPL would have 4 spots in the EL. The 4 teams promoted from the EPL would compete only in the EL. Then for the next years competition they would play a home and away mini league against the top 6 teams in the EPL from this year. The 10 team mini league would involve 18 matches, home and away and have the top 10 teams in England, this would be where we have Spurs, Liverpool, Liecester, Everton, Southampton, Swansea for example, join City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal. The top 4 of this mini league gets promoted to the EL with the results of matches between those 4 carried forward (so they dont play each other again). Similarly, the 6 teams that fail go back to the EPL with 14 other english clubs. They also have results from within those 6 clubs carried forward to the EPL and they dont play each other again in this seasons EPL.

  20. tunnygriffboy

    Happy New Year to all

    Absolutely no to a European League. We have the CL and Europa League. That is enough.

    The beauty of a domestic league is that it has it’s unique style. A European super league would be ok for a bit but then games would become the norm

    The beauty ofthe PL is the close proximity of clubs, traditional rivalry and away supporters making a huge atmosphere (personally I’d like the away allocation of tickets to be increased).

    I think the European super league would die a death after a while. Keep it as it is. Just need to tinker with the Europa league, cutting the number of games and increase the prize money so all clubs will take it seriously.

  21. tunnygriffboy

    Talk of Rabiot in the paper today. If we sign Elneny and Rabiot that’s our midfield sorted for the next 4/5 years though Santi will need to replaced at some point

    It would mean we’d have Coquelin, Elneny, Rabiot, Wilshere, Ramsey Santi with Chambers and Ox who could do a job. Problem is Wilshere and his injuries and bar Santi all will be under 25. We could do with someone with experience.

    Summer we will then need a RB, CB and a CF / wide player. The forward should be world class to compliment Ozil and Alexis. We’d then be ready to go and keep being competitive.

  22. qna

    Wenger said: “For England it’s a massive year because once again there’s a European Championship. Of course they can win it.”

    Proof that the old man is senile? 🙂

  23. qna

    Rabiot would be a great signing. But I cant see Wenger signing him. If he complains about being on the PSG bench what is he going to do if he cant make our first team. But I would love to see this signing.

  24. Dream10


    For two CM slots, you would have Coquelin, El Neny,Cazorla, Rabiot. Ramsey who starts on the right, will be the fifth option. Wilshere and Chambers are alternative choices as well.

  25. Emiratesstroller


    Our first choice midfield when all fit would be Ozil, Cazorla, Coquelin and either Ramsey or Wilshire.

    Our second choice midfield when all fit would be Ramsey or Wilshire, Ox,,
    Elnemy [assuming he gets work permit] and another from Flamini,Rosicky
    or Arteta.

    The one weakness in our midfield at the moment is that we lack a wide player
    of genuine pace and class, although you could technically shift Ozil there. However, in doing so I suspect that you would reduce his effectiveness.

    Frankly I don’t believe that Walcott, Ox and Campbell are the ideal players to
    play on right flank. Also both Ramsey and Wilshire are not naturally wide players.

    Therefore assuming that Elnemy is recruited to play in deep midfield position
    Arsenal need to be looking for a flank midfielder rather than someone like
    Rabiot who would expect to play a central midfield role where we are not
    short of personnel once everyone is fit.

    Obviously the loss of Cazorla, Coquelin and Wilshire with long term injuries
    has created problems for this season, but hopefully not in long term.

    My view is that Wenger will only buy a second midfielder in January if either
    Coquelin or Wilshire suffer a relapse which keeps them both out of team beyond January.

  26. augie


    What are those backroom issues that you claim that we have finally sorted out ?
    Our injury list is still absolutely horrendous – no change there
    Our defending set pieces stats are still poor – no change there
    Again I will ask where are the improvements you refer to ??

    Also I would also suggest that where you claim that we have a “settled team”, I would counter that by suggesting that we have no option cos the back ups are either injured or not good enough. Our plan this season has been to pick the same players regardless of whether we win or lose the previous game, and that doesn’t bode well for the likes of chambers who are getting piles in his arse from the amount of time that he has spent on the bench.

    Finally, you question if a new manager for the other big clubs next season, will kill our chances………I would suggest that it isn’t a definite but it certainly would greatly reduce our chances. Citeeh and the chavs have a better team and squad than we have right now, and you can be damn sure that they will buy big this month and in the summer. We will be stuck with an outdated manager, with his outdated tactics and with his embarrassing approach to the transfer market. This is our chance………..we have had better teams in the last decade and not had the same chance of winning it, so surely you will concede that the drop in quality of our rivals has opened the door ? Our clubs approach is dependent on other clubs declining, and we can be sure that their clubs will address their decline in the summer

  27. tunnygriffboy


    Even if we get Elneny (I’m looki ng forward to seeing him. He was the engine of a decent Basel side) we’d still need another midfielder as the veterans would leave in the summer

    Wenger likes to play a ball player who can keep the ball, pass well and act as an additional midfielder when we lose the ball. Someone like Isco would fit this bill. Alternatively he may go for a wide forward or striker. This signing should be WC and the best player we can possibly get to fit that role.

    We will then need a RB and another quality CB.

    We potentially could have a really strong squad next season. We are in a better position than many sides in this respect.

  28. tunnygriffboy


    You really give our squad and manager a hard time in our post.

    Our outdated manager and poor squad (which has been really tested the last twomonths) have managed to get to the top of the league and gain more points in 2015 than any other team.

    Wenger certainly has his faults but to call him outdated is slightly unfair. Also our squad is as strong as anyones bar City’s. We have had some really good players missing for a long time. If you consider our bench could be made up of Gibbs, Gabriel, Wilshere, Coquelin, Santi, Welbeck, Alexis, Rosicky then it’s fair to say the rest of the squad and manager have done well to get us to the top of the league.

    We certainly should have reinforced the midfield in the summer as once again injuries are hinderi ng us. It appears that Wenger is addressing this.

    Other teams will strengthen in the summer but so will we and I believe we are ina better position than many with a lot of our players at their peak years or just about to start hitting them. I feel our position is really good especially if we bring the right players in in this window and then the summer

    Key to it all this season is get injured players back asap, stick within 3 or 4 points of the top of the table in the beginning of March after some really tough games. We then start getting a lot of our injured players back so we can go on a good run to the end of the season which we are capable of doing.

  29. qna

    Our number one priority right now is a central mid. I definately rate Rabiot as a plater over Elneny as well. But I think you have to break midfield into attacking (no 10), box to box and deep lying/defensive. Assuming Rosicky, Flamini and Artera are not renewed our options are as follows assuming thay we sign Elneny and Rabiot.

    DM: Coquelin, Elneny,
    CM: Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Elneny, Rabiot
    AM: Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rabiot

    So when you put it like this its clear that Elneny gives more cover than Rabiot. But I think that our squad does have enough room for both Rabiot and Elneny, but not until we release Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky.

  30. Emiratesstroller


    I agree with you that we do need additional resources to replace Arteta,Rosicky and Flamini, but I don’t think that Wenger will buy more than one player in this transfer window unless both Wilshire and Coquelin’s injuries are unlikely to be resolved by February.

    I am less concerned about the striker role unlike most posters, because I don’t
    see world class players available on the market who are significantly better than we have got. Every major club in world football are looking for such players and frankly you can count on three fingers players of the right age and
    consistency who would be a significant improvement on what we have got
    and affordable.

    The major weakness at Arsenal in the past has been a lack of variety in the midfield. Assuming Elnemy is brought in to fulfil defensive midfield duties
    we have filled that hole and with Ramsey and Wilshire competing with Cazorla we are not short in that department.

    Isco would be an excellent choice, because he is an excellent footballer and
    can play both in wide and attacking midfield positions. He can rotate on field
    with Ozil.

    I do not think that Arsenal needs at moment a striker unlike most posters. Giroud is a 25 goals+ a season player and Sanchez when fit is also capable of scoring 20 goals +. The number of world class strikers who can score consistently 30 + goals a season can be counted on one hand and even less when you
    take into account their age. Arsenal will never spend £30 million+ on a player
    who has no resale value.

    I agree with your point that we should be looking for a new CB. Mertesacker
    is coming to the end of his shelf life. We need also a RB but there we are talking about a squad player rather than first choice.

  31. Wengaball

    Cazorla is 32, small in size and has had a major knee surgery.

    My hunch is he will be a bit part player once he returns from injury before returning to Spain.

  32. gonsterous

    I may be a couple hours late, but happy New year le grovers. Was a great year of commentating and chatting with all you football geeks.. let’s hope the this year will be the year of the Arse.. I mean, Arsenal 🙂

  33. Wengaball

    Point being Cazorla is the 4th mid field player that needs replacement.

    With wilshere and Ramsey being injury prone, and Coquelin injured which means recurrences for a while, the whole midfield is in a massive flux like state.

  34. gonsterous

    Also, who’s that bloke paying 90USD a month for footie ?? Sounds extreme and also, I’m looking for a job in your company.. the pay must be awesome !!

  35. Dream10


    Are we too much of a midfield-centric club? We have a number of players who are classified aa midfielders who can’t play a CM role effectively . Yet we are labelled as a a team with an “abundance” of midfield riches.

    Against better teams, we need to play 3 CMs + Özil. The two ahead of Mesut need to score and create.

  36. qna

    Wengaball. 100% agree. He is still a great contributor. But 60 games a season – simply unrealstic. For us to keep improving, we must make up for the quality we will lose when Santi doesnt play. For example right now. I like Ramsey, but for me he is not nearly as good as Santi. I want us to sign a marquee for this position. I dont put Rabiot in this class at all. But assuming we will not be competing for this marquee’s like Pogba, then we need to get them just before they take off. Someone like Rabiot fits this description in my opinion.

  37. steve

    Wenger things England can win the Euro if Wilshere is fit. Like he’s the difference lololol. They won’t have a chance with or without that overrated player.

  38. qna

    Dream10. I think you are talking about attacking mid? Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ramsey.

    It seems that we spend all of our big money there – our priority money there. Yes I agree. But we still do buy in all other positions. I would agree that attacking mids should in general be where we focus our transfer budget – EXCEPT….

    Strikers – enough of this bullshit with Chamack, Gervinho, Sonogo, Welbeck, even Giroud. Top strikers cost the most money – you just cant get around that fact. I put the last decade of not competing down to this. Not buying propper, proven strikers on the transfer market.

  39. tunnygriffboy


    This talk of 30 goal a season in the PL doesn’t happen very often at all. Carragher made the point a week ago that do you spend £60 million on a striker that would give you 5 more goals than Giroud ? He also said the strikers in that category are all at super clubs and unlikely to move

    We’d be better off spending £30 million on someone like Isco or Reus and use the other £30 million to bolster our midfield and defence.

    Dream 10

    I think we’ve got so e really good CM at the club. We do lack a quality DM shouldcCoquelin be out. The thing about CM is finding a combination that compliment each other eg Coquelin/Santi or Arteta Ramsey.

    In some games to balance Alexis dribbling and the fact he can lose the ball Wenger plays a midfielder on the right who can keep the ball and tuck in to act as an extra defender when we lose the ball. Ramsey was doing this at the beginning of the season.

  40. Wallace

    Elneny – Ramsey
    Campbell – Ozil – Alexis

    would think the above’s our best front 6 once the Egyptian gets his work permit. if he settles quickly it’s certainly an athletic, hard running group. so much hinges on Ozil though.

  41. qna

    I am reading that Leroy Sane might be available for £25m. Wouldnt be a bad option. Can play atracking wide right. Would prefer James or Isco, but this kid could be a decent buy.

  42. Wallace


    I think the real big boys have him in their sights. and sounds like it would be 35m+. Schalke in no rush to sell.

  43. Emiratesstroller


    I agree 100% with the point you make. If Arsenal are going to spend £30 million+ on a player then we should be targeting players whom we need and are good money for value. Part of that equation will be that they have a resale value at end of contract or when they move on.

    Spending that sort of money on players who are mediocre or the unfinished article as some of our wealthier rivals have a habit of doing will not improve
    our squad.

    When you discuss strikers the question which you need to ask is how many
    of those being touted by posters on Le Grove are actually better than Giroud?

    Looking around EPL the only players that would be considered better are
    Aguero [now injury prone] and Kane. Lukaku may develop into as an excellent
    player but I would want to be convinced that he will be able to perform consistently over more than one season. Vardy has produced goods this season, but
    had no previous form at top level and at 29 does not merit us spending £30

    Looking around Europe who would you exactly want to buy with conviction
    that they will score regularly in EPL. Ronaldo is now 30+ and has started scoring less goals. Messi is unaffordable and started to get injured at 28. Suarez
    is also reaching end of his career. Benzema is not a great buy. Only Neymar
    would be perhaps the one player in Spain that would be of real interest.

    There are probably 3 players currently playing in Germany of interest. They
    are Lewandowski, Muller and Aubameyang. However everyone else is after
    them as well and with probably deeper pockets.

    In France and Italy the only player who would be remotely of interest as a proven goalscorer of the right age is Lacazette. Players like Higuain and Cavani are probably too old and cost too much money.

  44. qna

    Wallace. He plays a bit like stirling – possibly better – not aure why City would need another one. Other than them I have only heard Madrid being mentioned, but he is not yet Galactico enough for them.

    Not sure if he is polished enough for us yet. But his movement, pace and skill are rare and he looks a good fit.

  45. Dissenter

    Why is Arsenal rushing to give Wilshere a new 100k plus weekly deal when he’s not proven his fitness?

    Isn’t there anyone to challenge Wenger on this sentimental decisions?

  46. qna

    Dissenter. The pay rises that have been given are a disgrace – Walcott, Giroud etc. Wilshere on top of this. The decision not to extend Diaby must have been taken out of his hands somehow.

  47. tunnygriffboy


    Re Wilshere it’s not really our opinion that matters.

    Wenger along with many others rate him extremely highly and that is what counts at the end of the day.

    Personally I rate Jack and fell he could be an extremely valuable player for us. Obviously the injuries concern me greatly and I’m not sure a big increase in his contract is the way to go. However with each club gaining another £100million next season unfortunately wages will be even more obscene

    I’d certainly give Ozil and Alexis a new deal telling them a couple of players of their quality are coming to the club in the summer.

  48. Wallace


    I think he’s seen as the big, coming talent in Germany. agree that i can’t see how City would fit him in, but doubt it would stop them.

  49. Dissenter

    Wenger’s reasoning is that Wilshere is an England international and a product of our youth set-up.

    Wenger’s motives defy common sense, you don’t give a perennially crocked player mega-deal when his long term fitness is in doubt.

    Seems we never learnt from the Diaby saga.

  50. Dissenter

    The reason why smaller clubs are pushing above their weight is they are more prudent with money and have to use the little they have efficiently.
    A smaller club would never give a perennially cocked player like Wilshere an enhanced contract until he proves his fitness over time.

  51. Marc


    There’s no problem in giving Wilshere a new contract money wise – it’s not as if we have no money. The only issue is around not having a squad that can cope with his absence.

  52. Bamford10

    Happy new year, Pedro. Happy new year, Le Grove.

    Chance that Pedro over-imbibed last night?


    Chance that Arsenal win the title?


    Chance that Arsenal beat Barca and advance?


    That we might actually contend for the EPL title is something new, though, and something to cheerful about.

    Happy new year again to all.

  53. tunnygriffboy


    Happy New Year to you

    Lovely to see you so full of optimism. Is it a New Year’s resolution ? 🙂 🙂

    We stay within 3 or 4 points until the beginning of March (we have a bloody tough schedule until then with a lot of players missing), get some quality players back and we can go on a good run until the end of the season

    Alexis will have had a much needed rest after his exertions in the summer and a lot of players will come back from injuries, fresh, raring to go and full of enthusiasm giving a boost to the players who have held the fort in their absence

    Caveat. We get a player to cover Coquelin absence who compliments Ramsey. Ozil and Alexis stay fit. I’d throw Walcott into that as well.

  54. Marc

    I think Bamford’s mathematical skills were shown up with his first attempt. No way Pedro only had a 97% chance of getting lashed last night.

  55. Bamford10


    Yes, but your analysis of the CF situation is too narrow. It is not simply a matter of goal totals. Not at all.

    One, a good CF does more than simply score goals. A good CF also creates chances for others and creates space for others. Giroud is very limited in this regard. Yes he gets the occasional assist, but this is very limited and he almost never runs diagonals that open the center up for other runners.

    Two, a good CF can score different types of goals and different types of goals against the best opponents.

    Three, a CF with more mobility and dribbling than Giroud would stretch defenses and move them about in ways that would open our attack up, create chances for others, create chances got said CF.

    Simply saying we have a 18 goal CF and need a 25+ goal CF is way, way too simplistic.

  56. Rambo Ramsey

    news of Wilshere’s contract extension does worry me. the lad’s done nothing to deserve one. how will others in the squad take this? Koscielny and Mertesaker two of our senior and important players might not earn as much. Coquelin probably isn’t getting half of Jack’s salary. Bellerin might be on even less. All them players have proved to be more valuable contributors in the team than Jack. They might get disillusioned about the fairness in the clubs policies.

  57. Sam

    Mohamed Elneny will be given time like Gabriel. Probably won’t see much action this season n see off Arteta maybe even take the number 8 shirt in the summer

  58. Phd007


    Any chance of working out the probability that Arsene walks out this summer?

    & makes way for Guardiola to take over the hot seat?

    You can give us a single probability for both events, as well as joint probability for both outcomes.

    Cheers. .

    Happy NY to you also.

  59. Sam

    Elneny is cheap bcoz he’s being bought from Real Madrid
    Maybe that was his buy out clause
    People expect a Swiss football team to demand £30Millions

  60. Al

    carragher was talking absolute nonsense about strikers.

    It’s not about the spending x more amount to get a striker who scores 5 or 6 more goals than Giroud. Even with this statement if that striker that cost £50m does score more maybe he turns 3 or 4 games that would have been a loss/draw into a draw/win.

    more importantly the issue is you look at that Arsenal side and Giroud and you know we should have a better starting option than him. Plain and simple

  61. qna

    Yes. Al you are right. The point is a player who will gain the club more points than they will otherwisr get with Giroud or Walcott. They do win us points, we muat admit that. But the Lewendowski type striker will win us those points plus an additional 5 to 10 a season. Same thing goes for a world class keeper. As good as Ozils assist record is, it could be much better with a world class striker to feed.

  62. daz

    Two, a good CF can score different types of goals and different types of goals against the best opponents

    This is an area you have got Giroud wrong he does score a variation of goals with head and feet and he holds the ball up really well to bring team mates into play, something which can’t be said of other strikers who are considered to be WC. How often do you see aguero power a header in? just because Giroud can’t take on three defenders and slot it in the bottom corner doesn’t mean he is limited he’s just a different type of player

  63. Marc


    Those 3 – 4 changed results could equal up to 8 points which could easily make the difference between 1st and say 3rd this season. Winning the PL would easily justify the outlay. They could also come against direct rivals meaning those points are worth double.

  64. tunnygriffboy


    Would you spend £60 million on a striker or £30 million on Isco and then strengthen your defence and midfield ?

    If you’re talking Lewandowski or Suarez fair enough but there are so few of those players available.

  65. Dissenter

    “There’s no problem in giving Wilshere a new contract money wise – it’s not as if we have no money. The only issue is around not having a squad that can cope with his absence.”
    Why give player a major contract when you have to still compensate form his absence all the time?

    Its just sentimentalism from grandpa Wenger.

  66. Marc


    That’s the problem there’s a massive shortage of top quality strikers out there. What it does mean is that when a player of this calibre comes up we have to compete and look at paying current market rates. The alternative is to be smarter than the opposition and unearth the next Henry, Suarez etc something Wenger used to be very good at.

  67. qna

    Tunny. Thats not really a fair question. Its true right now there is no striker available. But for the past 12 years there have been plenty and the right one would have made a huge difference. The 40 million plus £1 being the case and point. Even when the club was willing to spend a lot of money they were too arrogant and inept to get the job done. If £40m + 1 wasnt enough why be so proud not to go back with £40.5m or £41m or whatever it finally took to sign Suarez.

  68. Dissenter

    Elneny will be thrown straight into the fire. He’s desperately needed.

    I will take anybody but Arteta, even Isaac Hayden should be brought back ahead of Arteta.

  69. qna

    Yes. Artera’s mistakes and poor positioning and general slowness cost us points. Keep him as far away from the team as possible.

  70. Marc


    Suarez wasn’t interested in us – if we had of got him by paying over a buy out clause (who does that by the way!) he would have agitated for a move the following summer.

  71. Marc


    If everyone knew Henry was so good why did we get him for £10 odd million? Where were ManU, Madrid or Barca?

    Bamford’s predicting 0% of a straight answer by the way.

  72. Marc


    He wanted out of Liverpool for CL football but ultimately wanted Spain. Why do you think we bid forty million and one pounds?

    I’m not retelling history because none of us knows exactly what went on – I can only look at what we do know and put two and two together.

  73. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    Do you actually follow how Giroud plays? I think that he has considerable variety in the way he scores his goals. He is excellent with his head and feet and has scored some excellent goals from distance as well. Also in absence of Arteta and Cazorla he has taken over responsibility for taking penalties.

    I don’t understand also your logic about assists. We are not exactly short in that department of our game, and I would remind you that he was involved with second goal scored by Ozil in game against Bournemouth.

    The only real weakness in his game is his lack of pace, but frankly there have been quite a few excellent strikers who have been limited in that department,
    but equally effective.

    At the end of the day Giroud is a very good striker in the role he plays for us
    and is more than capable of scoring 25 goals a season.

    Frankly Arsenal does need another technically gifted striker or one who scores occasionally spectacular or soloist goals. We have such a player already on the books in Walcott.

  74. qna

    Marc if he was going to reject us there would have been no reason for the +£1 fiasco in the first place. It would not have evem come to that. Not saying we were his first choice but he would have come to us nonetheless.

  75. Marc


    He had a buyout clause of £40 million which we had seen hence the plus £1. The Liverpool board took a gamble that Suarez wouldn’t go legal etc as he really wanted a move to Spain.

    If we had of got him and with his history what do you think he would have done if Barca had come in for him a season later and we refused to sell him? Great player but rotten egg.

  76. qna

    Marc. By your logic everyone with a buyout clause would have to be bought out with a +£1. Seriously just think about what your saying. You clearly have no clue here.

  77. Redtruth

    “If everyone knew Henry was so good why did we get him for £10 odd million? Where were ManU, Madrid or Barca?”

    They were probably thinking he wasn’t very good after only scoring 3 goals in Italy the season before he joined us…

  78. rollen

    January 1, 2016 16:27:47


    He had a buyout clause of £40 million which we had seen hence the plus £1. The Liverpool board took a gamble that Suarez wouldn’t go legal etc as he really wanted a move to Spain.

    If we had of got him and with his history what do you think he would have done if Barca had come in for him a season later and we refused to sell him? Great player but rotten egg.

    lol we would have had 2 PL trophies with Suarez by now

  79. tunnygriffboy


    That’s fair enough. There most definitely has been times in the past where strikers have been available, and GK come to think of it, when we should have bought them.

    That has gone though and I am talking about the current climate. I’d love Lewandowski, the perfect striker foin the side in our current set up. Suarez wouldn’t be bad either. Think we’d have trouble getting either.

    Personally someone like Reus or Isco would do me as a marquee signing of real intent. We can afford those and have money left for a RB, CB and midfielder assuming we don’t get two in this window.

    We have to show Ozil, Alexis and Cech that we have real ambition. We have 3 WC players in the side (we haven’t had that many in years) as well as some very good players in their prime and younger players just about to hit their peak. We have some excellent youngsters as well

    If we could win the title or even take it to the wire it makes our club attractive to the top players like Isco etc …..

  80. daz

    “lol we would have had 2 PL trophies with Suarez by now”

    You think Suarez would have made up a 12 point gap last year? Bearing in mind one of Özil or Sanchez most likely wouldn’t have been purchased if we had already signed Suarez

  81. alexanderhenry

    Pedro, good point about smaller clubs doing more with less, but isn’t that us? Yes, we splashed out on ozil and sanchez but outside of that Wenger has had a hell of a lot less than man u, city, Chelsea, Liverpool and the European big clubs for years.

  82. Wengaball

    We didn’t get Susrez because he didn’t want us bad enough.

    Gerrard convinced him that if he moved, he should only for a really big club ie the two Spanish giants.

    The buyout clause was met and if he had downed tools, Liverpool would have to sell. They are not big enough to say no to 40 million for a player who basically would say he wouldn’t play.

    Having said that if Suarez came, Özil would not. Arsenal wouldn’t have the budget fur two 40 million players in a single window.

  83. alexanderhenry

    This blog has changed for the better. It follows that as arsenal improve on the pitch and as we start winning things, this blog should reflect that and therefore become more positive. It’s a natural response from any genuine arsenal fan. We were all disappointed with the club’s lack of investment in the summer, and I still think we should have been more ambitious and continued what we started with the ozil purchase. We didn’t, which was a mistake. Despite this and a paltry spend of £9 million, we find ourselves top of the league with a squad growing in confidence and ability.
    I like the way this team is shaping up. I like the determination, flair, pace and growing experience. I like the fact that there is now plenty of competition for places especially when wellbeck, Wilshire and coquelin come back. I like that we’re being proactive in January with the probable purchase of elneny. I like the look of 2016

  84. Phd007


    I think Suarez indicates in this article, without naming Arsenal, how desperate he was to move.

    The so-called £40, 000, 001 bid to trigger the clause that would instigate talks, is what most people use as an argument, to justify Arsene’s reluctance to offer more.As it would stupid&foolish to increase the offer.

    Fair enough you say..

    But after lodging the increased £1 bid..Did we even start talks??

    Or Liverpool had a hissy fit&Arsene ran off into the wilderness.
    Preferring to seek internal solutions. . :)?

  85. Jamie

    qna January 1, 2016 16:40:45

    Marc. By your logic everyone with a buyout clause would have to be bought out with a +£1. Seriously just think about what your saying. You clearly have no clue here.

    I think that’s exactly what he’s saying, and I agree.

    Maybe I’m missing your point. Surely a buy-out clause means exactly that; if an offer is made which meets the clause (40m in Suarez’ case), then that gives any club who has met that clause the right to open contract negotiations with the player. It is then up to the player to negotiate, accept, or reject the terms of the proposed contract with the club(s) which activated the clause.

    If that isn’t the case, how is a buy-out clause activated, and what’s the point of playing a specific value on it?

    The more I write, the more I’m convinced I’m missing something. New Year’s hangover.

  86. tunnygriffboy

    We as happy grinning gooners are being lambasted on the guardian blog. A lot of people don’t like us as fans. We are getting dogs abuse for being fickle, liberal lefties, tutting our way through games.

    One Arsenal fan gave a quality example of this. At half time v Bournemouth a guy stood up gave the team hell for not playing well enough and took his 8 year old son out with him missing the second half. Bizarre ! !

    Anyway, I digress. Moreimportantly, how are we going to get around teams that aggressively press us like Southampton did ? Especially with Santi and Wilshere out injured.

  87. London gunner


    Giroud is a good striker, but he certainly isn’t excellent with his feet that’s a massive exaggeration..

    Excellent is an Isco or James Rodriguez or if you want an example of a big player an ibrahimovic or benzema.

    I get your a giroud fan boy, but add abit or realism to your analysis.

    He is doesn’t score all
    Types of goals just tap ins and headers which is ok because it is evidence of good movement, predatory instincts and aerial prowess.

    Giroud isn’t a very good shooter hardly ever scores out of the box and isn’t particularly known for his shooting within the box. You never see him shimmy to the side and score with a curling finesse shot like you see from aguero or even coutinho.

  88. gonsterous


    Why should suarez be allowed to talk to us ? The clause was a buy out but only if Liverpool accepted the money. We offered them said amount but it is still their right to accept or decline the money.. so if Suarez were to talk to us he would be going behind Liverpool’s back..
    Anyway hate the cunt.. glad we have giroud ( lol )

  89. Brooklyn

    Why more average players for expensive money.
    El-Nenny fair enough squad player at worst…great engine…90% + pass accuracy and highest amount of passes in almost every match he plays including against the like of Lol pool and Tottspuds…
    But Rabiot??? Average in all the way and squad player at best for a team aspiring even if not aggressively enough.

  90. Jamie

    gonsterous –

    This doesn’t make sense.

    If it’s only a buy-out clause when an offer is accepted by the club who owns the player’s contract, what’s the point of assigning an amount to a buy-out clause?

    Maybe you’re suggesting that there was no buy-out clause, but that we simply made an offer of 40m+1, which fell below Liverpool’s valuation of Suarez. That is entirely possible, because none of us have seen the contract itself.

    A buy-out clause means what it says, though: the price at which the player is allowed to negotiate with any club meeting that price. It doesn’t need to be more than one penny above that price, legally speaking.

    If there was in fact a clause, Liverpool took the chance that we wouldn’t pursue it, and it paid off.