Would you give him a testimonial? | Danger skater | The new CL is upon us

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Here we are party people, the next round of the Champions Europa League is nearly upon us. The CL comp is like a shite New Years party at Vodka Revs. Top talent has turned up, surveyed the crappy clientele, and decided they want out. They want the hipper party that’s serving quinoa and marmite cocktails, they want to hang with a lucid crowd still chasing indie rock n roll dreams in their late twenties, they want to chat over a bag of mystery about the impact the UKG scene had on their in their youth in a post-ironic seriousness.

Damn right kids, the Europa League is where it’s at.

Here’s who we know is heading to the party because they clicked yes on the FB invitation.

CSKA Moskva
Atlético Madrid

Here’s who COULD be joining this evening.

Liverpool or Sevilla or Spartak
Shakhtar or Napoli
Porto or Leipzig
Dortmund or APOEL

So what can we conclude from this list?

We’re not winning the Europa League this year. It’s already too hard. We’ll be in the metaphorical bathroom chucking our guts up after the last 16 as per usual.

Still, at least we could have an exciting game in the next two rounds. The major teams will be seeded, so hopefully we land someone from the crap pack.

Jose Mourinho just won’t leave it on the Lacazette front.

‘The truth is Eric Bailly no chance for the weekend, Phil Jones a chance, [Marouane] Fellaini a chance, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] a big chance, Matic is injured but will play for sure, I’m telling the truth but he will play for sure, [Michael] Carrick no chance,’

‘No stories of Lacazette, David Silva… all the truth.’

Mourinho playing the honesty card. Like he has any sort of ethical or moral compass. This is a man who destroyed the career of a female physio because she didn’t realise Eden Hazard was cheating. A man who’d throw his own mum under the bus if it helped him win a point away in the Champions League.

Damn, I hope United are absolutely ripped apart at the weekend. Nothing would make me happier than the saviour of English football dishing out a lesson in how to play the game. It’d be so beautiful.

Anyway, Wenger hit back at suggestions he was playing mind games.

“I thought he wouldn’t play. In the end, he could play. What did you want me to do? Leave him at home? I am always honest”

Let’s be fair to Wenger, he’s been telegraphing his starting 11 for the last 21 years to great detriment. There’s no precedent for announcing your starting line up to the media. It’s totally up to him. What I hope Arsene learns is that playing a surprise 11, or a surprise formation, or making a decision that isn’t 100% obvious… can have a pretty interesting impact on a game (though clearly, not on the United game).

A real basic. Unpredictability makes you hard to plan against. We’ve not been tough to plan against for years. Pep can change his style of play 4 times in a game. He’ll always try and bring something new to the table. He’s always experimenting with new ways to win.

Daniel Franklin, who pulls together predictions for The Economist, told Contagious he thinks Wenger could leave this year. I’m not saying I believe it, but listen, that magazine is fine publication… and I’d LOVE to believe it. I have no idea what data is pointing towards that, because data doesn’t work with Arsenal. You can’t model predictions on Wenger, he’s a success manipulator, and Stan K is game for a reframe at any point in time.

We can dream though…

Wenger says tomorrow’s game should see an experienced squad.

‘Not too much, because I have many players available who need competition. Next week we go into a week with three games and so some players need competition, some experienced players. We’ll play quite an experienced team tomorrow.’

Nice to read that he’s thinking about the pile-up that’s coming, and he’s going to put some game time in the legs of players that haven’t had much first-team action. To be honest, thinking about it, I can’t think of too many names that’ll be a surprise? Mustafi has recovered from embarrassment but is unlikely to be risked. I still expect to see a lot of kids before we go hard with the first team when the competition resumes next year.

Finally, it sounds like Theo Walcott might be off this January. There’s a weird groundswell of support for him, and talk of a testimonial. I can’t tell you how misguided that is. People mistake being a good servant, with keeping quiet because you know you’re absolutely fleecing your employee.

He’s the accountant asleep at his desk. 107 goals or something in 13 years. Probably £50m in wages. Let’s not kid ourselves here, he’s been a totally average signing. The poster child of a failed Project Youth. The poster child of the second coming of that vision with Project British Core. The poster child of club so desperate to keep players at one point, they made one of the most consistently average performers a top 3 highest paid player at the club TWICE.

Forgive me for having zero sentimentality here. He was ignored for the World Cup in 2016, he’s missed all the 2018 qualifying. He should be moved out the back door. I’m sure he’s a terrific bloke, but this is sport and we shouldn’t be getting sentimental about a player who has summed up so much that is wrong at the club.

Good luck to him. Hope he actually goes. I’m sure he’ll bang them in at West Ham. Then get injured or lose interest.

Jack  Wilshere is being PILLORIED in the media for ice skating like a lunatic on a family ice rink.

‘I don’t know exactly [what he did on the ice]. You can do ice skating and make sure nothing happens. Ice skating violently, I don’t think he did that.’

Someone needs to explain to him the dangers of walking around a rink with his wife and kids. Such bad behaviour.

Finally, big thumbs up to the club going over to the Whittington Hospital to say hi to the kids. Very sweet. The Arsenal Community team are consistently brilliant, and I know we expect players to be good about this sort of thing, but I still think it’s great they do it with such enthusiasm.

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166 Responses to “Would you give him a testimonial? | Danger skater | The new CL is upon us”

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  1. Mark

    Good to hear you Graham.
    VAR, can’t have it soon enough. Sick of obvious mistakes being left unchallenged. I don’t believe it will affect the game negatively as in most cases , play has stopped anyway. Just use it to clarify was it a foul, was it offside or not etc. The resistance is not justified.
    The lads played with a confidence seldom seen last night. Debuchy played well, tracked back & made some good tackles.

    Wiltshere did enough to warrant some 1st team game time. Definitely more positive and comfortable on the ball than Xaka or Ramsey and made some incisive passes.

    I think he may leave if he doesn’t get any starts in the first Xl , and I wouldn’t blame him. Wenger has got to be one of the worst man managers around.
    Walcott had a better game than he’s had for a while, but it’s too little too late. He was aggressive , tracked back and got stuck in.
    So why the insipid displays before. Now that there’s rumours we might sell him and how he hasn’t started a game this season, makes me feel like that’s a short window display. Besides he should have scored at least another 2 if he was clinical! Was guilty of shooting when he should have passed to players in better positions than himself. Just smacks of desperation.
    He needs to go, he would be a good buy for Hammers or Everton. Still can’t dribble past a man tho!

  2. HighburyLegend

    The lack of activity on Le Grove these days is a perfect reflect of what our club has become… unattractive and boring.

  3. Pierre

    “. It went against the BORING FLOW that has enveloped the EPL for far too long.”

    The problem with the Premier league is, the last 3 years the title has been won by a large margin, 8 points, 10 points and 8 points.
    This has taken the excitement out of the run in and everyone has been more preoccupied with european places and relegation.
    Sadly, the same could happen again this season which won’t be good for the Premier league.
    Despite the fact that it’s not the same one or two clubs winning it season after season as in other european leagues the Premier needs a season when all 6 top clubs are competing instead of one team running away from the pack.
    At the moment it’s United who are the only team that can seriously challenge city unless city lose 3 or 4 games in december /january. Then it will bring all top 6 sides into the equation (yes, even arsenal).. Cant see it happening though.

  4. Emiratesstroller

    R.S.P.C Arsenal

    If you read carefully the posts you will see that I am suggesting that there is a
    cull of our squad and my list of 12 footballers that should leave over next two
    transfer windows.

    I went onto say that there were other players who should leave and frankly that would include Chambers as well. I have never suggested that Holding should be offloaded.

    However, Arsenal are not going to make wholesale offloads so long as Wenger
    is at helm.

    The club are not going to throw £200-300 million at transfer market and most
    of the players currently on our books are not going to sell in transfer market for serious money.

    Arsenal will spend if you are lucky in next two transfer windows perhaps £100
    to £130 million tops. As I pointed out many times Arsenal’s NET ANNUAL SPEND is probably £50-60 Million.

    Any additional purchases have to be covered by sales. Last summer [in current financial year] we bought Lacazette and that was covered by net spend.

    We sold Ox, Gibbs, Gabriel and Szczesny. The transfer fees realised was £50-60
    million, which is almost certainly available in next two transfer windows.

    My guess is that will be spent most probably this summer.

  5. Leedsgunner

    Hopefully last night’s performance added £5m to Coffee Machine Walcott’s valuation and we can sell him for something similar to the Oxlade Chamberlain sale.

    Use the money for someone like Lemar or Draxler.

  6. Pierre

    Imagine city going unbeaten until Feb 24th when they meet us at the Emirates.
    The atmosphere in the crowd will be electric as it will be our last chance to do something about keeping the invincibles record intact.

  7. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    I firmly feel we may make transfers
    But I don’t think it will solely by on wengers recommendations or wether he will have the final say in who we sign,
    So win win

    We should revisit project youth this time giving the correct youths a chance :


    The press really amaze me with their summing up of Wiltshire and
    Walcotts performances against a poor CONFERENCE side BATE appeared to be.

  9. E54_

    The press really amaze me with their summing up of Wiltshire and
    Walcotts performances against a poor CONFERENCE side BATE appeared to be
    Always said Arsenal have a bullies disposition. We beat up smaller clubs and laugh and rejoice at our superiority (Huddersfield, Bate) but when faced with an opponent of similar stature or higher, we cry “no fair” we can’t compete with so and so’s money, squad, owners, commercial deals, ect ect. “Its not fair”.
    We are flat track bullies of the highest order. The love and admiration fans (especially Wenger supporters) have for the old Arsenal the original Arsenal is understandable. I don’t expect any of them to fall out of love with the nostalgic version of Arsenal.

    However this New Era New Arsenal cheap pathetic excuse of an Elite club, i can’t for one second understand how any fan can feel proud about this version of the club. If you started watching football seriously as a youngster in 2010 at 10 years old, the Arsenal that you’ve experienced until now must make you sick to your stomach.

  10. HillWood

    Wenger no longer has the excuse of CL affecting our Premier League performances
    So why are we so far off the top
    Wenger And his excuses out

  11. Emiratesstroller

    R.S.P.C Arsenal

    I don’t think that you need scouts to recruit today the elite players.

    What the scouting system needs to deliver is raw young talent. This is an area,
    where Arsenal have fallen behind many of their competitors.

    Arsenal have also recruited new management to conduct its transfer business and contract negotiations. Hopefully they will do a better job than those who
    have been i/c of this in recent years.

    The first test for me will be whether these people will manage to hold onto Ozil. I still think that he may stay at club.

    Sanchez is almost certainly going. My instinct is that his replacement will not
    be Draxler or Lemar but more probably Fekir who is a goalscorer and more
    importantly has worked alongside Lacazette at Lyon.

  12. UTarse


    So then, you think that if city lose “3-4 games” by January, Arsenal can challenge for the title this season ?

  13. graham62

    To be honest, it was embarrassing last night seeing Walcott milking it in front of 29000 bored and soulless folk at the Emirates.

    For ##### sake Theo, how low do you want to stoop before realizing that you’ll never get what you want under Wenger(except 140k) and please, what is it with the hair?!? You’ve still got the chance to show the footballing world what you can do, just grow some balls and go and enjoy yourself.

    As for JW, definitely the best player on the pitch, but, OMG, how poor were BATE?

    The echoes from those willing to shout and sing were eerie. Remember going to a few combination games in the seventies. Last night had the same feeling.


    Makes you feel cheated…………………..RIGHT?

  14. HillWood

    I hope Mr Kroenke saw how his sixty thousand all seater stadium looked for the BT Sport cameras on Thursday night