HOW TO MAKE MOVES LIKE WENGER

by .

Welcome to Monday. I’m back at work. So are you. Life is shit and miserable.

Still, at least we can bask in the mini-glow of a decent run of three wins.

Chelsea fans? They are probably not feeling so good right now. Frank Lampard started the season badly and was called a fraud, then he had his team firing and he was lauded as the real deal, now he’s back on fraud watch because Chelsea lost again.

The hammer normally drops at Chelsea. Their owner has no time for sympathy or feelings of nostalgia. Though I will say, nearly every manager has had fans calling for their head this season. Ole G had United sniffing around Poch, now they’re apparently going to win the league. Jose was the king for a bit, then he dipped and Spurs fans were crying about their savagely bad football, now he’s somewhere in the middle. Carlo has had it. Nuno is getting it. It’s hard to make rash decisions when there are 10 points between 1st and 12th.

Arsenal has a very important three games coming up. We play Newcastle in the FA Cup, which is a back door to Europe, so we need to take it seriously again. Then we have two 6 pointers against Newcastle and Crystal Palace in the league. All three games are at home. Really, it’s essential we win all three.

In the league, Wolves and Everton are playing + Spurs and Villa. Adding three points moves us closer or further past a rival in the first weekend.

The weekend after Villa and Everton play. United and Everton. Leicester and Southampton.

Our Premier League games are on the easier side. We simply have to make them count. Palace have been all over the place this season, we know they can damage us, but if we’re on form, we should have enough. Newcastle are a really bland team, but they are capable of parking the bus and nicking draws. The shit teams are more often than not the problem. We need to find a way.

The two key games that’ll shape our season big-time are at the end of the month. If we can head into the Southampton and United games on wave of confidence, and deliver, then we’ll be in the running for top 4 this season. If we sputter into those games, and our top 4 hopes rest on them, I’m not sure we’ll have enough.

Southampton has a ghastly run of fixtures heading into our game facing Liverpool, Leicester, and Leeds. United has an extra game squeezed in and one less day of rest before we play.

People have been comparing Arteta’s December escape from hell to the sort of thing Wenger used to do. Say what you will, but Emery didn’t stop the rot from Jan 2019 until he was sacked.

The true Wenger signature move wasn’t escaping bad runs, it was looking well and truly out of the #Top4Trophy race, then delivering it against the odds.

I don’t want to start hyping people about the idea, because it feels a bit lost in this terrible season, but we do have some things Wenger had going for him.

LIKE A NEW SIGNING

An absolute Wenger classic. After he’d crushed his players before December by overplaying his faves, our best players would come back to fitness around the end of January. Those players had a forced break, they were fresh, and they could drive us when others in the race were leggy.

Arteta has his marquee signing from the summer coming back into the side. We’ve had him for 2.5 games. If he comes back ready, he’ll be immense for a side that needs his qualities. Gabriel Martinelli might not be scoring goals yet, but his impact on the backend of this season could be very much like the one Anelka had but on a less grandiose level. We’ve also discovered a young talent in Smith Rowe. He’s fit, he’s hungry and he doesn’t have the weight of half a season in his legs.

AN ACTUAL SIGNING

Can we really look past Andrey Arshavin as the ultimate #Top4Saviour? The little Russian landed in the Premier League and set it alight until he discovered North London takeaways. He arrived saying ‘I AM GOONER’, we all fell in love with him, and he helped us smash top 4 with 9 assists and 6 goals in 15 or so games.

Arsenal needs to make a smart January signing. We are desperate for a creative solution that fits the profile of what Arteta needs. The signing cannot be a glamour name for the sake of it. It needs to be someone that knows the league, can run, that is looking to shop window themselves. KSE shouldn’t be wasting the little money we have on perm signings that’ll come at a premium and stink of panic.

FALLING UP THE STAIRS

Wenger always found a way in the end. It might not have been pretty, but he always found a formula that let him scrape by. Whether it was that legendary back 5 that took us to the Champions League final, the discovery that Coquelin and Santi were quite good, or Mikel and Aaron… there was always a way.

Arteta has been mainlining Old Players, the street equivalent of cooking up dishwasher cubes. He’s been slipped something new though, that’s HUNGRY TALENT, the high is hopefully addicting, and maybe he’ll keep doing it now he understands the error of his ways.

The system he has now works. Hunger, energy, with technicians built for the vision. We need to remember how we fell up the stairs and stick with it, even if there are inevitable bumps in the road.

EXITING HELL

Final one, generally, Wenger would have his nightmare in November, or February. That’d be it then for the season. We had ours through October, November, and December. There’s a chance we might have knocked it out of the system. Sure, we’ll lose games, but the hope is the worst of our bad runs might be over.

All of the above is a big fantasy. We could get done by an Andy Carroll 93rd minute header, followed by Zaha reminding us why he’s the boss in the Ivorian national team. Us Arsenal fans NEVER learn not to touch the extremely painful HOPE button, but fuck it… it’s the first Monday of the year, no one wants to be reading warnings, so have a great day, listen to my podcast RIGHT NOW, then I’ll see you in the comments.

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498 Responses to “HOW TO MAKE MOVES LIKE WENGER”

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  1. MGooner

    @ John,

    Good one!

    I think the under 11s would keep Willian out of the starting 11 😉

    And Xhaka’s spot would be at risk too

  2. Emiratesstroller

    So the lock down measures have now been announced.

    Sporting Measures

    1. EPL can continue.

    2. All Amateur Sport including Golf and Tennis will stop. Pierre has my sympathy.

    3. Gyms must all close

    4. You can do your exercise, but hopefully fewer people will go to Hampstead Heath. The
    numbers in recent weeks have been horrendous.

  3. Tony 2

    Wow good people of Le G never thought my post about Ozil and feeding school kids would lead to such a debate. Seriously love you guys. Each other’s opinion is a valid one and you all have broardend my limited knowledge on economics and politics to name just 2 topics.. This is freedom of speech at its best and btw Ozil and his team never announced he was doing what he was doing publically to garner favour. Whatever his reasons or how much it actually cost him or not it’s still a bloody good thing to do. Peace

  4. John G

    Living by a beauty spot as your local spot for exersize has become difficult to keep your distance. I was on the beach the weekend after Christmas and it was like walking down Wembley way

  5. MidwestGun

    Yeah Saliba is quick for his size and likes to play a high line. Also good with his feet.
    Basically all the scouting reports have nothing but glowing reviews.. which is why the way Arsenal has handled him is bizarre as hell.. especially given what we paid for a 19 yr old kid. We were buying a player near starting in the PL not a loan out prospect.

  6. MGooner

    @ET

    On this trajectory, I would not be surprised if there is a lockdown 4 down the road.

    They should take the bull by the horns

  7. London gunner

    Midwest

    it’s down to arteta and a personality issue.

    sometimes managers come in and just hate specific personalities in the team for no reason.

    I think salib’s insta post to guendouzi highlighted this and its got nothing to do with footballing reasons and saliba not being ready.

  8. MidwestGun

    London-
    Could be Matty G related.. I don’t know.. Arteta really has a hard on for Matty G. There must be more to the story we all don’t know. Training ground meltdown.. with words you cant take back or something similar.

  9. Northbanker

    Left – I agree with the sentiment on Saliba but it seems clear he needs to get some real game time and it will do him no good to be thrust into our defence at the moment. Mustafi is out in the summer assuming Arteta doesnt have another brain freeze by offering him a new contract again.

    I hope similarly that he and Gabriel our choice CBs with Mari and Holding as back up. That could be a very

  10. Wilko

    ‘ sometimes managers come in and just hate specific personalities in the team for no reason.’

    London gunner maybe a life changing event like losing both your parents has affected him more than is been alluded to. Some people can deal with it/manage it more than other. Bravado on line isn’t making me think otherwise.

  11. SpanishDave

    So we have to pay for the government’s failure to build and provide more bed spaces for the rising population.We have the lowest number of beds per head of population in Europe.
    We don’t have enough nurses and the nightingale hospitals are empty.
    But we must forsake our jobs and family life to save the NHs.
    Unreal

  12. Wilko

    You’re not on compassionate leave for 6
    Months London.

    They missed his window for a loan in the summer and he was too fucked up to be called in to the main squads in place of more established and senior players.

    Not that hard to grasp but suppose it is if you’re always looking for a negative.

  13. London gunner

    wilko

    I back the manager and called for arteta to have more time do hardly negative. I just know that in business personalities get in the way of logical decision making.

    doesn’t mean arteta should be sacked or is shit in other areas but I do think its a weakness he needs to iron out. You need ego to be a top manager they all do but he should use that ego and direct it in the right way not take it out on what many expert belive is a top of the top tier young talent.

  14. MidwestGun

    I think we ran our course on Ox. I hope we aren’t just looking at loan deals to be honest.. I don’t think Loanees ever really give us much. Unless it’s a loan with a buy option. As long as we have basically fucked ourselves this season lets build for the future.

  15. Gunnernet

    Still remembering Andrey scoring 4 against Pool. What a player, huge impact upon his arrival. Wenger worked his magic back then, constantly telling the press he was too small and physically weak for the premier league before going and sign him

  16. Saladin

    Ah the Champions League run. My heart stings every time I think about that final. What if we took off Hleb instead of Pires? What if Henry buried one of those one on ones he had? What if Lehman didn’t get a red card?

  17. Saladin

    John, I know mate 😞.
    City got a decent run coming up in the league. Brighton, Palace, Villa, WBA, Sheffield Utd, Burnley before Liverpool at Anfield. They could be sitting comfortably at top heading into that game.

  18. Valentin

    The thing is we are still just 9 points behind top 4 (assuming that ManCity win at least one of their two games in hand).
    Everybody seems to drop points whenever they look like reaching the top.

  19. Valentin

    The best thing that came out of the team meeting with Arteta is not some players having the to call him about his favouritism but them telling him that his constant screaming of instructions by the sideline was distracting. He seems to have taken that on board.

    His constant screeching was driving me nuts.

    For the last three games, no more:
    DANY, DANY, PASS THE BALL TO XHAKA.

  20. Goobergooner

    Make what you will of Fofana’s tweet on Saliba “he’s finally free”.

    That’s the second time I can recall that he has felt ‘trapped’ at arsenal, considering his tweets with guendouzi earlier in the season. “Hahaha, I’m sending well wishes to the brother that was locked up like me.”

    As well as that awkward chat between Saliba and Laca being quizzed on French players who have played for Arsenal, and Laca said ‘Saliba’, to which he replied along the lines of ‘I haven’t played, I’m not an arsenal player’

    And people are trying to tell me Guen and Saliba are going to come back into the team under Arteta.

    Maybe Arteta is just as clueless as Wenger when it comes to proper defenders, considering how Fofana is fitting in like a glove at Leicester, and was rating mustafi and Luiz.

    In saying that, glad to see Mari, holding and Gabriel proving their worth.

  21. Goobergooner

    Val what’s all this team meeting stuff? Did the squad pick their own formation overruling Arteta as well?😂😂

  22. raptora

    Dude for real. Disgraceful thing what Arteta did to Saliba. Can’t remember for a worse thing an Arsenal manager has done to any of our players in my time.

  23. Rich

    Talk Nketiah could be on his way out

    £15-£20mill

    Wolves + Brighton apparently interested.

    If it happens?

    Hopefully we can tie down Balogun.

  24. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    I’m going to have to side with Val on this one despite how much that hurts my soul. Arteta has been screaming much less during games in the last few games, thankfully, was annoying as fuck and can only imagine how distracting and annoying it would have been for the players to be micro managed like that.

  25. Freddie Ljungberg

    Rich

    For real? Snap their hands off. Might convince Balogun to stay as well.

    No point persisting with the clearly less talented bunch of Willock, Eddie, Nelson (although I think he can make it if he gets his act together) when we have a new wave of talented youngsters coming up. They can’t all make it and this way we make some good money too so we can improve the first XI.

  26. Freddie Ljungberg

    Would add AMN to that list of players we should sell too, although he’s a couple of years older, far too sloppy to be a starter for us. Decent cover as wing back but if we get an offer for 20m+ then sell. Gotta make the english premium work in our favour for once.

  27. Goobergooner

    Rap, I agree mate.
    It’s such a bizarre decision. We should have been utilising him instead of Luiz and Mustafi, who both aren’t up to standard and both are heading off at the end of the season (? I could be wrong with mustafis contract).

    The fact he got no playing time in Europa or the cups is a proper noggin scratcher.

    Also my 2 cents on Ozil is that I can’t believe people think Ozil will give 100% to Arteta considering this whole episode. Ozil is a twat, he couldn’t give 2 shits anymore. Well he hasn’t really for a good 2 years.

  28. Goobergooner

    Freddie,

    The worst part considering hindsight and how little he has played, as well as the fact most would have taken money for him at last 2 tw, why did we not take the 20 odd mill for AMN?

  29. Goobergooner

    It seems like praising Ozil got him sidelined? I obviously don’t know what happened. Like surely he didn’t do much wrong on the training pitch to go from playing big matches and having a good impact on the game, to doing jack shit and not getting proper minutes after having a 20 mil move for him rejected.

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    Goober

    Yeah I don’t get it. Some here still sees AMN as this great player that would transform our midfield if he just got a chance but he’s sloppier than Xhaka in his play ffs, it would be a disaster.

    If we took the 20m offered last summer and brought in Szobozslai or Buendia then like many were calling for our season so far could have looked very different.

  31. Valentin

    Freddie,

    I am glad that I am not the only one who spotted that.
    He still scream, but it is more general instructions rather than specific “X, X, Pass the ball to Y”. I always thought that those were counter productive.
    If that was the pass that the player intended to do anyway, he had to register the instruction and therefore that slowed him down.
    If it was not the pass that the player intended to do, maybe the original pass was the better choice but even if it was not now the opposition know where the ball is going they can move to block it.

    There is no way players would have been able to execute the 2nd goal against WestBrom by following Arteta touchline instructions.

  32. Goobergooner

    Freddie that’s exactly it.

    Our squad building has been sooo shit for soooo long.

    But why when offers were coming in, with the team not being even ‘top 4 quality’ to some; and having a lack of funds; and having a bloated squad, why did we not sell some of the players who were actually going to make us money that we had solid bids for which could have bought in one or two quality players we desperately needed.

    Kola sok, mustafi, Luiz, Ozil, Ceballos are all players who aren’t going to make us a cent leaving on frees or subsidised wages.
    In the case of Ceballos, why did we bring him back when we could have offloaded a couple of players and purchased a cm that would be our player and with us for more than a season loan. That we could have built into our team for the longer term.

    Nothing we did in the summer window made real sense apart from Partey and Gabriel.
    But even saying that. Wasting all the time fucking around with Aouar only to get duped at the last minute and end up buying Partey instead, is just piss poor planning all round.

    If we wanted both, why did we not take those offers and utilise the fees to make those purchases.

    Why was Partey bought at the very last second. He should have been brought in literally first thing if we knew it was a release clause to get the job done.

    It’s just pure incompetence really

  33. Goobergooner

    “There is no way players would have been able to execute the 2nd goal against WestBrom by following Arteta touchline instructions.”

    Haha I mean Spanish is a quick language but even in Spanish he couldn’t talk faster than that play 😂.

    He needs to just chill and trust his work on the training ground. If that goal is anything to go by he is slowly getting to where we will be playing a lot better football.

  34. Goobergooner

    Pierre
    “And there lies the problem with the obsessives, as they lose all sense of perspective.”

    This is quite ironic, considering you can’t deal with the fact Ozil has 6 goals and 4 assists since the start of 2018/19 season; and definitely can’t understand that bringing him back now would mean Arteta and the club has caved into allowing a petulant brat to get away with doing shit all for the team over a few seasons and making it all about himself.

    He’s not a team player anymore. He’s a self indulged gamer making an absolute killing taking this club for a ride.

    Yet somehow you think he should come back into the fold. It’s really quite bizarre.

  35. Goobergooner

    Goal.com had an article on lacazette and his contract situation with Auba as the main picture.

    Dumbasses

  36. Bojangles

    What a day at LG.

    Pierre (as usual) kicking off the Özil debate (just joking.) Özil is a part of our past, not our future. Forget him.

    Rich (as usual) starting a political shitstorm. Stick to football Rich, you are at least interesting to read on the topic. It’s obvious to me that England’s decline began with the closures of the workhouses and poorhouses. They kept the poor off the streets and out of sight of the delicate English roses. Bring them back I say.

  37. Nelson

    Gg
    “Why was Partey bought at the very last second.”

    I read that Arteta wanted Aouar. Only at the 11 hour he gave up and settled on Partey.

  38. Goobergooner

    Yeah Nelson, this is why promoting Arteta to edus level was a joke.

    We need tech director who has the balls to make the tough decisions, in an appropriate time frame and also a head coach who isn’t going to be a proper bitch about players someone else bought him.
    Now that they are both on the same level playing field, we got stitched up with 1, not selling players Arteta wanted to coach to greatness, And 2, too much time spent not being able to agree on what’s needed.

  39. Goobergooner

    I get that the head coach should at least have a say on incomings and outgoings. But it should be tech director pulling the trigger and aligning those players with ‘arsenal values’ and the project they want to build on long term.

  40. Guns of SF

    I think Partey will end up being a better buy than Aouar.
    This fella never seemed that keen on joining us. Is happy where he is at.
    Wants Zidane most likely so forget him.

    TP will come good. Put a proper DM or B2b with him and we will do much better than the backwards passing CM we have.

  41. Guns of SF

    Valentin

    Agreed, the barking of orders from the sideline was part of the issue in the beginning. Along with his rigid ridiculous game plans.

    Ive been saying this from day one, let the players imrpovise. Let them have freedom in training to get to know one another and develop chemistry.

    The kids have it… those guys have been with each other for years.

    ESR and Saka combine well. They know where the other will be and how they like to recieve the ball.

  42. Bojangles

    We cannot match Citeh financially so we can’t expect to have every position filled with top quality players. Someone like Elneny if fine for cm ATM. He’s a hardworking pro who gives 110% every game, he’s shown he can work well with Thomas. He’s not a long term prospect and if we get an offer for him in Jan, then sell, otherwise he’ll do a job for us till summer.

  43. Nelson

    Bo
    Reports in Turkey had claimed that Besiktas want to make a permanent move for Elneny and are readying a bid of €7m

    Arteta wants to keep him.

  44. Guns of SF

    whatever we can do to rid of El neny please do it.
    This guy is great as a sub only, when we are comfortably leading

    His displays of late are terrible. He is scared, back passes, offers nothing in attack or even defense. He sits way too far back. He is almost another CB the way he plays.

    A nice guy yes but now what we need. if any team is offering $ take it…. time to start the rebuild now

  45. China1

    ‘Gotta make the English premium work in our favour for once’

    We made about 70-75m on Ox and Iwobi. Granted iwobi’s passport is Nigerian but he’s a home grown academy player who is as English as anyone else we’ve had

    Realistically both players combined were worth no more than 40m

    That was a killing!

  46. China1

    Xhaka should go before el Neny. El Neny is not good enough to be starting 11 but he’s a cheap and cheerful squad player. Xhaka is a worse player, higher wages, bad attitude and higher market value

    If you’re going to flog a CM, flog Xhaka, replace with quality and drop el Neny to be a squad player where he belongs

  47. Gonsterous

    I’d sell chaka, the teachers pet first. Followed by mustardi.

    I think the players are more United, hence why ozil has a lot of support, sadly the manager can’t bin everyone who’s against him, so he has to pick and choose, and he chose the youngsters.

    Saliba needs to be put in the team, if I had to choose between a proven prospect and a rumoured generational coach (sauce), I know who I want.

  48. Gonsterous

    Pedro

    Read the blog post, and I feel like I need to warn you not to get too optimistic. My brother who is a chelsea fan was gloating after a few wins, how he felt chelsea can go undefeated and win the league, next thing he knows, couple of losses, sitting in 6th with the managers head on the chopping board.

    Arteta failed to win for a long time, that time will come again soon. I don’t buy that he’s figured anything out, everything happened by luck for him. The luiz debacle, gabriel and martinelli back and ready, along with ESR finally getting a chance to shine. Nothing to do with the cone man.

  49. Nelson

    There are those Arteta supporters who said that we should trust Arteta’s judgement that Saliba is not good enough to start. But we all know how good is Arteta’s evaluation of talent. He has started Kola multiple times as one of the three CB’s. He has also started Rúnarsson as our GK.

  50. DivineSherlock

    Gonsterous

    You could say the same for Ole as well then . Luck only factors in when youre winning ? What about bad luck with red cards and injuries then. I think a fair assessment of him can be done at the end of season . What he acheives ( Europa , Fa cup and PL top6 ) .

  51. Freddie Ljungberg

    China

    “We made about 70-75m on Ox and Iwobi. Granted iwobi’s passport is Nigerian but he’s a home grown academy player who is as English as anyone else we’ve hadRealistically both players combined were worth no more than 40m”

    You’re right. So we’ll have to make the english premium work in our favour for thrice? Doesn’t have the same ring to it though. Get rid of AMN and Eddie for 40m and we’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

  52. Gonsterous

    Divine Sherlock

    Many managers don’t win any trophies at the end of the season, that’s not a barometer for how good a manager is. That’s just an assessment of the season and the team.

    A manager is assessed more than just trophies, it’s why poch and bielsa are highly rated. They haven’t won anything in England but people still know how good they are. Arteta on the other hand has won a FA cup but can he be categorized as being better tHan the above two?

  53. Gonsterous

    Fergie could make average players work hard and give it their all and he won CL with lesser players. Pep on the other hand, needs 11 world class players to win the PL. Pep is a good manager but he wins games because his team is good, rather than his tactics and management.

    Fergie
    Management 80%
    Players 20%

    Pep
    Management 30%
    Players 70%

    That’s the influence the manager has on the team. The numbers are just a rough guide, I’m not claiming that it’s picked from a website.

  54. China1

    Fergies CL winning team was quality but it also had a handful of extremely average players making frequent/weekly appearances. O’Shea, fletcher, Anderson etc were all some way off that level but they never dropped the ball as a team

    But the last PL fergie won was a pretty average team. Lost of quality players on their last legs, some genuinely average players in and around the team – but he still won the league. Fucking RVP…

  55. Goobergooner

    I think Arsenal should sign me up on loan for the next 6 months, I have a cooked back and won’t be match fit for most of it though 😂😂

    Gotta love Kimmy kalstrom.

    I mean that’s only fair isn’t it??

  56. China1

    Anyway the point about pep stands. He dominated with Barca, sure, but he had the best club team likely of all time. Getting xavi, iniesta, Messi, Henry and chums to dominate is hardly rocket science

  57. Goobergooner

    Fucking RVP indeed China!

    It’s funny though, his message upon leaving should have been the catalyst for a managerial change. But alas Wenger was running the shop and didn’t give 2 shits.

  58. China1

    I sure won’t be complaining if Barca does another classic flex and throw money at us for Bellerin just because he’s a former la masia player

    Let’s be honest, that’s the only reason they’re interested

  59. Tony

    “I’m definitely left wing and played CB DM most of my career”

    Funny Goober it’s always sounded like you are a one man company beer tasting aficionado.

    Were you ever sober enough to play? lol

  60. Guns of SF

    I love Barca for that aspet. They are highly impractical when it comes to these things. Anyone with a hint of Barca DNA makes them pee their pants, cry, spend tons of money and declare their undying love for the team…

    Complete basket cases….

    Take Bell please…. pay us 20 plus and just take him

  61. China1

    As a player I am a horrible cross between xhaka and ozil

    I have the speed, turning circle of xhaka. Zero flair or trickery to boot and I’m not press resistant in the slightest unless I pass backwards

    I’m also lazy with no stamina and don’t run unless really necessary (ozil) and can sometimes (often) vanish against tough opposition. But if i have time to look up and turn I will play an absolutely savage through ball if I have runners and movement ahead of me

    In games where I get pressed I’m a real shitter. in games where I’m not or if the tempo is slower I look like a worldie

    Fucking xhaka and ozil…

  62. Guns of SF

    Dont worry China,

    Tony and I are speed merchants and flat track bullies.

    We will finish your killer through ball any time…

    LG team of the year – the three of us!

  63. China1

    Yeah guns right now a bit of Barca dumbassery would be very much appreciated. We should send them a compilation video of all Bellerins 5 quality performances from the last 3 years and overlay the basque separatist National anthem (do they have one????). Then tease them about how his Barca DNA has been instrumental in making him such a quality arsenal player

    Their empty heads would explode and a 50m offer would be incoming within the hour

  64. Tony

    Sid
    No idea why you’d mention me, but good to hear you have multiple residencies as part of your property portfolio.

    Do all your imaginary homes/huts have the same design or are some more palatial than others?

  65. Goobergooner

    Hahahaha Tony that’s actually funny as!! You pretty much nailed me to a t (no real reference to religion there either 😂)

    I was actually playing at a good youth level for northern NSW as well as a more local rep side and when I could the first grade team in my home town. Had a lot of travel, NSW is massive playing games all over the state.
    But it all went down hill the couple of years after my step bro bought me a case of jim beam and colas for my 14th birthday and it just got worse and worse from there😂😂😂 that and finding out what sex was.
    And yes I was a little country bumpkin, that birthday comprised of all my mates and I getting pissed off 2 drinks each after spending the day driving a piece of crap Ford around a paddock chased by dirt bikes.

  66. China1

    Guns the funny thing is because I have the xhaka oil tanker mobility, on the rare occasion I turn and go on a run it always catches people off guard

    Opposition defenders and midfielders falling over themselves as I go for hugely sign posted feints and turns as I drive forwards. You can tell they’re thinking ‘surely it can’t be that sign posted – surely he’s faking this to sell me the wrong way’ by the time the realize I’m just that basic I’ve already steamed past them at all of 3mph

    Brutal stuff

    Then comes the killer through ball for my assist king title.

    Proper funny how annoyed the opposition get with themselves for letting me get away with it

  67. Goobergooner

    China I was always so annoyed by Barca flexing for Cesc back.

    They didn’t need him, and the way he ended up sort of on the fringes and sold to Chelsea was horrendous. We should have bought him back instead of Ozil.

    I guess it was Wenger’s pride. But we could have looked soooo different these days if that decision was made

  68. Useroz

    Wouldn’t have thought my cost guesstimate of meals for kids and Ozil’s donations has led to such level of discussions and some rather interesting views.

    Sorry the cost parameters may not make sense to some. It’s not from local research and was based only on cost of living observatories over my 15+ trips to the UK, mainly London, in the last 20 years. I am mindful business travels and personal trips are very different from local social issues, and with vast cost variances.

    Anyway, thanks for pitting forward many good, valid points and relevant factors on the issues. Oizil would be delighted he hasn’t been completely forgotten ! !

  69. China1

    My mobility and stamina are so poor I often just play as a ball playing CB so I get all the time in the world to ping those through balls

    But under pressure I’ll do a mustafi/Luiz brain fart and score an own goal any day of the week.

    I’m a proper one trick pony depending on those through balls

    Last game a couple of weeks I ago I got 3 assists, scored an own goal and was directly to blame for another. I seriously would fit right in at arsenal

  70. Sid

    @Tony, im yet to be in the rotary club but my 1st is in private school too, to learn the ways of stiff upper lipers. We have alot in common.
    Random fact,
    Fidel Castro was born on his father Ángel Castro’s prosperous 25,000-acre, 400-employee plantation

  71. Tony

    Guns
    lol

    My left knee is beginning to be arthritic to the point of not really being able to run at any speed, but I’m ok with jumping, so I’ll plot up around their 6-yard box and then its ‘on mi head son’.

    Actually, I began playing center half and then right CB, but also had the pace and was two footed enough to play either full back.

    Rugby was more my natural game @ 15, 10 & 12 positions to county+ level.

    Had to stop both sports at mid 30s when I had a quintuple heart bypass, so when I had recovered I just focussed on business enterprises and gym work outs.

    Now in my 66th year I still train 4 to 5 mornings a week as well as monitoring investments and generally enjoying my retirement.

  72. Useroz

    GoobergoonerJanuary 5, 2021 05:28:35

    Fucking RVP indeed China!

    It’s funny though, his message upon leaving should have been the catalyst for a managerial change. But alas Wenger was running the shop and didn’t give 2 shits.

    ___________

    It’s also facing saving by those old guards squatting over the Board at the time. They would have been at fault if something were done then. Wenger was their baby so to speak…

  73. China1

    Yeah man English school meals ain’t no fine dining! Jamie Oliver took the gov to task over this for a reason!

    Anyone else see the irony that for 13 years under wenger we had an awesome midfield but usually no DM which cost us dearly. Then wenger left if we gutted the midfield and bought an awesome DM

  74. Tony

    “@Tony, im yet to be in the rotary club but my 1st is in private school too, to learn the ways of stiff upper lipers. We have alot in common.”

    All those properties and you don’t have a local Rotary Club to be part of, Sid?

    You don’t have to be super rich to be a Rotarian; a simple local business/shop and just a good heart and the desire to help those less fortunate than your self, especially helping kids get a decent education or help with facilities at schools that are out of town or in villages.

    Sid you’ve been reading too many Dickensian books to be quoting stiff upper lips.

    You need to do more Googling to understand ye olde English.

    Can you get Google on the Serengeti?

  75. Guns of SF

    I started as a forward in my middle and high school days.
    Over time in my 30;s ended up winger
    in my 40’s im nothing but a defender hanging on for dear life now… 48 years young.

    Mostly its a lot of hard fouls I do… these youngsters cant imagine the pain they feel when they get within a few feet of me. Im a red card in the making… just that the refs give oldies a lot of respect to keep the violence going…

    Im as old as their dads mostly, so they figure just let the old man be….

    and I continue to painfully foul those youngsters…

    Next stop is goalie for me… actually wait…. no, I think im retired at that point…..

  76. Guns of SF

    they think I cant help myself, but they are wrong, so wrong…

    Nothing like a stomp on the foot, elbow to the face, an intentonal missed kick, hitting them in the legs or whereever,,,,, you know… go for the man, not the ball type of stuff. its fun

  77. Aussie+Gooner

    OK let’s end the Ozil fandom now – he is seeing out his contract, picking up his money at the end of it and moving to the even slower lane.

    Ozil took to social media to write: “Nice game my boys! Great spirit – three wins in a row. Team looks good with a No 10 like Emile Smith Rowe – the difference maker.”

  78. Tony

    Guns the original San Fran Bruiser

    Good for you Guns sure you give as good as you get.

    Sounds like you’re channeling your Omer Vinny Jones on the pitch

  79. Aussie+Gooner

    “I’m not in Barcelona because of Yusuf Demir, but because of Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal, whom we also represent,” Ozturk told SPOX, as per Sport Witness, when questioned about a recent post on Instagram showing him at the Camp Nou.

    Ozturk was there showing them Mustafi’s highlight reels. Most of it in black and white on 16mm film!

  80. Pierre

    Tony
    “My left knee is beginning to be arthritic to the point of not really being able to run at any speed, but I’m ok with jumping, so I’ll plot up around their 6-yard box and then its ‘on mi head ”

    What you do in the bedroom should remain private Tony.

  81. Habesha Gooner

    Barcelona have Umtiti, Lenglet, Ajrauo and Pique. They are also signing Eric Garcia from Mancity either in january or the summer. An average player like mustafi is going to a mid table club.

    In other news, 40 mil is demanded by norwich for Buendia. If that is the case we should wait till the summer. He was a bargain at 25 mil but at 40 it will be a bit steep. The player is worth it. I bet in the summer he would go for 30 maximum. I don’t think we have money to fund a 40 mil purchase now. We might go to Brandt. Good player but not sure he is suited to the league. Very creative though. And Dortmund would sell for 25 to 30 now too. It is a head scratcher though why they are willing to sell him after a season. Maybe he is not as he is portrayed to be. May be he might be average. I haven’t seen him play like poor player though.

  82. China1

    Mustafi + Bellerin to Barca for 30m would be absolutely golden business right now

    Then 25m + willock for Buendia

    5m income, probably 100k+ a week saved on wages net, a pointless CB and an unneeded RB out, as well as a youth player who is promising but hasn’t kicked on yet – in exchange for a first team ready player.

    If that was realistically doable I’d be very comfortable with that.

  83. Goobergooner

    Hahaha divine, I’m 28 😂😂😂 though just before Christmas was installing a Tesla battery and my boss fucking dropped it and it didn’t do my back any favours that is for sure.

  84. Aussie+Gooner

    Sid

    I am 60 and all my fiddles are of Stradivarius vintage! Although my current ‘squeeze’ is 58 but looks 30 and very pretty – even my 19 year old son wanted her ‘phone number!!!!!

  85. Bob N16

    Tony,
    Thanks for making me laugh on a grey, miserable day in London! Oh and I don’t need you to mention the weather where you are. Off to get my one hour of exercise in, walking our dog in the local park with umpteen layers on, hat, scarf and gloves.

  86. alexanderhenry

    Pedro

    Agreed on the managerial merry go round. The fickleness of fans knows no bounds.

    Also a wengeresque late run of form does suddenly look like a possibility. 4th place here we come.

  87. Valentin

    Fofana message of support to Saliba (“he is finally free”) just highlight the loss of credit that Arsenal is suffering in France because of Arteta intransigence.
    Good luck trying to recruit U21 France internationals anytime soon!
    Aouar is clearly not going to happen.
    Add the new post Brexit recruitment rules and we are unlikely to see any upcoming foreign talent joining us.

  88. Uwot?

    @ Habesha- Chris Sutton the muppet has been sticking his oar in on BBC saying we’ve offered £15 plus players.An insult.This is designed by him ( ex Norwich/ chav) to wind up Norwich so obviously won’t deal with us or Jack the price up ridiculously.Such is his hate for us.£25 plus player more than reasonable.That’s IF we’re interested.More than likely will go for cheaper option of Brandt( Dortmund) or outsider Carlos soler( Valencia) we’ll see?

  89. Gonsterous

    China

    Can I get into the le grove 11?
    Played as a RB all my life, scored some beautiful own goals because I’m slow as fk. Don’t expect me to be a full back. I did switch to DM once cause my passing is crisp but I have 0 dribbling ability. Kind of like a poor man’s xhaka. Though someone did compliment me for my stamina cause I was chasing shadows like a fking ninja, come to think of it, they were probably saying that sarcastically.