Wengers’ dilemma……

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Wenger’s defensive dilemma.

I think we are all aware of the problem facing Wenger in the immediate future, namely central defence.

Mertesacker out until next January at the earliest, Gabriel also with a prospective long term injury.  Koscielny only back in training on Monday, but probably carrying a knee problem aggravated in the Euros.

So, last seasons first choice centre back pairing is broken and will remain so for half the coming season at least and the regular back-up player unavailable for the time being.

Fortunately Wenger signed what seems on the evidence so far, to be a good prospect in Rob Holding, ready for regular starts in the Premiership?  I’m willing to bet that wasn’t in the manager’s mind at the time.

Of course we also have Calum Chambers, signed with great expectations on both sides, but has he matured into a reliable defender.  I’m not so sure, but it seems he’s likely to get some more games under his belt.

Bielik has been tried out in the pre-season games and again shows promise but ready to be thrown in at the deep end?

Now comes the Wenger dilemma,  cold eyed logic dictates that the club sign a ready made, experienced centre back who can come straight into the first eleven.  Doing so may well “kill” (Wenger’s word) the ambitions of the three young defenders Chambers, Holding and Bielik.  Yet logic also suggests that Mertesacker is figuratively, if not actually, on his last legs, a return to fitness in January and a final couple of months may presage his departure or at least his move to a back-up slot on the bench.

Other options are to play either Debuchy or Monreal as make shift centre backs, or to move Xhaka or Coquelin into the back four.  Frankly these are surely only to be considered in the worst case scenario of injury to even more central defenders.

So, what is Wenger to do?  Buy the readymade defender and chance being held to ransom?

Stick with what central defenders he has and hope for the best?

Or the makeshift option of attempting to fit square pegs in round holes?

One thing for sure, he can’t just sit on his hands until the end of the transfer window, failure to make some attempt at rectifying the situation will have a lot more fans calling for his head.

Written by Norfolk Gooner


143 thoughts on “Wengers’ dilemma……

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    August 9, 2016 at 8:29 am Edit

    Bonjour mes amis, a report in the Telegraph this morning “Arsenal chase Mustafi to ease their defensive crisis” States that Wenger hopes to make a bid in the next 48 hours in the hope that a deal can be rushed through.

    48 hours? What’s wrong with the next 48 minutes?

    It really is time Wenger woke up and got his finger out, 48 fucking hours!

  2. Morning guys
    Another quick post, spoilt or what.
    I have never been in favour of this killing the opportunity of young players, given the numbers that actually make the grade, an excuse like all the others we are told. Starting the season with a makeshift back line albeit promising isn’t the sensible thing to do. Go out and buy the original target and stop fucking about.

  3. Morning all, very well put NG, When have we not had problems as the league is about to start, I must have still been in nappies. It does seem a dilemma, but I doubt Wenger will get to excited, he said a while back that a defender and a striker was being looked at, and if these players were found to match his requirements then deals would be struck.

    Both injured defenders are out for a while , but neither in my mind are top quality. Our only experienced defender is Koshielny and I feel that many supporters would agree on that. This dilemma I feel should include Kosi as he has played with what we have left , and in all fairness he should be asked who he thinks is ready for a start. The Manager will have the final word and should he feel another should be brought in, I am sure he will try and get one.

    Arsenal at present have youngsters who are looking sharp, and nobody would want to dampen their enthusiasm, but they and Wenger will know what’s best and I expect a signing. I feel the same with our central striker, we have a couple of guys who have started scoring, but again I expect another signing. Time will tell of course but we don’t seem short of players, just are they ready that’s all.

  4. So City have signed John Stones for just under £50m….. far too much for a defender…. but Wenger should have offered £60m….. now we’ll get Jonny Evans

  5. 69er, if Wenger signs Evans that will tear up the last shreds of respect I have for the man. How can a player of the limited ability of Evans possibly improve our squad? Or have a sell on value? Which are two of the four criteria Wenger quoted when talking about the transfer market a week ago.

  6. Evens would be a stop gap, just until the others come back, The youngsters may just gain a little of how it’s done elsewhere, having said that, I think they are better anyway.

    Now of course had this dilemma happened elsewhere, United for instance, what would shit face do, well for a start he would pick up the best player almanac and pick the most expensive and arogantly offer said amount, why because that is how he works,

    Pogba coming is probably a kiss of death to Matta and Rooney, but he has humiliated most at Chelsea and now he starts it there.

  7. Sorry Steve but Evans would be an embarrassment not a stop gap. I don’t think he’s anywhere near good enough to make the bench let alone be a regular starter. What would it say about the club’s ambition if we buy such a mediocre player?

  8. Whatever the length of time his out, he will miss the first few games, and he will be missed. Yes we have youngsters who can fill the void , inexperienced defenders who will do their best and i believe they will not let us down.

    However long he is out, we will be short should anybody else get injures, and as sure as eggs are eggs its a position that can be very taxing. We do need cover , and i believe Wenger knows that, i expect a replacement, as i do a striker. Wenger also knows the same , we all know that a replacement is hardly likely to come before Sunday, and so we have what we have. Liverpool have got a good side according to their Barcelona result, but so have we, and from what i have seen of our squad enough to get over this match..

  9. Steve, Liverpuddle lost their final pre-season game 4 – 0 against German side Mainz. Not a glorious result which gives us a bit of hope for Sunday.

    If Wenger gets his finger out and the cheque book, we could have Mustafi by then. But he will have to be quick.

  10. Evening Norfolk, I am not aware of the side Liverpool put out in their closing game. But i know we have never fielded our best side throughout our friendlies, We have had pretty good results, but as we know these matches do not tell the complete truth. I have no doubts that Liverpool will try to win their first game of the season.

    I feel that Arsenal will not put their best side out as many are still holidaying so i assume we will be two or three games before all fit players are ready for selection. Now this is getting to be a regular happening, and i personally believe that this practice should Cease. Any player who should get picked by their country accepts the position Knowing full well it cuts down their close season holidays. Arsenal pays these players to be available from first kick off to last game and should any player feels this will affect his full time job should think twice about accepting the post if he feels he can not do both..

    If the footballing authorities keep these competitions regular perhaps the powers at be should take steps to make the numbers of games shorter by extending the rest times , The only way i can see this happening is to reduce the numbers in the league perhaps to a seventeen club league . After all why should football clubs suffer because of the rules.

  11. Getting the Premiership to reduce the number of clubs to say 18 would be the same as getting turkey’s to vote for Christmas. It will never happen even though from a player fatigue point of view the club’s would benefit, as would the national teams.

  12. I some how feel that players who are not playing for their countries, get a bit of a bum deal, as they still have extra games to play in these friendlies, and if they are only going to play one game before going on the bench, seems to make a nonsense of warm up games, i always thought these pre season friendlies were to get the players up to speed for the start of the season, hardly worth having them, as all it seems to bring is problems.

  13. Steve, it’s all money. Wenger used to take them away to a training camp in Austria, where they would play a couple of low key games against local clubs and finish with one game against a reasonable European club side.

    Now it’s all about brand awareness and making money by playing things like the Emirates Cup, or flying round the world to play in some so called tournament with three big name clubs.

    The games are more intense, thus the injuries. But never mind that the clubs have made some more dosh, so everybody is happy.

  14. A report in the Metro this morning states that Wenger is making £30 million bid for Valencia’s German international central defender Shkrodan Mustafi.

    In a typical Wenger move, he’s bidding £10 million less than the player’s valuation. However, Valencia have left him out of the squad for their next pre-season game and are themselves attempting to sign Mangala from Man City as a possible replacement.

  15. Morning Rectum Rangers.

    Yet again I will say, the only person to read rumourwise is Ornstein !………..anything else is as good as someone saying `69er is to become a teatotal monk !

  16. Scaremongering Vic`s…………………………..it`s not on Ornstein (yet), so must be bollox !.

  17. What’s so great about Ormstein? The bit about Gabriel is straight out of Wenger’s press conference and the Mustafi bit is just a load of old bull. Stepping up pursuit my arse! We haven’t even made an offer yet.

  18. Afternoon guys
    Just got back from the shop I wanted a Mars bars but wouldn’t accept my offer of 50p and I did try hard…what can you do?
    And whats more I even prepared my offer.

  19. The thing about Ornstein, NG, is that what he says is true, he doesn`t make up rumours, if he say`s we are interested in Mustafi, then it`s gospel, he said interested, that doesn`t mean we will get him, but we are pursuing him, any of the other ridiculous rumours like Lewandowski are just pig in the sky !
    He was one of the one`s which broke the Vardy offer……an offer which was not acceptable, but the offer was real and Ornstein tweeted it !. He doesn`t tweet unless there is some concrete evidence, unlike the 1000`s of other rumours with no ground or just saying something for the sake of it !.

  20. Straight from the horses mouth “we will not add reinforcements before Sunday’s game” Wenger speaking to Talk Sport.

  21. Morning all,
    Looking over the web for news of transfer targets, and i see lots of rumours but no foundations, Players supposedly wanting to play for Arsenal, but still no firm offers. Some are reporting that Wenger is flying out to certain places to seal deals, but Wenger has still not packed his bags, Defenders are linked, as to are attackers, and then i read that Jack Wilshere has said that we are very good going forward and have secured good players in defence.

    Now its been a while now since Gabriel got injured, reports suggests it could be a matter of weeks before he returns, Mertsacker is longer by all accounts and Welbeck will miss a big part of the season. Arsenal look no closer to recruiting than they did this time last month, Of course the window is still open but that makes very little difference when every week goes past and no players arrive.

    Our first game of the season is Liverpool at home on Sunday, Its fair to say that if a new player is not in place by then, then we may just have finished our buying for another season. All the other clubs would have played their first game, and should any player be left out of their games it could mean that they are moving. Of course it could mean that they have picked up a little knock in training as well..

    Talk is rife that we are after a certain winger, its been rattling round since we made an offer for Leicesters Vardy, But it seems that a lot of speculation means absolutely nothing when offers are not put in and accepted.. Arsenal have enough players. Yes an out and out Winger would have been good, but then i read that Gnabry is playing a blinder in the Olympics scoring for fun and bossing it out there.

    When a defender gets injured after the window is shut, usually means you turn to others in the squad to be a replacement, usually it is no big deal as what else can you do, Well Arsenal have brought in players for such occasions and they are waiting for the call, Holding Beilik and Chambers have all been in action over the past few weeks, and all seem to be fit and ready to go, so is there really a need for panic buying..

    Of course supporters want new signings, we have seen in seasons past that the players we see regular, may not in our estimation be good enough for us, but of course we also see other clubs spending huge amounts and that is no guarantee, that they are good enough, and will they fit in with the others..

    Supporters will be disappointed should no more players join our ranks, but that is not necessarily a guarantee of failure. Arsenal repeatedly say on every transfer window, that we are in the market, But in essence season tickets have to be sold. Does the Arsenal need new players, and many would say yes, but many times we have seen a window close with no more players coming in, and still we challenge for honours..

    Most supporters will be let down, as expectations were high in this window, but surely the positions would have been filled by now, if the \Manager felt we were desperate. He hasn’t been as active as many would have thought, so it seems that our first game will be played with the players we have. And this season will start much the same as many others. Results are what counts 3 points up for grabs in every game, have we enough to secure all three. I guess Sundays game will reveal if we are truly ready.

  22. The closer we get to the window closure the higher the prices. Lacazette now £60 million.

    The best we can expect now is Man City’s reject Wilfried Bony. That is if Everton don’t get in first.

    Steve, it’s not so much that the fans want new and better players, the club NEED new and better players.

    Oh, and good morning.

  23. Morning Norfolk,
    Now i don’t want to start the morning off by antagonising you, But we came second last year , and i think you would agree that consistency got us through to that position. Now you and me and Millions of others saw some terrible games we played last season, and ordinarily i would have agreed with you, but at the end of the day, the players we had, did make second and nobody would have predicted Leicester winning but they did, but they didn’t beat us.

    Now this season we have recruited a few players, Not superstars but players who will be for the now or future, Granit And Holding will undoubtedly improve us, well in my opinion, While Chambers and Beilik will also help out, Now i can see merits in a new CF and like you i felt we needed one, Vardy was a sensation last season and Wenger thought so as well, but Leicester would not part with him, but we have CF perhaps not as good as Vardy but have the years on their side to turn into good players in the very near future.

    I have to say Norfolk, i am not to worried about the lack of signings, as i must admit i did expect a few but Arsenal do seem to be the last ones to recruit. Having said that, i believe we have a squad that will do well and i hope our performances will be of a better standard than some of the games i witnessed.

    I look at every position , and i see cover, not all are fit at the moment but it wont be long before all are fit and i believe we have a side that will give any team a run for their money. Arsenal supporters believe the club are tight because they seldom spend like others, but what people fail to grasp is that the youngsters we buy who supporters seem to forget are being groomed and when they are ready supporters want Arsenal to spend on ready made players. We are making ready made players in our youngsters ready made Arsenal trained youngsters and they have been brought cheap and are overlooked, but we will see them and they will come through, a good business is one that looks forward, and i know it sucks but we are still up there with the best, it maybe a shoestring budget, but its down to where you finish and how much you earn, and for twenty years there is no club better.

  24. Steve, it’s impossible to antagonise me, particularly as I’ve just finished a full English breakfast. The only thing I will say is that we were second by ten, yes ten points.

    Consistency is not sufficient, particularly when it actually equates to consistently failing to make a serious challenge for the top honours.

    It is that consistent failure that is making both Alexis and Mesut Ozil reluctant tosign new contracts, it may also be behind Ozil’s statement that he has unfinished business at Real Madrid and would welcome the chance to rd join them.

  25. One other thing, we are one of the richest clubs in the world owned by one of the richest families (the Kroenkes) in the world, in the richest league in the world but are operating on a shoestring budget, something wrong there it seems.

  26. Yeh i see where your coming from Norfolk, Players will move or say they will move, but they are like everybody else greedy, its more about money mate Theo did it just like many others, they want more money mate. Unfinished business, he hardly got a game there.

    Wenger does not stand in the way of players, if they genuinly want to move he will let them go unless it is detrimental to the side. But he will eventually let them go when he has secured their position. We have seen many fine player leave our club Fabregas Cashley Robin Van Nasri fucking loads of them and most went on to be succesful, but i dont think one went for less money.

    Arsenal pay bloody good wages, but some clubs pay better, when i hear a player say i am ambitious and want to win things, ver seldom will they take a wage cut in the process. Any player who wants to leave i say go as long as we get what we paid for them , if they are not happy go.

    We have what many would say is a bit of a quandry, Theo now wants to play wing Wenger wants him to play central, Theo wants regular games and also play for England and Aladyce wants regular first tem players. Will Theo ask for a move or will he stay at Arsenal for his hundred and forty grand a week, who else would pay that. Theo will go no where unless the Manager wants him to.

    Even with all these players leaving the Arsenal Ranks, we have still maintained our top four status, they may have won their trophies but not many of them got better than we did last season.

  27. Fabregas won the Champions League with Barca, Nasri, Sagna and Clichy the Premiership with City and van Persie the Premiership with United. Wenger made no real attempt to keep any of them, but all were good enough to play for, and win with, good teams.

  28. Steve
    Unless your name is Ronaldo, Bale etc, Real Madrid do not pay the highest wages. Yes players do want moves for more money, you can’t blame them. However there comes a time for top level players to want to win something as well. Never mind our average finishing position in the league, thats a load of bollox, go for the win or fail in the attempt, flopping into second place appeases only the Wenger is God fans.
    I have no doubt GN5 can produce stats to show exactly how average we are, which is underlined by the football we often play.
    If you are satisfied with that… thats ok, but it doesn’t suit me..

  29. Morning Poig, Its about you perspective Poig, You naturally would wager everything to be a champion, I can understand that, Many only see winning as the pinnacle, I dont knock that, but that is a little different than a sport where only two competetors are taking part two boxers say, Go all out if its for a title , one fight, you may never get the chance again, but in a team sport with more than one cmpetetor its about longevity 19 teams starting off on scratch culminating in all clubs playing one another twice and accumulating points along the way, nothing is one on one game so reliability, skill, and teamwork for a whole season of consistency.

    Buying top players does not make a winning team, togetherness wins a team match, going all out in any individule event does not mean you will win a league. Of course i know what you mean though and i am sure all 19 teams will all be trying,

    I get the impression with some supporters that Arsenal have a divine right to win the league, second is failure and the manager and players should be changed. Well playing the sport for years and years taught me that even the best team does not always win, so why do Arsenal supporters all think its so easy.

    I played golf for many years , a game that yo play in teams or alone i found no matter how hard i practiced i may have lowered my handicap but it wasnt that easy to win . I have your mindset Poig what ever i play i play to win but when i was playing for my first under 16 side we used to get hammered 10 nils and my goal as a striker all those years ago was just to score aginst them, daft i know but my side was just not very good but if i scored i knew i had done my bit.

    Team games is a lot different than individual sports but both need consistency.

  30. Steve, you can have all the togetherness in the world but if you don’t have a consistent (that word again) goalscorer, or a defence that actually defends, you won’t win anything.

    As to coming second, if you don’t win you lose!

  31. Norfolk point taken mate, I have led a life that losing has come second nature, by Christ i have tried, but winning is not easy. Now that is not to say that you should give up trying, but should you try your hardest and it doesn’t fall in place, the world does not end.

    On the times you do win, then the emotion is second to none and everybody that achieves it should savour the feeling, as with others trying as hard as you, you have done tremendous. Now i can not say your wrong, as if you take part you surely want to win, but the reason they have terms for not winning such as second or third or even runner up still means that you lost, as you say, but even so, second is better than last in a field of nineteen.

  32. Steve, in sixty odd years of watching Arsenal I must have experienced just about every emotion there is, but the emotion most often engendered by Arsenal over recent years is frustration.

    Frustration at the way the club repeat the same mistakes season after season. The failure to fill the glaring gaps in the squad, the regular failure against teams that we should beat leading to dropped points and early exit from cup competitions.

    Most of all though is the frustration that the owner and board appear to be satisfied with the status quo.

  33. I totally agree NG, going into season after season knowing we have deficiencies in the squad, making do, when we have ample resources, is not trying our best. This isn’t a case of buying the best whatever, but buying the right whatever. Thats all I ask for, sink or swim, satisfied our best was either good enough or not.

  34. And Steve, its not just about winning, I would be happier to finish 5th having tried than falling into 2nd place, when gaps were known in our squad before the season even started…the difference is trying not making do. Its the making do that completely pisses me off.

  35. Evening all, still no signs of a new player, so i assume that Arsenal will become failures according to some supporters. Top 4 will not be good enough and should he buy a player by window closure. of course he wont be good enough, When supporters cannot see second position as being successful, well i don’t think that whatever Arsenal do this season will be good enough.

    I would just like to add, just what do they expect Arsenal to do, to become a success, if they buy and lose some say a finishing position of fifth is better than a second as long as they are trying, does that mean that they feel that second position last season was given to us.

    I try to be positive with Arsenal, but it seems that supporters will never be satisfied. If we win the league this season with who we have got now, they will still feel that we are losers, I am sorry i don’t understand that. Maybe i should just support my club in quiet and should we win the league celebrate on my own.

  36. No Steve if we win the league let’s celebrate together.

    Let’s put second place in context. In any other season when two of the usual top teams, Chelsea and Man U, blew up long before May Arsenal would have been favourites perhaps with Man City to win the league. The fact that Leicester took the title was a big shock to all of us, but did we do everything in our power to try to win? I don’t think so.

    I believe there was something missing in the minds of some of our players, perhaps a bit of complacency crept in when they saw two main rivals fall away. We did well to beat Leicester home and away, but let ourselves down by dropping points to lesser teams and to Chelsea and United. Spurs did us a favour by blowing it in the final few games, so we got into second place but ten points adrift.

    I still feel that with a better attitude we could have got much closer or even won the title, and that’s what rankles with me.

    On that note I wish you all, both actually, a good night. 😳

  37. The season starts tomorrow…. whey hey, I’m currently in the hills of Les Cevennes but tomorrow I leave at 7am for a seven hour drive to the Loire Valley. I’ll try, really try, to get a pre-match up for Sunday morning chaps…. I promise!

  38. Steve
    I don’t say 5th is better than 2nd place, but can you hand on heart say the club had done everything possible last season to try and win the league. We bought 1 player in the window and had a stack of cash in the bank, we also know Wenger wanted a CF, but couldn’t “find” one, he has been looking since Van Persie left, thats a fact. Other teams manage to find players and buy them. Is our backroom team so crap they can’t, or does it it totally depend on one man? If so, it doesn’t say much about our system.

  39. Afternoon all, I see we have the same post unless of course i am commenting on the old one. 🙂

    Poig, sorry this is a late comment that i have just come home from a 48 stint fishing, please dont ask me how i got on as i only ha one Crayfish hanging on my Bait. Very frustrating. Poig what i wanted to say was, Yes i believe we try and win the league every season, also the cups and CL, Do i think Wenger is at fault, No, as i think he does what he does , and he does it to the philosophy that he works to.Whether that philosophy is right i cannot say, i suppose it depends what side of the fence you stand on

    I know Football generates a lot of money, Top players are a fortune, and some Managers and their clubs are prepared to spend to win trophies. Of course there is nothing wrong with that way, but fifty million pound players Just average players, and then there are others that cost double that, it doesn’t take long to get through a very lot of money and still you could end up with a top 4 place.

    Supporters spend their money on a a ticket for a game or a season ticket for a seasons game, no body twists their arm to buy tickets, but when they do they buy an afternoon of entertainment, not a say in how the club is run. If the entertainment is not good then don’t buy another ticket. Its as simple as that Poig.

    I go now and again and i have to say that every time i have been though, i really enjoy it. Poig i want my club at the top, i want them to be the best, but i also appreciate that other owners and Managers are prepared to do absolutely anything to win, and they do. I have to realise that my club will have to do it the hard way and hope the players can bring it home.

    Our owner is very rich but he does not feel about Arsenal as we do, that being the case its pretty obvious to me that funds will not be released, So he may own the club, but he only allows so much for players, and i am just a supporter..

  40. In the absence of a pre-match post, where are you 69er? I’ve just picked my starting eleven.

    At the back it’s dead simple as I would never ask players to play in the wrong position.


    To back them up and give a bit of cover


    The Playmaker in Chief


    Pace on the right, trickery on the left and a bundle of energy in the middle.


    I’ve not the faintest idea what Wenger will do at this moment in time, 14.15, I don’t think he does either.

  41. Very happy with what i have seen in the first half, attacks in numbers and defend in numbers, Walcott has been very sharp, and he is challenging. Won the penalty and i wanted him to take it, and he did. Shame he missed, but made up for it within minutes. The lads i feel are all doing well Iwobi looks dangerous, and it looks as though Zakha could be on in the second half. Liverpools free kick in the last minutes was a well taken kick, i did feel as if Cech should have been closer to it but 1.1 at half time

  42. 3.4 to Liverpool, not a great second half as far as Arsenal supporters are concerned, but a feast of goals. Some very good football from both sides, Liverpools finishing was i believe to be the difference on the day. I feel Petr Cech could have been a little sharper but Liverpool had the better half.

    I feel that it was a shame that we came off with no points , but for the first game of the season i felt we gave a good account of ourselves.

  43. Yes we gave a good account of ourselves and fortunately haven’t wasted a shitload of money on a CB or CF, I’m now looking forward to Leicester.

  44. Apart from one or two dodgy moments I thought our back five did pretty well, even though we conceded four goals. Would we have done any better with Koscielny in the side? Debatable.

    I wouldn’t be too worried if we went with the same defence against Leicester, I’d swap Xhaka for Coquelin and, up front, Cazorla for Ramsey. As it’s an away fixture Ozil can stay at home and I’d put Campbell in for Iwobi.

    I can’t understand Wenger’s decision to take Elneny off and leave Coquelin on. But then I seldom understand anything he does.

  45. There’s still time to sign reinforcements, Mustafi for one, and a central striker, the window is open until the end of the month, so nothing to worry about there Wenger will see us right…..won’t he?

    We are fifteenth in the league. Things can only get better…..or worse.

  46. I can understand many supporters being very unhappy with Arsene Wenger, as he still has not brought the two players that he said he was working for. Now whether he gets them or not, i don’t believe our side deserved to be boo’d off at home, with the display i saw.

    What i witnessed today were two teams evenly matched with two excellent Managers, with one side looking the better in the first half and the other the other half..

    Its my opinion that supporters from both sides had a thoroughly enjoyable early evenings entertainment. I personally enjoyed both teams footballing skills. Of course one side won and it wasn’t ours. but even so with seven goals, i would have thought that everybody there, got value for money.

    Now this is Arsenals first game of the season, and if this display of home fans support is anything to go by, they have another agenda coming to a football match and displaying that kind of support. Now this is not about players who does what ,or don’t, Its all about a witch hunt and only one man that they are focusing on.

    Now i am just a supporter, and i wanted new players , but would i boo my own side, Never!!! Nor a Manager of twenty years service.

  47. Being slightly churlish how many times has he won the league with all his own players in 20 years, along with being 1 of the highest paid for most of the time?
    And yes I was being sarcastic NG, he knew what we needed to start the season well, he didn’t deliver them. Would it have made a difference today? Who knows, and for some reason the player he did buy didn’t start…I do like Elmeny though think he is a good player.

    Steve, am I ever satisfied….not with the same old story, no.

  48. In the circumstances, with the very early injury to Gabriel, why didn’t Wenger immediately recall Koscielny from holiday? There was sufficient time to get him fit enough to start today. Once Gabriel came back Koscielny could have had a break if he needed it.

    Now the injury crisis grows, Ramsey, Iwobi, Jack Wheelchair still not recovered from his “leetle” knee problem and Coquelin with knock.

    Not looking good is it?

  49. I hope your satisfied if we win the league Poig, As i think many supporters or so called supporters would rather a change in manager than a trophy.

    And its not about Money Mate, its a sport, some do it their way and Wenger does it his, 20 years top 4 many never make 4 years.

  50. Steve, I would be delighted if we did, but still would want him to go. Money isn’t everything in football but can help if used.

  51. I was surprised that Cech kept hoofing the ball up field, hadn’t he noticed that we had a little bloke up there not Giroud?

    I was disappointed with Walcott, yes he won the penalty but then made a hash of it, yes he scored a good goal but that was about it, for the rest of the game zilch!

  52. I really have to apologise…………… after a 8 hour drive yesterday to Bourgueil, I’ve been drunk for two days and tomorrow is the fete des vins……………. so no chance for a new post…………… and who really gives a shit, we lost 4-3 today against Liverpool……………… expect more of the same this season

  53. Morning all,
    First game of the season has been played, and we lost to what looked a very good Liverpool. Klop seemed jubilant at the end, and said that they had work to do after the first half display.

    Arsenal seemed to be up for this game, We did seem to get off to a good start, and the side i felt looked sharp, i felt we closed down quickly and attacked with a bit of pace. Liverpool did seem at times to hack our players everytime they were pressed, i did feel that the referee could have taken early steps as our players were floored nearly every attack.

    Iwobi’s footwork was very good and was definitely giving Liverpool problems , but trips and kicks were to tell later in the game. Theo i felt was giving a good account of himself, at times i thought he was more involved than i have seen him for a while, and when we had made a good move into the Liverpool box, finally the referee had no choice but to give a penalty after Theo was flattened.

    I have to admit that i said to my Mrs that Theo should take it as i felt a goal would give the lad confidence, then low and behold Theo stepped up to the plate. Theo i felt hit a fairly good strike but the Liverpool keeper Minulett responded with a very good dive and chose the right side.

    Although disappointing< Arsenal still attacked and Minutes later a through ball to Theo saw the striker is space and Theo took his chance well and stroked the ball past the struggling keeper, Liverpool had finally been penetrated , and Arsenal were having a good spell, I felt as the last few minutes Liverpool was fortunate to get a freekick as it seemed quite tame, but the Liverpool player hit a perfect free kick which flew into the Arsenal top left hand corner, Petr Cech seemed rooted to the spot but did manage an attempt but far far to late. The half ended 1.1.

    It seemed that the half way break was time for Jurgun Klop to sort out his midfield, as they seemed more able to cover Arsenals attacks better, and we did start making a few stray passes that led to Liverpool taking the lead with a very good move finished off bya stunning goal Arsenal at this time looked vulnerable and shortly after a Liverpool attack down the right was crossed in at pace and a Liverpool man rushing in caught the ball off his shin and past the Arsenal keeper, their next goal soon after was also a very well taken goal and Arsenal who had bossed the first half looked shell shocked.

    I have to say at this point, that i don't believe blame can be attached to Arsenal players as Liverpool's goals were world class, but Arsenal's fight and belief came to the fore and ended the game 3.4 and every goal was a spectacle. Both teams had given their all and on this occasion Liverpool got the important winning goal.

    Arsenal of course have had a few injuries and some who are still being rested from playing for their countries, but those players should be back before to long and by what i saw of this match will only strengthen Arsenals squad. The window also is still open, and as Wenger has said he is still looking, but on the show of our opening match we still have a squad of very talented players.

    For some reason only known to those there, The Arsenal side were boo'd off the field, I have to say that what i had watched of this game i saw no justification for that whatsoever, our players went off to that, and must wonder if it was all worth it.

    I dont believe another club in the league would boo off their own players after a display like that, but then they must have an agenda of their own.

  54. I have been following Arsenal for well over sixty years Poig.
    And i have to say, that they last night are not Arsenal supporters. They are rent a crowed I am disappointed and disgusted by the people who boo’d. Whatever their reasons and i couldn’t give a shit what they are, you don’t support by doing that.

    There are thousands waiting on the list for season tickets, why do these Morons get first choice when all they want to do is vent their propaganda. Christ its bad enough having to listen to media so called experts but to see it from supposed fans is heartbreaking.

    There is no doubt in my mind that these morons will continue until the Manager retires. They of course will bring this on early, i just hope they realise that life for Arsenal will change maybe for the better but it also could be for the worse, then hopefully they will fuck off and let supporters who want to support.

  55. This manager who can’t win a league in 20 years with his own team, values qualifying for Europe then does fuck all when he does, gives every excuse under sun the why he can’t do things…and a mountain of money, he hasn’t even spent this years tv money for fuck sake…its easy to support the team but not the regime.

  56. Poig as you say we have to agree to disagree, I find it hard to work you out Poig, When has any who have won leagues ever won it by their own players, other than RedNose none of the others.

    Why you bring up a stat like that, is sinking low mate. Twelve years since we won the league, a long time yes, but its certainly longer for many others, and you dont see their supporters bringing up stats like that.

    It’s as plain as the nose on your face that you dislike the Manager, but in that twenty years you have seen victories in most of the comps Champions League aside, but we have had some fantastic European teams. I make no excuses for Wenger as he has been fantastic in my eyes. The invincibles but again we probably had someone in it that he never recruited. But still probably will never be seen again in my lifetime.

    Poig, I dont want to fall out with anyone but you don’t see many other club supporters pick what Manager they have , if you dont like whats happening in our club, why do you follow them. Managers in other clubs are doing exactly what you want them to do, why stay .

  57. Steve, I honestly believe we could be much better, and 20 years he has had plenty of time, who else has had that time…the last 3 or 4 years has been rinse and repeat….he says he can’t find the players…he managed to find 5 after the thrashing at Utd very quickly. This club is all about 1 man, in this day and age thats ludicrous, when he came there were under 100 employees now there are around 500, the club has outgrown him, but absolutely fuck all happens unless he says so. Even the board admitted that. What successful club operates like that?
    Its not just Wenger it the system there, and I don’t believe it can or will change while he is there.
    Finally I was supporting the Gunners long before he came, and will if I live long enough after him.

  58. Hi Steve, Sorry but I can’t agree with you about Walcott’s penalty. It was at about waist height, about four feet inside the post and hit fairly weakly, in fact it was dead easy for the keeper.

    The worst aspect of the game was once more conceding a goal in injury time. What happens to pass, pass, pass possession football when we need it. The Pool players had no compunction about time wasting and keeping the ball by the corner flag towards the ends of the game. Wenger mentioned that the players were hit psychologically by the first goal immediately before half time, but seemingly did nothing about it during the break. Typically bad management.

  59. When i first started following Arsenal i couldn’t even tell you the managers name, football was shown very seldom on the tele if you had one that is. only by photo’s did i know who was in the side and reports on a Saturday giving reports and who may of scored. Football became popular on the TV and games were easy to follow better but for some who also played the sport , was unabled to go to matches and many of us couldnt afford the fairs and entry,

    Over time of course, football was more accessible for many who lived close to the ground it was easy but for guys like me it was still hard and expensive. Arsenal was never really winning anything in those days and as many of my mates were spuds didn’t want to go to Highbury, and of course we still played ourselves Bertie Mee George Graham and Bruce Rioch was when i really started to take notice previous Managers i probably wouldn’t have recognised, but if they Managed Arsenal i supported them as well. Finally when Wenger came i wasn’t best pleased, but soon found out the guy was different, training diets special rules and treatment for players who had problems. He at that time was a breath of fresh air George of course gave us a taste of victory and how grateful was i years with fuck all and then that, of course George got caught with his hand in the till but in my mind i didn’t mind as he brought success.

    Bruce came and he brought Dennis blimey what a footballer a magician of the highest order sadly Wenger name came up and Bruce was outed , but what we were to receive was well worth my agony. Arsene Senger, who the fuck is he i thought, but fuck me everybody in football now knows this mans name and apart from so called football fans many have tried to get him. Even England have tried but Arsene is an Arsenal man and he will be till he is muscled out, but i have to say he has done more for football than most and he has brought many happy memories for me.

    Of course everything comes to an end at some stage, New supporters and New \management soon want some one else, i am coming to my last few years i have been very fortunate that Wenger chose my club, i thank him for all that i have seen him bring and sadness will be what i have when he is forced out. But he will leave me memories that no other Arsenal manager could ever possibly match, but thats life i suppose. Come on you Gunners.

  60. As a by the way, I have just read his comments from after the match, if that isn’t a fucking disgrace I don’t know what is.

  61. Norfolk we also have a difference of opinions, In my mind when a player makes first team football he should be ready for knocks, He will lose many games in his professional career, and each time should learn something about himself. You say about Theo’s penalty and maybe you are right, but another game and the keeper dives the other way, and it would have been perfect, thats the rub mate. Theo is not what i would call a top striker, but he does have moments of brilliance Wenger has seen this and has stuck by him, i would have outed him but i am not Wenger.

    Managers do use the wrong tactics, easy to see after a game but not so easy to see before hand. Wenger makes mistakes but who doesn’t. He is not like Klop where his players will grab his shirt and rough him up on the touchline, He may just now and again clench his fist and pump his arm when a goal is scored, but he handles things differently. Wenger’s way, many don’t like, they don’t seem to like anything he does ,but thats up to them, but when you have a record like Wenger, it is seen by some supporters (me) to be consistent and for a Manager consistently at the top 4 spots is very successful indeed.

    Like Poig you want change, i have no doubts you will get your way very soon. Good luck with that, but i will support Arsene and the team till my last breath, and i still hope he signs for longer.

  62. Glad to hear it Poig, We have the same club at heart mate, but we differ on who runs the team, i can live with that, 🙂

  63. Steve, you’ll support Wenger to your last breath, I sincerely hope he won’t be around as long as that mate. 😀

    As to the penalty, top corner, bottom corner hit with sufficient pace and no ‘keeper in the world will save it. The way Walcott took it gave Mignolet a chance.

  64. Yes i wouldn’t argue with that Norfolk, but i was giving Theo the benefit of the doubt, I have given the bloke enough abuse over the years but if he’s in the team, then i hope he does well.

    Penalties are an art, not everybody likes to take them, as i remember we have missed a few so we don’t get to many chances, i don’t remember to many from last season, i just think we normally give them.

    I was a bit surprised he gave us that one, but fucking hell, it was clear cut even to a blind man.

  65. Morning all.
    Seems like the support has waned a little, because we lost our first game, Nobody wants to be reminded perhaps, Even so the season is underway, i am still confident that we will buy a couple of players, whether they will be the ones that we are supposedly linked with who knows, but i feel that we all know that we need them in, and of course we have to offload some as well as our squad has many who probably wouldn’t get first team action anyway. Gnabry i read has been loaned out, and i expect a few more will go out, to get more experience.

    Apparently Iwobi will be out for a month so that probably means six weeks to a couple of months, Ramsey also will be out for a month with a pulled hamstring. Wilshere should be available so to Koshielney for this weekends match with Leicester.

    Injury does seem to be against us , we seem to pick a couple up after every game, so just as well we don’t loan out players who will undoubtedly be called on. News is thin on the ground, any news seems to be guess work by whoever reports it, so we still have a couple of weeks till window closes, so i expect we will just have to wait.

    Leicester have recruited and they have expectations of doing well again this season, they lost both games to us last season so they will be trying to change that round. Word was out, that we were trying to recruit a couple of Leicester players. but Claudio has sweet talked them round, and it now looks as though they are settled, if of course there was any truth in the stories to start with..

    I feel we have enough in the squad to give a good account of ourselves, but of course we are visiting the Champions of last season, so obviously it will be a tough game. Wenger of course has egg on his face from last week, the Boo’s still ringing in his ears, I would imagine much the same this weekend as well, as nothing has changed, if anything, 3 points behind has made the situation worse. The good news is that the travelling support usually get behind the side, and hopefully that will be the case.

  66. Good morning Steve, the Gnabry thing seems to be a typical Arsenal situation. We take on a young player, coach him, nurture him, treat his many injuries and just as he gets fit and starts to show his talent (joint stop scorer at the Olympics with six goals) we send him out on loan or flog him. Hertha Berlin are offering €2 million, they’re surely avin a larf.

    The Jonny Evans thing has been resurrected, we’ve had a £12million bid rejected, I find that very worrying, not so much that the bid has been turned down, but that we made it in the first place, he’s a crap player and certainly not good enough for Arsenal, but I expect Wenger and Gazidis can see some “value” in him.

    Where are you Soixante-Neuf? I know my last post was brilliant and all that, but it’s a week old and getting a bit stale. If we can’t have a new one at least put are bit of “art” up.

  67. Morning Norfolk, Glad to see i am not talking to myslf, Now i know we started off with a loss, but even so were still supporters. Had a look round some of the other blogs and i have to say that many are not optimistic. The talk of our Usbeck selling up and buying another club was interesting, Interesting as much as to see what he will do should it happen.. Many seem to think that the Asian rich people want to go south seems to be the popular opinion, so perhaps what Stan doesn’t buy maybe an Asian part owner. Not of course it would make much difference here but it does give the fans something to talk about.

    Trouble with us at Arsenal Norfolk, is that Wenger has always brought in youngsters for the future, but fans want players for the here and now, We have shitloads of Midfielders and we cannot play them all. If we put a few out for sale, fans moan if we loan them they moan and if we play them they say we have better.

    Personally even if it meant us losing our top four positions, i would like to see Wenger go with youngsters right through all the positions, as youngsters will only get experience by playing Premier league football. I believe we have enough youngsters to field a team of players with a comprehensive cover team as well.

    Of course however it is sorted will be wrong so Wenger does just what he has to do to try and keep things much the same. Maybe supporters see his exit as a more exciting prospect who knows.

  68. Evening all, done an overnighter last night fishing, my run of blanks continues. Looking at the paper this morning, and i noticed something that i hadn’t given much thought to.

    Now of course we need players and by the looks of it Wenger has asked a few, of course as you all know, he is not having a good time of it .

    Now just say for intance, your a top player and Arsenal come knocking at your door, of course it woud turn your head for a moment, but when you start thinking about contracts and personal details, you have to start wondering that should you sign, what happens next season if Wenger goes, Will whatever Wenger has told you about your future be honoured should Wenger retire at the end of the season, and would it be enough for you to change your mind.

    Now we have seen new Managers this season, and many club players are being shown the door, what the old Manager said to you and the way he said your futures safe son, can that really be taken seriously if he is not there next term, So would that make you do a Vardy or a Marhez No thank you M r Wenger

  69. Watching the United Southampton match, and after the few years since Fergie retired, i see tonight that some one else is filling up the brown envelopes now. I saw one of the tamest penalties given in favour of United, the referee’s are back on the payroll.

  70. Although i am talking to myself, i have to comment on Uniteds win tonight. After the game the pundits talked about how good United were, how Ibrahimovitch got man of the match, and just what a footballer Paul Pogba is. Mourinho was back to his blas’e self, as he said that although if you look at the stats tomorrow, you will see that Southampton had the better possession, but they never troubled us at all, the Southampton today is not like it was in the past and it is now a more competitive league.

    Of course Mourinho is right in as much as the league is tougher now, Of course it would be with all the sponsors money, Television also compliments the huge sums that all Premier league teams get. There are no easy games as all teams can now afford to buy very good talent, but that is not just this season, this has been for many seasons. And this is just what i wanted to point out.

    Arsenal have been competitive for many many years, top third of the league for twenty years takes good management, Now this is not well done to our Manager but a well done to any team that have held that position for twenty years. Our team or should i say our club was boo’d of the park last Sunday, Our first game of the season and a pretty good match with seven goals and we still got boo’d. I have no doubts they will get boo’d of the park at Leicester as well this weekend.

    Were we that bad, didn’t our three goals deserve just a little hand clap, apparently not. Supporters often say that they just want us to be competitive, they want us to win trophies, In the last 3 seasons we have been in the top 4 with us finishing second last season, we have won the FA cup 2 times on the trot missing out last season, And according to Arsenal fans the club have no ambition.

    Well would you |Believe it Manchester United won a match last night at home 2.0 One a very good header by Ibrohimovitch and a very soft penalty also scored by the same player and the United fans celebrated the win with cheers and chants, Now this is a club that have had countless Managers they have not been competitive for close on 4 years but the Fans are now behind their team and club.

    Ibrahimovitch’s Header was shown Many times tonight but the foul for the penalty only once, Not a mention about the penalty foul was mentioned, but then again it wouldn’t would it , their name is United not Arsenal. Of course the only two players talked about was Ibrohimovitch and Pogba they must have beaten Southampton on their own.

    Never mind United, think about the jeers and the \Boo’s from last week, and tell me who deserves this kind of treatment ,whatever the reasons..

  71. Good morning Steve, I’ll try to keep you company, at least briefly.

    More Wengerisms for us to chew on. “It’s worth a try using Alexis as a striker”. “Danny Welbeck is ahead of schedule and will be back before Christmas”. So that means he will not be buying a striker in this transfer window. Meanwhile, Joel Campbell is shipped out on loan to Sporting Lisbon for the rest of the season.

    Wenger has admitted that he knew Ramsey was injured at half-time, against Liverpuddle, so why the f**k didn’t he substitute him then? I can’t believe how utterly stupid he can be at times.

    Koscielny, Giroud and Ozil weren’t picked last week because they weren’t match fit, we haven’t played a game since, so they can’t be match fit this week either can they?

    I’ll be watching tonight’s game from behind the sofa, if I can be bother to watch it at all.

    Well done to the England women’s hockey team for winning the gold medal, they won on penalties. Something our men’s footballers find it impossible to do.

  72. Just looking on the Arsenal news sites to see if any news has been reported, where i found a headline that said that Wenger has confirmed that the centre back we have been linked with is having a medical on Monday, I clicked on to the story where the headline was the same, but the report was what Wenger stated the other day, where he stated that he will not talk about any individual player.

    Another headline was that Petr Cech had said that Arsenal players were not happy with Wenger’s transfer dealings in this window, Again i click on to the story and the headline again is the same, but the story is about how Petr Chech hit a post in the car park as he left the carpark after the game.

    I can see by all these misleading headlines, why the Media and press dislike Arsene Wenger so much, basically, he will not play their game, he tells them only what any other Manager tells them, and that is that.

    It seems to me that players are expensive enough, without letting out personal details of any dealings the club are involved in. Wenger will not tell them anything, so they make stories up, and misleading headlines. In one story the Author says what happens if Sanchez Giroud or any other player gets injured what would happen. Exactly the same as if Pogba or Ibrahimovitch gets injured , you get on with it.

  73. A late afternoon Kick off at Leicester today, It will be another tough game second place us and League champions Leicester from last season, so a right old knees up today..
    Of course Arsenal have been rejected by two of Leicesters champions players , When you win the league it is hard to get them to move, But both players can thank Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, as they have both received new contracts and both had a pay rise.

    The battle will go ahead and both of Leicesters players will try to prove the point , that they each made the right decision. Of course it may swing in their favour after all they are the Champions , but we did get the double over them last season, and now we have a few more back, i would like to think we have enough to take our first game this season with them. United winning Last nights game has now put us 6 points behind, United are on a high this morning sitting at the top of the league, but from what i saw last night they will need a few helping hands from Referee’s this season if they intend to stay there.

  74. Our strength in depth. The Arsenal website lists nine forwards, we don’t call them strikers, Welbeck and Iwobi are currently injured, Gnabry is at the Olympics, Giroud is not match fit and Campbell is probably going out on loan to Sporting Lisbon.

    Walcott, no longer wants to play as a central striker, Wenger thinks he could have an impact in that position. Alexis is not a central striker, he wasn’t bought as one, although Wenger says he could be like Messi or Suarez.

    So we have five out of nine unavailable, two playing out of position and two more, Akpom and Sanogo with very little experience between them and in the case of the later, not much talent either.

    All this and Wenger can’t find a striker, sorry forward, when would improve our squad. Unbelievable!

    So we have

  75. Morning Norfolk, Yes all yo say is true, but a transfer window is from start to finish, i personally would like it to start and finish in the close season, in actual fact i would like transfers to be an open book where when a club has problems they can buy at will. I believe that the transfer window is unfair, as the best players are usually brought by the wealthiest clubs and everybody else take seconds, i believe a fairer way of doing it is for clubs to negotiate deals from behind closed doors.

    The transfer window as its called now is basically another Media frenzy that they can keep as a highlight, they show it with a table who and what has been brought, who has spent the most a bit like a league table of big spenders. This has inflated the price to astronomic proportions, shutting out many of the poorer clubs.

    No one player is worth what Clubs are being forced to pay, and the wages is just not right. Now football generates money, nobody begrudges players from earning a good wage, but the amounts they earn is not doing football any good at all. There is no sealing so amounts will just get higher every transfer window and that i believe is wrong.

    The sport is supposed to be fair where clubs can compete in a league and stand a chance of winning, but that is not the case, if a club cannot compete with other clubs for players because they cannot find the sort of money that is needed then the league is fixed. That seems to be the case, if transfers can be fixed who’s to say that the FA can also be fixed then we have football dominated by rich owners and corruption is rife.

    Whether anybody cares or not, Arsene Wenger seems to believe that the prices of players is wrong, he is aware that the rich owners invest huge amounts to reach the top positions. This is by no way fair so the leagues are fixed . Television is paying the most in sponsorship so they dictate when and who plays , where games were played on a Saturday all at the same time now it is run by television. Clubs who play their games first and win have an unfair advantage, Pressure is put on clubs before they play that cannot be right.

    Media can make or break a manager just by reporting all the bad and none of the good until club supporters are propagandised if that’s a word. What else could have turned football fans into obsessed fanatics especially an Arsenal fan who has seen the many trophies we have won, and where we sit at the top of the league every season. Boo’ed in our first game and how much did the media love reporting that.

  76. An honest football supporter shouldn’t know how much their club has in the transfer pot, it has nothing to do with them, they shouldn’t know how much an owner is worth or how much his profits are from season to season that’s his investment not theirs. Why should supporters know how wealthy a club is none of their business. What a football supporter pays his or her money for is an afternoons entertainment, and that’s all if they feel that the asking price is to expensive then don’t go as simple as that.

    You wouldn’t like your business reported, how much money you make how much you owe or how much wage you get or give your employees thats your business. Why should a Manager be pressurised because he feels that who he has is good enough. Its like you being hounded that you should take on more staff when you don’t want to. Its your business and you run it as you feel is best for you.

    Supporters feel that because they go to every home game or away that that gives them a right to how the club is being run, and that is not the case. they are just a person that pays for an afternoons entertainment nothing more and until they realise that that is exactly what they are, they will always get what they have always got an afternoons entertainment.

  77. Sorry Norfolk, Just seen your comment from last night, I had assumed that all our four bloggers were tucked up close to their partners, but didn’t realise you were still recovering 🙂

    Yes you always make good points Norfolk my old mate, but we always seem to differ, but whats the point if we all have the same views, Yes Wenger will probably go with Sanchez, and although as you say he was not brought as a centre forward, i still feel that once he feels comfortable he may just be a good pick. I liked what Wenger said about Sanchez, when he said when played on the wing he had a job to do in defence as well but playing central he just has to concentrate on attacking. Now i believe that that could be the best news we could have heard, as Theo will probably not be picked as he would probably play wing so i assume that he will be on the bench in case of a hiccup.

    You say tongue in cheek that you will either be watching from behind the sofa or maybe not watching at all, load of bollocks Norfolk, You wouldn’t miss this game and you know it. I love the way supporters try and sound laid back and i don’t really give a dam, but when i blog you are not far behind or before so don’t try and kid a kidder. We will get a result today Norfolk and i feel we will get stronger and stronger.. Of course i want a centre back and a striker but i feel Wenger has always let us down in the end, so one or other. He may still surprise us though, the old Bugger does at times. I of course will be perched in front of the box in prime position, i will ty not to blink so i can take every detail in. I expect good things from Arsenal this season, i have had a good look over the squad and i am confident that should they all give as much as i think they are capable of we will have a very good season, Yes there will be set backs, but when have we never dealt with that before.

  78. Steve, I’m not prepared to make any predictions about tonight’s match. Last week I said we’d beat Liverpuddle, keep a clean sheet and not pick up any injuries, I was wrong on all three counts, my crystal ball has gone all foggy.

  79. I thought that the clubs with new managers and lots of new players would take time to settle in, well that theory is well and truly down the toilet. Both Manchester clubs are off to fliers, if we drop any points tonight we’ll be playing catch up for the rest of the season. City win 4 – 1. Scary!

  80. Steve
    When a company go public, all its accounts go public, swings and roundabouts.
    But I’m really excited to see the return of Sanogo when he is fit.

  81. Spending doesn’t guarantee winning, not spending does guarantee you losing over time, if you don’t have have quality second string.

  82. Afternoon all, Settling in to a new club is an experience that all players are nervous about, but as experienced new players have shown a Referee who dish out Penalties for some and not others seems to help.

    Its one thing that seems to be a common practice in professional football ,that the more wealthier a club is to how many decisions go your way. Leading a match can be very rewarding when a decision aids you to that leading position. The first goal seems to effect players and should a second goal be scored players heads will go down.

    now i am not saying that the game is fixed but from what i watched last night and this afternoon it seems to go in favour of the rich clubs.

    Poig i dont think you will see Sanogo tonight, but you may be fortunate.

  83. Losing over time Poig, suggests that if you are insinuating that we are losers, surely we should be around the bottom of the league, or is being in the top 4 for 20 years, losing to you

  84. We hardly have a winning mentality, or the only time we do is if the 4th place trophy is at stake…10 points behind the winners for more years than we haven’t for ages….You are happy with mediocrity I’m not.

  85. I understand supporters want big spending from the club, but when every season we are classed by the experts as outside the top four places, i am amazed how these people are called experts when they have been wrong for 20 years.

    They will again tonight go on about our lack of spending in this window , i would imagine that should we win the so called experts will have to with hold some of the usual bile they spill. What makes so called experts when they are always wrong.

    Of course once the game has been played, and they have analysed where a player was not, in their mind in the right position, judging by that information we could all be classed as experts.

  86. Stoke got a fairly soft penalty today against City Steve, does that knock a hole in your theory? 😀

  87. Poig if you always want to be on the winning side pick another sport mate support Usain Bolt or someone like Muhamed Ali, you should always have a good afternoon then. I live in the real world where knocks hit you all the time, Ten points may be massive for you, but many clubs behind us last season would have taken our spot if they could have, make no mistake of that. Its not easy being up there for all those years mate, and you have never seen us in another division.

  88. They only got that penalty as they had a man floored in the end of the first half, they should have had another. The referee must have been told that that was a definite penalty. And no that does not change my theory.

  89. As our dear old (probably drunk) leader hasn’t graced us with his presence today, here’s my starting eleven.


    I’m not a fan of fitting round pegs in square holes. I’d not risk Koscielny, if he’s not fully fit but I don’t think Chambers has the necessary pace to cope with Leicester’s runners.

  90. Wenger has hinted that Sanchez will be up front, and i would doubt Theo in defensive duties Norfolk, but you may be right.

  91. Steve as I have said before, its not just winning its trying to win, if you ignore the words of AW, when was the last time you saw that season. Time and again we start a season short of the players we need, surely you can see that. I don’t expect to win all the time, but would like to see some effort in trying, instead of the increasingly lame excuses we get. If you are happy to pay your money for an afternoons enjoyment thats fine.
    You say plenty of other clubs would like to be in our situation, but you should be comparing like with like to see how average we have become….200m last season and another 100m tv money this season, just who compares with us?

  92. Poig what can i say, last year we beat all all our supposedly rivals to the second spot, they are considered like for like clubs, and a mere lower classed club beat us by ten points, But they beat the remainder by more.. I see that as trying, i see that as competing. Mourinho had he stayed at Chelsea would have been relegated, he was saved that embarrassment by being sacked . Wenger said nothing, while when Mourinho was having a good run, couldn’t help himself by trying to ridicule our man.

    How many Managers who have lost the dressing room at his club gets sacked twice at the same club and then gets a Managers job at a struggling side who have fortunes to spend, and he has the audacity to ridicule our Manager..Whether you realise or not Wenger is a winner, he runs Arsenal very well, he gets proven results without huge outlay, and he makes the club plenty of money. Whether they spend that money or not is not our concern as its not our money, but as far as results are concerned if i was Kroenke i would insist he stay as long as possible. Trophies are still arriving at Emirates and i suppose we never tried two seasons on the trot, what did they do, give it to us.

  93. Steve, I would be happier, note “happier not “happy”, with a top four finish if we were playing attractive, entertaining football, but with Wenger’s current tactics we are enormously dull.

    It is more or less impossible for him to change the style of play as it is ingrained throughout the club. For twenty years he has stuck with it, not only buying players to fit the pattern but appointing coaches to reinforce his philosophy. There’s never anything surprising in what the player’s do, it is all totally predictable.

    Change will be difficult, but the horrible Mourinho has managed it in a month or so at United and Guardiola is quickly doing so at City.

    Surely there’s a manager out there who can do the same for Arsenal.

  94. Well I got the defence right, Le Coq instead of Elneny and the Ox instead of Akpom.

    Looks like Alexis is going to play up front, let’s hope we don’t keep bombing high balls up to him, the Leicester grapplers will eat them up.

  95. I agree with what you say about our play last season Norfolk, some of those games wasn’t easy on the eye that’s for sure, but we have got additions this season . Elneny didnt show much for his spell last season but i think he will this, Zakha so far has shown little got booked last week but it was his first game i believe he will show why he was brought . Many players had long term injuries and we went some time for them to come back but this season the ones who are injured at present have cover and in my opinion we have better cover. Players last season came back from injury with bad form and many ever did find their best, this season i hope that has changed.

    Last weeks Game against Liverpool ended with a loss but having said that, i think our play in the first half showed great improvement, apart from a twenty minute spell we played fairly steady and found the net where we struggled last season. We will definitely miss Iwobi and Ramsey , not so bothered about Merts and Gabriel as i feel that our youngsters wont let us down.

    Theo has found a little bravery and has found a modicum of form and everybody else seemed sharp enough, Cech i would like to see better, has tended to be slowing up, i feel he has slowed up but it is early and i will give him the benefit of the doubt .

    I dont remember if you watched the game last week Norfolk, but if we play similar this week i think you will like what you see.

  96. I watched last weeks game, we played well, not great, except for twenty minutes when we let them score four. Typical Arsenal!

    A long cold gin and tonic, roasted, salted cashews and my favourite armchair in front of the tele. As Pop Larkin would say “perfick”.

  97. Does anyone want to write a match report for tomorrow? I’m currently in the mountains of Les Cevennes for a birthday party of a Hells Angel…. not watching the match but getting updates on BBC and no time to write something…. e mail me with report if possible

  98. A lively first half plenty of action, lots of passes, possession and endeavour not too much goal action though. I’m really getting sick of listening to the drivel from the commentators.

    We need to keep up the pace and pressure in the second half, Le Coq needs to watch himself, he’s been close to a second yellow a couple of times. Leicester are excellent at the sneaky foul to stop counter attacks.

  99. Well lots of possession but no end result, we still have the pass back mentalty, and we need to lose that. I could understand Monreals reluctance to cross the ball as none of the Arsenal front players would go for it anyway.

    Leicesters back four looked fairly big and they put it about a bit. This was possibly a game for \Giroud as he can hold his own against that kind of play, Sanchez is basically not a future Suarez i believe Wenger has that one wrong, he is more effective running at the defence.

    The way we stand at the moment i feel that a lack of a target man is holding us back, our wingmen are reluctant to cross as it means they straight away have to run back.

    I have to say that the pundits and commentators showed how much they despise Arsenal, i can not remember such a fuss they made ove Koshielneys great tackle they went overboard again with Belerins tackle as well. These pundits are convinced that Arsenal should never win a game how can they be allowed on to a programe like that.

    Last night i watched United get a penalty and they showed the foul after the penalty was taken and never commented on it . This league seems to be dead against anything Arsenal. I wonder at times how we ever have won a game.

  100. Two points dropped or two points saved? It could have gone either way.

    I think we can safely say that the Alexis experiment is a non-starter. That must have been his worse game in an Arsenal shirt.

    I can never figure out what Wenger tries to achieve with his substitutions, today when we are desperate for a presence up front and one of our defensive midfielders is walking a tightrope, with our only central striker on the bench he takes off the other DM and an, admittedly poorly performing, play maker replacing them like for like. Eventually when we were being pinned back with all hands on the defensive pump he brings on a striker who just does not have the pace to play on the break.

    On the whole not a bad performance but as I often got on my school reports, could do better.

  101. Another bizarre decision by the manager, we are desperate for forwards yet we send Joel Campbell out on loan to Sporting Lisbon. Just what is going on in his mind?

  102. Beats me, I think he is one of our better players, he certainly tries, which to my mind makes up for a lot that he lacks, but I’m not responsible for 600 staff wages.

  103. Obviously we are disappointed with a draw, I felt yesterdays effort showed me that our attack is just not good enough, I could pick out players who were disappointing on the day, But what i found really disturbing was how we just cannot penetrate a defence,

    Players who hardly challenged in case they get hurt always has me scratching my head, We have very talented players, but not many would break any records in bravery. One player who was surly missed was Iwobi, his injury is being missed out on the field, he runs with the ball and he challenges for everything.

    I am as bemused by the Managers decision in loaning out Campbell, his workrate and his bravery is second to none, Gnabry will also probably go out on loan as he seems very much the same as Campbell, where Wenger does not think he is ready. Mr Wenger we disagree on that as both these players give more than what Theo Walcott gives us.

    Sanchez proved that he cannot compete inside the box with big defenders, both our flankmen wouldn’t cross the ball, when it was the obvious choice. I find it hard to rule Sanchez out completly as if you are not fed with the ball its very hard to score..

    I think that yesterdays game has made or should have made his mind up to enlist a top target man and very soon, as we will struggle without one, Who we have have just not got what we need. Players are needed and the Arsenal bank needs breaking into to secure our future. Theo Walcott should have been, either loaned out or sold. He is a lightweight at Premier League level, whatever the Manager see’s in him, that he doesn’t in Campbell or Gnabry God only knows.

    I was happy with our defence, apart from our wing backs not crossing, if you are not going to supply the cannon fodder, don’t waste your time going up. So buy a striker or two, and when Wellbeck is fit for the winter window, loan him out with Walcott until they are both focused enough to come back.

    Although i was disappointed with our result, we were playing last seasons clear champions, so it was never going to be easy,Its games like these where weaknesses we posses is shown up massively, and we need to fix these if we intend to challenge properly.

  104. I feel we have a scenario at Arsenal with our players, a player like Alexis Sanchez comes into the side and causes a sensation, he then get injured and another steps into his position and does well , and when Sanchez comes back the player who has been playing well gets dropped and we find that Sanchez has come back not as sharp as he was, We keep playing him but his form and confidence is shot , so we move him to another position in the hope that he is inspired again. I feel the same has happened for Santi Cazorla, he was injured and we buy 2 holding Mid fielders who seem to have fallen into their nic’e what to do with Cazorla when he returns. It seems that we get overloaded in certain positions but we seem to be better with the new player but we still try and play the fit again player as well.

    I have to say that in my playing days , when injured we had to wait untill an injury or a substitution to show what you had, and if your form was not there it went to somebody else. Players of course will come back after an injury, expecting to fit straight back in expecially if they cost a lot. But form has to be proved before you take a form players place,

    This i feel is a bit of a conundrum, you have an expensive player ready to play and it could be a youngster who has filled in well and on form, but is still changed straight away. A large squad of players all want and need to be involved in matches, why do we not have a couple of changes in every game which lets the players have a rest for a week while making sure every player gets a game regular surely that would benefit everybody.

  105. Steve, since seeing on the Arsenal website that Campbell had gone to Sporting Lisbon I got to thinking that this could be good news, in a funny sort of way.

    Wenger has made a few bizarre decisions recently but surely he cannot have released a forward without having a replacement up his sleeve.

    Could it be that Arsenal are about to announce the signing of a striker? Of course, it could be that he has seen how well Gnabry has done for Germany in the Olympics and decided to give him a try in the first team, when he comes back after his post tournament holiday.

    So, three weeks rest, three weeks to get fit enough for the bench, then the international break and a couple of sub appearances should see him ready by mid-November, not long before Welbeck is scheduled to return.

    Meanwhile we’ll have to soldier on with what we have, but let’s look on the bright side the wages are safe for the 600 staff that Wenger is worried about.

  106. Evening Norfolk, You have a fucking computer as a brain Norfolk. 🙂 Your first Instinct is right mate, He has a striker, and i believe he has ha him up his sleeve for a while, Gnabry will be back in the side, how can he ignore him now, and he did look good in the Olympics, but he is not the striker in my mind, Wenger has one i am almost certain, i also believe that a centre back is on the cards as well, but it may not be the one we have been linked with.

    Wengers body language has almost given it away a rhy old grin which means a certainty in my mind. Guys like us who have listened to Wenger over and over again, can almost see in his face action, that he wants to say, but its in his nature to hold it back for some reason.

    You are right Norfolk i can almost taste it 🙂

  107. Morning all,
    While we wait to see if the Manager will add more players before the window shuts, I wondered if any of you had thought about how we could have started our campaign if all our players were available.

    Now i ask this question because it seems that a lot of supporters believe we are short of man power, and most are calling for reinforcement, Not that that is wrong but do we have what is needed at present already, and should we buy these reinforcements will we later be overloaded with exess players.

    A question we should be asking is why do we still have many players getting injured for what always appears to be innocuous incidents,. and also why we have players being rested at the start of the season,

    As for the missing players, we start off with No Danny Welbeck, (injured) we then have Serge Gnabry playing in the Olympics, we have Oliver Giroud holidaying as Mesut Ozil Koshielney Zakha , Our warm up games are supposed to be for readying the players for the coming season , but for the second season in a row our players are not getting the close season to get their rest, surely for a professional outfit the world cup on the euro’s should be thought out better..

    We have raced back players because we seem short in bodies, but the truth of the question is we are not short of players, we have more than enough but they are never rested enough when the first few games are played,

    Looking at where we seem to be short and straight away we see Danny Welbeck, who will not play till round about Christmas, we have fresh injuries to Per Mertsacker and Gabriel ARron Ramsey is sidelined for at least four to five weeks, We in fact are never ready for the start of the season ever.

    Now of course buying new players will alleviate what seems like a shortage of players but it causes problems a little later when all are available but few places to fit them all in, so we are not short of players but we are short of available players at seasons start.

    What i would like to ask, is had all our squad been available at seasons start, how do you think the results would have compared to the results we got, and also should we allow our players to play in what seems competitions that only seems to compromise us. Just wondering how you feel about this, seeing how our manager is getting plenty of stick, for something that seems is out of his control.

    Going fishing catch you all later.

  108. I have posted this comment on another site, under a different name, but thought it worth repeating here.

    Looking through the reports of the weekend games this morning I was struck by a snippet from the Chelsea game. Conte, the new manager, having brought on two subs who made an immediate difference and produced the assists and goals that won them the game, made a point of standing on the touchline to give every one of his team a hug and a few individual words at the final whistle.

    Conte said after the game that it was important for him to develop this rapport with his players and that they could see by his presence on the touchline that he was almost playing the game with them, sometimes pointing out the correct pass or a positional change but encouraging them throughout.

    Contrast this with our own manager’s attitude. Sitting mute in the dugout, getting up only to rant at the fourth official or to struggle with the zip of his coat and then, at the final whistle, disappearing into the tunnel with the speed of a rat up a drain-pipe.

    It is also noticeable that there appears to be no warmth between the manager and the players, there’s seldom a pat on the back for a player coming off after being subbed, nor an arm around the shoulder of someone who has need of it.

    Maybe he reserves his warmth and praise, if it’s due, for the privacy of the dressing room but that doesn’t absolve him from his complete failure to acknowledge the clubs own fans, particularly the hard core away support.

    It has often been said that we lack a team spirit, that we lack leaders on the pitch, could it be that we lack leadership from the manager?

  109. NG
    Its stale, stagnant and repetitive, the dogs in the street know whats wrong….maybe AW is playing for a new contract, I really have no idea, but the whole system just appears totally out of kilter with todays best practise, and as I have said before maybe elsewhere that it won’t change while he is there, so stand by for more of the same. Sadly.

  110. You know what, I love you guy’s, And you know something else, i blog here because Northbank alow’s us to say almost anything we like, Now we are all Arsenal supporters, and whether the Manager or a player might not be up to our expectations, we are still only supporters.

    Now i was reading another blog this morning and a guy commented, about much the same as i am, that a supporter or fan he used that term because of the word fan is short for Fanatical and in context should mean a fanatical supporter of the football club he supports. Now personally anybody can say what they want to, as when you have your own opinion you really need a lot of justification to change your mind.

    N ow the way i see it, if my club is up there with the so called best then i am happy, i realise that like Leicester anybody can win this league, of course the richest clubs who spend probably has more chance but that is not a given as Leicester proved.

    I can see Arsenal as a very rich club, and then i hear Wenger say that we can spend the same as any of the big clubs because we do have the money, next time he talks we cannot spend like some of the others, and all the time Stan stays silent.

    Now i see us every season, work our way up the table ,with what sometimes seems a shit squad of players, and whoever wins the league we are only a couple of places away. Last season we got second and the first thing i hear when the season finished was how many points we were behind, fuck me we were second, whether we were 19 th out of nineteen we still became losers. but i got a nice feeling knowing we got second, United City Chelsea and even the suds were all behind us did i hear about how many points they were behind did i fuck, this season they are all shit hot again and they are big clubs again tipped to win, they were fucking failures all of them they all got new managers because the super managers fucked up Mourinho got sacked halfway through the season and he has the nerve to say Wengers an expert in failure what a pratt and some Arsenal Fanatics are saying we should have taken him in. Fanatics, thats a right fucking name for them ..

    By the way my run of blanks came to an end today with a 32lb 3oz Mirror Carp, I have been a loser but now and again my Leicester comes up trumps and so will Arsenals

  111. Great news and a great fish, well done Steve. I hope our luck changes just like yours did. A 32 pound carp must be equal to a three nil away win at Watford.

  112. Good news this morning on the centre back search, West Brom have upped their valuation of Jonny Evans to £30 miilon with offers below £25 million not being considered.

    That should put the kibosh on that particular piece of nonsense!

  113. Oi you bunch of fucking wankers

    I’m not gonna be on much over the next couple of months…. I’m in the process of moving and very busy doing that….. so just fucking get on with it, if anyone has an idea for a post, e mail me and I’ll publish it….. even if it’s a load of bollocks ha ha

    Jonny ‘fucking’ Evans for £30m…………. they’re having a fucking larf

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