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All About Arsenal’s “F” . . . er “B” Team

Another cup match, another chance to watch a conglomeration of talent that looks like it doesn’t give a damn. Frankly that is my assesment of the performance the group of individuals assembled on the pitch against Leyton Orient this past Sunday

Another cup match, another chance to watch a conglomeration of talent that looks like it doesn’t give a damn. Frankly that is my assesment of the performance the group of individuals assembled on the pitch against Leyton Orient this past Sunday.

While the first team swerves and verves its way through gutsy wins against Barcelona, our “F” team barely seems to be able to play against the likes of Leeds United, Ipswich Town or Leyton Orient without some sort of assistance from one of our star players.

We’ve discussed ad nauseum the problems with this group of players. It is frustratingly irritating to get hyped up for a match only to watch this cluster “F” of players stroll through a match like they have better things to do.

Frankly, I’ve fail to understand why these players are like this. Maybe it’s Nicky B who actually believes his own hype and can’t be bothered to move out of third gear against a team that is 50 spots below them. Or maybe Denilson, who with all his documented issues, just seemed to sit in the middle of the pitch turning left, turning right without so much purpose.

This time it wasn't Squillaci's fault

Alex Song couldn’t do much with what was there and neither could Sagna as both tried to muster some first team similarties with this group of malcontents. And to me that is what it is. This is a group of players that all think they deserve first team action. When the slot in as individuals and play along side Cesc, Nasri, Van Persie, etc, they are fine because the overall ability level is higher. But when this group of prima donnas comes together as their own unit, they simply don’t look like they could be bothered.

There is enough talent on this “F” team that clubs across England and Europe would want them. There is no reason why Nicky Barndoor, Marouane Chamak, Tomas Rosicky and Andrei Arshavin shouldn’t have made Leyton Orient look like an assemblage of school kids. No, they simply made them look like a patient Man United side waiting for the right moment to side.

It is often said in sports that good teams often play to the level of their opponent. That SOMETIMES happens with our first team. But in most cases they actually pull their head out of their asses and pull it together. I am not sure this “F” team has that ability. They simply seem to wait for someone from the first team to make an appearance and viola it gets sorted out.

Oi Nicky Barndoor - 2nd gear please.

It’s worrying for Arsenal and it should be worrying to the players. 

I am of the opinon that there will be a mass exodus of dead weight this summer. And I think the repeated cup replays is the driving force. Arsene Wenger is looking to have back ups come in and play with some level of consistency but also when they are together carry the Arsenal standard forward. It’s not happening with this group. It is happening with a lot of our players on loan. Players we have sent to the four corners of England and beyond are tearing it up (some aren’t but most are). They are all contributing for their loan squads and they will be coming back this summer.

Wenger is going to have some very difficult decisions to make and I can see the departures of Eboue, Squillaci, Bendtner, Almunia, Rosicky, and quite possibly (my more controversial pick) Andrei Arshavin. I am giving Marouane Chamakh one more season to see if he shapes up but if he doesn’t he should go too.

When Carlos Vela comes off the bench and scores the equalizer for West Brom, or Henri Lansbury, who doesn’t seem to stop scoring, come back they are going to offer Wenger real solid choices as “B” team players. Throw in the likes Ryo Miyaichi who is not only playing first team for Feynoord is actually tearing up the pitch every time he steps on it – the possible additions outweigh the subtractions – at this moment. Things obviously can change but with the lense currently affixed on now, it is easy to see that there is likely to be a massive overhaul in our back ups this summer.

I’d like to address if I can for a moment Andrei Arshavin. I don’t think anyone who reads and participates in this blog doesn’t know my long held affinity for the player. I was the biggest cheerleader for Wenger in bringing him in and I was biggest screamer of “I told ya so” on that magical night in Anfield. But I am beginning to think it may be time for Andrei to depart. (that comment caught me a lot of criticism from Arsenal fans via twitter on Sunday). First let me say my position on Andrei has been in the making since the end of last season and the bulk of this season.

I want to see more of this from this guy.

If I were to look at only the last few games, I would say he should absolutely stay. But overall I am of the mind that the EPL is not where his heart lies. If it is not back in mother Russia, I really think he would prefer Spain or Italy. I think someone of his stature and ability would thrive there.

Additionally, I think Arshavin needs to benefit from playing in his natural position. Something he doesn’t get playing out on the wings for Arsenal. Sure, most of the players on Arsenal – with a few exceptions – don’t play their natural spot. Especially our attacking players. Our attack is so fluid that players are constantly interchanging spots. This still doesn’t seem to suit the player.

I’d really like to see the joy return to Arshavin’s play. His verve when he enjoys playing is infectious, it is hard not to like him. But I think, for whatever reason, that joy is not visible.

Now, I had Arsenal fans question my “Gooner” credentials because I was critical of Arshavin. I was told how can we get rid of someone who got us the winning the goal against Barca and was the best player on the pitch against Leyton Orient. Well, looking at Barca I would say, that Manuel Almunia single handedly kept us in the first tie last season against Barca, long enough for us to get our head out of our collective asses and play the game. Still, as Sunday proved, Manuel Almunia is worthless hack and I want him gone. And if he was the best player on the pitch – he should’ve been able to torch Leyton Orient.

Ooops hold on – NO, I DID NOT JUST EQUATE ARSHAVIN TO A WORTHLESS HACK. I am saying one game even a string of a few doesn’t alter the perception that he is not happy coming off the bench and isn’t happy playing right now. I would love to be proven wrong on this. I’d love to see him continue his run of improvement and make me eat my words. I am not sure though that it is going to happen.  If it doesn’t and he continues to be hit and miss, I would seriously consider any non-English overtures to take him. .  . and that hurts me to say but I do want see him enjoy playing again.

Looks Like We Beat Barca Again

An interesting bit of news coming out today is that it looks like Arsenal have spirited away another 16 year old kid from the Barcelona Academy. “Cadete A” side and Spain U-16 international midfielder Jon Miquel Toral is reported to have agreed to terms with Arsenal to join them this summer.

Barcelona are reportedly furious. Which isn’t a bad thing. Frankly, they deserve what they get. After spending a summer of quietly talking up the Cesc saga, we quietly walk in and sign one of their talented youth prospects – again.  

Now they cry outrage. But unlike the catalan club, we operate within the laws of the game. It just so happens we know how to do it to our benefit. Barcelona, conduct their business very vocally. Their game is to unsettle the player by publically stating they want a player. And what player doesn’t want to play for the mighty Barcelona. It goes on to unsettle the club as rumour and inneuendo fly around. Everyone is supposed to capitulate because they are Barcelona. Most times they do. Until last summer.

In the mean time, Arsenal identify a youth prospect they want. There is no word of it until it has happened. Personally, I like our model of doing business better.

By the way according to, Barcelona’s Cadete A side will take on Arsenal’s U-18 at the Dallas Cup this summer in Dallas. Might be worth it go check this out.

Crazy begets Crazy

Until Szczesny joined the side, I don’t think any of us would think there was a player more “nutty” (in a very good way) then Mad Jens Lehmann. Well it looks like the two may actually get to work together for a bit. Mad Jens has come back to the London club to work on his coaching badges.

Jens will be working with most of the youth side but you have to wonder if him and the very Arsenal polish keeper won’t have a session or two together.

Speaking of Sneezy, the man is building himself up to Arsenal legend status off the pitch as well as on it. I follow Szczesny on twitter. And the kid is full of humour, bravado and confidence. But it is clear to everyone that follows him that he is Arsenal through and through.

He was obviously watching the FA Cup tie between Everton and Chelsea when the PKs were happening when this tweet appeared –

Tweeps, what do you think Ashley was aiming for when he took his penalty?

That was then followed by this tweet:

Is it a plane? Is it an aeroplane? No, it’s just Ashley throwing Chelsea out of the FA Cup
While you want the kid to tone it down and not get slapped on the wrist by the FA’s anti-twitter patrol – you got to love that he has opinions about Cashley as do most Arsenal fans.
Well, that’s it folks for now.
We’ll see you tomorrow for the battle of Brains versus Brawn.


  1. rocka

    February 23, 2011 at 03:41

    Didn’t see the game because the FA Cup is on bloody Setanta here. My pay TV subscriptions are already ridiculous, and I have to draw the line somwhere.

    A bit crap that again the 2nd team can’t beat another shite side. Agree that we should be wiping the floor with them. We have been lucky with the draw up until now, we really should be cruising through.

    Re Arsenal taking another player from Barca, I agree with Fred that Arsenal have no moral highground whatsoever. The loophole is too easy for us to exploit and there is nothing they can do about it.

    They are still cnuts for tapping up Cesc, but we are also cnuts for attempting to steal their best young players.

    Fred I did have a laugh when I saw the recent Nasri headlines, and sure enough you have to come to crow. I’m sitting on the fence on this one. There is some mischief from the headline writers, but reading between the lines there is enough there to put me on edge until he re-signs. Sure as hell reckon he’ll be signing his next contract for a lot more than $75K week.

  2. highburyterracesteve

    February 22, 2011 at 22:44

    Good article DAG, if perhaps a bit sensationalist….Of course I blame all the post Barca posting for the result: As Robert De Niro said…..”Here Jinxie”….

    I think it’s reasonable to expect a bit more from the 2nd group and I agree that the loanees may have a bit of an advantage when they return, esp. with the fans (absence making the heart grow fonder, and all that). I would also agree with Arsesession that any player who suits up is under pressure to meet expectations that come with the history of the Club. Whether or not that’s a bad thing, maybe, is open to debate. The past is gone, but it’s real as well, though it might do well for people to realize that we only make a better future by starting from where we are, or something….. Finally, players like Nicky B don’t do much for themselves by raising expectations through self-promotion….

    That said, the result clouds everything. Andrey’s Anfield-esque strike goes in, we’re 2-nil up, game over. Denilson doesn’t make a stupid foul which they take quickly confusing the defense a bit and T-Eboue maybe doesn’t scamper through and hit one at the hole we know as Almunia and all’s fine. Even MORE important is that if our A team didn’t get a massively fortuitous strike from an absurd angle AND several passes just barely getting through on a gorgeous counter, not to mention missed chips, wrong off-sides calls, etc, we’d all be talking about how Barca wiped the floor with us, how Bendy is better than RVP, etc., etc…..

    Making the adjustment from bit part contributor to driving force in never easy, except in people’s minds. And they’re actually different roles. The likes of a silly blogger (or worse, a mere POSTER on a blog) saying, “Give me the players and the money and I”LL manage the team,” is a bit like Bendtner saying all I need is a chance to start matches and watch me pour in the goals…..(To be fair, asking him to come back to the half way line and make subtle one-touch passes AND then get forward and screw all his shots wide, when he is SO slow, is maybe asking too much….)

    Finally, I think it’s hard to make judgements on players attitudes and intensity and joie de vivre. Just as I observed that Bendy was at least TRYING to do too much, I actually thought Old Andrey was fairly industrious and his late (pacey) run and strike would have settled things. As I’ve said before he’s just that little bit past it, (with his sell-by date coming next?….) and I think he’s rushing things a hair, but he can still execute, which (as he’s nigh on indestructable, injury wise) I’m sure we’ll need as the season reaches the boil….

    My main point is that one fellow’s observations may be another one’s lies, and stupid lies at that. The results are unforgiving, but I’d hasten to remind that the B team hasn’t LOST to Leyton Orient (yet) just as the A team hasn’t beaten Barca….And we’ve got a (more important?) match against some Luddites from the East Midlands tomorrow where it appears we’ll get a mix from both groups…..(funny how those injuries to Kos and RVP have come up while neither played in the last one….)

  3. DaAdminGooner

    February 22, 2011 at 21:59

    In some other out on loan news –

    Aaron Ramsey scored his first goal since the injury in Cardiff’s 2-0 win today. JET also had a cracker palmed away.

  4. DaAdminGooner

    February 22, 2011 at 18:50

    Another title contender falls as – Spurs lose 3-0 to Blackpool

  5. Leo

    February 22, 2011 at 17:51

    Why was Denilson missing from your list of dead weight players? I hope that wasn’t intentional.

    • DaAdminGooner

      February 22, 2011 at 18:28


      That was an oversight on my part. Messrs Denilson and Almunia will be fighting for the first seat on the bus out.

  6. Macmac007

    February 22, 2011 at 16:36

    Here we go again…

    Robin van Persie and Laurent Koscielny will miss Arsenal’s match with Stoke City after picking up hamstring and back injuries respectively.

    Arsène Wenger described the injuries as “short-term” and hopes the duo will be fit for the Carling Cup final against Birmingham.

    At least Johan Djourou is fully fit.

    • DaAdminGooner

      February 22, 2011 at 17:17


      I am going to offer another theory – and it is just a far fetched theory – Wenger is protecting RvP. Mister glass ankles against the rugby squad has disaster written all over it.

      Just a theory.

      • ChicagoGooner

        February 23, 2011 at 01:37

        I wouldn’t call that theory “far fetched”. Teams report players as “injured” all the time. And the risk involved with RVP playing Stoke Rugby Club is only half the story. Throw in the fact that we are in a thick patch of games that are coming hard and fast, and that players need rest no matter who we are playing, and it sounds like a pretty convincing theory to me.

        • DaAdminGooner

          February 23, 2011 at 01:40


          And Djourou and Koscielny are swapping the back injury.

          Djourou is back from the back injury and Koscielny now has one.

  7. DaAdminGooner

    February 22, 2011 at 16:24

    Excellent piece on Nasri vs Arshavin – statistically:

    Both have identical amount of minutes but Nasri leads on goals and Arshavin on assists.

  8. Arsession

    February 22, 2011 at 15:26

    There is no way we will go through any season undefeated and untied.

    Yet many of you whine and moan like its Arsenal & Arsene’s divine obligation to furnish you with 3 points every match.

    Not only 3 points, but “convincing wins”, by 3 or more goals and if the other team by chance takes away our clean sheet – the match result is ruined (in your eyes)…..and you react like a pouting child that was disappointed with your birthday gifts.

    Do you long for the Arsenal teams of 99-04; guess what, their history. Those players aren’t an option any longer. Those type of players don’t exist anymore. Don’t watch this team, cause they will NEVER meet the expectations you HAVE with the invincibles ( I guess in the 12 ties they had that season, know one complained) .

    I think to make a list and discuss the players that need to go is comical. None of you know sh*t about anything but being a back seat blogger. You’ll criticize a player because he is injured, or repeatedly injured, but when a player is flat out lazy and his technique breaks down most of our attacking play, you don’t say sh*t.

    Diaby, Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Eboue (I see Theo, Kos, Clichy are now off the target list – for this week)………these players are not going anywhere. Their effort may not meet your expectations but so what – there is only one person they have to answer to AND ITS NOT YOU.

    Don’t like the movie or the director……..don’t come back for the next showing. Every and any team you follow will disappoint you – ITS YOU!

    Young players make errors…….as in the Leyton match. Even older players make errors. ITS A GAME PLAYED BY HUMANS, not fantasy league.

    • DaAdminGooner

      February 22, 2011 at 15:39


      I always admire your passion and if this were a case were this were only happening with this collective group on a few occassions, I would absolutely agree.

      But there have been three performances in a row (actually more when you throw in the Leeds Replay and the Second leg of the Carling Cup) where this group of players – has consistently underperformed.

      Every time this group is the predominant unit on the field – meaning they are suported by 1 or 2 first team players – they lack any desire to achieve.

      It is usually left up to the first team player – Nasri, or Cesc to come in and change the dynamic of the match.

      That is just the way of it. There will be decisions that have to be made about some of the current players and some of the ones who are showing promise out on loan. You cannot keep them all happy. Nor should you considering some of them shouldn’t be wearing the red and white.

      I don’t expect wins every time. I don’t expect draws every time. I do expect to see players make a concerted effort to play the game for a full 90 minutes – result be damned. When we lost Barcelona last season, I accepted it because lost to a vastly superior team but we played the whole 90 minutes.

      Sorry but the likes of Nicky, Marouane, Tomas and Andrei should’ve had a field day with Leyton. This match shouldn’t have been close. Now it is. It’s another match we have to play. Sure we’re playing in 4 competitions right now but we’re also playing in the most matches. Fatigue is going to be our worst enemy. Having this replay couldn’t have come at a worse time.

    • vibe4arsenal

      February 22, 2011 at 15:46


      Ha. What a straw dog of a post.

      How about undefeated and untied by clubs a league or two down from us? As opposed to, what? 3-2-1?

      Oh, and as to the next time there’s a complaint we’ve been robbed by an official. IT’S A GAME OFFICIATED BY HUMANS.

    • Fred

      February 22, 2011 at 16:55


      Excuses for failing to beat a team in League One …. utterly shameless drivel.

  9. DaAdminGooner

    February 22, 2011 at 15:12

    I’ve just deleted my first response from someone on this site.

    It is not from one of the regulars.

    I will take a lot of abuse around here but if you disrespect anyone with absolutely childish behaviour – left to my discretion as owner/operator of the site – as was on the deleted comment – I will delete your comment.

    3 deletions and your banned.

    • vibe4arsenal

      February 22, 2011 at 15:40


      Glad you did that. If it’s what I think, it was a cheap, pointless, thought-free shot from a screen name I’ve never seen (though I’m guessing you have access to the registration date).

      But, really, man…if it’s strictly about ‘absolutely childish behavior’, it’s gonna get quiet here. :-))

      • DaAdminGooner

        February 22, 2011 at 15:41


        Well no, it’s not just about that. I give a certain amount of leeway to our other children around here. Me included.

        • vibe4arsenal

          February 22, 2011 at 15:58


          Oh, I know.

          It’s nice to see new faces here. It’s a shame that one chose to do such a poor job of introducing himself. Most of us put in our time in before we started getting really dumb.

  10. stag133

    February 22, 2011 at 14:09

    so we steal Barca’s 16 year olds…
    and they take our STAR players…

    seems really fair!
    Like they care… the kid will probably go back to Barca after we make him a star in 5 or 6 years anyway… that’s what a good feeder club does.

    So, Nasri wants to wait to sign, and he too likes Barcelona.
    We get a 16 year old, and they take Cesc and Nasri!

    yeah, we win that one… in PROFIT Land maybe, the board are THRILLED… the fans, not so much.

    Ho Hum.
    Another day in Arsenal World.
    The beat goes on.

    • DaAdminGooner

      February 22, 2011 at 14:27


      Stag you and Fred are so predictable its almost comical.

      I will call it like I called it last year –

      Cesc and Nasri are not going anywhere. For a multitude of reasons

      1. Barca can’t afford what we would want for one of the players let along both – they thnk £38 million would get them Cesc. With Torres going at £50 – Cesc is going to start at £65 m. Their own sporting director diesn’t think they can afford it.

      2. So Nasri and Cesc leave for Barca – where a.) There are already young established players playing in their positions b.) There are promsing Barca B teamers that are pushing for playing time and Barca don’t want to lose them. – to only sit on the bench and maybe play in the Copa Del Rey,

      Sure that makes sense to me.

      But you know why bother explaining it to you. You and Fred will likely ignore the obvious to spout your normal anti-Arsenal, Anti-Wenger anything.

      Lay on MacDuff and damn’d be him that cries “Hold, enough!”

      • Fred

        February 22, 2011 at 17:01


        Lets stick to reality here … Fabregas might go for big money, but Nasri in his LAST year will be able to bully his way out for cheap EASILY if he wanted to. You sell him for cheap this summer OR you lose him for free the next.

        Remember also, that players CAN buy themselves out of the last year of their contracts!!

        Even Fabregas CAN move … the only reason it will be a bit more difficult for him is because there is only ONE club he can go to. But even them I am sure he can force his way out if we collapse again this season and Barca offer 40 – 50 million.

        Barca will not go for Nasri. They dont need him or have space for him.

        • DaAdminGooner

          February 22, 2011 at 18:27


          With Nasri even under contract for a year – the club hold the power. If it wants to make money off of him they would sell him. I suspect the club is confident in retaining him. This will not go into the final year of his contract.

      • stag133

        February 22, 2011 at 18:18

        @DaAdminGooner, Fair is foul and foul is fair.

        Yes, for sure.
        History repeats itself and our history says we sell our star players, and regularly to Barcelona.

        You won’t be surprised when we sell Cesc, or when Nasri walks or gets sold either…

        And if Barcelona can bring in a great player, THEY DO, they don’t worry about… oh, where will he play?!

        That is what fools do, worry about where great players will play in their team, so they don’t get them…
        Competition in the team is ALWAYS a good thing.

        • DaAdminGooner

          February 22, 2011 at 18:24


          Its not Barca caring about where they play – its the player caring about where they play.

          Cesc does not like being a sub for the Spanish National side and he has said so. He will not want to be a sub at Barca either.

          • stag133

            February 22, 2011 at 23:56

            @DaAdminGooner, yes, surely… he will remain at Arsenal his entire career… watching Barcelona win titles…

            I think he is a pretty confident fellow, and surely believes he will be starting at Barcelona… and I imagine they aren’t going to say, well Cescy, if you come, you do know you’ll be on the bench?!!!

            No, they’ll tell him he’ll be starting the majority of the matches…
            and when he signs… it doesn’t matter.

            we’ll take the ca$h… we almost always do.

            • DaAdminGooner

              February 23, 2011 at 01:42


              So considering Xavi or Iniesta is currently sitting in his spot and there are two very promising midfielders in Barca’s B team who are being dubbed as replacements for them –

              who does Cesc replace for the majority of these matches he is supposed to play?

  11. As

    February 22, 2011 at 14:08

    I think this is typical of the making a meal of it mentality when a result doesn’t go our way. From what I saw of the game, we did enough to WIN the game but it remained 1-0, and then a late equaliser, it happens, but the performance was much better than these guys have previously given in other cup games, so don’t see your point.

    I think Wenger picked the right team, it gave almost our whole FIRST TEAM a rest, AND we are still in it. The same players can now go on and make up for it by playing again with Leyton. The silver lining is, it gives the team that played another game, another game to gel into what is turning out to be our established SECOND TEAM, and it is clear the SEOCND team are getting better with every game they play, which is great, because we are still in ALL the comps, so we need TWO teams to compete in all of them, and so far we are doing a decent job.

    • vibe4arsenal

      February 22, 2011 at 14:48


      ‘It happens.’

      Just an ‘s’ and an ‘h’ from the typical response here when there’s yet another sad result.

      There’s plenty of people repeating the same old shit on here to go around.

  12. Fred

    February 22, 2011 at 13:15

    Drum roll ….

    Just like I predicted, ladies and gents, we have another Flamini situation on our hands … someone is waiting to find out how this season unfolds first.

    With one year left on his contract he has 200% of the power in this relationship. We are offering him 80kpw …. several clubs can double that easily.

    PS: How about we stop paying some of our cretin players (Denilson, Eboue, Diaby, Almunia, etc) 60 kpw and instead pay them their TRUE worth 20-30kpw??

    That way, we can afford to give guys like Nasri and Fabregas the 100 kpw+ salary they deserve.

    Folks like Nasri are thinking to themselves, why sit down in a team that doesnt win, being held back by Denilshit, Eboue and co, YET making just 20 kpw more than them?

    There is a bell curve …. the people in the highest percentile should NOT be earning the same as the dummies in the lowest.

    • DaAdminGooner

      February 22, 2011 at 13:22


      Cherry picking again Fred? This time trying to create hype through the title:

      When you read the article – this is qhat Nasri says:

      “We promised each other to speak about this subject after the season ends,” Nasri told Sport magazine. “For now, all my focus is on winning the league title and also getting as far as possible in the Champions League.

      “All I can say is that I’m enjoying my time at Arsenal and in London, and I feel there’s still a lot for me to contribute. One of the reasons I came to Arsenal was to win titles, and I’m not expecting to leave this club without one.

      “I’m always flattered when my name is mentioned on connection with any big club. But I also know how things work. I don’t think about these things. If there was an offer then it would be different, then I would have to make a choice.

      “But all I can say is that I am happy here and I don’t have any reason to go to another club. I feel I have improved a lot since joining the club and I know I can reach my full potential here.

      “No, I honesty haven’t thought about that [leaving Arsenal]. As things are right now, I feel happy here and I have the confidence from the manager … there’s no doubt that Arsenal is my first choice, and I don’t think about other clubs or playing in any of the different leagues.”

      • Fred

        February 22, 2011 at 14:49


        Hahahahahhahaahhahahahahahah !!!!

        Come on! Surely you have been following the game long enough to know that THIS sort of drivel has been repeated by every single football player since the beginning of time – including our very dear friends, Cashley, Flamini, Adebayor and the Hlebmeister!!

        Look, WHEN a player in his prime wants to stay he SIGNS within weeks or months at the most … he does NOT let his contract wind down to his last year! There has been talks about a contract extensions since last season!

        Just like I said last month, he is waiting to see what happens this season. If we do our collapse routine and Fabregas leaves, he WILL leave.

        What do you think will keep him loyal to the club? 80 kpw, Wenger’s love and the privilege to play beside Denilshit every week? He can double his wages at another club while winning silverware and not having to carry a team alone.

        It might shock some people, but players think only of themselves.

        The ONLY way, he doesnt bail out is if we really win something big …. say the EPL or the CL, all our players, including Fabregas stay AND quite frankly we offer him some really wages …. am talking 100 kpw+.

        PS: I like this truthful quote the best:

        ” If there was an offer then it would be different, then I would have to make a choice.”


        • DaAdminGooner

          February 22, 2011 at 15:24


          And conversely, I’ve seen players who have said the same thing and actually meant it.

          Sorry Fred, you’ll be disappointed in this as you will be proven wrong – as you normally are.

          • Fred

            February 22, 2011 at 16:51


            “as you normally are” ????

            Just like when I told you Wenger will not buy a CB and you swore he would 100% do so????

            Come on now!!

            Lets stick with REALITY here …. when a player runs down his contract to the last year he has ALL the power and it is a big CALLING SIGNAL to other clubs that hey … “here is some top talent available for relatively cheap because my contract is running down”.

            Whats gonna change between now and summer, if you really wanted to stay at the club? Signing documents take about five minutes for the player tops. The lawyers do all the real work. Signing aint that hard!

            An additional sweet thing about letting your contract run down as a 23 year old coming from a personally successful season is that with one-year remaining, your price will be low, so the buying club can give you more in wages! So instead of 150 kpw, your agent can get you maybe 200 kpw!! Sweet hey?!

            And if your club refuses to sell you, you just Flamini ’em and leave for FREE in one year.

            REALITY CHECK:
            Players have the power, players love extremely high wages, players want to win a lot of silverware and players really dont want to play with people like Denilshit.

            • DaAdminGooner

              February 22, 2011 at 17:14


              Um players have the power? How’d that work out for Cesc? How’d that work out for Tevez? Or Schwarzer? Players under contract do not have power. Its weak mangers and money minded executives that have the power. If they like the money a club offers – eg Mike Ashley up in Newcastle – club be damned,.

              BTW Wenger went in for two different CBs in January – the teams he went for turned him away. We were both right – he went for it they didn’t sign.

              Finally about what the players think about Denilson – while I can’t stand the guy – its absolutely evident from how the players tweet about each other that they enjoy having each other around. I wouldn’t be so bold as to presume whom players want or don’t want to play with.

            • Fred

              February 22, 2011 at 18:57


              Oh please! Dont give me BS about Arsenal going in for “two CBs” in January. How do you know? That is unverifiable BS, sorry.

              We were NOT both right. I said Wenger will NOT buy, you said Wenger will definitely buy. Lets not go into nonsensical arguments about imaginary bids for imaginary CBs. I was right on that and you were not.

              Cesc never demanded to leave. When he does, he will leave. You can not keep an unhappy players who demands to leave.

              Tevez was in a completely different situation. He wanted to go home to Argentina. Also Man City has a bottomless pit of money and can afford to have him sit out the rest of his contract.
              Schwarzer is a 39 year old at the end of his career, whose contract Fulham would readily run down.

              You cant play that shit with a 23 year old, upwardly mobile player on the LAST year of his contract.

            • DaAdminGooner

              February 22, 2011 at 19:14


              Fred –

              You said the player has the power – Cesc asked to go – didn’t go. tevez asked to go – didn’t go. Schwarzer asked to go – didn’t go.

              In each case the club the player was at stood firm – the players didn’t move. All various ages and stages of their career and in each case the club won.

              And as I said I think Nasri is here under new contract come this summer.

              As for how do I know- I have developed two individual contacts within the club who confirmed it for me. I’ve been doing that since I got burned on some stories this summer. I vowed not to do it again and I went out and got some real Arsenal contacts.

  13. Fred

    February 22, 2011 at 13:06

    Personally, I do not see the difference between what we are doing now and what Barca do.

    Barca are barred from signing any of their own youth players to senior contracts before they turn 18, so by swooping in, we are not doing anything illegal but certainly something borderline immoral from a financial/football point of view.

    That is the equivalent of some random foreign club coming in to “steal” the likes of Lansbury, Wilshere, JET for 350-500k after we have done all the hardwork. If that had happened, Arsenal fans would be up in arms.

    Talking up a player in public is not tapping up. And is not anymore worse than what we did to get Fabregas. We dont have a moral high ground to stand on, sorry.

    • DaAdminGooner

      February 22, 2011 at 13:19


      I don’t see public declarations that player – under contract – should come and play at a club – by players, coaches, and executives of that club equates to being allowed to sign youth talent that are available.

      He’s available to sign. I don’t see the comparison or the issue.

      • Fred

        February 22, 2011 at 14:31


        He is available to sign solely because of a national loophole that occurs because of differences in employment laws between Spain and England.

        But Barcelona did ALL the work scouting, recruiting, schooling, feeding and training tons of young kids in the hopes of unvailing a few gems to make it all worthwile. When those few gems come through some random club swoops in and sweeps them for a nominal fee. Sorry, that is WRONG.

        Yes, Barca making all those public comments about Fabregas is also wrong too.

        However we do NOT have a moral high ground here.

        • DaAdminGooner

          February 22, 2011 at 15:02


          Sprry, I didn’t mention morals in how the structure is set up. The structure is what it is.

          If the structure allows kids to be signed – so be it.

          The structure forbids the tapping up of any player. And regardless of what you believe – Barca tap up all the time.

          • Fred

            February 22, 2011 at 16:36


            And Arsenal does not tap up??? Really??

            What makes public statements of “admiration” and inane talk about “DNA” tapping up???

            • jroybower

              February 22, 2011 at 22:14

              @Fred, this is no different than tax arbitrage between countries. taxes are cheaper in spain than the UK so they have an “unfair” advantage with their wage packet. the UK can sign 16 year olds due to differning employment structures. so what. spainish clubs also get favorable government “treatment” with respect to running their clubs. this is the current competitve environment clubs work within. it’s just the way it is and we’re playing within the rules.

            • jroybower

              February 22, 2011 at 22:14

              @Fred, this is no different than tax arbitrage between countries. taxes are cheaper in spain than the UK so they have an “unfair” advantage with their wage packet. the UK can sign 16 year olds due to differning employment structures. so what. spainish clubs also get favorable government “treatment” with respect to running their clubs. this is the current competitve environment clubs work within. it’s just the way it is and we’re playing within the rules.

  14. Myles Burrell

    February 22, 2011 at 13:02

    Fantastic, really well written, couldn’t have put it better myself (budding young writer *hint*).
    But yeah, I agree, Almunia NEEDS to leave, as does Denílson, neither of them seem interested. Bendy really isn’t the player he looked to be several seasons ago when he was coming up from the reserves into first team football, and on loan to Birmingham.

    Myles Burrell (Twitter: @MylesBurrell)

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