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Arsenal v Sunderland – the Untold match preview (it seems ages since we did this!)

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The Great History of Arsenal Competition – complete with prizes and now with hints
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Editorial note: With Phil Gregory now entering the real world of work (its a bugger isn’t it Phil) we now have a new matchday previewer in Miles, who has been covering the pre-season games.
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So, off we go…
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Arsenal v Sunderland
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By Miles Rackham
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Every Arsenal fan knows what I am going to start this preview with. Van Persie. The Manchester United player. After a long and horrible saga, he has departed from the team that made him. Stuck with him through seven injury plagued years. Thanks for repaying us, good riddance. He will crash and burn, he proved that in the Euros.
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Apart from Van P€r$i€ (who wanted over £250,000 a week I hear), we have seemingly admitted to defeat in keeping Song. Do we need him? Maybe. I personally can’t see him going. Again a player we made showing no loyalty.
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We have also been told that Vermaelen will be our new captain, with Arteta the vice captain. Verm has been a major assets to the squad and deserves the captaincy, he did before Van Persie got it. Arteta is also a worthy captain.
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Wilshere has also been handed the number 10 shirt. If anyone deserves it, it is Jacky. He was amazing in the 2009/2010 season, playing over 40 games for us at the age of 19. He was injured badly in the Emirates cup last season and didn’t play a game, a major loss to us, I can not wait until he is back. We need more midfielders right now. Also a player who I was excited to join the first team, Kyle Bartley, has unfortunately gone to Swansea. Good luck to him.
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So our last game, our last pre-season game against Koln. An easy four nil win. Vermaelen the captain, scoring for us. A penalty and also a slick move meant Podolski scores twice against his old club. Gervinho with a great run scored a fantastic goal from the left. Cazorla had a great début as well.
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Podolski wore number 9, and he now has that as his number, taking it off Park, a player who hasn’t had the best time at Arsenal. He (Podolski) played well against his old club, something that is difficult to do. He didn’t celebrate; much to his credit.
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Podolski is one of the certain starters against Sunderland. Arteta wasn’t played against Cologne due to an injury scare, but he is fit according the reports. Koscielny is injured apparently, so the defence may have a different look from that which we expected.
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Sunderland have a new look team as well though. They have added Saha to their ranks, and may have Fletcher from Wolves soon after having three bids rejected, we know what it is like when a player is being followed by a team and that player wants to leave. They have played six pre-season games, losing four, while they won one and drew another one.
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Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma was their first pre-season game, and they lost 1 nil to them. They then played Groningen and won 3-2. After these two games they went on to play Hartlepool, who beat them 1-0, then Helsingborg beat them 2-0.  They drew with Derby with McClean scoring and then finally losing to Leicester City again 1-0. A poor pre-season, I’d say.
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They will be looking to win immediately this time around, after not having the best start last season, and they may even be looking for a Europa League place, which O’Neil got with Aston Villa almost, could he do it with Sunderland? They beat us last year at the Stadium of Light and they were the first team to beat Man City after they steam-rolled over almost every team early on.
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So maybe they could do it, although they are going to have to buy more strikers, with Bendtner returning to us (although if he was still on loan to them he couldn’t play against us anyway) and Gyan leaving after having a strange time at Sunderland. I can’t see a new arrival playing against Arsenal so we don’t need to worry.
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Sunderland look like they are going to be playing a 4-5-1 system, which may be tough for the Arsenal team. We may be playing a 4-2-1-2-1, with Podolski moving up with Giroud upfront to make a more 4-2-1-1-2 formation, leaving who ever is next to Podolski behind Giroud, Walcott, and Gervinho (with the Ox being out injured). Arteta and Song (if he is still an Arsenal player) will have to dominate the midfield and try and slot Podolski and Giroud in. I think we could win this one, we certainly should do it.
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So the first match preview of the Premier League 2012 / 2013 Season. The team have some injuries so the starting line up may look like this –
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Szczesny
Jenkinson    Mertesaker    Vermaelen    Gibbs
Arteta    Song
Cazorla
Walcott    Podolski
Giroud
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Jenkinson wouldn’t play at right back if Koscielny was fit, but Djourou and Mertesaker aren’t versatile enough to play at right back. The only other option would be Coquelin, who played at right back during periods last season. Maybe Gibbs or Santos could play on the right? You never know.
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Cazorla is going to have to track back during the games (although he’s been to Puerto Rico with Spain, so maybe he might have jet lag so maybe Diaby might get a game with Cazorla coming on later) while Mertesacker is going to have to step up his performance to try and fight for a place in the first team.
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I really hope we can win this.   The preseason game against Koln was great, and Wenger must be happy with his starting line up, even though Van Persie has gone. I predict a 3-1 win, hopefully one of the new boys gets a goal or two.
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For Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla, it is going to be a first taste of life in the English Premier League, the best league in the world. Lets not judge if we can challenge for the title on the performance tomorrow though, the players may not all be fit and may need to mix together as a unit more. Good luck to the team though, lets do it for the fans Arsenal, we will all be huddled around our little computer screens if we aren’t lucky to have a ticket for the match.
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Forever a gooner…
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———————
This weekend’s top games previewed.

Ref Watch: Chris Foy

77 comments to Arsenal v Sunderland – the Untold match preview (it seems ages since we did this!)

  • Damien Luu

    Nice preview, Miles. And I love this beautiful “Van P€r$i€”. Not that I care about who is he 🙂

    3-0 for us is my prediction for this game. And I’d love to see two new goal-scorers in Arsenal team 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As we start this season (my 43rd ), I am quite confident that we will do well . While winning the EPL would really be the icing on the cake ,a good showing overall and an improvement from seasons past will suffice for me .
    Due to the many changes (and untimely injuries ) we may need a period of adjustment and am hoping we start well and maintain it and stay in it till the last week .
    A 3-1 scoreline is also my prediction .Come on guys ,do us proud !
    Up the Gunners !

  • Armin

    when come to predictions, I usually dont dare. For me 0,5:0 would be enough. Excited, really excited to see how team will work now, as I have strange feeling, after long time we have right material to do something big.

  • Wamukota

    this what I would prefer the team to line up today.
    Szczesny
    Jenkinson/Nico Mertesaker Vermaelen Gibbs
    Coquelin Arteta
    Cazorla
    Walcott Podolski/Gervinho
    Giroud/Podolski

  • As we start this season (my 51st), I am quite confident that we will do well . While winning the EPL would really be the icing on the cake ,a good showing overall and an improvement from seasons past will suffice for me.
    Due to the many changes (and untimely injuries) we may need a period of adjustment and am hoping we start well and maintain it and stay in it till the last week .
    A 4-0 scoreline is also my prediction. Come on guys, do us proud !
    Up the Gunners!

  • @Brickfields Gunners
    Watch it, mate!

    Tony… that BG bloke is copying me. Can you have a word?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Armin, wish you ” A Happy Eid ” ,and Selamat Hari Raya to all our Muslim readers .Hope we are have cause to celebrate tomorrow !An Arsenal win would be a nice appetizer.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Big Al , we might be on the same wavelength in thought( and time ) but my ” Send ” button is faster !

  • Armin

    Thanks Brickfields my friend, I hope so too, and than in good mood continue watching at Monday replay of dutch euro games in Liverpool.

    PS
    I dont know for you, but new Manure shirt design is same as cheap table clothes in cheap restaurants here. Enjoy Robin in new shirt.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Armin – hope that shirt brings them as much luck as the grey
    one they used many seasons ago when they went to Southampton
    and were trashed .Must be a collectors item now !And used only once – take it to the Pawn Shop , pronto !
    If I remember it rightly , they claimed that they were not able to see themselves on the pitch . Must have been a foggy
    day ! And as they were mostly on their backsides ,being overrun by the Saints that the only thing they saw was the sky, and the writing on the wall !
    They sure could have used SAF ‘s famous hairdryer in full blast that day !
    I had also heard that the producers of X-Files had wanted to
    use this premise of the ” missing ManUre players “for their
    show but found it too far fetched ! The truth is still out there !

  • Armin

    Brickfields Gunners
    You really made my day, 3 hours to go… I am still in office and have no clue will I get at time … so it mean , watching first game of season at mobile…

    I really have to find that fogy Manure shirt goes in good with poo colored one worn by Spurs.

  • Tasos

    Although we have had our own problems with personnel recently, Sunderland have had a poor pre-season, they have only added two players (both free transfers) to their squad and might be missing a good few first team players for the match today.

    According to some reports it looks as if Song has already packed his bags, it will be interesting to see if he’s included in the squad today. Cazorla has endured a long mid-week journey and Wenger himself said Giroud looked tired in midweek.

    Whatever the team we put out today we should have too much for an under strength Sunderland team who have been poor in pre-season matches.

  • Armin

    It is going to be time wasting game, where ever O’Neil is approach was same. As long as they have at least point from game they will be rolling over pitch as that they are hit by sniper. If in football time stops as in basketball or some other sports O’Neil teams would play their games for years. And it wont be easy to play against, legs are still heavy.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Tasos – just hope Song has thought it through .Sometimes things do not work out the way we planned it.Have a look.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF9Cb8yMcWA&feature=related
    This is the late Benny Hill my favourite comedian .

  • Tasos

    @Brickfields Gunners

    LOL

    Alex Hleb springs to mind.

  • bjtgooner

    Nice review Miles. I am a bit concerned today & will be until the team has had a proper chance to settled down.

    But, lets hope for a good win today & show the media that we don’t need van Pursey.

  • Ong Bing

    Interesting.

    Arsene put Giroud on the bench, and Poldi will lead our attack.

    No Song on the bench, surely he will go.

    Our bench looks strong!

    COYG

  • Ong Bing

    Oh forget: nice review Miles.

  • Ong Bing

    Is this karma? West Brom get 2 penalties against Pool!

  • Ong Bing

    Oh no! 0-0

    We drop 2 points!

  • marin

     

    another season of this shit … expect more vullshit from the clown leading the circus we created chances blah blah spend some fuckn money u useless twonk.

    who needs rvp ?

    eerm I think we do

    Oik approved!
  • Arun

    The era of Dein has come to an end.
    Now we can move forward in peace.

  • Shard

    Well, today’s result gives the likes of marin the opportunity to be happy at least.

  • bob

    Arun, Adam,
    Arun, from your keyboard to God’s ears, and the players’ hearts.
    Adam, you wrote on the other page that Verm had the same sports rep as RVP. Are you certain? What, then would you say to this Arun? Is there any evidence, Adam, that Dein is in the background of yet another Captain to poach? Please be as precise as you can.

  • Shard

    Dein is not an agent as far as I have been able to tell. Van Persie’s agent is Kees Vos, and yes I seem to remember reading he is also Vermaelen’s agent. Does that mean Dein is around? I don’t know if Van Persie’s involvement with Dein as an adviser was through his agency or through his own connections. I would guess the latter.

    By the way, RVP, at the end of last season, when he received his player of the year awards, did his bit towards Dein promotion, talking about how he came to the club and signed his first Arsenal contract with David Dein’s lucky pen. My guess is Dein also pushed certain players towards signing with his son. Darren Dein was Theirry’s best man at his wedding apparently. The guy isn’t just a formal agent. He seems to befriend these players and ..ahem..looks after their best interests.

    My guess… Dein has nothing to do with the agency of which Kees Vos is part. Dein works solo for numero uno. It is just a guess though.

  • bob

    I’d agree that he’s not the agent. In any case that’s just a title that does not reflect the importance that is customarily attached to that title. Imo, in the team of a top player’s advisors, he’s the supremo, the top voice/fixer/broker in that mix. In the media, in March, he was listed as Song’s agent. I don’t think the titles say a whole lot. It’s the real influence in the inner circle that would matter most. The agent could be a messenger boy or a talking dummy. It’s the weight of the voice and the connections that it has; and Dein, as you noted on the other page, can make the connections and broker the deal. Darren Dein, he poaches when he wants. RVP’s perfect evil twin. The troubling question is whether he is hovering or already on any others’ radar – especially our newest Captain. Darren Damien Dein has made his signature meal on Arsenal’s captains. Vigilance.

  • jd

    balance the book..39million pound spend (cazorla,podolski,giroud)then 40million pound gain from rvp and song sales…wtf..the board just interested to make money..the sale of song hurt me more because he is so intelligent.i can see arsenal finish outside the top four this season.

  • jd

    sell all the player under dein..

  • WalterBroeckx

    For all the moaners: playing 0-0 against Sunderland is a bad habit we have. Two years ago, you know when all those players like Nasri, RVP, Cesc..were around it also happened.
    this is football you know.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And jd what should we do when players want to leave? Keep them and have their bad influence hanging around?

  • Ong Bing

    It was already official at Arsenal.com, Arsenal agreed to sell Song to Barca.

    Song was one of our best player, but we have many players in his area.

    Arsenal fans that said Song is not good enough for Arsenal can be happy now.

  • akasuna

    meh..I won’t be concerned with the draw yet. Giroud looks intelligent and knows when to get into space. I’m a bit disappointed about the cross. Ramsey for me looks sharp. Cazorla..you’ve seen it..No darting run from Diaby yet..Next game then..Let’s watch it during Eid open house..heheheh

  • Ong Bing

    Walter, I am not moaning, I just dissapointed we can not get 3 points.

    I know this is football, even RVP and Song played today, maybe the result is same.

    We don’t like the situation about selling RVP and Song, but Walter is right, if player want to go, keep them will make dressing room situation not good, and they will not playing good.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Always look on the bright side of life…. Our result is better than loserpool. That’s one miserable club.

  • Ong Bing

    RVP and Song go, even Theo also go, I still think this season we stronger than last season.

  • Ong Bing

    Yeah, and the other bright side, our new player don’t get red card again.

    If Bendie and Arshavin also go, this year, again, we have surplus from transfer market. Amazing.

  • bob

    Ong Bing,
    Just wanting to know: is a “surplus from the transfer market” your idea of a great time? a truly worthwhile football experience? Let me also ask it this way: is the bottom line really the bottom line for us? Of course we’ve pushed Manure and Barfa of Qatar into bankruptcy, the ultimate compensation, do you think?

  • Mick

    @Marin and all the other ‘spend some f*****g money’ brigade.
    We have sold Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, RVP and Song for a combined total of £104 million.
    Did we win any trophies when we had this plethora of fantastic, expensive talent in our team the last few years, no we didn’t. On that basis what guarantee is there we would win anything if as you are all clamouring for, we were to ‘spend the f*****g money’, that same £104m, in players of equal ability to those sold? Absolutely none. Oik award is too kind to morons like Marin, how about thicko of the week.

  • Adam

    @Bob, Im still not convinced that dein is behind this, I’ll admit it’s possible. But all im trying to do is keep an eye on what players get touted in the press and see if there is a history with that players agent/agency. Im trying to talk a football agent into spilling all he knows to me or get him in contact with Tony but so far he isn’t willing, Typical chelsea fan really. Although he has told me that soon he wants out of the game so maybe some interesting info in the future. Tony if you read this do you want a crack at him, I will get you in contact.

  • Arun

    There were some positives in the press conference after the match. We might sign a new midfield player and may very well offload Bendtner.
    Wenger also revealed that Song ‘expressed his desire to move to Barca’. This line sums up his transfer.

  • Persian gunner

    I am so amazed by Ramsy, and Arshavin!
    they were over expectations! Another interesting thing was Lukas P’s fighting sprit and how he pressed their defences.
    Unfortunately Theo just played like some one who is going to leave the Arsenal with lots of selfish movements and no coping with the team!
    Santiago! He is something we need with that mazing incisive runs and passes!

    Loosing Song to Barcelona is soooo sad! I cannot hate bar$a any more
    I believe next time when a player claims to leave us we should shoot him in the leg, whit cold blood and let him screaming and bleeding on the ground while the other players watching.
    That would be a clear sign of ambition to any member of the squad!

  • Edda

    I just wonder how on earth is Song gonna get a glimse of first team football at Barca ? He is now supposed to be a creative player, lol. Luckily they didnt buy Cazorla from Malaga then 10x the player and at the same price. Very good bit of business mr Wenger 🙂

  • Stuart

    I thought the team looked good, it was a positive start. Gervinho put out a good performance, Mertsesacker (?) seemed to be much more confident than last year and the new signings made it known they are here and are claiming first spot IMO.

    Come on you Gunners!!

  • Stuart

    Ramsey and Arshavin also put out a better than expected performance (better than the last time I saw them play) so I am now more optimistic than I was this time last week.

  • Adam

    http://www.seginternational.com/football/page=site.home
    Bob follow the link there is a lovely picture of Vermealen, we know RVPs agent from the ownership of his site so have a look a verms if he has one and see who owns it. Maybe this could be a project for someone? Do the other squad members as well then we can start to get a picture of how this all works.

  • Adam

    @arun woudn’t surprise me if we went shopping in Malaga again.

  • bob

    Adam,
    Cheers for your diligence and I hope your man does man up and peel back the veil some day. That would be a great day. As for Dein the Lesser, whether he is “behind” it or not, he is surely a major abettor of the asset-stripping and taking a very nice cut of the Barca action (Thierry, Cesc, Song), Manure pile (RV) and Citeh landfill (Clichy and Adebayor). He is well positioned to be the deal broker/fixer/matchmaker of first resort. But I would agree if what you’re suggesting is that he’s a likely handmaiden to other interests that are well above his pay scale. Anyway, I do appreciate your ongoing eyes-open awareness.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    As Bob has said, Darren Dein is the fixer.Google his name and have a look what comes up.He acted on behalf of Adebayor.,Clichy,Fabregus,the dutch man and also acts for Song.I believe AW wants a clean sweep of players that have anything to do with him, also AW just did not fancy Song anymore.Aw wanted him out.Remember he had 3 years left on his contract. I believe all our players will have at least 3yrs left to run on their contracts this time next year(i do mean the main ones and hopefully Walcott) so we will not have to sell

  • Stroller

    I find it hard to believe that AW would offload regular first-teamer (Song) with 3 years to go on his contract just because of his choice of agent (DDein). There must be more to it that. There have been rumours posted about other issues with Song behind the scenes, but who is to know?

    Even if we rid ourselves of Dein who is to know that other agents won’t start following his approach? A player isn’t going to choose a compliant agent when it could mean that he’s depriving himself of opportunities to make major financial gains.

    A few years ago I think that most of our players were with Jerome Thomas, who seemed to have a close and comfortable realtionship with the club. But it seems those days are over.

  • bob

    Stroller,
    Whether its Dein or those who learn his approach (but do NOT have his current connections!), when left to run its own course, the upshot of the Dein Effect will continue to be to reduce and/or reinforce each League to/as a de facto 2 team “race”. La Liga (his client being Barca) has two; just as EPL (his clients, the Manchesters) has two. To continue to asset strip and force sales to the highest bidders – are AW alludes in today’s press conference – is taking the oxygen out of football – that would be fans’ dreams of a competitive chance. This globalizing uber-agent (as one of several such functionaries) is killing the game whilst making a killing off its steady destruction as an actual competition.

  • bob

    sorry, meant to write: ” – as AW alludes in today’s press conference – “

  • Adam

    The Sport Entertainment & Media Group Ltd
    98 Cockfosters Road BARNET, HERTFORDSHIRE EN4 0DP

    Base Soccer Agency Ltd.
    3rd Floor – 33 Great Portland Street LONDON W1W 8QF

    Key Sports Management Ltd. 6th Floor – 35 Soho Square
    LONDON W1D 3QX

  • bjtgooner

    Just finished watching the sky highlights. From what I saw we played at times some super football and could easily have scored several goals. For a first run out with many changes of a slightly undercooked team it was not a bad performance. Hopefully, with a further week of training and working together behind us we will be sharper next time.

  • Adam

    Sorry should have stated the above have or did have dealings with Arsenal recently.
    Oxlade-Chamberlain has gone with a French registered agent?
    who if my sources are correct also has some other huge names in the game. Which include Isco of Malaga (sorry thats just me living in hope).
    But Szczesny has the same agent as Ashley Cole so finding links between Players leaving Arsenal under bad circumstances and Dein being involved seems to be quite hard, Szczesny seems happy at Arsenal but when you think how Cole left Arsenal and the tapping up it is surprising that AFC allow other players to continue to use them?

  • Stroller

    bob,
    Not disagreeing with you, but my point was that trying to divest our club of all Dein clients could turn out to be effective only in the very short term. Others will inevitably get to follow his approach because the rich teams you refer to will make sure that they recreate the means to carry on doing what they do now.

    So we know what the problem is, but what is the answer?

  • bob

    Stroller,
    One part of the answer is to have a salary cap or FFC without loopholes. The biggest sides don’t want it and do all they can to circumvent it with tiny airline subsides (Citeh) and the rest of what they can “legally” pull off whilst, in practice, strangling the intent of the rules. In the Midas myth, everything he valued had turned to gold and brought him to the edge of suicide before he implored the gods to make it stop. In this case, with UEFA and FIFA and whoever in the position of the gods, there seems near zero chance that anyone can stop the monopolizers but themselves. To be honest, it has put me at the edge of finding another sports passion – like lacrosse, the creator’s game.

  • marin

    wrong. every year all the players leave. only the recluse wenget keeps paying idiots like bartender and shisha boy hideous salaries. about time this clown took a pay cut or be booted out. thought this club hastened a corner but no. usual rubbish. feeder club we are. fact.

  • bob

    marin,
    In my opinion, your wish to remove AW is just that; and it wouldn’t stop AFC from being the feeder club that you say it is (and suggest it will be forever). How are you so sure that the AW is totally on board with this policy as opposed to being pushed or instructed to sell (and reach a zero balance)? What’s your actual evidence that he personally wanted to sell Cesc and Nasri and RVP and Song? Would you be able to spend thousands of hours to develop such a group and then welcome if not cunningly arrange their sale? How do you know he is so cold-blooded? Since we don’t have the absolute proof of this, why do you choose to make AW the all-powerful betrayer of AFC’s legacy, chances and fans? I know you are convinced, but can you spell this out in some detail so that anyone who is interested can understand the case you make and try to figure out what is going on?

  • Adam

    Marin if every year all the players left. How have we managed to put a team out at all? Keep the faith Brother.

  • @marin – do you know Goona Gal?

  • Adam

    @Bob, Im starting to lean towards the possibility that Dein is a definite escape route out of Arsenal. He could well be the ultimate boat rocker, If a player wants to force a move, for what ever reason, they only have to employ his services to work along side their contracted and registered agent. Is this what you have been trying to state.

  • Stuart

    Hi Bob,
    You may recall some time back when I mentioned an interview with Allardyce where he spoke of instant video replay technology used in the Bolton dug out.

    Well I haven’t founnd the interview but have some refrence to it. It’s mentioned in paragraph 5 here,
    http://www.sportstec.com/Gamebreaker_-_Bolton_Wanderers

  • Eric

    @Adam, Dein Jr. might aswell be manipulating the transfers himself. Seeing as he has the connections, he could just bump into which ever player and start a convo and at the end of it try to sell.
    Could be the “a player of your stature deserves a way better compensation/salary/different media exposure”, or “You know that refs are against you right? Why do you put up with it? I tell you players at barcelona are treated like kings”, or ofc the “Wenger is getting old, he’s lost the plot, is only buying mediocre players (what does that say about the player anyway if he was picked by Wenger and Wenger has lost it?).

    Sadly enough most people are susceptible to mindgames and just don’t have a clue when theyre being played. The grass aín’t allways greener on the other side is a phrase that comes to mind.

  • bob

    Adam,
    Yes, basically. The title never mattered to me. It never mattered whether Dein was literally “the” agent or, more importantly, the fixer/broker/deal-maker. Basically, as you put it, he is/was/stands ready to be the way out. Whether as the instigator, or as the go-to person for another agent/player combination, he winds up – as agent/representative/advisor, whatever the title doesn’t matter – making it happen. And, in making it happen, he makes a meal of the transfer – especially of our Captains – 3 of the last 4 (Thierry, Cesc, RVP).

    The matchmakers in Victorian society were very powerful figures in society, right? Dein is a modern-day matchmaker. It is his function; his bread and butter. And through the Dad, he has had access into and around AFC from an early age; and, imo, has used that access, and the Dad’s rep stature and reputation, as a point of entry into AFC and to its players. And in being able to pry them loose he has proven valuable to Citeh, Barfa of Qatar, and now Manure. He can deliver and does. And he does not deal with low hanging fruit – only the top players to and among the top clubs for the biggest payoff and impact.

    My great fear is that he is ready, able and willing to do the same for our latest, Tommy V. I have no evidence for this; but I have no doubt that Darren Damien Dein would make this his next scalp. Whether he serves larger interests and purposes in paying the rent is, of course, open to further analysis and hypotheses.

    In any case, this is how I’ve been looking at the picture. And I feel that the latest double whammy – Song and RVP – is a two front war that I think he’s won. Tony and others think that we’ve done swimmingly and are pushing Barfa and Manure further down the unsustainable road toward eventual (inevitable) bankruptcy. I disagree and think that those two teams are too big to fail because their failure would have national implications and would take down their respective leagues. So, there it stands. Ego-wise and evidence-wise I truly hope that I’m completely wrong; but it’s how I’ve come to see it.

  • bob

    Eric,
    Yes. Those are the types of words which at the right time and in this climate of magical mega-bucks are so persuasive. The head-turner’s arsenal (so to speak).

  • bob

    Stuart, (Walter/Dogface),
    Yes, I do remember! That’s a great find, your link. It shows a working model of video replay for purposes of analysis having been developed by Sportstec and utilized at some substantial level by Fat Sam when at Bolton. I looked at Wikipedia which has him as their manager at two times: 1973-1980 and 1985-1986. If this is right, it suggests the capability for this video replay technology – hard to know if it’s total coverage of the pitch and how many angles, etc. – for at least 25 years. Does that seem about right? It would be great to see if that interview ever surfaces and to date it. Really intriguing stuff.

  • Stuart

    Further info here about how there were different systems in use all at once. Can’t find a total number of cameras though however it does mention they have a live feed from the TV cameras at their disposal and later on about having cameras behind the goals.

    http://www.sportstec.com/Newsletter_Feb_2009

  • RedGooner

    I agree with a lot of what you say Bob but the issue at Arsenal seems to be that the stadium debt aong with long term poorly arranged sponsorship deals are hindering everything we want to do.

    Not only do we need to balance the books each year and also rely on youth players comming through. But Arsenals also had to change a system were we rely on more midfielders than forwards. chelsea city utd all play with 2 upfront as much as possible. we cant afford that look at price RVP was sold for. Wenger used to play 442 all his best teams played that system. we changed to try and survive and compete with the rich clubs until the deals can be renewed and ffp comes in.

    Until then we will have a real battle to stay in the champs league each year. dont expect trophys just be happy for now with what we have.

  • bob

    What’s your sense of when this was (first) being used by Fat Sam?

  • bob

    Red Gooner,
    Your analysis of our formations in terms of affordability and cost-effectiveness is really interesting and would appear to explain a lot. I want to digest that point and see how it plays out in my feeble brain. Cheers 🙂

  • bob

    Stuart,
    Sorry, my 1:40 was meant for your thoughts.

  • Stuart

    My initial thought was ‘football meets call centre manager’.

    I still remember parts of the footage and it showed actual clips of Sam giving hand signals to the video / analysis team to provide instant replay of something (whilst frantically chewing gum)

  • bob

    RedGooner,
    Honest question (and please don’t laugh!). Apart from the prestige of a top stadium, was the move from Highbury truly essential in your view? Could AFC have survived economically in today’s football from a Highbury base? I’d be grateful for your analysis.

  • jd

    one positive highlight from last night game is santi cazorla and gervinho performance..

  • bob

    RedGooner,
    Are you saying, then, that the winning 442’s were affordable at Highbury but that the cost of the second striker became unaffordable due to the costs involved in building/moving to the Emirates?
    Also, would you say it’s not possible for a return to the 442 as an option with our new squad?

  • Shard

    Linking formation with the financial reality of the stadium move? I’m not so sure about that. Didn’t we play 4-4-2 till 2008? The midfielder is the new king in football. Which true traditional striker do we hear talked about as the greatest in the world now? Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta, these are the new stars and none of them are out and out strikers. Football has evolved in the past few years and 4-4-2 is essentially dead.

    As for your question bob, there is no way we could have been better off if we’d stayed at Highbury. You only need to look at Liverpool and Spurs to know that. They aren’t anywhere near where we are, despite them being fed money by their owners. The stadium also brings us opportunity for bigger, better sponsorship deals. The corporate boxes in the stadium raise the most money for us. As for the long term deals signed, I’m not denying we could have done better (rumour has it Edelman was sacked for his failure to do that), but when those deals were announced, they were universally thought of as very good indeed. (In fact, the terms of the loan agreement at a fixed 5% are exceptional. No bank would give those rates today as Liverpool found out) What changed is that just as we planned the move, and signed those deals, the oil money poured in and raised the base level of everything. Our deals weren’t poor. The billionaires (and the media) make it appear so.