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So, how would YOU handle Arsenal’s transfers, Chamakh and Flamini?

By Tony Attwood

Right.  You are Arsenal manager or CEO or whatever.  You are in charge of transfers.  What do you do?

Tell everyone who you are signing or stay quiet?   The former has a problem because if the deal doesn’t go through because the selling club won’t sell, it makes you look silly.  So you might think of being quiet.

Buy anyone, just to keep the fans quiet?  Well, that will come back to hit you in the face after a while if the player is no good.

Pay any price the selling club asks.  That gets you your man, and is good if you have virtually unlimited resources like Chelsea or Man C but if you only have £70m at today’s rates that is just two players, and if one gets injured and one is less good than you thought, that might not do it, but the money is gone.

Talk to the newspapers about deals to keep fans happy?   Well, that could rebound because the papers won’t print what you say, but will instead will make you look an idiot, whether you are one or not.

Anyway, let’s imagine you find your way through this, and you buy a player and he just doesn’t turn out right because of a real deep problem he has that you can’t tell anyone about.  What then?  You have to take it on the chin and accept that it looks like you made a bad purchase.  Like, for example Marouane Chamakh.

He started off really well, with 11 goals in 22 games.   It might be hard to remember – but he was good.  I remember an away game at Wolverhampton.  He led the line, scored his goals, did his job.  Not Van Persie, but a decent stand in.

But then the world fell apart for him.  Until now we thought he’d just lost it in a football sense, but it now turns out that there was a blackmail case in 2011 and that affected him deeply.   Of course I know the AAA would say a professional should be above this, and I’ve not been blackmailed so I don’t know, but I do know that my work as a writer utterly disintegrated in the year leading up to my divorce and the two years after.  Life can hit you, and if you’ve never been hit, you are probably living in a cupboard.

The story has only now come out in L’Equipe and if you read it (and have any humanity) you will feel sorry for Chamakh both at Arsenal and West Ham.   But my question is, as Arsenal manager, not just what would you have done then, but what could you have done?  The story was sub judice so you couldn’t have gone public.  It just has to look as if you, the manager, brought in a bad player – despite the early results looking really good.

As for what the real manager will do now, all the rumours are circulating once again, as you would expect.   One interesting buzz is the re-signing of Flamini who having created the Flamini-Fallacy has now, I supposed, invented the Flamini-Circle.   He never really cut it long-term at Milan, (although he was a part of the 2011 championship team), could find no new club when his contract there ended, re-signed with a huge pay cut, and is now a free agent and remarkably is just 29 (he seems to have been around longer).  He must feel a bit like Hleb.

So not the highest of recommendations, giving his name to a spot of mental blindness, but in his partnership with Cesc for one year he was superb, and in the year of the seven left backs, he showed he could play all over the field.As to the rest Arsenal are now “set” and on “red alert” plus “high alert” and every other type of alert and settedness to sign everyone.  Karim Benzema and Angel Di María from Real Mad, Yohan Cabaye from the Zebras.   If Real Mad do one of their “the shirts will pay for it” insanity deals with the man from up the road, then they will probably let someone or two slip out the door, while still claiming it is all in the bleached shirt.

The reason Di Maria could be on the way in is the fact that Lukas Podolski didn’t get a game in the opening matches, but came on for the last seconds in the Villa match – a curious move.

Paul Pogba at the Home of Dubious Events (Juventus) is also mentioned as has Micah Richards (over and over) and Ashley Williams (ditto and ditto).

We could of course sign the lot, we could manage to get no one.   Don’t watch this space, because I am about to finish, but you could try looking at the comments.   This article (for clarity and to help readers who find it hard to grasp the notion that comments on this site have to be about the article, and should not just be abuse) is about the best way to conduct transfer policies, and who we might buy.   There, that’s it.  Where’s the grapefruit juice?

23 August anniversaries; young Theo, Overmars’ first

  • 23 August 1920: Lionel Smith born
  • 23 August 1958: Tommy Docherty signed for £20,000
  • 23 August 1966: Alan Skirton’s final game for Arsenal
  • 23 August 1975: Arsenal lose to Stoke, (recollections of first match)
  • 23 August 1997: Overmars first goal for Arsenal
  • 23 August 2006: Theo Walcott is youngest Arsenal player in Europe, 17y 129 days.

More anniversaries

The books…

 

 

90 comments to So, how would YOU handle Arsenal’s transfers, Chamakh and Flamini?

  • Legolas

    well I have trust in Wenger , the transfer world is insane , like Higuain bullsh*t transfer . or even Suarez saga(ps:i hope he leave Liverpool to Real Madrid “in your face Rodgers”). I have full confidence that this year is special for us. I would welcome Flamini for free he will cover the DM , Milan experience , ex Arsenal he fits the profile i guess. I hope Wenger manage to do his job the way he want. COYG
    In Arsene We Trust.

  • jax

    I think Flamini could prove quite useful. Defensive mid is his preferred and best position, but he has played left back for us quite successfully (although under protest), and he’s not going to be getting top wages. Ramsey & Wilshere are going to get injured or need resting at various times during the next few months, so he could fill in or play part games from the bench. He was the best player on the pitch when we last met AC, and a single season contract wouldn’t be a catastrophe if he turned out to be rubbish. I’m up for this one.

  • byron

    I liked Flamini when he was here and think he can do a good job for us with his experience and grit. We do need a DM and we are not being linked with many(pogba seems a no hope case)so Flamini is a good player at the best possible price!!

    Going back to your question Tony:

    “Right. You are Arsenal manager or CEO or whatever. You are in charge of transfers. What do you do?”

    I would take the 70mil available and strengthen the team(Free players can still strengthen the team),I feel it needs strengthening, Wenger may not. It sound so easy but we know that it isn’t however most other clubs have been able to do it. Chelsea and United haven’t and Wenger lumps us in with them but by all accounts it seems each is trying to sign only one player and whilst Rooney is up in the air not much will happen.

    my view is we needed more than one player and considering we have apparently bid for a striker, Keeper and Midfileder the club must feels the same, we do seem to be the only top club who find these pesky transfers just too damn hard.

    I know its not easy as you often point out its 2 clubs, a player and an agent who all have to agree but other clubs get it done and really unless you believe Diaby is the Saviour again(Loved Wenger slipping his name in yesterday) we had to get it done.

    Fortunately I am not the manager(can you say non-league if i was)So Wenger can do whatever he wants thats what he has earned by getting to the top. The only thing he can be judged on is results on the field and a fourth placed team in England with 70 million available for transfers would be expect to challenge for titles so as long as thats what he does then I am happy if he doesn’t then he is fired as he failed to produce on the field.
    No excuse about how late they were signed(thats his fault)

  • byron

    On a more positive note I believe we will be signing Flamini today!!! At least I hope

  • Rupert Cook

    @Byron, Chelsea have bought Schurle and have just got Willian it seems. They also have Lukaku and another guy who was out on loan back in their squad so they’ve hardly done nothing. Add to the fact that they had a superior squad in the first place as do Manu then they are hardly a valid excuse for Wenger to use as “being quiet” in the transfer market. We have to make up 20 points on Manu and so far we’ve got Sanogo. And possibly Flamini. Oh Manu bought Zaha whom everyone seems to have forgotten.

    70 million. We could spend 100 million and still be solvent.
    I’d love to know who actually finalizes our transfer deals. Is it Gazidis, Law or Wenger?

    I’d have my targets which would be a proper DM, not one that ranges upfield every minute, a gk, a left back and a striker. I’d have gone for Bony and Benteke, two strikers which would set us back about 40 million. The other positions I’m no expert on but I’m sure someone on here could find the rest for around 70 million in total. I await suggestions.

  • byron

    @ Rupert,I agree fully, I forget about Schurle and there is no denying that their squads where already better. I was just referring to Wenger’s excuse and trying to show it doesn’t hold water and luckily you were able to point out even more reason why its so hollow.

    I don’t know who we should have signed I don’t really care I am no expert but if the team fails he must be accountable.

  • byron

    @ Rupert – No one finalizes our transfer deals anymore!! Ha Ha I imagine Sanogo phoned us and asked for a job. I make jokes but its pretty sad.

  • nicky

    At 29, a free agent, whose talents are wellknown to Arsene, Matthieu Flamini, it should be an easy decision to make.
    As for Chamakh the reason for his loss of form is now explained. I wish him well as he furthers his career. He deserves a bit of luck.
    As for the position of Arsenal Manager, I would hope the holder would pursue targets without ANY regard to the views of supporters. With the considerable professional staff behind him (including probably the best scouting system in football) he doesn’t need the distraction of differing views of fans who, however well meaning, have no real idea of the needs of a modern football club.

  • Matt

    We donnt have the same resources as Wenger ie scouts,contacts @ negotiators so it’s hard to say what we would know if we were him.

    All the other clubs seem to have found a way to buy players this summer so i am guessing it’s tough but possible.

    I dont really think you need to talk to much to anybody but be proactive in getting the transfers done.

    If it’s a player you desperately want and he is your no1 target you pay the money it takes within reason (Pay the asking price if it’s in the ballpark)

  • ARSENAL 13

    What have you done TONY???….You’ve invited people to play FM here.

  • Edu

    why is wenger always regurgitating players? i dont think its healthy for the club,much as flamini was part of the squad that took us to the champions league final he has not been playing regularly.this is just another sign that wenger is not interested in signing or bringing players that will significantly improve the squad.

  • sukebe

    If I am the manager, I would never bitching at anyone’s bid, and keep all to myself. :E

    @matt

    Hahahahaha you just contradict your own words….

    Stop bitching about what you don’t know….

    Hahahahahahahahaha……

    You’re funnier than bricksfield

    Hahahahahaha…..

    Thank you, you cheered my day…

  • ARSENAL 13

    I was just wondering…..Are Spurs betting their underwears on Bales transfer to Real at 100 millions?????

  • para

    Flamini is here training, and it is obvious that he could be a filler for our many injuries, so therefore the rumours. If it appears that it is just rumour, then AW gets slated.

  • maxim

    I just hope we can get the three points on saturday without anymore injuries. Come on you gunners

  • colario

    I believe saying in public when the transfer window opened ‘we have money to spend’ was guff of chairman’s proportion.

    So the club entered the TW with a mill stone round its transfer policy.

    Basically I would follow the policy of keeping all possible transactions private until completed.

    I would make a statement to the media and when ever interviewed to the effect that ‘all names associated with us in the media are speculation and nothing else.

    Then of course choosing the player depends on my ability to recognise a player with the ability and the maturity to do the the job I am buying him for.

    Herbert Chapman went after top players as well as introducing unknowns, the two most famous examples being: Alex James and Cliff Bastin ‘boy wonder’ (The phrase is not original.)

    He haggled, he found bargains and some not so good.

    He didn’t have the scouting systems that we have nor could he play players from around the world as we do now. A definite minus.

    On the plus side he didn’t have the massive media coverage and of course the internet where a pro or anti campaign can be world wide in minutes if not seconds.

    My point is Herbert Chapman’s world was completely different to our world but the requirements for choosing and buying the right players remains the same.

    We have good a manager – one of the best. I didn’t want a previous manager but he was with us for 7 years I supported the team and the club then in those lean years.

    The mantra ‘won nothing 8 years’ ignores the facts and reasons why.

    Short term supporters the AAA and alike. if you think you can do better, why aren’t you do it?

  • Rupert Cook

    “There’s also the fact that while we maybe don’t have as much money as everybody writes, we have some funds available to do transfers.”

    Wenger’s latest comment about transfers. So if we don’t sign anybody of note it’s now down to the fact that we don’t have as much money as people write. Which people and how much money do we have? Gazidis mentioned 70 million and that was before we offloaded Gervinho. I can see this as Wenger’s excuse for not buying anyone decent though we must have in excess of 40 million considering our Suarez bid. If you read Swiss Ramble we have at least 150 million in the bank. Now obviously we won’t use all that but I’m sure we could spend two thirds without becoming the new Leeds.

    This club is brilliant at mixed messages. I’m sure we’ll sign at least two quality players because Wenger knows we’ll be challenging for nothing unless we do.

  • byron

    I believe that Kronke has pocketed the cash, something caused lady Nina to attack him and as Arsenal system was meant to be bearing fruits and now Wenger hints that it hasn’t!

    Why not? Where is the money and can we be asked to continue to buy into a model that is only Sustaining Stan

  • I have 2 serious issues against Flamini.

    1. Those talking about his ability to do all sorts of things for us in the field are going strictly by reputation based on his performances 5 years ago. If Flamini is indeed still capable of all those great things, how come no other club would take him? The guy must be damaged goods. Remember Squilacci people! Free is actually a wrong word here because he would still be getting tens of thousands of pounds per week. I say give Eisfeld and other youngsters the chance. At least with them, we know that we are providing them with experience which would come in good for us in a few years.

    Flamini is most likely utterly useless now. The best he might do for us is block our truly free youngsters from getting their chances.

    2. I cannot stress this second point enough but: Fuck the ingrate!

    Not an ingrate to us fans but to Arsene Wenger and his team mates. Granted that he was no fans’ favourite till 2007/8 season but his manager and team mates stood by him. The manner by which he left us for AC Milan (you know a ‘big club’) was disrespectful. I am surprised that no commenter has brought this up so far. He was too good to play for us but now that no one wants him, he wants to return to the ‘small club’. Our smallness will be confirmed if we sign him.

    Also, to combine my 2 points, here is a question: Would Flamini be coming to Arsenal if not because no other club would pay anything for him? Would Arsenal not be rewarding bad behaviour by paying this guy retirement benefits after he told us by inference, at his prime, that we are a small club?

    These are the kind of business that can make Arsenal a laughing stock in my opinion.

  • Ben L

    Are Spurs in financial trouble if the Bale transfer dont go through?

  • I would sign Bale, blow the lot on him – at least, if nothing else, we could all laugh at the spud fans going mental at seeing him in an Arsenal shirt.

    😉

  • DogFace,

    I know it’s close to impossible but wouldn’t that be a great day to be Gooner? I’m a bit cautious though as I don’t want any football fan to get bodily harm. There is no guarantee that this would not happen if Bale moves to Arsenal. The London riots of the last couple of years may pale in compariron 🙂

  • As part of his contract he would have to declare that Tottenham are ‘shit’ in every interview he gives… and kiss the badge of course. It might cost an extra 20k per month on top but it would be worth it.

  • ARSENAL 13

    hahhahha….

    Imagine a contract that states he has to kiss the badge every 5 mins when on the pitch. And say Spurs are shit in every interview…

  • When he’s on the pitch I would make him do the heart celebration over the badge and mouth the words “fuck Tottenham” into the camera.

  • Shard

    Rupert

    2 things. Arsene was asked last week about there being 180m pounds in the bank, and his response was the numbers weren’t right.

    Gazidis never mentioned 70m to spend in the transfer market. He never mentioned any figures in that regard except the hypothetical one put to him about Rooney. He mentioned 70m extra income accruing to Arsenal annually from next year.

  • DogFace,

    I’m no longer part of your plan/dream/fantasy. I think you may be found guilty of “thought crime” of genocide. Please man, spuds are people too 🙂

    Arsenal 13,

    Why are you encouraging him?

  • Shard

    The Bale transfer will happen. Levy is just trying to gain some extra levy-rage (Thank you, thank you!)

  • Adam

    Have to disagree, Spuds are not people as we know them. The common spud has two extra chromosomes, scientists are still working to find the root cause of this abomination.

  • soglorious

    Boo, I fully support your two points raised. If we eventually sign Flamini, he should be made to apologize to the fans. If that is done, then case settled. I will show him the love an Arsenal player deserved from the fans. If not, he might score a million goals in a season, I (I don’t know for others) will always see him as an ingrate.

    Sorry, I posted this comment in the previous article. My error. Tony can U help me delete it from the other trend? Thanks

  • ARSENAL 13

    @bootoomee,

    How wrong I was. I thought it was fun. Now that you have opened my eyes, I am a changed man now.

    Now that I have changed, I noticed that some one said “Kroenke has swallowed ARSENALs money” or is accusing him of thinking about…….BYRON, was it you???…

    Well, to your kind info, If Kroenke had gazumped that money “cash-in-hand” 124 mills, it cant be shown in your account statement as you will be paying tax (which will be a big-big sum) for non existent income. And that statement was half yearly. So expect a small sum when final year statement is displayed.

  • Adam,

    You too? 🙂

  • rantetta

    Yes, Bootoomee…

    I’ve seen so many comments over the years – about how brilliant Flamini was, and he certainly had great moments and games. I thought he got away with many fouls via his all-action style and he appeared to always put in a good shift. However, when his contract was running out, Wenger said to the press he thought Flamini would sign for Arsenal. I believe Flamini led Arsenal on a merry ride, and so as far as I’m concerned, if Arsenal want him as a cheap back up, fair enough, but if he doesn’t sign for us – GOOD.

    Frimpong can do all that, and Le Coq, in my view, is Class – waiting to be expressed.

    Aliadiare, S. Campbell, even Pires,and whoever else are always welcomed to train at Arsenal. (Beckham, for Gawd sake).

    @Dogface:

    Yeah, Bale would be a laugh. It could be that R Mad can’t pay for Bale and Totty has to sell him cos their already concluded transfer dealings need to be financially justified (or summat). Ta for various heads up on your timeline.

  • Clarence

    Decent article noting the effect of having to qualify for the CL group stage on the timing of signings.

    http://thebottomcorner.com/2013/08/23/a-comprehensive-look-at-arsenals-start-of-the-season/

    “… what about other clubs that finished in the CL playoff spot? … the only major signings were Poli, Zapata, Granero, Szalai and Santana – all of whom would have made decent cover signings, but were unlikely to replace any of Arsenal’s starting XI from last season”

  • Shard

    Rupert

    The quote you listed above, is given slightly differently in the Evening Standard. The meaning changes.

    “We have our targets, we will try to achieve that and I am confident we will get there.”

    “The desire of the players to join us [makes me confident] and the fact that we have — maybe not as much as everyone writes — but we have some funds available to do the transfers.”

    So he was probably asked why he’s confident of making signings, and despite mentioning that it isn’t as much as he feels is written, he talked about the money as the reason why he’s confident of getting his targets.

    So I think your interpretation above (probably based on slightly misrepresented quotes-which makes all the difference) is wrong.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Walter,
    Remember that grapefruit juice and any medication in the statin category do not mix well; allow several hours (ideal time difference of 12 hours) between the two.
    BTW, Benzema will stay at Real Madrid as far as Zinedine Zidane has a role over there; ZZ is his protector; in fact, I heard of ZZ singing about Karim Benzema: “he’s got legs, and he knows how to use them”
    I am sure I am one of many looking at Lyon and Schalke, and guessing if they will sell several players should they miss out on the Champions Leaugue. I am particularly wondering if Maxime Gonalons and Clement Grenier will be available once Real Sociedad finishes off Lyon. I used to like Gourcuff, and his coach father is a friend of AW’s, but recent form has been average.
    Going back to Real Madrid, Angel di Maria would be a good acquisition; even Khedira should be considered but, once again, Benzema is very unlikely to be let go with godfather Zidane being there. They need to refocus him after an average year, particularly when you look at what he is capable of in the previous (Liga winning) season.
    One fascinating player is of course Erik Lamela; we just sold Gervinho to Roma, and they may be willing to sell to us if a good bid comes in.

    As it is, we have a great squad, but we are:
    1 Anthony Taylor
    2 or 3 Mike Deans
    4 or 5 Mike Rileys
    and a few injuries
    away from fielding the tea lady.

  • soglorious& rantetta,

    Apologies and forgiveness would make sense for Flamini if he is indeed still capable of what he is reputed for but I seriously doubt that he is any good now. Many fans have been complaining about ‘deadwoods’ but now that many squad players (that is what I call them) have been let go, why should we be signing an actual deadwood afresh?

    Yes, Flamini is a deadwood, or otherwise Milan would have given him a new contract.

    I am unwilling to accept his apology because it can’t be sincere. For goodness sake, he never showed any remorse for how he treated Arsenal FC. Why should the club be his retirement home?

    The longing for signings, any signings can get many of us willing to accept some shitty deals. Flamini is just a complete no no for me. Of course Arsene Wenger is the manager and I’ll respect his decision. But like the Suarez deal, I hope this never sees the light of day.

    No offence to you guys.

  • Classic Arsene on Flamini:

    “He is just here to work on his fitness and he does that very well,” “I don’t say there is no chance and I don’t say there is a chance of him joining.”

  • sukebe

    Hey, Mr Tony..

    May I put a link to read regarding what if we are the manager?

    The article gives something to think about.. 🙂

    http://northlondonisred.co.uk/adams-quotes-transfers/#more-1907

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard,‘I’m talking about an extra £70million of additional, high-margin revenue which we will be able to use”

    That’s what Gazidis said. Now we don’t know what he means by use of that 70 million so I understand what you mean. Some may go on transfers, some elsewhere.

    Re, Wenger’s comment,I’m not disagreeing with you on the quote. I can see how one piece manipulates it in a certain way. Still there seems to be a note of caution in Wenger’s statement which makes me wonder just what we can, or will, spend.

    If Spuds lose Willian that maybe when the Levy breaks. (Apologies to Led Zep).

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Rupert,

    Of that 70 only the Emirates and the TV deals will be available this year. And the kit deal, if the Puma deal details are to be believed ie, it will be only available next year. Gazidis had told us about the front loading option (Emirates) available for us to capitalize on. But Mr Wenger opted not to use it, and I think Mr Wenger was right to do so.

  • bjtgooner

    We don’t really know what level Flamini is at. He was excellent before he went to Milan, but there he never looked the same player. As a cheap squad player he would give us some cover, but I can’t see him improving the quality of the squad.

    We still need an additional (preferably tall) striker, a DM and defender, minimum. AW appears to be looking in addition for a goalkeeper, a left sided attacking player, and a CM. I cannot see us getting all of the above and it will be interesting to see the final make up of the squad.

    The left side attacker appears to be a replacement for Podolski – I don’t understand what’s going on there, but I was surprised that Pod was used so little in our opening matches.

    I am not very optimistic regarding our reported attempts to prize Benzema and Di Maria from Real Madrid – they have always been most difficult to deal with. However, we do need quality reinforcements/game changers/winners for what looks like a difficult season – one which we want to be rewarding.

  • Shard

    Arsenal 13

    Where did you get the information that Wenger (or anyone at Arsenal) has not taken up the front loading option?

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Shard,

    Thats my inference looking at our financial figures (just brushing through though) and our expenditures on players so far.

  • Pat

    Didn’t know about Chamakh, Tony. Thanks for that information. I’ll try and find more on L’Equipe.

    Arsene Wenger did tell us one thing – that Gervinho’s confidence was shot and that he is a confidence player whose strength is dribbling. Hence Arsene Wenger giving him a chance to succeed at another club.

    This loss of confidence can only be down to negative treatment from the fans. And of course it’s our loss.

  • Shard

    Ok Arsenal 13. I was under the impression that there was no ‘option’ to be taken up, and that a component had already been agreed to be paid forward. At least that’s what I got from when it was first announced. Just wondering, are you an accountant or something like that?

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Shard,

    Thats my inference looking at our financial figures (just brushing through though). The final accounts statement can throw up some light.

    My response is against the figures that are bandied around, which are taking into account, the deals that are yet to start.

  • byron

    @ ARSENAL 13 It was me I own up. Ok maybe Stan didnt take the money and maybe Wenger is just trying to even out the perception that we are loaded but there should be some serious cash and I hope there really is.

  • Pat

    On Chamakh – there is a short article by Amy Lawrence on the Guardian web site from yesterday. He also says some revealing things about Sam Allardyce and West Ham.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @shard,

    Nope not an accountant. An undergraduate. I run a small business, which has thought me some accounts.

    Now after reading your 2.03 pm post, I’ll have to search for that Gazidis press conf. I thought I read “option”, which we can take if we wish to…..ie if our manager wanted.

  • Gooner S

    Strategy – Have a strategy and an associated comunication plan for this strategy. Outline your strategy to your various stakeholders (dont ignore any of them). You might have different type of communication, with different content, via a different channel for the fanbase compared to your sponsors or the media or pressure groups (blogs) etc etc

    Communication –
    As above but I would specifically call out monitoring social media and the press and have a team in place to deal with this. For example the Chief exec should be more to the fore. I would introduce roles into the club, lets call them ambassadors to be part of the communication team. These would be ex Arsenal players and/or managers. Respected people that could help get a message across…especially to the fan base. Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Smith, Davies etc etc

    Commercial – There should be a commercial team that negotiates the transfers, within the boundaries set by the Chief Exec and working upon the prioritised wish list of the manager. This team of people should report to the Chief Exec not the manager. Make sure that this team is adequately staffed and skilled. I can’t belive this doesn’t exist at Arsenal but there you go.

    Transfers – No you don’t communicate your targets because a) it diminishes your bargaining power and notifies your opponents of your intent and b) you still want to keep your current squad motivated. Wenger is particularly good at this last piece, though it drives some of our fanbase nuts. As a fan you need to read between the lines and undertstand that he cant come out and say “I’m going to buy a centre foreward because Giroud couldn’t hit a cow with a banjo”. (that was a joke…I like Giroud)

    Also you dont communicate that you’ve made a bid (or received a bid…Newcastle take note) unless the other party has done so or has agreed to do so. This is a fact of business life. Confidentiality. Our fanbase needs to understand this and somebody needs to communicate this to them (regularly) …see ambassador role!

    You do not communicate that you have lots of money to spend because that just makes life more difficult for your negotiations; The selling club can see you coming and will raise the price. In fact, if anything plead poverty (though many accounts are public record). I really dont know what was going through Gazidis’s head when he made is proclamations back in June!

    Talent
    Part of your strategy but have a dual poilicy of bringing young talent in and paying competitive going rates for players depending upon capability and frankly commercial worth. Who will put bums on seats? Identify them, do they improve the team? Yes! Bring them in and pay them their worth if you can afford it. If they improve the squad but dont necessarily have the draw or impact on the results then they will be paid less but fairly for their skills. E.g A centre forward might earn more than a right back!

    Plan – Have a plan. When are you going to start going after your targets? How long does it typically take to complete a deal (administration and legal etc etc). Execute and track against the plan. Manage the risk. E.g Suarez isn’t available. What do you do next?

    I’m sure there’s more and I’m sure Arsenal do most, if not all of this but do they track performance? Are we good at these things? How can we improve? Arsenal aren’t terribly good at the communication piece and managing expectations. Hence we have an over-heating fanbase.

  • Mark

    flamini might not be a bad signing. He is free. He will be a back up and he has some versatility and experience. And if he had been willing to stay, we would have been glad to have him stay five years ago.

    Sorry to hear how the off-field stuff affected Chamahk. A dip in form often has other factors than are evident to the outsider.

  • Arsenal1Again

    Chamakh had a bad attitude too, he hung out with Nasri very publicly after his move to City, he flouted Wenger’s disapproval about smoking by being repeatedly snapped smoking in public, it was more than just the blackmail case. Wenger had another Jermaine Pennant on his hands, a guy all over the place, hanging around with the wrong crowd until late. The only thing he didn’t do was crash a borrowed car in Aylesbury … sure, he was ok on the pitch and he always worked hard, had a backbone too and wouldn’t be bullied, but clashing with Wenger with an unprofessional attitude was always going to mean no more minutes on the pitch.

    As for Flamini, great player in the quintet of Fabregas, Edurado, Hleb, Rosicky. Those boys rooted us at the top of the table and I was convinced the title was ours that season, then Taylor happened to Eduardo, Rosicky injured, Hleb moved to the opposite wing, it was all pear shape … but Flamini stood up to be counted and was immense for the rest of the season. If I remember rightly we were short by about 3 points on the last day and that was Flamini’s doing. I welcome him back with open arms.

  • Arsenal1Again,

    May be we should bring back Tony Adams and David Platt too. They were great for us in the past as well 🙂

    We just cleared the team of players that are probably better than Flamini on current form but whom some of our fans call ‘deadwoods’, why are we replacing them with AC Milan’s deadwood? No one is answering this question.

    Would our status as a ‘small club’ not be cemented if we accept a player who left us at his prime for a ‘big club’ back now that the club no longer wants him? Is the desperation to sign new players so great that we would applaud the signing of 29 year old unemployed player who spat in our faces when he was on form?

    For goodness sake, why is AC Milan letting him go if he is still any good? Why isn’t any other club willing to pay a for his services? All this story about how great he was in 2008 is ridiculous. Besides, players like Flamini leaving us in their prime is one of the reasons why we have been stuck in perpetual rebuilding mode. He should bugger off and collect his pension elsewhere.

  • Matt

    Well it’s the manager of our football club that will sign Flamini nodody else not the fans and not Anthony Taylor.

    So you will need a new scapegoat.

    Another reason we have been in a perpetual rebuilding mode is teh sale of out best players.

  • Matt is making great sense as usual 🙂

  • fabregas

    I will not pass the whole blame to Chamakh, i will blame him together with Wenger. When Van Persie recovered, Wenger should have found a way of including both of them in the team or at least bringing Chamakh on in a match. But in some matches arsenal will be winning by 2 up and yet he will allow Van Persie to finish the match. Later he came to say he wanted to give him two months to rest, how can u say that when other players who played the same match with him are not resting. That affected Chamakh, he felt he was not good enough and his confidence was lost. Some will not say he did not put enough fight, but Wenger did not give him enough chance to fight.

  • Rufusstan

    @Bootoomee — We will have to part ways on this one.

    1). Rather than deadwood, Flamini started 15 league games for Milan last year, and that is after recovering from a year out injured.

    2). Rather than letting him go, Milan put a 2 year contract on offer, but he decided to leave instead. Just as he did with us, just as he did with Marseilles before that. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11863/8815893/transfer-news-mathieu-flamini-keen-on-premier-league-return makes an interesting read.

    By the way the vitriol about his departure is highly misplaced. He may have not done what the fans wanted (I certainly wanted him to stay), but compared with other players he acted pretty honorably, having seen out his contract and simply chosen not to sign another one. Compare that to other recent individuals……

    3). If he is brought into the squad, he is more than capable of taking on the role of cover/sharing DM with Atreta as his history suggests. It is worth pointing out that in 10 years as a player he has played in the CL in 8 of them (in 03-04 Marseilles only made the UEFA cup, and he missed the whole of 11-12).

    4). As to whether or not he is capable NOW of doing what he did 6 years ago, Arsene has been watching him in first team training for over 2 weeks now. If he gets signed, Wenger thinks he is up to it, and that is good enough for me.

    5). While I assume the Adams and Platt comment is hyperbole, it is worth highlighting that Flamini is nearly 20 years younger than either of them, AND 2 years younger than the man he would be covering.

    6). Lastly, the ‘small club’ nonsense. I certainly don’t agree with anything like that, but consider this: If picking up AC Milan’s rejects make us a small club, how does the fact that he would be the only member of our squad who has seen a CL final seem (and funnily enough with us….).

  • Rufusstan,

    Well put mate. Besides, I love itemised and fact based objections 🙂 Now, I’ll respond point by point:

    1. So he started 15 league games after returning from an injury but isn’t the clamour always to get a younger cover for Arteta? At 29 and after snubbing us to spend 5 years of his prime at a club that he considered bigger than Arsenal, why can’t he just stick with this superior club?

    2. He should take the 2 years with AC Milan, after all he spent the best 5 years of his career with them. Why should we take him at the twilight of his career? What you find as an interesting article I see as a guy advertising himself. All of a sudden he loves England again but how was he feeling when he gave AW false hope about extending his contract? I insist that he stays with his preferred ‘big club’.

    Other than you justifying his return probably because you like him, I see no iota of a difference in the manner he left compared with others. Apart from Cesc.

    3. And Arteta had little CL experience before he joined us but see how he turned out. Ditto Koscielny and a few others. If we are getting a back up for Arteta, we should be getting a much younger player.

    4. I agree with you on this. I trust Arsene but just like my sentiment on Suarez, I have misgivings about Flamini.

    5. Yes, I was being hyperbolic to show the ridiculous nature of using past history of players to justify what they would do in the present. The team is also totally different from when he was here. We have Ramsey as our running man now and he is getting pretty good at bossing the middle. I never thought that we would be getting a 29 year old to back up a 31 year old. Where is the sense in that?

    6. You may consider a player dissing the club as nonsense but I don’t. Actually, I am a very very loyal fan of Arsenal FC, it’s manager and players but I expect the loyalty to be reciprocated. Saying that you are leaving for a big club implies that the club you are leaving is small. A smarter or more diplomatic person would not say that. How did he expect the players he was leaving behind to feel?

    I find your criteria on being in a CL final or playing in 8 campaigns odd. What has that got to do with anything? How many of the Dortmund players of last season had this pedigree?

    I detest the culture in football whereby being considered a good footballer is used to excuse all sorts of bad behaviours. Eboue was hounded out of the club despite being a decent and loyal guy but we’ll happily take Flamini back because he was great in 2008 despite telling us then that he was too good for us.

    If AW signs him, no problem but I am not excited about the possibility.

  • Shard

    Bootoomee

    I can’t understand the vehemence on this.

    The only negative in signing Flamini is if his signing means we don’t get a top quality midfielder in as well. That might well be the case, but if it is, I think it is only because the player we want, is not available this year. Bender maybe.

    For the rest, his ability, I know nothing about, but presumably if he signs for us, he’s deemed good enough. He gives us someone who can spell Arteta (who will still be the main man. He gives us the chance to rest Wilshere/Ramsey when needed. He can also cover the full back slots apparently, so it allows Sagna to cover CB.

    Also, if by saving money on a position where Arteta is likely to be first choice this season, we can spend more for players in other positions, then that is good too.

    As for him disrespecting the club. I don’t think he did. I think he said he was going to a big club in response to accusations that he was moving only for the money. He also said it was tough to leave Arsenal. His worst crime was against Wenger. His assurances that he’ll sign a new contract, meant that we let Gilberto and Diarra go, which left us without a DM till Song could develop. If Wenger has forgiven him, as it seems he has, then why should we hold a grudge?

    But, seeing as we’ve not signed him yet, meaning we can’t play him in the Fulham game, then perhaps we’re not going to sign him at all. Except maybe if we are unable to acquire any of our midfield targets.

  • Shard,

    Welcome to the ‘ugly’ side of Bootoomee 🙂

    I cannot say this enough: but i respect AW and if he signs Flamini, so be it. As in the Suarez case, I just struggle with fans’ willingness to ‘forgive’ players when it is convenient. The source of the convenience of course is always because such players have some quality that they think will benefit their team. Suarez is a great player who would do anything to win. Only a blind man can miss these qualities but it is for the same reason that Gooners are contorting themselves into pretzels to justify is behaviour and attitude. I doubt that those Gooners would be so forgiving and accepting of Joey Barton.

    Yes, my main objection to Flamini is first and foremost, based on vendetta. He left my darling club at his prime but he now want to return to play retirement football. Forgive me for not rolling out the red carpet. It’s like a woman leaving you for another man in at the peak of her beauty and fertility and then returning after 5 children 🙂

    You wrote: “I think he said he was going to a big club in response to accusations that he was moving only for the money. He also said it was tough to leave Arsenal.”

    I call BS. I happen to have this ability to not just remember but be able to relive moments in the past to get the feelings and not just the facts. Boy was I as well as many Gooners mad at Flamini in 2008? It was real diss and he did it in a most cynical way. I am just not going to pretend it’s all ok because he can be useful for us now; which by the way, I think is debatable and we’ll only find out later. I prefer a younger player to back Arteta up.

    As I said to Rufusstan, I’ll support whatever Arsene chooses to do on Flamini but I am not going to pretend that I’m ecstatic to see the guy in our shirt.

    Sorry Shard, but on some issues I can be very very unreasonable 🙂

  • Shard

    Haha Bootoomee. Nothing ugly or unreasonable about that. I can be the same. But I think the difference between us, in this case, is that I never felt anger towards Flamini in the first place.

    Now if Fabregas came back. That would be a tough one for me. All his ability. Even more, all those memories. And then the betrayal. Could I forgive? I’m not sure. I suspect not. And I guess seen like that, I know what you mean about Flamini and accepting whatever happens, but not being ‘pleased’ about it.

  • Stevie E

    Bootoomee
    Mate, these people who play for us, they’re just going to work. They’re not fans like us, when it comes to signing a contract they are going to do what is best for their financial future. Just like the rest of us would. Putting your own expedition of loyalty to the badge on a young French guy who has a limited time to make the most of his career is must like people transferring human emotions onto animals.

    Sorry mate, I love your enthusiasm and dedication to the club, but for these guys it’s no different to being a highly paid exec at Tesco or Sainsburys.

    Please note, when I say they and us, I realise I am generalising and there are exceptions to the rule.

  • Shard & Stevie E,

    Thanks for your undersatnding of my anger. I am not a hateful person and I agree that players should be able to change clubs. I change jobs too. But I wouldn’t demean my last employer because it could make my new one think about my loyalty and wonder how I’d treat them too when it’s time for me to move on.

    I think that when players are leaving a club, they should say as little as possible. If they are saying anything at all, it should be to thank the fans and wish them well. I know that the press can ask loaded questions but players should show maximum respect to the clubs they are leaving. Except when such club or its supporters are chasing them away. But look at Eboue, despite being hounded out by some of our fans, he remains respectful to the club.

    I don’t expect players to be angels but I don’t expect them to bite the fingers that feed them either.

    Ironically Shard, I find Cesc’s case easier to stomach. He gave us many good years and memories before he left for his home town and boyhood club. Yes, I was disappointed because I love Cesc so much but I can’t recall him saying anything insulting about Arsenal. Isn’t it funny that I will be happy to welcome Cesc back? Different strokes for different folks eh 🙂

  • Stevie E

    Bootoomee
    I’ve got a shit memory, sorry I don’t remember Flamini saying anything negative about Arsenal. That’s not to say he didn’t, more I tend to focus predominantly on the current players. Past players (especially those who were so fleeting) tend not to stay on my radar for long. I don’t hold any ill will against Flamini, I recall he was a very valuable player for us for a short time and I was sad to see him go. I feel if he does come he can do a job, certainly not to replace any of the current first 11, but as a very able and experienced backup. Which, lets be honest, is exactly what we need right now.

  • Jambug

    THE GREAT FLAMINI CONUNDRUM

    I read Bootoomee and I think he should never be allowed near an Arsenal shirt again.

    Then I read Rufusstan and think, well maybe I should’nt be so hasty

    I read Boo and it’s ‘off with his head’ !!!

    Then up pops Shard and I think he could even be Captain !!!

    Back to Boo and the poor chaps back up against the wall!!!

    Enter Stevie E, and I have to say I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘the fence’ is the safest place.

    Nice debate guys !!!!

  • Jambug,

    You bloody fence sitter 🙂

    I enjoyed the debate too because I was tangoing with my favourite Untolders. Great people!

    Whatever Arsene decides to do on Flamini, I wish the player well.

    I feel kind of funny right now because my objection to Flamini is not as strong as it was at the beginning of this debate. Rufusstan, Shard and Stevie E have ‘brainwashed’ me.

    I think venting can help purge one of anger sometimes. Thanks guys!

  • Jambug

    The bottom line is I feel betrayed by anyone who wants to leave us, even though, in my heart I know that that is unreasonable, because, as Stevie E says, they are not fans.

    As a fan who loves the club as we do, it is sometimes hard to dumb it down to ‘just a job’ but alas to many that is in fact all it is.

    I just think Wenger is a bigger and better man than 99% of those who work for him. After all it could, maybe should be just a job for him too, but clearly it is much much more than that to him.

    If half of our players over the years had showed the same level of honesty, loyalty and integrity that Wenger bestows upon them and Arsenal football Club as a whole we would surely have ridden these toughest of years with far less difficulty than we have.

    I just think Flamini is just one of many, disloyal, misguided players that have past through Wengers stewardship who where too blind, or greedy, or both, to realise just what they had.

    Some may see it as a weakness, some as a strength, but basically Wengers is too big a man to take any of it to heart.

    Sometimes I wish I was such a man. Alas I am not as infact I detest certain x’s with a passion and right at the top are Ian Wright and Judas. Hatred is a strong word but entirely appropriate in there case.

    I just cannot get so worked up either way about Flamini, hence the splinters !!

  • liam

    What makes me angry is that we are in this situation because Arsene Wenger has not purchased anyone. And what makes me even angrier is that Wenger is saying things like “the window, for me, opens now.” No, actually, with £150m in the bank the window opened on the same day that it opened for everyone else.

    I can’t listen to the man talk right now without thinking that somehow I’m taking crazy pills. The transfer window opens now? Right, so how did we transfer Gervinho out? And, so how is it that everyone else, except Man U, got their business done early and without paying absurd transfer fees to do it? Magic? Cheating?And then the analogy to poker, he made. It’s not poker. There is nothing poker-like about it. This doesn’t require some lucky draw, or a bunch of bluffs to get the pot. This is buying, not gambling, STOP GAMBLING.Gah.It’s maddening, really. I mean, we should be sitting back right now and laughing our asses off at Man U’s inability to buy even a single player but we can’t because we can’t even have a bid accepted for a player either. And don’t you, dear reader, start with the “you can’t know what you can’t know” game about transfers. Yes, I can and do know, we have been roundly rejected by at least 6 players and teams. That’s not special knowledge that’s common knowledge. If you choose to reject that, then that’s on you. Just one question, what’s the sand taste like that you have your head buried in?Sigh…

  • Jambug

    Liam

    You sound very angry. Seek out Matt. Then both of you seek out help.

  • Stevie E

    Liam
    I was about to write a comment to Jambug to compliment his thoughtful and actually quite touching summing up of football, players and AW. And then you piped up.

    I suppose I could try to argue your points, but in truth I feel I would be talking to a brick wall. You are clearly one of the mindless hoard who read The Sun or Daily Star and get angry and worked up about things that are entirely out of your control, so I suppose the best retort is one which you will relate to. Just fuck off mate, you’re in the wrong place to be spewing bullshit, nobody wants to read it so just fuck off to le grove and join his troop of fuckwits who can’t see further than the shit red top you glean your sense of outrage from. You asked what the sand tastes like. I ask you to pull your head out your arse and tell me, just what does shit taste like?

    To the Untold regulars, I apologise for the language and lowering of tone, but I’m just totally bored of these people and their monotonous drivel.

  • Rufusstan

    @Bootoomee — OK peace seems to have suddenly broken out, but a few last thoughts.

    Before I say anything else, this is a good read, about a year after the transfer: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8010235.stm

    I have no anger at him leaving (though I wanted him to stay), it was more that the club should have gotten off its backside and sorted it earlier. By mid 07 he’d been with us nearly 3 years, often played out of position (at left back throughout the CL run), done a great job, and not complained.

    April 07 he came out and said he probably needed to leave to get more game time and in his preferred position. Wenger pretty much agreed he might have to leave, but persuaded him to stay his final year.

    In 07-08, he finally gets a chance to play in Center Midfield. Clicks with Cesc and the rest is history. As soon as it started working, Arsenal should have put a new contract on the table. Sadly, the first hint that I can find of Arsenal offering a new contract is a quote on Jan 15th from Wenger.

    By that point, his agents were already (legally) looking for offers elsewhere. (If you can find something earlier; please point it out). To illustrate my point: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-i-have-so-much-respect-for-flamini Mid November, Wenger gushing about Flamini; not a word about a new contract.

    Things might have been going on privately before then, maybe he had already made it clear he was leaving, but compare the situation with that of Walcott this year. There is a lot said about players lacking loyalty these days, and it is true, but it works both ways.

    You have a guy who is unhappy, but you persuade him to stay and play for his place. He dominates it for half a season and…..nothing. When he starts planning to move on, only then to you think ‘crap we need him, must go sign him’.

    By the way in the time while nothing was happening on the Flamini front that year, we managed to tie Denilson down for 6 years, that we have just bought our way out of — perhaps we thought he was the future instead?

    Find me a single quote from the guy that says he’s going to a bigger club, or openly says anything bad about Arsenal, then I might change my mind. Plenty of stuff about a new challenge, moving to Italy because his dad is Italian and he gets to meet family, but thats it.

    In the end, Money probably came into it, but the full equation was more like:

    More money, close to Family, a new challenge VS

    Friends and a club I like but takes me for granted and less money.

    I’m not sure how easy a choice that would be for me.

    Onto the practical stuff:

    We need cover at DM. We may have the future in Frimpong and Coquelin, but Flamini offers something now, and gives us 2-3 years to decide what our options are.

    29 has not been the twilight of a player’s career for what? 20 years. He has 3-4 years at his prime, barring injury. He has the skills and experience, and as I said before if Wenger thinks he is good enough, I’m happy.

    OK way longer than planned (even for me), so TL;DR version — He’s good, we took him for granted so he left, so no grudges about bringing him back

  • Pete

    Good debate.

    Reasons to take Flamini:

    1. Cover for Arteta while Wenger waits to see if Coquelin can make it. I was baffled at first when Coquelin was allowed to leave on loan – but I think Wenger realises he needs the regular gametime to see if he really “has it”. To me, Coquelin is Flamini mk 2 (but with a better passing range). My suspicion is that Frimpong is yesterday’s man – very, very hard to recover from 2 major knee ops – he has lost too much development time. Suspect Frimpong will be off on loan too once cover (Flamini and/or AN Other) are recruited.

    2. Flamini is a very good mate of Cesc’s… and his presence may help get him back next summer…

    I think we need a striker and a centre back. Suarez is certainly “top top quality” but stupidly overpriced due to his age. Benzema would certainly do EXCEPT THAT he is facing a serious criminal trial in a few months time. I don’t know world football enough to consider who else might do? If Podolski goes – and I think he is not quite good enough – then di Maria may be a good alternative? But does he score as many goals as Podolski?

  • Stuart

    With regards to Flamini, it brings to mind the saying ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. In the case of Flamini, it will be the old dog and old tricks so maybe better him than an experienced other player with no Wenger history.

  • Will

    As for Flamini,Cannot believe the stuff I’m hearing about him.People are actually glad we are signing him?Pathetic.You want an engine in our team we have Ramsey who is younger and fitter.I’ve been asking for a DM made of steel song alike.Someone who can give us that physical presense,Don’t tell me wenger didn’t sign the likes of Capoue etc so that he could re-sign this guy.pot on Liam.

  • robl

    We got Flamini on a free as he ran his contract down, then did the same to us and to AC. That’s what he does – he signs a contract, honours it then clears off. It’s a job to him. To be gutted that he did that is a bit short sighted as that’s how we got him in the first place.

  • Will

    Another bout of “I will not tell you anything” from the buffoon. Why? BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING TO TELL! He’s making it up as he goes along; he hasn’t got a scooby doo what he’s doing. Flamini on a free. Wow. “We try very hard” Try harder,

  • Stuart

    Will,
    Who cares what you’ve been asking for? This is a team sport, if you want solo, go and play golf or tennis or something like that.

  • robl

    @ Will, he’s Arsene Wenger and the world knows his name, and you are?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Very nice and lively debate guys .Really enjoyed this along with the many links to related articles .
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Flamini in an Arsenal jersey .It would probably be a short term deal and allow time for the juniors (Le Coq) to mature or as cover for the regulars .
    Sukebe @ Aug.23rd. 10:23 am. – I take offence in your statement that some other poster is funnier than me ; especially when they really are not trying being funny, rather trying to be serious !(Put smiley face here !)
    Wait a minute …..,your right ,Sukebe – I take it all back!
    (Try to remove smiley face !)

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Speaking of laughs , don’t the AAAs remind of your wives ? ALERT ! Just don’t let the missus read this !

    From the Medical Division of UA –
    One laugh per day is better than eating one apple a day….

    A man was granted two wishes by God.
    He asked for the best drink and the best woman ever.
    He got mineral water and Mother Teresa.

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    There are three kinds of men in this world.
    Some remain single and make wonders happen.
    Some have girlfriends and see wonders happen.
    The rest get married and wonder what happened!

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    Wives are magicians. They can turn anything into an argument.

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    When asked in class; Why do women live a better, longer and a more peaceful life than men?
    A very INTELLIGENT student replied:
    “Because women don’t have wives!”

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    Husband to his wife: “Honey… I’ve invited a friend home for supper.”
    Wife: “What? Are you crazy? The house is a mess, I haven’t been shopping, all the dishes are dirty and I don’t feel like cooking a fancy meal!”
    Husband: “I know all that.”
    Wife: “Then why did you invite a friend home for supper?”
    Husband: “Because the poor fool is thinking of getting married!”

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    Cool message to mother-in-law:
    “Dear Mother-in-law, Don’t teach me how to handle my children. I am living with one of yours and he needs a lot of improvement!”

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    When a married man replies; “I’ll think a bout it.” — What he really means is that he hasn’t asked his wife for permission yet!

    . . . . . . . . . . .
    A lady says to her doctor: “My husband has a habit of talking in his sleep! What should I give him to cure it?”
    The doctor replies: “Give him the opportunity to speak while he’s awake!”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes shopping for bargains can be hard !

    http://www.fakeposters.com/posters/what-happens-shopping/

  • AL

    Great debating and some really interesting views; no abuse, just good factual sparring, just the way grown ups should behave. Well, almost all apart from a certain liam & his pal will. A difficult one for me, so I probably will sit on the fence too like Jambug, and then go with the ‘winners’ lol.

    Although I think AW will look to Flamini to do a Jens Lehman, or to a lesser extent a TH14? I don’t think he will get a 3 or 5 year contract, but view him as a stop-gap measure till we can get who we really want, someone who will get that long-term contract. I suspect he will get a one yr earn as you play type of thing…..

  • AL,

    This is what I always allude to when the AAA call us “ditto heads” by inference. Other than our positivity on Arsenal FC and our patience with the club as it conducts its affairs in the right manner, we have regular debates and arguments here too. I am a proud AKB and I don’t apologise for it but I disagree with AW probably as much as some AAA (ok, maybe not but you get my gist 🙂 ). I doubt his decisions as much as the next fan but I respect his experience and wisdom on footballing matters; both of which I and many of his detractors have very little by comparison.

    I might have overreacted to the Flamini story but my initial reaction was as a result of how I felt when he shunned us in 2008. After the debate, I feel less animosity towards him (maybe because I’ve blown it all out 🙂 ). If AW signs him, he is welcome.

  • Stuart

    The longest Flamini will get is a 2 year contract as Wenger doesn’t offer more than a year to players over 30. This means he will have a year left when he hits 30.

  • leany

    Interesting debate this is!

    Not Flamini or many other ex-players, Fabregas was the first one I refused to see again (in an Arsenal shirt or another club’s) after he left us. It took me about one year to be able to do that almost without bitter feelings. I still love him, I know, but that 2010 summer story (plus too many dearest memories) really hurted me. That was too much for me. And the second one: van Persie.

    For me, it is a little bit hard to dislike someone that played for us, although he could make me sad. But I guess, like Jambug wrote, because they are among misguided players and Arsene is such a great great man, I won’t mind if he want any of them to play at Arsenal one more time.

  • AL

    Hey Bootoomee, sorry for late response mate, on da beach(in this horrible weather!). I actually thought your arguments you were presenting were very interesting, and so were the responses from Rufusstan & co. Probably one of the most interesting debates I have seen on here, and all done in a mature manner, without any abuse. This is what this blog is all about. Lets hope the team keeps on notching these 3 goal wins, will shut the AAA up for a while. Looking forward to MoTD tonight:)

  • Stuart

    Al,
    You sinner. Do you not know the ten commandments? One of them is:

    “One shall not long for match of the day”

  • maxim

    What a way to come bck. Well done