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Who Arsenal will sign and sell this January

By Tony Attwood

All clubs do slumps at some time during the season.  The only occasion I can think of when there was not a real slump was the Unbeaten season, but even then I remember away fans getting incredibly angry at the match at Leicester on 6 December 2003, and the frustration of the five draws in seven matches near the end of the season, including throwing away the potential win at Tottenham.

But that was exceptional.  In every other season, even when we win stuff, we have slumps.   Even  the almighty team of Chapman / Shaw / Allison which won the league three times running had dreadful slumps.  “Only one win in five” I suspect the papers were saying on January 8 1933.  On March 26 1933 they would have had even more fun.  “Only one win in eight”.   We still won the league with the team that dominated English football for the rest of the decade.

Slumps are not what it is about – it is the recovery from slumps that matters.  Defeats at Napoli and Manchester City, home draws to Everton and Chelsea, and we are back to “Wenger out” which is interesting because I thought that the current idea was that because of the AAA’s pressure, Wenger now followed their thought patterns (although that may not be quite the right phrase for what goes on inside the head of an AAA member).

Anyway, we’ve got money.  I don’t know how much, but lots.  Lots and lots.  Lots and lots and…  well, £50m at least.   And there’s no over-the-shoulder stuff concerning the FFP regs.  We’ve got money, we’ve got the stadium, we do good finances.

And at this point maybe we can compare ourselves with Liverpool.  Liverpool did what the AAA always wanted – they got an outside investor (two in fact) to come in and pump money into the club.  Except that they pumped money out.  (Incidentally I think the ex-owners are still engaged in legal battles with Liverpool, although the UK press is quiet on this).

But Liverpool do have cash – although I am never sure now where it comes from.  Not from Europe, not from the gate money, not from corporate hospitality.  Presumably from the owners.

And the owners at Liverpool are not all trusting, as they are at Arsenal.  At Arsenal Arsène Wenger has total control over who is signed and who says goodbye.  (“Too much power” says the AAA, but it was that power that got us Ozil).

Transfers at Liverpool are run by a committee on which Brendan Rodgers is magnanimously given a seat along with the chief executive, the head of recruitment, and a couple of others.

So that makes life difficult – to add to the difficulty of bringing in top players when you don’t have European football, don’t have a new stadium, and might well not be in the Champions League again next season.  Arsenal have, I know well enough, clung on to Champions League status by finishing third and fourth over a number of seasons.   Meagre fare you might say compared with Liverpool having won it.  But players don’t care too much for that history – they want to look forward, and most people expect Arsenal to be there, year after year, along with the other two long termers – Real Madrid and Man U.

So we might think, Arsenal can pick and choose who they want.  But of course it is never that simple.  Clubs that don’t want to sell put up very high prices to ward off buyers.  Some players are put off Arsenal by the build up of negativity generated by the AAA in recent seasons, and the treatment of players who were singled out for booing – a tradition at Arsenal that goes back to the 1930s….

But still the endless talk is that we need a striker (despite having Podolski and Theo) a right back because Sagna might walk out, and a central defender despite the fact that Vermaelen can’t even get into the team.

So up come the names such as:

Diego Costa (“Atletico Madrid director of football Jose Luis Caminero is confident striker Diego Costa is not interested in a move to the Barclays Premier League in January” said the Daily Mail a couple of days ago.

Javier Hernandez (with Man U suddenly waking up to the fact that RVP gets injured, and that he is miffed at being lied to by Sir F over how long Sir F would stay, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez might both be needed there.   Surely Man U don’t have money troubles do they?  Do they need to sell?)

Fernando Llorente (Juventus).  He’s scored five in 14 games, and only joined this season.  Why would Juve want to sell him, unless they have discovered he’s not up to much after all?

My point here is that picking up names from here and there isn’t much good because there are always other issues.   And besides what do we do if we buy another striker?  Play two up front and get ridl of the amazing rotational midfield we have created?  Drop Giroud to the bench, so that in the summer he wants to leave?  Keep the new man on the bench and give him chances as Nicklas Bendtner gets?

Of course I haven’t seen Podolski in training as a number 9, but my guess, even without this knowledge, would be that we would have a better fit for the rest of this season with that solution, rather than bringing in a new man and trying to fit him in.

And that’s the other point – new players often take time to fit in – and half way through the season means that the time left is shrinking. We could bring in a new man, and he might be good, but would he be good on day one?

On the other hand, might we sell anyone?

Sagna has been mentioned, although he would walk and not be sold.  Vermaelen, I can’t see because we need a top quality back up in the centre.   Lukas Fabianski is mentioned, but then our third choice keeper isn’t getting any look in at all, so I have no idea how good he is.

Emmanuel Frimpong I once thought could be part of the scene, but he seems to be ever more marginalised and Park Chu-Young has never really looked the part at all.  (Incidentally if you have ever wondered what on earth his transfer was all about you might enjoy this piece.)

(And although it is a bit off topic, I’m delighted to see that Ryo is making his way back.  I really hope he can join in the fun soon).

But there is one other point.  We might identify a player, and so might one of the oil teams like Chelsea or Man C.   But they can pay more to the selling club, and more in salaries, unless they are suddenly getting worried about FFP.  We either need a player who the oilmen are not following, or one like Ozil who will come to Arsenal because of Mr Wenger.

The one thing that can slow our rivals down however (and the thing that brought us Ozil) is that each of our main rivals has a complex arrangement concerning purchases.   At Chelsea it is Roman Abramovich plus Michael Emenalo with Jose Mourinho standing like a little boy waiting at the door.  They are said to want a number centre forward too.

Man City have a similar issue over buying with Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano edging Pellegrini out when it comes to the deals.

Indeed Man U have also sunk into this approach, which never happened under Sir F.   David Moyes and Ed Woodward do the deals – but the problem, according to a bunch of journalists I bumped into before I could get out of the way, is that Woodward hasn’t got a clue how to handle these things.

Meanwhile at Newcastle we see Joe Kinnear and Mike Ashley although ol Joe has been a trifle quiet of late.

What we know is that Mr Wenger can pull hats out of rabbits (and the reverse).  What we also know is that the squad that was stretched double plus extra thin in August has only had two additions (one a free) and can now cope with injuries and illnesses galore and still go through.  And we know that adding another centre forward will raise questions about the one we have.

Personally (although thankfully no one asks me) I’d stay as we are as long as Podolski really can do it as a number 9, and look seriously at the full back options if Sagna goes.  But if, by then, Jenkinson has learned how to move the ball to Theo in double fast time, I’d just bring through a back up and play Jenkinson.

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76 comments to Who Arsenal will sign and sell this January

  • TommieGun

    The funny thing about slumps, is that one you are a one-man-team (i.e. FC Suarez), when your one-man slumps just a little tiny bit – it’s all over.

    Yes, he had a month when he was superhuman. But I kept on saying – I want to see him at the end of the season. Because to be honest, C. Ronaldo and Messi have Di Maria and Xabi Alonso, or Xavi and Iniesta, to support them. That’s why they get 50+ goals per season. Even when they slump, the service they get is just so good – that it compensates.

    But Suarez has Flangan, who is probably talented enough to make tea and sandwiches to most of the Arsenal team, or Henderson, or Lucas Leiva…

    Not that I’m saying Suarez is NOT a great footballer – he is, and very classy. But it’s far from being enough.

  • Elirob

    I’d bring in Benteke…Not Cup tied, relatively cheap, built like a brick shithouse, Premiership tested, would provide good cover and competition for Giroud and has gone on record to say he would love to play for Arsenal!!!

  • marcus

    On a slightly different subject, Martin Samuel was talking about a 16 match ban for Anelka, which I think would have to be the bare minimum for a Nazi salute.

    But now we see a Man city player doing likewise

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-city/10542383/Samir-Nasri-and-Mamadou-Sakho-pictured-performing-same-controversial-quenelle-gesture-as-Nicolas-Anelka.html

    So it will be very interesting to see how this plays out…

  • Sid

    Ughhh. You think Martin Samuel is correct about ANYTHING, ever??? A 16 game ban for what Anelka did?

    For gawd sake, open your mind and stop being a fucking brain dead media fed sheep.

    How depressing.

    And, yes, we do need at least one signing in january. Its a shame realy because if Sanogo and AOC hadnt of been injured we might be even more ahead now. And Sanogo might have come in, played a few games, scored a few goals negating the need for a new forward, but that isnt the case.

  • The font

    We have. ox gnarby Poldi Walcott for the wings ox gnarby can play in the middle if needed. Walcott poldi would love to play c/f if need be giroud bentdner with Akpom sanogo. In the wings we. Have Rambo ozil jack rosicky santi. All who can play 10 so we are not short there. We have arteta flamini. Jack for holding midfield with good youth coming through so we are more than covered . We have merts kos tv5 with sagna as cover for c/b
    Right back sagna / jenks. We need to strengthen this position (jenks not ready sagna may be off )
    Left back Gibbs/ nacho Gibbs IMHO sometimes lacks confidence when defending and needs to improve his positional awareness people forgive him for his flying wingback style he was a very good player two years ago and is still a very good player but I expected improvement from him and have not seen that yet I think we could improve in this area

  • Sid,

    Is that really necessary in response to Marcus’ comment?

    About adding a player in January, as EVER, I leave that to the man in charge. And AOC is back in the new year, so we’ll see.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As usual I’ll not speculate on who’s coming or going as I’m really not good at this ! I’ll leave it to Le Boss to sort it out ,and cheer on whoever wears the jersey !
    Thanks Marcus for those links, as I really do not read much on current events .
    As a 11 year old ,I knew that this gesture meant something profound when I saw it in 1968 .

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/mar/30/black-power-salute-1968-olympics

  • marcus

    Cheers Boo. I thought it was bit uncivil too!

  • The font

    If Anelka is saying it is a anti Semitic gesture he should not play again but if it is a Garth bale style
    Image then that needs to be looked at in a different light I personally did not recognise that as a nazi salute

  • marcus

    it is a well understood Nazi salute in France TF. No ambiguity what it means in France apparently.

  • Gunnersaures

    About Anelka’s so called nazi salute it wasn’t. This gestire hasn’t been used as a neo nazi salute for decades and has been brought back into mainstream french culture by a famous comedian who uses it as an anti establishment gesture. Anelka would be the first black nazi in history and anyone who beleives anything they read in the mail or the guardian needs to take a long hard look in the mirror. (Not the mirror newspaper) quenelle is a lyonaise dish, this is idiot journalists mixed with religion always a great combination.

  • marcus,

    You are welcome.

    To be honest, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite whenever I call out people for being uncivil around here but I have only ever been uncivil to people who are uncivil to me or to other Untold regulars.

    On the Anelka salute, it is not enough to ask people who are offended to deal with it. It is just not enough. Anelka’s action is even worse because he said he did it in solidarity with an offensive comedian who is notorious in France for his anti-semitic views. He made a gesture that he knew to be considered offensive in home country. His action is much worse than Suarez’s use of a racial slur on Evra. At least, the racial term is not offensive in Uruguay according to Suarez.

    Anelka knew what he was doing and he should be ashamed of himself. I’m all for freedom of speech and expression but deliberately offending people on racial or religious grounds is despicable.

  • Emmanuel

    U guys are forgetting what a big name signing does for players morale , and the fear/reverence it gets u from other teams , a big reason we are top is because of the Ozil – star factor , we need one more big signing for the final push. We need it , not this talk of Ox , Poldi , Gnabry tho they are good players . Our front line shrinks in comparison to Man citys and they are currently our most capable rivals.

  • Gunnersaures,

    There are a million other ways to show your “anti-establishment” cred if you have a need to. Don’t do it by unearthing a decades old offensive salute. It shows lack of imagination and insensitivity to the feelings of others.

  • marcus

    @Bootomee

    Hi. Yes, well whatever happened between Luis and Patrice we will probably not know the whole story, because that was what it was. A spat between two men, albeit played out on a public stage. I would have preferred it to be judged in a proper court of Law than in the hierarchy of the FA to be honest, because I have about as much faith in their capacity for justice as I do in a prostitute not to be carrying an STD. I also find it very reprehensible of the British press to say things like “Suarez was found guilty of racism”. You are found guilty of something in a proper court of Law, not in the Byzantine private backrooms of the FA. That is not to say Suarez may well not have acted badly or said something wrong, I’d just like to see a bit of proper proof before the man is hung drawn and quartered publicly. And yes, the use of a Latin derived word for black does require some deciphering, or else it would be a crime to refer to a Nigerian! But let’s leave Luis to one side; he is a bit unhinged I think, but I doubt he is the vampire of the presses’ imagination. He seems quite well liked by people who know him.

    Re Anelka, yes I think it is blatant anti-semitism, and I hope the FA deals with it properly. Above all else, it falls under incitement to racial hatred, which is Martin Samuel’s point more or less. Suarez and Terry were involved in arguments, Anelka has made a public gesture.

  • nicky

    Let’s count at least one blessing this season….the return of the Prodigal Son, Matthieu Flamini.
    His non-stop industry in mid-field and all points north and south of there are a lesson for all young professionals.
    As the Dark Destroyer, of course we will miss him every 5 yellows or so, although overall his ominous presence will play a fair part in any success we may achieve this term.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Emanuel,
    you should read the two halves table in the previous article. http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/33358

    If you read both tables you will see that playing against the same 19 teams with or without Özil has made a difference of 2 points in total. 40 points without him and 42 with him. So a small positive difference but this team was already very well on track.

    Not saying we might not buy someone. But only top top top quality and if available and payable.

  • karim

    Marcus

    I live in France and I can tell you this gesture is strictly antisystem, that s all.
    Anelka is not bright as a person but a Nazi, he is not

    As for your link about Jewish people escaping from a Nazi France, that s absolute bullshit

    Shalom

  • karim

    Up the Arsenal !

  • Emmanuel,

    Enough with the deification of Ozil already. Yes, he has made contributions to the team – like every other first team player. To credit him with our achievements this season shows serious lack of sense of perspective and it is insulting to the other 20+ players who made Arsenal the best team in the EPL in 2013.

    With Ozil in the team, we lost to Man United and Man City. We also drew at home with Everton and Chelsea. How are these results different from last season when Ozil wasn’t in the team?

    I like Ozil and I’m glad that he wears our shirt but comments like yours are a disservice to the guy.

  • alex

    Anelka and Nasri as players of one of the undisputed european league they should be ashame of wht they did.Anelka a muslim convert is using his status of premier league footballer to promote promote his evil agenda.To me its outrageous and he has to face the consequences and same Nasri.From outside it look like an innocent act but is not.

    Onto football definitely we need a striker.Reason is that Giroud on his own is not enough and is not even very very good.I do like all other aspects of his game but as an out out striker is not good enough.Poldi the few times i saw him as a striker it does not cut it.Poldi is an impact player.We dont see him for good amount of time and all in a sudden boom goal.
    The right back position i believe has to be sorted quickly. Sagna legs are not the same anymore and I would love the Everton chap to repalce him.Arteta and FLAMINI as much as i like them to carry but surely age is catching on them.KIM the Sunderland asian guy has caught my eyes.

  • marcus

    Not sure I buy that Karim, but it will be interesting to hear the whole debate.

    At least it will define the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cPAAaZCYMhw

    Anelka has said publicly he is not an anti-semite, so that appears to put the matter to bed…hopefully

  • marcus,

    I don’t want to re-litigate the Suarez episode. Enough has been said about it here and virtually everywhere else. However, let’s not pretend like what happened was some kind of secret that the world would never know the truth of.

    Suarez admitted to using a Spanish term on Evra that the latter found offensive. FACT. Suarez never denied this, he only said that the term is not offensive against black people in his native Uruguay. There is no controversy about whether the incident occurred or not. Where there is disagreement is on whether Suarez should be punished and the scope of the punishment etc.

    Your Nigerian example is silly, unnecessary and out of place in the context of point that you were making. ‘Nigerian’ is not a race or religion. It is a nationality. You can’t insult me by calling me a Nigerian but I will be offended if you called me “negrito” or “coloured” or any other word that is insulting to the black race to which I belong.

    Back on topic, my comment (in your support) was that at least, Suarez claimed that ‘negrito’ is not offensive to black people in his country while Anelka did his gesture, an act that is considered by some in France to be anti-semitic, in support of a comedian that is reputed to be anti-semitic and that had been fined many times for his actions.

    We don’t need 100% agreement that an act is offensive to a group of people before we refrain from using it. I have no qualm about the word ‘fuck’ because it isn’t against any group of people (sorry but Prudes are not a group). The B and C words are offensive to women; the 3 letter F word is offensive to homosexuals. It is offensive to use those. In the same vein, we don’t need the whole of France to agree that the gesture is offensive before public figures like Anelka stop doing it. If they want to be anti-establishment, they should find a gesture that has no history or link with Nazism to use as their symbol.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About Anelka: I have never heard of such a gesture before so don’t know what to make of it. I’m not competent on that matter as I don’t know a lot of gestures. And I also don’t know who to believe and who not. Some say it is this, some say it is that. How am I as an unknown with it to know who is right and who is wrong. I also know nothing about quantum physics so I will also stay out of any debate about it if you don’t mind and to not bring an end to the current universe.

    Mind you in my youth I remember that when there was protest marches (in the 60ties-70ties my god that long ago – anti Vietnam and such stuff) that when the police was entering the scene most protest groups made the nazi-salute. I don’t think this would be possible now in the current days but then it was also used as an anti establishment (to which the police belonged of course) or a sign that the police was using nazi tactics in beating up protesting people.

    This just to show that some gestures can change in time. Not condoning it at all but just bringing some historical facts (from my country) and how strange things sometimes go.

    come to think of it the anti-vietnam war protesters certainly weren’t nazi’s. Well at least I think as I was still rather very young and didn’t take part in the protests in any way.

  • marcus

    To be honest Bootoome, I never particularly followed the Suarez incident, so I am sure what you say is true. I was not particularly interested in it, I just find it a bit bizarre when these issues are played out in the public and media as if its the Jeremy Kyle show, which I think does no favours to anyone. You can scream FACT at me all you want, but like I said quite clearly, I think facts are best established in courts of law, not in the media spotlight. That is the whole point Boo, truth is established in the court of Law. When the media sets the agenda and acts like judge and jury, then you get nonsensical and dangerous situations, like the English teacher in Bristol who was fingered by the media as the killer of that girl a while back. This is a point of principle. Re Suarez, as I said, I have no particular bias re his character, good or bad.

  • marcus wrote:

    “To be honest Bootoome, I never particularly followed the Suarez incident, so I am sure what you say is true. I was not particularly interested in it, I just find it a bit bizarre when these issues are played out in the public and media”

    This is pretty strange coming from you considering the confidence with which you tried to present the Suarez/Evra incident as some sort of conspiracy theory for which the truth would never be known.

    Well, I happened to follow the incident very well and the facts are what I have presented above. I agree that the media can blow things out of proportion whenever race is involved but there is no argument over what Suarez said to Evra. People only differ on whether it was offensive and deserved punishment or not.

    Personally, I would have been fine with an explanation from Suarez to Evra about not knowing that the term is offensive out of Uruguay and an apology for the hurt that it caused. The fact that Evra is a jackass himself is irrelevant here.

  • Arsenal need a consistent striker who can score almost every game or when he misses to score a game he can assist and the next game he scores not a striker who scores after 490 minutes yet he is prefered as the sole main striker. A striker who scores 25 plus league goals and a striker who can control and give an accullate pass a fighter somebody who can go for the ball not somebody just waiting for Theo’s passes to come in for him a kind of Suares.

  • Walter,

    Like you, I did not know anything about the gesture until a few days ago but thanks to the Internet, I do now.

    Anelka confessed that he made the gesture in solidarity with a French comedian who happened to have gotten into trouble in France for making the same gesture that many in France consider offensive because of its history with Nazism.

    The whole episode shows the stupidity and lack of empathy for the feelings of others from those involved on . Making Nazi gestures does not give anyone anti-establishment credentials; it shows them up as insensitive jackasses.

    Anelka is a grown man and a professional; he should be better than that. I am loyal to my friends too but if they get into trouble for making offensive gestures I wouldn’t show my support for them by doing the same thing that they got in trouble for.

  • Firstly – hats off to Anelka and Nasri for repeating the gesture. As explained it is not anti semetic at all. It is anti establishment. Of course the authorities in this world would like to paint all sorts of versions of reality to control our actions, so when a public figure thumbs their nose at them, I applaud.

    Secondly, as for players coming in, I think it might be worth a cheeky bid for Cavani. The French courts have just agreed a 75% tax rate on top earners and have even back dated it to all of 2013…

  • marcus

    @Bootoome you are talking tripe now. I never suggested this at all. lol. ‘Some sort of conspiracy theory’. Oh come on – you can do better than this.

    Anyway, the FA will deal with Anelka and Nasri, and I guess if members of the public put in a police complaint, it will become a criminal investigation.

    I just hope this isn’t what some people say it is, a nasty bit of a neo-nazism from a stable of neo-nazism. If it is, it is not good.

  • @marcus

    Both Anelka and the comedian he was paying tribute to have said the gesture is intended to be anti establishment. The fact that the media want to portray it as something else in order to sell papers and governments want to condemn it in order to discourage any kind of anti-establishment thoughts or actions has only served to increase exposure and ‘offend’.

    The worst thing about all of this is that so many so quickly jump on the band wagon of calling another person a racist or anti-semitic. For these people it is better to point fingers and run with the establishment crowd than be an individual. Lord of The Flies behaviour.

  • jayramfootball,

    There is nothing brave or noble about repeating an offensive gesture from:

    “Dieudonné, who invented the quenelle, is a controversial figure in France, where he has been convicted six times of defamation, causing offence and inciting racial hatred and has been fined a total of £53,400.”

    Anelka was showing solidarity for a guy who “In December 2013, while performing onstage, was recorded saying about prominent French Jewish radio journalist Patrick Cohen: “Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: ‘Gas chambers…too bad [they no longer exist].””

    I wonder how Anelka would have react if a white person wished that black people are still being held in slavery or say something offensive about his new Islamic faith.

    Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-city/10542383/Samir-Nasri-and-Mamadou-Sakho-pictured-performing-same-controversial-quenelle-gesture-as-Nicolas-Anelka.html

    And from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieudonn%C3%A9_M%E2%80%99Bala

    Before taking sides in any debate, I always educate myself first. Anelka is in the wrong here and so is all of other Dieudonné’s sympathisers. It is possible to be anti-establishment without being a bigot. It seems like these guys don’t know the difference.

  • marcus,

    I am not calling you a conspiracy theorist but you wrote originally: ” Yes, well whatever happened between Luis and Patrice we will probably not know the whole story, because that was what it was”. But as I said before, the Suarez/Evra incident is pretty out in the open. There is no complicated issue to be investigated.

    I find it strange that you were initially making statement showing strong doubts on the Suarez/Evra incident only for you to say later that you didn’t really follow the episode and don’t know much about it. Rather than doubt the validity of a matter that I don’t know much about, I would spend that time educating myself on it in order to be sure. It is what I have done on the ‘quenelle’ matter.

  • Double canister

    Jayram
    An inverted Nazi salute is still a Nazi salute, because people know the context.
    If it is now used as an anti-establishment sign, then the people so doing so are a bunch of ars*holes, whatever the context.
    I don’t know much about Anelka’s pal, but he seems to make Le Pen look like a bleedin’ heart liberal.
    As the saying goes – you are judged by those you associate yourself with.

  • Gord

    Rachel Yankee of the Arsenal Ladies is awarded an OBE.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/rachel-yankey-is-awarded-an-obe

    Congratulations!

  • @bootoomee, you clearly have not educated yourself properly.

    What you have done is taken a one sided view and have subsequently used a source to validate your opinion. That is not education.

    Research some more and try to stay away from the main stream media. There is inherent bias in what they say on this particular subject.

  • @marcus – the people in those pictures are clearly anti-semitic and have adopted the gesture. It will get worse now as every anti-semitic scum bag will start using it.

    It does not mean I will persecute Anelka though. He has said he is not anti-semitic and that his gesture was anti-establishment.

    Its rather like wandering into a hindu wedding and seeing all the swastikas adorning the walls and calling them nazi’s – then not listening to them as they explained to you it means something else to them.

  • jayramfootball,

    See the links above and read about Dieudonné. I have indeed educated myself and I have provided facts, context and links to support my position on this matter. All that you have done is make accusations of bias and being of me being one sided. I did not get my position on this issue from the mainstream media.

    Also, while I am as critical of the MSM as anyone here, I object to the knee-jerk opposition of everything that they say. If the mainstream media say the sky is blue, I am not going to say it’s green now am I?

    Read up about the central character in this saga i.e. Dieudonné. If you think that he is worthy of being followed as an anti-establishment figure as Anelka did then there is no point in us having this conversation.

  • Pat

    @Walter at 8.53.

    You talk a lot of sense here.

    A lot of the evidence presented is contradictory, and some of these photographs could have been deliberately posed to stir people up. Even the gestures don’t all look the same. I find the Wikipedia entry for Dieudonne totally confusing, and never having heard him, it’s impossible for me to judge the man.

    But why do we need a new anti-establishment gesture anyway? There are plenty of tried and tested ones already.

    And if an ‘anti-establishment’ gesture is so ambiguous that it is interpreted as insulting some people because of their religion or ethnicity, that does seem to be a problem.

    In contrast, the clenched fist salute is a traditional gesture which means strength and unity of all working people. No one is excluded.

  • jayramfootball,

    Your link did not show a man, it only shows a swastika ring on a finger.

    Nonetheless, to answer your question, it depends. If the ring is worn for religious purposes and the religion predates Nazism, fine. But if not, the wearer would be a Nazi, a neo-Nazi or at the most charitable, a clueless/insensitive jerk.

  • Pat

    @Bootoomee

    You are wrong about the swastika.

    It genuinely is a traditional symbol still commonly used on the Indian subcontinent with no Nazi connections at all. I know a woman who lives in London and is of Indian origin who has named her son Swastik. She is not a Nazi nor a clueless jerk.

    So in this case context is everything.

    Hitler had the brazen cheek to adopt Beethoven’s great ‘Ode to Joy’ one of the greatest pieces of music ever written and actually an ode to freedom originally. So it shouldn’t stop us from listening to it.

  • Pat,

    I already covered that in my answer. If the usage is religious or from any tradition predating Nazism, no problem. I don’t think that the anybody should lose their heritage because of a psychopath.

    I hate to play the PC police but jayramfootball’s example here trivialises the debate. Dieudonné’s intention from his history, past utterances and behaviour is meant to offend.

  • elkieno

    Boo is spot on the money for mine. That comedian is a horrible person I read up on him yesterday and everything I found on him shows him to be despicable.
    Is it ironic how they are all from a certain religion too?

  • OMGArsenal

    What does neo-nazism,religious affiliation or race have to do with this article? Some UA Gooners have decided to scrap it out over whether Anelka is a racist nazi or a socialist revolutionary anti-establishment hero….here’s my take on the original and now partly occluded headline:

    1)What about us getting Torres from Cheatski? He is having a serious career crisis…just the type of player Wenger can handle and improve.

    2)What about Chicarito from United? He is still young and eager to play…maybe Wenger could turn him into an RVP level performer…that would be the icing on the cake!

    3)What about Mata from Cheatski? A real talent and seems underused but is he available?

    4)What about Dzeko at City? Despite Pelligrini’s claims he’ll not be transferred, we all know that things can change once an interesting bid is received!

    5)What about DiMaria or Benzema at Madrid? Either player is a proven winner and affordable.

    6)What about Ben Arfa at Newcastle? He is a tricky little demon and might fit in perfectly with our other tricky little Ozil and Cazoral,Walcott and Ramsey devils.

    I’ll bet my bottom dollar that Wenger has already gone through the list of available players in January and has already b een in touch with those he might consider, who meet his criteria of not being Cup tied, having the right pedigree and attitude and wanting to play for the best team in the EPL. If, as I suspect, we don’t get anyone in over January…then he’s decided that we’re OK and I’m OK with that.

    Or, as many here are hinting, IF France hits players’ salaries with a hefty tax hike, then we can do a Malaga on them and buy a few thousand at bargain basement prices as the AAA love to rant on about.

  • elkieno

    Omgarsenal: actually you hit the nail on head, why had the debate changed to anelka?

    For record I think that we won’t buy anyone until end of January if we are to buy at all. If Giroud gets an injury then he will but even then it will be someone that can do a job with NB but not usurp Giroud spot. I like the team as it is and am also fine with not getting/needing a new man. AW knows what a team needs to have s successfull season, he knows our players and what they can achieve, in Wenger I trust and always have…
    Coyg

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Anelka is an idiot.
    It all starts with his spat with Raymond Domenech whereby he is suspended from the French national team during the World Cup in South Africa. The other idiot is then French captain Patrice Evra who became a ringleader in the rebellion against Domenech with most players supporting the rebellion, with rare “silent” exceptions: Thierry Henry and a couple of others.
    After the World Cup, Anelka received a huge ban ending his career with the French national team. Anelka and his entourage decided that his new image will include an “anti-establishment” aspect.
    Dieudonne considers himself as being anti-establishment, but part of this is his opinion that Jews in France control the media, politics (etc) and are thus the core of what he considers to be the establishment.
    Dieudonne is not a holocaust denier, and he is definitely anti-Zionist. The problem is that he has also made comments that are anti-Jewish.
    Back to Evra, the offended Tartuffe who decided as captain of the French national team to lead the anti-Domenech rebellion which became a rebellion against France. This hypocrite was eventually reintegrated by the hypocrites of the FFF, the Federation Francaise de Football, since Evra was not replaceable as a left fullback. Evra seized the opportunity to smear Suarez, and shine as a beacon of rectitude. Suarez deserved his suspension, but nobody pulled the stories about Evra being an egocentric end-of-sigmoid and his role in the French disaster in South Africa.
    As to wider issue of anti-Semitism, I am not sure what to say: I have a close friend who is Jewish and very left-oriented politically: he says that the label of anti-Semitism is used sometimes to further political agendas, and that nobody cares about Palestinians (I agree: not even their leaders do: they are just busy with their careers as politicians) and also that the anti-terrorism label is applied to Southern Lebanese groups because oilers from some Gulf states despise them since they are deemed to belong to heretic groups of their religion.

    I hope some people can read between the lines.

    Conclusion: Ban Anelka after granting him a hearing; make the hearing public. Include Evra as a character witness: he supported his friend Anelka when they rebelled against the FFF in 2010.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Ban also Nasri and Sakho.
    I think AW is very judicious in advising his players to stay away from controversial issues.
    Cigarettes (Jack) and women (?) are far lesser evils than politics, religion, racism, cannibalism, or taking a stand against your own national team or country.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Well, your own country may be doing something you do not like; after all, politicians lead countries. But your own national team? These guys should have asked and accepted a life-long ban, then asked for the mercy of the Federation.

    This includes our Gunners on the French national team and Ribery.

  • Tom

    OMGArsenal
    There’s a better chance of a snowball in hell than a player coming over from City or Chelsea .

  • WalterBroeckx

    So I guess that we will not buy Anelka… 😉

  • Mike T

    Walter

    Cant see how you jump to that conclusion!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sign David dein and let him loose on the pgmol

  • Ben

    If no one told me Nasri and Anelka salute was nazi i would have thought it was some gang sign most footballers like to do in pictures.

    but why do some people spray the swastika in gold and horizontal which is a Buddhist symbol?

  • goonerkam

    I knew it. That basterd Evra is behind it all. Definitely cross him out as our next player. I don’t care how good Sylvester turned out. This punk should never be allowed to wear the RED&WHITE. Same goes for anelka , nastyri and that sokkor dude.

  • goonerkam

    The should pass regulations to separate church and football just like they have church and state. While they’re at it pass regulations to separate football and state( politics ).

  • goonerkam

    Nik was a boob going way back to his teenage years. The original mercenary but oh what talent. At the end, only a millionaire vagabond footballer with no concept of loyalty.

  • para

    This Semite affair is so stupid and condescending. A Semite(A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians) can be a Jew, but not all Jews are Semites. This whole stupid affair about anti-semite is just that, stupid. Time for the world to grow up and look back at it’s mistakes and try to move forward, sadly there are those who continue to project a certain agenda, and sadly some of the masses do fall for it. It’s got so bad that an atheist cant even call out a christian without getting “done” for being anti-religion but atheists have to put up with the dribble coming from christians, just like non-jews have to put up with the dribble from jews, non gay have to put up with the dribble from gays, and the list goes on and on. Can’t we see that there is something drastically wrong with this “so called equality” which in reality is not equal at all, but replacing the one with the other, instead of really trying to make both really become equal. There is no balance at the moment i fear.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ OMG – Mata would fit into our system flawlessly ,especially
    now that there a few injuries in that department .While at it let try for Lukaku whose not quite eye to eye with Moanrhino!
    Chicarito is another interesting choice .May be a good player in route 1 Arsenal attack (god forbid)!
    E’to ?

  • Para,

    As a staunch atheist I cannot disagree with you more. Despite my utter disdain for religions I’m against deliberately offending them. Beside, this is more about politics and less about religion or race.

    The comedian at the centre of the controversy enjoys deliberately offending Jews. Why anyone would want to show solidarity to a hateful figure is beyond me. I have sympathy for the Palestinians and I think Israel have a lot to answer for but I refuse to accept that it is okay to be making offensive statements and gestures against Jews as a result.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @OMG,

    If Mr Wenger would ever listen to me, I would suggest him Torres. He is cup tied of-course….BUT the we have Giroud and Poldi too. SO it wont matter much.

    BUT my money is on Mr Wenger to have a good look at Poldi as a lone striker and then decide in the summer. Theo, well Theo is deadly when comes in from wide positions, then why put him in the center where his abilities to run across the defense is negated.

  • Gooner S

    If the right centre forward is available, even on a loan for the rest of the season, we’ll do the deal. If not we’ll wait until the summer. Giroud is a fantastic centre forward but looks like he is running on empty at the moment. Bendtner is clearly there for emergencies only. Yes if needs be Poldolksi can play centre forward, perhaps Walcott. I would rather not rely on ‘needs be’ but if thats what mr Wenger calls then so be it.

    I’d be very surprised if Costa moves in January. I’d be even more surprised if Chelsea and Man Utd sold us a centre forward and anyway we should be aimong higher than Ba and Fernandez.

    Arsenal have had a great 2013 and a great first half to this season. Let’s hope it continues into 2014 and beyond.

  • Gooner S

    It seems, according to The Guardian, that Giroud is injured for our New years day game so will Poldolski start as a CF or Bendtner?

  • @boomtoomee,

    You have not provided anything of substance on this matter at all and have exhibited the exact same knee jerk reaction you are condemning. You missed my point entirely about the ring. The point is that it IS a religious symbol in India but ignorant people cry Nazi at the sight of it. This is indeed a problem for Hindu’s since the second world war and the misuse of their religious symbol is well documented.

    I am well aware the individual in question and well before the Anelka incident. If you had properly researched him you would have at least begun to question the motives of the French authorities in their treatment of him and taken a more balanced view before rushing to condemn. His problems with authority have accelerated dramatically ever since he began his political anti-establishment movement and he is being smeared relentlessly by French media and politicians. I am not sure whether he really is anti semitic and racist, but I will not jump to conclusions because dishonest people tell me he is.

    There is far more to this than meets the eye.

    People like Sacha Baron Chohen have been accused of being anti-semitic also by people who did not know he was a Jew himself. After his comedy scenes of ‘running of the Jew’ and Jews morphing into insects one can understand the people who attacked him. After all, just because he is a Jew, there will be millions that watched those scenes not knowing that.

    Comedy, unfortunately, can take many risky forms and up and down the land the holocaust is still used as a subject.

    My personal take, having followed both sides of the argument, is that Dieudonne is anti-establishment, not anti-semitic. The complexity comes from the fact that Jews are dominant in the establishment. Communications, politics, law, business and finance are areas where Jews are disproportionally represented. This is due to well documented nepetism, closely linked to racism, within those industries. The anti-semitic label is used far too freely and as I said before there is inherent bias in what the population reads and views on a daily basis.

    Too many are willing to jump onto the condemnation bandwagon without fully researching the facts from both sides of the argument.

  • goonerkam

    I’m with BOOTOOMEE on this. Super dumb and insensitive of NIK to show solidarity with a known antijew jackass. Sad thing is the far left , by adopting this known reveres Nazi salute, have belittled many valid and good points in their philosophy. The comedian clown is probably a racist fascist Nazi sympathizer. One of many of a growing number. F••• them to hell.
    I think we will check the market for a trickster right wing forward. If available and if the price is right. 10-15 mil.

  • goonerkam

    And a special special happy new year to TONY & WALTER for this very special blog. Thanks for your efforts through the years and may you be bless with same strength of character to stand for what is right and common sense. Also be blessed with same patiance in dealing with folks who have had evidence right before their eyes and still can’t see it.
    CHEERS…..

  • goonerkam

    Now to the pub to ring in the new year at the pub with fellow gooners around 4pm my time.
    Then some more celebrations around midnight LA time to really ring in the new year. Hope there is still some of me ready for our game come morning. Hehe

  • Stuart

    Merry new year everyone.

    On the subject of transfers, I wonder what is the likelihood of Eduardo making a return. I feel he would fit in well in the current set up.

  • Gunz

    Happy new year!
    Gunners – Gooners – UA Faithfuls
    2014
    Who’s top the league?:-)
    COYG!

  • Florian

    Stuart,

    I was devastated like so many others when Eduardo had the accident. Unfortunately for him, as far as I remember from reading scattered articles, his ankle never fully recovered its initial mobility, and it was this reason that made Arsene let him go to Shakhtar. This aspect aside, you’re right that we could do well with a poacher Eduardo-style. Theo is gaining some of that skill, if we look at his stats he has a great shot conversion rate, he and Poldi are topping the squad if I’m not mistaken. Poldi provides a similar deadliness from the left, so I think we have enough options in the team to carry us through the season. But of course if the right opportunity comes up, I’ll be as happy as anyone to sign a special striker:)

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Just a clarification.
    Somehow, years ago, the United Nations general assembly passed a resolution condemning Zionism since it was considered a racist political theory by the majority of voters, mostly based on how awfully Palestinians were treated. Of course, some tried to get in the debate and equate anti-zionism with anti-semitism (in its usual meaning and notwithstanding the fact that other populations are also Semitic non-Aryan, such as Arabs, Assyro-Chaldeans, and others).

    The core about it is that racism is not really about race or ethnicity or race, but about CULTURE in its most restrictive sense: values, customs, religious practices (etc) that are passed within societal groups. Racism in France against North African Arabs (with Levantine Arabs being spared) is against the religion of this group and societal issues. Oddly, the definition of an Arab is purely linguistic: you are an Arab if Arabic is your native tongue, and Levantine Arabs are defined as Arabs despite the fact that they are of (extremely) mixed ethnic origins; in Syria, the older more established Armenian (mostly Armenian Catholic and not Armenian Orthodox) community speaks Arabic better than Armenian; as a result they are considered as Arabs by linguists. Another interesting issue is that of genetic studies in the Near East: the closest group to Israeli Jews from the standpoint of genetics (HLA groups were studied by a Spanish team of scientists) happens to be… Palestinians.

    Back to Dieudonne; he is an offensive idiot; his anti-establishment posturing cannot hide the fact that he has a problem with some Jews while he would not have the same problem with a French Catholic who dislikes Muslims and Arabs, such as some or many of the Front National officials. At the other end of the spectrum is somebody like Alain Finkielkraut, a French Jew who is a hater of colored, underprivileged, and Moslim people.

    Again, it is all about culture in its most restrictive realm. Racists are people who feel threatened by other cultures or select other cultures.

    Andre Malraux famously said that “culture is what is left when you have forgotten everything” and that could be great or awful, depending on what an individual is at the core.

    Definitely, Dieudonne or Alain Finkielkraut are bad apples. And so are Anelka, Evra, Nasri, and John Terry in his dealings with Anton Ferdinand.

    But JT was not a racist when he shagged a teammates’ girlfriend. They had a beautiful cultural moment. The flowers and the bees…

  • nekuhan

    Goalkeeper: Iker Casilas from Real Madrid,
    Centerback: Joleon Lescott from MancShitty,
    Forward: Jackson Martinez from Porto
    and our team will be a real deal!
    Happy New Year to Tony, Walter and whole UA team. Keep the good work up.
    Happy New Year to Arsenal FC and to all Gooners round the world.

  • rupert cook

    @OMG Arsenal, do you really think City, Chelsea or Manu would sell any of their better players to us? None of these teams need money and do not adopt our line of selling our best players to rivals.

    Your choices though were good ones.

    We need to strengthen the squad. We all know what happened when we failed to do so in previous January windows and now, as we have our best shot at winning the league for a decade, I think it would be a dereliction of duty not to do so especially as we’re flush with cash, better players on the field than cash in the bank.

  • Stuart

    Florian,
    I forgot to add, I was thinking along the lines of a loan to end of season.