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October 2016
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Don’t Panic Don’t Panic! How to not worry but instead look forwards

By Walter Broeckx

So by now we should be in panic mode if we should believe the media. When I write this not a ball has been kicked by an Arsenal player in a league match and yet the end of the season is near. Once again we are doomed and lost. Why? Ah because they say so.

Wenger has said that there is a chance he might not buy anyone else before the transfer window shuts. Hordes of desperate Arsenal fans are running towards cliffs to throw themselves off it. Or are searching their closets to find the black bin bags so they can organize the next protest march in and outside the Emirates. A single man sitting near the players is printing his ‘spend the f*cking money’ plate again ready to hold it up in front of Arsène Wenger when he sets a foot inside the Emirates.

As Tony said in his earlier article the media do like to throw a bit of mud in the direction of Wenger whenever they can.

I have said it a few times already : I am comfortable with the squad we have. This group of players managed to keep up the pace with Chelsea once we had a reasonable number of injuries rather than an excessive number. And the core of players has been kept. People might point at some players having left but Podolski, Sanogo (loan to Ajax it seems), Jenkinson (loan to West Ham) were not involved in that time of the season as they also were loaned.  In fact nobody who was involved in our good run has left. So we are not weakened at all.

One could say that with Cech we have added a great goalkeeper (maybe at the cost of one leaving in the next weeks) so in that department we are very well stocked.

For the rest we have added Debuchy to the team again, Wilshere after his injury.  Walcott (who was very much part time player after his injury) is back. Certainly for Walcott having a complete pre-season will help him a lot. One could say that that is 3 players who haven’t played a lot last season because of being kicked to shit and who now are ready to go and fight for their place. In my opinion 3 extra players already.

I know other teams have bought. But for heavens sake… £49m for Sterling…. What are they smoking at Manchester City one could say. That is simply ridiculous. Manchester City keeps on going the way they have been going since the sheik walked in with his money in his pockets. Spend, spend, spend… for a talented player but surely he is not worth that much money.

Meanwhile Manchester United has also been spending again. The big spenders of last year have now added Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger to their team. The latter with all respect is on the way back in his career. Yes he will probably shine on a few occasions but for a player that has spent  a bit of times on the side lines with a knee injury and couldn’t really fix his starting spot at Bayern Munich in the last seasons it is a bit of a strange move from United.

Long time (according to the media) Arsenal target Schneiderlin also went to United. Two more or less the same players for that much money sure seems a bit strange. Certainly after having paid a lot of money for Blind the summer before. But hey, if they  want to throw the money away, who am I to stop them.

Liverpool will now probably spend all the Sterling money on Benteke and so he might become the next Carroll. In a way Benteke reminds me a lot of Heskey. Another high profile signing that didn’t really deliver what they had in mind.

Last summer I read this about Liverpool and their transfer window dealings:  Southampton trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren have been snapped up, as have Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Javier Manquillo and Divock Origi. Oh, and the small matter of Mario Balotelli. From 2nd place to 6th place was the outcome.

Now again I have seen six names added to the players list by Liverpool and then there isn’t even a mention for Origi who was on loan in Lille. So again almost a complete new team to start the season with. As Tottenham has found out, not really the ideal way to improve that easily.

Meanwhile Arsenal is playing the waiting game. With most players being fit we do seem to have enough in the locker for me. Even in the DM position we have the best of the last six months in place and we have two backups in Arteta and Flamini. Two older players who will accept sitting on the bench easier than a Schneiderlin would do, I can imagine.

And Wenger has said that if the right player becomes available for a decent price he will do some business. But for the moment the player he has in mind seems not to be available and so he will not throw his money away in order to calm down the more hysterical part of our fans. Maybe they could ask their doctor if he can give them something to feel more relaxed.

I don’t need those pills to feel happy. I just look forward to the players we have. I look forward to the duel between Hector and Mathieu for the right back spot which will be interesting. Or at left back where Gibbs has to work his way back in the team. Maybe using his right foot might help him doing that? Or how Gabriel will impose himself now he is here from the start.

Will Jack also have a look at the more defensive midfield spot to make it his own? I am looking forward to see Santi do his magic again by dancing around his opponents with those little legs that can do such great dribbles. Getting water in my mouth from seeing Özil do his gliding over the field with ease and suddenly producing that killer ball to one of his forwards.

I hope that The Ox explodes this season and finally starts to become a 15 goal scorer a season. That is the one thing that he should improve on and he is getting at the right age to do this. I love to see Ramsey do his running again all over the field and score goals from midfield. I want Giroud to shut his haters up and score goals and assist other strikers.

I dream of Theo picking up where he left before his injury and score goals like he did in the last matches of the season and be a force to our attack.  And then we still have Alexis to come back from South America and produce his energetic displays.

Why should I worry? So many good players, a team that could keep the pace with Chelsea when we had only a handful of injuries any more. Much more who are back even now. So I really see no reason to worry.

Looking back through previous pre-season

2011-2015 will be added in the coming days


36 comments to Don’t Panic Don’t Panic! How to not worry but instead look forwards

  • para

    Me neither. I love the dynamic of the team now and expect them to be that much more hungry for success this coming season. AW will try to get one or two players who he “fancies” would improve and fit in at Arsenal, but this is surely not mandatory in any way.

    I hope our forwards all perform and they surely know what will happen this time when they do not. This is their chance to stamp their own persona on Arsenal history, hell not just forwards, but the whole team.

    Like an idiot i missed 85 mins of the match, silly me got the times wrong, so i am off to watch it in full now. I need to see the movements of the team as a whole.

  • Arsenalogy

    It looks like you met the ARSNAL medical team and gave you their blueprint formula to avoid seeing half of our first team players spend four to six months on the bed. How sure are you that what happened to those players won’t happen again? Arteta is already injured and so is Danny Welbeck. What if Francis gets injured? And which club would call Wenger that they have a quality player for sale? Arturo Vidal is going to Bayern. We should have snatched him way back. We need a fucking DM and a center forward now. If we don’t sign these players then we have sold the tittle to either Chelsea or Manchester United.

  • Anaekwe patrick

    What you are saying is true but we still need a top drawer striker who will be putting away the balls effortlessly from those tempting passes. Giroud is good but loves to rub in the ball stylishly and always likes to fall down at the slightest touch by the lightest of the players when it matters most. We have a stable good team but for a striker. Let Wenger buy us Lacezette and I will buy him suit.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Blimey, you could see that this was written before the match. Akpom…. now will he step up this season? I sure hope so… At Arsenal from 6 years old … Come on Chuba!! 🙂

  • bradster

    To be negative, I would like to see the back of Mertezacker and get a better distributor of the ball. I think his play from the back is awful. He dwells on the ball to long and then passes to a player that has a man down his shirt or back to the keeper to hoof back to the opposition.

    On Liverpool, I think they replaced better this transfer window. They needed a finisher because Sturridge is always injured and the Brazilian looked pretty good in Germany, Ings looked decent too and if they get Benteke, he doesn’t look like a mug either.
    Glen Johnson was a liability so Clyne is a vast improvement.
    The rest of their squad was decent last season and most will still be starters, so I wouldn’t just write them off.

  • Ben

    I think those that are worried just want to see signings because we are in the season and others are doing so.We have a really strong squard that I won’t be concerned if it remains the same.Am hoping a striker that is better than the ones we have now is signed on though

  • blacksheep63

    @bradster…really? Have you actually watched Mertesacker’s distribution? AS someone who sits (stands) behind him when we defending the north bank I would say his calm assured passing under pressure is one of his many strengths.

  • nicky

    I can’t make up my mind about Mertesaker.
    I agree with most of what you say about his passing. But he reads the game so well that it tends to overcome much of his shortcomings.
    And he has such an imposing presence on the field, I feel he still has a part to play in the coming season.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Given few games, I think Akpom can have a break through season. He has a lot to learn from Giroud though. Mainly, How to play with his back to the goal.

  • GroovT

    Wenger mentionned one or two additions in the squad. Sanogo is expected to leave, thus after Podolski departure, I guess that would open the door for a striker. Lacazette would be a good choice. The player recently add a favorite on his twitter account a news which did mention an interest from Arsenal. Thats stays only a few hours. I believe that would be a good fit. I am not a hater of Giroud but his accuracy around 40% is not good enough.
    Then i guess that we could add a left back if there is an opportunity, but it s not an emergency. Otherwise we just need to keep our player on the pitch!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I’d love to see Akpom getting another 90 minutes during pre-season, doubt it will happen against Everton this weekend, possibly in the Emirates Cup. The main job of a striker is to score goals and you can’t argue against a hat-trick even against lesser opposition. I would far rather us stick with him than spend £50m or so on an ‘established world class striker’ who might just offer a marginal improvement over Giroud. I had also forgotten what a good player Toral is, he might also make the move up to the full squad this year.

    I think the squad is good to go for the season, assuming no surprise departures

  • para

    Anaekwe patrick, Maybe we’ll get an angel of a signing to carry Arsenal on it’s wings to glory. Either way, Arsenal will be boss this season.

  • TailGunner

    I read a few Arsenal blogs and I’ve seen no signs of supporters panicking over the lack of major signings. The media like to generate rumours & gossip, and I read what they say and disregard most of it. It’s not a problem, just blokes ( and a few women ) earning their wages. It doesn’t matter!
    The squad looks in good health for another Premiership & FA Cup challenge, but for the Champion’s League we’re not really up to required strength. No problems with goal scoring and Peter Cech will certainly be a major asset to our defence, but central midfield is where we looked vulnerable against even average teams last campaign. Coquelin? Don’t lets get carried away. He needs on field support not just back up.

  • NW

    There are three things we have to remember and keep faith in.

    1) Our players. Once they can avoid injury and fatique, they can beat any team in EPL.

    2)By history, Wenger signs more than the number he already has. Therefore, he is definitely still prepared to introduce more players. Also the team has released several players (Diaby was not mentioned by Walter) and got space for more players.)

    Wenger is on the look out and he has a plan. He will certainly buy the high quality “big name” players if they are available at suitable price. If they are not,he will look for bargains and young talents. He can also decide to give some young player their chance. Whatever happens, he definitely has a logical plan that will change according to situations.

    3) Wenger knows the best

  • NW

    TailGunner :

    You are right. The fans are generally quite quiet regardless of what the media says. After back to back FA Cups and the community shield, fans are more calm and confident.

    Everyone wants the team to add quality players. We set our sight higher than EPL in CL. At the moment, we all agree it is very hard to achieve at the current level.

  • ARSENAL 13

    one word for the away kit. Awesome.

    I love the away kit. And I dont think I am the only one,

  • nicky

    This whole question of signing new players during a transfer Window is fraught with imponderables.
    Will the player add to the needs of our club. Will his employer release him.
    Is the fee reasonable and is he willing to join us.
    Will he and his family settle to life in London.
    To attach affirmative answers to all the above must be rare indeed and what is more, we supporters invariably are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes.
    All we know is no signings have taken place….a perfect scenario for the anti-Wenger clique to spring to life. 😉

  • Jambug


    July 16, 2015 at 7:24 am

    To be negative, I would like to see the back of Mertezacker and get a better distributor of the ball.

    PLAYER STATS — Per Mertesacker


    Total Passes: 1,776

    % of Passes Long: 7

    Passing Accuracy: 89%

    Passes per 90 minutes: 50.74

    Total Crosses: 3

    Successful crosses: 33%

    Chances Created: 3

    Assists: 1

    PLAYER STATS – Laurent Koscielny

    Total Passes 1,156

    % of Passes Long 9

    Passing Accuracy 89%

    Passes per 90 minutes 45.47

    Total Crosses 2

    Successful crosses 0%

    Chances Created 2

    Assists 0

    (The above statistics courtesy of

    Or would you prefer to compare Mertesakers passing accuracy to the following:

    Terry: 89%

    Schneiderlin: 89%

    Smalling: 88%

    Kompany: 87%

    Cahill: 86%

    Bertrand: 79%

    (The above statistics courtesy of

    So who do you suggest we get then, that’s better at distributing the ball?

    I do wish people would know some facts before they just post what they read in the papers.

  • Micko

    @ TailGunner “I read a few Arsenal blogs and I’ve seen no signs of supporters panicking over the lack of major signings” – you don’t even need to visit another blog, just look at some of the earlier comments on this one :-
    Arsenalogy – “We need a fucking DM and a center forward now. If we don’t sign these players then we have sold the tittle to either Chelsea or Manchester United”
    Anaekwe Patrick – “What you are saying is true but we still need a top drawer striker who will be putting away the balls effortlessly from those tempting passes…..”

    I could visit some other blogs and quotes similar comments….

  • porter

    Saw this on another site , which made me smile.

    Citeh have recreated the S.A.S :- Silva Aguerro Sterling

    Whilst Liverpool have Lambert Markovic Firmino Allen Origi :- L.M.F.A.O

  • TailGunner


    I’ll agree with your first example ( that is definitely a panic ), but the other one is no more than a wish of the type I see everywhere.
    I don’t really think most of our supporters are in panic mode as Walter sarcastically suggests the media is implying in his first paragraph.
    I might be wrong though and the protesters will be evident at the first home game.

  • Jambug

    Just to re emphasise my point about Mertesaker I thought I’d have a look at another defensive stat, and compare those against the same players.

    % Duels won:

    Terry: 68%

    Mertesaker: 65%

    Cahill: 62%

    Smalling: 57%

    Bertrand: 53%

    Koscielny: 52%

    Kompany: 47%

    Schneiderlin: 45%

    So what can we see from these and the preceding statistics?

    Well firstly, Mertesaker is bettered by just one player, on one set of stats, and that by just 2%.

    Not only that but the player that shades him is non other than John Terry, a player who it is claimed is one of THE best central defenders to of ever graced the Premiership.

    And secondly, and on a slight tangent, on these statistics Schneidlin is no better than what we already have in the shape of Coquelin.


    Pass accuracy: 89%
    Tackles won: 45%


    Pass accuracy: 86%
    Tackles won: 55%

    And when you consider it was the ‘steel’ or ‘ball winning’ we was arguably in more need of than the passing, then Le Coq wins quite comfortably.

    But I digress. My main point is just how under rated Per really is.

    If we didn’t already have him, on these stats we’d be suggesting maybe we should.

    Luckily Wenger knows what he’s looking at and tends to ignore what the media thinks.

    Shame some of our own fans cant see beyond the media negativity spouted about some of our players.

  • Gunzzjr

    I had my suspicions of FA being a racist instution. Now they been fully cornfirmed
    First Terry now MALKAY AND MOODY.
    According to the FA one can be racist if you do it in public . But not racist if you do it in private.

  • ARSENAL 13


    I think you should also look at number of tackles attempted. And I think Mertesacker will have very less of that.

    The excellent reader of the game that he is, he will not need to attempt a tackle often.

    People often ignore his positives and concentrate on his turning radius.

  • Jambug

    ARSENAL 13


    Nobody can deny Mertesaker turns like a Tanker and has the pace to match, but the important thing is he knows that, and adapts his game appropriately.

    All that matters is he uses his assets to there best advantage, which he does….and some.

    Mertesaker is a World Class Centre back, and no amount of media misdirection and shit stirring will change that.

  • Nonny

    There is a reason why a few fans like @bradstar and @Anaekwe Patrick are complaining and I absolutely do not blame them. The holy book says that the prophet is not appreciated in his home land.

    So many people are writing off Arteta but it reminds me of Pirlo when he was thrown out of AC Milan. He went to Juventus and had the team built around him and won how many championships again.

    When are we going to begin to appreciate what we have and stop coveting other teams’ players. If we are currently asked to exchange our team with another epl team (not 1st eleven but the whole playing squad) which other team will you pick? I certainly will pick Arsenal ahead of Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd with their shiny new players not to mention Liverpool.

    When are we going to relax knowing that a season is played over 38 games and not a one off game.

    It is time to relax and let the season unfold because there is no guarantee that shiny new players will win us the league including a so called Monster DM and WC striker.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Bradster

    “To be negative, I would like to see the back of Mertezacker and get a better distributor of the ball. I think his play from the back is awful.”

    Just the sort of well researched statement we like on UA!!!!

    Mertesacker had the 14th best pass completion of anyone in the premiership last season at 89.3%. The best pass completion for a central defender was John Terry who was 0.3% better than the BFG.

    This is just the sort of random nonsense that pisses me off. I know it’s not all about statistics but I think this clearly demonstrates that he is far from “awful” as you claim.

  • Jambug


    I agree wholeheartedly with your post, including:

    “When are we going to begin to appreciate what we have and stop coveting other teams players.”

    But I am struggling to see why you chose to reference the 2 particular posters you did, when one says:


    July 16, 2015 at 7:24 am

    “To be negative, I would like to see the back of Mertezacker”

    And the other says:

    Anaekwe patrick

    July 16, 2015 at 7:18 am

    “….but we still need a top drawer striker who will be putting away the balls effortlessly from those tempting passes.

    Who both seem to be saying things in direct contradiction to your personal thoughts?

    None the less a good post, if a bit confusing.

  • Jambug



    But to be honest I thought I’d covered that in quite some depth @ 11.49am and @ 12.30am, but none the less you are right, it is such totally unsubstantiated nonsense such as “I think his play from the back is awful.” that is so annoying.

  • Nonny

    @ Jamrbug

    I had to reference them because they formed the basis of the point I was making as they are the 1st posts demanding our signing new shiny players without acknowledging the potential of the team we already have.

    It upsets me when I see people who are always making references to what other teams do and expect Arsenal to copy. Arsenal has shown in more ways than one that it is a different club run in a different way.

    I have said it so many times like so many others in this forum, if a fan does not like the way Arsenal is run (moving forward or backward in their opinion) just like a former player RvP, they are welcomed to leave just like he did.

  • porter

    Nonny that’s really not the answer , People have invested , many of them , a large part of their lives in supporting the Arsenal and it is not a pre-requisite to agree 100% with everything that is done in it’s name. Many of the people that criticise do so from a heart that is heavy because they want to see great things from their club. You accuse them of just wanting shiny new players and you do so without listening to what they are saying most of the time. This site accuses people of being led by the media by newspapers and not having the brains to see things for themselves . I can assure you from conversations in the bars and pubs before matches that this is not the case .Walter talks from a referees perspective , many of my peers played football at respectable levels and their chats are about team formation about players abilities and yes referees and poor decisions , tough tackling and the injury situation and many differing solutions are put forward. It’s too easy to just say “” go and support someone else “” generally when people reach that comment for an argument it is a sign that they have lost it and have nothing of value left to add.

  • Nonny

    @ porter

    What am I suppose to say when a fellow so called Arsenal fan mourns about everything the club does and keep bad mouthing the players and manager. Personally I don’t agree with everything Arsenal but in the end I still support the club 100% because that is my job as a fan.

    Let me sight you an example. At the beginning of last season, a fellow fan kept calling AW names simply because he did not buy back Fabrigas and lost it when Balotteli signed for Liverpool.

    What am I trying to say? Not agreeing with the club totally is not bad but calling players manager names simply because they are not doing what we want is bad and many so called fans are fond of this.

    I may not agree with the playing personnel for a match or tactics but when the match starts, it is my duty to support ALL the players on parade without exception irrespective of my liking them or not.

  • Gunnerjoe

    Poster comes on to untold and makes a statement about Per that is untrue.
    Now this means he is an Arsenal( maybe) fan who doesn’t watch arsenal play and is buying into what the media and their disciples in the aaa are peddling. Or is a member of the aaa and would hope we would all buy their rubbish to further their aims to undermine Mr Wenger.
    What do they do when they are presented with everdence that disproved their statement do they come back and admit their mistake (lies).
    No they slink off change their posting name and post another lie at a later date.

  • porter

    @ Nonny.
    I take it you mean moans rather than mourns but I believe that their frustrations are often laid clear by their inability to express themselves .At the time I would have re – signed Cesc but that’s because I can divorce myself from politics and look at things from a purely footballing basis. In my opinion he was a better player than either Flamini and Arteta and therefor would have improved the squad. The name calling is symptomatic of modern society , since my childhood 2 major things have disappeared firstly respect for others and secondly the ability to accept rough justice. I do agree however that no matter who wears the shirt once they cross the white line they should get all the support we can muster.

  • Jambug


    You think we should of bought Cesc back. You said:

    “At the time I would have re – signed Cesc but that’s because I can divorce myself from politics and look at things from a purely footballing basis.

    Are you suggesting that Wenger cannot do that?

    I would hope not, so why do YOU think Wenger didn’t bring him back?

    Didn’t rate him any more?

    Didn’t think he was worth the money?

    On principle? Really?

    He would upset the harmony of the group?

    He would block a promising talents path?

    Personally, what ever the ‘reason’, I have enough faith in Wenger’s ability, and judgement, to accept he made the call for all the right ‘reasons’.

    I have enough faith in Wenger to trust that if he thought signing Cesc would of been the right thing to do, and he wanted to sign Cesc,(maybe he did) and he could of signed Cesc,(maybe he couldn’t) he would of signed Cesc. In his wisdom Wenger seems to of decided against it.

    Of course we are all entitled to our opinions, but again, personally I am prepared to concede that perhaps Wenger knows better than me.

    Some do not, cannot, accept this.

    Moving on, you say this:

    “Many of the people that criticise do so from a heart that is heavy because they want to see great things from their club. You accuse them of just wanting shiny new players and you do so without listening to what they are saying most of the time.”

    With all due respect I think that is a load of tosh.

    Well, with some maybe, but with many it’s got NOTHING at all to do with a desire to see ‘great things’ for their club, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact they think THEY KNOW BETTER THAN WENGER, and see everything he does, or doesn’t do, that they think he should, as reason to criticise.

    As for a ‘heavy heart’?

    Come on, there’s nothing a lot of these people love better than sticking it to Wenger at every opportunity. My own brother is firmly in the aaa camp and it doesn’t matter a jot what Wenger does he will find reason to snipe, and to suggest that at anytime he does this with a ‘heavy heart’ is laughable.

    As you have said, you would of signed Cesc, therefore disagreeing with Wenger. Personally I was hoping for Theo to get more playing time towards the end of the season. When he was on the bench I thought he could of bought him on earlier, so I disagreed with Wenger. I should imagine every gooner labelled an AKB (That proudly includes me) disagrees with something Wenger does every week. Someone he does or doesn’t buy every year. But we are prepared to concede that perhaps, just perhaps, Wenger does in fact Know Best.

    You cut these aaa types (which is who we are talking about and I certainly don’t count you in that) way too much slack. They HATE Wenger and cannot see past that.

    Anyway, you tell me why you think Wenger didn’t get Cesc back?

  • porter

    Sorry about the delay. I have been on the North Norfolk coast which means no signal. As I have intimated I don’t think that Wenger is infallible and on the Cesc signing I believe personalities influenced his decision. As I said before from a footballing position he is a better player than Diaby, FlaminI and Arte ta but I suppose Hell hath no fury.I think the obsession with Wenger is over the top. He is responsible for most of which goes on and as such is open to criticism. As long as it’s not abusive it’s fair game.