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This is the most complete and flexible squad in the history of Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

Just before we get down to the ins and outs of the team for today, I thought it might be interesting just to look at the two teams that started in Singapore.

Here’s the first team

Martinez

Debuchy Gabriel Mertersacker Monreal

Coquelin Flamini

Wilshere

Oxlade Chamberlain  Akpom  Iowbi

  and the second

Cech

Bellerin Koscielny Chambers Gibbs

Ramsey Ozil Cazorla

Walcott Giroud Wilshere

The only player starting twice was Jack Wilshere – in the second game he was playing as a forward.

The subs who didn’t get a start in the game were

Arteta, Zelalem, Crowley, Toral, Willock.

Missing for different reasons: Alexis, Ospina, Welbeck.

There were also a few young players whose names we have become used to: Hayden, Bielik, Gnabry, who are considered first teamers.  Then there are Maitland-Niles and Jenkinson who will be on loan.  Plus the recent signings of Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Yassin Fortune.

It is starting to be quite a heady mix.

Now if you start to look at this you will see that we pretty much have two complete teams available of players already tried and tested.  You might argue that Iwobi who is included is not ready for first team action, but otherwise there are two teams there: 21 players.  Add in Arteta, Alexis, Ospina and Welbeck and you have 25 players.

And that is before you consider whether any of the youngsters will step up as Bellerin and Coquelin did.   Choose from Zelalem, Crowley, Toral, Willock, and of course Iwobi.

But that is not all.  A fair number of the already established players can play in two positions.

  • Alexis: centre forward or wing.
  • Chambers: full back, defensive midfield, central defence
  • Debuchy: full back or central defence
  • Monreal: full back or central defence
  • Oxlade Chamberlain: defensive midfield or wing
  • Ramsey: central midfield or wide
  • Santi Cazorla: central midfield, out wide, or playmaker next to Coquelin
  • Walcott: centre forward or wing
  • Welbeck: centre forward or wing
  • Wilshere: seemingly anywhere in midfield, or even as a winger

I am not saying you could mix all this lot up and make a team, but rather that if the slight reform in refereeing attitudes that we saw in the second half of last season is not permanent, and the players start getting hacked to bits again by an opposition knowing they are free to do anything they wish, we are better prepared than ever to take on the challenge.  We have a much deeper squad.

We have, in fact, two complete teams, and a number of players who can swap positions, which is very different from the early days of the Emirates Cup, for example, when one of the two games was basically a youth and reserve side.

To be clear, I am not suggesting you would want to move players out of their best position for the fun of it, but I am saying that if the injuries mount up as they have done in the past we are going to be much better placed than before to deal with them.  If the injuries are kept to a minimum as they were in the second half of last season, we have plenty of options if anyone loses form.

Now  I have often argued that bringing in more and more players is not always the best option because top players demand to be played every game when fit, and younger talented players need to get some match time and see the chance of stepping up.  Only goalkeepers will stay on the bench all season.

But there is more.  If we replaced Coquelin now, for example, then the signal would be clear to young players – you might dream of stepping up but as soon as we can we’ll replace you.

So we will quite probably see two utterly different teams over the two days of the Emirates Cup.   And that can only be a very good thing indeed.

Up next – the match preview.

————————-

We’re reviewing all the past pre-seasons from 2014 working backwards on the Arsenal History Site.  The latest is

1993: Osama Bin Laden spotted at the clock end, Highbury

The Untold Banner at the Emirates

 

 

 

52 comments to This is the most complete and flexible squad in the history of Arsenal

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Tony
    Why did u not mention Tomas Rosicky in your above article.
    Has he left Arsenal or you forgot by mistake?

  • nicky

    You are so right, Tony, in your thesis, that unless possible new signings will enhance the squad, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsene signs no-one during the current Transfer Window. 😉

  • Robert

    And Rosicky makes 26. Silva is another youngster to consider.

  • wenger should buy s warld class stricker

  • iyke ezeigbo

    What we need now is quality striker cos oliver cannnot lead us anywhere in title race

  • ikechukwu

    we need a superb striker for us to contest for the tiltle

  • iykw

    2 solid squard..cant wait to see their performances

  • Robert – thanks. Stupid of me to miss Rosicky

  • para

    Spot on. I (and others) have been watching this team develop into a multi-faceted (can’t you tell i love that word 🙂 ) team for some time now.

    I love the different options we now have.

    “If we replaced Coquelin now”:
    I really do not think that it was about replacing Coquelin, it was more about having cover for him in case he gets injured(i am worried for him because he will be targeted this season for sure to cripple Arsenal). There are those who will do this for sure.

    Going outside to catch some sun now(to top up my colour and energy) before it disappears. We have had clouds here covering the whole sky for the past 5-6 weeks, although it was warm, there was no sun to be seen. Not good for me in any way.

    Looking forward to today. 🙂
    Wish you all a great match whether you are there or at home.

  • TailGunner

    It’s certainly a flexible squad, but I’m not certain that it’s yet complete. The next couple of weeks will be interesting in that respect, and at least three players who we’ve been “connected”with at various times will be in the Lyon & Wolfsburg teams.

  • TailGunner

    I see you have Flamini in your first squad. I like Flamini. You can never fault him for effort, his technique is fair and he has a goal or two in him. Unfortunately regular early yellow cards limit his effectiveness. A bit of a Coquelin on acid and a good value player who always turns out for us. Good squad player who is rarely a starter, but off the bench in the later stages of a tight game he’s invaluable.

  • TailGunner

    I hope to see something of Chambers over these next few games. Central defence looks his best bet, but he’s not been given many opportunities so far, and if he’s to be the success we all expect then he needs to establish himself this season, Mertesaker isn’t getting any younger.

  • Jambug

    iyke ezeigbo

    “What we need now is quality striker cos oliver cannnot lead us anywhere in title race”

    — I think if you read the statistics bellow you’ll find we have one already, that matches 2 of the top rated strikers in Europe. In fact 2 that so many think we should replace the current incumbent with. And how can you say Giroud CANNOT lead us anywhere? That is such a ridiculous claim. From January, with Giroud in the side, we where the best side in the Premiership.

    Richard sampeke

    “wenger should buy a world class striker”

    Maybe he should, maybe he shouldn’t, but just because he doesn’t that certainly doesn’t mean that we are not good enough to challenge for the title with what we have. And anyway, living in fantasy land just pointing at a striker and saying ‘we want him’ is easy. It has no place in reality though.

    ikechukwu

    “we need a superb striker for us to contest for the title”

    As I have pointed out, we already have one and we will contest for the title. The form we showed in the second half of last season with a lot less injuries and the much derided Giroud leading the attack proves we can.

    I have shown the following statistics elsewhere, but it seems no matter how many times you produce evidence to discredit the naysayers they just keep repeating the same flawed reasoning time and time again.

    So here they are again.

    Season 2014 2015, all competitions:

    Giroud..Played 36 scored 19 = 1 goal every 1.89 games.

    Lewandowski..Played 49 scored 25 = 1 goal every 1.96 games.

    Benzama..Played 46 scored 22 = 1 goal every 2.09 games.

    League only:

    Lewandowski..Played 31 scored 17 = 1 goal every 1.82 games.

    Giroud..Played 27 scored 14 = 1 goal every 1.92 games.

    Benzema..Played 29 scored 15 = 1 goal every 1.93 games.

    Girouds stats stack up pretty well against both Lewendowski and Benzemas, especially as Giroud is by all accounts playing in the ‘toughest’ League in the World.

    Add to that Lewendowski and Benzema play for 2 of the best teams in the World.

    So,

    Are either of those an improvement on Giroud? Statistics suggest not.

    Are they worth having to supplement the squad? Well certainly I would say yes.

    Can you ever have too many top strikers? Well possibly, but I would welcome another top striker with open arms.

    Are either of them worth the £40/£50 Million we would surely have to pay? Possibly.

    But should we pay ‘whatever it takes’ no matter how much? Certainly not.

    Are there better strikers out there than Giroud? Of course. Ronaldo, Messi etc., we all know who they are, and they are all either too expensive and or not for sale and or wouldn’t choose to come to us anyway.

    In conclusion.

    Off course there are better strikers than Giroud but could we get them. Highly unlikely.

    Are there strikers of similar, slightly worse, slightly better quality that could improve the squad? definitely.

    Is Giroud so bad, as some suggest, that we have no chance of challenging with him as our lead striker? Of course not, and the statistics, and what I see with my own eyes, prove that.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Jambug… Wrong analysis.

    Lewendowski and Benzema play for ‘possibly’ the best teams in the world. BUT Giroud plays for THE BEST team in the world. Past. Present and future.

  • ARSENAL 13

    World class! I care less for the world class tag. When people say Ozil is not world class, you know the hypocritical side of that term….

    I am happy to have a not world class striker in Giroud..

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    To better improve the improving Gunners team for the up coming season campaign, The Boss must not allow any kind of overconfidence to dictate the course of his actions. The Boss is the coach and manager of Arsenal FC team. And I watch Arsenal on TV as one of her die hard fans. Arsenal were unable to beat Chelsea, swanseas and Sunderland at the Emirates stadium last season and could only managed to force Man Utd to a draw at away as well all in the League. Consequently they dropped 9 points in the process. Those dropped points happened after the regular starting Gunners are tourted to have improved late on in last season. But the improvement was not enough to see the Gunners override the Blues and the Citizens in the table. So apparently, that improved Gunners team are needing to be reinforced to better improve the team if they are to win the title in the face of the improving rivals Man Utd, who I consider will be our main challenger for the title next season. And also the improving Man City and Liverpool cannot be ruled out. I look at the Gunners team of last season as a Gooner and I saw the Gunners will be needing to improve at their left back and also at their right wing if they are to successfully challenge for top honours next season. The issue of additional goalkeeper is not high on my lists. As Ospina, Szczesny and Martinez have done well, save the smoking Szczesny who went on self imposed errand on his duty but later came back home to his senses to hold fort for us in our FA Cup triumph. I believe that loan move to AS Roman could be to punish him for him act of indiscipline behaviours as he continues to smoke and seen inhaling the laughing gas. For today’s duel at the Emirates Stadium between Arsenal FC and Olympique Lyonnais, I have no any iota of doubt in my mind that the Gunners will not beat the Lyonnais. Infact, the Gunners will beat heavy even with their Lacasette or without him. Let’s us even see what stuff will this highly rated Lacasette will be made off as he steps on the Emirates Stadium playing turf to play. I am sure the Gunners defense line will pocket any attacking and assists threats from him. AFC 3-0 OLFC at full time plus added time.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    To better improve the improving Gunners team for the up coming season campaign, The Boss must not allow any kind of overconfidence to dictate the course of his actions. The Boss is the coach and manager of Arsenal FC team. And I watch Arsenal on TV as one of her die hard fans. Arsenal were unable to beat Chelsea, swanseas and Sunderland at the Emirates stadium last season and could only managed to force Man Utd to a draw at away as well all in the League. Consequently they dropped 9 points in the process. Those dropped points happened after the regular starting Gunners are tourted to have improved late on in last season. But the improvement was not enough to see the Gunners override the Blues and the Citizens in the table. So apparently, that improved Gunners team are needing to be reinforced to better improve the team if they are to win the title in the face of the improving rivals Man Utd, who I consider will be our main challenger for the title next season. And also the improving Man City and Liverpool cannot be ruled out. I look at the Gunners team of last season as a Gooner and I saw the Gunners will be needing to improve at their left back and also at their right wing if they are to successfully challenge for top honours next season. The issue of additional goalkeeper is not high on my lists. As Ospina, Szczesny and Martinez have done well, save the smoking Szczesny who went on self imposed errand on his duty but later came back home to his senses to hold fort for us in our FA Cup triumph. I believe that loan move to AS Roman could be to punish him for his act of indiscipline behaviour as he continues to smoke and seen inhaling the laughing gas. For today’s duel at the Emirates Stadium between Arsenal FC and Olympique Lyonnais, I have no any iota of doubt in my mind that the Gunners will not beat the Lyonnais. Infact, the Gunners will beat heavy even with their Lacasette or without him. Let’s us even see what stuff will this highly rated Lacasette will be made off as he steps on the Emirates Stadium playing turf to play. I am sure the Gunners defense line will pocket any attacking and assisting threats from him. AFC 3-0 OLFC at full time plus added time.

  • Jambug

    ARSENAL 13

    I am quite happy to concede to your analysis. 🙂

  • Jambug

    Tony Attwood

    “This is the most complete and flexible squad in the history of Arsenal”

    I absolutely 100% agree. If you recall I said exactly that last season and even put it up for a vote. I hade very few supporters then, I think possibly there are a few more now, although there are still those that are not happy wandering off down the ‘we could/should improve road’.

    Well maybe we could, maybe we should, everyone is of course entitled to there opinion, but I bet you a pound to a pinch of **** that there are Chelsea fans, City fans, Madrid fans, Barca fans etc. etc. that also think they could/should improve there squads. That’s the way of things.

    But whatever happens, I believe, this squad, as it stand, is THE BEST we’ve EVER had.

    NOT the first eleven, although that is getting closer and closer, but the squad.

  • Alex

    It’s curious you didn’t mention Mesut as a versatile player! He won the world cup by playing left (and he was the best German creator), he played right with Real for his last season, he likes to slide from left to right with Germany, with Arsenal and most efficiently. You forget that when he came back from injury at the beginning of 2015, he replaced Sanchez on the left and who remember Sanchez was out for a couple of games? Nobody because Mesut replaced him perfectly by goaling and assisting.
    Mesut is probably with Cazorla one of the most versatile players of the squad…

  • dieter

    Jambug

    “I believe, this squad, as it stand, is THE BEST we’ve EVER had.”

    Yeah, right. Never mind the vastly over-rated Invincibles. Quantity is absolutely more vital than quality.

    Looks like You threw Your toys out of the pram in the “Wenger’s dilemma” -topic. Nice one. I answered Your questions, but You obviously won’t be returning the favour. I’m not a bit surprised, though. Because that’s how the supreme individuals operate. Got to hand it to Your sportmanship, “mate”.

    Just one more thing. Are You positive that Your “every goal is equal” -conclusion is The Mission Accomplished? So that there’s really no difference whatsoever whether You score against Chelsea, ManC, ManU or vs QPR or Newcastle? And only the totals count?

    Best wishes from Cuckoo Fantasy Land (population approx. 2)!

  • Tom

    On talent and ability to play attractive football this is the best squad we’ve had in a long time, but in the PL there are other vital components needed to succeed as well.
    Grit and attitude is something this squad needs to prove they have what it takes, when they go up against the Stokes or even Chelseas of the PL.

    Can you imagine Charlie Adam put a chokehold tackle on Henry or Ljunberg, and the likes of Veira standing around waiting for refs intervention? Hardly.

    Wilshere and Coquelin are the only two who can mix it up with the thugs of the PL, but sometimes it requires the whole team to have a certain attitude and not just a player or two.

    I’m not advocating here for our players to surround refs and lobbying for decisions every time there’s a controversial call to be made, but rather for the team to stand up for themself as one when a situation arises.

    We all remember Gilberto \ Barton incident, where Barton got self righteous on our player and got him sent off. Not a single Arsenal player confronted Barton and even worse , they all shook his hand after the game. It was disgraceful.

    Arsenal are without a doubt a collection of players who are probably some of the nicest guys you can find , led by a manager who is probably the least likely to complain about any injustice taking place on the football pitch, leaving it all for the refs and the FA to sort out.
    I’m just not sure we can trust them to do the right thing.

  • Jambug

    Dieter

    You think I’m ducking your questions? Do me a favour.

    Most of what I posted above responds to your post on the other thread, which I just missed by the way.

    But I will attempt to address each point you raise.

    1)“I believe, this squad, as it stand, is THE BEST we’ve EVER had.”

    Yeah, right. Never mind the vastly over-rated Invincibles. Quantity is absolutely more vital than quality

    I said above:

    But whatever happens, I believe, this squad, as it stand, is THE BEST we’ve EVER had.

    NOT the first eleven, although that is getting closer and closer, but the squad.

    -So don’t quote out of context and miss bits out to suit your point.

    “Looks like You threw Your toys out of the pram in the “Wenger’s dilemma” -topic”

    Really? And what do you define as throwing your toys out of the pram? Simply disagreeing with you, posting statistics and telling you how wrong I think you are certainly is not.

    “Because that’s how the supreme individuals operate.”

    So because, I have my own opinion that means I think I’m some kind of ‘supreme individual’ does it? Where as you and your opinion means what about you?

    “So that there’s really no difference whatsoever whether You score against Chelsea, ManC, ManU or vs QPR or Newcastle? And only the totals count?”

    You may or may not have a point. It is very difficult to assess. To help do that could you please explain how many goals Banzema and Lewendawski scored against Chelsea, Man Utd, and Man City last season and perhaps we can go from there?

    Also if you read my posts properly you will see I have said I would welcome a new striker, but NOT AT ANY PRICE. I also said I do not think it is essential for us to compete

    I have stated that most, if not all of the names we are linked with are statistically not an improvement on what we already have, not that they wouldn’t improve the squad.

    I have said that there are obviously some big improvements on OG out there, but are they available? Are they affordable? Would they want to come to us? That’s what I meant with the ‘cuckoo land’ comment because if people believe we have ANY chance of signing those elite players then that is where I believe they are living.

    What I am contesting is the superstition, by you and others, that OG is not good enough for us to compete for the title, when that’s exactly what we dDID DO in the 2nd half of the season, with OG playing. I feel I have supported that with statistics but you don’t, arguing that who he scored against, or rather didn’t score against proves that. Fine if you think that, but as I said earlier, it would help if you produced some stats to back yourself on that point.

    Please don’t accuse me of ‘ducking’ anything. I will and always do engage in debate and respond. I try to never put words in peoples mouths and I always try to support my opinions with statistics. I have on many occasions conceded when I am wrong or proved incorrect or shown to of made an error, but like everyone with an opinion I wouldn’t have it if I didn’t think I was right, just like you think you are right.

  • Jambug

    So you don’t have to bother here is Girouds record in the PL against the top sides, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs.

    Date…Opponents….Venue…Scored out of.

    10-8 V Man City CS……1 of 3

    13-9 V Man City PL/H….Injured

    27-9 V Spurs PL/H…….Injured

    5-10 V Chelsea/A……..Injured

    22-11 V Man Utd/H…….1 of 2

    21-12 V Liverpool/A…..1 of 2

    18-1 V Man City/A…….1 of 2

    7-3 V Spurs/A………..DNS

    4-4 V Liverpool/H…….1 of 4

    26-4 V Chelesea/H…….DNS

    17-5 V Man Utd/A……..DNS

    He played once against Chelsea at home and Did Not Score.

    He played twice against City in the CS and away and scored 2, 1 in each game.

    He played twice against Utd and scored once at home.

    He played twice against Liverpool, home and away and scored 1 in each.

    He played once against spurs away and Did Not Score.

    So,

    He scored 2 against City.

    He scored 1 against Utd

    He scored 2 against Liverpool.

    He only Did Not Score (DNS) in 3 of the 8 games he played against the top sides, Chelsea at home, Man Utd Away, and Spurs Away.

    I contest to claim those statistics to be a bad record against the top sides is in gracious in the extreme. And what’s more to use it as reason to question his ability is desperate to say the least.

  • Jambug

    Dieter

    “….So that there’s really no difference whatsoever whether You score against Chelsea, ManC, ManU”

    I assume that’s an accusation that he doesn’t score against those teams and only scores against the QPR’s of this World.

    So as I showed above, that my friend is utter crap.

    Try again.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I shake my head when people try to say that all our success will be due to a new striker implying that any previous lack of success was due to our incumbent striker. The last time I looked it was a team of 11 on the field. Better and healthy players surrounding any striker will help him score. This year we have better and healthier players. It is a team game.

  • dieter

    Jambug

    Yes, sir, I did think you were ducking my questions by seemingly losing interest after challenging me. Glad to know it was unintentional.

    I think I got your point on the best SQUAD and I countered by implying a team can only field 11 players at a time. I still think that a good half-a-season doesn’t compare to

    Thanks for giving in I might have a point concerning Giroud’s “selective” scoring record.

    I read Your posts properly

  • Jambug

    dieter

    “Thanks for giving in I might have a point concerning Giroud’s “selective” scoring record.”

    But then, unlike yourself, I took the time to research the statistics to see if in fact you did have a point, which unless you are completely blind, you would of seen in my post of 3:44pm you didn’t.

    So as much as I had the decency to concede you MAY of had a point, I took the trouble to research the point and found that you didn’t.

    But hey, you just skip over that hour and a half of analysis as if it didn’t exist.
    That’s fine by my me

  • dieter

    (Sorry, I have to start over. Sorry for the inconvenience, but these things happen when typing with a a mobile phone (not recommended). Could somebody please delete this version? Thanks.)

    Jambug

    Yes, sir, I did think you were ducking my questions by seemingly losing interest after challenging me. Glad to know it was unintentional.

    I think I got your point on the best SQUAD and I countered by implying a team can only field 11 players at a time. I still think that a good half-a-season doesn’t compare to the achievements of The Invincibles.

    Thanks for giving in I might have a point concerning Giroud’s “selective” scoring record.

    I read Your posts properly and I believe that I as well have stated that purchasing a “wc” striker at any costs isn’t the only option.

    More to follow if necessary. My battery is almost dead so I have to give it a rest right now.

  • Andy Mack

    Tom, If we had a ‘debt collector’ we’d have him suspended for most of the season and for the few games he started, we’d finish with 10 men. The game has moved on physically so much since the days of viera that 10 man teams can now only hope for a draw rather than the win that was possible back then. Really not a very good idea!

  • Andy Mack

    Definitely the best squad we’ve ever had but the jury is still out on whether it’s the best first 11 (whoever that may be), but it’s certainly getting close.

  • Jambug

    Andy Mack

    In one sentence what I said, (with statistics to support that view) and I’ve got nothing but abuse for it from certain quarters !

    I wonder id you’ll get the same?

  • dieter

    (via a borrowed mobile; can you please delete the incomplete FIRST version posted at 6:48 and this as well, of course; the 2nd version posted at 7:10 is “ok” if you kindly remove the first paragraph; thanks and sorry for messing up…)

  • Jambug

    dieter

    just reply when you get the opportunity to do so without connective issues.

  • dieter

    Jambug & Andy Mack

    Let’s put this one to bed for good, shall we?

    Just please tell me and everyone else whatever it might be that makes the current “best ever” squad better than The Invincibles?

    “Jury is still out”, right? How about: Jens; Lauren – Kolo – Sol – Ashley; Freddy – Gilberto – Paddy – Bobby; Dennis; TH.

    Any upgrades required? Santi for Bergkamp? Giroud for Henry (cough, cough)? I don’t think so. Do you? 49 games unbeaten ’til a certain mr Mike Riley decided that enough is enough. That should be a little more than a decent run in the last few months of last season after fucking up big time over the first few weeks. But obviously not.

    Waiting for the “ifs” and “yes buts”.

  • Andy Mack

    dieter, that’s not a squad. That’s a team (the 1st choice 11/12). There is 100% no doubt that the squad now (with the depth we have now) is better than before.

    Is the team better? I don’t know.
    It’s not far away but I don’t think anyone can prove it’s better yet.
    At the end of the season, possibly if they win the PL or CL comfortably.

  • Jambug

    dieter

    Team? Squad?

    You seem to be having trouble differentiating between the 2.

    When you’ve figured out the difference maybe we can have a debate.

  • Sleekwhale

    Jeez what’s the banter? Everyone’s trying to force his opinion through and hope it sinks. Really, the only reason for any argument to prosper this long is if there is a basis worth contemplating in the first place. Indeed the squad is good. Is it the best? Probably. It’s the most balanced side we’ve had in years. Even the invincibles can attest. The game has changed considerably and one cannot just juxtapose one epoch for another. The truth is that we have a chance of we keep the spirit of last season within the squad and the fact that we have a developing squad, we can hope to eclipse our form of the second-half of the season. Mind you, if OG whom most berate to lead the line last season didn’t have that injury, he’d have contributed immensely to our win ratio in the first half of the season. So I’ll wager, he’d have got almost as many goals as Sanchez which is not so bad for a striker.

  • dieter

    Jambug & Andy M.

    Point(s) taken. I admit being naive editing one paragraph out of my original text only to keep it tighter and more “readable”. I thought that the obvious = the obvious. As if I couldn’t tell the difference between having sex with one or three companions simultaneously (women in my case). So please let me quote myself retrospectively:

    “There’s no way quantity can be overtaken by quality in modern football. I’m not quite sure about your agenda here, but surely you can’t think having a huge, comprehensive squad (= usually a sign of mediocrity) is more essential than having an unbeatable starting eleven covered with the best squad players available.”

    For my part I plead guilty of abusing the original headline. I was taken for a ride by Jambug’s obsessive stats and lost the context.

    Nevertheless I’m baffled. Why should the author – a lifelong Gunners supporter like me – play down the likes of Keown, Parlour, Edu, Wiltord, Reyes & Kanu in favour of Chambers, Gabriel, Arteta (God bless him), Zelalem, Akpom and the marvellous half-a-season wonders Bellerin and Coquelin, whose combined 30-something league appearances already seem to merit a Hall of Fame status. Everyone sees your point but you can’t avoid undermining some great ex-players at the same time (Pascal Cygan excluded).

    Jambug

    Your latest sucker punch at 10:35 yesterday didn’t go unnoticed. Instead of wasting more time I’ll level with you. You are the #1 hatemonger of this site. Any good intentions of Tony (and Walter) as well as all reasonable debates are scuppered by you and your sidekicks. You are obnoxious by nature, like a bully bouncer no-one ever hired, but “there he is”. And your football knowledge… let’s not go there.

    (If anyone thinks I’m getting too personal just read Jambug’s latest post to determine if there was good taste and friendly manners involved.)

    Administration

    While it’s self-evident what this site is all about, I can’t help wondering. You claim to be “supporting the club, the players and the manager”. From what I’ve seen it’s just a charade.

    How supportive have you been of Vermaelen, Podolski or Joel Campbell? Or RVP and Cesc, who were crucified here just for craving for success in their trade? In fact You merely support the players who are legitimately criticized by “mislead” fans and “biased” media.

    Supporting the club then? Most of you UA regulars may be shareholders. I’m not. I couldn’t care less about Arsenal Holdings plc and Stan Kroenke’s well-being. And trust me: the majority of the fans feel the same.

    And the same fans vent their frustration when we once again end up 3rd or 4th (which is sensational, were being told, keeping those scary giants Spurs and Everton behind us) and fall flat on our faces in the CL. Then we win the FA Cup like Pompey or Wigan before us and Arsene is a genius like we always knew and worth every penny of his modest salary, which btw was the highest in the EPL even in the short period of 9 years during which we won… well, nothing.

    So couldn’t you just be honest and do the right thing by acknowledging that it’s primarily the manager you support? It would be so much easier for everyone. Supporting Arsenal FC is nowhere near good enough, we ought to support “Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal No Matter What FC”. Is that it?

    At this stage there’s an inevitable question of why the aaa’s like myself don’t stay the hell out of this forum? The answer is simple. It’s because Arsenal’s fan base is not supposed to be divided like this. It’s unbelieveable that I and the jambugs of this world are supporting the same team. Begging to differ is natural and only develops into a problem when people get self-righteous and uncompromising.

    Your way or the highway. Is this really why this site was established in the first place? If so, then what’s the point of having a message board? Why not just spread the “news” and let the readers nod their heads off in private?

    Sorry for the negative vibes and remarks which can easily be interpreted as too feisty. This site has a knack of crawling under my skin. I guess I’m in the process of “getting real” and perhaps even turning back into pro-Wengerist. You never know.

    For the second time in the couple of months I sense I’m running a risk of being banned from here. Should that be the case I think I more or less deserve it, but I don’t regret standing by my way of supporting the club I’ve grown up with. If this post gets published (and not deleted shortly after) I think I’ve done more than my fair share.

  • M18CTID

    Over to you Jambug. Let’s see you Google your way out of that one.

  • Jambug

    Dieter

    “Your latest sucker punch at 10:35 yesterday didn’t go unnoticed. Instead of wasting more time I’ll level with you. You are the #1 hatemonger of this site. Any good intentions of Tony (and Walter) as well as all reasonable debates are scuppered by you and your sidekicks. You are obnoxious by nature, like a bully bouncer no-one ever hired, but “there he is”. And your football knowledge… let’s not go there.

    (If anyone thinks I’m getting too personal just read Jambug’s latest post to determine if there was good taste and friendly manners involved.)”

    –The follow is the post to which that refers.

    “”July 25, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    dieter

    Team? Squad?

    You seem to be having trouble differentiating between the 2.

    When you’ve figured out the difference maybe we can have a debate.””

    On the back of that you call me a ‘Hatemonger’ and Obnoxious’ Are you THAT offended by that? Seriously?

    M18CTID

    July 27, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Over to you Jambug. Let’s see you Google your way out of that one.

    –Out of what?

    Being called “a Hatemonger”? “obnoxious”? “a bully bouncer no-one ever hired”? and all by someone with such sensibilities as to be offended by my 10:35 post, and/or my use of statistics?

    I don’t know what I’m supposed to say.

    Now we have your sarcastic ‘Google your way out of that’ comment.

    What’s that supposed to mean? I can only assume it’s a veiled dig at my use of statistics.

    I cant believe you of all people would ask that. You virtually never post an opinion alone and always come armed with your own research.

    To find that YOU in particular are in support of a poster who argues on NOTHING but there opinion, rather odd.

    We have had many debates. We don’t always agree. (That by the way means YOU don’t agree with me as much as I don’t agree with you. That means you think you are right as much as I do). But I have always referred to you as a respected poster with a deep and heartfelt passion for your team.

    When I debate, rather than just say ‘That’s my opinion. I am right.’ I try to support my argument with statistics. I fail to see how that is reason to label me ‘obnoxious’ or whatever, but if that, or my post of 10:35 makes me that than I’m afraid, no I cant ‘Google my way out of that’

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Jambug,youre neither obnoxious or a hate-monger just a bloke that like to get in there and have a good rattle around,some people take it the wrong way.I always like the way in which you and Boo(for example) fly the flag for UA/team/manager and arent afraid to defend a position.Rich needs a shout too for all his great posts.Keep up the good work!

  • Jambug

    Kenneth Widmerpool

    Thanks for your support my friend.

    I have read through the whole debate between myself and dieter and for the life of me I cannot see where I was even ‘rude’ let alone a Hatemonger, Obnoxious, Bully.

    Being honest it does upset me a tad to think that maybe that’s the impression I give.

    I will debate and debate passionately, but I don’t think I ever resort to personal insults.

    Yes, if I think someone is deluded or deluding themselves I will say so, or if I think they are living in cuckoo land I will tell them, but I don’t think that is particularly ‘insulting’, not at least in the same way as calling someone a ‘Hatemonger’ or ‘obnoxious’ or ‘a Bully Bouncer’ is, which I think is un called for.

    But It’s a free World I suppose and if that’s what they think I suppose there’s not much I can do about it.

  • M18CTID

    Jambug,

    Now why did I know that would get your back up? Take a chill pill mate. I don’t concur with everything dieter has said but you can be a little, shall we say, unwelcoming of those that don’t share your own point of view. It’s all well and good calling me a respected poster but when you’re generalising our whole support base as self-entitled and sickening on the back of some random Gooner exiled in Manchester in almost the very next breath it kind of negates things a fair bit. I wouldn’t dream of calling the whole of Arsenal’s support base tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists because of Walter’s constant David Icke-esque ramblings about referees having it in for all things Arsenal.

    While it doesn’t get my back up as much as it does others, I’d be interested to see your debating skills outside of your comfort zone of Untold. Could you hack it on an opposition team’s forum for example? Could you hack it on another Arsenal forum that doesn’t totally share the narrative on here? Because it’s not just opposition fans that are stepping outside their comfort zone when they come on here to put across their view – other Arsenal fans, such as dieter, do as well. Personally, if I was a Gooner, my views would be somewhere in the middle. I’d be pro-Wenger but if I was a match-goer paying the highest season ticket prices in world football I’d be concerned about the board being seemingly more interested with making money than winning trophies. Take the Suarez bid for example – let’s ignore any talk of release clauses. Why didn’t Arsenal improve their one and only bid? At the time you were the only bidder in town so you didn’t have the likes of us, Chelsea, and United to fend off, Suarez was on a ban for biting Ivanovic, he was making noises about leaving for a club that was playing in the CL, and IMO a bid in the region of £50 million would’ve seen Liverpool cave in and sell. I don’t believe for one minute that an extra £10 million would’ve put Arsenal in any serious financial difficulty and him joining a superior team to Liverpool may well have been enough for you to go on and win the league the following season, particularly as City, United, and Chelsea all had new managers and a Suarez-inspired Liverpool fired them to within 2 points of the title. A Suarez-inspired Arsenal would’ve smashed the league up that season I reckon. Not only that, you’d have been sending out a very significant message to Liverpool that you’re a better club than them – to take their best player would’ve been a statement signing that would’ve sent shockwaves through the rest of the division.

    Now I’ll re-iterate that I don’t hold Wenger responsible for this approach – for me he’s the fall guy, but he is at least partly complicit in that he pays lip service to it. Then again, if I was getting paid £9 million a year I don’t think I’d be rocking the boat too much either. It reminds me of when Ferguson was managing United under the Glazer’s ownership and always saying that there was no value in the market but I bet deep down he would’ve preferred to manage the club without the millstone of a £500 million plus debt hanging over them.

  • WalterBroeckx

    MC18TD, “paying the highest ticket price in world football’ is wrong. Utterly wrong.
    First: you don’t have to pay the highest price
    second: if you are a season ticket holder you have included 19PL games and 6 cup/CL matches whatever comes first. Most season ticket holders go for free to see the CL matches.

    But that “detail” is somehow overlooked by all the “serious media” when trying to bash Arsenal with their high (yes they are high just as the other London clubs) ticket prices.

  • M18CTID

    Walter,

    I’m well aware of what Arsenal fans get included in their season ticket price but trying to say that you get CL games free is totally incorrect. The cost of the CL games is factored into the season ticket price. Arsenal’s “cheapest” season ticket is higher than that of any other club in world football and that’s a fact that doesn’t go unnoticed by many Arsenal fans either. You’re also ignoring the fact that Arsenal season-ticket holders don’t have a choice when it comes to attending or not attending CL games – their season ticket cost includes those games and there isn’t an alternative cheaper option for season ticket holders that doesn’t include CL games.

  • M18CTID

    Just to clarify, when I say “Arsenal’s “cheapest” season ticket is higher than that of any other club in world football” I’m obviously mean it in comparison to the “cheapest” season tickets at all other clubs

  • dieter

    M18CTID
    July 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Easily one of the best posts I’ve seen here. I think it would be worthwhile for Jambug to pay attention to a couple of the statements. Like: “I’d be interested to see your debating skills outside of your comfort zone of Untold. Could you hack it on an opposition team’s forum for example? Could you hack it on another Arsenal forum that doesn’t totally share the narrative on here?”

    Extremely relevant questions indeed. And here’s something for everyone: “I wouldn’t dream of calling the whole of Arsenal’s support base tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists because of Walter’s constant David Icke-esque ramblings about referees having it in for all things Arsenal.”

    And, M18, there’s not much use to contest your views on the Suarez case. But had it come from inside the Arsenal fan base it would’ve been labelled as a “typical aaa rant” in an instant. My guess is that Wenger was eventually relieved of not getting Suarez as he conveniently avoided the pressures of being in charge of undisputed title candidates, especially having been in the shadows for such a long time.

    Jambug

    There are so many ways of being insulting and abusive and I think we both know it. I’m ok and you’ll live as well. To be more diplomatic I quote M18CTID one more time: “…you can be a little, shall we say, unwelcoming of those that don’t share your own point of view.”

    Back to football for a change. Laudable research from you on Giroud per se, but the uncertainty still remains. Any stats can’t convince those who feel – after watching OG for three seasons – he’s not up to the task of being the first choice striker of potential EPL champions. But, then again, we will see, won’t we?

  • M18CTID

    Dieter,

    To be fair I haven’t always covered myself in glory on here. I’ve had my fair share of rants and meltdowns and I guess I’m not being too complimentary towards Walter with that comment in my previous post – after all, we all moan about referee decisions at some time or other but I do feel the paranoia on here in certain quarters about that particular topic is excessive.

    I don’t know everything that goes on at Arsenal of course but I do feel the fans are perhaps being duped at least in some small part by the board regarding how much money there really is to spend. Last week wasn’t the first time that conflicting messages came out of the club in respect of that. If that equates to an AAA stance in some people’s eyes on here then I find that baffling. It is possible to fully support the manager and players yet be critical of other aspects of how the club is run. I’m broadly supportive of most things within my own club but if I feel they’ve got something wrong then I’ll call them out on it, a recent case in point being the debacle surrounding Lampard’s “loan” deal from NYCFC.

  • Jambug

    dieter

    At 10:24am

    I posted the OG statistics in response to 3 posters who questioned his ability. It did not include you.

    At 1:08 you addressed me. In that post you accused me of:

    -Avoiding you.

    -Thinking I’m a ‘supreme’ human being.

    -Being a bad sportsman.

    At 2:18 I addressed you for the first time. All I did was answer every point YOU MADE TO ME to the best of my ability, using opinion, supported by statistics.

    No more, no less. Go and read it again. At no time did I insult you or attempt to make you feel unwelcome.

    I was answering a post YOU addressed to me. All I did was disagree with you and said why. The following was the last paragraph of that post:

    “Please don’t accuse me of ‘ducking’ anything. I will and always do engage in debate and respond. I try to never put words in peoples mouths and I always try to support my opinions with statistics. I have on many occasions conceded when I am wrong or proved incorrect or shown to of made an error, but like everyone with an opinion I wouldn’t have it if I didn’t think I was right, just like you think you are right.”

    At 3:44pm

    I posted about OG relating to his stats against the teams you suggested he had trouble scoring against. Again the post did not insult you or attempt to make you feel unwelcome.

    You have since said this about those statistics:

    “Laudable research from you on Giroud per se, but the uncertainty still remains”.

    Well for you maybe, but that is just your opinion. Still no stats to contradict mine, oh and by the way, still no sign of me insulting you in any way shape or form.

    Then a bit of tooing and frowing, but still no insults from me. The closest I ever get to even swearing is stating that your suggestion that Giroud doesn’t score against Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd was utter crap, which it was as I showed.

    Then at 10:35pm

    I said this:

    “Team? Squad?

    You seem to be having trouble differentiating between the 2.

    When you’ve figured out the difference maybe we can have a debate.”

    Which for some reason you see as an insult.

    At 6:32PM

    You say this:

    “There are so many ways of being insulting and abusive and I think we both know it”

    Well I’m sorry you’ve lost me. Where, when and how have I been insulting?

    M18CTID

    “Now why did I know that would get your back up?

    So you was trying to get my back up was you? Sad.

    Anyway, read my response again. How, under any circumstances does that sound like you ‘got my back up’?

    I was simply disappointed in you and said so and explained why.

    Take a chill pill indeed.

    Then you ask:

    “While it doesn’t get my back up as much as it does others, I’d be interested to see your debating skills outside of your comfort zone of Untold. Could you hack it on an opposition team’s forum for example? Could you hack it on another Arsenal forum that doesn’t totally share the narrative on here?”

    What is that supposed to mean? ‘Could I hack it’?

    I would be no different to here. I would give my opinion. I would use the same statistics. What’s to hack?

    The reason I don’t must be patently obvious from my attempted debates with dieter.

    Go back and read through our debate and tell me where I was ‘obnoxious’ ‘Hatemonger’ ‘Bully bouncer’ ‘Unwelcoming’ ‘insulting’ or anything else along those lines?

    And by the way, could you please expand on this because I’m not quite sure what you mean?

    You said:

    “It’s all well and good calling me a respected poster but when you’re generalising our whole support base as self-entitled and sickening on the back of some random Gooner exiled in Manchester in almost the very next breath it kind of negates things a fair bit.”

  • dieter

    M18CTID

    Right. I do feel the excessive paranoia about the PGMOL conspiracy stuff here as well. And I do think the claims made public by Lord Harris – and Ivan Gazidis 2 years ago – equate to an AAA stance. And I really do think that our season ticket prices and monsieur Wenger’s wages haven’t been in line with the competitive success of the team.

    Jambug

    Please calm down. I’m not gonna say you’re overexcited, because you’d resent that probably more than anything. You’re a very passionate debater and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And I already admitted I was too hasty gathering you were ducking me. Because most certainly you’re not a “quitter” (is that english at all?).

    Every single opinion doesn’t need to – or even can’t – be backed up by statistics. The stats clearly prove that David Ospina was the best gk in the league last season, so why on earth would mr Wenger replace him with a Chelski reserve? And in Giroud’s case there’s no existing data of his lack of pace, close control and stamina.

    Btw, I didn’t notice you replying on this one:

    “In case Benzema (or Cavani, Lewandowski, whoever) happened to sign for us; would You be the first to admit that Wenger acted against YOUR better judgement? And furthermore: would Your proclamation “OG is in fact a top striker in his own right” still stand?”

  • M18CTID

    Jambug,

    You see, I have to agree with dieter here. There’s nothing wrong with using stats to back up an opinion but an overuse of stats doesn’t always work. The Ospina reference from dieter is a case in point. I also noticed in a previous discussion that you claimed Wenger was working with a tight budget and Arsenal were a mid-table club at the time he took over as manager but you didn’t post any stats to back this up. So I did some research of my own. With regards to the latter point I already knew that Arsenal had actually finished 5th under Rioch the previous season which is hardly the definition of a mid-table club, unless it was a 10 team league. With regards to the first point, well Arsenal’s net spend in the 3 seasons preceding the 1997-98 title win was only eclipsed by one other club – Newcastle United – so to imply Wenger achieved those early successes on a shoestring budget is misleading.

    With regards to some of your other points, you say you would behave exactly the same if you were posting on another forum but would you be quite so bullish when outnumbered for a change? You do realise that posting outside of one’s comfort zone requires a relatively thick skin? Would you be able to handle people disputing your opinion and being relatively blunt with you in the way you can be with posters on here that you don’t agree with? To say that the reason you don’t post on other forums is because of people like dieter smacks of a cop out to be honest and tells me that you might not be so confident of your abilities to get your points across.

    As for your last point, do I really need to expand on that? Surely you remember Dex’s post from the other week slating City’s support base and you jumping in all giddy and wholeheartedly agreeing with him? I let your post go at the time because I figured you were wound up but I didn’t let his go and challenged him directly on it. Needless to say, he didn’t respond. It was a classic trolling tactic designed to get a rise and if you think what I said about getting your back up was sad and disappointing, that feeling was reciprocated with that post of yours the other week. It was the equivalent of me saying that there are plenty of decent Arsenal fans out there but then contradicting by saying all Arsenal fans are self-entitled tossers or words to that effect. I must admit, I’d be interested to see what Dex’s opinion would be if I bumped into him in Manchester and asked him to repeat his ridiculous accusations about our entire support base to my face 😉