Who replaces Van Persie and Bendtner now both have long term injuries?

A pointless, pathetic, idiotic, unnecessary, stupid, lunatic, evil match.  Holland 0 Italy 0, it meant nothing, told no one anything, and Robin Van Persie is now out for about 3 months – possibly longer.

Tearing ligaments is a bastard of an injury – and I can tell you that from experience.  My extremely minor and utterly insignificant footballing career was ended when I tore the ligaments at the base of my spine – I have never been in so much pain and it took me a month before I could hobble 20 paces down the road to visit a neighbour.

So, we have no Robin, and no Saint Nic.  What now for the forward line?

The contenders are

  • Arshavin (but he still has one more international to play)
  • Carlos Vela (should be back from injury by the Sunderland game, but certainly not fit to play a whole game)
  • Samir Nasri (not playing for France thank goodness)
  • Eduardo (did Croatia play yesterday?)
  • Rosicky (played centre forward in some pre-season games)
  • Diaby (well he did it in Turkey although has been playing midfield since, but when Denilson comes back maybe he could move forward)
  • Eboue (but will be out for about 7 weeks for African Cup of Nations – one week before event, the event, and 3 weeks acclimatisation afterwards)
  • Theo Walcott (fit again in a few weeks)

A combination of Arshavin, Vela and Eduardo looks interesting.

  • Or Arshavin, Eduardo and Eboue – at least until January 1.

If Theo can get fit

  • Theo, Eduardo, Vela – how about that for speed, guile and skill

The issue is we have a lot of wide players who can come in, but we have just lost our two centre forwards – which just leaves Eduardo, who is magnificent, but not at the moment seemingly ready to play every game.

There”s two more alternatives:

First who can we bring in from the reserves?  JET or Simpson?  It feels a bit early – but you never know.

Second, could we change the format and just play two up front?  Maybe but it still doesn’t seem to solve the crisis if Eduardo can’t play every game.

Of course the real solution is for the EPL clubs to take control of their own destinies and refuse to release players for more than five internationals per season per player.  I can’t see it happening, but it would be a step in the right direction.

The one overwhelming advantage we have is that the Lord Wenger is able to pull all sorts of tricks out of his sleeve – goodness knows how long that sleeve must be the number of ideas he keeps up it.


  • Vela, Theo, Nasri

for the matches when Eduardo can’t play.

That would at least take the opposition (not to say 58,000 Arsenal fans in the stadium) by surprise.

There used to be a thing on the Prime Minister’s web site where you could go and set up a petition.  I don’t know if it is still there, but if it is I am going to set up a “Just Say No” petition, to restrict the use of players in internationals.  Actually I would love to ban all internationals, but that is a bit like saying, “let’s ban the Mafia”.  Since the Mafia run FIFA and UEFA my chances of survival would be slim.

Anyway, let us lighten the mood a little to conclude.   ESPN have the audacity and nerve to put out their own list of top international teams.   So here is my list of top footballing broadcasters.

1.  Eurosport – because although they only get little games, they do bother to get them, and it is the one place you can see the under 18s and the like.

2.  Sky on saturday afternoons because that Jeff Spelling is funny, and Charlie Nic talks a lot of sense

3.  Sky for covering all European games and not just Manchester United

4.  ITV – pathetic – division 5

5.  BBC – equal to ITV… they have not even put the news of Van Persie on their teletext news site, and have adopted the view that if they don’t cover a match it does not exist – a childish game Sky play, but you’d expect more the BBC.

6.  ESPN.  So utterly laughable I didn’t even know it was a sports channel.  For Everton v Arsenal brought on a totally Everton team of commentators and ended up talking to 80 year olds about their memories.

And here’s the newspaper news… (I have added their political position, so if you are outside the UK and not familiar with the publication you can put it into context)

  • Liverpool will buy Eduardo in January (News of World, fanatical right wing))
  • Arsenal will buy Maicosuel in January (ditto)
  • Arsenal will buy Adam Matthews from Cardiff (Sunday Excess, neo-Nazi)
  • Arsenal or someone else will be Connor Wickham from Ipswich (Mail on Sunday – thinks the Excess is a dangerous left wing radical scandal sheet that should be shot down and that all foreigners should be shot)

Oh and the BBC having seen this site have put up the Robin VP news.

PS: If you have read MAKING THE ARSENAL and enjoyed it, pop along to Amazon, type in the book name and do a review.  It is not that I need you to tell me how clever I am in writing it (although that’s nice) it is that good reviews do help sales, sales mean I get a bit of the money back that I invested in publishing the book.)   There’s more news on football in fiction on www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk and you can also buy MAKING THE ARSENAL at www.emiratesstadium.info

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

47 Replies to “Who replaces Van Persie and Bendtner now both have long term injuries?”

  1. I’m so angry. When are Blatter and Platini going to learn that football belongs to me, you and the fans not some bunch of self rightous, self absorbed bloody crooks. The World Cup is great and I nearly always enjoy it (more when England aren’t in it but thats another story) but the fact is the World Cup needs the best players in the world to be in it, so why do we need qualifying let alone friendly’s? Next years world cup final would be lacking something if Messi, Ronaldo, Ribery etc were missing. So now because of a need to line someones pockets my season has possibly been fucked up not to mention RVP’s.

    Arseholes all of them.

  2. Although we didn’t play at the weekend I woke up with the feeling we lost 5-0 to a conference team.
    Eduardo did play for Croatia and scored 2 goals, real centre forwards goals, so those who are religious could you please start praying that he stays fit for the rest of the season. I hope he can build on the confidence from his goals yesterday to play at his top.

    Now I know every team has its injury’s but it looks like it that we always lose a lot of players in the same compartiment of the team. Last year we lost almost all our defenders in 2 weeks and now we have lost almost all our strikers at the same time.

    Hope and pray that our remaining strikers are fit, stay fit and are up to the games coming fast and furious.

  3. Just another thought. Can you imagine the outcry from the media and Fergie if the injury had been to Rooney?

  4. I am not shocked by this it was bound to happen we are fully streched as again Wenger failed to strengthan and spend money as cover just imagine if Verminator of Gallas where out they cant play every game what are we left with Senderos and silvest scary thought against the top strikers in Europe
    If we can limp on until the end of the year and in January i mean the start not the last day of the window Wenger add quality and dept to the Squad Defence Upson,midfied,Mutadi,striker Carlton Cole

  5. I am livid as it is without some pathologically st—d fans going on about “buy! buy!! buy!!!”. Clubs right and centre are going bankrupt with “buy policy”, yet some people still believe that it is the solution to all problems.

    If I was a billionaire like Usmanov & co, I would put my money into such benefiting good use as sueing FIFA and everyone else connected with ‘Nationalism & Racism’ which we disguise as International Football to stop all useless friendlies that only serve to deprive clubs of staff, the salaries of whom they not the organisers of these useless event pay.

    It is ludicrously ludicrous!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I sow whole Croat game, and Dudu was really fine, let me say promising.
    As Walter said I had same feeling whole night, but I also like to look at brighter side (if there is), Theo is back and he is eager to play role of central attacker so, we wont be a less dangerous than we were. It is major blow, but its not crucial.

    At keith
    I believe we have fine squad, strong and strengthened on all positions, the only lose which we cant replace at the moment is belief in this team, and that’s not about money and buying, its about your and mine opinion and support, so lets do what we can buddy and let Le Boss do what is his share in it.

  7. Tony – I just made a few of the same points on ACLF which I will repeat. IMO, the injury to RVP is a serious blow to our title aspirations because has been very critical to our goal-scoring. The stats show that not only is he our second leading goal-scorer but most importantly second in assists. While it may seem we have sufficient forwards in reserve, i.e. Eduardo, Arshavin, Vela, Walcott, and Bendtner, apart from the majority having some recent injury problem the main point is they lack the quality which made us such a free-scoring team. As you point out Tony, apart from Eduardo, they are essentially wide players and don’t pose the same kind of dual threat as RVP. Throw Eboue in the mix and you are talking about a midfielder cum defender who is not a goal-scorer. With the ever present threat of injuries, the forwards look insufficient for a campaign in the PL, CL and FA cup. I deliberately omitted Rosicky and Nasri because I see them as midfielders who can go forward especially from wide areas. Arsene, I am sure, will adapt, but I anticipate that he will be more conservative; you mentioned resorting to a 4-4-2. The immediate casualty is goal-scoring: forget about breaking the 100 goal barrier for instance.

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that RVP will recover soon. If not, like any team aspiring for greatness, we will just have to do without him.

  8. I have just been out for a walk in the pouring rain, trying to calm my feelings a little.

    I don’t agree with the buy-buy policy, because there is no way to keep the players happy when we don’t have injuries. We buy a terrific centre forward (if there is one for sale) and then what happens,… Van Persie comes back and you can’t play all of them. So the squad gets unhappy again. We’re back to Adebayor II.

    But, try this idea…

    4-3-3 shocked everyone – remember Everton on day 1. They had no idea this was going to hit them. Not the slightest notion.

    So, maybe there is a PLAN Z? I have always said I never saw 4-3-3 on the cards – but at that first game against Barnet thought: what the fuck is Rosicky doing playing centre forward?

    Plan Z hasn’t been needed yet – but just as I was totally taken by surprise on the Everton game, even having watched some extraordinary changes of position prior to that, maybe there is plan Z.

    Theo as a centre forward in the line up

    Arshavin, Theo, Eduardo…

    is anyone going to say that there is a more frightening forward line than that?

  9. Oh yeh, buy 24 centre forwards, 15 wingers , 71 midfielders……why do people buy into this anally retentive nonsense?

    AW has already had to persuade the brilliant Merida to stay, because there is so much competition for that position in the team, he reckons he might be better served playing for a lesser team rather than sitting in the squad for 5 years.

    Everton got stuffed on forwards, and they just had to mix and match, it happens.

    We still have 3 international top flight centre forwards, Vela, Eduardo, and Walcott.

    We have some useful youngsters.

    And if push comes to shove, players of the calibre of Arshavision and Fabregas could probably fit the bill.

    Why the doom and gloom? Stop feeling hard done by.

    I feel sorry for Robin, because his career has been blighted by injury, and every time he gets going, he gets the mockers on him.

    My thoughts are with him.

  10. Hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……it sucks ain’t it?

    But now it’s the time for the others to step up: Eduardo and Vela, here’s your chance boys!!!

    It’s a blow, a big big blow, but a blow that we can cope with. It would be quite wrong to say we don’t have enough options in attacking areas, it’s just that RVP was so awesome people now can’t see us playing well without him.

    Well, I’m disappointed but far from concerned. I always want to see Vela and Eduardo get playing time – playing time for them now is no longer a “choice”…..let’s go lads

  11. Its not all gloom and doom. Thanks to Wenger we have options. But we have to moderate our expectations. The immediate future is challenging and now is when we have to truly get behind the team.

  12. Tony,

    I was thinking perhaps we might revisit the 4-4-2 with Eduardo & Arshavin up front. Dudu’s a natural striker, but does need help and this formation would allow Shava to play his natural, central role as a support striker. Theo, Nasri, Ramsey, Eboue & Rosicky can fill the wing positions with Cesc remaining ever Cesc-like and Song in the DM role. This would allow us to take advantage of our speed up front as surely Nasri & Theo would venture forward a bit and Arshavin would be magnificent in distributing and generally creating havoc from the central space. Eduardo would have lots of support and would not have to worry too much about controlling the initial link passes from Cesc.

    Just a thought.

  13. Echo the sentiments Diceman.

    On a positive note, yes this injury is clearly bad news but, as is often the case when things go wrong, this is also an opportunity.

    It is going to take others to step up to the plate but, if managed correctly, this could pull the squad even closer together. If we can respond well in the next 2 games an continue to score the team will react with belief. If we stutter immediately it could have the opposite effect but I still see goals with these players. Goals almost everywhere I look.

    Get this bit right and it will further foster belief in ‘The Wenger Project’ both internally and externally. It could bring out the fighting spirit that we have seen in glimpses from this team.

    It IS important to remember we have been scoring goals from every corner of the park this season. RVP is a crucial goal-scorer and provider, no doubt, but the goals can still keep coming because there is a wealth of class going forwards (Nasri, Rosicky even Ramsey can place killer passes an score from distance). Ramsey just played a blinder for Wales setting up 2 and scoring 1. Also don’t forget other big teams are picking up injuries too (Lampard, Terry plus a host of names at MU & Liverpool).

    If they can get a run in the team, I suspect Nasri and Rosicky’s contributions will be as crucial if not more so than Dudu and Vela over the coming months.

    The next two weeks with away to Sunderland and then the visit of Chelsea in the Prem will ask and answer some pretty big questions.

    Bring it on.

  14. I don’t quite see Eboue playing CF, Tony, but certainly Diaby or Ramsey could be a fit for RVP’s role, should we get into emergency territory with Eduardo, Vela, Arshavin, Walcott continue to be crocked or get crocked. Watt I can also see as an impact sub. but not quite ready to start.

    Makes you think perhaps, Keith?

    We have a squad of many talents. One of the problems being giving excellent players game time.

    Arsene, although he would not have wanted it to have happened, will see this as an opportunity for someone else to progress.

    There is also the benefit, provided this is not longer than 3 months, that RVP will come back fit & raring to go for the business end of the season.

    A b’stard yes but total doom & gloom, certainly not.

    Wasn’t England v Brazil tedious?? Why oh why!!!

  15. I’m with Armin on this one. The one fatal loss would be loss of belief in our team. We still have Arshavin, Eduardo and Fabregas – with Vela, Ramsey and Rosicky waiting in the wings. Not to mention Gallas and Vermaelen also capable of scoring goals.

    Only recently we were talking with justified enthusiasm about the range of players and positions scoring goals. Has this suddenly changed?

    RVP is an extremely important player, and it’s infuriating to see him seriously injured in a meaningless international friendly. The aim must be for him to make a good recovery and come back to us as soon as he is fully healed.

    But to talk of us limping on until the end of the year is ridiculous, self indulgent, doom-mongering. It’s sad when belief in the team and the manager is so fragile.

    The challenge to Arsene Wenger will be to find new options that maximise our goal scoring potential, and the challenge to the players will be to step into the void left by RVP’s absence. They can and will meet these challenges successfully. Stu

  16. A couple of things, one on topic, one off…

    1. Having seen the tackle I have to say it looks unfortunate to me. I don’t see anything wrong with the challenge at all.

    2. Have you guys seen the NEW Queensland Road development proposals?? Big, big project this. WAY bigger than what has been done so far to Highbury square. I do love the way our football club goes about things – if this goes to plan it will be quite some achievement and could make the club a lot of money…

  17. I take it you are not a lover of friendly internationals then. Where ever players are playing, either in the league or for their countries, injuries will occur. Getting through these is a mark of a strong team. Much as we will miss Robin, we have strength in that department.

  18. My first reaction I really was down, down deeper and down.
    If the rest of our attacking options stay fit we should be fine.
    The worst is for Van Persie. How can it happen always to him that he gets those serious injuries every time when he is flying, scoring and assisting goals ? How unlucky can one be. If there is ever a price for the most unlucky player he would be high on the charts.
    Get well soon Robin, and come back and fire us to the top then.

  19. put arshavin on the left nd rosicky on the right and eduardo at CF. before his big injury he was great nd now he is hungry for goals and really wants to prove himself. I have been a big fan of eduardo since he signed for arsenal and I honestly believe that he will step up his game in the next two months. btw arshavin hitting top form would be a huge help because we all know what he can do on his day(any 1 remember anfield)

  20. Flint – no I didn’t mean that Eboue would be a centre forward – although it is quite an amusing thought in the sense that the defence would have absolutely no idea where he was going to be next!

    I was just thinking of the games where we have played with him as one of the front 3. I have not found it convincing from where I sit in the stand, but each time he has got better and better, and I think it is possible to see where Wenger is going with this.

  21. Two gripes:

    1. People like “Keith” above who come out at times like this and say “see, AW should have bought” even though going into the season we had RvP, Bendtner, Eduardo, and Vela for ONE position. So, Keith, just how many players do you think we should have for each position? And how, Keith, would you propose we keep those players happy when they are never playing?

    2. The Arsenal.com website. Yes, we all know our official club website is pretty pathetic at the best of times. But here we are the morning after a traumatic moment for all Arsenal fans and there isnt even a mention of what occured. I dont expect a full, detailed story, but a “Robin is hurt, we’ll have full details as soon as we get them” would be nice. Just an acknowledgement of the occurence would be nice. A decent website would already have a thread like this one, debating alternatives and the like, a really good website would have hourly updates and a full schedule of all expected news. But no, we have Arsenal.com and therefore nada, zippo, nothing.

    Tony – can’t you get inside the club and convince them that investing in modern technology is actually a pretty good way of keeping existing fans and bringing in new ones? Hopefully starting to use the power of the internet is something that Gazidis will bring to the table in the years ahead.

  22. Paul C – AISA – the supporters association – is good at doing what you say – and in fact does have a direct line to the directors. That does not mean AISA can knock on the door and say, “hey Gazides I want a word” but we are listened to, and treated with courtesy and understanding.

    Of course I am biased because I am an AISA committee member (although my responsibility is specifically to build the new Arsenal History web site) but I do think there is a line of communication.

    Your point is most valid, and I will be discussing it with the top table at AISA – and I hope they agree too. But meanwhile – why not consider joining AISA (Arsenal Independent Supporters Assn) – I would certainly recommend it.

  23. Two emails from me one after the other is not what I like to do – it seems to me I have the luxury of writing articles and it ill becomes me to start trying to dominate debate as well.

    But I wanted to answer Paul’s very valid point above, and I came back on the site because there was another issue.

    I was looking at the record of Vela in Mexican games, and in our games. Although the Carlos Vela site says he is really a winger or attacking midfielder, there is no doubt that his sensational coolness in front of goal makes him a centre forward too.

    The more I look at it the more I think this could be the Vela moment – with Fran Merida and Jack Wilshere getting their look in as supporting midfield players from time to time.

    Of course I would be much happier without VP out injured, and in this house at the moment we now have a dart board with “Bert” van Marwijk (the Dutch manager who pointlessly picked VP to play in a meaningless match when he should have been experimenting with the rest of his squad) in the centre and we are throwing darts at him.

    Childish? Extremely.

    But surely, at my age, I am allowed to be.

  24. Thanks for the reply Tony. I will indeed join AISA and will send through an email suggesting that this be another “campaign” that AISA tries to push through. I just looked at the AISA website and loved the “Catering” campaign. That has always been one of my big complaints. I moved to North America a few years ago and over here you have proper restaurants in stadiums (Hard Rock Cafe, etc.) and then Arsenal supporters get stuck with “meat pies” and the like!!!

    But the club website is my big thing. I do a lot of website design and the Arsenal site is nothing short of atrocious. It is unwieldy, has little inuitive design, and does nothing for user interraction. Worst of all, it just never has any news on it that hasnt already been reported by every other media outlet in the country, except the managers press conferences. If you only ever looked at the Arsenal website, you’d think that Arsenal was the only club in Europe and wouldnt even know that the Premier League existed. The goal of Arsenal.com should be for fans all over the world of “FOOTBALL” to make it their No. 1 destination yet I get the feeling that very few Arsenal fans even consider it a decent place to get football news. What a pity. For a club trying to improve its marketing reach and global revenue the website should be the No. 1 place to start.

  25. I new this was going to happen.We should do what Chelsea do.As soon as they heard that Lampard had an injury,they told Terry to do a sickie.Within 2 days,he announces he can play against Wolves on Saturday,what a surprise.
    Bearing in mind VP injury problems,we should have told him to do the same.Four players are so important to us.It is the spine of the team.Galllas,Vermallen,Fab and VP.Saturdays game i think is a benchmark for us.I am still confident.

  26. As much as it pains me to admit it, this injury also provides much more ammunition to all those who say that say that RvP is made of china and injury-prone. It is hard to argue that. He still hasnt made it through a full season in all his years. Not one. Can you rely on a player like that for much longer as a first team player (I’d hate to see him leave the club no matter what) and one of the guys the whole system is built around?

  27. It is curious how we always seem to get double the injuries of other clubs…………

    Is this purely because opponents treat us differently?

    I heard once that Wenger went ballistic because Viera put milk in his tea. I wonder if the club diet exludes some essential nutrient and that this leads to a certain physical frailty. For instance two players this season have had fractured discs in the spine. That is almost a pattern.

  28. Paul C. I totally disagree with your stance on Arsenal.com. It is a site for Arsenal news, if you are interested in the rest of football there are other places to go for that. A club site should report on their club related news and should only post fact. Or would you like our site to be like CFC and post the sort of childish nonsense to be found all over the internet, or like mufc, posting transfer news when they haven’t actually secured the player like they did with Ramsey?

    There are countless places where you can read meaningless drivel, personally I like the mature approach to producing non-sensational news, which AFC follows. And by the way there is a message board on the site for exactly the kind of rumour driven speculation you are asking for.

    And I wondered how long it would be the players fault that they got injured in a competitive match following a robust challenge.

    I know people are upset, but get a grip and stop looking for someone or something to blame. It’s just one of those things that could just as easily have happened in the next game he played for his club.





    The bad period of november continues for arsenal.. last season we lost many players through injuries during this fkin month and its happening again.. november haunting us..

    i think we need to buy a defender in case gallas or vermaealen gets injured like this abruptly.. rvp injury is not a main worry bcoz we hav backup in the forward..but we lack depth in the defensive department..

    Arsene wenger,its imminent tat u gotta buy a defender in the january transfer window..

  31. What’s everyone worried about?
    We have a Robin Van Persie clone nearly in Thomas Vermaelen!
    Throw him up front and see what he can do 😀
    He can do pretty much everything else!

    Arshavin, Vermaelen, Nasri


  32. in my own opinion i think we should convert one of our wingers to striker,and i think we should blend walcott to that position and i bet u in the earnest future he would be better of torres.And if not that we can still keep on managing the scarery sriker eduado and by january go to the transfer market and get a quality striker,and i would prefer david villa cuase his club are in crises and are ready to do bussines with there players.THIS A PIECE OF MY MIND


  33. Whilst I agree it is a good thing that the Arsenal site does not go in for gossip and hyperbola a mention of the facts regarding RVP and perhaps an outline of the time table of what they expect to happen would not kill them surely.

  34. Breaking news from Holland. Just read the news and give it like it is:

    According to the Dutch press agency ANP are the ligaments from Robin van Persie’s ankle only partially torn. This has shown an examination in the hospital Sunday evening. The KNVB said the player needs no operations. The diagnosis shortly after the game between Netherlands and Italy was correct. The Arsenal striker will be out for about 2 months.

    Well I would sign for this. Hope it is correct.

  35. ANP is the official pres agency for the Netherlands and it even had a picture from Robin waiting in hospital with his crutches so this shouls be a reliable source.
    It’s not a newspaper source

  36. And sorry to monopolise the things for the moment but at the dutch TV Robin has said that he hoped to be back in 4 to 6 weeks and this was after his visit to the hospital it seems.

  37. I stand by my earlier post. Just because people are impatient to know everything, all we’ve had until now is wild speculation. People have been far too quick to form opinions based on half truths and misinformation. RVP himself is now being quoted as saying 4 to 6 weeks, which the club will probably confirm tomorrow. I still think that is preferable to saying ‘rest of the season’ yesterday only to have to change the statement tomorrow. The club website is not a news site, hungry for hits so it has no need to post regular updates. That is an aspect of the 24 hour news culture that I personally despise – trying to make a story out of nothing and hyping a little information to cover the modern insatiable desire for the sensational. What ever happened to, if you have nothing of value to say, say nothing?

  38. Dont Believe The Hype – nobody is asking for any rumour on the Arsenal website, although a specific “Rumours” section would be cool and a chance to poke fun at the media. I certainly dont want “rumour” to have a large place on the site, and I have no idea where you would get that idea from my posts. The Arsenal website should be the first place to go for Arsenal news and, if they are really serious about expanding marketing reach, it should be an avenue into football news in general. Arsenal do not exist in isolation from the rest of the clubs in England, and indeed Europe.

    I dont want “meaningless drivel” on the Arsenal website as you put it, far from it. I want interesting, stimulating, fact-driven football news and commentary that centers on Arsenal but acknowledges that there is an entire world of football out there. Go onto the Arsenal website RIGHT NOW (10.39pm on Sunday night). The primary headline is “Friday Night is Back” advertising the Friday webcast. Gee, that is up to date. There have been a plethora of Arsenal players playing all over Europe during the weekend and there is zippo on any of them. There is still not even a comment about RvP. There is nothing about Aaron Ramsey’s awesome peformance yesterday. There is nothing about Eduardo’s 2 goals for Croatia. Why not?

    In order to get decent commentary about the Reserve, Arsenal U18 and U16 teams you have to go to “YoungGuns” or “Arsenal Youth” websites. And the fact we are on this site shows that the Message Boards you refer to on Arsenal.com are poorly put together, advertised and used.

    If you wanted to know who Arsenal beat in their 5th game in 1974/75 then you should be able to find that out on the Arsenal.com website. If you wanted to know who played left-back in 1947/48 then you should be able to find that out on the Arsenal.com website. On the Premiere League Table section of the website there is a “Previous Season” option that only goes back 5 years.

    A website can be an enormously powerful marketing and informational tool for a Football Club like Arsenal, with its global brand and reach. Right now the website is a poor example of web architecture and comes across as extremely amateur and as something that the club does not really care about too much. It looks tacky and jumbled. I have shown it a few website designers I know and the general reply has been “looks like it was designed for and by a bunch of 9 year olds”.

    I actually think most Football Club websites are poor to be honest. There seems to be one template they all use.

  39. Dont Believe the Hype – And in your 11.55 post you say “The club website is not a news site, hungry for hits” which seems a strange thing to say. Why would you build a website if not to get hits and encourage traffic through it? Isnt the website the perfect place to sell Arsenal merchandise, especially to people outside England? Go onto Google and type in Arsenal. The Arsenal.com website is no.1, which means they have taken the time to meta tag the site properly, which means that they are indeed trying to get as many hits as possible. How many people go onto the site to try and find up-to-date news features about Arsenal? How many leave the site immediately when they see a 3 day old headline or news that has already been covered for a few days by every other media outlet? How many people might have stayed on the website yesterday and today, and perhaps gone onto the online shop and bought something, if there was a real-time ticker assuring fans that as soon as any news came through then Arsenal.com would be the first place to get the truth, as opposed to just rumour? And the more hits a website gets, and the longer people stay on it, the easier it is to sell advertising and make even more money.

    Arsenal, whether we like it or not, are in a revenue-driven business and they should be trying to find ways to maximize that revenue at all times. In the modern world a website should be central to that strategy.

  40. Paul C we obviously take a different view about the purpose of a club website. Of course it could be improved as anything can be, but I do not want it to become like sky sports, or other online sports news sites, which is where I would go if I was interested in ‘the entire world of football’. If you want 24 hour news coverage not only specific to Arsenal, but covering everything that is already covered elsewhere, the club would need even more advertising or funding taken from team development to staff the website 24/7 and would then just become a pale imitation of one of the many news outlets which already exist. What would be the point of that? To me the priority is what happens on the pitch, the website is secondary. I think you expect too much. It has it’s place in the bigger picture, but could never fulfill the wishes of all. There are other options out there and to expect Arsenal.com to meet all your requirements is totally unrealistic. In the meanwhile, if you have ideas about sections you would like to see on the website, I’m sure the club will be glad to hear your suggestions.

    One final point re the websites which focus on young players. These can be a double edged sword as they sometimes hype up and set unrealistic expectations on players who may never fulfill their full potential. Arsenal.com have the balance about right in my opinion as there are match reports and highlights of the youth and reserve fixtures, which are supplemented by occasional features in the Arsenal magazine and match programmes, which are also readily available if you are interested. These are usually well balanced pieces, free from the hyperbole sometimes found on the Arsenal youth blogs.

  41. Guys !Guys !Stop this pointless ,meandering argument .Keep your eyes on the ball.RVP’s injury was unfortunate and unnecessary but in life shit happens.Lets keep the faith and hope that whoever replaces RVP takes his chances .I don’t think Arsenal will falter this season.Hopefully RVP will be back to add the icing on the cake come April/May.

  42. Jonny, I beg to differ. You say “I don’t see anything wrong with the challenge at all.” I see plenty wrong with it. I know the defender gets the ball, but then he takes out Robin’s standing leg with his “second leg”. This is reckless and dangerous. It is a foul and a card.

    Robin and Theo have been put out of action by these “second leg” tackles. They are against the rules, subject to cards, but yet in both cases no foul was given. Unless referees start punishing these actions, defenders will continue to make dangerous tackles.

  43. Cape Gooner you’re right.
    Would like to take up the defence for the ref as it sometimes is difficult to see. and from his angle it is well possible that he couldn’t see the second leg coming trough the player. RVP declared that he thinks there was no intention but intention or not the result is what it is.
    In my opinion banning the “second leg” tackles should be an issue in the World cup. It would make life more difficult for defenders but it will certainly give more advantage to the more skillfull players and thus give more entertainment. On the other hand it will give the defenders who defend on their skills more advantage as they don’t need those rash and dangerous challenges.

  44. How often one reads posters saying “I will not believe the rumour about injuries or transfers etc until it is onthe clubs official website”

    Maybe there is a good reason for that,as it is open for all to see and not always but sometimes it may be better for the manager to keep things close to his chest so that the opposition don’t get too much information in advance.

    Squads are announced the day before and the actual team 45 minutes before kick off.

    Diaby is presently a very good example.It was quoted he would be out for at least four weeks then a week later he was in the French squad.

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