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August 2021

World class midfielder joins Arsenal first team very soon…

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By Walter Broeckx

Last day of January? Take a deep breath and relax. The sun is shining, the snow is going away. Why worry, why be so nervous?

When the rest of the World is looking at all the possible moves of football slaves (be them well paid slaves) I decided to take a look at the internal transfer market of Arsenal. The new signings that are already signed a long time ago. The return of the injured players. And also have a look at the squad and the fact that well if we don’t let some players go we can only buy or get English players in.

Let us start with the squad itself. We are allowed 17 non-homegrown players and for the moment we have 17 of them. So forget all the talk and rumours about well anyone that is mentioned. The bus is full, no more place for someone for the moment. Unless we sell someone from those 17 but if not that’s the way it will be. If we like it or not is another question. But the rules are the rules and we could argue that they are not fair but it doesn’t matter. The rules are the same for everyone.

But let us have a look at players that could be called new signings. Players that should return from injury in the next weeks or months. But lets hope it will be weeks.

One world class player will be like a new signing. Jack Wilshere. Did we miss him or did we miss him? I think we did. I can’t wait for the day to see Jack and Aaron play together. Even when just 16-18 years old they could destroy the opponents in Carling cup games. Because of injuries they actually never have been playing together a lot. The most memorable game they did play together was our 1-0 win against the later champion Manchester United. Having Jack back would be a great thing as it would mean that the other midfielders like Ramsey and Arteta would be able to get some rest. Even with the set back the date is still the end of  February.

The other player that is holding the record of being injured most is Diaby. The “offload him” favourite by some fans. He sure has a serious health problem. A big guy but what happened to him in his first season at Arsenal is still throwing a big shadow over the last years. 1 May 2006 was a dark day for Diaby. He then got kicked to pieces by some stupid moron and ever since that day it has been almost impossible for Diaby to remain fit. He underwent three surgeries to repair the injury and was told by doctors that the injury could possibly be career-ending.

Despite all the hard work it still could be the end of Diaby at the real top. Further kicks, like at Chelsea last season, made him suffer more operations. But now Diaby is back from this week and the hope is that he will be able to play again by the end of February. I really think it will be a make or break final months for Diaby. On his day he can be immense for the team, lets just hope that he recovers completely this time and we can see the real Diaby for the rest of his career at Arsenal. And writing a player off because of injuries is always easy to do. But let us remember Robin Van Persie. For years he was injured for half of the season. But was he worth the wait? He sure is.

Another come back later boy is left back Santos. A bit unlucky in his first game I would say, but then again joining in a new team and having to start right away was not an easy thing to do. But with every game he became better and better. For someone who cannot defend (as some use to say) I though the did rather well. The second half display against Chelsea was the turning point in his early days at Arsenal. Since then we knew we had not just a quality player and defender but also a player who is not afraid to attack (he is Brazilian after all) and who can score a few goals (having scored more goals so far than Clichy ever did in his 5 or 6 years at the club). Somewhere in March he would be back. And sure would love to see him back.

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Let’s move on the right back position. Bacary Sagna has just been on for his first minutes after his broken ankle at White Hart Lane. Chosen as the best right back in the EPL for a few times. Who could argue what a good player he is? I love him a lot as a player that always goes on the field, doing his job in a quit way without big fuss but always giving it all. Let us be careful the first weeks with Sagna because he still looked very rusty against Villa when he came on. A missed kick that almost caused a problem and it was clear to see that he needs some game time to adapt to the pace. But with his mindset I’m sure he will be back at his best like he has been for the past seasons.

Those are 4 players that when fit can claim their place and for those who doubt Diaby that are 3 players that are really important and bring something to the team.

And then we also have two youngsters who also have just started training again with the rest of the team. Jenkinson and Gibbs at right and left back could be ready somewhere this month. If all goes well (and with Gibbs you never know) Gibbs will be first on the team sheet in the next weeks. This would mean that Vermaelen can go back in the centre and give Wenger some headache. I sure wouldn’t want to choose between Mertesacker (leader in the EPL stats of successful last ditch tackles), Koscielny (probably the best centre back so far this season) and Vermaelen (probably the best left footed centre back we had for as long as I can remember). But maybe we could spell the word “rotation’ in a few weeks time with our backs. That would be nice.

Arteta has been absent a few weeks and we did miss him. But he was back against Aston Villa as a sub this weekend so the hope is he will be fully recovered by now and let us hope that he can stay fit at least until Jack is completely fit. And who knows even then we could be having some rotation in midfield without losing too much quality? Having a possible choice between Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky (another risen from the ‘always injured’-list), Benayoun, and new and fresh and upcoming talents like Coquelin and next season we will have even Frimpong back in action. I even could have put up Oxlade-Chamberlain in that list because he can play in the middle of the field also. Even Yennaris could be in that list as he is not a right back but a midfielder.

And up front we will have two extra strikers back in a few weeks. One will be back very soon as Morocco is out of the African Nations Cup. The other one might be playing the finals with Ivory Coast. But if The Ox keeps on playing like he does for the moment I think Gervinho will have a bit task of getting back in the team.

So by the end of February we should be able to almost field a completely different team with all kinds of players coming back from injury. They could feel like new signing and I really think that their injuries (and certainly the combinations of them all together) has cost us a lot in terms of points.

And about a real new signing, the 19 years young German Thomas Eisfeld seems to be a done deal. An attacking midfielder in the mould of Thomas Mueller from Bayern is the description I wrote about him. He gets his chance at Arsenal to prove himself in the next months. I kind of like German players as they always show a great work ethic. And if Wenger thinks he can make it, who am I to disagree. What do I know after all.

And for the rest I will just wait and see and tomorrow I will support my Gunners. Whatever their name may be, wherever they may come from. Just do your best and I will support you.

Enjoy the rest of this mad day I would say and don’t forget: last season in this time of the year £85M was thrown away for two players that produced nothing at all. £85.000.000 and then we even don’t talk about wages. Madness….


95 comments to World class midfielder joins Arsenal first team very soon…

  • Hoops McGee

    Happy to see Artete back but really liked Rosicky’s work rate against Villa. Hopefully the boss will rest Ramsey and allow Rosicky and Arteta to coexist on the pitch.

  • TicoTico

    I also dont understand why Rosicky is not given to play. he is inform now, there is no doubt about it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Agree with Rosicky. And really feel happy for him. I always liked him a lot even before he came to Arsenal. I sure hope he can put all his injury troubles completely behind him from now on. Just the odd goal to add and he is back at his best

  • Kaceger

    Great post.its exactly what any gooner would want to hear at this time when the transfer deadline day has arrived.
    Its so exciting to see the great players coming back from injury.I can’t wait to see Wenger’s starting line up. Go gunners!

  • Long Island Gunner

    Walter – good points all around.

    However some might say that this statement is a bit presumptuous…..

    ” The other one might be playing the finals with Ivory Coast. But if The Ox keeps on playing like he does for the moment I think Gervinho will have a bit task of getting back in the team.”

    Does that not presume that Walcott is an automatic first 11? I might offer that Gerv on the left and Ox on the right could be the more effective line-up than what you presume.

    Just sayin’.

  • WalterBroeckx

    You could be right on that one Long Island Gunner… didn’t look at it like that. I think The OX can play anywhere up front (and in the middle as an attacking player)

  • Byron


    Totally agree!

    Walter agree 100% about supporting the players as long as they give it their best.

  • The Blaze

    True. I can trust this blog to keep everything cool when everybody else is losing their heads. Understandably, but still. Hopefully Gibbs stays fit, because it is very important for Arsenal’s game to have a wingback back on the wings. Coquelin’s return is very good for us as well.

  • taku

    ARSEN should be thinking of a substitude for SONG when he is tired as he seems to be the only defensive midfielder for arsenal at the moment .he can nt play all season

  • WalterBroeckx


    Coquelin is a defensive midfielder in fact not a right back.

  • Anesh

    Diaby will be e a great asset when he is finally fixed. Feel that wenger might play Wallcot as a striker, his preferred role with ger and ox more effective on the wings.

  • dan

    Thomas Eisfeld @ Arsenal, has this gone through.

  • anesh, that would make for the fleetest forward line in the premier league. intriguing.

  • kenneth

    beautiful post gooner, gervinho nooooo wastes a lot of opportunities than walcott and remember this young footballer has a lot of problems with injuries and his getting back to his best absolute talent.

  • eatid

    i wouldnt mind if we occassionally played 4411, to give arteta, ramsey, song, coquelin a chance to rotate until diaby and wilshire are fit. rosicky benayoun or chamberlain sharing the 2 wide midfield positions, but not as wingers, allowing the full backs to overlap whilst they drop in. rvp could play just behind henry or walcott or perhaps gervinho or arshavin just behind rvp.

    miyaichi becomes the 20th player at the club currently out on loan, could be a record?

  • Arun

    Ryo has joined bolton on loan for the end of this season.
    Let’s hope he has a great time like wilshere did.

  • Gord

    Ryo has gone on loan to Bolton. He is not eligible to play on Wednesday.

  • WalterBroeckx

    We could also sign Mo Farah? 😉 Speaking of world class…

  • Walcott as a striker is an odd one. He can’t play as a target man because his chances of winning a 50-50 with a CB are minimal. So what about as a false nine? Well…
    The problem I have is this. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Theo’s dribbling, most players could never dribble the length of the pitch, go through four players and then square for a tap in if they played for twenty years. A false nine needs a different type of dribbling skill. Absolute speed is less important than rapid changes of direction. I’m not sure Theo can do that, whereas RvP is one of the best in the world at dragging players around the box with the ball at his feet.
    However, if the centrebacks can be split by being dragged towards a winger in possession, then Theo could burst through the gap quite happily from a deeper position. If…

  • denny

    agreat post followed by some great replies. A pleasure to read and far and away better than the gloom and doom merchants.
    Up thwe gunners – keep up the good work.

  • Arteta is the substitute for Song. Forget Diaby, as Yogi Berra would say, even when he can play, he can’t play.

    Forget Rosicky, too: His running against Villa was a shock and a delight, but his passing is abysmal. I have this nightmare scenario of the FA Cup Final going into injury time 1-1, and van Persie is open, and Rosicky passes… to Daniel Agger, who passes to Luis Suarez, who knocks it down with his hand, putting it on a plate for Andy Carroll, and the 35-million-quid donkey finally scores when needed.

    Long Island Gunner, do you come into the Blind Pig to watch the games, or is there a place on the Island where you watch?

  • dan

    85 mil blown last year, why couldn’t they throw that cash in my direction? At least I’d know what to do with it!!!

  • Yeah I’d go with rosiskey and arteta Thomas looked good against villa and we’ve missed the little fella the last couple of games we badly need centre halfs

  • nicky

    A very cheering post at this gloomy time of the year. I’m not too sure about “the snow is going away” though!
    The best news for me is the possible near return of Diaby.
    Surely his nightmare of injuries is over. This guy when fit can destroy the opposition in an instant and deserves all the faith that Arsene Wenger bestows on him.
    Agree also about Rosicky who was a revelation against Villa, his best performance this season.
    Things are looking up! In 4 weeks time we will be in the month when BST starts!

  • Walter, reading this article has rekindled my hopes again. Despite the fact i knew about there returning players, i was absolutely infuriated at losing to Swansea, i practically gave up on our chances.

    However, one fear remains, will those players be returning too late? Are we to expect Chelski and the Spuds to simply capitulate? Hmmm!

  • Anne


    I enjoyed this article. I’m forcing myself to watch Sky’s deadline day coverage right now since I’m covering the transfer market, but the more time I watch is also coinciding with an increasing desire to down an entire bottle of whiskey in one. Thanks for providing me with a much-needed “sanity” break with this article. 🙂

    Although, I must say, I’m finding Sky’s coverage of the Redknapp trial to be quite interesting… Even if it doesn’t necessarily lessen my temptation to reach for the whiskey. 🙂

  • bob

    9jagunnerdoc, Walter,
    The difference in the timelines of the scenario is immense. There is the urgency of now – which Walter discounts – and the promise of what is to come. Doing nothing now with a hymn to what might be at the end of February does not appreciate that we might well find ourselves too far back by then (if returnees actually return and return to form by then) to climb back into the top 4. That, in turn, means a 30M loss and a probable RvP exit (give Dean the Lesser is his agent and RvP won’t settle for non-CL competition). These are the last hours of the x-fer window and, while Walter has us looking at the silver lining to be, I’m sorry to worry out loud with 9jagunnerdoc that the cloud of holes that need to be filled now, by offloading one of the 17 and bringing in an impact striker or defender as insurance – yes, insurance – against your pipe dream is essential. The money is there. Is the willpower there? Why keep looking past this very moment and gambling so massively on RvP going injury-free, the prospect of a non-top 4, and the consequent probability with that of an RvP departure? You are the radical gambler on this, Walter. The need for insurance and possible impact player right now is at hand, and that is prudence – not recklessness. AFC’s not acting right now – given the consequences – is what is reckless.

  • bob

    p.s. And your 85M thrown away model is true enough, Walter, but doesn’t cover all the bases. Isn’t spotting/assessing the good target the reason why AFC has the touted superior worldwide scouting system? UA has long touted that system. I think it’s due time to show its mettle and to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Or have you lost faith in the acumen of that scouting system? Or is it the Board? I don’t at all slate Arsene. I think that the Board is at issue. If we actually do spring for a “swoop” type big signing, you will be singing the praises of that acquisition and how we spent our reputed 35M war chest (mythic or real) so wisely. N’est’ce pas?

  • Bob

    My fears exactly! Let’s just ‘keep the faith’. Come On You Gunners!

  • Anne


    I think that you should consider the possibility that there might be some deeper issues going on in the transfer market right now that might be influencing Arsenal’s decisions. Lots of sketchiness and shadiness, and lots of money floating around, both on and off the books.

    I think it might be best to withhold judgment in this sort of environment, especially considering that we aren’t aware of all the ins and outs of the current market.

  • bob

    As we know, my judgment means nothing. Keeping RvP means everything, and by any means necessary. It’s now his team, our talisman, top/only scorer, will to win, celebrates teammates success, and his loss would set us back a few seasons. I and many others would rest far far easier to know that AFC/the Board were not gambling with losing him. Hill-Wood’s blather about having a Plan B if we don’t finish in the top 4 is most alarming (on its face, without knowing the context) and Arsene’s reaffirmation that losing top 4 would be a calamity are the north star that is guiding my worried views here. Surely none of us know the dark currents that you cite, and I’m sure they’re part of the mix. I can only comment on what I can see and pray for rain.

  • Digger

    Can you tell me why Wenger got rid of Eduardo after his comeback from his horrific injury (he’s still playing by the way)yet he continues this saga with Diaby,as you point out his injury was nearly 6 years ago?

  • Anne


    I guess where I’m getting lost is that I don’t understand how any particular big name signing this window is going to keep RVP at Arsenal… Who should we sign? Am I just misunderstanding what you’re saying here?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I could say it in one word: FEAR.

    As I have had a similar injury as Eduardo (not that my foot was hanging off like him – bit more Ramsey like I would say) I know what it can do in your head.
    After almost 30 years I have played a few games still (look at the picture above on every page of this blog) but in every game there is a moment that I pull out of the challenge.

    I had a close look on Eduardo when he came back. He tried so hard but I could see that he wasn’t the same any more. If you look at videos from his games after he came back you will see (if you look closely) that whenever he took a shot and a defender was near he made sure that his standing leg was not planted in the ground. So in case of a hit from the defender he would not be stuck in the ground and face another injury.

    It was so sad to see but I know I did and do the same. So he missed too many chances because of this. that fraction of fear every time before he took the shot. Believe me I cried when he came back and could score his goals and that wonder goal with his backheel. I was so happy for him at the time. But then I saw what I feared to see.

    I think he didn’t trust the English refs any more so the best option for him was to go to another country with better refs where he would feel safer and maybe would overcome his fear. I hope he did and really wish him to do well.

    As for Diaby he is in a way fearless compared to Eduardo. he kept on going in to tough tackles and he got kicked to pieces again against Chelsea last season and my dear friend ref Dean did nothing about it, he even didn’t call the fouls. But still when he tried to play afterwards he didn’t back out of the tackles like Eduardo did. And this is why I think Diaby will and could recover completely and play without fear. I just hope the refs give him the protection he needs and that everyone needs in fact.

    Just my 2 cents on it.

  • Anne

    Uh… can someone elucidate the meaning of this RVP confirmed to Barcelona report on Sky? Surely this is a joke? 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    Interesting article Walter. Too many fans, usually the non-Untold readers, tend to forget what a good squad we have and the great potential for the future as all the young players mature.

    @Anne, I can understand that the sky transfer razzmatazz driving you to a deluge of whiskey, but I would recommend that a fine whiskey would be better associated with an Arsenal win!

  • Anne


    I agree with your take on Arsenal’s signings. And don’t worry, I stayed away from the whiskey 🙂

  • bob

    Here’s my thinking: As it is unlikely that anyone, especially with his injury record, will go through a season without injury, getting another good striker for insurance is important. It’s not my job to pinpoint who we should sign as that is the province of those who can assess and spend. The idea that there is no credible and viable striker as a backup and to provide rest does not fly with me. Also, another quality striker — a clinical scorer — will increase the probability that RvP stays because it increases the likelihood, this season, of the top-4 finish, which, imo, is a necessary condition of RvP being with Any club. I could be wrong, like anyway, but that’s my analysis. As a world class striker, I think CL competition must be part of the mix for him. And if we do fall out of the top 4 at the end of the day, and lose the 30M, there is no likelihood, let only guarantee, that we get back there the next season. So, I think, that by spending on another quality striker, that a return to the CL could well become a part of his calculus to stick around. It would be a real move; a tangible move; not just talk and pipe dreams. And the backup to him is vital. We all – including RvP – know this – his injury is our black hole. Our last comeback was delicious, but he scored the 2 real goals. We do not score enough and only he is reliably clinical. I cannot believe that he and Dein the Lesser are not carefully weighing AFC’s future prospects re the CL as an essential piece of his future plans. I do not believe we have or will have that soon enough for RvP without the additional scorer that we should have been targeting, perhaps have tried to buy already, and perhaps will still do in the final moments.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Actually it is a great joke Anne, you can enter any name at the right hand side of the link and it changes in to this new name.

    By the way I just made a lot of gooners happy. I sold Squilacci for £83M to Barcelona 🙂 🙂

  • Anne


    Lol. Hate to promote Sky, but that is pretty good… Better than the unintentional humour of their usual reporting 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ronaldo to Barcelona anyone? 😉

  • bob

    p.s. sorry, meant to write “like anyone” (not like anyway) and also “let alone” (not let only).

  • WalterBroeckx

    This is the modern version of the old newspaper you could let print when I first visited London. You could have your name as the match winner at the first page of a newspaper.

    Oh my god 1979….. that’s a century ago… 🙂

  • critic

    Signing or no signing, cl or no cl RVP will or won’t leave. :p

  • bob

    thanks, critic, for your grace and courage in risking so bold a prediction.

  • bjtgooner


    I agree with you that we need another class striker to play with RVP or rest him from time to time. I’m sure Wenger is working on it.

    For now, what we need is for Walcott, Ox, Gervinho, Ramsey etc to start converting many more of their chances into goals. Lets hope they can lean something from Henry.

  • bob

    Yes, Henry as tutor might be the coaching “x factor” that makes a difference in finishing technique. I’m glad that you feel the need, and I do think that Arsene is working on it. But can this club pull the trigger on a deal in the nick of time. That, to me, is today. But I’m glad you bring up TH and in truth his being here to “help out” (as they all repeated like a mantra, with no one asking what that actually meant) may well be focused on our finishing or lack thereof. Whichever way, by purchase or world class coaching, that problem has needed addressing and some people hereabouts had advocated that here on UA since August. Cheers for your posting.

  • Anne


    Ronaldo to Barca for 83 mil?! Well, I suppose that would truly be the end of the end 🙂

  • Anne


    So you’ve completely written off Chamakh, then?

  • Anne


    On a much less humorous note, I found your assessment of the Eduardo situation to be sadly accurate.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It takes a drunkard to know one or how does the idiom goes? Well I guess it takes a broken leg to recognise another one 🙁

  • bob

    Yes, I’ve given up. I think Chamakh’s problems involve the fact that well, in a nutshell, RvP came back; and despite Chamakh’s phenomenal start, I feel that somewhere he compares himself with RvP and finds himself wanting, and also, that with RvP back, Chamakh has to play in a position where he doesn’t get the kind of service that he would ideally need to flourish (i.e., RvP’s position). I wish he could rebound, but it’s just compounded, and it’s a pity really, as he wanted nothing more than (and very publicly) to join up with Arsenal. He’s not physically injured, but I think he feels deeply that he’s been a bust and can’t shake it. I know I’m playing amateur shrink, but I have some insight at this point in life, and to me it’s like the baseball infielder who suddenly can’t throw accurately to first base; or the pitcher who has lost and can’t recover the strike zone; etc. You know of these things. I have wished for his return to form, but I think he’s got deep-seated doubts to somehow (with help) overcome.

  • DC

    Elsfield – technically perfect young footballer with unbelievable potential akin to Gotze! Yet another incredible bargain and another diamond in the rough from Arsene and our scouting network! Will compliment our central midfield and attack perfectly and will rapidly develop into something very special!
    Also, getting the first-teamers back and ready to attack the second-half of the season – crunch-time!
    No need for 50mill & 35mill transfers when you have the genius of Arsene and his scouting network!

  • DC

    Sorry, spell-checker spells his name wrong!

  • DC

    You worry too much mate! Just chill-back and enjoy the ride for the rest of the season!

  • Mandy dodd

    Look forward to seeing these guys back, just hope we keep our main man! Just hope you all took advantage and had a small fun bet on the banker that is utd vs stoke and the annual pulis roll over and worship! Not to encourage this sort of thing, but no odds are too low these days for this fixture!
    I really want to see diaby back to what’s we know he can be, but he seems to be a target of players and certain

  • Mandy dodd

    Certain refs ^

  • iniez

    Interesting how much trouble sky sports went to today to pull one over on us

  • bob

    Yes, they promote the Arsenal is a joke as a club mantra; and wish to wind us up in hopes of trying to keep our fanbase unsettled, nerves afrayed, and paranoid. I know it’s a joke, but, as you imply, does any other club come in for that stuff?

  • Anne

    @iniez & bob:

    If you’re referring to that RVP report on Sky, I have no idea how it originated. I found it through an Arsenal blog on goonernews (reported with very little irony). Any ideas how it was promoted originally?

    And if that’s not what you’re referring to, please bring me into the loop 🙂

  • iniez

    bob, anne

    Yes I’m talking about the sky ‘special’. Honestly I’ve yet to look into it too much because I just got home a while ago but I noticed a lot of blogs covering it. I checked out the website, for whoever hasn’t seen it yet here it is:
    But despite being able to change the name of the person on the top right, there’s a video that does not change. My question is why was the video using barcelona of all teams and making up quotes by guardiola. They must have gotten permission from barcelona to do this, absolutely. And why is it that van persie’s name made the most headlines. I may have just gotten home but all I see is this story. I don’t want to go and start shouting conspiracy, but the fact that its barcelona, the kings of tapping up, I feel they wanted this to be more than just a hoax

  • iniez

    Maybe I’m just being paranoid..paranoia feels so natural these days

  • Jack Wilshere has suffered another stress fracture to the same ankle and is out for the rest of the season.It is a career threatening injury.The mismanagement of this injury has been staggering ;he was obviously not ready to resume running etc.Interesting how the news has broke after the transfer window has shut.Nevermind,only 30 million CL money down the swannee but hey the Van Persie transfer fee will cover that.I look forward to seeing Park and Chamack up front next season.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If the RVP story is a joke , what about this ? A nightmare ?Really ? Seriously ?

  • Anne

    Ok, everyone, let’s just calm down for a bit. My general policy in the modern world is that “paranoia is always the best policy.” However, I’m not sure that I hold that fully applicable with regard to football transfer rumours.


    I would be VERY interested to know why they target Barcelona of all teams? Perhaps the “powers that be” have something against Barcelona as well? If Barcelona wanted this, what did they have to gain from it?

    Sorry, I’ve kind of lost the train of my thoughts… Late at night for me, after all. Cheers and we can all hope for an Arsenal victory tomorrow.

  • bob

    So, is Els your band aid for Wilshere? how did that song go: “don’t worry be happy”, you advise?

  • bob

    When it came to Jack Wilshere, Arsene used the term “gutted” before the x-fer window closed. Now that the window has closed and nothing done, the Wilshere news is announced as even worse. With this, I find your praise for the phenomenal scouting network shagging Els to be cartoonish at best. Are you coming up with a sacred hymn for our world class medical facility?

  • bob

    You’ve articulated the nightmare scenario. Is this what Hill-Wood meant by Plan B, just in case we didn’t finish 4th? Do you think? Would you go as far as to say that some in Management were already counting the RvP transfer money instead of spending at the x-fer window? If that were the case, what do you see Arsene doing?

    Please send Basil your “sit back and enjoy the ride” prescription. He and I will surely thank you.

  • Hi bob, i am actually a she,(basil is the cat!).I do not doubt for one minute that RVP will be sold in the summer;i just cannot see him signing a new contract and so arsene will be told politely to sell him.Also,if our academy is so good(It has cost enough money over the years!)why are we buying kids from other peoples academies;with the best will in the world,Eisfeld is no Fabregas,is he really any better than Henri Lansbury?Our self sustaining model depends on CL football 3 out of 4 seasons,we cannot afford to have another season like this next year or the much lauded financial results will start to show a big fat loss.Somehow our competitors,and i am talking spurs and newcastle here,are building good teams that in my opinion we will find it hard to compete with next season.Then there is QPR;Fernandez has big ambitions so who knows what they will do in the summer.I just feel that AFC has become so obsessed with the balance sheet that it has forgotten that the best way to make money is to have a winning team on the pitch.Still maybe Stan has a big fat sponsorship deal with walmart up his sleeve!!

  • About Wilshere, nothing on the official site since the 27th and nothing from him on Twitter. Anyone want to give a source that’s as good as either of those regarding his injury setback?

  • Pat

    Walter, your comments about Eduardo rang true. It shows how much damage poor refereeing can do, to a player and to a team. I hope you are right about Diaby because he is a wonderful player and does not deserve to have been kicked out of the sport. I always wonder whether fear of a career ending injury in England was not another factor in impelling Fabregas back to Barcelona.

  • WalterBroeckx


    I think the main reason was going home for Cesc. But I really wonder if we not also lost him because of the refs.
    If you have been next to Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey and lets not forget he himself had a broken leg at Arsenal.
    It was after the tackle from Puyol that his bone gave up but we all know that in the week before that game we visited Birmingham. And ref Webb failed to see a dangerous frontal tackle at Cesc and I think (actually I’m rather 99.99% sure) he got a hair fracture in his bone. Waiting for the fatal contact a few days later. He was a doubt for that Barcelona game because of the kick on his leg at Birmingham.

    He saw no protection from the refs for good players like him in the EPL. Now in La Liga he only has to worry about that in 2 games each season when playing Real Madrid….

    It may not be the main reason but it sure will have slipped in his mind at some stage of the decision making.

  • bob

    Well, I’m beyond glad that finally you have come around to wondering/hypothesizing out loud what a vert few of us have been suggesting since the summer – indeed, part of Cesc’s calculus, and perhaps not a small part at all, is that why stay at a place where you are chronically unprotected and increasingly being injured (developing chronic back problems) at a fraction of the wage. As much as I slate him for leaving us, and have vented on Dein the Lesser for his predatory gutting of our side, there is a rationality to this calculus – even if Dein gets his cut out of it. Indeed, why accept a predictably shortened career in “the best league in the world” when you can, in fact, go home, win the CL year after year, and be part of what generally is acknowledged as “the best team in the world”? Thanks, then, to the Hives of Riley and everyone who refuses to consider bringing in video replay if only as a sorely needed precautionary measure against blatant non-calls and the inevitable consequent injuries. If RvP goes down with injury again because of the same refshite and malfeasance, then Dein the Lesser, the serial poacher, may well garner another mega-cut from our second captain’s departure.

  • DC

    Let us wait till the end of the season and see what happens.
    Wilshere is a big loss but then we haven’t had him all season! We are only not challenging for the title or in the top 4 because of reasons that are not solely down to his absence!
    It’s becoming more clear with your comments that you don’t actually know much about football, nevermind Arsenal FC and Arsene Wenger! Have you actually been to the Emirates (Ashburton Grove which is how i like to name it) or Highbury in the past? Do you actually know anything about our youth and scouting systems and why so many young players (including Ox-Chamb whom i’m now sure you think is a decent player but probably didn’t in the summer?!) come to us instead of go elsewhere? Do the names Rosicky, Reus and even Gotze (all products of the Dortmund academy like Elsfeld) mean anything to you as an apparent expert on who we need and should buy to keep RVP and make top 4? And I’m assuming you advocated spending vast sums of money in January on other unproven EPL players like Hazard and Gotze whom are still developing (Gotze even being currently injured)?
    We definitely disagree so let’s wait until the end of the season to see who’s “cartoonish at best” in their assessments shall we?! If you’re correct, I’ll buy you a drink when you’re next at the Grove (or when you eventually make it for the first time)! And may I suggest that when you do make it to North London, you catch a few reserves’ and youth team matches, plus the Arsenal Ladies, whilst you’re there to show that you really are a true Gooner who understands the history, tradition and community of the club and not a superficial, pseudo-intellectually paranoid, and recent band-wagon jumper as so many are now!

    May I ask if you are a doctor or a medical professional in anyway? Well I am and a doctor of over 15 years experience. I think that your repeated criticism of the medics at Arsenal is abit unfair. Until you understand and know the full details of the injury to our players, don’t enter the sphere with regards criticism of their management.

  • bob

    Yes, I think that Pill-Wood tipped their hand about having a Plan B in place if there’s no top 4; and, just perhaps, Arsene answered him in kind when the next day he said that no-top 4 equals Disaster. This begs the question that we both have stopped at the brink of wondering out loud: namely, IF AW is politely “asked” to sell RvP, will AW be more principled than to meekly accept this, etc., etc., etc., especially when he too would be so highly sought after at the very top of European football. These are links in an awful chain; one that too many have refused to think about and have not been willing to see the urgency of our having prepared for this x-fer window like something important about the future hinges on it. But, lo, we have DC’s raptures about the sheer, unadulterated brilliance of our having acquired the next Messi at bargain basement rates. (Basil, hang around!)

  • bob

    Yes I have been at Highbury, and I don’t appreciate the litmus test. When you can’t deal with principled questions from a caring place, then I know nothing about football. You call that an argument? Is Excommunication to follow?

  • bob

    p.s. and I find your defense of inaction at the x-fer window, and I assume the same for last year’s non-purchase of insurance at the defense, at a time when we had so many games and extra games then and forthcoming, at minimum equally reckless (to be polite).

  • bob

    pps. and if you were a bit more careful with your indictment, you’d have noticed that I never singled out Wilshere’s reputed injury as the sole cause of our troubles. And, if you, doctor of 15 years experience, know your stuff and try to muzzle Basil, then perhaps you would be kind enough to shed any light (rather than heat) on what has happened and been happening to Jack Wilshere – a genuine shining light.

  • Pat

    On a happier note, I just listened to Thomas Eisner’s interview on the Arsenal web site. Boy is he excited to be here! More hope for the future whether near or far!

  • @DC,
    As a Doctor, have you ever looked at the restrictions placed on those treating sports people? As I recall there are various anabolic and corticosteroids that you can’t use on a patient subjected to regular PE drug testing. Talking in general terms, would you think that A) the press chooses to ignore these restrictions when reporting negatively on our medical team and B) that other teams are possibly flouting these restrictions to either get their players back sooner or keep them playing even when injured?

  • DC

    Recovery from bone & soft-tissue trauma differs in several ways from known performance enhancement therapy used in training and body enhancement which is based on improving the already fit body.
    Post trauma or injury, such as a stress fracture for example (which incidentally is a consequence of recurrent attritional trauma at a point of the skeleton whereby the bone is not permitted to fully heal. Also note that bone is continuously being broken down, reformed and remodelled and this occurs far more aggressively in the under 21year old males – as so many of our lads are including Jack, and 18year old females), the purpose of therapy is to assist the healing process. This rate and success of this process is variable amongst individuals but is mainly dependant: on the nature of the original injury; the success of the intervention (e.g. surgery) that was performed; no post-procedural complications (e.g. Infection); and appropriate additional measures taken by the patient themselves (e.g. Good nutrition, wound care, resistance in partaking in unnecessary activity until fully ready, etc).
    Anabolic steroid injections are banned and serve little purpose in bony or cartilagenous injuries however corticosteroid injections are permitted (mainly in joint injuries) but their main purpose is to suppress the inflammatory and pain pathways so that the athlete can withstand discomfort during performance (e.g. Ledley King undergoes joint aspiration and steroid injections weekly in order to play). However corticisteroids do not accelerate the healing process but paradoxically most likely lengthen it as the underlying injury is being worsened with additionally activity before full recovery.
    With respect to point A – The press do not care about the technicalities of injuries so they probably do not analyse critically the science behind it.
    With respect to point B – I wound doubt that other teams are flouting the rules but they do have players that play a different game to ours and are of a significantly older age and therefore fully developed physique and skeleton. It really is up to the players to monitor and take care of their own bodies with the assistance of the medical and coaching staff.

  • @DC,
    Thanks! Do I take “which incidentally is a consequence of recurrent attritional trauma at a point of the skeleton whereby the bone is not permitted to fully heal” to be a medical criticism of the laxity of referees? Or to put it bluntly, if the FA has any intention of doing well at international tournaments, they’re going to have to stop the crap players from kicking lumps out of the good English ones!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Very interesting DC. Thanks

  • DC

    If you feel that I have attacked your commitment and loyalty to the cause, then I apologise but I become increasingly frustrated when fans, of any club, just think that buying (and usually spending alot of cash in doing so) on a proven player from elsewhere will automatically make the difference?! I have alot of faith in our current squad, and attackers, and that they will come good if they whole-heartedly believe and also commit to the cause. Additionally, I have incredible faith in our youth system and I’ve been watching those Gooner-Gunners for over 6 years and I now want to see them get their chances in the big games for the first team (and trust me, several are ready and play with more passion, composure and and energy for the club than most in the first team right now!)! That is something that you don’t always get with a new, older-aged, signing! Just count how many of our youngsters are currently on loan both in Britain and abroad and that’ll tell you where we are now with our project. Remember that Jack was at Bolton the season before last and now look where he is!
    Wrt Jack’s injury recurrence, I am endeavouring to find out more from my contacts but regardless, these setbacks happen to all athletes and especially with the bodies of younger players for a number of variable reasons (not least of all due to the player himself not recognising and accomodating his lifestyle to assist his recovery uneventfully). Also, an ankle injury is probably the worse type of injury Jack could have due to his bow-legged and out-step running style. That will put even more strain on his ankle.

  • DC

    Certainly, being repeatedly kicked does not help and should be avoided but these kind of attritional injuries can occur due to excessive use and lack of proper recovery time. They also happen quite regularly in non-contact sports such as tennis and in track athletics.

  • Gord

    @DC and Woolwich Peripatetic

    A few places had said this new injury was not where the original injury was (other than being in the same foot), but didn’t say where. Another report says that this new injury is a stress fracture of the heel. I presume calcaneous (sp?, my anatomy coloring book has gone awol).

  • DC,this is no way a criticism of Jack Wilshere or arsenal, but given the sort of lad he is,do you think maybe he has not been quite as careful re looking after himself and the injury as an older player might?As they get older players seem to become more diet and exercise aware;when they are young they know what they should be doing BUT……..I’ve read rob the chef talking about how the youngsters hate veg!!!Look at the dramatic effect changing his diet and doing pilates has had on Djokevic (bad spelling!!)Bob,”Pill Wood” may have been a faux pas, but after his performance at the AGM,it made me chuckle, time for your medication,sir!!!!

  • DC

    @Gord & Basil,
    Unfortunately that’s a complication of lower limb injuries in that you invariably compensate by changing your normal gait (walking/running) and posture in the short-term as a protection mechanism but then put extra and exceptional strain on the other parts of the limb’s skeleton or on the other limb. That’s why so many players after recovering from one injury then suffer from another injury that is at a different site not long after.
    This apparently new stress fracture was likely there before, as they are slowly-progressive, attritional injuries that weaken the bone and are not easily detected with X-rays. Additionally, detection was probably difficult clinically because of the greater and distracting ankle injury at the time.
    Like i have intimated, Jack most likely had this problem sometime before now but it has become worse with him over-compensating for the ankle joint itself when walking. This leads to exceptional mechanical stress on the bony skeleton of the foot that is taking most of the weight-burden and consequently the trauma gets worse resulting in a small fracture of the bone due to stress.
    I’m sure he would have also been doing some low-impact fitness work formally with the physios to maintain low-level fitness but away from the physios, I’m not would have still been sticking to that or doing the right things?! It’s hard for a young man who wants to quickly return to play, and do what he loves, to curtail the enthusiasm and fully understand the need for responsible self-care to ensure full recovery. I’m sure we were all like that as teenagers or young adults in their early 20’s?!

  • DC

    So in answer to you question, athletes certainly do take care of their bodies better as they get older as the realisation of mortality and the need for longevity kicks-in consciously.

  • Gord


    I’m an engineer who did athletic first aid for amateur and elite teams, male and female, age U15/U17 to 40+ in age for about 20 years. You see a lot of strange responses over the years. A bit more pharmacy background than most engineers as well (Adjunct Professor). Of course, you need to keep up with things by continuing to injure yourself. 🙂

  • DC

    Lol! Good stuff! There certainly are no clear benefits in medicine, never mind sports’ medicine, but one can certainly help themselves in recovery by taking it easy and undertaking the correct physical activity. Jack’s original ankle injury is healing very well so that’s very encouraging! The unfortunate stress fracture of the heel will take another 6-8 weeks with good management so we may see Jack at the end of March – that’s not too bad with the players we’ll have back before then and Rosicky playing well in central midfield.

  • DC

    I meant to say “no clear definites”!

  • bob

    Yeah, Pill-Wood it is for his faux pas. Cheers, indeed.