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July 2021

What is the difference between Arsenal and Liverpool?

By Tony Attwood

The difference between the two clubs that strikes me this morning is that in Liverpool Fenway Sports Group decide who to buy and how much.  They agreed to the manager”s wish to take Dempsey, but would not go beyond the £4m.  I think Fulham wanted £5m.  So no deal, and following other arrangements, no Carroll.

Perhaps Rodgers, the Liverpool manager in title, but perhaps not in fact, is regretting that he made it plain earlier that he didn’t rate Carroll.  But he said he was confident a replacement would be found.  None came at a price the owners would pay.

Compare and contrast with Arsenal where Mr Wenger decides who to buy and if he wants to, and a deal is set on the price, and the club buys on his say-so.  Many AAA fans are critical of this, saying that the owner should attend more matches and put more money in.  But this is what you can get with a hands-on owner.  Some penny pinching.

I’ll wait for Walter’s ref report of course, but I thought for once at Liverpool the ref gave us the run of the green.  Maybe the owners at Liverpool have not paid their subs to the Ref Slush Fund this year, maybe Webb is one of the refs who is not for turning, maybe (and I hope not) Arsenal are buying into the ref system we have so clearly highlighted on Untold.

To be fair, Fenway have spent £100m clearing up the mess of the last American owners who adopted a very hands on approach.  But then that is another thing you can get if you are not careful who your owners are.

This is the first time we have started a campaign without letting in a goal in 3 games since… blimey, even I don’t know and I’m chair of the Arsenal History Society. I do hope the answer is not 1925, because that would be a very bad omen.  That season we started 2-0, 1-0, 2-0 and drew the fourth game.  We only won 11 more all season, got involved in a drugs scandal and finally the manager was sacked.  We then brought in some new guy: Herbert Chapman.  That season also included six straight defeats through January and February in which we scored two and let in 14.

But back to today, and let us talk about Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla; suddenly a midfield to dominate.  Of course it was a rather poor Liverpool team (in my opinion) but even so.   And let us not forget that Liverpool had Nuri Sahin who for reasons that have something to do with being in the crowd when Liverpool won the Champs League on a penalty shoot out, went to Liverpool rather than us.  Perhaps he looked at Diaby, Artete, Cazorla and then saw Wilshere at the training ground and gulped.  On yesterday’s performance I am not sure what all the fuss was about.

But the most talk really should be about Abou Diaby.  I mentioned him a few times pre-season and for my pains got mountains of abuse, mostly along the lines of “if you think Diaby will play more than 10 minutes you are…   Well, no need to repeat the rest.

Diaby, who the French manager held his Euro squad selection back for, in the hope that he might be fit.  Diaby who has been with us for six years.  Diaby who played yesterday like Vieira in his early games.  Diaby who won the ball, ran with it, and moved it on at speed.  Diaby who looked like he had been playing alongside Arteta all his life.   More of that I think, in games to come.

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But if I talk about Diaby, I have to talk about Santi Cazorla; what a stunning buy, and a prime example of why one should be wary of overseas owners who take the club to unprecedented heights.   If it were not to Malaga’s owner just getting a bit excited and then a bit bored with football, we wouldn’t have him.   The Guardian called Cazorla a cross between Liam Brady and Cesc Fábregas, and since I was there for the rise and departure overseas of both, I feel able to pass a judgement, and say “oh yes”, I’ll have some of that.

Here’s another thought: when we lose possession we pull back, waiting for a sloppy pass or an interception.  No rash tackles, no getting caught out up field.  It is a different approach, a different style.  We didn’t even bother to have most of the possession.  It didn’t matter.

Anyway, this is the season when we will hit mid-table and be a nonentity.  I know that because I read it in comments on Untold this summer.  Oh, and the  summer.  And now I come to think of it, the summer before.

It is almost possible to think about who is out injured without worrying too much (at least for the moment.)  Yes I would prefer Sagna at full back, and Jack in midfield, and Frimpong on the bench, Scz in goal, and maybe in the long term Koscielny back in defence, but yesterday these seemed like details.
We have Cazorla, as I said, because of the insanity of Billionaire clubs.  We lost Nasri because of the same insanity.   Maybe things are starting to balance out a bit.


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89 comments to What is the difference between Arsenal and Liverpool?

  • DarthWenger

    Clueless Wenger! Why din’t he spend some f***** money and bring in Mexes and M’villa!

  • elkieno

    the difference is…..
    We are Arsenal FC and we have Arsene Wenger…
    They have had 5 managers in last 4 years or something.
    I didnt read the article yet about to go home and try to be in bed at 10:30 but not bloody likely… All Foxsports have to do is replay the game at 11pm and I will be up to after 1am…
    Such is the life of a foreign Gooner I suppose.

  • Laundryender

    Lovely article Tony.

    Not a good day to be a Liverpool fan, the reality of limited income by a hemmed in stadium.

    This is where we would be had we not built the Emirates.

    The greatest achievement in premier league history is not Man City, nor man Utd nor Chelsea, winning what they have with the debt they have. But Arsenal building the Emirates within their own resources and qualifying for Champions league every season whilst doing so.

    Arsene Wenger is a true visionary, he will not put his own short term gain, against the long term development of the club, nor will he ever deviate from a chosen path. He knows that knocks will come, and it is how you react that is important.

    We are lucky to have him, he could walk out today and into any job in Europe, literally any job (perhaps Real Madrid excluded). But he chooses to stay to see the vision through.

    And still some abuse him, clowns and idiots one and all.

  • Another Fan

    The signs are good but lets not get carried away yet. We have been here be fore but I feel that this group of players are not mentaly brittle like the 2008 team was or lacking in leadership and guile like the teams after. This bunce looks to me to be a group of players that have no problem to get down and dirty if they need to pretect them selfs or can anyone see Per, Verm, Arteta,Santi, Podolsky or the gobby pole take s*it from anyone?

  • WalterBroeckx

    mmmm to answer the question: 2 goals I think 😉

    Great article. I think maybe Rodgers will have been thinking about his move to Liverpool in terms of: “Oh my god what did I do now? I should have stayed at Swansea.”

    A bit like Roy Hodgson I’m afraid. Maybe they could bring back King Kenny after firing Rodgers if things don’t change quickly. Maybe King Kenny could spend another insane amount of money on player like Carroll…

  • createstrain

    a few nervy moments but how refreshing was it to watch a team (still developing understanding) that seem to know what the f there doing after three games in. its will be a while before the old team’s anxiety wears off through habit but more games like that and better and the nail biting will be replaced by humble arrogance.

    what can i say about abou that i havent said before. only an imbecile would right him off. it seems to have escaped peoples notice of why he’s had so many injuries. id bet money it was one of the reasons that swayed cescs’ decision. plus after seeing his ben arfa moment it was nice to see him in an interview(cant remember the last time i heard him speak) looking quite mature and beaming. in fact lucas seamed quite chuffed too. 🙂

    now im patiently waiting for that point in which we switch on like last year when we went on a run.

    depth? jack, aaron, francis as back up. or the team for cup games. wow
    props to carl, kieron and alex too yesterday. they held their own.

    now lets show the world how to beat southampton without being a ‘one man’ team.

  • Asif

    @Tony, just a minor disagreement with you on Scz…I think Mannone is doing an excellent piece of work…I think he is really good, especially the fact that he is not bound to make the sort of faux pas that Scz makes at times.

    I may be wrong but then Mannone definitely looks like a good deal already!

  • createstrain

    oh and how i love how the team pat each other on the back after mistakes instead of acting like that cockroach bellamy towards ramsey at the euros. after hearing that vanbition was like that also im glad he’s gone.

  • Steve

    The team definitely looked more organised yesterday than they have done for a long time. It seems they sacrifice some possession for the organisation, but it makes for a much more relaxing game (from a fan’s point of view). Apart from the first 15 minutes, I can’t recall believing Liverpool could actually score and I suspect they could have played all day and not broken through. If this is down to Bouldy; well done mate, “he’s got no hair, we don’t care!!!”

    @ createstrian – LOL re. “one man team”. I wonder if we’ll ever hear that from the ManU loving fourth estate. I seriously doubt it.

    @Laundryender – Totally agree re. Wenger’s value and achievements. I always pray Arsenal do well, but recently I also hope we do well just so the small-minded AAA idiots will shut up and not force AW away.

    @ Tony – Nice piece mate, but I’m sure the saying is “rub of the green”, although I suspect you probably know that and just have clumsy fingers. Whoever put that ‘b’ next to the ‘n’ should be shot!!!

  • elkieno

    I got a question hopefully somebody can clear up.
    After Giroud missed the chance to make it 2, after Diaby long run upfield, Gibbs was screaming at him for what reason?
    Was it..
    1. Angry cos Gibbs wanted to take it?
    2. Angry cos Giroud missed it?
    3. Not angry at all just saying, Comon mate don’t worry bout it, pick yourself up let’s go games not over???
    I hope it’s the third option..

  • chris

    Laundryender … The new stadium was indeed a great strategy – and due to the Directors, not particularly to Arsene. Our win at Anfield was a brilliant morale booster. But those who have complained about Arsene have the facts on their side. Far from … ” Not deviating from his chosen path ” … the last 12 months have seen the abandonment of his failed Grand Plan. At last a redressing of youth versus experience / strength versus artistry / attack versus defence / shooting versus never ending passing. It has taken 7 years for him to appoint a permanent coach for the defence. Too many of his transfers have been failures – sometimes because he has played them out of position. His ludicrous flat wage structure will take more time yet to unwind. What are your factual points (not mere obscenities) to counter these genuine complaints ??

  • Arun

    @elkieno ,it looked like the third option to me as Gibbs was just asking him to forget about it as Giroud was clearly feeling bad about the miss.

  • jon

    will everyone stop feeling sorry for rogers. he is the one that spunked 10 mill on a loan player that he will see leave at the end of the season, leaving himself no money to buy the striker he needed and then letting carroll go on loan. also surin did not choose liverpool over arsenal, we pulled out of any deal coz we didnt want to waste that kind of money.

  • Jacobs

    Watch Diabi, he might grow horn at the end of the season and suddenly discover he has the DNA of Real Madrid or Barcelona in the same vein like his compatriot VanP.

  • With regards to the rub of the green – I’m pretty sure Liverpool got a bit of home advantage in the tackle but the big calls seemed ok… some of the pressure heaped on Mannone seemed a bit over the top and Suarez’s stamp was reminiscent of Song on Barton – will we see a retrospective red?

    I will keep an open mind though and wait for the referee review of this match.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I thought that we were compact and did not give Liverpiddle too many chances ,although there were a few miskicks and mishits (and mispunches) from the defence.
    We seem more confident during set-peices against and the overall recovery of the ball after losing it has greatly improved.
    Very few dowmcast faces and more determination generally.
    Keep the faith and, “Up the Gunners !”.

  • @Tony thanks for the piece but we still have poeple like another fan who see things the opposite way. The AAA are scratching their bums and i pity them as they will always be behind.Southampton is next, im seeing in the future we might crash someone 9 damn goals. Manure is serviving and we might see Wigan proving what im seeing.Im waiting to see how the whore-lists call it a one man team!

  • Shard


    At last a redressing of youth versus experience – agreed. But was the reliance on youth JUST to do with Wenger’s preference or is it also that experienced players would have cost more to buy and keep?

    / strength versus artistry – Not sure I get your point. Apparently we lost on the ‘strength’ of a DM that Song provided. Also, we had the much derided Diaby in the team (who if he perfoms like that and leaves will lead to attacks on how Wenger couldn’t let his contract run down)That midfied was as much artistry as any other. Clarify what you mean there.

    / shooting versus never ending passing- I think this may have to do with a) having more experienced players, and b) having to spread about the goals more now that Brave Sir Robin ran away.

    / attack versus defence – . It has taken 7 years for him to appoint a permanent coach for the defence. – Bould is assistant manager, Banfield is first team coach. Neither of their job description is defensive coach. Yes. When the team do specific work, they concentrate on defense. As long as it’s good for the team, why does that matter? Unless you just like apportioning blame.

    Would it have worked if Wenger had done it 2 years earlier? Who knows? Maybe the players wouldn’t have been as receptive as they are now. Maybe the players that have gone are the ones who weren’t listening. Maybe Bould wasn’t ready. Maybe someone else wouldn’t have been good enough, or agreed with Wenger’s principles of attacking football as a whole, or any countless possible reasons.

    Bould’s appointment has been good for Arsenal it would seem. It is not a ‘departure’ from Wenger’s ideology. Keeping appointments in house is part of what Wenger has always followed. But yes. Giving up a complete hold on all areas of first team training is new, and it seems to be proving a right decision. For that, he must be credited, not discredited.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Shard saved me some time to reply to Chris 😉

  • Shard

    By the way, as regards shooting more. It’s true (I think) that we’ve had the most shots in the league this season (or at least was before yesterday’s match), but we were playing opponents who just sat deep. Against Liverpool, we had 11 shots, as opposed to 10 when we went to Anfield last season. Not that much of a difference is it? I think it’s a little premature to conclude we are shooting more than we were in seasons past.

    Also, there was a stat either last season or the year before, where contrary to the perception that we don’t shoot, we had the most goals from outside the box. Perception is a funny thing. Big Sam would say there’s too much of it in football 🙂

  • createstrain

    shard you have way more patients than me 🙂

    ste i doubt that too though i will be quizzing my manure mate on how it feels when bsr goes to ground due to a strong tackle.

  • JohnW

    May be the grand plan wasn’t his idea either. Coz some time in 2004, Arsene said the best players are between age 27-31. Then all of a sudden, he starts buying young players! I think we will wait for his book(if he writes it) to know what exactly happened. But in any case, the young players ran us afloat until now, so Arsene was not totally a flop in this strategy, besides, we got a lot of money from them.
    Finally, any one knows how The Arsenal will line up when Jack comes back? I don’t want us to miss Diaby’s drive, Jack’s all round play, neither do i want to miss Arteta’s doggedness and Carzola’s craftiness.

  • WalterBroeckx

    JohnW, couldn’t we play with 12 man then? 😉

  • A great team performance which bodes well for a top four finnish. Shame if we”d managed to hold on to RVP it could well have been a team to win the league.

  • There is another trend I’m noticing here from the spinners of negativity – i.e. Steve Bould is the defensive coach they’ve cried out for… ergo it validates something of their frustrations, yet he isn’t exactly this – he is doing a great job as a part of the team in the advice he gives Wenger and really looks the part in his short shorts… like a scary and slightly psychotic P.E. teacher that you don’t want to mess with; but it would be an oversight, would it not, to fail to acknowledge that our captain in now a defender and not an striker?

    It doesn’t matter much – as long as there is something positive for the fans to engage with… for some football is all about the destructive cycle of results, for others it’s the creative cycle of the game… glory Vs victory, artists Vs artisans.

    For me – I love the glory of the moment, the beautiful play and pretty move that you never saw coming and takes everyone by surprise as it slices so viciously through a resolute defence… yet I can also appreciate (with a sense of relief) a well timed tackle that destroys a dangerous attack – Vermaelen’s clearance yesterday in front of goal had no artistry in it yet it showed his leadership from the front (or back as it were) made me shout ‘get in’ in true English style when it crushed without mercy a fair build up from Liverpool… Vermaelen was targeted all match – did anyone notice? The Liverpool players certainly appreciated the ‘glue’ he provided to the team and picked at it all game.

    For me I remain confident that the manager and the team will balance our style to the strengths of the players on the pitch against the weaknesses of our opposition.

    And that is all.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Chris, I think you’ve got cause and effect muddled up. You suggest Wenger now wants to do what you describe, I would counter that back in the real world, Wenger can now do what you describe, as circumstances have changed.
    The facts are that before this season, Steve Bould served the club better by learning his trade as the youth manager, until the financial crisis started to bite we could never poach experienced players from other clubs who didn’t need to sell.
    Our wage structure looks to be even flatter than before as we shipped out all the mega earners.

  • uzoma

    now i understood why wenger said that diaby and welshere is also a new siging.hope his will keep his form.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Another difference: as I was home alone yesterday evening when viewing the game I put the noise loud to hear the crowd noise and trying to ignore the commentator (who wasn’t that bad after all – commentator was Flemish) and my boy the away fans certainly were great!
    Even at 0-0 you could hear them rising above the noise from the home support on many occasions.

  • @ Asif

    Cannot agree with fans of Mannone, at all.
    He got away with two errors, the second of which he inexplicably found humourous. Laughing, to save face, he made himself look plain foolish. He got lucky… next time?
    Hull City is actually his standard.

    It often takes only one goalkeeping mistake to undo a team’s good work over 90 mins.

    Better to judge a goalkeeper on his errors rather than the saves he makes. Errors can cost goals = points = trophies.

  • @Big Al – I would wait for the referee review on those incidents and we’ll see who looks ‘foolish’.

  • Goona Gal

    I just want to say that it is all too easy to heap the blame and slate the Liverpool owners. In 2yrs they have put more than £1/2bn into Liverpool and have’nt seen much in the way of improvement. They trusted king krankie and backed him fully and brought in the players he wanted to their detriment. 12 months on I don’t blame them for a more cautious approach and I am sure Brendan Rogers was told of the financial budget he had to work with and also knew the players he had departing on his arrival.

    I assumed Rodgers was a man with a airtight plan, but my opinion changed as deadline day came and went. I agree that he had to get Carroll’s wages off the payroll, but he should of taken the £19m + plus add ons from West Ham when it was offered as there is no two ways about it, Carroll isn’t worth £35m, he isn’t even worth with the English premium included £25m. Rodgers should of had a replacement signed first before loaning out his only other striker, sadly the only marginally bittersweet relief to come out of the situation is that the player was injured after he signed for West Ham and not a week before.

  • createstrain

    john- i think that right flank is up for grabs between the ox, walcott(if he signs and gets his wish up front), gervinho and jack. my preference would be jack as he skips round players well, has better technique and vision and would interchange with santi seamlessly throughout a match causing confusion. he’d be a better version of yossi but on the right.

  • Goona Gal

    Also if the truth is that Dempsey went to the Spuds for a difference of a £1m then Rodgers has to take some blame in that failed transaction too. Obviously the board were not messing around when they gave him a set transaction limit and he is far too new in the role and does’nt have a relationship or success history to make demands or call their bluff. Dempsey did’nt go about his move away in an amicable way so Fulham were not going to budge or help smooth the players transfer to Liverpool, who they rightfully see them as their mid table rival.

    The crux of the matter to me is a player called Nuri Sahin. Why oh why Brendan Rogers decided to get involved with a player tug of war with Arsenal over this player is dumbfounding. Firstly Diaby, Santi & Arteta made his first game in midfield unmemorable, secondly a 1yr loan deal costing around £7m+ when the manager had more pressing needs is just ridiculous. Why Liverpool didn’t get Benni the Goon back on a 2yr deal for £2m & Demba or Demsey for £7m for about the same money spent on the Sahin loan deal is beyond comprehension. I think Rogers is a good manager (not as good as Lambert) but he should never of messed with the Arsenal/Sahin deal and now deserves the flack that follows from poor performances stemming from poor transfer dealings. I am not sure if Sahin will end up being the shining light for Liverpool and I will be suprised if his performances in that team setup will be good enough to force his way into the Real Madrid first team.

  • Oh this will hurt the Diaby haters. He is picked along with three other Arsenal players in ITVs team of the weekend. Will the agony for the AAA never stop?

  • Big Al, on 3rd choice keepers… you can’t have a brilliant top of the range keeper as 3rd choice, because he ends up getting an average of 1 game a season. All you can do is to keep someone who is reasonable at this level for as long as he will put up with doing nothing.

    We have our usual injury plague only this time it has affected our keepers. It is so bad that the reserves had to arrange an emergency loan of a keeper for one match.

  • Shard

    Actually, I do share concerns about Mannone. I think he’s ok, but he did make a few mistakes in both matches. Aerially, he seems to get a little confused. Against Stoke, he didn’t collect the ball at the highest point and Walters almost got it out of his hands. Yesterday, it was the Raheem Sterling shot. He was out of position, and the shot came about because he wasn’t decisive enough. He came for the high ball, and then went back. Luckily, it didn’t cost us. He also probably should have held on to the shot that Vermaelen cleared the rebound from.. {the one that made Dogface shout get in I think (shouldn’t it be ‘stay out’ Dogface?)}

    However, he did make decent saves, he also punched well at least once. He’s not bad, but there were a few times yesterday where I was slightly concerned about the GK, and his past mistakes had nothing to do with it.

  • Goona Gal

    Erm, I have just belatedly read jon @ 10:14am comments, which are the same as mine, but a bit more concise.

    I’ll try and come back when I have something to add then…..***shuffles off***

  • Shakabula Gooner

    I hae always thought that the AAA lot must have to be pessimists to the point of being a pschological problem to sustain their points of view season after season.
    Other than that we have not “won anything in the past seven years”, Arsenal, under Wenger consistently make them eat crow on every other issue to do with players, players’ potential, playing style, seasons’ prospects, transfer dealings, etc., etc.
    For example, last week i read some blogs trying to start a new “Wnger out” campaign on the grounds that he was supposed to invest £50m on new players in the just closed transfer season but he ended up spending £40m and earning £50m in player sales. Thus, he still has £60m to spend which, apparently, on account of his stubborness and irresponsibility towards the club’s fans interests, he has refused to spend.
    Now, before the campaign gains ground, Wenger’s team goes on to win at Liverpool! Such eleventh salvation at the bell occurs too often for their liking…yet it doesn’t motivate them to look at the man and his efforts at the club in another light!

  • LRV

    @chris: Blimey! You would earn yourself a great deal of money if you would take up anyone of two jobs – A Spin Doctor or better still, A ‘Fusball’ Manager. You could start with working for Daily ‘Whichever’ for the first and/or A Sunday Park Premier League for the second. I bet you know how to spin a “Damn if you do; Damn if you don’t” to the utmost satisfaction of the AAA Brigade.

    By the way, Shard et all have given you what I consider to be very adequate response, which have always been mentioned on this site repeatedly. Don’t you think so?

    You can’t blame people if they occasionally get slightly frustrated with you; most especially, when you delibrately choose to be a very slow learner; despite all efforts to explicitly explain all the intricacies of Club Finance & Management and the effect it can have on Footballing & Team Policy that have been disected and discussed on this site at great lengths.

    It is your choice if you choose to go with mediocres who suddenly feel that the single honour of having ever kicked a ball and human leg along with it, or the hacks, who feel that being aloof from Football management while writing from the comfortablly safe distance of an office for mostly discredited newspapers, qualify them as experts not only to comment authoritatively about the game, but to teach others what football is all about. I wonder why they are not all successful managers. But then again… Never mind.

  • Heci


    If I may add re Sahin’s “loan”:
    – Sahin had stated a clear priority of Arsenal as he rates Wenger as one of the best.
    – Mourinho didn’t want to give him away to a CL club. And Rodgers is one of his friends so he was pushing Sahin into it.
    – Arsenal and Real M agreed price of 2.8m pounds plus 70% of his wages (he gets 120k pounds-per-week) but couldn’t agree on a future fee (as Real M clearly don’t want to lose the player if he gets FIT and shows class this season).
    – I think Real were ready to give in when LFC came in again with an improved bid of 5m pounds (which is utterly shambolic) and 100% of his wages (bare in mind these are Man City type of wages, or there about). So they will pay about 11m pounds for a player for ONE season only without any chance of buying him next year unless Real decide he is surplus to their requirements and sell him but only for a fee they decide on. Some sources say LFC do have a first refusal option but that won’t help them at all if he decides he doesn’t see his long term future at Anfailed, and btw with their current form that may seem like a future in the Championship, but I concede things may change a bit (not much).

    Also good on Mannone for improving his concentration, I admit I thought he flopped his final long pass/cross ball at Olympiacos last year, but thank God we kept him as a backup, even if it is just for these 2 games.

    And one final thing about Diaby I think he was great and worked even more than Arteta, which is something that even in his pre-injury days I wouldn’t think of saying. I pray that he remains fit and proves all his doubters wrong.

    PS: Lloris has finally signed for Spers. Looks like Lyon’s chief couldn’t milk them more after it broke out that we weren’t in for a keeper 🙁 And btw have you noticed how Levy is seen as the shrewdest businessman in football at the final hours of the transfer window, but Arsenal was slated for PANIC buying last year?

  • ARSENAL 13

    The difference is the attitude. This kind of attitude was what we missed over the years….

  • Tony K

    Hey Guys,

    Great, great article Tony as usual.

    I won’t waste too much time discussing Liverpool as I consider them to be in a shambles for a club of their purported stature. The manager has no control over anything outside of first team training and selection. He seems to have more of a coaching role than a true a managerial role. To even mention Rodgers and Arsene in the same breathe or make comparisons is simply “ludacris”. Their is no comparison. One man who learned what he knows from Mourinho, failed at Reading and then guided to Swansea to mid-table safety and then jumped ship at the first offer to come his way from a supposed big club.

    The other, well what can I say about Arsene that I have not already wrote on this site. The Managerial Zen master and Shogun. Speaker of over 7 languages, managed on different continents. Maker or more star players from nothing than any other manager in modern history, entire season unbeaten, 16 years consistent Champions league etc etc.

    Now lets talk about what is really interesting here. This team has a fantastic potential. They are still gelling as the Wenger magic gets sprinkled on them week by week. Cazorla is quite clearly a genius. I think he has several qualities similar to Cesc; can play the killer pass great range of passing etc. However there is something more to his game. He is genuinely two footed, can take free kicks with either foot, seems to be faster than Cesc by some distance as well. When he truly hits his zone he will light up the PL this season and for many more. I believe that this summer we did well with our recruits. RVP made his mind to leave, but he has made a mistake, not in terms of salary but he has gone to sinking ship. I am sad about the Song departure as it seems he was sacrificed to balance the books. However Adou is quite simply a far better player than Song will ever be. He IS the complete midfielder and that is why Arsene has always stuck by him. I have never understood the people who simply want to throw away a player because he has an injury that takes time to iron out due to residual injuries. These are not true fans of the club and for that matter not true fans of football. Abou has shown on more than one occasion that when he is right he is simply a world beater. I just love it when he turns on the gas and ghosts past players as if they are not even there, its something special actually. Yaya and Patrick can and used to be able to do this with ease.

    I think also with Arteta we are in a great position with him as he slightly older so when Jackie boy comes back they will complement each other beautifully for that position. They should be able to naturally rotate, Jackie boy giving Arteta a rest and Arteta allowing Jackie boy to naturally ease back into the first team.
    I know we have Rosicky and Ramsey to cover Carozla [actually not to mention Gnabry and Eisfeld coming through as well]. I feel that as this season goes on we will begin to see the real Ramsey resurfacing. It will benefit him to have a player of Cazorla’s class to pay alongside him as he will not fee the pressure to be the creative fulcrum, which I think was too much for him last season. This will allow him to play his natural game and his confidence will grow and then all and sundry will see what a fantastic player is there waiting to be let loose.

    I know there has been some discussion about the defence and the role of Bouldy as assistant coach, However it seems that he is definitely having a positive impact in this regard. I believe it is quite obvious Arsene has delegated certain aspects of the training to Bouldy. However this is a clear change in tactical play. This team due to its greater experience and discipline is willing to surrender more possession, but keep a more compact shape. What is important is that when they get the ball the incisiveness with which they use the possession. I believe this team once it clicks this year will give quite a few PL and CL teams a really good mauling. I also think that once they click the possession stats will probably also go up naturally anyway.

    I do believe we are a striker light, but then Arsene is probably thinking about Campbell and Afobe and watching to see how they go.
    Do we still have Chamakh? If we do then maybe he has a role to play this season. I actually think Chamakh has shown some postive signs recently. I find it strange ebcuase you cant go from scoring 11 goals in your first half a season and then be exhasted but never recover your confidence again. Maybe he will also benfit from NOT having RVP there. Just a thought!

    BTW has anyone noticed how may goals Manu, Chelsea and Man C are shipping. Cause for optimism all you true Gooners!! We can win the league this year. We just need to believe and unite. Oh by the way does anyone know where I can find Adam Kemp…………

  • zdzis

    @ the guys talking about Gibb’s irritation:
    I’m quite sure the reason was if Giroud tried a fast 1-2 with Gibbs out there, they just might have pulled reina out for an empty goal. An assist for Gibbs, a goal for giroud, how simple is that? On the other hand, it could have backfired as well, but it might have been easier for Giroud to pass than to try shooting.

    About Mannone: he was solid, and that’s good. It’s what you expect of 2nd-choice keepers, and Szczesny should bear that in mind.

    About Diaby: yes, it is ironic, and he clearly played like a young Vieira, anybody could see that. FIngers crossed he stays fit the season.

    I don’t know about the numbers hee, especially Sahin’s wage. 120k/week isn’t the kind of wage even Real would give their 4th choice DM. I know that’s the most often cited number, but the more realistic assessment put his pay at about £45k/week. That’s incidentally what we pay Chamakh. Khedira reportedly earns between £80k and £90k/week – Khedira who’s long been a key cog in their machine.

  • Heci


    I took the 120k/week wage with a pinch of salt too, it does sound too much but when Sahin came in he was one of Bundesliga’s finest players (I think he got an award too). Maybe the 120k/week he gets are a sum of all his incomes including his commercial rights (that all Real M players get) which work as a very hefty bonus. But even so I think 45k/week would be extremely low and wouldn’t make up any sense to the fact that both Arsenal & LFC were reluctant to pay the full 100% at first (LFC eventually did, and as a bit of a side-note I think his enormous wages hindered Rodger’s budget so he couldn’t even get Dempsey at the end).
    Of course it would be impossible to back my words with facts so just my opinion of the whole situation 🙂

    PS: I think we’re paying Chamakh 50k/week but hopefully he will be gone in the next few days (Turkish transfer window still open).

    PS2: Also a side-note but I think there’s a certain dutch forward scoring 5-6 goals in his first few games in the Turkish league, perhaps LFC should go for him, what do you guys reckon? I can’t spell his last name but I think his first name was Dirk. 😀

  • critic

    In 1925 v won starting games with a cleansheet, this time v havent won all d 3 games. No complete similarity nd hence no omens

  • Gouresh

    I know Abu has been getting a lot of stick….but can any1 remember 2008 [I think] against Unread Mad-get rid? He was playing just behind the sticker and he actually shredded their defence. They boy is really really talented and for the height that he has, he can drop his shoulder, turn direction…its actually like watching a ballet dancer with strength in full flow. I have always loved this style but he has his daft moments….lets all pray like hell, they he stays fit for the season and comes back in one piece after the international break. [I actually hope RVP comes back in 10].

    The team looked solid, and everyone put in that extra bit. Podolski’s back tracing was a pleasure to watch and Artea’s marshalling was wonderful as for Santa Claus? What can I say? Simply blown away.

    We need to have the same attitude and fight and I don’t see why we cannot win the title. We and the media have written us off already talking about 4th place finish….bullshit!

  • Shard

    Everyone who quotes Spamalot gets a bonus point

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Has John Henry’s statement not just (partly) summarised arsene Wenger’s/Arsenal philosophy of the past few years. At last one of the other big clubs are beggining to see sense- I hope their supporters are just as supportive (on a whole) as ours!

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Fiscal policy that is. Not any other parts, eg. our youth policy.

  • Looks like 1925 was the last season we didn’t let in a single goal for the first three matches. The manager was Leslie Knighton who has the honour of being our worst ever permanent manager.

    We came 1 place above relegation for the second year running, and he was sacked by Sir Henry Norris. He then wrote the most outrageous autobiography which exonerated himself of all blame, and instead blamed Norris.

    If you are a member of AISA you will have received the third AISA history booklet, which deals with Knighton’s period in charge.

    Let’s hope this season doesn’t follow that one.

    I can’t find a season where we have actually gone the first four games without letting in a goal but will double check at home tonight.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tony K,1:56pm – I agree with a lot of your points, but disagree with your point about Hollywood Songinho being sold to balance the books like you’ve said. I have enough faith in AFC to enter into contracts and agreements that they can honour. The writing was on the wall a long time ago for Song and I back the club over his departure. His ego will have a massive adjustment over the next couple of years at Barca and the truth is that he behaved as if he was bigger than AFC towards the end.

    His PR did the best they could to rewrite history but their story does’nt add up. Why would a player 2 years into a 6 year contract be desperate to sit down and discuss a new longer term agreement? If he really wanted to stay forever he should of waited 6-12 months and played his heart out. He would of ended up on about £85k which is much more than he’s on now. And finally his statements about Barca being the best club in the world and always wanting play for them as a kid made me laugh, who were Barca in the 80’s & 90’s? In his early days at Arsenal he never mentioned them or their players as idols. It was PR to win over the Catalonians which makes me laugh as he will never have the level of respect by Barca fans as he did at Arsenal nor can is comments be taken too seriously now.

  • dan

    Did anyone notice Carzola’s weaving runs leaving Gerrard static and crying in admiration, my brother (villa man) just shook his head, uttering “class pure class.”

  • Limpar

    @ shard

    I agree with you re Manonne, he has deficiencies and is liable to some mistakes , but he is very brave & has the right attitude. If only fabianski had his steely attitude , he would be world class.
    I’ve been very impressed with his presence In the last 2 games, if his form continues with expected modest improvement it might make wenger rethink his plans for him. If not it will earn him a decent move an a few million for us at some stage

    @ tony k

    I completely agree with you post ! But I think we may invest in another deep lying midfielder in jan for when arteta doesn’t play. It depends wether coquelin & frimpong can really show (when they have a chance ) that they have what it takes in what is a very important tactical job in our midfield
    Arteta is a master in that area and would be hard for the younger players to read the game as he he does

  • Cameron Wolfe

    Tony good article and yesterdays team performance was exactly that. We played front to back as a team. I think we have more than enough firepower on the pitch and the new signings will keep on gettng better as the season continues.
    I thought Gibbs had every right to air his veiw to Giroud. Showed passion.
    Mannone had a couple of mistakes. Yes but weren’t we supposed to buy Riena two seasons ago for 30m as the answer to our keeper problems? I know which keeper had the better game yesterday.
    Mannone did well. Kepps the pressure on chez. I’ll take a clean sheet everytime.
    I think Rodgers is a decent manager but he’s made his choice.
    Let’s hope Arsene has all the players available for Southampton.

    @ Walter
    I’ll swap your Flemish commentator for mine. I had to suffer Stewart Robson on ESPN.

    Wish he spoke Flemish.
    Gooner for life.

  • Goona Gal

    @ dan, I noticed Gerrard flying about the place with hard tackles on our players. Given his injury record I found this quite suprising.

    These actions were endorsed by Alan Hansen on MoTD2 who was’nt impressed with Rogers setting the team up to play football against us and thought the ‘pool players should of been ‘getting in our faces’ instead. I am annoyed that my fee pays for that eejit’s wages.

  • bjtgooner

    Two differences come to mind immediately; Arsenal are well run financially and they have bought well and sold well. On occasion player greed (sorry ambition), the Dein factor or something similar has slowed down the plan (the team development plan), but has never been able to completely disrupt it. We can look forward to additional financial resources with new sponsorship deals in (I think) 2014.

    Liverpool have spent unwisely in the recent past and appear to need to balance the books before they can buy – and they need to buy – as a lot of their recent spending seemed to be random rather than planned, hence some of the players don’t quite seem to fit together. But big or even medium spending seems to out for now.

    As a consequence of the above and of the unfolding of AW’s team building the difference in quality of play between the two teams is very marked. At present Arsenal can be confident; Liverpool less so.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Goona Gal,
    Erm, does the dream team ring any bells (who were Barca in the late 80s/early 90s), though surely the football purist would say Milan of that period.
    Actually, that raises a valid point, Barca now don’t play like Barca then, they play like the Milan team that spanked them 4-0 in the big cup final. Players want to play for Barca because they win everything and they pay good wages, not because they grew up watching a fantastic swashbuckling footballing side.
    Nostalgia is all well and good but nobody actually believes the boyhood club thing anymore unless the boyhood club is currently great.
    Scratch that, there are retards a plenty out there.

  • Goona Gal

    I don’t think there was much in that situation at all between Gibbs & Giroud. In fact if anything I think Giroud had more reason to be frustrated yesterday as he didn’t have too many accurate passes his way. He did keep his defender busy by all his off the ball movement, but he was’nt utilised as much as he could of been.

  • dan

    @Goona Gal

    I noticed Gerrard flying about too, but I was surprised he didn’t fly into Carzo. Alan Hansen and his foolish assessment of how a team should play against us is legendary, he once called for Cesc to be red carded in the same fixture 2 years ago (Arshavin’s killer strike).

  • bjtgooner

    @Goona Gal

    The answer to that twit Hansen is surely our match against Stoke – that gang of bullies very obviously failed to intimidate us and liverpool running around without the ball trying to get into our faces would have tired themselves out quite quickly. Gerrard looked knacked anyway after about 20 mins.

  • Limpar

    I was encouraged by Gibbs barracking to giroud it was half, ffs! Half come on, I know your better than that , I’ve seen you in training!
    Also he could have passed to Gibbs for a simple tap in

  • Goona Gal

    @ Woolwich, my bad – I don’t know why I forgot this as I was trying to recall how I knew the name Michael Laudrup, just the other day and someone reminded me!

  • Goona Gal

    @ dan – another player did that to Cazola just after the 1/2 time break in full view of Webb, I can’t remember who it was.

    @ bjtgooner – I am just suprised that these attitudes are acceptable and his lack of condemnation for Suarez’s diving was telling. He knows that teams can get away with being overly physical and aggressive without being punished.

  • dan

    does anyone know where I can watch the motd2 highlights?

  • bjtgooner

    @Goona Gal

    Agree about Hansen’s attitude, instead of giving us credit for a superb performance he was trying to make excuses for a Liverpool still suffering from king kenny – without attributing blame to his pal kenny. I also agree about Suarez – a totally detestable character.

  • Goona Gal

    @ dan –

    @ bjtgooner – Hansen and his ilk are frustrated that they have seen the rise and rise of Arsenal FC. We are in the position and hold the respect that he feels belongs to his club.

  • Dino Abby

    What about the tackle by Gerard on Vermaelen? Was it a lunging tackle? It looked very dangerous to me but the commentator said it was a very good tackle by Gerard. It got me worried when Vermaelen went flying and later seemed to be in pain. Hope he is alright, though. Will wait to read the Ref Review.

  • dan

    Gooner gal


  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Goona Gal,
    Your point is still valid, Song didn’t go to Barca because he thinks Busquets’ dad was an amazing goalkeeper.
    Likewise RvP didn’t go to Manure for the love of a nice bit of Gingham, he went because the league is bent in their favour and they pay him £12 million a year, allegedly. Contrast that to Arteta, he came because Everton needed money and he would get the chance to say “daddy played in the champion’s league like all great players do” to his kids.

  • French Butcher

    The difference: Arsenal still trophy-less for 7 years and Liverpool got one last session

    How can you support a trophy-less manager so long without a complaint?

  • Limpar

    Maybe if you had your way it would be the same as the way Liverpool treated their ‘trophy winning’ manager

  • Limpar

    The real difference : 15 years in the champions league playing & winning in stadiums like the bernabeau & san siro as opposed to a poxy carling cup then the sack in the summer

  • French Butcher

    @Limpar: Relax. I expect Arsenal and Liverpool both will be trophy-less this session. Now it is ManCity and Chelsea era. Do support your team but also must face the reality.

  • Limpar

    Reality is we’ve been in the champions league & watching world class players week in week out for 16 years. I would take that over a carling cup every now and then any day

  • Limpar

    That’s why the stadium is full most weeks. A carling cup but mid table mediocrity stand of football and that would change

  • Limpar

    Standard of football

  • Limpar

    Talk of trophies like the carling cup. at the expense of Top 4 makes me laugh. That’s the reality. Play the first team in the carling cup & win it , lose out to injuries & fatigue on the league position, then lose out on the best players in the market ie cazorla & last seasons signings

  • Paul

    @ Fred the Butcher

    “How can you support a trophy-less manager so long without a complaint?”

    Did you read the title at the top of the page before you read the article or wrote your comment?
    If you stop by here more often you’ll find plenty of “fans” that complain about Arsene.

    Fortunately the majority like me think we have the best manager for our team. He like wise for Arsenal.

    That’s why we don’t have a new manager on each new owners wim.

    I’ll bet you just long for those “Shankley/Paisley days. those days long gone by.

    I’ve forgotten now it’s been SO long and I’m getting old when did you last win the league?

    Difference between us. We do push all the way until the end of the season. We are in the CHAMPIONS league every year.

    Gooner for life. Not just the odd trophy.

  • Paul

    The Frank the Butcher was irony by the way.

    Unless you really are French?

  • Paul

    Or is Fed up Buthcher???

  • Paul

    Ok last one.

    Maybe you are a Fed up French Butcher.

    Fed up watching YOUR team lose every other week?

    Maybe you cold jog off to a Liverhoof site and whine to them?

    Maybe they’ll be interested in what you have to say?

  • Limpar

    Any more chops ?

  • French Butcher

    @Paul: Again relax. I’m no Liverpool or Arsenal fan. From my observation, at least Liverpool did something to their trophy drought problem. Then Arsenal? Sold top scorer RVP for pittance! That was not the way to win anything.

  • Paul

    I am very relaxed thank you very much.

    You must obviously be a Billionaire if you think that approx. £24m is a pittance?

    I think as usual Arsene got a good deal. What should he have done. Kept him for another year then let him go for free?

    I thought the season had just begun? The only trophy so far dished out was the Charity shield?

    Long way to go. We’ll be judged at the end come May. The only ones judging us will be the Arsenal fans.

  • bjtgooner


    Looks like we have a troll or AAA sewer rat around – either way a sad character & not worth worrying about. Although his phraseology seems familiar.

  • dan

    @French Butcher

    Your a Tott!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great commitment from the whole team. Alan Hansen, I would ignore him….he still has not got over a certain game against us, they say time is a great healer, but in his case, seems he will need a lifetime to forget.

  • Limpar

    Cheers bjt

  • Stuart

    French Butler is obviously a regular in the Arsenal dressing room and on the training pitch and knows Arsenal beyond what we see on the TV or at the Stadiums. From what he/she is saying, there is no chance that some egos were upsetting the team spirit in the dressing room therefore, no one should have been sold off.