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August 2021

Arsenal get 7 again. And this is what we learned…

By Tony Attwood

Two games 14 goals.  Lots of good PR, and a bit of football.   Plus a few puzzles.

This time I was ready for ESPN, and encouraged by a fairly sensible commentary for the Indonesia game I left the sound on.  But, poor ESPN, they never learn.  After several years of alienating much of the Arsenal audience by including the outrageous S. Robson as a co-commentator, and otherwise talking about anything they could other than Arsenal, they find themselves at the end of their Premier League contract but hanging on to the rights for pre-season friendlies.  And what do they do?  Simply remind us all just how ludicrous Robson is.  Having dropped him for the studio commentary in the first match, here he is sitting somewhere in England, chattering away about Arsenal.

Robson’s commentary for the most part was that the team was “leggy”.  “Leggy” he said, and then just in case we hadn’t got it, he said it again and again.   He did in fact say some nice stuff for a couple of minutes but then Gibbs was criticised and the auto pilot was put on and we were back to the old routine.  To be fair it wasn’t quite as bad as before, but it wasn’t that helpful.

But more than anything else it is games like this that make me wish I had placed a bet.  You might remember the time I predicted that Arsenal would beat Everton 7-1 away on the opening day of the season.  We won 6-1, and had I been betting I’ve had certain placed something on 6-1, 6-0 and 7-0 as well.

As for the game, it was the usual stuff of a team of two halves, although the selections threw up a few oddities.  But for the first half of match I thought Rosicky was superb, and Giroud has clearly got some confidence to shoot first time – which is why he got three.  We played in the first half with


Jenkinson, Koscielny, Sagna, Gibbs;

Arteta, Gnabry;

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Podolski;

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So Giroud got his three, and it was fairly satisfactory all round against poor opposition.  Rosicky played in the Mozart position, and loving every minute.  The Ox was excellent.  Gnarbry looks a real talent.  Sagna in central defence was fine.

Half time and the second half starts with the team, I think, as …


Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertersacker, Miquel

Zelalem, Ramsey, Ryo

Oxlade Chamberlain,  Akpom, Walcott

 And the match was much as you would expect, except that suddenly the heavens opened and the crowd looked totally surprised and many ran for cover – few seemed to have brought raincoats.  Akpom really looked strong.  Theo however was wasteful – but to be fair it didn’t matter.  There’s a good piece about Wenger’s views on the whole event on the Arsenal site which has a fair old focus on Giroud.

And Vietnam’s keeper was sent off for handling outside the area which caused some merriment from the man who replaced him.

But what else?

Jack came on towards the end which was nice. The word is that he has had flu.  Ryo only managed 20 minutes or so before he came off.  He didn’t look that effective at all but mahybe there was an injury.   Miquel looked quite good, I thought and could be making his way forward into a solid challenge for the first team.  Akpom too although he’s got a lot of men ahead of him.  Zelalem is hard to spot, a bit like Gilberto Silva.  You don’t quite see what he’s doing until he’s not there – the short lay offs the immediate releases.  You can see why Mr Wenger likes him.

No Fabianski, with Martinz coming on around the one hour mark.   So is Fab being saved for the tougher Japanese games?  Is Ryo being saved to step up for Japan?  Are Miquel, Zelalem, Akpom and Gnarbry all looking good for the future?  And why is Eisfeld only getting a bit part?  Maybe we have too many players.

It is difficult to know if Mr Wenger is trying the players out, or strategically selecting the right players for the right game.  But we are starting to get an inkling about the junior players and who might break through.

All in all it was another fun run out.  Maybe this level of opposition is way below that which we have played in the past in the opening games, or maybe Arsenal are actually a stronger team than we have seen at this stage of the season before.

On to Japan to find out more.

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94 comments to Arsenal get 7 again. And this is what we learned…

  • Dave Highbury

    Thought I’d mention Zelalem who played some masterly through balls… seems to have that vision that fabs had when he was in the youths. All of the the younger players look good.

  • Savage

    What was also interesting was Zelalem’s ability to work himself out of trouble with his nimble movement and soft touches, which is where Ox comes short.

  • Mick

    Giroud…. 5 goals in 2 games, the man is useless according to the experts from the ‘media’ and the AAA!!! (and he hit the post)
    Zelalem….brilliant for a young kid.
    The Ox….fantastic goal.
    Akpom….. give him a season and watch him explode on the scene.

  • Stuart

    Didn’t see the game but going by the first two comments, here is your answer for anyone who questions the academy.

  • walter

    Now look if this Zelalem guy is keeping up playing like he is doing in the last two games I am going to forget that I never ever would adore a young player after some of them broke my heart and I will adopt him in my mind as another son. 😉

    He is very Cescy to say the least.

  • vacong

    Alice Funguson retired at the perfect moment! He knows! Arsene knows!! ooh young guns on the rampage! Gunners go boom!

  • bjtgooner

    Another good performance from the team and again all the young players looked good. What again impressed me was the sense of togetherness and enjoyment throughout the squad.

    For UK viewers ESPN will lose their present franchise at the end of July, BT seem to be taking up the slack. Lets hope Robson does not get a transfer!

  • LRV

    I duff my hat to that ‘Oh So Cescy’ young Zelalem. What a tricky young player? Just brilliant.

  • Pat

    Just watched the goals on Very enjoyable! Giroud is getting plenty of practice.

    It was nice of Arsene to say he was pleased Vietnam scored and I agree.

  • dxbgooner

    I have watched the 2 games now. When I saw the first ouch of Zelalem I just went wow!
    I have never been as excited about seeing a young gooner as much. Will be in the first team this year and world class by the time he is 20.

  • dxbgooner

    …. that should be touch!

  • walter

    It was as if they just won the world cup with that goal 🙂 Nice to see such joy in a way.

    What we also learned was that at that time we only had one first team player in defence (Per) and two midfielders playing as defenders.

  • 4th Place Trophy

    Wow. Beaten 2 pub teams. Whoop de do. What about screwing up this transfer window? Cesc looking like he could go to Utd? Anybody here care? No, thought not.

  • Doublegooner

    4th Place.

    This lot will back Wenger if he spends didly squat.

  • Robl

    @ Tony, is there a way of making the bit at the top about supporting the team and manager a bit bigger? Clearly some people are still having problems reading it.

  • SE boy

    I wouldn’t read too much into these thrashings. I doubt Giroud will be knocking them in for fun once the EPL starts. Too immobile and too wasteful.

  • Mick

    @Doublegooner and 4th Place Trophy
    Wouldn’t matter if we had just beaten Man U and Barcelona you would still find something to moan about, it’s in you makeup, both of you miserable bastards.

  • John

    If Man U lose to a “weak” team in pre-season, it doesn’t matter, because the result is not important— ie in the eyes of the media and some of our more gullible “fans”, they can’t lose. Conversely, if Arsenal hammer a team in pre-season, it isn’t good enough for those people—-ie we can’t win.

  • Mick

    Sorry, slightly off topic, but you all may enjoy this…..
    ‘Indonesian Arsenal fan Trolls Spurs supporters during Gunners 1st pre-season friendly’ [Picture]

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Normally I don’t feed the trolls but the Cesc to United story is utter bullshit but will undoubtedly sell papers/clicks to those lacking upstairs.
    Anything we could pay Barca for Cesc, United have to seriously outbid to make it worthwhile for Barca to accept their offer, due to the first option and sell-on clauses. If reports are correct, we need only match their initial offer to make him unaffordable for Manure.

  • Dennis Brady

    Please lets not get ahead of ourselves with wins against such opposition. We still have not made the signing that the club promise every year. Seems like these promises are to sell season tickets. Looks like we will now be gazumped by Napoli on our main target, Napoli were in the third tier of Italian football not so long ago. But they have the cavani money, they buy top quality when they sell their best, wenger take note. If wenger fails to sign, spurs will catch up this coming season and Liverpool,the next. And don’t be fooled, wenger will never sign Suarez, that was an attempt to move real along, it will fail in the next couple of days. There is no way the likes of wenger Ivan and tom fox , a man who resembles a mad scientologist….will EVER get one over Real Madrid. We should look to our neighbours for inspiration. I was born in finsbury park and have followed the club for 45 years, but even I had to stand up and applaud when the spuds beat arsenal to the likes of loris, verthongen, holtby and probably paulinho. If you say arsenal were not after that lot, you are wrong, but even worse, even if you were right, that lot are better than arsenals players so why weren’t arsenal after them. Much as it pains me to say it, spurs are becoming a force in world football, a modern ambitious technically gifted manager not afraid to buy or coach. AVB and baldini will confine wenger and Ivan to the Stone Age. I am not by the way a spuds fan, I just love naked ambition, a refusal to accept the status quo,I love to see a club with a much smaller stadium and wage bill about to give arsenal a very bloody nose, just because they are rivals, does not mean they should not be recognised for what they are doing. One of my favorite quotes comes from Einstein , he said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That makes wenger and the board insane in my book. Enjoy the fine British summer, and just live with what arsenal do every summer., under wenger stan and Ivan, it is never going to change. Happy days for clubs chasing arsenal, those ahead dont need to worry anyway.

  • 4th Place Trophy

    How funny you lot are. So, we’re 17 point swing from the title. We sign French U20 striker with injury issues. Our competition for our coveted 4th place trophy have strengthened, top 3 all strengthened. Soooooo, what’s going to happen? Anyone.

    Pathetic, complacent bunch. We need 4 players, 2 great players (striker & DM) and 2 good squad players (gk & cb) to even think about the title. Will we get them??

    Nope. But at least the clubs made more money on the Asian tour paying Sunday league teams.

    Dear oh dear. What will you say when we are 5th next year? Losers.

  • Mick

    @4th Place Trophy
    You have just confirmed what I said before. You are a miserable bastard. Moan, moan, moan. Cheer up man, life can be good if you look at the positive rather than concentrate on the negative all the time!

  • vacong

    4th place trophy we have not sold anyone this season so far in the first team, brilliant youngsters like new signings. why don’t you supoort man city they bought 2 players without a manager! go for it rename yourself 2nd place trophy when arsenal win the league.

  • Adam

    God, it’s late, and I have only just watched the highlights.

    Are we allowed to get excited about the coming season? I cannot wait.

    C’mon you Gunners. I wanna watch the little uns in the diddly cup.

  • Adam

    @ BJTgooner, BT have hired Mark Halsey as their expert on the rules. We may see a company actually stand up to Sky and the PGMOL? One can hope anyway.

  • Adam

    @ 4th Place Trophy

    Fuck off you wanker.

  • Adam

    @ Doublegooner,

    Fuck off you Wanker.

    Fuck off you Wanker.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hypocrites……….Arsenal must win a trophy.

    Does the same rule apply to what ‘ever’ you do in your life???……Grow up. SUPPORT, dont DEMAND.

  • para

    I am so impressed by our youth this season. I hope we find place for all of them, wouldn’t want to lose any of them to other teams. Go Arsenal, Strong core main team, strong core youth team. On the way to domination again, the place where we belong.

  • Stuart

    I said before the end of last season and I’ll say it again. It’s not a problem if we don’t make any new signings, well have the benefit of familiarity over the others and hit the ground running – this is majorly underestimated considering a common complaint from those who are not interested in the club but just trophies has been the players don’t have time to get to know each other/gel, well they’ve had half a season+ now. Let’s start the season off how we finished the last and we’ll be home and dry by Christmas. Come on you gunners!
    We’re in the best position we’ve been in for years.

  • Dennis Brady: Please give the source for that supposed Einstein quote. And while you are at it, please give the source for the information that says that Arsenal promise players each year and then don’t deliver? Perhaps you might start with last season with the signing of Santi Cazorla.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And while Dennis is at it he can continue with Podolski (youngest German international to reach 100 caps), Mertesacker (highly rated Germand defender), Arteta (best holding midfielder in the PL in the last 2 seasons), Monreal (left back of the current world and European champions Spain),

  • WalterBroeckx

    The way Dennis Brady is admiring the lot down the road is telling it all I think.
    Surely Dennis must know that Arsenal was after Vertonghen. But as Vertonghen wasn’t promised a starting place at Arsenal and he did get that at the spuds he went for the easy option. And I maybe mistaken but I can’t really remember Holtby setting the PL on fire. And we still have to see if Paulinho will cut it in the PL. But Dennis knows they will. Good for you.

    Now despite the spuds buying all those players you named, and with their top manager and bla bla bla our stone age team beat them to 4th place last season.
    It only takes one injury and there is nobody left to bale the spuds out, Dennis.

  • Doublegooner


    When do you break up ?

  • bjtgooner

    @Halfgooner (who pretends he is a doublegooner)

    You really are a nasty piece of work – but predictable. Are the primitive and foul mouthed comments on Le Groan not holding your attention these days?

  • Doublegooner

    To all you deluded souls.

    Could even Arseblog become an ‘AAA’ in your eyes if your great leader’s words
    ‘We work hard but we are not close to signing anybody’

    end up with no significant signings.

    Bet many of you are still sleeping off your hangovers after the last two stunning results !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
    Albert Einstein

  • Jeremy

    probably when results are not going our way, we crave a signing; someone to lift us, So far its very promising, yes the opposition is weak, but the huge wins must be lifting the entire squad, we know these boys are good when playing confidently, am sure they will do well, with or without additions.

  • Yudhoyono

    Against opposition who could be beaten by your Sunday league team. My concerns lie with Wengers comments on not being close to signing anyone. Arseblog reflects this very nicely in today’s article.

  • Yudhoyono

    @doublegooner spot on mate

  • Rupert Cook

    @Stuart, whilst I take your point I fear it is of utmost importance to make a few good signings. Just because the team had a great run at the end of the season against inferior opposition you have to remember that we had just one competition to focus on. At the start of next season we will have four and will certainly need one or two quality additions to make a serious challenge.

    Also a quality signing or two boosts morale, this works for all teams. I didn’t see Manu suffer when they upset their squad by purchasing RVP.

    I don’t think it’s reckless to say that we’ll be way off the pace if we don’t improve the squad. I’m very pleased we’re thrashing our pre season opponents but these teams would struggle in the non league. And yes many of the youngsters are playing well but the real test comes when the season starts.

    Wenger has stated that we are not close to signing anybody. That maybe a smokescreen but I’d be a little concerned if that’s true. Does that mean we have given up on our supposed targets? Or maybe we’re still haggling?

    Wenger also said that there’s lots of money about but few available players. When you see the amount of players we’ve been linked to, few of which I’m sure we’ve actually gone for, it seems there are plenty out there. Of course if Wenger is just chasing super quality like Suarez then yes there are very few available and surely that sort of quality is beyond our financial means, those players are picked off by the super rich clubs.

    Which is why I’m surprised we haven’t bought anyone that is the next level down like Bony. Having read a lot about him I thought he sounded like a very good buy. Hopefully he’ll be a flop.

    Probably only Man City have strengthened significantly so far but I think Chelsea have the best squad and I’d be surprised if they don’t finish first or second. We could be contenders but I think we need at least two quality signings.

    @Adam, you seem to have resorted to insults instead of argument. Perhaps it’s this insufferable heat. I do like the way you capitalized wanker.

  • Bootoomee

    There is a new disease in football blogoshere and it’s called “buy player” tourette. You see long winded posts which could easily be summarised as: “I am of little faith in a team that I’m not managing but I’ll feel better if those in charge just buy someone. I have no guarantee that this will result in any change of fortune for the club but it will calm my nerves.”

    I’m just glad that we have true professionals in charge who know what they are doing and not some emotionally needy Internet experts.

  • Stuart

    But Arsenal are shit, there are no inferior teams compared to us.

    We were top of the table for second half of the season alone, this is certainly not just against inferior teams.

  • Stuart

    Ok Rupert,
    Please be clear in your mind that I am not against us signing 1 maybe 2 players however it is not essential.

  • Mick

    ‘Which is why I’m surprised we haven’t bought anyone that is the next level down like Bony.’
    Are you really? What is the point in buying more players who are the next level down? We already have players of similar quality. In order to increase our chance to compete with the top teams we have to be looking at the very top level and that is surely what Wenger is referring to. He would appear to be right as hardly any of these ‘marquee’ type signings have been done by any of the english teams so far, and please don’t start throwing Paulhino etc at me, he is not the super star type we are talking about. Suarez would be and maybe Higuain. As far as I am concerned make a ‘super signing’ otherwise promote from within, we have lots of youngsters raring to go if given the chance. Whatever happens I am sure we will see the boy’s give it their best shot and if we win a trophy great, if we don’t it will not be the end of civilisation as we know it.

  • Bootoomee

    The downplaying of the team’s performances so far would not sound so disingenuous from the detractors if they are honest enough to admit that they are only interested in the team’s failures and not its progress.

    We have no idea how any of the teams are going to do this season, especially with all the new changes. All fans, including those of smaller teams, are looking forward to a good season and hoping that their club will do well. Except a large section of Arsenal fans who who give up on their own before a ball has been kicked.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    The real AAA (as opposed to the provisional AAA, the continuity AAA etc.) is composed of a peculiar breed of glory hunting supporter IMHO who ‘hitched their wagon’ to the Arsenal train, circa 1998 in most cases, who feel that the club has personally insulted them by failing to remain competitive, whilst they are locked into their status as ‘Arsenal fan’.

    Someone should do a case study.

  • Bootoomee

    Woolwich Peripatetic,

    Absolutely spot on. They are precisely as you described them. They may fight you to the death in denial but that is exactly who they are. For many of them, it is the taunts and the accompanying shame that they will get from their peers about their “apostasy” that make them remain gooners, hence why they lash out so reflexively.

  • Doublegooner


    There are many, many fans who’ve supported this club for donkeys years that want to see change.

    There are also many here on here who joined the glory hunting bandwagon circa 98 who mouth off to real fans telling them ‘they know nothing, they’re anti Arsenal’.

    They are the real Anti Arsenal ‘fans’.

  • Yudhoyono

    wengers career went down the drain when he said “winning is not everything” now he comes with another of his golden generation loser quote “plenty of money no quality players” llololololol the worst thing is my fellow gooners u keep on falling for it u only have ur selves to blame by getting duped for 8 years

  • Yudhoyono

    I cannot believe the line Wenger came out with yesterday. “There is a lot of money but not many players”. I’ve long been a supporter of Wenger and praised him for keeping us in the top 4 with such budget restraints but he really is taking the p*ss now. There are plenty of top quality players available if we are willing to pay the market value or a little bit extra. He just doesn’t want to. I’m not sure if its stubbornness or laziness but it seems like he’s got it far too easy at the helm of our club. What really gets me is the arrogant smile he gives us, basically saying I know the fans aren’t happy and I know I’m being criticised, but I just don’t care. Being an Arsenal fan is turning into a painful experience.

  • Adam

    Doublegooner, why do you persist with your negativity, it’s always the same with you, that’s why I get shitty with you. Same old bollox time and again, your boring.

    So again fuck off, because you are a wanker.

  • Yudhoyono

    @adam why is he a wanker? Is it because he states the stark truth? You and the other deluded nippers need to wake up, Jovetic now signing for city… While gazebos and the clown are in mighty Japan doing eerrrm duck all it seems. There will be uproar, mark my words if that french mercenary is the only signing to walk through the door

  • double,
    “Your” great leader?

    I’ll call your taxi for you.
    Your just a Wind-up merchant, and don’t refer to 98, you know diddly squat.

  • Adam

    Yudhoyono, Who cares about Jovetic, was you talking about him two years ago or even last year, why is he so important to you?

    As for DG, he comes on this site, knowing, we are mainly positive people, and spouts his usual negative nonsense.

    And, your already getting angry about something that hasn’t happened. So what if Sanogo is the only signing, I think we can compete with what we have. That’s the difference between some of us fans, some support what we have not what we might have.

    You see, it’s OK for you to insult Gazidis and probably some of the players but when I call someone a wanker, you get all defensive. Do you go to the defence of the referee’s when they get called a wanker by the crowd? No you don’t.

    As for the Japan tour, you can thank the commercialisation of football for that, not just one man you ignorant fuck.

  • Adam

    @Rupert, you know me I’m capable of being extremely unreasonable.

    But when faced with the same shit, whenever the person comments is just boring. If it takes an expletive then so be it.

    Believe me, in the flesh it’s worse.

  • Yudhoyono

    yes we’ve had a stadium to pay for and will still have to do. I think we’ve got another 18 years to go at around £19m each year. The debt is no more “difficult” now than in previous years. We’ve had CL money, gate receipts and sponsorship before, of course and it didn’t take the club’s directors to need the best financial brains in the world to know that despite the annual repayments, we’ve had more than enough surpluses to spend on players. That’s why I don’t understand the perpetual cries of “we’ve got a stadium to pay for” as that somehow has hindered Wenger- we’ll still have that! Granted, now we’ve got extra TV and sponsor money coming in and £70m has been quoted by Gazidis as “available.” Major sums of money have been available to Wenger for some time, ie a pot each year which he has to fund purchases and new or extended contracts. It’s clear that Wenger has decided that boosting the bank balances of players, good, bad or terrible, has been the priority. For example, the write off in last year’s accounts of Park for £5.5m- ie his transfer fee and year’s salary. How disgraceful is that and Diaby with his £3m each year- equally galling! Now it looks like the dithering will cost us Higuain and Fellaini and I for one am disgusted by the ineptitude that the manager and his overpaid Yank flunkies display.

  • Adam

    Yudhoyono, write an article about Arsenals finances over the last ten years providing proof of your claims and send it in to Mr Attwood.

    People like you make me laugh, you bemoan a person earning money, and whinge about transfer fee’s, but want us to buy Jovetic for a sum of money that could keep a hospital running.

    Talk about fucked up morals.

    And, no mention of the guy who shattered Diaby’s ankle. I truly wonder how much that tackle (or assault) cost our club. But again you don’t look at it that way, do you?

    Select what you write more carefully on this site. you will get picked apart. Your writings state, that your support for the club is about your emotional well-being and not about supporting what the club is about or who is employed by the club.

  • Stuart

    I’d lay money on it that you were one of those shouting to find a way to get rid of certain players. Funny how now it has happened you have a problem about it.

  • Bootoomee


    I know I may sound like a broken record sometimes but do you see what I am talking about here? These guys are unworthy of having any conversation with. The best way to deal with them is to either completely ignore them or when you cannot take it anymore, just mock them for their immaturity and stupidity.

    Of all the goodness of the Internet, its worst vice may be that it gives morons, imbeciles, idiots and retards from all walks and spheres of life the opportunity to confound us with the stuff that in the pre-Internet days would only be found in their journals of random ramblings.

    To be clear, while I am strongly pro-Arsenal in all ramifications, I don’t think that the ‘fans’ who hate everything about the club should be silenced. I think we can all use a good laugh every now and then – that is why I visit le groan when I need one. These idiots cross the line into provocation territory, however, when they come to probably the most honest blog (intention-wise) on the Internet to wind up its community. I feel the same way about AKBs who post at le groan – they are just looking for a fight – and I consider them (the AKBs) stupid even though I agree with their points and disagree with their detractors’. For me it is all about respect for what the blog is all about.

    “Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News, supporting the club, the players and the manager
    Football news from a positive Arsenal perspective”

    After seeing this Opening banner, you cannot complain if Untolders lay unto you for posting negativity at the club.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, “it’s worse in the flesh”, bloody hell, I always thought you were a nice lad. Adam, you’re a decent chap I’m sure and you always make salient points. I admire your stance and though we may differ in our opinions on some matters that doesn’t mean I don’t respect your views but I think you must concede that we can’t win the league or CL with the squad as it is. The two domestic cups are our most likely successes. Having said that that doesn’t mean we should give up supporting the team. It’s not black and white.

    @Stuart, when did I suggest Arsenal is shit? At the end of the season we beat lots of average teams except for Everton and Manu whom we couldn’t beat at home. We had nothing else to focus on but securing fourth which we did. A fine achievement considering our position in March but let’s not imagine those few months can be easily repeated in a new season when we have four competitions to focus on.

  • AL

    I will quote from the sun the following, from an article talking about how Liverpool now believe Suarez is worth £55m:

    “Wenger, in Japan on the Gunners’ Asia trip, will face a huge backlash from fans if he fails to deliver one of Suarez, Wayne Rooney or Gonzalo Higuain.”

    So there we have it, fans are being told to vent their frustrations at AW should he not sign any of of the mentioned 3 above. Such talk is only reserved for Arsenal, not any other club. The last time I checked United had only signed a 20yr old player who plays in defense I think. Just the same as Arsenal who have signed a youngster in Sanogo. Both sides are looking for reinforcements in different departments within their clubs. It could also be argued their need for the respective reinforcements is similar; we are deemed to require a world class striker by the so-called experts while utd are deemed to require a replacement for scholes. United have so far failed to get any of their targets in Thiago, Fabregas, Baines, & recently Bale to name a few. One could say in just the same way Arsenal have, who are linked with the 3 quoted by the sun above. Thiago is now out of utd’s reach whereas Arsenal’s targets are still available. But you never hear inflammatory language like that being used on United or any other club or manager, except Arsenal. “Arsenal will face a huge backlash….”, is it a certainty then? And not just any backlash, but a huge one…. Is it any wonder we get ‘fans’ like spurs, sorry sperez, coming on here acting as if AW & Arsenal owe them a personal explanation as to why we haven’t landed any of the 3 mentioned above, despite the window is still open for a further 6 weeks.

    I don’t read the sun, and dismiss it with the contempt it deserves when I do read it for whatever reason, or any other tabloids but I don’t doubt this is where most of the unjustified criticism & anger on our club stems from. As a fan, you’re supposed to be able to sift fact from myth, and not just gobble everything these red tops throw your way.

    I will be happy if we strengthen, but will be happy still if no more players arrive this summer. Stats from last season show this team has what it takes to compete with the best; second half of season run, result against Bayern which no other team has even come close to matching, no players leaving, our pre-season results(utd, city have struggled against equally mediocre/poorer opposition), etc. All the facts point to a strong & competitive side that should comfortably challenge for honours this season, unless you read the sun of course, or listen to talk-shyte. Then, you could be forgiven to think we will be fighting relegation.

  • AL

    May I add I’m happy to challenge anyone to go and find any article anywhere on the internet talking about how failing to sign a target by any other club apart from us will result in that club facing any sort of backlash from their fans. Meanwhile I could go and find not just one, but 2, 3 or even 10 articles from different sources predicting a potential backlash from our fans.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick, I have no idea whether Paulinho is good or not. I only mentioned Bony because I’d heard so many people go on about him and I was thinking he could be a good buy. I think it’s very promising that we are chasing the top quality players and I’m sure signing them takes a lot of negotiating. My worry is that we’ll miss out on them because the big teams can still outbid us. And as much I think Rooney is a great player I think he’s a shadow of his former self. Do we really want him? Also if Chelsea want him I can’t see why Rooney would chose us over them.

    As for Suarez, again top quality but unpredictable behaviour and banned for six games. Do we really want him?

    That leaves Higuain. Probably the best bet but now there are rumours that Napoli are after him and with the Cavani money they could outbid us.

    There’s no denying that if we want to become serious contenders we need players of this quality but they are few and far between.

    Yes I’m sure whatever team we put out there’ll give it their all, that’s the least we can expect and whoever wears our colours I’ll be cheering them on.

  • bjtgooner


    Good point re the Sun. I have made the point before that the anti Arsenal press and the AAA, having been frustrated in their planned attack on AW, due the excellent end of season run, switched their attack to AW’s transfer policy.

    It has been disappointing, but not unexpected, that some of the negative twits/windbags who pollute this site from time to time have become part of this campaign.

    The interesting question really is – who is pulling the strings in this campaign?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, I think you’re being disingenuous. The reason we get this inflammatory press is because we’ve won nothing in years and Manu’s cabinet is littered with trophies won in recent years. We’ve had the same manager all that time and been fairly stagnant, now some of us are overexcited because we apparently have a bag of swag to spend. The trouble with our club is the heavy expectation that bears down on us which I think has become detrimental.

    Our manager had seven great years at Arsenal and since about 2007 we’ve pottered along. The fans and the press are wondering when things will change. Of course the gutter press love it, it’s their job to whip the public up into a frenzy over nothing. Ignore them, when the window closes we’ll know what team we have.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, I think you’re being disingenuous. The reason we get this inflammatory press is because we’ve won nothing in years and Manu’s cabinet is littered with trophies won in recent years. We’ve had the same manager all that time and been fairly stagnant, now some of us are overexcited because we apparently have a bag of swag to spend. The trouble with our club is the heavy expectation that bears down on us which I think has become detrimental.

    Our manager had seven great years at Arsenal and since about 2007 we’ve pottered along. The fans and the press are wondering when things will change. Of course the gutter press love it, it’s their job to whip the public up into a frenzy over nothing. Ignore them, when the window closes we’ll know what team we have.

  • AL

    I agree with you, it definitely is a campaign against our club, if only we knew who’s pulling the strings.

    I just happenend to quote man u, but many clubs are after many targets and failing with their bids too but you don’t get this kind of language. As bjtgooner pointed out, even if we signed all 3(mind you, we have NOT failed yet as all 3 are still available) these guys would switch to something else. You know like we have had the how many red cards under AW when we were winning, to how many English players in our side. You can even see that in recent years the focus of their attack was Arsenal are a selling club, can’t keep hold of their players bla bla bla. Now that we are not selling its changed to who will they buy, they can’t buy anyone bla bla bla.

    I like the last line in your post though, ignore them and see what team we have come August the 31st:)

  • Bootoomee


    Positive Arsenal fans concede the fight to AAAs and the provocateurs in the media the moment we start qualifying our belief in the team with stuff like: “we’ll be competing for A B C if we strengthen in areas X Y Z”. For goodness sake, every team can be better with some signings in some areas! The last Arsenal team to seriously and closely challenge for the title and chapions’ league was the 07/08 set. That was just after TH14 left! I can’t recall us splashing the cash to make that season happen.

    It is open season on Arsenal FC. The media (all of them), rival fans (including those whose teams are utter losers) have opinions on Arsenal and none of them are original: they are mainly about Arsenal buying players so that they can compete and win a trophy. No mention of the fact that Man City won nothing last year and have only won an FA cup and a league title (on goal difference) in the last 5 years, and have never advanced to the knock-out stage in two attempts, in spite of the huge spending and enormous player acquisition. They also never mention the fact that Porthsmouth, Birmingham City, Wigan and Swansea have won a trophy each since Arsenal last won one. Does that mean that any of these teams ever had better players than Arsenal during their conquests?

    While it is good – for net points, psychological and bragging purposes – to beat the other top EPL teams and rivals, it is not mandatory to win the league. The key to winning the league is beating all the bottom half teams home and away for a neat 60 points. Collect a home win and an away draw from each of the 6th to 10th teams and you have 80 points. You will have to be absolutely rubbish against the other 4 top teams to not win the league.

    This is how Man United have been winning the league! We beat them at OT in 06/07 – they still won the league. Liverpool crushed them (4-1) at OT in 09/10 – they still won the league. They were humiliated 6-1 at OT in 11/12 and only lost the league at the last second on goals difference which was less than the net goal difference from that loss! Season after season, Man U are usually average against the other 4 top teams but they are ruthless against lower oppositions!

    That was what we did in the second half of last season. I continue to believe that if we carry this forward into the new season, we are going to be very close indeed. Additional signings, as found necessary by the management, is good but whinging about it on the Internet is not.

  • uk

    how right you are. i started supporting arsenal in 1998, and i do feel personally insulted by arsenals refusal to want to be competitive once again.( used to feel would be better, cos right now i just feel amused/entertained), and i do feel you can call me a fan, even though you have problems calling me A supporter(though, thats your prerogative)

  • Stuart

    Chill out dude, I was being sarcastic and didn’t imply you said that.

  • AL

    Agree with your post. But just to be clear, I also don’t believe any of the ‘we need to buy such to be able to….’, that’s why I said ‘ we are deemed to require a world class striker by the so-called experts…’. Just like you pointed out, I believe this team has got what it takes to win against anyone. We convincingly beat the eventual champions league winners on their own patch, where others failed miserably. I know sometimes it may appear like conceding to the AAA but one will be trying to take a look at things from their point of view then demonstrate how that thinking is flawed.

    You are absolutely right about every fan having their opinion on Arsenal, even a league 2 side fan will tell you how we need to spend to win. And your highlighting City’s failures, and dare i include Madrid in that bracket, shows money isn’t everything. In fact last year’s champions league finalists prove you don’t need to break the bank to win things. I think the notion that you need to buy to win is distorted in England by biased refereeing.

    I like our current side, and it excites me as it is. I will repeat that should noone arrive before the window closes it won’t dampen my spirits or optimism for next season. We just need to pick up from were we left off. And looking at our warm up games I think this will not be hard. In fact, let me confess that another part of me wishes we don’t disturb our rhythm by trying to accommodate new players. I have posted previously saying this, suggesting a new signing that will be prepared to wait for their turn is better imo rather than a player who will come in & want to be the first name on the team sheet each time, so its not just something I’m latching onto now.

  • uk

    all this “poor us arsenal, the press only talk about us crap” is rubbish. the press talk about everybody. they talk about man utd, chelsea, man city, tottenham, everybody. how many of you can criticize man utd in the open? few, because you only come away as being a jealous twat, and get your face rubbed in it. so you do the honorable and praise them for their success, yet you come on here and ask the press to do your dirty job? last season there was a.lot of criticism for their tablecloth jersey, my man utd pals just shrug it off and say ” you know where the tablecloth goes? top of the table” and thats exactly what they did. the press praise arsenal all day on being financially prudent, why shouldnt they criticise you all day on finishing the season 16-20 points behind the champions? you wanna eat your cake and still have it? thats why you have untold, but that isn.t why sky,espn,guardian etc employ journalists

  • Mick

    ‘I like our current side, and it excites me as it is. I will repeat that should noone arrive before the window closes it won’t dampen my spirits or optimism for next season. We just need to pick up from were we left off.’

    I am with you 100%.

  • uk

    and this crap about i’m positive, you’re negative, what does it mean? sounds like another way of saying “i believe in and support the lord wenger in all he does” (i loved that untold caption, i hope you guys bring it back), “you dont”.
    i dont think thats enough reason for people to begin throwing insults around.
    and for paulinho, i’d have him in a heartbeat, and he’l probably be the firstname on my team sheet. i mean a bronze shoe winner in a tourney that involved the brazillian,spanish,uruguayan,italian,mexican, teams. and a smattering of talent from nigeria and japan? with an eye for a good goal?

  • Bootoomee


    I apologise if my comment sounded antagonistic towards you; that was never my intention. Actually, I was backing you up but that is one of the problems of textual communications. You and I cannot be more alike in our opinion of Arsenal!

    About my very first sentence, I think that positive fans try to be magnanimous by saying “ok, new signings wouldn’t be a bad idea” which is universally true but then the AAA and their friends in the media abuse this and twist it into demands or threats from ALL fans.

    My preferred position is: Arsenal is a remarkably well managed club that has been doing its best in context of our circumstances and those of our rivals. The management who have been running the team are better positioned to sign new players and move old ones on. I know for a fact that they have more at stake on the team’s achievement compared to myself or any other fan, irrespective how much we profess to love the club. I believe that if we stay the course, our time will come and soon too.

    Any other outlook is just bloviating for Internet attention by using cliches to spread negativity and despondence.

    Again AL, I’m sorry if I come across as having a go at you.

  • Bootoomee

    Quote of the day – from Bacary Sagna:

    “We just have to find consistency and the belief to get success. Every team is strengthening and we can strengthen too, but it’s more about us caring on the pitch and showing the commitment. That will take us a long way.”

    I have nothing to add!

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    “Refusal to want to be competitive” what on earth does that mean?

    We have more tools than ever before to second guess the manager and yet people who criticise never come up with a decent argument, they spout some bollocks about player X (who is good on YouTube but fails the stats test) or player Y (who is made to look good by his team-mates/manager’s tactics) and then they usually come up with the most moronic comment (apologies to those with or relatives with developmental disorders) about counter-attacking football, totally failing to note that in order to counter-attack, one must first be attacked, which a tiny number of teams are daft enough to try against us. Hell, Barca don’t even train to counter-attack, they actively pass up opportunities in games because they are so unusual when your team has a much higher technical level than the opposition.

    I might write an article with some genuine, valid criticisms of Arsene, just for balance’s sake.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Stuart, my apologies. It’s difficult to know when people are being sarcastic. I wish I could chill out, it’s about 28 degrees in London.

    @Al, I have to confess I don’t read the gutter press or much press at all in fact, just the Observer on sunday. I don’t know whether other clubs are getting vitriolic press because they’re failing to get who they want. I’m not sure what targets other clubs have as I don’t take a lot of interest in them other than Oxford Utd and they haven’t signed Messi yet.

    Out of curiosity I looked at a Manu blog yesterday and quite a few fans were agitated by the lack of transfer activity. They were quite sceptical and some wondered about Moyes having the know how or reputation to attract top quality players.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic


    There was actually a surprisingly large group of Liverpool non-supporting ‘supporters’ in the late 90s IIRC, they were highly critical of the teams supposed fall from grace (you have to remember that they were the team of the 70s and 80s in the English league) but they have been buried by history underneath Hillsborough and the popular media notion that Scousers = victims.

  • Stuart

    No problem Rupert, just thought I should make it known.

  • uk

    @woolwich thats what makes us different. while you believe arsenal has done the best within its power to be competitive, while i differ. infact, i believe if wenger had put as much effort into competing as he’s put into massaging his ego, i think we may have been the first london team to have won the champions league along with many other trophies

  • Adam

    Rupert, I know where your coming from, but I wouldn’t put limitations on the squad. It’s a bit negative and to achieve you have to have belief.

    I’m not saying a couple of signings wouldn’t go amiss, but who? And can we get them out of their contracts with their current employer?

    I think we have a good shout at the league, But I also know that Wenger knows more about it than I do.

    You know how it goes, hope for a new season. lets see how it pans out.

    As for my mouth, I have actually calmed down a lot in the last ten years. But occasionally let myself down. Hey ho till someone else pisses me off.

  • AL

    Ah ok, cool then. I didn’t think you were having a go as such, but thought you may have slightly misread one of my comments.
    I agree 100% about textual communications not being explicit enough; you know, when I use my phone to text I always send 2 or 3 page texts, typing each word in full, to ensure the other person fully understands what I’m saying:) But even the its never enough. Unfortunately most people prefer text lingo which leaves me baffled & wondering what they are trying to say!

    Great quote from Sagna btw:)

  • Mick

    Looks like we have agreed a fee of £21 million for Bernard from Atletico Mineiro. I thought he was Spurs bound but apparently not. Sounds like a sensible chap, maybe Paulinho told him ‘don’t make the same mistake as me’.

  • Goonerupnorth

    I’m not sure about the rest of you but It is my personal belief that Arsene and the rest of the management team are trying to figure out why we performed so poorly in the first half of last season, but statistically won the league in the second.

    This tells me there is a great squad currently bubbling away under wenger, and he just needs to inject that belief into them this season. There seems to be a great blend of balanced personalities, fitness, strength, youth, experience, dare i even say veteran players currently in the team. As a realist I expect this campaign to be fought on a psychological front rather than a financial one, however that’s not to say that arsene won’t snap up a quality player or two and surprise us all.

    One last final point as I think it’s worth reiterating to every arsenal fan, past players (and I have personally spoken to tony Adams at a charity event regarding this) will tell you that when arsene attempts to bring a player in he’s very interested in there personality and how well that player will interact with him and the other players. He wants a unified dressing room of equal ego, so aside from fab you can clearly see why he flushed out the “wrongens” for want of a better term. Don’t expect to see Suarez, not gonna happen. Who does that leave, well only one man can answer that and unfortunately you can’t directly contact him lol.

  • AL

    Mick, is it true? Just did a little search for this but cant find anything related to this…

  • Mick

    I have posted a couple of links but they appear to be awaiting moderation. The report is on the Star and Express and comes from ESPN Brazilian reporter. Google Bernard to Arsenal and you should find it.

  • AL

    Thanks Mick.
    Think this is one of those rumours again, all reports I have read seem to be questioning the source. Anyway, it wouldn’t be a new thing, would it.

  • Sukebe

    hi, i’m just wondering, could admin block all such stupid, ignorant, classless comment such as that doublegoners and yudhoyono (he’s using some president nmae to make it worst).

    and if it can’t be done, just ignore those twats please? I really hate seeing this great website turning into JUST another ARSENAL gossip tabloid.

    oh, and come on..those twats doesn’t even know how to use simple proper paragraph on their comments.

    Please don’t lower your intelligence into theirs.. 😉

  • Sukebe – the best way to get rid of them is to post a note giving the URL of the post in full. That alerts the moderators and we take their post down and stop the person.