Robert Pirès speaks; I always listen


By Tony Attwood

When Robert Pirès speaks I do pay attention, just as I do when Thierry Henry says something, or indeed Dennis Bergkamp.  They have played elsewhere and indeed two continue to play elsewhere, but their hearts are always at Arsenal.  Wonderful players with extraordinary insights into the game, in my view, and always worth listening to.

Robert’s had his ups and downs since leaving us, as you may know, and his life has taken him to unusual locations.  He trained with Arsenal this past summer and has now gone to Goa FC where he is about to start playing.  And he is always worth listening to, even if one doesn’t always agree.

Robert’s latest sally forth has been to say that we should sign Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira.

He also said that the current squad has all that is needed to be champions again save for one element – the defensive midfielder who scares people off before they even try and get past him.

In the Telegraph he is quoted as saying, “The quality is there but you need more, maybe like Yaya Toure in middle. He reminds me of Patrick Vieira, maybe they have an opportuniuty with Khedira. It is likely in the January window. He played very well with Germany. My advice is if he can buy Khedira he can be the Vieira, more aggression in the middle. He has a lot of experience. When you play in the middle you need experience, especially when your midfield is young like Arsenal’s.”

Khedira’s contract runs out in the summer, and Real Mad might do a deal in January – but Man U and Chelsea would also be on the lookout for the player, so there is no guarantee he’ll come to us.  Factors such as the negativity of the fans (where Man U currently outperform Arsenal) and the way in which the team gets protection from referees (where Arsenal are the least desirable location at the moment) could affect the deal.

The ability for the manager to speak the language helps – but here we have no advantage over Man U.  I’m not sure if JM at Chelsea speaks German – I’ve never heard him, and I wonder if he is just fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

Next, players like to have their countrymen around them – and with Ozil, Pod and a BFG I think we’re home and dry there.

But on the other hand the reputation of the manager – where Arsenal outscore everyone when it comes to the view of European players – counts for us.

Meanwhile, just in case you are interested, the Indian league also has Nicholas Anelka, Freddie Ljungberg, Mikael Silvestre and Andre Santos playing there.  I’m contemplating a trip to Goa early next year.

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34 Replies to “Robert Pirès speaks; I always listen”

  1. Tony therz nothing great about the Indian league. Other than Pires.

    If you know how IPL works. The T-20 cricket league. This is the football version of it.

    India has a domestic league, I-league. Consists of 8 teams (I don’t know correctly) and is not competitive enough. Instead of trying to build that league, they have started this new holiday league. And I am not having any good feeling about this.

  2. If we need a midfield warrior who will even ask or care about the negativity of the fans or the protection of the ref, then he is not the ‘warrior’ we need.

    True the current staff, players, coaches, medical and manager will play a big part. But probably most important is salary and incentives, potential to achieve goals, and location. Its omitted here but worth noting that Khedira was digned by Mourinho for Madrid.

    The most positive thing here is that someone that might finally be listened to has said what people at the ground have been saying for years, and what many on this very site have been attacked for daring to suggest.

  3. Santos…much maligned, but scored some extremely important…perhaps top 4 saving and Chelsea beating goals.
    Not a great defender…it ges without saying, but a wonfderfully talented attacking left sided MF! at times anyway
    Think Sammy K will certainly be available if we want him at least by the sounds of things…but the question is ,does Wenger really want him, and at what price. or maybe he is looking at others? and as you mention, do others also want him?
    Vapour transfers / smoke screens and all that!

  4. Khedira is not a defensive midfielder, he is a box to box midfielder. We don’t need Khedira!

  5. Lets wait and see IF and how Diaby takes to the DM role and if he can survive should Wenger give him his chance. We also have Chambers who apparently is an excellent option as a backup at least. There is also Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey whose talents are enormous. We have Zelalem waiting in the wings as well. IF Khedira came in in January (I am highly doubtful) then he would be a medium term solution to replace Arteta and Flamini.

  6. @omgarsenal, I suspect your doubts will be proven correct. A fellow Gooner I spoke with has doubts about signing Khedira as well. If AW did not sign him in the summer, what has changed to cause him to want to sign Khedira in January? A million pounds or two reduction in transfer fee?

    Plus, didn’t Arteta just sign a one year contract extension? I can see signing Khedira if Arteta will not be around after this season. Of course, he would not be the first to leave a club after signing an extension (stranger things have happened) but the sequence of events here do make it unlikely.

    We might add one player to the defense. No telling how well Debuchy will be after his surgery and Chambers’ body will handle the heavy workload he’s had to handle.

  7. If Khedira is not a DM and we need one, then he is not the signing Arsene is likely to pursue.
    The January Window doesn’t open for another 12 weeks and much can happen between now and then.
    The wounded may return earlier than expected and Diaby may be introduced as the crafty DM that Arsene has been keeping up his sleeve for the last few months.
    Keep the faith…..

  8. @Quincy
    Given the limited amount of money Wenger has at his disposal (ignoring the silly figures we see quoted by the spend some f*****g money brigade)I cannot imagine him spending a sizeable chunk on a player he does not consider suitable for his needs. (Not the perceived needs of the media and others). I think we know him well enough to trust that he knows what he is doing!

  9. Another deciding factor for players to join a club is the likelihood to lift a/many trophies. On that front, chelsea seems more desirable for players at this particular period.

  10. Khedira CAN play the DM role. That is the difference! The fact he is also very talented and technically gifted and yes, who ever had to throw in the box to box blather, he can do that shid too.

    But bottom line Pires isn’t daft, he recognises the weakness in the squad and one that needs rectifying in January if we want to have a good season.

  11. I honestly don’t get how Wenger has overlooked this vital area of the team. He has talked about Chambers being a future DM but has been happy to leave that area of the team woefully exposed.

    Then again he didn’t bother replacing TV.

  12. Dex…….with all due respect,what proof do you have that Wenger has överlooked¨this area? You and the vast majority of Gooners haven’t the slightest idea about the following (and don’t quote me s**te from the media and pundits, that is total BS):

    1)How much Wenger actually has to spend in the January transfer window,
    2)What he is actually thinking about our current and future DM options,
    3)What he is currently doing and planning for regarding potential transfers in January/summer or
    4)How the team would react to the arrival of someone like Khedira.

    There is NO, and I repeat that for every Gooner pretending to know the above answers, factual, solid, tangible evidence that anyone but Wenger and the Board actually are privileged to know the facts and truthful answers to the above questions.

    You don’t get what Wenger is doing because you don’t know ANYTHING about how he works, what he has as resources and what his plans are….like everyone else on UA, unless of course, you actually work with him at AFC…..then you’d not be on this blog hypothesizing and guessing like the rest of us.
    I like Khedira BUT I also like Draxler,Reus, Carvalho,etc. so any of these COULD be potential targets IF Wenger decides to really push the issue…..we just DON’T know and will NEVER know until we see it on
    I suggest you read fewer BS pundits and fantasy websites and think more deeply about Wenger’s managerial and transfer style, skills and overall philosophy/strategy…..then your lacunae won’t be so woefully exposed in the future!

  13. Wenger made Arteta captain and gave him an extension for a reason. Why would he then buy a player to replace him imediately? It doesn’t really matter how we rate Arteta because the boss obviously rates him very highly, as do I.

    On a side note I was looking at some numbers on squawka and don’t get me wrong stats aren’t everything but our highest rated player per 90 was……. You guessed it Mikel Arteta! What about Alexis, the instant hit that puts Ozil to shame*, third from bottom. Make of that what you will.

    *according to some.

  14. I think Carvalho is better suited to what Arsenal need in the long term, but Khedira probably has more experience at the moment.

    I just like the effort and style of Carvalho, how he plays, he takes the ball, and claims it, protects it, builds a forcefield around it, fights you off cleanly and with AW’s help he would be even greater.

    Of course the mentality of the players suitable by their skill is important to Arsenal and AW, so out of all those players, I think Arsenal first tries the one with the right mentality, tries to share the vision that Arsenal has, and then work down the list.

    If we do not get any on the list, we do not buy any.
    We then try loans or frees, if needed because of injury.

    Concerning Arteta, he knows best how long he can continue, and I’m sure (he will make) this will be clear to AW, hence his decision.

  15. @omgarsenal

    Man, calm down. (smile).

    We all know that no one knows what AW or Arsenal plans, but hey, some people just like to speculate, some like to guess, and some just like to talk about the possibilities.

    No one saw Danny Wellbeck, (not even AW, according to himself) and this makes the whole transfer saga so interesting to some.

    Anyway, hope we all get the one AW really wants.

  16. @ omgarsenal – October 11, 2014 at 2:30 am – re : your comments – a big LIKE !

    “None so blind as those that will not see. ” – Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

    Matthew 13:13 -“Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not…”
    ( Yup ! That would be AW ‘s style , all right !)

    Jeremiah 5:21 -“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not…”.
    ( That would be for the pundits and smartalecks !)

  17. Hmmmm. Khedira. How old is he?? 28 next April. And by the time he gets to play regularly to replace Arteta he’ll be 29. So a short term signing? When was the last time we saw a short term strategy from Mr Wenger and ARSENAL???…

    For starters Khedira is not a “beast of a Dhee Ehm” that all wanted. He is a younger version of Arteta. Arteta is an important gear in ARSENALs engine. He is like an extension of Mr Wenger on the pitch. I doubt Khedira can be that. Even if we sign Khedira, which the media thinks we have already, he cannot replace Arteta.

    Why was Arteta given a contract extension???…. Well Mr Wenger knows who the next ‘Wenger on the pitch’ will be. Ramsey?? And he knows how much time he needs to develop fully into that role.

  18. Just let Arsene decide what he wants to do.

    Diaby and Coquelin can both play in that position very well

  19. 13, you are right, Arteta is very important, with respect to others, we miss him when he is not there. It is clear the players hold him in very high regard as well.
    As with modern day media, the focus is on what Arteta cannot do, rather than what he does do.

  20. “With all due respect” Hahaha! Yes, a perfectly sane, calm and valid observation, replied by a frothing loon!

    Wenger said the middle of the park was his main area of concern at the end of last season. He said he wanted to strengthen that particular position, yet for what ever reason (please make a note of that little caveat!) he failed to.

    I like Arteta but he is unable to last the full season, as his latest absence shows, therefore there is still a need for a new player (as much as I like fairy stories, hoping Diaby can stay fit long enough to stake a claim is just too far fetched, unfortunately).

    And yet again, we see the trigger happy, knee jerky responses to a simply salient observation treated like a poor sap accused of herecy by the Spanish Inquisition!

    The fact that Tony’s article actually affirms MY point is clearly lost on the blind Loons! And Pires agrees too, so there. 🙂

  21. Dexter….IF you are unable to reply respectfully to my post then you shouldn’t come on UA and call people names……Do yourself a favour and put your brain in gear before you write anything.

  22. Respectfully? Like your passive aggressive diatribe where you made assumption after pea brained assumption.

    Your posts are twaddle and you drag this site down with your fascist nonsense.

    Oh heaven help us! An interloper is trying to besmirch the good name of the sainted manager!

    Shame on me.

    And Brickfields hysterical Gooner.

    No Pires is simply an ex Arsenal player and legend who happens to share an opinion I agree with.

    Was there any need for your embarrassing over reaction?

    I’ll help you out here, the answer is no.

  23. This is what you would call hysterical ! BINGO !
    In this scene , an AAAA infiltrator gets stuck, feels the heat and tries to escape but ends up the arsehole ,as usual ….you’ll see !
    The watching public see his emergence and are horrified at his disgusting antics .

  24. I’ll be in Goa end of November until end of March. I give my season ticket to a friend for that period. I watch as much EPL on TV as possible and will make a couple of local (Goan) games if I can.

    Goan players are usually very skillful and a joy to watch. The skill generally results in selfish play and usually the end result is a shot wide of the mark. Currently there are several foreign players (many from Africa) playing in the Indian league. Fortunately the officiating is reasonable and matches are entertaining.

  25. @Brickfields It is cashew juice (Cajel) or coconut sap (Mardel). Both are excellent for health taken in the right way.

    Wasn’t impressed by the England match. The Arsenal boys played well but Danny was not serviced enough. 3 points is what matters.

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