Why Suarez flopped at Barce, why transfers are tough, and silly stories

By Tony Attwood

Arsene Wenger has made the point that Suarez ain’t doing so well in Barcelona because of the dominance of Lionel Messi in the Barcelona team.  Suarez has scored once in seven games this season which is not really what is wanted after spending £80m or so.

Of course he is playing out wide this year, and his psychological rehabilitation might be having an effect, but overall it does emphasise the point that players have to fit into teams.  You can’t just say, “we need x” and expect such a signing to make it all ok.  X might be great in one team, but not in another.  Break up your existing team in order to create a space for X and you have to start all over again.

I’m reminded by the fact that Pires was brilliant when playing on one side of the pitch and not the other.  Buy Pires, put him in a team and play him on the other side, and it wouldn’t work.  Player and team, team and player – that is the only way to make transfers work.

Of course journalists hate this, because it makes a nonsense of their list of all the people we are going to buy.  Besides, the whole notion of one player being great in one side and poor in another is all a bit hard for these journalists to understand which is why the Telegraph keep on saying things like, “there is little to suggest they will tackle the absence of a truly dominating central midfielder.”

What exactly does that mean?  How would there be something to suggest that?  The fact that Arsenal have phoned up the Telegraph and told them?  And they are now suddenly throwing another spanner in the works by suggesting that Arsenal have to hold back in case they don’t qualify for the Champs League next year.  And where did they get that “fact”.

The problem is of course, rather like the people who send in line after line of abuse to Untold telling us that our facts are wrong, neither those abusive individuals nor the reporters from the Telegraph, give us any credible sources for their “knowledge”

But the gibberish is out there, so let’s gibber a bit.

Javi Martinez. recovering from ligament surgery, is the name that pops up regularly, along with Tyrone Mings of Ipswich, although the signing of him will be criticised as he is not established.  Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen, Virgil van Dijk of Celtic and Lucas Silva of Cruzeiro are always good for a mention on a slow news day.

But on a day on which the Daily Star tell us that Fifa is going to demand a re-run on the world cup bidding process for Qatar and Russia, and that the only (yes only) country that could put on the world cup at such short notice is England, so the next world cup is coming home – anything can be seen as possible.  Not least from all the papers that told us we were going to sign Mario Balotelli.

So consider it all, and you will see we are in the market for a

  • left-back,
  • right-back,
  • central defender (and a second if you have one)
  • midfielder of the defensive variety,
  • a striker because seemingly we don’t have enough,
  • a false nine,
  • a trequartista,
  • a winger,
  • a sweeper,
  • a janitor
  • a tea lady.
  • a person who knows how to make cappuccino at half time somewhere near block 99.

That from the Guardian (although not the last bit), and is a list that might be considered slightly droll, and which suggests that someone is being paid too much for what they do.

But there is a reason to touch on Lucas Silva one more time.  AS, the Spanish thing  which once glanced at the Star and thought it was a newspaper rather than a work of fiction, has reported Real Mad have made two offers for Silva, but his club have turned both down.

But Arsenal have already agreed the asking price.  However the player prefers Real Mad.  (Pesky things these players).  However (again) these days even some of the blogs and newspapers have picked up on Untold’s Vapour Transfer theory, especially given the way that Bale to Real Mad and Ozil to Arsenal were linked together, with Tottenham trying to stop the latter by putting the stoppers on the former.

Slowly, very very slowly, some media men are starting to think that a transfer is more than a manager picking up the phone and saying “we want ‘im” and the selling club, player, player’s agent, player’s sponsor and everyone saying, “Oh well yes of course, off you go.”

False stories abound, rumours are deliberately invented, replacements are lined up, everyone jostles, and then the transfer is done.

Or not as the case may be.

Here’s the remainder

Gilles Grimandi, our man in France, has put forwards Layvin Kurzawa on Monaco as a suitable defender at £15m and Winston Reid from West Ham and Petr Cech from Chelsea.

Most of that doesn’t make too much sense either, but its important to sustain the “stupid slow Wenger” notion, when the transfers don’t happen.

Untold Indexes

49 Replies to “Why Suarez flopped at Barce, why transfers are tough, and silly stories”

  1. I really had high hopes that Arsenal would be in the transfer market for proper supporting fans. Obviously not? Wenger out! 😉
    He’s probably dithering somewhere in the process…

    Some 2 weeks and the complete madness is upon us again…. But being a positive person I will say: only 6 weeks and the madness is gone for at least one week. 🙂

    Great article by the way Tony.
    And you are so right about the fact that it has to click between a team and a new player. Alexis clicked almost immediately with the team (even then I think only now he will be coming to his best and it took some time to adjust to the rest and the rest to him) but as you say Suarez obviously not.

  2. I Cant remember the player, but back in the 70’s didn’t a table topping Man City buy the ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ around the turn of the year, only for there title challenge to fade away on his arrival?

    Getting the right player, at he right time, for the right price, is only simple in the minds of simpletons.

  3. Tony, your wasting your time with the things we need. The obvious one the the coffee maker. Spend spend bloody spend the effing money on that coffee maker. A good coffee keeps our sprites high. Something to do with the level of caffeine in the blood I’m told.

  4. there is a reason why our players are always injured and regardless of how many more players we buy in january, if we don’t solve the injury problems, we can’t do better that we are presently doing. i know some will say it is because the refs are not giving enough protection to our players, which i don’t completely buy. in my opinion, let us look at the medical team and fitness routine we have. it is even an achievement that we could be in the top 6 with the injury we have. i am sure not even Chelsea would have performed better with injury to some of the their players like matic (arteta), fab (Ozil), cahil ( kos), oscar(wilshere), hazard (Ramsey) and wiliam (rosicky). and i couldn’t even find somebody to pair with theo. instead of ‘wenger out’, maybe we should be saying ‘the med team out’

  5. @desmond
    With what knowledge and expertise do you assert that our injuries are caused by training methods and an inadequate medical team? The club recently conducted an in depth inquiry into the injury situation, as far as I know the causes for the desperate numbers we get injured have either not been established or they are being kept in house so what qualifies you to come to the conclusions you appear to have reached?

  6. My thinking on the upcoming madness (transfer) window, is that AW will look for another player for the back, probably over 30 (last 0.5 to 1.5 seasons of career).

    Vaguely related to janitor, tea lady and cappuchino operator. I think Arsenal need to acquire a person to run a xenon detector. Xenon is a noble gas which is denser than air, and has a higher atomic number than either Cd or Sn. It turns out, it also appears to be quite useful as an anesthetic, especially in evironments where recycling can be employed. Europe is apparently quite interested in switching anesthesia to xenon. While it should be quite easy to detect if one puts a G-M counter “tuned” for X-rays quite close to an alpha emitter (very short range in air, hence not a hazard to people in the surrounding area), it is hard for people to detect (xenon participates in almost no chemistry, and hence none of our senses easily detect it. But, imagine you are the manager of a team playing Arsenal, and you know that Arsenal will be a little sluggish at the beginning of the game, almost as if they were very slightly drugged.

    Arsenal does quite well in a number of departments. Today, TheGuardian is reporting on how EPL teams do with the young people chosen to come out with the team at game, mascots. Arsenal is one of 9 teams in the EPL which does not charge for this. The most expensive is apparently West Ham at 600 pounds per year (it semms they have multiple packages, this is the most expensive one).


    Benik Afobe is the leading scorer in the League Cup at 6 goals. Michael Higdon (3) and Harry Kane (3) seemingly have the only chances to catch him at this point.

    AdNews – FIFA target of guerilla attacks?

    This looks to be a publication of the Australian advertising industry. About 2/3 of the way down the page, under:

    > Matt Whale, managing director, How To Impact

    is a single, short paragraph:

    > “2015 as the year for a growing global anti-FIFA sentiment will manifest into an anti-FIFA and anti World Cup campaign, that will spark guerrilla campaigns from sports brands and disgruntled national football (soccer) bodies to form a breakaway tournament with reverse, anti-greed echoes of cricket and rugby league breakaways.”

    It would be nice if there was some data in that statement Desmond. But of a medical note, apparently Jack Jebb is now out from medial ligament damage. I am guessing some member of the medical staff ran onto the field and kicked him on the side of the knee while a game was in play.

  7. Same old, same old from the media. Reeling off a list of 500 players we are supposedly interested in, only so they can bash Wenger for not signing all of them. Yawn. How long have the papers been using this cheap trick, and how long have people been swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

  8. Sorry folks but I notice some strange things behind the scenes. All comments seemingly going in moderation even from long time posters.

    I wonder if someone doesn’t like us publishing our articles and trying to attack us again. The amount of spam rising rapidly for the moment…. could be a coincidence of course.

    Just a quick note as I will be away from a computer for the rest of the evening and I don’t know what Tony is up to this evening so please excuse us if your comment doesn’t appear as it should be.

  9. I think Winston Reid is a possibility given we need a defender and he has done well this year. He is also out of contract in the summer. But I;m aware that despite the money we now have AW will always be reluctant to buy in January because it constitutes more of a risk (in the way that Tony outlined above with Bitey mcBitey) than buying players during what used to be called the ‘close season’.

    On the injuries front I think its a bit early to judge the medical team given it has a new head. I suspect the causes of injuries are multiple (kicks, over playing, training routines, bad luck, boots) I’m a doctor but not that sort of doctor so I’d happy to leave the analysis to Shad and his team.

  10. Good evening Sir, Chief Tony. I think transfers are necessary gamblings which the football clubs have to do. Some have proved worth taking the gambles on them and some later proved not worth taken it. No need to mention any names as we have already known those who have yielded, are yielding and have not yielded any dividend for the money put on them. Arsenal currently have 10 defenders who can play in the defense-line. And if we add the loanee-Jenkinson to the list, that’d will be 11 back-four defenders at Arsenal. Do Arsenal need a new back-four defender now? I doubt. But because of playing the big games, we can do with a gamble for a new top midfield enforcer if the boss can get one in Jan. But can he get a ready-made top CDM with the only £20m he has to do the Jan transfer? May be he could. Playing players at their preferred positions will be better if competitions for a position aren’t many. Welbeck has to be moved wide for Giroud to play at center forward when both of them are on the field. But if no one is jostling for the CAM position with Ozil, and he prefers to play there and doing very well there. I think the boss should allow him to play there when he is back. ARSENAL MUST SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY OF DROPPED POINTS! Courtesy of my mind Crystal ball-the hunch. Some monster teams will drop points on Sat 20th at Villa Park, Mon 22nd at the Britannia and Sun 28th at White Hart Lane. I want to see the Gunners place 3rd on the table by 29th Dec 2014.

  11. Gord and Mick i thank you for commenting about my post. well, i did not present any data to back my statement concerning arsenal source of injury because i dont have any. that was why i said ‘in my opinion’ and used ‘maybe’ when i pointed finger at the medical team. but seriously, dont you guys think it is more than mere coincidence and bad luck that is causing us so many injuries. the worst is the continuos relapse of the recovering players back to a lengthier spell on the sideline. Ozil, theo, Arteta, kos and Ramsey ae examples of people that didnt last a forth night before falling back to injury again. what could be the cause? were they rushed back ( in that case, it is somebody’s fault) or just unlucky?

    arsenal has chosen not to reveal their findings about injuries ( the mere fact that a search was done shows that the excuse of ref bias (even though it might contribute) is not the main cause.

    at last, my only hope is to see an arsenal team that can go the whole season with some consistency of line ups. i am sure that once we can do that, we shall win the league.

  12. For the avoidance of any doubt. Here is the list of the 10 defense-line defenders currently at Arsenal: Bfg, Koscielny, Debuchy, Gibbs, Monreal, Coquelin, Chambers, Bellerin, Hayden and Ajayi. 8 of them could be available for selections for the Liverpool game. Jenkinson who is on loan will complete the list to be a total of 11 first team defense-line defenders Arsenal have so far. Do Arsenal really need to buy a new CB for the replacement of the departed Vermaelen in Jan window as they already have 10 top defense-line defenders? Well, let the boss decide. But if the boss can get a top quality mid-field enforcer in Jan window. Let him please get him. We could need a top mid-field enforcer to help Flamini to adequately cover the back-four in the remaining 6 big Premier League games with Man City, Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool again (that’s potentially 18 points in 6 games) and even in some semi-big stubborn games like Stoke, Southampton and Newcastle all again. Talkless of the Champions League games which are all big games and a possible FA cup big ties. I believe the boss knows all these issues very well. Let him please handle them adequately to get success.

  13. A check on who does what!

    Dr O’Driscoll, was heavily involved in the establishment of the medical facility at the training ground, which opened this season.

    Colin Lewin, with Dr. O’Driscoll, and set up the brand new state-of-the-art at the training ground, completed in early 2011/2012.

    Shad, is new heard of athletic performance enhancement.

    Thanks to Arsenal.com, some of us know it is early doors on the injury studies.

    Dr O’Driscoll will not be amused?

  14. Agree Blacksheep, anything that Shad may, or may not be doing will take time. Indeed, if he is changing things, it could initially maybe lead to even more injuries than usual until bodies adjust and things settle down?

  15. It has been mentioned in the press many times, that governments must not interfere with national soccer bodies.

    I am going to imagine that there is some similar clause in the EPL, which restricts what a team can and cannot do. I think refereeing, along with that clause, is a more likely cause of our injury problem (and excessive unliklihood to win while capable of doing so) than bad luck or incompetence on the part of the medical staff at Arsenal.

    And I think Dr. O’Driscoll should investigate xenon, at some facilities.

  16. There is a case to be made for the injuries being our own fault in some way – but the fact that our players get kicked around more than most contributes too.
    We do certain things differently to other clubs as regards training – we don’t tackle in training and do train physically harder on fitness than other clubs, if we are to believe what we read…
    In my opinion, our players probably have better fitness levels than most – we rarely look jaded towards the end of a match. However, we may be paying a price for all that fitness training.
    If only we could keep players fit, we would need very little. We are light defensively and lack physicality in midfield. If we could manage with the players we have, it would surely be best to wait until a player of top class becomes available, rather than buying out of urgent need and being stuck with a benchwarmer on a large contract for 3 years.

  17. @desmond
    If you have an opinion it must be based on some known facts. Otherwise it is simply a guess.

  18. GoonerDave, I would say the word you are looking for is over-training. And it is possible to monitor for over-training. I know I have talked about it here at least once in the past.

    I don’t agree there is a need to be physical. Sure, if you want football to be like ice hockey, where a fight can happen at any time, there is a need to be physical. Is there a need for a player to punch another in the kidney? Is there a need to hit someone’s Adam’s Apple with an elbow? Is there a need to try and sprain a knee by kicking it in a direction it isn’t meant to bend?

    You want physical football? Imagine 11 linemen (defensive or offensive) from the NFL, trying to play Association Football. There will be tons of physicality, but I doubt many of them could run from one end of the field to the other.

  19. Should we not look closer to home to question the lets buy everyone philosophy?

    Theres no better example of a highly expensive transfer being played out of position and not adapting well to a totally different style of play than Mesut Ozil.

    Being only half way through his first season in La Liga isn’t it too early to label Suarez a flop?

    Don’t believe Arsenal need to spend huge money to have more and better defensive options than playing fullbacks at centre back for the first time in their careers or to improve the defensive capacity and positional sense of our midfielders without affecting their attacking potential.

    Being top of the injury league each year must just be down to refs and bad luck-obviously nothing to do with the type of players, number and frequency of intensely competitive games being played and the style of football.

  20. Gord-
    Your reply makes no sense to me. I don’t understand how you interpreted my comment as “football should be more physical” – I was commenting in reference to our training methods, with a small reference to how we might approach the transfer window in order to achieve our potential.
    Disagree with my comment by all means, but please don’t try to put words in my mouth.
    Finally, I’m not American so I don’t understand your references, apart from the hockey one.

  21. GoonerDave, I’m Canadian. NW Alberta.

    Over-training. Training places the body under stress. One of the responses to stress, is for the resting heart rate to rise. If an athlete starts monitoring resting heart rate before the season starts, we can develop an estimate for the base level of the resting heart rate. With increases in “volume” of training, we should see the resting heart rate rise. The rule of thumb I used to follow, is that if the resting heart rate rises to 10% above the baseline, it is time for a day of rest (no training). Anything which causes stress, can effect the resting heart rate. Consequently, it isn’t unusual for over-training to set in with lower volumes during tax season than at other times of the year.

    Physicality. I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth. The game as written, only allows shoulder to shoulder contact when the ball is within playing distance. The physicality that is present in the game, is far beyond that allowed by that statement. What is it you want to practice?

    Once, a Dutch (national) coach visited Alberta for an elite camp. I attended, because I was skilled in athletic first aid. One point from that visit, was that a defender who leaves his feet to tackle an opponent, has already lost. If one wants to practice tackling, and one wants physicality, how do you propose to introduce this physicality?

  22. What is clear in the Wenger reign is that if we are linked with a player – then it is unlikely we will be signing that player. We do not, as a club, indullge in transfer gossip goobildygook.

    Alexis Sanchez, Callum Chambers, David Ospina all recently signed for us…and I read not read a single bit of gossip about these transfers. We as a club keep stumm.

    Love it.

    Up the Arsenal.

    1886 !

  23. Alexis Sanchez didn’t choose Arsenal over Liverpool because of London (probably something a Liverpool or Spurs supporter writes). He chose Arsenal because of Arsene Wenger and the football they play. His said this on numerous occasions.

    2. Arsenal are the only team in the English premier league that upholds continental football rather than the physical approach most teams in the EPL take. It might not be ideal for Arsenal playing their way of football in a league were quite a few of the players have been badly injured, its the culture in England being “physical” is a prime attribute rather than technical ability.

    3. Arsenal are and always will be a more lucrative place to come under Wenger. There’s a reason why every manager in Europe respects and admires Wenger. Is simply because there not subjected to the biased British press. They see how he pursues to play football refuses to give in to big spending or playing the british long ball way. EPL is a league where Jose’s “systematic fouling “is a brilliant tactic, when the rest of Europe view Mourinho as a manager who parks the bus to win it wasn’t surprising Real Madrid had to let him go his football was just not good at all.

  24. About injuries. Interesting Interview with the Yeovil manager Gary Johnson. He said he and several other managers were discussing the high number of muscle injuries their players are getting. They said the last few years had shown a steady increase. They cited the injuries Man City have been suffering, players like Toure, Silva, Aguerro, Kompany and some of those at Arsenal and Man Utd.

    Not sure if this is because players are being pushed close to maximum levels and the margin for a problem has reduced. Perhaps it’s this silly footwear they all wear. Could it be modern pitches? Who knows but let’s not think Arsenal are alone. Also, let’s not fall into the trap of lumping all injuries together and blaming the club. Injuries happen. Knocks happen. Muscle strains happen; Sometimes it’s poor warm up routine from the player. Pointing the finger at one Manager and blaming him for every injury is ridiculous. But the AAA are doing their best to sell this idea and unfortunately some people are biting. It’s nonsense.

  25. The suggestion that Suarez has been a flop at Barca is laughable. In his first ten appearances (one off the bench), he’s got a pair of goals and six assists. He’s also had two goals incorrectly ruled out for offsides, as well as an assist. Considering he’s played 10 total times with new teammates, in a new league, in anew position, and in a secondary role, he’s been fine.

  26. I spent a bit of time looking for training information on tackles. In general, at universities, tagged with NCAA and at FIFA.com. There is lots of information about how to train adults to tackle playing that series of games FIFA N (where N is an integer). Outside of that, I see no information on training adults to tackle. The biggest source of training information, is for children. Some of the people providing this training, call themselves professsionals, and they charge for it. I did not investigate how much.

    The discussions I seen about the block tackle all seemed clumsy to me. That it is possible to flip an opponent (or badly sprain their ankle) is not mentioned. When the possibility of injury is mentioned, it is seldom mentioned first.

    One of the discussions (with pictures) of a slide tackle (by one of these professionals) showed a tackle, and it was obvious in the last picture that player being tackled was going to have their foot trapped between the two legs of the tackler, which is a dangerous situation.

    A few of these youth training sites talked about the need to be aggressive, and then never defined what they meant.

    Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough.

  27. It is a real puzzle why people crave a Dominating Midfielder. We have had a dominating midfielder in every game this season, different individuals with the same name PGMO!!

    They cheat the game of fairness. 😀

  28. Menace

    We get systematically fouled (rotational fouling) in many games.

    It is an accepted tactic to employ when playing Arsenal.

    Gary Neville was asked the following question by Graham Souness prior to the Arsenal United game.

    It went like this:

    Graham: “Gary, can I ask you, what was the plan when you played Arsenal (rhetorical question), it was to kick them off the park wasn’t it?”

    Gary: (under stifled giggles) “Yes !!!”

    I kid you not. If you don’t believe me, somehow find the build up to the game, it’ there I swear. If United, at there peak had to stoop to those depths how can anyone question that the likes of Villa and Stoke don’t resort to ‘Kicking us off the park”? Which is, by the way, against the rules of the game, whatever you call it.

    But hey, I’ve got an idea, lets call it…….

    ‘Arsenal being bullied’

    …….then it looks like it’s all Arsenals own fault.

    Yet as we all know, if we employed someone specifically to do a bit of ‘bullying’ of our own, they wouldn’t stay on the pitch for 5 minutes.

    If our games where refereed properly and according to the laws of the game our injury list would shorten immediately.

  29. Gord-
    You completely misinterpreted my original comment and seem determined to disagree. I’ll try once more.
    I would like Arsenal Football Club to purchase a physically dominant midfield player. I strongly feel that we are regularly bullied in matches by more physical teams.
    Also, our training methods are different to most, and we suffer far more injuries than most – its quite reasonable to ponder whether there might be a link between the 2.
    I don’t “want” physical football and never said so – I want us to be equipped to deal with it.

  30. GoonerDave, the only problem is with the refs from the PGMO that he would only last 5 minutes in his first match, could be 6, and then be sent off. 3 match ban. 4th match maybe 10 minutes on the pitch, another ban,….
    Just look at how Chambers is treated in the Stoke match by Stoke players and then compare to his two yellow cards…
    Buying a bully defensive midfielder will see us end up with 10 on the pitch more than ever

  31. Many plundits are currently saying Song is the player AFC need to add this re-built squad. I thought his best season was when he went B2B ahead of Arteta, before he lost his focus. And for myself I thought he played well in the deeper role too.

    2008–09 48 apps.
    2009–10 38
    2010–11 42
    2011–12 46

    At times, before the Robinson hack Diaby could join in on the park and you had at least two seasons of the two of them clocking up games in CM:

    2008–09 36 Apps.
    2009–10 40

    So completely ignoring Diaby, AFC have had four consecutive seasons there of Song barging (not fouling! Though like Chambers he is given very gentle yellows too) opponents off the ball game after game. I don’t find it odd if someone says they’d like to see a similar style of player upon the current roster, perhaps the coaches do too, perhaps they already have one or two in mind. Whether they are signed or promoted.

    What is strange is the meme going around saying such a style or stature (in size only) of player hasn’t been playing in CM at the club since 06. That’s not ludicrous, it’s not even weird, it’s deliberately misleading. That obvious omission is a part of the “they don’t like it up ’em” construct.

  32. I think it would be more accurate to say Song played alongside Arteta that season as opposed to ahead of him? You all remember, probably better then me!

  33. I think these days you’re looking at CMs like Alonso, Busquet’s, Carrick etc. and yes Arteta’s numbers out him right up there with those players for the past two complete seasons. There was even a reasonable consideration that Arteta ended last season in better form then his two compatriots above who both had niggles and weren’t in the best form at the time, and that Arteta would’ve been a better option for the Marquis at that moment for the WC. Some might not like to read it, but I’m to give credit where credit is due: Arteta has been a great captain for AFC, a trophy winning captain. If that’s a panic then I must be hyperventalating.

    As an Arsenal fan I was glad he didn’t go to the WC. Then in the first game of this season the former Gazprom employee stomped with some force on his feet right next to ref who couldn’t even call a simple foul…the offical must have been distracted by something else I guess. And he’s struggled with his fitness since. Some think Chambers or Hayden or possibly Niles might be a candidate to play his role, but there could be another player coming in at some point for that area as both Flamini and Arteta are seniors.

    Southampton’s form has taken a nosedive since the moment that Schneiderlan walked off the pitch. Not a complete coincidence. Is he another good example of an important or good modern CM? I don’t really know myself, but it does appear to be that way.

  34. Schweinsteiger! Started off when a teenager playing at LW/LF?

    Slightly different to the Busquet’s, Martinez or even Mascherano type that can play at CB too, but alongside any potential recruits Chambers and Hayden might turn out to be vaguely similar players? Though Hayden seems focused on wanting to be a CB. We shall see.

  35. Suarez?

    E’s stealin’ a livin’
    Lazy. Uninterested. Unfit like any other player at the start of their season for the first several games, especially if they’ve come in late relative to the rest of their league after a delayed break, I mention no names…like Mertesacker or Özil…not a squeak!


    If he leads BBB to a trophy in his first season in his new league, helps them top the table for half the season and lead a challenge I’ll be impressed 😉
    If he can only match Sanchez and score an incredible goal on the last day of the season that sets his team up to win the league* I’ll still be impressed. But I think someone else will win la liga this year. Could be wrong.

    *the AAAA have, surprisingly, unveiled the “he must hate his rubbish teammates” meme in regards to Sanchez. As unpredictable as the rubbish written about Özil *coughs*. What’s genuinely genuinely funny about that line is that I imagine it’ll be quite a few seasons before Sanchez’s annoyance towards teammates will match that which he’d have felt towards his BBB colleagues on the last day of last season!

  36. jambug @9.52am,

    I have stopped contributing to threads about Arsenal injuries because I find it annoying when people with little to no knowledge of physiotherapy or any medical knowledge for that matter start diagnosing with ridiculous certainty how a club like Arsenal’s long injuries year in year out are the fault of the club’s medical personnel or even worse, that ‘evil Frenchman’.

    Only yesterday Walter published an article showing how we get carded the most per foul and how our opponents get carded the least per foul against us. What else do we need to know?

    In 4 years, 3 of our players had their legs horrifically broken; which other team suffered anything close to this in the last decade?

    Enough of the silliness about questioning the club and its medical team. We get so many injuries because we get kicked so much. End of story.

  37. Bootoomee

    I know what you mean, it can get very very frustrating.

    Over recent days/weeks UA have published some fantastic, in depth work, regarding foul to card ratio’s and the ridiculous imbalance regarding the awarding of penalties.

    Irrefutable statistics. Facts.

    And yet, as expected, up pops ‘porter’ (on the ‘Small Club Mentality’) to accuse UA of being ‘paranoid’.

    Now my dictionaries definition of ‘Paranoid’ is:

    ‘Abnormal tendency to mistrust’.

    Given the statistics highlighted by Walter and co I would suggest it would be abnormal if you DID trust our referees !!

    But I understand your frustration. I feel the same when pages of statistical evidence, diligently researched and analysed are dismissed in one word you do feel you’re just banging your head against the wall.

    Anyway, off to work.

  38. jambug, it’s not at all surprising Gary Neville admitted that, other players have said it as well, even from other clubs, although usually they say stuff like “Arsnal don’t like it in their face”, or “You have to be physical with Arsenal” or rubbish like that. It’s pretty normal for commentators and pundits to say things like that when discussing how their old team played against Arsenal, or how teams today should play against us. The really shocking thing is that the PGMO refs allow teams to get away with this, when everyone knows exactly what the plan is against us.

    It was like when Fergie would come out in his press conferences before the game and announce to the world that Arsenal were a bunch of foreign softies who dived at every chance they got, and the referees mustn’t pay attention to it, which of course the PGMO followed with great enthusiasm, and allowed Manure to kick us all over the park.

    Non of these things are great secrets or even shocking any more, sad to say. Even Gary Neville is happy to state perfectly clearly that Manure always had a plan to kick us around, all he omits to say is that the ref always allowed them to.

    GoonerDave, to add to what Walter said, if the refs would ref properly we wouldn’t need a physical DM. You don’t need a ‘destroyer’ if refs would actually call fouls and cards correctly. The problem is they don’t, and they let teams kick us around, and so people believe we need to level the playing field with someone to kick the opposition around.

    Besides the fact that this would back-fire, as Walter points out, it misses the point entirely. We should be blaming the refs and the PGMO for not reffing games fairly and according to the law when they allow teams to ‘out-muscle’ us, in other words, foul us with impugnity, rather than blaming the club for not stooping to the level of the PGMO by not playing a dirty game.

    Do you think I’m talking rubbish? Is Busquets a ‘destroyer’? He’s tall, but he has a rather slender build, just like Di Maria.

    Does Real Madrid have a ‘destroyer’? Would you call Kroos a ‘destroyer’? Modric? Is Khedira a ‘destroyer’? You may have watched him in the World Cup, he is anything but, he is a box-to-box player.

    Does Bayern Munich have a ‘destroyer’? Lahm? Alonso? He’s not particularly physical. Schweinsteiger? Thiago?

    You could say the same for Dortmund and PSG. They don’t have ‘destroyers’. Why? Because you don’t need a 6 foot, 16 stone ‘destroyer’ if refs referee the game correctly.

  39. finsbury, I still believe Arteta is very under-rated. I think when he stopped scoring goals from open play and became more defensive most people lost interest in him, because they can’t see much more to football than goals and ‘ard tacklin’.

    Whether we need a ‘destroyer’ is unlikely. The modern deep-lying midfielder generally isn’t a destroyer. Who can do something similar to Arteta? Perhaps Chambers, but Wenger has said he isn’t sure yet which is his best position, and we just have to wait and see. He is still young, there’s planty of time. Meanwhile, he’s getting an education in defence at RB and CB, and he’s already good going forward, the only missing ingredient is possibly his passing, if he can develop that he could be an excellent replacement for Arteta.

  40. Suarez flopped at Barca because they didn’t have a position for him to get his teeth into. I’m seriously hoping we give Liverpool a lesson in the Game despite the PGMOL cheat. Wenger’s Arsenal play football so beautifully that every young player wants to join in.

    ‘Arsene Wenger Stadium. We play in Arsene Wenger Stadium – Arsene Wenger Stadium’. I can’t wait to sing that out when I get back to the ‘Arsene Wenger Stadium’.

  41. Some of the points here are brilliant. Where are the destroyers in La Liga, Bundesliga and French League? They are not even in Serie A. Table topping Juventus anchored by Andrea Pirlo and the DYNAMIC Athuro Vidal, he is not a destroyer. Only in EPL and Scottish League, they have these destroyers. Know what I think? The English media created this position so average and mediocre English players can play as they are certainly very good at kicks. Wonderful that Arsenal English players aren’t like that.

  42. Gooner S

    That’s him !!

    Well done.

    Just shows you though.

    City where a great side and flying at the time.

    Marsh was one of the most talented players of his time, at the peak of his powers.

    Put the 2 together and City dropped like the proverbial Lead Balloon.

    Funny old business this buying players lark.

    As I said, things are always simple in the minds of simpletons

  43. There is a lot to agree with and a lot to disagree with for me – both in the original post, and the comments.

    Agreed: the bottom line, that everybody and their dog seem to know who do we need to buy. This is absurd really. Everybody is a fuckin fantasy football manager. I never liked that game, and I even like it less when people think they can suddenly comment about transfers because they did ok @ fantasy.

    There COULD be an opinion that we COULD use someone more physical like Song (i.e Finsbury’s post which I agreed to) but this is just a consideration to be taken. I am not sure who is available in the market and for sure some players who, even I thought are going to be great for other teams – were miserable. Best example for a DMF is Paulinho who used to be immense for Corinthians and is a fuckin joke for the Spuds. But to say that “we need XYZ” is just bollocks really so I agree with this general notion.

    What I don’t agree to is taking Suarez as an example, because this guy is, and denying it is a bit like claiming the Earth is flat, one of the best footballers of our generation (he might be an asshole, a psycho, or a combination of both – but he is an amazing football player). And he will come good for Barca as well, just as Neymar had a mediocre first season. I feel that saying that he “flopped” is, and I apologize in advance, us being a bit like the sites we despise. He played 8 matches for them if I’m not mistaken – we need to wait a bit before saying he is a flop.

    We also had our share of players who were good for other clubs, did not succeed for us, and then were good somewhere else. Gervinho is the best example.

    Can you deny he is a great player? I can’t. So is it Arsene’s fault? Probably not, he is still a top manager. What happened? I don’t know and neither do you but sometimes things just don’t work out, chemistry, weather, personal influences, it can be many things. But I know that Gervinho was great for Lille and he is great for Roma.

    So I don’t think that the general atmosphere of this post is something I can agree with (despite completly agreeing with the bottom line of dumb asses telling us who to buy).

    Re comments by Boo & Jambug – as far as I remember you guys are not doctors, so you cannot possibly say that we get injured due to being fouled. FOR SURE Boo my friend to have it so conclusievly as to say “END OF” about this thing. I agree that the traumatic (breakage) injuries are due to horrible tackles but the muscle injuries – I am not sure at all. Plus, there are many studies that show that today’s game pace and the amount of games are the biggest cause to these type of injuries. Arsenal is always playing a lot of games (EPL, CL, FA cup and usually the Milk Cup as well). So it’s understanble (and we don’t have a wealth of players to choose from as well).

  44. TommieGun

    All I said was:

    “If our games where refereed properly and according to the laws of the game our injury list would shorten immediately.”

    To which you said:

    “as far as I remember you guys are not doctors, so you cannot possibly say that we get injured due to being fouled”

    a) You do not have to be a doctor to know if you are fouled less you will get less injuries.

    b) At no time have I intimated that ALL our injuries are down to being fouled.

    But what I can say without fear of contradiction is that a lot of our more serious and long term injuries ARE down to fouls, and what’s more, those serious fouls are, in my opinion, a consequence of the leniency with which teams are refereed against us, as they are given free rein to ‘bully’ us as much as they want.

  45. I’d say it’s overfatigue. You get sloppy when you get tired and that’s when you get hurt or hurt others. English players, thanks to the league favouring broadcasting dollars, play an insane amount of games in a season + euros/WC/AC/CONCACAF etc etc etc. Remember that Wenger pioneered the use of stats and tracking metrics to gauge performance issues etc. If there are issues other than overfatigue, I guarantee he’s concerned and looking to solve it. Just because we don’t see the results or solutions in action (nevermind if we’re qualified to evaluate them, probably not) doesn’t mean there’s no work being done. The media narrative that Wenger is somehow lazy, inobservant or incompetent is just ridiculous. Incompetent managers make themselves known very quickly once they start working with a team. Wenger is NOT incompetent.

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