“If you love football you love Rosicky,” and news on Gabriel Paulista.

By Tony Attwood

So it seems we are about to buy or have just bought the 24 year old Villarreal central defender Gabriel Paulista and the visa will be granted under the “special talent” rule.  At least that is the message that seems to be there (but one can never be sure until it is done!)

Villarreal will  be taking Joel Campbell on loan for the rest of the season.    This leaves us with Giroud, Welbeck and Akpom as the out and out strikers with Sanogo (who has won considerable praise at Palace) able to be recalled from Palace if we suffer another attack of injuries.

The build up to the transfer has been typical of the invention of the media with stories of the fee ranging from £6m upwards to £18m.  Whatever the fee Villareal will pay Arsenal some of the money back in return for the loan of Campbell.

Here’s our new man’s details

Season Club League Games Goals
2010–2013 Vitória 77 1
2013– Villarreal 37 0

Gabriel Armando de Abreu was born on 26 November 1990 in São Paulo.  He made his first team debut on 7 March 2010, and his Brazilian Série A debut on 15 May that year.

After this transfer to Spain he made his debut in La Liga on 10 November 2013 and has played both as a central defender and as a right back.

Ahead of the signing Arsene Wenger said: “Paulista is a central defender but he can also play on the flanks.  He is tall and pacy. He has a good chance to adapt to English football. I see good potential in him.

“The deal could be done before the FA Cup draw (today).”

The comments about him are that his is really quick and good in the air can recover quickly from errors on the pitch and indeed can recover quickly from injury – which given that he is a defender playing for Arsenal is now an essential qualification.

While speaking Mr W also added about sunday’s game.

“Rosický was wonderful. If you love football you love Rosický. On top of that he is a fantastic character. I am pleased for him.”

Meanwhile we can see the new TV approach.  Having watched the aaa and their journalist pals move over to a “you are only as good as your last match” approach TV has now upped the game to “you are only as good as your last ten minutes” as the commentators endlessly turned their previous thoughts about the state of play, upside down.

Retaliating the press are now full of the infinite array of talent Arsenal has.  In desperate need of new signings?  Forget it.  Arsenal’s problem is “keeping everyone happy”.

Mr Wenger is indirectly quoted as saying he has never had so many creative options at this stage of a campaign.

Everywhere we look (apparently) there are multiple choices, and players so flexible they can move around.   The options are endless – until of course the cloggers come along with their refereeing allies and kick everyone to bits again.

But just think further on Tomáš Rosický for a moment, because through all his long term injury problems, Arsenal kept faith in him.  And how that faith has been repaid over and over again.  He joined us in 2006 and he’s now an old man (well 34) but buzzing like a youngster full of the desire to show the world his skills.  And he’s played over 160 games for us too.

I know that there are many people who say that we’ve wasted money on Diaby, trying get him fit through all these years, and in a universe in which one can see the future, that is true – at least in terms of running a commercial enterprise.  But of course we can’t see the future – not of Diaby nor of Rosický.    We could have said, after 2008/9 in which he didn’t play, that’s it, enough, go.   But I’m glad we didn’t.

And the fact that we didn’t makes other players more likely to look positively at Arsenal.  Where clubs get a reputation for treating their players well and honestly, players are more likely to come.  Of course it is mostly about money, but who your employer is still counts.

So now we have our new team, playing in a match in which, as the Telegraph says, “In one first-half counter-attack, six Arsenal players galloped from their own half as if in a private sprint trial. They poured all over Brighton’s retreating defence.”

This isn’t the 1-0 to the Arsenal, shut up shop style of play of the Graham era, this is re-building the era from the second double through to the invincibles.   (And before anyone says, ‘this  team is nothing like the invincibles’ of course they aren’t.  I am saying, this is a process, a process that has comparisons – as I have said before – akin to the second double season.)

So, while Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Southampton, Tottenham and Manchester Utd drop a player or three and fail to win, even when at home, we leave out Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck,  Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin (some through injury some through choice), and have a jolly time in the Sussex Downs.

We don’t have Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, that is true, but in 1997/8 as the first Wenger Period began we didn’t.  We had the new comers like Vieira, Anelka and Overmars, the burning brightness of Bergkamp and the fading lights like Wright, Keown and Platt.  A team evolving.

These are not perfect parallels, and I am (I must repeat) not predicting that we will do a Double, but rather I think there are parallels in the build up.  We did not buy the invincibles in one swoop, and some players who we hoped to stay (like Anelka) decided they wanted to leave.  It is a bit like now.  But that team evolved – as this one is.

As Chris Hughton of Brighton said: “A difference with Arsenal now to a couple of years ago was that when they made changes they might bring in youngsters, but now they’re bringing experienced players in and they have greater depth to their squad.”

Which made me look at the “25” list of players.  Last night I posted a comment without checking (always a stupid thing to do) suggesting we had used up our 25, but we haven’t because I failed to remember exactly who is and who is not 21 years old.  Here is the list of the old boys, with * meaning home grown.

  1. Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
  2. Cazorla, Santiago
  3. *Coquelin, Francis
  4. Debuchy, Mathieu
  5. Diaby, Vassiriki Abou
  6. Flamini, Mathieu
  7. *Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo
  8. Giroud, Olivier
  9. Koscielny, Laurent
  10. *Martinez, Damian Emiliano
  11. Mertesacker, Per
  12. Monreal, Ignacio
  13. Ospina, David
  14. Ozil, Mesut
  15. *Ramsey, Aaron James
  16. Rosicky, Tomas
  17. Sanchez, Alexis
  18. *Szczesny, Wojciech Tomasz
  19. *Walcott, Theo James
  20. *Welbeck, Daniel
  21. *Wilshere, Jack Andrew

The relevant under-21 players are

  1. Afobe, Benik
  2. Bellerin, Hector
  3. Chambers, Calum
  4. Crowley, Daniel
  5. Gnabry, Serge David
  6. Hayden, Isaac Scot
  7. Maitland-Niles, Ainsley
  8. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander Mark David
  9. Toral, Jon-Miquel
  10. Vickers, Josh
  11. Zelalem, Gedion

Plus our other newcomer Krystian Bielik.

So tons of space still in the squad – well three more places if we want to go further.

I feel quite confident.

Classic Untold

Anniversary of the day

26 January 1925: The second replay of the FA Cup match that was the scene of the Arsenal drugs scandal.  The curious thing is that the drugs came from a totally unreliable source.

All the anniversaries of this day are on the home page.


49 Replies to ““If you love football you love Rosicky,” and news on Gabriel Paulista.”

  1. I sure love Rosicky! 🙂 What a great player and what a waste that he was out so long with that long term injury. But glad to see him back and enjoying his game.
    Just look back at minute 94 and how he completely left all and everyone behind on the right flank and produce a cross from which Ramsey should have scored. FFS 34 years ‘old’ and showing all these younger kids that he isn’t finished yet.
    I’m so glad for him and for Arsenal that we kept him. He was one of those called “deadwood” by the “deadbrains”.

    Once again Wenger knew better!

  2. I LOVE Tomas Rosicky

    I love to watch him play, he has been a FANTASTIC member of our team

  3. I love Rosicky. When we bought him he was considered to be the heir to one of the greatest footballers to have ever played in the past generation, Pavel Nedved.

    However, unlike Nedved, Rosicky got injured quite seriously and never had the chance to play for a long enough time in order to influence the team. But there is no doubt the guy is class – on and off the pitch.


    Always nice to see FIFA down… branded now as a “Toxic Brand”


  4. What i love most about rosicky after watching him all this years is his technique and precision of passing using the outside of his right foot. He does it almost every game, and it is fascinating every time.

  5. I have some friendly advice for Rosicky as he allegedly approaches pensionable age.
    Find out what gives you this new industry, running, shooting power and extra help you are now giving your wife around the home…….then bottle it, and do a deal with Boots.
    You will make millions in a fortnight.

  6. Morning All,

    Often reader, only very occasional poster. This will probably be done to death elsewhere and might be an ongoing comments stream elsewhere on this blog, if so apologies but I don’t have time to go searching right now.

    I won’t do a full description as I am sure no one will have missed it – but the “I would two foot him/I would smash him” comments from Phil Neville on Match of the Day 2 last night. At the moment he is being rightfully vilified for his comments and now claiming that that they were mean’t tongue in cheek. No I can actually see the plus side in his comments – now hopefully it won’t happen (especially not to an Arsenal player) but history would suggest otherwise. But the next time a neanderthal such as Shawcross breaks someone’s legs and get treated like idiots with the usual BS about how a professional doesn’t set out to hurt a fellow professional or he isn’t that type of player or didn’t set out with that intent blah, blah, blah. Well thanks to Phil Neville we can now call that kind of BS out and hopefully start to see punishments that fit the crime.

    Thanks Phil – you muppet !!

    Cheers all

  7. There is one point to the ‘problem making them all happy’ comment and that is the number of players whose contracts come up this summer.
    According to Transfermkt, Bellerin, Coquelin, Arteta, Flamini and Diaby fall into that category and, to all intents and purposes, four of them play in the same position. Diaby (sadly) looks like a no brainer and I can’t believe that Arteta won’t be offered a one year extension. Most would now say that Coquelin is better than Flamini and has the benefit of being significantly younger. So, if there’s a choice to be made, that looks obvious too.
    Let’s hope Bellerin doesn’t still think that he has Barcelona in his DNA and that, if he does, Jenkinson will be happy to return as back up to Debuchy – or Chambers can do that job.
    Interesting times – as always.

  8. I have been quite impressed at the way AW manages his resources, something which is easy when the full squad is available but can be very difficult when there are major injury problems.

    For the last few years we have had a very good squad but one which was not quite the finished article – but it looks as if the new additions have given the squad additional depth that top teams need. I still think we are not quite the finished article, but AW is developing the squad very nicely.

    The Neville remark was an appalling one – an incitement? Some comments from Savage, imploring Brighton to get stuck in were nearly as bad. The employers of these idiots need to be aware of the dangerous consequences of such diatribes.

    I am really concerned at the number of hits Sanchez has been subjected to – usually unpunished. Do the PGMO want him injured? If they don’t why do they permit the opposition to kick him at every opportunity and with at least two rugby tackles thrown in?

  9. great game and win especially with almost all the other big teams out of the FA cup
    now we just got to make sure that we dont lose to the “smaller” teams and liverpool and we got anotehr FA cup!!

  10. Great article, the annual Rosicky resurrection is on…what a player! Santil last week, Rosicky this. Loved his head swivelling deception, loved it even more because it upset Phil Neville. We are getting to a position whereby anyone wanting to get into this team will have to be regularly producing exceptional performances.
    Ryan, yes, we did note Phil Nevilles comments, a few of us have put in complaints as well. Just imagine being a coach trying to get across the technical aspects of the game to kids, or an honest ref trying to control games….then a highly decorated ex international comes out with comments like that…on the Manchester BBC as well. I know many in the English game will sympathse with his comments, but think his days are numbered as a pundit.
    BTW,keep this evening free, Rochdale vs Stoke, could be one for the purist!

  11. Sorry this may sound really stupid as i know next to nothing on the subject; but is it possible Rosicky could perhaps go on to play longer without showing the usual quick decline because of all the time he had out due to injury?

  12. @jammy j

    as long as he has the desire to play(which he would cause he missed out playing football at his “prime” age) he can still play at the top level and at arsenal

  13. I’ve always loved watching Rosicky play and yesterday he was sensational.

    Phil Cave Man Neville and his employers the BBC in my opinion are advocating violence against Arsenal players and as such should be taken to task. Corrupt refereeing and violent attacks are the only way the low life establishment can think to stop Arsenal and Arsene.

    What I also find enlightening is how many managers and players well stoop to that tactic, prepared to injure, hospitalise and even end someone’s career for… a point or 3 – it certainly shows what kind of men they are and those that support such tactics.

    Can you imagine if that was Man Utd playing yesterday and the person swivelling his head was Rooney, Neville and co would be using that move to yet again assert their tired claim of world class status, should an opposition player have two footed him as Neville suggested they would be screaming for a life long ban.

    Phil Neville not a higher form of life in my opinion.

  14. We should complain to the BBC – and at the same time ask them why their pundits largely ignore or excuse ref errors.

  15. It was bad! every time its double standards for the arsenal, poodits were smelling worse than usual

  16. Apparently Phil had this to say after the backlash of his comment; “The Rosicky ‘look one way pass the other’ piece was tongue in cheek by someone who wasn’t capable of doing such!!!”

    So dont worry everyone and clam down, it was just a cheeky little comment about a potentially leg-breaking tackle from Phil; whos known world over for his comedy and funny jokes.

  17. Regarding NowWhine,

    Am not surprised…..
    Hez shed his skin that he had built up since the start of his punditry career. This is the real one.

  18. @Mick thanks for that but even though you complain i don’t think these shitheads will do anything good,its like complaining what Boko Haram is doing to the nigerians to ISIS.@Tony im dreaming of a double and after all dreams are not bad because i remember Le Prof dreaming of unbeaten season and the whore lists called him insane but it came to pass and i have never ever heard of any apology to Le Prof telling him how he was so right and they where so wrong and that they are insane themselves for not believing him ,may be they apologized somewhere but i just need to see that apology first. I think if we get good officials and doing their work as they have to do then we will be very hard to be beaten as we are always a class apart in the last matches of the premiership.

  19. Thugs like the Nevilles, Keane,Barton,Shawcross and the like should be brought before the courts. Their assaults on the field were and are too serious to be dealt with by a weak and feeble FA.

  20. To reiterate the thoughts of others, I was incensed by Neville’s outrageous comments. As has been suggested, if it had been Rooney (or any other team whatsoever come to think of it) the story would have been totally different.

    I too have complained to the BBC on the grounds that this type of thuggery is not something that I want recommended to my children or anybody else’s!

    One other little matter that I haven’t noticed mentioned was that idiot Savage. On one of our boys almost breaking clear on the left wing only to be unceremoniously scythed to the ground, what did the idiot say? “What a terrible foul”, perhaps? OR something like “That sort of play should be stamped out of the game”? No the idiot comes out with, “What a good foul that was”!!! FFS a GOOD FOUL……..again, can anyone think that he would keep his job if he’d said that if it were a Man U player being hacked to the ground.

  21. I posted this a few Months back following the Arsenal United Clash at the Emirates, but in the wake of recent comments from Phil Neville I think it bears repeating.

    This is what was said in a pre match piece between Graham Souness and Gary Neville. This will not be word for word but it will be as close as I can recall.


    Back in the days when you where both going at it hammer and tong did you have any particular plans to combat Arsenal.


    Well of course, you have to have a plan.


    Be honest Gary, that plan was to ‘kick them of the park’ wasn’t it?

    GN:(Through embarrassed stifled giggles) Yes it was really.

    So that’s both Neville brothers admitting that the way to deal with Arsenal is to CHEAT.

    Because planning to, and carrying out, illegal assaults on other players is CHEATING.

    But what we in fact have are 2 high profile internationals admitting that, when playing Arsenal, that approach is perfectly acceptable. Essential in fact.

    And some people try and claim that a fellow professional would not commit such thuggery with malice of fore thought or intension to harm.

    I think these 2 guys have well and truly put that misconception to bed don’t you?

  22. @Jambug – I really dont know why it seems perfectly acceptable for this to be the approach to playing Arsenal?! And then they have the cheek to say that we are a soft team. It pisses me off beyond belief that not only are these pundits coming out with comments like this, but that there is absolutely no repercussions! Not even people disagreeing with them saying its unsportsmanlike or some such; nothing at all! And then 80% of the brainless idiots that listen to these pundits take their word as if it were gospel.

    Football in the UK is completely fucked.

  23. Jammy J

    ” I really don’t know why it seems perfectly acceptable for this to be the approach to playing Arsenal?!”

    You and me both.

    “Football in the UK is completely fucked.”

    The Reason England are so crap internationally is because of the ‘Neville’ type attitude that runs like a cancer through our game.

    Yes, I know they praise us for some of our brilliant football but we all know they cant wait for it to fail. The second they can they deride us for ‘trying to walk it in’ or playing ‘Tiki Taka’

    They love it when we are being battered from pillar to post.

    They hold the Shawcosses of this world up as pillars of English football yet cant wait to criticise the likes of Theo as a one trick pony or blame Jack himself for his injuries. He asks to get fouled apparently.

    And to cap it all, all our woes are down to ‘Johnny foreigner’ holder our players back, and nothing to do with the loss of our sports fields, lack of coaches or Neanderthal attitudes.

    Englands showing in the last WC was everything our backward approach to football deserves and going by what we heard from Phil Neville, Robbie Savage and the like this weekend nothings changing any time soon.

  24. I too was incensed by that idiot neville’s comments. And savage too was at it during the match, can’t remember who but I think I heard him shout that a Brighton player should have fouled Walcott rather than leave him to shoot. he realised his error and promptly said make a professional foul, whatever that means. I’ll definitely complain to both BBC and BT sport. My view is I do my part, I don’t let thoughts like what will it change hold me back.

  25. Evening everyone.

    “If Tomas Rosicky did that to me in training I’d two-foot him!”

    Lets read that agian and understand what he is saying. Lets think about what hideous crime Tomas was responsible for. All Tomas Rosicky did was look one way and pass it the other. He didn’t elbow anyone, poke them in the eye or run his studs down someones ankle. He passed the ball in the opposite direction to the way he was looking.

    Is this a joke?

    I registered a complaint on the BBC about Nevilles disgraceful anti-Arsenal comments.

    The reason I feel so strongly is due to this common held view that kicking Arsenal players is fair and because of the injuries I have witnessed to our boys. Nevilles comment is typically something you expect from an English player. This backward mentality that it is okay to kick good players. If a player has more skill than you, kick him. If they pass the ball better than your team, kick them. ‘They don’t like it up ’em at Arsenal, you know’.

    We fans and our manager, has witnessed first hand three atrocious tackles: Eduardo, Ramsey and Diaby. All three of these players were done by English Thugs: Taylor, Shawcross and Smith. All these players ended up in hospital with career threatening injuries. When Ramsey was ‘done’ by Shawcross, I recall the outpouring of sympathy for Shawcross!! What a joke this Country is.

    English referees are caught up in all this hogwash that because Arsenal are skilful and pass the ball well, then kicking them becomes legitimate. It is envy from the English thugs, the English media – all the morons that scratch their heads and wonder why the English National team lacks technique and trophys. They are backwards. Unfortunatley, as embarrassing as it is to admit – football wise we are culturally a backwater, destined to mediocrity.

    Neville should lose his job. His comments set football back. They encourage kids to kick and impose violence on better players. The fact the BBC think this is right speaks volumes. And his apology and excuse that he was being tongue in cheek is one of the biggest lies you will ever hear. He meant it. He knows it, the BBC know it and we all know it. Lets not forget, this is how he used to act on the pitch! He was an average player who ran around and kicked people, Reyes bears the scars to prove it.

    Neville has done us a great service because he has just proved what we all know.

  26. Proudkev

    Well said my friend.

    “Neville has done us a great service because he has just proved what we all know.”

    As I said above @ 3:44, his brother confirmed as much back in November.

    If kicking Arsenal off the park was a game plan for a top side like Manchester United, it hardly takes a genius to conclude what other, less talented sides would be ready willing and able to resort to does it.

    As I say, the lid is well and truly off this particularly nasty can of worms. Lets keep it off.

  27. Thanks Blacksheep & Jambug.

    When I heard it, I was stunned.

    The last three victories, instead of being praised we have had the following:

    1. Santi criticised for taking a ‘Panenka’ Penalty
    2. The team criticised for a selfie after the Man City win
    3. Rosicky told he would get ‘smashed’ for playing a pass while looking in anothr direction.

    This proves how the pundits and the media hate us. No other team would have received this criticism.


  28. Hi all
    Great signing and hope he does well.Watched him occasionally and he looks the part

  29. I wish we could do something to keep the pressure on Neville. We have complained of our players being targeted and hacked, but we were dismissed as whingers. Even some of our fans refused to see the condoning of thuggery against our players, choosing instead to blame the manager and club for the injuries. Now this proves, not that we needed the proof, that we were right when we accused those in the media of encouraging aggression against our players.

    I really hope something comes out of this. If neville is forced to go over this then this will put some spotlight on tackles against our players. If we just let this fizzle out then we have just opened our players to more brutality. Remember before the 50th game at OT we had never really had any problems with this type of thuggery. But in the run up to the game Fergus was in the media accusing us of whingeing. After Reyes and Co were brutalised at OT a few English managers adopted the same approach, notably allardyce. We should not let this go, making complaints is a good start but more needs to be done. Perhaps a banner this weekend against villa?

  30. I need to make a complaint. It sickens me watching our players get trashed like that and ref says play on! It makes me swear so much! It makes me aggressive maybe that is what is required controlled aggression to pinpoint the wrongs of English football to get things right on an international level.

  31. English people I asked why they hate arsenal. Your manager is French. And a whinger. And you think you are better that everyone the way you play. Says it all!

  32. For me Rosicky is one of a trio of Arsenal midfielders who can pass the ball through the eye of a needle. The other being Hleb and Cesc. Arsenal played their best possession football when the trio played together!

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