Arsenal - Gorgeous George: Arsene Needs To Spend
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Gorgeous George: Arsene Needs To Spend

Former Gunners Boss and player George 'Stroller' Graham has asserted that Arsene Wenger will have to spend big in the summer if his squad is to snatch the Premiership crown next season. Graham remarked that the paucity of players in the Arsenal squad and a lack of mental and physical strength has cost them in this campaign.

'After three-quarters of the season, they were five points clear, absolutely over-achieving, and then in the run-in, they are stumbling all the time.

'He must look back and ask: 'did the players get tired? Why did they get tired? Did he have a strong enough squad? Were they too inexperienced to get over the white line and win the trophy?'

'He needs, in my opinion, three or even four ready-made players, which will cost a lot of money - and that may be a problem because I don't know if Arsenal have got a big budget to get new players in next season.'

I don't necessarily agree. We need a few more squad addtions certainly, but we do not have to spend big. It is well documented that most of Arsene's best finds have been signed for relatively sparse sums. As Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Robin van Persie etc, etc, etc prove, big players do not necessarily have big reputations. Graham might also do well to remember that during his final campaign in charge, he was often greeted with chants of 'spend some f*****g money.'

In all seriousness, I have a great deal of respect for George's opinion, he was a great manager for us despite the shenanigans of his last season. 'Certain players at Arsenal keep on getting injured, and you know next season, the same players will probably be on the treatment table a lot.

'I think he needs three or four, and I think he needs three or four ready-made players, star players who are going to cost big money and big salaries, which will not go down well at Arsenal.'

Whilst it's hard to disagree with the first statement, the second statement again bears analysis. I think Arsene will do what he has always done, sign good players. Splashing out on 'stars' is not always the recipe for success, Veron, Shevchenko and Morientes all fit Gerge's bill. (John Jensen, Pal Lydersen and Colin Pates probably do not). Wenger has already said he will sign a so called 'star player' if he feels said player meets his criteria. If not, I'd certainly settle for another couple of Bacary Sagna's.

When asked what they need to add, Graham added: 'Through the middle, the spine of the team. They need a world-class goalkeeper, they need a centre-half, they need more mental and physical strength in the middle of the pitch.

'Unfortunately, their strikers seem to be picking up a lot of injuries, so they need somebody to play alongside (Emmanuel) Adebayor, who I think could develop into a world-class player.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 22 2008

Time: 1:40PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
"Certain players at Arsenal keep on getting injured, and you know next season, the same players will probably be on the treatment table a lot" - he is PAINFULLY accurate there. We will never get a full season out of RVP or Rosicky.
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22/04/2008 13:45:00

hmmm I think RVP and Rosicky can flourish next season. however, a look inwards at the clubs medical system needs to occur. I dont think theres a big problem there, but something seems to make a number of our players susceptible to injury. Maybe its just the need for a slight increase in squad depth to let players have a rest during the season for the odd game.
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22/04/2008 14:17:00

Could be all that rabbit food and pasta they are noshing.
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22/04/2008 14:31:00

Wenger has already answered the 1st of George's questions about player fatigue - admitted his mistakes during the interview with ATVO last week. He will fix that. We do need 2-3 players more, and I trust Wenger's policy. All of them need not be ready made players, coz our starting 11 is fixed (bar 1-2), its the back up that needs to be sorted. As for the spending big, thats rubbish. wenger knows where to sign his players from - will get value for money, like he did with Sagna (and would have with Dudu).
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22/04/2008 14:41:00

Does our particular style of play make our players more prone to injury in a fast-paced physical league like the PL? Isn't it true that younger players tend to be more injury prone and then become less so as they age? Wasn't Gerrard constantly injured when he was younger? Didn't Clichy go thru a period of constant injury in his younger days? I do wish this excessive injury issue would get sorted, it's one of the biggest reasons we have struggled and failed these last two seasons. We do not need big names, we just need quality signings like Sagna. But the first concern is keeping the squad together, that's my main worry.
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22/04/2008 15:23:00

I know it has nothing to do with this artical but i had my first trip to the emirates on sat against reading. All i can say is fantastic stadium and team but your support is so quiet. It was strange, i know at w/ham we shout alot but your fans say nothing at all. Very strange. I think you dont realise just how lucky u are to have a team that good.
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22/04/2008 15:29:00

Yes the biggest problem for us is the injuries not squad depth. If only Rosicky and RVP could play for the whole season i cannot see who would be able to handle the Gunners. For me a healthy RVP is the best player in the league. I would like to ask anyone if they think Chelsea would be in the same position without Anelka, Drogba and lets say Man U without Rooney and Tevez? who would they bring in to fill those gaps given all there so called depth? well how were we supposed to fill the loss of Eduardo and RVP not to mention Rosicky? should we have three players sitting on the bench of like caliber just in case? wouldnt work seeing that Diarra got impatient after a few months. Let us first sure up our defense and great GK to me and the rest will work itself out, i think so at least! God Bless!
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22/04/2008 15:31:00

I seem to recall George saying much the same thing last summer. It is ironic given his tendency to shop in the bargain basement. To his credit though he did respect his view. He is wrong about star players and big money though. The only criteria is ability not the price tag. Helb was an inspired buy as was Sagna. Gallas was brought to the club in a deal that didn't involve a huge outlay. Wenger isn't opposed to buying experienced players but experienced or not if they don't have current PL experience they are still something of a gamble no bmatter how big the reputation or the price tag.
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22/04/2008 16:06:00

2nd sentence should read "To his credit though he did pick up some bargains there and as a committed Arsenal man I can respect his view"
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22/04/2008 16:08:00

I seem to remember Amos, that the chants of 'spend some ******* money were provoked by an attempt to sign Julian Joachim. So Graham respnded to our ire by buying Chris Kiwomya instead.
Little Dutch
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22/04/2008 16:10:00

What happened to rocky?
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22/04/2008 16:14:00

I'd just keep saying what I've always been saying: stars or no stars is beside the point. A player doesn't have to be a superstar to work for our team. I really love Sagna, more of the same please - he didn't attract all the limelight, came in at a reasonable price (reportedly 8m), he just gets on to the pitch and does his job fantastically well, goes home, without all the tabloid stuff, even when things go wrong, in private life or at work, he still gives 100% no matter what, he's such a fighter with all the skills and attitude to succeed. Not just a model pro, but I'd say a "perfect pro" really. Eduardo too actually, just that he had a much shorter run of games to make the impact he's fully capable of. Kevin, Rocky got his notebook stolen as some thiefs got into his home. Hope they catch those ********s. He and his family are ok, hope he'll be back online soon.
Lou the Gunneress
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22/04/2008 17:48:00

Chris Kiwomya ! I'd forgotten about him! George got his own back for us mocking his buys though when just before he left the club he brought Glenn Helder in .
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22/04/2008 18:12:00

Ah yes, I had the pleasure of being at Highbury the night they made their debuts. Helder motm and Kiwomya hit a last minute winner. The most misleading debuts ever seen! Kev, the Rockster's had his laptop half inched, hence my hostile takeover of vital. (Not really, he asked me to do it. Of course he doesn't know it was me who nicked his laptop though...............)
Little Dutch
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22/04/2008 19:10:00

4 new plays an keep most of squad an maybe sell 2... arsenal need a keeper cd winger an striker
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22/04/2008 20:23:00

Buy a Villa in spain...Valencia will probs get relegated as they have a tough fixture world comes to mind..RAID.
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22/04/2008 21:13:00

i think u guys need a striker, left winger, center mid and a center back.
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22/04/2008 23:30:00

drogba has missed 17 league games this season, carvalho has missed 16 league games and terry 17 leagues games. oh yea essien has missed 11, ballack 16, cech 11. so dont say would chelsea cope with the injuries we have. we had to play swp and sidwell in the middle through out the christmas period
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22/04/2008 23:33:00

i think we should move fast with huntelaar being available... the lad seems to know exactly where the goal is and can you name another player who has scored more bicycle kick goals..he's a fantastic header of the ball too and with clichy and sagna supplying the ammunition, we would have both him and adebayor in the box.. with huntelaar, i think we wil be in a position to compete on all 4 fronts..but i'm getting worried with flamini since juve have openly declared their intention.. pls arsene, dont let go of flamster.
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22/04/2008 23:38:00

McGooner, with Ajax being our new best friends, I see a bit of truth in the rumours linking us to Huntelaar. I wouldn't be surprised if the club use the ties to buy him, while we set up this relationship of loaning players and stuff like that. Van Basten, who's just hired Dennis as his trainee coach (a prerequisite for DB10 to get his badges in the Netherlands), seems quite friendly with AW too. But whether we should move for Huntelaar or David Villa (I can't believe Valencia are only 2 points and 2 places above relegation) while there's going to be a raid anyway, I don't know.
Lou the Gunneress
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23/04/2008 00:01:00

It would be nice to see Huntelaar, I would be very suprised if Wenger bought a striker unless he off loads Nic. Tomas will never stay fit for a whole season and nor will RVP, we have yet to see it. Vela will come in and I wouldnt be suprised to see Wenger buy a Defender and a replacement for the Flamster.
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23/04/2008 02:39:00

AW needs him
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23/04/2008 11:26:00

will the guys who travel to derby and the everton home game put up a banner showing how much us the fans want flamini to stay.. i know football player earn loads, but if duds like obafemi can earn 90K a week and wes brown earn 60K a week, flamini who is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the league by a mile deserves the amount of money he is asking for.. i know no one player is above the team but flamini is the life and soul of our team this season... i will not forgive arsene and the board if flamini leaves us this season.. he wants to play for us and will the board just pay up
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23/04/2008 11:48:00

Oops, he's still injured and won't play right..? Shame. But still, let's make the support count.
Lou the Gunneress
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23/04/2008 16:45:00

I still respect the wage structure that Arsene/board have in their plans. If Flam chooses to leave for money, it's up to him. But it's a good idea McG - we can show Flam that we want him to stay too. Can you guys put up a banner or cheer him on or give him a huge round of applause whenever he touches the ball please?
Lou the Gunneress
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23/04/2008 16:45:00

To those clamoring for the club to give into Flamini's demands: the club is supposed to break the wage structure just for his one good season? I'm sure that, after doing so, there will be no consequences to such a decision. I mean, other players won’t take a lesson from that and make the same demands, forcing the club’s wages to go higher and higher. They’ll all be good little boys and not want the same treatment Flamini gets. Yeah, that’s right, Arsenal should succumb to blackmail from a very good player who had one good season with us. The same player who played the same game with Marseille as he is now playing with us. Who will no doubt start the same shenanigans with his next club. Let Juve have him.
Report Abuse
23/04/2008 18:32:00

Time to splash the cash as Wengers pups have failed to deliver.
Report Abuse
23/04/2008 22:51:00

Saying that maybe George is looking for a bung????????????
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23/04/2008 22:52:00

The summer hasnt even arrived and I'm fed up with the specualation already. George Graham's opinion is only of passing interest to me. It's easy to sit there and say what others have to do but I believe that Arsene knows better, and he will operate to the best of his ability within the confines he has. As an aside to this, there is one thing that managers can never know when they buy (or even sell) someone, and that is what the chemistry will be like with the rest of the team, so this always introduces an element of luck into the equation, especially for midfield or up front. For example, when Henry left last season, I genuinely believe that Arsene wanted him to stay... Wenger could surely not have known quite how unshackled the rest of the squad would become in Thierry's absence. We soon found out. My point is that this is not an exact science.
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24/04/2008 11:30:00

Arsene knows best????????? Think his team and tactics were found out this season. You guys can play a bit when you want to. But all that rubbish about the ref's is straight out of the x-files.
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25/04/2008 16:52:00


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