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Strange Days

What a weird deadline day. If anyone saw Citeh being taken over by an Arabic investment group and buying Robinho coming I suggest you invest in a lottery ticket quick smart, 'cos you are clearly on some type of psychic wave length and luck is coming your way. There were a few other strange transfers taking place, notably Everton breaking a club record transfer fee for Marouane Fellaini, the 20-year old Belgian international who impressed during the Olympics, from Standard Liege. Finnan joining Espanyol as part of the Riera deal was surprising (even if Riera joining Liverpool wasn't), as was Spanish 22 year old Xisco joining Newcastle from La Coruna, along with Valencia's Uruguayan Nacho Gonzalez. Less surprising deals to go through this deadline day were Berbatov's move to United, Corluka's move to Sp*rs, Saha's transfer to Everton and the aforementioned transfer of Riera to Liverpool.

As for the best bits of business this summer it is hard to look past Chelsea's signing of Deco. Considering in the current market place in which Bentley, Bent, Carrick and Hargreaves can all cost upward of 15 million pounds a club with as much money as Chelski can pick up a player of Deco's quality for as little as 8 million seems amazing. Some astute business there. Nasri's purchase by Wenger looks an inspired buy, although more incoming would clearly have been welcomed. Other buys that look to be good quality and value are Villa's signing of Carlos Cuellar from Rangers, City's swoops for Vincent Kompany from Hamburg SV and Pablo Zabaleta from Espanyol, Newcastle bringing in Argentinian's Jonas Gutierrez from Mallorca and Faricio Collocini from La Coruna, Wigan's surprise deal for Egyptian striker Amr Zaki, Bolton's move for Johan Elmander form Toulouse and Blackburn's purchase of Australian defensive midfielder Vinnie Grella from Torino (no bias there, the man is a gun). Chelski fans will also undoubtedly be happy that they have finally filled their right back slot with a player of real quality in Jose Bosingwa, even if they did have to pay a bit over the odds for him.

As far as Arsenal is concerned it has to be disappointment all around. I really had faith we would see a new midfielder today. Wenger better know this time, 'cos if he doesn't there will be a lot of angry fans saying I told you so. I really am worried about what the thought process was for Arsene this summer. It was evident to all last season that the only thing standing between us and the PL title was maybe two decent squad players (although that might be unfair to the players we had who clearly suffered visible mental trauma from the Eduardo injury which carried over into later games), Wenger even acknowledged as much and then rather than go out and find answers for the problem he allowed us to go backwards with another summer of letting more players out the exit door than came in the entrance. The other worrying sign on paper is that not only did we not add players, we didn't improve on the quality we had. We lost two first XI players, a back up for defensive middle and have only bought in one ready-made starter in Nasri. Leaving all your faith in players as young and inexperienced as Song and Denilson could be flirting with danger just a little too much in a summer in which City and Villa have invigorated their squads with massive investment. In the past we have been able to rely on individuals to up their game when required such as Cesc when Vieira left, Adebayor when Henry departed and Flamini in Gilberto's early season absence but one feels that of the replacements this time around, none have yet looked comfortable enough to give a sign that they will lift a level before it is too late. That said, I don't doubt we will make the top four although I don't expect us to do much better.

Well Gooner's get ready for a long season, it could just be a very rocky ride. Take your Prozac, have a scotch, smoke a cigarette or whatever vice it is you fall back on when times get tough and stress levels rise and try to put a happy face on a shitty situation. 'til next time people, Ozi!

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The Journalist

Writer: Ozi Gooner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 2 2008

Time: 8:31AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I know there's a big 'if' around this statement, but I feel that IF Song can step into Flamini's shoes (which I think he can), we only have to be a bit luckier with injuries to do well this year. Remember, if United had lost Ronaldo for half the time we were without Van Persie last year, Chelsea would have done the Double.... not United! I still have faith...... ask me again in May though. ;-)
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02/09/2008 08:53:00

IMO it's a sad state of affairs for a club when only the manager, perhaps the board and the players themselves are some of the few people believing in this squad.
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02/09/2008 09:01:00

Let it go on record now that I have faith in the squad. If we fail I'll be quiet, but if we do well... i'll ram it down all the doubters throats!
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02/09/2008 09:05:00

When the deadline expired i was *****ed by AW not buying either barry, alonso, or veloso i really thot that either of those three was going to wear the red and white this season. but then i came to think of it we are more loaded @ the DM position than any other club in the epl. now, we got song(he is our #1 DM) diaby, and toure(silvetre replaces kolo at the back). i was about to go and whine all night abt not signing a DM but i came to think of it, we got a better squad than last season. laugh at me if u want but remember that i said it first, we are going to seriously challenge for the leage title this time round. MARK MY WORDS.
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02/09/2008 09:08:00

Now I know how those band members must have felt on the Titanic. Come on lads, let's just keep singing, it'll keep us warm..........and it's Arrrrrrrsenal, Arrrrrsenal FC, 8-)
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02/09/2008 09:13:00

My biggest issue, apart from Gallas as captain, is what happens if Cesc get's injured or needs a rest? Then who steps in? The kid is 21 years old and cannot be expected to play every single game. Someone said last night that at least the board can sit back next summer and say " we made another £4m profit in the last transfer window".... I thought the club is milking us for every available penny so we could win the Prem? Or is it so we can pay for the Emirates? Or watch the next generation of under fives? Our squad has never ever been this short of experience and power. Where's the midfield enforcer? Song? Eboue? Diaby? I watched the Reserves last night play on Arsenal TV, and they lost. Played pretty football at times but lost, to Chelsea Reserves. And AW was there, at Barnet watching them, on the last day of the transfer window. Why???
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02/09/2008 09:13:00

flv - It's been an honour to sing with you ......... lol
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02/09/2008 09:16:00

akenyangunner, your not first..... see above!
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02/09/2008 09:24:00

All quiet on the Arsenal front!!!
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02/09/2008 09:29:00

What happens if Cesc gets injured? The same thing as would happen if the player we signed to play if Cesc got injured also got injured - we'd have to adapt as best we can.
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02/09/2008 09:34:00

I stayed up till 2am hoping last night. So i log on to to see if i might be surprised with some late signing, and the only new article is titled "Wenger - Eboue is becoming a pass master". A pass master?.............sigh
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02/09/2008 09:39:00

I must admit, origionally I was hoping we'd sign Alonso, but after watching the Villa game on Sunday I changed my mind, and would be happier with Song, Denilson or Diaby (in that order). He doesn't have the athletisism of an Arsenal player. Sure, he can pass a ball, but Wenger needs more than that in the middle. He's not the ball winner some people think he is..... Macherano does that!
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02/09/2008 09:48:00

I finally think that Wenger is losing the plot. Of course, none of us are as experienced or as knowledgeable as him, but this is just a bizzare decision. Without question, we're playing for 3rd in the PL cos there's no way we can win it, no way. As for the Champions League, well (a) that's a cup competition that you need luck in and (b) the competition is even fiercer. How determined are the likes of Chelsea, Man Utd, Barcelona, Real Madrid and especially Mourinho's Inter Milan going to be to win it. The only consolation is that I have no expectations whatsoever about this season. We're supposed to be striving to be one of the biggest clubs in the world!
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02/09/2008 10:09:00

Cannot believe we have sat on our hands through yet another transfer window. Infuriating stuff. Arsene is going to be under amazing pressure when we win ***** all at the end of this season.
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02/09/2008 10:10:00

AW has been amazingly complacent towards the team and obtuse in his approach to the fans. What really grates is the clear fact that these deficiences in the team (as exposed in fulham)have been patently obvious since last season. If he doesnt see it in training everyday, then only God can help us this season. the myopic thought that all clubs will stand still whilst our team gradually improves is being shown up for what it really is. The club is simply taking fee-paying supporters and fans for a ride, whilst they line their pockets with the profits from transfers that have a one way policy-OUT. H1
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02/09/2008 10:58:00

On a side note, it woukd be intreresting to know what the Arsenal take is on Dimitar Berbatov. Do you think he wil do well at OT? (ps. I realise that by playing for both Spurs and United you are not going to be Mr.Popular around the Emirates but please be sincere)
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02/09/2008 13:05:00 - Eboue - Pass of your team has to stay fit all season if were to win anything this season.We cant afford to lose vital players like cesc, adebayour, toure, clichy because the replacements are not good enough!
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02/09/2008 15:58:00

I'm sick and tired of the way things are going at Arsenal and i think someone has to put a stop to this. Wenger said he was gonna get a player before the transfer window closes and what happened? NOTHING! as usual. This is not the first time we the fans have been lied to about something like this and it irks me that this is becoming a new trend. Look at what happened last was obvious we couldn't go all the way cos the squad was too thin and it was expected it would add to the squad so we can continue from where we left off and go all the way this time and what did he do??? he sells and doesn't replace. What is wrong with Wenger? i think he and the board have some explaining to do cos it sure looks to me like the fans are being taken for granted and that's not fair. There will be too much pressure on Fabregas to carry the team and what will happen if he gets injured?. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking we'll challenge for honours this year cos i really don't think those at te board and Wenger are really serious about ending this trophy drought of our's. It's a shame and to think i was up all night hoping to hear some good news after Wenger has given us hopes about getting a new CM which appears to be false really tore me to pieces.
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02/09/2008 17:24:00

Certainly been the most interesting deadline day for years, probably in football history...
Report Abuse
03/09/2008 10:17:00

Robinho was very expensive at £32 million, let us hope that Manchester City see a good return.
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22/10/2008 11:30:00


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