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Is Wenger Trying To Appease Us With Eboue?

With the distinct lack of transfer activity the major talking point amongst Gooners this morning, has Arsene Wenger made his most flimsy attempt yet to appease Arsenal fans?

After losing Lassana Diarra, Gilberto Silva, and more importantly Mathieu Flamini in the last 8 months, Arsenal fans everywhere were positive some kind of central midfielder would be brought in, especially after Arsene claims that they would 'stay up till midnight' if they had to.

However, a quick scout around this morning will show you that never happened. Unconfirmed sources say we made a last ditch attempt to sign Alonso, but that's about all we got. Instead, the only news coming out of Arsenal is that Wenger thinks Eboue is starting to play really well.

"Since the start of the season, Eboue has played well," said Wenger. "He had two good games in central midfield. At Fulham, he was one of the players who was not disappointing and he had a good performance against Newcastle as well.

"He's a football player. Sometimes I play him, sometimes Walcott, sometimes Nasri [out wide].

"There was a little bit of frustration from the fans because they thought that he didn't always have enough end-product, but he has improved a lot in that respect. He has put over good final balls since the start of the season."

Now let me start by saying that I'm really pleased with Eboue so far this season, he has shown a marked improvement in both his technical game and also his on field attitude. However that said, does anyone else feel that Wenger's comments are a lame attempt in telling us that we didn't get our midfielder, so we'll have to make do with Eboue should the need arise?

Mathieu Flamini left Arsenal along time ago as far as the transfer window is concerned, and if Wenger didn't get his man then that is solely down to his playing Transfer Window Texas Hold'em.

Many Arsenal fans are feeling deflated and let down this morning, and understandably so, but the transfer window is closed now, and we need to get behind the players we've got.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 2 2008

Time: 10:15AM

Your Comments

Have to say that although Eboue has improved, it was very disheartening to read that on the website this morning and nothing about transfers. Does anyone else think that the Club are starting to take the fans for granted? I know they fully trust and support Arsene but do we think that there needs to be a little more pressure applied? Or maybe we're just not a win-at-all-costs Club? Fergie and Man Utd, Chelsea and even Liverpool are so determined to be winners, but Arsene not only wants to win, but also win in style and cheaply.
Gooner_Vin
I guess there is a degree of PR in it but that doesn't make it any less true. Eboue has played pretty well in both midfield roles so far this season. So much so that if he had been playing like that elsewhere in Europe he would be just the sort of name that some would now be saying we should buy to strengthen our midfield options.
Amos.
I can't agree with that Amos - He has played well enough, but not eye catchingly well. The fact that the club chose to run this story on the day after the closing of the transfer window smacks of deseperation to me. Wenger could have made these comments directly after the Newcastle game ... he didn't. I'd much rather he came out and discussed what went on on the last day of the transfer window and why he waited until the last minute.
Rocky7
I think since he has arrived, it is the first time i am feeling let down by Wenger. When Vieira & Henry left i still had faith we would do well because i trust his decisions. But with Flamini, Gilberto & Diarra having left this year, and with no back up for Fabregas i was almost certain he would have got in at least one good MF. If its not a question about money, and its obvious we do not have the quality and depth in midfield then what are the reasons behind his risk. Stubborness, high morals, belief in what he has? Time will tell
paul_ownz
I must admit, I'm not that bothered we didn't sign anyone. However after reading all the comments from everyone else this morning, I wish we had just so there was more of a posative vibe about the club. What I think Wenger feels is 'can we get anyone better than our players could be potentially'. Key word is potential, and no one opitomises this more than Eboue at the moment. But how long can you have potential without fullfilling it? He's made a good start, lets hope it continues.
navydave
Of course it's a PR thing - arguably anything posted on Arsenal.com at any time is. I guess we'll hear any stories about deadline day all in good time but what went on is irrelevant now. Almost as irrelevant as Diarra and Gilberto were to last season yet somehow they are still seen as a loss.
Amos.
You know what i fear is that the minute things don't go our way on the pitch, I can just see the crowd at the Emirates turning on Wenger, I really can. I just wonder if that might be a turning point in his relationship with the fans and Club, and one that begins the process of him leaving at the end of his contract.
Gooner_Vin
I see them as a loss because despite barely playing a game bewteen them last season ... a little bit of patience could have seen them play most of the season this year and any worries could have been allayed. I'm not as downhearted as most of the Arsenal fans around ... but I certainly could be happier.
Rocky7
Actually these comments from Wenger appeared a day or so ago, in the aftermath of the Newcastle game (you can check this on NewsNow Arsenal). This is not an attempt to appease by Wenger, more likely by the press department who feel under pressure to say something this morning. Just to add to other voices on Eboue, I thought he was MOTM until his substitution the other day especially as he single-handedly (well virtually) set up th enerve-settling second goal for Robin. Never thought I'd say that of my least favourite player in the squad.
ClarkyRockGod
PS, I am a new Forum member so hi all! So's you know I am a season ticket holder and have been for about five years (was lucky enough to get it, after huge wait, in time for the Invincibles season). Wrt transfers, I do not think Denilson is up to it as CM and so also wanted to see a new face but I have read various Arsenal linked sources say that the plan is to play Diaby there, assuming he is ever fit. I think he might do well alongside Fabregas, although his fitness is a worry and it is odd that Wenger usually employed him last season as a left winger (at which he was pretty poor most games)
ClarkyRockGod
Welcome to VA CRG!!! New opinions are always welcome!! :)
Rocky7
I would guess the majority of those fans that would have been happy with Inler would have no real idea whether he is better than Eboue or not. The problem is that it isn't possible to judge Eboue with anything other than a jaundiced eye because of what's gone on before but if you compare his stats this season with Diarra so far this season then Eboue doesn't come out second best.
Amos.
Final thought - it looks clear to me at least that Wenger did try to bring in a midfielder and that he targeted Alonso and Inler (for all those chavvy so-called Arsenal blogs that are mindlessly calling for his head this morning). The latter decided to sign a new contract for Udinese, saying he isn't ready for the Premiership, and the former would not be sold by Liverpool given failure to get Barry and probably also this week's injury to Steven Gerrard. So today's disappointment is probably not for want of trying, just bad luck in the case of Alonso and a young man's nervousness in the case of Inler. If Wenger hadn't even tried to get anyone in I think we would have grounds for greater disappointment.
ClarkyRockGod
We'll be alright this year lads, we just need a bit of luck....... by god we're due some!
navydave
People always talk about potential and transition. But how long do you wait for transition? 2005-6 was transition, last year showed progress falling slightly short, and this year we have gone one step backwards as we have a weaker squad. Will we just be a team forever with potential bringing through youngsters like ajax but ultimatly never winning anything to teams who are prepared to spend now.
paul_ownz
Clarky I think my greatest disapointment is that we waited unil the very last minute .... why? Wenger himself said that it would be a crap shoot on the final day. He admits himself that we are short in that department so should have been working non-stop to find the right player, not trying to bag himself a bargain. That said I still think our squad has got a little something for the rest of the league (barring injuries).
Rocky7
Fair comment about the last minute dash. Suspect its due to his natural inclination to spend as little as possibly, hoping that he could force through deals on the last day at lower prices. Sadly, Citeh and Man Yoo proved the only way to force things is to pay silly money (and have no principles in the latter case)
ClarkyRockGod
People have to be honest and say it's pathetic, at the start of the summer if someone said to me that Arsenal would not replace Flamini but instead on transfer deadline day run an article about Eboue being a pass master, I would assume they were inventing a far fetched worse case scenario just to wind me up. Truly baffling from Wenger, I don't think he will recover from this one, the team will obviously get injuries and Arsenal's lack of transfer activity will hit hard (again). People could argue the opposite but my point is that the negative outlook is a highly probable one which could and should have been made less likely to occur, no guarantees but why take the gamble? If Wenger can improve the team's probability of success with a much needed midfielder then why not reduce the odds of failure? It makes no sense to me at all.
Professor Calculus
According to Benitez Wenger had already bid for Alonso. I guess he was either turned down out of hand or quoted a figure that just didn't make sense. In which event it isn't so much that Wenger left it to the last minute as simply gave it one last try.
Amos.
Well I'm of the belief that Wenger should have had multiple players to look at. He always says that he will only bring in players who are equal to or better than the ones we have .... I can't believe there are no midfielders wanting to join one of the great clubs in Europe who aren't better than Denilson or Song. After all AW is always telling us there are more people wanting to join Arsenal than to leave. It's too much of a risk to leave his final bid to the last minute, if one bid has already been knocked back then you keep going until it isn't financially viable, then look elsewhere.
Rocky7
I just put a post up in the forum that talks about how we need a replacement for Cesc, not Flamini. Its obvious that anybody of Song, Denildon, Diaby or Eboue could play as well as Flamini did alongside Cesc, but none of them can play without him.
Tom14
Thats why Alonso would have been a good signing.
Tom14
navydave, i doubt it...were *****ed...and just face it.
gooner_till_i_die
come on rocky - do u think arsene wasnt looking at multiple players ? your transfer dealings in a nutshell are all well in theory but thats it and of course there are better players but they have to be at the right price - was SWP worth over £20 mill is Robinho (who we were linked with) worth over £32 mill ?? i agree with almost everybody that a new midfielder is needed but its over and for all those waving the white flag, come on get behind the team and you never know with injuries and suspensions going our way we could very well spring a surprise - keep the faith
u-man
"were ****ed ... and just face it". For God's sake, I know they were not Chelski or Man Yoo, but we played fantastically against Newcastle. That football was a shear joy to watch. Yes I want us to win things but if you write us off now, three games in to the season, you will miss out on some fabulous entertainment.
ClarkyRockGod
What about Stephen Appiah....apparently he is available after the transfer window shuts as he is no longer affiliated with fernebache....gotta be worth a punt surely.
guscaesar
Tom14 - thats a very good point, cesc would make most midfielders look better than they are. Will be interesting to see how Flamini gets on, he couldnt stop AC from a shock loss at the weekend. Final point, maybe there is still a signing to be made......how you may ask ?? players out of contract can move freely outwith the transfer window and Appiah isout of contract and was once linked with us so maybe just maybe he will sign on the dotted line now that arsene was unable to sign other player he was after ?? just a thot, (hope springs eternal) he would bring steel and experience to the core of the team and i feel he could do a great job but maybe im just dreaming......
u-man
guscaesar - you beat me to the Appiah news :) definitely worth a punt in my eyes
u-man
There is no way I'm waving the white flag .... if Wenger has taught me anything then it's that he can always surprise me. I'm just very disapointed vital players were replaced.
Rocky7
I lke the cut of your jib CRG. Seems like wrist slitting negativity is the order of the day. Unless you can get the quality then gambling on a squad of 26 instead of 27 isn't really risking too much.
Amos.
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
arsenalhomme
Good point about playing alongside Cesc - Denilson looked happier on Saturday. Let's face it, for all the adulation heaped on Flamini last season, we all thought he was a journey-man midfielder (but strangely a not-half-bad left back) for the seasons before that. Perhaps we will all be saying "Denilson/Diaby/Song was an absolute revelation in CM" come next May. Obviously I am speculating but its happened before! It does, though, also highlight our reliance on Fabregas staying free from injury or illness.
ClarkyRockGod
But it is risking more than gambling on the squad of 27. Why take that risk? ... especially when we have been assured we're well wedged up! If we were skint then I would be completely happy with what we've got, but week in week out we're told we're sitting on a rather large pile of cash.
Rocky7
I like Eboue as a player.
G4L
It's not my view that we're one player short, we're three in my book. But Gallas suffered last season because he was the only experienced player on the pitch, so now we're putting even more on him? Ifs, buts and mybes are all very well, but I'm not sure why we couldn't make a little more sure by either bringing in quality, or retaining Gilberto. Perhaps Diaby will come good, perhaps he won't, perhaps someone will slip a cyanide pill in my Guinness tomorrow. It's absurd to blindly expect young players to step up without experience alongisde them, look at how Denilson suffered at the Cottage. Even if they do step up, history suggests they'll look for a move once they become the players we all hope they will. Positivity, negativity, whatever it's all bull*****. Like I said last week, only a fool makes up his mind before he hears the issue. The fact is we've lost three central midfielders and bought Ramsey. That's poor management anyway you slice it. AW took a gamble that wasn't necessary and now he has to live with the criticism.
Little Dutch
Our squad size it isn't shorter in numbers than last season. You might fairly argue that we are shorter in experience but that forgets that the whole squad is more experienced than the one we started last season with. Cesc will be a better player this season than last so will a number of others. The funny thing about Denilsons performance against Fulham is that (other than the goal of course) it was no different in any key area than his performance against Newcastle. He wasn't any better (or worse depending how you look at it) whether he had Cesc or Eboue beside him. Cesc made no difference at all to Denilsons individual game though he clearly had an impact on the game overall.
Amos.
I can understand people being somewhat concerned, but didn't expect this amount of negativity. I was waiting for a sigining more in hope than expectaion. From AW comments previously i know he has a lot of faith in the current squad. I'm not going to criticise him until we're out of contention in the PL and champ league. I think there's plenty of hope from what we've seen of the team so far. We've made a decent start, only 1 point off top of the league table. Nasri has slotted in brilliantly, RVP looks lihe he's finding form. We have a lot of options for partnering Cesc in midfield- Djourou, Song, Bischoff, Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey. Only need one of them to be successful. I think we'll do as well as last season if not better. We have no divine right to win the PL and champ league. Even if we spent money, there are a lot of clubs who could comfortably outspend us. I think AW is right to take a different approach. Only time will tell.
jubair
Lads and lasses. We have our squad, like it or lump it. While we have every right as fans to criticise the club over anything we want, we also have a responsibility as supporters to support! lets get behind the squad and get the good vibes flowing. Onwards and upwards. In a few months we'll have too many midfielders and the same people will be bitching when Rosicky, Diaby and Eduardo are fit, demanding certain line-ups.
Bradys Chips
im not too worried,for me its always better to start slowly and finish strong....we may lack a little in experience but they are all a year wiser,and i think too many news faces can cause a disruption,in that it takes time to settle,and aclimatize, and it makes the player we already have feel anxious or negative.i feel Song is the man for defensive midfield, with denilson and diaby as back up...the real question as lots of people have asked is who can replace cesc if he gets injured...the answer could be.....??? any takers, we have many players who could play that position,but are they good enough..only time will tell
fran merida
I have to admit for the first time I am well and truly disappointed in Wenger. Every other choice that raised eyebrows in the past could be supported by looking at the squad and pointing to the youth policy. This time though? Cesc is fantastic. Denilson is very good but not complimentary. Song may or may not be right for the role, but we have no idea really since he's never been given a decent run. Diaby, IMO, is complete and utter crap. I don't rate him. I would honestly rather see Eboue start every game than see Diaby in the side, but Eboue is far from the ideal DM. We have others but they are so young they look at our 20 year olds and see them as old hands. We have talent and loads of potential, no doubt, but a few dollars should have been spent on strength and experience. Flamini left over money, and I appreciate not breaking the wage structure for him. Gilberto was allowed to go for peanuts, though. While he may not have been the old Gilberto he is still superior to the other choices. I have to believe Wenger really wanted to buy. I believe he planned on making another late window brilliant buy and outsmarted himself for the sake of trying to save a few dollars. Genuinely disappointed.
smithdj74
AW obviously thinks one or two players,who up till now have been ordinary, are going to turn into world-class performers this season....he has said that he thinks we already have a good enough squad to win the Champions league. I would like to think he could be right but it hinges on so much. We need ALL our squad fit and available for most of the season....that's a big ask , but if it's possible I for one think there is enough quality already there.....
radarman
Wenger is partly right in his comments about Eboue but the bigger reason why the fans didnt warm to him were coz of his antics. He looks to have cut that out and is putting in solid performances. Hopefully this will continue.
prits
Maybe it's not just Arsene wanting to appease us here, but the rest of the squad somehow who are the ones totally behind Eboue. If you see the reception he got for feeding vanPersie the goal last week, it speaks volumes - they mobbed him in a relieved way, which said they believed in him and he never got recognition or reward for his talent, till then. Maybe Eboue is so good in training that he convinced his team-mates and Arsene of something we have not yet seen. Might sound weird but that's what I felt.
Andy-bayor
I think it was more because he gets a lot of un justfiied stick and he is one of the most liked characters in the locker room. Doubt its because he is superstar that only the fans cant see
paul_ownz
the adulation eboue receved was a little surprising to be honest - its clear he is well liked and i think sometimes he is unfairly criticised when others have equally average games which go unnoticed. he has had a good start to the season and nobody can complain that he was selected ahead of walcott as he justified his selection with another solid display - maybe and i stress maybe he might even learn to shoot
u-man
I differ from the fans that say this is a weaker squad than last season as I believe we're stronger at present and will get even stronger. The only player we'll miss is Flamini, but he only truthfully had one exceptional season. Who is to say that someone in the present squad (Diaby, Song, Eboue, Ramsey) cannot replace him eventually. Eboue is vastly improved in attitude and ability. RvP is back, so he is an addition, Hleb has gone (thank foook) and has been replaced by Nasri, a man who has shown more in 3 Prem games than hleb did in his entire time with us. Gilberto was no longer up to the pace of the Prem and needed to be moved on. I'm a little disappointed with Big Phil's departure as he's one of only two strong headers of the ball when clearing in the area. Maybe Silvestre, when used, can compliment the weak centre of our defence or Djourou should be given the chance to strengthen our weak area. There are also numerous reserve and youth talent who will get opportunity to shine in the league. Lastly, when RoSICKy returns and remains injury free, it will be like a new quality signing. So I say to all you doom merchants, 'get behind the team as deep down you all know that Wenger sees what happens during training and knows best.
bseymour
Regarding the Cesc's replacement issue. While nobody can replace him, I'm my opinion Alonso isn't half the player Cesc is, I do feel that either Rosicky or Nasri could do a good job if given that role. they've both played, and excelled in that position before. All is not bleak.
Bradys Chips
I agree with Bseymour on Flamini's replacement and Chips on Cesc's. Hehe nothing to add.
Lou the Gunneress
I think Arsenal needed to strengthen their squad after last season, even more so with all your departures.
Markcity
 

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