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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Or Not?

Despite reports that Arsenal had sent registration papers to the FA Premier League (and they had been received) the deal could have incredibly fallen through at the last second.

This news could be leaving one or two sites with egg on their face, after reports had emerged that the deal had been finalised and the official papers had been sent, but according to Sky Sports News a Zenit official has confirmed the deal did NOT go through at the last.

More news to follow.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 2 2009

Time: 5:35PM

Your Comments

EGG - FACE!!! LOL
Tom14
Covered in it Tom!!! lol
Rocky7
Hilarious Tom.
shewore
Well if you havent got this one in the bag then your manager is an idiot! I think he is losing the plot and its time you had a change of management. reluctant to buy and when he does decide to bring in someone it takes forever and still may not have gone through. You have no chance of winning anything again this season but hey as a Spurs fan we always have egg on our face of late.
loz
Never assume anything unless it's it's official. Man, talk about a kick in the balls.
Professor Calculus
Rocky, you have been like Top Gear. Ambitious, but rubbish in your reporting. Gutting.
itsup4grabsnow
Indeed IU4GN!! A mistake was made, but when you hear that the registration papers have gone through then you assume everything is done.
Rocky7
There's no comfort here - whether he comes or not it's too little too late. Practically any decent, mature player would have fulfilled the role of a good catalyst which is all we could have hoped for at this late stage. Why we got so hung up on one player is beyond me.
Andy-bayor
You mean it was all based on hearing something? Who did you hear it from? Don't want to kick you when your down Rocky but I just want to know what made you so sure, it might yet have some credibility.
Professor Calculus
Fs SSN you bunch of ****s!
saisho
Lololllol..i really dunno to laugh or cry
ajwb
A journalist confirmed that the paperwork had been sent and recieved by Arsenal and the PL (The same guy confirmed the Keane paperwork and transfer), he's now saying that there could have been some problems with the signatures or something. TBH, I don't know what to think anymore and this whole saga is in keeping with Arsenal right now .... a f*&*king shambles. My article included.
Rocky7
so you got him or not!?!?!??!
The Fear
its not over yet......
daveski
I'm trying desperately to keep the faith. Singing God Save the Team now!
GoonerLou
There is nothing about the success or failure of the transfer on the official site- it's not like Arsenal to keep their supporters in the dark!
elbondo
http://www.setanta.com//uk/Articles/Football/2009/02/02/Premier-League-Arshavin-confusion/gnid-38355/
gooner7
Elbondo - did you have trouble getting on? I've not been able to access the site for around an hour.
Rocky7
could be pivotal re: Villa v Arsenal this signing, very interesting! That said, (sorry, you prob don't care a neutrals point of view) not convinced he is THAT good, if he was, would he really have been in the Russian league untouched so long? Also difficult to adapt quickly.
The Fear
bunch of scruges lol. wh not take a leaf out of our book for once an pay.
123spurs
123 - The fee had been agree, we offered the money they wanted.
Rocky7
Rocky, no problem with arsenal.com. I've been F5'ing it, nothing new there. Maybe they route overseas web traffic separately, and the domestic UK traffic has been too much for their servers or something. But no news on there. Will let you guys if sth comes up.
GoonerLou
ok 7 what's hold up so, is on zeint side our arsenal's
123spurs
Neither, 123. It's apparently the return of half of the signing-on fee that Zenit had given to AA when he signed the new deal cos he's only completed half of that period.
GoonerLou
cheers, crazy stuff still might go through
123spurs
I wish I knew 123. Nobody knows. It's one big mess.
Rocky7
true, see probs we have ...lol gonna be some game sunday
123spurs
Well done Rocky, you've beaten me to the top spot in the members league table, I've just realised. :D
GoonerLou
Rocky, no problems at all, it's not even slower than usual, and I just checked now (6:39pm England time). Lou, I'm checking from overseas as well (Canada).
elbondo
I can't say I'm looking forward to it 123, my usual sense of forboding has been heighten 10 fold.
Rocky7
Setanta Sports News says 'Arsenal expect to sign Arshavin this evening and he's supposed to be unveiled tomorrow morning.' i.e. no point refreshing arsenal.com then? lol
GoonerLou
If Arsenal & the board wait until tomorrow to unveil him that makes them first class c&*%s in my eyes. It's impossibe they don't know how we're all feeling and to drag it out even further is cntishness of the highest order.
Rocky7
In other words, don't buy a new keyboard just yet, we could have a night full of the stain of society.
Tom14
I know! But I'm just not sure if that bit was Setanta Sports News's 'understanding' or from the direct quote!
GoonerLou
I keep going on the Arsenal shirt website and checking if his name is put on the shirt list and I have also been watching the Emirates Stadium live feed.
Tom14
AW himself told SSN: "We will make an announcement today." "Yes it will be a positive announcement, it will go through."
GoonerLou
LOL - I've been doing the same thing Tom!! And yes, second hand info but apparently Wenger says it's done!!
Rocky7
Hmm but didn't Kitbag (the sports merchandise company who runs quite a few of online shopping sites for clubs) make the stupid mistake of offering Chelsea shirts with Robinho's name on it? lol
GoonerLou
WTF is going on? I thought City's on-off pursuit of Roque Santa was badly handled, but if you have actually failed to get the player in then it is a sign of major ineptitude on your part. Of the big 4 clubs Arsenal are the only one I've any time for mainly due to the way you play lovely football (and the fact my wife is a Gooner), but without Arshavin I think your season will collapse. If you don't make the Champion's league next season, then you could be in big trouble.
fifthcolumnblue
Exactly.
Tom14
Btw Chelsea have signed Quaresma on loan, interesting.
GoonerLou
Not really, Quaresma is a oile of turd who can do a step over. You know your a bad player when your manager is willing to trade you for Jenas.
Tom14
Maybe I'vejust gone loopy, maybe I'm just beginning to accept how average we are and don'tfeel as intense about this sort of thing as I probably should this evening, but usually I find transfer gubbins boring, but today has actually been quite fun.
Little Dutch
That's what makes it interesting Tomf! He hasn't played much for Inter either, if he's deemed not good enough for Serie A, I'm not sure how he'll do in the Prem.
GoonerLou
Well LD it's like our late goals that get us a draw/win really. Fun and exciting, but do you want this week in week out?
GoonerLou
Come on LD, we're still in the race for 4th spot. I still believe that, even without Arshavin. This transfer saga is really tiresome though.
prits
This has been like the transfer equivalent of a penalty shoot out. It's sudden death and Eboue is up for the next kick.
Little Dutch
We have got him! he will be wearing the number 13 shirt
Achilles
Yeah, but he's going up against Heurelho Gomes. Don't forget the incompetence of both sides!!
TPowell
Weare stillin the race, yes. We're losing it comfortably,but we're still technically in it. That just feels like a very average place to be. Particularly when you pay caviar prices for bangers and mash to borrow an expression from someone.
Little Dutch
Indeed TP lol! But now it seems the ball is just about crossing the goal line, with Gomes beaten, but suddenly, the ref blows the whistle. It has to be retaken! :D
GoonerLou
Quaresma has failed at both big clubs he's gone to, Barca and Inter. If it doesn't work for him at Chelsea, he will have to settle for mediocrity at a Portuguese club.
gunnerkid107
has anything been confirmed...?
HENRY`14
Sort of - according to SSN, AW answered their questions - see AW quotes in my post above.
GoonerLou
lol, it had to be retaken because Darren Bent ran up and kicked it thinking it was his turn!!
TPowell
And 'Arry has to tell Bent that even if they could take the next penalty after our retake, it'll be Keane's turn cos he's back. Bent: "Oh is he, boss?"
GoonerLou
To that idiot "Loz": STOP ASSUMING THIS RUNAROUND IS DUE TO WENGER AND ARSENAL. The insanity over this deal is due to ZENIT's machinations. A blog I trust reported this just a little while ago: ARSHAVIN UPDATE ***UPDATE*** My sources inform me that all signatures ARE in place, but the final “release” requires that there is no unsettled disputes or outstanding claims from the selling club and the player. The lawyers are trying to sort this one out, as I said. Zenit cannot retract their signature, but like the excahnge of contracts in buying and selling houses, one has to wait for money to hit accounts. If Zenit raise an objection, this could go to the Court of Arbitration and Zenit would run the risk of having Arshavin refuse to play for them again. Zenit are hoping that Arsenal will step in on behalf of Arshavin, so as to prevent other clubs coming in for him on a Webster in the Summer." Whether or not that's true, he's not the only source saying that all the proper signatures have been put to paper, it's Zenit that's playing games. Also, Wenger was on skysports a little while ago saying he will have positive news tonight, that the deal is done.
jaelle
It's not over yet. Apparently Dennis Lachter has said we won't know till tommorow.
ArsenalRob
Lachter is such a world-class wind-up merchant!!
GoonerLou
But Arsene himself said an announcement would be made tonight!
GoonerLou
Latcher is a****. I'm gutted one of our players will have him associated with them. God only knows what he'll be like in the future!
Rocky7
Lachter and Nasri's agent must be best mates. -_-
GoonerLou
The agent who negotiated the deal (or part o it) confirmed that he is our player.
Tom14
Where did you get that agent's confirmation Tomf?
GoonerLou
Lou is somewhat kind to Lachter and Rocky is more spot on with his description. The amount of ***** we've heard from both Lachter and Zenit this Jan has been unbelievable!
prits
Well Prits I'm a well-bred woman and a mod here. :>
GoonerLou
its a bit slow getting all the latest news down here in sunny cornwall, but ive just heard down at our local pasty shop, that arshavin is now going to inverness caladonian thistle for a reported fee of 896 scottish pounds as he is so totally p++++d of with the whole affair,just like the rest of us come back perry groves, all is forgiven
cornish gooner
It's true, the whole thing reminds me of some kind of handling over negotiations with two different groups of terrorists in some United nations meeting. Lachter and Arshavin as one group and Zenit as the other. It hasn't been handled as though it has anything to do with football. I hate to jinx it now, but there's been something about this transfer that I haven't liked from the begging even when he 'was going to spurs' something felt wrong...
ArsenalRob
The guy spoke on TalkSport over here in England. He complimented our efforts and stated that Arshavin was already wearing an Arsenal shirt and is very happy with signing. Four year deal, number 13.
Tom14
Well Rob do you think Nasri's been worth the pain so far? I dearly hope AA will be better, now that his agent/club have given us so much *****. He'd better be bloody brilliant, i.e. win the FA Cup, lead us to the CL final or something!
GoonerLou
Can't lead us the the CL final im afraid Lou!
Rocky7
To be honest, for me the Nasri situation wasn't that bad. I just knew he would come, because we didn't hear anything except the odd sounds of very mild approval, nobody was heard to say it wouldn't happen, with Arshavin there have been mixed messages flung at us from all over the place, coupled with the usual ambiguity of Wenger, although he admitted he was interested, he never gave any more details than that.
ArsenalRob
I just finished reading a book called the Bader Meinhof Complex, true story about Gemran Socialist terrorists. Anyways, it describes a hijacking of a German tourist plane by Palestinian terrorists. They keep giving demands and deadlines, only for the German authorities to convince them to push deadlines back and buy time to mount the rescue mission. In the end, the German army burst onto the plane and rescue the hostages and killthe hijackers seconds before they are about to blow the plane upand everyone in it. Those German diplomats would have probably considered that a holiday compared to this transfer negotiation, which became a farce about ten days ago. It's now a circus.
Little Dutch
Premier League say they will tell us tomorrow!! CNTS!!!
Rocky7
I'm not realistically expecting a great breakthrough led by AA per se, more of a real confidence boost to the team so we can carry on. And seriously, I'd be happy if we can claw back to claim the 3rd/4th spot and do reasonably well in the Cup.
GoonerLou
The fact it's the PL who are telling us wether the transfer will stand lends some credibility to the theory that there was something wrong with the paperwork ...... and lets me off the hook!
Rocky7
Rocky does that mean we won't get any confirmation from the club until the PL lets them make the announcement tomorrow?! Or can the club do their own thing and unveil the player?
GoonerLou
I'd guess the club can't announce anything until the PL tell us the paperwork is in order, was there on time and the transfer is valid! More waiting for us gooners.
Rocky7
Rocky, you were totally correct, it was you claiming that he has signed that was the problem.
Tom14
Problem? I see no problem! :P
Rocky7
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1133847/Arshavins-Gunner-Arsenal-man-cheap-day-tense-negotiations.html?ITO=1490 This just popped up un newsnow I know that the source is not one of the best but the article is actually quite good read.
Armory
Yeah Armoury, I can't believe it's 12m fee + 2m performance bonus + 70k/week. Very sceptical to say the least.
GoonerLou
I know gunnerLou, it's the storie around the negotiations that I found quite interesting especially about his wages in Russia, if true his wages would be easily affordable for Arsenal.
Armory
Can I be misery guts and have a little ***** on this parade... I mean £70k a week - wtf? Since when does a player unproven in the best European leagues merit that kind of pay packet. We need a spark but this all seems wrong to me. We are doing this out of desperation, which is a poor substitute for better planning. I just hope Wenger gets lucky with this new departure!
Andy-bayor
Arrival you mean?
Armory
Andy I see where your coming from but when your voted the 6th best player on the planet you arent going to accept the same amount per week as average joe. If we got him on 70k per week he is being paid less than Lucas Neil, Craig Bellamy and is on a par with Kieron Dyer, Robbie Keane and a host of other nobodys in world football. If the fee is anything like £12million thats a fantastic price for us to have eventually negotiated.
iceman10
This arrival is a new departure :-) I take it all back if goonerlou meant 70k in roubles
Andy-bayor
I hear what you're saying iceman, but how many of those desperately-bought names were a success? Look at our £80k Adebayor - he looks like he's above trying now! I agree the £12m is about right, but I wonder who voted him 6th best player - was it mostly Russians? He's got a lot of proving to do to earn that 70k.
Andy-bayor
I agree with Andy, he's certainly talented but has never played outside Russia, which is obviously not the strongest league, and international football, which is no way near as tough as the EPL either. He has to work hard this boy because if he doesn't I can see him being a burden and eventually being sold. On the other hand... he is very talented and despite my scepticism over the size of the contract i know he can do a good job for the club.
ArsenalRob
Guys, whatever he'll be, he'll be better than Eboue, won't he?! Maybe able to provide a decent assist? Maybe able to take a scoring chance? If this happens, I for one can't wait to see an Arsenal side with Cesc, Nasri, van Persie, Arshavin and Eduardo as our attacking threat. Now doesn't that sound so much better?!
Gooner_Vin
As well as outshining every other player at Euro 2008, Arshavin outshined every other Russian Premier league player, every UEFA Cup player and about 95% of all players in the World. He is Super World Class. 20 mil and 80 grand a week is a steal, this is a ****ing incredible deal if it really goes through.
Tom14
Yeah Tom, no pressure on him or anything...
ArsenalRob
Ill re-do that last bit. 20mil and 80 grand a week would have been fantastic, the deal we got is incredible.
Tom14
I agree with Tom14 (which seems to be happening with some regularity now- should I be worried? ;) I think it's a good price, let's hope he proves his worth. At least he won't have trouble with the cold and rain. As the old saying goes Andy, desperate times call for desperate measures. Hopefully a lesson has been learned and in future we'll plan a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot) better. Then again, it's in the FA's hands now, a body so competent that they reviewed a tape of Boswinga kicking Benayoun in the back and saying no action need be taken, so I'm not 100% confident it will go through even if all the i's have been dotted and all the t's crossed.
elbondo
No pressure Rob, just the truth regarding his ability. If he fails it will not be down to ability, it will be mentality and the lack of physicality to cope in a tough league.
Tom14
elbondo, I think we should disagree a few times to make sure the World does not implode, ok? The Stone Roses are ace as ****. Their guitarist is a Legend and the drummer is possibly the greatest other than a few (Pert the obvious example). The bassist has consimed more drugs than the average village and the singer is cooler than anybody ever. And their best songs trump anything The Beatles or the Stone's have ever done. Oasis rule, Jazz drools.
Tom14
if he's half as good as he is on Pro Evo, this is a terrific signing. lol...
Gael-Force
Stone Roses- I think I remember them. They were those shoe-gazers who put out an album or two in the 1980's, right? I think I heard one of their songs on one of the radio stations while driving around in GTA:San Andreas. What ever happened to them? I heard they were going to do a reunion tour with A Flock of Seagulls, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Right Said Fred. Whew, that's better!
elbondo
Amos, you are like an island in a raging sea, you are wasting you time trying to discuss or talk sense. Why waste you time I have given up. The latest was a fan of our club swearing at me because he could not agree with my opinion. LD you have so much ability its a shame you let yourself down, your comments have really over the past days become more like the rantings of a the rest of the mob apart from a few on this blog. Don't worry i wont bore the rest of you with my stupid opinions, the best of luck to you all; what a shame such a good blog to go down to the level of the other blogs.
alwaysgunner
All we have done is discuss our club and what we feel is right or wrong with it? I havent seen 1 Wenger out call, no sack the board claims just sensible talk on where we believe our club should be challenging and how we as fans feel we should do it. If you want to join in feel free, Amos has differing opinions and seems to get on fine.
iceman10
Amos, just like to let u know that u r not alone, i shared most of ur views of this protracted saga
Temasek
some in this site are suggesting that AW, in reportedly trying to hold out 3m to conclude a deal, is merely being egoistic and prove that he is still the shrewdest dog in transfer biz. Some felt that it's not a question of assessing if a player is worth another 3m or more, but it's all about a "statement of intent". To the former, my question is - do we want a manager/owner who don't give a damn of the club's financial future and overpays insanely (check Bellamy-Man C; Heskey-Villa; ALL players-Spurs)? if that is so, maybe it's time that we demand the club to replace AW with another manager (the club would have an abundance of choice) that fits the bill. It is very easy to spend money, esp in AW case given his stature in the club he can esily use his intelligence to manipulate the situtation to "force" the club to give in to his demand. Also, it is not like he is spending his own $$$ and he will still draw his wages as well. But why is he risking incurring the wrath of the fans by trying his best to seal the best possible deal? To the latter, my question is - "how far are we prepare to spend to issue a "statement of intent"? the reported 15m pounds? If that does happen, won't we question the sanity, judgement and integrity of the board and AW?
Temasek
some are suggesting that if we fail to land AA, it would be proven that the club is contented to be a also-run team and lack geniune commitment to compete for honours, then it should not impose "title contender" ticket price. This is understandable and I can't disagree. IMO, this is especially true given the current economic climate where people are losing jobs or having to manage financial difficulties everyday globally, and yet, we the victims are asked to subsidise operating budgets/wages of clubs where the players, agents etc. continued to enjoy a charmed and luxurious lifestyle. My sense is, our club and AW, notwithstanding their apparent desire to maintain prudence in their financial dealing, are still invariably sucked into this obscenely inflated premiership market. But the fact remains that while we are struggling to remain competitive in th eleague, we are still unable to splurge as freely as the rest (who are bankrolled by the arabs, russians, americans) in the transfer market even when charging premium ticket prices. I feel it is not fair if in one hand we expect our club to uphold our roots and dignity & purity by repelling all "foreign invasion" and yet in the other compare our financial means with clubs that have welcomed sugar daddies with open arms. Hence, it is a situation where it's difficult to assess right or wrong. It is justifiable for fans to stop buying season ticket if the performance of the club is below expectation, maybe it is time we start doing so. Maybe the economic downturn would also start to reduce ticket sales, TV revenues etc. and finally bring some sanity to the financial world of the premiership. Maybe AW would be vindicated after all.
Temasek
Noe, he really has signed for us, just a question as to weather we completed it with the right signatures or not. And alwaysgunner, you have just proven me to be correct. elbondo, I know you dislike the SR, but what about (the old) Kings of Leon?
Tom14
Iceman, AG seems to believe that if you have an opinion that criticises the board/management/playing staff in any way that you're clearly insane and that it's a waste of time to talk to you. Nevermind that the majority of Gooners here have given thier thoughts and opinions in well thought out and cronstructive posts.
Rocky7
on his personal web site he says he'll be wearing no. 23.Hope he'll have an impact like another no. 23 had on his team and his initials were MJ. Rocky, time for you to write another article entitled " Closest Ar-Shavin ever".
G4L
I would think the only pointless debate or waste of time is one where everyone agrees. As long as there is disagreement and opinions differ then there is some point to it all. I do think we have got sucked into attaching too much importance to a single transfer as though it symbolises a pivotal point in the clubs history or future prospects - it does nothing or the sort. The way that Sky and others have marketed 'deadline day' with clocks ticking down is all part of whipping up that frenzy and the collective gnashing of teeth at the thought that we might fail to sign a player that realsitically few of us are able to judge properly as yet. Sky had a bunch of kids outside the Emirates last night ready to jump up and down as though we had won some major honour once the signing was announced. Assuming it goes through then we are short enough of creative influence for that to be a good thing and I'll look forward to seeing him in the colours. He may well be a genius and prove as important as Pires or Henry were but then again he maybe just another Reyes or Baptista. If the club has a player they want then that's great but whether it makes us a better team or not we have still to find out. The success or failure of the club will depend on much more than this one signing and that would have/ will still be true if the signing hadn't/hasn't gone through.
Amos.
AG, strap on a pair mate, people are allowed to have their opinions, that they are different to yours doesn't make them less worthy or connote anything about abaility, learn to listen and you will profit even from those that speak badly as the saying goes. I'm not particularly concerned whether my own opinions are with the majority or minority or whatever, they are mine. I refer you to A.A. Milne who said, "the third rate mind is happy when it is thinking with the majority, the second rate mind is happy when it is thinking with the minority, the first rate mind is happy when it is thinking." Anyway, that's enough pretension for one day. Temasek, my "beef" wasn't so much with the Arshavin saga or the player in itself, the fact that Barca, Madrid and Spurs were unable to broker deals in the summer proves Zenit were a right bunch of ********s to deal with. Nor do I want to smash our wage structure per se (though when you have the second highest wage bill in the Premiership and only three world class players in your squad, it's not really a moral card the club is holding). However, 1) the Alonso non deal should have taught us to always have a contingency plan and give us time to execute it (we also were very lucky to get Gallas, we signed him 10 mins after the deadline but the PL allowed it through) and 2) Seriously, Madrid and Barca made enquiries in the summer, found out the guy's wage demands and the fee, baulked and bought someone else instead. Why we spent 31 days trying to establish these facts is beyond me. Anyhoo, I also think its clear we needed more than one player and yes January is a dry time for good players, but that's what you get for sitting on your can all summer. Basically, the current squad is quite average, not capable of competing at the top and not of sufficient quality to play the kind of football the board have been using to justify the price structure for all of these years. The frustration for me is that a man of Wenger's peerless quality is more than capable of addressing the deficiencies much better than he has. If Redknapp or Hughes were our manager, I probably wouldn't be so frustrated, they are average managers who would make our side avaerage within the resources we have. Wenger is better than that and much better than he is showing right now.
Little Dutch
True Amos, but with the squad in its current state, we do need quality reinforcements, and if Arshavin (or anyone else Wenger deems good enough for this average squad in terms of Arsenal standards) is signed, then there is a chance that he will improve the team. Its not unreasonable to expect that, and our final finishing this season will depend on our transfer moves this Jan. I have to say that I would have liked 1-2 more signings, and there are more questions that I will raise despite Arshavin being signed. One of them being, it didnt look like there was an alternative lined up despite the significant uncertainty surrounding this transfer. That is not acceptable for a club like Arsenal, and the club needs to take another look at how certain things are run, if only to learn lessons for the next window.
prits
Once again, it's not a case of one signing transforming our team as such, he may he may not. It's also not to do with they hype around deadline day or anything of that sort. The fact is, the last 12 months have seen a huge fall in the quality of this team and I think it was important that after the floundering in the summer, that the manager made it clear that this wasn't acceptable to him and an acknowledgment that fighting a losing battle for 4th with Diaby on the wing ain't good enough. We were in a similar position in 2006, he bought in Adebayor, Diaby and Walcott (who wasn't really a signing for that season). That side's big problem was that it lacked physical power, so he went and bought two players that made up that shortfall. (Believe it or not, Diaby used to play quite well for us once upon a time, right up until the time he signed an improved contract I think). In their first games, Ade scored the winner and Diaby was MOTM away at Brum, we'd instantly rectified that fault and we weren't outmuscled away from home again that year. Van Persie was also injured two days after the clse of the window that year, so the signing of Ade proved invaluable. Now we are a team that does not create much at all and hasn't been doing so all season. That desperately needed to be fixed. Had it not, that would have been a tacit admission from the manager that, having not solved the problem in 2 transfer windows, that he wasn't all that bothered by it. Certainly not enough to have done anything tangible about it. I realise transfers aren't easy, but the man is paid well enough to have bought the needed players over a grand total of five months available.
Little Dutch
Where we end up this season will depend far more on the players we already have and a following wind than any January transfers. Bringing in other players might help, there isn't much point signing anyone if there isn't a least a hope they will add something, but we'll need to look far more to those we already have performing better if we really want to see an improvement. If there wasn't an alternative lined up then is that a failing by the club. Maybe there just wasn't anyone else available genuinely better. On the other hand maybe the club's negotiators were confident that they were better than those of Barcam Madrid and Spurs. If we have signed him where others could'nt broker a deal shouldn't we be commending them for their expertise?
Amos.
I wonder what time today we will get a definitive answer from the PL. Surely before lunch....
paul_ownz
Depending on the players we have seems to be a risky move, going by our performances so far. Its not like this squad has under-performed, I believe that this is genuinely their level. Hence, the importance of new signings. And yes, if this deal does go through, then credit to Arsenal, as negotiating with Zenit and Arshavin's agent seems to be tougher than most.
prits
The fact that Diaby used to play quite well for us simply proves that he is good enough to play quite well for us. The trick is to get him (and others) to play as well for us as we have seen that they are capable of doing. That the squad isn't performing well enough for better than 5th place at the moment is clear. If they are good players performing averagely then we have to get them performing better in order to achieve more. The problem we have is simply with the balance of the team not so much the quality of the players we have. It isn't completely true that we haven't created much all season. That's only become critical in recent games. We were creating chances in the early part of the season and were among the highest scoring teams. We still are but the loss of Cesc has reduced our creative ability in recent games though we have tightened up defensively - especially since Walcotts injury. We have shown that we can create chances and that we can keep clean sheets - but not as yet too often at the same time. Getting the midfield balance right is our biggest need (and gaining experience). If signing a player or two does that then that is the reason for bringing someone in - not as a symbol of the club's virility for the sake of supporters.
Amos.
The players (some of them at least) who used to perform well but aren't doing so right now appear to be doing so, at least in my opinion, because they aren't surrounded by the quality they once were. Diaby played well initially partly because he is a good player, but also because he had the movement, knowledge and experience of, let's face it, world class players like Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Campbell, and such. It's much harder for Diaby these days because the quality that left the club has been replaced with, for want of a better word "lesser players". It will have been much easier for Diaby to find a pass or space or what not when he's got Gilberto protecting him, Pires and Henry making runs for him than it is with Denilson, Eboue and Adebayor for the simple fact that the quality isn't as good as it once was. It's a vicious circe really.
Rocky7
Amos - doesn't Wenger say the first sign of quality is consisitency? (or something along those lines). In that case the likes of Diaby, Eboue and Song aren't quality. Sure, that may be a reflection of their inexperience/age, but then that's the manager's fault for expecting all these young players to deliver week in week out. The bottom line is mistakes have been made and it's not as though they are less than obvious. If this signing hadn't been made I have to say that there would have been an air of despair around the fans. Whatever happens at the end of the season, at least we can feel that the Club actually tried to be bold and go for it.
Gooner_Vin
If signing 2-3 new players gives Diaby and the likes a good ol' kick up their complacent arse, by providing some competition for places, then what you're talking about could also be achieved, in addition to providing additional quality to the squad.
prits
Rocky - that's a great point. I really feel that we should have kept Gilberto, his experience, leadership, genuine love of this club and his positional sense/play would have invaluable right now.
Gooner_Vin
I still think a statement of intent is needed, again not just for the supporters, although that does play its part. The fact is the manager needed to demonstrate that the lack of balnace AND quality in midfield and the enormous malaise of the last 12 months isn't good enough. The whole club stinks of complacency to me from top to bottom, just as it did in 1995 when Bergkamp landed and in 2001 when Campbell arrived. Undoubtedly these were two great players for us and if Arshavin could enjoy anything approaching that success that would be an awesome signing indeed. But I think it's foolhardy to dismiss the timing of these signings, they lifted the whole club and transmitted a message to the players, the fans and the board that we weren't going to settle into the rut. You simply cannot underestimate how much of an effect that had. (Both Campbell and Bergkamp had pretty average starts to their Arsenal careers, but the sense of purpose their signings had transmitted to the squad saw their performances lift instantly). Malaise sets in very easily and it has at Arsenal in a big way, for the manager to have left that wound undressed for two consecutive transfer windows would be scarsely forgivable and a sure sign that he accepts where we are now. A UEFA Cup club with a glimmer of hope for CL qualification. If the manager and the board accept that, it follows that the players do too.
Little Dutch
Absolutely LD/Prits, i think some of these players need to realise that they're not undroppable, when it unfortunately appears that they are. Adebayor being a case in point, now i'm really hoping this arrival, and Eduardo's return will give him a kick up the Arse that he deserves, because at the moment, he truly is undroppable.
shewore
Complacency is exactly what's wrong here. Adebayor is a prime example of that. He had a stunning season last season and now it appears he believes he's undroppable for any susstained period. I remember when he was trying to break his way into the team, I've never seen a player run so hard, for so much for so long. And now it seems as though he just doesn't care. To me, Arshavin was so desperate to join Arsenal that he won't only bring with him quality, but also an enthusiasm that will hopefully rub off on other players. The fact that he can play in any position forward of the defence (aside from DM) should give the rest of the players food for thought, as well as a stern kick in the ring piece.
Rocky7
Very well said LD, could not agree more. A 'statement of intent' indeed. The rest of this squad needs a kick up the arse.
Moorish
I thought Arshavin was desperate to join Barca - or Spurs even. If the quality really isn't there then signing one player isn't going to release it. Rather than complacency I think it is anxiety and nervousness that has affected performances lately. By and large we have the same squad that performed well last season. The only regulars we lost were Flamini and Hleb. Could both be fairly described as world class though they are quality players? Neither were among the 4 Arsenal players that made that years PFA team of the year -all of whom are still with us. Even with Gattuso out Flamini is behind Ambrosini for a starting place at Milan. Hleb isn't an automatic choice at Barca. Yet both were important players in the balance of the team last year. The quality is still there (not the quality of Henry or Pires in their pomp but where would you find that now?) - maybe lacking the experience but that will come anyway. The balance to properly utilise the quality we have, and thereby bring consistency to the quality we have shown at times, has still to be found. I am not arguing that we shouldn't sign Arshavin or anyone else for that matter. Just the idea that we are ****ed if we don't sign him/them right now and that there is a great pool of readli available talent out there all better than what we have at present.
Amos.
If there isn't readily available talent better than we have, I have to ask why it is we're deservedly 5th? The loss of Hleb and Flamini were so big because a) it has robbed us of our balance, b) the fact that neither player was replaced has absolutely cemented the place of certain players in the team and c) promoted those that weren't good enough from last February onwards when the squad was hit with injuries last season. Once again, whether Arshavin can wave a magic wand is not really the point, the point is does the manager accept that the sides huge fall in such a short space of time isn't good enough and does he at least try to rectify it? To not have addressed it would have been a tacit admission that he is happy with what we have put out in the last year. I don't think nervousness has played a part in our indifferent displays, it's because the quality of player we now have is, with a very few gleaming exceptions, not able to produce the kind of football Arsenal want to play. That's not inexperience, that's not nerves, that's not down to injuries, that's down to quality. The fact is our midfield at the moment do not have the technical ability to control the ball under pressure and distribute it quickly and accurately and keep the ball moving. This is why we haven't seen many good performances from Arsenal this season and why we aren't even close to being the most attractive side in England any longer.
Little Dutch
Yeah and now we're even about the 5th or 6th match to be shown on Match of the Day!
Gooner_Vin
Amos - I recall you starting a thread in the forums a while ago in which you suggested it was Alex Hleb Arsenal missed the most from it's starting line up. Everything we are now lacking was what Hleb was all about (apart from goals obviously) and from what I've seen of AA he is the perfect foil ... possibiy even better as he can score goals. Of course he might not adpat, but that's the risk taken with every single transfer you make.
Rocky7
Flamini was replaced. You can argue whether Flamini on his form in the first half of last season is better than Denilson has produced so far but the fact that whatever the answer is it isn't an unequivocal one tells me that Denilson is a more talented and ultimately a better player in that role even if he did get the job earlier than we would ideally have wished. Nasri was bought to replace Hleb - simple enough. Again Hleb brought other less direct qualities to the team that we lack with Rosicky out but it I can accept the argument that Nasri is more productive. We didn't replace Rosicky but we may have done with Arshavin. The rest of the squad was good enough to come within 4 points of the title last season. There is no reason to expect that a young squad with it's best performances still in front of them shouldn't go on to be better over the coming seasons. It would have been easy to write off a 22 year old Henry as Juventus did. Inter wrote off a 25 year old Bergkamp and sold him for half the price they paid for him. Condemning the majority of the present squad as lacking quality while being certain that whoever Wenger buys will automatically be better than he has already bought seems a little perverse. If he was wrong about the players he has bought already why we would expect him to be right about those he buys now? Rather than nervousness perhaps I should have said a lack of confidence. Once the players start to believe in themselves the results will improve and your confidence in their quality will also improve.
Amos.
If Wenger was wrong (which has been known in the past) then is it not better to try and right those wrongs? There's nothing to say he won't get it wrong again, but you can't win the raffle if you don't buy a ticket.
Rocky7
Honestly now, are you saying you feel that the likes of Diaby and Eboue are going to have the quality of the likes of Henry, Bergkamp etc? I mean how long does it take, Eboue has been here since Jan 2005, Diaby Jan 2006. Neither are youngsters. I agree Denilson is doing a fine job, but I think he's a more exceptional talent than either of the aforementioned- by a million miles. I've said it before and I'll say it again, expecting Rosicky to be a player for us this season was appalling judgement. The fact is a team can wait a couple of months (and that's all it was, he started scoring freely from Nov 1999 onwards) when the rest of the team has quality. Patently, right now we are asking far too much of far too many limited players and just hoping that they turn into world beaters when part of what aided the development of the likes of Fabregas, Henry etc was having players of Bergkamp and Vieira vintage around. When Bendtner is booed or misses a chance, who does he look to? Diaby? Eboue? 17 year old Jack Wilshere? We've tipped the balance too far and it shows on the pitch. That had to be rectified and that won't be rectified if we keep playing limited players together.
Little Dutch
*I meant wait a couple of months for a player like Henry. Fortunately on that occasion, while he developed we bought in another striker who did a pretty good job up until TH sorted himself out. Chap by the name Davor Suker, world class goalscorer and someone who a) we could trust to do a job and b) was probably of value on the training ground when Henry, by his own admission, couldn't finish a Greek salad.
Little Dutch
Yes you're right Rocky but I wasn't talking specifically about Hleb - though that was my reference point - I was talking about the lack of balance largely by trying to replace a Hleb/Rosicky type player with Walcott - an entirely different player. It was a point I made at a time when many were banging on about the need for a 'ball winning' midfielder seeing that as the problem at the time. My belief then was - and still is - that we have a problem in the wide areas and not in central midfield. As it happens I think that even Diaby has been doing a decent job in the middle over the last 2 or 3 games. Not good enough to replace Cesc but not a playing lacking in quality either. We seem to be deciding on the basis of just over one half season that everything we have done is wrong and apart from one or two exceptions the squad is bereft of quality. That's an understandable frustration given the encouragement of last season and the disappointment of this but an over reaction. The quality is there. I like the raffle analogy Rocky but most here seem to think that Wenger has bought too many tickets and is gambling a little too much that his judgement of the existing players will prove right in time. They are looking for the certainty that equates with spending in the transfer market as a fix for problems that aren't so straightforward - as many have found.
Amos.
The squad is not bereft of quality per se. They have the quality to merit 5th place which is the point being made. And I doubt whether anyone expects Arshavin to wave his magic wand and solve all our issues. But he will help us in certain areas where we are lacking. If we created 4 chances against West Ham, Arshavin might probably make that 6 chances. Still no guarantee that he would score a goal. But the odds of scoring one with 6 chances are greater, than with 4.
prits
I hadn't mentioned Eboue in any post I have made in this debate. It is an easy name to drop just to add a little emotional spice but it is irrelevant. Eboue is a squad player. I think quite a useful one to have in an overall squad but injuries have him playing more often than he otherwise would. Diaby is 22 and we have seen enough of him to know that he has talent and without injuries may have had the opportunity to convince us just as much as the equally dismissive assertions early in the season that Denilson isn't up to the job have largely been proved wrong. Diaby still has time to prove his worth. There's no need to write him off just yet. The judgement on Rosicky was only appalling in hindsight. No more appalling at the time than the judgement that RvP would play 28 games for us so far this season.
Amos.
Denilson has been doing a fine job but he's not offering nowhere in the sphere of what Flamini was to us last year. The presence of Flamini basically gave license for Cesc, Hleb and Rosicky to go forward more freely. Flamini's sheer workrate and the fact that he could and would put tackles in was brilliant. Diaby can't tackle and win a ball back, I've seen him mistime his tackles quite often. For me, Diaby seems like a luxury player - which is probably why he does well playing the extra midfielder just off the front man in a 4-5-1 formation.
Gooner_Vin
That RvP would play 28 games should be treated as a bonus. I would have expected Wenger to have anticipated injury to RvP. As for Rosicky, I dont quite know why Wenger still trusts the medical team. I dont, and its based on past false promises. Wenger is a stickler for stats - how about he look at the stats of our medical team in predicting accurate comeback times? Thats why it was an appalling decision. At the beginning of the season itself, LD had ruled out Rosicky, before the latest medical update. So you cant fault the guy for going significantly on hindsight.
prits
Flamini's departure has had no effect on Cesc in an attacking sense. Cesc has created more goal attempts for the time played than he averaged last season. Flamini was not among the highest tacklers in the PL last season Denilson already ranks higher in that regard so far this season. The key in your comment is the combination of Hleb and Rosicky. Though Flamini had a positive effect on the tempo at which we played a midfield of Hleb, Rosicky, Cesc and Denilson would be as well balanced as it was last season with Flamini in place of Denilson. Nasri brings something to the table (quite a lot in fact) in place of Hleb/Rosicky but not quite the experience - understandably perhaps. Maybe Arshavin will bring a little more of what we are currently missing but I think there are few other available options worldwide. That's why it isn't quite as simple as just going out a buying a replacement. I think we underestimate the quality we do have which is why it's so hard to buy ready made replacements.
Amos.
Wenger didn't rely on just his own medical team. Independent opinions were also sought. They were wrong. Should ManU now be sceptical about their medical team following their experiences with Saha and Hargreaves?
Amos.
I agree Eboue gets too much flack, but seriously, he's not very good. It doesn't take much to see his control is poor, his distribution worse and his work rate isn't up to much. Much like Diaby in fact. RvP was a reasonable risk to take on the injury front (though I'd still be cautious, in 05-06 and 06-07 his injuries came in the last week of Jan/ first week of Feb- he's still not broken through yet), but Rosicky had ten hamstring injuries in two and a half years. To expect his hamstring problem from last January to have been short term is pretty poor judgement. At the risk of sounding self aggrandising, I put down a £20 bet in August that he'd never play for us again. Was that an educated guess or a punt in the dark? RvP broke his foot/ his toe and twisted knee ligaments- you could justifiably put that down to luck at this stage. But Rosicky's have all been the same injury and at his age, it's probably never going to clear up. In fact, the Czech Rep medical staff warned us about him when we signed him. Eboue has been overused in an unfamiliar position for two years now with underwhelming results, it was only right to rectify that in the transfer market. As for Flamini/ Denilson, Denilson wins as much ball as Flamini ever did, I didn't see the stats from Saturday, but I lost count of the amount of times he won interceptions and tackles and got the attack going again with a simple pass. He has infinitely more speheres than Flamini. The only reason people don't notice it is that Denilson's superior positional sense means he doesn't have to run around like a maniac as Flamini did, Denilson's passing is also much better and one thing to take stock of is how many times he makes himself available for a pass every time a team mate is in trouble. Watch out for it, it's amazing how often he wants the ball, something Flamini didn't really offer. Of all the players filling our midfield slots this year, Denilson is the only one who has been consistent.
Little Dutch
I have to agree with Amos & LD about Denilson - our most consistent performer this year. DM is certainly not a problem position. As for the medical team Amos, if only this were a one-off (or happened with just 2-3 players). I had created a thread in the forum detailing the ineffiency/incompetence of our medical team over several injuries, some minor, some major - over the course of a full season. I hope you remember the contents of that thread, so you know where I'm coming from.
prits
Eboue is good up until the final third when his brain freezes. His interception stats are among the best in the team so he can read play and break it up well enough. He is very quick over short distances, his pass completion rate is good and his control usually sound. That said he isn't the brightest player we have and he won't get much better than he is now but as a versatile squad player he is probably more valuable to the team than Gilberto would be now. Probably as valuable to us as Park Ji-Sung is to Manu or Milner is to Villa. I think the Czech medical team were confident that Rosicky would make the Euros at one stage. Whether he'll play again I don't know but it isn't beyond medical science to repair him. I don't blame Wenger for taking the advise he was given at the time even though it was wrong. By the time he found out it would have been to late to do anything about it but his expectation that bringing in Nasri would balance the squad assuming Rosicky would play seems a reasonable judgement to have made in the circumstances. If he has found a replacement in this window that's as much as we can expect him to do if, as he claims, he is convinced of the quality of the rest of the squad.
Amos.
Did anyone see that time when Denilson ran back towards the West Ham attacker (the Italian guy) and stopped him moving, he passed it to Noble and Denilson followed him, he then passed it firther back and the move was killed. Denilson did that on his own. Flamini would have put in a big tackle and possibly given them a free kick. Great for the fans to see, but less effective. I firmly believe that our squad (with Arshavin included) has enough "quality" but that is including Rosicky and Fabregas. Rosicky is highly unlikely to have any great effect on our future because he is terribly injury prone. Now Cesc is injured we are playing Diaby, Ramsey or Song - not in the same quality but very good back up players, same with Eboue and Walcott on the wings and Vela/Bendtner up front. Arshavin (with fitness) is a HUGE step forward.
Tom14
LD: "AG, strap on a pair mate ... than he is showing right now." That's a long post I'd like to cut and paste, and send to about a dozen Arsenal blogs right now, not to mention send it to arse.com.
jaelle
Park plays most games for United and does a job that greatly benefits the team, going forward and defensively. What little Eboue does offer in midfield, none of it is offensive and he can barely pass a ball more than three yards. When he does the pass is of a poor quality and the recipient needs an extra second to take the ball. It's a measure of how far we have fallen when we desperately try to trumpet a one dimensional player like Eboue. Park I feel is a massively under rated and very talented player, I rate Milner a great deal too. Again, Milner gives great attacking impetus (scores- can cross a ball) and covers his full back well too (though Villa's system also ensures more cover with intelligent players like Barry and Petrov), works hard, tackles back. i.e. Park and Milner offer the team quite a bit. In Eboue's best game in RM he offers a little bit.
Little Dutch
Amos, Park and milner are much better at attacking compared to eboue. Bit he is useful.
Tom14
I do remember the thread prits and it was a good point well made. There is a website (I can't remember which at the moment) that records the numbers of PL player days lost due to injuries and while we have never been the worst we have had periods where we have lost far too many - this last couple of seasons being one of them. Then again there have been times when we have done better than others - we were in the bottom half of the injury table the season before last.
Amos.
As said in LD's post.
Tom14
I thought Park was MOTM in the Utd game v. Chelsea (only Giggs was his equal -- forget Cronaldo, Rooney, Berba). I'd take Park ahead of Eboue any day, he's hugely underrated. Just his attitude and mentality alone brings so much to a team that players like Eboue and Ade can't.
jaelle
Comparing Eboue to Park or Milner is far too generous, but then again, they have better midfields so maybe that offsets the inferior ability of Eboue to Park/Milner. Dutch i see where you're coming from with Denilson's positional sense, but his forward passing really isn't all that, he can pass it sideways, sure, but when it's down to him to the be the creative and attaching fulcrum of the 2 in the middle i think we fall way short.
shewore
Park Ji-sung and Eboue have had similar playing time this season - Eboue slightly less. Both have scored one PL goal each but with much the same completion rate Eboue will average a pass every 1.85 minutes while PJ-S will make one every 2.79 minutes. Both have the same number of PL goals this season but Eboue has two assists while P J-S hasn't any though he does create slightly more attempts. I am not trumpeting Eboue as anything other than a useful squad player. Why do we need to use him as a stick with which to thrash our whole squad policy and claim that it illustrates some decline in our standards? It does nothing of the sort. We have had worse squad players than Eboue. He is useful - as and when we can find a better squad player to take his place we will do.
Amos.
You can use stats to prove anything, 85% of people will tell you that. Amos - are you an actuary?! The frustrating thing is how poor he really is, surely Wilshere can't do any worse?! And can you please point out a worse squad player in Arsene's time that has had this much playing time...?!
shewore
The problem with statistics is they don't tell you what the player's contribution is when he doesn't have the ball. You have to watch the match for that, preferably in person as the television cameras don't capture players off the ball either. Nobody can convince me that Eboue contributes as much as Park, who while not technically awesome, puts in a Flamini-like effort all the time, which cannot be said of Eboue. Still, Eboue is a useful squad player- he just shouldn't be starting, and wouldn't be if not for injuries.
elbondo
You are wrong to assume that Amos. Nobody, apart from the idiots, will claim that Eboue should be a top quality player and blame him for anything wrong within our squad, we know that he is only supposed to be a back up player, but he is in the team and plays more than he should do. But in a debate about Park or Eboue, Park wins ant time of any day.
Tom14
You are wrong to assume that Arsenal fans use him as a stick... you knew that was my point I guess.
Tom14
If you put up Hleb's stats they don't make great reading, but I think you and I both know that his function to the team was valuable. Ditto Park, he makes his team play, he is the legs that allow Ronaldo, Berbatov and Tevez to do their business at the other end. Similar to how Fabregas is a much better player with Hleb alongside him, though no stat would quantify that. Eboue makes us slightly better defensively when he has a decent game (which doesn't happen often), but that's it. Diaby also, doesn't offer much defensively, gives the ball away a lot, can't trap a bag of sand and has the touch of a baby elephant. On his game, he can sometimes be useful going forwards behind the striker, but this doesn't happen enarly often enough to justify his existance in a side with anything more than UEFA Cup ambitions.
Little Dutch
Eboue is a very good player, he adds that something differant to our team ... his fiery personality and aggresion counts for alot ... i think we are far to quick to criticise him ... he is a good player to have oin our squad ... can fill in alot of positions and get a job done ...
Achilles
Achilles injecting a bit of humour into the thread there...
shewore
a little laugh to lighten the mood, eh shewore?
TPowell
Eboue does have some qualities and is probably o.k. as either a back up right back or a very occasional squad player (the fact we have to give him so much match time shows our squad is too weak). But I can't say aggression is one of the qualities I see in him. That's a kind way of putting it.
Little Dutch
In this debate Eboue is being used to illustrate a deeper malaise within the squad as a whole. But he is a squad player. He has played 50% of the available PL playing time this season. P J-S has played 55% - both are squad players. As a squad player whatever subjective opinions you hold about either player Eboue has produced more assists than P J-S has over each of 3 seasons now - and bettered other measurable contributions too. Stats are useful unless they don't support your argument in which case they are always misleading. Eboue is a squad player a decent right back until we got someone better. To use him to reflect the overall quality of the squad is as misleading as any stat but as a squad player he is worth his place. Wenger said recently that Diaby's defensive qualities aren't as strong as they should be but he could work on them. Interesting then to see that based on time played this season (mainly in the recent games) Diaby is currently tackling succesfully at almost twice the rate that Denilson has and is slightly ahead in number of interceptions too - and Denilsons stats for both are good.
Amos.
What about stats for miscontrolled passes? In all honesty i've never forgiven Eboue for spitting on his debut. He is a half decent right back, that's it.
shewore
Amos, give it up mate. Park is a FAR superior player. You are talking to Tom14 and Little Dutch here, fully fledged Eboue fans (We are even on his Facebook page). Accept he is worse than Park and move on.
Tom14
If he's a better player in your minds Tom then that's all that really matters. Doesn't mean that Eboue isn't a useful squad player for us though.
Amos.
I'm sure if you looked at stats, David Bentley had more goals and possibly assists than Hleb last year, does that make David Bentley better than Hleb? Not by any stretch of the imagination.
TPowell
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/russian-international-arshavin-joins-arsenal
PTGunner
Was it ever in doubt? :p
elbondo
I didn't ever argue that Eboue was a better player than P J-S simply that he was as valuable to our squad as P J-S is to ManU. The stats support that. I dare say that Bentley was as valuable to Blackburn last season as Hleb was to us. More so if the respective transfer fees are anything to go by.
Amos.
I accept that Amos, but PJS is a better player in exactly the same position at his club. A back up to the first choice winger.
Tom14
I am happy to leave you to the comfort of your opinion Tom.
Amos.
It is the opinion of everyone else, and yourself i assume? Remember I amn slightly drunk, forget what i say.
Tom14
Not the opinion of everyone else Tom, you and some others. I don't think that P J-S is a far superior player as you and others claim. I don't think Eboue is quite as hopeless as some are saying or that P J-S is anywhere near as good as some opinions here. Having said all that I couldn't really care much either way. Eboue is a decent squad player and if we can get someone better I am happy for us to do so. In the meantime Wenger seems happy to offer him a new contract so maybe it isn't an issue he gives any great priority to which seems about right to me.
Amos.
re: Diaby,an interception/ tackle is not much use if you immediately give the ball back to the opposition. Nor is it much use if you lose it more than you win it back. Or if you have the touch of a giraffe on stilts. Or if you unnecessarily try and beat six players and lose it.
Little Dutch
whats the point in certain people making comments about eboue and not backing them up? if u dont like him then u must have a reason?
Achilles
 

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With a stuttering start to the season what league position can we still reasonably aim for?
Suggested By:  
First 0%
Second 10%
Third 20%
Fourth 30%
Fifth or lower 30%
Still too early to bother with predictions 10%