A Conversation With My Flat Mate…

Being a Gooner and living with a Gooner means there is many a discussion about the world of Arsenal, the life of being a Gooner, the frustrations of the season so far and the possible transfers. Last night, down at our local, a conversation happened which was heated to a degree and it went something like this:

Amo (my flat mate): Dev mate. It’s time for a change. It’s time to get rid of Wenger. Look at what Mourinho has done, look at the defending that they did. We should have done that against Barce.

Dev (me): Wenger out? Are you having a laugh? Football, especially at the Arsenal is not about short-term-ism. Look at what Wenger has done since his arrival, he’s changed the club completely from a team challenging for the UEFA cup to a team that has consistently finished in the top four. A team that has won many titles and FA Cups.

But when was the last time we won anything? Five years ago! Come on, surely it’s time to get someone else in.

You’re right, it’s been five years, but you’ve got to look at the bigger picture – in the last five years, we’ve been in our new stadium. And in this day and age, what we have done by moving to a new 60,000 seater stadium in the heart of London – one of the best in the world, with no external investment is no mean feat whatsoever. For the long term future of the club, we’ve invested £400m of money that we’ve financed ourselves – built a stadium which will allow us to become the richest club in the world.

Mourinho could have done a job with the squad we’ve got.

You look at Mourinho and it’s all about him. Yes, if he wins something for the club he’s managing then great. But he’s not in it for the long term. He will be out of Inter before you can say Jose. Is he the type of person who could have built a club up, improved players like Wenger? Is he the type of manager who could have identified world superstars at young such ages as Cesc Fabregas or even the likes of Patrick Vieira?

But he’s a winner.

With the right club, the right players, he’s a good motivator and yes a good coach. But don’t underestimate the difference between a manager and a coach.

I don’t know. We used to win so much, I can’t remember when we last won something.

Mate – we’re not far off being very competitive. In fact, this season and the season before last, we have still been challenging for the title. We’ve suffered injuries and our strength in depth hasn’t been good enough. This summer may be the year when we spend a bit more to plug the gaps in our squad. With the players we have, the talent of the likes like Cesc, Arshavin, Nasri and Van Persie as well and the defensive qualities of our back line and Alex Song, all we have to do is add a quality goalkeeper, potentially a world class winger and another centre back and bingo. Bingo, as long as Chamakh comes in too!

The conversation went on a bit longer, but it’s clear that there is some disgruntlement with some of the fans. I am a little more patient perhaps – or maybe I’ve got more experience in the breadth of the the club’s finer details – who knows. I certainly will be one of those who renews my season ticket quicker than you can say Woa!

In transfer news, Arsene did reveal that a player will be announced before the World Cup and personally, I believe that player will be Maroune Chamakh. He also revealed that there are a few more players coming in, or possibly coming in…

“We have a basic squad and I believe in the squad I have. But if I can make an addition – two or three maximum – then we will do it. I will try to do what I want to do as quickly as possible but I am not the only decider. It doesn’t only depend on me. Ideally, you would want to do the job before the World Cup. It is difficult to give yourself the right timing. Certainly, we will announce one player before the World Cup. After that we will see.”

So, Chamakh comes in as a striker… a player comes in as a goalkeeper, one centre back to replace Silvestre… that the two or three maximum – anyone think another DM wouldn’t be the worst signing ever? Arsene also mentioned that Eduardo will still be here next season and that he’s only been recently tied down to a long term contract, so of course he will be here next season:

“In the last two months he looked sharp to me. It was the first full season after the surgery at the end of last season. He was a bit disturbed. I think next season should be better for him. He is very important, but I will assess that situation before the end of the season to see how he feels. He is 25/26-years-old and wants to play. We extended his contract because we believe in him.”

So, as they say patience is a virtue. And down at the Emirates, patience may reward us with the biggest prize of all, very, very soon…

  • goonerman

    i was starting to get excited about the transfer window and thinking maybe we are going to spend big! But what wenger said even though he guarnteed us a signing was not that promising, like you say dev the first signing will most probably be chamackh which is no big suprise which leaves wenegr with the possibility of 1 or 2 more players at max! i think he will get a new cb with the age problem at the back and like i keep saying id love it to be cahill lol but i think that means we will either sign a keeper or a beast of a midfielder, i dont really know which i want but i think we have the most need for a keeper and if anything he might sign a centre back he knows could do a job in defensive midfield if you get what i mean! i really think if were only going to get 2 players becuase chamackh is free then i think surely he has to break the transfer record we have becuase we need to bring in a couple of class players!!

  • goonerman

    so its like half 11 and i just went on the arsenal website and theres a bit about wenger saying if gallas leaves we get a defender and also if gallas and campbell stay then he will look how djourou is doing and consider his options, he said something about silvestre but i just hope wenger has the sense to ship him home to france to play a year in ligue 1 before he retires lol, i think the gallas comment makes thngs a bit clearer after what i just said 10 mins ago:

    Chamackh highly likely to come in if not another striker will for sure.

    a midfielder likely to come in to bolster the defensive options.

    a goalkeeper to come in and take over the No.1 spot

    and the position i thought we would definatley buy in depends on gallas leaving or how djourou recovers.

  • Pissed off

    Arsenal nightmare approaching

  • Nick

    There’s definitely a faint smell of disappointment lingering in the air.

  • Francis

    @ Dev

    For me it’s about variation in our play that worries me the most. We cannot simply play the same way all of the time…even a 2 rate coach knows this….there is little variation in our play

    The ability to squeeze the best out of players is what counts, that is what mourinho has been successful at…yes he may not stick around to undertake a massive project like arsene has done. As a matter of fact mourinho has never done that bar his Porto experience …which some have unfairly labeled as lucky!!!

    wenger seems to be getting certain kinds of players to play a certain way but …when it comes to tweaking, varying, flexibility..i.e tactical dexterity and mental toughness

    We’ve been found wanting ay least in the last 5 years

    Stubborn is what folks will call wenger cos he may be set in his ways…maybe he needs to freshen the backroom staff with vibrant coaches who are willing to challenge his philosophy or at least engage him …

    Skills and technique alone will not win us anything..it has to be blended with some really die hard and tough characters…not to mention experience

    All good teams have such characters like that in the …in the past we had Parlour or Vieira who will rough up…if possible ‘incite’ or disrupt the opposing teams play..something totally off and out of the book

    Characters that we may describe as pantomime villains abound in any winning team

    At inter there’s is thiago motta,

    At barca there’s is puyol who will do every trick to get his team to the finishing line

    At chelski there is number of them…mikel, ballack, carvalho & co

    At man utd there shrek..albeit metamorphosed this season, van nistelroy was good at it, fletcher springs to mind, scholes does it, neville

    At bayern there’s van bommel

    The list goes on…cant wait for wenger to prove me wrong by modifying the way we play our game. Physically our players cannot play at the pace and intensity over a whole season …injuries are bound to happen bcos we are not efficient.

  • Francis

    wenger please get the right mix of players…and characters as

    skills, flair and technique alone will not get us anywhere

    vary your tactics…get in players who are tactically flexible/adaptable…or do something about the current group

  • Yemi

    Quoting wenger (on arshavin ):

    I don’t forbid you to talk to him, but I take with a little bit of distance what comes back translated sometimes with the help of some agents who want to move the players.

  • Kuka

    Listening to AW’s press conference, I do fear that we are headed in the same direction as last summer and January. Yes, he says that he is targeting 2-3 maximum transfers during this window, yet he mentions that they are all dependent on other factors. In my opinion, wether Gallas stays or not, whether Djirou (sp) does alright or not, we do need a defender. We do need another striker, a winger and support for Song at CM. Arsene seldom has surprises up his sleaves. For the time he has been at Arsenal, what you see is what you get. Guys, I might be wrong, but probably AW should avoid giving interviews regarding transfers, because he contradicts himself at times, and just like the team, he leaves fans lost, at least me. So like Nick, I think there is disppointment looming in the horizon come August. I like the discussion about getting the best out of our players. That one is guaranteed. Counting on what we don’t have might be a really emotional journey through the summer.

  • ny

    dont get excited about the possible signings.Arsene wont spend more than 10m for a player.No good player is available for that sum in the current inflated market.

  • Yemi

    @ Kuka:

    Like i said sometime ago, There is nothing as nerve shattering as the arsene/arsenal transfer dealings. SO i am completely not hoping for anything. Anything that comes i take. Talking about 2-3 transfers, maybe chamack and two more under 17′s for the future(that is the wenger way.

  • max

    groundhog day again

  • Kuka

    @DevDay: – They say that we live to learn. In your previous post, you rightly indicated that transfers and money is one “hidden” secret or unknown mystery within the Arsenal family. It is known to a few and speculating might be good for the eye, but not for the soul, when only HIM knows what he wants.

    I am not sure if this is an appropriate request, but I was just wondering if we could we adapt a different approach this summer in terms of discussions on WOA. Just for the sanity of us fans, could we discuss game tactics, match day preparations, how to get the best out of the current team, who should should play where etc etc.

    Many would agree with me that transfer speculation ain’t useful for us, because it takes place within a small-closed club and if am not wrong, AW and the small club has already decided on who is coming in and probably who is leaving.

    It is just a suggestion. Jose for example showed us how tactics can win you an important game. He used the term “blood” to illustrate how you can reap the best out of an otherwise ordinary team. Could we pick up on your Flat mate’s arguments and many others that have been brought out on this portal. Francis spoke about the variation of play…..I feel that such are worthwhile engagements, because we speak about the known (am guessing). Transfers and money is almost a “taboo” word in this beautiful world of Arsenal.

  • Yemi
  • max

    You have to hand it to ITV when it comes to football punditry. They are League Two compared to even the hapless BBC and Sky Sports (in spite of the handicap of Jamie Redknapp). I turned on after five minutes of their build up show ahead of last night’s second leg to be informed Barcelona were playing a 3-4-3 formation, instead of the 4-3-3 they have been using all season, and made great play of it as the first battle of the evening, won by Jose Mourinho.

    Great work guys. That’s what you get when Andy Townshend is your number one analyst. Love him or loathe him (okay, loathe him) at least Jim Beglin corrected the error within 15 seconds of the kick off, having probably squirmed when listening to his colleagues’ obvious ignorance of who would be fielded where.

    That amusement over, we had to wait a long time for any entertainment. Not that the onus was on Inter to provide it. Long time Gooner contributor Peter Le Beau emailed after the game to give his thoughts…

    When I was a kid I saw Real Madrid beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in one of the greatest games I have ever seen. I wonder how many 10 year-olds watching Inter found themselves thrilled by what they saw tonight? Gamesmanship on both sides was rife but Inter were only interested in stifling Barcelona and were the only side I have ever seen who never had one shot at goal in 90 minutes. Even with ten men in Paris, Arsenal worked Barcelona’s defence ten times as much as Inter did tonight – and then Barca (who were poor tonight) get a perfectly fair goal disallowed at the end. So does the end justify the means? Should everybody want Mourinho as their manager? If success is that important you can forget it as far as I am concerned. Success for managers like Mourinho means the death of the game. Wenger and Guardiola might be idealists and naïve at times but at least with managers like them we still have a game left to enjoy.

    It is certainly an interesting debate. Others compared Inter’s defensive abilities with Arsenal’s and pondered if a Wenger-managed Arsenal would ever deservedly beat a superior side over two legs. Not that anyone who enjoys the game would have wanted Inter to make the final. It is surreal to think it was less than a month ago that we were anticipating the visit of Barcelona to London for the first leg of Arsenal’s tie with them. Just once last night, I looked at the fixture and thought, if Arsenal had made the last four, I’d be watching Arsenal v Inter this evening. Going on the evidence of the actual semi, it is difficult to conceive of Wenger’s team, for all their attacking intentions, being able to break down the Inter defence. They certainly never managed to beat Chelsea when Mourinho was in charge there.

    In fairness, the tie could just as easily have gone to Barca. It was knife-edge stuff. Inter’s third goal at home clearly being offside. Barca’s disallowed second last night after Toure’s handball. From the ref’s angle, I have some sympathy for the incorrect decision as he thought the ball was blocked by an outstretched arm. The fantastic save from Messi’s shot by Julio Cesar (displaying the value of a top class international keeper if you want to win trophies). Sometimes, luck plays its part, but you have to build a platform to take advantage of it. Arsenal enjoyed fortune in their quarter final first leg, but it was too much to ask for a repeat in the Nou Camp. At some point, the basics of defending as a unit need to come into the equation if Barcelona are to be denied.

    As a neutral, once Arsenal were eliminated, it was a breath of fresh air to watch the Champions League without Premier League involvement. We see enough of Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool without them taking over the TV schedules completely. Bayern v Inter will, I hope, prove a decent final. The fear is obviously a stifled low scoring game, but it must be hoped that Bayern can score in the first 30 minutes and the game opens up. After the first leg of their last 16 game v Chelsea, Inter were 12-1 to win the competition. I thought the odds generous, so put a tenner on them, without any emotional attachment. Having said that, I hope Bayern win the final, if only because it would mean such a result should be the consequence of a decent and watchable match.

    The conclusion of Barca’s exit is not that Inter’s is a better way, just that defending is an important aspect of the game, and one that cannot be ignored. Even if Barca had triumphed, the lesson would still have been the same. Arsenal have not looked solid defensively for at least the last three seasons. It’s something that has to change. The days of European Cup Finals finishing 7-3 are long gone…

  • bayo

    Arsene says he would sign 2 or 3 players max.The whole club is a piece of joke,Earlier we were told we had alot of money than wat we had for a long time,Just like we are told early every season.(1)Where is the fourty million pounds we made on transfers last season,we dont even know the truth abt d club we support.(2)Arsene is too comfortable to be successful (3)Like i said last season U CANT CONTINUE TO Do THESAME ThinG AND EXPECT A CHANGE.Mr I know it all wenger wld only sign 2 players.Chamack and a new dm and we wld suffer heartache next season and his statement wld be WE WERE VERY CLOSE.Am beginning To HATE ARSENE for his lies for five years abt his team,transfers,and everything he has said,for christ sake we are only asking for a total expenditure of 35 mill on our team even barca signed villa for 40 mill euroes today so wat stupid idea is the stubborn goat proving and we wld complain next season wen they trash us,Wenger is fooling us and taking us for Granted,He doesnt mind using 10 yrs to fuffil is own dream of winning with youths maybe its time for THE CHANGE WE ALL DREAD(A new coach,a new idea) .

  • Yemi

    @ bayo:
    If you worry about arsenal transfer window, you might fall ill. I have decided to look forward to the world cup.
    When the new season starts, whoever is here will play and we’ll talk about that. I think we all know the players we need. But if the coach doesn’t see this, there is no need raising dust. He always signs 2 or 3 players every window. 1 established player ans 1 or 2 under 17′s. So that is the wenger way. I don’t see him signing 3 1st team players. and if he deos, it will be a pleasant surprise.
    Fingers crosses mate

  • Francis

    i agree with Yemi…no need to raise dust …if wenger doesn’t want to do the obvious. ..then so be it.

    Switching topics…
    @ Yemi

    Just as you, i am looking forward to the world cup where i will be supporting my country Ghana.

    lets see how Nigeria fares….i hope they come in with a solid performance, which i know they are capable of… and put the nations cup debacle behind them.

  • Francis

    It’s interesting to see ferguson of man uts literally beg liverpool to do him a favor by beating chelski…ha .ha..ha

    after spending the last 2 or so seasons maligning benitez…he now wants favors…sir alex, work for your title…maybe 1 of your old boys brigade in bruce may help you out like he was accussed of in the past.

  • Sam

    I don’t expect AW to spill the beans on his transfer plans. But if he fails to bring in a great GK, I will start losing faith.

  • yemi

    @ Francis:
    i will be supporting nigeria and ghana. i spent a lot of time in accra so i am attached to ghana. but… i won’t support ghana if they meet nigeria.

  • yemi

    @ Sam:
    i am with you, but for me, if he doesn’t buy 3 1st team players then there is a problem

  • yemi

    at least 3, but more like 4. GK, CB, DM & CF

  • tm17

    I think Chelsea should beat Liverpool
    And Sp*rs beat Man city
    I know many people will disagree
    but liverpool getting 4th place is not a reallity
    and man utd winning a fouth premier leaguein a row will only increase their already gigantic ego
    Also man city getting the CL place would mean they would attract even better players which no one wants whereas otherwise non of the actual top class player will come in
    On the other hand sp*rs CL or not they will only attract
    the same type of players (that use them to get into bigger club)

  • Kuka

    Huge dilemma for Liverpool. They win today, and they hand the title to their arch-enemies!! They loose and they kiss, 4th goodbye. What a place to be be. As a neutral, I would not want United to win the league, Neither would I want City to get 4th. Bayern for the CL trophy.

  • Kuka

    No conspiracy theory from me, but one has to rightly question that back-pass from Gerard. HAHAHAHA. If the score remains that way, it would be great to hear SAF’s pre-match conference (HAHAHAHA)

  • Mehedi

    OMG OMG OMG,

    I never saw anfield so silent and theres a lot of seat empty

    Liverpool is going downhill

  • yemi

    a draw btw city and spurs will be better then we should take all 3 against b’burn and/or fulham