The Parallels Of Football…

Football is a funny old game, isn’t it? There are never simple decisions in the game and pretty much everything that happens nowadays seems to amaze me. As we’re all aware, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbsa are set to play some part in tonight’s friendly for England and considering neither have had a full season playing as first choice for Arsenal, it is a very high accolade to their abilities that the manager has picked them. Don’t get me wrong, I understand their potential, I know they’re very good and think they are very much worthy of their place in the squad – but as I’ve said several times, I really do think a place in the national team of a country should be the reward of a good season with your club rather than something that is handed out lightly.

What does it say about England and Arsenal? Well, it basically means that Arsenal, as a team, have some of the most exciting and gifted English youth out there. A lot of other player will be in and around our first team and the England squad soon too – Lansbury, Emmanuel Thomas, Frimpong, to mention a few. And for England, it means that they really don’t trust some of their senior players and are really struggling with the technical football qualities required at the top level nowadays.

Looking at what we have who do you think will be the team of the future? Rooney spearheading the attack with a proper striker like Agbonlahor up front with him, with Jack Wilshere the Cesc role, Adam Johnson on the left, Theo Walcott on the right? Maybe Frimpong holding? Gibbs, Johnson as the wing backs, Cahill and Jageilka in the middle? Joe Hart in goal – very inexperienced, but what potential that set of names has?

Back to reality and good old ‘Arry Redknapp has offered sulky William Gallas a 2 year contract to move across London to join the Sp*rs challenge this season, and it’s a strange one, considering. Would Gallas even consider such a deal? A move to the old enemy – well, he did move from Chelsea to Arsenal, but that was more for Arsene than anything else. Sp*rs have ‘Arry at the helm and you just can’t see that working – but they do need a centre back and they can’t spend any money despite qualifying for the CL. Let’s see what happens – apparently, William’s contract demands don’t fit into their wage structure, as the Frenchman is looking for a weekly wage of £100k+.

Further up north, there seems to be a lot of disharmony at Man City with several players such as Joe Hart, Shay Given and Craig Bellamy hitting out at their treatment – I just watched the SSN interview with Bellamy and he honestly feels like he won’t be in the 25 and was really disheartened. Given said he’d put in a transfer request if he wasn’t number one against Sp*rs and you’ve got to think that there are more players in that position. With Bolletelli and Milner about to join, someone has to give way. There are rumours that we’re interest in Vincent Kompany and /or one of the goalkeepers – but I really wouldn’t hold my breath considering the amount of money they must be on right now.

In the midlands, Martin O’Neill has quit as manager of Aston Villa amidst rumours that he has been unable to spend any money this transfer window and that the people above him sanctioned the move of Milner against his wishes without allowing him to spend the money on new players. O’Neill has been very loyal to Villa, rejecting the overtures of Liverpool and other clubs to remain at the helm and I definitely don’t think it was an easy decision to quit – despite his moaning and general anti-Arsenal vibes – you have to give him some respect considering the squads he’s built and managed over his career – who would have thought it? Liverpool / Fulham must be thinking… if only they waited…

In Spain, it look like the big two are continuing their recruitment drive with Carvalho and Ozil set for moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. And some really bad news for ex Gooner, Philippe Senderos who has ruptured his achilles tendon and looks to be out for about 9 months. I really wanted to see him recover from his last couple of years and play some football.

Back to the wonderful world of Arsenal, and our injury worries have resurfaced again just in time for the season start with two strikers and four midfielders out – Van Persie, Bendtner, Cesc, Song, Diaby and Denilson will all be missing for this weekend trip to Anfield, which means we’ll be relying on the youngsters and trio of Nasri, Wilshere and Frimpong in the middle of the park for the opening fixture. Typical Arsenal, hey? Arsene thinks the title will be more open this season, and I’d have to agree – but all in all, it’s about who tops it and I really hope we do…

Adios for now… let’s hope we sign someone by the time you read this!

  • http://arsenalandtherandomthoughtsofmylife.blogspot.com/ Debs

    Damn, we haven’t signed anyone yet! ;)

  • edison

    if kuyt plays against us on sunday, i really dont see why van persie isnt ready

  • devday

    @ Debs:
    Very true! Let’s hope Arsene has a signing or two up his sleeve. With Capello confirming Wilshere will start tonight, it’s going to be an interesting as he is 1 of our only 3 fit midfielders… injuries already hey!?!

  • devday

    @ edison:
    Good point – but apparently Kuyt is 60:40 and that is probably the same as Van Persie – I’d expect to see him on the bench.

  • Goonerman

    @Dev
    You say denilson,diaby,song,cesc and van persie are out but there has been no conformation of that has there? Surely one or two of them will be back to start and one of two on the bench because to go to anfield with frimpong and wilshire is suicide!

  • Kodjo

    i think the anfield game is too big for the pair of wilshere and frimpong…wenger has to bals it out somehow. now i am not happy that wilshere is starting for england in as much as i want him to do well you’d expect capello to slowly blood him in…is capello desperate or bold!!!

    playing 2 games in 4 days i think is too much to asl of the lad….now i hope nasri, rosicky, eboue,chamakh comes back without any injuries..otherwise we are basically screwed

  • ny

    I dont think either of Wilshere and Frimpong will play.One among the midfield trio will be Eboue.

  • vj

    we are so dead against liverpool with no song or fabregas or van persie we don’t stand a chance

  • Kieran

    So gutted for Senderos. He just can’t catch a break.

    Dev, I’d not class Abonglohor as a striker, I don’t think most Villa fans would either. He’s very much like Walcott, bags of pace, little end product.

    I’m not certain the youngsters starting tonight is a lack of trust in the older players though, just the reality that in two years some of them will be two old – better to do what Germany and Spain have done in recent years and get you finals team playing together throughout qualifying.

  • Berth

    You lots are being critical for no clear reason. The fact that spain won the world cup or Germany beating the English team had nothing to do with age. I feel the English team lost because of lack of confidence from The Green’s show in that opening match, no one here would tell me that with Walcott and Johnson it would have been different. Also Fabio’s rigid approach to games should be questioned – for my money I think his lost the plot, why not us try Hiddink.

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    Agbonlahor is definitely a striker in my eyes.
    He’s started up front for Villa as a striker more often than as a winger, often in the lone striker role.
    Last season he knocked in 13 goals in the league and 16 in all competitions, following on from the season before when he knocked in another 12 league goals in 36 appearances. I think he’d excel in a better team and also, he does remind me of a Nic Anelka when he first joined Arsenal. Bags of pace and energy and the ability to get the ball in the back of the net!

  • edison

    I think having Eboue start against liverpool will be a good thing. seeing him play against Legia Warsaw, he clearly has the right game head on – and he will chase and commit and disrupt liverpools attacking game down the left. Will also be interesting game for Frimpong to prove himself.

    IF you remember last season, even when liverpool came close to us in games, we still had sheer confidence over them – and i think this sunday will be no different. Wouldnt be surprised to see Carlos Vela starting on the left either.

  • Berth

    Edison: I loved both goals he scored against lega warsaw. I think his now grown in confidence – I just hope he can perform consistently in this campaign.

    We ve been linked again with mark shwartz. I think if we can get him and a CB, Wenger wont loose my respect for him. However if we do get a CB and not a goal keeper. I will understand that he tried, I will respect him though but not a great deal.

  • Berth

    * Wenger wont loose my respect.

  • Kieran

    @ devday:
    Ah, sorry, I know he is a striker, what I meant was, jokingly, I don’t really think he’s cut out for it. He’s hardly clinical. I only know a couple of Villa fans but he is an immense source of frustration to them both.

    I mean, I know he plays football for a living but I don’t consider Robbie Savage a footballer. :D

  • Gooner Get Ya

    We are now apparently bidding 18m for Hugo Lloris. I can’t wait until the transfer window is shut as this is agonisingly painful now.

  • devday

    @ edison:
    You think it will be Eboue – Frimpong – Nasri?
    What do youthin about Wilshere?

  • Kodjo

    Yes i agree i think england should have gone for hiddink….capello was good at the club level but its a different ball game at the national level where you see players less often….capello was very inexperienced going into the tournament

    but for the bungling fa making funny demands of hidink..which eventually put him off of england…power point presentations only look good in meetings and boardrooms

    the real test is on the ground and hiddink had the results to prove …but its all history now…i hope capello has learnt from his mistakes

  • Kodjo

    @ Dev

    i think wenger will play rosicky-frimpong-eboue with nasri in the advanced role behind chamakh.

    anfield may be just too big a place and too soon to start wilshere… but then again it depends on team tactics and who is available injury and fitnesswise after the stupid international friendlies..

  • devday

    Potential anfield line-up:

    Fabianski
    Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Clichy
    Nasri – Frimpong
    Eboue – Rosicky – Arshavin
    Chamakh

    But is Arshavin not injured?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I am sure wilshire will cope, he managed against a full strength AC Milan midfield.

  • Berth

    @ Gooner Get Ya: WIlshere will be better off playing at home games to lesser teams. Playing him at Antfield will be a bit too much for him. I rate him high but not high enough to start against any of the top six teams – home or away.

  • theusualsuspect

    just simple if arsene thinks fabianski should start in goal for us sunday then there is no hope for this team.he must be the worst goalkeeper i have ever seen. that hopeless look of his when he makes a mistake is painfull. arsene has had all summer to reinforce this team as he promised.so three days to go and what do we have.a net spend of 2 million.i ll say it now as i have said before . this club has NO MONEY to spend. any income from transfers we receive goes on wages and repayments. nothing major will happen until this board is disbanded and an injection of serious money is put in.there is no point in posters hoping we are linked to this and that player because it aint going to happen. only free transfers and loannees will happen.my case is proved by out transfer activites the last three summers.out net spend is the lowest of any team in the premier league.yes we are solvent and the books look great but the fans who shell out their hardearned money are getting nothing in return.so w ego into the season with three defenders.one is a great one. one is injury prone and has never played a decent game. the other plied his trade in france say no more.its unbelievable that we are set to go into this season with this sort of package at the back.

  • theusualsuspect

    so when wenger tells his players to believe they can win the title.well arsene without quality additions we fans dont believe we will compete. every year you seem to conveniently forget the weaknesses that were obvious to everybody else. this squad wont win anything unless you bring in quality.i am totally frustrated entering another season knowing that our great clubs relying on average players yet again. you are supposed to be clever aw why cant you see what everybody can see. we need a gk we need at least 1 cb,we need a def midf and in my opinion our combination of strikers are not good enough and then of course we have if you will check the stats players who are always injured. how can we start at anfield with so many players not fit or injured.its strange that bendtner,diaby,song all played in the wc but havent played in any pre season games.unless we are able to play our strongest 11 i believe that l/pool will be more pumped up than us i can see a 3-1 defeat. i sincerely hope i am wrong as its important we get off to a good start. i am at the emirates tom on a tour i wished you were available for q&a.

  • Kieran

    2 years ago, Almunia came second in our player of the season poll…. short memories.

    Wilshere probably won’t start at Anfield if he plays any part tonight for England.

    @ devday: Apparently Arshavin is injured and also playing for Russia? Can’t see him doing 90 at Anfield.

    @ Gooner Get Ya: A full strength Milan midfield who were 7 weeks away from the beggining of their season! It was the first time most of them had played since the summer, you can’t draw any conclusions from that. BUT, I think Wilshere is ready in any case, he did fine for Bolton.

  • Kodjo

    @ Debs & Berth

    What’s going on….Nigeria are losing 1-2

  • Bonathan

    I’ll be surprised if he picks fabianski ahead of almunia. i rate almunia, I think other than a few high profile mistakes he’s been pretty good. Fabianski on the other hand, maybe does have potential, but i can’t help but think giving him games in our first team is doing more harm than good. He’s not gaining confidance, he’s losing it. He badly needs a loan stint in my eyes.

    Mark schwartzer has supposidly handed in a transfer request. My personal opinion is that almunia is better but i’d have him to compete for the number 1 jersey if he’s cheap. I can only imagine he’d be interested if he was guarenteed number 1 though. Other keepers linked in the last couple of days are Riena (excellent, but no chance, can’t even believe it was rumoured), given (watch this space but i think mancini will want both and say what he needs to keep both happy till the end of the transfer window), marchetti (for sale, low price tag, haven’t seen much of him but can’t be too bad to play for italy), Lloris (looks pretty bad from what i’v seen and price tag looks even worse)

    The world cup does seem to have took it’s toll on our squad by the looks of things and it’s looking like we may be starting without a number of first choicers for the first game or two. Has Wenger been over catious? After our injury troubles last year i guess you couldn’t blame him.

  • theusualsuspect

    This is just ridiculous right now if – God Forbid – Vermaelen went down for a month I wouldn’t bet on us home against Blackpool! Not with these keepers and Song and Cesc and a doubt there too.

    Does anybody at Arsenal understand this policy is flirting with real disaster – the kind that 40-50 million won’t fix right now – and that we could drop from the top four for several years without investing about 75 -100 million and at this point that would just be to get back to third or fourth.

    We finished in the top TWO for EIGHT years running spending 5 million a year! Our Board running Arsenal like BP since 2005 is going to haunt us yet! It already very nearly did in 2006 and 2007 even and if not Villa collapsing threatened to in 2009. If you keep risking this happening sooner or later it simply will.

    This is so frustrating because it doesn’t take 100 million to fix it now, and five years ago it wouldn’t even have taken 15-20 million to fix. But this policy of God knows what since the Board don’t want to tell us any of that honestly is just going to hurt Arsenal more than we faer even if they are wrong.

    I hiope every Gooner remembers that as their legacy at Arsenal if it comes to fruition.

    I know I know – BORING. But if that’s not the problem, what is? They persist with a manager who is clearly weakening the team when supposedly they want to strengthen – as they imply constantly in their “money is availble to spend” cliches. So why don’t they make sure their Manager, their employee, their servant who serves at at their pleasure spends it?

  • yemi

    @ theusualsuspect:

Can we wait till the close of transfer window before we know if arsene will do the right thing or not ? I can bet my last penny that he won’t start the season with 3 CB’s !!! So dont jump the gun.

@ Kodjo:
Nigeria lost 2:1 but it was a team mostly made up of upcoming with a blend of some of the old hands


As for arsene, i hope he does something quickly before we start raining bottles on him at the emirates !!!!



  • theusualsuspect

    No Yemi. This is not acceptable, we are going into the start of the season with our weakest squad ever – the idiotic goalkeepers that we have are just clowns & we expect to go to anfield and pull of a result…If i hear that know wneger say we dont have he players or we had the injuries im gona go mad…You dimwit – you had the chance to strengten your team so WTF have you been doing all this time????its all wrong…he has been backed into a corner over his project and unwillingness to spend so much so that he cant change his tune now and start buying his way out of trouble.

    its the most unpalataple amount of bullshit to take but wenger will continue to expect us to accept fabianski as number one and world class,someone like nordveit as an acceptable back up centre half and the continued dilution of our once great team as colateral damage.

    the worst thing is the barefaced lies that man comes out with and no one of authority ever ever fucking challenges it. and the plain truth is those tossers on the board dont give a monkeys as long as we keep coming,we get 4th and their share prices go up.

  • Vazy

    hey guys, just a quick favour.. my mates just started working as an intern for bbc world service, and has been asked to write a list of all foreign players in the prem league.. giving an interesting fact about each one (could be about the players life/past, his prem records + stats or an interesting fact about the country the player is from that is of relevance to english football…)

    anyone got any random facts about arsenal current players that they know? any help would be much appreciated

    so far i have been trawling the internet and i have found:

    Almunia wanted to be a striker but due to having asthma as a kid his dad wouldn’t let him run around so he became a keeper

    Vermaelen once had to take an allergy test as a kid and according to this test he was allergic to….grass. But he and his parents never noticed anything about it in reality.

    Rosický is apparently a proficient guitarist, and has played live with Tři sestry. Rosický was able to hone his guitar skills during his 18 months on the sidelines because of his hamstring injury. He has even played at the Czech player of the year awards to “serenade” Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper Petr Cech as the goalkeeper received the Czech player of the year award

    thought this would be a welcome change to worrying about transfer news and the such

  • dean

    those thinking that if we spend 50 million in one transfer window and all our troubles would be gone are believing in fairy tales. It could go terribly wrong. And what then?

    So I just trust the people who are working on the transfers at Arsenal. They look at players for more than 1 minute on a you tube compilation, on which even I could look great. No forget this, I wouldn’t look great not even in a 7 second you tube clip. Oyr scouts will see if a player not only has the required technical skills but also the right mentality to play for us and to blend in the team. The management has to see if he is affordable and worth taking the risk.

    So let us not pretend to know who to buy and at what price a player is available. The numbers mentioned in the papers is just what it is, paper talk to fill up the “Cesc is going to Barceloanus” gap.

    And let us take a look at Ajax to finish this article and remember that their biggest success was in the periods when they almost completely trusted their own youth system. And then look at our own youth system and look at the fact that 3 players who had a big part of their education at Arsenal have just become internationals for England. Two of them almost learned everything at Arsenal. Why don’t we give them the chance to become better. A chance that could be lost when we buy player X, player Y or player Z for a record breaking amount of money. And with those 2 or 3 at the start of their Arsenal career AND an international career how can anyone dare saying that our project youth has failed.

  • Berth

    Vazy nice stuff.