Transfer Deadline Day Round Up…

So, there we have it… the transfer window is officially closed. It was a crazy day for any fan if you’re obsessed with your team as much as I am and I know pretty much all of you are – the signs at the beginning of the day were that Mark Schwarzer was the serious target and with Fulham looking at various alternative keepers, Shay Given, Doni (from Roma) and a few other links, it looked like as soon as they got the keeper they were looking for, then Schwarzer was all but ours.

Well, it simply didn’t materialise. Not only didn’t it materialise, it was never going to. Despite the euphoria of the deadline day, and the madness of blogs, news sites, twitter and facebook – Arsene failed to tell us that we were never going to sign a keeper on deadline day. Mark Hughes revealed to Sky Sports News reporters that we hadn’t made any contact at all on Tuesday. None whatsoever. That – for me – was the confusing part in the whole affair – personally, I was convinced that we were in for a keeper.

When quizzed earlier in the Summer, Arsene had categorically stated it was an area he was aware that need. Before the end of the season, he did come out and talk about Almunia not necessarily being his number one. With Fabianski’s form so bad, we all expected a keeper to be signed.

“I don’t think it is the best moment to talk about that. I never said that he [Almunia] will be my long-term No 1. I think he is a great goalkeeper and he is in competition with Fabianski. But I want to see how we finish [the season] now so I don’t think it is the best period to talk about individual players.”

And the strange thing about the comments from Arsene is that you feel that despite Almunia obviously being much better than Fabianski, you feel that the gaffer has some sort of undying commitment to the Polish keeper. Many people, including myself, are worried that we haven’t got a world class number one – but even more worried that if Almunia is injured, our number two in Fabianski is well below par. Personally, as it looks like now, if Almunia is number one, then so be it. But I’d rather have Mannone or Szcznesny as number two than Fabianski. Without meaning to sound like I am going on about it – to be honest – if Arsene had put in two different bids in for Schwarzer – than he’s publically made everyone aware that it was a department that he needed to improve – to see Eduardo (the goalkeeper) sign for Genoa for only £3.4m – we all thought it was just a matter of time before a Schwarzer, Given or Hart would be unveiled.

One thing I do have to say – is that Xabi Alonso had one of his best seasons after Benitez tried to move him on for Gareth Barry – so if anything, if Almunia knuckles down and proves to us all that he can win us those games and win our a title, then this summer will be a passing moment.

That’s it – I’m drawing the line on the goalkeeping situation. We didn’t sign a new keeper – Almunia will be our number one and it’s time to get behind him. Here is the line that I am drawing:


Not the best line, I may have to draw one and scan it in, but a line it is nevertheless.

The transfer window is closed and it’s had it’s interesting moments. Good news are the signings of Koscielny, Squillaci and Chamakh and without a doubt, that Cesc has stayed with us. For the last couple of years, we had becoming quite a selling club. The double sales of Adebayor and Toure for a combined £41m was a prime example of – if the buying club pays enough – that we will sell. And we all worried that a £35m bid would be enough to tempt the club to part with talisman Cesc Fabregas. The club’s rejection of several bids and desire to keep the club captain, was impressive. And the fact that we then went on to sign three players for about a £15m outlay is good – recognising that certain improvements were required and duly those positions were filled.

We’ve not got a game until a week on Saturday and before that we have two friendlies – England will have Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott and our top goalscorer this season spoke about his call up to the full squad:

“He [Capello] has got me back in the squad, and it shows he has faith in me. As a player you need to deal with the ups and downs. I think now I am a much better player (than two years ago). I had a very good pre-season, no injuries, and this season has gone well so far. I have just got to keep my feet on the ground and keep working hard. That’s all I can do.

And I have to say, I have been impressed with Theo’s attitude this summer. He’s got his head down and he’s making better and better decisions. The headline on yesterday was “Walcott can be as good as Henry for Arsenal”… a collection of tweets about his performances… but if he continues in the same vein, he could really become the player we all want him to become. Good on you Theo…

Til tomorrow…

  • Kieran

    Dev, you mention Wenger failed to tell us we weren’t going to sign a keeper but during post match interviews on Saturday he said three times that all potential deals were off. That as it stood we would not be buying a player.

    That’s pretty clear!

    I still maintain that we needed to improve (and still do) the goalkeeper position, but Mark Schwarzer is no improvement. He conceded more goals per game last season and had an inferior save ratio.

    As we discussed yesterday, Llorris would have been an improvement, Schwarzer would not. And spending money that does not improve your squad is pointless.

  • Kieran

    Actually Hughes complete comments:

    “No, it didn’t. There were two real strong enquiries but there was never a bid today,” he added.

    Which suggests that Arsenal checked on Fulhams keeper hunt progress but accepted that as Fulham had not found a replacement there was no point placing a bid.

  • theusualsuspect

    Now the window shut all dead, what came in? Just a single defender out of necessity then ops forgot the backup defender spends more time off the pitch than on it then dragged in a pair of creaky legs from Sevilla not bad! What was expected wanted; new keepers, take out the trash and sweet talk Fab the main man this was not done did not come round to do it by the way did not have time and money to do it hmmm? Now the team is more or less in the same hapless state as last season. The question will be how bad will it get now until January. This manager sure loves this team and especially Almunia?
    If Wenger had been prepared to ante up 4M pounds a couple of months ago then Schwartzer would have been ours. There is NO excuse for penny pinching and dragging this out to literally the last minute which put pressure on Fulham to find a replacement which in the end they were unable to do. We can agree or disagree as to whether Schwartzer is worth 4M but in the big picture if he had been able to help us win the EPL and go deep into the CL then it would have been money well spent and money that would be recouped many times over. I worry about Almunia but I worry more about what happens when he gets injured and the uber unreliable Flappy comes in! I admire much of what Wenger has done during his tenure but in this instance he has done Arsenal a grave disservice and must be held accountable if goalkeeping errors cost us championships. As a final comment Schwartzer should have been our fallback option – we should have gone after a younger better keeper – we all know who they are and most of them would have bit your hand off to join a club like Arsenal. i just knew wenger would not bring in a keeper. Expect to see him on Sky in the next 48 hours with a huge grin on his face. The idea of transfers is to strengthen the squad and improve the team, are Chamakh, Koscielny and Squillaci going to turn us into PL and CL winners? Of course they aren’t and as for the keepers, 6 years he has had to sort out our poor defending and he has done nothing. As I have always maintained with Wenger, the more he is pressed to bring someone in the more determined he is not to. He will never change, and he will never learn. I dont know what the Wenger Zombies going to say now that hes failed to address the most obvious and weakest link in our team? He had the whole summer to address it but failed miserably. It doesn’t matter how many good runs we put together or how many teams we spank in the next few months, if we don’t win any silverware then thats it for me – Wenger has promised much and not delivered, he will have to go.

  • theusualsuspect

    I know people follow Wenger blindly but if they think that our GKs are really good enough then they have a screw loose. Almunia was 18th in the shots to saves ratio and made many mistakes where he wasn’t punished e.g. flapping at crosses. Wenger penny pinches and gambles every year and he is rewarded with a new contract. I noticed that there wasn’t too much messing around and he signed quickly. Who wouldn’t – A 20% rise, no pressure and praise for getting into the top four each year with the board paying off the debt faster so that their share price goes up. SICKENING!!! I bet AW must be a relieved man now the window as usual our manager as left us short with quality and numbers. he can now come out with is usual comments the clubs would not sell.wanted too much m oney,no better than what we have got. i said on here many times he wont spend in case he upsets the progress of some of is average players,schwarzer 2 offers in may and aug both for 2 mill,its a joke but he only went for him as is age would not prov ide is other gks a threat for more than 2 yrs. so no gk thats a disgrace,no other defender so we have to rely on djourous fitness,wait and see,lk on sat was outpaced and out muscled by diouf,how is going to get on with drogba def midf so we only have one on the books. no striker i said last season we were short in that area but he did nothing now we have 2 strikers out for weeks its a joke. but to aw it dont matter hes had a substantial wage increase spent peanuts and dont bother about us fans who pay your wages and exhorbitant season ticket prices.i am desparate for my club to be in with a shout for the prem and cl but once again our comfort zone manager as disappointed me again.

  • kameron

    A few months ago I made a conscious decision never ever to post any opinions on football blogs again. Being a fervent gooner, and apparently currently undergoing the phenomenon that is trophy-cold-turkey – which if you believe the press, is a football condition only experienced by Arsenal fans – I naturally took exception to a statement posted by a Chelsea fan on the Guardian Football site at the end of last season, that agreed with the theme of a David Lacey article that Arsenal should forget about playing ‘good football’ and concentrate on playing ‘winning football’ instead.

    Bristling with indignation at Lacey’s barely hidden thesis that ‘winning football’ is ipso facto ‘good football’, I proceeded to lecture the Chelsea supporter about fundamental tenets of philosophy and warned him about the crime of the ‘is ought shift’. He ignored my tuition and failed to see the non-sequitor of his argument; he stated that the object of playing football was to win games and that if a team won more games than any others, like Chelsea had, then clearly they were playing ‘gooder’ football than anyone else!

    No matter how much I remonstrated and demonstrated that one cannot justify value judgements, i.e. ‘good’ football, on matters of fact, i.e. Chelsea having won more games, he would have none of it. I even suggested, much to my own personal discomfort, that it is quite possible that Chelsea could have played ‘good’ football as well as winning football during the season but the former claim was a matter of individual opinion unlike the latter which was factual and not open to debate.

    As always, the blog exchange deteriorated into insult and abuse – and I suspect he is still paying a private detective to find me – when a timely intervention by my wife brought me back from the brink of insanity and a 12 hour night shift at the computer face.

    She simply said, and I have to believe it was without any irony whatsoever, that my Chelsea sophist was only acting like any ‘good’ supporter would, out of loyalty to his club. If her assertion is correct – and as far as I know she has never been wrong about anything – then it’s about time we as supporters of football, whether it is good, bad, indifferent, or winning football, stepped back from our tribal allegiances and considered objectively what traits do indeed characterise ‘good’ football supporters.

    It’s a cold autumn night in the mid-sixties at Ellersie Road, mistakenly known as Loftus Road, in Shepherds Bush. I am playing in midfield for QPR in a South East Counties floodlit match against Charlton or Leyton Orient, I can’t remember which. There was no Elvis for us as we ran on to the pitch, only the tinny, 2-year-out-of-date, echo of ‘Hermann’s Hermits’ evidently being into something good.

    There were probably a hundred odd ‘good’ supporters watching us from the gloom of the steeply rising terraces. I can’t remember the score at the time but I do recall that it was the second half and we were attacking the ‘General Smutts’ end and defending the ‘Springboks’ end. My extended family lived on the White City Estate and my Nan had worked in both these pubs at some time, hence the geographical precision.

    I remember breaking into the penalty area with only the keeper to beat and shooting. It wasn’t that powerful, I must admit, and certainly would not have hurt the keeper’s fingers as he pushed the ball around the post, if, indeed, he even felt it. I ran to pick up the ball to take the corner and as I did so, this ‘good’ QPR supporter – an old bloke in a raincoat – leant over the wall and hissed into my impressionable 16 year-old ear: “You shitbag!”

    As I walked to the corner flag, a mess of emotions, I could hear him repeating several times his assessment of my qualities as a player, and each time he voiced it for all to hear, the London accent became harsher, the shit became more pronounced and elongated, and the bag more clipped and scornful.

    If you have ever read ‘Billy Liar’ you will no doubt recall Billy’s hilarious repetition of his undertaker boss Shadrack’s name, beginning with ‘Shadrack, Shaadrack, Shaaadrack and eventually ending with the climactic ‘Shadder, Shadder, Shadders!!’

    This scene from ‘Billy Liar’, ironically set in the firm’s toilet, more than adequately conveys the rhetorical skills of my ‘good supporter’ admirer, who presumably was dedicated to helping Rangers attain success whatever the level and whoever the player. Of course, ‘shit sticks’ and, as a result, I do not really believe he was a role model ‘good’ supporter.

    But when mulling over the qualities of ‘good supporters’, it is crucial to be wary of stereotyping, and perhaps, more significantly, collective stereotyping. How many times do I hear footballers using adjectives for adverbs but to state categoric that all footballers omit the ‘ly’ would be foolish? Similar –sorry – similarly, not all Newcastle fans are fat, take their shirts off, and cheer throw-ins! Not all Chelsea fans are fat, bald-headed, aggressive men prone to some racist chanting. Not all Birmingham and Leeds supporters are trouble-making thugs, and there are, I am sure, some Millwall fans who are actually quite well liked.

    Of course, stereotypes often do reflect both positive and negative truths but we must not allow prejudice or unthinking classification to influence our thoughts about what constitutes a ‘good supporter’.

    I am mindful the recent six goal rout– sorry ‘win’ – by Arsenal against Blackpool at the Emirates. A gentleman to the right of me, high up in what is now called the North Bank, opined that Blackpool were excellent supporters. There they were, their team six nil down, being completely outplayed with five minutes left, and, yet, they, the supporters that is, were still singing their hearts out! Bless them! I hope they enjoyed their day out!

    I am certain, however, that perversely, their collective enthusiastic support for their outclassed team will have only served to have exacerbated the emotional guilt and rampant soul searching almost already certainly felt by the Blackpool players, given the nature of the mismatch and the number of goals conceded, to a degree which far exceeds the confusion I experienced at the derogatory ‘shitbag’ tossed in my direction all those years before.

    How would I have felt if the hundred or so QPR faithful had risen as one at the sight of my feeble effort, punched the air, exhorted my name fanatically to the West London skies, and queued for my autograph late after the game? What on earth would I have said to them? I shudder to think. No, my fellow gooner in the North Bank, you were what I term ‘fangoed’ – all that bright orange affected your judgment about the present and the future. Like Gary Lineker et al, he no doubt believes that a vacated seat at three nil reflects a poor supporter.

    I admit the Blackpool fans were impressively noisy, given that they did not have much to shout about and, comparatively speaking, there were not that many of them within the sixty thousand strong crowd. Perhaps, noise generation is the principal key to identifying ‘good supporters’? The decibel quotient pro rata is easily measured and calculated and could be recorded in fans’ league tables.

    Where fans are level in decibels and numbers based on a handicap system similar to that found in golf, the rank order could be determined by such factors as ‘variety of songs’, ‘witty chants’ and ‘sentimental value-added’. Such criteria – especially ‘sentimentality’ – may well rid our grounds of crude ditties such as ‘who’s the wanker in the black/green etc?’ and encourage a new football anthology of ‘You’ll never walk alone’ anthems.

    An ambitious development of this would be the introduction of an expert panel of X factor type judges which could analyse and vote on the singing of each club’s fans by focusing on tone, unison, meaningful lyrics and general singing quality. Imagine a final featuring Man City’s ‘Blue Moon’ and Millwall’s ‘No one likes us’! Breathtaking!

    The spin-offs are mouth watering. The Welsh believing that they would win more FA cups; an improved rendition of ‘Abide with me’ at the cup final; operatic singing of the National Anthem at Wembley finals; and increased respect at Wembley with England supporters not booing foreign anthems and England players, especially John Terry, actually singing rather than miming ‘God Save the Queen’. Fabio Capello and Stuart Pearce could set the example for supporters and players alike by learning the language and actually singing the anthem in English.

    The above flight of fancy takes me no nearer, I fear, to what defines ‘good’ football supporters! Fans, by their very nature, are self-delusional and extremely opinionated. I don’t know this (although I’m sure I’m right) but I suppose they always have been and always will be. But, once more, I have to be wary of stereotyping.

    It seems to me that one stereotypical ideal of the ‘good’ supporter arises from the working-class origins of the game – a sort of cross between Charlie George, Wayne Rooney and Alf Tupper. At the other end of the spectrum, both football and class, we find the stereotypical ideal of the officer and the gentleman – a cross between Bertie Mee, Alf Ramsey and ‘the can’t think of his name England’ supporter who always dressed in St. George colours and a stupid big hat, and could be found at all major international sporting events 40 years ago, symbolising the Corinthian spirit of the true football supporter.

    I suspect that most fans fall somewhere between the two extremes, and leaving aside the ‘risk supporters’ or hooligans, each club has a majority of ‘good’ fans however we define them. For me, though the answer can only be discovered through anecdote.

    I begin the ending of my topic with the Arsenal Bolton game last season. Arsenal needed to win to head the table albeit temporarily. We gooners were shocked when Arsenal went one nil down early in the game and mortified when it became two a few minutes later. The disappointment was palpable; you could almost taste it as you surveyed the stricken faces around you to mix metaphors.

    Then, suddenly, from behind me there arose out of the angry, hurt, silence one of the strangest sounds I have ever heard at a football match, or, indeed, anywhere. I can only surmise that the strangulated, succession of disgusting images and obscenities was the issue of internal warfare of gargantuan proportions. The gooner’s ejaculations were so shocking that, in spite of our upset at the score, we lesser gooners started to laugh out loud.

    I mention the episode because it identifies the true strength of feeling to which the passionate fan – if that is not tautological – is subjected to, and his helplessness in the face of it. I am certain that ostensibly, at least, given the evidence of their ‘always look on the bright side of life’ chorus, the Blackpool fans did not experience this. It could be argued, I admit, that strength of feeling is inversely proportionate to expectation, and that because not even the most optimistic Blackpool fan really believed that they would win, the resulting emotion in defeat was less disappointing, hence the singing.

    I cannot accept this and this is why. In the early 1980s, I took my then young son, who was miraculously born loving Arsenal, to see Wealdstone v Boston United in a mid week Gola league (conference) match. Wealdstone had defeated Boston in the Gola cup final at Wembley the previous season, and I suggested that we take my stepfather, a Wealdstone and Bury supporter, who lived in Harrow, to the ever-missed Lower Mead ground at the back of the Dominion Cinema.

    The crowd was quite reasonable although the weather was cold and typical of late November. The match was remarkable; not because Wealdstone won 8-0, but because they scored a hat-trick of penalties – something I have only witnessed the once. At the end of the game as the crowd began to disperse and the Boston players trudged shamefully towards the stand and the comforting bosom of the dressing room, a single Boston fan, possibly the only one at the match, or, certainly still inside the ground, lent across the advertising hoardings and berated the Boston players with the following tirade, reminiscent of Basil Fawlty’s attack on his broken down Mini:

    ‘You bastards, you fucking useless bastards. It took me six fucking hours to drive down here. I nearly crashed twice because of the snow. I took a day off work and lost a day’s wages to come and watch you load of shite and you can’t even make the effort to fight back. You make me sick. Look at you. Going for a nice shower! What about me? You make me sick. I’ve now got to drive back up the motorway and be up for work at 6 in the morning. Well, that’s it. No more, I’m finished. I’ve had enough. That’s it.’

    His voice tailed off and he sunk back, as we, the Wealdstone fans, and he, stood in silence, while some of the Boston players had actually stopped walking. All of a sudden, the Boston fan leapt up to the hoarding again and screamed: ‘And I’d fucking well better see an improvement at Telford on Saturday!’

    The Wealdstone fans applauded.

    Passion; love; sacrifice; prejudice; anger; faith; amnesia; loyalty; hope; and the greatest of them all; forgiveness.

  • francis1

    Almunia had a decent game against Blackburn on Saturday. He’s had decent games before and he’ll have a few more yet. He will also have a few games in which his lack of ability at the level he is being asked to play will cost his team points. Remember the corner at Anfield little over two weeks ago that he flapped at and completely missed? It didn’t result in a goal, but that was more down to fortune than anything. Remember him pushing the ball into the net at Birmingham last season at a time when Arsenal were miraculously still in the title race? And we’ll always have Paris in 2006. Barcelona’s winning goal would have been prevented by a better keeper. Yes, Almunia had pulled off a blinding reaction save shortly before the interval, but his mistakes will often undo his good work.

    Arsenal need a top class keeper to challenge for the two trophies Arsene Wenger thinks are worth bothering with. Wenger knows it, the board know it, the players know it and the fans know it. Opposing teams also know it. There is no doubt that the money is there and there was talk yesterday that the club had offered 14 million euros plus Almunia for Hugo Lloris, the French international shotstopper. And the attempt to secure Mark Schwarzer has been a running story for weeks.

    Why did Arsenal fail to secure either? Because although they have a big club turnover and big club admission prices, they sure don’t have big club pretentions on the football field. And the manager has unquestionably developed a small club mentality when it comes to buying players. Sometimes, you just need to pay the asking price and be done with it. Manchester United don’t mess around trying to save the last penny on a transfer deal. Their target is identified, they bargain hard and they make a decision. If the price is too high they move damn quick to secure an alternative and don’t worry about counting the pennies. United have won a number of trophies since Arsenal last managed one.

    Ever heard of speculating to accumulate? Wenger told shareholders in May 2009 that he would use all the resources at his disposal to improve his team’s chances of success. I am afraid that, as of September 1st 2010, that answer has to be filed under bullsh*t. Because he hasn’t. Arsenal have money in the bank and a nice guy in goal. That combination isn’t going to win you anything. Wenger will face shareholders again in a couple of weeks’ time, but this time, questions must be pre-submitted. Let’s face it, we can’t have an open exchange in which honest and frank views are expressed by those that are part-owners of the club, and hence Wenger’s employers. They might just be unfavourable and in the land of Arsene, nothing at all is wrong and the players beyond criticism. London Colney is football’s version of The Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    It isn’t good enough, and sadly, when it begins to collapse, the fans will turn on Almunia, and the manager too. I have a little sympathy for the player. He is attempting to do his job as instructed by his employers, he simply isn’t quite good enough at it. But he doesn’t decide whether to buy a better replacement. He seemed to be saying his goodbyes after the Blackburn game and was conscientious to sign every autograph that was asked of him for fans waiting in the rain by the team coach. It’s just a shame that he will become the fall guy once again as Arsenal drop key points. The signing of Lloris would have made perfect sense with a French-speaking back four in front of him, and two further Frenchmen in the holding midfield positions to boot.

    Instead we have an experiment that has failed too often. A keeper who is weak at set pieces and easily intimidated. Arsenal managed to keep Blackburn at bay from free kicks on Saturday with the offside trap. But corners and long throw-ins presented problems and what was required was a clear the decks keeper who will take out all and sundry as he claims the ball. Wenger’s side were a shade fortunate in the first half as Rovers missed a couple of headers that would have gone in on another day. So Almunia will be targeted and he will eventually cost points as he so often does. Arsenal will fall short again and that will make it six years without a trophy.

    The bank balance, however, is looking particularly healthy. Someone has calculated the team’s net spend this summer in the transfer market as around £3 million. The equivalent of the takings for a single matchday. When you add the savings made from not paying William Gallas anymore (his wages probably equal to the combined amount being paid to the three new arrivals) then it’s a valid question to ask about the manager’s ambitions. The football will probably be good enough to keep the team in the top four, but the glass ceiling that is a consequence of the lack of squad depth in key positions won’t be broken. Maybe the quarter finals once again in Europe and the predictable exits in the domestic cups. It’s same old same old, as indeed are the weaknesses in the team, and as with every year, the manager has not addressed them fully. Presumably Fabianski comes in if Almunia gets injured. What a joke Arsenal have become. No wonder Cesc Fabregas can’t wait to get out.

    But for a million or two, Mark Schwarzer could have been here in July. You have to wonder where all the money saved over the years by not buying sufficiently will end up. Will it ever be spent or is it just being siphoned off by directors using some clever accountancy techniques? Self-sufficiency is all well and good, but at least reap the rewards of what you sew. Arsenal have made serious profit over the last 12 months. If it’s all about self-sufficiency can someone give Arsene Wenger and the board an allotment to tend and hand over the decision making at the club to someone who knows what is required to win a trophy?

  • Kieran

    @ theusualsuspect:
    People blindly follow Arsene Wenger, it’s true, others blindly hate him.

    Most of us are more objective though, and don’t throw tantrums on message boards or blogs just because he didn’t sign a crap goalkeeper.


    Almunia is just as good a shot-stopper as Schwarzer, is more vocal when organising the defence, has a stronger mind and a better more positive attitude to dealing with setbacks, and was patient enough to hang around waiting for Mad Jens to stop telling him he was never going to be good enough, without complaining until he became no1 himself.

    Now he has had a single not so good season, and seems to be returning to his form of 06/07 and 07/08 with an improved defence behind him. Seemingly more confident and less inclined to rush out in a panic and flap around for aerial balls – what more can you ask of a keeper who is constantly hounded by the fans and media alike?

    No I am sorry, if nobody agrees I will still not change my mind … Almunia is a better option than ANY of the keepers we were considering on the forums, and all the league stoppers mentioned on Sky since day 1 of the window –

    Apart from the ORIGINAL keeper that Arsene admitted to wanting and honestly came out and made a bid for. It was Joe Hart, who Mancini decided to suddenly keep when we showed an interest in him. Hence whhy we resorted to other keepers like Lloris, Buffon and Schwarzer.

    Given was never approached because he is the wrong type of player for Arsenal, and would upset the balance of the team that has taken us nearly 5 years of chopping changing wheeling and dealing!

    I can see it now, constant long kicks from hands avoiding our half of the pitch altogether and surrendering posssession ala Man City and asking to be out-scored!

    No Almunia is by far the best option we could have taken, he is a good solid keeper who had one bad season! I say he is stuck with us, and never complains that we slag him off after any game where we don’t score 2 or 3 more than the opponent.

    So we are also stuck with him now (at least until January) so we may as well get used to this fact, get behind him and make sure the defence and Manuel himself feel more confident against team’s who look dangerous or score an early goal or two!

    Besides people said that Eboue was rubbish and he got booed every week – now look at him go!

    Also Cesc was thought to be too thin and weak for the prem, look at HIM go last season was one of his greatest ever!

    Walcott was ‘never going to improve’ or score any goals – according to fans and punters alike he should have been sold, and now he has suddenly weighed in with 4 goals in 3 games people are saying ‘I knew he would come good’ Poor Arsenal playeres imagine being supported by that type of person!?

    With fans like that who needs enemies?

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    With transfers, it’s hard to know if Arsene is telling the truth. He says we’re not close to signing anyone and then we sign Koscielny / Squillaci.

    Then he says no more transfers, so I didn’t think he meant it!

  • Berth

    when you dont win, loosing becomes a habit, your mentality is conditioned to that of a looser who considers average performance as normal. Kieran open your eyes men. Compare ur mentality now with what u hard during the unbeating era.

  • Goonerman

    I thought we were drawing a line under this keeper crap, we havexwhat we have and nothings coming in to replace them do get behind the team and the goalkeeper

  • Rasmus

    Yeah, we’l just have to make do with what we have. Until janruary at least.

    I must admit, shay given and Igor Akinfeev would have been the two options that i’d have got excited about. Don’t think much of schwartzer or Lloris anyway.

    given wasn’t allowed to come and akinfeev was young enough to severely disrupt the development of our 3 promising young keepers, currently headed by the amazing flappyanski!!

    Let’s hope he’s worth it!

  • Bonathan

    Yeah, we’l just have to make do with what we have. Until january at least.

    I must admit, shay given and Igor Akinfeev would have been the two options that i’d have got excited about. Don’t think much of schwartzer or Lloris anyway.

    given wasn’t allowed to come and akinfeev was young enough to severely disrupt the development of our 3 promising young keepers, currently headed by the amazing flappyanski!!

    Let’s hope he’s worth it!

  • Nick

    I’m behind Almunia. I have to be because he’s our #1. I personally don’t understand the reasoning behind making a move for a #1 keeper like Schwarzer unless you are really gonna do everything to get him. Just throwing out an offer, another offer and then not signing him is just risky in terms of unsettling your teams #1 as is. It’s one thing if it’s a young guy you want to bring in to mold and coach up. But a keeper like Mark would most undoubtedly be brought in as #1 and that will wreck the confidence of your current. And when he can’t afford to lose any more confidence it’s a very risky play.

    Also, pissed if Spuds do manage to finalize their deal for Van Der Vaart. For 8 million that’s a steal and we should’ve landed him for that kinda $$$. I love his play and will hate to see him in a Spuds kit.

  • goonerman

    we cant be addidng someone like van der vaart to the team just becuase hes going cheap, would he get in the starting line up?? i doubt it hes similar to rosicky nasri and even wilshir let alone hed be behind cesc anyway plus the others allready have premier league experience and know the arsenal way! he will add quality to their team but he is no world class player

  • goonerman

    the one thing im waiting for and i simply cant wait is for a spud fan in the heat of the moment becuase im always having arguments with my spurs mates, they will say van der vaart is better than fabregas and at that point i will physically piss my self with laughter!


    we don’t need VDV – a good player yes – but not need at our club where we have enough of creative players.


    I just hope wengers plan not to sign a keeper and defensive midfilder doesnt backfire – Can you imagine the Drog up agianst us – God i am praying already

  • andrew


    Excellent contribution. Please post again soon.

  • vj

    Compare our teak and spurs team
    Almunia vs Gomes,, Gomes wins

    Sagna vs Corluka,, Sagna wins

    Dawson vs Vermaelen,, Vermaelen wins

    King vs Squillaci,, Squillaci wins

    Assou-Ekoto vs Clichy,, Clichy wins

    Song beats Huddlestone and Palacios, but they beat denilson

    Cesc beats Van der vaart and modric

    Walcott beats lennon


    Don’t even talk spurs Van persie and chamakh can be defoe and crouch every day

    I haven’t mentioned Bale, hes very good, love to have him

    As for depth They have more depth in defense with Bassong Gallas, but we have nasri, rosicky, ramsay, diaby, wilshere, bendtner, vela

    this is to quell any fears arsenal fans might have about spurs being stronger now, we have a good squad, I believe that Almunia will step up because he knows hes out by January if he dosen’t, this may be a blessing in disguise. We have cesc and van persie back, Squllaci will play, Walcott is on fire, If we can string together 4 or so wins we can worry chelsea when we might them next month at the bridge

  • RVP

    what is our 25 man squad ?

  • Sam

    VJ – who says Gomez is better than Almunia?! Have you forgotten his blunders when he started out at Sp#rs?

    I’ve been so looking forward to a world class keeper (by the way, Heart is still unproven), but since the transfer window closed, Almunia is my No. 1.

    A keeper’s confidence & performance depends largely on the defence in front of him. Let’s hope our GK & defence can inspire each other.

  • Sam

    Chelsea have named just 4 homegrown players & L’pool have named just 21 overall. Will this affect their season? Sure, yes, right?!

  • Tom G

    brilliant stuff.