In, out, shake it all about?

Morning All…

Johan Djourou miraculous (or not?) comeback

Yet another day goes past in the world of Arsenal, and another day which has see a lot of crazyness happen… the will he, won’t he BBC saga / Swiss FA saga – is Johan Djourou fit or not?

Let me tell you how the story unfolded – earlier yesterday, the Swiss FA released this statment:

“The shoulder injury to Johan Djourou is less serious than feared on Saturday and announced by the coach of his club. The Arsenal defender and member of the Switzerland national team was submitted to thorough medical examinations on Monday. At the end of a long exhausting day, Johan Djourou had new hope that his season is not over yet.”

And from that point on, it was “hurray, hurray and hurray” as the world went into over-drive excited at the prospect of Djourou only missing one game! But their was an air of caution, because nothing official was on Arsenal’s site and no-one at the club had an inkling about what the FA had said, and despite their instance, would there be a twist or u-turn?

And then surely… the one thing all Gooners did not want to hear….

But Arsenal told BBC Sport this was “inaccurate” and that the centre-back would see a specialist on Thursday. The club expect the Swiss international to undergo surgery and to be ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Writing this blog (it’s now Wednesday morning) and there is no more information on any of the speculation / discussions yesterday, so we’ll have to bide our time and see what happens over the next few days.

Random Thoughts

So, last night was Champions League night and I had a night off, no gym, no work, flatmates were out… so it came down to putting on the CL football on the main room and turning the volume up loud whilst I cleaned up the house a little bit. As we all know now, United beat Marseille 2-1 in a game that if Marseille bothered putting on their scoring boots would have actually beaten United, but the ever so spritely Javier Hernandez was there to score 2 goals and help United progress. In the other Champions League game – Inter beat Bayern 3-2 at the Allianz Arena with a winner 2 minutes before time through Pandev, assisted by the very good Eto’o…

I did kind of want United to progress to the next round, as they will surely now have to play at least three more games that us (2 in the CL and 1 in the FA cup)… which can only help us in the run in to the title… if we want it that is – I say that because it was amazing to see how much United wanted to win, compared to us at Barcelona when we gave us a long time before the final whistle… but more importantly, it made me think about the strikers we have – with the exception of Van Persie – and the likes of Bendtner, Chamakh and Vela just are not in the same league as the likes of Pandev, Eto’o, Hernandez etc…

It’s a little frustrating because these players – Eto’o was a £7m signing for Real Madrid all those years ago, and Hernandez was an £8m signing last summer – compare and contrast to Bendtner (£500k), Chamakh (free) and Vela (£2.5m)… there is a saying that you get what you pay for and we’re starting to see that now as it becomes clear that some of our fringe players, well – most of our fringe players are not good enough. The title of this blog is “in, out, shake it all about” and whilst I’m not trying to be negative, or dismissive to the current squad, a few £7m – £8m signings instead of the £1.5m – £2.5m signings wouldn’t break the bank – heck if this article is to be believed, Blackburn are going to give us £15m for Niklas Bendtner….. sell, sell, sell…

Anyway, we have the whole summer to talk about in’s and out’s – I hope that Arsene makes the right decisions – not just in transfers, but in pecking order – the likes of Denilson and Eboue would have been more suitable to Barcelona away (rather than Diaby and Rosicky) and let’s hope Ramsey and Wilshere do maintain their position ahead of Diaby in any pecking order we have…

Eric Abidal

A good signing for Barcelona was the left back cum centre back Eric Abidal, who didn’t have the greatest reputation when he signed for Barcelona and it was for a high fee – but he’s shown in the last 2 years that he is rock in defence when called upon. Yesterday, we heard some terrible news about the player – that he had just been diagnosed with liver cancer.

The club announced:

“A liver tumour has been detected in the player Eric Abidal and he will be treated surgically next Friday. Abidal will be operated on by Dr Josep Fuster Obregon. Per the express wish of the player, we call for the utmost respect for the right to privacy.”

My thoughts and prayers go out to him and I really do hope he recovers quickly…

Alright chaps, that’s a wrap… adios for now… we’ll catch up tomorrow no doubt!

  • himesn

    totally agree with your post mate. I think Wenger has given these B rate players enough opportunities to buck up and show they rae good enough – but we have seen they are not and I can only hope that these players will now go – but as long as wenger is in charge this will not chnage. Hate to be pessimistic but if we cant beat UTD team with 7 defenders then that relaly says it.

  • devday

    @ himesn:
    United played the perfect tactic against a wounded Arsenal. Kudos to SAF for his team selection. However, things will be different at the Emirates!! I am sure of it!

    In regards to the fringe players – they have let us down, and shown they are simply not good enough for our club. It’s been said so much – but will Arsene take action.

    The problem is when a player who was rubbish like Alex Song, suddenly has an amazing season or two, and show that he has improved, Arsene then takes that faith to the obviously not great players such as Denilson and Diaby.

    Where we are now is that we need to look at promoting the hungry younger players rather than consistently relying on the also rans which have been around and not improved for several years now!

  • Fo

    Wouldn’t Arsene suddenly moving Denilson, Diaby, Bendnter, Vela, Eboue, Squillaci, Almunia, Fabianski OUT undermine his creditability in the public domain?

    Will he do it – or will be stuck with these players again next season?

  • Arsefan101

    @ himesn:
    I would love to have the likes of 2 young brazilians like Fabio and Rafael on our books – I think we have someone called Wellington and another player called Bothelo who are both young, have flair and pace and are coming back to us in summer.

  • devday

    Please don’t copy and paste other blogs onto this one! I’ve spammed that comment Buxcey!

  • Davidinlondon

    Because of our own European exit and for what I hope will prove to be the long term good of Arsenal, I find myself in the (frankly ridiculous) position of actually wanting Man Utd, Chelsea and Real Madrid to win their CL games, and that both Man City & Liverpool make it through in the Europa League.

    Firstly, in order that Spurs don’t get an easy draw and ride into the C.L. Final (can you imagine them getting Shaktar/Marselle/Copenhagen etc?) – although I obviously also hope that all the English teams get knocked out before then;

    Secondly, because it means the extra games runs the risk of all of them picking up injuries and thereby hopefully increasing our chances of maintaining our tilt at a Top 4 place/the Title (don’t laugh!!);

    Thirdly, if they get through, the scousers will have a 1/4 second leg game 3 days before our scheduled match, thereby increasing our chances of winning it.

    Also, if Bolton then beat Stoke in the FA Cup semi they might ease of in their league campaign for fear of picking up injuries before their biggest match in 50 odd years!!

    And to round it off, if Man City beat United in the other semi (before losing to Bolton in the final) then any chance of another Man United ‘treble’ is extinguished

  • Davidinlondon

    I think 6 Years really isn’t that long in term’s of a club’s history. Think about it. I feel proud of our club’s achievements even in the 30s. I’m not saying we should rely on past glories only. But 6 years is not much to give if the club’s future can be secured. As for how long is long term.. All i can say is that we are close. Not just close to a trophy, which we have been a number of times even during the 6 years, but close to coming out of the transitory phase. Paying of the stadium debts quicker (at the cost of transfers at times) is actually a way to speed up that transition. I think for many players this season is the last chance saloon. They could have, and still can, come good, but if not, then in the off season a) we can afford to spend a bit more, and b) we have some reserves who now seem ready to take over.

    2. If it’s logic you’re after then being a football fan isn’t for you. Seriously, life of a sport’s fan has very few glory years. All the rest is pain. Pain..and hope.. It might be logical to not EXPECT trophies. No team can guarantee triumphs no matter how good they are. But to hope is all a fan has. It is hope and belief in the team that makes it’s victory your own, as also its disappointments. That is how I feel as a fan. If I give up while we still have a chance, then how can I expect better from my team?

    3. I don;t believe I mentioned the financial aspects as a credit to Wenger at all in the last post. I was only thinking of the output on the pitch. Let’s be honest. Our financial strength (or situation if you prefer) isn’t solely, or even primarily to do with Wenger. The board deserves the credit (or blame) for that. What Wenger has done is worked within those constraints to produce results on the pitch. And keeping those constraints in mind, I think he’s done a fantastic job, though not perfect by any stretch. If Wenger cared less about the club he could have demanded funds as an ultimatum like many other managers do. Wenger takes much of the blame only because he stands by the vision of the club. It is not only his vision.
    As far as the ticket holders and the prices etc are concerned. Would winning trophies mean the prices reduce? Do you buy the tickets only to see trophies? In that case I think you should just stop paying. Stop going to matches because as I said, no club guarantees trophies. If the prices seem unfair to you then nobody forces you to go. Rising prices of tickets are a legitimate concern, but it is a totally separate issue from the winning of trophies. Bottom line. If you do not feel you are getting your money’s worth then stop buying.

    4. Luck had pretty much everything to do with the Newcastle draw. Actually I don;t think that was luck. If we hadn’t started like a bat out of hell I think we would have lost that match. It’s not just the big calls in that match which were against us a-plenty. We were forced into submission as a result of the referee’s performance there. When even Andrew, who is at times for me frustratingly neutral in his analysis puts a headline saying ‘What would a fixed match look like’ then you know something was out of place.(not saying fixed necessarily, but the referee’s performance was horribly one sided) I look back on the Newcastle match as a point gained rather than two lost because I think we were meant to lose that game. Please I’m not making excuses for the team or Diaby in this case, but look back at that match again.
    The spurs match was a shame. A total shame. No excuses. We thought the match was over and we let them back in. Unacceptable.
    Something United would never do? Everton 3-3 draw? Fulham 2-2 draw? WBA only getting a win because they didn’t go down to 10 men and concede a penalty straight off, and STILL needing the opposition to miss a penalty at the end? I’m sorry. ManU’s mental strength as opposed to our weakness and fragility is a myth.

    One note on ManU’s fans and something we possibly could learn from them. They are blind bigots when it comes to their team. They refuse to see their players’ faults and claim persecution on the basis of very very little. If they can complain about that Chelsea match regarding referees, it absolutely shocks me that we still blame our team for the Newcastle game. Of course we can do better. When is that ever untrue? But very often we do enough, and more, and are denied by factors outside our control. Once again, I never excuse my team’s failings or try and hide them. I always WANT to blame my team for failures. Except. It is really not always their fault.

  • Arsefan101

    @ Davidinlondon:
    I like your thinking – Man United in it for a big longer (CL) – same with Liverpool (we have to play them both still)… and we will be fresher. Chelsea should lose in their next CL game in order to ensure Spurs don’t get into the top four again!

  • yemi

    @ himesn:
    B rated players ? more like C or D !!!

  • Sam

    Please all remember that we’ve built & paid for a stadium, and remained in top 4 & CL with these same B, C & D players!

  • Kodjo

    we havent forgotten that we’ve built a new stadium….what about certain player showing more passion and determination…rather than the toothless performances

  • Kodjo

    Not to mention the proposed increases in ticket prices…hardly justifiable….when player wages are among the chief reasons for the increasing costs…nothing to show in the trophy cabinet + toothless performances…

  • Arsefan101

    @ Kodjo:
    The ticket price hike is only for club level members.
    The actual ticket prices for Club level was £2500 and in it’s second season, it was due to go up by 6%… but that was frozen for 5 years!

  • Davidinlondon

    Where are the supporters in here that follow Wenger and the boards excuses year after year for not buying players when yet again we are held for ransom over season ticket prices and the prices of refreshments at the ground but the money is never invested in the squad, I would suggest that the ones that mouth it off big time are armchair supporters that have only ever shouted at the team through a TV, DISGRACE.

  • himesn

    At this point in time, you’re right. We’re currently in the luxuary of having the destination of the title in our own hands to play for. Its fair to say we need to give the team our full support every week at the games, and stand up for ourselves when Spurs, Utd and chav fans try to gain moral highgrounds over us and put us down. But then, when discussing amongst ourselves, we need to look at whats happeneing. In the recent seasons, we tend to blow up around this time if we have any form of challenge in the league, so its fair to say we’ve got previous. Add the fact that we’ve blown up in our recent big games and its safe to say that our form isnt great. Then you have to look at injuries. In prior title wins, we had injuries, but other players stepped up to cope. In 2002 when bobby was injured, freddy stepped up. In 98, when wrighty was injured, Anelka filled in. In the invincibles, when Paddy and Gilberto were out, Romford Pele and Edu filled in. I’ll be supporting them, but can you honestly say denilson has what it takes to fill song’s boots for example? The current group of players who are fit dont fill me with confidence that we’ll win the league. I want them to, because they’re Arsenal, but I just dont see it happeneing. I hope to god they prove me wrong.

  • courage

    I am unhappy with this manager of ours because he has kept with the same players too much love

  • courage

    I read an awful lot on this forum from those described as “rosetinters” generally pro Wenger and from those described as “realists” generally anti Wenger. I should point out that I fall into the later group. The “rosetinters” main defence of Wenger appears to be that he does fantastically well to “challenge” and be “successful” year after year in the major honours and maintain a top four place and hence a Champions League place on a very limited budget.

    Putting aside the debate over whether the achievements (or lack of them) since 2005 constitute a “challenge” or being “successful” do the “rosetinters” ever question why it is that throughout Wenger’s managerial history he has always but always been a nearly man and continues to be so with us? I remember when Wenger first joined Arsenal and noticed his record as manager of Monaco. Do not quote me on this but it read something like:

    French League
    Champions 1
    Runners Up 5

    French Cup
    Winners 1
    Runners Up 2

    Uefa Cup Winners Cup Winners
    Runners Up 1

    By my count that is 2 trophies and 8 runners up positions. His average is slightly better with us with 7 trophies and 10 runners up positions but only 4 wins from 9 finals. I remember thinking at the time that it was slightly odd. However now having had Wenger as manager for nearly 15 years it is abundantly clear why this is. In my opinion it is not to do with how much he does or does not spend. With the players at his disposal this season Wenger should have won a league cup and should win the league championship (although it could be argued that improvement in the league is down to others not performing as well) which I fear he may not if past experience is anything to go by. The fact that he does not and may not win these things is down to his “philosophy” if you want to call it that and not down to the players at his disposal. I accept that there is scope for improvement in some areas, notably at centre back and defensive midfield and perhaps a new goalkeeper although Szczesny looks a good prospect (although Wenger is doing his best to ruin his confidence by not organising the defence in front of him which led to the Carling Cup Final disaster reminiscent of Gus Caesar). With improvement in these areas more still should be achieved.

    Wenger’s “philosophy” includes but is by means limited to: Not practicing set pieces, Not having a proper captain, Not motivating the players, Not organising the defence, Not worrying about the opposition (“we concentrate on our own game” and low and behold Messi gets 4 goals for Barcelona against us last season because “we concentrated on our own game” and did not worry about the threat from Messi!), Not having defenders playing in the defensive positions (Clichy springs to mind). I could go on but the failings in Wenger’s “philosophy” are embarrassingly obvious to everybody in the game (just take a look at Match Of The Day after one of our embarrassing defeats). These failings make all the difference at the crucial times like the last minute of the Carling Cup Final for example. It is no coincidence that Wenger’s most successful teams had players that he inherited from the George Graham era (mostly the old back four from lower division sides that did not cost a fortune but they were well organised to operate as an effective unit) who provided these qualities but since they have departed these qualities have not been replaced. Of course Wenger added the gifted attacking players to this but Wenger is guilty of not recognising what made him successful when he first joined Arsenal.

    It is not clear whether these failings are obvious to Wenger but if they are then he is guilty of extreme negligence in not dealing with them (no money is required as it can be dealt with on the training ground and any one of the old back four could do the job) and if they are not then he is guilty of not being up to the job. What is the “rosetinters” explanation for this?

    It is the attitude that is missing. The get up and go. The will to win at all costs. The resilience when you are up against it. Wenger as a manager simply cannot or will not instil these qualities into his team. Perpetually being “thereabouts” but never “there” is simply not good enough for Arsenal football club especially when the hard part has already been done in assembling a relatively talented group of players and I fear that nothing will change unless the manager does no matter how much money he does or does not spend. I hope that I am proved wrong in May but if not then it is time for a change of manager.

  • yemi

    I am prepared to wait till the summer and see what Arsene will do.
    i think our central defense is ok with TV, djourou, KOS, squilacci and ignasi. At right back we need one more player but as long as there is ebuoue, i doubt wenger will bat an eyelid in that direction. IF clichy is committed to staying, then i think we are OK at left back too

    Midfield is over bloated with substandard players who have been given enough time to show their worth and i think its time for them to move on and make space for others. The likes of Diaby, denilson and rosisky should move on. We need one DM to cover for song certainly not denilson or diaby. I don’t know how good frimpong is, i know he was good in pre-season but under competitive mode, how will he fare ?

    i think jack/rambo are good enough cover for cesc.

    I would also let go of bendtner and get an out an out striker to partner RVP, a striker that can keep defenders much to worry about.

    All in all, i will let go of Diaby, denilson, rosisky, bendner (certainly), and clichy (if he wants to go, but also replace him) and also cesc (if the pressure from barca is getting to him).

    On another note, i hope the presence of lehmann in the squad will spur alumina to excellent performances till we get our number one and two goal keepers back.

    And as for the title, fingers crossed, lets start with WBA, that should tell us how the future is going to be like. Those are the games we need to take all 3 cos we still got man u (H), liverpool (H), spurs (A).

    On a very final note, how come we seem to implode after playing birmingham in the new year of every season ??????

  • Berth

    We haven’t imploded yet. And don’t harbour that in mind. its good for nobody.

  • courage

    REad this comment from Lawro: ” The Gunners undoubtedly have great ability but there’s no mental strength or leadership. Arsene Wenger says captain Cesc Fabregas is a great leader. No. Fabregas is a great player but he’s not a leader and I don’t think he ever will be. When things are going wrong it’s the leaders who come to the fore and Arsenal don’t have any. ”

    Never really agree with this muppet but for once I think he is spot on.

  • jumshed

    if these mercenaries at the club half cared about the title then they could win

  • courage

    Has anybody else been following the progress of Ryo Miyaichi since his loan to Feyenoord? he was put straight into the first team and has set the team alight. He has started every game since joining them and has already been suggested as the next Messi? I have watched quite a lot of the highlights and the lad look`s the real deal. Two great feet,very quick and very skillful. To be honest he already looks better than the likes of Arshavin,Vela,Rosicky etc. Shame we were unable to get a work permit sorted as this lad would have offered us a lot over the closing stages of our season.

  • Kieran

    @ courage:
    That’s what we said about Vela. The dutch league is pretty weak, I’m looking forward to seeing him play in a better league, hopefully he really could be a gem.

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    Big up Miyaichi …!!