Walcott [and all fans] question manager…

[Negative blog post alert]

It’s Thursday 18th August 2011… and roughly 12.5 days away from the close of the transfer window. As things stand, we have a serious lack of depth in our squad. Arsene promised experienced players at the beginning of the summer, but the main transfer activity has been the sales of Clichy, Eboue, Cesc and the departure of Denilson & Vela on loan… Nasri & Bendtner are also very close to the exit door and in reality, none of these players have been replaced.

If you exclude Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Miyachi from the first team – neither having played a premier league game in their lives, the only significant signing to note is Gervinho…

In reality, our team consists of the following players – and I’ve crossed out those who are injured or suspended…

Strikers:

  • Robin Van Persie
  • Maroune Chamakh

Wingers:

  • Arshavin
  • Gervinho
  • Walcott
  • Miyachi (awaiting clearance)

Attacking Midfielders:

  • Rosicky
  • Ramsey

Defensive Midfielders

  • Wilshere
  • Diaby
  • Frimpong
  • Song

Left Backs

  • Gibbs
  • Traore

Right Backs

  • Sagna
  • Jenkinson

Centre Backs

  • Vermaelen
  • Koscielny
  • Djourou
  • Squillaci

Goalkeepers

  • Szcznesy
  • Fabianksi
  • Mannone

Worried? I am… very worried… we’re thread bare, we hardly have any players to choose from for the game against Liverpool…

Walcott spoke in the press and really did question Arsene’s dealings in the transfer window…

‘Of course the players sometimes think, “What’s going on?”’. ‘But I’m sure the boss has got players coming in. I don’t know, but if you sell one of your best players… I’m sure he’s got some options coming in. ’He has picked up great players before. Only time will tell what he is going to do.  We’ve had a couple of injuries and we have to hope they are not too bad. We don’t want the squad to get lower and lower.’

The fact that the players are thinking “what’s going on?” is very worrying…

I’ll be back tomorrow for a Liverpool preview, I am just hoping for no more injuries…

[Negative blog post alert over]

  • piresistible

    As i said before the idiotic one has completely lost the plot and I would go as far as to say the man is insane. I am now seriously thinking this dope will not bring anyone in and play with this team. Can you imagine if that happened?

  • agenstsmurf

    It doesn’t look now as if anyone will come in before next week. The problem is if we go out of the CL will anyone want to join. Nasri is skulking off today and to be honest I’m neither surprised or disappointed. Wenger’s buys from the French league tend to want out as soon as they smell more money, Adebayor would have gone to Lincoln or Morecambe had they offered him £100,000 per week. Nasri is no different and I wonder if he will be able to hold down a regular place in the Citeh team, time will tell but lets not forget for most of his time at Arsenal he wasn’t actually very good. It’s worrying though, dilly dallying over Cahill has attracted Liverpool, Chelsea have bid for Mata and these two clubs will try to tie deals up. You get the impression other clubs expected these two to go to Arsenal so they stood back. Now they have realised Arsenal aren’t really making much genuine effort they are sniffing around. This could be Wenger’s plan, hope these players go somewhere else then he can claim that he tried but missed out. I can’t see top players coming to a club in the Europa Cup, God Thursday nights, empty stadium, game on Ch5 or ITV4, no interest. Apparently it actually costs club to compete in that rubbish tournament. We should not be in this position but thanks to Wenger we are, it shouldn’t be difficult getting a season ticket next year, they’ll be giving them away.

  • Kodjo

    @ piresistible

    You may disagree with Wenger but there is absolutely no need for the insults or vitriol.

    Do you think that Wenger who brought in the likes of Pires, Vieira, Campbell, Toure, Henry, Gilberto, Edu, Wiltord, Reyes etc has suddenly lost the plot????

    Check out the quote from the owners of Malaga…

    “We don’t care if we have to spend €60 million on 10 players, because we have the resources to sign another one for €60m more.”

    you’d realise how crazy the transfer market is…throw in the likes of Man City, Chelsea and there you have hyper inflated values for players.

  • yemi

    Its not that bad !!1st team.

    ————–Szcznesy

    Sagna-Squillaci-Koscielny-Vermaelen

    ———–Frimpong

    walcott—ramsey—arshavin

    —-RVP——chamack—

    bench
    Fabianksi, Jenkinson, rosisky, and many more youth !!!

  • devday

    @ yemi:
    Squillaci is like starting the game with an own goal
    And Frimpong has never started a premier league game in his life!

  • des

    Wenger has recently said he’s not afraid to spend £30mil or £40m on a player. and we haven’t seen the best of Squillaci? I fear we have – that’s the trouble. Wenger’s judgment is shot – and pinning your hopes on Frimpong and Ramsey shows what a parlous state we’re in.

  • des

    Like one or two others, I was also touched by Cesc’s unveiling at Barca and by his conduct at the media conference. Of course he broke a contract and of course he probably forced through the move but, after watching AFC become weaker and less able to mount a realistic challenge for silverware, I harbour no grudge against Cesc for wanting to move on. Compared to what’s going on in the higher echelons of the club, Cesc’s “crime” of wanting away is a mere misdemeanour. Increasingly these days my love for AFC is being tested to the limit by the wanton dereliction and stubbornness of Wenger and co, who still appear to take the fans – and their concerns – with a pinch of salt… while doing next to nothing to halt our decline. Wenger, who should be regarded as a mere employee – has been monumentally inept during this transfer window, even by his abysmal standards. If nothing of note transpires in the couple of weeks (barring Nasri’s exit) his time must surely be up.

  • John

    Re Tittle; all fans question Manager? I certainly don’t question the manager. He is doing a far better job than I could ever hope of doing. He also does a far better job than any of the PL managers bar Fergie. I don’t question him at all. Yes I do have worries about the present squad, for some of them I could probably blame Wenger, although I don’t know what has been/is going on behind the scenes.

  • lien

    In a strict business sense Arsenal have had no real right to finish in the top four since several years now – given other club’s immense spending power. The fact that we do is down to Arsène Wenger’s acumen and skill in capturing and developing players like Cesc. Incidentally contrary to widely held opinion, Cesc Fabregas didn’t leave because he was a disloyal mercenary – if he was he could and would have joined City last year and doubled his wages. He chose to return after 8 years to his family’s hometown on lower wages leaving behind a fat transfer fee and (I believe) the best part of his playing days. His loyalty and behaviour during his time with Arsenal reflects well upon him and the club that raised him from boy to man. But as Cesc leaves Wilshere, Ramsey and perhaps another player you may not even have heard of will fill his place.

    So where does this leave us for this season? I wouldn’t say Arsenal is a hot favourite for the 2011/12 Premier League title – although I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we sneaked it at least once in the next three or four years). What I am certain is that Arsenal under Wenger is leading the only team in a major European league which consistently gives the other clubs funded by unlimited oil wealth, dodgy oligarchs and corrupt and/or unsustainable bank practices a run (quite literally) for their money.

    On radio talk shows and through pages and pages of newsprint the constant complaint of unsustainable and mercenary practices is heard and read and yet when one club consistently plays at the highest level of European football by doing things the right way commentators, and its only fair to say a smattering of Arsenal supporters too, seemingly can’t wait to knock the club, team and manager. Given the current world economic climate, given the debauched state of sport administration and given the quite frankly obscene waste of wealth by dodgy owners I can honestly say I have never been prouder to be an Arsenal fan. And you know what, whisper it quietly, but, well I’ve got this strange feeling that we are going to lift a trophy again this year.

  • gareth

    if there was ever going to be a time where people should be chanting “spend some fucking money” it’s now. Why didn’t I hear the chant when Djourou and Gibbs went off? Because we won? That’s inconsistent. Win or lose, Arsenal need to spend some fucking money. End of.

    There are less than 15 days before the end of the transfer window and Arsenal have no left back. Teams will know that, they will know that we have a pile of cash, they will know that anyone we buy is irreplaceable to them at this point, and they will charge Arsenal well over the odds. Yes, even a garbage player who can come in and give this squad some much needed depth will cost big money.

    That’s the cost of not doing business earlier this Summer. You want Leighton Baines? He’s now a £20m player for Arsenal. You want Cahill? £17m is a bargain. Reports from L’Equipe have Arsenal going after Lucho from l’OM. Landing a player of that quality and experience would be a huge coup and the fact that we are going after him makes me excited. But trying to get him on a loan deal — as l’OM’s Deschamps told the papers we tried to do — is an insult to that player and his club. Arsenal are not in the bargaining position to be making desultory offers for players we need to add depth to a team that has been stripped of all but a few of her prized assets.

  • yemi

    @ lien:
    Adding mata for 15.5 million then or met’saker for 9million or even samba for 7million will not be in anyway out of way for a team like arsenal and it will go a long way in strengthening the squad. we could actually have gotten those 3 players for the price of cesc !!!

  • devday

    @ yemi:
    Spot on…

  • verne..

    @ lien:I have goose bumps..well said!

  • gareth

    Starting to think its the boards fault if not Wenger is just totally insane, lost the plot and probby suffering from dementia if he cant see whats happening around him, cant see whats going to happen this season, what has been happening for the last few seasons, what he needs to do to stop the rot, to get to grips with the current game and what is happening on and off the pitch its just baffling me so much that im now beginning to feel real hate for Wenger for allowing this great club to end up in the situation it is now, really is weakest squad i’ve known and further away from winning anything but mor eimportantly hes now jeopardized champions league football. It really wouldn’t of taken much to stop it either thats the most frustrating thing, he just fails to see the plain obvious i.e wont change style of play, has no plan B in games so tactically not upto much, refuses to sign proven quality players but young cheap kids, cant see that we need some leaders/organizers on the pitch, fails to see we have a team of midgets that unable to defend set pieces, fails to see that spending money for other clubs is winning them trophies, its the way the game is now not for the better but its fact. Wenger didn’t and doesn’t even need to spend millions, by no means am I asking the club to spend money like Chelsea, Man City and Man United but we shouldn’t be the team in the league thats spends the least always selling more than what we spend each summer. The wage structure at the club is preventing us signing and keeping players and again I dont want them to go mad and pay too much but for a club of our size, the amount we charge for a ticket, the amount we make on match days, the sponsorship deals we have and the fact we have had champions league money for the last 14 seasons says we should be at least competing in that sense.

  • Bonathan

    it has to be a comibination of the board and wenger.

    What is worrying is the inconsistancies of what wenger says, earlier this summer, it was:

    “we are in the market for a centre half, ideally with premiership experience”

    after a 0-0 draw with newcastle, it’s:

    “you cannot convince me we lack quality in the centre back area”

    wtf are you talking about?? I wouldn’t mind if he said the second comment all summer, but at least be consistant. is he really that indecisive? I’ll tell you the answer, because it obvious, he obviously does feel we need improving in this area, because he made a bid for jagielka. so either our defenders have improved vastly in the last couple of week, or we are simply not prepared to pay the price it takes to get one of three adequate CB’s that ARE available. there is no excuse this summer. these players are available.

    it’s because he couldn’t make up his mind about juan mata that we lost the chance of signing him for 17m. we offered 15m, now chelsea are thinking of offering over 20 just 2 week later! surely we could have gone to 17.

    What seems pretty clear from the game against udinese, unless he tries it in the next couple of games, is that he has no intention of trying arsharvin in the central position. Since we’ve never seen the best of him i thought this may be worth a shot. if not then we are still very short in the middle of the park. we have lost denilson, fabregas and nasri and have not brought anyone in who can play in the middle of the park and push on. ok, so they say chaimberlain can maybe fill in there, but that’s not really an option for now is it.

    put your hands up if you’d take 4th place if it was offered now? i know i would. That’s why there is a lot of frustration, we should be contenders to the throne. we are not gonna be this year. anyone who thinks we are is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    the very best we can hope for this season is 3rd place and winning a cup. now don’t get me wrong, that would be awesome. but that’s the very, very best we can hope for. chances are, we will finish between 4-6th. hopefully we’ll get a cup, but let’s face it, it’s a bit of a lottery.it didn’t need to be like this for us though, we had the power to change this, and we haven’t, quite the opposite. And that’s why there’s so much frustration

  • Kodjo

    @ lien
    Spot there is a lot of “restless money” sitting idle in the Middle East thanks in part to the American consumerism and these monies are held in American/European banks. These monies cannot sit idle so the next trajectory for such dodgy funds is “investing” in football.

    If anyone thinks that the financial fair play rules will stop this trend then they mistaken. The issue about restless money is linked to the stagnating global economy which is a zillion times bigger than football. Bigger than Platini’s daydream of financial fair play rules…which are laudable in concept but, unenforceable.

    Barca have just busted the rules wide open…Citeh have done it with their sponsorship….PSG are doing it…so is Malaga.

    @Dev

    I understand that the Mata deal broke down bcos of his rather high wages.

    If Blackburn do not want to sell Samba at a reasonable price what can arsenal do???

    Everton’s financial situation is perilous yet they are quoting ridiculous price for Jags…

    Oh @ Dev you forgot to add the wages for a 3-5 yrs contract for the players you mentioned.

  • harry

    For me, there is no way back now for Samir Nasri.

    As soon as he had a little pop at us Gooners that was it.

    His Arsenal career is as dead as the dead-leg I received at football training last night.

    Cast yourself back six months. Could you imagine feeling like this towards Samir?

    I hate clowns and the colour brown but even if he had worn a brown snood with clowns on it I’d have put that aside.

    Because I felt he was one of us.

    It’s shame because I believed that he could become an Arsenal icon. Maybe he could have been as loved as much as Robert Pires.

    Instead, if as expected he leaves for Manchester City shortly, he will become a hate figure with Gooners.

    Nasri may even be disliked as much as Emmanuel Adebayor.

    He, like many others, will go to Manchester City because they have been hypnotized by pound notes.

    Now I hold my hands up here. If I was approached by a rival Window company and offered 3 times my salary I would run around my office naked screaming ‘I quit’.

    So I can understand why his head has been turned.

    The difference though between myself and Samir Nasri is that I’m not a top-level professional footballer who could earn SIX figures a week.

    I have to make ends-meet. I have to feed my BBQ spare rib addiction.

    Nasri could have become an even bigger cult-hero amonst us Gooners had he snubbed the money on offer at City and signed a new, very well-paid, contract at Arsenal.

    Instead we will see him as a greedy little bastard who sold his soul.

    Forget the fact Nasri wanted to see our ambition in the summer with who will sign for the club because it wasn’t about that for him.

    It was all about money.

    Samir had a fantastic first half of the season in the last campaign and then his form died off.

    Why?

    I think he was tapped up more than a tap dancing competition.

    When Samir saw the money on offer at Manchester City or Manchester United his eyes went bigger than Beth Dittos left arse-cheek.

    His agents eyes went bigger than the right cheek.

    We were challenging for trophies when we first offered him a deal to stay at the club so his chat about ‘ambition’ is shit.

    I suppose we might expect too much loyalty in this day and age from footballers. Especially me.

    Well it appears that loyalty is an attribute that most of them don’t have.

    And in Samir’s case that is a shame.

    Especially when it will end more bitter than sucking a slice of lemon soaked in a dose of pine nuts.

  • bhalu

    Arsene Wenger signed his own death warrant with this on the 11th July –

    “Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri – you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that”

    There is absolutely no way back from that comment. Not even the knuckle head’s who think the sun shines out his hole can defend that

  • ZimGooner

    Guys patience is a virtue and in Arsene we must trust. Teams may buy players for £200m but they can’t buy the beautiful football we play nor team play. We still have quality in our team and we’re still in the running for the league, winning is something else. I’m sorry to say that we don’t need mercenaries, players like $amir Na$ri can f@*k off to Citeh and we just don’t give a damn!! We have world class players like Theo, Wilshere, Gervinho,Song, Ramsey, TV and the mighty RVP. Those players who run coz Arsenal has not won trophies should first look into themselves coz if they don’t chances are the drought goes with them. Gooner 4 Life not for thrills in.

  • gareth

    I don’t think we’ll get any signings until (if) we qualify for the champs league. Assuming we do ……and its won’t be easy, That gives us another £25 mil on top of the Cesc and Nasri money..Approx £70 mil to spend and afew days to spend it in. we all know what is needed and the type of player we are missing but I don’t believe we’ll get them . If that is the case then I fear for our place at the top table and I think it would be time for protests agazinst the board and Mr wenger.

  • des

    I think you’ll find there is a majority on here that do not want us to go tits up just to get rid of Wenger. Those that want that are a minority.

    For me, Wenger must go, but I don’t give a shit if he’s here or not – I want us to win every fucking game we play. I have no personal agenda or credibility worries with my standpoint, and the majority on here don’t. There is a minority that are so rabidly anti-Wenger that they are putting their hatred of him above their love of the club and calling it “for the long term good of the club” and that is their right to do so if they choose, but I don’t buy into it and most don’t.

    I think Wenger has fucked up royally over the last 5 or so years and he has got to go. But honestly, if he suddenly turned it round (I know – VERY unlikely) and he signed the right players and we started going places again then fuck it I would just hold my hands up and say “He was right I was wrong” and I’d be fucking delighted to do it.

    Club first – everything else second.

  • yemi

    @ ZimGooner:
    What is the essence of beautiful football that wins nothing ?
    Nasri is now a mercenary for wanting a better opportunity than what we are offering ? have you ever seen any club (apart from arsenal) that allows the contract of their key players run down without renewal ?.
    Has it occurred to you that every year we have these so called “Mercenaries” which show that something is wrong ?
    From cashley –> Hleb –> Flamini –> Adebyeyawn –> Gallas –> Clichy –> Nasri –> WHo next ?
    Something is wrong year in year out. We miss out by just a hair length and we say we will beef up in key areas, only to lose key players again(that are never replaced !!!). Every single year. If i had a job offer that tripled my pay, i’d be off in a jiffyy. What would does arsenal have over city at the moment ?(apart from history ?), city have the squad, have the money, ahve the ambition. and don’t let us be deceived, the play beautiful footbal (apart from wn playing “bigger teams”. Arsenal is not even at par with spurs any more which is really heart breaking.

    @ des:
    I very much agree with you. My problem is this “How come only wenger never sees the issues with the team ? or is there more to it”.
    and that is the main reason why he might not buy.

    as bhalu said

    wenger said on 11th July –
    “Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri – you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that”

    That is coming to reality

  • lien

    @bhalu et al – Since I am one of those knuckle heads I will attempt to explain that. The comment was directed at the board. I think this summer there was a disagreement between the board and him. Arsene wanted to keep at least one of the players but the board had decided that they had enough of the Cesc Saga (PHW’s comment on the initial offer from Barcelona being derisory hints that the board was open to selling him) and they were also unwilling to meet Nasri’s wage demands. I believe that the disagreements were put to rest once Silent Stan flew in and put it to rest by telling everyone what he wanted. People are hanging on this statement as if it’s the end all be all. We sold our entire Invincibles team – really if there was a time for our own fans to say Arsenal is not a big club then that would have been it. Instead fans are holding on to this statement that Arsene made that as if he had made some fucking revelation of biblical propotions and not even bothering to even try and understand why the man said it.

  • lien

    That it took Cesc so long to leave Arsenal since nearly 4 years ago was only due to Arsene Wenger’s persuasiveness in asking him to stay one more season until he decided to break rank at the end of 2010/11 season.

    Which brings me to the prevailing regime amongst football players tied to a contract asking to be relieved of their duty to honour their commitment before the end of their contract. Where is honour, where is duty, and most importantly, where is loyalty? How can we justify and encourage disloyalty of such epic proportions and at the level of a footballing giant like Barcelona FC? They have sown the wind and they should expect to reap the whirlwind.

    A local saying in West Africa goes literally thus: only a small breaking of the wind is needed to befoul the entire air in a room. Meaning that: whatever good deeds you had done in the past would count for nothing if you carried out a small indiscretion; all your past hard and good work would count for nothing in the reckoning of those you did them for. This is how I view the Cesc transfer saga.

    At the time the club needed Cesc most he abandoned ship; in the military you get shot for such acts of disloyalty to the cause for which you are being taken care of by the state. Barcelona FC would have been treated as accomplices in the mutiny and also tied to the stake! However, in these days, who dares point the first finger? Is it FIFA or UEFA they are also part of the problem.

    Cesc is welcome to his trophies, including the one he won in less than 10 minutes of play on the field for Barcelona only 2 days ago. You needed to see the sheer zest and joy he showed for being asked to come on and play. Never mind those outward showings they are hollow compared to the real joy he would have shared with his colleagues at AFC on winning a trophy.

    At his signing, in Barcelona, he said he regretted his inability to ever lift a trophy with AFC. Yes indeed so, he would forever regret it and the thought would continue to haunt him all his playing days.

    To me Arsene Wenger, made a blunder by making Cesc the team captain at the start of his campaign to be let off his contract and go to Barcelona in 2007/08. The man did not show any signs of leadership and did not show any such capabilities either on or off field. When Denilson accused him of not being a leader only last season many took umbrage but I agreed with Denilson’s assessment and this has now shown up in Cesc’s despicable act of jumping ship when the going was getting rougher.

    Arsenal has started off the current campaign very well and got acceptable results for the two competitive matches played so far. The team is at the cusp of winning things and those who comment that “their performance was flat” or “struggled during large sections of the match” would definitely be disappointed.

    Nothing good ever comes easy and not without detractors who believe you need their permission or approval to pursue your goals. You carry on regardless of their approval or disapproval.