Mind The Gap, It Might Grow Before Your Very Eyes

Notorious Arsenal Hardman, Tomas Rosicky, claims another victim

Chelsea’s progress to the FA Cup semi-finals has benefitted Arsenal unintentionally. Meeting Manchester City on the day they were due to face Tottenham in the Premier League means another midweek match for both clubs, most likely towards the end of the season should either win their Europa League Quarter-Final tie. The ideal scenario is for Chelsea to do that and win the FA Cup semi-final. It means two games a week between now and the end of the season with their Tottenham fixture put back to May 7th at the earliest.

The pressure would be on the both sides – so this theory goes – by then. Arsenal must win this weekend at The Hawthorns to keep pressure on third and fourth place, overtaking Chelsea for twenty-four hours and closing the gap to one point on Tottenham before both of those sides play their home fixtures on Sunday against Sunderland and Everton respectively. I would not expect di Canio to have any massive galvanising effect for The Black Cats in that match but Everton is a tricky fixture. The Toffees visit White Hart Lane, The Emirates and Stamford Bridge before the end of this campaign so like Fulham who face Chelsea and Arsenal shortly after beating Tottenham, can have a massive input on the season’s end.

Crucially, once this weekend is over, Arsenal play three Premier League matches by the time Tottenham kick-off against Manchester City on 21st April. Taking twelve out of twelve is asking a lot of the team but that is the requirement if pressure is to be put on those who live in the dark side of North London. If results play out to Arsenal’s favour, they could be second, level on points with Manchester City and five more than Tottenham before that whistle blows for kick-off. Psychologically, that initiates a huge sea-change in pressure with again a significant lead in the Premier League table thrown away by Tottenham.

That said, there are many ifs and buts for the scenario to play out, not least of which is Arsenal taking maximum points from games that yielded two wins, a draw and a defeat in last season’s corresponding fixtures. The last three games have seen silly mistakes minimalised and progress made in performance levels. Mikel Arteta argued that the less intense fixture list for March helped the club and it is hard to contradict him given the situation the club now finds itself in. It is too soon to herald a complete reversal of fortune – perhaps even tempting fate – until the results are delivered; you sense that this progress has been made because the players looked at the next game rather than ifs, whats and maybes. If that is how the steady closing of the gap has arisen, then let them retain that short-termism to achieve relative success.

Key to that will be an injury-free squad, as much as is possible. Nacho Monreal will be missing for a short time but Kieran Gibbs return alleviates that pressure whilst Arsène will hopefully get the nicest kind of headache that a manager can have when Jack Wilshere is deemed fit. The scattergun approach to transfer gossip saw Marco Reus targetted by a laughable Sunday Mirror suggestion that £70m be spent on buying the best players from Borussia Dortmund. It was a touch early for Steve Stammers to claim “April Fool!“; Reus was effusive in his praise of Wilshere and also Tomas Rosicky. He displayed a similar reverence to that of Thomas Eisfeld who admitted a while back that Rosicky posters still adorned his wall. That is hardly surprising given the Czech’s career at the German club but reading Reus’ words, you forget the genuine ‘Wow!’ factor that his signing had in 2006, the general excitement level raised at that time. A signing it should be said that no World Cup preparation could stop with the club showing a long-missed dynamism in their pursuit of a player. It serves also to remind how much has been lost to injury in his Arsenal career, as if you needed any reminding after the tail-end of last season.

Elsewhere, Samir Nasri said…well, frankly, who cares what words he comes out with? It’s all self-serving PR.

’til Tomorrow.

86 thoughts on “Mind The Gap, It Might Grow Before Your Very Eyes

  1. Morning YW who gives a F… what Nasri says or thinks. Pour moi I await your posts comme un jeune homme who awaits une lettre d’amour from his Love. Bon cest tout..

  2. As always, well over the past 7 seasons anyway, we only need 3 players to start competing (really competing) again. Although given the fact that we’ll probably be getting rid of around 7 players we might need a couple more. Wanyama would give our forwards real confidence without having to worry about tracking back all the time to plug gaps. A creative,dynamic midfielder a la Rosicky would give us that sense of urgancy we’ve been missing until we go 1 down so that’d be Gotze or Isco. Another CB is needed as we’ll be dumping Djourou and squid boy and someone like Hummels would be quality (although I really can’t see that happening). Three of those 4 would give us an edge. That’s what’s needed. We just need those 3 quality signings. What’s your thoughts on squad player replacements? Outgoing – Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson, Squillaci, Djourou, Diaby, Santos, (Sagna?), Fabianski/Mannone….

  3. Nice one yogi,that whole score predictor thing for the rest of the season drives you mad and for the last couple of seasons when I’ve done it ive been completely wrong at both ends of the table,the good news is we’re 2nd in the form table to the red mancs and appear to have stopped starring in the film ‘carry on defending’,keep santi & tr7 fit and we’ll be fine,might even get 3rd.

  4. I knew I was right to want Chelsea to win yesterday. Even tho it felt so wrong…

    Fucken state of Robben in that picture.

  5. “Elsewhere, Samir Nasri said…well, frankly, who cares what words he comes out with? It’s all self-serving PR.”

    Haha well said Yogi. I have that fucker’s name on one of my jerseys. I never wear it anymore of course.

  6. Any Utd loss is a good thing, imo. Them not winning more than 1 trophy assuages the pain of RvP’s loss. It would be right dandy if they manage to somehow cock up the PL title as well. One can only hope…

  7. YW, it would be nice to see the gap grow like you described. Hope the team can continue in the same vein as the last few matches.

  8. Can’t see Manure cocking it up now. I don’t care either way to be honest

    Nasri? Phhft. I think he could have been a very good player for us to be honest, he would have continued to improve playing on a more regular basis. Now, at such an important point in a players career, he is a sub as often as now and has stagnated. His fault. No time for the guy.

  9. “Can’t see Manure cocking it up now.”

    I’m sorry Andy – have you been picturing that they actually might up until now?!

    Found some good homegrown in the UK have ya?!

  10. Nah, not at all mate. I have never thought they looked like crumbling. Given the way they lost out last year they have had the bit between their teeth most of the season. I was responding to Henristics hopes.

  11. Yogi very good piece and Rues comments praising both Jack as “a perfect player” and Mozart as basically a brilliant player that basically EVERY German midfield player idolized is quiterefreshing and should remind all Gooners that we do have great players on ththe squad but they just can’t seem to ALL be fit at the same time throughout a whole season.

    Fuck Na$ri.

    O yea Sao Paolo doesn’t want to keep Denilson who I would gladly take back to replace Diaby(onpy because of his body hates fútbol). The return of form of Ganso and in their midifled has made him expendable not to mention the 7m price tag Arsenal put on him. I would have him back as a squad player.

  12. @GA

    These Jovetic rumors are growing in Italy mate. Apparently he wants to come and Fiorentina are denying it but its funny cause I think it might posssibly happen and is mote likely than the 70M we are apparently getting ready to spend on Goetze, Rues and either Lewandowski or Keibling.

  13. Jonny, Andy,

    They probably wouldn’t collapse of course. The chances are very slim at this point.

    I say the Denilson news on Arseblog. It would be intriguing to see how Arsene handles him, if he does return. Apparently he had a problem with Sao Paolo some fans. I hope he’s developed a thick skin because it won’t be rosy here either from that pov, as he already knows.

  14. @Henristic

    I had read about it yesterday then Arseblog confirmed it. Yea he had a patch of 2-4 matches where hr wasn’t playing well and had words with fans but also Ganso has returned to form and the manager has adjusted for him. I still dony understand why he was so disliked here but I for 1 think he would be a great fit. He has been brilliant for them until Ganso saw more playing time and didn’t adapt fast enough but was still very solid for them in midfield. He could home back play in FA CUP, CC and against lower sides and spell Arteta(if Arsene doesn’t buy one of Capoue/Wanyama/Gonalos/Gustavo) and I don’t think we would miss anything.

  15. C – Hope so.

    On Denilson, I was never a fan in the first place so am likely to be a bit biased. But, what would he add to the squad? He is not better than any of our current crop of central midfielders, so it would be pointless adding him back to the squad. We should be continuously looking to improve; having him back would be a step in the wrong direction. If we add another midfielder to the ranks, it should be one that can improve the team and serisouly compete for a starting spot. i.e., not Denilson.

  16. C – To add to that, if it is a squad player to cover for others, I would prefer to see Le Coq get more games. He looks a much better prosepct than Denilson ever did IMO.

  17. Le Coq is certainly more tenacious, but Denilson scores the occasional goal, or at least he did when he was with us. Besides Deni might have developed some steel to his game from his time in ‘exile’.

    I wouldn’t mind having him back in the mix, but I’m pretty sure it’s unlikely at this point. Arsene rarely goes back to players he’s put in exile. Once you’re out, that’s it, usually.

  18. That fact he ended up in Brazil on loan (opposed to a decent level European club), who in turn have chosen not sign him speaks volumes. He is 25 years old. If he was good enough for this level, he would be playing there.

    He is not a bad footballer by any means, but he is not good enough for a team with ambitions such as ours.

    My gripe with him is not actual footballing ability; I saw him “give up” a number of times and for me, that is unforgivable. My abiding memory of him is collapsing to the floor (unchallenged) gifting the ball to an Everton forward who then bore down on goal with no Arsenal players to contend with as we were in possesion and ahead of the ball when he collapsed. It was the very heights of unprofessionalism. Even Wenger came out afterwards and said he would be speaking with him.

  19. Would we play Jovetic out wide? Can’t see the Boss dropping Giroud when he’s done so well in his difficult first season.

  20. @GA

    I hear what your saying and I completely agree about Le Coq getting more time as he I rate him more highly than Ramsey. Denilson has matured and does score from midfield which we have all said needs to add some goals to it. For me Denilson is a better player than Ramsey but that might be just me. The thing is that I think too much was put on him too early and thus has caused many Gooners to make the assessment off of that. We have to remember that the lad is only 24 but was playing regularly for us at 18 in one of the most difficult positions, playing in a midfield with Cesc, Mozart and them. Personally I would have loved to see him and Jack grow together as he has grown into a younger version of Arteta but quicker. I also get what your saying about adding players that add quality to our squad hence why Arsene should buy one of Capoue/Wanyama/Gonalos/Gustavo but with the release of all the lads this summer having Denilson able to come and play in FA CUP, CC and PL matches against lower table teams to spell DM or CM at times wouldn’t be a bad thing especially with Arteta noy getting younger. He is an accomplished passed, tackler and has an rye for goal.

    Personally I would love to have him back.

  21. C – Fair points. And I do agree that he was playing first team football too quickly. If he had been intruced into a more epereinced squad and been eased into the team, who knows? Maybe things would have turned our differently?

    Either way, I think he is now no more than an average player. We need better than that. We need even our squad players to be better than that.

  22. Markus – It would be good competition for places though no? And it Jovetic was better than Giroud they why not drop him? The team comes first. It may even force Giroud to up his game. And lets be honest, Giroud has done pretty well, but no more than that. I like him as it goes, but having him as our only recognised striker in the squad is madness. Hell, it was mad enough last year only having RvP and he was the best striker in the lge.

  23. @Henristic

    I do see what you saying once out Arsene doesn’t bring back.


    If I remember correctly he wanted to go back to Sao Paulo as he was a bit home sick as a young lad and I think that played a part in him going back to Brazil and then once their it was mutually agreed he would remain on loan there. I see what your saying but don’t forget about the good that he did for Arsenal as far as goals scored passes and overall play at times. Don’t forget he was again given to much too early and I think that is what many Gooners forget. I think he can play at this level and say he is a better squad player than Ramsey and offers more.

  24. C – I never saw anything that said he was homesick aside from some fans justifying why he ended up in Brazil. The “eye for a goal” thing is a bit misleading as well. He had one decent season where he scored 6. 11 goals in 153 games is not much really, especially in a side as attacking as ours. He did have a good long range shot on him though.

    Like I said, decent player, but not good enough for us. IMO of course 😉

  25. @GA

    Good points but I think he is better than average and better than Ramsey so there you go. I do agree though that our squad players need to he better than average.


    He could play outwide or centrally, I wouldn’t mind havin the option of Jovetic or Giroud based on the match. Is having too many good goal scorers a bad thing? A front 3 of Podolski/Jovetic/Theo would be lethal, quick, pacey and devasting but so could Podolski/Giroud/Jovetic. That’s what we need as GA points out only having Giroud centrally is madness (i won’t even comment on the fact the Podolski should start centrally for us almost every match) not to mention look at the best sides in the world, they all have multiple strikers who are versatile and lethal. Bayern, Barca, Madrid, Juventus, help even Manure and Manshitty.

  26. @GA

    If memory serves correctly he even said he was but my memory goes thanks to the Moonshine I drink lol. He does have a good long range shot and has scored some beauties but also remember he was young and has matured and so has his game.

    You wouldn’t have him but I would :-D!!

    One thing we can agree on, Ramsey shouldnt be starting hahahajaha

  27. C – I am not disagreeing on the Ramsey point. I think he has been quite poor for us and gets (maybe justifiably) lots of leeway due to the horrendous injury he suffered. I think we should have better than Ramsey starting for us. Ramsey may develop and you do get glimpses of what he can offer though.

    I suppose you could say Denilson is a more “steady” player, whereas Ramsey was the potential to impact on games more. One things I will say about Ramsey though is that he always gives 110%. Something I can’t say about Denilson.

  28. Its very simple. We have to win at least five out of our last eight matches to have a shot at overtaking Chelsea. is this hard? Yes! Can it be done? YES! All we have to do is take care of business and the rest will take care of itself. Take care of your side of the street and leave the rest in the hands of Adonai.

  29. @GA

    Don’t we want steady and consistent in our squad, I do. Ramsey does give 100% no doubt about that and its interesting that Denilson had a bad back and didn’t get the same leeway that people give Ramsey. I think glimpses are are what is holding us back and we need consistency and steady in midfield. Personally neither would start IMHO but I would take Denilson for the simple fact that he has grown in matured into a very good player and if your picking for an ambitious club steady is what you need.

  30. Denilson had his opportunity in his preferred role in midfield an imo he blew his chance the same can’t be said of arshavin who even in his better arsenal days was played out wide rather than the accustomed trequartista position hw simply when it comes down to it couldn’t fit into our system. And yes it does pain me because he had undoubted talent.

  31. @silver

    That’s a tad harsh on Denilson ad he was young and after Flamini, Gilberto and the lot were sold he was forced to play young and needed time to devlop. Again too much too early. I do agree about Arshavin though!

  32. You know who really blew it as GA pointed out was Na$ri who I believed could have been brilliant for us and oozed talent but chased the $$$ and has screwed up his career. Even for the French national team he is learning the hard way with Valbuena and Sisohko commanding the midfield alongisde Ribery and the DM from PSG.

  33. Nasri has had a bad season, to suggest he has screwed up his career is a little bit of an over-reaction as he has left 2 season during which time he has won the Premiership (and at a guess I would say the FA Cup this year also).

    There is so much bitterness at times towards ex-players who have left the club, the annual accusation of moving only for money. City are currently a big club that can offer at least as much as we can in a football sense. Of course historically they are not on our level but history means nothing or very little to players who want to win things in their career.

    In fact history is important mainly to fans of clubs who are not successful in the here and now.

    As for Denilson I can’t believe some of the things I am seeing. Is the point of recruiting new players not supposed to improve on the current players?

  34. @ c

    Denilson was brazil capt in his youth with so much expected of him and I do think he is a good player but at times I was left wondering whether he guy had enough fight to play in his position something that u can’t say of aterta or even diaby when fit. Ultimately it is probably his that led to his falling out odd favour here.

    Jovetic would be amazing but I would prefer to see a benteke or lukaku:-)

  35. C – You keep saying he has matured into a very good player, but where is the basis for that? He has moved to a lge with much lesser overall quality, done OK but not exactly set it on fire and the team he is with are not talking up the option to buy him.

    It smacks of averageness.

  36. @GA

    As you are aware I’m the president of the Giroud fan club here in Miami 🙂 The lad has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, which whilst not spectacular are not bad for his 1st year in the league. There are few players in the team that can match his work rate or effort. I would love to see him more clinical but then I would love the team to create my tap in’s and clear cut opportunities.

    In the case of Jovetic, his appeal must also be his ability to play in wider areas. His goal scoring record is not better than Giroud and again is going to have to get use to the higher physical demands of the UK game.

  37. Miami I agree re jovetic although unlike you I think he is streets ahead of Giroud as he is clearly more dynamic and arguably a better finisher.

  38. Miami – I am not knocking Giroud, I think he is a good player and I do like the look of him. As you have said, for his first year he has done very well. And some of his early season “misses” were bad luck as opposed to bad technique I think.

  39. But also what Silver said. It would be ncie to have both. Any top side has a couple of top striking options.

  40. Giroud is fine, surely nobody has a problem with him?

    The thing is we need options, he needs competition. We do not have another striker at the club. No point in anybody suggesting Podolski as it is blindingly obvious Wenger does not see him as one.

  41. @Silver

    I find the situation at Chelsea very interesting indeed. Torres has just never produced and I have no doubt in the summer they’ll attempt to shift him. In Ba they have a played who has scored 2 goals in 8 league appearance and another 3 goal in 7 various other appearances. To date his return of 5 in 15 games does not look stellar. Now, Lukaku is having a blinding spell out on loan but you would have to assume Chelsea are going to have him in their squad come next season.

    I like Bendeke a lot, what’s more he is an avid Arsenal fan and has been for quite some time. Is he a little to similar to Giroud though?

  42. No question competition is good. Podolski is a striker regardless of where Arsene chose’s to play him. Podolski is our most clinical finisher against attempts, followed closely by Walcott.

  43. I think Denilson was played too young to be honest but to suggest that he is better than Ramsey at the moment is not true.

    Ramsey is erratic sometimes but as an attacking threat he is actually very good which many people don’t realise. The boy can dribble ,pass and shoot as long as he is not asked to play deeper,that is not his position. Some people don’t see the dynamism of Ramsey.

    Denilson is basically Arteta without the aggression and calmness.

    Denilson can be very good but again with him it is a mental issue.

    Alot of players in our squad have that issue. They all seem to believe that that they are young and they have time on their side. Except for Jack and maybe chamberlain, the psychology of some players is.wrong in my opinion.

    For example Walcott, to me he has all the talent in the world, he has pace, finishing , and actually he is quite intelligent in his movement. His passing is also good. But heres the thing,he’s so mild.

    Timid thats the word, he doesn’t have that personality that can impose itself on games where the team.is playing crap. In my opinion he lacks conviction and arrogance. The top top top players have that, the sheer self belief and conviction to do well. And also he lacks a seriousness to his game. I remember a different walcott was it last year or the year before where he had that seriousness but now its gone.

    Gervinho has the same problem.

    If there is some aspect of his game he needs to improve then if i was him i would work on it until i was near perfect which credit to him he has done.

    Oh actually thats why i like Coquelin,he has that attitude and mental state to be a top top player.

  44. Moe – Decent points, I agree with all of that. A players attitude is the defining factor in a career IMO. More so than talent even.

    And you are right about Walcott, he rarely imposes himself on games. That is not to say he is not an asset because he clearly is, but I don’t think he will ever be a top level player.

    The only players we have who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck are Wilshere and Rosicky. They are the two that can dictate the pace of our game. We have other good players of course, but you need to have players who can force a game.

  45. @GA

    Again it might be a lesser league but has quality talent in abudance mate. The thing is Sao Paulo have wanted him but with the reintroduction of Ganso and Denilsons run of bad matches they have chosen not to want yo keep him(which changes a lot in Brazi). He has done quite well for him self and at times has been dominant with his passing and play.

  46. @Moe

    I agree and have been saying that for a while that Denilson was responsible for too much too soon. Remember he was basically the player that shielded Cesc the year after Flamini and Gilberto were sold. There atent many players that come in and play great or up to talent at that age hence why they ate hot commodities because it is sooooooo rare for it to happen.

    I agree though with the rest of your post about mentality, Jack, Mozart and Santi are really the only players that week in and week out can dominate and dictate. We have seen Walcott ay times do it and he has all the potential to do it whenever but like you said its a mental thing at times. There were times last term where Theo was simply unplayable like against the Chavs and the 2nd half against the Spuds 5-2 but he turns it on turns it off.

    Another player who can do it is Podolski but he has always been that player who turns it on turns it off. We could potentially have the 2 best wingers not to mention Ox but they mentally seem to be held back. Ramsey and Arteta spoke about the proverbial “hand brake” being off and you see how much more freedom(also with Mozart back in the lineup) and confidence the team plays with.

  47. C – But if he has quality talent in abundace, why did we let him go on loan? Why are they not wanting to keep him? Why did he not go on loan to a better club? You talk about his talent, when everything about his situation points otherwise.

    If he were so good they would want to keep him regardless of Ganso coming back. I am not saying he is shit. Just not good enough for us. And everything about his situation says exactly that. He has scored one goal in his time there and his form has not got him into the National squad.

  48. I thought Denilson was out of contract this summer? Are we thinking of renewing it?

    Also alot of the young foregin kids like Olsson and Eisfeld seems genuinley proud of being gooners. Its nice to see that, shows you dont have to grow up in the shadows of Emirates stadium to have or develop feelings for Arsenal.

  49. Also i do belive that both Frimpong and Le Coq can take that position, espeically Le Coq. Unless we want Denilson as a cheap “interim” solutin between the two former and Arteta. Arteta is after all getting old.

    But again, im sure Denny himself said his contract was up with arsenal this summer. Surly we would not resign him after shipping him out on loan. It would be about the same as resigning Senderose. (even though i am a huge Denny fan and think he could have contributed this year tbh)…

    That said Denilson is a MASSIVE Arsenal fan though, just as Djorou. They. like Jenkinson live the dream every time they put on an arsenal top…

  50. @GA

    Sorry mate I was talking about the talent in the Brazilian league. Denilson does have talent and again I think it wasnt a question of his talent more given too much too early and then once he didn’t show his talent week in and week out. This might be a topic we just have to agree to disagree on.

  51. and Bales expetional form, is it that much better than Nasris “purple patch” before he left us?

  52. @C did Neville not write an article about this in the paper on sunday? (though it was about english talent ofc) the nicky butts and the nevilles of the world that does not stand out but are still solid enough to be part of the foundation of a good team. those kids that need time to develop, that need to be nutured. Those that are “second best” after the wilsheres and the Chamberlains of the world.

    Im preatty sure Denilson is a “nicky butt” level of player. Good but not great.
    As you say he was preassures to early.
    Kinda shows AWs ruthless streak, he was never afraid of pushing the kids to their limits(and also over the limit) if it gave Arsenal that vital top 4 spot.

  53. C – Fair one. Agree to disagree 🙂

    He is a player that really did split opinion with fans in general eh? Either way, good luck to him wherever he ends up.

  54. @Poodle

    Thank you for allowing me not to be the only thinking he could have and can help even if its just as a very good squad player. And I do completely agree with everything you just said


    Sao Paulo with the signing of Ganso was taking a flyer hoping he regained the form that saw him as 1 of the best young midfielders in the world and saw the Brazilian midifled be built around him and Oscar.

  55. @Poodle

    I did hear he wrote about it but I didn’t get a chance to read it online here in the state’s. Every good to great team has Denilsons that play and are needed. I agree some players need more time than others, for every Jack and Cesc there are those that need the time to mature. How rare are players like Jack and Cesc who dominate and ate brilliant at a very young age, there very rare.

    I completely agree about Arsene’s former ruthlessness and he seems to be regaining it. Pushed Denilson right out the door and its interesting because he seems to be deciding on a couple other players.

  56. I suppose my point is (given the current situation) is that if he is not really standing out in the Brazilian lge, he will not really be up to much at a top level club in the Premiership. He might be OK at one of the mid level clubs, but not a top four side.

    I know what you mean about Ganso, but they are not the only 2 midfielders at the club (and Oscar is gone). If he had impressed enough they would want to keep him. They would keep him and let a “lesser player” go. Except they seem to be happy enough to let him go.

    Anways, off home.

    Laters 🙂

  57. @andy oh if he has a year left maybe he is taken back as cover for Diaby for then to be let free on free transfare. After all we probably wont see Diaby next year, and maybe we wnat to wait and see what develops within our own ranks before we decide to properly replace him?

    Its after all cheaper to have a decent Denilson one year as a squad player/cover for Diaby than to buy some new total shit guy. With Denny you know what you get and if hes not improved he can always go on free next summer, plus you covered for Diaby at the same time.

  58. @GA

    He did split opinion between Gooners but one thing that can’t be split is Denilson’s love for Arsenal and the fact that he loves this club and is a massive fan even to date like poodle said!

  59. C

    Exactly, to be honest i am sick and tired of this proverbial hand brake, i mean why do we such mentally fragile players. It takes the belief and confidence of the manager in them to provoke them or galvanise them. They should be able to galvanise themselves, to have that pride that Henry had when he lost or when we weren’t playing well.

    ANd that’s what it comes down to i think, past Arsenal players had so much pride that everyone have a certain level of performance, i remember in an interview that Keown said they let Henry know straight away what was required of him to play for Arsenal.

    ANd one last thing, on the subject of Eisfeld, why o why does this boy not get more chances in first team. He seems to score every game for reserves and i watch alot of their matches, to me he is a shoe in.

    Only thing missing is work rate and defensive duties, maybe that is what Arsene is waiting for,.

  60. @goonerandy not all clubs fit to all players though, I for one think that both Flamini and Hleb just become crap after they left Arsenal, but they worked ok when they were In arsenal.

    So just because someone plays shit away from Arsenal does not really mean they cannot play decent in our club with our system. As proven with Flamini and Hleb…

    I think Denilsons biggest problem is that he is a “boring” player. A bit like Per that everybody think(or though) was utter shite.
    But as Arteta and all the players says.” Per brings alot to the game you not neccisarily see as a fan”.

    The same goes for Denny. And honestly a player that is good at shielding the back four, which job is to give room for the more creative players in the team, do you really see him? if you see him does he really do a good job? He should almost be invisible, his job is after all to make room for others to shine. If Cazorla and the other creative players have a good game you can bet your ass on the fact our defencive players has done a incredible match, you just dont see them that much.
    Denilson imo will for sure become as good as Arteta and is probably not that far away already.

    The question therefor is: Is the level of Arteta good enough for a team like ours?Im sure that 3 years ago Arteta would not be a guaranteed starter, he would be on the bench.
    if we are happy with Arteta quality players then Denny should be good enough for us. So maybe we should aim higher than Denilson simply because the “next generation” needs to be better than Arteta?

  61. As a fan my assumption is that a good footballer will perform for whoever his employers are, regardless of geography, culture, age, language of the weather

    But what if that is wrong – what if Denilson was temperamentally unsuitable for England and English football in the same way Veron was ?

  62. Poodle – “The question therefor is: Is the level of Arteta good enough for a team like ours?Im sure that 3 years ago Arteta would not be a guaranteed starter, he would be on the bench.
    if we are happy with Arteta quality players then Denny should be good enough for us. So maybe we should aim higher than Denilson simply because the “next generation” needs to be better than Arteta?

    I agree with the first bit. We should always question if a player is good enough. And you are right, Arteta would have been a squad player for us in the past. I don’t agree with the second bit though as I don’t think Denilson is a good as Arteta. If he was, he would still be at the club.

    Wenger let him go for a reason remember. And the reason was is that he was down the pecking order at the club. From what I can see he has not done anything in his time away from the club to make you think that AW was wrong in letting him go. This is not a kid we are talking about, it is a 25 year old. He did not leave to get experience, but because we were happy to let him go but in all likihood could not sell him because of his wages.

  63. And I also agree that sometimes things just don’t work out at a certain club for a player. But he was hardly exceptional during his time with us. He is performing in Brazil as he did with us. OK, but nothing special. That is his level.

  64. @Moe

    I agree I think it is mental and I also think your talking about a different class of player. Yea mentally even a different class, many of the players we have now I think need the confidence of the manager to perform where as players of past had a confidence that we are Arsenal and the rest of you bow down. Again some players have it some dont.

    I think you answred your own question on Eisfeld.

  65. @Anicol

    I disagree with you mate. Look at Balotelli, for Manshitty he had moments of brilliance but for Milan he is almost unplayable and scoring basically at will.

  66. @Poodle

    I agree with you, his game isnt about flair but is boring and that’s what makes his game beautiful to watch. Always seems to make the right pass forward, backward, sideways very Arteta like. People criticized Song for not shielding the back and needed to be more boring yet that is what Denilson did and does and it criticized for that.


    He was down the pecking order because Song and Diaby were starting to show more talent and again I’m not saying Denilson is top class but he is quality and does have a spot.

  67. I thought Denilson was supposed to be doing so well at Sao Paolo, according to some. Perhaps his wage demands are too high for what he offers.

    As far as his return, the only thing to be said is that as long as it is not used as a rationale against bringing in what we actually seem to need (a physical, powerful and defensively disciplined midfielder), then fine. He’s experienced and can pass well. But he isn’t what we need, and I really don’t want to be hearing that we can’t bring some one in because we have so many midfielders already. We are really lacking certain skills and qualities in midfield right now in our squad and Denilson doesn’t provide it regardless of his talents and other merits.

  68. 7am had a pretty good analysis of Jovetic a week or so ago and he strikes me as an overrated player who isn’t very clinical but scores exciting goals that gain attention.

    I think there are other forwards/strikers who might benefit us more.

    As far as dropping Giroud, AW has dropped him this year to play Theo and Gervinho centrally several times. Now that Podolski is returning to fitness, we might even see him there on occasion too. It makes no sense to worry about this anyway. Let Giroud and a new striker compete! Whoever is better will start.

  69. Every ody forgets that when Gervinho was scoring early in the season and we were keeping clean sheets and solid defensively(up to Bill’s liking) the our front 3 of Gervinho/Podolski/Theo was creating chances and causing havoc. I remember somebody saying that even if Gervinho misses a couple he will get another chance because the front 4 was playing so well and creating spook many chances.

  70. I remember, C. But I don’t remember Theo playing a lot early on in the league. Maybe he played a few games but there was a long period where he only got to play in the league cup and so on.

    Then he started playing more, went on a tear, got a new contract and has sort of been quiet, now injured. Sigh.

  71. I ment was Thro started playing regularly sorry mate. I think him going quiet was parallel to Podolski’s absense from the lineup.

  72. Neither Cesc nor Song make it into FCB’s starting XI against PSG – ouch.

    Diaby replaced by Denilson? I always thought the criticism of the Brazilian was slightly unfair. He didn’t have much pace, which in today’s turbo-charged game, kind of makes players look ungainly, but I have a vague memory that his pass completion rates were rather good, even if he did tend to pass sideways quite a lot. To me, he seemed to lack much penetrative attacking threat, say, compared to Song, but strangely he did score a few goals.

    These are my vague memories of him, based on no supporting data whatsoever.

    If he is as big an Arsenal fan as outlined ^^, would be interesting to see what he manages to do with a second chance, being just a little bit older, wiser and all that.

  73. WOW! Bayern score inside 30 seconds. A strike from 25 yards out by Alaba takes a slight deflection but ends up in the back of the net.

    Of all the goals we conceded this season, the 3rd against Bayern at home was the most disappointing for me. Having just scored ourselves to make the scoreline a lot more respectable and seemingly having settled down a bit, we just switched off and let them right back in. It reminded me of last years 4-0 loss away to Milan, only to completely outplay them in the return leg but somehow fail to score a 4th, winning 3-0.

    We have a few peculiar stats as a team this season. Every game in which we were leading in the first half we went on to win. We also are top of the league when it comes to second half performances. We have also scored more goals on the break than any other PL team. I personally do not think the problem is in the midfield or the defense but lies with our attacking players. For all their workrate and talent, I have not once seen them get in the faces of our midfield for failing to get the ball to them quickly enough. Theo, Gervinho, Podolski and to a lesser extent Giroud are all too often left standing in space as our midfield tries to make things happen. The almost never ending sideways passing in front of the opponents box is a particular annoyance with me.

    That said, our crossing ability has a lot to be desired. The less said about Santi’s appalling corner taking against Reading the better. We ended up playing several short corners, which resulted in more passing back and forth across the pitch, all the while Giroud was left standing almost on the penalty spot with frustration written on his face for all to see.

    I am the first to admire a greatly worked goal but when teams park the bus, we are often frustrated. Easily so at times. Surely a bit of practice at crossing would yeild some results? I remember when I was 15 in Dublin, our coach installed a series of red flags on plastic poles in the penalty box, approx. where he wanted our players to be when attacking corner kicks and crosses. Each flag was roughly 7 feet in the air, about where a players head would be if he had a running jump. Several players, including myself, were lined up to try and hit these flags from corner kicks (and later free kicks), if you hit a flag you went to the end of the line to wait another turn. If you didn’t you ran a lap of the pitch and then dropped and gave the coach 20 push ups before trying again. needless to say the first 2 or 3 days of doing this was a nightmare but before you knew it we were nailing flags left, right and center. Not surpisingly we scored more goals from crosses and corners than any other team that year. Still finished 6th though lol

  74. Denilson was greatly over rated by some and somewhat under rated by others. Truth is probably somewhere in the middle. If arsene would have thought denilson could help the team, surely he would have kept him this season given the diaby uncertainty and the song departure. Arsene let Denny leave for a reason. Denilson would compete for a squad spot with Le coq who is hardly playing even with Diabys absence, and there is not much doubt in my mind which of those two I would rather have on our bench.

  75. Messi as per usual puts Barca ahead 1-0 over PSG. Almost 70% possession for Barca, second half should be fun.

  76. I must admit though, i would find it strange if he returned regardless of wheter i like him or not. I also think the chances are slim for that so we are probably discussing something that wont even be an alternative or an option.

    IMO he will only return if we fail with everything els, so in a way his return should be worrying us as it will mean we have failed our other options.

    but IF he comes back and as stated above i think those chances are very slim, but IF he does, i would be happy 🙂
    I did like the fellow….

  77. I like this guy. Seems to be banging them in for fun over at Galatasaray. I have read a few pieces now quoting a $10m price tag, maybe they would take Denilson and The World’s Greatest Striker NB52 in payment.

  78. I’ve been saying the same. Fans didn’t send Denilson out on loan. Arsene did. At Denis’s age, that’s a clear sign that we’re looking to sell, not keep.

    PSG equalized. Barca’s not been fantastic in this game. But few will bet against them over 2 legs.

  79. My goodness, Clattenburg is an awful referee. Doing a job on Juventus. As if Bayern needed any extra help.

  80. Nice to see PSG come back and snatch a late draw. I seriously doubt they will go on to beat Barca at home though. Messi should be back for that game and will surely score the winner.

    As far as Clattenburg goes, I thought for a while he was a decent enough ref but he seems to have gone downhill a lot. very arrogant and dismissive style of refereeing too, which does not do him any favours.

Comments are closed.