Santi’s Sanity Clause

cBack with a bang and an unsettlingly early post again. Any sort of consistency is out of the window this week, rather like Arsenal’s form in recent months. The club of course off doing proper things such as preparing the for the upcoming date with destiny but not without dealing with the important issues in life and fair play to them for doing just that, making it public knowledge which pubs around Wembley will be absolutely stowed out on Saturday. Make sure you double up your rounds when ordering. So ends the public service announcement, no guitars unless of course you are listening to the current playlist.

And Wembley should on everyone’s mind as we pack up our troubles in our old kit bag and smile, smile, smile. It’s the week of the FA Cup semi-final and surely we can forget the trials and tribulations of the Premier League. As you have guessed, I am working hard to convince myself of that one as well. It’s not an entirely convincing argument – in fact, it’s nowhere near a convincing argument – but there are whole bunch of straws in the box and I am clinging onto them for dear life this week. And then you read that Aaron Ramsey is being lined up for a start against Wigan because Arsène doesn’t think that Mikael Arteta and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain are capable of playing three games in a week. Except they don’t have to, Mathieu Flamini is only suspended for two, beginning with Saturday. It isn’t entirely clear why Ramsey would even be considered to start, the logical choice is surely to give the Arteta / Oxlade-Chamberlain two games and then bring back the Welshman to start next weekend at the KC Stadium. He could start alongside the returning Flamini. Kim Kallstrom is also being touted as a starter which, if a criticism of Arsenal at Everton was a lack of pace and narrowness, is not really solving the problem if you ask me. Which no-one did and I am well aware of that, thank you very much.

If the midfield isn’t down to bare bones, it’s because Flamini hasn’t been tackling hard enough in training. But being the week of a ‘big match’, we can expect a dash of bad news between now and the weekend with someone picking up a knock, knack or tweak with a late dollop of good news as one of the walking wounded makes the biggest comeback since, well, insert your own ending to that sentence. It’s the norm for Arsenal these days. It’s not unusual for the past either. Wenger must feel like the man who went to Monte Carlo and bet everything on red. The roulette wheel is about to be spun and he is think about throwing his shirt into the mix as well. The casino owners – the board in this case – are waiting to see if his luck is in. He could gamble on the fitness of Diaby, for example, in a one-off attempt to provide impetus for the run-in but instinct tells me that Wenger is too cautious to take the risk. Is that reckless from the player’s point of view as well but a risk worth taking from the club’s short-term view? Unless he is confident of the squad’s reaction to recent weeks, what other options does he have? For Arsène, the question is whether his luck for this season has run out and the absence of investment comes home to bite him on his Arsenal or can the magic be produced again?

The biggest question seems not be about fitness but mentality. Santi Cazorla echoed the views of many on here and among the wider Arsenal support in an interview with Sport360. It brought loud criticism of how the Spaniard had betrayed the club by speaking out about the ills in the lead up to Saturday’s game which is utter rubbish. Cazorla’s assessment is unpalatable because it destroys the utopian image they have of the club, of how there is nothing wrong and it is all the fault of supporters who don’t whole-heartedly believe in Arsène Wenger any more. The key thing which was missed amid the hubris, is that he used ‘we’ continuously through the interview. He didn’t say, ‘they’, ‘he’ or ‘them’, it was an acceptance of collective failings and his own part in them, not an absolution of himself, it isn’t the same as a player who has jumped ship and made a mea culpa into a youa culpa. Ambition underpins everything the Spanish international spoke of, the desire to win and he is not alone in the squad in wanting a career filled with medals. They all do; it’s why his views won’t be unique. If they are, there is a problem right away,

We’ve been unlucky in several games. We had a lot of chances to win against Manchester United and there was Ozil’s penalty (against Bayern). We couldn’t recover after going out against Bayern in the Champions League. And the defeat against Stoke finished us. You can’t lose against Stoke if you aspire to be the next champion.

We haven’t got a winning mentality and we have to believe in ourselves (more). Sometimes you can get used to not fighting, but we can’t do that. Arsenal is and will always be a historic football club, we have to look forward. Arsenal has everything to win. History, infrastructure, an incredible stadium and great players. But we have to improve at crucial moments and sign the best football players because if you don’t do that, you may lag behind others.

That is what makes it different at other clubs. You’ve a good example in Manchester City who signed Fernandiho, (Alvaro) Negredo… or even Manchester United with (Robin) Van Persie and (Juan) Mata. Arsenal know what they need next season, but it’s almost impossible to win a title if we haven’t got these kind of things.

The last two paragraphs of that are positive but at the same time, a damning indictment of the club. The foundations are there but there is no substance. It is a requiem to the missed opportunities of the summer; we know what everyone thinks about Higuain or Suarez, they are the past and only important when learning the lessons so that the failures are not repeated again. It’s a cycle Arsenal have not shown any inclination to break out of previously and more worryingly, little inclination to learn from the past to make a better future. The echoes of last summer are whistling through the winds, when the likes of Arteta and Wilshere made similar observations about signings.

There is no right to win trophies, of course not, but the phrase “We haven’t got a winning mentality” underlines why Arsenal need the FA Cup this season, it’s why I felt the League Cup in 2011 was so important; victory proved to the team that they could win, lifting a burden. Instead the millstone weighed heavier around their necks. That’s why, as he points out, losing at the likes of Stoke is not the mark of champions. It isn’t but it wasn’t the performance of champions either. Desire was absent. It is an almost mythical collective trait but the energy levels at the Britannia were non-existent for huge swathes of the game and that, I think, is why so many of this season’s defeats hurt. Yes, the scorelines are appalling but the repetition of previous failings, the naivety is just baffling. Quite simply we aren’t learning on or off the pitch.

I understand why some are critical of Cazorla, I understand the complaints that his form is such that he shouldn’t be speaking out now but what would you rather? Do you want players to tell you it’s alright, everything’s fine, they are working hard? We’ve heard that before so many times and it’s the same as standing in a room with your fingers in your ears, shouting, “LALALALALALALALA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU“. Well, I’m fed up with the mellifluous words, their saccharine sounds that make it seem as if everything’s alright. It isn’t; we know it and they know it. Burying heads in the sand isn’t going to solve anything, it doesn’t make me trust them any more. I trust them to try their hardest every day to understand why it has gone wrong and how to put it right. The trick is to put it right on the pitch as well. As Cazorla puts it, to discover the winning mentality.

’til Tomorrow.

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187 thoughts on “Santi’s Sanity Clause

  1. It’s just perfect timing though, his contract is up! We wouldn’t have to pay him anything! He can take a position upstairs but i feel he’ll end up in the national job before he retires.

    For me, Diego is perfect replacement! Athletico are in terrible debt! Offer them compensation for Diego and get him to push through a deal for Costa then let him spend £100mill as he wishes! usher in a new era of Arsenal football club. Why give him a RAISE! and a 2 year contract…Why? There’s no sense in it? There just isn’t! Why give a man who can’t inspire us 2 extra years and £100million to spend!

  2. They certainly aren’t words that fill you full of hope. Perhaps he is just trying to, er, galvanize the squad ahead of Saturday and the coming weeks. AW won’t ever change his philosophies though, not now. We all know that.

    Just seen a bit of the press conference, his demeanor seemed quite prickly actually. Is there anything to read in that? who knows.

  3. MesutsLeftFoot (The Blogger Formally Known As CFP) says:
    April 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    That’s what the article was alluding to, the fact that we get soft muscle tissue injuries, and these can definately be preventable. We train short term apparently to get to the required level before the season starts but not for long term fitness which is why we get these injuries.

  4. Harry

    Well i was told he had told the team he wasn’t taking a new contract after the Chelsea match! So perhaps that’s why.

  5. @Jonny

    I think the most damning thing about all of this is the fact that I geniuenly believe that he is not being honest with himself and with that he is living in a world that he feels everything is just a step away from being right. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think necessarily an overhaul is needed and we have suffered because of injury but the tactics have been all wrong and he doesn’t seem to be able to find the balance between everything that he believes in and still pushing Arsenal futbol club forward.

    We have seen in the likes of Dortmund, Athletico Madrid, that even in modern futbol you can win being a club of morals and not being bought out by oil, but still invest in top quality players that will push your club towards where it should be and with the right tactics even through injury that you can still be great.

  6. C says:
    April 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    The Kallstrom thing was the biggest piss take i have ever seen. Never in my entire life of watching football have i seen a team sign an injured player ON LOAN!

    It defeats the whole point of a short term loan!

  7. Of course failure is not an option…. no one chooses to fail. But failure is a possibility! Wigan won’t be under pressure, they’ll be able to go out onto the Wembley turf and enjoy themselves….. no matter what the outcome. Us on the otherhand, will be knee deep in nerves and pressure. And if we lose, knee deep in fking shit. If Wenger doesn’t play Ramsey and Ox right from the beginning, to go for a 2 goal margin at half-time, then we’ve lost the game.

  8. MLF – this is my point – why say anything at all then? These mind games are pathetic – everyone knows we need strengthening and have money. The club MUST know this too.

    I’d never go as far as to wanting us to do badly, just to see him out, but it is obvious that statements like this cause upset across pretty much the whole spectrum of fans (who know better than to be bought off with such egregious platitudes) and do AW no personal favours whatsoever. How can he be so dumb as to not see that he just made things far worse for himself??!

    Of course if he doesn’t significantly strengthen next season, you will get your wish regardless – as we will assuredly be left competing for fifth/sixth place.

  9. I’d heard that rumour MLF.

    I don’t really know what to think at the moment.

    When he comes out with things like that, it’s just…….utterly baffling 🙁

  10. Do people really think that AW would tell his team members after the Chelsea game that he would not be renewing his contract. If he did it’s very bad people management, with an FA Cup semi on the horizon and the need to stay in 4th place. Very difficult to believe that!

  11. Being an Arsenal supporter is a bit like the experience I had in a restaurant recently. I ordered a whole crab and when it arrived, it had a claw missing. I asked the waiter why it only had one claw and he replied, “because it was in a fight” so I told him to bring me the crab that had won.

  12. @Moe

    I agree, the whole Kallstrom thing pretty much just summed up and was one of the final nails in the coffin for me and then for Arsene to say it was Kallstrom or nobody just showed how out of touch Arsene is with fubol.

  13. I have not been on here for ages – years in fact. The reason – not much has changed and I got sick of repeating myself about lack of investment in squad, rubbish young players on big long-term contracts, too many injuries, no tactics, unbalanced squad, too many physically weak players…I could go on. I last posted in 2010-11 and you can see what has changed – very little other than the loss of RvP and Cesc who was our best player for years.

    I am firmly in the Wenger out camp now though. He has become an absolute embarrassment – blaming unknown supplements for injuries was ridiculous. He then blamed injuries which his training methods cause on another collapse. Delusion of the highest order. It wasn’t just that we got battered by all the top teams it was that each game was so similar and that Wenger made no attempt to change. This shows that he cannot change – even during a match when he waits till 70 mins to make a change. No changes at half-time even when 4-0 down.

    Wenger’s obession with no10s and playing players out of position just shows how clueless he is. Arsenal usually get tanned by any decent team they play in the Prem and CL and this has been the case for years with a couple of exceptions. We badly need a change and Wenger will not provide this. I would also get rid of the owner but that’s not going to happen.

  14. I wasn’t that bothered about the Kallstrom thing. He was a free anyway, and his wages got paid whilst his back was bad. Meh.

    It’s just symbolic of the whole thing. The way we operate, and in all probability will continue to, give or take the odd desperate last minute splurge. It’s all become tired and predictable.

    I’m sounding like a right old doomer. It’s come to this.

    Here’s to Saturday (with trepidation). UTA.

  15. I have no idea what to read into comments like that from Arsene. He has always said the same sort of things, year after year. Hard to imagine he really believes that all we have to do is keep this squad together but who knows. I don’t have any idea why anyone associated with the club would say something like that even if it is true. It’s clear how that would be interpreted and what kind of reception that sort of statement would bring in the media and a concerned fan base. The lack of PR nous of the club really leaves scratching your head

    What I do take from that is Arsene talking about future plans for the club suggests he still intends to be making the decisions.

  16. If it was, I should really have known that. Tommy Cooper is one of my comic idols!

    Anyway. Laters.

  17. hmm i dont get why everyone are so angry about Fabianski being preferred for Chsney in the semifinals.. Surly Fab has been brilliant every time he’s player. He also adds better distribution which is never a bad thing. Fab actually states attacks by himself…

    They are both great keepers. But Fab has been very very good in the FA cup.

  18. Poodle.

    I think Fabianski vs Wojo is a toss up. The fact that Fab will almost certainly be gone next year means we should use Wojo. Winning a trophy is something we need to use as a building block for the future and I want the guy who is probably going to be our regular GK for the next 10 years to be part of it. Fab has been a good servant and clearly would deserve to keep his place in the FA cup team if he was staying but his leaving eliminates any concerns about loyalty issues that we might have.

  19. I do think that anybody who thinks Fab doesn’t deserve to start or we are going to suffer with him in goal needs to take relax. He has played really well when given the start. I agree with poodle, his distribution is spot on and I remember against Bayern, he was single handily starting attacks and in the 2nd hail especially he was releasing both Ox and Podolski.

  20. I’m happy with either though I still think Wojo shades it for me.

    Funnily enough a lot of the fun bus strongly think Fabianski should have been first choice for most of the season. FFS! Don’t they fucking know AW knows best? Arrogant bleeding cunts….


  21. Quote of the day – “One hundred envelopes and I did not find myself” – Olympiakos’s on-loan Arsenal and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell buys 100 packets of World Cup stickers, containing five in each, and doesn’t find himself once.

    Good to see footballers can still be kids at heart! 🙂

  22. Arsene`s comments on a host of topics have made me cringe for a while now.

    He`ll be going on talent shows next , thinking he can sing.

  23. Jonny, Paulie,

    Still here I see! How i wish I could have return to Arsenal having swept all before them… alas.
    Yes, Consols will be pleased!


    Likewise. The supplements one takes the prize for me though.

  24. “We have lost a little bit of confidence, you could see that against Everton because it all went bad for us. Having said that I still would like to say I don’t dispute at all that we have not played well but the second goal was offside, the third goal was a foul and the goal we scored was not offside”

    This is entirely the wrong focus. It does nothing to address the fact that we were completely outplayed, out-fought and out-thought throughout the entirety of the game.

    I don’t recall either offside decision being especially contentious (though our goal was totally irrelevant anyway) but I am confident the third goal was not a foul.

    Who cares – does he actually think the fans did just not watch the game or that we are too dumb to understand the game?

  25. Jonny,

    It just adds insult to injury. How about the following as an explanation “I have no idea how to set up my teams to beat anyone of note anymore and my players know this, hence the loss of confidence. I have no tactics whatsoever and I am regularly out-thought by top managers. I have too many injured players because I overtrain and overplay them and do not have depth in my unbalanced squad. My teams cannot take the pressure and will continue to fold while I am still manager”

    The fact that he does not mention himself says it all. Oh and in Monreal we have found a fullback who can emulate the great Andre Santos – utter, utter dross. No surprise that he played in many of the games where we got smashed. If he improved he would be sh1t.

  26. @Jonny

    I think he thinks the fans don’t pay attention to the little adjustments that pay huge dividends on the match. Like Martinez switching Lukuka from playing strictly centrally to moving him to their right so that he could cut inside on his left and he wouldn’t run the channel against Sagna and Mert but instead Nacho and Verm(who he was toying with the whole match), that led to well both the 1st and 2nd goals.

  27. Welcome back AIC – been a while

    The second goal whistled past an offside Naismith right in front of Chezzer. He was certainly interfering but typically nobody from Arsenal disputed it. At least not until Arsene raised it nearly a week later.

    It`s all bollocks though – as Jonny says we we second best everywhere for the entire match & Everton even played keepball for spells in the second half. Oles at Everton , who`d have thunk it.


    I`m with you on the keeper for Wigan question. Why play someone who is leaving in a few weeks when the keeper who will (probably) be around for years is available ?

  28. Jonny @ 5:34

    I agree that is completely the wrong focus. I have always disliked the idea of emphasizing the positives. It diverts the attention away from making needed changes to fix the things that are wrong. I don’t have any real heartburn with fans doing that, but management has to keep the focus on fixing the negatives and trying to put a positive spin on what happened is counterproductive. You could argue that Arsene is trying to help the players get their confidence back but they understand how bad it was and nothing he can say will hide that fact. The only way they can get their confidence back is to play their way out of the funk

  29. Paulie,

    Totally agree. We were second best all over the pitch for nearly all of the game. Everton also battered us at home in the first half of our league game but could not score. I like Martinez but his lack of CL experience counts against him. That may change soon though and CL experience many not be needed next year as Arsenal manager.

  30. Bill,

    How about a new manager who the players can believe in and who is able to restore confidence to his players?

  31. I just think rather than saying things that will upset the fans and make things worse, he would be better shutting his mouth. Blaming the ref is insulting to everyone, and makes him look a lot more incompetent than he actually is.

    I agree with Bill though – the way he is talking about the summer makes it sound very much as though he intends to stay. I think the only big delay is that he realises that the timing is sensitive and that, if things don’t go as planned, he may find that difficult.

  32. tbh i dont trust Chesney in high pressure games. he’s shown very often that when the stakes go very very high, he does weird stuff…. Fabianski does not. simple as.

    I also happen to thnk that the easiest way for Arsenal to win a trophy and gain a wc striker next year would be to resign Persie. I know nobody likes him, but people seem pretty desperate for a wc striker. he is most likely available and keen…

  33. AIC

    Changing managers at this point in the season is not the answer but his summer is a different story.

    Everyone involved needs a change at this point. Once things like this start to go wrong it’s not very easy to right the ship without a shake up at the top. I think everyone involved for arsenal has run out of ideas. The sort of inertia and gridlock we are seeing often happens with any major corporation or even a government when things start to go bad and no one knows how to fix it. If there is someone with new ideas they can’t get anything done because they don’t have the authority or the cojones. Yogi called this part of the cycle, “the end of the era” and that is a perfect description. It happens to a majority of even the best sports managers. Fergies ability to keep himself current and effective for so long is a distinct exception rather then the rule.

    I honestly think that Arsene could probably revitalize and reinvent himself with a change of scenery and a new situation where he could concentrate his energy and efforts on being a field manager

  34. @Jonny

    He is talking as though he will be here this summer but the thing is, since he hasn’t decided or atleast hasn’t made it public what his decision is he has to speak that way. He can’t just say, o well I’m not looking to improve this summer and then decide to stay.

    I truly do think that he should leave after we win the FA Cup but I get this funny feeling that once we win the FA Cup and then finish in 4th he will stay and say, “Look I told you I would end the trophy drought and that we are headed in the right direction”.

  35. The first thing that needs to happen for change to occur is that the leadership of the club needs to take responsibility and admit the problem is internal and recurring year after year rather then looking for a bunch of excuses and extenuating circumstances that are beyond our control to explain what has happened. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t take ownership. The “rose colored” approach makes you feel better in the short term but is completely counterproductive.

  36. My own take is that if we win the FA Cup OR finish fourth he`ll stay.

    He can point to either as success.

  37. Comes summer. Arsenal FC. top 4 and FA cup Winner is the club with the deepest crisis in the UK…

    that is insane…

  38. Poodle.

    Clearly that is insane. However we are not really any closer to where we want to be on the pitch right now then we were in 2007. I would argue we are further from getting to the level we want to be at. Obviously we are not worried about relegation or financial meltdown of the club. However, we are not near to realizing the potential that we have given our clubs resources and history. No?

  39. Bill,

    I meant at the end of the season for Wenger to go. Agree that there is no point now.

    The problems are internal but the delusion is very strong – amongst some supporters and those on the inside.

  40. @poodle

    I think we are in crisis because we have gone from top of the EPL 5-6 points clear to now fighting for 4th.

  41. For those that aren’t busy and haven’t see Lyon and the likes of Gonalons and Lacazzete play, you should and try and check out Juve v Lyon today.

  42. AIC, as I live and breath.

    I am glad to see you back. As you probably missed it, after a meltdown on here a few months ago when the abusers left for new pastures I had a mea culpa moment and apologised to you for the abuse that I have heaped on your head in years past. Genuinely.

    On the other side of the coin, I have always wished you a Merry Christmas on Christmas Eve.

    Welcome back.

  43. The club isn’t in crisis, more like stasis (though if we don’t invest properly in the squad come summer, we could go into reverse..)

    We all want to win the FA Cup, be absolutely fantastic, and also of course it breaks the trophy duck into the bargain

    I would love to see Arsene lift that (and of course, get top four). Be a fitting end. And then he can walk off into the sunset, whistling “My Way” as he goes.

    Will he? or would he view it as a vindication to keep on keeping on? I sincerely hope it’s not the latter. I would hate to see him outstay his welcome as it were, and see all the goodwill he has stored up rapidly begin to dwindle. Whatever happens….I would never turn on him, but, unluckily for him, not everyone is a sentimental soft git like me

    It’s his choice of course, as there is no-one to push him (or even gently nudge him in the direction of the door).

  44. regarding the torres/aguerro/falcao/diego flow chart…huge point…

    i thought i saw their successor late yesterday, rodriguez, he impressed…

    other than he’s also Uruguayan any one know anything good or bad?

  45. I don’t think we are remotely in a crisis – but I am no way convinced AW is the man to take things forward. Not no more.

    Especially when it comes to addressing the squad deficiencies in the summer – which will be absolutely vital to how we progress next season.

  46. i dont care what cazorla has to say..
    i dont care what any of them say anymore at this point..
    we must do better, were going to do better, i’ll leave if we dont do better
    different players say different things and it would be nice if they all shut the fuck up and got on with it…

    saying all that…id still sell him this summer and its got nothing to do with his comments..

  47. @JJ

    I like Koke, think he is a brilliant talent that is capable of doing anything with the ball at his feet. I wouldn’t mind swapping Santi for Koke as they are similar players with Koke being able to do more defensively. Technically he is very good and obviously has an eye for both a goal and a pass.

    While I like everything that Koke brings as a player and he is a brilliant player, he tends to play a bit higher up the pitch and that would leave Ramsey to shield the back 4. We already have our #10 in Ozil and Ramsey as our box-to-box, we are missing that Gonalons/Khederia type player that can not only play proper futbol but their athleticism power and shielding of the back 4.

  48. I said at the time Cazorla was given a new contract, that I wasn’t convinced he had done enough to deserve one.

    First season, he had the worst conversion rate against number of attempts in the whole of the premiership. He certainly brought a lot to the table in other areas but was inconsistent.

    Second season – he was meant to be settled and one of the experienced leaders in the team – he has instead been a mixture of mediocre and poor…with streaks of brilliant and flecks of downright fucking awful.

    Does anyone give him better than 5/10 for the season and 6/10 overall?

  49. JJ.

    Why sell Caz? We clearly need someone new as the regular starter, but his versatility would make him a good squad player.

  50. The concensus of opinion from mates who support other teams is; Arsenal used to play good football they have lost that this year and Liverpool and City are the go to entertainment

  51. I want to make it clear, I wouldn’t sell Santi but if we were to swap Koke for Santi I wouldn’t mind because they are similar players yet Koke is younger.


    The funny thing is Giroud and his agent coming out and saying they are looking for a new contract and will look for one after the end of the season.

    That made me laugh to be honest.

  52. @JJ

    I like Khederia too and from what I have read, his contract is over next summer and though he is coming off a ACL injury, I wouldn’t mind him. Gonalons for me is option #1 but Khederia is definitely option #2.

  53. Watching this Lyon v Juve match.

    We should go to Lyon and say, here is 25M, give us Lacazette and Gonalons! That would take care of our CDM and winger issue and then we can go out and buy a World Class Striker for 50M.

  54. bill
    becuase we dont need him..we have enough 10’s and hes not the best one..
    hes 29 with two years left we can still get 20mil for him and rebuild the strikeforce and CM

    we have 4-5 players who can all play 10 without santi being named..

    we need proper wideplayers and proper CMs.. having loads of 10s in the squad just leads to the temptation of playing 5 10’s in midfield and its the most boring predictable tactic in the entire world..

  55. is lacazette a LWF??

    if not we dont need him either..

    but if gonalons is as good as you say, C then yeah why not..i trust your judgement if you like khedira but theres definately more than one or two options there this summer at CM..if we miss out on our first and second targets theres plenty more available, theres really no excuse..

    although knowing how we work we’ll test the water with several players only to back out incase somebody becomes available on the last day and we’ll sign another 10..

    i can just see it now..we’ll spend all summer almost having khedira in the bag only to pull out and let him go somewhere else and then madrid will buy suarez and we’ll take isco..

  56. JJ.

    Can’t argue with any of that. I would be all for it if we actually use the money to rebuild the strike force. Absolutely no way we can use someone who has scored just 4 league goals as one of the main wide forwards next season and as you say we have several #10 in the squad.

  57. @JJ

    Lacazette can play across the front 3 positions. Against Juve he is playing on the LW but constantly switching with Briand centrally.

    I completely agree with you though. There is absolutely no reason why we don’t end up with a new CM/CDM this summer especially with the amount in the bank and the crystal clear need for one and that doesn’t even take into account the players out there.

    If that scenario plays out and we end up with Isco, I will personally fly to London and start whooping ass!

  58. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see anything wrong in Arsene’s comment. Of course he wants to keep the squad together. Who wouldn’t want Fabianski and Sagna to stay? Probably won’t happen but nothing wrong with wanting it, IMO.

    He didn’t say he would not add to the squad, did he?

  59. arsenes been talking as well?
    dear god they are all at it arent they?

    two points from 15 or whatever the fuck it is so we decide to talk about what we are going to do…..

    whats he been saying now? that weve been competitive again for the league and everythings ok and its more important to keep the squad together and get the wounded fit??

  60. I’d be happy with Lacazette – versatile. Would be a great replacement for Giroud, if he was to go.

  61. Also quicker, better at shooting, and plays towards goal.

    He’d also be an exceptional replacement for Poldi.

  62. Heeeyyyy hello Henristic, how the hell are ya fella?

    It’s npt that he wants to keep the squad together – it’s the idea we don’t need an overhaul.

    So how do we replace Fabianksi, Sagna RB, Sagna CB, TV5 and possibly Poldi and Giroud? Then what do we do about the need for a DM and a decent striker?

    Yes keep what we have but lets be honest this squad is going to need BIG work in the summer.

  63. Why doesn’t AW just say, we have great players and plan to have even more this summer…

  64. Jonny, as you say, it really is bizarre and unhelpful. And it isn’t as if there isn’t away to protect his players while indicating ambition–the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive as some might believe. But morale at all levels will sink if the players themselves are calling yet again for top reinforcements.

    What is this article you posted about Ozil that Bill referenced? Can you link again?

  65. Manager’s in a discursive stasis–same language and ideas we’ve heard for years.

    Maybe it would be better if he acknowledged it a bit as well: As I always say, the key for me is to keep my players…

  66. Thanks Jonny. Don’t quite know what to make of that article–a bit vague. And I have higher hopes for Ozil. If he isn’t run into the ground, he should have a fine season for us. (I hope!!)

  67. I agree – I only posted it quizzically.

    He could work harder but I think that, whilst true, misses the point – pretty sure AW and RMad would agree.

    He just needs better things to aim at.

  68. I concede I am a bear of very little brain – do I chuck salt over my shoulder in the superstitious hope that we win on Saturday and woohoo with the best of them when we do? Or do I melt the candle into a voodoo doll and hope we don’t, as a loss could start the evolution? A dichotomy that could keep me staring at the ceiling…

  69. Always hope to win.

    Change does not guarantee victory or even a better future, no matter how desirable it may seem at the time.

  70. Arsene on 2005 FA CUP

    “In fact in 2005 we did not deserve to win the
    final,” he said. “It [being defensive] was the only
    way we could win it.
    “At the start I didn’t set up like that and
    suddenly they [Man United] were all over us. I
    realised that physically we were not able to
    compete, so I said ‘OK, let’s defend as long as
    we can’.”

    So by his definition you do not deserve to win it by playing defensive?

    Is defence not part of football, is grinding out results not a way of winning?

    That admission by Arsene something fundementally wrong with his thinking. He cares more about style and dominating a game than winning.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but Arsenal does not have those types of players anymore to make that possible.

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