Just The Ticket: New Midfield Targets In Arsène’s Spree But TV5 To Leave


It’s something of a relief. Genuinely, it is. After all, there would be nothing worse than a generation of journalists being lost to self-analysis and I think Arsène deserves considerable respect for recognising that if he doesn’t make Jack Wilshere sit on the naughty step, it will have a devastating effect on sports reporting around the globe. So Jack, you’re not the messiah, you’re just a very naughty boy.

Training was moved a couple of miles from London Colney to Borehamwood and both sets obeyed Arsène’s instructions on not tackling, to the word. Kriss Olsson took his goal well from Tomas Rosicky’s gloriously delivered pass and Benik Ofobe, well, he buried his penalty with ease. A good runout and that’s it; nothing to be read into anyone’s performance at this early stage of the programme. Indeed, the positive is that Abou Diaby managed to play more than 45 seconds without injury so positives all round.

Prior to the match, Arsène noted that this season was built on the solid foundations of last. His post-match comments were concerning with the real prospect of needing two centre backs, one that he acknowledged he is looking for and the second to replace the departing Thomas Vermaelen. If a manager says that he doesn’t know the player’s intentions, it is a fair assumption that he is only staying if he can’t find a new home. The Belgian no doubt, has had his head turned by Aloysius’ interest.

Wenger noted that the spending spree was not over, Morgan Schneiderlin this morning finds himself at the centre of renewed claims that Arsenal have been quoted a price of £18m for his services. As an alternative to the Southampton midfielder, the club will reportedly have to pay £15m for Lars Bender, this morning acquiring the sobriquet of “one of the toughest tacklers in the Bundesliga“; God Bless the good ship Daily Star and all the hyperbole that sails within her. Arsène could buy both; Iker Casillas is once more heavily touted to join but he will be on a freebie which satisfies the narrative of a club which is careful with the money.

Targeting three or four other players suggests that there is little inclination to address the lack of depth up front. Unsurprisingly, Yaya Sanogo attracted criticism for not scoring yesterday, reinforcing the already held prejudices against him. It’s hard not to feel sympathy with both the player and critics. He didn’t ask to be thrust into this situation by the manager; he ought to have been the signing to replace Bendtner, given time to develop with a mixture of cup, substitute and occasional starts. He works hard enough, there can be no complaints about his contribution to the team beyond the fact that he has yet to score for the club. It’s a fairly fundamental flaw in a forward’s game but I would be more worried if we didn’t have alternatives and if Sanogo wasn’t getting into the positions to have opportunities to score in the first place. Do I think Arsenal should buy another forward? Yes. Do I think they will? No, not at all.

With the season upon us, the inevitable article appeared about the cost of season tickets and Arsenal topped that table quite comfortably. There was a discomforting reassurance in seeing other clubs – QPR, Burnley and Hull – capitalising on their success by cashing in on season ticket prices. The problem with these tables is that they take the headline-grabbing figure and make a mountain out of a smaller one, in doing so missing the wider issues over ticket pricing. Arsenal have never been at the forefront of cheaper seats; during the 60s, the club pushed for the removal of the maximum ticket pricing agreement, looking to set their own agenda. That mentality has not changed now and will not do so in the near future.

Support cannot be taken be for granted and the constant fear for the game is that they are pricing future generations out of attending; it has yet to happen to the extent where the clubs are forced to react and there is little incentive for them to change their behaviour all the while grounds sell out or are full enough for the owners to still see a profit. It doesn’t mean that pressure on keeping ticket prices as low as possible should let up. News reports consistently reinforce the message that the recession is over yet the pressure on pockets remain. Football was impervious to those problems.

The contemptuous relationship with its customer base continues unabated with broadcasters riding roughshod over sensibilities. Combining with the poverty of the transport infrastructure in this country, they get more subscriptions by assigning hideously inconvenient kick-off times to fixtures. For the television companies it’s a win-win; showing the high-profile games to suit their advertising revenues, they get more money from subscriptions and are able to take more control of the game by paying more for the broadcasting contracts. All this safe in the knowledge that home supporters and hardy souls will turn out in sufficient numbers to give the impression of a well-attended game.

The views of supporters have never held stock with the rulers in the past and with the death-knell sounding for the Fanshare scheme, Arsenal and other clubs are not showing any sign of altering the habits of a lifetime soon.

’til Tomorrow.



98 thoughts on “Just The Ticket: New Midfield Targets In Arsène’s Spree But TV5 To Leave

  1. Big, fat money grubbing bastards. That’s the trouble with football, and indeed, the world

  2. Morning all

    Ras you’re the man 🙂

    How about that drink together next week in Bagnols? Let me know when you’ll be there, it starts on the 23rd doesn’t it?

  3. Morning NB ca va? Did you see my reply hier? I’m still awaiting confirmation of whether I’ll be elsewhere over the Garence Festival. Should I be in the vicin then for sure it would be great to meet and have a drink or 2,3,4………

    Morning Bob how is your garden doing? Yes this mad monetary system ( Fiat Authority)that we currently live under is terminable.

  4. Sanogo is fast becoming the new John Jensen, will there be T-shirts? I’m glad that the purse strings seem to be emptying but it looks as if Arsene still has some of the same old blind spots with our striking options looking like they will be the weakest of the top 5 clubs in the PL yet again. If a player of his calibre started a serious competitive game for the other 4 questions would rightly be asked.

    I would be sorry to see TV5 go, but given the lack of opportunities recently it wouldn’t be a shock. I rather liked Davies of Hull, but at 29 he may not be value for money. Given that both the BFG and Kos played a fair bit in the WC the risk of injury due to overplaying either will be much higher this season, so a quality replacement (or two) is essential.

  5. Rvp loved the club but vermaelen loves rvp more than arsenal. The draw of rvp, van goal, first team football and more money will see the little boy inside of him take him up the m6.

    I wouldn’t say no to jones or hernandez in a straight swap, if not smalling plus cash. But other than that they don’t really have a player I would want.

  6. It’s doing very well, Ras.

    Bumper crops all round. Tons of everything and the grapes and melons, always tricky, are coming along nicely.

    We are eating very well.

  7. I’m beginning to lament this continued criticism of Sanogo and the absence of his first goal. It started early in the year when he did all he was asked to do on the field except score.
    Give the lad a chance, he’s still raw and clumsy but IMO there is great promise there.
    I only hope he stays and learns at the Emirates and doesn’t depart on loan somewhere.

  8. The way to react when presented with prices that are too steep is to decline to buy the product or the services offered.

    Or so most pundits will tell you, but there are exceptions to that position.

    People need food and in times of shortage and prices rise, the consumer has no option to pay up.

    People need somewhere to live, and despite higher and high rents, or steeply rising house prices – people do not have a choice but to cough up.

    Football to many people is like a religion, and despite the steep increase in prices for tickets and incidentals like TV subscriptions, it is very hard to resist buying into it.

    In the final analysis it is the old economic pressure of supply and demand that dictates everything in our lives.

  9. dont really want to see us lose TV..especially to a team with aspirations to be our rivals again..

    but in theory…if TVs on 80k pw and we shift him for 10mil…we could bring in two younger CB’s for 5mil 40k each who are prepared to play backup.??

    anyway, all in theorys aside…hes in the last year of his deal isnt he?, wenger will sell him if he doesnt extend, it all depends on that…

  10. Yes, Sanogo needs more time but, though he can lose the rawness, I wonder if he can lose the clumsiness. He’s 21 years old – if you haven’t got control over your limbs by that age, will you ever? Benik Afobe has always been strong and a hard worker, but his main problem has been his first touch. He showed yesterday that it’s still a problem – or maybe I’m just being obsessive – does happen :).
    But yes, give Yaya more time – I was wrong about Walcott so the odds are I’ll be wrong again, but right now, as Yogi says, we need another striker – unless Joel Campbell produces the goods.
    I too would be sad to see TV5 go – keep hoping he’s going to find that form he had when he first came and when he and Kos looked like no-one would ever get past them. But his confidence seems low and he still has a tendency to wander upfield, so I can see the logic in getting some money for him now. But that’s assuming LVG wants him – it means believing the rumours, always a silly thing to do.

  11. As for ticket prices, they priced me out LOOOOOOOOONNNGGG ago. I guess it’s fine to pay 1,000+ a season if you have a tidy income and/or don’t have any other interests, but when the price went above the price of 3 tickets to the cinema or theatre, I called it a day (GG was manager I believe – that also had something to do with it).
    Now I can watch almost every game online which doesn’t cost a bean extra – and which is why I call myself a fan, not a supporter.

  12. supporter is a term long dead my friend..
    and football killed it..
    youre either a fan or a customer..
    you can be both if you wish

  13. In any other sphere of life you are employed at the top of your profession WHEN you’ve made the grade and proven yourself by your performances. Would you like a clumsy banker to handle your finances? or perhaps a surgeon who has yet to sucessfully perform his first operation (he’ll be great one day, I’m sure of it)? I’d prefer to send the banker from the city firm to a smaller organisation where he can learn his trade and prove his worth, the surgeon can assist in a small hospital before he takes on a more critical role at a premier establishment. Let’s face it, we can afford many better players in the place of Sanogo, our club is no place for another vanity project, let him go on loan and prove his worth – it was good enough for Jack wasn’t it?

  14. 69er
    tried commentng on your supplement but it wont accept my comment because its asking me for allsorts of passwords i cant fucking remember..
    its too hard to comment mate make it easier…

    your a dodgy fucker anyway 🙂

  15. “I’m very happy with what I could do until now. It’s not over – there’s still a long way to go.”

    Encouraging stuff from Wenger long with “I cannot guarantee that [he will stay at the club] but should he go, I will bring another centre back in for sure.” on Verm!

  16. Loving Wenger’s comments on Jose’s “Cesc always wanted to come to Chelsea” comments.

    A lot of reports going about that we’re close to signing Balotelli again for £15.8 million.

    Wengers comments on Khedria are quite ambiguous as well but i’m glad he seems proactive. Imagine we brought in Khedria and Balotelli, yikes.

  17. I don’t think we will see another striker. It would be nice to hoard a bunch of top top top quality strikers andI think it is hard to argue what the team would be better if Sanogo is replaced with (say) Benzema or perhaps Ballotelli.

    But it seems that Wenger intends playing Sanchez, at least sometimes, through the middle, which will provide Giroud with some rotation then I agree with Yogi that we are unlikely to see another marquee striker. With Walcott and Podolski, plus Oxlade (though he needs to improve his goalscoring) and Sanogo (once he scores the flood gates could open) there is firepower up front. I also think that Ramsey will continue to score 12-15 goals per year and with more movement up front with Sanchez and Walcott, there should be more opportunities for midfield goals for Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil. ISanchez and Walcott should bring more penalties too.

    History shows that to win the Premiership we will likely need to be scoring some more goals but looking at last season, you could argue that we don’t need that many more. If we could have kept a few more goals out against Villa, City, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea…. We do need a few more goals – maybe 10-15 might do it and I think that the above players are capable of that and more.

    But we do need more steel in midfield against the teams around us – I love Arteta for what he brings but he does not have the power or pace required against the Yaya’s and Matic’s. In my view a strong midfielder who can hold on to the ball in possession, strong in the tackle and with the pace to fill the channels in defending counter strikes is a priority. I think the Kallstrom loan suggests that Wenger believes we are a midfielder light. We all know the suspects.

    So for me: GK, CDM and if Vermaelen leaves a new CB of equivalent ability, although I think you can get that at lower wages. If the young CBs we do have are not considered capable for 4th choice then maybe a young CB for 5mil.

  18. BTW, my comment about the team being better with Sanogo out is in the short term. Longer term he may prove to be a 30 goal a season striker – my comment is for this season.

  19. Yesterday’s fitness run out was a success because players got a tiny bit of match fitness under the belt and we incurred no injuries. A win or loss is largely irrelevant at this point in the season, fitness on the other hand is not. I agree Yogi that nothing can be read in to the game, however there were a few youngsters out there playing for a ticket to NY. In a rusty showing Olsson, Bellerin, Akpom all probably earned a ticket. Actually I think Bellerin may have international commitments again during preseason, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

    I loved what I saw from Akpom yesterday, he is definitely not afraid to play the ball around at his feet which is in stark contrast to both Giroud and Sanogo. His preseason started again where he left off last season in Asia.

  20. I see that William Carvalho’s name has now been thrown in to the transfer hat… Metro reporting a rejected 23m plus bid.

  21. Miami

    I mentioned his name last season and earlier this week as a CDM, he’s a beast! I do think he’d take time to adapt, but he’s a monster! I think he’s the type we need, he’s like Song, but stronger and actually plays as a CDM! But £35million is a big buy out clause and if that was the kind of money we were spending i’d rather Martinez or Bender for his experience at the top

  22. Funny..Loads of reports that Morgan Schneiderlin would prefer a move to Spurs to work under Poch again, when you follow the links and find out the source? It’s a Spurs fan magazine speculation hahaha

  23. The ultimate twist for me this summer would be Vidal announcing he’s signing for Arsenal to play along side Alexis hahaha

  24. Yogi

    I see you took your breakfast coffee black this morning… BLACK! Like the inky abyss we are all destined to be sucked into…. BLACK! 🙂

    Course we will sign a striker/forward. The fact that the scousers have “agreed” a fee with QPR for Remy seems weird as the fee is a set one! I still think he would represnt a very capable signing, but the fact we have apparently declined the opportunity (Like cesc before him, yes Mourinho, we didnt want him, not the other way you attention seeking twat), leads me to expect a new target has been identified.

  25. I also missed AW saying he was after a CB, even without TV5 leaving?

    Obviously if we sign a midfielder who can also operate in defence, then that would solve that issue. A player such as martinez, of today’s transfer tittle tattle; carvalho.

    I didnt see any of the game yesterday, but noted Hayden ans Ajavi played in the centre of defence. I wonder if the latter might be considered up to being a 1st teamer yet?

  26. @Dex

    I think Hayden is closer to the senior set up than Ajayi. The latter wasn’t really tested yesterday, in fact none of the CB’s really were. Hayden also offers Arsenal position flex with his ability to play as a DMC. Physically he looks okay, but at 19 there concern is he needs game time at a higher level than the reserves.

  27. nicky

    I am with you on Sanogo. The criticism of him (and AW for daring to use him) is way over the top. The complete lack of patience is getting to the point where no young player will ever be considered good enough, unless they are a world beater at 16. Just look at the stick Jack, Carl and before them Ramsey receive.

    Ian Wright wouldn’t have even been given a chance in this instant gratification, blink and you missed it world.

  28. @Dex

    “The complete lack of patience is getting to the point where no young player will ever be considered good enough, unless they are a world beater at 16”

    Which is funny in that a player at 16 is not under professional terms so a world beater at that age is free to go to whatever club he so wishes. This has been a breeding ground for Arsenal to snipe interested youngsters from Spain, as it is for all clubs who feel that have can develop that talent a little more. I do think it would be easier for youngsters to get opportunities if Arsenal had been more successful over a period of time. That said, for some, youngsters will probably never be good enough because patience is something people seem to have less and less of as time rolls on. I like the idea that professional players are ready made when hatched from an egg, but of course this is not reality. Whilst most youngsters will never make the top flight or indeed the senior set up at Arsenal, the hope continues that their education in the game will allow them to establish a career at some level. I also think no matter what you think about youth set ups, it is important to realize that every single professional player we and any club is linked with has gone through an academy to learn their trade.

  29. I see that Metro article is sourced from caughttellinganotherporkie.com.
    ’nuff said.

  30. Sanogo clearly has potential. I think Wenger made a bit of a rod for him when he said at the beginning of last season when everyone was calling for a striker to be brought in words to the effect of that he had just bought a orld class striker and Sanogo was as good as a 40million quid buy.

    Well we all hope so!!! And of course, a young player needs to be given some games to find their polish but rolling him out against Bayern in a Champions League game because there was no alternative once Giroud got caught with his pants down didn’t help things… And he did play well.

    In fact credit to Sanogo, he has pretty much done everything expected of him except score, which is often the case with young players. Ramsey was the same only a year or two ago.

    I think Wenger will continue to give him some game time, with which the addition to Sanchez makes me think no other strikers will be coming this window. Of course, I could be wrong!

  31. Can anyone really believe that Schneiderlin would actually choose Tottenham over Arsenal if he had the choice?

  32. I see Caughtoffside are also reporting we are selling Podolski, Cazorla, Tv5 and Jenkinson.

  33. Fantastic post Yogi:

    I agree that the best thing that could have come out of yesterdays game was the absence of any injuries. Anytime Diaby gets thru 45 minutes without some sort of muscular problem is a victory by itself. I have never been as taken with Diaby as a lot of fans. Other then a brief cameo such as the often mentioned Liverpool game, I have never thought that he would be a huge difference maker all by himself even when fully healthy. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. However, that said he does possess a unique blend of physique and technique that we have lacked over the years and it would have been great for the club if things had worked out for him.

    I just returned from a trip from Colorado and did not have a chance to thank you for all those posts you did. I did read them all and its no surprise to me that each and each and every post was fantastic. Thanks again.

  34. Perhaps Schneiderlin had or has an excellent relationship with Pot, maybe not. It may be the only reason he would think of Spurs over Arsenal.

  35. For those who have said that Ozil was planned by Wenger from early on in the last summer window, this quote kind of puts that logic to bed:

    “Sometimes the players you want are available very late. You maybe refer to the [Mesut] Ozil case but at the same period last year, Ozil was not available. He became available very late. You do the deals that are possible when it’s possible,” said Wenger.

  36. I agree with JJ regarding Sonogo. The one thing we have seen over the years is that it is impossible to predict how a young player will pan out and that is doubly true for goal scorers. We have seen so many that had lots of great cameo’s especially in the Carling Cup teams of the past and showed so much potential, yet they ultimately just don’t make it with us. Its crazy for a team like ours to have a back up striker that went through an entire season without scoring a single goal. Its possible that if he ever scores his first goal the flood gates will suddenly open and goals will rain down from the heavens. However, that is highly wishful thinking at best. He needs a year or 2 of loan to get his footing and figure out if he really can ever score consistently before we count on him as our back up striker. IMO

  37. Miami: caughtmakingitupaswegoalong adopts a blunderbuss approach to reporting – fire off enough pellets and one of them is almost certain to hit something, even if it’s only a sparrow. Then they can shout, “Got one!”

  38. @MA, clearly the only possible reason but I cannot believe that would stand up: Wenger is a legendary manager for Frenchies (and not only Frenchies), plus Champions League, number of French players, quality of squad, history, and I expect salary, not to mention there is a clear need for his type in our first team.

    The story does not carry anything like a quote or source. Think it’s bollox

  39. If I was Arsene Wenger

    I would give Chuba the chance and put Sanogo in the reserves until he finds the goal.

  40. @Bill, I don’t think Sanogo is second choice. With Wenger’s comments about playing different formations and utilising Sanchez through the middle, plus Podolski and hopefully more game time to Walcott, I think Sanogo slips down to where a young striker would probably expect to sit in the pecking order. If Campbell hangs around beyond pre-season he is actually competing for that place.

    As I said above, a ready made 30 goal per season striker in his place would do our chances this year a lot of good but I cannot see it happening.

  41. MA; Great points.

    I’m sure we’ll be writing off players when they are a glint in the milkman’s eye soon enough! 🙂

  42. Arsenal is important but much bigger news is that I finally had a great ride on Sun Kissed. She is an extremely athletic mare. She is literally 1200 of pure muscle. She has boundless energy and never runs out of gas, and to make it more difficult she has an dominant mare personality. She wants to go where she wants to go and she wants to get there at full speed. She does not enjoy a peaceful trot. I am a relative novice rider and unlike the mare I usually ride, she has been a huge challenge. Today we finally came to the agreement that even though she outweighs me by more then 1000 pounds, I am the alpha entity in our relationship. Other then spending time with your family, life does not get much better. Its almost sensual feeling having 1200 pounds of power and energy cradled between your legs.

  43. There are loads of youngsters who have talent but the journey from U-19 or U-21 international to first team squad member in the PL with a top 4 team is not just a step up, it’s a whole flight of stairs. They need more than talent – they need work ethic, physical resilience and mental strength too, because there will be a lot of set-backs along the way.
    Nicklas Bendtner at 17/18 looked a real prospect, but he had physical advantages as a youngster which were exposed as soon as he began meeting PL defenders who could match him in that department. Add to that the lack of a work ethic and problems between the ears and you have yet another also-ran.
    One of the reasons I’d just LOVE to see Diaby come through is that he clearly has everything except, apparently, physical resilience. Maybe he’s just been unlucky – we’ll see this season.
    Aaron on the other hand made the grade last year – his improvement was amazing and we could all (well, most of us) see what his flourishing confidence did for his game. I’m hoping to see him continuing where he left off last season.

  44. Dexter:

    “I am with you on Sanogo. The criticism of him (and AW for daring to use him) is way over the top. The complete lack of patience is getting to the point where no young player will ever be considered good enough, unless they are a world beater at 16. Just look at the stick Jack, Carl and before them Ramsey receive.”

    Errr, let’s examine that shall we? Sanogo is 21, not 16, there are many examples of players who proved good enough to play for our club at 21, Sanogo clearly isn’t one of them. We don’t necessarily want a world beater, but failing to score is a major problem for a striker when a team plays one up front isn’t it? I hear he has other attributes such as ‘lots of energy’ (I should hope so at his age tbh), and he ‘makes a nuisance of himself’ (wow, that’s great). You compare him to Jack (who has performed far more ably at a younger age) and Aaron (for the record he got a bit of stick after the injury but he was a very popular and well supported player before that and the boo boys only picked on him for a short time when he came back and was played out of position where he wasn’t best suited).

    “Ian Wright wouldn’t have even been given a chance in this instant gratification, blink and you missed it world”

    That’s clearly nonsense – look at what Wrighty had achieved before he came to Arsenal – no comparison whatsoever. In case you have either a memory issue or simply are too young to remember here are a couple of Wrighty facts:

    * Wright scored 117 goals in 253 starts and 24 substitute appearances over six seasons for The Eagles in all competitions
    making him the club’s record post-war goalscorer.

    * Wright signed for Arsenal in September 1991 for £2.5m which was at the time a club record fee. He scored on his debut against Leicester City in a League Cup tie and then scored a hat-trick on his League debut against Southampton. He won the Golden Boot in his first season by scoring 29 league goals.

    Please explain how you can refer to Ian Wright in the same discussion as one about Yaya Sanogo?

    Instead of championing Sanogo why not take give the same level of support to the likes of Chuba Akpom who had a far better game yesterday and Benike Afobe who won and scored a penalty (note that; scored)? I cannot understand the obsession with a player who whenever I have seen him play has been at best ‘raw’ and at worst shambolic.

  45. Sonogo should be nowhere near the first team. I personally don’t see him ever being top drawer, but who knows. Send him out on loan to get experience and perhaps he proves himself. We have Cambell who is miles ahead of him in both goals and experience.
    Like some one said early, you don’t get to be at the top of your trade until you have proven yourself up to the task. It’s not his fault, and probably not fair on him to have so much responsibility thrown on him. But he is a striker, and no goals thus far is pretty telling. Ramsey was a differant kettle of fish, he brings so much more than goals. And it’s not really his job to provide the goals. Starting Sonogo against Bayern was pretty sobering as a Arsenal fan. Especially when you got Podolski on the bench. Surely his experience alone would make it a no brainer, never mind his record. In the end he came on and the only goal.

  46. andy1886

    So, because I dont want to engage in slagging off a young, inexperienced player I am championing Sanogo? Please dont dress it up as me having a soft spot for a particualt player. I didnt see the meaningless pre-season fitness work out yesterdsay so cant comment on the world beating performances of some of our other players.

    I hope Akpom, Bellerin, Hayden et al make the grade, but history suggests we’d be lucky to get one or two come through. I always thought JET was going to make the grade, never happened and the same applies to many others.

    Sanogo? He might make it, might not. But I would be the same about any of the young players (yes, 21 IS young!) Given the amount of injuries, I would categorise Jack in the young bracket too. And especially as he is getting alot of shit about not developing etc.

    And off course I wasnt likening Wrighty to Sanogo (looks like youwasted all that time googling Wrighty related facts 🙂 ), more the fact he was a relatively late developer and that some players do come good later than others, while others who look like world beaters at 16/17; Arturo Lupoli, JET, and many many more, fail to make the grade at the club.

  47. And as usual, Miami gets it.

    I simply cannot see AW NOT signing another striker. It was bad enough last summer TBH when that didnt happen. I do think Theo candefinitely play that role, but his long term injury means we won’t be able to rely on him until we have already played important games, both domestically and in europe. So, that and the world cup exertions of many of our players means we require strengthening in several positions, including the forward line.

  48. Dexter, thanks for your reply. To clarify, it’s not Sanogo per se that I object to, it’s the fact that a club of the stature of Arsenal think that it’s okay to have a player of such limited ability as their back up striker. We can and should do much better. That Arsene has not found a better backup since RvP left and we signed OG is baffling. I’ve said before he should go on loan, the first team at AFC where every game is vital isn’t really where he should be learning his trade.

    You are of course correct – I did use wiki for the Wrighty facts but only because I’m too lazy to do my own research 😉 but I could give a number of examples of young players who came in and did a better job over the years (Raphael Meade, Kevin Campbell, Niall Quinn, Merse et al for starters), yet for some reason some people seem to think that Sanogo will be better than all of these.

  49. imagine we did announce Khedira, i for once would be forced to eat my own hat again after saying to many pals that Arsenal wouldn’t wrap up any significant deals pre August

  50. Mention of Sanogo has raised a brouhaha of amazing proportions on this worthy site.
    It’s as though he was signed as the be all and end all of Arsenal’s need for a striker for ever and ever.
    Those folk who have already written the lad off, should reflect on his short history with our great Club.
    One appearance in the EPL, one in the CL and 3 in the FA Cup last season, mainly off the bench.
    Hardly time to need a change of kit.
    All those amateur Wengers who think they know better than the Great Man should calm down, allow the lad to learn and improve.
    Bear in mind that generally, when it comes to potential ability, Arsene really does know best. 😉

  51. Nicky, hate to correct you, but Yaya has fourteen first team appearences to his name, four starts and ten from the bench (complain to arsenal.com not me if you you dispute this). Number one, I haven’t written him off, I just think that he isn’t ready and would be better served out on loan. Is it the best for the club as a competitive organisation to have him learn in vital games here or elsewhere when the pressure and expectation is lower? If not why is that?

    Number two I don’t think anyone has suggested that he was signed as “as the be all and end all of Arsenal’s need for a striker for ever and ever”, but several of us believe that Arsene could have and should have signed a more effective player as back up for OG. Compare our strike force with that of our direct competitors and I’d be interested to see where you think we are even equal if not better in quality terms than they are.

    I admire your ability to cling to hope and faith in these matters, I’m more of a facts based person myself, and the facts are that we don’t have effective back up if OG gets a knock in the Community Shield in a few weeks time.

  52. Nicky:

    I don’t see anyone really slagging off Sonogo as much as questioning the judgement of the club that clearly has resources to remedy the problem, using someone who is completely unproven and ended up never scoring a single goal as our back up striker last season. We all agree that he has potential and no one is saying that he is crap and we jettison him. However, even with Sanchez, he really is our back up striker right now and having him as the first back up really puts any potential title challenge at an unnecessary level of risk. We were incredibly fortunate that Giroud stayed healthy last season or we would probably have dropped out the race a lot sooner then we did. Perhaps Yaya will develop into a true talent in a couple of seasons, but the odds are far more against that based on past history. None of that is Sonogo’s fault and no one is blaming him. He can have all the time he needs but Arsenal should not be using back up striker as a developmental slot.

  53. Not sure why Wrighty comes in to it at all, he came to us via Crystal Palace at the age of 27 or 28. Perhaps if he had trained at Arsenal as a youth he may not have made the grade, but we’ll never know. I may be wrong but I don’t think Wrighty signed professional terms until he was in his 20’s? I may well be wrong but I thought he was one of those feel good stories about players that get found whilst not in the structure of a professional club?

    I think what Dexter is trying to say is that patience with young players and their development is often extremely short with fans as the want of success now, seemingly eclipsing the love affair we have with our club. Perhaps the notion of love of the club has shifted down the years, the romance seems to have eroded, at least in some part. Then again the clubs themselves seem to do a good job of trying to push fans out of their old comfort zones and in to the new realm of consumers.

    Perhaps Andy Cole might have been a better example. He never made it at Arsenal, but his career flourished beyond our borders, mostly the years he played for United. As for United I’m sure they are kicking themselves daily for the departure of Pogba. The game of development is never an easy one. If only they was a formula that guaranteed a specific return, but there isn’t and never will be. Not all players develop at the same rate. Lallana was playing lower league football for Southampton, at the time no one would have suggested he was a premier league player, or indeed an England International. I do tend to think some perceive youth development as something other clubs do and then we can just buy them later. Transfer business will always be important of course, but clearly all clubs put weight on their own ability to develop talent. Bourinho’s recent commentary about 4-5 U21’s coming through this season will put that to the test. I don’t personally believe it but hey if you can get a single in every intake or every 2nd intake I guess it isn’t all that bad.


    Whilst I don’t think Sanogo is world class, and I do think he needs goals. I don’t think he is quite as terrible as you seem to make out. Do I think he should be 2nd choice? No. But then is he being asked to be 2nd choice? I would have though Podolski and Sanchez are in that mix more today. Perhaps we may have seen more of Podolski in the CF role last year if not for injuries, who knows.

    Whatever happens, I am delighted Arsene and the club have shown some more muscle. I liked Arsene’s words about further strengthening and hope we can acquire a couple more talented players to add to the depth of the squad as a complete unit.

  54. @Bill

    I’m loath to get in to yet another fight with you but I’m curious about your sentence here. “However, even with Sanchez, he really is our back up striker right now and having him as the first back up really puts any potential title challenge at an unnecessary level of risk.”

    Given Arsene’s recent comments about playing Sanchez in the middle as a striker, one that you have been asking for with pace and power, an ability to score and most importantly a substantial price tag. You some how seem to conclude that Sanogo is still 2nd choice to Giroud. Why is that?

  55. Miami.

    I understand all of what you said. We all want to see arsenal develop as many young players as possible. The problem is that the numbers indicate it has a low percentage of success. For every Pogba or Andy Cole you can name, there are literally hundreds who spent a lot of time at a club only to not make it. Given those realities, it does not make sense to use extremely valuable first team slots for youth development. Most people, myself included are not impatient with the young player but we get impatient when we use first team slots such as last years back up striker position for trying to develop a young player. Arsenal has been on the forefront of trying to use the first team to develop young players for a decade and that strategy has not been highly successful. IMO it’s better to use should other ways to develop youth, which is better for the young players and having experienced players filling those first team slots gives us a better chances to get results. It’s a win win.

  56. That’s right, Ras. Key to health and a happy life is to not work for ‘The Man’.

    Well, not if you can possibly help it.

  57. Miami.

    Sorry. I should have said:

    IMO even with Sanchez, I suspect Yaya will end up as our back up striker.

    Sanchez should in theory be our best winger next season and moving him to striker is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Hopefully he will be a consistent scorer from the wing which we desperately needed last season If we move Sanchez centrally and Theo takes longer then expected to find his shooting boots then we are back struggling to find goals from the wing again. A lot will depend on theo and that will be a big “if” for some time.

  58. I forgot about Campbell on the wing. He is a wild card and if he works out that will also gives us more chances to use Sanchez as the striker and move Yaya back to 3rd choice. Even with Campbell, I still think the team will be at its best with Sanchez on the wing. The best scenario would be adding another top quality goal scoring CF to the squad

  59. “IMO even with Sanchez, I suspect Yaya will end up as our back up striker.

    Sanchez should in theory be our best winger next season and moving him to striker is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

    I get that this is your opinion, I have to respect that. I hope you can also get why a number of us think you’re wrong, our opinions being significantly different than your own. Funny, when Sanchez signed one of the things so many of us were excited about was the tactical flexibility he brings to the club with an ability to play well from wider areas and through the middle. You however seem to have predetermined that he is a going a wider player only.

  60. MA, I do think that the pressure and expectation at Arsenal is not the ideal environment for a player like Yaya to develop, I mean, starting against Bayern? Crazy and the result of poor planning. That’s not his fault, the club (and yes the manager) have to take responsibility for that. Actually I think he stands a better chance of making the grade is he has time to develop at a lesser club rather than possible crash and burn with us.

    Incidently, I do recall Andy Cole playing for us in the Charity Shield against Spurs in 91 (wiki says he nearly scored but hit the side netting. From where I was behind the goal I’m sure that he hit the corner of bar and post, perhaps there is some footage somewhere).

  61. @Andy 1886,
    Your correction is fully accepted. I took my info from the internet but would never argue with arsenal.com.
    I’m sure we all agree that Sanogo’s success is uppermost in the minds of all true supporters of our great Club. 😉

  62. @Andy

    Certainly Arsene screwed the pooch in the last summer window, we have all regretted it since. I think he has done better this time around, for that I give him credit.

    I’m not against loaning Sanogo at all, quite the contrary. What I will say is that the lad gets in to positions to score, he shapes his body well creating space but he ready needs to get a goal, even if off his bum. It is an impossible comparison to make at this time, but given what we have seen of Akpom on the last preseason trip to Asia and his confidence yesterday, he ‘appears’ more ready than Sanogo. Not that you can tell anything from the 1st preseason game, where fitness is paramount. Just my personal observation.

  63. Nicky, true, it’s just the route that he takes that we disagree about 😉

    Miami, certainly things are looking up on the transfer front, not just the personnel, but getting all the pieces in place early too is a real plus. I was also glad to hear that Arsene still thinks we have plenty to do, so fingers crossed for more of the same.

  64. No probs Andy.

    I do get a bit protective of our players TBH. ALL of em! 🙂 I was at the bayern game and I was one of the many who was impressed with Sanogo, especially given the circumstances etc.

    BUT, I do expect a striker to be signed and Yaya to be loaned, either in January (after being used in the league cup and maybe a few other substitute appearances in the league CL, or a loan from next month for the whole season.

    His enforced absence, like a few others last season, has hindered his development, so regualr football would represent the best next step, for me.

    On another point being raised by others;

    I think the issue about whether we do have an in house striker to compete or play with, or replace Giroud is being complicated and/or confused by people thinking the striker needs to be a Giroud type forward; a big target man, who can hold the ball up, etc. (I have to say I think Giroud did that brialliantly last season and in the WC) but Miami is right, Sanchez can play centrally and so can Theo and Podolski and maybe campbell too.

    It would obviously involve a different approach and would probably be better suited to teams that play a higher defensive line, but we have seen it work with Theo, so with Sanchez, I can see it being deployed to even better effect.

  65. Miami @ 7:29

    Sometimes you make it sound like with having differences of opinion is a bad thing. In fact, debating those differences is part of why we are here.

  66. Does anyone know anything of this Ospina keeper, apart from seeing him at the WC?

    He aint the biggest GK in the world. If I am being honest, I wonder if he would be suited to the PL. I feel the same way about Casillas too, who we keep getting linked with. He is/was a great keeper, but I don’t see him adjusting to the hurly burly rugger bugger tactics.

  67. Interesting discussion on Sanogo. We mustn’t forget tha, in true AFC tradition, he had a back injury for most of last season and we’ve seen with Aaron how long it can take to get really match fit. Something to bear in mind with Theo and Ox too. I tend towards the sending him out on loan in January idea, unless he’s shown something remarkable.
    The point for me with Sanchez is that he gives us a plan B: he can fill the Theo-sized gap on the right alongside OG or we can play without Giroud, with Sanchez central but a lot of players buzzing around, quick passing and making runs into the box – Jack, TR7, Cazorla, Campbell, Ox, Theo, Mesut, Poldi can all be used in this way. It gives us more flexibility.
    A thought about our new right back – he also gives us a tactical alternative. When we’re leading with 10/15 minutes left, we can park de buchy.

  68. Dexter – I think I read somewhere that Ospina was voted best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 last season. Or maybe the season before when Nice finished 4th.
    Otherwise I’ve only seen him during WC.

  69. I saw today that someone had got himself a Debuchy shirt for the new season, only unfortunately the H had been left off, so it reads “DEBUCY”. It’ll probably go well with his SANGA, GNARBY and KOSCIENLY shirts.

  70. Sanogo is raw. i remember agreeing with a Spuds friend of mine who mocked Adebayor when Ade was still 21. I didn’t think he’d ever score more than 5 goals as he was big gangly and clumsy. He needed 3 seasons with us to learn the craft.

  71. No Scheniderlin (not for that money) and No Bender. Media’s latest MVilla, or Gustavo or Wanyama. All touted as must haves for the Arsenal midfield and where are they or how good are they now?

    As mentioned, we are not desperate for a DM. this can wait till next summer. Arteta and Flamini are good plus there is Diaby who had an excellent outing against Boreham Wood (and I don’t mean just not getting knacked again)

    We need a Cback. As mentioned, Vermaelen’s problem is he has not been good enough to rotate through Metersceilny. This is our top priority at the moment.

    Striker, Sanchez is not it with his 5’7 frame.

    think Campbell (whom nobody ever mentions) is going to be a great option for us. He has had a fantastic season at Olympiacos but coupled that with a good world cup. No Mitrogolou.

    Had Campbell been bought by Dick Law pottering around a central American rainforest this summer everyone in the Arsenal bloggersphere would be going on about what an exciting future this player has.

    @22, he has had a better world cup than Henry did at similar age for France in 98.

    Yet since we had signed him amidst great furor earlier, no one mentions him not least the media.

    The question then up top would be Sanogo.

    he needs to (no pun) find his feet. I expect Wenger will be watching him closely pre-season games and will pull the trigger on another striker if not.

    The new striker does not have to be a top billing but should replicate some of what giroud gives us with his height and physique. Someone like Michu (28) could be useful with no compromise to height but excellent guile and ability to play LW if need be or withdrawn. Won’t cost a lot as his price has cooled. Sufficient stop gap for Sanogo to further develop.

    ….then there’s Chuba Akpom. I thought he had an excellent showing yesterday. I don’t think he is the sort of player to hold the ball as well like Campbell but a good option from the wing (Ala Podolski). Interesting to see what Wenger does with him but he was pulling out all stops to impress and good for him.

  72. Bellerin V Jenkinson.

    Thought Bellerin had the much better game to be honest.

    Where Jenkinson’s control can be lose and can be predictable, Bellerin was tight and inventive.

    He whipped in 3 good crosses.

    What I like about Hector’s crossing is they are archtiectured where the press love for jenkinson’s crossing continues to mystify me. He whips them in blind.

    I think if Bellerin grabs his opportunity, Jenkinson may get displaced sooner than later. Debuchy is a good stop gap to assess them over next season but Bellerin’s speed and inventiveness out wide gives us better width and threat. I think if he continues to impress pre-season, he will start to get games (particularly the early cup games) and if he does well will kick off from there. No need for manquilo who is frankly media bollocks as per usual. why would we get an untried young player unblooded in the PL when we are already fitting in jenkinson and Bellerin and have Debuchy to transition into the squad? we already have our Spaniard at RW.

  73. Interesting chat on Sanogo here. I’d just like to add on the subject of loans that whilst it can appeal for the obvious advantage of gaining game time (not always guaranteed though) there are a number of other factors to consider. Relocating a boy and his family, having them train with another team and tactics, not being able to monitor them closely, having different fitness team and doctors working with a player etc etc

    As fans we will never be privy to these factors that could enter into the managers thoughts when considering sending a boy away for half a season of more or the reasons behind that

    I’m not saying anyone should or shouldn’t go on loan, just that game time is only part of the picture

  74. Totally agree, Damon, most sensible thing I have read for a while. 🙂

    I will still beat you to 32nd though!!

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