Ospina, Chambers, In – Vermaelen Out. Who’s Next To Shake It All About?


Whilst the cat is away, the transfer mice played hard and fast with the club’s supply of cheese, taking us into the land of milk and honey. David Ospina’s entirely left-field signing has taken many by surprise, as was the price he was prised away from Nice,  a mere £3.2m. Which was nice. Not Nice but nice.

It’s a new challenge for Wojciech Szczesny. Having seen off Fabianski, did god think Arsène would rush out and sign a rival whose international credentials bear the same, if not more, scrutiny than his own? Has it I wonder, forced some introspection on his own part, questioning what he needs to do to remain first choice Arsenal goalkeeper? I hope so. From his beginnings at Old Trafford, he has worked hard to overcome the setbacks that have littered his path. The brash confidence has been tamed slightly but not entirely, still leaving him with plenty of detractors pointing to this as a weakness in the Pole. I am not sure that it is to be honest, goalkeepers have to be confident and there is a fine line between that and arrogance. Does Szczesny drift over on the pitch? Sometimes but in a game where characters are homogeneous, are we really complaining that much?

Szczesny is capable of falling into that same dull trap. Arsenal players have in Wenger’s reign always talked the talk and even when the walking became more difficult, they remain amongst the most personable in an ego-riven industry. The Pole fell into line when talking about the new season. Being top for “100-odd days” as Wojciech Szczesny put it, he claimed is giving the players belief that they can challenge for the title this coming season. That Manchester City were top for less than a fortnight tells us all we need to know about the relentless professionalism that is required to be crowned champions come May.

It’s gaining the same momentum as being the best team in a calendar year, being top for 100-days. It’s a feelgood stat, until you realise that they weren’t top when it mattered and owed more to the kindness of the fixture list than anything else. Getting there was creditable and this is what the players should be pointing to, the games won, the unbeaten runs built, as the lessons to learn for this coming season. The real lessons were the painful ones where mediocre Manchester United sides yielded just one point out of six and three from eighteen against the top three. They mean more, learning from those games, how to take more points because in the open Premier League race which is expected, if Arsenal don’t start taking more from the big matches, they will never reach the peak when it matters.

It’s the depths to which gossip has plummeted that are the hallmarks of this summer and one that the club has adapted to. Alexis Sanchez’s hairdresser was deemed a legitimate source for confirmation of the his deal with Arsenal. The butcher, baker and candlestickmaker will come out at some point with inside information for future signings, I am sure. Look if Wikipedia is taken as a reliable source by this morning’s Independent that Thomas Vermaelen’s move to Manchester United is almost certain to happen, anything is possible.

Calum Chambers arrival for anywhere between £7m – £16m, makes it almost inevitable that once Mertesacker is ready for first team action the Belgian will be on his way. Wenger prizes the youngster’s versatility above all else,

He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield. I hope he will give us competition for the players in this three positions. He hasn’t played many games, no, but the English players on the market in England are very expensive and at the end of the day I was ready to take a gamble because he is a player for the future

Vermaelen was seen by many as offering a similar versatility but ultimately not trusted by Wenger to perform further up the pitch. Perhaps Chambers will be but the observation about midfield strikes me as more of a path to quelling fears about the lack of depth beyond the Arteta / Flamini axis. Carl Jenkinson’s immediate future will tell us more about where Arsène sees Chambers role in the squad. If the elder youngster goes on loan or to West Ham permanently as has been mooted for some time now, it is clear Chambers is the back-up for Debuchy. Stay and he will be the third centre back behind Koscielny and Mertesacker. Whether that is the best option for the season is another debate entirely.

The squad heads to Austria today with the World Cup quarter-finalists joining the pre-season. All except Alexis Sanchez who has visa problems and has to go to Paris before returning to London Colney for some fitness work, alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Yaya Sanogo. Quite why he can’t catch a flight from the French capital to the training camp with the rest of the squad is unclear but it is what it is and I sure that the manager will make the most of the players return to Colney on Thursday. There will be benefits to a three-day Alpine trip no doubt, even if it wastes the flying time that Wenger apparently so detests.

Elsewhere, Loic Remy’s move to Arsenal is set to complete on midnight on transfer deadline day. Having failed to pass his Liverpool medical, the French international is now hunting for a club with his Mr20% no doubt recalling Mikel Arteta’s late capture and thinking of using it as a template for his client. There isn’t any detail as to why the Liverpool deal fell through and I wonder if someone has cold feet, using the medical as a smokescreen? Sami Khedira meanwhile, has found it interesting the lack of interest his wage demands have caused and is preparing to drop them which is a story for another day.

’til Tomorrow.

199 thoughts on “Ospina, Chambers, In – Vermaelen Out. Who’s Next To Shake It All About?

  1. @MA

    Yea I don’t see the need to sell Jenks to be honest but at the same time i wouldn’t be surprised to see him sell Jenks but not until next summer at the earliest after seeing how he gets on during a full season of regular futbol.

  2. I think we still have some strengthening to do before we can be considered one of the favorites to be a real threat for the title. However, strong work to this point. I am very happy that Arsene and his transfer team for getting this all done early enough that the players can get most of training camp with the team.

    Those of us who have been around a while probably remember all of the old discussions about how difficult and complicated it was to make transfers happen. Its may not be “easy” but the process certainly works a lot better when the buyer is motivated.

  3. @MA

    So basically the Eisfeld deal was for not.

    I’m intrigued to see what happens inregards to potential sales to be honest if there are some.

  4. @C

    400k was probably the initial fee, I wouldn’t be surprised to see incentives attached but I have no idea if they were.

    Huge week for a few of the players, Campbell for instance really needs to stake a claim to stay and if he doesn’t and with Ryo injured, could we then look to buy? Big week.

  5. Crystal Palace (H), Everton (A) and Leicester (A)… all winnable, so gives us time to strengthen if the needs exists before the window closes. I would be shocked to see a late move at all, especially if Tv5 departs.

  6. Everton away winnable. I hope so, the team will not have had much time together and they were a real problem for us (except in the cup) last season.

  7. @MA

    I think this week is massive for Campbell, should he prove to Arsene that he deserves to stay than I think we won’t buy but make no mistake, I think he will be sold should he not. I imagine once Ryo is fit he will be loaned out. I also envision we will start seeing several players sent out on loan. It will also be interesting to see if there are any legs to Athletico’s interest in Santi because that could play a part though it wouldn’t make sense to sell him unless their are legs to teh Costa and Firmino stories. Plus will Arsene bring in a CDM before the end of the week?

  8. @Wavey

    Everton away is a very winnable game, no game is a dead cert. Everton should be the toughest test in those opening fixtures, but we cannot take a single game for granted. I do worry about how underdone players will be, the preseason what with the world cup has been a mess at best.

  9. Eisfeld probably has a sell-on clause where we get a portion of any resale. I think we had something similar with that twat Bentley and Pennant as well.

  10. I hope we don’t sell Jenks. With the ridiculously inflated fees for proven EPL tested English players I hope he is loaned out and proves his worth. A year in the shop window would increase his value. Then we keep him if still needed or sell him for big bucks to a crap side with more money than sense – yes i’m looking at you QPR-Rednapp. Or we Frenchify his name to Jenquisot and pawn him off on Newcastle.

  11. @C

    I guess I’m just mindful of the fact we are like 12/13 days away from the Community Shield, so about 20 days away from the start of the league season. With that in mind we have the majority of senior players to even return to the club, or perhaps that changes with those arriving back today. Our Germans don’t arrive until after the Emirates Cup which means there first possible involvement is the Community Shield, not exactly a great start to the league season.

  12. @MA

    I hear your concerns trust I have the same concerns don’t worry. I do think though that we will be fine because if you look at the cureent squad, many of the players that will presumably start against Palace played together last year outside of Debuchy and Sanchez. I would imagine unless we get a new CDM(which I hope happens) we will lineup:


  13. Ex-Southampton player Jason Dodd doesn’t agree with Arsene:

    “I saw Arsene Wenger in the paper today saying it might be a little bit of a gamble. I don’t see it as a gamble. He’s a very good player. He played 18 times last season and played fantastically well.

    “The money goes up because he’s English but he’s proven in those games that he is a very good player.”

  14. @Wavey

    Though we are acting like a futbol club this summer transfer window, don’t forget that Arsenal Futbol Club are a business first 😉

  15. C

    I know, but as a fan I would have loved to have been able to tell them to stick their fucking deal right up their arses.

    “the agreement will give the broadcaster access to Arsenal’s first-team players and manager to create unique and exclusive content to support and enhance BT Sport’s Barclays Premier League coverage.”

    Fergie would have banned them from the ground for a year and had them begging to pay double to get back in the following year.

  16. So far this summer has been really positive if one simply looks past the fact that our 2 pre-season outings have been a bit underwhelming .

    If we are able to get an athletic, physical presence in midfield that can really add some steel and defensive solidity, we are going to be a very difficult team to beat this year. I am still holding out hope for one of the marquis names like Carvalho or Khedira.

    I absolutely can’t wait to see Sanchez in the red and white as well. And, I know everyone keeps brushing aside the idea that Diaby can make a difference this year. But, if he can do the unthinkable and pull a Van Persie and get over the injury hurdles, he may be the surprise of the season.

    I haven’t been this excited going in to a season for years!

  17. @Wavey

    I’m of the mind that the commercial(s) should be used as motivation, we deserved all the mocking that came our way given the way we played. You cannot concede 20 goals in 4 away games and not expect to take some stick, and they were pummelings.

  18. I happen to agree with Miami. We deserved any shit we got in the media last year with the paucity of the performances on our rivals’ turf. The team is full of grown professionals who should have the pride to want to come out and prove everyone wrong this season. It is up to the Arsenal to change the hearts and minds, until then it is open season in the media.

  19. And for the record, i love the idea of lining up for a few games with a front three of Walcott, Sanchez, and the Ox. Teams will literally shit themselves when all three of those guys are running at them. It may not work all the time, but it is a great option for us to have.

  20. “And for the record, i love the idea of lining up for a few games with a front three of Walcott, Sanchez, and the Ox.”

    I happen to agree with Vice. Loving the options available across that front three, if the manager is willing to explore some flexibility.

  21. oh boy – the belief that Diaby will last beyond October is intoxicating. I guess with a new fitness coach we can be allowed to dream.

  22. when does fantasy football start, need a much better showing than last season that is for sure 🙂

    Oh, I also got “Stillness And Speed” from my brother-in-law for the old birthday… enjoying that read.

  23. @Wavey

    Part of me is thinking the same way that you are and the other part of me is saying, “I can’t wait til this fucking year to start and we start putting teams to the sword!”

  24. ” But, if he can do the unthinkable and pull a Van Persie and get over the injury hurdles, he may be the surprise of the season.”

    I have been saying this all summer. If we can get a full year out of Diaby at his best then our midfield will boss matches and we will have the depth to have players like Mozart, Diaby Flamini and Jack starting the Cup matches without overworking Ozil, Ramsey, Arteta and our new CDM.

  25. Just to be clear on blog rules that have been in existence for the last 8 1/2 years:

    If you are a regular and find something interesting to read and think others will be interested as well, feel free to share it. Sites that are obvious wind-up merchants are not interesting as a guide. If it’s tabloid tattle, meh, 🙂

    If you don’t comment on the site and simply leave a link, I’ll delete it no matter how well written or from the heart the post is. Put simply, if you can’t be bothered to make a genuine contribution to this site, to add value to debate, why the fuck should I be bothered to plug yours?

  26. @philmar

    The new fitness coach helped Khederia get back to playing some of his best futbol in the World Cup after going into it with many belieiving he was only 75-80% ready. If he can do that to DIaby he will have earned be worth everything he is getting paid on his pay check 😉

  27. yogi, you think that if jenks stays, chambers will be TV’s replacement..?
    abit risky that is..i think we’ll need another
    all that said AW says its a gamble and i doubt hes spent 16mil not to use him..
    some southampton dudes are gutted about losing this kid, they’ve watched players leave all summer yet now chambers has gone they have started to question the loyalty of players when it comes to bigger clubs with more money…
    i take that as a good sign, they must have rated him to be gutted about losing him and laying him to him for it..
    we used to do it all the time when a good player left for more money and better trophy prospects……they became shit cunts….
    reality was…………..

  28. I don’t care about being mocked about last season’s poor performance against the big boys. As you rightly say, we deserve to take the pain for that. I don’t think that a media outlet should be doing it though. Showing just our games? What about the drubbings Spurs got?
    And that piss take nonsense with Rio and Maureen?
    Would love to see Ramsey after the first game saying, “so you’re the journalist from BT Sport, then fuck off”. As I said before, Fergie would not have stood for it and there would have been interview bans and all sorts. Didn’t much care for “old red nose”, but at least he didn’t take any shit from the press.

  29. @JJ

    Yea its amazing how many Ex-Southampton players have started coming out of the woodwork not that Chambers has left but haven’t said anything about any of the other players leaving. I must admit though, if Chambers turns out to be of quality like Ox and Theo like so many people think he can, then job well fucking done and I understand their pain.

  30. Do I think Chambers is TV5’s replacement? Yes, to a degree. Think Jenks is going to go, too much noise for it not to happen. Will be permanent? I hope not, I genuinely think he could be a Keown, re-signed in four or five years time.

  31. good point, there could be something very keowny about jenks moving on permanent…
    i personally hope he stays i know theres alot of ppl who would like him to have a loan and theres a few who dont rate him at all but i think he’d be better off staying with us..

    20 games a year might not seem enough but we are playing in CL and playing for trophies surely thats better than playing 40 games avoiding relegation?

    quality not quantity..

  32. @Yogi

    Ox on Twitter:

    Although I’m ready to go to court regarding the whole nickname situation,really happy to see @CalumChambers95 at Arsenal.Big future! #chambo

  33. @JJ

    I think though if he does go to Southampton I think it would be great for his development as they play a system very similar to what we play. The only potential hiccup would be that Clyne is currently their RB unless they move him to LB to cover for the loss of Shaw but that’s an extreme situation.

    The thing with Jenks is simply that he needs matches under his belt and I wouldn’t mind him going out on loan but nothing has happened so not sure what to make of it.

    The bigger question though that could be asked, is that I know Arsene says that Chambers adds versatility but where does Arsene envision his #1 position is? If it is at RB then I bet Jenks will be sold, but if its as a CB then Jenks won’t be sold but rather sent on loan for a year and then come back next season and share duties with Debuchy for a year then take over as our 1st choice RB if he comes good like we all think he can.

  34. @JJ

    The fans will sort it out I suppose.

    I don’t think they will get relegated but I could see them much further down the table naturally. There is still talent there to be honest and we have yet to see how they will spend the warchest that they have received thus far.

  35. Those of us who have been around a while probably remember all of the old discussions about how difficult and complicated it was to make transfers happen. Its may not be “easy” but the process certainly works a lot better when the buyer is motivated.

    Yes Bill and some of us are old enough to remember the first time you posted that old chestnut! 🙂

    Honestly, do you actually believe this shid? There is MORE money to spend, hence the club do not have to chaeck the back of the boardroom sofa for lose change, or be worried about signing players who have potential sell on amounts, etc.

    You keep banging on about a mythical world where Wenger and the club werent too bothered about signing players… why? For spite?

    Look at manU last summer, all the cash in the world and couldnt get anyone they wanted. Wenger, for the 1st time since the move has significant funds and he gets Sanchez, an unbelievable signing of truly world class proportions and what am I having to do?

    Keep pulling you up for your regurgitated bullshizen, thats what!

    And trust me, I will keep on and on at you mate, because I am really motivated! 🙂

  36. Gotta admit, i’m a bit confused by the Sanchez unable to join us in Austria because of the Visa issues, surely he can fly from Paris and join up?

    I’m a bit worried about lack of playing time together before the season kicks off..

    Oh, and i hope we’re still signing a CDM, however i am impressed with chambers, i think if he’s got the right mentality he can challenge for a starting postion

  37. well if we cock it up this season at least the excuse it already there before a balls kicked again..

    world cup..

  38. Diaby has played a total of 16 League games the last 3 years combined. Any plan that presupposes he plays more than 10 games is ambitious. I think ANY plan involving him is foolhardy and risky.
    We might get a full year out if Diaby only if we sign a physically dominant defensive midfielder – we may have to jettison Flamini’s salary – and Diaby is restricted to sub appearances.
    The man has some medical condition that affects the ability of his muscles to regenerate/recuperate. The problem is he becomes a victim of his own success. After a good couple of games and results Arsene can’t help himself and throw Diaby back out when the brittle genius needs to be on a reduced workload schedule.

  39. JJ;

    I really hope Jenkinson isnt sold, he is old school, like Ray parlour or Charlie George! Cannot imagine him having to leave permanently.

    As for Chambers, I think his versatility is a real asset, but I simply don’t see him as TV5s replacement. As that BBC bod tweeted yesterday, if Vermealen does go (and I hope he doesnt), then a new CB will be signed too. Although, I would rather the manager to simply refuse to sanction selling him.

  40. Sanchez doesn’t strike me as the type of player that is going to need a long bedding in period to find a solid connection with his team mates. Players of his calibre tend to be able to play with anyone so long as they have some footballing intelligence.

    He might take some adjustment time for the premiere league, but I am sure he will fit right in to our style of play without much fuss. I certainly hope I am not proven wrong on this however!

  41. Bill @4.34pm.

    You’re incorrigible, Bill. Always happy, of course, to benefit from the wisdom of those who have been around for a long time, but have you considered the possibility that what’s made the transfer market easier for us is actually having some money to spend?

    I mean, sort of, (how can I put this?) real money – secure finance – not just cash in hand on the balance sheet.

    It’s a long shot, I know. But maybe you could allow it somewhere in your peripheral vision.

  42. Bloody hell

    I think I’d better make a genuine and interesting contribution to the debate.

    errmm! ahem! cough! what! oh yeah I know……. ain’t we doing frigging well with transfers! 😀

  43. Philmar;

    Any games from Diaby this season, without injury will be worthy of a trophy in itself! I really would love him to finally be free from his cursed luck.

  44. Well at least we are doing our business more efficiently which is a good thing.
    We all hope for squad strengthening, and with not much really coming through our own ranks, grabbing another from Southampton appears a good move.
    As to whether this means little else to come, – who knows?
    Hope not.

  45. I see Grenier is linked to Newcastle. Imagin if he goes there, after turning down Arsenal last year. What an idiot.
    he had the opportunity to join a massive club, to play CL and then he chooses Newcastle? heh!

  46. id be tempted to sell diaby now hes fit
    im not expecting much.
    think hes in the final year anyway..one more injury and its over for him i would have thought..

  47. Off topic, but could Southampton’s academy success at least partially have something to do with Portsmouth’s demise? Thinking that it gives them a big catchment area to themselves.

    A friend of mine also made the point that their prospects all seem very grounded, well brought-up, well-spoken guys.

    Basically I want to know what the hell’s going on down there.

  48. You have no idea how many games he can be counted on…and he is on Arsenal wages. I don’t think there’s too many clubs that would take on his contract JJ – even on a free transfer. There’d be many takers on a loan deal with subsidized wages.

  49. Dexter

    I didn’t even think twice about that comment and I was not expecting any response but think whatever you want.

    It’s nice to have you back. 🙂

  50. JJ;

    Call me an old romantic, but I would love it if Diaby stayed fit this season and turned in a few standout performances. Proper Roy of the Rovers shid man.

    Philmar; Can’t imagine Diaby is on much in terms of wages.

    He probably has his own gold plated key to the medicine cabinet though.

    Bill’Thanks man! Means a lot! And remember… it’s never personal! 🙂

  51. well i think we all hope diaby stays fit and contributes something..

    all the same it shouldnt stop us from buying a midfielder..

  52. Jenks off to WHam on season long loan then… Would have rathered he went elsewhere, but as long as he plays every week, then that will be excellent for him.

    As for Chambers, I really cannot imagine he actually cost £15m. That just seems like a figure dreamt up by a hack and now it’s fact. Especially given there were alsorts of figures bandied about. It MIGHT end up being that much if he turns into a world class defensive midfielder, or defender.

  53. If Diaby can get 15/16 games in this season without further injury…. I’d be jumping for joy. The two 45 minute cameos at Boreham Wood and then NY showed that he could quickly be up to form.

  54. JJ; I think AW thinks exactly the same mate, given his comments about him. He basically said anything positive from Abou would be a huge bonus.

    You can do it Abou! 🙂

  55. Birdkamp,
    Ownership issues? I think there was something brewing about midway through last season… chairman dances.

  56. Good point Al, Chambers is from Petersfield , I done a bit of work there a few years ago its a very nice place to live, very well to do and not cheap. he must be a bright lad, well he must be he chose to play for us.

  57. I feel really sorry for Southampton supporters. Arsenal have been portrayed as a “selling club” (which is ridiculous as every club sells players, the chavs are a selling club, yet have not been lambasted for it by a Mourinho arse-kissing media.

    But to lose so many players in one window is gutting, literally!

  58. and Potchinoccio aswell…

    but Al’s point about Portsmouth is a good one, they now have the whole of Hampshire, West Sussex, Devon , Cornwall, Somerset , Dorset, even Wiltshire and the isle of Wight all to themselves basically.

  59. I hate to be the eternal pessimist but I just dont see Diaby making it past game 3 or 4 – the guy is made of porcelain.

    I’d be interested to know if AW sees Diaby as the ‘new signing’ at CDM, Chambers as a potential for the holding midfielder role this season, or whether he’ll still go in for a new marquee Khedira-type…I know which one I’d like to see, but at the moment I think it could go any of these ways.

  60. Ali

    As I posted earlier, AW sees any input from Diaby this season as a bonus. While the BBC journo, ormstein reckons we are still in for a DM.

    MY dream of us signing Javi martinez is still a goer!

  61. Surprised at Liverhampton….the players they’ve bought are not exactly in the Sanchez/Ozil echelons (I like Rickie Lambert, but come on…he’s no Suarez)…I also don’t know whether buying so many first teamers from one club all in one go is a good thing?

  62. Just heard Chamber’s interview on SSN. He is a very intelligent sounding fella. No wonder he wasnt interested in going to Liverpool, manchester, etc…

  63. Dex

    I hope your Javi Martinez prophecy is realised….mouthwatering

    Ok – if we have no expectation on Diaby then by all means let’s play him…I truly hope I’m proven wrong re: his fitness. As many folks have said on here previously, if he stays injury free he could be instrumental to more success this season.

  64. sturridge lambert

    sterling gerrard Henderson lallana

    Liverpool are England and look how fukin shit they are.

    expect mediocrity form liverland form now on, be good on those wet cold premiership days where they can all get stuck in, will do nowt in Europe.

    I think the spuds could pip them to 5th.

  65. Dukey

    by all accounts the spuds are raiding the bottom of the Southampton bargain bin as we speak. There’s not much left – a good-condition jay rodriguez….and a shiny looking schneiderlin in there too….

    I wouldn’t like to say they’d make 5th though, even with those two. Prefer to see Everton in 5th if you ask me – got to respect Martinez for what he’s doing there

  66. it is nice to get dex back, fuck knows where you have been….stuck on the fun bus for too long! 🙂

  67. Ali, I think potchattino is a very good manager , he seems to get players to perform for him. already got Hugo FLlorist tied down…..I hope I get proved completely and utterly wrong though.

  68. Not entirely stoked by the Chambers addition :

    1) It cost 11m which may curtail spending in other more critical areas.

    2) It does not address the urgent need for a quality Cback with sufficient experience to rotate through meterscielny rather than serve (as vermaelen does) as a back up.

    3) He has good potential but clearly needs a bit of time to adapt. Adapting both Chambers and Debuchy is risky albeit on the plus side, they are both exposed to the PL (in Chamber’s case minimal)


    Wenger likely does not feel that jenkinson can grow further. he is a bit one dimensional and whilst the media may celebrate his crossing (on account of good old fashion Englishness), he whips them in blind.

    West Ham will likely be the shop window albeit it is also his last chance ti impress and work his way back in in a season, bearing in mind Bellerin developing.

    We still urgently need to look at the Cback issue less we build our next campaign on feet of clay.

    The striker back up to Giroud is also a concern over DM, where Sanogo is the likely back up.

    Perhaps, Wenger has plans to keep adding. I won’t have a problem with that.Squad is still unbalanced.

  69. Northbank, Clock-ender,

    Lazy sods – get up so I can beat you to 20th – much classier than 1th. 🙂

  70. I am rather waiting for the other boot to drop, because with all the euphoria about the transfer signings it is easy to overlook the possibility that at least two players will be transferred – Out.

    Don’t know who they will be, but if we get a CDM then I suspect the Flamster must be a candidate.

  71. HenryB

    Agree with your last post but of the two midfielders who could be in the firing line I sway towards Arteta. Wouldn’t be shocked if you’re right though

  72. Grrr, wrote this (something similar) yesterday but lost connection.

    You’re right-can’t believe I forgot about that bore draw; I must’ve been think of our two defeats the season before. It’s strange to think that that prior to that game most felt a draw would be a poor result; in hindsight, a couple more draws would have worked wonders. We simply must do better against top 7 next season.

    Thanks for the red carpet treatment. How’s tricks? I’ve got a few weeks off work, so I might popping in on occasion to join the debate, albeit it all looks rather cordial on here now since the great divide. Yep, exciting times ahead for The Arsenal. Just a couple more tweaks and I can’t see us not challenging. A similar season to last, minus the horrendous drubbings and a longer run in the CL should be the target . Coyg!

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