STONE COLD FRIDAY: Giroud Bate’s A Century

Stickability in football doesn’t come any more pronounced than Arséne Wenger at Arsenal. David Dein must have been thinking on the plane back from Tokyo those 21 years ago, “you know what, I’ll convince the board he was Arsenal before he was even born. Just look at his name”. Bate Borisov was the 122nd different team that Arséne has faced as Arsenal’s Manager. Longevity does have its purpose in life, the trouble is when you get to the point of diminishing returns. Look at Arsenal’s financial performance in the last year. You’ll most likely be called crazy if you ever mention Wenger’s name and diminishing returns in one sentence in the corridors of Highbury House.

No matter, 3 points were up for grabs in the group stages of the Europa League. I couldn’t help smiling yesterday when YW mentioned that Arséne had to haul Petr Cech onto the plane to make up the numbers in the squad. I would have been miffed if I was Macey and Cech took my place on the bench. The truth is, not many people knew what to expect from Bate Borisov. They were called minnows, and yet they’ve recently beaten Bayern and Roma on that very ground. Before the fixture was announced, the only two things I knew about Belarus was that Alexander Hlebb called it home, and Tom Clancy liked the country for his plots. You could never tell which Arsenal would turn up though a core of experienced players with a sprinkling of youth was a good gamble.

Oy! Arséne. Put Me in the Team or Put Me in the Shop Window

The match started brightly. Mohammed Elneny carrying the piano for Li’l Jack to weave the sweet tunes in the midfield. If Theo Walcott’s first attempt wasn’t good enough as an indicator of Jack’s determination to have the Freedom of the Borisov Arena, then try he would again. A sweet give and go with Giroud – as Nigel Winterburn loves to say – saw a sublime assist presented to Walcott who made no mistake in giving the Gunners a 9th minute lead. He wasn’t favourite to be first goalscorer so that was definitely a best bet NZ. Clearly, Jack wasn’t the only one thinking of bearing gifts. Denis Scherbitski the Bate Keeper needed a sofa to hide behind after his 22nd minute howler of a clearance.

Ospina must have been laughing his head off after his Koln howler. Giroud on the other hand must have been wondering who he has to sleep with to get a gift like that for his century. Three minutes later, Rob Holding must have thought Christmas has come early. Per Mertesacker guided the ball from a corner for Holding to shin it into the net. Finesse is never a worry for defenders, the goals they score in the right net count too. I’m still processing the imagery of Mertesacker “jumping” on Holding’s back to celebrate the goal. You have to wonder what would happen if it all went wrong.

He looks at me and says “You lot need a new fella to do your laundry”

A 3 goal lead in 25 minutes must have lulled us into a false sense of security. The Bate Manager had already seen the signs and made a swift change quarter way through the game, switching his system of play. A no-nonsense cross 28 minutes in that was bulleted into the top of the net by Ivanic, Elneny seemingly admiring his mark.

As I shook my head and sipped my pint, my friend George says “There’s more married couples that keep more clean sheets than you lot”. I nearly spilt my pint laughing as the imagery invaded valuable real estate in my head. And what? A new laundry man would help?

For a crowd of 13,000, the home supporters became even more raucous. Bate were used to winning. They’ve won the last 10 league titles and were determined not to get a good hiding despite Arsenal’s industry and superiority. Even with them pulling a goal back, our only enemy was likely to be our complacency.

So, Am I getting a “Cavani” or what?

“he’s a nice guy”, they say. “He was raised from good stock”. That’s why our Theo decided Giroud should take the penalty. As if Giroud was ever going to give up the chance to notch his century. Good thing Arsenal don’t pay players €1 million to encourage them not to take spot kicks. . It was either a penalty for Stanislav Dragun catching feelings and fondling Mustafi in the box, or Nemanja Milunovic being sent off for elbowing Joe Willock in the face for good measure. Something had to give.

The Frenchman coolly buried the penalty to mark his place after the 18 Arsenal centurions who came before him. It says something about Giroud’s unsung status when you think that he has reached the 100 goal mark in his 238th game, one less than Robin Van Persie did. I’m sure he would have wanted his 100th to be a Crystal Palace-esque acrobatic overhead kick at the Emirates, but a goal is a goal. Well done to him.

It was unlikely that we would lose the game from that point on, but Bate still had other ideas. They played much better in the 2nd half, pressing Arsenal higher up the pitch. Their reward came in the 67th minute, Ospina’s point blank save falling into the path of Mikhail Gordeichuk. The Bate forward must have woken up on the wrong side of his bed because his response was an anger management intervention. From a few yards out, he ruthlessly smashed the ball home with a venom that nearly took out the netting.

Are you watching folks? We have our Neymar

It’s started and he’s only 17. He’s English, so you know the pressure is going to mount. Martin Keown boldly proclaimed that there’s something of a Neymar in our Reiss Nelson. I think it’s too early to pull out the stops, but I must admit there’s something special about the lad. His dummy to the left, a swing of the hips to the right and another dummy back to the left was sublime. Fair play to the Bate victim who did the right thing and sprawled on the floor in submission. It was the only respectable response. I hope Nelson gets more pitch time this season, and looks like Wenger has the same idea.

The 17 year old wasn’t the only one. Marcus McGuane and Eddie Nketiah got cameos on the night making them the 847th and 848th players respectively to represent the club. With the League Cup campaign and the Europa League, fans can look forward to enjoying a bit more of our young lads.

Now, about Dad and his juke box….

62 thoughts on “STONE COLD FRIDAY: Giroud Bate’s A Century

  1. Excellent Post, OK

    Starting at the end – you are correct about Reiss – terrific potential, with the proviso that he needs more minutes to get the experience at the higher levels. Willock, M-N, Nketiah all look like a new batch of kids with all the ability — let’s hope they get their heads down and don’t get carried away with the money.

  2. I like the ‘Giroud Bate’s a Century’ title – and I am happy he got his ton — but overall I felt he had a bit of a stinker on the night.

    Just me? He seems to have gone back to falling on his ass, and appealing to the ref from the prone position for something or other.

    He can be good — he can be bloody irritating too.

  3. Morning,

    I think someone mentioned last night that Giroud seems to perform better as an impact substitute than when he starts. He does seem to spend more time on his arse and moaning when he starts. Its almost as if he realises he hasn’t got time to be f*cking around when he comes on as a sub.

  4. oh wow, that is a very good post, thoroughly enjoyable, thank you

    I like Giroud, he always gives his 100%, a workhorse. Ok, he is not the most prolific striker we have had, but one of the best team players. And best looking 🙂

    Nelson the new Neymar??!! well… too early to tell. Plus, we are the Arsenal, we don’t develop new talents, or do we?

  5. Good morning all you happy Gooners, here’s something to make you even happier; Arsenal’s latest set of financial reports show an income in excess of £400 million for the first time.

    That’ll put a big grin on Stan’s boat-race.

  6. Pre-tax profit of £44.6 million up from £2.9 million the preceding season.

    The profit figure was HELPED by our failure to qualify for the Champions League as no player bonuses had to be paid. Ah well, every cloud has a silver lining as they say in the Arsenal board room.

  7. “Arsenal continue to have significant cash reserves having “fully self-insured” against a season out of the Champions League”.

    Now doesn’t that make you feel all warm and cosy?

  8. Hola,

    Nicely done Odumbe,

    Pretty good game, that’s a decent second string that needs more games under their belts. I wonder if we made the final would Oliver be replaced with Alexander.

  9. Well a win is a win, but BATE were dire.

    Walcott came in for criticism from Keown even though he scored a brace – he should have had a hatful. Is Giroud on a bonus to score a spectacular? This time he tried the ‘Audacious chip’, other games it’s the overhead kick.

    Nelson looks very promising, and Jack had his best game for many years.

  10. No doubt Arsene and Stan will be taking their cut of the profits! Arsene will now think 7th is the new 4th!

    The kids were alright last night.

    Agree that Giroud should come on as a sub and not start games. He has the touch of the Drogba’s about him when he starts matches with none of the finishing!

  11. A completely non football matter but I just had to share this with our transatlantic brethren; Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are to star in the Netflix drama….Our Souls at Night. Now that may sound alright over there, but has an entirely different connotation this side of the pond. 😈

  12. I read that with a raised eyebrow Orson.

    “Now what is the petty cash float, Arsene?”

    “Must be £150 million, Stan”

    Orson Kaert:
    “Arsenal continue to have significant cash reserves having “fully self-insured” against a season out of the Champions League”.

    Now doesn’t that make you feel all warm and cosy?

  13. Orson Kaert,

    Goes back to what we were discussing a few weeks back. If you factor in cheaper players (cost to buy and wages) plus lower bonuses it may be better economically for Stan to forget about the CL and comfortably qualify for the EL every year. The extra £30m would be easily swallowed up if we tried to compete with the likes of United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool and even dare I say it, Spurs. We can even play the youngsters to save on appearance fees for the higher earners.

    Of course a manager who wanted to win trophies would never stand for it, so we should probably expect a contract extension for Arsene in the summer.

  14. andy1886,

    I don’t agree with the point of view that Wenger doesn’t want to win trophies Andy. Maybe your being sarcastic and that’s fine by me. I think Wenger would love to win every trophy on offer but as Michael said a while ago, only if it’s winning Wenger’s way. That’s the problem as I see it But hey, a good win last night and a home game To look forward to that will hopefully see as move up the ladder. Fuck me I’m feeling positive. Have a bit of that Nicky!

  15. Overall, it was a good night for the young gunners. I think they need to get more game time and learn to play with the urgency required at the top level for 90 minutes.

    After the International break, I think Arsene Wenger needs to genuinely assess his midfield options. JW, AMN & Elneny seem to be good enough to plug the midfield holes Xhaka and Ramsey create, in the premier league. It was refreshing to see the speed of AMN at LWB, similar to how Flamini deputized on that front for Arsenal on the trail to the UCL final of ’06 against Barcelona. Though he still needs game time in the first team.

    Finally, C must have felt vindicated by Ospina’s perfomances, cos he kept saying all summer that we needed goal keepers and Ospina had a very Europa level performance yesterday. A better goalie and it would have been 4-0.

  16. Andy
    No contract extension talks for Wenger in the Summer.

    They will leave it late as usual to create the appearance as if the club and Wenger are weighing other options and his contract extension is based on team’s performance. When in fact , him extending will be a simple formality.

    The Kroenke /Wenger partnership is quite unique in top level football .

    Wenger doesn’t mind not spending Kroenke’s money, and in return Kroenke doesn’t mind where Arsenal finish in the PL table.

  17. Reiss Nelson, he did well in the first half and he seemed to stay on the defensive side whenever the team attacked. He was given orders to play uninhibited in the second half and it could show on his demeanor as he attacked in the second half.

  18. Wailesy,

    Sort of, in that traditionally managers used to bitch, whine and beg to get extra funds for the team. Arsene by comparison seems to have no inclination to spend the funds he has based on what he believes is a morally superior way of winning. Only problem is it doesn’t work.

    You can’t pick and chose how you’d like to win, you just have to do whatever is necessary however unpalatable that may be. And while I’m sure he does want to win trophies I’m not convinced the desire is as great as for the likes of Ferguson, Maureen, Conte et al. Could you ever see any of them stating that they’d be happy to finish second for ever on the basis that it represented ‘consistency’?

  19. Tom,

    Yup, most managers worth their salt would walk if the owner refused to let them compete. They certainly wouldn’t entertain a profitable transfer window when they had gaps in the squad. But then again most managers would be under pressure to deliver real success, not just financial success.

    Ivan wants us to rival Bayern, perhaps he should take note of how ruthlessly they dealt with Carlo Ancelloti (joint most successful manager ever in the CL/EC and title winner with the club last year) and send Stan a newspaper cutting.

  20. Andy,

    You are correct that AW does seem to hold back on spending on players – whatever the reason maybe – but he does occasionally lash out and we end up with a couple of dudes costing £70m between them, and who are not too good. You can work out who I might mean. 🙂

    In addition to that, he balances his careful husbanding of transfer funds, by then wasting potentially £100m by NOT selling Sanchez and Özil and having to let them go for nothing next year — and just to make it interesting, hardly plays either of them on a consistent basis since the season started (and because of International games, I guess, they could not be included in the preseason games either.

    I wish I could be as confidant as you as to why this has happened — to a simple man like me it is utterly beyond comprehension.

    By the way, Wailsey had quite a nice go at tweaking Nicky’s tale in his comment to you. 😀

  21. Arsene could’ve gone to Real and Bayern, as he reminds us every now and again when the talk about loyalty serves his agenda.
    I have no doubt that he could’ve.

    Just as I have no doubt he would’ve been fired after a season or two at either club, the same way other top managers have been after the failed to completely satisfy their bosses.

    Fabio Capello won the la liga title in the first year of his two stints with Real, but the earliest exit in the last 16 from the Copa del Rey sealed his faith in 1997, while poor CL showing in 2007 did the same.

    At clubs like Bayern and Real you are expected to win everything and in style too, and since the board members are former top world players , it’s harder to convince them that what they are seeing is some kind of hidden genius at work and not a confused manager trying to find a formation that works by playing players out of position.

  22. Orson – have we met? The ‘good day’ smacks of Oz 🙂

    I just stumbled across this post today and really enjoyed it, who writes the posts here?

  23. Great post Darius. I did not see the game but I appreciate the review. Nice win and hopefully we can take full points in the next 2 games and qualify for the knockout stages quickly.

    Its sort of typical of Arsene Wenger teams from the Wengerball post Emirates era that we get excited about Jack’s 1-2’s and playing sweet tunes in midfield and Nelson doing step overs and swinging his hips and a couple of sublime dummies while the guy who scored our first 2 goals and was the biggest reason we won hardly gets a mention. All that other stuff is eye catching but none of the sweet midfield music and lovely skill means anything if there is not someone to actually put the ball into the net.

  24. They already did by the sounds of it.

    Get a room!

    Orson Kaert:

    On another site where you are a regular, as was I once, but under a different name.

  25. Reis Nelson is our latest U21 phenom and he has truly reached flavor of the month status when he is compared with Neymar despite being only 17 and never having scored a goal outside the academy league teams. Based on our history the more likely outcome is he will turn out to be the next Ryo Miachi rather then the next Neymar. May be this time will be different but every season we pick someone new to get excited about and I understand why we do it but if you look at what actually happens to the other players whom we have over hyped I don’t think giving them this sort of attention at such an early stage in their careers has done them any favors.

  26. Bill,

    By the law of averages we must be due one success out of the many prospects that have emerged from the Academy.

    Perhaps an early introduction into the first team squad can be a good thing as the youngster will not be a big fish in a small pond. Rather he will learn how to cope with the added pressures and accept the responsibility that comes with the higher status.

  27. Top stuff Darius!

    I truly did enjoy the match for a couple of reasons:

    Theo looked lively and grabbed a brace.

    Jack looked to be regaining form and looked miles better than he did at Bournemouth just from a fitness and sharpness standpoint.

    The kids all looked good. Nelson going forward was a joy to watch and being so young just shows he isn’t afraid. Maitland-Niles apart from taking a walkabout for the first goal was superb defensively and very tidy in possession but also looked to get forward. Willock aside from strength but even then he was always ready to battle and go into challenges but also looks the part in midfield.

    Elneny was good again and deserves more match time.

    Giroud got his goal but have to say outside of that and his flick he put in another poor performance.

    Holding was decent but still made miatakes but got a goal.

    The one thing that was probably the most disappointing was Ospina because both goals he should have done better. The first he should have saved and the 2nd he should have either caught or pushed to the side not push right back to the BATE player standing right infront of him.

  28. Hi C,

    We have a couple of players who I think are neither fish nor fowl. And not just because of last night’s game.

    Over time, Ospina can pull off some excellent goal keeping, only matched by his not so good keeping, which can on occasion be a bit ……. bleeurh.

    The other one in the same category is Mustafi, who is capable of some really good defensive displays, and also is capable of some pretty poor defense too. Like last night.

    On here, it is a regular call for the team [and its individual components] to achieve consistency to enable us to be contenders, and while we have those two in the team that is not likely to happen.

    There are others too, like Xhaka and Walcott.

    All of the above are safe at Arsenal until they reach pensionable age – or Mr Wenger decides to call it a day. Not one of them would ever get the call to play for Manure, Citeh or Chelsea – altho all those clubs have had bums of their own — but they do not last long before being shown the door.
    Our guys will have white beards and will still turn out for us it seems. 🙂

  29. HenryB,

    A bit cruel teasing poor old Nicky, but I’m sure he’s suffered worse.

    Actually you could probably make an argument for Arsene doing better when he had less money. We seem to have gone through three phases, firstly when we had some funds but our big advantage was AW’s contacts in the French market. Then we had financial restrictions but managed to do well developing young players, and finally we have money (probably a comparable amount to Chelsea over the same period for example) but have struggled to spend it wisely.

  30. Orson – I give up!! Who are you?? GiE?

    Orson – the other side is a bit claustrophobic, they even have a secret WhatsApp communication channels reserved for a very few. This plus I want to be able to criticize Wenger when criticism is due (often) without being dissed.

    Some very good comments here, good blog. Who is the author?

  31. Eddie,

    You are being very naughty. All sorts of bloggers read the comments on here, including some from ‘the claustrophobic other side’.

    The ‘WhatsApp’ app cannot be very secret if you know about it!

    Anyway — they are all very ‘orrible on here, especially the boss, known throughout blogdom as, His Highness Yogi’s Warrior, who writes top quality Posts everyday except Fridays.
    Oh, you can read him on a Monday, A Monday, a Monday is very very good
    Or you can read him on a Tuesday, A Tuesday, a Tuesday in fact he wishes you would
    Or you can read him on a Wednesday, A Thursday, or probably Saturday is best
    But never never on a Friday, a Friday, a Friday ’cause that’s his day of rest. 😀

    Friday is when another really good author produces Posts like this excellent one today.

  32. Eddie,

    No not the big bloke with the blonde kids. Initially NG.

    The usual author is the Yogi Warrior, occasionally, Matt and today’s I Odumbe Kute. Regardless of who writes them the posts are always very good, interesting and very often amusing.

    Our revered manager comes in for frequent criticism, some irregular commenters find this a bit treasonable, but all opinions are respected.

    I must warn you though that we tend to look for more in a striker than just good looks. 😀

    That said, you can look forward to a warm welcome here.

  33. And now you have brought Michael out, Eddie, and if you are not careful he will start writing Gaelic and stuff! 😀

  34. Eddie, there is one drawback, another exile from the other side who goes by the name of HenryB, 😈 Oh I see he has just introduced himself, I’m sure you’ll have no problem identifying him.

  35. HenryB 🙂 I found out about the secret WhatsApp coincidently. But it is a secret, ssshhhh don’t tell anyone please

    Orson – personally I do not think Giroud is very good looking, TH14 was more my cuppa tea. BUT I do think that Ollie is a good player, one of the best team players and a terrific addition to our squad. Add his height and awesome headers to the equation and you have someone, who in my opinion, should play week in week out. Ok, as a power sub. Agree that he ain’t Drogba, but not miles apart, maybe kilometers.

  36. Eddie,

    You have already sussed out that I am either a computer or a robot — so I am not programmed to reveal secrets! 😀

  37. Following Yogi’s Post that mentioned AW had said the Arsenal fixture pile up was ‘cruel’, I am now convinced that all the Premier League Managers read ACLF, because I have already brought it to the bosses attention that Maureen, PocketIno and Conte have since come out and said the same thing about their own clubs fixture pile ups just to get a mention on here — and now Klip Klop is blithering on about the Xmas schedule as he is scared of meeting and beating the Arsenal on Xmas Eve.

    Anything to get a mention on an Arsenal blog, eh? 😀

    —- JURGEN KLOPP has slammed the Premier League over a hectic festive period of fixtures which could see Liverpool play the first top-flight Christmas Eve game in 22 years. [poor dear]

    Jurgen Klopp is annoyed at the Premier League
    The only previous Chrirstmas Eve Premier League match was Leeds v Manchester United in 1995, which also fell on a Sunday.

    Sky Sports is planning to announce next month that at least one match will be played on December 24, which is likely to be the standout clash of Arsenal v Liverpool.

    And Klopp has voiced his displeasure at the potential schedule.

    “If the supporters want to see a game on Christmas Eve then probably the television broadcaster will find a way to deliver it,” Klopp said.

    “If we play on December 24th I am not sure we can fight against it.”

    Interestingly Arsene has not expressed any displeasure —imagine that?? 😀

  38. I am not athlete and never played football and therefore are not qualified to voice an opinion, but I have one. My brother and his friends played footy every night during the week and days on weekends, and loved every minute of it. They had no gyms, physios, dietitians, agents or contracts but they could play till dark. So how our young athletes cannot cope with 2 games a week??!! Nonsence, probably.

    Klopp wants a nice long break with family and Tannenbaum, and wurst.

  39. HenryB,

    Tend to agree with most of that. Problem is for players lile Theo, Xhaka, Ospina and Giroud is that there good spells are what Arsene remembers but he is also incapable of getting that out of them consistently.

    For instance Theo, we all know he can score goals and be a difference maker but consistency (along with injuries) have stopped him. Could another manager get more out of him, probably but he isn’t the sort of player that can just be told, go and play.

    Ospina, I always thought he was at best average and I think you have spoken directly to that: able to make the occassional brilliant save but overall its meh.

    I think we are what we are but because of that consistency will always be the biggest question marl with players no matter their quality.

  40. Eddie,

    Not an athlete and never played football and therefore not qualified to voice an opinion? Then neither are ninety percent of the hacks who earn a living by doing so.

    Coping with fixture congestion is the reason for having squads, managers will just have to learn to rotate their teams, of course they could always go off and manage in leagues where they have a nice winter break. There is a certain Portuguese manager who I, for one, wouldn’t miss.

  41. and why so many Arsenal players are inconsistent and only become 100% reliable in their penultimate year of a contract? Perhaps they need more discipline, an occassional hair dryer treatment and good kicking up the precious bums.

  42. Eddie,

    The only hair dryer treatment our lads get is when they are teasing their locks, note Theo’s new look as an example.

    The only kicking they are likely to get is with slippers on, if even that.

  43. Eddie,

    I’m convinced that Ollie is actually twins. We get the Ollie who comes on as a sub and is full of endeavour whilst making a nuisance of himself in the opposition’s area and the Ollie who starts matches. That Ollie likes to try to get fouls off of the opponents by going to ground at the slightest touch. He’s also guilty of being static in the box when crosses come in. With a bit more movement that Qllie would be deadly. Unfortunately he’s the Ollie who can go for extended period without scoring a goal. A useful player to have as part of your squad, but not the bloke you want to pick week in, week out as your first choice striker.

  44. A little unexpected light shed on our CEO.
    I warmly recommend this TV interview with Ivan by arguably South Africa’s best political interviewer (normally on radio), Jon Perlman, a serious Gooner and founder of the excellent NGO Dreamfields.
    The interview is chopped into 3 segments – I suggest hanging in for all three (total 25 mins).
    For those who don’t already know the connection, his Dad was an anti-apartheid struggle doctor, persecuted by the security police, who left for London with is family when Ivan was 5 and returned to help build the Eastern Cape health service twenty years later once Mandela was released.
    I like the man who comes across here – a good and thoughtful person. His account of how he and Mark Abbott (re)founded Major League Soccer in 1994-5 is pretty impressive; and hearing him describe how he feels when watching an Arsenal game is quite touching.
    I found it fascinating particularly because he was not being interviewed for the consumption of fans or the sports media – it’s one of a series of interviews with prominent South Africans and he’s the only one so far who’s not some big-shot politician or judge. He knew it would be flighted in South Africa and probably not seen by many even there.
    Only one cringe moment for me when he’s asked about his wish for Arsenal in the future…straight out of the AW playbook. But worth a watch.

  45. Orson Kaert:
    “Arsenal continue to have significant cash reserves having “fully self-insured” against a season out of the Champions League”.
    Now doesn’t that make you feel all warm and cosy?

    Welllll……That makes me very UNcomfortable……signals to Stan that we don’t have a direct link between performance and financial success. He may decide investment in the club is an unnecessary risk with little incremental financial gain. If we are stinking rich in 6th place then what incentive is there for him to bolster the squad through investment?

  46. Noon Gunner
    Thanks for that link, but couldn’t find part 3. My computer skills leave something, ok them a lot to be desired.

  47. Eddie,

    Don’t let these miserable lot fool you, thats how they sucked me in years ago with tales of glorious comments and warm welcomes, happy days and lovely blokes. They told me young men(I think I’m the youngest on the blog) were accepted so too were their ideas no matter if they go against the elder statesman and their ideas of how futbol should be played, they promised me but its all a trick. Especially Orson, Bob, Bill, Henry and Wavey, they sucked me in and 7 years later I’m still waiting to be accepted. 😂

    O yea and they hate midfielders and youth players 😂

  48. Sorry, Michael – here’s Part 3. This where most of the football part of the conversation is if I recall.

  49. andy1886,

    Yes, it doesn’t work and hasn’t for years. As Henry said ( when he’s not winding up Nicky) Wenger costs the club more than he’s prepared to spend. YW’s devoted entire posts to the money Wenger ultimately costs us by penny pinching in each TW probably since 2010/2011.

    Michael, the memory’s about the only part of my brain that works on a semi consistent basis though i’m sure my much loved better half would have a fair bit to say about that.

  50. C,

    But you keep coming back for more, so at least we manage to engage you.

    Only Bill hates youth players (Only kidding Bill).

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