AFCB’s 2010/2011 Season Review: The Midfielders

AFCB’s 2010/2011 Season Review: The Midfielders

This is the second part of AFCB’s 2010/2011 Season Review, focusing specifically on the players primarily used across the centre of the park this season.

Each player has been giving a report card-style rating (ranging from A+ to E-) as well as the justification for their rating based on their progress and overall performance over the course of the season.

If you’d like to read part one of the season review, focusing on the forwards, click here.

Jack Wilshere (A)

Wilshere’s breakthrough into the Arsenal team this season was both surprising and refreshing. Forced into the side from day one after injuries to key midfield partners, he stumbled slightly at Anfield before setting the league alight with a series of energetic and effective performances from the centre of the park. We always knew he had it in him but Wilshere exceeded all expectations this season, balancing his defensive and attacking duties superbly and finding time to teach the older boys a thing or two about getting stuck in when the going gets tough. Wilshere tired as the season went on and if I’m being picky, should have scored a few more goals, but at the age of 19 he has the world ahead of him and looks sure to become one of  Europe’s top midfielders.

Abou Diaby (C-)

I am such a huge fan of Diaby but the season just gone was arguably his most disappointing since breaking into the first team. Niggling injuries completely wrecked his ability to find any consistency and for a player that defines the word ‘enigmatic’ he was more often below par than above it. Diaby is still valued highly — correctly, in my opinion — by both Arséne Wenger and French coach Laurent Blanc for bringing a completely unique dimension to a team’s attack but if he cannot stay fit then he becomes a liability.

Song celebrates one of his important goals

Alex Song (B)

Fabregas’ early-season injury forced Song to take on a more attacking role in the side and the Cameroonian responded with some excellent performances and some vital goals. However, the feeling is that the simpler he plays, the more he focuses on his most important task — protecting the defence — the more effective and useful to the team he is. Overall he had good season, forming a strong rotating partnership with Wilshere and establishing his standing as our premier defensive midfielder. Song needs to be a little clever about disguising the severity of his fouls, too often he is booked on his first or second breach, but he is now an undoubted first-choice player and one that took another strong step forward last season.

Tomas Rosicky (D-)

Watching Rosicky this season made it hard to remember just what a fabulously gifted and effective player he was when he joined the club. With a full pre-season under his belt and his hamstring problems long gone this should have been his best season at Arsenal for many years. Rosicky’s best quality is his versatility and energy: on his best days he fits seamlessly into the team and provides a vital, Wilshere-like presence, allowing the others around him to flourish. However, after a promising start to the season he became a picture of anonymity, adding scarcely little to the team in an attacking or defensive sense. As one of Cesc Fabregas’ best friends he has a safe position in the squad but it is difficult to quell the feeling that Rosicky’s best days are now behind him.

Denilson (E+)

The one and only first-team player that I have stated does not have the quality to make it at Arsenal, Denilson had a terrible season that looks set to end with his exit from the club. Has quite simply taken two steps backwards since his breakthrough in 2008/09 and his neat-and-tidy passing cannot hide a lack of energy or desire to take the game by the scruff of the neck that is required to play in midfield in the English game. The contrast with Wilshere could not be starker and although Denilson is a markedly different player, his passion pales even in comparison to someone like Gilberto Silva. He clearly has talents and is a respectable young man but has never quite cut the mustard at Arsenal and in his final season at the club was arguably our most under-performing player.

Two players who had very different seasons

Cesc Fabregas (C)

This might seem like a harsh mark for a player who delivered immense quality at times this season, but Fabregas’ is a player that should be judged on the high standards he has set for himself. There is no doubting we are a better team when Fabregas is present, his passing and ability to play the game at his pace makes him one of the best midfielders in the world, but he never quite reached the heights of the previous season and at crucial moments, such as in the second leg against Barcelona, let his teammates down. Unlike some other supporters I will never question Cesc’s commitment as an Arsenal player — he has given more than anyone else in the past five years for this club — and I believe his presence in the team next season is vital to us challenging for the trophies we missed out this season. He needs to step up his game and use his head a little more frequently though.

Aaron Ramsey (B+)

The feel-good story of the season, Ramsey capped his first start since breaking his leg at Stoke with a marvelous league winner against Manchester United. Made eight starts in all late on and showed what he can bring to our midfield with his strength, intelligence and willingness to take risks and should he stay clear of injuries can expect to make quite a splash next season. As mentioned, he is a player that enjoys taking risks — be it attempting a difficult through ball or taking a shot from distance — and this attribute gives him an edge, both in the manager’s mind and the supporters’ hearts, over other players who prefer to keep it safe.

Henri Lansbury (A-)

Made a fantastic impact by scoring against Tottenham in the Carling Cup before being loaned out to Norwich City. He made 23 excellent appearances for the Canaries, scoring four goals and helping them achieve an unlikely promotion to the Premier League in the process. Became a fan favourite at Norwich with his determined, energetic and effective performances (and also by celebrating with the infamous Dougie dance) and looks set to build on a terrific loan season by slotting straight back into Arsenal’s first-team squad. Like Ramsey he possesses more power and confidence than the average Arsenal player and that could him in good stead next season.

Have your say on the second part of AFCB’s 2010/2011 Season Review by leaving a comment.

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53 Responses to “AFCB’s 2010/2011 Season Review: The Midfielders”

  1. jason
    June 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Great work mate.

  2. GunnerBoss
    June 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    Lansbury and comeback kid Ramsey did very well. They cannot be starters yet though.

    FABS rating again is very terrible. Yes, he helped Barca beat us and got us a penalty by lifting up Chamakhs hands….what else? B+
    Nasri should get an A- atleast.

    I would like DIABY and DENILSON to leave quietly and quickly. We love them, but we cant get trophies with them. They are TOO sloppy. They make us feel we have the extra MAN on the bench, but when they are in the pitch we become a MAN down

  3. Ian Botannic Gooner
    June 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Once again Andy I find myself agreeing with most of your assessment. Jack the lad was immense, and I think your assessment of Cesc was fair, it wasn’t his best season. Denilson and Rosicky have been woeful but I disagree about Diaby. He looked like the natural born successor to Vieira with the world at his feet but he is too inconsistent and in some games he just looks like he can’t be bothered. Too be honest I would have given Song a C- as I felt he was caught out of position too often and he cost us a few importmant goals conceded. Asides from that Andy keep up the good work, its a long summer with no footie!

  4. theicehammer
    June 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    ive been away for a while and it looks as if me and people like me were correct about this team. I still do not blame the players because to me it was obvious that they did not possess the level of grit and physical strength that Wenger tried to make them believe they had. When finally they ran out of steam five or six games from the tape they all knew that they was no driving force or leader to pick them up and carry them across the finishing line because Wenger had never promoted nor believed in that kind of player. They all tried to do what they were told (pass pass pass pass and move and pass again) even while knowing that it would no longer work because they had lost heart and spirit of the Arsenal (Wenger way). Role on next season.
    Shambo, if your still around,……..how the hell are the irons going to get out of this hole…what a mess. One could even think it was planned to end this way…….what a synic i am, but a fan never the less. Up de ammers.

  5. Shard
    June 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I agree with your assessment of Diaby. I think next season will be his last with us if his injury record, or at least his consistency of performances doesn’t improve. However, he clearly has some gifts, and perhaps that’s the frustrating thing with him. For some reason he also seems to get kicked the most in our team.

    The ratings generally seem fair though I’d probably put Cesc a bit higher than C. But then again, C is probably fair enough. But one statement in Rosicky’s assessment I find very intriguing. You say as Cesc’s best friend his place is the squad is safe. What does that mean? Are you suggesting we would keep him only because he gets along with Cesc? I for one think Rosicky is on his way out. It’s sad, but after seemingly wanting to set things right at the start of the season, he has done absolutely nothing. Provided nothing. Has to go, and honestly, it would be best for him too.

    Denilson has completely gone. He was a promising enough player and often unfairly picked on. He did a decent enough job as a screen with his interceptions, kept the ball moving with the short passes, tried the occasional through pass, and could shoot from distance. All in all was a solid player. I can’t help but think that partly, the unfair abuse that he received, is responsible for his decline. That doesn’t absolve him of any blame. At this point he has to go. Pure and simple.

    I don’t understand why Lansbury was included in this, but his season was not deserving of an A-, unless the over reaching criteria is that he surpassed your expectations (and that he scored against Spurs). He did not start for Norwich regularly. He did score some important goals, and was a very good player for them. Still as a young player who has been talked up for some time, he didn’t do anything spectacular enough to deserve that rating. Hopefully, he’ll pull a Wilshere on us next season.

  6. Gruggy
    June 16, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    @Andy,

    Such news most likely hasn’t reached Berlin, but I thought I’d let you (and any other Sydney Gooners) know that Celtic are playing a friendly against the Central Coast Mariners at the SFS next month. The Celtic team which FREDDIE LJUNGBERG plays for.

    Worth an airfare home to see the legend in the flesh?

    Needless to say I’ll be there, hunting for a photo and an autograph from the great man.

  7. Terry
    June 16, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    I am with the consensus – pretty fair assessments overall. Shame about Rosicky as he has just never got back to his best. C for Cesc seems a bit harsh but as you say he has set a high benchmark. Can’t wait for the defenders – not sure anyone is going to get close to an A except for Sagna who I think was close to our player of the season for his consistency.

    To save you the trouble – the keepers are:

    Szeszny B+
    Fabianski B-
    Lehmann C
    Almunia (well do you really need me to say?) An E- would be harsh on Denilson. In that case F for f*ck off Manuel!

  8. Gruggy
    June 16, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jun/16/woodgate-premier-league-released-list

    Vieira and Sol are now both free agents.

    Wouldn’t complain if Arsene signed Paddy on as a squad player/coach. I thought he played quite well last season for City.

  9. Shard
    June 16, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    @Gruggy

    I thought he was set to sign a new deal with ManCity. I wish we do put him as a squad player and coach role as you suggest. We need a backup for Song anyway. He can still do a job, and boy would he whip some of the slackers into shape. Bring Back Vieira!! What number will he wear though?

  10. vcc
    June 16, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Ok I am jumping straight into the comments as I only got as far as Song. At the beginning of the season Song was indulging himself by attacking more which Wenger for a while allowed him to do. He wasn’t given that attacking role he decided himself that he was going to dazzle us with his skills. Which is one example of the lack of discipline within the team.

    He is at his best when he plays it simple.

  11. vcc
    June 16, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    can you imagine the lift the fans would get if Vieira came back was really hoping wenger would sign him back when he was available after Italy. Would have been a good option as a cover for CB.

  12. shambogunner
    June 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Yep, fair and honest ratings again. Agree completely, Rosickys decline has been the worst for me as he was one of my favourites but hes really gone backways.
    @Ice,
    Hope alls good your end mate, apart from been relegated of course….I just couldnt believe you went down so easy, with a whimper really, and with decent players aswel! The sacking of Zola is only forgivable if theyd appointed someone fitting…….and Grant was not that man.
    Tough to get back up but West Ham are always likely to attract players good enough to get you out of the championship, but you need a manager thats in it for the long haul, youv had too many the last few years….no continuity.

  13. Francis
    June 17, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    Really nice assesment but i think d assesment on denilson was kinda harsh,neva really was part of the team,and if u can recall d newcastle game wen diaby got sent off there was really no DM on d pitch 4 arsenal and with denilson on d bench,wenger still prefered to bring in rosick.there was nobody to break newcastles play so the pressure jst kept coming.denilson would hav done a beta defensive job than rosicky or nasri in dat match but he was nt considerd…nd so many oda matches like dat this season.i think he was sacrificed 4 jack development.

  14. Ianinja
    June 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Denilson? Never heard of him, plays for who?

  15. kel
    June 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    I just had a look at this guy Gervinho and what stands out is the fact that he is a small player, I honestly thought we had learned our lesson BUT i guess not, one of the main issues with our team in the last 5 years has been size especially in England BUT no, we are doing the same thing over and over and over again. Is it because he’s cheap, and we can only shop in france.
    If wenger and that YES man Ivan had no pressure from the fan’s they would not buy a single player this summer. Notice all the shipping out that was spoken about at the end of the season has soon gone very quite, as wenger and his mockmen hide behind the nasri situation using it as an excuse or using delay tactics.

    You know what will happen next??? we will be going on preseason and have to rush to buy some rubbish player, as usual, What has nasri have to do with our defense?? We need a defender!!!
    It appears noone wants our players AND Almunia is still here, I can’t believe this……..
    I made a bet about no significant changes at Arsenal in the summer, We shall see…..

  16. Jay.D
    June 19, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a couple of good posts to read. Glad to have you back and writing your great pieces. Spot on with the rating, but I’d give Diaby a C+? I do think Diaby can have a better season if he isn’t injured as much. That surely affected him mentally. However, his inconsistency is what had brought him down. Also, I only put SOME blame on him for the incident against Newcastle.

    Also…speaking of Denilson and Rosicky, why are they still at the club? Why is Almunia still at Arsenal? Bendtner? Eboue? Squillachi? Why are these men still here? Please leave..Get rid of the dead wood, and get a quality defender. These ratings need to be brought up. By most of the players. Would be good to see Fabregas and Nasri lift it substantially. Commendable season by Wilshere.

    Also, I swear I will be p!$$ed if we loose out to Man$h!theads on Gary Cahill. He can be bought now and it’s only Arsenal and those money spending undeserving pieces of trash going for him. Any thoughts on Roger Johnson and Scott Dann? I really think they’d be good buys, however then we may have too many CB, Djourou, Kosc, Verm, Squil, Cahill (hopefully) Dann and/or Johsnon. Would like to see Cahill and one of the Birmingham stoppers in. Think they could play at RB as cover for Sagna or LB? Would be nice, especially if Clichy fancies a move…

  17. Shard
    June 19, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    One reason that all those ‘unwanted’ players are still with us is that the transfer window in Europe has not actually opened yet.

    Dann is useless. Cahill is just about Ok. Samba offers size and is ok. The last two worth buying but at the correct price. But if we do get two CB’s I would guess that Vermaelen may be shifted out to left back. Something I wouldn’t be happy with, but it is a possibility. A way to increase the height of the team. Also Koscielny or Vermaelen might be used at DM sometimes. Again. Just suggestions of what might happen. Not something I’d want to see happen.

  18. Terry
    June 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    @shard

    I was wondering about TV at left back. Not sure he has the pace or the engine for that position. I reckon he would be better at a DM position as a screen for the back four. All depends on whether Wenger dips into the transfer market for a new CB. I can’t make my mind up about Koscielny. He looked top class in some games but then a bit of a calamity on others. He has some pace and reads the game well but seems to suffer from concentration lapses. Maybe he could move to LB if we get Samba or Cahill or someone else.

  19. Jay.D
    June 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    @Shard

    When does the transfer window open in Europe? Dann is useless huh? Why does it not surprise me then that Wenger is aiming to buy him..Cahill would be a very decent buy imo. Samba’s size would be a good boost and paired with Cahill or Verm, he could be the rock we need in defence while the other feeds the balls through to the team. I wouldn’t mind seeing Cahill in DM with Verm and Samba sitting up back with Sagna and…well, not sure who I’d want as LB. Gibbs? Not sure about him…any opinions on that or other LB possibilities? What would you want to see happen with the back 4?

    I hope Gervinho and Miyaichi make a big hit at Arsenal this coming season. It would be very handy. And as helpless as he has been this season for the most part, I hope Fabregas stays and pairs with Nasri to reignite that spark in midfield we know they can create.

  20. Shard
    June 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    @Terry

    Yes, I would be disappointed if Vermaelen was shifted to left back permanently. If he plays there for some games against teams from whom we face only long ball threats then I think it could work.

    @Jay D

    The European transfer window opens on July 1 and runs till the end of September. (England doesn’t consider itself Europe) Don’t believe everything you read in the papers. No one knows who Wenger’s real targets are. Yes some stories leak out, but most are entire fabrications. I’d be devastated if we buy Scott Dann. I don’t remember his stats exactly, but they were bad to say the least. He’s like Squillaci in the air, and much worse on the ground. In other words. Useless.

    Yes, Cahill and Samba will both be decent buys. My preference as a player would be Samba, but Cahill will be an addition to the Homegrown quota, which might help our squad in the long run. But 17 million for a player out of contract next year, when Samba is available for 9 mil?? No way (Both figures reportedly)

  21. Shard
    June 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Terry and jay D

    Sorry, missed out on the LB bit. I wouldn’t want Koscielny to play there. I don’t think he has ever played there before, plus I think his biggest assets is his ability to stick to a player and tackle effectively. If he is to be shifted, I think he can do a job at DM. Still I’d prefer to let our CBs perform their primary role. Vermaelen and New Signing to be first choice. Koscielny and Djourou to be backups, with Bartley as a squad player. (He played DM for Rangers)

    Left back is a tricky one because we do not know what is happening with Clichy. If he stays I think it is ok. He does have some problems with his game but he isn’t as bad as he’s made out to be. If Clichy goes, Gibbs, Traore and Botelho. None of them are ready in my view. We’ll need to buy an LB and let the above 3 fight it out for 2nd choice. (Botelho can play up front on the wing too, but he may not be coming back from loan)

  22. tim
    June 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    ere we are four weeks after the season ended and our most important summer in the market and what do we have .surprise surprise the same old.as i have stated this guy could not do a deal in a sweet shop.like all the fans i am keeping in touch with newsnow but i know this is going to be a carbon copy of last year.if we really meant buisness we would have signed somebody big by now.ivan read my lips if you think the arsenal fans are mugs your misguided. .if august 30th comes and you have not done the deals the fans backlash will be enourmous.if the board thought the booing was bad at the last game wait until you hear us if nothing happens.it is qutie unbeleivable at the moment.because this guy has no real contacts in the soccer world here we are going to be put through the ringer by all and sundry. the fans need a deal so that they can believe something is happening.lastly the new shirt is awful.it looks like an olympic games motif.it must be the worst shirt there has ever been.funny that ivan did you approve that.

  23. shambogunner
    June 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Alot of frustration about the lack of action in the transfer market thus far, but Its like Iv said again and again, Wenger is too slow to act; Smalling, Jones, the ridiculous Scwarcher debacle where he returned with the same bid of 3m and we ended up signing no keeper and then got lucky with the emergence of Schezny.
    He drags his feet, no Arsenal transfer is done swiftly, look at Liverpool and United, not just this summer but generally in the market, Liverpool sell Torres, BOOM, they sign Suarez and Carroll…..United finished 12 points ahead of us and have the desire will to improve to go get Jones and Young and are rumoured to have now snapped up Lass Diarra, which would be a great signing…..remember Lass Diarra, the guy we signed from Chelsea who could actually win the ball back in midfield? Obviously he wasnt as good as Denilson and had to be sold.
    When you see Utd, the team we are supposed to be trying to catch getting their business doen quickly and efficiently before anyone else gets a chance to buy these players, you really gotta question if Arsenal want to compete?
    Whens the last time Arsenal had competition for a quality player and won the race for his signature?
    Im sick to the teeth repeating myself, its hard to know who this mans going to sign but hes a fool if he thinks Gervinho-types are going to please the many disgruntled at this stage.

  24. realistic_gooner
    June 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    @shambo and tim

    The transfer season is still young yet, like what someone pointed out above, the transfer window for the rest of Europe has not opened yet. I will be waiting eagerly to see if the likes of Eto, Benzema and Cahill / Samba join us like what is rumoured. Let’s judge at the end of August (Where have I heard that before lol :-))

  25. Shard
    June 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I would LOVE Eto’o to come to Arsenal, but come on. That is simply not going to happen. Benzema could happen I suppose, but I remain unconvinced by him. I just think we need a non African clinical striker to be added to the squad. (Non african due to the ACN in January 2012 and 2013)

    One of Cahill or Samba does seem like it will happen. Jagielka would be better but it’s not going to happen now I think. Fellaini from Everton should be someone we’re looking at too.

    @shambo
    Why are you so keen to turn on your own club. Criticise for all that is factual but you really go overboard. Schwarzer wasn’t sold also because Fulham couldn’t get Given, and the same price was because the two offers were made either side of a written transfer request. I mean, it COULD have been the ‘wrong’ decision, but it wasn’t a debacle. Also, you know why Diarra had to be sold, and ManU haven’t signed him yet. I believe (I could be wrong here) that any signing FROM Europe cannot be announced yet. And obviously European clubs can’t buy till then.

  26. shambogunner
    June 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Shard,
    How do you know City were going to sell Given to Fulham, or that the player himself would make such a backward move for his career, or even that this is the true reason we didnt sign Schwarzer? For such an intelligent person you really do frustrate when you go to such lengths to find excuses where in some cases there just arent any, and in this case, none that you can prove….if I made up stuff like that when you and I are discussing something you’d dismiss it out of hand, yet you want me to believe this so I lay off the clubs approach to transfers. Come on fella, even when we do go in for a good player it becomes a saga, see Arshavin.
    The fact is WE should have been the ones buying Given and no-one else. Like I said the emergence of Shezza has been hugely fortunate for Le Boss, it was a gamble….and to be honest had Fabianski not been injured we may not have even seen him rise to num 1.
    Im not turning on the club, Im stating the obvious that we are slow to act, yes the euro window isnt open yet but we are easily beat or overlooked by players when we get into a race with Utd/ Barce/ Real/ Inter/ Bayern….you have to act fast and there is no reason why Cahill or Samba havent been signed yet….as for your obsession with stats, I just dont know what to say mate but not everything is black and white. I mean, Im sure our defensive stats for set pieces and crosses are atrocious, yet I’d bet Cahills and Sambas stats for aerial clearances are as high as any in the League….while I agree with you on Dann, he too is probably high on the list in this respect aswel.
    You just dont seem to get where Im coming from, in fact you probably associate alot of the negative posts, media opinion with what Im saying on here and that quite simply is not the case, for the record-
    I do not want to see Wenger leave until he is ready to go, he is the only man for the job, at this time.
    I am proud of the Clubs perseverance with respecting the laws of the game and trying to maintain its own identity when the fashionable thing to do is spend outside your means, we are one of the few remaining properly run clubs.
    I am also proud of our development set up that has seen the rise of players such as Fabregas, Wilshere, Gibbs, Upson, Ashely Cole, Djourou, Bentley, Pennant, Jerome Thomas, Steve Sidwell, Jay Bothroyd, etc, etc
    I dont NEED my team to be winning silverware, but I want to see us compete and be the best we can be, where a club of our size and following should be.
    But that doesnt mean I cant find fault with the failure to replace the Vieiras, Henrys, Pires, Adebayours, Toures and the likes. Now I know your going to say these players are hard to come by and were maybe irreplaceable, but you have to at least TRY and maybe you could use your stats to go back and see how much money from the sales of Petit/ Overmars, Vieira/ Henry, Toure/ Adebayour, Reyes, Hleb, etc etc was re-invested to insure the out going players were replaced with any quality of note.
    There is a place for both of us when it comes to being followers of Arsenal, and thank god cos if we were all like your good self Arsene and the board would be entering another season where the outcome doesnt really matter, no accoutability only excuses, but its fans like me, and the ones paying big money for season tickets that want to see the clubs standards met and maintained…..and mistakes like finishing second in the group stages of the CL and being in danger of meeting Barce cant go unnoticed….these are rookie mistakes from one of the best managers.
    We are now 6 seasons in our great new stadium, the one we moved to to compete financially with the big boys, surely we are generating enough money to bring the big names, ones which will bring the proven quality of Suarez at Liverpool that arent risks or dont ‘NEED TIME and PATIENCE’, or did I miss-interprete the meaning of ‘compete with the big boys’ as a statement of balance sheets only?
    This is not a dig at you Shard, I enjoy your perspective, its merely an insight into how frustrated I am, and obviulsy alot of other fans aswel.

  27. Shard
    June 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    @Shambo

    Apart from the bits about Given and Schwarzer, which in the larger scheme of things are inconsequential, I don’t disagree with what you said. And I especially agree that fans getting impatient will probably mean that the board and Wenger will now have to look to buy some players that are ready to be in the mix. Which is a good thing.

    I think mostly what I had a problem with, was that during the season, a lot of our fans turned against the team when they should have been supporting them. Sure they might have felt that we aren’t good enough to win in the end. But that is still no excuse for not backing the team. I don’t know if you were one of them or not, but that to me, was very frustrating. And I guess I sometimes take a stubborn stance when people say ‘I told you so’.

    I am not as frustrated with the club because I think we are in a period of consolidation. i don’t think the stadium is giving us the full benefits yet, and I also don’t think that we haven’t won things ONLY because we haven’t been good enough. (Another disappointment with fans is that they ignore the ref’s ‘errors’ and are more keen to abuse the team)

    Yet, I agree with what you said there. I do think we can be a little less conservative in our spending now, and I will be looking for good solid strengthening in the transfer window. But I won’t be EXPECTING guys like Eto’o to come in, though I love dreaming of superstar signings like everyone else. In the end, you and I Shambo, aren’t poles apart in our thoughts on where our club is and what we need to do. Despite our disagreements.

    Oh and stats are never the only thing to be looked at. They never tell the whole story and are no substitute for watching the game. But they are ‘facts’. As long as those stats are telling you something that is worth knowing, or leading you to ask the right questions. And sometimes stats can surprise.

  28. Ianinja
    June 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    What…again?? You lovers should get a room. Enjoy the break mates

  29. GunnerBoss
    June 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    @Shard …..”I believe (I could be wrong here) that any signing FROM Europe cannot be announced yet. And obviously European clubs can’t buy till then”……Really
    Hamit Altintop, Nuri Sahin etc All bought and announced.
    @All – I was hoping we would be linked with all the hot strikers, but i’ve seen nothing yet. Instead the likes of Barca and Magreed get linked with the hottest guys around. Heard we’re selling property worth 60million pounds to boost our transfer cash. Will we spend any? Samba wants to come here, what is STOPPING us from getting our boy? Are we going to be relying on the likes of CHAMAKH for Champs League if RVP gets injured again? Everything looks ODD for us, i thought the manager would wanna impress NASRI and FABs.
    Just sick

  30. Shard
    June 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    @laninja
    Ok. no more. I promise.

    @GunnerBoss
    So I guess I was wrong. Well done.

  31. Terry
    June 21, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    I just don’t think we are club with a history of big signings. Goes back well before Wenger. My first transfer memory is macdonald for a whopping 333,333 quid back in the mid 70s. He was as close to a superstar there was back then but even so he was nowhere near the record price at the time. And he never bought us the title or even an FA Cup (he missed the ’79 final through injury I seem to recall). Charlie Nicholas was probably the next big one and he was hardly the messiah either. His scoring seemed to be mainly in the nighclubs! Wrighty was probably the next big one that I can recall – He was a cracker mind you.

    Anyway I am just trying to be realistic. We rarely pay over the odds and I can’t see that changing. And the other EPL clubs know that and put ridiculous prices on their players (especially the English ones – god knows why) and we end up going to the French league 2! And unless we can offload the deadwood who are sucking up a large proportion of our wage bill, not much will change. hope I’m wrong but.

  32. realistic_gooner
    June 21, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    @Terry

    Wasn’t our move to the Emirates supposed to bring us up to that level where we could compete financially with the top clubs for top players?

    For me, no issue with basement bargain players, as long as they come good and make up a competitive team. Unfortunately, we’ve not seen that since 2006. Hence I believe for this season, at least a big signing or two is required to restore fans’ confidence, and to assure our star players that their sporting ambitions can be fulfilled.

  33. Terry
    June 22, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    @realistic

    You are right abouth the move, but it’s also a menatlity that seems to be pretty ingrained into the club’s culture and psyche. We are never going to be splashing the cash like ManCity or Chelsea currently can, and not like Fergie with 30 million quid on what ultimately turns out to be a bench warmer like Berbatov.

    The other distraction we can do without is having to fight to keep players like Fabregas and Nasri. no point making a marquee signing if we end up losing two of our best.

    Don’t get me wrong I hope we make one or two key signings that will strengthen the team but they aren’t going to be of the Torres/Ronaldo/ magnitude.

  34. Antek
    June 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    My mate Jumping Jim remembers a time when we went seventeen years without a trophy, and he’s in the ‘In Wenger We Trust Brigade.’ Make’s you think doesn’t it?

  35. leftcoastgooner
    June 23, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Show me the money…por favor.

  36. flyingdutchman
    June 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    If it’s true that ricardo alvarez has sign for arsenal,that will be great news for us someone taller, more passionate,dangerous and south american, argentina. A signing like this will lighten the team up, but hurt fans for cesc and nasri.I don’t want cesc to go but it gets irratating barc wanting cesc becoz he is this and that, like wenger is just grooming players for barc,but if da signing is true that the second man to play for us from argentina,2nd since nelson vivas

  37. GunnerBoss
    June 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Are u sure we should not try buying a Female striker? Afterall, Female coaches for male teams is allowed. Some female strikers on parade so far in the world cup could bench Chamakh. I’m really impressed

  38. Gruggy
    June 28, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Some rubbish in the Mirror today stating that because Cesc isn’t in the clubs promotional photos for the new away kit, he’s off to Barcelona ASAP.

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Arsenal-transfer-news-Cesc-Fabregas-could-join-Barcelona-by-weekend-after-being-left-out-of-promotional-photos-for-new-kit-launching-this-week-article753504.html

    *Sigh*

    If they paid attention to his Twitter account, or any other actual sources they’d be fully aware that Cesc has been overseas on holiday. Making it impossible for him to be in London for a photoshoot.

    More media bullshit.

  39. simon
    June 28, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Some of us are looking enviously at Man Utd getting their transfer act together and finished early doors whilst Arsenal drag theirs on.

    But then I think of the ‘others’.

    Man City and Chelsea aren’t doing much either and I honestly thought that City would have bought Pele, Maradona and a family bucket from KFC by now and that Chelsea would have sacked their new manager.

    So while the news is repeated that Cesc Fabregas is ‘about to join Barca’ for the 124353th time, and that Arsenal are ‘about to sign unknown Argentinian’, surely it can’t get any worse right?

    The only way is up!

    We all know that Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen the squad and it will happen because it has to.

    Don’t lose your sanity like Britney Spears with an umbrella. Be a little more patient because I think we will surprised with who comes in.

    I can feel it in my bones.

  40. frodo
    June 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Can someone please enlighten about Gary Cahill. What has the man ever done? He can’t get into a piss-poor England team and was mugged by the Stoke forwards in the FA Cup semi-final. When the Stoke forwards did it to our defence their were screams to have them hanged drawn & quartered.

    The reason we’ve been so quiet in the transfer market is because the UK transfer window opened on 1 June and the European transfer window opens on 1 July. We’ve bought all the players we are going to from English clubs (Jenkinson). Next week expect to see the comings and goings start.

    That’s the problem with the AAA. They’re really good at telling everyone what to do but they don’t know the rules. Just like 12 year olds.

  41. Antek
    June 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Them are good bones Simon!

  42. kel
    June 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    What the hell is going on at Arsenal, the people who designed the home kit and now this
    away kit should be SHOT. What the hell is this??? both of them, and choice of colors are absolutely rediculous………………

  43. theicehammer
    June 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    ive been watching the undr 17 world cup for new super stars. Someone please tell Arsene to purchase Souleymane Coulibaly he will be the next Drogba and has already scored 8 goals in 3 games including a brace of hatricks 1 against Brazil which was crowned with an overhead kick. The boy is so good he’s outrageous.
    Also to create those goals look out for the young Brazilian Ednilson (silk)

    Back to the present….. @shambo i agree with every word you say about the signing methds of Mr Wenger, he takes to long to act, as though he will win an extra point for purchasing and then cultivating a rough dimond. In truth, it will shock me if the required style of player for the team to improve is purchased especially after someones comment about the size of Gervinho.

  44. shambogunner
    June 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    @ice,
    Today you had Lady Bracewell Smith on her twitter saying the whole Arsenal board should be sacked that their old fashioned and too passe…..in my opinion nobody seems to knowwhere this club needs to go and what has to be done to get there and thats very disheartening. David Dein should never have been allowed to leave, the man had vision and went and got things done, what has Gazidis done in comparison?
    Big things have to happen in the coming weeks or you can forget about making the points up on Utd from last season, CL league qualification may even be in the balance.

  45. Terry
    June 29, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Daily Mirror in the UK (I know, not exactly the most reliable source of intelligence) reports that Arsenal may lose both Cesc and Nasri. Now that would be a PR disaster. Hopefully it’s complete bollocks.

    Come on Andy where’s your defence ratings – or is it too depressing to even contemplate?!

  46. Gruggy
    June 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    If Cesc goes, Nasri will stay. Although some dispute it, Arsene isn’t that stupid.

    In all honesty I’m expecting both to stay. With De Gea’s transfer soon to be announced, which will bring Utd’s spending to 50m pounds. Nasri would be another 15-20 ontop, and I can’t see a club laden with debt spending 70m without selling.

    Barcelona are in the same boat. Financially, they are in trouble. They will need to sell before paying 40m for Cesc.

    Look at the reality dudes, not the tabloids.

  47. Arsenal blog
    July 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    I am excited to see what Henry can do next season

  48. cannon boy
    July 8, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    i think cesc fabregas is leaving

  49. HS
    July 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Arsenal need a defensive midfielder to assist song and i dont think Denilison has all of sudden been transformed into one. Diaby plays an average of 5 games a season at most 7 games and i dont mean is a bad player. we may burry the head in the sand and pretend that our back four is protected but that is not the case

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