Toure goes, Eboue to follow? + Now would be a very good time to put money on Arsenal winning the league

Toure goes, Eboue to follow? + Now would be a very good time to put money on Arsenal winning the league

tourecity

Kolo Toure is now a Manchester City player after completing a transfer believed to be worth around £16 million. The Ivorian’s move has been confirmed on the official Arsenal website as well as the City one with Toure signing a four-year deal with his new club.

First things first I want to say that I wish Kolo all the best at his new club. He has served the Arsenal Football Club as good as anyone else under Arsene Wenger and has never given anything less than 100% in his eight years at the club. He’s experienced some outstanding moments since his move from the right wing to the centre of defence, forming an outstanding partnership with Sol Campbell during our ‘Invincibles’ year as well as scoring the goal that got us into our first and only Champions League final. 

Toure has always been a fan favourite at Arsenal because he works his socks off, something that supporters value above all else. I wish him every success at City and I hope he plays out the remainder of his career with the same enthusiasm that he has always done. Unlike Emmanuel Adebayor, who acted foolishly throughout his final year at our club, I don’t think Toure deserves to be criticised by the Arsenal fans for joining City.

At the age of 28 he had reached a difficult point in his Arsenal career – stuck behind William Gallas, new signing Thomas Vermaelen and up-and-coming Johan Djourou in the pecking order – and with consistent first-team football a certainty in Manchester it is understandable to see him move on. From a purely personal level it would have been foolish for Toure to stay, just as it would have been foolish for Arsenal to ignore a £16 million offer for a third or fourth choice central defender who has performed poorly for the past season-and-a-half. 

There will undoubtedly be a lot of Arsenal supporters calling for Toure to be replaced, but I won’t necessarily be among them. In William Gallas I believe we have one of the truly great central defenders in the Premier League – perhaps bettered only by Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Daniel Agger – and in Johan Djourou a player who is more than ready to become a big player for the club, as indicated by his early-season form in the last campaign. Throw in Thomas Vermaelen – who is obviously rated highly by the manager and will compete strongly for a starting position – and Philippe Senderos – who has had a year away from the spotlight and Didier Drogba to improve his game at Milan – and I believe we’re looking a lot stronger in this department than many people believe.

I still believe the way to significantly improve our defence is to sign a top-class defensive midfielder rather than to sign another centre back. As an attacking force we have good variety and depth, out wide at the back and in midfield we look terrific and the quality I see in Djourou leads me to believe we’re deceptively strong in defence. It’s just the middle that needs improvement.

Despite an excellent final third of last season Wenger’s “seven central defenders” comment from a couple of days ago suggests that Alex Song’s future may lie in defence.  Meanwhile I still hold the opinion that – statistics or no statistics – Denilson does not have the stamina or physical presence required to give Cesc Fabregas the freedom he needs to wreak havoc from the middle of the park. It’s clear via the interest we showed in Felipe Melo that the manager is looking to strengthen and I can’t see why he would give up after one failed attempt. Wenger’s scouting ability is legendary and I think it would be foolish to believe that he doesn’t have other options (could it be this man?) to consider.

I should state here that even if a defensive-minded midfielder is not brought to the club I think we’re in a very good position going into next season. We have good depth in almost every area of the park, three top class attacking players that we didn’t have at the start of last season in Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo, and every single one of our younger players is a year older and a year more experienced. Contrast that with Manchester United (who have lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez), Liverpool (who have signed no-one) and Chelsea (who will have to adjust to their new coach and have only brought in a left-back) and I think of all the top teams (City excluded) we’re the ones who will improve the most on last season’s result.

I find it almost laughable that the Australian bookies have pushed Arsenal out to $9 to win the league after Toure’s exit while United, Chelsea and Liverpool are at $2.65, $3.25 and $3.50. Even City – a team with an average coach and a huge amount of imbalance in their squad – are almost on top of us at $13. While I’m not necessarily stating that I think Arsenal will win the league I think it’s a huge underestimation of our chances of doing so and if you’re a betting man I’d be putting the money down right now before we bring in any signings and the odds drop significantly.

To finish off today I just want to touch on the other very important Arsenal news item – the 1-0 pre-season win over Hannover 96. Cesc Fabregas got the only goal of the game in the 8th minute after a lovely Robin van Persie pass, but the big story of the day was Emmanuel Eboue’s apparent “goodbye” wave at the end of the match. I might be reading too much into it but with Eboue taking his shirt and boots off and giving them to the crowd and waving to the Arsenal fans it suggests he’s on his way out of the club as well, most likely to Fiorentina. Check out the video here (4:12 in) and let me know you think.

And on that note I’ll leave it there. Have a wonderful Thursday.

Have your say on the Kolo Toure’s exit, Eboue’s wave or the current state of the Arsenal squad by leaving a comment.

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93 Responses to “Toure goes, Eboue to follow? + Now would be a very good time to put money on Arsenal winning the league”

  1. MexicanGunner
    July 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    So sad that the real captain of Arsenal is gone.

    But no no NOO we cant expect DJouru and Varmaelen to be our first choices to pair with Gallas.

    Arsene have to replace King Kolo with a top TOP central defender.

  2. Rahul
    July 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Say whatever u want about Arsenal, we look strong. But we have to avoid injuries and thats where the depth can be deceptive.
    Also, we should not underestimate city this season.
    They may have revamped their squad but why arent ppl seeing that all the players they have bought are proven premiere league players.
    These don’t need time to adjust to the PL pace.
    All of them speak english so no language barrier.
    City will be a very formidable force coming season. And it is a slippery slope that the top 4 need to avoid.
    We look strong, no doubt tho.

    Best of luck for coming season.
    And bring back paddy4. Even if he is ‘old’, he will bring a calm solid influence in the middle..
    A chance to see the #4s in action again is a gr8 prospect..!!!!

  3. denis staunton
    July 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    i dont really are if eboue leaves. what im really excited about is what the rumours are saying about viera!! hope its true.

  4. TheSKAGooner
    July 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    I’m feeling a bit like the cat who ate the canary myself, SF, regarding our chances to pull in a trophy this year. Too many folks have written us off, slagged us off and dismissed us as a declining club. I think there’s more of a collective chip on the shoulders of Arsenal players this year to prove things are moving forward at the Ems and not backwards. That’s from Arsene on down, and just from watching the preseason matches, granted against lesser sides until yesterday, I think there’s greater desire to play TOGETHER this year. I definitely think there’s at least 1 trophy waiting for us come next Spring.

    Agree 100% with your comments about Kolo. As a man and player, I have nothing but positive wishes for him and his time upcoming at City. I want City to fall flat on their butts, but I want Kolo to have a successful next couple seasons.

    On Vieira…it does seem like this story has some legs. Of course, that could all just be the journos jumping on the Ian Wright created bandwagon, but it does have a level of plausibility in some respects. Firstly, he’s on a free transfer, so there’s no financial risk beyond his salary. Secondly, I am wondering, as I mentioned on Twitter, if Vieira might come in more as a mentor to Song and Denilson rather than to be an every day player. Give Vieira a flat salary for his training work with the lads. Pay him a decent per-match wage and give him some runs out against lower sides and in Carling/early FA Cup matches to see what he has left in the tank. The only thing is, Vieira’s trying to wheedle one last go-round with the French National team though and sparse use is not going to get him a call up to the French team, so not sure he’d agree to this kind of arrangement. But there’s little downside from an Arsenal perspective as long as AW’s not planning on him being THE answer at DM this year.

  5. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    @ TheSKAGooner – I want to refrain from thinking Arsenal can win the league this year. I just want to enjoy it. But you’re right, the players will have a lot to prove and I think it’s good that once again we’re being underestimated. We usually do better when we’re up against it and I think we’re well placed this year.

    Long way to go before the season starts though!

  6. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    Re: Vieira

    It’s an amazing rumour and even if it has legs I just don’t know what to think. Very interesting stuff.

  7. White Ox
    July 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Erm, does anyone know what we should do when we play City next year? I’ll be tying myself up in knots trying to work out whether to cheer or boo.

    I guess the best we can hope for is a sublime through ball from Kolo being collected by an offside Adebayor who trips over his own feet. Now that’s something I want odds on!

  8. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    @ WhiteOx – I know what I’ll be hoping *puts tongue in cheek* – Toure is out with malaria and Adebayor misses a penalty. Simple!

  9. TheSKAGooner
    July 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    @Spanish Fry –

    Well, I won’t go so far as winning the league. But I do believe the FA Cup is within our reach, as well as the Carling Cup. Now, neither of those are the top trophies to win of course, but it would not be unpleasant to bring one of them home. Small steps leading to bigger things, so to speak. I do think we’ll be challenging for the league title though, all the way to the end. 🙂

  10. georgetown gooner
    July 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    when do we find out who we are going to play in our champs league qualifer?

  11. NottsJeff
    July 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    Mr Wenger knows what he is doing. Its the African nation cup in January and Kolo and Ade and possibley Eboue would have disappeared any way.

  12. Masinde Kenya
    July 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    I hope wenger is a true professor and he should know that the whole world is waiting for his magic. Fabricus keep the team strong dont shake the world econmy everybody is worried about arsenal I know you will emerge top two and suprise all those club betryals

  13. Shard
    July 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    I’m probably like you SF.. I don’t know what to think about vieira coming back.. Part of me wishes it’s true but partly i fear that it might prove a regressive step.

    As regards defence i believe senderos too can be the type of defender we need. It just remains to be seen if he can be consistent.

    You do talk abt rosicky being back but we haven’t seen him play any friendly since barnet. Do u think we can rely on him being back from the start?

  14. I mole
    July 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    Nice move for toure cos it is a gr8 step in his carrer & d nation cup is fast approaching . According to goal.com writers arsenal has a strong defence and firing strikers ,d only dat need rienforcement is d midfield with viera coming according to rumour on a free transfer , aw just need to get a midfield dat is strong to partner cesc with dis i can see trophies coming .

  15. Alan Goat
    July 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    Good post SF. Off to the bookies for me 🙂

  16. White Ox
    July 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    @Alan Goat – you haven’t by any chance met your brother Rotor Goat? I hear he’s quite fond of the Arsenal too…

  17. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    @ Alan Goat – See Rotor Goat here: http://www.eastlower.co.uk

  18. voley_gun
    July 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Eboue too leaving.I am bit worried about the impact that it will have on team, with players leaving in a successsion.

    I am in still with Spanish Fry in finding the defensive midfielder.

  19. Xabier
    July 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    @mole: goal.com is crap. the journos there hate arsenal

    ACN must have played a role in Arsene letting Toure go (possibly Eboue too). So with that in mind he surely will have to bring in someone to step up while Song is away with Cameroon. I hope

    Mercenary Citeh are going to be stuffed in january, the toughest part of the season. No Toure to stabilise their defence. LOL!

  20. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    Arsenal are not in for Vieira – I was listening to the radio programme. Ian Wright was just blabbing about nothing. Don’t worry guys.

    I don’t think Wenger will bring anything other than a backup defensive midfielder because he will play BOTH Song and Denilson alongside Fabregas in a 433 next year. It worked VERY VERY well in the first half.

    All the other top teams play a 433 with two defensive midfielders to create defensive stability (especially Liverpool: Alonso – Mascherano and Chelsea: Essien – Mikel) and Fabregas looked gread arriving from deep.

    The good thing about that formation and team setup is that it is not a 4231 with Cesc off the striker, he was part of the trio with genuine attacking wide forwards rather than wide midfielders.

    – – – – – – Almunia

    Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

    – – – – Denilson – Song

    – – – – – – Fabregas

    Nasri – – – – – – – – – – Arshavin

    – – – – – – van Persie

    that is a fantastic formation and team setup.

  21. I mole
    July 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    @ xabier- I quite disagree with u , i don’t think d goal.com pundit hate arsenal ,ACN has nothing with toure leaving, his at the peak of his carrer and with no chance of him playing week in week out he has to move on , he has been loyal to arsenal all dis while

  22. theicehammer
    July 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    Spanish, I mole etc, a few days ago when The Spurs showed interest in PV most people thought he was far to old and remember AV is supposed to release players when he knows they are past their best. All of a sudden those suggestions are out of the window now that the grapevine says he might be on his way to the Emerates. I dont get it. Please pls explain.
    Skagooner, your concentrating to much on the balance sheet. ie Patrick will be a free transfer so will bring no financial risk beyond his salary. There is no points given for saving money. Are Arsenal that skint. It would make sense if Westham invested in PV services because we are skint, everyone knows that. Also everyone would be laughing. Think people think!

  23. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    @ Tom14 – I don’t disagree with your idea that 4-3-3 would work, but what if one of the three go down injured? Specifically, what if one of Denilson or Song goes down? Who fills in? We need another midfielder regardless of what formation we play.

  24. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    @ theicehammer – I haven’t said anything about PV, so I can’t explain. I don’t know how I feel about it, I never made a comment about him going to Tottenham other than the fact that it would be disappointing to see him turn out for the enemy. If he came to Arsenal I wouldn’t be disappointed, but i can’t see it happening. I’d rather Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid but someone recently said that he’s committed to the Spaniards.

  25. SOBIN THE GUNNER
    July 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Toure is a Legend.Best of luck for him .WE ARE NOW VERY STRONG CONTENDERS FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE .I HOPE WE CAN WIN LEAGUE, FA CUP AND HOPEFULLY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
    “COME ON GUNNERS”

  26. theicehammer
    July 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Spanish Fry, Ta mate.

  27. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    @ SF – That is why we either need a top quality first teamer to take the place of Song in the team (push him down to backup) or sign a more backup type player to fill in as you say.

    But I don’t think we need anything other than that one DM and a striker – unless we sell Senderos.

  28. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    @ Tom14 – I agree. One midfielder will do it. Defence is good, attack is good, just need some depth and experience in midfield. Now I think about it, Vieira would do nicely.

  29. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    No, it is a bull sh*t story based on absolutely nothing (and if it is true, it is one hell of a coincidence)

  30. carole osako
    July 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    Iam starting to have jitters here. Noooo! Not Eboue again. But anyway, leave it to professor Wenger. Could know what he is doing.

  31. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    It has been an almost perfect summer so far so I suspect he does know what he is doing.

  32. South Yorkshire Gunner
    July 30, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Getting shut of Adebayor for the money he got was exceptional. The same applies with Toure and the same will apply for Eboue. Not just for the income received, but for the team – Arsenal.
    Two of the three were underperforming and the other just wasn’t/isn’t good enough. And there is the ACN that will rob the team of those players at a critical time in the season. These three deals are exceptional.
    Eduardo is back and is by far more lethal than Adebayor. His heart is bigger too. Vermalen has come in for Toure, who I am sure will do a much better job, and you cannot say that Rosicky, Walcott, Vela or Wilshire are any worse than Eboue.
    My thoughts would be to bring in three players. Huntelaar, Toulalan and another would appear a good bet; however I wouldn’t be suprised if Wenger makes a double Real Madrid swoop and fetches in Snjieder and Huntelaar and that his idea of a DM sits with Ramsey, Nasri and Song..
    Only he knows what he wants; but getting shut of all the Africans is an extremely prudent move, which can only be good for the team.

  33. gunning 4eva
    July 30, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Our 4-3-3(4-2-1-2-1)can still work if one or two goes down like we can put Rosicky and Diaby in (although i have doubts on the later) and it will become a (4-1-2-2-1). I would still like a DM. I’m hoping wenger will do a Sagna again and buy a world class but unknown player(preferably a DM)

  34. Gibbs
    July 30, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    SF ill have some of what you’re smoking. 🙂 I love your positivity mate but we cant really rely on just 3 CD. We know what injuries can do, so i think we should play safe and sign another CD. We payed dearly for not replacing the players we lost last season, doing the same thing again this season would be very stupid imo.

  35. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    @ Tom14 – Agreed. For once we agree! 😉

  36. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    @ Gibbs – 3 central defenders? Gallas, Djourou, Vermaelen and Senderos? Plus Song and *shudders* Silvestre. I count 5-and-a-half!

  37. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    he will start with two DM’s I suspect, neither of them (Denilson/Song) will be replaced by Nasri/Rosicky/Diaby (thank god on that one) because they do not give us cover.

  38. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    @ gibbs – SF is right. Gallas and Vermaelen are first choice, Djourou and Senderos as backup, Song and Silvestre in reserve. Not a bad set of defenders – much better than last season.

  39. MYWAY
    July 30, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    I thought AW has a policy structure in place for letting go his 30yrs+ players? Is it that there re no more 23-26 yrs DM anymore in the world that can do the job we crave for? Why will anyone suggest we bring back Paddy? He has moved on so be it.He can come back as a part of our coaching crew. AW and the board should be mindful of been stingy with all the cash we re raking from the sale of our players, we re helping to use our calculators. Bring the required players so that we the fans can walk tall amongs out rivals.

  40. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    We don’t need a defensive midfielder though, unless we want to buy somebody who is much better than what we have – and there aren’t many.

    We will buy cover I think, but nothing more in that area.

    Vieira won’t come, don’t worry.

  41. Gibbs
    July 30, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Senderos maybe leaving, he said it himself, AW said it and like i said yesterday i dont have faith in him. Song is playing in CM, and Silvestre is crap. That leaves us with JD, Vermy and Gallas, the only good CD we have.

  42. leany
    July 30, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    SP: agree with you. Anyway, Toure is always with Arsenal. He did all for A. About Eboue: i don’t know, but hope that’s not a goodbye.

  43. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    @ Gibbs – if we sell Senderos, we will bring ina defender. Simple as that.

  44. Spanish Fry
    July 30, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    @ Tom14 – Right you are. With Toure going, I very much doubt Senderos will leave. If Toure had stayed Senderos would have gone.

  45. Senior Citizen
    July 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    Toure’s departure leaves leaves me worried b’se he is the guy i ‘ve trusted for yrs now. Now following his departure, I believe the man himself Senderos should be called back. Well this is not to mean that he is better than Gallas and Varmaelene, but I am quite sure he is far more better than DJ. That said, I wish Ade and Kolo a Bright future at city, Though city is still bound to fall.

  46. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    Why are you asking for Senderos to be called back? He is already here and has played in most pre-season games.

    He will either be sold and replaced or kept as backup.

    We have more more center back than last year and a better quality if center backs because Toure was average and Vermaelen looks better.

  47. I mole
    July 30, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    I think Aw should go for udinesse midfielder gokan inler he has one of aw target or what go you guyz think ?

  48. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    Inler is decent, but he is no better than Song or Denilson, We will bring in either a Matuidi/Cattermole backup figure or a top top quality Palombo/De Rossi figure.

  49. jebo
    July 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    i think its better if we can sign someone from the league, ,,and believe me..buyying top class centaral defender won’t bring a thing unless we sign a central midfielder. and with that, the bokies estimated well, as we can only falsify their guess by buyying a central midfielder….AW has no reason, not to buy a central midfielder this time…as he has got the money and also we have seen the growth of the youth in the team in the past years, they are too young to be there.

  50. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    “AW has no reason, not to buy a central midfielder this time”

    He really does. Song and Denilson’s form last year was awesome compared to some of these falvour of the months.

  51. Lompri
    July 30, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    we are still weak up-front.

  52. I mole
    July 30, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    @Tom 14 – matuidi, cattermole are also good likewise inler aw knows best

  53. Johno
    July 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    @ Tom14 Playing Nasri on the right may be difficult as he has a broken leg!

  54. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    Only for 6 weeks, which will be about three weeks into the season with an international break as he returns.

    Rosicky, Walcott, bendtner or Wilshere can play there.

  55. Gibbs
    July 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    Oh dear, apparently Rosicky is injured again.

    @ Tom – i think we should sign a new CD even if Sendy stays. We need to strengthen the squad, signing a new CD will strengthen the squad.

  56. shambogunner
    July 30, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    song and denilsons form last year was awesome???is dat a serious statement?if u wanna say their individual stats were above average or that this season they will be more experienced and have faith in them il go wit that but to say they wer awesome last year kicks the crap out of even the most over-optimistic/deluded fellow arsenal fans statements iv read here…and who are these flavour of the months??
    we were destroyed in the middle last year by even the average teams,home and away, and all denilson did was pass the ball 5 yards backways and horizontally while avoiding tackling and at times songs passing and positional sense was shocking,like i said im willing to see how theyv come on and they should be givin a go but if these attributes constitute an awesome season mascherano,carrick,mikel,essien etc must be hall of famers
    on the transfers if AW does sell eboue and senderos il be sure hes somethin up his sleeve but at the mo im not so sure who his targets could be, but they must be of proven quality….and if we are to sign haangeland it wil have to be within the next few days as fulhams euro campaign begins and he will be cup tied
    one last point if we loose edu,arshavin,cesc,RvP or gallas for any length of time this season who are the replacements that will come in and grind out the results wed need to win this PL title so many of you have been dreaming about…i know some1s gonna say ramsey,vela,bendtner and, inexplicably, young wilshere are gonna go to utd,pool,chels,city,villa,spursscum,sunderland and everton and do it
    GET REAL or your gonna get REAL depressed

  57. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    @ shambogunner – you are talking rubbish about Song/Denilson and the ga,es against lower opposition, so I won’t even bother correcting you in depth.

    But these small clubs did not run our central midfield ragged, that is a silly silly thing to say. they scored their goals and we missed our chances because we were not good enough.

    @ Gibbs – We have added strength in the center back position. Toure out, Vermaelen and Senderos in. that is one extra player. You can’s starty the season with 6 center backs, that is just silly.

  58. GunnerBoss
    July 30, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    @Lompri – U r a true gunner.

    I dont just know what everyone else is seeing. We are not even sure of the strike force that will score the goals, we are talking about the midfield that is very good already.

    Why should DENILSON and SONG play at the same time, why not one of them at a time….so we could have 3 other attacking midfielders (plus FABREGAS) or just two on the side with two strikers?

  59. shambogunner
    July 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    ok tom so could u name these ‘flavour of the months’ and u made a statement and i dissagree so can u not back up your argument that these guys had an ‘awesome season’ so that i may see i might be mistaken??
    in my opinion deni and song were outclassed and out-fought by the bullards,danny murphys,cahills,palcios,giovannis,petrovs and stephen irelands in HEAD to HEADS last season and its these head to head match-ups that win or loose games not stats
    in sayin this i still wanna see these guys do wel and know they wil improve but they have a long way to go and another DM is needed to maybe show them along

  60. GunnerBoss
    July 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    There it is, someone just said it…..MISSED CHANCES……

    Does no one seem to care that this has been our main problem for the past two seasons?

  61. Tom14
    July 30, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    shambo – Cana, Matuidi, Hangeland, Vieira, Inler, Cattermole, Appiah, M Diarra and so on and so fourth. Not necessarily better than what we have, but players who we want because we rate our players so very very low.

    And Song/Denilson are actually very good, but they do not have the players around them to work well. They had wingers who don’t track back and a midfield partner who lacks defensive awareness, as well as a weak unit at the back.

    So you have to play them both to sort it out.

  62. butterfingers
    July 30, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    I really think diaby is going suprise everybody this year and maybe get his dad back to teach him haha.

  63. Casicky
    July 30, 2009 at 11:23 pm #

    I agree i als think Diaby,Deni and Song will pop up this seasdon with a few surprises more Song and Diaby rather than Denii cz i feel Denii jus lacks something i can put my finger on it but he jus doesnt seem to be able to provide that difference.

    I think we dont need a defender but the thought of both our first two CBs injured does make you wonder

    @Gibbs you said Rosicky is injured whre did you hear that????

    Arshavin looks lazy in pe-season its actually quite funny hope when the season starts he will turn it on.

    Really looking forward to a great two days of the Emirates cup

  64. Gibbs
    July 30, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    Casicky, i saw it on SNN. They said he has a ‘minor injury problem’ but i havent seen an official statement yet.

  65. Hey Nonny Mouse
    July 30, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    After the Hannover game AW said “If you look at the players who did not play today there was Clichy, Rosicky and Diaby.” He didn’t even mention Senderos. I was surprised that Senderos didn’t play – but it seems to indicate at the very least that he’s not high in Arsene’s plans. This basically means that defensively we’ve bought Vermalean and sold Kolo. This is Arsene’s way of fixing the defense that conceded more goals than any of the other ‘Top 4’ last season. I just don’t get it. God knows I want to believe we can do it but…it just seems like insanity. Another season with Sylvestre, Song, Denilson and Diaby trying to hold the line?

    Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal, Arsenal Arsenal Arsen-aal.

  66. gunnerrealist
    July 30, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    @south yorkshiregunner,The general feeling amongst the people who wrote on this blog is that Arsene was right to get rid of the three players he has gotten rid because they all underperformed, the truth is the whole team underperformed so what would you say then, get rid of all of them.

  67. Gibbs
    July 30, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    *SSN

  68. radads
    July 30, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

    I really hope Vierra would come back, i wont mind givin him back the armband cpt.
    @Tom14, I like ur line up except changing Nasri for walcott, and playing Vierra instead of Denilson.I dont know but I like more to see Song than Deni who isnt really physically strong for a CDM.
    Vierra back in North london would be really great to me,I think that he can still do some good job for us despite of his age.Vierra during his time at Arsenal was at the same time a CDM and an attack support or also a play maker, this time I would recommand him to put all he’s got on attack and little in defense coz Song is there to recover.
    By the way, i see Le Boss doing the same as Fergie who took Micheal Owen back in the squad.

  69. radads
    July 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    I really hope Vierra would come back, i wont mind givin him back the armband cpt.
    @Tom14, I like ur line up except changing Nasri for walcott, and playing Vierra instead of Denilson.I dont know but I like more to see Song than Deni who isnt really physically strong for a CDM.
    Vierra back in North london would be really great to me,I think that he can still do some good job for us despite of his age.Vierra during his time at Arsenal was at the same time a CDM and an attack support or also a play maker, this time I would recommand him to put all he’s got on attack and little in defense coz Song is there to recover.
    By the way, i see Le Boss doing the same as Fergie who took the old Micheal Owen in the squad.Veteran policy on fashion???

  70. Tom14
    July 31, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    Vieira is not coming, everyone should get that out of their heads. it is a nothing story based on the comments of a nothing person.

    Vieira would replace Song anyway.

  71. jay-jay
    July 31, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Nice pass from RVP and nice goal from Cesc last night against Hannover. We need to replace Toure. We have the poorest defence in the top 4. Chelski : Bosingwa, Terry, Carvalho, Alex, A.Cole, Zhirkov.
    Liverpool : Agger, Carragher, F.Auerlio.
    United : Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra.
    We only have Gallas, Clichy and Sagna as top defenders. Vermaelen and Djourou are both good but average aswel. If they were both at lower teams they wouldnt be noticed much. We defo need a DM. that is our priority but we also need a CB. If Eboue leaves we need a winger/full back, no particulary world class but an average utility man. Jankulovski maybe.
    On other notes – AW has said he would like to see Vieira back at the club. While I wouldnt say no, he would be a mentor in my eyes and not he solution to our DM search. Traore has had a good pre season so far and AW used a 4-3-3 against Hannover. Could this be our new formation?

  72. GetGunMN
    July 31, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    By the way, regardless of where he is playing, Song is gone in January to African Cup of Nations. That will be for a month and don’t even know in what kind of shape he will return. Also, if Eboue leaves who is a back up for Sagna? May be DJourou? If Wenger is counting Song to be a CB, he certainly is in the market for a DM. It only makes sense.

  73. Fabregas
    July 31, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    All this talk about the 4-3-3 and leaving Walcott out. WHY WOULD WE DO THAT?? seriously, walcott is great, and is ESSENTIAL to our team.

  74. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    Im becomming adicted to this site as iv just returned from work and im back on. Shambo, respect on your statement about Song and Denilson being awesome, still havn’t stoped laughing. U should do stand up. Tom14 thinks yr talking rubbish. At this point in time it is silly to say that the CD is stronger than last season because the prem have not started yet. Vermaelan will have to play really really well to reach the standards Toure use to produce. Remember it was his first poor season. I think Arsenal will miss him.

  75. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 3:09 am #

    gunnerboss, looking at the stats in the Arsenal mag, Denilson and Song played 35% of games together. Sometimes injuries dictates. Song will improve by becomming bigger and stronger, not sure about Denilson. To many sideway passes and 5 yard pases.

  76. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    Gibbs,Is it Casicky or Rosicky, SNN or CNN? And jay-jay the main difference between Arsenal and the teams you mentioned is that they have more strength, weight, height, muscle, beaf, know-how, endeavour, stickability, beaf, knowledge beaf and experience than the Arsenal midfield. Its not all the defence fault for goals.

  77. shambogunner
    July 31, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    @tom i think u made that point the other day bout our wingers def work and i agreed with u bout diaby,walcott,nasri not being aggressive enough when we dont have the ball but still i dont except that as an excuse for deni and songs ineptness in alot of games last year…at times i was wondering had they been subbed, this is not an excuse to run down the duo,like i said i believe they have great potential, but wot do u or any1 else think is gonna change once season kicks off…do u think that bolton,hull,sunderland,stoke etc who adopted def and roughhouse tactics against us are gonna change after pickin up points against us that way???in other teams eyes we are a soft touch and thats the treatment we can expect off EVERY team we play this year because as far as physicality goes wer in the bottom 3.my point here is that sometimes pass pass pass isnt enough and u need a vieira,petit,essien,mascherano etc to drive forward at the heart of the opposition to unlock a def and we dnt a player dat will surge forward like that.are we gonna be relying on players like cesc poppin up wit a header in the 93 min to salvage a point vs sund like last season?
    also tom in reference to ur statement bout the vieira speculation u said it was a nothing story from a nothing person…are u refering to ian wright as the nothing person? hmmmmm
    @ icehammer cheers mate i think u and i share the same philosophy and opinions on the beautiful game aswel as not being fans of rose coloured glasses..even tho ur a hammer i think ur observations are fair and accurate…i am 25 but i know enough bout this game to know that a ‘young developing’ team who struggled and DISSAPOINTED last term signing 1 unproven def while selling 2 of ur best players without knowledge of future signings does not constitute a ‘put ur money on us this year’ attitude….i really would love us to win even 1 trophy,even the carling cup, but this will not happen with this squad im afraid….injuries and suspensions will shed a cruel light on our lightweight squad and the boss has again today re-iterated his right not to be pushed into the market

  78. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 3:54 am #

    Fabregas, I was very excited about Walcott during the genesis of his Arsenal career. I watched him play at the emerates and thought he was far to quick for most of the team. Meaning when he was in the position to deliver a cross, there was no one apart from Ade in the box. He is now to patient and playes to many simple balls back inside in order to stay up with the pase of the Arsenal play. I dont see him as a winger because his crossing is not good enough, although he goes past players very easily. He would be better utilised as a number 9. What a target he would be for Fabregas to thread all those balls through. Can you all imagine the ammount of pens he could get because of his pase. What do you think.

  79. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    Shambo,could you not see Toure doing an Essien type job, he did show signs. Did Wenger miss a trick or was the balance sheet his top priority.

  80. Andrus
    July 31, 2009 at 4:10 am #

    @Tom14
    Seriously? Why is the Viera rumor so unreasonable? Even if Ian was just talking, I am sure Viera and AW were listening. And you talk about Viera coming as a bad thing: “don’t worry guys.” If Viera is FREE and we can pay him as he plays, it would be great to have him not only for his football, but also for his leadership and stability. Not to mention, if he comes back AND we sign a defensive midfielder prospect (someone young and cheap with potential), Viera would make a great role model.

    Regardless, we need some midfield reenforcements – not because we do not have a good midfield, but because we have no injury insurance.

  81. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 4:24 am #

    Tom14 there is no point in Wenger signing anymore young and cheap players with potential because i watch almost every home game of Arsenal through the FA youth cup and beleive me mate you have enough of them coming out of your ears. Apart from the Villa your boys made every team they played look shit, thats including Liverpool. Your youth are at the very top of the tree for their age. Althouth Wenger normally chooses to go foreign. My son is only u14 and already they are beginning to do it. You need nothing but experience.25-28 years old in midfield.

  82. Andrus
    July 31, 2009 at 6:15 am #

    Fair statement…sign Viera and another experienced DM.

  83. kala
    July 31, 2009 at 6:22 am #

    Reading around you would have believed that Arsene Wenger was a mass murderer or something!

    People are screaming after the departures of Adebayor and Toure but lets give Wenger time eh?

    We have until midnight 31/08/09 to sign players. That, believe it or not, is quite a long time away.

    I remember last summer getting the right hump with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger because of the same situation we find ourselves in right now. I’m not going down that route this time.

    I honestly believe that we WILL make a signing or more before the transfer dead-line and I’m going to do my very best to keep calm about the situation. We will challenge this season.

    Of course I understand the frustration of Gooners and I can completely understand Gooners worrying but lets try and keep calm.

    Our frustration is being cottoned onto by the media. Lets not feed the vultures!

    You never know, this time next month we might be extremely happy with the squad.

  84. Gibbs
    July 31, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    Viera? youre having a laugh. The guy is way past it, plus he’s a crock. But some fans still want us to resign him. *sighs*

  85. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    Kaka YOU SHOULD… it was in your tent. Behold… all the power of Rome. This is what i think of the power of Rome. All we want is our freedom and to get out of this country so were marching north and we’ll smash anything they send against us……put him on a horse. Sorry that was a line from Sparticus…BECAUSE ARSENAL FINISHED 4th AGAIN WITH NO SILVERWARE TO SHOW FOR IT.I do like the mass murderer part though.

  86. theicehammer
    July 31, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    Well its 22:51PM, good night.

  87. shambogunner
    July 31, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    icehammer im sure he cuda done a job for us as we got him as a LM and he was then converted into a RB then CB without any complaints from the guy himself so im sure he wudv done a job there but i think deni and song are the future and need some1 to show them the way in that position rather than converting kolo once again….also the fee was collosal in the fact he had 1yr left on his contract and obviously needed a new challenge…i dont agree with the view that we have seen the best of him so sell him,dats an arsenal myth we as fans believe when we let a guy go…hes 27 his best is yet to come but i wish him well he never let us down
    in regards to balancing the books mate i dont think dats an issue,i posted a summary of our incomings/outgoings last fri with the site i sourced from there for all to view and since 03/04 season bought 126m worth and sold our guys for 128m up to today so dats balanced enough i wud think in comparison to our competitors spending…i dont think anybody cud predict wots going on in AWs head…no he hasnt killed anybody but is he killing our chances of silverware while he drags his feet through another transfer market.he sain today ‘in england people believe u have to spend to fix a problem’ eh newsflash dats not just in england…dats wot madrid are doing addressing their problems and getting their men…allbeit it on a ridiculous scale granted but can we not show a little ambition???rite now theres no competition for places and dats unhealthy…dats why utd,pool,chels and now city have the edge on us sadly
    as for some of you guys rejecting a move for vieira….the guy served us loyaly to the end and never left anything on a pitch, theres nowhere else id like to see him to wind down his great career and even if he is wel past his best hes earned the right to be welcomed back with open arms at a minimum…..legend

  88. Spanish Fry
    July 31, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    Hey all – it was a good discussion today but I just want to remind everybody to treat each other with respect. If people have opinions that are different to yours it is unfair simply to slag them off in an aggressive manner. This blog is built on the idea that people can have their say in a fair and non-threatening environment and the more we stick to that the better the daily discussion will be.

    Cheers,
    Spanish Fry

  89. Armen
    July 31, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    SF- good article mate!
    I think Arsenal are on a great track. There were a few names that I would curse out loud every the team f’d up last season. Toure, Eboue, Adebayor and sometimes Denilson. Toure messed up a lot on the overhead balls, his positioning was always off or a few seconds late. His speed saved him more than a handful of times, or else there would have been much more goals conceded. Eboue’s link-up play was and still is (judging from pre-season games) one of the poorest in out team. Especially in the final third. And off course, Adebayor’s laziness produced a high count of ‘offsides’. Denilson’s ability to give the ball away drove me up the wall, but I think it was due to the amount of stress he had to take in being the last guy before the defensive line. I do believe if we have more people working around him on the pitch, he will blossom into a better-than-Flamini type player. Remember, Flamini wasn’t all that hot in the DM position until that summer. Plus, Denilson had a good solid year in that position to learn from.

    I think it’s been a great summer for Arsenal, and even though Toure was a great player and a great professional, his time was definitely up, not to say he wouldn’t have been a great squad player, but 16m is hard to refuse. Now my main concern is if AW sells Eboue, who will cover Sagna’s back? I can’t put my money on Djourou or Hoyte. Maybe Song or Gallas?

  90. Paul
    July 31, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    I think Toure leaving will be a big loss. In my mind he was the best defender we had, OK not the best season last year but strong and quick. But good luck to him and thanks for his services at The Arsenal

  91. butterfingers
    July 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    Also everyone says rvp’s assist to fab against hannover was great but the pass from bendy to rvp was top draw and couldn’t see selfish ade doing that. 1-2 players is all thats needed but again would love to see wilshere in the team with vela against the lower teams as the big guns seem to think it will be a walk in the park (hull ect)

  92. butterfingers
    July 31, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Also does anyone know why setanta isn’t showing the Emirates cup this year? Is there another place to watch other than the fc site as my real player isn’t working at the moment.

  93. isaac
    July 31, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    I am very much disapointed with the way wenger is offloading arsenal might and failing to make good replacement. all clubs need senior players to inspair new and young players. i strongly recoment for the signing of three experienced player. one in the central mid. defender and a striker before next season. otherwise im losing morale in watching arsenal playing.

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