Anyone fancy another ‘Alpine Man’??

Gilles Grimandi, a gutsy, fearless kind of a player, a player who I once dreaded seeing play for us but who in the end, turned out to be a favourite of mine and I’m sure of many others.

I recall him playing in the Dennis Bergkamp Testimonial, ex spud Edgar Davids was through on goal – he was odds on to score, mme, he had an open goal and was about to pull the trigger –  that was until Gilles Grimandi took Davids out, literally, no goal and I think I’m right in saying no telling off from the referee either.

Grimandi didn’t care that the game was a friendly, I think all he saw was a Spud ex, he knew what the fans thought of that didn’t he…

No way on that day was David’s going to spoil Dennis’s day.

In case you’ve never seen it, click on the link….

Don’t suppose Gilles needed motivating for the local derby either – yet he was from France, so the overseas players have no excuse do they?

Grimandi grew on me, big time – his curls, his attitude, his commitment – yes we had to wait a season or two, but he got there and my fears left me…

Instead of having the dreaded Denilson or Diaby, wouldn’t you just love another Grimandi there on the bench, a player who if called on to start would give all for the sake of the club and fans? I know I would…

So who was he?

Gilles Grimandi, born on the 11th November 1970 in Gap, France – no, that doesn’t mean his mother was shopping in the big clothes store, there is a place in France called GAP  😆

Grimandi joined us in 1997, another typical Wenger signing – French, defender but can also play in midfield. The latter I think turned out to be his better position. Fondly known as the Alpine Man, Mr Man Mountain by his team mates, we all learned why by the time he left in 2002…

In his time he even bagged himself six goals, not many, but I’ll forgive him just for that Davids tackle !!

Quite a few years ago, Kung Fu kicker Erick Cantona once refered to Didier Deschamps as ‘Water Carrier’ – the refernce was made exactly how it sounds to, bit of an insult, the player who was only good enough to carry on the water – yeah right Erick!!

But what that expression really means in the friendly world of football is, The Utility Man, the man that can do whatever is called on him to do, that was Gilles Grimandi. He didn’t seem to care where he played, he just loved playing and at that time it was clear to see that he loved playing for Arsenal..

Prior to joining us, Grimandi began his career with AS Monaco in 1990 and made his first-team debut in 1991 against AS Nancy in the French top division.

His career was set back after a call up by the French military service, he went on to make 67 appearances and score 3 goals for the club, mostly as a centre back. He helped the club reach both a UEFA Champions League and a UEFA Cup semifinal and won the league title in 1996-97.

The following season, Grimandi left Monaco and signed for us, he obviously missed Arsene, he made his debut at Leeds United, and was part of the squad that won The Double in his first season.

He made 113 league appearances as a midfielder, centre back, and right back. He was also part of the squad which won second Double in his final season (2001-02) along the way I think he became a fans favourite.

Grimandi is still with Arsenal, in a scouting role – he say’s he is lucky and that for most people, life after Arsenal is mainly downhill!

He also had this to say not long after he left our club…..

I think many players have done a lot more for Arsenal than me,. I just tried to do what was asked of me and give it my best – I’m not being modest, its the way I think. When you play alongside players like like Vieira and other top players, its easy. You just have to know your job and work for them. Playing at the back was always a bit harder – it wasn’t my natural position – but I was just delighted whenever I was part of things. I might have been on the bench a lot, but for me just being included in the first sixteen, with so many wonderful players around me was a great thing’

That says it all for me –

1) Its easy to play football when you are surrounded by wonderful players

2) More importantly,’You just have to know your job and work for them’ AND ‘I just tried to do what was asked of me and give it my best’

And Grimandi did just that, he gave it his best and that’s why I would love to see us sign another man like him….

Have a good day all…

Next up is Lardy and his lot….


46 Responses to Anyone fancy another ‘Alpine Man’??

  1. rico says:

    Morning peoples, I keep watching the link, it still makes me smile today 🙂

  2. K-TR7 says:

    Morning rico.Robben made me drool…we need a duracell bunny ‘flamini’esque.

  3. Morning! I was right behind the goal for that tackle, instant legend.

    I say tackle but i really mean assault. But it was Davids so it carries no charge!

    Incidentally, i’d be really grateful if you guys would throw your weight behind my campaign to have the club treat our 1971 Double winning Captain Frank McLintock with a bit more respect. Link is at my pathetic attempt at a blog 🙂

  4. David says:

    Arsene Wenger is more interested in his Ego than moving Arsenal Football club forward.


    Wenger was asked whether Fabianski was too sensitive for the Premier League? “No,” the manager replied. “You can turn sensitivity to an advantage because he can feel and see things that others don’t see but, as well, when you have guilt, it can be a disadvantage confidence-wise. He is a top-class goalkeeper. I repeat that many times and you will see that one day, I am right.”


    Fine morning to you all.

  5. rico says:

    morning ktr7 and david, robben was pretty good ah…

    david, he never slates them in public, like to be a fly on wall sometimes 😉

  6. Rico, could you check your filters please, a post of mine hasn’t made it through? It has a link on it to a campaign to get Frank McLintock some proper respect from the club. Thanks.

  7. rico says:

    Morning QoS, all done and your on, I slows when links go up or goes to spam …

  8. Harry Barracuda says:

    That was almost as good as Willie Young hacking down that other scum twat in the FA Cup final.

  9. rico says:

    Morning HB, Willie Young, now that takes me back 🙂

  10. Many thanks Rico! Its for a worthy cause!

  11. rico says:

    No worries, can’t believe he has to pay, what a tight old club we are…

  12. rico says:

    Good luck with your blog to, they are very time consuming 😦

  13. Patrick 7 says:

    Mountain man – sounds like Eboue to me! LOL

    Re. Frank, great guy joined in with our running squad a couple of times while we were training at a park near his home (about the time he was Leicester manager). Brilliant captain & LEADER!

  14. rico says:

    Hi Pat7, good to see you here…

    Grimandi was slightly better than Eboue 😉

  15. rico says:

    All quiet, so catch you later

  16. W.A.T.H says:

    two or three Grimandi’s in this team would be good……!. Just what we need 2…. And not a small fella….! No Rico, no getting excited not in that way 😉

  17. rico says:

    soon as i say i’m off for a while, you turn up 😉

  18. W.A.T.H says:

    Shit…………….. ok sorry I’ll go then….. Bye……! 😛

  19. rico says:

    Real quiet everywhere today, lull before tomorrows Saturdays storm??

    I am losing my days…

    You got any gossip wath?

  20. rico says:

    Now you’ve gone to….

  21. James says:

    My article of why I think there’s something very deeply wrong with Arsenal

  22. W.A.T.H says:

    Sorry phone door phone phone and then phone again…. mad house……………..!.

    Gossip hmmmmmmmmmmmm let me see………….!

    ……. That would be a big no………….!.

  23. rico says:

    It’s boring isn’t it – guess the gossip will begin as the season comes to an end…

    How we going to get through the summer without legue footie to chat about, i shall get fed up with speculation, may take a month off 😉

  24. W.A.T.H says:

    I’m not reading any papers at all and am gonna take up chess and backgammon………….. I dont like football anymore….! 😉

    Oh and gonna try drink as much grey goose as humanly possible 🙂

  25. rico says:

    Old men play crib and drink IPA wath 😉 😉

    Ideas for summer writing will be most welcome 🙂

  26. rico says:

    We are the 3rd highest valued club, behind Manure and Real Madrid…..

  27. W.A.T.H says:

    Crib and IPA take it ur into crib and scrumpy then old gal…….. 😛

    I’ll give u ideas for summer writing but they won’t be printable 🙂

    3rd highest valued club hence the board ready to line thier pockets but will the yank or jabba actually invest money into the playing side of things…? I doubt it…!

  28. rico says:

    😆 wath..

    Telling you, this is the summer they spend – i have a bet with Erick on a milkshake 🙂

  29. W.A.T.H says:

    Yes I saw the “milkshake” bet…. He wants a strawberry one with double grey goose 🙂

    As for you… what are we to do with you….. 😉

    We will buy noone watch…… 5 teenagers and a free Moroccan…! 😛

  30. rico says:

    Mine’s a chocolate one when I win the bet 🙂 NO GG in mine either 🙂

    I reckon 2 very good players, one ‘all rounder’ not sure he will get a GK though…

    CH, HM and Chamakh 😉

    I have to go out sadly – be back around 6pm, see you then if you are about?

  31. W.A.T.H says:

    Not sure, if not have a great evening and will catch u 2moro… be good….! 😉

  32. rico says:

    Thanks WATH, you to, lata’s 🙂

  33. Suhail.TV says:

    Hello.. Any body out there

  34. K-TR7 says:

    “I knew I was coming here [Brentford] to prove myself good enough to be in goal for Arsenal and hopefully I’ve convinced some people I can do a job for them next year.

    “I believe that if I had been given a chance at Arsenal before I came here, I would have been good enough. I just came here to prove it.

    “Hopefully some people – including Arsene Wenger – will see me in that number one place next year.

    “I’ve said before that you need to learn the basics in this league to then take that back to Arsenal. You might have seen in recent months that Arsenal goalkeepers have had problems with the basics,” he noted.

    “You need to make sure that when you come to the lower leagues you don’t make mistakes and if you pull off a couple of great saves that is a bonus.

    “I believe I’ve done that and only made a couple of mistakes. Things have gone well.” Wojciech Szczesny.I like him he has ba!!s I am sure he will be our no.1. he has a goalkeeper in his blood.

  35. K-TR7 says:

    Alex Song may return for the visit of Manchester City on Saturday evening.

    The midfielder, who has missed the last three games with an inflamed cartilage, faces a fitness test on Friday.

    The inclusion of the Cameroon international is the only major change possible from the squad that lost at Wigan last Sunday. That is because Andrey Arshavin (calf), Manuel Almunia (wrist) and Denilson (groin) are still out.

    “Maybe Song [could be off the injury list],” Wenger told TV Online on Thursday. “He has a test tomorrow and we’ll see. He is a question mark.

    “Apart from that, nobody is back. Andrey Arshavin is out. Everyone else – Gallas, Almunia, Denilson – is still out too.”

    Meanwhile Kieran Gibbs (foot) and Johan Djourou (knee) are approaching fitness after long-term injuries. However Wenger believes only the latter has a possibility of playing again this season.

    “Djourou has a little chance,” he said. “But Gibbs will be very short.”

  36. K-TR7 says:

    where are you??????????????

  37. K-TR7 says:

    Year NAME GS SV GC Save % Shots/GM Goals Saved Above Avg
    2007 Manuel Almunia 38 123 18 87.2% 3.7 23.6
    2007 Jens Lehmann 12 56 3 94.9% 4.9 14.4
    2008 Manuel Almunia 42 115 37 75.7% 3.6 7.8
    2008 Lukasz Fabianski 16 61 16 79.2% 4.8 6.7
    2009 Wojciech Szczesny 1 4 0 100.0% 4.0 1.2
    2009 Lukasz Fabianski 6 30 11 73.2% 6.8 1.1
    2009 Vito Mannone 8 22 8 73.3% 3.8 0.8
    2009 Manuel Almunia 34 85 38 69.1% 3.6 -1.7

  38. K-TR7 says:

    Rank Name Games Saves Goals Allowed Save % Shots/GM Goals Saved
    1 Marcus Hahnemann 19 89 24 78.8% 5.9 9.3
    2 Joe Hart 31 115 37 75.7% 4.9 7.8
    3 Heurelho Gomes 25 69 18 79.3% 3.5 7.6
    4 Brad Friedel 31 102 32 76.1% 4.3 7.5
    5 Mark Schwarzer 30 109 35 75.7% 4.8 7.4
    19 Jussi Jaaskelainen 32 121 60 66.9% 5.7 -6.6
    20 Robert Green 32 109 55 66.5% 5.1 -6.7
    21 Brian Jensen 32 127 63 66.8% 5.9 -7.0
    22 David James 22 60 41 59.4% 4.6 -11.2
    23 Chris Kirkland 28 76 49 60.8% 4.5 -12.2

    The top goalie this season has been Marcus Hahnemann, who has saved 9.3 more goals than expected. Anyone who remembers Arsenal’s encounter with Wolves a few games ago to certainly attest to that.

  39. K-TR7 says:

    The average save percentage in the Premier League this season was 70.5%. On the high end we have Edwin Van der Sar saving 81.1% of the shots he faced and on the low end is David James at 59.4%. Almunia ranked 14th this year, at 68.7% (31 goals, 99 shots faced). From here, we can then calculate what the average Premier League keeper should be expected to save. Almunia faced 3.4 shots a game, second lowest behind Peter Cech. However, he has allowed 31 goals which is 15th most. So to calculate just how many goals he has saved above or below average, we can use this formula: (Saves-((Total Shots)*PL Avg Save %)). This tells us how many saves he made minus total saves he was expected to have made, or quite simply Goals Saved Above Average. Now for the not surprising part: Almunia was below average, allowing 1.8 more goals than an average keeper would be expected to make. This would rank him 15th in the league this year.

  40. rico says:

    Evening all – that’s some stats KTR7, MH was a Reading player once 🙂

  41. K-TR7 says:

    Evening rico.szeczesny made superb reflex saves in the weekend,i have high hopes for him.hope he doesn’t disappear the way some of our most promising youngsters do.he also sees how poor big al and flapianski have been,surely AW must have seen this too…

  42. K-TR7 says:

    After the poor perfomances in past couple of weeks the thought of ade slaloming past silvestre to have a one on one scares me!it will be the final blow to our season.i hope the fans cheer up our boys who should give us a quality perfomance which we are long overdue…

  43. rico says:

    i wont be surprised if lardy doesn’t start…

  44. rico says:

    Guess its only me and WATH that think we need a Grimandi kind of player signed then…

  45. rico says:

    Im off again as no-one around, catch you later or tomorrow…

  46. K-TR7 says:

    Rico am around.Ribery,benzema and govou had an affair with a 17 year old prostitute…ibra covered the same distance as valdez vs inter…robben has 16 goals in his last 17 games,4 goals in 4 knockout games he has played this season.

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