New number 10 and 11, New 9?? New rules….

July 21, 2010

The boys are in Austria training hard in preparation for tonights friendly. Robin, our new number 10 is yet to join up with the squad, as is our captain. Also missing is Eduardo, our  number 9 who it appears has left us for pastures new. I really hope his career kicks off again and he gets somewhere near back to his best.  Another player who has changed his squad number is Carlos Vela, he will now wear number 11. That just about puts to bed any suggestion that Vela is on the move, good!

But what to make of the now vacant number 9 shirt, will Wenger promote from within, maybe Jay Simpson, Sunu or someone else, will Chamakh or Nikki B now change their squad numbers, OR will we all be stunned by the signing of a new centre forward to fill the shirt?.

Talking of players, Red Arse has kindly provided an idiots guide to the new rules….

From next season the Premier League are introducing the new HGP rules restricting the numbers of players permitted in a first team squad and setting a maximum number of “foreign players” who can be included in the squad. More about the numbers game later.

What’s that all about, you may ask?

O.K. let’s have a look at the background to see how we arrived at these new rules.

Good old Sepp Blatterbum, several years ago, tried to introduce worldwide rule to help protect and develop “Home Grown” football talent. His “big idea”, was, in fact, based on the very understandable desire to protect youngsters from Africa and South America, in particular, being lured by European clubs and then being dumped far from home, if they weren’t good enough.
In addition, he wanted to encourage the opportunities for the development of each nation’s own young players, and reduce the mass movement of other countries’ youngsters.

He and Michel Platinum tried to force clubs into accepting a 6 + 5 rule. This meant each team would have to have 6 home grown players and 5 foreign players in it. Unfortunately for them, this proposal was not acceptable under European Law and was thrown out. Now the Premier League mandarins have proposed their own version of Blatter’s idea, probably to prevent future hassle from FIFA and UEFA.
So what are the numbers then?
Each Premier League club can have a maximum of 25 players over the age of 21 in their first team squad.
There will be a maximum of 17 foreign players over the age of 21.
Therefore clubs can have 8 “home grown players” in their squads.
Each club can also have an unlimited number of players, of any nationality, under the age of 21.

So there it is; Foreign players 17
Home Grown players 8
Maximum Squad size 25


What is the definition of a “home-grown” player?

A home-grown player is one who has been developed by an English or Welsh club for at least three years before reaching the age of 21. The obvious effect of this is that there will be an even greater premium put on the market price of any English player. It will also eventually, it is hoped, improve the quality of the England team, though this is debatable. To give an example of “home-grown” players, over the age of 21, in the current Arsenal squad, would be; Clichy, Mannone, Denilson,Fabregas and Djourou.

Examples of foreign players over 21, would include; Arshavin, Diaby, Nasri and so on. I estimate that Arsenal have 14 or 15 foreign players in the squad at the time of writing. This may change if Arsene buys another one or two players.

When does this new rule take effect?

At 5 p.m. on the last day of the transfer window, each club must supply a list of its first team squad and its composition. The squad can be amended during each of the following transfer windows.
So now you know. What is your view on the possible benefits or problems arising from these rules. Will they cause Arsenal problems? Are they a restriction on clubs’ autonomy, designed to see a “levelling down” in the quality of the top teams?


Have a good day all, enjoy the game later 🙂

Cesc, Rooney and the Loyalty Myth

July 20, 2010

We have all become used to players “Kissing the Badge”, and assuring the fans of their undying love for their Club by uttering facile mantras, such as “Once a Blue, always a Blue”, and many other similar clichés.

We have recently heard, more and more frequently, particularly in the case of Cesc Fabregas, that a player possesses this or that “DNA” in their blood.
This “possessive identifier” does not only refer to players who have been born overseas, such as Cesc, but British players, such as Gerrard, Neville and Shearer, born in the vicinity of their clubs, who are inextricably linked to their geographical heritage.

On the other hand, fans become emotionally involved with their Clubs, out of choice, and once they become Gooners, Dippers or Spuds they will remain loyal supporters for the rest of their lives.
Whether a fan is born or lives within a stone’s throw of their club, or is born many thousands of miles away, makes no difference. Their love of their Club, their team and its football is what unites them all.

Gooners all over the world love to get together, either in the Pubs or on the internet, and talk, discuss or argue about their beloved Gunners; to discuss the latest rumours; to worry about who will be bought; who will be sold; and how successful the team will be in the coming season. And this is true for fans of all the other teams too.

The loyalty of the fans is absolute and unquestioned but what then about the “loyalty” of the players, with or without DNA.

Fans because of their identity with the Club extend this loyalty and love to the players.
In return, they expect the players to respond in kind and give their love and loyalty back to both their devoted fans and the Club itself. Sadly, this emotional link is very often misplaced. At root, players are professional sportsmen who in their relatively short careers want to make as much money and win as many trophies as possible.

When Arsenal develops young players through their youth system, a very important milestone is passed when they reach 17 years of age. The Club and the player now engage in a purely business transaction which can often be brutal. Love and loyalty play no part in these discussions.

Firstly the Club will decide in a hard-headed businesslike manner, whether, or not, a young player is good enough for a professional career with them. For those who are unsuccessful there are broken dreams and broken hearts! No love or loyalty there then.
For the successful ones a contract is awarded with plenty of dosh, dependent on the deemed ability of individual players. No love or loyalty is evident there either; just haggling over money and security!

Immediately, from that moment, the dye is cast and the fans’ love and loyalty is divorced from the business of the financial contractual relationship of the Club and Player.
When Arsenal, Manchester City or whoever buy a player, they are in fact buying the player’s contract and the hard-headed business negotiations kick in again. No mention of love or loyalty! No siree Bob.

No matter how much fans would wish it to be different, it is this contractual relationship which governs Club and Player until the end of that contract or the end of the player’s career.  Consider the statements we continually hear from players and what they really mean;

“Once a Blue always a Blue”? Sod that, if more money and trophies are there for the taking.

“I love Arsenal”? Well until I am offered more money elsewhere, by Citeh.

“I am proud to be an Arsenal player”? Well until my DNA kicks in and I can go to a Club likely to win trophies and pay me a salary beyond my wildest dreams. Don’t cry for me Barcelona, the truth is I never left you £££££.

“I can only say it is in the hands of the manager”? If I say I want to go, it may cost me a big payout.
This is not to be overly cynical. It is reality! In truth, the players are not the only ones to blame for this state of affairs. From the age of 17 onwards, the legal business entity which is the Club, under the FIFA and UEFA guidelines, negotiates and dictates the financial relationship of the player to the Club.

The fans have no say in any of this, other than to provide the emotional and financial support without which the Club/Players would not exist. Cough up, pay more and watch the game!

Players’ Loyalty? Players’ Love?

Pahh! Don’t be naive, it’s just a MYTH!

Written by Red Arse

Striker signed and given the No9 shirt!! Jack set for stay, Papa speaks…

July 14, 2010

Why can’t Arsene Wenger announce a player with this girls kind of statistics??

Arsenal Ladies Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of striker Ellen White from Leeds Carnegie.

Ellen White has been signed from Leeds Carnegie, she’s twenty-one years old, made 31 appearances last season and scored 23 goals. Pre Leeds she played for Chelsea and just like in the mens game, Chelsea and Arsenal are bitter rivals, so this is a great signing for the ladies side…

Ellen has represented England at all levels and made her senior debut in March this year..

On signing Ellen White said:

“This is a pretty massive deal for me. Obviously Arsenal Ladies are the biggest women’s football team in the country and Europe and pretty much all over the world, so it is a massive move for me. I’m delighted and really excited to get started.”

Vic Akers has assured all fans of the ladies side that two more signings and good ones too will be secured by the beginning of their new season.

Mmme, wonder if he is a tad more honest about signings than old Arsene 🙂

Some good news yesterday about Jack Wilshere, reports are he’s not off on loan to Bolton but instead he’s staying put and will be a part of the first team next season. Does this spell the end of the Joe Cole rumours about him joining us? I would think so but according to The Daily Star, we are overwhelming favourites to sign him. We should know by the end of the week.

Other news is Wenger has dismissed any suggestion that Eduardo is to be offloaded, he has said that big things are expected of our No9 this coming season…

Good to see the photos of the big boys back in training, here they all are in case you haven’t seen them yet..

Papa Cesc has had this to say’ about that gaff’ …

“It was a day of celebration and anything goes. If anyone misinterprets it, they have to see that it was part of a celebration,” Francesc Fabregas told COM Radio.

“Cesc has it very clear what Arsenal has been and is for him. He is super grateful to them and it has never crossed his mind to do something wrong towards them.

“Cesc said what he wanted to do (sign for Barca) the day after the end of the league so that Arsenal had time to react.

“It would have been nasty to say it today, when they are almost on the verge of starting the pre-season.

“But he always did so thinking about Arsenal. It remains to be seen how everything turns out.”

So, if you believe Papa, Cesc has asked to leave……

Reports this morning are that Cesc has also spoken saying pretty much the same as his Papa. He asks that all the talk about him and Barca be cooled and ‘what will be, will be’……

Interpret from that what you choose……

Have a good day all….

Eduardo out and in? Mertesacker a maybe and Flamini could return!

July 1, 2010

I have to laugh at some bloggers, they come here and no doubt go onto other Arsenal sites, hurl a load of abuse about what we’ve written, tell us its rubbish, accuse us of playing Football Manager and then go. Well, I think they must be overdosing on their morning dose of Bran Flakes, they certainly are ‘serial’ abusers and talk a load of C**P.

Here we all are, blogging happily together day by day, no club football to watch and dreaming of the next signing Arsene Wenger brings in – not offending anyone along the way, also knowing that in reality we won’t get the players we dream of but hey, its gets us all through the off-season….

Today it’s about Eduardo, our little striker. We know that the rumours were doing the rounds that he’s been told he no longer has a part to play in Arsene Wengers first team. That’s sad I thought, if true, then after some thought I told myself that a move abroad may turn out to be the best thing for him…

Wham Bam, in a Sol kind of fashion, reports are he’s in talks with Aston Villa, what the heck is that all about? Why on earth would Eduardo want to stay in the Premier League, why not go off abroad and get a bit more protection from the referees, he sure as heck won’t get it here….

Onto the other Eduardo, apparently the reports overseas are that Wenger and Fergie are off into battle again, this time though it’s over the signing of ‘The Animal’ – aka Eduardo. He currently plays for Braga and has had a good World Cup for Portugal, well, until Tuesday night 😉 Well, I don’t believe this one, not for a minute, he’d cost too much money for us so if Fergie wants him, he won’t see Wenger trying to stop him, in my opinion….

The Daily Mail suggest we are going to spend £10M on Per Mertesacker, this could be old news re-written, but we have all seen him in action for Germany, he’s a big strong man and at 6′ 5″ he’s just what we need. This is just the kind of player we need to sure up our defensive unit.

Lastly from me today relates to Mathieu Flamini, suggestion is that he wants to return to the Premier League.
Flamini for me is one of many who left us for a bigger wage packet, thought the grass was greener in Italy, but he soon learnt that the only thing better in Italy than England is their Pizza’s and Pasta Sauces 😉

Would you like to see him back at Arsenal…..

Why Özil after two good games? Is it Goodbye to Dudu?

June 27, 2010

It seems that the whole world of footballing fans suddenly want their club to buy Mesut Ozil and we Arsenal fans are no different are we.

One great display against the ten men of Australia, an average performance during Germanys loss to Serbia but then a wonder strike from the player to earn his country a 1-0 win over Ghana, seems to have convinced us all that he is the man we want Arsene Wenger to sign.

Well, yes it would be wonderful wouldn’t it to finally bag ourselves an out-and-out attacking midfielder, a winger some would call him. I’ve forgotten what a winger was its been so long since we’ve had a ‘real one’.

But hang on, were we not crying out for players with experience, did we not ask for players who have been there and done it, did we not say we have too many young players in our squad and we wanted oldies to ‘show the way’ to the young uns??

We did, so what makes us all suddenly believe that Mesut Ozil is good enough for Arsenal Football Club. Be honest with yourselves, did you want him before this World Cup? No, nor did I!

We have little to no chance in buying him in my opinion and feel free to voice yours loud and clear, but Wenger has said he will not buy a player off the back of a four-week competition. Add to that, he has had two very good games in three, is that really enough to convince Wenger to splash out vast amounts of money? Nah, I don’t think so.

Werde Bremen will be sat rubbing their hands together as this tournament goes by knowing that if their 6’0″ attacking player continues to shine they will be able to stick a £20M price on his head.

That price tag will be far too much for Wenger. However, his contract ends this time next year, maybe we will see another Audrey Arshavin scenario in January if he hasn’t been snapped up by then..

I don’t think we’ll get him, but I’m sure he’d look good in Red and White and he wears the Number 10 🙂

Sad news this morning written in many papers, that is that Eduardo could be on his way. Reports are that Arsene Wenger no longer has him in his first-team plans and he would be better suited to league where football is a less hard. Well, I wonder how Martin Taylor feels this morning having read the papers?

If this transpires to be true then I truly hope it’s not the beginning of the end of our little poachers career…

Well done to Ghana for yesterdays win, great to see the African flag flying and today it the turn of England. No doubt it will be a high scoring, entertaining match with plenty of goals.

Have a good day all, enjoy the sunshine and the football…

Don’t care how today, just get three points!!!

April 3, 2010

Here we go again then, Saturday 3pm kick off against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a side that has just started to pick up a few good results. Wolves are unbeaten in the last four games having picked up eight points from a possible twelve.

The away game at Wolves earlier in the season was a funny old affair, Ramsey started in the midfield with Diaby I think, with Song on the bench. Wolves had the better start and for twenty-five minutes we were a bit on the back foot.

But what happened next told a story, Diaby (who back then played just as he did against Barca) was having a nightmare, he was woeful. He picked up an injury and had to go off, then on came Alex Song. From that moment on the game changed, Ramsey, for one, suddenly seemed as if someone had given him an injection of ‘confidence’ – he played well, really well. In fact the whole team picked up the pace and found their rhythm.

By the time the first half was over, so was the game, 3-0 up!

Eduardo started that game – I think he will start today aswell. Sadly though, one player we know who won’t is Ramsey!!

Wolves handed us a couple of own goals that day the other two were scored by Fabregas and Arshavin, neither will be playing tomorrow!

We ended up winning 4-1, but the scoreline didn’t tell the whole tale, Wolves had their chances and but for some last-ditch defending by us and a few wayward shots it could have been very different. Kevin Doyle is a dangerous player and could hurt any team on his day, but between Vermaelen and Sol, he should be kept out.

As said, Wolves are no mugs and I don’t expect Mick McCarthy to play anything other than his strongest side, he won’t risk a hefty fine again, shame he risked the first one. I do understand why he did though….

So with all our injured players the team tomorrow kind of picks itself, unless of course Arsene does decide to make drastic changes with Barca in mind.

We have no Cesc, Arshavin, Gallas, Clichy and Denilson are doubts – I don’t believe they are injured for one minute, they are being rested!!

We have a squad, a squad that should be full of players who are more than capable of slotting into the side and continuing the Arsenal way, if not, then why are we keeping them, why are we as a club paying them?

With that in mind, I expect us to do exactly that and continue where we left off the last time we played at the Emirates, in the league I mean…

I think we will see changes – but here is the team I think AW will play…


Eboue Sol TV Traore

Song Nasri Rosicky/Diaby

Theo Nik/Eduardo Vela

And with a few reserves on the bench, mainly because that’s all we have left 🙂

But hey, no disrespect to Wolves, they are a team we should beat, if we can’t and don’t then we don’t deserve to be in the title race. We are at home, on our green silky grass and every players knows how to play on it. So no excuses, no half-hearted performances.

We need grit and fire in the bellies today and a great performance to get us three points.

Most of all, play with pride and passion, the way this man always did……..


First off, lets hope for a bore draw at lunchtime then come 5pm, we can shout ‘ We’re behind you’ 🙂

Have a great day all, all three points will make sure I do….

Do or Don’t for Dudu?

March 27, 2010

Eduardo Da Silva, fondly known by Arsenal football fans as Dudu was born in Brazil in February 1983.
Despite growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Dudu chose to represent Croatia in International Football. His international football
holds little interest for me, its Arsenal so lets stick to talking about his career with us. As so many have said recently,
we pay the players wages, not the country they play for.

The ‘stand out’ club he played for in his youth days was Dinamo Zagreb, the same club he stayed with right up until he signed for us
in 2007. Whilst at Zagreb he had a season loan 2002-03, and suffered a few niggly injuries. (that’s what probably clinched his move to us)  😉

When he arrived at Arsenal he bought with him a pretty good career record – named the best player of the Croatian league in 2004 as well as in 2006 and 2007, he had been one of the key players in Dinamo Zagreb’s team that won two consecutive titles in the Croatian league as well as one title in the Croatian Cup. In 2006, he also helped Dinamo winning the Croatian Supercup, scoring two goals in their 4–1 victory over Rijeka. Funny enough he was the footballer that scored the first European goal at The Emirates – it was the only goal that night for him and his team, they got whooped 5-1 by his soon to be new team!

During the 2006-2007 season, which was to be his last at Zagreb also turned into his best season at the club, no doubt it was this that caught the eye of Arsene Wenger and his scouts. Eduardo played 18 games before the winter break, scoring 18 goals along the way. Not bad eh? By the end of the same season he had totalled 32 goals in 32 appearances, breaking a thirteen year old record previously held by Goran Vlaović. Dudu also became the first player to a hat-rick for Zagreb against local rivals Hajduk Split – when I say local rivals, what I really mean is those three goals he scored were a bit like scoring three for us against the Spuds…

My thinking is that was the season he was being watched by us, and what a season to play like he did, he had more than convinced Arsenal he was a top striker and the following season, having had a work permit granted following an appeal, he squeezed his big bum into a pair of Arsenal Shorts, along with the shorts he was given the No9 shirt to wear. We had our fox in the box, our centre forward we craved for…. Didn’t we???

Eduardo made his Premier League debut on 19 August 2007, a 1-1 draw with Blackburn, ten days later we faced Sparta Prague in a Champions League qualifier. Dudu scored his first goal in a 3-0 win, he went on to score another in the group stages against Seville. He was fighting to gain a regular place in the first team in the league, but continued to show his goalscoring abilities in the Carling Cup, scoring a couple of goals in two consecutive matches against Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.

Soon is chance came, Robin van Persie picked up an injury which kept him out for a long while, Dudu then slotted in alongside a tall striker, a bit of a lazy git whose name I can’t remember!!  😉


In the February of 2008, still in his first season with us, Martin Taylor of Birminham ensured we wouldn’t get to see Eduardo in action for a long long time…. After a late crunching tackle made by Taylor, Eduardo suffered a broken left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle.

In my humble opinion, not only did this tackle ruin his season, to this day it seems as if may very well have ruined his career!

We all know what happened during that game,  that game had a massive impact on all of the team,  we fell away in our hunt for the title……

In January 2009, Eduardo told he was ready to return, ready for first team football, in February he made that comeback for Arsenal, scoring two goalsin a 4-0 victory over Cardiff.
But since then, each time he plays he seems to suffer a set back, he doesn’t look sharp and his shooting boots seem to be very far away from his feet. We have seen him miss easy chances to score, miss chances that the old Eduardo would have taken as easy as nicking candy from a baby.

This weekend the club take a trip back to the ground that haunted them during the 2007/08 season when we were looking so strong. It is also the first time that Eduardo returns to face a side that nearly ended his career.

We are up against a side who’s own form has taken a dip, they sit 9th in the table right now so the game won’t be a walk over. This game, like the same fixture in 2008 will have a big say in our season, win it and we will build the momentum, lose and it could all be over. The latter though I don’t expect to happen, even without our two first choice CH’s, I think we will win comfortably.

So, you are Arsene Wenger – Do you start Eduardo or Don’t you????

I am unsure what I would do, but I would involve him in the game at some stage, it may just maybe that on Saturday, Eduardo Da Silva can finally bury the ghosts that seem to be currently haunting his football career….