Can We Play You Every Week

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SC Weiz 0-5 Arsenal

Well it’s back to the daily grind of transfer rumours following last night’s thoroughly underwhelmling live feed of our pre-season match against SC Weiz.

As if the feed breaking up every ten seconds was not boring enough, the opposition was hardly that testing – they were from the Austrian fourth division. Pick of the goals came from Thierry, who placed what the Mirror desribes as a “cheeky chip” past the keeper, though I only heard that one, as the picture had – rather amazingly – frozen. “Defences in the Premier League are bound to be tougher”, notes the Guardian sagely.

Still, a good run-out I’m sure, and a chance to watch – through squinting eyes and gritted teeth while the sun was shining outside – young and new players alike.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. halfNice

    I didn’t watch the game (and from the sounds of it, neither did you), but I guess a win is a win.

    I hear AW has said he’s not interested in signing Guti. Good; he’s an okay player but I don’t think we need him.

    So what next for AW? He promised us 2 world-class players; he’s got a long way to go to deliver. Tho, to be honest, I think we still have a pretty good team as it stands – and even without improvements we’ll be challenging for the title again.

  2. vivb

    Arsenal TV needs a bit of development.

    AW is building his third Arsenal team. I think we have to be patient this season. I think the side will be more fluid, a bit like Barca with attacking players rotating round the pitch confusing the opposition.

    The big ask is who will be the leader, although Pat wasn’t a Tony Adams he was his country’s captain and obviously a big presence in the dressing room.

  3. Farnborough Gunner

    A win is a win, and softer opposition gives AW more chance to try some younger or squad players, or try new systems (surely not!).

    As for transfers, we shouldn’t get too hung up on looking for a direct replacement for Vieira; we have played enough games, successfully, without him in the last year or so to prove we can do well without him, and trying to replace him will lead us to buying someone like Guti. We need to strengthen elsewhere:
    – goalkeeper backup
    – centre forward (a proper striker, not a deep-attacking coverted winger or midfielder)
    – central defense cover.

  4. Farnborough Gunner

    I haven’t seen Hleb yet – does he look like the sort of player who could unpick a tight opposition defense, as Pires & Bergkamp do? You sometimes need something special to break a stalemate, and we can’t keep relying on TH.

    DB surely cannot play too many games this season, and RP may be off. I wondered if Hleb could replace them as the “something special coming up” merchant, if not actually playing the same position on the pitch.

  5. Alan

    I’m glad your feed kept stopping every ten seconds. Mine did too. I thought it was my computer but I guess everyone had the same problem. Saw the goals later on Sky News. Thierry’s second was a corker! Just read the Sun re the Beast. I’m pacing up and down like an expectant father! Here’s hoping!

  6. wengerball

    VivB’s got it about right – this new Arsenal will be even more ‘total football’ with the front two thirds of the team fluidly rotating roles around the pitch. That should confound fergie and Allardyce who think they’ve sussed us with their tedious pack the midfield tactic. It’s also the reason why there’ll be no “new viera”.
    Just realised David Bentley is back, which could be a big plus if he lives up to his promise – now’s his time.
    Would feel a lot more confident with the bap on board though and a promising no2 gk.

  7. Alan

    Just another thought:

  8. Alan

    Just another thought: anyone else piss themselves laughing when Jamie Carragher said yesterday that Peter Crouch was going to be Liverpool’s Thierry Henry?

  9. Gambian Gooner

    Well, to be fair Alan, Carragher compared that lanky sod Crouch to all premiership strikers except Henry.

  10. where i am we dont get covrage of arsenals pre season games . id love to see how hlebs doing .has quincy featured in the pre season .i hope we see him more regularly thoughout the season.and what happening with patts replacement . i know it would be costly but i’d like to see AW make an attempt to sign essien.

  11. Green Gooner

    In fairness to Carragher he didn’t compare Crouch to Titi at all. He said that besides Henry, Crouch was as good as any striker in the Premiership from Christmas to the end of the season. The papers twisted his words and stuck mis-leading headlines up. For a change.

  12. Tom Wright

    Firstly i wanted to reply to the guy who wanted to know more about Hleb. I went to the Barnet friendly last wkend and he was great, linking up with TH really well – an understanding is forming there, which spells trouble for the rest of the league.
    My feed kept breaking up last night too – perhaps something to do with the signal sent from the Austrian mountains?! Sort ot out BT, i didnt pay £40 for this! But Thierry’s goal – absolute world class – we must make sure we give him this new deal, whatever he wants he can have!
    Read the Sun today. The whole BAptista story is so confusing. So i’ll be checking the net all day today for thatbreaking news, but dont hold your breath

  13. Geoff

    My live feed from the friendly last night was not too bad. I initially had it on advanced broadband (or whatever it was called) but that was terrible even though I have 2mb bt broadband, so I switched speed to the normal one & it came through ok (not brilliant) but nothing like you lot are saying there were no delays or anything.

    Alan I would not believe the story about Baptista as it will only drive you round the bend, I looked on sevilla’s website & used an online translator to read one of the articles about baptista & it said he is able to get an EU passport this august as he has been working in spain for two years. However if he moves clubs he will no longer be able to get one so you can safely say even if he does end up at arsenal (which I feel is unlikely) it will not be until he has the passport so would be much nearer to transfer deadline day & certainly not now.

  14. Joshua

    Don’t forget about van Persie and Quincy. These guys are still very young and still Arsenal players. I just wish that van Persie was already playing. He and Quincy will find themselves completely a part of the first team in the spring. As far as Vieira goes, we simply can’t replace him. No one in the world can play that position the way that he does; graceful in offence, tenacious in defense and has greater range than anyone that I know. If it weren’t for Vieira people would argue that Lampard or Gerrard are the best in the world. No one says that becuase they have both been quoted saying that Vieira is a much better player than they were and we’ve seen Vieira dominate those two many times. This move was what was best for Patty in that he doesn’t have to babysit. I fear he is going to make Arsenal look like fools this year for selling him so cheap. I hope Wenger’s plan works.

  15. maz

    Totally agree about Arsenal TV being in a developmental stage. At one point Bently made a fabulous run (leaving what looked like a vapour trail behind him) and then morphed into Kolo.

    Anybody heard any more about the Hargreaves rumours?

  16. halfNice

    One of the tabloids (not sure which one) says we’ll sign Baptiste today “in a shock move”. Apparently David Dein is over in Spain. The figure they’re quoting is £12.5 million.

    Does anyone believe that? I don’t.

  17. wengerball

    It was The Sun. The Bap saga is turning into something worthy of Viera. I don’t know what to believe. Several sources seem to think he’s had his head turned by Barca and will join them next year. It sounds like that’s what he wants but the club want to offload him now otherwise they’ll lose a fortune because of complex spanish employment rules.
    If that is true then it would probably be best if he didn’t come – N5 should never be second best for any player. But then he is a fantastic talent… Why can’t it be simple?
    Rumours of Dacourt, Hargreaves and Jenas are agent talk, I think/hope like the Guti nonsense.

  18. Tom Wright

    Bap: I have a sneaky feeling Dein is wrapping it all up having heard about Barca trying to steal him. It could well be the case that we’re now going overly ‘by the book’ after previous reports. This is probably just wishful thinking from me. Previous comments are right though, it is mucking around with Gooners heads! Fact is the guy himself has said he is staying – that is a fact! So the fact a national newspaper has done a complete U turn on the story is intresting – and exciting for us.

  19. Tom Wright

    Come on Bap, sort it out!

  20. vivb

    if they hadn’t sold him he would be messing around for a move now anyway Arsenal weren’t going to give him a 5 year contract at £80,000 a week, he becomes a liability not an asset. we didn’t win the champions league with him so maybe without?

  21. Geoff

    Having just read wengers comments on the arsenal website about no new signings, I can only think that arsenal are in far worse financial shape than anyone realised & I can honestly say I hold no real hope for this season ahead now. He has obviously pinned all his hopes on signing baptista & has no backup plan. That transfer as we all know has no chance of happening as baptista wants to go to barcelona.

    Maybe i am just negative but a team that was not good enough last year & has a much weaker squad having lost edu & vieira has no chance of success in my eyes. Wenger moaned about a lack of experience at crucial points last season so I would like to know where selling two very experienced players & bringing none in actually helps.

    He says anyone who watched the game last night will realise we are in good shape, funny that but I thought Weiz were a 4th division austrian part time team I dont think you can compare playing them to playing Chelsea or AC milan etc etc.

    I am also getting fed up about hearing how good our kids are, yes some are extremely promising but none of them have proved anything & having watched Bentley on several occasions last season he is certainly not top quality, he may have ability but at norwich it certainly didnt show & his attitude was appalling.

    I ask one question, how are the youngsters going to improve as players when they have no-one experienced to look upto who is doing a job week in & week out now. They are being burdened with carrying the club on their own & that for a supposedly big european team is a disgrace in my eyes.

  22. Farnborough Gunner

    Wenger said towards the end of last season that he had a good group of players aged late twenties to early thirties, and a good group of youngsters who were coming on well. He said he needed some players in-between, aged around 26 years old to add to the squad, with enough experience, but not past their prime. I thought this was spot on.

    However, shortly afterwards, AW said he did not need to buy anyone this summer. At the time Edu was about to leave, Cole & Reyes looked likely to go too and Pires was starting to play up.

    I can only think of one explanation. AW had been told the club was skint, and would not be ABLE to buy.

    This would also explain why we could not increase our offer for Baptise until we had sold Vieira.

    If this is the reality, we have to accept it as fans. I just wish they hadn’t made the bold statements in the spring about having a transfer kitty.

  23. Geoff

    Farnborough your comments are spot on, but thats also why I am both angry & worried. I am angry because the board keep insisting wenger has money effectively putting the blame on him, but whenever he has been asked he has denied he had any money to spend. As you say they made big statements about a decent transfer kitty yet they have brought in (or will have over time) 14 million from vieira & 3 million from pennant aswell as getting them both off the wage bill aswell as edu. They have only brought in Hleb.

    The worry is that arsenal have a big financial problem, when I say this I mean they have already stated they need to get 40000 fans at each home game when the new stadium is here to be able to pay the loans, of those fans 9000 at least have to be club level seats to bring in enough revenue & as reports have emerged today they are not selling like they were expected to because of the massive price. The major worry is that with such a massive under investment in the team & squad the team could quite easily miss out on the champions league next season & that could have dire consequences (just look at leeds).

    Wenger is bound to say trust him & that we will be strong next season after all that want more fans not less, but no-one will convince me that any manager in the world would be happy to lose their captain & one of the best players in the world over the last 5-6 years & not replace them. It makes no sense whatsoever.

  24. Gerry Gooner

    Agree with Geoff and FB- I expected us to strenthen strongly this summer- as it is, despite the signing of Hleb we are now weaker than last year. Even if we sign Baptiste (what a saga) we will struggle to keep up with Chelsea and also Man Utd I beklieve who won’t be as poor this season as last.
    To re-iterate what the lads said- we were told by either Hill-Wood/ Fisman/ Friar that the club could compete for any player it wanted. Why was this said if it isn’t true? While the club didn’t actually say it we have been led to believe that there was 25 million to spend- this added to the sale of Vieira gives us nearly 40 million of which onlt 10 million has been spent. Maybe the finances of the club aren’t that good at all. Worrying ly from Wengers comments on it appears that if Baptiste doesn’t come there’s no one else he’s after. Things aren’t looking good as far as I’m concerned. I do expect us to finish top four but I don’t think we will have improved which is the key point. Are the young ‘uns good enough? Only time will tell.

  25. matt

    a coupl eof seasons back I sat in a mates seat in the north bank upper to watch a late bobby pires goal secure a win against fulham. All through the game the miserable sods up there moaned and moaned about how shit Pires was. I grant you he has poor games and he is poor defensively. But after this game I was depressed about being an Arsenal fan. Why would so called fans of the team be SO negative about the platers and the team? The worst things about AFC are the negative fans and the silence in the stadium.

    Geoff, do you sit in the North bank upper? You are such a negative miserable sod that this would seem lik ethe only place were you could possibly sit.

    So, the club may be short of cash. We may not sign any more “quality” players this summer. But for chrisakes can all of you moaners just shut up. When Arsene came we were happt if we qualifeied for europe. Now we have a fantastic team, a brillaint bunch of young players and a 60,000 seat stadium to look forward to.

    When Roy Keane moaned about Manure’s prawn sandwich eaters I can only assume he was talking about folk like you geoff!

  26. Farnborough Gunner

    I see Olivier Dcourt is the latest midfielder to be linked with a move to us, according to the papers at least. He is 31. So, presumably we would only take him on a 1 year contract, or seriously hack off RP7 & DB10? He has 1 year on his contract but speculation is that we could get him for free as Roma are desparate to cut their wage bill. What about taking him on a 1 year loan deal – this would give us an experienced midfielder for the short term, which would take some pressure on Fabregas & Flamini without pushing them down the pecking order for too long; i.e. a position will be available in 2006-07.

  27. Gerry Gooner

    Olivier Dacourt? Is he seriously good enough for us? I don’t think so- we should be looking to improve- I don’t see him as an improvement but financially it makes sense.

  28. bongo et al

    Good afternoon, everybody!

    I have just returned from my annual three day holiday to Lyme Regis with my earstwhile companion ( Bongo ) – My Arsenal Supporting Border Collie.
    I have just read through the transcripts of some previous blogs – and there seems far too much pessimism (Geofferys- back!) re: Our Suave and Savvy Manager.
    The Alsatian has spent the last 9 (nine) years creating a conveyor belt of sublime youthful and zestful TALENT. (This was the reason for the return of Liam Brady.)
    His magnificent foresight and vision is about to come into fruition – and we will be WITNESSING some exhilirating football this and next few seasons.
    As I have said continually previously before- THOSE SUPPORTERS WHO DEMAND BIG NAMES TO satisfy their ‘Arsenal thrill’ are better off changing allegiance (ala david mellor) and supporting chelsea village!

    The Alsatians’ Academy of excellence for 2005 include.

    Eboue,Flamini, Cesc
    senderos, hoyte, Bentley, Quincy
    Cesc, R.Smith, Lupoli, Allierdere RVP, ET AL.

    A refreshed Bongo et al

  29. Geoff

    Hello Bongo mate I was missing your views!!!! I will never change allegiance myself whether we end up in the conference or dominate europe for the next 20 years.

    Again I personally am not calling for a big name player I just want a couple of established players like Hleb to add quality to a squad of promise. I dont think thats asking too much. Baptista for one is not a big name I doubt most had heard of him before this summer.

    I dont want arsenal to develop great talent like quincy & senderos etc etc & then sell them off when they become worth money I want to see the best remain at arsenal.

    I also take it you didnt watch any of norwich’s matches last season with bentley playing, he was awful. Considering he has it all to prove he was lazy & big headed. Norwich have no real star players so he should have stood out like pennant did at Leeds, yet he didnt, infact worthington even dropped him cos of his attitude does that sound like a player of arsenal quality to you????

    In some ways I hope the west london chavs stuff us in the community shield firstly cos when we win that we never win the league, secondly because it will show wenger & the board that we need experienced players right now & once that transfer window shuts its too late & thirdly then Bongo might even realise our kids are not world beaters, dont believe the hype just because they won a couple of matches in a worthless competition that other players do not care about. Promise they do have but thats all, do you really want them to have to carry a club like arsenal on their own you would ruin them.

  30. bongo et al

    Geoffery you are talking b******s!
    bongo et al

  31. Geoff

    Bongo sorry but i leave that to you.

    Take a look at arsenal’s history we are the third most succesful club in England after liverpool & man utd. You claim fans who want big name players should change allegiance but they have every right to demand top quality with the prices we pay. Personally I just want some established players.

    If your so interested in a club that develops youth & sells then I am sorry but its you supporting the wrong club, why dont you go to the other end of the seven sisters road I am sure the spuds will be right up your street as thats exactly what they are doing.

  32. uncle fester

    Afternoon Arse fans the only problem with not signing big names is the fact have the Arse got any money Ashburton Grove is swallowing up plenty of cash despite what they say we wont get any PV4 cash until next year and i fill this situation will continue until Ashburton starts paying back with bums on seats the problem is if the youngsters dont perform how many of the prawn sandwich brigade will P**s off which will then cause a shortfull in revenues i will add other fans might also stop going if levels in play fall i like the idea of home grown talent they nearly always take more pride in playing for the club .Its ok demanding top players if you can afford them fine but do you want the Arse to spend wildly and end up like Leeds we can only spend what we have got P.S how can you say you want Chavski to stuff us shame on you.

  33. uncle fester

    Did you have a nice time Bongo?

  34. Farnborough Gunner

    Bongo – go a bit easy with the abuse. By all means disagree with someone’s posting – that’s what these forums are for – but do it within the spirit of this site. There are plenty of other sites where you can throw abuse about, but this one has a higher class of clientele 🙂

  35. bongo et al

    I am not contributing any more.
    your loss- geoffs fault!
    Goodbye from Bongo et al

  36. uncle fester

    I still think the Beast will come i dont know why its just a hunch especially as Sevilla fans gave him clog last night he would be a good signing my only real concern is if we get injuries we are a bit lighti know most of you dont like him but Guti would fill the hole up,lets be honest most of the top midfielders are on long contracts and there clubs wont sell so even if we have got cash who do we go for?,forget Ballack no chance at all as Bayern dont need the money its a tough one .

  37. uncle fester

    Come on Bongo chill out cheer up and keep posting

  38. bongo et al

    no my mind is made up -and it is not for turning!
    because of geoff- i am afraid everyone suffers.
    goodbye to all the AFC supporters out there! there will be no more postings.

    bongo et al

  39. Geoff

    Does any gooner really want a fan like Bongo anyway??? unless you agree with his opinion then he just throws insults which is more than a bit childish!!. How boring would all the sites be if everyone agreed & just because my opinion is different to Bongo’s he wants to throw his toys out the pram!!! Look at my post earlier bongo I welcomed you back & said I missed your views, even though we mostly always disagree!! Get a grip man its a game of opinions!!

  40. uncle fester

    Goeff your right it is about opinions we cannot all agree all of the time it is fun to disagree and put our point of view across and it is silly to not post anymore we dont have to insult each other we can leave that to MANURE AND CHAVSKI.

  41. Cat

    Bentley? Yes, he’s talented, but I think he’s too cocky and lazy to come good. Last season, instead of knuckling down and developing his skills, there were months when he couldn’t even get a starting place in a very poor team. And how many goals did he score? Two or three as far as I remember. Great if there’s a chance we could land the beast at the end of August cos things aren’t looking good. We need a keeper, a target-man-type striker and a right-sided midfielder, in that order, for starters. When is van Persie’s trial? Anyone know? And did I dream it, or have other people heard the report that Freddie is talking to Olympiakos? Maybe Qunicy’s chance will come earlier than we think.

  42. matt

    Just read on a Dutch site that we’re interested in Davids – a natural replacement for PV4 apparently. Apart from his age, what do we think?

  43. uncle fester

    As of yet there are no charges against RVP,i am convinced the beast will come as for Fred he as not spoken to anyone it would be difficult for him as he is in Austria although it would not surprise me if he left.

  44. bongo et al

    If Geoff says sorry – I might contribute again!
    Bongo et al

  45. San Francisco

    Yep, I was talking to my friend Arsen Wenger just today and he was saying how he was trying to decide whether he should follow the advice of Geoff or Bongo. He said they both have valid opinions and hopes they will continue to voice them.

  46. uncle fester

    It seems its down to the beast to make up his mind if he is waiting for Barca to make a move the Arse should walk away because it would seem the beast does not really want to come we do seem to be pinning our hopes on this guy having seen him play live he is a fine player strong and forcefull in midfield and attack kick merchants in the Prem would hold no fears for him and i feel his presence would help TH14 who needs a player who can score goals,and he has the added bonus he can head the ball this is no dig at TH14 but its not his strong point.Edgar Davids fine player his age goes against him and his sky high wages i feel it would be a backward step,but i suppose in the short term he would help the young players,but i dont think it would help the morale of the young players already in the midfield.I dont think we need a keeper yet wait another season then see if Chris Kirkland stays injury free on his loan year at the Baggies and plays well,then Liverpool might sell him when he has played he is a good keeper injuries have cost him dear,a position i feel we need someone is at right back Ralph does ok but he is not quick once he is turned is young Hoyte adequate cover for Ralph or should he be the right back.COME ON BONGO KEEP POSTING,OLD UNC WILL MISS

  47. Geoff

    Bongo I have no intention of saying sorry as quite clearly i have said nothing wrong!! Everytime you refer to me you call me Geoffrey which is not my name (if it was then I would put it down as Geoffrey), you throw insults again & again just because my opinion differs from yours!! Just go back over all the old posts & you will not find one insult from me that has not been a result of you starting for no reason. Its just so childish.

    The whole reason I come to this site is because its good, you can have reasoned discussions with fellow gunners whether you agree with their thoughts or not & for the most part there are no idiots on here like the other sites.

    You cannot seem to grasp that buying established players does not have to mean big, expensive names. Look at Liverpool they have signed mostly established players that are unheard of (that does not mean they are rubbish). I agree with you view of bringing through the youth players like, smith, Lupoli, cesc, cregg, senderos, quincy all look excellent players especially at reserve level but if they dont have some experienced players in their prime to learn from they will never improve. Arsenal are a big club brought about by their history & success & I want that to continue I dont want to become a mediocre club finishing mid league each year & selling off our best talent. Look at teams like west ham & crewe teams that could honestly be dominating the premiership now if they had superb managers & boards to go with the amount of youth they have brought through. So many top international players have come from those two clubs but both struggle.

    Arsenal are happy to boast when they have done all the very lucrative deals like with emirates, nike & granada etc, yet where is all that money going because the loans on the new stadium are going up & there is no investment in the team, so somewhere all that money is going out the club & thats not good. We as fans pay the highest price in the premiership so I dont think calling for some investment is out of order!! But hey all this is just my opinion!!

  48. uncle fester

    You make some good points Goeff either the club are being economical with the truth about Ashburton’s costs or its going in payments to various individuals doted around i feel if Baptista comes it is a start,and a right back,i have faith in the youngsters but my fears are if they get injured we seem a bit thin on the back up side.

  49. Geoff

    Uncle fester your right, last season when our players got injured it was the youngsters who came in for them, so if the youngsters now get injured what happens I suppose we play the academy side of under 16’s. What annoys me is that around feb last season when it had all gone wrong wenger, the board & players like henry were all saying we needed investment, the board claimed we had around 30 million to spend. So if everyone agreed we needed new players then why is it that wenger is now saying our squad is fine as it is. It is weaker than it was in feb!! I want to have faith in wenger after all he has done it in the past, however I start to lose faith when he constantly contradicts himself about the team. For me anyone who watched the FA cup final knows that team is not good enough without henry.

  50. Jesus

    Geoff, have you ever considered that this is a face-saving approach by Wenger?

    He’s failed to get SWP and although we might get Baptista, it’s still far from certain. It’s been a bad summer for him tranfer-wise. If he admits defeat in the market it makes him look bad, it makes the club look bad, and it’ll destroy morale. Then we really WILL be in the shitter.

    Never believe a word Wenger says about transfers. He said we wouldn’t be making any signings January 04 and we signed Reyes. He keeps it all cagey when it comes to transfers because even if we do have 25 million to spend (which is what I was told it was), we don’t want clubs to shove their demands up like Lyon did with Chelsea for Essien. Essien could’ve cost Chelsea no more than 21 million, instead he’ll now cost them another 10 at least. This was because they made their interest in Gerrard far too public and their desperation for Essien far too well known.

    Wenger wants to suggest to Sevilla, and clubs of any other players he’s looking at, that we’re happy with our squad, that we don’t need to spend, and we won’t be forced into paying over the odds. This way he makes it clear that it’s in THEIR best interests to sell, not in ours to buy, and therefore we get the best price on players. This in turn means we can bring in MORE players for the same amount of money, thereby dealing with the major issue last season which was NOT quality but squad depth.

    I think we’ll be signing Baptista myself and I still think the remaining money will be put towards a keeper and another defender. It’s not anywhere near the deadline yet. With Wenger don’t believe what he SAYS, believe what he DOES. If the window closes and he’s signed noone then and only then will I acknowledge that there has been a lack of investment, and then and only then can you realistically criticise him for it.

    Until then you’re just speculating.

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