Eight Years Ago Today…

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It’s been almost an entire week since we’ve talked about Ashley Cole, which is not bad going is it? That’s because he’s been gadding about somewhere hot, and proposing to his now affianced, Cheryl. I look forward to the article in Hello Magazine already. I don’t know whether this is true, but I seem to recall reading that both Cole and all the girls of whatever band it is she is in, live in the same place – a former sanatorium near where I live. Rather apt, no?

I don’t mean it, really I don’t. Besides, blind optimist Arsène Wenger reckons the next trick is to turn relationships round with Cole and Arsenal, and get him on board for the long haul.

“We must make sure he’s back with us with full commitment and complete focus on success,” said the boss in the Sun. “That’s our challenge and I am confident we can do that. We will try to extend his contract. People forget the whole story only began because we tried to extend his contract – that’s what we wanted to do in the first place”.

I think my opinion has swayed here and there throughout this ordeal, but the general gist of it has not altered too much: If he wants to stay and is prepared to admit that what he did was wrong, then let bygones be bygones. He is, after all, a superb player, and an English one at that, of which we have few. But if even 10% of him wants to leave – and that includes being not prepared to sign a new deal – then we should cash in before his value drops too much. If he runs his deal down so he’s only got one year left, then he’s got us right by the short and curlies. The End.

Green at the Gilles

Gilles Grimandi – now there was a player. According to Arsenal.com, it was eight years ago today that the legendary Frenchman – up there with Serge Gainsbourg and the bloke who invented the Citroen DS in my estimation – joined Arsenal. The number 18 was a Jacques of all trades, a no-nonsense player whether he slotted in at centre-back or in the midfield. What’s he up to now? He still has a page on Icons.com, but it hasn’t been updated for seventeen months, at which point he was the general manager of Valence. Has he still got his curly mop-top I wonder? There are plenty of questions to be answered.


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

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Alan

    I thought Grimandi was Arsenal’s man in France. It was he who alerted Arsene to Essien, for example.

  2. RotorGoat

    Ah yes – it’s all coming back. But surely he does more than just that?

  3. vince

    Totally agree about Ash. I would love him to stay but it has to be done right. I think, looking around at todays wages that 60k is not unreasonable, he did go about it the wrong way though. He has to come out and say it was a bloody great cock-up, not only the agents/chavski but, he has to accept part of the blame himself, after all, he does have his own brain which he is allowed to use now and again….doesn’t he!?

    I liked Gilles Grimandi!!

  4. edmondy

    Gilles Grimandi is the real power behind Chirac.

  5. Jaque

    Gilles was a legend. The unsung hero of our double winning season of 98. Didnt he go on a goalscoring run of 8 goals in 8 games? Abrute of a man!

  6. RotorGoat

    Even if he didn’t, I think we should say he did. Eight goals in eight games for goalscoring monster Gilles – ah yes, I remember it well…

  7. adam

    wasnt it 8 red cards in 8 games?we need someone like him again

  8. bongo et al.

    Good afternoon everbody.
    I agree with the editorial above 100 per cent.

    GGrimaldi was a terrrific competitor. Very abrasive – very versatile.
    Who can forget that ferocious headbut On Diego Simeone on a hot sultry night in Lazio a few years ago. Looking after his COMRADES whilst the racist MIhilovic et al were abusing Vieira et al.

    As for the Cole scenario. And as I have said many times before WE SHOULD NOT LET AFC PLAYERS GET ARROGANT AND GREEDY.
    What other clubs do is their problem.
    But we should make sure our players are Educated, Smart, Grateful, Contented, Disciplined and have job satisfaction- by striving for excellence.
    Cole should not be talking to his boss. – Mr. Dein in derogatory tones.
    Its failure on AFC behalf that he think he can do so.- and GET away with it.
    Lessons to be learned- apologies made. WE MOVE ON!

    BONGO et al

  9. Farnborough Gunner

    I remember when Gilles Grimandi left Arsenal. He said he loved the club, but the team had developed to the point that he felt he was not technically good enough to expect a regular game; he preferred to make that decision himself rather than having it made for him.

    He struggled to settle anywhere else because nothing came close to playing for Arsenal for him.

    He was one of those players who divided the fans into “fors” and “againsts”; On one hand his technical ability was always questioned, but he was versatile, always gave 100% and I don’t recall any costly blunders. He was a solid pro and a true Gooner.

  10. Boz

    I don’t think Wenger needed Grimandi to tell him about Essien. Anyone following French football would know about him – he’s even played for the Ghanian national team, for chrissakes. As the Bastia (French Cup winner in 2002) and then Lyon lynchpin (is that really four consecutive championships for Lyon?) he has had rave reviews all over Europe for the last couple of seasons, and before that in the French media as the dreaded One to Watch. Wenger follows French football closely and would have known about Essien whilst GG was still taking one of his legendary early baths!
    Continuing on the gallic theme, just HOW is Houllier going to make a success out of Lyon? He’ll have to win the (now retired) big-ears, and that’s a big ask.

  11. Farnborough Gunner

    (re Cole)

    £55K or £60K per week is not excessive for an international player who is probably the best in the world in his position. But Arsenal cannot afford to pay this amount to too many players. Given this limitation, is it good value for money for us to spend £60K per week for a left back, or should we use these funds to pay a striker or right winger and play Glichy at left back? Glichy is not as good as Cole, but does it make that much difference which one of them plays, if the trade off is strengthening the team elsewhere?

    I hope AW & DD plan to start taking a tougher stance with Cole if their bridge-building tactics continue to fall of deaf ears. Cole shows no sign of making any concession to the club to help resolve the issue and so far the only conciliatory noises are coming from the people Cole has criticised – DD, AW. I hope AW’s blind faith does not allow Cole to run his contract down, as he has stated he intends. And I can’t see how he could play for us again unless he does do something to make amends.

  12. Farnborough Gunner

    Speaking of past pros – hands up who remembers GUS CAESAR. I’ve just stumbled across this article about him :


    Worth a read. It mentions a few other players too, including a recent sighting of Michael Thomas.

  13. vince

    The Gus Caesar article was wrong….we lost that game 2-3 not 1-2, not that it matters really.

    Still agreeing with most of the above, Cole has to make a move in the right direction and we shouldn’t bow to ANY player and his agent. You either want to play for us, in which case we will talk some more or you don’t, in which case f–k off now while we can still get some decent dosh for you, you are a good player but not great…..a big difference!

    But, like I said earlier, I’d rather you stayed than go if it can be sorted.

  14. Ed

    Nevermind Gilles scoring 8 goals in 8 games, I seem to remember him playing at centre back with Igor at Old Trafford and letting in 6 goals in 1 game. He wasn’t to great in central defence, but a Highbury legend of sorts!!!

  15. terizzio

    Ah, Giles. I remember the delighted celebration after his first (shanked(over the shoulder(back to goal(outside the area(into the top corner))))) goal. For any over player I’d be prepared to believe it wasn’t a fluke.
    There are players who have technical skills, and then there are players like Giles. Honest, inept, successful and worth a place in the team.
    Also, I can’t wait for Houiller to target his first player. Who will it be? 4-1 Wiltord 2-1 Govou, Does anyone else remember him wondering in a public article if Michael Owen would prove himself? For me, that was a defining moment – it demonstrated he had no clue how to develop a top talent.

  16. bongo et al.

    Just left the Hemmingford Arms. (Barnsbury). AFC heartland.
    I have some exclusive news.

    LIverpool v Everton
    Wigan v Chelsea
    ARSENAL v Bolton Wanderers.

    They are some of the opening fixtures of the forthcoming season.
    And they are revealed 4 days before they should!
    A little treat for my friends. vivb, toomy gooner, Halfnice, the lovely Rachel,
    Lee, Vince, Farn Gunner et al

    Bongo et al

  17. IsraeliGooner

    Maybe Grimandi wasn’t technical, maybe he wasn’t the fastest player around, but at least he wasn’t Nelson Vivas. 🙂

  18. uncle fester

    Gramandi good honest pro anybody who puts the nut on Simeone gets my vote ,Cole as much bridge building to do, to me the Arse are forgiven how many people could slaughter your employer in public and still be wanted if no agreement can be found then he must be sold on quick i would hate the thought of Cole walking away on a free the club getting nothing for him and Cole with a big grin on his face and then telling the world how he screwed Arsenal i think its now or never for both sides.

  19. bongo et al.

    To UNC fes

    I am sorry I left you out of my list.

    Bongo et al

  20. uncle fester

    thanks Bongo

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