Archive for December, 2012

27
Dec
12

Demba deal all done Ba the shouting?

 

Several sites and papers have been reporting for a while that Arsene Wenger has been keen on Demba Ba as a proven Premier League striker to bolster Arsenals faltering front line. Since Huntelaar has signed a new deal at Schalke, Wenger has turned his attention to other targets. The January window again gives Newcastle fans the un-ease that the £7.5 million reported release clause inserted into Ba’s contract will be activated.

 

If you believe caughtoffside.com then the deal is almost done. Apparently both clubs are holding off till the window opens before announcing the deal. Be wary, this is the same site reporting that Robert Lewandowski is on his way to Manchester United in the January or June window after agreeing a £5m a year deal. They claim that the clubs are trying to be respectful of the situation and Arsenal were given the green light to go ahead with the move after it became clear in a recent interview that the striker wanted to play under Arsene Wenger.

 

As a fan, I am not sure Ba is making the right move. I would enjoy seeing the big man in Arsenal’s colours but with our history of players and injuries my concern is focused on Ba’s knee injury which scuppered his Stoke move in the recent past.

 

If rumours are to be believed then Ba will not return with the Newcastle squad after this Saturdays game at the Emirates and will remain in London to undergo a medical before the clubs announce the deal when the window opens.

 

For many Arsenal fans this will be a good addition. For others it is a question of whether Wenger is going for Ba purely on the release clause, and more to the point, is he going to be worth the reported £100k a week salary he will be picking up.

 

Thats all from me on this one. Who knows if it will happen or not.

 

Savvygooner

 

23
Dec
12

Malaga Suffering under FFP

FBL-ESP-LIGA-SEVILLA-MALAGA

Slightly off topic but very relevant to us here at Arsenal.

It’s been coming. Who was going to be the first high profile name that suffered under the UEFA financial fair play rules? Who was going to be restricted from entering European competition, trying to outlive their means in the pursuit of glory.

Amongst 6 clubs handed bans this week were Malaga, the most high profile outfit from the set of teams punished. The Spanish team were taken over by a wealthy Sheikh only a few years ago and found themselves facing financial turmoil in the summer, needing to sell Solomon Rondon and Santi Cazorla just to prevent themselves being expelled from this years Champions League qualifiers.

Now in the last 16, and drawn against Porto in yesterdays suspicious draw, Malaga have been penalised with a ban, preventing them from, and I quote, “Participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next four seasons. (I.E 2013/14 14/15 15/16 16/17)”

“In addition Malaga will be excluded from a subsequent UEFA competition for which it would otherwise qualify if it does not prove, by 31st March 2013 that it has no overdue payables towards football clubs or towards employees and/or social/tax authorities”

You’ll have to excuse any grammatical errors there. That was take verbatim from the UEFA site itself.

In addition to Malaga, Hadjuk Split (Croatia), Osijek (Croatia), Rapid Bucharest (Romania), Dynamo Bucharest (Romania) and Partizan Belgrade (Serbia) are all facing THREE year exclusions from competition unless they can prove solvency for want of a better description by March 31st.

Two other teams were handed fines and Lech Poznan had all accusations dropped in the investigations. However is this the start of UEFA finally taking things seriously?

Having looked into this, my understanding of this is that they have all been given suspensions for not paying money they owe to others. Not for what I believed FFP was all about. I understand that not paying your debts is one thing, but anybody can roll up with a billionaire and clear their debts without making a profit.

In the last few weeks Manchester City anounced losses of near on £100m, down admittedly on the astronomical amount of the season before and Chelsea also announced a small profit for the first time in the Abramovich era. However Malaga has spent and acted no worse than these two clubs, or for the matter, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

It appears that alongside the 20th Decembers suspicious draw for the Champions League last 16 round, UEFA clearly have plans to target those who don’t fall in line. Suspending Malaga for not paying debts, whilst not suspending big spending clubs who cannot make a significant profit means that the law has no substance to it and merely shows UEFA’s incompetence at enforcing a law.

A note to Misseur Platini if you will.

Michelle, in the new year, do you think you could find it within yourself and your bunch of incompetent morons at UEFA to enforce a law and stand up as a world-recognised organisiation and do something worthwhile?

Suspending Clubs whilst ignoring others displays nothing more than a witch hunt. Your FFP rules cannot mean a thing if you don’t use the rule for ALL parties. One other small thing. Sort out your racism charter. In a time when you fined Lazio as much as the average worker in London earns for Monkey chants, you really need to think about wether you are serious or not.

Your sincerely,

Football Fans

Merry Christmas all and thanks for your support in 2012

Paul

aka Savvygooner

18
Dec
12

Another False Dawn?

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After a very impressive display last night in our 5-2 victory against Reading at the Madejski Stadium I cant help but wonder has Wenger finally listened to the fans for a change, put aside his arrogance and just paid attention to what a high percentage of fans have been wanting to see. Gervinho benched and Walcott through the centre. It worked a treat we were quick and dynamic going forward a few lapses of concentration which cost us a clean sheet but apart from that very good value for the win. Little Santi was the best player on the pitch stealing the show. I do really have concerns about Mikel Arteta though we really do see to lack a real Presence just in front of our back four something we have to look at in January if we are to challenge for top four, which at this moment I would have to say we are quite a way off.

I have seen some supportive Wenger comments since the victory along the lines of “I told you he is the man to lead us forward” and several words to that  effect. Are these people blind, Given the fact that all I said at the beginning of this article was glowing about last nights performance. Consistency has been a huge problem for us for several seasons now. It was just one game away to Reading the worst side in the premier league. Don’t get me wrong I was very pleased with the performance, Which we needed as well as three points. Lately we have looked like a team trying to stave off relegation more than challenging for European places. I will judge us more on Saturday away to Wigan where we have a pretty poor recent record. I just wish some of our “fans” would go into games with a bit of common sense. Some have been suggesting we are back and challenging for the title.

As you can expect their were a lot of positives to take out of last nights game. I’ve already mentioned Cazorla. Wilshere and Santi seem to have forged a very good understanding in the centre of Midfield. Ox and Podolski supplied very good service to Walcott. Who was very busy last night and impressed me a great deal, I’m just hoping he gets played their more often and this isn’t a one-off for Wenger and he doesn’t revert back to type. Sagna and Gibbs provided great width as well. I however still have concerns about us defensively. Playing against a better team we could have come undone a lot more than we did last night. I feel Arteta doesn’t give us enough bite in their we need someone who is a lot more robust.

 

In summarising we are not back to the Old Arsenal after just one away game. This is definitely a work in progress. 

 

Feedback Welcome as always.

Goonerscribe

11
Dec
12

Wenger Out Protest

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So as you all know we have been planning a Wenger out movement for a while. All of us at Gunners in Arms share the same views on Arsene Wenger. We do not dislike the man, we have never met him personally and we are sure that he is a lovely chap but this down to football and football only and on that basis he has to go.

We don’t deny that Wenger had a few good years with Arsenal and managed to achieve some amazing records with amazing players but we have gone from 49 games unbeaten in the league to 7 seasons (possibly 8) without any achievements. How does that happen to a club like Arsenal? and how can people still support him?  We are also playing the worst football we have ever played and everyone but Wenger can see whats wrong with the football! We are playing 2007 tactics with 2012 cut price players. Wenger has let the team down by allowing his best players to leave and he is letting the fans down by persisting with the players he thinks are good but really aren’t.

We have decided to organise a protest to get Wenger out. The protest will be for the end of the season but we will consider bringing it forward. We are in the process or organising a date with the Local authorities and police and we will have a certain date for you by the end of this week hopefully.

If you are interested in joining us on the protest or simply giving us your opinion, please email us at gunnersinarms@gmail.com

10
Dec
12

Arsenal v West Brom-The Positives And The Negatives

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As usual I am going to start with the positives and there is one big positive this week…WE WON! The win at the weekend was just what Arsenal needed, it only takes the pressure off slightly but it helps nonetheless.

The game itself was a much better one than we have seen from Arsenal of late. The passing was more consistent and the players seemed to have more awareness of where everyone was on the pitch. We really looked strong in midfield and Wilshere worked so hard throughout that game always linking with Arteta and Cazorla. The defense also have improved this week, we dealt with chances well although there were a few issues that still need to be worked on. Overall I think the game was a pretty good one, we held our own in parts of that game.

Now we go on to the negatives and my main issue from Saturday’s game was the striker situation. You all know by now how much I dislike Gervinho as a player, I’ve never seen the hype from him at all, he is just tactically rubbish on the pitch and has the poorest finish i have seen for a while. We can all see how rubbish he is, the pundits can see it, other footballers can see it, so why can’t Le Prof? He just has 2 minute flashes of awesome and then you go back to the Gervinho that belongs in a lower league. He was awful on Saturday but to be honest the others weren’t great either.

We have a real issue with strikers at the moment, they are just not moving forward enough, it amazes me when you see them running like mad to where they should already be. If Wenger’s playing them out of position then he needs to change that. I’ve always thought 4-4-2 would be the best formation for Arsenal, we did 49 games unbeaten in a 4-4-2 and if we brought a solid DM it would work so well.

The other issue is a hard one to hear so I’m just going to say it…We miss Van Persie. I thought I’d get lynched when I said this on twitter but actually everyone was quite fine with it and some even agreed. I hate to say it but we really do, we miss that out-and-out striker, the one person that is always in the box and can finish a goal with class and ease and pick up passes and run with them, we miss his goals, they kept us afloat last year and they are what is keeping Man United 6 points clear of the league now. We need a player like him or equal to his talent.

I know we have the makings of good strikers in Podolski and Giroud but I don’t ever think they will compare with Van Persie. They will probably equal his goal total between them by the end of the season but they won’t ever beat it themselves. I think if Wenger actually buys Huntelaar then he could possibly achieve it but only if other areas of the team are strengthened to back him up.

I can’t obviously miss out the Cazorla incident…yes he dived, yes the penalty was unfair but in all honesty we spend time taking the p*** out of Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez we can’t sit around defending him. He dived let’s all just get over it. The second penalty was slightly less debatable but all the same they were two goals that won us the game. My only criticism here is that Wenger really needs to address to goal situation.

It was great not to be depressed Saturday night for a change! Bradford this week COYG!

 

 

 

 

06
Dec
12

January Window… I just can’t get excited

January

I’m optimistic most of the time. Well, I try to be, but I just can’t get excited about the January transfer window.

For the last few years, we have conducted very little business, in fact I could only name you two players off the top of my head we have bought without going into the research. Jose Reyes and Arshavin.

So when I read articles from the Daily Fail, The Sun, The Mirror and various others linking us with players from other clubs, I can’t get as excited as most people.

Wenger himself is well-known for being stubborn with the transfer window itself. He doesn’t believe you get ‘value for money’ in the January window as people are in a rush to get everything done in the space of 30 days. Prices are over-inflated and invariably you buy players at prices you wouldn’t consider paying in the summer window.

I mean look at the pony-tailed failure at Liverpool. £35m? I mean I rate the guy, not much, but I rate him. Just not to the value of £35m. Don’t even get the conversation about Fernando Torres started.

I remember the first January transfer window. Arsenal bought Jose Antonio Reyes, Chelsea purchased Scott Parker and Man United bought Louis Saha. However January window buys aren’t always awful. Cisse of Newcastle is a prime example, that with the right signing, the window can prove useful.

The rumours grow as to the four players we are looking to purchase in the coming window. Pepe Reina, Wilfried Zaha, Thierry Henry and Huntelaar.

Pepe Reina… Hmmm, where do you start here? He had a move to Arsenal blocked several seasons back, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him linked with us again. Pepe wants Champions League football. Something neither Liverpool or us at the end of the season will be able to offer. At least he would provide able back up to Chesney, or the other way around. likelihood 5/10

Wilfried Zaha: People rate this lad, and understandably so. Playing his way into the Premiership is one thing, performing in it is another. We are blessed with Ox and how Walcott has done coming up from the lower leagues. So I’m going to give Wenger the benefit of the doubt. Think this may happen in the summer more than this window. I’d say depends on the sale of Theo or not. likelihood 3/10

Huntelaar: I think this guy is going to be the steal of the window. In fierce competition for his signature with the likes of Liverpool. If you believe the whispers (I tend to be weary) Wenger has set aside £6m and will open negotiations on Jan 1st. But with Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, Chamakh and others, is the Dutchman a necessity? likelihood 7/10

Thierry Henry: I don’t need to explain this one 10/10

I think we must be realistic. Only Henry will be coming in this winter, and in all truth, we will only sign somebody else in a position if we shift others. Arshavin, Chamakh, Squillaci and others are most likely to be sold. Theo is a 50/50 but I would rather he stayed. Sagna as a summer gonner and who knows who we will get in to replace him if anybody.

Either way fellow gooners, don’t be shocked if come deadline day when Jim White’s hair is going even lighter, that we only have one name on the in board.

Feedback welcome

Savvygooner

06
Dec
12

Gunners in Arms Attend BSM March

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On a cold Saturday afternoon we attended the Arsenal Black Scarf Movement protest march before the Swansea game. 2000 Arsenal supporters gathered at the Cannon’s pub in Blackstock road and marched up past Highbury to the Emirates and stopped on the roundabout in Armoury Square. Gunners in Arms chose to attend this protest because we believe in the cause wholehearted and we wanted to have our say.

I went along as the representative of our group and met up with BSM members @daveworthoAFC @BlackScarfAFC and @GAFC11 before the march and discussed the situation at Arsenal with them and others. It was very clear on the day that there was no animosity, it was all gooners that had been fans for years getting together and discussing the issues listed on their website. The Black Scarf movement are a group entirely dedicated in looking after Arsenal fans and this was clear with the passion they expressing when discussing the protest.

The march was a peaceful one of singing and chanting our Arsenal songs and I took the chance to film some of the march so you can see what went on. The videos are below. The march may not have been addressed by the board but it gave Arsenal fans a chance to have their say on the actions of the board and this is important. Fans are the people who you have to satisfy sometimes…not all the time but sometimes there is a need for a club to at least listen to what we want and I am hoping Arsenal did that on Saturday.

To find out more about The Arsenal Black Scarf Movement please read their website*especially before you criticise the attendance of fans. I have noticed that when I was criticised myself for going that a lot of people don’t actually realise what the protest was about so read and get informed at www.wherehasourarsenalgone.co.uk

You can find all our video coverage on our YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/GunnersinArms