Category Archives: News

Season Review : Arsenal Tops And Flops

Top of the morning to you all from wherever you are, let’s take your mind away from the RVP saga, news that Wilshere is set to have another minor operation with today’s post.  The season ended last week in dramatic fashion as we can all remember. So we had our authors (Bosun, Yemi and Leke) sit down and give us their post season thoughts. The following questions were given to them and based on their different personalities, their answer are below. Enjoy:

1. DO YOU CONSIDER 3RD PLACE AN ACHIEVEMENT?

Bosun: 

Considering the injuries, the poor summer activities and the lack of a decent back up striker I’d say NO. Yes, NO. No I mean NO. 300 Spartans won the war, surely winning the league was an easier task and we blew it.

Yemi:

 No. Chelsea has won the FA cup and are playing in the UCL final. They decide whether or not they go to Europe. As for Liverpool and Spurs, when was the last time we finished below them to be happy about finishing above them this year? We are not a club who should be looking down and being happy that we finished above xyz.

Leke:

 Quite the achievement actually and I reckon, had either of Fabregas and Nanas stayed, we likely would’ve won the league thanks to a run much contrary to the one from the opening seven matches.

 2. BEST MOMENT LAST SEASON?

B:

Sagna getting injured, Coquelin following after that. Mertesacker too, then Gibbs & Santos. It’s like clockwork every season. As much as every of Van Persie’s goals should be the best moment, the neat and tidy work of the irrepllaceable Arteta in midfield, Alex Song’s now-famed-lobbed-passes to be it RVP or Walcott and Koscielny’s top notch displays did it for me.

Y:

Loss at Old Trafford. If we had not lost by that margin, Wenger would not have known how shite we were.

L:

The win over 5pur2 and Ch3l5ea are second and third respectively behind the moment when Song lobbed the ball over the Kop defence. I’d kept faith that we’d get the win at Liverpool and oh what a strike from van Persie to win it at the death.

3. WORST MOMENT?

B:

Thierry Henry leaving us after just 6 weeks. He was our Messiah. I feel Chamakh & Park betrayed him so he had to leave. Bummer.

Y:

Loss at Blakcburn. We were so poor it made my eyes bleed. (see also: Norwich, Swansea, Wigan, QPR, Fulham).

L:

I eight two recollect such moments please… *teary eyed* along with the bitter taste from Milan I was forced to drink down with a four nil.

4. WHO IMPRESSED YOU THE MOST LAST SEASON?

B:

Abou Diaby. No I’m not joking, he managed to stay injured for 98% of the campaign and then each time he played 5 or more minutes, he got injured again. Almunia and Park are tied for 2nd. Managed to pick up about 100k/w for over 10months without actually playing. I need that kind of job.

Y:

Arteta. For 10 million quid, he was an absolute bargain!

L:

Ah! Well… *pretends to go through a list just to keep from saying the obvious too quickly*… quite a number… uhmm… okay okay… Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did! He ties with the obvious choice for me.

5. WHO DISAPPOINTED?

B:

Robin Van Persie. Yes. I placed a bet on him getting 40 goals altogether and he failed. He owes me. How to repay me? Sign a new contract and all will be forgiven.

Y:

Vermaelen. For all his attacking ability, he cost us some games last season. His defending was generally poor.

L:

I’m too much an optimist to see how any of them disappointed just as when le boss goes temporarily blind when the media says a gunner dived or when we clearly should have conceded a penalty.

6. WHAT WOULD YOUR IDEAL SUMMER LOOK LIKE?

B:

a) No injuries to any of the first team players,

b) Chamakh, Park, Squillaci, Allmunia, Bendtner, Vela and Denilson all saying bye bye to the club.

c) Signing Podolski(done), M’vila, Kagawa/Hoiliet.
Oh yeah hopefully when Arsenal comes to Nigeria, I get to see them. Hopefully.

Y:

Keep RVP. Sign M’Vila, a quality LB, and another goal scorer.

Leke : 

Oh? *shy grin*… I’d play some football manager, watch the rise of a Dark Knight then spend a week at the Burj al-Arab and make it back just in time to see the lads when they visit Nigeria ^.^


7. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO REALLY HAPPEN?

B:

A & B to happen. C to also happen. I might be a clown but I really expect that. Seeing as Verthogen is going to Spurs, Kagawa United, Hazard-City

Y:

We won’t keep RVP. Wenger will give us the usual bollocks about how tight the market is. We’ll put all our faith in Podolski, Chamakh and Park. Song may leave too, and we’ll expect Coquelin to step in.

L:

I’d play football manager, watch that Dark Knight rise, read confirmed news of Yann M’Vila’s arrival at the club and of Wilshere being fit, finally. Yes, I think M’Vila would be the only other arrival. Oh, there’s Nicklas Bendtner’s likely exit, one that saddens me greatly.

Well there you have it, we all started out the season with different expectations, some higher than others and just like the past 5 seasons, it’s the same outcome again. Trophyless.

We just thought to say thank you to everyone who has read this site, followed us on Twitter and got involved in the comments. It’s a pleasure writing for you beautiful bastards.

P.S – We’ll be unable to post next week as we need to move to a new domain, all in a bid to serve you better.

Our twitter account remains functional though. So if you are not already, follow us on @goonermemoirs for breaking news and updates.

Meanwhile, take some time to leave us with your comments.

Cheers.

RvP Talks to Begin Today + Poldi “can’t wait to play for Arsenal”

Good morning from wherever you read this. Woke up hoping Wenger never makes a “not in my lifetime” statement towards the Tots or Chelski to warrant a placard similar to Carlos Tevez’s now infamous one.

The Argentine has apologised, as have his club, saying he got carried away by the moment. Oh well, our team meanwhile stays focused on having a better campaign next season with van Persie set to commence talks regarding his future at the Ems.

According to BBC’s David Ornstein who broke the news, captain vantastic will meet up with le boss and Ivan Gazidis at Wenger’s abode on Wednesday, even stating a time for the meeting (10:30 BST).

Don’t get lost in excitement just yet, nothing is expected to be sealed then with the Dutch striker set to report for Holland’s Euro 2012 camp on Thursday.

We however do hope it sets in motion the process of an extension of his stay beyond what his current contract states, as well as ward off the suitors eyeing our prized asset.

Meanwhile speaking with the club’s website, van Persie had special praise for fans that cheered the team on at home and especially at away grounds.

“The away fans, they are always here, always singing, always cheering us up even when we are having a bad game, they are always behind us. A big thank you to all of them because they have been unbelievable.”

And he had this to say of the home support, “The last few months have been different class. Every single game – the Spurs game, the Milan game, you can name them all – unbelievable.”

Podolski Eager to Play Ball

Podolski in Arsenal jersey (via Arsenal.com)

Podolski in Arsenal jersey (via Arsenal.com)

Following a bitter-sweet campaign with Köln in which his commendable 18 goals were on the contrary not enough to prevent his hometown club from relegation, Lukas Podolski is ready to begin life at the Ems next season.

Speaking officially as a Gunner for the first time, the German forward said soeaking personally with Wenger through telephone conversations was one of the elements that convinced him to join us.

He also mentioned the Per factor, “He has mentioned things about the Club’s organisation, the training ground, the fans and this has really helped. It might have influenced me to a certain extent but in the end, of course, I took the decision myself.”

Thank you once again Per for the PR. And here we were thinking Vermaelen had done enough to convince Belgian compatriot Jan Vertonghen to follow suit and join but word is he prefers being a ‘neighbour’.

Nothing is confirmed yet however, just as it has gone mellow concerning French midfielder Yann M’Vila. The lull before the bang? We await.

Do follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs and have a great day ahead. Cheers.

How The Drama Went Down – Full Review.

@bosunescobar said “Arsenal will chop two, just watch” and we did. But I damn well am glad we gave West Brom three to chop… and Kieran Gibbs must surely have a place in Heaven after that aptly executed stoppage time tackle. Trepidation ‘whelms me at the thought of “had that gone wrong… “.

Francis Coquelin turned 19 on the day, Yossi Benayoun performed well for us again in what likely is his last game for us, anxiety got the better of monsieur Wenger and who better to cling on than Pat Rice, lifted by the players after the final whistle to an ovation from the visiting fans; in tribute to the end of his long service to the club.

It was a tense way to wrap up our season, Arsenal somehow always ensures of the drama. After Fulop flopped to let Yossi give us the lead after four minutes, two goals in four minutes meant we had work to do.

How the first wasn’t chalked off for offside leaves my being perplexed. How the second was scored left my emotions numb at our defensive movement, with Graham Dorrans making light work of Kozzer and TV5 there.

All that happened in the opening 15 minutes and our ‘noisy’ neighbours were at the time, ahead against Fulham by a lone Emmanuel Adebayor goal.

It wasn’t the ideal scenario for a week 38 fixture as far as any gooner was bothered. Any form of goal was craved and Andre the boss Santos duly obliged to get our gays back on level terms just after the half hour mark.

A tinny bit of skill before lashing one into the bottom corner and the Brazilian ensured we’d go into the break at 2-2 with the Sillywhites still leading by Adebayor’s goal i.e. they = 69 and us = 68… *shudders*

We showed some urgency at the start of the second half. Rosicky got replaced by Theo Walcott at half time, leaving Yossi with the task of pulling the midfield strings.

Jermaine Defoe doubled the Tiny Tots’ advantage just past the hour mark and we were on our way to 1) another nervy affair in the Champions League final qualifying round or 2) the Europa Leag… God forbideth!!

Marton Fulop obliged yet again. Making to punch away a van Persie corner but jumping into his (better placed to clear) defender and fumbling his attempted clearance instead, gifting Laurent Koscielny the goal to scramble in the ball.

No amount of goals scored at the Shite Fart Lane could help them now. Ramsey came on for Santos and Benayoun returned to the left wing after Gervinho went off for Kieran Gibbs.

Inspired substitution, the latter, thanks to that tackle I mentioned earlier. Made Gibbs my man of the match, along with the industrious Yossi while van Persie came a close third.

And though he did say in his pre-match note that he’d trade all his goals for a win at the Hawthorns, finishing dead on 30, just one behind the record number 31, had me feel a tad bit of “damn” for captain vantastic.

Nonetheless, he’s the PFA and FWA Player of the Season, Arsenal.com’s Player of the Season (yet to be polled but really, it’s not a contest) and the league’s ‘golden boot’ as well as Europe’s bronze boot behind “Angel” Messi and the oiled one, Ronaldo.

Summarily, it was a bipolar season for the Gunners. A good season thanks to going from fourth bottom to third from top in Wenger’s 900th league match for us. A bad season no thanks to making it seven years without a trophy… take the figurine out of Arsenal’s abode already -__-.

Curtain Calls
We missed Jack Wilshere gravely. Alas, Mikel Arteta would likely not be a gunner now if Jack wasn’t injured. A silver lining to carry into our campaign next season.

Lukas Podolski is a gunner, most imperatively alongside van Persie. Would be interesting to see if we adapt to a 4-4-2 formation or play the German from the left wing. Certainly hope he’s not a ‘replacement killer’ for you-know-who.

And finally, two more arrivals and no departure of players other than the Squillacis and Shishas will have us being real title contenders next season. M’Vila? Vertonghen? Biglia? Belhanda? Time will tell.

Congratulations to Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy and (from some corner of my heart) Samir Nasri along with their title winning mates at Manchester City. Thoroughly deserve to be champions and what a breathless way to pip the Red Devils to it.

Take a cue Tiny Tots, that’s what you call a noisy neighbour!

Yann M’Vila Uncertain | Walcott Fit | Pat Rice Departs.

With twitter it’s impossible to know whether to believe something or to disbelieve it. Afterall it’s where breaking news happens first these days. From “deal agreed and waiting to be announced” on the M’Vila front to “no deal in place yet, no contact, just interest”.

It’s going to be a long summer as it always is for we gooners, but wait, le boss wants to conclude all (or most) of his business before the start of the European Championships so it won’t be.

Where are my manners, top of the morning to you wherever you are. A lot of has been happening this week regarding the club, both rumors and actual events. The M’Vila deal would still happen, knowing how Wenger operates, he wants it quiet till it’s concluded and then announced officially. Fingers crossed. He’s the player we need.

Oh please spare me the “we have Coquelin and Frimpong and Song” cliche. The former two are at best upcoming players despite the obvious talent they have. Playing with world class players only helps you get better, it doesn’t stunt your growth. If he comes, it would be exciting to see who he replaces in the starting XI.

PAT RICE……
The Arsenal legend departs the club after 44 years of service as a player and as a coach. His career is one laden with success and a loyal servant to the club he is. He’s very much loved within the club and would be missed but I’m sure Steve Bould (the man replacing him) will perform just as good.

Word is Mr Bould is a no nonsense man who is outspoken and respected by all players and even Wenger. Finally we can have someone to shout at Gervinho & Ramsey from the sidelines. \(^_^)/.

THEO WALCOTT & BROM……..
Speedstar Theo is set to recover and play in the curtain closer of the season, should he pass a late fitness test. If he’s fit I say start him. We need all the ammunition from the start. Hopeful the Ox gets to start too. The game against Brom is a must win. No f*cking excuses, no relying on results of the other teams/games. 3 points and 3rd place. Thank you.

“We Did Doubt” – Kozzer
In an interview with France Football, defender Laurent Koscielny is quoted to admitting a feeling we had back then, that the players doubted their abilities and le boss’ following the horrendous start to the season, summed up by that defeat I much 8-2 mention.

“The group was not giving enough for the club and we realised that.” said Kozzer. “We got down to work and we said the things we needed to say. After that, one win, two wins, confidence returns and things follow on from that. The new players were immersed in the group and so on”. Get us one more win Kozzer, so we know it’s real!

I have Options – Vela
The Mexican forward has had quite a good season with Real Sociedad, hitting a dozen goals in for the Basque club in 31 la Liga matches. A form that prompted the ‘prince of the lobbed goals’ to declare his preference of making the move permanent a while ago.

Now however, making his stay there permanent may not happen after the player admitted Sociedad’s budget will likely hinder them from doing just that.

But… “I have more options” said Vela, cushioning the minor setback to an immediate exit from the Arsenal. Going by his form though, him getting a decent club shouldn’t be a problem.

RvP: One More Record to Break
With 30 league goals so far, captain vantastic is at least two goals from setting a new league record of 32 league goals (or more) under the 38-game format. The standing record has Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo tied at 31 goals.

It would be great to have RvP get the goals, to cap a phenomenal season. But I can sense many gooners would rather the goals came from anyone, as long as we get the win at the Hawthorns.

And we’ll be here tomorrow to give a prematch report on the game. Till then have a great day wherever you are.

Escobar

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Arsenal Escape Norwich Fiasco | Bould To Be Wenger’s No 2 | New Kit Launched

Morning to you all from wherever you are, first off I’d like to apologize for not providing any post match reports or player ratings for the Norwich game for the obvious reasons. Reasons such as how inept we are as a team and how we lack ambition and how the team never ends the season well despite this being our easiest run in in years. Please don’t say we were denied penalties, we were awful, the midfield non-existent and Vermaelen, Gibbs & Szczesny were all piss poor. BUT

For whatever reason, Lady Luck smiled on us the following day as our rivals for the 3rd spot both dropped points meaning our destiny is back in our own hands and we must play the game of our lives on the final day of the season and get the 3 points. As someone said, he’ll get Ian Wright & Tony Adams to deliver team talk before the game & at half time.

We’ll come back to how our team is a very poor one and how no one else but Arsene Wenger is at fault for this. One example, United need to win a game and they throw on strikers like Welbeck/Hernandez/Berbatov, City throw on Balotelli/Dzeko, Chelsea, Drogba/Torres, even Spurs have Defoe/Saha. Who do we the Arsenal have? Chamakh & Park and even those two are never introduced. Says a lot. Arteta got injured(and we’ve picked 2 points out of 9) also, we can see how Song is poor defensively. A couple of assists don’t make you a great DM.

NEW NUMBER TWO……..
Pat Rice will step down end of season and despite the options available to the club, they decided to pick from within and Steve Bould the reserve team coach will be Wenger’s no 2.

Will he be like Pat Rice and just let Wenger do his thing or will he be exactly what we need in the backroom, someone that can challenge Wenger and point out his flaws. He was a former defender, will he help improve our defense? I hope so. But then again, Pat Rice too was a defender.

NEW HOME KIT…….
I’d like to start of by saying I don’t like this kit, they tried to do too much and involved all the colors on the badge. The blue and white hoops by the sleeve don’t work for me. Let’s hope the away kit is better. Have a look below.

And Finally……..

A lot has to happen behind the scenes at Arsenal come summer and buying two-three players will not be enough. We have way too many useless and detrimental players at the club. Ship them out and spend some f*cking money. City are about to win the league by doing that and yet they can’t beat us on a normal day, imagine if we had a better squad.

The jury has to be out on Wenger, he’s a failure and he has failed once again, don’t tell me how he’s done great because he put us in this mess and at the end of the day, he’ll pocket a fat cheque, we’ll sell our best players and replace them with kids/useless ones.

There’s a lot that needs to happen and I pray it happens first, but most importantly a win at West Brom would allow us know what direction we’re going in. Enjoy.

Arsenal Escape Norwich Fiasco | Bould To Be Wenger’s No 2 | New Kit Launched

Morning to you all from wherever you are, first off I’d like to apologize for not providing any post match reports or player ratings for the Norwich game for the obvious reasons. Reasons such as how inept we are as a team and how we lack ambition and how the team never ends the season well despite this being our easiest run in in years. Please don’t say we we denied penalties, we were awful, the midfield non existent and Vermaelen, Gibbs & Szczesny were all piss poor. BUT

For whatever reason, Lady Luck smiled on us the following day as our rivals for the 3rd spot both dropped points meaning our destiny is back in our own hands and we must play the game of our lives on the final day of the season and get the 3 points. As someone said, he’ll get Ian Wright & Tony Adams to deliver team talk before the game & at half time.

We’ll come back to how our team is a very poor one and how no one else but Arsene Wenger is at fault for this. One example, United need to win a game and they throw on strikers like Welbeck/Hernandez/Berbatov, City throw on Balotelli/Dzeko, Chelsea, Drogba/Torres, even Spurs have Defoe/Saha. Who do we the Arsenal have? Chamakh & Park and even those two are never introduced. Says a lot. Arteta got injured(and we’ve picked 2 points out of 9) also, we can see how Song is poor defensively. A couple of assists don’t make you a great DM.

NEW NUMBER TWO……..
Pat Rice will step down end of season and despite the options available to the club, they decided to pick from within and Steve Bould the reserve team coach will be Wenger’s no 2.

Will he be like Pat Rice and just let Wenger do his thing or will he be exactly what we need in the backroom, someone that can challenge Wenger and point out his flaws. He was a former defender, will he help improve our defense? I hope so. But then again, Pat Rice too was a defender.

NEW HOME KIT…….
I’d like to start of by saying I don’t like this kit, they tried to do too much and involved all the colors on the badge. The blue and white hoops by the sleeve don’t work for me. Let’s hope the away kit is better. Have a look below.

And Finally……..

A lot has to happen behind the scenes at Arsenal come summer and buying two-three players will not be enough. We have way too many useless and detrimental players at the club. Ship them out and spend some f*cking money. City are about to win the league by doing that and yet they can’t beat us on a normal day, imagine if we had a better squad.

The jury has to be out on Wenger, he’s a failure and he has failed once again, don’t tell me how he’s done great because he put us in this mess and at the end of the day, he’ll pocket a fat cheque, we’ll sell our best players and replace them with kids/useless ones.

There’s a lot that needs to happen and I pray it happens first, but most importantly a win at West Brom would allow us know what direction we’re going in. Enjoy.

OFFICIAL : Arsenal Sign Podolski Confirmed By Player Himself.

Breaking news just reaching us is that Arsenal have officially completed the signing of German International Lukasz Podolski for a fee believed to be in the region of £10.9M. After months of rumors and speculation, the news is finally confirmed. Podolski had this to say about the deal.

    “Arsenal provides opportunity to gain individual development and experience at a top European top club. I will always have FC Cologne in my heart, but Arsenal is a great opportunity in my career”

Just a day after confirming that Arsenal have been over reliant on RVP for the goals this season, he made his move on Podolski and it had been agreed since but the two clubs decided to put it on hold till season’s end.

For those wondering, despite playing for a team in the relegation mix pretty much all season, Podolski has 18 goals and 6 assists in 26 games. He’s definitely no Chamakh and his versatility(can play LF, RF & CF) is one welcomed by we fans.

With Podolski confirmed, and word from an inside source that Arsene wants to complete all his deals before the European Championship starts, you can expect the likes of M’vila(most likely to sign), Vertoghen/Giroud/Belhanda to follow suit. Great business it would be and just the right incentive for RVP to extend his contract. Have a great day.

Arsenal Survive Aerial Onslaught at Stoke: Match Report, Player Ratings + Wenger’s New Man

van Persie levelling matters at Stoke (picture from Arsenal.com)

van Persie levelling matters at Stoke (picture from Arsenal.com)

A draw obviously isn’t the best result especially in our quest to seal third spot but coming away from the Britannia with a one-all draw is a very good result for Arsenal.

The result is more appreciated based on the fact that both Manchester clubs got only a point there as did Chelsea, while Liverpool left the Britannia with nothing… oh yea, ditto the Tiny Tots.

Then the result is most appreciated when you add Wigan Athletic’s astounding 4-0 drubbing of Newcastle United, a result that means we will have a four point lead over the chasing pack when the rest of the weekend’s fixtures are over.

Over to our performance then. Having lost three of our last four visits here, going behind to Peter Crouch’s header after nine minutes made it seem it’d be deja vu.

More so as the goal had come against the run of play, with Begovic already put to test off a shot from Yossi Benayoun and the PFA & FWA Player of the Year’s header few minutes before Crouch’s goal.

Robin van Persie would finally register a goal from open play after going about 11 hours without one, getting on the end of a Tomas Rosicky cross to equalise.

Benayoun is commended here for winning the ball off Shotton and initiating the move that resulted in the captain’s 130th goal in his Arsenal career.

Unfotunately, the rest of our afternoon was laden with misses as Gervinho, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey fired shots wide while van Persie had a soft header saved comfortably.

Most importantly, Bacary Sagna made a clearance late in the game as the towers that be at Stoke went aerial on us in search of an undeserved winner late on.

With that, the players get the following in ratings:

Szczesny7

Sagna8

Koscielny7

Vermaelen7

Gibbs7

Ramsey7

Song7.5

Rosicky8

Benayoun7.5

Gervinho6

van Persie7.5

Diaby continues his return to actually being a footballer with another decent appearance from the bench for Ramsey. We stay hopeful for his feet’s lasting ‘fitness’ this time around.

We could have had a penalty in the closing quarter hour of the match after Whelan ‘bullied’ the very industrious Benayoun in the box. Arsène Wenger revealed after the match that he’d been told by the assistant referee that the incident hadn’t been seen.

Onto another sensory device and Tony Pulis’ hearing left him unaware of the senseless booing of Ramsey who impressed on the day. He did criticise Gooners in the stadium for booing Ryan Shawcross… a rare case of SHS here; Selective Hearing Syndrome.

Wenger’s New Man
Le Professeur has hinted that his next assistant on the bench will be one with a history at the club, a welcome hint I might add, mind had started infatuating with the idea of Pep… nevermind.

With Pat Rice set to retire at season’s end, a host of names have propped including Tony Adams, Martin Keown and academy boss Steve Bould though the latter only recently ruled himself out, sort of.

Personally, I would much love to have the Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp as Rice’s replacement next season as I see him as an ideal successor to Wenger, who would prefer to have someone that will keep the ‘philosophy’ going at the club.

Share your thoughts below about the result at Stoke and on who you see being Wenger’s new sidekick from next season.

Lessons for Arsenal from Bayern Munich’s exploits.

Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; Gustavo, Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Ribery, Robben, Gomez. Muller (sub)

That’s the Bayern Munich side that defeated a free-spending, star-studded Real Madrid team to secure a place in a Champions League final.

A closer look at this team and you discover that 7 of those players came through the ranks in Bayern Munich. Four were quality (not necessarily expensive) signings, to give them that cutting edge.

You already know where I am going with this, don’t you?

Earlier in the millenium, Wenger was in charge of a team that boasted world class quality in almost every department. All of them were playing well and more importantly, playing well as a team.

His blueprint for winning was pretty much what people were used to, a top quality team of experienced internationals added to pre-season with a couple of experienced players (in this case French or African).

He would occasionally add a high potential youngster to the mix. (See Cesc, Wilshere, Anelka).

They won trophies, in style too. But when the time came, the team had to be dismantled, some may argue it was done too quickly.

A move to a bigger stadium was on the horizon and funds were tight, there was a need to balance the books. The club had to change its strategy.

While I think Wenger had already started this before talks of a move to the Emirates cropped up, he planned on doing it on a much larger scale.

He struck gold with the likes of Toure, Viera and Henry and that must have spurred him on. We went through 2003/04 unbeaten in the league.

The difference between then and what we have now is that the team then was quite strong, strong enough to allow young players get some experience.

However, fast forward three years to 2007 and only Gilberto, Toure and Lehmann managed to survive the chop.

So what happened in between? Two things:

First, the Emirates stadium, despite already reaping rewards financially, seems cursed cursed to never house a trophy. Costing close to £400 million, it left the club in huge debt.

But with much of the debt now wiped out and Arsenal in (according to the books) “financial heaven”, there is no better time to buy than now.

The other factor was the loss of a certain David Dein. Yeah yeah, you must be thinking “not David Dein talk again”.

But the truth is he supported Wenger throughout his best years and was never replaced (nah…Gazidis does not count).

To be honest, I didn’t see how much this would affect the club at first I mean…he is just another memeber of the board. But his backroom dealings brought Arsene to Arsenal in the first place.

Also, he was supposedly a major influence on the transfers of Cesc, PV4, RVP, Petit, Marc Overmars, Titi, Pires, and Campbell.

Just take a look at Daniel Levy across the road at Sp*rs and Milan’s Adrian Galliani and you’ll understand my point.

Now Project Youth has gone through two phases. Wenger, around 2008, deciding some of them weren’t good enough (Muamba and Aliadiere) or they deciding Arsenal’s didn’t match their ambition (Flamini).

And there is the current crop of youngsters (Coquelin, Jack, Frimps, Oxlade-Chamb, Yennaris) who are not doing too badly.

The only real Arsenal-bred youngsters who have grown to full fledged regulars from Arsenal’s academy are Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs. Then we have the likes of Cesc, Cashley, Song and Sz13 whom we ‘took’ while they were young.

This season we probably have the most players out on loan in the history of the league. Some players will not make the grades at Arsenal, and we can all see that.

Project Youth should be about developing the quality (maybe few) players, not holding on to many average players.

Now, we do have a relatively strong squad, a good basis for two (assuming we already have Podolski) quality signings. Wenger needs to take a look at players like Denilson, Vela, Lansbury and Bendtner.

He needs to decide whether to give them one more season to come good or just cash in while there is still interest in them.

Bayern Munich have shown that you do not need to spend all the money in the world (a la Real Madrid), to compete with the best.

They have a similar transfer model to Arsenal, spending reasonably within their means. Wenger started this last summer by recruiting Arteta, Mert4, Yossi and Santos.

We showed a lot of promise against the might and money of Manchester City, Milan and Chelsea this season. Imagine a player like Cesc hadn’t left and we have a midfield comprising Arteta, a player like Cesc, and Song.

Project Youth has not failed, completely, Sz13’s and Oxlade Chamberlain’s performances this season evidence of that. It just needs to be readjusted to fit with the reality of today, a few experienced heads (Robben, Lahm, Ribery, Gomez) to take the young guns past the finish line.

Wilshere can be our Kroos, Ramsey our Gustavo, and Song our Schweini. We already have a better striker than Gomez so that’s settled.

If Podolski joins, and Wenger sees the chance to build on what has been an eye-opening season by recruiting another (or two) experienced player(s), next season will be ours to throw away. Cliché?

What we have at the moment is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken by buying those quality players to persuade RVP et al to stay.

A quick look at our current youth set up shows a number of ‘next big things’; the task before Arsene is making them more Fabregas than Aliadiere.

That’s as much as I can take today mates! The race for 3rd place is still hot even though we’re in the driving seat. A preview of our visit to Stoke will be posted tomorrow morning. Watch out for that.

Birthday shout outs to Punkenstein, one of the three authors on this blog. It’s been an honour mate. Reach for the skies!

Then there’s the talk of Pep Guardiola refusing to sign a new contract at Barcelona. What do you guys make of that? Pep at Arsenal? Hmmmmmm….

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Another Rumoured 2012/13 Jersey|Wilshere Turns Down Pearce Invite + Club News

Rumoured look of next season's kit

Rumoured look of our kit for next season.

What a week of football we’ve had so far with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo keeping up their series of “I can do whatvever you can” after both missed crucial penalty kicks that played a part in their respectively team’s exit from the Champions League.

A case of “we’ll be back” next season for them. Speaking of next season, we’ve seen a number of kits surface in recent times as being our kit for the 2012/13 season. And what you’ve seen above is a new one that surfaced last night.

Evidently, it suggests we’ll be back to having yellow as our second kit, which would be a welcome move. Generally the design looks cool, and is the best looking rumoured kit for next season I’ve seen so far or what do you think?

Other News
The Sun first reported last night that Jack Wilshere will turn down any invitation from Stuart Pearce to be part of team GB’s football side at the Olympics this summer and instead concentrate on becoming fully fit for Arsenal next season.

This comes on the heels of ‘psychotic’ Pearce insisting the 20 year old will be included in the team GB squad if he is fit to play, a move that would see Wilshere miss pre-season with us.

Having not played competitive football this season no thanks to niggling setbacks in his recovery from an ankle injury, Arsenal would rather Wilshere was with us when he is eventually fully fit.

And though we recognise that Wilshere’s made quite an impression on managers with his an immense talent, Pearce will have 79 other players to choose his final 18-man squad to the Olympics from, he really should let Wilshere be for now.

Bendtner to Decide Future After Euros
World’s best forward Nicklas Bendtner spoke on Danish television and basically stated that he is not sure he would be a Sunderland player beyond this season even if the opportunity came.

He also said he will be open to the option of returning to us when his loan spell ends though reiterated his desire to leave the club and I feel it’s the best option for him, with Podolski’s ‘imminent’ signing, Chamakh’s reluctance to be shipped out and the presence (for whatever other reason than competitive football) of Park Chu Young.

He also however stated that a definite course of his future will be made only after playing at the European Championships at Poland and Ukraine.

For now, he says he has enjoyed having games under his belt at Sunderland even though the style of play at the Stadium of Light differs from Arsenal’s.

Wenger Out
Le boss will be away from the touchline in Europe next season after deciding to not go the long (and ultimately fruitless) path of an appeal against his UEFA charge and fine for using fine language on the referee in the win over Milan.

Consequently, Wenger will miss Arsenal’s first three matches in Europe next season… the first three Champions League group stages most preferably.

That’s the bit from here today. Next up will be a preview of the tricky trip to face Stoke City as we look to seal that final Champions League spot in our last three league matches, starting from the Brittania.

Do follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs and have a great day.

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