Jessie Venture has the number for Arsenal

Welcome truth-seekers.

I often tell my children that the the most important thing in life is not just to show up and collect your paycheck, but whether you stand in the right place when you do it.

That’s why it bothers me so much when I see this Arsenal team playing a guy with the number 2 on his back in some kind of attacking midfield role. Every time I see this, I literally yell at the television screen, WHY IS ARSENAL’S RIGHT BACK IN THE OPPOSITION BOX??? After a couple of quater pounders with cheese calm me down, I realize that this is the problem with today’s ego driven sports stars; they all think they are Michael Jordan and get to have their own special number that they will get to one day retire-unretire-and then retire again.

These players even make deals to get the number they want regardless of whether that’s anywhere near the position that they play on the pitch and regardless of whether their performances have merited them being assigned a number that stretches credulity.

But here’s the deal, truth seekers, I think it’s high time for Arsenal to remind these players that they are not bigger than the club. The player plays for the right to wear the shirt, not the other way around.

When they step out onto the pitch for the starting team they will be numbered 1-11 and numbers will be assigned by the position they play on the pitch. Substitutes will have the numbers 12, 13, and 14 but when one of the starters is injured and misses the next game, they lose their shirt to the next guy. If Sagna plays right back three weeks in a row, he’s Arsenal’s number 2 for those three weeks. If he’s injured and Eboue takes his spot for a week, he’s Arsenal’s number 2 for a week. NEVER DIABY AT NUMBER 2.

I’d go one step further and take the names off the back. I’d have a badge on the front and a number on the back. Like I said, the shirt is more important than player.

The only room for argument here is which numbering system we choose. Since Arsenal play a 4-2-4 or a 4-3-3 depending on how long they have been holding the ball in the opposition box I’m ok with Arsenal using a more Brazilian numbering system.

That would mean the following numbers would be assigned:

  1. Keeper
  2. Right back
  3. Center back
  4. Center back
  5. Holding midfielder
  6. Left back
  7. Right wing
  8. Right mid
  9. Center forward
  10. Attacking mid
  11. Left wing

If we want to be more traditionally English in our designation we could go like this:

  1. Goalie
  2. Right back
  3. Left back
  4. Defensive mid
  5. Centre half
  6. Centre half
  7. Right wing
  8. Centre mid
  9. Centre forward
  10. Attacking midfielder
  11. Left wing

Unfortunately, as egos needed to be stroked and young players with a complete disregard for the history of the game have come in, squad numbers are assigned these days from the start of the season. That’s how Arsenal ended up with Nicklas Bendtner wearing the number 52 and Abou Diaby who can’t play a lick of defense wearing the hallowed number 2.

If Arsenal were to play their players based on numbers assigned and using my preferred Brazilian style numbering, this would be the starting XI:

  1. Almunia — Goalie
  2. Diaby — right back
  3. Sagna — center back
  4. Fabregas — center back
  5. Vermaelen — Volante!
  6. Koscielny — left back
  7. Rosicky — right wing
  8. Nasri — center mid
  9. none (no players at Arsenal wants to be number 9, surprise) — Center forward
  10. van Persie — attacking mid
  11. Vela — left wing

Here’s what I would do, I would hang the numbers in order from 1-14 above the lockers (no assigned lockers) then I would post the team sheet on the door on the way in, assigning people their number, their place on the pitch, and letting them know whether they get a start for the Arsenal.

Arsenal need to nip this ego-driven numbering system in the bud before they end up like the Italians with everyone running around in a ball, kicking each other and yelling at the referee while wearing some number like 99 on their back. Nip it in the bud before I take my next crop of little footballers and ask little Johnny where he plays and he says, “I’m a number 17 coach, just like Alex Song.”

There is no number 17, Johnny, never has been, never will. You’re fired.

57 thoughts on “Jessie Venture has the number for Arsenal

    1. +11 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      I’ts funny because the last item on my bucket list is to have something that I give away for free get shit on anonymously. Thank you, I can die happy now.

  1. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1visionary

    wengers mental disturbance has now started affecting the blogs although in some cases you wonder ( ie those who delete your posts unless you thoroughly agree with them )
    maybe wenger caught it from them

    1. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      Truly a ‘visionary’ comment. Thank you for stopping by this wholly free blog and providing us with your insight. Especially since you had to take time out from spring cleaning the rock you live under.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

    So what happens if we switch players’ position during a game for e.g. moving Nasri from the left to a more central role? Does he change shirts with Wilshere in the middle of the game and do they both get booked for taking their shirts off?

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      @nycgunner, Ah, yes… the last memo from the Marketing Dept. did mention something about boosting female attendance at the matches, I believe…

      1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

        @JV Mauer, Can’t argue there. It’s like when I am anticipating a list minute winner from the boys and it never comes. Works like a charm. Keeps me going back for more.

    2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @nycgunner, That’s the key! See, teams like Tottenham will send their players out to “mark number 7″ right? And when Number 7 switches from right to left or comes inside, they won’t know what to do!

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1Stupid/Deluxe

    Hahahaha brilliant post, almost as good as your cutting down of the unnessesary negative comment monkeys

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1Stupid/Deluxe

    Hahahaha brilliant post, almost as good as your cutting down of the unnessesary negative comment monkeys

  5. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve of Chiang Mai

    Tim after having to put up with an endless stream of useless blogs calling for the head of everyone from Manager to waterboy, suggesting spending untold millions on giant English centre halves just because they are …..well…English it was so refreshing to read a blog that was total rubbish and highly amusing, as opposed to total rubbish and extremely distressing……well done!

    After the last few weeks it helps to come to the conclusion that “you gotta laugh”!

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Josip

      @Steve of Chiang Mai, To be fair to the “useless blogs” out there they have a point in regards to the waterboy. He’s really been in poor form recently. He accidentally spilt 48 bottles last week, and the week before he mixed up the water with vodka. He should probably be fired.

      1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

        @Josip, Not to mention that he keeps giving the manager bottles to throw around despite Pat Rice’s explicit instructions not to do this because he is getting soaked!

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1Meh

    You’re right. The players need to fight for the shirt. It’s the only thing tha matters. Like Theo said in his interbiew, they have to be willing to die for each other… not litterally of course.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      @Meh, I believe that was a typo on the part of the reporter. Theo actually meant that they have to be willing to “dye” for each other. In an attempt to build team unity, all players have been told to return from the Summer break with the soon to be trademarked “Ljungberg Streak” in their hair.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1Grimbo

    Sheesh… there’s a lot of people out there that have had their sense of humour surgically removed…

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1Arsenal Thomas

    Loved the post! Long time reader of both Tim and Jesse “The truth”!

    Forget those with no sense of humour!

    Keep doin it Sirs!

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerCanada

    You do realize what Marketing means right ???
    this season Bendtner Changed his number too late and offered fans their money back or a new Shirt,
    Fans buy these jerseys you cant change this at every game,But like everyone else you have an opinion, although it sounds good but its not practical

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1Chilangooner

    Brilliant post. With all the “experts” claiming to know what exactly is going on at Arsenal and how to fix it, it’s nice to read something that makes us laugh. Thanks

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1Giorgio Curioso

    Jesse, awesome and right on! This has a lot of implication on the players attitudes. I have made this same point to Tim many times. I think the team will play harder if we go back to the old school system.

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    Oddly enough, the line up you give, apart from Fabregas at Centre Back, might actually work.. Perhaps there is something to the whole numerology mumbo jumbo. You didn’t steal this from Domenech now did you?

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1AC Gooner

    Made me laugh. Enjoyed the blog very much. Anyone who has a problem with this has no sense of humor and is basically irrelevant.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

      @AC Gooner, Yes, it is very necessary that we all have the same sense of humor; otherwise someone might be irreverent and not just basically irrelevant.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

        @nycgunner, I’d actually go to those games, if they play in Queens as planned. I have a hard time supporting Jersey teams that can’t admit they’re from Jersey. ;)

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

        @nycgunner, Really? I’m on Staten Island. Have you been down to the Blind Pig on 14th St. yet? I only made it out to the first Chelsea game, and while the result was disappointed, being surrounded by 200 full-throated Gooners was fantastic.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

        @JV Mauer, Terrific atmosphere. It’s probably the closest thing you will ever come to in the US that feels like an Arsenal pub in London. I took a gooner friend of mine from London there for the Carling Cup final and he was shocked. Unfortunately the result wiped out the possibility of what promised to be a great day.

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    That how many youth hockey teams do it: no names just numbers on the backs of players jerseys. The team is all that matters and many, many people forget that.

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

    wHAT A GK FOR SCHALKE this M Neuer has been in the first half!
    Fully dominant in the air, and quick reflexes. If we have this GK, imagine what kind of season we can have!
    Schalke is completely played off the field. Their attacks are useless, as they try, like the Arsenal, to play balls through the hole of the needle of the manutd defence.
    They would be lucky to come away with a 0-0 draw in this game.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      @DF, The announcers were saying that this is his last season at Schalke. Seems ManUre want him as Van Der Sar’s replacement.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

        @JV Mauer, I have heard he is going to Bayern…anyway, there will be a few years before our Chesny can be such a GK…
        Schalke’s defenders are sometimes like Arsenal’s–can’t clear the ball from the box.
        Metzelder will be too slow for the EPL…

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

    “2010-2011: With 11 games to go the title was in our hands. We’ve won once in seven and now the title is gone.
    2009-2010: With seven games to go we were two points adrift. We won one of our next six and finished 11 behind Chelsea.
    2007-2008: We were five points clear with 12 to play. We won one of our next eight.”

    This is not a good team, Mr Wenger. Not able to win in a series of 6, 7 and 8 games is not what a potentially good team will do.
    This is a team in relegation form, starting Feb or March.
    What happens? Can anyone tell me?

    Compare this to another Wenger team:
    “Ten wins in a row 97-98, 13 in 01-02, Invincibility in 03-04. ”
    Build a team which can win a row…but how?

  17. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

    Neuer’s hero and idol as a child was fellow German and former Schalke goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.–from Wiki…

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

    So manutd has beaten Schalke half-strength. They have not suffered a bit in this game and reserved Rooney & Hernandez in the game against us on Sunday.
    Can we escape another defeat?

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1The Red & White Observer

    Tim: This submission has nothing really to do with today’s blog, I was just sitting here reviewing all my Arsenal Bookmarks from the past two weeks, and I have decided that from today I will apply for a gagging order, not for having had an extramarital affair or anything like that but because I want to stop all that negative rubbish being written about Arsene and the Arsenal in the newspapers, blogs, Sky, BBC and ESPN. (Your blog is an exception, of course)

    What is the opposite to a gagging order, is that a “free press”, well ; please stop talking about my team the Arsenal in such a derogatory way instead lets write about the Royal Wedding and the fact that Schalke 04 is a rubbish German team what does not deserve to be in the semi finals of a Champions League.

    What a one sided dose of crap.

    Man U is such a lucky team…. plus how old is Ryan Giggs.. he is amazing.

  20. Vote -1 Vote +1HB Gooner

    this article is complete rubbish. what if i buy a Theo shirt at the beginning of next season and Wenger (or whoever the manager is at the time) decides to switch him from a winger to a striker in the second week of the season. i would already have an outdated shirt and have to go out and buy a new shirt so i can match his new number?! or what if someone is carded off and they have to switch formations. does that mean they would have to call a “timeout” so the remaining 10 players can switch jerseys according to their new role? KEEP IN MIND that the numbers are ALSO on their shorts and sometimes their boots so they would have to switch those as well.. what about the subs?! what if they want to put in Bendtner to add another striker into the situation because they are trailing in a game.. do the subs all wear blank jerseys and 1) tape the number they are coming on for according to their position or do they 2) have one of those machines that can press the name on the sideline right next to the dugout so they can have an official shirt as they come on? hmm…..

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      @HB Gooner, Irony (from the Latin ironia, from the Greek eironeia, “feigned ignorance) 1. a. Use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. c. A style of literature employing ironic contrasts for rhetorical or humorous effect. Make friends with Mr. Weber.

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1PJ

    Or they can use the dutch national team numbering system


    2-right back, 3&4 center backs, 5-left back

    6-holding mid 8-holding mid

    11-right wing 10-playmaker 7-left wing


  22. Vote -1 Vote +1Shubham

    I know our backups are not great.Great. Oh wait! They’re Bad.That’s what we still lack. Quality in depth. No cover for Song, Walcott, Fabregas(there can be no one here) and van Persie. Come on! We are Arsenal FC and deserve better players. We the fans deserve better players.Arsene deserves better players. And so does football. I mean what an achievement it would be if the title is won by Arsenal with our youth policy.Really HUGE!
    On the other hand, I think the first XI deserves better fans who can sing and shout to help them win. Not to sit back and blame it on the players.I’ve written an article regarding the same issue:

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      @Shubham, I’ve always wondered why no one else in the BPL seems to have emulated Liverpool in that regard. Hearing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” ring out through a stadium brings shivers to the spine. Surely there must be at least one song in recorded history which would suit the Arsenal as its hymn.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        @JV Mauer, I loved it every time I was there and they played The Wonder of You.

        It’s one of my favorite Elvis songs and fits Arsenal to a T.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

        @Tim, I checked it out last night. It’s pretty good, though I rather think that the players should be singing it to the fans, rather than the other way around! Have you ever had a post about Arsenal Anthems? I’d be interested to see what other songs are in the running.

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