Arsenal Summer Clearance On Sale NOW

Before I start I want to make some things very clear: I’m not asking for anyone to leave, I’m not saying that I know there will be a clear out, and I’m not saying that I hate anyone. I’m also not publishing this article in order to say “so and so is shit” or that I know better than anyone else what is going on behind the scenes at Arsenal. What else will I be accused of… Oh yeah, I’m not “going negative” or joining the “Wenger out” brigade or whatever end of whatever other dualism I get accused of week in and week out.*

The intent of this article is simply to provide information and to give some context to discussions that Arsenal supporters have been having in various places on the internet.

As some of you may know I am scheduled to appear on the next episode of the  Arsenal Review USA Podcast. What you don’t know is that in that episode I fielded a question of whether or not I felt like a clear out of players was imminent this Summer and my answer was “sort of”. Listen to the podcast and you’ll see why I’m publishing this as a back-up to that appearance.

Another bit of information that ties into what I want to say about player transfers is in The Swiss Ramble’s excellent piece on Arsenal’s mid-year profit report. In that piece he outlines two problem areas for Arsenal in terms of finances: commercial deals and player salaries.

Commercial deals are not my specialty and I don’t want to get too detailed into that because it’s really something that Gazidis should have been working on for his entire tenure at Arsenal. That he has failed so spectacularly is a combination of his hands being tied and possibly a lack of creativity, though a real assessment of his job performance is up to the board. From my end, I have offered Arsenal the idea of selling the naming rights to London Colney, which is about all I can do.

I also don’t have any control over player movement and as stated earlier in my preamble, I’m not suggesting who should move rather suggesting who could be moved. To that end, what I wanted to do was provide a list of all the players under contract to Arsenal (including loanees) and then list the ones who are out of contract this Summer, the ones who I feel are “on the bubble” in terms of their playing careers at Arsenal, and the ones who are almost certainly going to stay.

Here’s the official list of all the players at Arsenal, submitted to the Premier League on February 1, 2012:

Clarindo Dos Santos, Andre
Arshavin, Andrey
Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
Benayoun, Yossi
Chamakh, Maroune
Diaby, Vassiriki Abou
Djourou-Gbadjere, Johan Danon
Fabianski, Lukasz
Yao, Gervais Kouassi
Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo
Koscielny, Laurent
Mannone, Vito
Mertesacker, Per
Park, Chu Young
Rosicky, Tomas
Sagna, Bacary
Henry, Thierry
Song Bilong, Alexandre Dimitri
Squillaci, Sebastien
Van Persie, Robin
Vermaelen, Thomas
Walcott, Theo James

(First team players, not listed above, and on loan)

(Players not listed above but still under contract)

Unlimited U-21 Players

Afobe, Benik
Alves da Silva, Wellington
Aneke, Chukwuemeka Ademola Amachi
Angha, Martin Yves
Ansah, Zak Andy
Bartley, Kyle
Bellerin, Hector
Bihmoutine, Samir
Boateng, Daniel
Brislen-Hall, George
Bunjaku, Alban
Campbell, James Andrew
Campbell, Joel
Charles-Cook, Reice Jordan
Coquelin, Francis
Eastmond, Craig Leon
Ebecilio, Kyle Stephen Joel
Eisfeld, Thomas
Fagan, Zachari Freddy Casey
Frimpong, Emmanuel Yan
Galindo, Samuel
Glasgow, Benjamin Luke
Gnabry, Serge David
Hajrovic, Sead
Hayden, Isaac Scot
Henderson, Conor Alan
Hoyte, Gavin Andrew
Jeffrey, Anthony Lamar Malcolm
Jenkinson, Carl Daniel
Lansbury, Henri George
Martinez, Damain Emiliano
McDermott, Sean
Meade, Jernade Ronnel
Miquel-Pons, Ignasi
Miyaichi, Ryo
Monakana, Jeffrey
Monteiro, Elton Almada
Murphy, Rhys Philip Elliot
Oldfield Spence-Neita, Nigel Paul
Olsson, Mats Kristoffer
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander Mark David
Ozyakup, Oguzhan
Ramsey, Aaron James
Rees, Joshua David
Roberts, Philip James
Shea, James
Szczesny, Wojciech Tomasz
Toral, Jon-Miquel
Watt, Herschel Oulio Sanchez
Wilshere, Jack Andrew
Wynter, Jordan James Cecil
Yennaris, Nicholas

Several notes about this list. First, you will see that players like Vito Mannone are included in the first team list but are on loan. Arsenal do this because he is Home Grown and they have open spots in that category. That allows them to recall him from loan and slot him right back into the first team in an emergency.

You will also see a similar thing in the U-21 players. Since Arsenal can have an unlimited number of U-21 players on the official team there’s no harm in listing loanees like Kyle Bartley.

Second, I highlighted in bold any of the first team players who are either on loan out, in the last year of their contract, or have returned to their main team (Henry).

And third, you should notice that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has what could possibly be the longest name in footballing history: Alexander Mark David Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Finally, I don’t really want to dip into the U-21 players list too much, simply because if there is uncertainty about the first team that uncertainty is magnified when it comes to U-21 players. Still I can’t see Arsenal pulling several of the players on that list back into the first team side when they have struggled to get games at teams like West Ham (Lansbury). Yes, I know this will anger many of you because he scored that one goal in the Carling Cup North London Derby and jumped REALLY high. But even die-hard fans of players like Bartley have to admit that it’s not looking like he’ll be back with the team when the club hand Djourou a £50,000/wk contract and he’s still languishing in Scotland. I have highlighted in bold the players above who I am certain will be promoted to the first list when they are over 21.

Defining “out of contract” is simple, these are players whom I am factually certain (as of publication) will be out of contract in Summer of 2012.

“On the Bubble” means players whom I feel like have an uncertain future at Arsenal. This could be because they are following the Senderos path out of the club via multiple extensive loans or because chronic injury has hampered their career. I suspect this is where I will get the most complaints/discussion.

“Certainly staying” are the guys who have just renegotiated a contract with the club or whom I deem too valuable to leave just yet. It’s basically all the rest of the players who aren’t in the first two categories, so I’m not going to list that.

With that out of the way, here are my three lists:

Out of contract Summer 2012


Players “On the Bubble”


U-21 Players “On the Bubble”


For my count, that is 17 players who Arsenal could realistically clear out this Summer. Given Wenger’s history I can see him throwing a life-line to Diaby (who is under contract until 2014, just like Theo and RvP, though no one mentions it) and offering Rosicky a one-year deal.

But the rest of those players have to be wondering about their future at Arsenal. Bartley has been in Scotberia his entire career. Lansbury can’t get a look in at West Ham. Eastmond dropped out of Milwall. Wenger’s most memorable statement about Vela was that he “always forgets about Vela”. Park and Chamakh can’t even get on the bench for games. Arshavin is back in Russia. Despite being a winner, Denilson has struggled in Brazil. Bendtner burned the bridge, pissed on it, then planted the Bendtner coat of arms on the other side. I think we saw the last of Squillaci when he huffed off down the tunnel after just 43 minutes against Sunderland with an “injury”. And Almunia is so far down the list of players, that he doesn’t even make the 25 man squad — in his place? Loanee/legend Thierry Henry.

I don’t know what you call it, but that looks like the makings of a good ole fashioned clear-out to me.


*It’s always hilarious to me to be accused of one side of a dualism one day and the next the next. It’s almost as if people can’t see that the problem is not with me but with the definitions they are carrying around in their heads.

P.S. I don’t know why I thought Squillaci was out of contract this Summer but I did. The indicates that he signed a “long term contract” with the club in 2010. Judging by other players who have signed “long term contracts” with Arsenal, this could be as long as six years, though is more likely closer to five years. That means he might not be out of contract until 2015/2016, which would, I suspect, solidify him as Arsene Wenger’s worst ever signing.

66 thoughts on “Arsenal Summer Clearance On Sale NOW

  1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sahil

    Isn’t Squillaci on a 3-year contract? Which means he will still have one more year after this summer.ébastien_Squillaci#Arsenal

    Also, I really hope Benayoun is given a permanent deal. We need some people like him & Rosicky who may not always be on the goals list but will keep giving their all trying to make things happen in the midfield for themselves or for others.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        I don’t know why I thought Squillaci was out of contract this Summer but I did. The indicates that he signed a “long term contract” with the club in 2010. Judging by other players who have signed “long term contracts” with Arsenal


        this could be as long as six years, though is more likely closer to five years. That means he might not be out of contract until 2015/2016, which would, I suspect, solidify him as Arsene Wenger’s worst ever signing.

        Let’s hope that he is signed to wikipedia, I mean Arsenal, for three years max and pray that it’s the two years that I thought it was.

        I know that I heard it somewhere but I just can’t remember where.

        Irregardless, I have fixed the article above.

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

        @Masterba…ker, I always think of Summer as a proper noun. It makes the seasons seem more, I don’t know, regal.

        Common nouns are for base ideas like; dirt, fucked, by, a, hobo. Stuff like that.

        Leave it as a common noun if you like but Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall will always be proper nouns on this blog.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1Greg

        @Tim, your blog, your rules. Furthermore, you have inspired me to start capitalising other noble things like Pizza, Wistfulness and Warm Towels

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1Sahil


        Just saw all the replies. Ofcourse we all know that wiki is not the most reliable of sources & maybe i should’ve quoted the other sources i read about indicating a 3yr contract for Squillaci. Maybe Goonertalk has more credibility around here?

        For his & for Arsenal’s sake i hope we can just let him go this summer. I would rather have Miquel on the bench than him.

        Thanks for fixing it, Tim.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1scruzgooner

    Nice, Tim. A couple of things, if I may. First, we are roughly at break even at the half year without counting Cesc and Chinless’s sales, so we should do ok to higher profits in the second half of the year, I would think. Second, say we average $1 million for all 17 players (seemingly reasonable), that will give us the $15 mil Arsene says we need plus, and we still have significant funds as cash in the bank to raise Robin and get a goat or a Belgian of creativity.

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Frogsox

      @scruzgooner, Averaging a million per player might not be impossible. The issue for Arsenal is it should be pretty widely known that the players on that list are fodder and that leaves the club in a pretty weak position to bargain transfer fees. Besides, the out of contract players will go for free. There are a fair few players on that list that I don’t see anyone paying over a million for. They’re all pretty uniformly struggling for form, game or fitness so there isn’t much for the club to market with those players.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1amishhaircutters

        @Frogsox, Even if they go for free that’s a large portion of the wage bill freed up to support a new RvP contract and maybe 1 good signing.

  3. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Frogsox

    Of the on the bubble players I can only see Diaby staying simply for the fact that it will be very hard to find suitors for him and he’s had such a lamentably wretched time with injuries. However, if the right offer came along the club would be mad not to flog him too. As for the U-21′s the most likely to stay would probably be Bartley as he’s (reportedly) been doing well on his loan spells. The issue I see with him though is he’s already had a couple of knee injuries (this season and last).

    Rosicky is the only out of contract player that I would see the club retaining, though a cut price Yossi from Chelsea wouldn’t be a terrible idea provided he’s happy to play a depth role. Pretty much every other player on that list either will be forced to go or they themselves will try to leave due to their situation.

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Dick Swiveller


      I don’t know about that, Diaby will be easier to shift than Bendtner/Denilson/Vela if you ask me. He’s got such obvious talent that if a team at our level *pauses for laughter* is willing to keep him on with such a poor injury record then I reckon there’s any number of top-middling teams that would take a punt and Diaby strikes me as someone who’d take a bit of a pay cut to get his career back on track, so I reckon we’d get a bite. I’d still not complain if he made way for someone of similar physicality in our squad though, I’d bitterly lament the evil bitch-queen that is karma for mullering such a talented player but I’d understand it.

      Bugger me, the list of guys on their way out looks pretty long when you actually look at it and with Miyachi/Ox/Afobe counting as homegrown (maybe) replacements for a few of them we really should see our dry powder finally igniting a little over the summer.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Great article.

        Too often are we caught up in who we could bring in to strengthen the squad wthout considering how we can make space for these new additions by selling off the players that may need to be moved on.

        May I suggest another way to look at it though :

        1) PLayers that may be quite hard to move (because nobody wants them)

        - Squillaci, Denilson, Almunia

        2) Players that are easy to move

        - Arsharvin, Chamakh, Park (should have loan him to Lille with an interest in Hazard)

        3) Players that may be moved with a little persuasion (packaging)

        - Bendtner, Vela,

        4) Player that many would like moved but should stay :

        - Diaby, considering the amount of money we’ve spent on his medical fees (not to mention his pay), we should at least keep him for another season on tight leash to see if he has himself an RVP/Rosicky second wind following the stabilization of his injury.

        5) Players that may be moved because of age but many may like to stay on

        - Rosicky. He will fetch a reasonable price even now in the market following what is a good season for him. BUT with Ramsey still relatively raw, (and despite Jack coming back)as you mentioned, maybe wise to keep him on another year rolling contract. BUT this depends if he will accept that.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

    If Arshavin’s sale was/is not a part of his loan, I would view that transfer as a disaster. So I’m going to assume that he’s gone. I can’t think rationally about him as a player (brilliant moments, loads of ability, lots of strolling), so I’ll just assume I can be glad his wages are off the bill. Will Wenger actually try to move Chamakh? I don’t know. But I’m sure his wages are a good chunk, too. All those players actually… that’s a lot of wages. I’d bet Rosicky will stay, as will Yossi. But that’s fine. I just hope all those wages turn into better players. That’d be very nice. I can see half of them being transfers (we don’t have enough cash for transfer fees for that many quality players, I don’t think) this summer and half being youth players stepping up. And then more buying the next year, at a slower clip.

    What am I saying? They’ll all be extended and Wenger will sign one player for 12million. I’ll just expect that and be pleasantly surprised otherwise.

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Roland C Rozario

    The fine listings provided are very true with the exception of Benayoun and Rosicky who should still be given at least, in my opinion ‘another extension into the next season’ as they are really working their a*** out on the pitch and mind you skilfully in both mind and body!

  6. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1ak47

    what ever the out come this league is praying we slip out of forth. whether we do or not i do not think will hinder our progress. just having a fit santos, jack, per and diaby will make us title contenders provided we stem the normality of our injuries and change our motto to intense pressure.

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Notoverthehill

    Tim, how could you? Sackings, redundancies and general mayhem!

    In brief, AA23 now AA29 has been told “You are eating an apple and looking in the store window”, in Russian of course. Russia is playing Denmark, or more correctly Denmark is playing Russia, and Bendtner has told a Russian reporter that he hopes AA29 will persuade the Zenit coach to do the necessary for Bendtner!

    Bartley is again injured and at the moment is present and correct at London Colney. Glasgow rangerstaxcase will mean that Bartley is one of the first players to be released. Rangerstaxcase is fascinating in how a millionaire tossed money at a club in order to win the Champions League.

    As for Kevin, he uses “player sales” when the actual accountancy term should be “player registration “. Receipts from player sales is completely separate from “Profit from disposal of player registrations”. Kevin is learning as he did not attempt to give a transfer budget! Which reminds me, I should email Kevin to give him advice on standard accountancy procedures!

  8. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1TSAVO LION

    @tim tell me u didn’t invent some of these names like Arteta Amatriain, Mike sounds like a vampire-slayer in the van helsing trilogy.Djourou-Gbadjere, Johan Danon
    and Aneke, Chukwuemeka Ademola Amachi,a healer cum herbalist from west africa and his assistant.
    on the clear-out,we could do with real quality if it could happen consider this
    out;vela,bendtner in;odemwingie
    out;chamack,park in;podoski/giruod
    out;arshavin,benayoun(a bit harsh) in;gotze/hazard/willian
    out;alumnia,squillaci,diaby in;m’villa
    with the best players retained these could add real steel to the squad

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Resource allocation.

      We brought a half team worth of players last summer for 54m.

      This summer, I believe Wenger may concentrate on a couple of very strategic buys max as the framework for a good team is in place.

      So you won’t be seeing the sort of movement you are envisaging as the money will have to stretch.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1Masterba...ker

    I would guess, given the names on your bubble lists, that we’d be lucky to get 15-20 million total for those players. I’m not sure what we save in wages, but maybe it’s about the same amount.
    After a pay raise to RvP and Theo (he’s going to get one, whether he deserves it or not) and merit raises to some of the younger players who are coming on like Sneezy, Frimpong, Koscielny, Coquelin, Miyaichi, then I think in net we won’t be much ahead.
    So, for us to add another striker of quality to spell RvP, and a creative midfielder to replace Fabregas/Nasri, we’re going to have to dip into the kitty, and I have no faith in that happening.
    We may clear players out, but I don’t see any serious replacement program happening.

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @Masterba…ker, a tricksy Hobbit might notice that I never said anyone would be brought in.

      Because I think Wenger will promote from within. They are already making noise about Benik Afobe. Then there are Miquel and Coquelin who both carry a “q” as the third letter in their name and we all know you can’t spell “top, top quality” without a “q”.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Masterba...ker

        I’m just suggesting that if the club doesn’t bring in two first team signings like I describe during the summer, that we are in for more slippage.
        The youngsters are great, but if the past couple of years has shown us, they need a lot of seasoning, preferrable on loan. I have no doubt Miyaichi is following in Wilshere’s footsteps at Bolton and will be ready next year, and the year at Lorient did Coquelin a world of good. But Afobe needs a year away, Ignasi and another spell for Frimpong preferrably too.
        It’s like standing on a muddy slope; unless you are struggling like mad to get up that hill, even taking baby steps means you are going in reverse. We need a first rate striker to help back up RvP, and someone to add that creative spark when defenses park the bus on us.

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Greg

        @Masterba…ker, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. I’m with Tim. Wenger will replace from within, I think he’s even more determined to do that after getting burned by Nasri. Goetze and Hazard have Nasri written all over them. Four years with us, enough time for us to build our team around them, and then they’ll fuck off to the Mancs or the Spanish. At the end of the day, other teams will always want to pay them double what we can. And that is just another, more expensive way for Arsenal to keep sliding back down the muddy slope.

      3. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Well, if we look at it in terms of possible departures and those that have left last summer:

        Nasri – Replaced by Gervinho and Chamberlain
        Fabregas – Jack (with Arteta in turn coming in to add solidity to the current set up

        Come this summer -

        RVP – if he leaves I’d like to see someone mobile and at very least having some aerial threat like Leandro Damaio who is also very technical. Of course pref RVP stays.

        Chamakh – even if RVP stays, we will need a credible alternate like a Podolski who might also cover the wide positions

        Arsharvin – In his absence a Hazard would be a perfect replacement BUT at very least Podolski should add come sort of experience since Benayoun will also conclude his loan.

        I think this will be the main arena under consideration. I don’t see quite as much requirement in the other positions and I think we will have to reserve the money for 1-2 big signings rather than a raft of smaller ones like last season. Either way, the total spend may still approach something slightly below what we spent last season but close IMO.

        It will of course depend if Wenger can be ‘persuaded’ to see this season (and it’s failings) as somewhat ‘extraodinary’as well he (and the board) should.

        Considering there will be impact on gate revenue, we will have to be prudent in attracting a continued and gorwing audience for our brand of football and not be penny wise pound foolish and have the would be fans (particularly abroad) switch to other teams with a stronger ‘star power’ pull.

  10. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1T-Town

    I really hope we keep Benayoun and Diaby. With Wilshere back, Ramsey settling in, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, etc. I really like our midfield. Goetze, Hazard are sexy names but not sure where they would fit unless we unload several big names. Frimpong maturing as the backup to Song? Etc.
    So our midfield horizon is awesome. Wer need one – just one – world class striker to partner with RVP. If we sign nothing but one player (or two) is a proven world class striker. Not sure who is a better fit but some names that come to mind: Giroud
    What do you guys think?

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Simon Says

        @Diem, A Cavini transfer would probably cost between £40-50 million. He’s too expensive us.
        I would think Hulk would cost about the same, Porto only usually sell for big money.
        and if reports are to believe, Giroud wants to join us in the summer and Gilles Grimandi said he was one of the players we have been watching. £15-20 million sounds about right for him. I think he’s the most realistic transfer target for us.

      2. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        I don’t think Cabvani will cost anywhere that much.

        There will be quite a number of strikers that may come on market in the summer.

        Suarez does not seem to suggest settled at Liverpool particularly if they miss CL. Then there is Tevez, Balotelli is also a quuestion mark (being the Anelka of his generation), Neymar may move despite commiting to Brasil till the Wcup bc it is Brasil. Leandro Damaio is available, also Giroud. Some of the older strikers may also move in the sulking Bulgarian Berbatov and the still very useful Drogba. Also Podolski, someone from stuttering Inter…

        This may work to our benefit as it may offer alternates to RVP (as red hot as he is).

        In any case I feel CAvani may be a bit limited for us in particular if we lose RVP.

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1LMG

    Hey Tim, I think Jamie Sanderson earlier today said that Rosicky has a new one year extension with him rumoured to now have a coaching role as well. Guess you should cross him off the list then?

  12. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1alireza fayyazmanesh

    Didn´t we always craying for experience player? i don´t understant why we should let player like Rosicky leave us? we kept him when he was injuerd and now we will led him go!!!!!!!!!
    the man is in his best form, when he is in form he run like a hell and everybody saw what he did with fucking liliput spuds.
    I realy hope he will stay, i am sure that he has a lot to offer this great team. so let us hope we do liverpool the same what we did against the noisy totifruty spuds. I realy don`t like this king Doglas, if the refrees could be little bit fair, then we can be sure that we can win over them all.LOVE ARSENAL 4 EVER

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    I’m keeping my hopes REAL HIGH that we’re signing Goethe or some other marquee player this summer, only because there’s something gloriously self-indulgent about a Phaeton-style crash and burn. I can still smell the ashes of the Alonso rumors, the Mata rumors, the Benzema rumors, and those olfactory memories bring a warm self-pitying glow to my heart. I look forward to more of the same this summer after being teased by the papers and Wenger, who will no doubt once again tote his chequebook to the Euros before hastily putting it away, muttering something about “we buy the midfielders/strikers/etc we need, we don’t collect them” or “Wilshere will be LANS” or “Diaby will be LANS” or “Podolski? I rate him, of course, but we have Afobe, and don’t forget Diaby, who can play there as well BAAAARRRRFFFFFFFFF

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Podlski will be very useful. He will fill up front and as a more experienc option out left. In particular, if RVP stays, there is the option of using him as a second striker in tandem.

      Gotze I’m not so sure. He is a talent but we have an equivelant in Wilshere.

      I think (unlikely bc of cost) that we need a Hazard. We’re missing the sort of close control/guile merchant out wide to give alternative to our current crop of more direct widemen.

      IF RVP leaves, we will need another striker (unless Wenger persist with one of Park or Chamakh…god forbid). I personally like Leandro Damiao from Internacional in Brasil. He is quick, strong in the air (again) technical, and a consistent player. He is also 22 which may act as a bridge between say a Podolski/or RVP and the younger generation in Afobe/Bunjaku/Campbell (One of which could be the third striker (at least till Jan)

  14. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ace

    Really Tim,you should leave this sort of article to the much guess work,so much noise,so little you’d be doing one on summer influx.and of course one leighton baines’d be tucked nice and neat in your!!nice try Tim,but this aint the can’t go down to their level no matter how hard you try. You’ve got class.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @ace, Meh… it’s fun for people to dream and unlike the tabloids I don’t say “Wenger to clear out wastrels to make room for BLOCKBUSTER Christiano Ronaldo Signing” and then go into details about it.

      I just presented people with some data.

      What they choose to do with it? That’s on them.

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1Greg

    Can’t disagree with anything there.

    It’s usually our better players who are potentially more at risk of leaving than our mediocre ones. For once though, when you look around the squad it’s hard to see who the overperforming traitor might be. I can’t see RvP leaving (fingers crossed, touch wood etc). Ditto Theo – unless Wenger wants him to go but all the signs are the opposite. All the others are either loyal or still have too much to prove. Maybe Santos if he doesn’t get enough games next season…

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      I can.

      We had an opportunity to keep him following Milan if we :

      1) Qualify for CL
      2) Improve his contract considerably
      3) Won the FA cup.
      4) Brought in 1-2 Top signings

      As is, I think we ahev a slim chance of retaining him IF we continue a strong charge to the end with the team showing promise for next season and if we are prepared to up his wages considerably.

      Remember he is a professional player and his career will be winding down a couple of seasons from now and this represents the best chance for him to make one more big move (earn the retirement money) before that (cups aside)

      If he stays, we will prob have to get a player in the Hazard class which is another issue altogether and perhaps a Podolski to help shoulder the burden.

      Which means we’re going to have to sell to make room in the wage structure regardless, hence Arsharvin out to the shop window early.;)

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @T-Town, I don’t know, I don’t work for Arsenal.

      I will say that it’s unusual for Arsenal to negotiate with a player (i.e. “tap up”) without an agreement from the club that owns his registration. But, hey, anything is possible.

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    Reports emanating like radioactive waves that Van Persie has injured his groin in training. To say this strikes fear into my heart is an understatement. In fact, it takes a big shit on my heart before lighting it on fire. Would I be over-reacting if I said that our chances of staying in the top four depend exclusively on the fitness of Van Persie? Perhaps I would be, but then again, my heart is currently ablaze with a shit-fire of fear.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @Bunburyist, I am reminded of red wheel barrow by William Carlos Williams. And as soon as I am reminded of that I want to install an app in my brain that kills me whenever I am reminded of a red wheel barrow by William Carlos Williams.

      Here too I will strive to achieve meaning and rhythm in a poem about the banal and yet fall short. Hail my genius:

      Be still your shit-fire
      Robin has not an injured
      He’s pulled a massive

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

        @Tim, Really? What I wrote reminded you of WCW? Wow. You know, I have about ten undergraduate essays on WCW I could sell you. Also Great Gatsby. Heart of Darkness. These are the stories that, however rich and meaningful they are or once were to me, make me have a small brain aneurism on account of how many times I had to apply my feeble sophomore intellect to them. The title “Spring and All” invites the misreading of “Fall,” and one which is confirmed by the poem’s anti-pastoral mode? BAAAAAARRRFFFFFF!!!!!!!!! ANEURISM!!!!!!!

        Yeah, let’s hope Van Persie has pulled a Rooney/Terry/Lampard/Cole rather than his groin.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Midfield is also a concern.

      There is not much give if one of Rosicky, Arteta and Song get a ‘knock’.

      We could well do with Diaby back.

  17. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Cliffy

    Good Tim…throwing ze bones to ze dogs… :)
    The moment you mention players out and people start salivate about players coming in..

    If I pick that bone…i wierdly end up imagining Wenger brokering a loan deal with Chelsea for Fernando Torres as back up for RVP….

    About Diaby one way of looking at it is…he has made almost as many appearances with Arsenal as RVP had, at his age…about 8 less. His goals/assists to game ratio is better than Arteta or Song. A fit Diaby is physically a lot imposing and a deft holder/dribbler of the ball…which aids in posession play.

    Wengers way of looking at it would be Diaby > M’vila, Diaby > Frimpong, Diaby > Scott Parker…so keep Diaby. He will be the next Viera after the ankle and brain implant…

    Even without the implants…i don’t think there is a Hazard in keeping him..for a year..without contract extension.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      IF he applies himself correctly, Diaby is a world beater.

      He brings to the team something very different with his close control and ability to charge right down the middle opening defenses up.

      There were signs that his defensive work was improving toolast season.

      Pity the injury.

      But as mentioned, who’s to say he may not repay us with an RVP or Rosicky second wind.

      In any case, with the amount of money we have spent on his rehabilitation (let alone wages), we shold at least keep him on tight leash for another season, safe in the knowledge that we have a lot of competition for him coming through the academy (Frimpong, Ozyakup)albeit, no one still quite like him.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

        Diaby is a huge unknown but worth keeping.

        If he comes back fit, he’s good backup at three positions in midfield. He’s also got that “extra something” about him – that ability to create something out of nothing – that is very valuable.

        I dream about a midfield trio of Wilshere, Diaby and Song, with Coquelin and Ramsey backing them up, ruling the league for years to come. Yes, it’s only a dream, but surely I’m a allowed that.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1Yank Gooner MD

    It’s pretty late @ night on the West Coast, almost Leap Day or whatever it’s name is… I was watching some of the top goals scored this year
    and some of Henry’s top goals and remembered this one
    I prefer Henry’s and here’s why… it is a combo of pure grace and power all in one. He is just beasting the defender off the ball with a tremendous show of power and at the same time just finessing the back heeled shot, squeezing it through such a tight angle between defender and goal, and all with perfect balance. Ronaldo’s is great, don’t get me wrong; but his is all power and he looks like a donkey just throwing his heel backwards. What do you think?
    and to make this have some connection to other comments, we should bring back Henry for another loan next year!

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @JV Mauer, It’s an interesting article. I don’t necessarily agree that simply adding and subtracting PPG home/away is a viable metric but the prediction site is actually very intriguing.

      A win or draw against Liverpool is important this weekend because it increases Arsenal’s chances of a top four finish by either 0.29 or keeps it flat.

      However, a win against Newcastle next week is stochastically more important since a loss or a draw severely dents Arsenal’s hopes for a top four finish.

      Interesting link they have there in that site.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1craig

        Agreed. That link showed 7 wins from the remaining games would be a very good chance of 4th or higher. 6 wins and we’d need to have 4 draws to be relatively confident in fourth.

        Based off our current record, winning 7 out of the last 12 is reasonable. Winning 6 out of 12 is slightly worse than our season average. So if we just keep doing what we’re doing, we should be at 70% or greater to get 4th. That is a great link.

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