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Posted by Sam Limbert on 07/29/2012

A new season, a new kit, a different pre-season venue to play in, but the seemingly the same old problems for Arsenal. In the second match of the pre-season Asia Tour, we played well against Manchester City, however couldn’t convert chances and were punished for some slack defending on the break. It’s important to remember that it was only a friendly; however it’s never good to lose to a rival like Manchester City, especially when the loss came in a similar fashion to many of the ones we’ve suffered in recent seasons.

The squad for the Asia Tour is still missing a large number of first team players because of injury and fitness after Euro 2012, however we still fielded quite a strong team against Manchester City. Being honest, I didn’t rate our chances of winning the game as very high. We didn’t start with a regular striker, and had the inexperienced Kyle Bartley at centre back. Seeing a City team sheet including Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure was a concern, and their clinical counter attacking proved to be the difference.

The 2-0 score-line didn’t do the match justice, but rarely does a result reflect the overall flow of a football match. Hopefully we can get these matches out of our system before the season starts; where we dominate, but don’t turn that pressure into goals.

Arsenal’s defending let the team down once again, with both Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs showing they’re still learning the full-back trade. For the first goal, we got hit on the break and Gibbs was sucked in to close down Yaya Toure, leaving Zabaleta free on the right to finish. For the second goal, Jenkinson followed Aguero’s run, leaving space on the left for Kolarov to bomb forward into space, leading to Toure’s goal.

It was a shame that those two lapses occurred, because otherwise I thought we defended quite well. Carl Jenkinson generally had a strong first half, Thomas Vermaelen was good and Ignasi Miquel was impressive after coming on at half time. Kieran Gibbs grew into the game and got forward well in the second half.

The attacking set-up of the team was strange, with Gervinho primarily playing as a central striker in the first half. Andre Santos played on the left wing, with Theo Walcott on the right. Undoubtedly, we missed a lead front man in the first half, because Gervinho still tended to move wide when on the ball. However all three looked lively and caused Manchester City problems with their pace. Given we were lacking a proper striker, we could have done with runners from midfield trying to get forward. However it was pre-season, so fitness would have been an issue had players been busting a gut to do that.

Having gone 2-0 down, I feared we’d roll over with youngsters coming off the bench. If anything, we were more dominant in the second half, and were very unlucky not to breach the City defence. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added some drive to the midfield in terrible weather conditions, and hit a thunderous shot that hit both posts before coming out. Chuks Aneke and Thomas Eisfield impressed in midfield, building on their goal scoring performances against the Malaysia XI earlier in the week.

The biggest feature of Arsenal’s attacking game that stood out, was our willingness to shoot from outside the box. It’s a long running criticism of Arsenal that the passing is too intricate around the box and that no-one is prepared to take a shot on. Walcott, Jenkinson, Santos, Aneke and Oxlade-Chamberlain all took aim from range, and on another day could have scored. It would be easy to say that even though we did shoot from distance, we still didn’t win. However it showed that the team are willing to adapt, and it was encouraging.

The defeat was full of positives, except for the fact we lost and didn’t score. We still lacked a cutting edge up front, although the team for next season is still in its early stages of development, with a lot of excellent players to return once the team finish the Asia Tour. Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski will all add something to this squad. Where we lacked movement and a cutting edge up front in China, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski will add that.

Off the pitch, our pre-season preparations have slowed somewhat with the Robin van Persie issue still hanging over the club. He appears to be in a sticky situation after effectively making his position at the club untenable. Arsenal are rightly holding out for an appropriate fee for a world class striker, and the clubs reportedly chasing the Dutch striker haven’t met that fee. I fear that the longer this goes on, the less likely it’ll be that our other transfer business will get done, however we shouldn’t accept a cut-price fee. If it looks like clubs won’t pay the money for Robin, I think he’ll have to do an embarrassing u-turn and try to mend his relationship with the club and the fans.

He could have done with following the example of Laurent Koscielny. He’s signed a new contract and hopefully others are in line to do so. Once that business is sorted, we can continue to build towards the new season so we aren’t left with familiar feelings of hope and encouragement, followed by frustration.


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Comments

Posted by Rodrick on 07/27/2012

I think Bould will help Jenkinson and Gibbs a lot. They are good on the ball defenders, but they struggle with tracking runners off the ball. The same can be said for Andre Santos.

Posted by prince stanley on 07/27/2012

it was a good game for the gunerns, though we lack power up front and some sily mistake at the back. Up guners

Posted by Kcosby snr on 07/27/2012

If we play we a lesser squad&city cldnt make much difference,then with giroud&podoski they dnt stand a chance i bet u,with sagna on d right,kos&tv5,guys shun it,w'll v one of d finest season's eva with a trophy2show 4it,jst a couple of signings w'll be there.city/manu/juve,raise ur money&have he,so dt w can do sm gud biz'

Posted by Hussam on 07/27/2012

Whatever you say sam..:)

Posted by Flavour on 07/27/2012

City had a very strong squad compared but we played better even if they won and it proves that we will dominate this season when the real 25 man team is put together even if we are no more buying. I am happy with what I saw. No need to regret.

Posted by Franco on 07/27/2012

we really still have lack of quality defenders and one playmaker

Posted by atid on 07/27/2012

i think your appraisal of vermaelen is too high for this match. he was caught out many a time and u can already see the bould influence as a couple of times was left running with his arm in the air appealing for offside. i know its only pre-season but we only have 2 more games till the real stuff starts.

Posted by arsenalDheart on 07/27/2012

Sam nice to see an update from you.
I was there during the Malaysia XI game and I was really disappointed with Arsenal, I was hoping Malaysia XI to win this match so that we can teach Arsenal a lesson on how terrible their performance is.

We have no finisher, lost possession easily in midfield, causing needless counter attack and Jenkinson and Gibbs was terrible in defending.

The last few minute goals that Malaysia XI conceded was due to a injured defender and replacement of inexperience players replacing the hard work of our national team players if they stayed on I don't think Arsenal will be able to score any goals.

I know this is just a pre season match but with this performance I really don't see us winning anything next season, I really do hope Arsene Wenger will change the tactics and do alot of tweaking in this squad cause honestly we really need it.

A really bad performance by Arsenal.

Posted by Damon on 07/27/2012

Is there anyway that Arsenal decides that RVP is worth more to the club as a player this year than a small transfer fee, and makes him play out his contract?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think that could be the case as reports suggest we haven't received a high enough bid to justify selling him yet.

Posted by Mick on 07/27/2012

I see you raise the boring old critcism again about our reluctance to shoot from outside the box. There is a very simple reason for this and that is statistically such shots provide a very poor return on investment. Of course because of their visible high impact and occasional spectacular nature such goals are remembered and talked about. However the 99% that go sailing over the bar or are blocked are quickly forgotten. You don't see Barcelona and Spain score many from long range either by the way.

Posted by zebra on 07/27/2012

hi Sam! thanks for the post.

why haven't we strengthened our defense at all this off season? we lack a lot of discipline and where you can afford to take chances up front, we cannot at all at the back.

hopefully with better organization and preparation we can maximize our efforts, going wide when necessary, taking outside shots, through balls and team defending. we can't be lazy!

i agree, holding out for the high price for RVP is worth it, but it is dragging along. i felt disrespected by the bids. and i think that Arsenal needs to build up that respect in order to grow.

here's to a successful season!

Posted by InfantryRed on 07/28/2012

Great article, Sam...as genuine as always...on to the friendly...watching the first half unfold, that familiar since of futility came over me as it has done so many times before. Ive never been one to accept that we are a club of lesser talent, because we are not. We never have been...for some reason, we cant find the net, EVER! It was comforting to see about 5-6 ranged shots taken, if I remember corretly, Arteta was the only one brave enough to attempt those last season. I think Gibbs is the future on our left with Sagna a mainstay...but until he learns how to touch the pitch running, i'd have him play halves only and let Laurent start. I have a formation suggestion for you, Sam. Old school 4-2-4...Woe-Jack, Sagna, Per, Ver, Koscielny, Arteta, Wilshire(we have many CM's so someone could fill) Poldi at CF(roaming and behind), Giroud and Girvino winging it...all of this depends on Van Persie, however. The game wasnt terrible...but you cant tell the avg futbol fan that...Red out

Posted by Johnson on 07/28/2012

City took the day off and still beat us, yes frustrating.

Posted by toheeb ademola kasali on 07/28/2012

i think asr should try to sign more players we are still lacking in some department mostly in the defence and attack

Posted by Peter on 07/28/2012

A feeling of deja vu!Maybe the Fabregas,Nasri saga was a lesson we dint learn from!The fans are not necessarily angry because RVP wants to leave,they are angry because every end of season our best player troup out of the Emirates,are we a feeders club?when will all this sad stories end?This continuing saga has besmirched the clubs reputation.RVP has to go cos we cant really expect him to turn out 100% for us this 2012/13 season. Wenger should go back into d transfer market as if RVP has gone,so d latter knows he cant eat his cake and have it!What do you think Sam?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think fans are frustrated that we have our best players wanting to go at the end of the season, and if RvP stays, there will be doubts about his commitment on the pitch next season.

Posted by Amit on 07/28/2012

we sorely lack a solid left back, santos & gibbs are good going forward but lack the positional sense while defending, surprised AW is not in the market for one. Further our other transfer businesses - getting players like arshavin, bendtner, squillaci etc off the wage list is not happening either!! It would be difficult getting new players in till we off-load some players, considering we have one of the largest wage bills in the PL.

Further, we do need a good young solid defender, mertesacker & djourou (will reserve judgement for bartley)are good but not good enough, while vermaelen & koscielny's injury record does not inspire confidence. Scott Dann would be a good addition!
Lastly we need a creative force in the midfield, cazorla is rated highly but dont think we need him, nuri sahin is who we require since wilshere's comeback is still some months away & sahin would combine well with Arteta.

as for RvP - he can go to hell if he wants, the club is bigger than anyone.

Posted by damazane on 07/28/2012

Sam,I'm a south african that loves arsenal wth all of my heart.that being said,I can never question the quality of our 1st team squad,given the acquisition of podolski and Giroud,en the return of Jack and Frimpong.I do have a concern,however,about the depth. You remember what supposedly hindered us frm overturning the deficit at emirates last season against milan? After Walcott and Chamberlain coudnt continue the game we went impotent.My point is we need to get rid of mediocre players in out team; Ramsey, Scquillaci, Djorou, Denilson, Bendtner, Vela, Gibbs.not that I envy madrid players but u need to substitute ozil wth kaka. Do u understand my point,Sam? I'm a salaried employee that works in a bank,I'm aware that if my performance does not meet the desired standard, I'll be in the labour market looking for employment. That should also go for football players,otherwise we'll be stuck wth people like aaron ramsey who are pulling arsenal back! I hv lost my faith in that lad!

Posted by Mad Child on 07/28/2012

For 'goonners' sick why is the problem with defense never dealt with?

Why is Djoure or how ever you spell it still in the squad??
We have been left with a poor defensive line up since T.Adams, N.Winterburn and M.Keown left!!!

Why is there no one addressing the issue at defense?! It is so frustrating seeing History repeat after 7 seasons!!!

When will Wenger learn!!!!!!?

Posted by Henry on 07/28/2012

i hope will not be tempted to sign five more players from b4 d season starts

Posted by Raza on 07/28/2012

I am getting so fed up with all the conflicting reports about players we're being linked with. First it was as if we had almost signed M'Vila; then the same happened with Cazorla. Now there are (probably false) reports about Sahin and some player by the name of El Kaddouri; not to mention Ganso and Niang.

Sam, you have commented on the RVP issue; you're probably right. My question; if he does a U-turn as I hope, do you think it could work in our case like it did for Utd and Rooney?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Honestly, I don't know how it'll work if RvP does a u-turn. No-one quite knows what is going through his head.

Posted by j on 07/28/2012

Sam,

The way you put it, it sounds like Man City has been played off the park every time they play Arsenal. Just because you control the possesion doens't mean you dominate the game. Your last 3 articles when you lost to City have been the same drivel. It's old. Why don't you ever give credit to the other team? You complain about the only reason City won is because of defensive lapses, but your manager continues to play rubbish defenders (for the last 6-7 years now). Maybe if you and the rest of the Arsenal support stop accepting "pretty football" which leads to no trophies and only a smug sense of superiority you should buy players that know how to work hard and fight for each other, like Cities players do (i.e. when going down by 3 goals against United, they fight like hell to get back into the game, and don't fold and concede 8 like little girls). City are the better team. Deal with it.

Posted by norris on 07/29/2012

it was encouraging to see most of our play going forward. pantilimon had a good game against us. we didnt put in enough crosses for my liking. i want to see that especially when chamakh plays. his only strength is aerially,so when he plays, we should do more crossing. the youngsters really impressed me. if we can cut out the habit of conceding sounter attacking goals, we will be fine.

Posted by Choy on 07/29/2012

Dear Sam, Rather than saying the whole defense was poor, I'd say that the players on the left side was too attacking minded.. Gibbs is still learning his trade while I regard Santos more of a winger than a left back...So when either of them is playing we are vulnerable because both of them can be easily being dispossess .. couple with Vermaelen fancying some overlapping run on the set pieces.. creating some opportunity for the opposition to score, the burden is on Sagna and Koscielny to marshal the defense which they have done much better than the former. As a whole, i felt we are 10/11 a complete team.. we need a reliable left back ... and one more midfielder to rotate.. so i could fancy either Cazorla and Sahin to be at Emirates or both and let RvP decide if he wanna stay or not...we are more or less ready for the new season.

Posted by howard on 07/29/2012

Sam, you're not giving us enough credit. As you, yourself, mention, we were sans Rosicky, Sagna, Giroud, Podolski, Mert, Kos, Ramsey AND Wilshere while City had the likes of Toure, Aguero, Tevez, Kompany, Zabaleta AND Kolarov. That's very near a first team for City and very much NOT a first team for us. Jenkinson was caught out twice and we paid for it. But what are preseason matches for if not to recognize and correct mistakes? I never like watching Arsenal lose, especially to Citeh, but I'm disappointed you read so deeply into this game - even going as far as comparing it to past Premier League defeats. You're not many steps away from the Arsenal doomsdayers who are surely calling for Wenger's head following this defeat. Lighten up, Sammy, and give ol' Bouldy a full preseason with the boys before you start regurgitating the "same defensive problems," line. Afterall, it's only preseason.

Posted by Abdullahi on 07/29/2012

Interesting comments on man city match. In all it full of positives from a fan who's so blinded by the love of the club that makes it impossible to see the other side. I believe what was missing is simply RVP. And that was the case all last season. Sam, I believe you know football all too well not to be remained that the Podoski-Giraud dream is not yet a working project. You don't have to look at Chamak for a prof, it is everywhere with even more established stars, Kaka, Rivaldo, just a few. And have you ever dream that Wenger will make those purchase ie P&G had RVP sign a new contract before the Euros? And what do mean by mending his relationship with the fans? I suppose that means you or people like you that don't dream of a day that Arsenal fc will lift a trophy. To me it good enough that Robin said he respect the fans enough not to disclose detail. I also thank him for saving the club last season with his goals and his assist, which is the second highest just two short of Song's. I hope all true fans of Arsenal FC will start asking the right question that may result in real positives.

Posted by makun olayinka on 07/29/2012

Good article sam we should n`t loss to a team like man city and we need a clinical striker up front cause the season is much more than top four.

Posted by Dapuma on 07/29/2012

Question for you:

Why haven't Arsenal made a move for Dempsey yet, he wants champions league football and Arsene doesn't seem to know he exists?

Would you favor a swamp of RVP and 10-15Milly for Berbatov ? I think that is a good move for Arsenal and Man Utd (Man Utd supporter) both teams would benefit IMO

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I personally rate Dempsey highly, but I think we need to sell before buying again, plus Podolski and Giroud have already signed. Personally I wouldn't like Berbatov.

Posted by Ebenezer Odebo on 07/29/2012

I pray for my club to do better this season. Wenger should convince RVP to stay, we still need him in the team

Posted by anon on 07/29/2012

Arsenal did the same for Charmakh. waited out for his contract to end. theres no wrong in doing what arsenal did to others.

Posted by Anonymous on 07/30/2012

Can't say I'm a huge fan of the new kits but if they bring home some silverware this year I wont be complaining.

Not putting too much stock into these early results. Happy to see the young players showing well and lets keep our fingers crossed Diaby can finally stay healthy all year and be influential.

Posted by Canberra Gooner on 07/30/2012

Disappointingly, I haven't seen any of the games on the Tour but I did see highlights of the City game. The shooting from distance was encouraging. The too goals did look like rookie mistakes, but I am still concerned by the fact that they reflect issues often exposed last season.

Our high full backs leave us exposed to the counter so we need a conservative DM to provide defensive cover. I would like Arteta to play as Alonso or Busquets do: almost an auxillary CB who sits so deep, the CBs can stand a bit wider to cover the FB space.

The Tour results weren't great but I am cautiously optimistic for the season.

Posted by Eugine Chikunya on 07/30/2012

Media is too crirical of arsenal. Teams like Man Utd are having a mediocre pre season and Madrid was crushed by Benfica but they never notice. Arsene Wenger has done exceedingly well. i am quietly confident that with or without Van Persie we are going to challenge strongly this season. im also hoping we sign santi and possibly nuri to strengthen the midfield

Posted by Qasim on 07/30/2012

Sam, I've never seen you so negative about the Arsenal in your time here on this blog.Even after the 8-2 hammering at OT, you didn't look at things so badly. It's only preseason and Steve needs time to sort out the defensive issues we have. We will learn about this team on Aug. 18. Sam, at the moment, can you honestly see us with silverware by the end of the season?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Honestly, I think we can win a cup. As much as I want us to win the league, realistically I think we'll be a bit behind. We can improve though so it's not out of the question.

Posted by Titansgunner12thman on 07/30/2012

How long should we keep going for the okeydoke? This team is the same as it has ever been. The results haven't changed. So we can claim that Steve Bould will change the culture. We can think that these good but not great players will get this team winning, but the proof is that's not true. Until Wenger changes, or is changed- (read as SACKED), we won't see a thing new from this team.

The team pay model is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. We can't even get rid of players that must go. That's a failure if I have ever seen one. I for one am completely off the Wenger bandwagon. He can claim he knows more football than me- and he does, no question- but if he can't win I am free to point out that his plan hasn't worked, and will not work- as far a putting a winning team on the pitch goes.
No more " just like a new signing" quotes. No more I thought the team played well. Just tell us we are playing for the CL and money, and I can adjust my vision for this team.

Posted by Titansgunner12thman on 07/30/2012

Those new kits are the rubbish!

Posted by Isaac on 07/30/2012

Sam, good comment but we need a strong and vigilant CB, TV should actually be pushed to LB and Martasacker to the bench to create space for a powerful CB. Am talking somebody in the frame of Christopher Samba.

Posted by Greg on 07/30/2012

Is it me, or is that list of unused players - Sagna-Mertesacker-Koscielny, Ramsey-Rosicky-Wilshere, Giroud-Podolski - just a left-back, a goalie, and a wide midfielder away from being a perfectly reasonable Premiership-level XI? Tough to take the preseason results seriously when you're missing that much of your squad.

Personally, I'm much more concerned by Arsene's return to the "They're just like new signings!" clunker than I am by 0-2 to City.

Posted by Anonymous on 07/31/2012

What worries me is how "reactionary" Arsenal fans are. What I saw this preseason is Arsene Wenger tinkering with youth and formations. The score line was irrelevant. As a sports fan for now 30 years and also possessing some knowledge of how athletes react to actions of sport fans I would say the general derisive reaction of Arsenal fans is contributing to the malaise that hangs over the club. Any mistake is pounced upon. Any sign of weakness of the player is targeted. Even a legend such as Arsene Wenger who gave Arsenal the global appeal it now has is derided. Now I’m not saying that going without a trophy for seven years is acceptable but I do believe in Karma and if Arsenal fans continue to deride the team it is only a matter of time before the stark reality of relegation will be part of the equation. Get behind the players, support them as they try to reverse the trend. Live in the now, not the past and reward this current group for their efforts. By doing so they may just surprise!

Posted by chuckles on 07/31/2012

Hiya Sam!
Personally I think this seasons away kit is kin to a hate crime, not sure where the colour purple fits into our glorious history, I actually found last seasons 'jockey shirt' more tolerable!
I agree we can't read too much into pre-season footy, specially as versus City it was far from our first team - but it did show the same old problems, poor defending. I like to think Steve Bould will make our back line a better unit, but I'm not sure our back line is good enough.
Sam, do you think Arsenal will offload the likes of Bentner, Djourou, Chamakh etc this summer? and more worryingly, will Jack Wilshere ever play again? - his return date continues to get pushed back.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think some of those players might be offloaded, however we need clubs to actually want to buy them off us, a bit like the RvP situation. I think Jack Wilshere will play again, but it could be a couple of months more, and we can't expect much from him when he initially returns.

Posted by Dan on 08/01/2012

Sam,
Quick question: Where do you see Diaby playing (assuming he stays fit)in terms of our midfield 3 this season? Song and Arteta seem like first choice at the moment but can Diaby fill the more advanced role in behind the striker? I rate him massively and he's looking sharp at the moment. If not him maybe Ox chamberlain could fill that role until Jack is back?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think Diaby will play in the more advanced role without Jack and Rosicky. I rate Diaby, and just hope he can get some game time.

Posted by Confused Oz on 08/01/2012

I'm a ManU fan but I would rather see Arsenal keeps RVP for another seAson than to let him go for a ridiculous price (even to ManU).

Posted by Ethan on 08/01/2012

Hi Sam,glad to see you and rest getting excited for the season.
Personally,I feel it's still early and it's time to get fitness and sharpness back to the players.Good to see many youngsters in action.Hopefully,some will come through as good players.
I believe AW is giving his best to bring in new faces.But no one wants to pay more for our less popular players.Offloading is tough.Vela deal is a perfect example of how AW views the future of both the club and player is more important than $.
As for RVP,I had a dream of doing a swap with Juve to get Buffon in.But if his pay is too much,then bring in an Italian defender.And of course,ice cream for Juve as well.
I hope to see Chakmah give it all this season as it could be his last.Never mind about team play,just make some shots.
I welcome back Arshavin.He is the perfect CAM now for us.Hope AW gives him the role and let him lead our attack.
Finally,I urge Vermaelen to stand up his defense.We got to fix counter attack problems.

Posted by BennBenn on 08/01/2012

I second "Chuckles" comment above. Let's show every player and coach who gives his all, and that is most of them, our support. Loud and clear. If Arshavin, for instance, is dogging it - out. That's a call that AW can and must make.
Sure AW always makes excuses in public for his players and the sometime poor results.
No reason we can't be analytical and critical, but we must be supporters and fans first.
There are cycles and wheels of excellence. It simply can't be roses all the time.
Show them the love.

Posted by Isaac on 08/01/2012

Sam, as I mentioned earlier we need to work on our defensive side of things. Our defenders are usually susceptible when faced with strong imposing strikers especially while defending headers and dead balls. We address this we win the league even if rvp decides to go.In terms of ball play and creation of chances we do more than any other team save for Barcelona. Sam what do you think of Victor Moses.? Don't you feel he is more effective than Walcott, Jorvinho,Arshavin or even the ox in terms of speed,industry,tenacity,tact and accuracy? Don't you think we need to get him to complement the others?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I don't think Victor Moses is the answer. He's a good player, but I think we could do better.

Posted by I.Nace on 08/01/2012

Hi gunners! I'm in USA and haven't had a chance watching Arsenal's preseason, only the goals. I hope, really hope we can challenge for a cup any of them this year, buy it looks like we have not learn any lesson from the past yet. Defense is still fragile and easy to breach and I don't know where the back up is, why did we go for Per M.($15mil), I.Miquel is a kid, when are we going to have some strong defenders, not to be bullied around; look at Man U., Man C., Chelsea; we're going to compete for 4th again. We'll have a good run against smaller teams in the cups to test the youngsters and then again in semis we'll concede to the experienced teams. We keep signing from all over the world and when they shine and get recognition they want to go for glory and money or they keep going on loan till they fade. We've become like an Olympic trials. I understand play beautiful, fair and enjoy, but you have to win smth as well.

Posted by mIAmi g00n3r on 08/02/2012

As much as I like the talks of Cazorla signing and hope we land him, I still believe we lack centre back....we go into injury and force Song to play in the back, its a huge waste...we also can't lose Song and have heard many rumors of United drooling on him....he is the spine of this team...

Hopefully Wenger has another signing in him for the back cause 2 strong backs in the middle can allow the free flowing outside backs to make those runs and attack...

Go Gunners!

Posted by Matt Gill on 08/02/2012

Hi Sam,

Nice post once again. Always appreciate your insights. What do you think of Gabrielle Marcotti's analysis of the RvP situation? I think he's done a pretty fair job of outlining pros and cons, and the conclusion reached is pretty reasonable. However, we all know that reason isn't always a part of footballing decisions. Based on the analysis of relative goal-scoring efficiencies, how about a straight swap for Edin Dzeko?

Also, what is the status of Henri Lansbury? I've liked watching him rise, and thought he did a great job in the spring for the England U-21 side and at West Ham. Can he do a job in the center of the park for the Gunners? He certainly can bend a free kick. I don't see him being mentioned by anyone aside from Frimpong's twitter posts.

Thanks again for the excellent writing.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think Marcotti makes some good points, and agree that the longer this goes on, the more likely it is that RvP will stay. A swap with Dzeko would be interesting, but I'm not sure Man City would make that sort of offer.
Henri Lansbury has supposedly been promoted to the first team squad, but with signing of Cazorla and midfielders coming back from injury, I'm struggling to see how he'll fit in and think he might go on loan again.

Posted by ROSE on 08/02/2012

U PPLE FORGET THAT THE SEASON IS LONG & GRUELING, NOT A 3WKS OR 10WKS AFFAIR WHERE U CAN PLAY EITHER PLAY WELL OR PLAY AVERAGELY & WIN THE LEAGUE...THE SEASON IS 2 LONG 2 SETTLE 4 PLAYERS LIKE GIBBS OR JENKINSON.MANUTD TRIED THAT LAST SEASON & WAS ON A HIGH 4 5-6WEEKS B4 THEY CAME CRASHING DOWN AGAINST CITY,WHICH TELLS U,U DON'T ONLY NEED STRENGTH 2 PLAY FOOTBALL,SOMETIMES WHAT COUNT THE MOST IS EXPERIENCE.
BRINGING IN PODLOSKI,GIROUD,SAHIN & CARZOLA WOULD NOT GUARANTEE ARSENAL WIN ANYTHING.
DEPTH,MENTALITY,EXPERIENCE,ABILITY 2 COPE UNDER PRESSURE,MOTIVATION,LACK OF FEAR IS WHAT GIVES A TEAM TROPHIES NOT JUST BCOS U BUY PLAYERS,BUT U BUY PLAYERS WHO CAN WITH RIGHT MENTAL STRENGTH IMPROVE THE TEAM IN ALL THOSE THINGS MENTIONED ABOVE...
U MIGHT THINK THE PLAYERS U HAVE GOT CAN DELIVER BUT EVRY YEAR,IT GETS HARD,MORE DIFFICULT,MORE TOUGHER & RIGOROUS BCOS THE TEAMS AROUND ARSENAL ARE ALSO IMPROVING BY TRYING 2 BRING IN PLAYERS THE SAME WAY ARSENAL DOES.SO LETS ANALYSIS WITH FACTS

Posted by Jamison on 08/02/2012

Its Official ... Santi Cazorla has now signed for Arsenal. Although I love Robin Van Persie... maybe we can use the proceeds of his sale and buy a quality RB or LB. Gunners fan can now celebrate plus we might get Nuri Sahin as well.

Posted by anthony on 08/02/2012

Hi Sam Please answer...
Where is Chris Samba player of Blackburn? Arsenal once sought his service , isnt he available and why has Wenger not try to sign him now and sell Djourou?
He is fearless and command much respect in the box for corners either way.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Last time I saw Christopher Samba, he was playing for Anzhi for Russia. Not sure he'd return to the Premier League.

Posted by gooner138098 on 08/04/2012

Reports suggest the Cazorla & Sahin deals are nearly done--the latter subject to the arrival of Modric at the Bernabeau---any update on that?also Sam,do you know anything about rumors linking Song to Barca?why would Arsene wanna sell a dm when we are short in that dept.?and Song!the most imp. piece in our midfield!why weaken our own midfield to strengthen the v.strong midfield of Barca?how come they take away our vital players while we can't pluck their unwanted ones(afellay!) Any update on "the new Bale" from Southampton that Wenger was after?we badly,badly need a proper lb!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. There have been a few Song rumours, and we now have quite a few central midfielders, but I'd still be surprised if he went.

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About
David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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