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Pace. Best finisher at the Club. Gives a fuck? You don't want to keep him?

Anyway. He's not the saviour. Lordy, who said that? Seriously. He's frozen out right now though. For what? For who? It's gone to shit really. There's no direction at all. I'd play him up front, give him a shot and reorganise the whole team. The squad is excellent, IMHO. The strategy is bollocks.

I'm not making this about Walcott. But play Walcott. Don't play Walcott. Either way we're pretty grim, our return so far has been pretty grim. We're on the wane.

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Pretty sure earlier in the season there was an attitude in here of "he just wants a payrise, doesnt muck in" etc, he bags a hat trick int he COC and now its "give him what he wants" around here.

I want to keep him, but does he really give a fuck? How often has he gone missing when he's played, yeah yeah I know we'll get all of the "he's always played out of position", one could argue that Arshavin is always played out of position and that he also doesn't give a fuck but he gets the abuse that Walcott doesn't.

The only time I've seen anything looking like passion from Walcott has been when he had a go at Jenkinson last season.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be played through the middle (I've always thought he should be) and think he'd work well with Giroud or Podolski (to be honest I'm tired of this 1 man/3 man attack we seem to try and employ every single match) but with how often the guys name has been thrown around this week you'd think he holds all the answers.

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He doesn't hold all the answers and I haven't said that. It's not working right now though. Agree about Arshavin but I think he's a lost cause, unfortunately. He illustrates the point about not filling square holes with square pegs. Why did we buy him and not really play him to his best potential? It's like Wenger is testing players but it doesn't work. Henry worked a treat but it's hardly a model to base your whole management strategy around. Play players where they're best suited. Base your team around that rather than a system that fills holes with the closest fit. Ramsey on the right, for example? That's not fair to anyone. What is that achieving? Gervinho through the middle? Do me a favour. Fit your system to the players. Be flexible in formation and play everyone to their strengths. And look at the oppo, what can we do to nullify or counter them cos they've all got us sussed already.

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Because holding a player to his contract when he badly wants to leave is just a pipe dream. It rarely happens and when it does it rarely works out.

It has worked on occasion, Ribery at Bayern for example. I certainly have no idea why Cesc was sold for so little and Van Persie was sold to our biggest rival. Just frustration at how poor the side played more than anything.

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all the evidence has been there for a few years now that Wenger is in decline and the methods that were so successful as the club for the first half of his reign don't win things any more.

what he continues to achieve for the club is immense but I do believe its time for a fresh man at the helm, I like so much of what Wenger does and the clubs fiscal responsibility but on the football side alone he is just too inflexible and unwilling to listen to others. I'm not sure he could be 'a man upstairs' either as can't see him taking a lesser role - its his club.

Its a tough appointment as Wenger's legacy is huge, modern Arsenal are Wenger, think of the club/team he took over from Graham/Rioch - I've been very cautious of wishing for a change in management and never said previously as think we run the risk of being a high end Charlton, not in that we'd be relegated but Wenger achieves what he does on lesser resources than those around him, Guardiola or Mourinho (wishful thinking) won't settle for a 'spend what you sell' transfer budget. I really don't know who we should go for but I'm sure we need change.

We don't need anything knee jerk but the club should have in place and signed up a target with a handover plan to implement next summer, being football this will be impossible to keep secret and we need to avoid what happened at Utd when Fergie said he was retiring.

Very sad to say it but end of the road for Arsene I feel is imminent.

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simple solution...get rid of kroenke (has any american owner done anything positive with a uk football club??)...usmanov in, hire guardiola as manager and give him stupid amounts of money to buy whoever he wants.

if we want to win significant trophies, this so called sustainable model will not help us. we can't compete for the top, top players as we can't pay their transfer fees and wages. the only clubs going for the best players now are the ones with sugar daddies, and not just in the uk. if we don't get one soon we are going to be left further behind.

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I really don't think the current board is going to get rid of Wenger in a million years, because they've all found his niche: overachieving while spending relative peanuts. No one can convince me that anyone at the club has ambitions to win the league though. I don't buy it at all.

We've got at least a couple more years of this, until all those commercial deals have been renewed and Stan can ride off into the sunset with a huge profit from doing nothing besides throttle the club's spending.

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i still believe its down to the club effectively being split between Kroenke and Usmanov. Neither will invest until they have total control and neither can stand the sight of each other and most likely have different visions for Arsenal's future. If the club is pulling in different directions at the top then thats sure to filter down into management.

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Sorry to say that the RvP thing has been put to bed for me, I don't feel much animosity now. In his position I'd have done what he did, I reckon. I didn't much like the way he seemed to want to personally dictate the direction we were taking but he was right. We're stuck in a rut with no plan B, no desire to tackle teams head on tactically, no genuine transfer policy to move us forward. As Rev said, Cazorla was handed to us, no way would we have got him without their financial problems. I like Podolski, I quite like Giroud. They're hardly making us properly competitive though. We're average unfortunately. It might be early doors and it all might come together but it'll be as much by luck as judgement IMO. I think Wenger needs to put out teams with a proper plan now. Man mark their best player. Pack the midfield or go for the throat. Sit deep and soak it up. Whatever it takes. It's very predictable at the moment. I think we need a plan, some big bollocks, introduce a proper formation and start again. A pairing up front - Walcott and Giroud. A straight four in the middle and none of this playing players out of position to suit the 'system' rubbish. Big personalities playing to a game plan, even if it means a boring game plan. Wenger took football forward big time but things have changed again and he needs to do that too. We need to be selfish and competitive. And ruthless, not a word I've associated with us for over half a decade. We were well ruthless before. Remember that? Games were over in twenty minutes. Bang, bang. Three points and on the coach.

I hope this is satirical. "Just play 4-4-2 - a proper formation - and everything will be fine!".

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I hope this is satirical. "Just play 4-4-2 - a proper formation - and everything will be fine!".

Except the players Arsenal have look like they'd be better suited to a 4-4-2, theres the players there to have a similar midfield to 97/98 really (Diaby/Wilshere, Arteta/Cazorla in the middle, stick Santos on the wing that way we dont have to worry about his defending).

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I actually agree with most of what Gotters has written up there. We're seeing the same old failings time and again now from Arsene's teams. The personnel change but the problems remain the same.

For me there is a clear lack of ambition to achieve anything beyond the top four at board level. The amounts of money we've spent and the players we've signed make it an impossibility to me that they want anything better than third place. There is simply no way you are going to finish ahead of the Manchester clubs by signing players in the £8m-12m bracket. By rights you shouldn't even really be able to finish top four, but we've seen that Arsene is excellent at that particular niche, and it's why the board will never sack him and instead want to offer him a new deal.

But beyond that, there are still issues that surely lie squarely with the manager. Even with the restricted spending imposed by the board, all information coming out of the club, from official and unofficial sources, indicates that there is still plenty of money available to him that he has chosen not to spend. When you look at our forward options, that is utterly baffling to me.

We've seen yet another poor captaincy appointment by the manager. A couple of years ago we all wanted Vermaelen as skipper, but since then I think most of us have wised up to his limitations as a defender, and would have preferred the undroppable Arteta to get the armband. Now Arsene has left himself with the problem of benching the club captain because of his persistent poor form this season. Even though he hasn't covered himself in glory recently, Koscielny should really be in the side now, but ditching the skipper is going to cause political problems I feel. Wenger was fairly critical of Vermaelen after the game on Saturday, but will he go as far as dropping him? I'm not so sure.

But yet again we've seen what seemed to be tactical inflexibility from Wenger cost us, and I assume that's what Dude Ranch was hinting at. It was extremely clear early on that our attacking play was being curbed by Rooney sitting on Arteta, but nothing was done to try and counter this for the entire game. Podolski didn't look fit, frankly, and Cazorla wasn't getting the ball. Why not bring on Coquelin, hopefully freeing up Arteta, and move Cazorla into Podolski's position? Instead we saw the same old crap for 50 minutes, hoping something was miraculously going to change, and then he brings on Theo for Ramsey. Predictably, Theo saw very little of the ball, because the problem wasn't really with Aaron Ramsey. We have seen this for years now, with various different Wenger teams.

As an aside, I wonder if Kevin Mirallas feels a bit daft at the moment. He turned Arsenal down because he thought he'd play more at Everton, but he'd be in our side for sure at the moment.

Arsene has clearly performed miracles to keep us in the top four all these years. There's no doubting that. But sadly I don't think Arsenal will ever win the league again with him at the helm.

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On the lack of spending/ambition: I wish just once, when Arsene or Gazidis come back with the old "We can't afford to spend £35m on one player" classic, some journalist would reply "Ok well no one has suggested you should. But what about £15-25m players?" They never seem to get asked that fucking obvious question though, for some reason.

Anyway as for tomorrow, I'd like to see: Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Coquelin, Arteta; Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud

That'll never happen though. I fully expect Vermaelen, Santos and Podolski to keep their places but I hope Arsene proves me wrong because those three are in some seriously shit form.

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Also while I'm on my soapbox, what the fuck is this shit about Van Persie being "respectful" to Arsenal fans with his gay celebration? Fuck right off. First of all he plays for Man Utd now and if he scores for Man Utd then he should bloody well celebrate because they're his employers, and to nearly all footballers including Van Persie, this is just business. There is a middle ground between his fakery and doing what Adebayor did, and that is the ground he should occupy. (And to be honest I wouldn't even have begrudged the cunt an Adebayor knee slide if there were indeed lots of people singing the 'hilarious' "She Said No" song).

Secondly I'd suggest a better way to be respectful to Arsenal fans would have been to not do any of the shitty things he did in the summer to try and force a move away from the club, and instead handled the whole thing with a lot more decorum. That would have been respectful in a meaningful, tangible way, unlike holding your hands in the air while trying your hardest not to smile. No one in their right mind gives a shit about that.

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The Utd game was pretty depressing really, as is how most gooners are feeling right now. In and out of here.

What with that c*nt scoring, Santos not only playing so shit but his shennanigans with the shirt at half time, Evra scoring a header from a simple ball in the box while being 5 foot nothing, plus the first goal which wasn't exactly handed on a plate but at best TV lined him up a free shot, us losing to Utd again and quite frankly never being in the game and there never being any doubt at all who was gonna win the game. 2-1 doesn't tell the story at all.

My take on the whole situation is something like this;

I'm an AW fan and I think what he's done at the club is fantastic and I'm not sure if anyone else could have done what he's done and in the circumstances still do what he does year in year out.

This being...........he gave us the invincibles, gave us a few years where we played the best football we've ever played and arguably had a few of our best ever players playing for us at the same time.

He has transformed us into a huge global club with a massive ever increasing income, while he sells our best players every summer & makes a profit on transfers, he still gets us into the CL and we even progress to the latter stages every year.

I'm not saying this is good, I think the current state of play is quite sad but I'm sure that this is the plan at the moment. The board would simply like AW to keep doing what he is doing for just a little longer.

It's incredible that we actually make a profit on transfers and yet we still qualify for the CL every year.

I think the board are extremely happy at the moment and right or wrong are biding their time for a few more years until the the new mega bucks sponsorships, naming rights etc are re-newed, the stadium is all but paid off & the magical fair play rules come into affect.

When this all happens in two or three years time, we'll be seriously loaded. I don't think AW would then go on a spending spree, instead I can see him handing over the reigns to a new manager. Saying 'there you are, I give you the super club I've created, with super income, super money to spend on any player you like, now go and dominate'. He'll sit back and watch from a distance with nothing to lose. His name will forever be engraved in our history as the man who transformed us from a big club to a huge monster of a club, just like it'll be engraved on the bust we'll make of him.

Until the above happens I think things will stay exactly as they are. We can't and won't win the PL, we may win an FA Cup or League Cup & we almost definitely won't win the CL. This is assuming we continue to qualify. I say almost definitely, only because it's a cup competition and not because I'm delusional in any way and think we are remotely anywhere near the same league as say Barca or Real.

I just hope that in a couple of years or so when the big fat money starts pouring in AW does hand over the reigns and maybe the club is sold to someone who is prepared to spend the huge income on the team. I can't see AW or this board suddenly splashing the cash around.

I think in a couple of years Kroenke will sell, AW and Gazides will consider their work done & Peter Hill Wood will finally retire taking some of the old school with him.

So while I can see better days down the road, for the time being I think we've got a few more years of what is going on now.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

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Anyway as for tomorrow, I'd like to see: Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Coquelin, Arteta; Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud

Team for tonight:

Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.

Which is the team I'd have liked to start on Saturday.

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Keeper and left back aside it still reads like a really good team and I hope they can pull it together but I'll not be holding my breath. I struggle to imagine why a team like that can't make chance after chance against more or less anyone but we haven't been (5-7 aside of course) so let's hope that changes.

Score draw.

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