Are Arsenal’s Midfield Options That Bad?

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Sands Of Time
Listening to all these United fans predicting the future,I don’t know if football365 was there in the early 90’s, but if it would have been there I’m sure you could hear Liverpool fans exclaiming that their team will be back eventually and reclaim the glory they deserve.
-Zaki (and yes, I support LFC),INDIA

Players Are People
You can’t treat a Spanish international the way you’ve treated Victor Valdes and expect it not to blow up in your face when you try to sign another Spanish international. Players are people and may just have that texting thing down.
Any mailboxers have other good examples of a manager treating a player poorly only to see it backfire in future transfer market dealings?
Niall, Denver

FAO: Louis Van Gaal
Am appealling to the manchester club to do well and buy the russian stricker kokorin.
Felix Sena

Wayne Rooney: The £300k-a-week Glenn Whelan
It’s that time of year again….. Rooney’s on a barren spell, so the Carrington media and ex pro’s are quick to point out he is actually being played out of position.
Play him down the wings and you get good work rate, but you take away the goal threat (never mind how many Ronaldo, Robben or Messi have scored when in a wider position over their careers).
Centre mid and you get him ‘involved’, but at Rooney’s age he can’t make those 3rd man runs so your left with a £300k a week Glenn Whelan.
Up front on his own, no excuses surely? Well actually, with his back to goal you take away the creative spark, he gets isolated and has to run around a lot which gets him frustrated (knackered).
So that leaves us with his best position, the mythical free roaming number 10. Behind a striker who’ll lead the line and do the hard yards, but with the protection of 2 defensive midfielders who’ll feed him the ball and also do the hard yards.
The only trouble is we’re no longer in the 1990’s and this position no longer exists in modern football. The number 10 position (or in modern football, the most advanced of the 3 central midfielders) is a position almost always occupied by midfielders. Ozil/Ramsey, Willian/Oscar, Silva/Yaya, Iniesta/Rackitic, James/Xisco and Vidal I would imagine.
So to me that means if you want the best out of Rooney you are essentially go 4-4-2. So the next time Redknapp (either of them), Merson, Souness etc. give the predictable “He need’s to play off a striker” response, I’d love to know in what formation they envisage this happening as it certainly never worked with Van Persie, and it sure as hell didn’t work in Brazil.
Danny (I wrote this before realising they play Newcastle this weekend…. oh well


At the start of the summer, there were ramblings about FFP being relaxed. Was that just a nice way of saying that after one year they’re complely packing it in?
Everyone’s going mad (again!). Wasn’t FFP designed to stop exactly what’s now happening?
Royston (I’m very confused) Queen

Lucas Madness
“One day you will all realise how important Lucas is”.
Rafa Benitez said this about Lucas when his role in the team seemed to be to have the second shittest hair (Voronin for the win). But now we are waiting for his departure to be confirmed I am definitely feeling it.
Was it a coincidence that last season’s unbeaten run involved Lucas shielding? Of course not, he’s bloody brilliant. Even in Dalglish’s dreadful season we had top 4 form before Lucas got injured for the season and we then proceeded to look like turd.
He seems a thoroughly likeable chap, I wish him all the success in the world and it’s sad to see him leaving when the alternatives actually aren’t strictly even better than him in his position.
Minty, LFC

Central Midfield Gripes
At the risk of sounding like an Arsenal fan boy, who jumps to his team’s defence at all times, never recognising Wenger’s irritating dilly-dallying over transfers, I have to say this whole lack of midfield signing really is quite grating.
As much as I would be happy to see another defensive midfielder come through the door to compete with Coquelin, it’s the media’s interpretation of the necessity of it that grinds the ol’ gears. Arsenal currently have five central midfielders (not including Flamini), yet apparently we’re doomed if we don’t sign another one, one who tackles exactly like Coquelin. This is particularly irritating because a quick look over at Manchester Utd, Chelsea and Manchester City, it’s clear to see who their back-up DMs are: Carrick, Mikel and Fernando. Carrick is one year older than our supposed back up and #legsgone, Arteta, while neither Mikel nor Fernando are the type of players who would fill you with confidence lining up in an important Champions League ¼ final tie (insert joke about Arsenal not needing to worry about that, as they haven’t reached it since 2010).
My point is, that while a player like Grzegorz Krychowiak or William Carvalho (if he wasn’t crocked), would be a welcome addition to compete with Coquelin, I don’t see that kind of competition at the other clubs around us. Personally I don’t feel like Arteta has ever really let us down, and I’d argue that it’s not the lack of new DM that caused Arsenal to cock it up (excuse the pun) against West Ham, Monaco last season, and so-on. Surely that’s down to a mental fragility that is improving, but is obviously still some sort of a problem. Anyway, that’s another story for another day.
Only time will tell, but I hope the player that had an excellent second half to last season and is already joint top of the table in terms of tackles this season (I know, two games, but we’re all knee jerking), isn’t vilified by Arsenal fans at every little mistake purely because Arsene didn’t sign someone to compete with him.
Simon Banks, London

United Need This German Star (Not Muller)
This is about enough of that, Pedro to Chelsea! Thank goodness. United don’t need another Left wing. We need Mario Gotze not Tomas Muller as suggested. It’s really easy to say united look a bit depleted but after 3 games and 3 wins any bad mouthing is poor form…
Paul Duncan, South Africa (obv United fan)

Worst Celebrations
Let’s get one thing straight. I think Bafetimbi Gomis is a very good player, and has done a cracking job for Swansea since Bony left, however, and I can’t stress this highly enough, I DESPISE his goal celebration.
His so called ‘Panther’ goal celebration is one of the worst things I have ever witnessed in Football. Each time I see him do it, my cringe levels reach a despicable level, such to a degree, where each time he does score, I have to look away, so my Premier League viewing is not completely ruined.
Also, I do question the accuracy of the celebration? He calls it the ‘Panther’, and by the looks of the celebration, this Panther is a roaring, ferocious creature. However, when I have witnessed Panthers in documentaries, they always seem to be calm animals, just relaxing in a tree and what not, and let’s face it, Bagheera in the ‘Jungle Book’ is nothing short of delightful. No ferociousness here.
So if Bafetimbi Gomis insists on carrying on this god awful goal celebration (please Bafetimbi end the madness now!), he could at least name it something that reflects the actual celebration itself. I would go for something like ‘The ridiculous grown man crawling along the turf and roaring at spectators in an embarassing fashion’ celebration.
I can’t, CAN’T be the only person who feels this way!?
Rob McMenzie, Newcastle

Loved And Loathed
In light of Joey Barton’s failed move to West Ham we were discussing the other players who are universally loved by supporters despite making a few moves between clubs and those who are generally despised by supporters having played for a few clubs.
As a Newcastle supporter I will with players that featured for us. I’ll start with the loved.
Les Ferdinand. Loved by QPR, Newcastle and Spurs
Peter Beardsley. Toon, Liverpool and Everton.
Gazza. Toon, Spurs, Lazio, Rangers, Boro, etc..
Chris Waddle. Toon, Spurs, Marseille, Wednesday.
David Ginola. Toon and Spurs. Villa are doubtful
Then the other end of the spectrum
Michael Owen. Liverpool, Real Madrid, Toon, ManU. Apart from some occasional good memories probably not a lot of love.
Joey Barton. Again a mixed bag of City, Toon, Marseille, QPR.
Interested to hear of any others that are universally loved – but also generally disliked despite being a good player. Eg. Sheringham – loved by Millwall Spurs and ManU?
Tom, Geordie in Toronto.

Now the Pedro deal is confirmed, how often do you think jose will have the courage to start Cesc, Hazard, Oscar and Pedro in the same starting team?
Naz, Gooner (at least one will have to make way for a “runner” like Willian or Ramires, me thinks)

More Football Things We Hate…
After brian, lfc posted that great list, I felt obliged to continue his stellar work. As much as it pains me to agree with a liverpool fan.
1. The metro transfer rumours
2. Bafe Gomis’ crawling celebration (what on earth!?)
3. Manchester United fans
4. The face of a new signing photoshopped onto an existing players body by media outlets
5. Engliah disrespect for the Europa league
6. Andy Townsends beard
7. Jordan Henderson
8. Barcelona’s hoop kit, just awful
9. New fans naive to the trevails of the cesspool that is the transfer gossip arena
10. The thought of Johnny Evans ever playing for united again
Sir Isaac the Reveller ( sod off jordan), MUFC in Cape Town

1) Michael Owen
2) Paying for BT Sport this season
3) Summers without any tournaments. Sorry ladies but the womens World Cup just aint cutting it.
4) International break
5) The slow news days leading up to the international break
6) People who think Sterling is better than Ozil (I think his name is Michael Owen)
7) When people use number of passes as an impressive statistic (Leon Britton anyone)
8) Pundits who think handball has to be deliberate
9) John Terry’s hair
10) Thinking that Arsenal will sign Benzema but knowing deep down it’s all a load of b******s
Frankie, Essex, AFC

1. Arsenal because I support Spurs, Chelsea because I am a human being
2. How quiet it is at Anfield, Ethiad etc
3. People still giving out about Diving /Simulation,,accept it, move on ,it balances itself out
4. International Friendlies
5. Away Goals
6. Richard Keys (Bein Sports)
7. Hipsters
8. FA Cup
9. The 5.30 match on Saturday (graveyard shift)
10. Fantasy football (wanting Joe Hart to keep a clean sheet)

I’ve expanded the 10 things i hate about football, to incorporate 10 people I hate in football:
in no apparent order (other than Robbie Savage right at the top)
1. Robbie Savage
2. Piers Morgan
3. Adrian Durham
4. Michael Owen
5. Ashley Cole
6. Jose Mourinho
7. Steve McClaren
8. Tony Gale
9. John Terry
10. Don Rowing (our family’s ‘Phil Neville’)
Andy Smith (Scunthorpe)

In no particular order:
Pundits who say top, top….
More than one co-commentator/analyst, BT Sports I’m looking at you
Everton’s green kit
Brendan Rodgers shiny face
Transfer sagas
Media making up stories from social media platforms as if it is a worthy news report
Jose’s attitude
Robbie Savage on TV
The blandness of the modern day professional
Macker, Dublin

Dear Football365,
As an alternative to what may be an avalanche of lists following Brian LFC’s pet hates yesterday, I thought I’d offer this:
I hate lazy punditry, and comments about players’ hair. I hate Michael Owen’s new car, I hate people saying “the MLS” and “the La Liga”, so there. I hate complaints about coloured boots, and managers’ games of mind. I hate Adrian Durham so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate long away trips on midweek nights, I hate it when players dive. I hate it when “banter” makes me laugh, even worse when it makes me angry-cry. I hate it when there’s an international break, and the fact there’s no league football. But mostly, I hate the way I don’t hate football. Not even close, not even a little bit, not at all.
The cinematic Ed Quoththeraven (not made anyone cry yet, but it’s only 4.30), CPFC the Glaziers, Notts