Old thoughts resurrected

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So Cesc has finally gone. Like Paddy and Thierry, eventually the powers that be at Arsenal were worn down…and yet another Arsenal captain was let go for very much less than the going rate.

Will we live with it? No doubt. But given the recent(ish) exodus of world class talent versus adequate talent over many years, it may be that we’ll have to bite a bullet or two before settling down. For sure we’re going to need a few players with hunger in their eyes.


I remembered writing an article on Cesc back in 2008-9 and looked it up just for interest. Well here it is. Be interested in your thoughts.

Cesc as Captain

Cesc as captain? Have to confess to a mixed reaction.

On the one hand recent "permanent" skippers seem to have a short shelf life...they get sold. What's that old story re 'losing one is accident, losing two is carelessness'? To lose four, assuming that Billy G goes, I fear may be the end of AW.  

And the fact that he's not been in form is an added burden. That to my mind, is very much a result of him trying to do too much (hence 5 yellows in 13 games) and worrying about others to the detriment of his own game.

On the other hand.... logical, given the absence of anybody more deserving/talented, and perhaps it’s a great move. My concerns revolve around Cesc the person.

How mentally strong is he? That he has a maturity and skill way beyond his years is a given. That he is seen as a genius within and without the dressing room, another 'given'.  This is a whole new step up and hopefully, given the quality of the players around him, he can provide the on field drive that is so obviously necessary. At the moment we appear short of heart, skill and unity.   

If he can do that, truly he will be the ultimate Arsenal legend.


So was he given the depth of quality around him to succeed and become the legend? My heart wants to say ‘yes’ but my brain says ‘he had no chance.’ And reading thoughts on AW below, written a few weeks prior, no chance at all.

Thoughts on Arsene Wenger... (written in 2008)

My sixpence worth for what it's worth.

As an old gooner with more seasons to look back on than to look forward to, it is with no pleasure that I recall the many, many seasons of supporting Arsenal when we were out of the league race by November and out of the cup, (or cups in more recent years) by the end of January. Indeed from 1953 -1988 there was but one championship.  Admittedly a few cups came our way as well but as far as real silverware was concerned, just one championship.

So for the past twenty odd years I've been spoilt. Indeed, we've been spoilt rotten....and we've been spoilt 'rottenest' by Wengerball.


Time after time, AW's made signings that confounded logic at the time...or at least my perceived logic...and proved us all wrong, whilst consistently producing a team with a level of skill that we may previously have seen only in world cups or the occasional European game. (And, latterly, other gooner sides from the AW era)

At the same time, it has to be remembered that mixed amongst the skill, was a ruthlessness in taking the ball away from the opposition that gained us a level of red and yellow cards well above average. The Boltons and the Stokes were pussies by comparison.

Screwable pussies at that.

But today, we ain't producing the skill and we certainly don't have the bite yer legs defensive mix of old.  Indeed Henry Winter may well have hit the nail on the head when suggesting that AW thinks of his players as "Hippies in boots" So on that basis some criticism seems justified as:

Yes, he has 'failed' recently. Yes, we aren't playing at the level we've been accustomed to....and most certainly, he hasn't filled the Flamster/Gilberto gap which is my second greatest criticism of this year to date. And yes, as a fan, fair criticism is a justifiable part of our make up.

My greatest criticism however, relates to statements he's come out with this week. Words to the effect that we're not good at dealing with the high ball, our players get tired, and we were playing cowards who went out to injure us. OK there may just be a semblence of truth in the last...if you're known not to appreciate the hard stuff AND you don't have any enforcers to hand it out in return...oppo players may just go in that bit harder?  But to say "The same people who say we are not good, let them say it in three weeks when we are the best." I'm afraid, says to me, that le boss is losing it. We all pray he's correct but if he's not, the only sympathy from me will be found in the dictionary.

Between shit and syphilis.

But, no matter what, I'll still be a gooner….

And now in 2011, I really fear that AW may be emulating de Gaulle…staying on too long.  I just hope time proves me wrong.



Wiseman's picture
Sergeant Major of the Gunners
Member since:
29 April 2010
Last activity:
2 years 1 week

Well jamestatsic, it is unlikely that Nasri will still be around by the end of August, so that won't really help us hey?!

jamestastic's picture
Private First Class
Member since:
16 August 2011
Last activity:
7 years 43 weeks

we play better with nasri anyway

navin's picture
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Member since:
11 August 2010
Last activity:
2 years 9 weeks

He's history.He aught not to adorn our pages any lomger!