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I walked on the Emirates pitch 34 years before Wenger. A history of heroes and villains!

GunnersoreArse

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

I was thinking about this last week and I started to reminisce how I’d walked regularly on the Emirates Stadium pitch, across the terraces and through the dressing rooms long long before it was even a twinkle in Wengers eye. In 1972, if someone had asked me what Chorizo was I probably would have said a Brazilian footballer, I was 18 years old and working for a company called J.R.Smith and Sons, a scrap iron and steel company owned by three brothers from Camden Town, Brian, Dennis and Ronnie. I worked with Dennis, they called him ‘Dennis the menace’ and the description was perfect, he was fucking crazy and he had his fingers in many different dodgy pies.  Dennis and Brian ran the Ashburton Grove site and Ronnie had control of a sister…

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130 comments on “I walked on the Emirates pitch 34 years before Wenger. A history of heroes and villains!

  1. LG. It was on Arsenal player. He said as he is under 25 there will be no loss of pace. He was quite insistent.

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  2. I don’t remember when we have been very lucky with injuries over the last 8-9 seasons. We always have average or above average levels and average or above average times for rehabilitation, as far as I can tell. Perhaps AW’s investigation will or has already led to some new analysis of the reasons for this that are being addressed. But, while we blame injuries rightly for taking some key players, particularly Ramsey and Walcott, away for huge stretches of the season, we were actually able to cope in midfield and to use our midfielders on the right wing somewhat effectively because we had some depth there. It wasn’t as good. We missed both of those players a great deal. But we were actually very very lucky that Giroud didn’t suffer any longer term injuries and neither did either Kos or Merts. If any of those three had, we would have been in pretty big trouble. Hopefully next season we have more striking options–not just to cover injuries but to provide options, rest, and competitive alternatives if someone loses form.

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  3. FH

    Niggles for Gnabry towards the end of the season, otherwise with all the other injuries we’d have seen more of him. I was upset at the time when I realised he was out alongside Chambo and Wilshere, he’d probably have got minutes in those last few games including the final if he’d been fit.
    The German manager had named him as an possibility for his squad, with others like Reus out if he’d been fit he might have made it.

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  4. George, that is definitely excellent news. It is so much a part of Theo’s game. Amazing he is still just 25. He was 24 when he got the injury. We’ll see how he does on his return. I certainly hope he takes the time he needs and that we have some options in his position–and that is why Campbell might be valuable. My understanding is that Theo could still miss games at the start of the season.

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  5. Thats why I see Campbell being here early on but not for the rest of the season.

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  6. Yes, cover for Theo and then sale or loan possibly in January unless he is as good as Gains’ video on a regular basis in the PL.

    One thing I was very puzzled by. Campbell did not set up in the box on corners or freekicks. He didn’t take them either. Why wouldn’t your striker be in the box on those occasions? Is he not good in the air? That is something you would expect a central striker to offer–some threat on set pieces and aerial hold up play. I thought his hold up play against Uruguay was very good. The rest of the tournament he didn’t look as effective in that role and mostly drifted to the right.

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  7. But George, don’t write of the lad yet. He is clearly a talent.

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  8. Loomer @ 4.47p.m.

    I thought of making a comment a few days ago in support of our highly strung colleague (not for the first time) about Ben thatcher, the Bowyer, Woodgate* and Duberry trial, real racism in English Football etc. relative to all the excessive hype around Biter. But then I realised I don’t need to make a comment about any of that here because everyone at PA gets it anyway., which is why we are all here. Well, almost everyone.

    *There’s no need for me to say anything. Woodgate’s humiliating debut for Real Madrid said enough. Not sure he played much for them after that! The football gods, sometimes they can be cruel, sometimes they can be kind.

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  9. if joel Is given half the chance walcott was given at arsenal, i’m sure he’ll succeed here. if we are patient with him as we were with jack, ox, jenko, gibbs and ramsey, he will make it big at this club. but make no mistakes, if the fans should treat him as they normally treat your foriegn players these days, he might not make it here but will certainly become a world class player someday.

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  10. depending on the tactics of your team LSG, at olimpiacos he was always in the box just close to the keeper like walcott and chicharito. but in the national team he was always stationed outside. maybe because he is very good at shooting from range.
    what suprises me is that this guy hasnt even kick a ball at arsenal and people are almost writing him off. whereas his performace in the world cup was better than most super stars most fans want the club to break the bank for.

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  11. I thought Theo was out until the end of Setember beginning of October, or that was the story before the Cup final

    Don’t fret though – we have plenty of cover and no need to rush him back.

    The other mild advantage is if TW is not fit in late August then Mr Hodgson will not be including him in the two Euro qualifiers in September

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  12. On the injury front we still need our number 11 to avoid the worst excesses of the Brazilians tomorrow.

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  13. That’s interesting, Layksite. I never saw him for Olympiacos but was stunned by his performance vs. Uruguay. That was outstanding play and he sparkled with multi-faceted talent. But I was surprised how in the next few games he played out wider more frequently. Against Uruguay he played back to goal and held it up, linked well, ran onto balls, showed a trick or two, had pace and guile, cut in, shot powerfully. It was a complete centre forward performance. The others weren’t like that very much.

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  14. Forever, that’s a genuine worry the way they were fouling the last two knockout matches. But if they were going to single out a player, I think they would go after Kroos since he is playing centrally. I hope, anyway!

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  15. great to hear about theo.

    he is a “killer” 🙂

    i love campbell but he is no starting material for arsenal as yet. hes 20 ffs..leave him alone..

    we have such a good squad now..i feel we can easily do a domestic double once again..

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  16. youre unfair fins…not once have i ever showed annoyance to anything anyone says in here…if i dont agree with something i dont comment…..
    ———————–

    Mwaahaahaahaahaahaa!!! Classic!

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  17. Layk, I also wonder if we can and will be able to afford young players the kind of chances that Theo was given. Playing striker or forward is a tough position–kind of like GK. Elsewhere the game can hide you but strikers are held responsible for scoring in the way GK’s are held responsible for conceding–the most obvious focal point for such attention. Also, the kind of chances Theo was given, namely to develop in the first team for 4 years basically, during which he was inconsistent and learning his craft while dealing with a raft of injuries, was a product of that period when we relied very heavily on younger (and cheaper) players during the Highbury estates property development and immediate aftermath of the stadium move.

    I don’t think we are in the same position or are following exactly the same strategy. Sure, Arsenal under AW (and hopefully beyond, whenever that may be) will always try to develop and improve talented young players. But the last several years we have seen a different balance between the promising and talented youth and quality experienced players in mid-late twenties and early 30’s. And going forward, with greater commercial and tv revenues, there is room to operate judiciously at the very high end of the market in established talented players.

    As a result, I don’t see it as a necessity or a particular goal to use the first team to develop a large number of talented young players simultaneously in the way Arsenal did in 2006-10. If Campbell can make it, I think it will be a result of him doing more than showing potential but demonstrating that he can make a contribution sooner rather than much later–not necessarily as a starter but as a regular squad player. But if he isn’t going to get the games, I think we might see another loan or sale if only to meet his demands for playing. He clearly is eager for regular playing time. And AW has been willing in the past to move players on in such circumstances, I believe.

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  18. Layksite

    At 22 Campblee has a lot of room for improvement. And he will definitely be given enough chances, as long as AW thinks he deserves them. At the moment, I see his best chance is as cover for Theo; on the right and hopefully as a starter in the league cup, possibly upfront.

    I think campbell will be pretty safe from any barbs from the terraces and blogosphere due to the hyped up coverage he received at the WC.

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  19. Actually, thinking about it, because of the over hyping his performances received, he may well have unfair and unrealistic expectations placed on him by certain bloggers, posters etc.

    basically Gains and Layksite will tear him a new one unless he scores a hatrick every game.

    Just you watch!

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  20. wenger will always give young talent chance but will the fans? the policy hasnt really change. last season, despite the arrival of mesut, We still have room for young players who are not even at the level of campbell. all that joel needs is just the chance to show what he can do. not indulgence or pampering from any quater and definately not hate and expectation to fail even before his arrival. this is a player we bought almost three seasons ago and yet was not allowed to play due to work permit. yet we got one for miyaichi who is clearly limited in talent.

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  21. While I appreciate your optimisim Layksite, There’s an ever increasing list of young players who I and others had really high hopes of making it, yet failed to make the grade. So, thanks again, but I will keep my powder dry when it comes to campbell’s chances of succeeding at Arsenal.

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  22. He could have played last season as he got a work permit last summer but AW decided to loan him abroad instead of keeping him here despite being quite thin at CF. perhaps he expected to get Higuain and Suarez and loaned our Campbell before Sanogo got injured. I don’t remember the sequence. Or he seemed behind Sanogo at that stage of his development. But he could have kept him last season.

    Layksite, you are changing the terms of the discussion. Before you said that if he got the same chances as Theo, he would excel. I agree that there is always a place for bringing through talented youngsters. In fact, that is already something I said. However the circumstances have changed. Few players will get the chances that Theo, Cesc, Diaby, Denilson, Song, Bendtner, And many others all received simultaneously in the first team as starters between 2006-10. And the balance is manifestly different now and since 2011 and later 2012 and 2013 when AW bought Mertesacker, Arteta, Santos, Young, Podolski, Gervinho, Giroud, Cazorla, Monreal, loaned in Benayoun, all intended for the first team. the young players he bought were Ox, Sanogo, Eisfeld, Gnabry. And they have been marginal to his plans apart from the Ox who was very expensive for such a young player. The point is that the balance is genuinely different with more experienced quality players. Plus there were the big money bids for strikers and for Bender las summer before a record transfer for Ozil. This is very different from the earlier period, even though there is a place for younger talents. A place, not the dominant core group in our squad as was earlier the case where very young players were given PL and CL starts consistently and together.

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  23. Layksite
    I agree the policy hasn’t changed but I disagree on Miyachi, he’s quick!
    Got his work permit after a successful half season at Feyenoord. After that he has had a successful loan at Bolton and impressed Martinez (his words not mine!) at Wigan before being taken out by Mirallas. He’s had a season and a half of nightmare injury setbacks? Whether he makes the recovery at Arsenal or elsewhere I don’t know, but so many coaches and managers can’t be wrong, he must have some potential?

    I’m a big fan of Campbell and I’m happy to guess with both Walcott and perhaps Chamberlain both in need of rotation as they work they back from injuries and with others also returning from a World Cup that he’ll be staying.

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  24. I agree on Rio, I think he is a very good player.

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  25. Dex: “Basically Gains and Layksite will tear him a new one unless he scores a hatrick every game.

    Just you watch!”

    Hahahahaha, prick.

    I think you guys are going to be pleasantly surprised by the way Campbell plays alongside Ozil, Santi, Jack and Ramsey. I’ve only ever watched him playing in teams with very little creativity and the kid comes up with incredible plays out of thin air. I have no doubt he’s going to be class for us. I reckon Wenger is going to turn him into a Van Persie type false nine.

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  26. if my memory serves me right, i cant remember ryo having a successful loan spell as you want me to believe. at bolton, if i can remember, he was never a starter. i was even so angry then that i posted it somewhere that we shouldnt loan our players to clubs that cant guarantee them a starting spot. his second loan move was even worse before his injuries. unlike campbell who have always been a regular starter everywhere he has been loaned. in france, spain and greece. he has been a reguler starter for his country even before his move to arsenal.

    joel had already been loaned to olympiacos last season before the club could get his work permit. as early as june he was already in greece. he was NEVER behind sanogo both in development and potential. if ox can make it in this era, joel will definitely make it. whatever you call it, back up to anybody. just let him have the chance.

    as for his performance in the world cup, i am amazed that anyone here would see it as not good enough. if his wasnt good enough, how about ozil, podolski, giroud, kos, cazorla, wilshere whom we see as arsenal standard but fail to outshine joel in brazil? how many players in the world cup have been able to replicate their performance in the first two games they played. messi? neymar? rvp? muller? even robben only improved his diving skills. all the star players were well marked out. not just campbell. despite that, he played 120 minutes and even scored his penalty against greece in a game many believed he flopped.

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  27. dex, i’m not the type that expect players to perform miracle every game. my boy hasnt disappointed me since i started following him. i was just as impressed with him against greece and holland as i was with him against uruguay and italy. knowing that they were not easy games.

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  28. The nerves are just beginning to tingle as kick off approaches, the Bitburg is cooling nicely.

    A formidable battle in prospect, technical quality allied with relentless energy, I am not expecting the wurst.

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