Category Archives: Chamakh

Three biggest flops in Arsenal’s history

Many famous football players have flourished when they made the move to Arsenal. Thierry Henry, one of the EPL top scorers, is one such player who achieved tremendous success after moving to the London side from Juventus. However, there are many examples of others who failed to shine at the Gunners, despite receiving many opportunities at the club.

Marouane Chamakh

Marouane Chamakh had made a big name for himself at Bordeaux. The former Morocco international had helped the Girondins win several major trophies, including the Ligue 1 in 2009. Famous for his excellent heading ability and link-up play, the forward notched 56 goals for the French side in 230 league appearances. When Chamakh joined Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2010, fans were greatly excited to see his play at the Emirates Stadium. He looked very promising in the beginning for the Gunners but soon fell out of favour with Arsene Wenger after failing to make a big impact. During his time in London, he managed to score only eight goals in 40 league matches. Chamakh went on to join West Ham on loan in January 2013 before signing for Crystal Palace. Arsenal released him from the club after the expiration of his contract in 2014.

Nicklas Bendtner

Nicklas Bendtner is an academy graduate of Arsenal who spent a long time at the London side. However, his spell at the Gunners wasn’t successful on the whole, with his off-field antics, injuries and inconsistency stopping him from living up to his true potential. The Danish footballer made 171 appearances across all competitions for the Londoners, scoring 47 goals and creating 22 assists in the process (stats from Transfermarkt). Although regarded as a flop at Arsenal, Bendtner also had some memorable moments at the London side when he showed how good he can be on his day. One of these displays came in the 5-0 win over Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2009. The forward smashed three goals to became the second player in the club’s history to earn a hat-trick in the European competition. He also has the distinction of scoring the fastest goal by a substitute in the Premier League, with the Dane striking against Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 six seconds after leaving the bench.

Shkodran Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi is also one of the biggest flops at Arsenal. The Gunners splashed a tremendous £35 million to secure a deal for him in the summer of 2016. Before arriving in London, the centre-back had proved his skills at Sampdoria and Valencia. There were lots of expectations that he would do well at the Emirates Stadium. However, the German defender failed to make an impact at the Premier League outfit, despite being given plenty of opportunities. He developed a reputation for errors and so became a target of criticism from the Gunners’ fans. Mustafi clocked up 151 appearances across all competitions during his time at the club, netting nine goals and creating five assists in the process. Arsenal failed to finish in the Top Four last season. They are currently scouring the market for signing talented players like Ben White in this transfer window, as per

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Filed under Arsenal, Chamakh, gooner news, Opinions, Premier League

Why Won’t Anyone Buy Our Players

Right folks the transfer window is properly underway at this stage after 7 days of shopping for all the top clubs & the Spuds. So far we have been linked with(deep breath) David Villa, Adrian Lopez, Yann M’vila, Iker Casillas(imagine), Lucas Biglia, Yanga Mbiwa & James McCarthy to name just a few.

The vast majority of Gooners know not to believe 99% of the stories you read in the papers but things have reached a new height of ridiculous in this window thus far. While i’m sure that transfer incomings will be discussed on this blog over the coming weeks I wanted to have a quick look at the outgoings tonight, more specifically the lack of permanent outgoings.

The first player to leave was Swiss centre half Johan Djourou. The long serving player has joined Hannover 96 on loan until the end of the season. Although he hasn’t played much this season hid departure leaves us severely short of options at the heart of the defence. The strangest aspect of this deal lies with the fact that there is no option in place for the German club to make the loan deal permanent. This suggests that Wenger still sees a place for Djourou in the Arsenal future, if so then why allow his to leave in any capacity.

Next to follow Johan out the door was the greasy haired Moroccan giraffe. He has moved across London to join West Ham on loan until the end of the season. Handy as he doesn’t need to sell the gaff. Chamakh has signed a 6 month loan deal again with no option to buy. Whether this was at the request of Arsenal or West Ham remains to be seen as not everyone involved with West Ham where entirely happy with the singing.

Reports also surfaced today that Sheffield Wednesday have entered into talks regarding a loan deal for Ignasi Miquel. Should this deal come to fruition that would leave us with 4 central defenders at the club one of whom is the much maligned Squilacci.

Our little tubby Russian has also been offered a chance to play elsewhere as Reading made a formal approach but his was turned down by the player. Couple this with his refusal to go home to Russia on a free transfer in the summer and he is starting to resemble Winston Bogarde a little too much for me.

If we look at the players who have moved on loan already coupled with those already out elsewhere a lá Bendy Boots and Denilson, one thing springs to mind with regards to lack of permanent deals. WAGES!!!!

Djourou is reported to be paid 50k a week, Chamakh 60, Arshavin 70 plus, Bendy 52k & Denilson 40k. By putting these players on such a high wage prior to them delivering anything of note we have crippled ourselves when it comes to selling them on. The reason clubs wont pay for permanent deals is because they would essentially have to sign them on free transfers to afford the wages that they are currently being paid at Arsenal. Can you see Juve paying Nicklas 52k a week, maybe if they could still use Lira, but otherwise it ain’t going to happen. As long as we continue to tie players to long term contracts based on their potential this will happen. Look at the recent announcement regarding the signing of the British core players. Aaron Ramsey is now on 60k a week FFS. I’m not a Ramsey basher by any means but he is never worth that kind of money. What happens if his form doesn’t improve and we have a situation where he isn’t getting a place in the squad. We are left with a 3 million a year waste of money as no other club will pay the wages he has become accustomed to.

When people talk about Arsenal not paying the wages required to sign top players it angers me and its the above reasons why. We have the money there, we just choose to reward mediocrity in a crazy way as opposed to world class talent. That’s why we miss out on these players and that’s also why I’m not holding my breath on any big name signings.


Rant over for tonight


follow me on twitter @wicklowgooner

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Filed under Chamakh, Djourou, gooner news, Transfer Bollocks

The Formula for Success

Arsene Wenger has become renowned in the English and indeed world football for his methodical  and considered approach to training and team selection. Early in his tenure, experienced players were both bemused and intrigued by his dietary initiatives (steamed fish and room-temperature water) and coaching innovations (incessant stretching every five minutes). However, once they realised they were fitter than the opposition, and were likely to have longer careers if they had rubberised hamstrings and the ankles of a yoga expert, they bought in to these changes and embraced them. Arsene also justified the selection of individual players by recourse  to detailed statistical analysis, which although it may have strengthened his case in press conferences, had the effect of thoroughly confusing and irritating supporters on numerous occasions (e.g. Denilson).

Given our recent travails it is tempting to suggest that a calculated and scientific re-evaluation of our methods of preparation might be in order once again. It is an approach that has also worked elsewhere, at least in name. Younger readers may not remember the Everton “School of Science”, particularly as Fellaini’s recent attempt (as laudable as it was) at rearranging the face of Ryan Shawcross serves only to banish such a memory further into the mists of the distant past. It is time, I suggest, to expand on the notion of “Academies” and “Scholars” and focus the energies of both playing and coaching staff at the Grove on a more scientific approach.

It seems to me that our lack of success this season has had less to do with our form and more to do with the ability of opposition teams to prevent us from playing the game as we wish. It is one of the great clichés of the modern game that the really good sides can still be successful and pick up points even when they play badly. While watching The Arsenal this season I’ve often been left with the feeling that it matters less whether we play well or not – if the opposition play well to a certain plan they will defeat us, regardless of our form going in to the game, the attitude of individual players, or the level of preparation for the game.

What I propose, therefore, is the development and application of a highly sophisticated scientific formula for ensuring success. A suitable set of scientific parameters should be devised which can then be used to generate a range of formulae to apply to the preparation of the squad for individual matches. These parameters would include statistical, tactical, medical and meteorological data and values. Statistical values, for example, might be expressed as:

p = the value representing the efficiency of our passing game e.g. percentage of completed passes in key areas

g = the effectiveness of our goalkeeping e.g. % of shots saved, aerial balls claimed/cleared, long kicks to teammates and so on

a = the accuracy of attempts on goal

s = the total number of attempts on goal per game

d = the efficiency of defending e.g. success rate as a percentage of attempted tackles

e = the number of individual errors committed per game

Combining such values with certain other functions representing individual players, condition of the playing surface, home or away game, weather conditions etc. allows for the development of sophisticated predictive formulae which may be utilised for team selection, and the refinement of a suitable tactical approach.

Let us provide an example. A simple descriptive formula may look something like this:

3 = p(RA) + s(ÇΡ) x a + d – e

where = win, = Rosicky, A =Arteta, Ç = Cazorla, Ρ = Podolski, and W³ = an on-form Walcott who controls the ball properly with his first touch and doesn’t overtake it when trying to beat a defender.

Of course the formula may be inverted for predictive purposes, particularly when other variables are introduced:

p(RA) + s(ÇΡ) x a + d – e + ω 0

where ω = Chamakh and 0 = loss. In this instance ω could be substituted for λ (Arshavin) or ? (Park) with no difference in the outcome. 

As alluded to above, external factors can be included as in this example:

p(RxA) + s(ÇxΡx) x a + d + ≈ + Š = Ø

where  = the pitch at the Stadium of Light, Š = Martin O’Neill’s unpleasant shower of Mackems and Ø = a no score draw.

There is scope to broaden this approach by the inclusion of other formulae from different branches of scientific endeavour. Perhaps the most famous formula of them all –  e = mc² – could thus be interpreted in radically different terms:

errors = mental lapses x casual defending of a highly irresponsible nature (it follows that  would be of a heinously irresponsible nature, but c would merely be irresponsible).

I realise, of course, that this proposal is not going to put me on the shortlist for the Fields Medal, nor is it likely that Arsène and Bouldy will pay any heed to my suggestion. But if we don’t get a decent result against Martinez and Wigan this afternoon, I’ll compose a detailed paper on the subject and send it to Colney anyway.

Up the Arse.

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Filed under Arteta, Bould, Cazorla, Chamakh, Denilson, Fictional Bollocks, General Musings, gooner news, Podolski, Rosicky, Tactical Bollocks, Walcott

Transfer Targets

Fine and sunny morning from Wicklow to you all, sorry about the lack of posts recently but myself and The Rev have been rather busy. I thought we might have a quick look at a few of the transfer stories surrounding our great club that have been doing the rounds this week.

Eden Hazard – it was reported that we were prepared to bid the £30 million we had set aside for Gotze as talks between Hazard and whatever clubs he is currently whoring himself to had stalled. Aside from the fact I don’t believe we had the money just sitting in our back pocket, the reason the Hazard move is so protracted is apparently because of his wage demands. If both Citeh and Manure are balking at what has been asked can anyone see our notorious wage structure being broken for this tosser. Me thinks not.

Foday Nabay – 13-year-old wonderkid from Birmingham, can’t say I know much about him other than the fact he is highly touted and a lot of other clubs are after him, then again I remember the same thing with Jermaine Pennant.

Etienne Capoue – this is a story that actually interested me. The Toulouse captain and former French youth international is a 6″2 defensive midfielder who will turn 24 in July. He would possess the physical stature we need in midfield and at 24 would be experienced enough to bed straight into the first team.

Yoshi – apparently Chelski have set a deadline of next week for Arsenal to decide whether to make a move and turn the Israeli midfielders loan deal into a permanent switch. Personally I think it’s a good move for us, he won’t cost too much money and if he could replicate his form in the latter half of the season would be a good experienced player for the younger kids to learn from.

Oliver Giroud – Rumour has it that the club will offer 6.4 million and the Moroccan Giraffe for the Ligue 1 leading goalscorer. While the transfer fee and swap deal  seems plausible enough the big stumbling block here will be wages. Giroud is currently Montpellier’s highest paid player on wages of 15k a week, and their chairman has publicly said that he will not pay anyone more than 20k a week. If we take it that Chamakh is on wages of 40k at a conservative guess that means he would have to take a 50% pay cut to join Montpellier. I know Arteta took a pay cut to join us but I just can’t see Chamakh taking that kind of hit in his wallet.

Yann M’Vila – who knows what the fuck is going on with this. Rumours abound with sources saying via twitter (I Know) that the Frenchman will most definitely not be playing at The Grove next season. Inter Milan has been stated as him most likely destination but the club finished sixth in Italy this season and will be unable to offer any kind of European football next year.

Right, that’s yer lot for today, hopefully posts will be a bit more regular next week, have yourselves a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine.

follow me on twitter @wicklowgooner

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Filed under Arsenal, Chamakh, Transfer Bollocks