Granit Xhaka in, but only two more?

by & filed under News Review.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 11.53.31 AM

Well good morning to you all! Last game of the season day. Aston Villa at home. A team we lost to a couple of years ago at the start of the season, to the cries of ‘Wenger out’, are now a team we finish to with grumbles of ‘is this Brie sandwich soggy’ / ‘it’d be bloody nice if Wenger would leave maybe, at some point, if it feels right to everyone’…

Not sure how the atmosphere will be today. I have a feeling most Arsenal fans have lost the will to live. So dependent on weather, it’ll be a flatulent end to the season caked in depression beers and hopes for a better summer.

Good news is that Phil Wall over at the AngryOfIslington blog totally destroyed the embarrassingly incorrect summer spending fees put forward by amateur hour finance firm CSS (tacky finance lead generation farm). They’d claimed we only had £4m spare this summer. I mean, how powerfully student like and wrong can a bunch of finance specialists be? About £90m wrong. What makes it worse is someone at the Mirror published that sh*t without checking… or worse, checking and knowing that story would muddy the waters with the less informed Arsenal fans.

In more positive news, Granit Xhaka was subbed off early so he could take a standing ovation from the home fans, give a major hug to the coach and drop a big obese hint in the press conference he was off. Looks like he’ll be moving over to us shortly as we try and negotiate down that £34m fee and spread it across 27 years. A solid early start to our summer, which will no doubt lose all its steam in about 3 weeks.

Interesting to see Higuain break Serie A records yesterday with a smashing 36 goals. Think what you want of the man (I think he’s slow), but that’s outrageous. Arsenal bottled his fee a few summers ago when Perez raised the price £10m. Settling for Giroud, which wasn’t smart. We also chose to chase down Luis Suarez instead, and botched that. There’s still a lot of contention around that by fans who seem to think we handled that transfer well.

Thoughts on improving that:

1. Don’t harp on about transfers not being like buying a loaf from Tesco, then put in a £40m + £1 bid in like you’re buying a very expensive Twix from a vending machine. It doesn’t set the tone well for a player clearly worth far more than his buyout.
2. If you’re dealing with an issue where a club is deeply offended by the opening bid, regardless of the clause, work out a position they’d be happy with that would 1) interest them 2) make it not seem like they’d been bullied into a bad deal 3) might make you look the weaker party, but who cares, you’d have the best striker in the world
3. Don’t chain yourself to a moral high ground over a world class striker when there are so few in the world. It doesn’t matter how unethical it is not the abide by a break clause. The key story here is they had something we badly wanted. Something that would have won us two titles by now. And we bottled it / offended Liverpool so badly they wouldn’t play ball.

Saying they had no intention of selling a Premier League team is beyond nonsense, they’d sell to anyone who stumped up the right value. Which was, a season later, £70m! That for me was one of the prime examples of us not having the guts to go big instead accepting whatever was said, missing out under the guise of class.

UPDATE: Also worth reading this. John Henry actually played the game legally. We totally misinterpreted the clause.

Back onto transfers. Wenger already causing unrest with me as he starts to shirk around the realities of the summer. The Standard reckons he’s only in for three players with no radical overhaul.

‘We want to keep the squad stable over the summer while strengthening where possible, you want the group to be stimulated and to believe that we have improved the quality.’

You know what stimulates great players? Great players. You know what flatlines them? Lining up with the same munch bunch that bombed the year before. Players don’t care for stable if it’s stale. They read the papers and get excited about seeing new people in the office as much as you and I. They will look at three players and say…

‘Are you kidding me?’

Arsenal are way more than three players away from competing. We’ve just lost three in Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini. We should be losing players from Chambo, Theo and Gibbs. We should be thinking about our ageing backline that’s guaranteed to pick up more tweaks and strains. We should probably ask questions of Chambers and Gabriel? Are they sure to hit it off next year? We need to understand that Welbeck is dead for the season. We need to be honest about Jack Wilshere’s ability to stay fit and not play the hope card. We need to be honest about Santi Cazorla and his age and accept we do not have an internal replacement for him.

We shouldn’t be looking at the children coming into the squad as anywhere near ready for our first 11. Bar maybe Iwobi who is a back up at best. We need to be sending them out on loan, exactly where Chambers should have been this season cutting his teeth.

This cannot melt into a summer of tweaks. Because the foundations cracked in a season we should have destroyed the league based on our so called stability.

Unless Wenger is leaving next summer. And that’s a weird story. Stan letting him have his final year with severe restrictions. Which would be incredibly short sighted and potentially hampering for the best manager.

Anyway, enjoy the game today! Season is nearly done. 🍺🍺🍺

961 Responses to “Granit Xhaka in, but only two more?”

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  1. gonsterous

    For a club claiming to be head and shoulder above its city rival, we do talk a great deal about them !!

  2. Ishola70

    Rambo Ramsey:
    ‘Leicester City will receive less prize money than four other Premier League sides, despite finishing the season 10 points clear at the top of the table as champions.Arsenal, who leapfrogged rivals Tottenham to finish the season second in the league, are the highest earners thanks to being shown on TV more than any other side.”

    How skewed is the modern game.

    Wenger and Kroenke will be delighted.

  3. Ishola70

    Louis Almeida:
    “I also agree that I don’t think Gabirel is the solution. He is an ok defender but his ability on the ball is too poor for a team aiming to be a top club.”

    I don’t think there would be so many misgivings from Arsenal fans if the main problem was that he was not good on the ball. He has shown defensive weaknesses/vulnerability which is the primary reason he is questioned,

  4. Louis Almeida

    “I don’t think there would be so many misgivings from Arsenal fans if the main problem was that he was not good on the ball. He has shown defensive weaknesses/vulnerability which is the primary reason he is questioned,”

    I think as a CB he’s generally fine. He has the same problem as Kos in that he tries to anticipate what the striker is going to do and nips in front of them. Most of the time it works but when it doesn’t it can lead to the team being in severe trouble. For the most part he is fine. The problem comes where he treats the ball as a hot potato because his general touch isn’t that good, can’t pass through the lines etc. Mertesacker is better at building play from the back and we all know our thoughts on him.

  5. Black Hei

    gonsterous

    Lol. I know you are trying to hold back the tears with your cheap smile. That look where Pott has his face in his hands…….

    What a great season you guys have. A thumbs up for you lot; unlike so many years ago, beating you guys is relevant once more!

    Now, I am going to head over to Arseblog and look at that pic once more.

  6. Dream10

    Louis

    Hope the rumours come to fruition (good source?) . Love a properly numbered first XI. If Mesut gets #10 and Sanchez gets #7, then Wilshere will get #8.
    Although, not a fan of Jack getting starting XI squad number. Would rather Ramsey get #8.
    Ideally GK 1 RB 2 RCB 5 LCB 6 LB 3 CM 8 CM 4 AM 11 AM 7 SS 10 CF 9

  7. Bamford10

    Wenger will sign Xhaka alone and give us the following starting XI next season:

    _________Cech
    Bell__Gabr__Kosc__Monr
    ____Xhaka___Jack
    _________Ozil
    Ramsey__Giroud___Alexis

    We’ll finish fourth or fifth and experience zero joy or expectation of winning anything of note.

    (Yes, I know that I said yesterday that Giroud as starter would mean a sixth place finish, but I now think the above will be good enough to finish four or five. Will provide no joy, mind you, nor any chance of winning anything of note, but will manage to finish respectably.)

  8. Wallace

    Louis

    “What do you think of Lukaku?”

    of the established names Lukaku or Morata would be my choice. not totally convinced by Lukaku, but can’t deny there’s lots to work with.

  9. Gooner Greg

    ‘UPDATE: Also worth reading this. John Henry actually played the game legally. We totally misinterpreted the clause.’

    Read what?

    I was always of the understanding that after AFC had made the bid of £40mil it was down to Suarez to insist on the move due to the clause in his contract. I think by then he also knew Barca were interested! Might be completely wrong though!

  10. Ishola70

    Louis Almeida:
    ”I think as a CB he’s generally fine”

    I don’t think so. I think you are being over generous to your fellow Portuguese speaking brother 😉

  11. Dream10

    “What do you think of Lukaku?”

    Good potential. Decent player. But for 50m+, I would hope for someone better.
    If we accuse Giroud of not being able to get the best out of Sanchez, will Lukaku?

  12. STV

    Bamford not entertained by your prophecy. Everybody knows if Wenger’s is good at anything it’s finishing in top4 and there’s no reason why he can’t do it next season.

  13. Wallace

    Bamford

    “Wenger will sign Xhaka alone…”

    nope, he’s said numerous times over the past 2mths that we haven’t scored enough goals this year. he’s definitely buying a striker.

  14. Bamford10

    Emirates

    That people are not talking about how we played yesterday is down to two things: one, it was the last game of the season and people are more focused on talking about the season as a whole, where things stand for Arsenal, the big picture, the summer, etc.

    This is natural and to be expected.

    Two, we played the way we have been playing for some time: blah. Just blah — with a few goals. Nothing of interest to discuss.

    However, what rankles is your stupid fucking remark that people were not talking about how we played because so few here attend the games. I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but there is this thing called a television, and this device allows Arsenal fans to watch the games from anywhere in the world.

    You have this stupid fucking idea that you see more of the game because you go to the stadium or that somehow only those who go to the stadium really understand the team and/or the game in question. This is just dumb. The only thing a person in the stadium gets that those of us at home do not get is the atmosphere and perhaps a bit more of what is going on off the ball.

    Judging by your comments here, however, you are not “seeing” any more than anyone else. Indeed often you are seeing less.

    Soak up the atmosphere at the stadium, though. Apparently it makes meaningless, pointless and wasted seasons — in which Arsenal are nothing but also-rans — somewhat enjoyable.

  15. Louis Almeida

    Dream10, yes I agree, I prefer simple numbers! In Europe people go extreme with random numbers like #67 and #99 lol. Just keep it simple!

    I’m personally not a big fan of Lukaku. I think he is ok, more pace and mobility than Giroud but I can’t quite shake that I still think he’s a bit clumsy. Sounds a bit rich considering Giroud is our striker but paying £50m+ for him (although he’s young) doesn’t sit well with me. I would prefer Morata even though he has an inferior goal record. I must sound very weird lol. Higuain is going to cost a bomb but at least he knows where the goal is and you could get 3 good years out of him. Unfortunately Wenger didn’t buy him in 2013/14 so I don’t think he will now.

  16. Bamford10

    Wallace

    I hope so. Tell me, though: why did Wenger tell us (mid-season) that he had “four world class strikers” in Walcott, Welbeck, Giroud and Sanchez?

    Did he sincerely believe that? Or did he know that that was complete bullshit, just like everyone here knew that that was complete bullshit?

    Do tell.

  17. Bamford10

    STV

    I hear you, but I think the EPL is going to be more competitive next season than it has been in a very long time.

  18. Wallace

    “Police confirm reports of a controlled explosion at Old Trafford, and an uncontrolled implosion at St James’ Park…”

    – Guardian comments

  19. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    The point I made is that there was virtually no discussion about a game where until 78th minute of game we were playing poorly and one silly mistake could
    have cost us a draw and second place.

    The way we were playing in second half that could easily have happened even
    against a team as poor as AV.

  20. Ishola70

    Wallace:
    “nope, he’s said numerous times over the past 2mths that we haven’t scored enough goals this year. he’s definitely buying a striker.”

    Well if he does it will be a back-up striker to Giroud. After Welbeck’s prolonged injury the chances he does buy a striker have greatly increased. But this striker will most probably be a filler. Not automatic first choice. Not a top striker the fans want to see brought in. No way he shuts the door on Welbeck especially now he has the sympathy vote and he will not give up on Giroud either.

  21. steve

    Arteta being hauled as some kind of legend or hero is a mockery. He retired three years ago. He just wanted to pocket some more money. Rosicky even worse. Two scams along with Diaby and Walcott. Next one up Wilshere.

  22. STV

    Well, I hope we don’t make top 4 for a change (if we aren’t winning the league which I crave). But what’s more likely is Wenger will lead this team in to top4 under much difficult circumstances and probably rewarded with a contract and hailed as a hero during the process.

  23. Dream10

    Louis

    Agreed. Morata is a better collective player and has a decent record in Europe.
    Like you say, Higuain could do a job for 2/3 years. Could have signed him in 2013
    at 25 smh. AW’s policy of signing three first teamers is not because of money, but friendliness and cohesion. He does not want to phase out senior players and young players who don’t fulfill potential and buy better.

    Look at Bayern who have a top 4 squad in Europe. Sign Hummels and your beloved Renato Sanches because they are available and make the squad more competitive. They won’t rely on Badstuber and Gotze. Mertesacker and Wilshere/Chamberlain are our equivalents.

  24. STV

    “Arteta being hauled as some kind of legend or hero is a mockery. ”

    True. A player who wasn’t good enough when he was at his best. That was really a joke if not little perverse.

  25. Louis Almeida

    Dream10, yes I think Morata is the best option at this stage. I think Madrid will activate his buyback clause and then hopefully we take him from there. Yes I agree that Wenger won’t buy heavily. He doesn’t like to upset people which is wrong. He should do all he can to make the squad competitive rather than pander to his favourites. The cream will always rise to the top.

  26. Louis Almeida

    Theo on Twitter: “I am of course disappointed not to make the squad, but I have spoken with Roy and respect his decision.”

    P.S – Benfica are league champions!

  27. Dream10

    Jack Wilshere. Leader. talisman. main man. #7. Hope he can stay fit and shine.

    Andros Townsend aka the budget Arjen Robben ffs

  28. Louis Almeida

    “Andros Townsend aka the budget Arjen Robben ffs”

    Haha I think Townsend is only going because of Welbeck’s injury. Theo must be annoyed. His voodoo doll managed to injure Ox and Welbz and he still couldn’t make it lol

  29. Louis Almeida

    As per usual Portugal have a good defence and good midfield, no strikers though 🙁

    The team is too Ronaldo-centric to make an impact at the tournament though.

  30. steve

    Lol Wilshere in the squad. What has he done to earn a spot? Has hardly touched a ball all season. Pathetic.

  31. Wallace

    Louis

    “As per usual Portugal have a good defence and good midfield, no strikers though 🙁 ”

    with all the great young players you produce it is bizarre. was Eusebio the last decent one?

  32. Louis Almeida

    Wallace, Pauleta and Nuno Gomes were both quite prolific for Portugal but strikers have never been our strong point. Attacking midfielders and wingers, yes, but never strikers. And Ronaldo hates playing as a striker because he isn’t the most comfortable with his back to goal.

  33. Relieable Sauce

    We cant sell Walcott with his testemonial coming up, thats not at all classy.
    I think Theo has earned the right to choose himself when its time to leave. Also think he would be a fitting replacement for Arteta as new club captain.

  34. Jamie

    Reliable Sauce –

    Agreed. Walcott has played at the top top level for 10 years at Arsenal. He always honors his contract and he alone should decide when he leaves. He’s been subbed hundreds of times and I believe he’s earned the right to dictate the terms of his next contract or his exit from the club.

  35. STV

    Seeing it will be very hard for Walcott Wenger Wilshere Coquelin Welbeck Ramsey Chamberlain and Gibbs to find new opportunities in their respective positions, expect a lot of testimonials at Arsenal in coming years. Ah what a blessing!!

  36. 30

    Beyond me how anyone can group Coquelin with Ramsey, Chamberlain, Gibbs as a a player who should be sold.

  37. qna

    Gabriel Jesus going to Juventus for £20m. This is the type of signing we need to make before Juventus, because if he is any good (a la Dybala), his next step will be above us to Madrid or Barca.

    This guy was also very well publicized last summer as one of the top young players going around.

    The most important signings we could make would be a) a new manager followed by b) Juventus head scout

  38. Ughelligunner

    Totenham, 19w, 13d, 6l. 69-35. Gd +34 pts 70.

    Arsenal, 20w, 12d, 7l. 65-35. Gd +29

    but because totenham scored great goals mostly outside the box and were faster and had runners everywhere, did brilliantly well against the big side, they had a great season. Hmmm. Mind of the WOBs and the British.

    But arsenal struggled to win games, because nearly every team came to the emirate to park the bus, we were boring, predictable and dull. SMH. Athletico did this and are been lauded.

    I have noticed that, even if wenger plays boring football to win the league by 1-0s, we will not be satisfied, just because of the above result evidently put out.
    We can all rejoice when wenger finally leaves. Nothing he is going to do would make any difference.

  39. TheBayingMob

    No Walcott in the Euro’s, serves the fucking fraud right, he’s been found out … but he has selected Wilshere. Personally I’d have a meeting with Wilshere this afternoon and ask him if he intends to withdraw from the England squad to ensure he is fit for Arsenal’s 2016/17 league campaign; when he insinuates he intends to travel with England and take part in the Euro’s, I’d fucking sack the chav cunt for gross miscunduct … or … tell him if he gets injured, he’s getting sacked …

  40. Childish Gambino

    cheap alternative for next season

    ————————-Cech/ Rulli (free)——————–
    Bell/newRB—NewCB/Gab—–Kos/Per—Monreal/NewLB
    ————Coquelin/Elneny—–Xhaka/Wilshere———
    ————————-Ozil/Santi—————————-
    Sissoko/Iwobi/Redmond—————Alexis/Ayoze———–
    ———————-Morata/Giroud/welbeck——————-

    SELL: chesney(5M), gibbs (6M), debuchy (3M), chambers (10M), walcott (15M), ospina(5M)

  41. Jamie

    @30 –

    I’m with you, Coq should definitely be kept. He doesn’t need to start every game, but he’s very useful at breaking up play in tough away fixtures. We cannot and should not always play with attacking flair against every opponent.

    He’s a good squad player to have around for sure. Twice as effective as Flameta in the same role, imo.

    Can’t see much improvement from either Gibbs or Walcott and would be happy to see them go.

    I don’t know why – call it naivety – but I have a soft spot for Ox. He’s been dogshit since we signed him, but I can’t help but think there’s an intelligent kid in there. Surely he could be coached into making good decisions on the pitch. When Wenger finally does slither out of the club on his belly, I’m put some money on Ox improving under better tutelage.

    Welbeck doesn’t offer more than Campbell, and Chambers has barely featured in the 2 years we’ve had him. It’s no wonder he’s dross too. He should’ve been on loan this season to a Championship club. Send him to Newcastle or Norwich next season.

    We’ll need:

    A RB to replace Debuchy.
    Another CB to replace the ageing Mert (or Chambers given a run)
    A CM/CDM to replace Flameta (Xhaka?)

    We’re also desperate for:

    A better LB than Gibbs in case Monreal suffers an injury
    A better RW than Ox/Feo/Campbell/Ramshere
    A better ST than Giroud

    Aside from the RB and CM, I can’t see any more additions in case it “destabilizes the team’s balance of cohesive cohesion.”

    Only a transfer request from Alexis and or Ozil will force him into a ‘marquee’ signing. Xhaka on his own won’t do much to improve our league position next season.

    We’re short on goals, so we really should be in the market for a starting ST too. I can just see Wenger parading Akpom/Sanogo around the preseason friendlies as if they’re ‘like new signings’.

  42. Ughelligunner

    No wonder Usmanov has been quiet, he has now seen the financial part of the game. Lol

    Fans should fight for the season tickets to be reduced rather than focusing on Wenger been sacked, because they would get more result than the later.

  43. S Asoa

    Bamford10

    With 5-6 th position in the league next year you are generous and patriotic.
    Wenger has said if we do not get 1St , should be happy with 10 or 12 . Sixth will be the new Trofie next year way ahead of 12th . REJOICE

    AND KICK THE FRAUD OUT.
    fuck the One duck song AKB morons

    It is giving Cons the wrong idea. Imagine the cost of the funeral !

  44. Mr J

    Ughelligunner
    May 16, 2016 11:49:03

    Your posts have long since become farcial… but the one referenced above, was nothing short or embarrassing!!

    You really ought to sit down and have a quiet word with yourself