Mesut Ozil: Did he just do a deal with mediocrity?

by & filed under News Review.

via @t0wey (instagram)

via @t0wey (instagram)

Keep finding myself kicking back to George Michael. Total accident really. I didn’t care for him before, but jeez, when he wasn’t dogging on the common, he was making some smooth tunes. RIP George, if only you were alive to know you’ve been the theme tune to 3 posts in a row.

So, Mesut has spoken. It’s good news. I mean, depends how you look at it really. This is what he had to say.

“The club knows that I am here most of all because of Arsène Wenger. He is the one who signed me and he is the one whose trust I have. The club also knows that I want to be clear what the manager is going to [in the future].”

There are many layers here I’d like to explore. Firstly, when he says he’s here most of all because of Arsene, and he wants to know what he’s doing in the future, what specifically does that mean and why did he say it?

Firstly, if you want to play half glass cheerful, you could say that he’s saying he wants to stay at Arsenal and just as a sidenote he, like us, would like to know where Wenger is going to be.

If you’ve been following Arsenal’s PR dark arts over the past 10 years, you’d have seen this carry on before.

My view is there are many layers to this.

#1 Ozil doesn’t exactly have clubs queuing up to sign him. So he has very little leverage over the club. He was kicked out of Madrid in pretty brutal fashion, Carlo preferring to keep Di Maria because of character differences. Madrid moved him on last minute to a queue of one and that was that. We’re 3 years on, he’s a contract rebel and there have been literally zero clubs linked with his services. Coming out and saying you only moved to Arsenal because of Wenger and you’re aligned to the manager is a good way to make sure you earn the maximum out of the deal.

When you have no leverage, you can make it up (hey Chambo), or you can come out and say you only moved to Arsenal because of Wenger because he’s like the father you have, only better because your shitty father doesn’t dish out £200k per week contracts.

#2 Arsenal know that Wenger doesn’t hold the same gravitas with Arsenal fans these days. Sure, he’ll always be the legend that changed the club beyond recognition. No one can ever take that from him. But this is a bit like watching Bobby Fischer make his chess returning after 32 years hibernation. Or seeing Mark Overmars with a beer gut. Or watching Hulk Hogan make his 96th comeback. It just ain’t what it was. However, like all supreme leaders, the fall is never graceful, and never prompted because Wenger made the whole board wildly rich and comfortable… and the fans know this, so the club have to work out ways of selling hope and credibility. They do this with warchests, infrastructure changes and top players saying they owe their very existence to ‘the boss.’ Mesut saying Wenger is the reason he’ll likely stay is pure PR guff… unless

Mesut saying Wenger is the reason he’ll likely stay feels embarrassingly naive, or more likely, super cynical.

#3 Ozil is in the comfort zone. The only way any player can be truly tied to a club because of one manager is if that manager made their career (we know that ain’t true), or there’s some boyhood asscociation (like, you know, Ashley Cole or someone). Again, we know this isn’t there. So if it’s not that, why else would you stay at a club? Well, either no one else wants you, MASSIVE MONEY (possible) or the hope at this sort of level, because you have the chance to win major trophies.

If Mesut Ozil tells you he thinks he can win the CL or PL with Wenger, he’s telling you a big fat lie. He’s played under the best. He has elite freinds at elite clubs. I heard that Lukas Podolski would joke with his pals at Bayern that they’d do 3 hours of prep before a game and we’d do 6 minutes and send a link on an iPad. If you think Ozil really doesn’t understand the flaws in our setup, you’re dreaming.

So in short, my concern here is that we’re just signing up a mega-earner who’s in it for coin and comfort. Which is fine, I understand you want major players at your club, but you also want players with ambition. Dare I say it, there’s a difference between a Robin Van Persie and a Mesut Ozil. One pushed Arsenal to find out the plans for winning the major honours and was promptly told to f*ck off, the other just said he’s only here for Wenger.

That’s the problem with the club. We foster a culture of ok.We move on anyone who challenges that, Ashley Cole, Robin Van Persie, Theirry Henry and Cesc to name but a few. All proved right in the end, regardless of how bitter you feel about those names.\

Even as fans we lap up Ozil to the point where if anyone questions him, we literally say things like, ‘oh man, you don’t get it, you fucking total football infidel.’

So my issue here isn’t that Ozil might sign on. He’s a very good player. My issue is that what he’s done in that press conference, if I’m reading it right, is a deal with mediocrity.

The $$$ look tied to a PR push for another Wenger deal. That makes me very sad.

We’ll see though. It is sad that as a fan, I’m leaning on players to do what Ivan Gazidis and Stan Kroenke should be doing. That said, what will Sanchez do? He’s a far more ambitious player who has put his ambtions on the club, and I’m hoping they go beyond just money. Only a few months ago he said he wanted to be the best player in the world. What does that mean about his next contract? Chelsea, City, Bayern and PSG are all interested. Sure he’s a bit of a primadonna at the moment, but fuck it, I love him and I love what his game stands for.

Anyway, be interested to hear what you have to say in the comments section!

P.S. This is a very smart read on how Wenger wastes Xhaka and is pretty poor at tactics, choosing not to build systems around players skillsets. Also makes an interesting point about Ozil and how we use him.

+ One more. If you’re excited we’re dabbling with a regista in Xhaka, read how the game is already looking to move on with this article here.

258 Responses to “Mesut Ozil: Did he just do a deal with mediocrity?”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    QNA

    Agreed, been banging that drum for a while now.

    But in your line up, Xhaka has to be central and deep, Ramsey and Coq would have to provide the legs in the middle and sit just beyond him, Ramsey being slightly more adventurous than Coq but still diligent in closing ranks in defence.

    A worker like Welbeck might actually work well in that sort of set up, potentially that front line could provide some potent counters. But really, it would all depend on whether Ozil can actually be effective there.

  2. qna

    Another formation that is possible is 3-4-3

    Cech
    Gabriel-Kos-Mustafi
    Bellerin-Coquelin-Xhaka-Monreal
    Welbeck-Sanchez-Ozil

    But cant even imagine us pulling this off under Wenger though. Would need new players.

  3. WengerEagle

    Definitely wouldn’t have Bellerin or Monreal as wing backs.

    Neither are good going forward, Monreal doesn’t have the recovery pace to get up and down the line all day either.

  4. Mustafi Magic

    CA

    ‘I wonder how Welbeck would do in a Moses style role for us?’

    No no and no.

    Outrageous for even thinking that.

  5. gonsterous

    If we are still talking about past players ( cesc era) I’d like to put hleb up there. Guy didn’t deliver Many goals, but he was a great talent. Used to love watching him play. He kinda had the footwork of caz !!

  6. Mr church

    Arsene on contract talks between the club and the players:
    “I think no matter what happens we’ll try to keep them and we’ll go as high as we can and if we cannot go further, we cannot go further. That’s basically it. That’s the way you have to manage a football club.
    Paul merson;
    “This should have been signed three weeks ago.There should have been no negotiations, they should have said: ‘How much do you need?’ and they should have just given it to him. Put it to bed.

  7. WengerEagle

    Shame that Hleb was so useless in front of goal, as far as dribbling ability, footwork and ball control went not to mention his guile playing through the middle in particular he was world class in all aspects.

    For all his flaws in his end product, he was damn fun to watch.

  8. vicky

    Xhaka fails – blame our system

    Ozil disappears – blame our system

    Ramsey stinks – blame our system

    Very similar to Wenger blaming referees every time we lose a game.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Vicky

    No one is really blaming the system, because there is not one, that is the whole problem.

    What everyone is saying is you cannot just keep adding players without any sort of idea as to what system you want, you then craft a system maximising the positives of your players and trying to minimise their weaknesses. At this point though, it sort of feels like both Ozil and Xhaka are players you build certain systems around, different systems.

  10. vicky

    CA

    I personally feel Xhaka is really not all that. Le Grove over-hyped him a lot and now can’t digest the fact he is basically an average player. Hence, all the effort to divert the focus on our system or the lack of it. I can’t remember anybody saying in the summer that Xhaka is a good player but isn’t suitable for us. In fact, many said he was exactly the kind of player we need. So, it’s revisionism at best. A lot has been already said about Ozil and Ramsey, so there’s nothing to add there.

  11. WengerEagle

    It wasn’t hype Vicky, the guy was a top performer in the Bundesliga for years, he was extremely highly regarded over in Germany and Gladbach are seriously struggling without him this season, their midfield like Leicester’s has a huge hole in it now.

    He absolutely has not performed for us as of yet though, on this there is no argument from me.

  12. WengerEagle

    Vicky

    I’m good bud, how about you? Yeah love to shoot the shit on here but free time has been non-existent for a while now, working and in college full time so can’t get on here as much as I’d like.

    Your take on the season so far?

  13. Cesc Appeal

    Vicky

    I cannot speak for everyone who praised Xhaka when we signed him, but I know there were many of us on here who saw that as a positive step but wanted more, I pressed for one of Ramsey or Wilshere to go and Kante to be brought in, I think it was WengerEagle who brought that Xhaka suffers a lot from mobility issues and so would likely need a partner who is a good CDM, with good legs, and is a good carrier of the ball.

    I kept banging on, and still do, about copying a peak PSG style middle, with Xhaka essentially being our Motta, Kante would have been our Matuidi and we would just be missing a Verratti type, which is Wilshere if you listen to some people.

    This is why we keep failing, there is no pattern or reasoning to our signings.

    I do agree with you, however, Xhaka has been very underwhelming and his stupid mistakes are his own doing, he approaches the game with the right attitude, but he has been a disappointment so far.

    That said, do you not think it is an issue for a player who is a deep playmaker with a real lack of mobility to come into a team and the manager to then tell you he thinks you are a box to box, by definition, reliant on mobility?

    If Wenger just wanted a simplistic take one player out of the starting eleven and put another in in the CDM/CM mould then we should have spent that money on Kante, quite simply.

    I think it was John Cross who said Wenger choosing Xhaka over Kante was another incidence of Wenger being too clever for his own good, I sort of don’t agree, I think both are great players, but very different, I think together in a middle with another energetic CM type they would be tremendous, but Wenger picked Xhaka and it is quite clear he had no ideas toward any system evolution which a lot of people thought the Xhaka signing marked.

  14. vicky

    WE

    I don’t claim to have watched him much in Germany, may be 6-7 times at most. Didn’t think much of his performance in Euros and let’s be fair he has been disappointing for us so far. Reminds me of Arteta in so many ways.

  15. Thank you and goodnight

    Stan Collymore may be a bell end but he’s not wrong about wenger or Ozil. Please for love of God don’t give wenger 2 more years

  16. WengerEagle

    Vicky

    Yes, he has been. Said it earlier, he’s been shit for us.

    6 months is too early to write off a player though, everyone thought that Firmino was rubbish after his first 6 months at Liverpool, now he’s arguably their highest rated player after Coutinho.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    Completely with you on that one, I would be game for a total reboot if we sold Ozil. Not sure what we would get for him with one year to go on his deal and him not exactly lighting the football world up, but the market is crazy, £50 Million, do you think, maybe?

    I’m not even sure on that, someone would have to be desperate to have him now.

  18. pedro

    Xhaka avg. are you sure? Guy is 23 and one of the most impressive deep lying mids in Europe. Read the articles at the base of the post. He’s being judged against the wrong metrics

  19. WengerEagle

    CA

    Well, he is 28 which isn’t the best age to be selling a player.

    People will point to Higuain being sold for huge money but the market isn’t as starved of talent in the CAM department as CF’s.

    But yes, I think that we could easily still fetch 40-50 million for him, he still has a stellar reputation in the game.

  20. pedro

    Also worth downloading he 442 app. Look at the numbers he drops each game. How he moves the ball forward. Might not be killing it yet, but as CA pointed out, Wenger didn’t know what his position was when he signed him

  21. vicky

    WE

    This season hasn’t been any different from any of the last 5-6 seasons, has it ? We just don’t have enough quality to win the league. Any team with Theo and Ox (although I like his style but he’s been shit for ages) as regular wingers can’t win the league. I think we needed at least one quality winger in the summer. I know you have also been talking about Cazorla’s inability to perform well against sides like Everton and Spurs due to his physical limitations but I am sure you agree that he is the heartbeat of the team in general. The moment he got injured, I remember saying we will lose our momentum and unfortunately that’s been the case. And of course, we have discussed Wenger’s limitations ad nauseum. Can’t wait to see a new manager now. The utter predictability of our season bothers me more these days than the eventuality of not winning the league.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    We should make our money back, at least though, I’m just struggling to see which massive side would take him as an integral part of their set up, I’m looking around Europe I just cannot see where he fits, particularly as he is not a guy for the big occasions, so you are dropping £50 Million for a player who will look great against the poorer sides in your league but means you are playing with ten in the tough, tough games, mostly.

    But, if that did happen, we could embark on a course of real structural change, look at a couple of players out of the likes of Rabiot, Tolisso, Keita, Paredes etc to build a stronger middle with Xhaka, then look for a wide playmaker so that Ozil’s creative slack is picked up.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    I actually think we would have looked far better if, for example, Ozil had walked in the summer and with the funds we had bought in Kante and Mkhitaryan, leading to a middle ‘V’ of Xhaka deep and Kante and Caz beyond, Mkhitaryan wide, Sanchez up top and then Iwobi/Walcott/Welbeck wide.

    Far more solid and I actually think a better creating unit.

  24. WengerEagle

    Pedro

    True but he was arguably the best midfielder of his generation, he could have been 30+ and he still would have been flooded with offers.

    Also don’t know this for sure but guessing that Ozil has more miles on the clock than Zizou had by age 28/29?

  25. The Godfather

    Just curious: who is a realistic replacement for Wenger and what position do you think that person would finish in?

    I mean we have seen so many Legrove favorites like Laudrup, Martinez and even Bilic crash and burn, so I’m curious

  26. Cesc Appeal

    The standout replacement for Wenger is Simeone, just for the total culture change he would bring, the type of players we would sign, the system that would be in place, the mentality of the team etc.

    I would literally throw whatever money we had to at him, whatever it took to get him.

    Realistically though, that is a tougher question, realistic for Arsenal would be Wenger as DoF (or basically CEO, CFO, Owner and DoF all in one) and Howe as manager.

  27. vicky

    CA

    With you on Kante. I still can’t believe Wenger didn’t show any interest in him in the summer, cheaper than Xhaka and used to the pace and style of the league. As much as people give credit to Conte for Chelsea’s transformation and rightly so, it wouldn’t be wrong to say having someone like Kante in the team made a hell lot of difference.

  28. ArseneisaFraud

    One player I would have wished to have seen more of is Tomas Rosicky!!! Aah!! I loved the way he played!!! A great player, a shame we didn’t see more of him!!! Do you imagine him at a younger age and trained with a better manager than Arsene?

  29. WengerEagle

    Vicky

    Yeah, good summation of how it’s panning out once again and yes, it’s following the same pattern as those of yesteryear.

    We’re better bulked up in terms of squad options, having the likes of Perez and Mustafi has added some depth and quality but not a tonne, only Mustafi so far has looked very good IMO and even he has been struggling of late. I do like Perez’s simplicity and nose for goal though his all-round game leaves a lot to be desired.

    I stand by what I said about Cazorla but you’re right, he would for sure have added some much needed quality to our CM which we’ve needed these last few weeks dropping points left right and centre.

    Nothing will change until we are rid of the dinosaur in the dugout and we all know it.

  30. Cesc Appeal

    Vicky

    Absolutely.

    He went slightly unnoticed with Vardy and Mahrez getting all the plaudits, who is talking about them now? Whereas Kante is being lauded by everyone.

    If he goes from title winning Leicester side, to being the backbone in a Chelsea side that wins the league, he surely has to cement himself as one of the, if not the best CDM currently plying his trade.

    £30 Million in this market is an absolute bargain as well, steal of the summer along with Mkhitaryan.

    As I say, I would have had both and played Caz in there as well in a 4-3-3 type formation.

  31. Cesc Appeal

    Sampaoli would please Sanchez for sure!

    Being linked to the Barcelona job, or so I read, knives are out for Enrique it seems, such is life at the top.

  32. WengerEagle

    Sampaoli, Jardim [Monaco], Nagelsmann [Hoffenheim], Dardai [Hertha Berlin], Allegri, Tuchel, Simeone of course, Valverde [Athletic Bilbao], Marcelino [ex-Villarreal manager and the man that built them back into a force after taking them up from the Segunda division].

    In the BPL, I’d still take Koeman.

  33. Cesc Appeal

    Nagelsmann is one I’m really interested in, still undefeated with Hoffenheim, I think, a heck of a lot of draws but jeez, pretty good job considering it is Hoffenheim.

    Only 29 as well, and has a part tactical part psychological approach to management which is really interesting.

  34. vicky

    If Wenger was really leaving , a man-hunt for the new manager would have been on. Do we really believe the board will leave it until April to start looking for our new boss ?

  35. WengerEagle

    CA

    I’m with you, it’s hard to see who he joins in La Liga other than Sevilla and even with their ambtion, they don’t have that kind of money to fork out. Remember that the likes of Nasri are on loan.

    It’s impossible to see Simeone fancying him and I’d be amazed if he could adapt to their style of play where you are not allowed to coast in the final third for much of the match.

    He was sold from RM, he’s not good enough to get into the Barcelona team [neither are Andre Gomes or Denis Suarez though tbf], well at least he shouldn’t be. They’ll look to rectify their midfield this summer as it is costing them the league.

    Over to Italy and only Juventus have that kind of dollar, they have Pjanic and Pjaca so they are covered not to mention Dybala who operates in the space Ozil likes to.

    France you have PSG, it’s a possibility.

    And Germany, maybe BVB. Although he is a Schalke boy so will he want to go there?

    I don’t think that he improves Bayern Munich, Ancelotti is also the one that sold him.

    ‘But, if that did happen, we could embark on a course of real structural change, look at a couple of players out of the likes of Rabiot, Tolisso, Keita, Paredes etc to build a stronger middle with Xhaka, then look for a wide playmaker so that Ozil’s creative slack is picked up.’

    Nice list, Keita is having a great season, looks a great prospect. Also know that ROP loves Paredes to death.

  36. ArseneisaFraud

    For me the biggest dilemma of all is that AW improves no one these days (cf. Ox, Rambo,Theo and if it continues Iwobi). What could Ozil have been under a different manager (one that actually sets actual in-game tactics for one)?

  37. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    PSG is the most likely surely, though they have just signed Draxler and still have Pastore as well. So even then I don’t know, but big money for minimal effort I suppose.

    Yeah Keita has rocketed into prominence this season. I’ve seen a bit of RP’s man-gushing over Paredes, but that is the sort of thing I would look to do, Xhaka deep, and then Rabiot and Tolisso (my preferences) with him in that middle.

    Then the search would be for a wide playmaker, what a miss Mkhitaryan was in that regard, would have been a great fit, good engine as well.

  38. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Couldn’t get the ball off Hleb if you were both trapped in a phone box’

    Easy, pick up the phone and bash the f****r over the head.

  39. WengerEagle

    CA

    There’s got to be a very good chance that we can snare one of the the three of Isco, James or Kovacic off of Real Madrid.

    Casemiro-Modric-Kroos is their first choice CM and they are all too good to be bench players, Isco/James are getting some game time now but that will change when Bale returns.

    All three are excellent and they are all fairly young. [James 25, Isco 24, Kovacic 22].

  40. WengerEagle

    ‘‘Couldn’t get the ball off Hleb if you were both trapped in a phone box’’

    Tell him that he has to play for Birmingham for another season and you watch him give up that ball.

  41. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    Yeah Kovacic is a good shout for the central midfield, what would you be looking at with James and Isco, in the centre or wide?

  42. WengerEagle

    Cesc

    James is brilliant, guy oozes class. Anywhere from LW to SS he’d do a job for you.

    Isco would drastically improve out build up play and our ability to break down defences.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    Yeah, I’ve been trying to get a look at Julian Brandt as well.

    Sad reality though, we can sit here and daydream and talk about what may be, but nothing is changing, it has been about four years now of this totally loose system of play just with some names changed.

  44. salparadisenyc

    Carts
    “Couldn’t get the ball off Hleb if you were both trapped in a phone box”

    THIS some forget I guess, that Barca move never ever worked out… say the same for so many.

    He was quality in that mid alongside Fabregas and Flamini before time caught up with him. Wenger’s 08 side was his best of the past 10 years imo. Defensively pretty weak though with Almunia spearheading the weakness.

  45. WengerEagle

    Agree on Arshavin, he was very poorly handled in his last couple years here which is outrageous given the limitless patience that Wenger exercised with tripe like Denilson, Bendtner, Senderos, Djourou, etc when Arshavin was incredibly gifted.

    Think that Reyes was just mentally fragile though, he didn’t exactly go on to be roaring success after leaving Arsenal, some players just don’t have what it takes upstairs to cut it at the top level.

  46. WengerEagle

    Brandt is very good, extremely raw still mind.

    Yeah mate, at the end of the day we could buy virtually anybody outside of the elite and we’d still likely come up short.

    Scary thing is, Wenger could easily go on for another 3, 4, 5 years, why not?

  47. Cesc Appeal

    WE

    Exactly.

    The nightmare scenario is Wenger signs a two year extension, then Howe comes in after that and Wenger moves up to board level and we lose the pretence about him running the club and he just starts explicitly doing it.

    That means Wengerisation of Arsenal for the next decade basically, at least, and we’ve seen how old some of our executives are, could literally mean another two decades of Wenger holding the reins at this club.

  48. David Smith

    Wenger Eagle, Reyes was from an incredibly simple background, and basically, extremely homesick in London …….and refs allowing players to kick the shit out of him week in week out didn’t help. Think the Riley Old Trafford debacle finished him. That’s not a lack of mental strength, but a lack of respect for the laws of the game from officials, Reyes would not really have been used to that to any degree. I am sure Thierry didn’t help the situation either
    He was extremely gifted, but shy in equal measure…..the scouts should have looked a bit deeper., what was said back then was the fault of the Spain manager, not Reyes, Wenger should have called Thierry in over his treatment of Reyes.but as we know with Wenger…no confrontation is the rule, especially with star players or favourites
    That said, he certainly had his moments,and is part of our history.

  49. David Smith

    Howe would be a disaster at Arsenal, whatever decent players he had left would leave him high and dry, I would imagine most of them love Wenger , and they will have their reasons.
    Only a very clever, experienced manager, or someone the players really respect will get any tunes out of them after so many comfortable years

  50. salparadisenyc

    My first choice post Wenger would Simeone.

    Just need someone a bit rigid in to weed all loose ends out and he obviously knows how to win. Think Howe gets walked over along with many others.

    Many despise Koeman including Pedro, I don’t agree though.
    Think he’d have this current side in better shape than we are, certainly not my first choice but he’d do the job well.

  51. Black Hei

    Again I have to stress that this whole Ozil-Wenger is out of proportion.

    Ozil clearly wants to enjoy his football; he is not saying that Wenger must stay, but rather he needs the trust of the next guy in charge, whoever that might be.

    I thought it is clearly straight forward to understand. Sanchez also remarked that he is enjoying his football here (when we play him central of course).

    End of the day, big players do not want to end up side-lined by the next managerial change. That is the top concern followed by trophies. Ain’t no matter the number of medals clubs win when you are not participating meaningfully.

  52. Black Hei

    As for the “names” that Pedro listed, it is just wonky.

    Henry – Nobody begrudges him for leaving. Nobody.

    Ashly Cole – Left because he wanted more $$. In case you forget the almost crash his car thingy. It was all about the $$.

    RVP – We paid for his medical insurance and he upped after 1 season of wonder. I am sure he is happily polishing his shiny medal alone in a barn in the woods. Meanwhile Arsenal fans hate him and United fans are ambivalent.

    Cesc – I appreciate the guy. He gave years of good service and deserved his chance at Barca. One of those guys where Wenger actually intervened so that he could go. Though he became a hate figure at Barcelona. Maybe that’s why his hair came off.

  53. The Godfather

    Some of you are so funny. Pep with all the money and pedigree in the world is still struggling at City, yet you clowns for Simeone think he is gonna walk into the EPL and do what exactly?

    What’s he really gonna do? First of all he doesn’t want to come to England but has made no secret of his desire to go back to Italy, so burn that bridge !!

    Also it’s clear most of you have never watched Athletico Madrid play. They are a glorified West Brom under Pulis, only with more skilled players.

    Give me a break … enough with the pipe dreams. Arsene may no longer be the answer but some of these choices are laughable .

    Funny how last season was the master tactician Slaven Bilic lol

  54. qna

    freddylekgunner: qna, that’s the worst possible 3-4-3 starting 11 for us.

    As I noted in my post, we dont have the players to play in this formation. For those criticizing my choice of Bellerin and Monreal as wing backs. I agree. But I just dont see who would be better. I would take Bellerin over Oxlaide on the right. I dont see anyone on the left, other than Gibbs. I just dont rate Gibbs at all.

    Bottom line is that we dont have the cattle for any 3 at the back formations.

  55. Pedro

    Simeone, trophies wherever he goes, 2 CL finals, great at developing players, won a La Liga…

    Yeah. Laughable. Nice one Godfather. Thanks for putting us all right.

  56. peanuts&monkeys

    “PedroJanuary 10, 2017 05:24:33
    Simeone, trophies wh…..”

    Pedro, how can you still be hankering for Wenger staying on for a few more years. How does Wenger staying back help you keep your blog business grow? Or, do you like Ozil, dont want this to grow and keep pace with other blogs…may be you just want to be so-so for three more years. We can accept Ozil being the falg bearer for Wenger to stay on, but how exactly, does that help you. we are kinda clueless. Will you please help us understand?

  57. peanuts&monkeys

    Ozil OUT!! Wenger OUT!!

    Its true, Arsenal can find three more alternatives to Ozil. Even Cesc can do 85% of what Ozil does. But you cannot just replace Sanchez. Arsenal should do anything to keep Sanchez at Arsenal till he retires.

    Sanchez for life!!

  58. Black Hei

    peanuts@monkeys

    Sanchez for US Presidency I say.

    If he can make me agree with you, think of what he can actually do for America. But first there is Europe in 2017…..

  59. Vince

    Fuck Ozil. It’s a nobrainer selling Ozil and buying Payet for half the price and smaller wages. The team will be better for it. Our wage bill will be better for it. With the change we can even buy someone that does Coquelin’s work better than him – a Kondogbia for example. And fuck Xhaka too. No player is more important than the club. The rule of the game is adapt or die. And if a prodigious talented Cazorla whom has always played higher up the pitch can adapt to playing deep then a pants like Xhaka has no excuse. If we pull of the two deals above then we can spend the bulk of our summer earnings on a Central defender and a winger. I’ll go Van Dyk and Carrasco.

    First team will look like this:
    Cech
    Bellerin Kos Van Dyk Monreal
    Kondogbia Cazorla
    Payet
    Carasco Sanchez Lucas

    Second Team not so bad either:
    Martinez
    AMN Mustafi Holding Gibbs
    Xhaka Coquelin
    Iwobi
    Walcott Welbeck Chamberlain.

  60. Sid

    Simeone will go to Inter. But if Arsenal really push it up and offer him around 10m, he would definitely give it a thought. But my biggest worry is wenger moving upstairs. If Arsenal want to challenge for title, wenger should be completely cut off from the club. I read somewhere that Max Allegri is eyeing the Arsenal job. He will be a very good choice for sure.

  61. Sid

    Vince

    Cazorla is a great player but he will not last for more than half season because of his injury problems. Plus, he is not getting any younger. We need to keep him, but we cannot depend upon him.

  62. gonsterous

    Everyone going on here like ozil was a planned buy. He fell into the lap of Wenger and he took it. If we sell ozil, Wenger will look for a cheaper option ( like he always does ).. and we will be asking the same question for 2 years. Where is ozil’s replacement ??

  63. qna

    gonsterous: Everyone going on here like ozil was a planned buy. He fell into the lap of Wenger and he took it. If we sell ozil, Wenger will look for a cheaper option ( like he always does ).. and we will be asking the same question for 2 years. Where is ozil’s replacement ??

    Ozil came to us. But Wenger was key. Ozil has said several times that before he went to Madrid he talked to Wenger and he even says that he told Wenger that if he ever leaves Madrid he will come to play for Arsenal. So when Ozils time was up Madrid and Ozil mutually agreed to part ways and Wenger would have got the call with the first option. Having just been smashed by Aston Villa 3-1 (as I recall) and having been booed almost unprecedented by the loyal AKB majority faithful, the club broke their policy and took the opportunity that fell in their lap.

    There was no skill involved or shown in securing that transfer, other than Ozil was flattered by (a much better) Arsenal’s interest in him. Similarly, when Sanchez left Arsenal he was being pushed out the door. His agent made a similar call to the one Ozil’s made just the window before and the next thing you know Arsenal have seemingly pulled off 2 elite transfer coups in 6 months.

    But I give the club little credit for these because they were not secured under competition of bigger rivals (or even equals) and they were situations where the player approached the club. Outside of these two players, the clubs transfer record for the past decade is absolutely dreadful.

  64. qna

    VInce: Fuck Ozil. It’s a nobrainer selling Ozil and buying Payet for half the price and smaller wages.

    Careful what you wish for. If we sell Ozil and/or Sanchez the replacement player will be more akin to what we have done in the past:

    Sell Fabregas – Buy Arteta
    Sell Adebayor – Replace internally
    Sell Henry – Replace internally
    Sell Nasri – Replace internally

    If you want us to start selling players, why dont you start with the guys who cant (and shouldnt) even make the first 11. Ramsey, Oxlaide, Walcott, Wilshere.

    Ozil may not be the fighter that you want, but he is still a better option than any of these.

  65. Black Hei

    Poor Walcott. I thought he is having a very productive season so far.

    I will prefer to get someone to compete with Xhaka for the deep lying position.

    Send Ramsey on loan next season if he is unable to take the CM position from Coquelin and bring Wilshire back.

    I would also sell Ox and bring a wide creative player.

    We might also have to phase out Monreal and bring in another LB. A natural backup for RB is also needed if we can’t find an internal solution.

  66. Black Hei

    Vince

    You might not realize, but Xhaka’s long balls travel much faster than Carzola’s.

    And neither Kante nor Kondogbia has Xhaka’s vision when passing from deep.

    They all just have different skill sets.

  67. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    This rumour that we bid big for a Torino player says he ain’t going is he…..

    Cesc

    Mitharken turned us down tho didn’t he ?

    I would rather we went for draxler but that won’t happen now….

    Best thing club can do is announce he is off then all positive talk can start

  68. Ishola70

    R.S.P.C.Arsenal:
    “Decent bit of journalism”

    The top video in that link where Wenger talks about the contracts of both players could be seen as telling.

    He does refer to both of them in the interview as “they” but he only talks about Ozil individually. In his prime and such. Why is that? If he is asked about both players but only responds individually to just the one player how would Sanchez feel about that?

    Looks to me as though Wenger has Ozil onside but not Sanchez.

  69. gonsterous

    Hell we haven’t even replaced van persie properly. Either Sanchez is the replacement of van persie or arshavin. He can’t be both. Lucas Perez looks like the replacement of podolski and poldi was supposed to replace van persie so we seem to have gone backward with our transfers !!

  70. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Black hei

    Seems he is problem of modern footballer
    Plays well earning less gets new contract big money falls into complacent zone ….

    Seems like he is the perfect Arsenal player now.

  71. Ishola70

    Yeah I think Sanchez is on his bike RSPC.

    Whether it will be PSG or not it’s not looking good at all in keeping him.

  72. Sid

    Mitharken turned us down tho didn’t he ? //

    Nope he didnt. He was an Arsenal fan, he even spoke about his love for arsenal on record. Wenger never made a bid for him.

  73. Wallace

    Sid

    “Nope he didnt. He was an Arsenal fan, he even spoke about his love for arsenal on record. Wenger never made a bid for him.”

    you sure? I thought we were in for him but then Utd offered crazy wages, an 8m signing on bonus, and gave his agent 10m as a sweetener.

  74. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    United linked with the defender kosta for 60m

    This is the fella wenger bulked at for 10m a few years back .. c

    The of dodged a bullet he would be on loan at rangers now had he signed .

  75. Frank Mc

    What would be very sweet is a picture of Wenger packing his belongings up and leaving Arsenal…. thanks for all the good times but your time is up.

  76. Vince

    Qna. So you’re comparing Replacing Ozil with Payet to replacing Fabregas with Arteta or Henry from within? Really? did you watch Payet with the French National team? Did you see the amount of guts and resilience and skill he possess? I bet you’re belittling him because he plays for a hopeless West Ham. FYI he’ll look 10x better playing for us. Nzonzi is being chased by the epl top teams now but did you see how lightweight he looked playing for Stoke? Payet just oozes class. And any player that wants to stick with Wenger really don’t have business in a top club aiming for trophies or competitiveness.