Changes that could help Arsenal beat stagnation

by & filed under News Review.

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

“Oh man, you’re so damn angry all the time’

‘Why can’t you see the other perspective?’

*Clicks F365*

While March, April and May brought promises of war chests and lists of transfer targets produced by club-friendly journalists who were prepared to follow the Linguaphone mantra of listen, repeat and learn without questioning, June has brought the type of news vacuum that Arsenal specialise in just when supporters are so keen for progress. The key to comedy and tragedy is in the timing and practice, and Arsenal have strong suits in both.

Arsenal fans will remember a summer like this, when the potential departures of key players not only threatened to dent the quality of the first-team squad but also stopped the club from doing business. Six years ago, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas played the roles of Ozil and Sanchez. After months spent trying to persuade the pair that the grass away from the Emirates may not be greener, one left for Barcelona on August 15 and the other joined Manchester City on August 24. The similarities between Nasri and Sanchez – contract situation, pushing for move, potential destination, Arsene Wenger determined not to sell to a domestic rival – are striking.

 

God bless you Daniel Storey, god bless you.

Things with Arsenal and summer, is most fans don’t realise how many consecutive years they’ve been waiting for the tide to change. I’ve been writing this for 10 years. I am bored of the consistent ebb and flow of Arsenal content. You could literally be reading 2013 Le Grove, modernise a few of the names, and it’d be the same narrative.

It’s laughable how predictable we are. The only thing we haven’t had to deal with over the last few years is players leaving. That’s now back on the agenda because the promise that a monied Wenger would be lethal shockingly didn’t come to pass.

This summer, our two best players are either holding us hostage, or they’re looking to move. We should have made a decision on what to do about this months ago. This is where having a DoF on the job would help. You’d have someone who could have been scenario planning the shit out of this, looking for clubs to move the players onto, and looking into proper replacements should the worst happen.

I’m still not quite buying into the signings we’re looking to bring in. Thomas Lemar, sure, looks like a great player in the making. Lacazette isn’t doing it for me, I’m just struggling to see him as anything more than a pacier Giroud. Remember, there’s a reason the French national team prefer Olivier, and consistently have done for years. We should be going hard for Auba. He’s fast, he’s 6ft 1, he’s been playing stylish football for years and he can speak French. Also, how much more cash is he going to be than Lacazette? He’s playing in a better league, at a better level, and he’s been incredibly consistent. A monster of a player.

Who are we looking at as a keeper to compete with Petr Cech? In fact, why aren’t we upgrading our keeper? Find one who can play out from the back.

Who are we bringing in to replace Santi Cazorla? A player who has cost us BIG over the last 2 seasons.

Who is bringing accountability to the players? To make them press, work hard, give a fuck. Where are our leaders? Can’t be Mustafi, he’s not good enough. We’ve seen it’s not Xhaka, he’s too much of a headcase. Who are we looking to raise the levels in the squad?

Then the big one. Who is going to make this team better?

We should be signing a young coach who is blowing things out the water. Where is there an assistant manager in Europe doing amazing things? Who can we pinch from Pep? Who does Bielsa work with? Who does Ancelotti have in his backroom team? Who has been doing great stuff with a Madrid or the Barca B team? If Tuchel is such an incredible coach, but struggles to behave like a human being, why don’t we talk to him about coming into the fold?

All CRAZY ideas. But look, you can’t progress if you don’t change anything. The best organisations are constantly changing things up.  Silicon Valley tech brands have to constantly buy startups to keep themselves future facing, through fear of being the next Yahoo. People in the modern workforce have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant. None of the jobs I’ve had in the last 5 years existed 10 years ago, and my job won’t be the same in 5 years time.

To rest on your laurels it to cede success to the competition. Which is why it’s so interesting that our CEO and owner seems to be so intent on reinforcing Wenger’s ivory towers… because all evidence supports the theory that the Arsenal foundations are rusting to dangerous levels.

Arsene Wenger hasn’t changed his training in 20 years. Literally, the most innovative thing he’s done in the last year is copy the Chelsea formation. How can you blaze a trail if the best you can do is imitate? How can the club expect to be taken seriously when it actively persues the agenda of a man who doesn’t care about winning?

Anyway, the above is why I am frustrated. There’s so little to be excited about, and there is no end date to the death grip Wenger has on Arsenal.

Very depressing.

273 Responses to “Changes that could help Arsenal beat stagnation”

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  1. raptora

    Suarez would have made us champions that year we “almost” signed him. Probably the saddest transfer that never happened for us.

    What I would hate to see is that we sell Sanchez and get Mbappe. We end up not being stronger. Would keep the chilean and get Belotti/Auba/Lacazette if possible. Now that would add to the squad.

  2. Ishola70

    lol the fractions game.

    Real Madrid to sign him this summer = 70%

    Real Madrid to sign him next summer = 70% – 100%

    Stay at Monaco for one more season = 50%

    PSG to sign him = 10%

    Arsenal to sign him = 5%

  3. Wallace

    If Bale’s sacrificed…he’s just a wrecking ball in the PL. Will supplant Hazard as the most dangerous player in the league if he does return. No doubt.

  4. raptora

    Bale could make a team champions in the EPL if he is healthy. I know he’s an ex spud and probably no way we can get him ever. But that’s a 100m I’d gladly spend. Any top 6 team could be crowned already if they sign him.

  5. Wenker-wanger

    @ chika, I hoped you weren’t taking my comments personally.
    I merely offered some insight into different mindsets.
    Sure I will admit I wanted arsenal to capitulate totally last season.
    That’s because there is a hope of change with Wenger out.
    This isn’t and I doubly stress this….. because of any dislike of arsenal whatsoever. Quite the opposite. Whatever it takes to cut the cancer out is my thinking……and this from a supporter that was known often as gooner or arsenal from my work colleagues.
    Watching us take the lead against the chance at Wembley kind of reverted me to a full on fan for the day………sometimes think that was it the best result?
    I console myself in thinking that Wenger would remain if we lost 5_0, so winning the cup maybe not such a bad thing.

  6. raptora

    steve, I don’t think he’ll go there this summer. It looks like there’s no way of not happening eventually but not right now imo. He could be the heir of cr7. But cr7 is still there.

  7. Jim Lahey

    @TR7 –

    “Rumor is Bale is going to be sacrificed for Mbappe. To be honest I don’t want us to sign the kid for the price being bandied around. We can sign 3 quality players instead for £130M which will strengthen our squad immensely.”

    Aubameyang – £60m
    Rabiot – £55m
    Golovin – £10m

    Three players that would be of huge benefit to our team for the same price as M’bappe.

  8. Ishola70

    raptora:
    “That next level math doe.”

    Dude each line is out of 100% not all of the cases equalling up to 100%.

    lol the fractions game.

  9. raptora

    Ishola,
    Then it should be
    stay at Monaco – 50%
    go to Arsenal – 50%
    go to Real M – 50%
    go to PSG – 50%

    cause there are only two options – he goes there or not. lol

  10. raptora

    Jim,
    If we go for Rabiot next to Xhaka we would go for a similar line up as Chelsea’s. Two defensive midfielders you can never rely on getting you goals but you need a really strong attacking force. Could make sense and Wenger is an admirer of Rabiot. Low chances imo. The dude made 39 apps for PSG, no reason to join us.

  11. Ishola70

    raptora:
    “Then it should be
    stay at Monaco – 50%
    go to Arsenal – 50%
    go to Real M – 50%
    go to PSG – 50%”

    Yeah you’re right lol. It’s completely up in the air who he joins or whether he stays at Monaco. It’s a coin flip basically between Real Madrid, Arsenal and PSG if he does decide to leave Monaco this summer. heh.

  12. TR7

    Jim

    Yes, I am always wary of hyping up players on the basis of just 1 season of great performance. There are countless examples of one season wonders in football. While Mbappe looks talented it’s madness on part of any team to cough up over 100M on him. No problem in spending 100M on Suarez or Bale or Aguero in their prime but on a kid?

    Besides, we have midfield and wide areas which need strengthening as well. So signing Mbappe is not going to be the panacea for all our problems. Auba/Lacazzete + Rabiot +Lemar/Mahrez solves our problems more than signing just Mbappe.

  13. Bamford10

    TR7

    I’m with you: Mbappe is fantastic talent, but it would make no sense whatsoever for Arsenal to sign him at this kind of price-tag (£110m+).

    We need 3-4 quality players, not one.

    If these stories are credible, this is actually an example of Wenger’s irrationality in the market — a little like signing Ozil for £43m when what we needed at the time was a CF, not a CAM.

    As good as Mbappe is, if you add him and him alone to our existing XI, we still wouldn’t be near good enough.

  14. Wallace

    Yeah, if it’s either/or I’d rather keep Alexis than sign Mbappe, and if we are willing to spend big I’d rather let Madrid sign Mbappe and go all out for the ex-Spud, if he is the one to make way.

    Crazy if he is…

  15. Tomtom

    We should be signing Mbappe along with 3 other top players if we have any serious intentions of competing.
    200 million should be our minimum spend and this is achievable if we clear out 3-4 of our underperforming players such as Giroud, Walcott, Elneny etc.
    Serious business needs to be done but it should have been started weeks ago.
    We all know that the club will still be struggling to sign players two weeks into the start of the new season.

  16. Bamford10

    TomTom

    Sure, but we’re obviously not going to spend £200m in a single summer. Therefore we’d be better off signing an Aubameyang for half the price of Mbappe, along with 2-3 other quality players.

  17. Alexanderhenry

    Bamford

    Yes, I think they will spend, or try to.
    But so will everyone else.

    It’s all too little too late and arsenal will struggle to attract the best.

  18. Marko

    Absolutely no chance we get Mbappe so please stop. Signing him but losing Sanchez and not addressing other areas would mean a potentially worse season next. It ain’t going to happen PSG have bid 130 and he wants Madrid. All the rumours are just to make it seem like the club has a plan. They don’t. Besides for that money I’d probably prefer Dembele who’d be slightly cheaper and no less of a talent. The Dortmund one

  19. Tomtom

    Bamford
    I know it’s unlikely but if we shipped out the failing players and banked 30 million I don’t see a problem with spending 200 million.
    It would take a lot of planning ahead and that’s something the club are not good at.
    Kroenke won’t risk spending big though as he wants a low risk investment and Wenger seems happy with this unfortunately.
    The club could be great but a lack of ambition is seriously holding us back.

  20. Tomtom

    The main problem with spending 200 million is that Wenger is still in charge.
    I got carried away there and forgot about the old dinosaur and his obvious failings

  21. Wallace

    Marko

    Whether we get him or not, we definitely seem to be in the race. Arsenal’s PR team might be top notch, but doubt their reach extends to writing L’Equipe’s articles for them.

  22. Jim Lahey

    @Raptora –

    “If we go for Rabiot next to Xhaka we would go for a similar line up as Chelsea’s.”

    Ha, didn’t they win the league last year! 😉

    Well, this year it was Ramsey and Xhaka, and the same could be said about that partnership regard lack of goals. I think Ramsey scored a single league goal last year?

    I am a huge fan of Rabiot, I think he is the exact player we need for our centre. The guy reads the game so well, he is tall and covers a lot of ground between the boxes and good with the ball at his feet. He is also still only 22. I think having I think his presence would also take some of the defensive duties away from Xhaka, giving him more freedom to dictate play from deep. Also we really need some hight put back into the team.

    But Rabiot will never come to Arsenal, not as long as Aaron “Hollywood” Ramsey is at the club, the guy is “the guy” in Aresne’s eyes and a guaranteed starter next season.

    I think Golovin at £10m looks a steal, give him a few years and he could be the Cazorla replacement we are looking for, I really like the look of his game.

  23. GoonerDNA

    Part of me wants Alexis to go so Wenger is forced into spending huge amounts OR gets chased out the emirates.

    Mbappe and Lemar would cost a lot but would be a great investment. We could cash them in a few years or try and keep them around for 10 years.

  24. HighburyLegend

    “At the end, we all want what’s best for the club we love. ”

    Define “we” ?? (lol)
    (Supertramp, what a shit bubble gum pop band)

  25. Tomtom

    Jim

    Possibly united but maybe Wenger would be tempted to make a bid.
    If Wenger fails to sign Mbappe it will look bad for him, so many targets missed over the past 10 years.
    He needs to go big this summer and if that fails he will look like a complete idiot.

  26. Marko

    Whether we get him or not, we definitely seem to be in the race.

    Wallace if we basically have no chance how are we in the race? We’re at the back of the starting grid on a bike about to race F1’s and one of our wheels just fell off. That’s how much of a chance we have in the race for Mbappe

  27. raptora

    I’d go for Renato Sanches probably. Dude’s 19 yo and we are the perfect place to reignite his short career. He is like a mixture between Kante and Cazorla and would fit perfectly next to Xhaka. He is an obvious surplus at Munich so he will be sold to the right buyer. Papers say that Bayern is now open to accepting a bid of €30m (£26m). Kid’s young and has a great talent. We should be interested. Sell Wilshere and get him and you’re good to go for a relatively small investment.

  28. Samesong

    A father buys a lie detector robot that slaps people when they lie.
    He decides to test it out at dinner one night.
    The father asks his son what he did that afternoon.
    The son says, “I did some schoolwork.”
    The robot slaps the son.
    The son says, “Ok, Ok. I was at a friend’s house watching movies.”
    Dad asks, “What movie did you watch?”
    Son says, “Toy Story.”
    The robot slaps the son.
    Son says, “Ok, Ok, we were watching porn.”
    Dad says, “What? At your age I didn’t even know what porn was.”
    The robot slaps the father.
    Mom laughs and says, “Well, he certainly is your son.”
    The robot slaps the mother.

  29. Leedsgunner

    Wallace

    “We got 18mths of RvP brilliance, after 6yrs of injury blight….”

    1. If you think 18 months if brilliant play is a good return for millions spent and seven years of investment no wonder Wenger has convinced himself we are broke. If RvP demonstrates anything it is also this. It matters not who we sign… if our rehab and fitness teams are not up to the job.

    So Arsenal FC effectively is hammered twice. We have a manager who is reluctant at best to add to the squad with quality. Combine this with a fitness and rehab team who are unable to turn around players fast enough…

    No wonder we are key players short all the time!

    One of the major reasons why Leicester won the title was because their squad was remarkably relatively injury free throughout the season before last.

    Sorry Wallace, Wenger’s developing youth days are done like all his ideas. Done.

  30. Ishola70

    raptora:
    “I’d go for Renato Sanches probably. ”

    Nice player. Nice profile. Good to watch. Busy. Good going forward and can defend as well.

    One reservation about him though he has got to stop trying to do too much on the ball. Wants too much time on the ball for a centre midfielder and he plays a dangerous game too often and gets caught on the ball by opponents . Needs to pick and choose much better when to run on the ball and when to play the simple pass without the dribbles.

  31. raptora

    TR7,
    It looks like it’s shaping that way. Poor Monaco. It’s pretty sad. Makes you wonder if Mbappe or Lemar or anyone of their stars would stay if a good offer is on the table.

  32. Bamford10

    James Olley is reporting that Arsenal/Arsène see the Mbappe deal as an “exception” to normal practices and say they are ready to do what it takes to land him.

    No idea what to make of this, but it certainly would be an “exception” to normal practices. Would probably be a dumb one as well, unless they’re planning on signing another 2-3 quality players as well.

    Mbappe alone is not going to get us there.

  33. raptora

    Bamford10,
    If we keep Sanchez, Ozil and Chamberlain, add to them Kolasinac, Mbappe and potentially one of a winger (Lemar/Mahrez) or a midfielder what do you make of this summer? Would it be enough to say the summer was good? What about only Kolasinac and Mbappe still not selling anyone else?

  34. HighburyLegend

    Am I the only one who thinks that Vidal is probably trying to convince Sanchez ti join him at Bayern (confederations cup with Chile) ??

  35. Ishola70

    Doublethink:
    “Sanches looks like he lacks both vision and the passing range to be a central midfielder at the top level, think he’ll end up as a full/wing back.”

    Yeah doesn’t seem to have a great footballing brain. Talented but not that bright with his thinking. Doesn’t need to think as much tearing up and down the wing but there would be question marks about his end product from that full/wing back position.

  36. raptora

    HighburyLegend,
    I hate the dude already. And the fker gave him an assist yesterday… Couldn’t have gone worse.

    Frost,
    My thoughts exactly.

  37. Leedsgunner

    The greatest asset that the Mbappe brings to the club is a change in perception. A player of his promise and quality might just convince Özil and Sanchez to stay.

    Plus if we get rid of loads of dross to raise the funds and free up the wage bill all the better!!!

    For the record, I don’t think Wenger will do it. I think it was play out like the summer of the Suarez debacle.

    Wenger will demand respect for just having tried.

    Arsenal FC, the only club in world football that pays its manager top money for almost finishing a project… even if there is nothing to show for it… year after year.

  38. raptora

    TR7,
    no way that we sell Chambo after the season he made. He finally had a string of good games in a row, with very quality performances in several games and shown versatility as well. We cannot be that stupid. The one who have to be sold if we are to go for Mahrez is Walcott.

  39. Cesc Appeal

    Not interested in Mahrez at all. I do not see how we can make a team with both Ozil and Mahrez starting work.

    Unless Ozil is going to be shifted on which does not look likely given the lack of interest in him.

    A team with Ozil and Mahrez occupying the two attacking midfield roles in a 3-4-2-1 puts a lot of pressure on the two in the centre of the four man middle to basically do all the work, and with Xhaka having the same sort of mobility as Giroud and Ramsey lacking any positional awareness or discipline that would create problems.

  40. TR7

    Raptora

    I hope we’re not that silly but I wouldn’t bet on it. Ideally Theo should make way but we all know he and Ramsey are untouchable.

  41. Tomtom

    The Ox had a poor season and a terrible assist/goals return.
    The lad has no football brain and is vastly overrated

  42. Cesc Appeal

    There is talk of Walcott even potentially being lined up for a new deal this year.

    I saw he has posted his now annual ‘I have returned to training early’ pictures after becoming a total irrelevance in the squad during the season once more.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    United cannot be getting both Matic and Fabinho surely.

    I thought Herrera had a good season and both of those arriving would surely mean he gets benched?

    Matic, Fabinho and Pogba would be a powerful midfield though.

  44. TR7

    Cesc

    Hererra was one of the best performers for United if not the best. He will definitely be a starter. I doubt United will sign both Matic and Fabinho and if they do, Matic will be the third choice.

  45. Cesc Appeal

    TR7

    Yeah I thought he had a good season.

    Matic did not have the best of seasons I do not think, still decent, but particularly toward the end he tailed off. But maybe Mourinho is thinking 6ft 4, 6ft 2 and 6ft 3 with Matic, Fabinho and Pogba, all powerful, all good with the ball at their feet as well, one who is more a defensive minded player, one who is an all energy type with a defensive brain but who can carry the ball, and then Pogba as the creative type.

    That would be a trick middle to go up against, you think about the middle City are building with Fernandinho, Silva (the David variety) and De Bruyne, and you can see how United’s could steamroll that.

    Really interesting summer, not for us obviously, but for watching on it is great stuff.

  46. raptora

    CA,
    I don’t see it working either. Mahrez could be on the right flank, then Ozil playing in Alexis’ place. This sounds so meh it’s not even funny. Thing is in this new system Ozil can only fit in one of the flanks and if Mahrez is to replace Alexis we are going to need some crazy ST to make this work. In another thought Alexis could be up top and Ozil and Mahrez on both flanks. Would be interesting I guess… Just way too short and way too weak. Chelsea had a similar pairing in attack to what we had in the end of season – on one flank was Hazard (Alexis) on the other one was Willian (Ozil) or Pedro /both more combative than Ozil doe/. They had Costa upfront to compensate for their lack of strength and height. That’s why I don’t really think we need that much on the flanks in case Ozil and Alexis are staying.

    I’ll say it now. For me a summer of acquiring one of Mbappe, Belotti, Belotti, Icardi, Lacazette (in that order) and keeping hold of our problematic three will be good enough in my eyes. It probably won’t make us champions but will be a huge upgrade to what we have right now. Add to that a solid CM like Rabiot/Renato Sanches and we would have had an excellent summer. All goes to shit if we sell Alexis doe. Not sure how are we going to cope without him. Our absolute best player since RvP. Cazorla could be in the same bracket but his physical condition stopped him from leaving a big mark in this club. If only we had him 5 years earlier.

  47. Frost

    Cesc

    That really would be a powerful midfield tbh. Like how do you play through that. With Herrera on the bench too.

    Really really doubt they’ll get both tho. The Wenger in me sees that as just throwing money around.

  48. raptora

    Herrera is an absolute beast. He could play for Bayern, Real or Barca with ease and it will probably happen soon. Best United player for me atm even if De Gea is getting all the noise.

  49. Carts

    “Apparently we are willing to sell Ox for £25M to Liverpool. To make way for Mahrez?!”

    Liverpool looking to stockpile speedsters lol

  50. Cesc Appeal

    Raptora

    Problem we have when comparing to other teams as well is that they do not have Wenger, we do. That is a big issue, Wenger and is totally dated coaching staff who do little more than set out cones. The players need to be drilled to make the system work, lots of hard work, lots of positional awareness and covering. Unfortunately that is not something we have seen with Arsenal in recent years.

    If Mahrez and Ozil are both in the eleven then we need two different CM’s to Xhaka and Ramsey in my opinion because one is not fast enough to cover the ground he will need to and the other just is not a well rounded CM.

    Again, what we really needed was a DoF so that we could approach a window finally with a system in mind, not just who is ‘available’ and is ‘value’. Someone always needs to ask Wenger ‘why’. Why are we signing Mahrez, what role do you see him occupying, are you sticking with 3-4-2-1 or are you abandoning it now you got what you wanted, if you are not then where does Mahrez fit given Ozil?

    Guarantee none of these questions are being asked of the manager.

  51. Cesc Appeal

    Frost

    Yeah I cannot see both, though would like to from a purely footballing standpoint. I do enjoy watching powerful midfields go to work and control a game.

    Looks as if United are going to land Perisic as well and then an ST. Still think they will look for a LB as well with Shaw well and truly out of favour.

    Seems a bit more of a studied window for United than in recent years.

  52. Carts

    “no way that we sell Chambo after the season he made. He finally had a string of good games in a row, with very quality performances in several games and shown versatility as well. We cannot be that stupid. The one who have to be sold if we are to go for Mahrez is Walcott.”

    Raptora, don’t get carried away. Across a 60 odd game season, Ox probably turned up for 15 games – even then I’d say I’m being generous.

    Walcott should’ve been bombed off ages ago. can’t stand the site of him, tbh.

  53. Jim Lahey

    @Raptora –

    “Cazorla could be in the same bracket but his physical condition stopped him from leaving a big mark in this club. If only we had him 5 years earlier.”

    His injuries or his height?

  54. Carts

    I’m not a massive Mahrez fan either. I appreciate he had a mighty season when Leicester won the league but I don’t think he’d be a good fit for us.

    This is due in part to us lacking the necessary balance in athletic player and technical players.

    Look at the height of our team, for example. I’d be surprised if we don’t rank below all the teams that finished above us.

  55. Marko

    Fabinho going to United for €40M. According to Twitter

    Unbelievable. He’d of been perfect for us and affordable. Him and Bernardo Silva for 40 million each??? What the fuck are we actually doing in the transfer market

  56. raptora

    Jim,

    His injuries. I’m still certain we got the best player of the 3 spaniards who came to the EPL at once – Silva, Mata, Cazorla. We were the one with least chance cause the dude is world class but his injuries couldn’t let him show how good he is in the long term. He could have made us champions that Leicester year if he was healthy, I have no doubts in my mind.

  57. Jim Lahey

    @Carts –

    Yeah I hear what you are saying regarding Mahrez, just wondering if you had two options: Option A bring keep Sanchez and bring in Mahrez or Option B Sell Sanchez but bring in M’bappe which would you choose?

  58. Wallace

    It’s football not basketball, people. If it wasn’t Peter Crouch would be the league’s best player.

  59. TR7

    Raptora

    Yes, Santi ,when fit, is a magnificent player. Certainly better than Mata for me, almost as good as David Silva.

  60. Carts

    Lahey

    In an ideal world option A. Keep hold of your best player. All top team aim for this.

    But there’s a caveat to that – we have to supplement his arrival with [an] athletic player(s) like Bakayoko, Nabby or Kondogbia, for example.

    I know Wenger still thinks 5’9 player is life, but he’s seriously mistaken cos he doesn’t have the necessary tactics to implement an effective model with such players.

    We played unreal football with Rosicky Hleb, Flamini and Cesc but when it game down when it mattered, we were bulldozed.

  61. TR7

    May be I am in the minority but If Rosicky didn’t have an injury plagued career we would have been talking about him as one of the best midfielders of modern era. He was that good in my opinion.

  62. Jim Lahey

    @Raptora –

    I agree with you there, personally I think he was the best of the bunch, but I am horrendously bias!

    Also, regarding his injuries, it wasn’t like he was injury prone when he arrived. In his first 3 seasons at Arsenal he played 49, 46 and 53 games respectively. And he certainly wasn’t injury prone before he joined Arsenal having played 204 games in the previous 5 season averaging 40 games a year.

    When he was initially injured he was left on the pitch for the entire game as Wenger refused to take him off, which was madness. I really don’t feel he can be labelled an “injury prone” player. Don’t his injuries all stem from that one game?

  63. Carts

    If rumours that Darmina wants out, then my suspicion is that Fabinho will double up as a RB and CM.

    Mourinho is looking to combine pace and strength.

    Martial
    Rashford
    Mikki
    Lingaard

    Feilanin
    Pogba
    Carrick
    Fabinho
    Herrera
    Matic

    get that balance right and it’ll look like

    Robben
    Duff
    etc

    Makele
    Lampard
    Drogba

  64. Cesc Appeal

    TR7

    Agree with you on Rosicky, when he had a run of good fitness he was a great player. Just pure technical ability, carried the ball so well and also for a more creative type did not mind getting into the dirtier side of the central role occasionally. Certainly in comparison to Ozil he was Makelele 😉

    Funny you say that as well because I was just thinking yesterday in this 3-4-2-1 I would have really liked to see a peak Rosicky with his injury problems cleared up playing one of the attacking roles alongside Sanchez with a ST beyond.

  65. Jim Lahey

    @TR7 –

    Agree with you regarding TR7!! He was amazing to watch in full flow, my word did we take him for granted when he was at the club..

    A fully fit TR7 would walk into this current set up.

  66. TR7

    Jim

    Yes , Wenger talked a good game about Rosicky but massively underplayed him especially in his last 2-3 years at Arsenal. Felt like punching Wenger when the likes of Ramsey, Theo, Jack etc. were always played ahead of him. None of them good enough to tie his laces.

  67. Frost

    Cesc

    Agree. Would love to see that under Mourinho. You sort of get the feeling that that’s a midfield he would absolutely adore. No way you get through that if he wants to protect a win. They really do need that LB tho.

    “Seems a bit more of a studied window for United than in recent years.”

    Lots of reports that Mou submitted his targets to the club first quarter of this yr. Literally what we’ve lacked for the past 10 yrs. Transfer plans/targets. That’s someone who knows what he’s doing. I mean you get the feeling that we go into the transfer window HOPING we find someone to buy. Really unbelievable for a top club.

  68. Carts

    Rosciky was a good players, but his injuries seemed to be managed poorly.

    He had plenty of setbacks and even spent a whole season, plus, sidelined with some weird hamstring problem.

  69. Jim Lahey

    @TR7 –

    After the usuals, Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira and Wright. Rosicky would be in my top 5 Arsenal players (to watch).

    In no order:

    Rosicky
    Cesc
    Nasri
    Santi
    Arshavin

    Say what you will about them, I loved to tune in to watch them play.

  70. TR7

    Jim

    In terms of pure aesthetics, Rosicky is up there with any Arsenal player for me bar Bergkamp.

    Bergkamp, Rosicky,Santi, Henry, Cesc, Nasri and Pires – pure class and amazing to watch.

  71. Jim Lahey

    @TomTom

    “Any good box set recommendations?”

    Pleeeeeeeeenty!

    Band of Brothers
    Breaking Bad
    The Wire
    Game of Thrones
    Dexter (first 4 seasons are gold)
    True Detective (First season)
    Boardwalk Empire

  72. Carts

    TomTom

    Won’t bother naming the obvious ones like GoT.

    Try:

    Bloodlines – Netflix
    Designated Survivor – Netflix
    Goliath – Amazon
    Bosch – Amazon

  73. Carts

    Fargo season 1? fucking dece!!!

    Might as well marathon that bitch straight into season 2.

    Season 3 has just started but I haven’t started it yet.

  74. Tomtom

    The Wire and Sopranos are two great old school series.
    Boardwalk empire was a bit slow for my liking.
    Taboo-excellent
    Game of thrones-excellent
    Billions- pretty good
    Breaking bad- very good
    Not seen the rest but I’d recommend Sons of Anarchy if you have not seen it

  75. Marko

    I used to love the 30 yard screamers from Rosicky. Absolute beauts. Him Hleb, Flam and Fabregas was the last time we had a good midfield imo. Perfect balance. Didn’t we just have it the one season?

  76. Carts

    Lahey

    Season 1 was good. Weird though lol

    I’ve got Season 2 on box set. Going to crack on with that after I’m done with Bosch season 2.

  77. karim

    Rosicky, Diaby, Eduardo, Cazorla, .. all excellent players that could have gotten us more silverware had they played on a regular basis…

  78. BillikenGooner

    The first few seasons of “Justified” were pretty good. I petered off watching it, not because it was bad, but I got busy with other things and it got put on the backburner and just stayed there. So I can’t say how good the last few were.

  79. Samesong

    Not interested in Mahrez at all. I do not see how we can make a team with both Ozil and Mahrez starting work.

    This!

    Both serial sulkers on their day.

  80. Cesc Appeal

    Frost

    Not surprised, the names coming out of United this summer do not seem as ad hoc or sporadic as summers gone by. Lindelof was not exactly a name anyone was talking about but United seemed to have really scouted him, Perisic as well is not exactly one on most top sides shopping lists. Morata as well when most other top sides are eyeing Mbappe.

    Seem to have identified CDM as well. Interesting.

    A part of it must be that Mourinho has been told he must compete for the league this year or they will start looking at replacements.

    Apparently that is what football clubs do, seems a bit bizarre to me.

  81. Samir

    There is absolutely no way Stan phoned Bellerin to tell him to stay.
    Why would he get involved? Why would Bellerin listen to Stan of all people?

    Do we even NEED Bellerin to stay? Personally I’d sell him if Barca were to offer £40M or over. Ox is a much better RWB. With the money from Bellerin we could go for a top class DM or CB ; Along with M’Bappe of course 😉

  82. HighburyLegend

    “Mourinho has been told he must compete for the league this year or they will start looking at replacements.”
    Any chance for the Arsenal board to say the same to the old goat someday ??

  83. Ozy

    “If Tuchel is such an incredible coach, but struggles to behave like a human being”

    Can somebody elaborate on this?

  84. champagne charlie

    “Whether we get him or not, we definitely seem to be in the race. Arsenal’s PR team might be top notch, but doubt their reach extends to writing L’Equipe’s articles for them.”

    LOL. Exactly Wallace..

    Not sure the Mahrez reservation. He’s a class above everyone in our forward line bar Alexis, if the knock is that he doesn’t tackle enough then christ thats a rather weak jab at a supporting striker. He isnt close to Ozils level of apathy. Would be a quality addition to us.

  85. Dissenter

    Ozy,
    ““If Tuchel is such an incredible coach, but struggles to behave like a human being”
    Can somebody elaborate on this?”

    I believe Tuschel has very poor people skills. He didn’t get along with his players and did not get along with the board at Dortmund.
    A good manager has to know how to do both to be successful.

  86. Kwame

    Some of our players are not as bad as we make them out to be. Weng Jong Un plays them out of position. Talk about Ramsey, Arshavin, the Ox, Wilshere,etc. Ramsey did not just become an excellent player at the Euros. Coleman got the best out of him by fielding him in a position where he’s naturally inclined. Simeone does this to good effect at Atletico. Simply put, Weng Jong Un is past it. He does not have what it takes.