Contract rejected

by & filed under News Review.

Why tho

I know Arsenal fans always reject my narrative on the summer, and I know a lot of people think that being positive and giving things a chance helps heal the wounds of being a badly run enterprise… but I can’t play into it.

This summer is looking just as shambolic as the rest of them.

We’re at July 2nd people. Not much has really changed. If anything, things are in a worse spot.

Lacazette is in. Our record signing is widely regarded by most as a just about good enough to replace Giroud. Fine, I can roll with that. I have worries, but you know them.

The rest of the the goings on are really starting to look like a problem now.

Alexis Sanchez is likely to be off (good luck with refusing his wishes, Arsene). From everything I’m told, he doesn’t give a f*ck about Arsenal. So we’re losing one of the best wide players in Europe and a player who single handedly kept us going at times last season. A monster talent and a monster personality.

Next. Mesut Ozil.

Mesut Ozil has not signed up for a new deal yet. We’re in July people. How has it landed at this stage? Is it money? Is it waiting for the European dominoes to drop? Whatever it is, it’s alarming, because despite his talent, he’s really had a bad season for us and he has a very tarnished reputation as an elite player.

It’d be a travesty if Arsenal let this roll into July and we ended up keeping two best players on at the club, knowing they were leaving next year. Love them both, but we’ve seen what a negative impact Wenger had on last season. How do you think we’ll be looking heading into a World Cup with two players wanting to be shop window eye candy? It’ll be a disaster. They’ll switch off like the whole team did in the front end of this year, looking to preserve energy and fitness for the summer. How will that affect our ability to bring in new talent?

Finally, news has hit the wires that AOC has decided to reject the offer of a new deal, preferring to wait out a year and join the project over at Liverpool next summer. This really is a disaster. We’ve spent 5 years trying to work out what the hell to do with him, now we have a good position for him where he can showcase his talents, we’re going to lose him to a rival.

As it stands, we could be heading into the season with 3 first teamers ready to leave next year.

So as we’re all sitting here crowing over Kylian M’Bappe and his love in with Wenger (when we can’t even keep Chris Willock from moving to Benfica), shouldn’t the real story be how Wenger can’t tempt three first teamers that the project here is excellent?

Aside from that. We haven’t pushed anyone out the door. Rumours are strong that Giroud will go to Everton or West Ham. But what about Theo? What about Gibbs, Ospina, Chezzer, Debuchy or the rest of the dross? Where are the upgrades? Where is the vision for next year?

There isn’t one.

This summer looks like a mess. Our first preseason game is in 11 days. We are singing to the same antiprogress tune we do every year, because only one person matters at Arsenal, and that’s Wenger.

See you in the comments (p.s. don’t get me started on Bellerin).

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185 Responses to “Contract rejected”

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  1. arsene's used sock

    there’s too many problems at the club now, to get started writing out what they are leads to a disjointed mess

    amazingly all of this could be fixed by simply setting the target of winning the league, aiming to simply finish 4th and attempting to justify it when you should be the arsenal is just laughable, aim to win, worst case scenario you finish in the top 4

  2. reality check

    Id like to see a Giroud vs Lacazette stat comparison. Although it seems Laca has scored more goals overall, what about (mins to goals ratio) or (shots to goals).

    I wonder if there is an actual solidified reason Giroud is ahead of Lacazette in the national side.

    Basically what I’m wondering is, are Arsenal about to pay 45M for Girouds side kick?

    Where does this leave Welbz?

    Also, if Perez starts his next game for Arsenal on the LW *AFTER* sanchez has gone.. he is and was the replacement.

  3. Black Hei

    reality

    Giroud makes it into the France team because Grizeman plays off a target man.
    A more accurate picture will be that Lacazette is behind Grizeman while Giroud is ahead of Gremiro.

  4. raptora

    A bit surprising Lacazette hasn’t been able to reach 20 league goals in his career if you don’t count the penalties he’s taken. His 3 fruitful seasons has seen him score 8 penalties in 2014/2015, 2 penalties in 2015/2016 and 10 freaking penalties in 2016/2017, making his goal tally in those seasons as 19, 19, 18 respectively. Giroud scored 19, not counting the penalties, in his last season for Montpelier. I ain’t saying that’s a deal breaker for me, just decided to bring it up. In a larger scale if we get a striker who can give us ~20 league goals a season but who makes the whole team more dangerous, fluid and not one dimensional it’s worth the punt.

  5. Ishola70

    Black Hei:
    “Giroud makes it into the France team because Grizeman plays off a target man.
    A more accurate picture will be that Lacazette is behind Grizeman while Giroud is ahead of Gremiro.”

    Exactly. Whether people rate Lacazette highly or not they have completely got the wrong end of the stick when keep focusing on this Giroud gets picked ahead of Lacazette. Assisted may I add by a certain Pedro 😉

    As you quite rightly state Giroud does not get picked ahead of Lacazette for the French national team and if there is a player keeping Lacazette out of the French national team again as you rightly say it is Griezmann.

    It’s the system Deschamps plays.

    Any chance this can be put to bed now? lol

  6. Black Hei

    So far, I am kind of quite satisfied with our “potential” transfer dealings; please allow me a heavy dose of “AKB” salt as part of the transfer season diet. But, yes, it is better than most years.

    Lacazette is a clear upgrade to Welbeck. I am surprised there is less enthusiasm over his signing. I think Welbeck has a high ceiling but we need an immediate top quality upgrade. Giroud will probably want to leave but I think his role as super sub can be fulfilled adequately by Welbeck.

    That is kind of offset by Sanchez leaving. The potential replacement is Lemar, who somehow, does not excite me that much (again based on Youtube).

    There is also alot of rumors involving Mahrez as a replacement for Sanchez. But Mahrez a left footer who plays on the right, exactly where Ozil is playing for us. I doubt we will move back to a back 4, so I think there is a secret deal for Ozil to move off, probably PSG.

    Then there are the Juan Cuadrado rumors. Clearly we are sounding out a replacement for either Ox and Bellerin. Honestly, I don’t see why Juventus would want to sell this guy after just buying him. He is class and will be an adequate replacement; can play up top on the right as well.

  7. Ishola70

    Black Hei:
    ” Giroud will probably want to leave but I think his role as super sub can be fulfilled adequately by Welbeck. ”

    Shame for Arsenal that Giroud looks to be on his way out. I don’t think Welbeck will be an adequate replacement for Giroud coming off the bench. Giroud when he comes on gives defenders more to think about because he is replacing a forward with a different style and presence. Arsenal can play in a different manner to before when chasing a game when Giroud comes on. Giroud was actually a very good off the bench impact player and it is hard to see Welbeck emulating that to the same extent.

    “That is kind of offset by Sanchez leaving. ”

    Kind of? Are you underplaying Sanchez here and his importance to the Arsenal side? Are you doubting his world class status on the football stage as a whole? lol

  8. Black Hei

    Ishola70

    No, I think Sanchez is really great; but he is replaceable. Not directly, but the whole team can be tweaked to offset his loss.

    For example, Lemar on the left with Mahrez on the right to replace Ozil and Sanchez as a pair is workable. Lemar, from what I hear (not by watching Vids) is that his style is more considered, more of a Pires and Ozil than a Sanchez dynamo.

    If so, he can work well by feeding in Mahrez, who is more of a ball hogger. Mahrez will then do what Sanchez does but on the right.

    The one guy that Arsenal really had trouble replacing is actually Carzola. It took a freaking formation change to do so.

  9. TR7

    ‘The one guy that Arsenal really had trouble replacing is actually Carzola. It took a freaking formation change to do so.’

    Fornals and Golovin, although nowhere close to Cazorla’s level yet, are good options to replace Santi. Goretzka and Golovin can add a lot of depth to our midfield. We can easily offload 2 of our current midfielders to accommodate them.

  10. Ishola70

    Black Hei:
    “The one guy that Arsenal really had trouble replacing is actually Carzola.”

    Cazorla was the most reliable midfielder but then again I think that too many fans are overplaying him because of his absence. It’s like excuse making again.

    Don’t get me wrong have full respect for Cazorla as a player but let’s not pretend here that the team never went to shit with Cazorla playing in it. He is being built up as superman by plenty and we have seen this many times before when a player is out for a long period.

  11. N5

    “N5, What’s 20% of your weekly wage ?”

    Sauce, I can see your point, but I still think its a nice gesture for HB to donate money to people he doesn’t know, in a country he isn’t from. I get he get’s tax benefits from doing it but the people who receive the money won’t care about that.

    Also, Bellarin is the only footballer I have read about that has done it. And I’m not sure the others have done it and just kept it to themselves, that goes against the nature of most.

  12. Black Hei

    TR7

    I think it is more complex than that.

    Carzola was an attacking mid player converted to a deep lying mid. The big advantage he has over all other bigger deep lying mids is his astonishing ambidexterity and dribbling skills as well as that mobility.

    Secondly, it is that personality of his. Carzola is an attacking player willing to play a supportive role. You don’t find someone like that.

    And of course Coquelin. Carzola is nimble, agile and could sometimes pick a bigger player’s pocket by stealing the ball. But he is small. That is offset by his more physical partner.

    But more than that is the understanding those 2 have. When played alongside Coquelin, it seems that sometimes, he is mind controlling Coquelin.

    When Carzola is not on the pitch, Coquelin feels lost. And it shows.

  13. Black Hei

    Ishola70

    Hop over to 7am website. Some of us hassled him to produce the Carzola stats and he dutiful produced a nice table.

    Now 7am does not think Carzola is the beginning and the end, like yourself because the x-goals tell a different story.

    But the stats show that our ACTUAL goal scored vs goal conceded ratio with Carzola on the team is at Chelsea’s 2016/2017 level; actually slightly better.

  14. Ishola70

    Cazorla has all those abilities you state Black Hei and they would have been missed but there is one that you mentioned that must be questioned. Mobility.

    Cazorla was never the quickest over the ground and as age crept up on him no quicker than before. I have seen Cazorla get turned over in the middle plenty of times due to lack of real pace. Swallowing golf balls trying to track with a runner from the opposing team.

    Like many fans the focus on a player is almost exclusively what they do and bring when they are on the ball. Off the ball deficiencies are overlooked. We only have to see so many Arsenal’s fans faith and rating of Xhaka to realise this.

    Did Cazorla’s absence result in Arsenal not winning a league title? I think the answer has to be no. Did his absence mean the team failed to do better? Yes.

    Therefore his absence must be seen as being over egged by some.

  15. Ishola70

    Black Hei:
    ” But the stats show that our ACTUAL goal scored vs goal conceded ratio with Carzola on the team is at Chelsea’s 2016/2017 level; actually slightly better.”

    Oh no stats lol.

    We all know Wenger’s lamentable record over past seasons against the better teams in the EPL especially away from home. Cazorla must have played in quite a few of those matches over the years.

    Sorry the guy is not superman.

    Good player but really should be looking forward now because you have to think that Cazorla could be cooked now with these injuries at his age and stage of his career.

    Certainly one of Wenger’s better buys over the years though. Also was instrumental in bringing Monreal to the club and that turned out a good signing as well.

  16. Black Hei

    Ishola70

    Hey hey! The goal ratio stat is an important one; it is basically your goal difference.

    But yah, it is redundant to harp back on him. Carzola worth right now is more as a player coach; Bielik has spoken about Carzola’s influence. Same with big Per who groomed Holding and Chambers (while on loan).

  17. Wallace

    Black Hei

    “For example, Lemar on the left with Mahrez on the right to replace Ozil and Sanchez as a pair is workable.”

    yeah, I feel the same. just not sure we can afford to shed our two big stars without certain portions of the fanbase losing their minds.

  18. Wallace

    “I hope to keep the right players. It is not just me, all the coaches of the world [would] like to keep the best players.

    “But with the Monaco project, maybe it’s not possible to always keep the best. We’re going to look at what’s going to happen.

    “Three players left. Other players could leave us. Everyone knows our project. It did not change even if we have won the title. The project is the same. The goal is still win. Nothing changed.

    “It’s very important for us. What matters is the training of the young players and the quality of our game. The only thing that changes is that we are going to start the season being the defending champion.”

    – Jardim

    surprising, sounds like Kroenke has some competition when it comes to world’s worst owner.

  19. Azagunner

    Good afternoon from Australia my friends, I am an avid sports fan (football/arsenal being my main interest), and read this blog daily.

    I mean there is quite a lot of shit talked on this blog, But i guess that is part off the reason i continue reading haha.

    This is a little off topic, but there are posters on here that i really like the opinions of and would love to be able to immerse myself in european football the way these people do.

    I know watching the games is the best way to enrich my knowledge of the game, and i do as much of that as i can around university and work; I am just trying to find a variety of intellectual blogs and news/video mediums to eleviate my constant urges to read about the sport i love.

    Can you guys please post some other footy sites that you think would be relevant to me. I would just like to get deeper into the european league’s.

    Thanks for your time

  20. qna

    Ishola: Cazorla was the most reliable midfielder but then again I think that too many fans are overplaying him because of his absence. It’s like excuse making again.

    You are 100% right. There is a difference between Arsenal being at its best over the past few years when Cazorla plays between Arsenal being a good team. Even with Cazorla, the team is lightweight and severely lacking. Cazorla was converted to central midfield due to lack of options and he did a better job than anyone else on our quality lacking list.

    However, he only adds to our attacking play and our balance is still severely off defensively when he is one of the two central midfielders.

    We have introduced a new problem into our team in that Xhaka, who is a quality player, is not suited to a game plan where he gets isolated. He is very effective when he plays in a good defensive structure, but is poor when the play is stretched. We need to bring a central midfielder in who can compliment Xhaka’s strengths. Not add players that will enhance his deficiencies.

    I understand that our priority now has to be replacing Sanchez. But based on our past few seasons our number one deficiency has been in central midfield. Kante would have been the smart move, but we opted for Xhaka. He is sufficient, but we still need another defensive midfielder to sit along side him, ideally one that is also a playmaker. We don’t have one in the squad. Coquelin is rubbish.

  21. raptora

    Ishola:
    “Did Cazorla’s absence result in Arsenal not winning a league title? I think the answer has to be no.”

    If Santi was healthy this Leicester year, no one can say for certain but my opinion is that we would have won the title. With him in our team we were playing the best football in the country by a margin up until he got injured. We were first at the end of January after almost 2 months without him but we were playing nowhere near the same quality of football. Which goes to show Santi’s quality but also Wenger’s inability to work out a way of fixing the issues of Santi’s absence in a period of not only those 6+ months of 2015/16 including a winter window, but last summer as well. In my mind with him in our team we would have been champions that season.

  22. Ishola70

    Azagunner:
    “Can you guys please post some other footy sites that you think would be relevant to me. I would just like to get deeper into the european league’s. Thanks for your time”

    This one can get you started. Has good general articles as well as individual player profiles and tactics discussion. Covers a wide range of leagues.

    http://outsideoftheboot.com/

  23. raptora

    “Since the 2012/13 season, only nine forwards have scored more goals in Europe’s top five leagues than Alexandre Lacazette. They are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Gonzalo Higuain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero.”

    What if we got ourselves the number 10 or so forward in europe?! It doesn’t sound too bad. Little optimism is healthy I guess…

  24. Ishola70

    qnaJuly 3, 2017 07:44:40
    ” We have introduced a new problem into our team in that Xhaka, who is a quality player, is not suited to a game plan where he gets isolated. He is very effective when he plays in a” good defensive structure, but is poor when the play is stretched. We need to bring a central midfielder in who can compliment Xhaka’s strengths. Not add players that will enhance his deficiencies.”

    You mean a player that will baby-sit Xhaka? lol.

    Xhaka has had a player baby-sitting for him when he played for Moechengladbach and the Swiss national team. Those players being Mahmoud Dahoud who recently signed for Dortmund and for the national team Gelson Fernandes. Seems strange to talk about a 21 yo player baby-sitting Xhaka when we talk about Dahoud but that is what he basically done. He did the real graft for him, the real dirty work and was Xhaka’s legs in midfield.

    It’s hilarious to think now isn’t it that some Arsenal fans thought Xhaka was the real enforcer in midfield which the team had been waiting for when he was first signed. Couldn’t be further from the truth. And the reason he gets into trouble so often with the refs and cards is because he has no conviction with the real physical stuff. And the guy is no weakling. He looks physically strong. It’s mental weakness with him. May have something to do with his lack of mobility.

    Out of all the players in the squad Coquelin is probably the best for the baby-sitting he needs but as you say would want to see an upgrade on the baby-sitter.

  25. Ishola70

    raptoraJuly 3, 2017 07:58:59
    Ishola:
    ”If Santi was healthy this Leicester year, no one can say for certain but my opinion is that we would have won the title.”

    Ah you mean the season all the top teams went to shit? I was thinking season just past.

    It’s all conjecture isn’t it. You may be of the opinion that Cazorla missing was the reason that Arsenal didn’t win the league that season but tbh Arsenal would probably have found a way not to win the title even with Cazorla. Arsenal have had too many flaws and issues with the team for many years now to have me thinking that Cazorla fit and playing in that season the top teams flunked would automatically mean title win for Arsenal.

    And remember fans are pining for Cazorla this season just gone. Not just part of the season previous.

    Good player Cazorla but not a title deciding player for me.

  26. raptora

    Reports that Newcastle can try to get Gibbs for £8m. I know we have some dross although I kinda don’t want to part ways with Kieran. Last year we saw what happened when we don’t have a backup option on the right when Bellerin got injured and we had to try Jenkinson for couple of games (catastrophe) and then Gabriel (pretty low level). On the left side Nacho was not doing good and Wenger put Gibbs in there for several games and it never felt as bad as our right back replacements did. With Sead’s introduction to the team we will have a powerful LWB but it really depends how Wenger sees Nacho in this team – as a RWB or a RCB. He should be thinking of him mainly as the right positioned CB in the back three which leaves for the LWB only Sead and Gibbs. Ofc Nacho could be used there in times of need. On the RWB though we kinda only have Bellerin. Gabriel is not going to work in there except maybe as a third option. Which leads me to the conclusion that selling Gibbs is okay, if we keep Ox because Ox gives us so many options – RWB, LWB, RW, LW, CM… I would go as far as saying that Ox had better RWB games than Bellerin and would probably be ahead of him in my starting 11. So for me sell Gibbs, keep Ox. If we had a decent backup on Ox we could have thought of cashing in on Bellerin since it looks only a matter of time for him to leave us.

  27. qna

    Ishola: You mean a player that will baby-sit Xhaka? lol.

    No. Not at all. He is not the best, but he is better quality than we have had for a long time. But he will only work as part of a defensive structure. If our structure allows him to be isolated then he is not that great.

    This is the reason people think Koscielny is better than he is. As a defender in a well drilled defensive unit there are many, many better CBs out there. But those defenders will probably be made to look ordinary if they played for Arsenal because we are not well drilled. The benefit of Kosceilny is that the way Arsenal play, the defence often gets caught out and he is one player that plays that last man defensive role very well. He allows us to attack weak teams with 8 or 9 players, but when we come up against strong teams, or good offensive moves then he is frequently caught out and made to look ordinary. One of the reasons I lost my shit when we bought Mustafi is because he was exactly the wrong type of CB that we needed to sit along side Koscielny. That pairing will never be sufficient to go up against the top sides in Europe or the PL. At least one of those problems is solved now that we are out of the champions league.

    The team needs to be well drilled and have a good defensive structure and plan. Then you need to have the right players to play that. Xhaka does not suit Arsene Wenger’s game style when he is used as an isolated defensive screener. But I personally think he would work very well along side another intelligent defensively capable midfielder.

  28. Ishola70

    Well he was a dreadful signing for Arsenal then wasn’t he qna because all those things you state which would see Xhaka improve and look better have been missing from the Arsenal team for so many years. You could call it a mismatch signing as far as Arsenal are concerned.

    I don’t doubt he has quality but that is half the problem.

    Wenger signed him because he is a “nice” footballer. Good technical footballer on the ball. He has disregarded other aspects that the team needs from a midfielder in the side.

    Who knows now Wenger went all back three on us he may go even further and be even more pragmatic and set up the midfield to better suit Xhaka. Wouldn’t hold your breathe for that though.

  29. TR7

    Yes Kosscielney needs another Mertersacker like partner who is an excellent reader of the game. Mustafi is another clumsy defender who is all about energy and enthusiasm but has little skills and awareness.

    Black Hei, I am saying those two players are similar in style to Santi, never suggested they would do his job as magnificently as he does.

  30. jwl

    RH16, not PM4, at FA Cup was best performance of season. Holding had Costa in his back pocket all match and he was feisty as well.

    If wenger was better manager, I think calum chambers and rob holding could make good pair but I don’t trust manager to make it work.

  31. Johnsgiles

    PERDO; this is why I posted a comment about the new kit photos: what they did was do a group one and seperate ones with those that won’t be here at start of the season IE sanchez giroud and bellarin…. All very cynical way to make money … sell crap knowing full well they won’t be here ….