Analysis of the catalyst for change: How will new names impact performance?

by & filed under News Review.

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So the machinations of progress continue to power on. The club hired Per Mertesacker to manage the academy. The big German retiring from football to make some magic happen with the kids.

This is a sound move. Per is very smart, very well respected at the club and I’m pretty sure he has a deep knowledge about the game. He’s won league titles, he’s won World Cups and he’s played consistently in the Champions League. I think he’s also very good for the culture at club. He’s a natural leader and a good communicator.

Hard to see any downsides to an appointment like this. I love Thierry Henry, but can’t help but think the Frenchman will have to work very hard to be a great manager. Per has all the attributes needed already, he doesn’t need to work on his personality, he just needs to fuel himself with knowledge and rack up those coaching badges.

I do wonder how much control Wenger imposes on the managers in the lower teams. How much autonomy will the German have? How many of his own ideas will he be able to implement?

The club looks like it’s moving in the right direction, but I do disagree with the people messaging me stating that the catalyst for change is being enacted, thinking that somehow the structure of the club is changing.

We are adding bodies. Not removing them. When a new alpha lion takes over a pride, he doesn’t keep the cubs there and he doesn’t keep the previous leader of the pack in the back office.

He starts a fresh. He brings in a new Director of Lions, and he sorts out his backroom team accordingly.

Jokes aside, it’s difficult to call the current movement at Arsenal anything outside shuffling of the deck.

Darren Burgess comes in to oversee Shad Forsythe who is doing a great job already. Tony Colbert still remains. He’s Wenger’s go to. He’s grossly underqualified. But he’s still there. People can bleat on about how great Burgess is, but my question is this: What problem is he solving? If there is one, it’s minimal. Also worth noting he’s not here for basically the whole of preseason and he’s a shared resource with AUSTRAILIA. How many points did we lose to a lack of fitness last season? I don’t have an answer, but this sort of hire makes little sense considering how much progress we’ve made with injuries (with the context that Wenger still loves to overplay his stars).

Huss Fahmy is coming in to take care of the backend of contract negotiations. He’s an administrator that works off Wenger instructions. I really don’t see where the value is here, or why it’s a story. Dick Law remains.

Per Mertesacker takes over the Academy and fills a vacancy. This is his first job.

Jens Lehmann comes in as a first team coach. This is his first job.

Sal Bibbo isn’t a new signing.

I think these signings are positive. None are damaging. But be real with yourself here. These signings are either political, or they’re additive. They’re not trailblazing signings that are going to impact what happens on the pitch. None of these names impact the biggest problem we have at the club, Arsene Wenger’s power grip.

If anything, we are more dependent on him than ever.

What would I like to have seen?

Firstly, we should have hired a strong Director of Football. That person should have hired in January, and been allowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the club, and report back into the CEO with a plan of action.

From there, a list of positions that needed to be filled should have been drawn up but an external recruitment agency that specialises in that sort of thing.

Then a rigorous interview process should have taken place, the candidates should have presented their vision for taking their specific department forward and a decision should have been made by a group of stakeholders including the manager.

That is how a professional outfit operates.

Not going along with the whims of a failing manager.

The path to success under Wenger has landed us in 5th place and as a laughing stock of Europe. Our solve is give the architect the power to hire someone off a recco from a friend, and to entrench his position of power further. We’re topping up a broken vision, when we should be either hiring a new manager, or redirecting the path with someone who has implemented a successful vision elsewhere.

It is what it is. Fans have severe amnesia and a blindness to the past when it comes to our summers.

Lacazette is exciting. Bringing old players back is the right thing to do. Hunting down Thomas Lemar has us all whooping for more.

… but if the foundations are rotten. It doesn’t matter who you switch in and out. The house will eventually collapse.

That’s my two pennies.

The changes are not strong enough and the structure of power is the same.

Rinse and repeat. Same as ever.

Also, happy Pride!

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495 Responses to “Analysis of the catalyst for change: How will new names impact performance?”

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  1. Tonyd

    Well thought out post Pedro which only Wenger loyalists will challenge.

    Been banging Lemar’s drum since the season finished. No excuse to not get him.

    We just have to wait for Wenger to self destruct, which could be as early as December/January, but I can’t help feeling Wenger has left himself a ‘get out’ by saying he’s finally ready to bring in a DoF and new coaches to replace the people who have let him and the club down.

    Gazidis will just blame Wenger to continue complaining that his Catylyst For Change wasn’t sanctioned but he too can do what’s needed to take the club forward.

    Whenever Stan has to really bail the club out from his own pocket, he’ll sell to Ursmanov.

  2. Mark S

    Prayers for Nouri from Ajax. I was watching their friendly versus Werder Bremen today when I saw him going down under no pressure. Always scary to see an ambulance on the pitch. Sounds like he’s stable now.

  3. grooveydaddy

    Sevilla set to sign Jordan Amavi from Aston Villa.

    At one point, when Villa were still in the PL, I thought we should have been looking at him…

  4. David Smith

    I think these changes are positive, and for the future, hopefully, the new future when Wenger has gone.
    Ivan can only do so much up against Stan and Wenger, but he, or someone seems to have got Colbert sidelined away from fitness and in the technical team, a joke I know, but perhaps in an area where he can do no more damage?
    I would suspect the same has happened to Peyton, whatever role they say Jens is taking on, a serial failure like Peyton up against Jens, even Wenger cannot swing that one in Peytons favour.
    As for sal bibbi or whatever he was called, a shame they overlooked Lollichon, but I would guess Wenger has heard the rumours many others have, that Cech employs Lollichon as a part time coach away from the club, and Wenger has accordingly acted out of spite.
    But, the fact is, Wenger is a sad, small man who puts his own survival and that of his lackeys above the good of the club, and is indulged by an owner that lets him do pretty much whatever he wants.
    In this context, these small changes are a good thing.
    The club seem to be pushing the boat out, at least in their terms. We shall see what the rest of the summer brings. But can only hope that if Wenger balls it up again next season, even his gargantuan ego will know it is time to go, and maybe bring in another German to the club

  5. Champagne charlie

    Wallace

    Yea mate, couple of pals told me the same and almost spoke as if it was a formality. I think Monaco have moved the goalposts a bit with some other movement in the window (as they should).

    Arsenal will now be tested properly, how much are we keen on going beyond for a player in demand AND operating in an inflated market? Hmm…we shall see.

    He’s a CM all day long for me as I say, I think he could develop into an absolute midfield terrier. Like a kondogbia/wilshere hybrid with pace. Would nip about alongside Xhaka nicely, and importantly he’s a super pro who puts the team first aka will be positionally sound.

  6. loyika

    Yes Pedders

    A club owned by 1 Man who doesn’t live here and only cones in once in a blue moon, (whose other sporting enterprises are nothing to write home about) is suddenly going to implement all you have geniusly thought out in one summer?

    Sometimes i agree with the folks that tend to say that you do like the sound of your own voice once in a while.

    Now back in the real world where Arsenal actually operates, it was always going to be hard to get all the xhanges required to push the club forward in one season/summer/year. Change in the manner required will take a long while and will always be a work in progress.

    Please name me one club in England (i didn’t say Europe) where they have things sorted in this regards? Even Chelsea where Conte is getting pissed that he doesn’t have more of a say in how the transfer process works is still evolving. And that system was set up by Roman when he came on board.

    The system, mission and vision of any Org/Entity or club starts from the top (which in this case is the owner) Now a club like Arsenal with a Power Manager like Arsene in charge will not effect much changes until said Manager retires/leaves or is sacked. When Fergie left United, he was still powerful enough to literally appoint/annoint his succesor. Now after 2 managers have come and gone he has lost that grip on the club and the owners can put in the change they want, whenever they want. Or you think Jose has the same power that Fergie has at United? Far from it, he can be fired by the Glazers with out batting an eye lid. Same applies to Citeh and Pool. But they still don’t have perfect set up ovee there.

    Make no mistakes about it, when Wenger calls it a day (and i believe that he will see out his 2 years despite the wishful thinking of a few) Stan K and Ivan (if he is still here) would have gradually used these 2 years to phase out alot of the old methods/ways of the club that was the norm under Arsene. Then all we can hope for is for an appointment of a new manager whom;

    A. Has no influence or recommendation from Arsene in whatsoever way.

    B. Is a bold enough appointment that can be seen to want to take us that extra step up.

    That my friend is the reality on ground. Arsenal are not a movie script where you can or want to paint beautiful scenarios or wax lyrically on football blogs or newspapers on what we all know in reality is not feasible with the club in question in this present state taken into context

  7. Marko

    He’s a CM all day long for me as I say, I think he could develop into an absolute midfield terrier. Like a kondogbia/wilshere hybrid with pace. Would nip about alongside Xhaka nicely, and importantly he’s a super pro who puts the team first aka will be positionally sound.

    Please tell me Charlie you’re not talking about Lemar? He’s a winger who can play CAM that’s it. People trying to convert players into other players just sign Goretska ffs.

  8. Samir

    Lemar at CM would be terrible. He’s 5ft 7 and probably weighs about 9 stone.
    Imagine him up against Wanyama, Matic, Fellaini Dier.
    Whenever I’ve seen him play he’s been a winger but likes to come inside sometimes.
    If Wenger is buying Lemar for CM I’d rather spend the money on Goretzka. Last year of his contract, 6ft 2 and was outstanding for Germany in the Confed cup.

  9. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We’re all forgetting about jonker
    Wenger didnt fancy him…

    Now he is cherry picking all the yoot players he wants ….

  10. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Lamar would be another great potential player …

    Joins a long list
    Pennant
    Inamota
    Alberto Mendez
    Walcott
    Jeffers

    You know th list …

  11. Elmo

    “That person should have hired in January, and been allowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the club, and report back into the CEO with a plan of action.

    From there, a list of positions that needed to be filled should have been drawn up but an external recruitment agency that specialises in that sort of thing.

    Then a rigorous interview process should have taken place, the candidates should have presented their vision for taking their specific department forward and a decision should have been made by a group of stakeholders including the manager.”

    Completely agree, Pedro, but did you ever think you’d end up sounding this ‘corporate?’ Haha. Ends up happening to all of us once we hit early 30s and find out we’ve become part of The Machine.

  12. Alex Cutter

    “Completely agree, Pedro, but did you ever think you’d end up sounding this ‘corporate?’ ”

    He’s worked in “marketing” since graduation. apparently in the same field as his father. Why do you think he’d be suprised in the slightest about where he’s ended up?

  13. Elmo

    Meant it from point of view that when you’re in your teens and 20s you ridicule and reject ‘corporate’ speak and processes, then you reach your early 30s and suddenly it’s you.

  14. tonyd

    RSPC
    Very funny! You were joking, right?

    Lemar is a class act and accurate dead ball specialist, which we don’t have. With Lacazzete nailing our penalties and Lemar either scoring or making the keeper work with free kicks we’ll have a better GD score.

    Can’t believe Wenger is thinking of playing Lemar as a CM, but Wenger is renown for playing players out of their preferred position ever since Henry’s days.

    Changing the subject a bit, my respect for Defoe as a person has risen exponentially since his obvious attachment with the young lad who died recently.

    I actually would have liked us to buy Defoe and sell Welbeck and use Defoe as a back up to Lacazette or Lemar if Wenger/Gazidis do their jobs and buy him no matter what.

    I think Defoe showed enough last season that he still has goals in him and his attitude has always been excellent. If we were in a situation where we needed to score in the last 20 minutes, Defoe would be a perfect player to further pressurise the opponents’ defense. He’s full of running still and can do the defending from the front, which is the only attribute Welbeck has.

    Sadly we’ve missed out on Defoe and even more sadder the young lad died recently but his short life was made all the happier through Defore.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/07/08/jermain-defoes-heartfelt-goodbye-best-friend-bradley-lowery/

  15. China

    My boss’ favourite word is leverage and I’m convinced he’s unwilling to say anything without it

    What’s for dinner?

    I’m going to leverage the stove to boil some potatoes!

  16. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Loyika….been saying it for some time now, Pedro is full of it and has been for too long to remember now. Has a pic of Ivan in his wallet to remind him of how good it can get if you just shove your head up the bosses arse long enough.

  17. useroz

    Reports saying Afc wanted 80m for Sanchez… good

    Even if we get Lemar the MF and forwards would mostly be shorties?!

  18. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Bradley Lowery will not be forgotten anytime soon. His pain and suffering has ended, but that wonderful smile of his will always endure. May God bless his family and keep his soul in a kind place. Defoe is a class act, period.

  19. tonyd

    Adam A
    You and others need to give Pedro the respect he deserves for giving us the vehicle to vent and discuss interesting posts with depth and sensible imagination.

    I was talking to an American professor from Minnesota recently about football where his son is an ardent Arsenal supporter. I found where as the father’s knowledge was sound about that last 5 years or so of the premier league, he still lacked the real emotion, history and intricacies of the game and, in this case, Arsenal’s history.

    This is something you can only get from living the club and going to games, not just being able to watch games on TV as you guys have for the past few years. As my friend told me you get all the premier games and not all the MLS games.

    You need to go to a few games and especially the Spurs derby games along with other London derby games to really experience what it is truly like to be emotionally connected to The Arsenal.

    I spent several years in America touring with well known UK bands in the late 70s and then back in America with Bonham in the mid 90s. I’ve travelled through America, so I’ve got a reasonable education about America, it’s people and the same for Canada.

    I’d say to you Americans come and do the same in the UK, go to home and away Arsenal games and then make your Pedro comments from experience and not just from TV and the Internet.

    You’ll find that your comments, like Pedros, will be manifested by both emotion and logic and of course hope that the idiots Wenger and Gazidis will leave our club.

    I speak with having supported the club since the mid 60s, from seeing and experiencing games.

    Give the above some careful thought before lambasting the guy who allows you to continue posting here. I doubt many of you have travelled to the Uk as much as Pedro has been in America.

    In plain terms give the guy a fucking break until you really know what The Arsenal is all about!!!!!!!!

  20. tonyd

    Nobody is perfect and we are all prone to mistakes. Gazidis was Pedros but most of his posts are spot on and more often than not: informative.

  21. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Pedro is arrogant to the core, TonyD. That’s why he gets the stick….and the fact that often enough he’s wrong about many things Arsenal. But pretty much because he’s an arrogant person to the point of being obviously arrogant.

  22. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Just cause the guy has a blog does not make him a great guy, TonyD. He’s still an imperialist and lets that slip every now and again in his responses. No free pass given.

  23. Ishola70

    tonyd:
    “Can’t believe Wenger is thinking of playing Lemar as a CM, but Wenger is renown for playing players out of their preferred position ever since Henry’s days.”

    This has come from a pretend ITK Arsenal tweeter who like many others will see it as some kind of victory if Alexis Sanchez is not sold this summer even if he doesn’t sign a new contract and goes on a free soon after.

    His tweet about Lemar playing CM was really all about Alexis Sanchez.

  24. tonyd

    Adam A
    With those kind of feelings I strongly suggest you find a blog that is more suitable to you. Seems to me you just waste your time with negativity about Pedro and not writing constructively about our team.

    Kind of makes you no better than CC, Big Pat or Pierre.

    Pedro is still young and often arrogance is part of life’s learning curve.

    Alternatively start your own blog and find out for yourself just how time consuming it can be.

    I never said pedro is a great guy; I’ve never met him or spoken to him directly. I said I respect him for this blog and his obvious love for our club.

    To reiterate Adam come over for a month or so during the season and get some real Arsenal experience and not just one game as a tourist.

    Talk and drink with long term supporters and really understand what this club is all about rather than knock people who genuinely love the club and you should go to as many matches as they can while you’re in the UK.

  25. tonyd

    Ishola70
    That makes more sense.

    I’ve been away on business and not had the time to follow things as much as I’d like. It’s difficult enough being 6000km away from the UK and following things via the Internet and other ex pat gooners who live in the region.

    Unravelling the BS from fact is never easy from afar, especially with the idiots from Arsenal’s PR.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  26. Ces1ne

    Lemar as a CM while a player like Ruben Neves (representation aside) went to Wolves for around 15milli, very sensical thinking right there.
    How about playing Lemar where he belongs & not ATTEMPTING to convert a player to a diff position. Typical……..especially since wengers 2-3 minions on here all of a sudden think that is an amazing idea bc they (possibly) got a whiff of that bullsh!t off wengers arse.

  27. Ishola70

    Ces1ne:
    “How about playing Lemar where he belongs & not ATTEMPTING to convert a player to a diff position. Typical……..especially since wengers 2-3 minions on here all of a sudden think that is an amazing idea bc they (possibly) got a whiff of that bullsh!t off wengers arse.”

    lol those championing Lemar as CM are only doing this because he plays in Sanchez current position for Arsenal. You will see if Sanchez does end up going to Man City those that were saying play him CM will change their tune and then he will be seen as as the replacement for Sanchez position. Lemar of course not the direct replacement for Sanchez Wenger was talking about. It would be a combo of both Lacazette and Lemar seen as replacement for Sanchez. But as long as Sanchez is still at the club as we speak then Lemar is this nailed on CM lol.

    There is nothing in Lemar’s profile or playing career so far that says he will make a really good CM. He played only a handful of matches as a youngster as CM for a club side and the rest of his career he has played as a proper attacker. All his appearances for the French youth teams right from U17 to U21 were as a proper attacking player.

  28. Rambo Ramsey

    Lemar is good for his age but good God is he massively overrated on Le grove. This is like Xhaka all over again. The kid has a lot of developing to do. People need to stop jizzing themselves over youtube videos of players.

    As for his deadball specialties, we’ve got Mesut Ozil for crying out loud.

  29. TR7

    O Jogo reporting Alexis to City move is almost done. A couple of days ago a Chilean newspaper El Mercurio reported the same. The fee muted is £50M.

  30. Ishola70

    TR7:
    “O Jogo reporting Alexis to City move is almost done. A couple of days ago a Chilean newspaper El Mercurio reported the same. The fee muted is £50M.”

    Does seem he is off with Arsenal chasing Lemar hard. The talk of Lemar as CM is just fans that are in denial of Sanchez leaving.

    Of course Arsenal have to sign Lemar first. The original source for the story that Lemar has reached a verbal agreement with Arsenal to join is from The Sun newspaper. Hardly a reputable source.

  31. WengerEagle

    Lukaku is a very good CF but he doesn’t terrify me thr way all of the great centre forwards do, even Diego Costa for me is a more fearsome striker which is why I find it weird Conte wanted him shitcanned to bring in Lukaku.

    Not necessarily an insane fee given his age, BPL experience and guarantee of goals but for me he’s a bit meh compared to Aguero, Suarez, Lewy, etc. Not in that class at all.

    Rooney going should be bigger news too, regardless of the last year or two he has to go down as a top 5 BPL player of all time and as synonymous with Man United as Gerrard with Liverpool or Lampard/Terry with Chelsea.

    End of an era considering his debut as a 16 year old doesnt even feel THAT long ago.

  32. Rambo Ramsey

    If Sanchez does push for a move, I’d rather bring in Mahrez as the immediate replacement. Some will disagree but there isn’t escaping the fact that this guy is a lot more cultured and technically proficient player than Lemar at this stage. He’s the more likely to have an immediate impact.

  33. TR7

    Ishola

    Yes, Lacazzete + Lemar to replace Alexis. Very similar to Giroud plus Podolski signings to replace RVP in 2012.

  34. WengerEagle

    Sanchez is off for sure, it’s what we do after all.

    We never build a great team because we always leave ourselves short and by the time we address the gaps, they appear elsewhere in the form of our best players leaving.

    Only one man to thank for that…

  35. champagne charlie

    “Does seem he is off with Arsenal chasing Lemar hard. The talk of Lemar as CM is just fans that are in denial of Sanchez leaving.”

    Nonsense, Lemar ticks all the boxes as far as being a Cazorla replacement goes but he’s quick so some fans can’t see beyond ‘winger’. Nothing to do with Alexis

  36. champagne charlie

    “Yes, Lacazzete + Lemar to replace Alexis. Very similar to Giroud plus Podolski signings to replace RVP in 2012.”

    If by similar you mean, ‘not remotely close’ then I agree.

  37. Ishola70

    WengerEagle:
    “Lukaku is a very good CF but he doesn’t terrify me thr way all of the great centre forwards do, even Diego Costa for me is a more fearsome striker which is why I find it weird Conte wanted him shitcanned to bring in Lukaku.”

    I don’t think Conte really wanted Lukaku. He was on record saying he would prefer to sign Belotti but there looks to be problems in signing Belotti this summer for any club with World Cup coming up and it’s understandable why Belotti himself wouldn’t want to upsticks from Torino with this World Cup on the horizon.

    Lukaku would have been an Abramovich signing rather than a Conte one as far as what I have heard about this. Also I’m sure Conte wouldn’t mind keeping Costa but if a player is acting up and keeps saying he wants out then it’s for the best most probably to let him go.

  38. WengerEagle

    RR

    Agree with your sentiment, short term Mahrez is the smarter bet but Lemar has the higher celing and could go on to be special.

    For our situation I would prob take Lemar because we aren’t likely to do much with Wenger in charge and building for the future is something we have not done for a while now.

    When was the last time we had a top quality under 21 year old player? Nasri?

  39. WengerEagle

    Ishola

    You really think he was game to re-sign a player they sold only 2 years for less than 30 million for a 75 million fee?

    He is not even that much better now than when he was sold.

  40. Ishola70

    TR7:
    ” Yes, Lacazzete + Lemar to replace Alexis.”

    When Wenger said he would only sell Sanchez if he could replace with a similar player of the profile and quality of him then this was always going to be a difficult task for Arsenal to undertake in their current position. Difficult for most clubs really.

    Then if the player himself makes it plain he really does want out and this summer then you do the next thing possible with the player leaving. If you can’t replace like for like you bring in two players that are seen as good signings to appease the fans.

    Sounds quite logical really.

  41. TR7

    CC

    Lemar and Lacazzete are better players than Giroud and Podolski respectively. There is no doubt about it. They are similar in pattern though to the extent Wenger realizes it is difficult, if not impossible, to sign one player who can match Alexis’ output straightaway just as it was difficult to find a striker of the same caliber as that of RVP in 2012.He bought two players then to match the output of RVP and now perhaps he is expecting Lacazzete and Lemar to match the output of Alexis.

  42. Rambo Ramsey

    Eagle, its precisely because of Wenger that I want to go for Mahrez. Who knows how long the old man will be sticking around. Lemar comes in, develops and goes on his merry way to a bigger club after 3 years. Meh. I’d rather go for the now. With Lacazette, Mahrez might be able to rekindle that magic he had going with Vardy.

  43. Ishola70

    WengerEagle:
    “You really think he was game to re-sign a player they sold only 2 years for less than 30 million for a 75 million fee?He is not even that much better now than when he was sold.”

    Might be very slim options on the market at the moment for the type of striker they wanted.

    It was reported though that Conte not one of Lukaku’s biggest fans. Preferred Belotti.

  44. Ishola70

    champagne charlie:
    ”Nonsense, Lemar ticks all the boxes as far as being a Cazorla replacement goes but he’s quick so some fans can’t see beyond ‘winger’. Nothing to do with Alexis”

    Ok then Charlie so if and when Sanchez wings it to Man City and you have stated that Lemar is your man for the CM position Arsenal need to go in the market again yes for the vacant Sanchez spot. How you want for that spot? Remember Lemar is your CM man for 60m.

  45. Ishola70

    Sanchez may be held hostage by Arsenal for a little while longer yet though lol.

    This Lemar signing may not come off meaning Arsenal PR machine can’t sell to the fans Lacazette as good enough as making up for Sanchez departure.

    Sanchez may stay a while longer because Arsenal won’t be able to get this Lemar signing done.

  46. WengerEagle

    Vicky

    Another strange move for me from Chelsea.

    Matic is underrated and underappreciated, along with Costa he has been a huge part of that backbone that has seen Chelsea win 2 titles in their 3 seasons at the club.

    Bakayoko is talented but he’s not an intelligent player, relies more on his exceptional athleticism.

    Fabinho is a better player, more versatile too.

  47. WengerEagle

    Ishola

    Interesting, some ugly shit must have went down with Costa last season for him to take such a stance.

    Belotti is likely aware of Italian strikers struggle in the BPL, playing it safe and putting a role of the dice on hold until after the World Cup.

  48. WengerEagle

    RR

    Yeah I can understand that POV, don’t subscribe to it personally though.

    My question is where does Ozil play if you have Mahrez too? Both play very high up the field and don’t contribite hugely to the build up or defensively.

    Can’t see it helping us string 5 passes together against the best teams away on a regular basis when the pressure is on.

  49. TR7

    Eagle

    Yes unlike many here I don’t rate Bakayoko at all. May be Chelsea think it’s better to replace Matic who is approaching 30 now with a relatively young player who has a better engine.

  50. Ishola70

    WengerEagle
    ” Belotti is likely aware of Italian strikers struggle in the BPL, playing it safe and putting a role of the dice on hold until after the World Cup.”

    Makes sense really for Belotti not to move this summer.

    He gets picked for the national team while playing for a club like Torino and if he moved this summer he is risking it in settling into another club with World Cup coming up. He will be the main man again this coming season for Torino so would expect him to have another good season. play the World Cup and then move after that tournament next summer.

  51. WengerEagle

    Anyone else really disappointed by PSG this season?

    I have not seen any other team as comprehensively maul Barcelona since that all conquering Bayern team in 2013 and even more impressively, they inflicted it with a fully fit Messi in what was easily the worst match I have ever seen him play, he did not even manage a shot at goal.

    Shame they just mentally capitulated in those last 5 mins during the Neymar show.

    I reckon they would have beaten Juventus and possibly Real Madrid too.

    Just shows you that big competition experience counts for so much.

  52. Ishola70

    Who actually thinks it’s a good idea apart from Charlie to team up Xhaka and Lemar in centre mid?

    Think it is an awful idea at this time.

    You have a player like Xhaka who has obvious flaws that have been well documented and then you bring in a kid who has played as an attacking more advanced player all his career and this is meant to be a good idea? lol

    Lemar being a kid doesn’t matter in more advanced positions where he is meant to be played. Bringing in Lemar as a kid in a position of CM could be very problematic especially as we are talking about Xhaka being in this equation.

  53. WengerEagle

    I know Juve beat Barca 3-0 but it was fortunate and not nearly as one-sided, they should have scored a couple whereas in Paris they created nothing and had no answers at all.

  54. Rambo Ramsey

    Mahrez, Lacazette, Ozil would roast any bloody team on the counter.

    Mahrez’s on the ball work is way too underrated, dare I say he’ll be the closest we’ll have come to replace likes of Hleb and Rosicky in terms of the attributes they bring. Mahrez has left so many PL players on their arse; even when Leicester were having their nightmare season, this was one thing that never changed. Guy doesn’t get bullied off the ball in the same way as Ozil.

  55. Ishola70

    I read that embarrassing gushing article from that poncey Guardian writer re: Mahrez.

    When I read his line about Mahrez doing multiple step overs while on the ball and waxing lyrical about it I had to laugh. This is exactly why Arsenal do not need such a player with another fancy dan player like Ozil already in it.

    No player should be doing multiple step overs on the ball unless you are called Neymar and even he should cut out of his game to some extent.

  56. TR7

    Eagle

    Yes I like the player but his fee is merely £10M short of Bernardo Silva’s fee and about the same Liverpool payed for Mane. Overpriced imo.

  57. Rambo Ramsey

    Ishola, Mahrez and Ozil are nothing alike. Mahrez has superb close control, he can dribble his way around players, he can sell a dummy, he uses all these to take on and leave opposition players on their arse. Ozil meanwhile just does not take on players, he looks to find a teammate instead.

  58. WengerEagle

    Think it was more Citeh got Silva for a bargain fee than Sigurdson is overpriced.

    Lad got into double figures goals and assists for a rubbish Swansea side last season, cant have been many in that list.

  59. champagne charlie

    TR7
    Pretty diluted reminder of Poldi/Giroud surely if you’re only referencing the fact 2 players are replacing one? Obviously that is a parallel but thats the beginning and end because as you say, the two players this time are miles better. It’s less of a hopeful gambit and more of a thoughtful replacement Imo.

    Ishola
    I’d have Mahrez and Ozil operating behind Lacazette. Xhaka and Lemar sitting in midfield, really isn’t a difficult one to imagine. You must have some pretty rigid and ancient views of what a central midfielder ought to be if you think Lemar is incapable of it.

    If everyone was fit at Arsenal right now our CM pair would be Xhaka/Cazorla. Replace Cazorla with Lemar and you have a more athletic, and penetrating Cazorla from deep. Wilshere with the actual ability if you like.

  60. Ishola70

    Rambo Ramsey:
    “Mahrez and Ozil are nothing alike. Mahrez has superb close control, he can dribble his way around players, he can sell a dummy, he uses all these to take on and leave opposition players on their arse. Ozil meanwhile just does not take on players, he looks to find a teammate instead.”

    They are similar in that they are both not direct players although yes Mahrez at times is more direct in his play than Ozil. I’ve seen Mahrez plenty of times running around in circles doing these step overs that the silly Guardian writer loves so much.

    With Ozil in the team Arsenal want truly direct players. Mahrez is not one of those.

    Come on man do you really want so many fancy players in the team? Fancy that lol

  61. Marko

    Who actually thinks it’s a good idea apart from Charlie to team up Xhaka and Lemar in centre mid?

    Absolutely not. It’s dumb imo. He is a natural winger who can play CAM that’s it. I love how also Charlie suggests he’s an ideal Cazorla replacement well Santi isn’t really a CM either he’s better as a CAM and in his early Villarreal days he played on the right too. It’d be pointless just buy a bloody midfielder

  62. Rambo Ramsey

    Ishola, I would say Arsenal are in dire need of trickery players who are capable of running at and beating opposition players. Why do you think we struggle to break down two line defenses?

    Sanchez is the one guy who takes on the initiative ( and Ox, when in the mood ). None of the others even try, they’re happy to pass it sideways. Mahrez would go a long way in fixing this.

  63. champagne charlie

    Rambo
    Totally agree. We don’t have any players in the squad capable of beating men like Mahrez, the idea him and Ozil are similar is hilarious. They are left footed footballers but thats about it.

    Marko
    Doesn’t sound like you ever played the game with comments like that. Tell me why Lemar can’t play as a central player in our 3-4-3 formation?

    You keep harping on that he’s a winger, but he played left midfield and tucked inside to let Mendy overlap. Do explain the differences in Wilshere and Lemar, any one is a CM and the other can only be a winger..

  64. Ishola70

    Rambo Ramsey:
    ” I would say Arsenal are in dire need of trickery players who are capable of running at and beating opposition players. Why do you think we struggle to break down two line defenses?”

    The running past and beating of players is over-rated in the game generally. Nice to watch but over-rated.

    Where it is not over-rated is high up the pitch in the oppositions last third. Mahrez is a player that while he can do damage in these areas also likes to receive the ball deep as well and likes to orchestrate. He may do this orchestrating in a different manner to Ozil but he is doing the same thing as Ozil. It won’t work to the benefit of the whole team to have two players that want to be the main conductor. Leave that to one player.

  65. TR7

    CC

    If you play Lemar as a CM, Ozil has to be played on left wing which is not ideal imo. He got to play CAM or on right wing.

  66. Marko

    First off we play 5 really at the back and technically Lemar could play left back and CB if you forced him to but it’d be pointless and a waste of his talents. Playing him CM with Xhaka is the equivalent of buying Fekir or Asensio or Ousmane Dembele and doing the same thing and again that’d be pointless. Also left/right wingers tuck in for overlapping left/right backs all the time it doesn’t make them CM’s. Oh and the difference between Lemar and Wilshere is one is a winger and the other a shit midfielder. I mean Lemar has pace to burn can take on defenders and whip in fantastic crosses but you wanna play him in a position where he needs to pass it 5 yards sideways and have defensive responsibilities? Seems like we’d be better off just buying a midfielder. Look you don’t see Chelsea trying to play Kante RW do you? There’s a reason for that

  67. Emiratesstroller

    I find some of the comments about Lemar size absolutely ridiculous particularly
    when you see his build.

    For a start he is taller than both Kante and Santi Cazorla and they managed perfectly well in EPL.

    Frankly size is not nearly as important as class.

  68. Ishola70

    Emiratesstroller:
    “I find some of the comments about Lemar size absolutely ridiculous particularly
    when you see his build.For a start he is taller than both Kante and Santi Cazorla and they managed perfectly well in EPL.”

    Does this mean we have another Lemar as CM advocate here then? You stated two CMs there.

    Is Sanchez staying then ? lol

  69. Marko

    Santi was only really converted into a CM because we paid 42 million on Ozil and we never addressed the midfield issue truly. That’s it. During that same time when he’d get called up by Spain they weren’t playing him CM but rather higher up the pitch. Look it’s a pointless debate we’d hardly for the first time in years actually bring in a proper legitimate left winger naturally left footed only to come along and play him deep with Xhaka. It’s not going to happen and it’d be dumb if we did. If Sanchez stays and Lemar comes in and we want to accommodate Ozil in the starting 11 we’re more likely to revert to a 4-2-3-1 and have Lemar-Ozil-Sanchez behind Lacazette.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    The point I am making is that height has absolutely no relevance to the strength
    of a player.

    Paul Scholes is smaller than Lemar, but he was a hell of a central midfielder. It used to be suggested that small footballers are actually better, because they have
    a low centre of gravity.

  71. reality check

    Lacazette and Lemar replacing Sanchez is EXACTLY the same as Podolski and Giroud replacing RVP, Like absolutely identical. Like for like. One world class player who wants to leave to win the big club trophies, A world class player who wants what all ambitious players want, money and trophies.

    The one thing I’d say about RVP though, he was a bigger Arsenal fan than Sanchez.

    This is the club making the same mistakes. This is exactly what happens to the very best players at arsenal. All these other so called great players at ARSENAL all went missing last season, to the point, the flippin ox was our best player after Sanchez.

    Ill never forget, these players down tools and gave up to the point where the fans for the 1st time ive seen chanted directly at the players “you’re not fit to wear the shirt”

    We don’t pay the one of the worst season ticket prices and we didnt move to the Emirates to win 3 poxy FA Cups.

    You can stick you’re Fa Cup where the sun dont shine.

    Respectfully..

  72. reality check

    You can stick your* FACup where the sun don’t shine.
    /
    Other than all that, I’m looking forward to the Europa League in all honesty. I’ve felt for years that it’s our level in terms of this New Arsenal wenger has built.

  73. China

    I say we stop arsing around with players out of position

    Lemar has done really well in a wide position and that happens to be a position which we really need to address regardless of Alexis because we’ve only one serious winger

    Bringing in this kid, changing his position is really hopeful in terms of him settling well with it and after Alexis likely leaves we will be down to zero serious wingers.

    We’re not in a position to experiment, we’re recovering from a 5th placed finish. Let’s sign serious talent and play it in the position it really belongs, rather than doing the typical Arsenal thing and always messing around with positions

    For years we played central midfielders out wide (hleb, rosicky, nasri, arshavin etc). Now we’re talking of signing a serious winger and putting him in CM.

    Playing around with players positions has almost never rewarded us in the last decade. Let’s start fixing our problems directly rather than always going the abstract route

  74. China

    For some reason the wing is never taken seriously by Arsenal

    Bendtner and welbeck both have put in time out wide for us…

    Let’s just have two proper wingers like we did in the old days and move on to correcting other weaknesses

  75. China

    It’s no coincidence that we’ve won almost fuck all since we last had two serious wingers

    Hleb and rosicky were quality players but both of them should’ve been in cm. Where’s our overmars/pires/ljungberg types been all these years?

    We finally have one in sanchez but that’s demonstrably not enough

  76. Emiratesstroller

    Frankly I doubt that Lemar will play anywhere apart from left wing. I am willing
    to bet that he is being brought in as a replacement for Sanchez.

    If Sanchez does by some remote situation remain at Arsenal next season he can just as easily switch flanks to the right.

    Hopefully Arsenal will keep the same formation as we did at end of last season
    and that will provide a more defensive balance to team with less reliance on
    midfielders and forwards having to fulfil defensive duties.

  77. Marko

    Hopefully Arsenal will keep the same formation as we did at end of last season
    and that will provide a more defensive balance to team with less reliance on
    midfielders and forwards having to fulfil defensive duties.

    Doesn’t matter the formation forwards and in particular midfielders still need to fulfil defensive duties

  78. champagne charlie

    Marko

    As I stated, never played football to make comments like that. Lemar can’t play CM because ‘he’s a winger’. What a dense and rigid idea to football players, pretty ignorant stuff.

    Nice comparison with Kante going on the wing… except reason he can’t is because he doesn’t have the attributes to play there. Lemar has all the attributes to play CM in this 3-4-3 we play.

    Gareth Bale was bought by Spurs as a left back having only ever played left back for Southampton. He played LB for spurs too in the beginning but was pushed upfield as his ATTRIBUTES allowed for it. Same with Lemar except the shift from wide player/left midfield to CM is absolute peanuts for a guy with his ability.

  79. Rhys Jaggar

    I have to say that if Arsenal had me as an NED, I would be asking the CEO/FD/Arsene Wenger some pretty tart questions about corporate governance over the dogs’ dinner hiring policy:

    1. Please define in detail the distinct roles played by the various goalkeeping coaches. Show me an analysis that each will be productively used for 40+ hrs a week….
    2. Why does an Aussie Rules fitness guru add value from 10,000 miles away that Shad Forsythe does not? Given the stellar work done by Jez Green in recovery for top Grand Slam tennis players including Andy Murray, who perform for up to 4hrs seven times in 14 days in explosive bursts of sprinting-like activity, did you enquire as to his availability first, to work specifically in tandem with fitness coaches to reap maximum output from tough sessions/matches with optimised recovery and minimum injuries?
    3. What is the job description of Per Mertesacker from 2018? Is he a servant-like report acting on Wenger’s outdated instructions; is he given greater latitude to radically update the whole 9-16 programme under supervision of- evolving into mentoring by a recently retired youth coach offered a part-time consultancy brief; or is he just told to get on with it, thrown in to sink or swim, without particularly onerous metrics for evaluation? Will he be seeking coaching badges awarded from the Uk, Germany or another geography?
    4. Is Jens Lehman in competition with Steve Bould, is he in competition with Tony Colbert or is he part of a PR-driven splurge of financial ill-discipline to allow the manager to continue as before whilst placating the global community of deluded fans bby ‘doing something’?
    5. Is the new contracts appointment an admission that what Daniel Levy can do is beyond the far-higher-paid Ivan Gazidis? Or is he a suitably murky figure skilled at being a bagman for dodgy agents incentive packages? Be thankful that I am asking this in a Board meeting before fans and journalists starting asking at Press Conferences, Q&As or AGMs……
    6. Given the stream of non-playing appointments, when will the Board focus on sorting out contractual issues of far higher paid playing staff?

    Not that Arsenal need an NED, as Arsene Wenger is always challenged robustly once a month by staff hired for their rigorous attention to the interests of shareholders (notably Mr Usmanov, whose voice is specifically excluded from monthly proceedings….)

  80. tonyd

    Wallace
    Was in LA with Jason Bonham when he was writing his 2nd album after his 1st album went platinum.

    I was a good friend of his as well as song content advisor and was asked to go to LA by Jason and his manager, who was previously Zep’s tour manager.

    I’d left the music business in 84 where I was a live sound engineer, tour manager and personal manager to various bands.

    My very good friend John Smithson was Jason’s bass player with Bonham so I took time out from running my business consultancy in 97 I think it was. At 62 my memory isn’t what it was.

    John Smithson was asked to play for Rod Stewart’s 25th anniversary concert for WEA I think was the label while we were in LA. Was a great gig.

    Jason, John and I used to hang out a lot back in the day.

    While I was in LA 5000 HOGs rode down Sunset Blvd as a tribute to John Bonham, which was well documented by various TV stations. John Bonham (Jason’s dad) was the president of the HOGs when he was alive.

    Oddly enough I’m heavily involved in the MC world in Thailand where some of the Jesters MC are friends along with the Mad Dogs MC the largest MC club inSouth East Asia with clubs/chapters in 6 countries.

    Over 4 years, I made 13 videos for both clubs including the Sons of Cain MC in Thailand and Bali using drones and Canon 5D MK IIIs and a fully rigged Sony FS7. I directed and edited but used a Thai crew I’d got together for the camera work.

    Jimmy Paige is one of the Jesters MC highly respected patrons helping them with charity event and often comes over to be with the Jesters.

    Not an easy question to sum up with few words Wallace but should answer your question nevertheless.

    Back to football.

    Back in the 90s I also lived opposite Chris Armstrong in Bromley who played for Palace where we became good friends, then he eventually Spurs. Chris was a long standing Gooner and always hoped he’d get to move to us, but Spurs came calling and the rest is history.

    I got to meet the Arsenal players in the players lounge at palace, so got to know a lot about GG and the team.

  81. Bamford10

    Rambo

    “we’ve got Mesut Ozil for crying out loud.”

    Who is actually not all that great with free-kicks. Rarely scores from them. Lacks power.

  82. China

    Charlie you pick out one of the world’s best examples of a player who’s been moved around as if his success story isn’t one for all to follow

    For every bale there are 50+ AOCs. We’ve managed to have countless examples just ourselves and we’re just one team

    The point about lemar is we need a winger desperately even regardless of Alexis and if he leaves then it becomes priority number 1.

    So we sign one of the really effective young wingers (of which there aren’t actually all that many around) and immediately try and be clever with him to experiment with him in the middle.

    Why?

    We don’t need to.

    Just buy a CM and stop trying to be clever because the proof is in the pudding that a small minority of players who change positions do so extremely well. It’s a gamble and it’s absolutely pointless. We aren’t Chelsea. We don’t have room to maneuvre but we can afford 40+m experiments?

    This is so pointless and is right out of the arsene wenger handbook of dubious and pointless decisions

  83. China

    At the end of the day we’re dealing with a manager who has consistently proved that he fails the vast majority of times he moves players out of their normal position

    I could probably write you 20+ players we’ve moved around without getting the best out of them but somehow the old goat remembers how to work his magic again?

    Be serious

  84. China

    I shit you not if we have lemar at CM we’re gonna see Danny fucking welbeck put out wide sometimes next season

    I would bet my house on it

    Absolutely fucking madness

  85. Bamford10

    Tony D

    “Adam A – You and others need to give Pedro the respect he deserves …”

    Agreed. It takes a lot of time, effort and energy to write and maintain this blog which we all so enjoy; it’s perfectly fine to disagree with Pedro about this or that, but at least be friendly about it.

    Adam – Your criticisms of Pedro are bizarre, frankly. He’s “an imperialist”? Huh? Get some sleep, mate. You’re starting to sound a bit weird.

  86. Bamford10

    The only reason people think he might play Lemar as a CM is because they think he isn’t going to vary from the 3-4-3.

    So they look at the team and say, “well, the front three are obviously Alexis, Lacazette and Ozil, thus Lemar would have to play as a CM.”

    However, there is a good chance we will revert to 4-3-3, in which case he could play wide right or wide left.

    Could he play as one of the two CMs in a 3-4-3? I guess. But I’m not sure that would be optimal for him, and I’m not sure he would want to play that role as it would involve more defending and more heavy-lifting CM work than he has been asked to do in the past.

  87. Cesc Appeal

    Would be the most Wenger thing to ever Wenger if we played Lemar at CM and then Ramsey was playing RM/LM. I could not think of anything more Wenger than that, just stands full of confused and disconsolate supporters. You could completely see it as well.

    If and it is a big if Wenger was thinking of Lemar as a CM it would be one of those experiments that lasts two weeks before he reverts back quickly. Not a CM at all. Maybe his future is in CAM, perhaps Wenger sees that (we know he likes that with players), but not CM.

  88. Cesc Appeal

    Looks like Arsenal are doing a Monaco with Sanchez and City, stating he will cost them £80 Million probably in an effort to get something more than the £50 Million being touted.

    At least Lacazette and Lemar is an actual and speedy effort and replacing him. Need to add a CM this summer as well with that money though.

  89. Cesc Appeal

    Adam

    Not yet, but Arsenal are going back in with their second offer in three days and third offer in total at £45 Million. Some journalists were saying Monaco are holding out for about £53 Million, so I think it will be done.

    Particularly because Sanchez is pushing for a move. Just like Wenger staying on, we all knew it was likely because he would not reveal his future, Sanchez said he knew what he was doing two weeks ago, if he was staying he would have said it. So Arsenal are probably waiting for Lemar to go through and then they will sell to City.

  90. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Admittedly I know little of Lemar, but going in for the kind of money being discussed means he’s a player that brings value where?

  91. Cesc Appeal

    See the Brozovic rumours are back for yet another summer. Now he would be more likely to be played at CM next to Xhaka.

    But reading up on him, not sure what he has done at Inter, but their fans are absolutely ripping into him for his antics.

    Anyone know what that is about?

  92. Samesong

    Cesc
    Transfer News Live‏ @DeadlineDayLive 5m5 minutes ago
    More
    Alexis Sanchez will be allowed to join Bayern Munich or PSG – but not Premier League rivals Manchester City. (Source: Sunday Express)

    probably made up shit.

  93. grooveydaddy

    Adam

    14 goals/14 assists playing primarily as a LW

    Make of that what you will.

    Great young player, very high ceiling.

  94. China

    Doesn’t seem to be done yet but does seem a possibility

    But there’s an 80% chance he’s sanchez’s replacement so any talk of needing to make room for both of them with ozil and laca is premature

    Realistically we start next season with one, the other or mahrez based on how things are looking at the moment

    Would love to be proved wrong though

    We’ll see if a formation change is incoming but I’d say les not get attached to the formation from the end of last season

    We should be setting a vision for quite kind of setup we want and either buying players that fit it, or changing formation to make best use of the players we have

    The only reason we changed formation last season was because of pressure on wenger and because Chelsea were rocking it. These are not what should decide what formation we pick and is no more likely to work well for us in the long run than the change from a 442 to a 433 did for us when blindly following barca’s example a decade or so ago

    Have your own approach based on what seems to make the most sense, rather than gormlessly copying whomever is top of the league. I couldn’t expect arsene to put that much thought into it though…

  95. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Bamford…”a bit weird”? This coming from someone who has made it a national pastime of going to Pedro crying to get people banned. You are not exactly “normal” in your behaviour often enough.

  96. Samesong

    We should be setting a vision for quite kind of setup we want and either buying players that fit it, or changing formation to make best use of the players we have

    China exactly.

  97. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Would love to see Sanchez stay, but realistically it’s not something that would be beneficial knowing you are going to lose him for essentially nothing and leaving a boatload of transfer money on the table. Not good business sense to do that in today’s game and economy. It’s a business after all?

  98. Dream10

    Cesc

    Brozovic seems to be the CM/AM hybrid who gets forward. He’s not a high quality type of advanced #8, so I’d rather we steer clear of this profile. It means Xhaka or Coquelin will have to do the work of three men when our 4-2-3-1 (really a 4-2-4 with fullbacks pushed high) becomes a 4-1-5. We need a quality CM who does work in the middle third and can function with a deeper Xhaka or Elneny, an advanced Ramsey or a tackler like Coquelin. Rumours of Wilshere staying for another year is gathering pace, which means another CM is unlikely. A fcuking shame.

  99. Cesc Appeal

    Samesong

    Lots of rumours about that move today, I saw some rumours that Arsenal basically have a fee requirement of £50-80 Million. Would imagine the lower reaches are for Munich and PSG, but if City offer £60 Million plus then I think he will go there. Sanchez clearly wants City, and if they offer big money Arsenal will take it.

    Right now I would say City and then PSG are the most likely, Munich seem to have given up on him. Not like them to pay truly passive fees either.

    Really interested to see what wages he ends up on.

  100. Samir

    Pablo said we’re interested in Van Dijk with Chambers going the other way.
    Now that would be a quality move, only if we get a DM in first though.
    Give them Walcott aswell as Chambers!

  101. Cesc Appeal

    Dream10

    I’m with you. I have been saying all summer we should look to address CM correctly and thoroughly. Xhaka does create big problems for us in the way that Ozil does in the attacking midfield and having to balance out his glaring weaknesses.

    Xhaka is so, so slow. He cannot get around the pitch in the centre at all and so you need to partner him up with someone reasonably mobile and disciplined and who can add a bit in attack whilst still being defensively diligent.

    Personally, I would like to see us go 4-3-3 and get in two CM’s. At the start of the summer I would have liked us to get shot of Ozil, bring in Tolisso and someone like Goretzka/Danilo/Rabiot/Kovacic and then Lemar and Lacazette.

    In our current set up, Xhaka’s partner has to be spot on.

  102. Bamford10

    Sports management guy who works with Walcott said the following on Twitter:

    “Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, carl jenkinson, Joel Campbell & Lucas Perez will not travel to Austraillia. All set to be sold.”

    When asked his source, he said “a player but can’t say more than that”.

    Could be bogus, but his management company does work with Walcott.

  103. Dream10

    Samir

    Want us to sell Walcott as well, but if Sanchez and Perez go, we can’t depend on Welbeck, Ramsey, Ox , Iwobi or Jack to score 10+ goals in PL from wide areas.

  104. Dream10

    Cesc Appeal

    I think Xhaka and Özil are quality, and despite their a shortcoming or two, I think their quality is something we don’t have in the rest of the squad. We need to improve on players 13-20 in the squad and keep the mainstays. Removing two of Wilshere/Ox/Walcott (even though he scores) wages from squad (they want 100k+ weekly wages as squad players) and signing a high quality CM like Keïta or two good ones is the path I would go down.

  105. Bamford10

    Xhaka + Lemar (!) as your two CMs would be a disaster.

    Xhaka lacks quickness and mobility, which means Lemar would have to cover an absurd amount of ground (on both sides of the ball) in a role he has never really played. When he has played in central midfield, he has done so with two other CMs, where one was a Bakayoko and the other a Bernardo Silva. Putting him next to Xhaka alone would be very, very different and IMO wouldn’t work well.

    We need more athleticism, solidity and quality in midfield. If you go with only two CMs, you need an athlete like a Fabinho and an all-action like Verratti to be great, IMO.

  106. Cesc Appeal

    Dream10

    I agree on Xhaka, he has shortcomings but I do think there is a potentially great CDM/CM in there. I disagree on Ozil though, he has quality, but I think he just is not cut out for the EPL and is the equivalent of a luxury passenger all too often.

    Keita would be great, but at £60-80 Million, I cannot see that. Looks as if we are looking around the Goretzka, Jorginho and Brozovic area where we could land a bargain. Really like Goretzka, his fee would be ridiculous at his age if not for his contract situation.

    Bellerin, Xhaka, Goretzka, Kolasinac
    ———-Ozil—————-Lemar———
    ——————Lcazette——————–

    Interesting. Sanchez is a massive loss still and we will feel it as the season drags on I think. Would like to see us look for a premium young attacking talent with a potentially high ceiling as well who is the more pacey, direct type.

  107. Bamford10

    Adam

    Asking for some dickhead to be binned from time to time is equivalent to coming here every day to rant at the author of the blog, calling him, among other things, an “imperialist”? Sorry, but no.

    Your posts are only slightly less concerning than Rhys’s when he goes off the reservation.

    You do you, though.

  108. Adam A. Carbarundum

    “Your posts are only slightly less concerning than Rhys’s when he goes off the reservation.”

    At least I got that going for me! :)

  109. Bamford10

    Cesc

    I’m as big a critic of Ozil as you are, and I would be happy to sell him, but I think if we keep him, the best way to get something out of him is to force him to play in midfield, as the CAM in a central three, with three attacking players in front of him. That way he becomes a midfield distributor and counter-attack initiator, rather than a toothless second striker.

  110. Dream10

    That team lacks enough goals. Goretzka has a year left on contract, Bayern are circling though. This likely the only summer we can sign young superstars that Dembélé, Keïta or Mbappé. Not a lot of competition right now

  111. Cesc Appeal

    Dream10

    It would depend on how much we get for Sanchez, if we get an eye watering amount then I’m with you, go for a big option.

    I have said it before, I would like to see us go for someone like Keita Balde Diao who plays LW at Lazio. Bamford posted an article about some of his attitude issues which is worrying with a pussy like Wenger, but his stats this year are impressive, he is a very physical, very direct, very pacey player and is going under the radar to an extent.

    If we lost Sanchez for say £60 Million to City, to close out the summer with Lacazette and Lemar in, I would like to see Goretzka and Balde Diao. If you lost Sanchez in your attack and added Lacazette, Lemar and Balde Diao, I think you have got stronger, not necessarily instantly, but in years to come, particularly as Lemar and Balde Diao are still so young.

    Would mean going back to a 4-2-3-1 though in my opinion.

    ——–Xhaka, Goretzka
    —–Lemar, Ozil, Balde Diao
    ————Lacazette

    If you are playing the cutting in game (Lemar and Balde Diao), swap them if you are taking it to the flank, but then Lacazette does not seem a ST that thrives from wingers taking it wide and whipping them in, more centralised build up play anyway.

  112. S Asoa

    Metro News Football
    ” Inter are believed to be ready to listen to offers for Brozovic as they need to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations – the versatile midfielder has a £43million release clause written into his current contract.

    Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/09/arsenal-preparing-bid-for-chelsea-and-manchester-united-target-marcelo-brozovic-6765319/#ixzz4mL2L2KKN

    Chance for our Dim Bulb Ditherer to get smart and make a bid of £430101 for him.
    Chelsea and United on the tail.

    Deja vue

  113. Cesc Appeal

    Bamford

    That would mean going back to a 4-2-3-1, though the summer signs point to us doing that.

    Means that CM signing is critical, have to get it right, we cannot have Xhaka and Ramsey with Ozil doing nothing in terms of central work and then a weaker defensive set up than in the 3-4-2-1.

  114. Cesc Appeal

    S Asoa

    That explains it then, similar to Roma. No way anyone will meet his release clause if Inter need to sell.

  115. Doublethink

    Walcott staying would be almost as bad as Sanchez leaving. I like Lemar but he’s not good enough to replace Sanchez, he’s got a great left foot but I don’t think he has the same level of dribbling, vision or flair. As a direct replacement I think would prefer Mahrez as I think they’re more similar in regards to their skill set even though Lemar is probably better overall. I can see why people are talking about him as a CM, his skill set makes as more of a midfielder than an attacker..

  116. Dream10

    Cesc

    That was a good spot from Bamford. Don’t watch Lazio, but people have good things to say about his skill set. We’ve been linked to Keita Balde before. Whether it’s Lacazette or Giroud at #9, we do better when there are two goalscorers & two playmakers on the pitch (Lacazette/Giroud/new signing/Walcott) &
    ( Ozil/Lemar/Iwobi/Ramsey)

  117. Ishola70

    Cesc Appeal:
    “See the Brozovic rumours are back for yet another summer. Now he would be more likely to be played at CM next to Xhaka.But reading up on him, not sure what he has done at Inter, but their fans are absolutely ripping into him for his antics.Anyone know what that is about?”

    The fans and management of Inter were not happy with his application for periods of last season. Don’t know whether he is being made scapegoat for Inter’s disappointing league placing overall but no smoke without fire as they say. Must have been quite pronounced this accusation of non-application for basically the whole club to turn against him.

    Tbh not a player for me that screams out must buy.