Wenger opting for plan B?

by & filed under News Review.

Me, erry morning, after typing 'Arsenal news' into Google

Me, ‘erry morning, after typing ‘Arsenal news’ into Google

Well, well, well… still no action.

Our options slowly evaporating. Morata staying at Madrid after signing a new 5 year deal. Lacazette is too expensive and we don’t want him. Higuain is being courted by Madrid and I have my doubts we’d go 50m for a striker who will be 29 in December (My mistake, he is younger than I originally thought) / a striker we didn’t want to pay 32m for when he was, you know, young and fresh out of a great league. There’s Icardi who I think could be a special player, but I can’t help but think interest there is being stoked by an Inter desperate to sell their players.

(more…)


More transfer rumours… Mauro Icardi’s having a party

by & filed under News Review.

Lock up your daughters (and wives)

Lock up your daughters (and wives)

Hello everyone and happy Sunday.

So some people didn’t like me bagging on big Weng yesterday for moonlighting as a football pundit over the summer. I can see that. The self-righteousness of some fans and journalists towards the lifestyles of footballers (and managers) can be hard to stomach at times. Articles that criticised England’s footballers for going on holiday after their shocking performance at the Euros were as misguided as they were pithy.

What were they supposed to do? Hole themselves up in their back room until August, Jimmy Stewart style, with only some binoculars and Grace Kelly for company. Sod that.

Has your response to a lousy review at work ever been to say, “Fuck it kids. Holiday is cancelled. We’re going to knuckle down over the summer so I can figure out why I’m so garbage at repairing photocopiers”. I expect not.

Having said all that, I do think Weng’s commentary role is a bit of a PR problem for him. The fanbase was nearly torn asunder last season. Ardent defenders of one of the club’s greatest ever managers versus those who are desperate for any kind of change. Whatever the merits of either argument, something had to give. The expectation was that the manager would redouble his efforts, ensure his legacy is secure and do everything he can to make us title contenders.

He’s perfectly entitled to a holiday, and to earning some extra money on the side if he wants. But as and when it becomes clear that this transfer window is panning out like every other half arsed one that came before it, are we not entitled to ask whether the commentary gig is a bit of a distraction?

********************

In other news Laurent Koscielny has rejected a contract, though apparently he hasn’t. Higuaín is definitely on his way, although actually maybe now he isn’t. We are in a race to sign Manolas from Roma… hang on, aren’t these all rumours from 2013? Is this summer so barren that its caved in on itself and we are sitting on the theoretical lip of our own transfer rumour black hole witnessing past, present and future Arsenal transfer windows at the same time?!

NO. And stop using time travelling analogies.

I genuinely don’t know how much truth there is in any of these rumours. The only known known is that any new signings will not have much time to bed in before the start of the new season. It all points to bad planning again.

*********************

News just in… Apparently we have made contact with Mauro Icardi’s reps about bringing him to London.

Here are his stats for the last three seasons:

Goals 47
Mins/goal 145
Conversion (excl pens) 24%
Assists 12
Mins/chance created 81

Pretty similar to Giroud so not quite the level we need but, hey, at least we are trying something. The important thing to know about Icardi is that he stole his teammates missus then got tattoos of their kids’ names. The guy is an ice cold killer. Elite mentality that is sorely needed at Arsenal.

Joking aside, the guy doesn’t look like a world beater but at this stage I’d take almost anyone. The alternative of course is that we move to two up front. Walcott or Alexis playing alongside Giroud. It worked well for France during the Euros and actually played to the handsome bastard’s strengths. Griezmann is obviously another level, but I think Sanchez could thrive in a partnership like this.

What are your thoughts? Are there any decent number 9s out there that we could actually sign? Would you take Icardi? How about two up top? Let me know.

Right that’s enough from me. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel


Arsenal transfer windows – they only exist in your mind

by & filed under News Review.

20160421133925

Do you hear that? It’s Arsenal’s summer passing you by. Not with a bang but a whimper.

As Pedro said yesterday, it seems a bit trite to be complaining about matters of the foot when there is so much actual horror going on in the world.

In a perverse way, for people in the UK at least, the abundance of real news means that Arsenal’s 14th consecutive summer of ‘pffft’ is getting less attention than a party popper at the fall of the Berlin Wall.

So distracted have we been by #thenews this summer, that we’ve woken up on 16th July (one month away from the start of the new season no less) to discover we’ve still only signed one senior player.

Fear not, the rationalists say. Let’s remember we finished second last year and we’ve already signed Xhaka.

Well yeah, but…

We finished on 71 points last year which, in any other season, is the bare minimum needed to secure fourth. We did nothing in the Champions League, again. We’ve lost three senior squad players and, so far, replaced them with one. We’ve been after a top striker for five seasons and are failing to identify targets beyond the criminally obvious. There was a near mutiny in the stadium against the manager last year, and there were assurances that THIS time, finally, he had learned.

The Xhaka signing was a great start. The prospect of Vardy and Mhykatarian, electrifying. However those fell by the wayside and now we are left with the square root of zilch. Asano could be a top talent, and if based on the club’s new found love of analytics, a smart signing. However he is not what the squad needs NOW. And it is unfair to expect anything from him.

The manager, who supposedly has one season left to save his legacy, has spent most of the summer doing TV spots, as he does every other year. Maybe this judgement is unfair and he’s actually on the phone to Dick Law as soon as the cameras are off; wheeling, dealing, pushing, striving to sign the players the team really needs. But given his track record since he started his second job as a football pundit, the evidence runs to the contrary.

Despite the positive start, Arsenal have approached this transfer window with all the guile of a dog on a skateboard. Watching our competitors play the game as we slowly roll into the geraniums.

I don’t hold out hope of it getting much better. Best bet is to wake up again on deadline day to see if Arsene can strike it lucky with a Cavani or a Higuaín.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more irrepressible joy. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel

Have a lovely day!