Top targets Arsenal should be considering this summer

by & filed under News Review.

 

Happy good morning y’all!

First up, after three years in the job, Roberto Martinez has been given the chop. One win in ten and a very disappointing season saw to that. He got way ahead of himself in his first year, like he was some sort of savior, then failed to build from there. He’s a style over substance kind of manager… even when he was at Wigan people were celebrating him play a way his team couldn’t handle, then applauding him beating the drop last day of the season.

Anyway, a team that isn’t arsed isn’t a good look. 12th in the league wasn’t good enough. So bring on a new regime. Amazing how much bolder smaller clubs are getting in chopping out managers that are born survivors in the chase for greater riches. Shame Arsenal don’t do the same when they look at how Bayern, Barca, Juve and Madrid play. Heycknes was kicked out of Bayern after the treble because the club needed and overhaul and new ideas. If Wenger won the treble, he’d get a 16 year deal and keys to Stan K’s ranch

In other news, with stories abound about the departure of Alexis and Theo, it’s worth mentioning Henrikh Mkhitaryan as a possible replacement. The Armenian has a year to go on his deal, he’s 27 years old and he’s just dropped an incredible season with 20 assists and 18 goals. I’d be very surprised if we weren’t monitoring a player like him. He has plenty of grit, a consistent end product, he’d be cheap and he’d know how to play in a tactical system if Wenger ever decided to leave.

I love Alexis… but there’s a reason talent like his didn’t make it at Barca. He loses the ball too freely and he’ll likely not arse himself with defending… especially if he thinks he’s the superstar of the team. If we need to replace star presence with star presence, the Armenian would certainly please in a very Arsenal way.

Then there’s Theo, whom shares his position, I mean really, the man has to leave. He’s the epitome of everything we don’t need at Arsenal. He doesn’t have mental strength, his technique is super average for an Arsenal player and he’s coining it in because he’s British. Not to mention he thinks he’s a striker…

Henrikh Mkhitaryan can play across the front line. He’d be a very strong candidate. He’s also another example of what you can find when you raid lesser leagues. Originally found by the Ukrainian League… a place German clubs seem to raid freely like Arsenal did France back in the day.

Other players I’d be interested in this summer? Ok, why not!

I’d love to see us double raid for Lukaku and John Stones. The Englishman is a bit clumsy and lightweight at the moment, but tell me a great centre back that wasn’t at 22? Rio wasn’t on the world class train as a kid and John Terry was shoved off the ball in an FA Cup final by Freddie of all people! I think Mr Stones could be one of those mega regrets if we don’t land him. He’s classy on the ball, has a great frame and he mostly reads the game well. Lukaku is another kid, he has a shed ton of goals. Sure, he’s hardly well rounded, but he’s young, experienced and he’s a real student of the game. If Wenger can shape Adebayor into something resembling world class, I’m sure he could shape Lukaku. He’s also the powerhouse we’ve missed since Ade.

I’d also like a Xhaka or N’Kante. I spoke on the Swiss yesterday, but the Frenchman (how did we not scout him?) is something else. A true modern box to box beast. Insatiable appetite for the game, a monster, with plenty of craft. Would love to have him line up in our midfield. Can you imagine?

Also, total curve ball here… But Carlo Ancelotti has told Gotze he can leave for £20m. He hasn’t hit the heights under Pep, but my, what a talent. Picking up players of talent and under struggle was a Wenger RKaeRIKMspecial back in the day. He can play all over the midfield, he knows what it’s like to perform under pressure and he’s super young. What an opportunity for us to nip in for a bargain… a player we know Wenger watched 400 times in the past as well.

Right, that’s your lot today! Have a good one!


Bad news for WELBZ | What does Xhaka mean for British core?

by & filed under News Review.

 

So the transfer world is starting super early this summer. Bayern have signed Hummels and teenage midfield sensation Sanches already. Arsenal are close to Xhaka. Word is that a £35m deal is where it’ll go…

He’s a box to box beast with a penchant for long shots. Clearly something they teach them at Basel. He’s a Swiss international, but he’s of Albanian descent… His brother plays for his native country. Eastern European footballers are generally hard as nails and they go to war for their teams. He’s currently captain of his German side, which means we have a leader coming in. He’s also super accurate with them passes, clocking an impressive 85% this year!

What this means for our midfield is not quite clear. Firstly, we’re giving ourselves options, which is marvelous. Arteta wasn’t exactly box to box, but if we’d bought him younger he’d have been capable. It’s still unclear what the game plan will be. There are still talks that we’re in for Kante, which you’d have to imagine dies with Xhaka, unless of course we’re planning to drop Coquelin out of the squad this summer because of his limited ability to play ball in the way Wenger expects?

Also, what becomes of Jack and Ramsey? Both don’t know their position, both have floundered of late, both haven’t realised their potential. Hard to know how long you persist? Both at the age where they have big resale value. Would be a big decision, and a big admittance the project after project youth failed as well.

Maybe it’s time for Wenger to just admit that the best way to bond players to a club outside money and kindergarten, is to win things. That keeps the best in the mix for longer. Because if players are staying for more than trophies, maybe they’re not the right sort of players?

In more miserable news… It appears Danny W is out for 9months. Quite amazing how many players we have that drop into the injury hole never to return. Jack, Rosicky, Arteta, Diaby, Vermaelen… how did this happen? Two mega injuries back to back? Amazing bad luck, or some mismanagement? Not good news either way. I hope the club fills his spot next season. We can’t be going short again for a player not back until next year at the earliest.

Still, worth pointing out that injuries have been pretty good this season, down 38% apparently. Just the ones that we have had have hit us super hard because we didn’t have a proper squad. The worst, probably Santi. Second worst, Coquelin… Mostly because his back up was Flamini. We have the chance to make good on that this summer. Build a squad that can cope with multiple sad scenarios, wouldn’t that be lovely?

Right, me done. Have a good one!


Alexis team dropping worrying rumours in the press

by & filed under News Review.

 

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I’m writing this from Guatemala… beautiful place, scary as fu*k. It’s the tourist equivalent of the Premier League, one mistake and you’re punished. We stayed out too late in Antigua the other night, and a car full of guys tried to run out Tuk Tuk off the road. Such a beautiful place, but my lord, you have to be careful.

Well, the Premier League is over, Arsenal own auto qualification to the Champions League. All is well, right?

Wrong.

First up, just to retouch on James’ post yesterday. Some of the abuse he took for taking a moderate view was a bit embarrassing. He goes to all the away games which makes him more hardcore than most of the Internet, he writes for a number of publications which is yet more time and move on the club and he’ll chat over a beer with anyone on the web who is polite. If he doesn’t like people being militantly anti-Wenger during the games, that’s absolutely fine.

I’m militantly anti-Wenger… but I am hugely pro-differing opinion. I love it that you can chat back and forth about Arsenal in a nice way. When it turns aggressive and spiteful, it’s no fun. When it’s a race to the mic after the game, the attacks can start to feel a bit false. Football should be fun, I know it hasn’t been at Arsenal for a while but that doesn’t entitle people to act like children.

Anyway, I’m game for change. Are we getting it? No. Do fans in general want to wage mass protest in the ground? No. So you can laugh at our middle class decorum, but you shouldn’t abuse and attack it. It’s just a game and you have to respect the groundswell opinion… which to me, says we want change, but not if that comes with blood curdling revolution.

In other news.

The cost of having a Wenger could be about to impact our squad in a not so kind way.

Ozil missed the City game at late notice with a hip injury which set tongues ablaze. He’s not been at the races in 2016 and his attitude stunk out the pitch in the last few games. He’s a world class player, teeing up goals for average bodies like Theo and Giroud. He’s 27, he’s tasted Madrid and he knows how proper managers operate. If there’s a sniff that either Pep or Carlo want him, he’ll surely push for a move.

I know he loves London and the privacy he’s afforded. But I’m sure he doesn’t like heading to international duties with tales of how poorly his club is run. He wants excitement the same as the fans. If you’re not in the game for trophies, what’s the point?

The second more aggressive story centres on Sanchez. His team are dropping words like ‘sad pony’ and ‘uncalm winds’ poetically alluding to him him being unhappy at an unambitious Arsenal. He stormed out of the Norwich game. Rumours are that he was a pain at the training ground. It’s also worth noting he’s not not the sharpest tool in the box… If he’s unhappy, everyone will know about it.

Again, he’s a winner at a club that lacks them. He wants the best for his career and Arsenal can’t offer that. What’s worrying is that Bayern and Juve are the club’s being linked… and they aren’t as rich as us. So this doesn’t feel like a negotiation tactic.

So the long and short of it is that we don’t know what’s going on. The basics are that both are in the running for new deals. So they could be agitating to find out what Arsenal are planning this summer. Or, what is more likely, they are trying to shake out early interest before the Euro’s and Copa America land.

Both sets of unrest, plus Arteta moving to City, shine an uncomfortable light on why our continued journey with Arsene Wenger makes no sense at all. He does lack ambition. He does lack a vision you can buy. He has no answers to the dissent being showed here.

Arsenal fans, it seems, would rather sacrifice a winning group of players, if it means Wenger gets to indulge himself for another 4 years. People can point to my views being out of line with the masses… but look, if they’re inline with our best players, we have a problem.

Hopefully it’s just hardball. My concern is that looking at the complaints in the cold light of day… well, they’re right.

Over to Arsene to prove us all wrong.