PLAN B TRANSFER WINDOW PAYING OUT ALREADY

by .

Ooohhhh, look at the Grovers in the comments section slapping me on the wrist for being too negative on Aaron Ramsdale yesterday. A rebellion of sorts occurred after I aired my views on slight concerns that Aaron isn’t in the form he should be and that could cost us.

I’m not budging.

Here’s where I will give some leeway, the player is only 24 years old. At that age, Allisson was getting benched by Wojciech Szczęsny. Ederson had just landed his move to Manchester City at 24 having played only 37 senior games for Benfica. Being a goalkeeper is hard, not many have it sussed at 23, so there’s plenty of room to grow.

(more…)


ARSENAL SIZZLE GOING FORWARD, BUT DEFENCE STUTTERS

by .

I watched the game angry because I have NOT slept, so pardon the negative vibes in this post, because overall, I am thrilled where we are right now.

We beat Leicester 4-2. Our football was scintillating at times. But… our defensive lapses feel like they need to be addressed.

The William Saliba own-goal, on reflection, seems like more of a fluke. I wrongly thought Ramsdale was out of position, I don’t think he was, I doubt that’ll happen again.

(more…)



LOKONGA-ING ALL THE WAY TO MILAN? NO CHANCE

by .

The HOT rumour this morning is AC Milan is in talks to BUY Sambi Lokonga.

BUY?

Excuse me?

Now, firstly, what have we learned about rumours that come from Italy?

Not to touch them, fall in love with them, OR take them seriously.

Their clubs have about 4 pennies between them, they are unreliable for both buying (Fiorentina) and for selling (Fiorentina).

(more…)


ARSENAL FINALLY LEANING INTO THE DARK ARTS

by .

Well good morning to you ALL! Or afternoon. Maybe early evening? Who cares.

The Youri Tielemans deal has taken an Aaron Ramsdale-ish turn. Arsenal, is reportedly happy to wait a year for the midfielder and get him on a free.

I DOUBT IT FAM

Leicester think they are dealing with United here. That we’ll just spew £32m for a player who only wants Arsenal. Not this Arsenal. We’re playing games with a club that can’t afford to exit this summer with Youri on their books. The fans get ants in their pants, but simple facts are this: We don’t need Youri right this second, so we can take our sweet time until there’s a horrible karma injury at the weekend. JUST JOKES.

We’re not leaving this window without a midfielder. No chance. I think there is a VERY high chance that midfielder is YT.

The wide forward? I’m not sure. Nico Pepe doesn’t seem close to any club. Galtier at PSG hasn’t moved on him. AC Milan haven’t made a move. Sevilla are waiting there with a ‘PLEASE LET US JUST HAVE HIM FOR NOTHING’ shaped begging bowl. It’s pretty bleak, because Arteta has no interest in the boy and at 26, he has his best years ahead of him. He has to take a move. Sitting on your ass for a year ain’t it.

There have been some links with Tonali of AC Milan. Chatter of £55m leads me to believe that the Italian club just need to whip up a market for a player no one is talking about. I just don’t see us signing an expensive DM this window. If money were no object, certainly, but personally, I think finding the next Xhaka is more imperative this season. Why? The position is easier to upgrade than the Partey one. Cheaper as well.

Hector Bellerin was spotted at an airport. His agents are in town to negotiate a very low fee. I don’t care what he goes for as long as we put a chunky sell-on clause into his deal so we don’t get flipped like fancy Chatham two up two down after Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has had his way with it on Changing Rooms.

You lot were lying to me.

‘Oh, we don’t like high fashion things on Le Grove, give me some Khaki shorts and an ‘I’m with stoopid’ t-shirt’

Well, I’ve been told a lot of you bought one of these fancy shirts.

If you want to enter the conversation like JC, jump on this LINK and type LG10 on purchase to get a 10% discount. Word on the street is Art of Football are going to partner with us on some special clobber.

The big supporter news is that the Government has authorised Licensed Standing. The terraces are BACK baby. In America, they call them supporter sections, cheaper seats, noisier fans, a great gateway ticket for the next generation of fans.

Arsenal data seems to indicate that 16,000 season ticketholders responded to a survey, 70% of them were in favor of standing sections (11,200), and 40% wanted to transfer to that section (4,480). That’s a great number to create a bit of noise, it’s about 10% of home season tickets. Get some drums, some flags, maybe a cheeky tifo, and you are ROLLING. The additional noise would be welcome! I also like standing more than sitting.

I’d love to know what the deal is… if you remove 3,000 seats, is that 6,000 standing, or do you have to keep the capacity the same? One for the safe-standing nerds. Might need to get Tim Payton on the podcast to help us navigate.

Man United watch is becoming a fun pass time. They have pulled out of a deal for Arnautovic, not because he’s bang average, but because United fans got upset. They are going full steam into Adrien Rabiot to make their drab midfield slightly more drab. I didn’t realise they added Tom Huddlestone and Steve McClaren to the backroom team. Honestly, EtH seems to be going two-footed into creating the least inspiring United experience and I am here for it! Funny thing is when people warn me off slandering EtH. I get the same with Tuchel. I get the same with Conte. Look, they can’t all bang, I’m going to be right at least 66% of the time here.

Right, short one today, thank you for reading. I put up a technology chat podcast on the app if you’re into Web3 tings. It went up first on the Patreon, which is where the cool kids hang out, so go there if you want a piece of the action. ALSO remember to listen to the On The Whistle. It hit #11 for football in England and #13 for soccerball in the states. Thank you for listening. x

Become a Patron!



MONDAY ROUND-UP – DISARRAY AT RIVALS

by .

The Arsenal Loan Boys Classique in France went well for Flo and Nuno yesterday. Our 3rd choice left-back scored a screamer, I think it was maybe the second shot he’s hit on target this year and it was a low screamer. It’s lovely to see him doing well in France, hopefully he can add a bit of calmness to his game, and a bit of defensive rigour. Balogun also scored, a cross was whipped in, Marseille didn’t clear it and Balogun was sharpest to the second ball nodding it in.

Nuno won MoTM in L’quipe.

Next summer, I suspect you’ll likely see Kieran Tierney exit for a big money because he’s not going to sit behind Zinchenko long-term. I could be wrong, but I think Zinchenko has more to his game, and I reckon he’s more robust… not that we’ve seen him drop too many 50-game season, so we’ll see.

Nuno will then come back and fight for his place. Hopefully we’ll have a more mature player with extremely explosive traits… and someone that will happily fight for his place being quite a bit younger than KT.

Barcelona are rapidly turning into the most ridiculous club on the planet. They apparently told Frenkie that they’ve seen bad things in his deal, agreed by previous management, and they recommended the contract be annulled. In any other business, this sort of carry-on would end in a lawsuit. To make matter even more nuts, Barcelona set up an account they owned, transferred their own money into it, and tried to pretend it was new money… La Liga said no, and told them they can’t register their 5 new players. That is fraud. How are they allowed to operate this way without consequence?

United has an offer on the table for Frenkie. Chelsea has an offer on the table for Frenkie PLUS an offer to pay his deferred wages. But the player still prefers to stay at Barcelona, which I think is amazing. Quite incredible that Barcelona thought it was sharp to give him a £400k a week deal.

Hopefully, they are made to pay for the error of their ways, but you suspect they’ll get away with it because they have a big brand.

How about some more United slander?

EtH, probably the last of the ‘ARSENAL SHOULD SACK ARTETA FOR _______’ managers, is really warming to the job. He’s tapping Arnautovic to spice up the dressing room, which is amazing because he’s both shite, and a bit of a racist. But hey, sometimes you need a bit of a personality… maybe he’ll do better with talent ID in midfield? ERRR NO! Adrien Rabiot is on the list. I didn’t even realise he was a real player, I thought he existed as a metaverse transfer rumour. Some sort of gag. But listen, I am absolutely here for this sort of player because he isn’t moving Untied to the promised land.

BNC, right back superstar in the making, has signed a new deal with Arsenal. The plan there seems quite clear, give him a bigger loan at a better team this season, hope he smashes it, then give him the chance to succeed Cedric next season. The kid has it all, he has outrageous amounts of technical ability, he’s won things with England U19s, he’s powerful like Nuno, and he seems to have his head screwed on. It’s so good to have all our young players committing to new deals these days.

There are stories doing the rounds that Arsenal are one of the clubs tracking winger Yeremy Pino of Villareal. They need to raise funds, the 20 year old is attracting the fluttering eyelids of Arsenal and Liverpool, the release is £67m. Now, who knows if this is true, but I think the profile of the wide player we’re looking at is a little more experienced. Output is the absolute key for Arteta. Raphinha had done it in a failing Leeds side, Moussa Dembele has ridiculous numbers, I’m not sure we’re going to go hard for a 20-year-old with 6 goals and 4 assists. We need someone that can deliver now, we have more than enough players that have potential.

Again, could be wrong, but even Fabio Vieira comes with BIG output numbers. We are doing all we can to derisk out signings. There’s not a lot of players arriving at Arsenal this summer you have to guess at or listen to the weirdos on Football Twitter who assume anyone obscure is the best player ever.

I’m more interested in getting Tielemans over the line right now. We’re light on experience there and our two best midfielders are 29 years old. We need some additional legs so we’re not exposed like we were last season. So let’s hope we can kick some deals over the line.

Ok, short one today, see you in the comments. x

Become a Patron!


MOUSSA DIABY LINKED, BUT WILL WE HAVE TO SELL FIRST?

by .

Well, if anyone thought that the solution to anything at Arsenal was just stick Ten Hag in and hope for the best, you’ll not want to watch the Brighton game this afternoon.

EtH has come into a mess. He’s the new manager, paired with a new CEO, paired with a new Technical Director… where have we seen that 54-part Netflix documentary before?

Their summer business has been limp at best. Their £60m centre-back Lisandro Martinez has been getting bullied by Brighton players all afternoon, he looks light, and he is VERY small. He might prove me wrong here, but I think you might be able to get away without height in a weak league if you are mega talented. I am very interested to see if he’ll get away without height or weight at Premier League level. He’s had all sorts of problems containing Danny Welbeck. Brighton don’t even play it in the air, I can’t imagine how Haaland and Nunez will play against him.

I cannot wait for all the people that told us the word ‘Project’ was offensive have to listen to it rolled out at every United presser. The truth of the matter is there are only two ways of doing things in football if you want to get to the top.

  • Buy success.
  • Do things properly over a 3-5 year period

United can’t buy it after spending a billion on nothing for the last 10 years. I’m not even sure it’s possible in 2022 to buy success without a plan because Liverpool and City have money and strategy. Even Newcastle are doing things properly, with a plan, an empowered technical director, and some financial discipline.

United need to start by looking at what made Ten Hag successful.

Young players, needing a career, doing exactly what he says.

United isn’t Ajax. He’s working with extremely rich footballers that don’t give a fuck. His most lavishly paid player is 37, can’t do it at Premier League level, and they can’t get rid of him because they gave him £600k a week.

This thread from Nagelsmann tracks quite closely to the issue Ten Hag is dealing with, except Nagelsmann is tweaking a winning machine with egos, the Dutchman is tweaking a garbage fire.

Managing a big club is very different to managing a small one. Unai Emery is perfect for journeyman players because they needed to listen to him to get to the next level. 29-year-old Nagelsmann worked at Hoffenheim because his tactical wizardry would allow them to be more successful than their talent. When you work with mega players and you are asking them to do new things, it is hard, hence the reason Arteta had to clear 16 first-teamers in 2 years.

If you have Conte at the wheel, he’s big enough to bully big players, if you have a visionary no-name manager, he needs his own players. Arsenal hired Arteta and the right mix was players he knows and kids who want to takeover the world. United have a new manager with no name that is trying to do the same. It’s so lonely at United for him, he’s trying to sign Arnautovic!

There’s also a big difference in leadership between United and Arsenal.

United is the biggest club in the world. They are extremely twitchy when it comes to responding to Untied media. They aren’t strategic as a club. There’s no grand vision there at the moment. Will they have the patience to roll the dice on Ten Hag?

Who knows…

The second batch of games happened yesterday, I’m not sure we learned too much.

Spurs spanked Southampton, not really a shock, Ralph is having all sorts of problems there and most likely won’t last the season. Spurs looked fit, they dominated from an attacking perspective, and they still have the two best forwards in the League. Their third best goal poacher also showed up… own goal. Can you believe it? They also got extremely lucky with two straight red offences. Typical. Shit club.

Chelsea weren’t as impressive, but they did the job at a stadium they don’t like to go to, and their new signings looked pretty decent. I wasn’t overly enamoured by Koulibably, I thought he looked his age, but we’ll see. Sterling and the left back looked sharp though.

The good news? Those two have to play each other at Stamford Bridge next week. I’m hoping it’s a bloodbath of injuries, red cards, and a draw… or… do I actually want Chelsea to win? I think I might want Chelsea to win. I’m sorry. That’s just how I feel.

Liverpool were actually dreadful against Fulham and deserved to drop two points. They didn’t press, Fulham got at them, and Mitrovic had a field day against VVD. They’ll get back to peak very quickly, but it remains to be seen if Darwin can make up for the production output of Sadio Mane.

West Ham vs City the only game to go, but rest assured, I am going to say that City are probably going to be decent this season.

So as we head out of Sunday, I still feel good about what we’ve seen from Arsenal. We looked fit, the football was really special at times, and it is absolutely clear we’ve moved our squad forward this summer.

There’s still talk that we might add a winger and a midfielder, but increasingly, it’s looking like that’ll only happen if we shift on players. Bellerin, Ainsley, and Nico seem like the players most likely to give us a little cash injection, but you suspect most clubs are waiting for us to yellow sticker them in two weeks time.

There are delicious rumours that we’re tracking Moussa Diaby as our ‘surprise’ winger.


The story from FootyInsider247 says that we’re going big for the Frenchman. He scored 17 goals and had 14 assists in 43 games last season. He can play on the left or right of midfield. He has a homing beacon bottom corner finish he likes to execute. He is in the 91st percentile for non-penalty g/a, so right where we’d want a winger. His defensive numbers look pretty bad, but the dataset I’m looking at could be broken. Leverkusen don’t really allow passenger players, so you’d imagine he offers a big workrate… but I’ve not spent a lot of time watching him, so you’ll have to tell me.

Youri Tielemans played for Leicester today in their draw over Brentford, so who knows what is going on there, but I really would like to add a bit of experience to our midfield this summer.

Right, short one today. Get on our podcast or video. Heap praise on the brand redesign. Sign up to our Patreon so you get the before the Whistle that’ll drop this Thursday.

Become a Patron!