Arsenal interested in Grenier… but Cesc would be the dream

by & filed under News Review.

Morning people! How’s the extended weekend treating you? Good I hope, the weather has been pretty damn fine.

Onto football news, Arsene Wenger has been talking on French TV about how much he likes Grenier of Lyon. The attacking midfielder is on his radar apparently. To fuel the fire that little bit more, we also have one of our explayers managing that club… I’m not sure how that fuels the fire, but I just pretended it did to keep you interested.

Now, for me, the only attacking midfielder we should be tracking this summer is Cesc Fabregas. He’d be the re-sign of the century. There are rumours United are going hard for him, if that’s the case, there’s no reason we can’t be in for him. We can afford his fee and wages… and how could we not be in for super, super talent like him?

In German news, Podolski has confirmed his summer intentions lay with us.

“I feel very comfortable and I am completely satisfied with my first year in England. I have no intention to leave the club. Rumours are rumours and I cannot stop them,”

He had an ok first season, but he certainly didn’t live up to his big name billing. He’s a bit in no mans land as a striker, not quite big enough or fast enough… plus, a little bit lazy. Still, he banged in some goals and he did some good work out wide.

The women brought back a trophy after dismantling Bristol 3-0 in the FA Cup final. Great work from them… Hopefully a bit of inspiration for the boys!

Right, as there’s no news out there today, that’s your lot.

Catch you tomorrow…

443 Responses to “Arsenal interested in Grenier… but Cesc would be the dream”

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  1. Raz

    I like The Ox too. I first thought he’d hardly had chances this season but far from it, he’s played a lot of games. For me he was a big disappointment this season until perhaps about 6-8 weeks ago, when he started to look more like his usual self. I just wonder whether always being behind Theo is damaging him.

    Again this leads into the formation change area. Why we don’t play the Ox wide left where he put in some incredible shows last year, with Theo on the right, and Podolski and Giroud up front, is a mystery. Wenger often brings on The Ox whilst keeping Theo, Pod and Giroud on the pitch, to boost the attack, don’t know why we don’t just start games that way.

  2. Kiyoshi Ito

    Alex JamesMay 27, 2013 18:58:13
    Following his experience with Pennent, I suspect that Oxe presented Wenger with a stable family background, with concomitant low risk of going astray. I just wish he had something of Giggs about him, who at 17 was terrorising defences.
    You are probably right there..

    But did you not think Giggs@17 years old,was a bit limited..
    Pace only&the occasional dribble/wizardry that came off?

  3. Rohan

    Not too many starts, Raz. And not had a proper run of games either. He’s still further in his development, than what most expected.

  4. Raz


    where are you pulling those stats from? Last season he scored one and assisted 5, this season he’s scored 7 and assisted 8 in fewer games.

  5. Kiyoshi Ito

    I think Ox,under a better,more ambitious manager will fulfill his potential.

    Coached properly,nurtured in the right way& played consistently will perform.

    I think the game last season(or 2 seasons ago) against Man Utd,where he was hauled off,much to the annoyance of RVP& the fans,damaged him a little.

    Mr Wenger,needs to forget about the club being about him& look to the interests of the club as a whole.

  6. luke

    Rohan – Could not agree more about Schneiderlin. I read a great article about him essentially showing how amazing he was this year. Amazing interceptions, tackles, passing, interceptions in the final third, and passing in the final third. Seriously I think he would be utterly brilliant for us.

  7. luke

    “Primarily a defensive midfielder, Schneiderlin has the best tackle per game ratio this season in the league, 119 in 28 games and also high numbers of interceptions, 107, and has won back possession an impressive 193 times this term.

    But what is truly incredible about this player is that his range of passing is among the best in the league. He manages a pass a minute and of his 1470 passes, 1224 have been successful – a whopping 83.27%.

    If this is not enough to entice potential suitors, then they should take a look at his passes in attacking areas where he has completed 77%, which equates to 652 of 852 passes in total. Schneiderlin has a 70% pass completion rate in the final third of the pitch.

    In possession, the uncapped French midfielder does what is expected from a top flight defensive midfielder as, when calculated, Schneiderlin wins back possession every 13 minutes with 47 accounts coming from the defensive third, 135 in the middle third and 11 won in the attacking third. These statistics are superior to those of Jack Wilshere, Tom Cleverley and Gareth Barry.”

  8. kc

    My stats are from league play only. But the stats you report don’t paint a better picture anyway. The guys accomplished nothing. Oh and we all know Wenger compared him to Nasri already. Big deal. Nasri was such a huge star and all. LMFAO

  9. Rohan

    Yep Luke, didn’t know his stats were that good, but I saw him in a couple of games against United and Newcastle and he was an absolute colossus.

  10. Raz

    I do very much rate Schneiderlin – the question for me is is he CL-challenging/title challenging quality?

    Considering how highly rated he is, it’s a surprise to see on transfermarkt that he’s valued at about £2m!

    What I do like is that he has received about 10 yellows this season and never been second carded – for a DM that’s fairly impressive.

  11. luke

    Maintaining those stats over the course of a BPL season on Southhampton (ffs) is a miracle. Sign him up!!

  12. Rohan

    I think he very well might be. The fact that he took an unconventional route also means he’s a grafter, and Arteta-type character.

    He’d fit in perfectly and give Ramsey something to think about. He’d also allow us to phase Arteta out over the next few years.

  13. Mayank

    “I think Alex James,was talking about Zaha,over a course of a few seasons..You decided to laugh out loud on him,given your assessment of him over one,or two games..Think there is a big difference there!!”


    Alex James was talking about Zaha and speculating about his future based on one game. He thinks he’s a better prospect than Ox. He has a right to do that.

    Mayank was speculating about Zaha’s future based on 2 games. He thinks he’s too one dimensional and if he fails to add more facets to his game he may end up as another Gervinho. He’s stupid to do that.

    Why are the two cases judged so disparately. Because I like one of the posters and I don’t like the other.


    We’re both speculating, and we both have an equal right to do so.

    If Zaha can be a better prospect then the Ox based on one game he can be a worse prospect than Gervinho.

  14. luke


    Front three is a mystery to me. I dont like any of our guys for starting XI except Ox maybe.

  15. Raz


    As I said, maybe the fact that he has become a goal-scoring mid is what is making people take note. And maybe he’s very good on the ball – I haven’t watched enough of him to know.

    Cabaye only got 2 goals and 10 assists in his pre-prem season. When Newcastle signed him AFC fans went mental because we missed such a gem. All I am saying is we shouldn’t shit on this guy because he doesn’t have 15 goals and 15 assists etc etc – the point is he is young, and clearly this season he has developed a bit. When you’re a young player, that sort of improvement deserves to be noted. If he signs for a different team and shows the same level of play as his predecessors then AFC will do nothing but cry about it.

  16. Rohan

    I would love Subotic. Think he’s probably slightly better than Hummels as well. Hummels seems a bit dodgy from whenever I’ve seen him honestly. Bit of the Senderos.

    I still think Benedikt Howedes is pure class and better than all the other CB’s in Germany. He’s Schalke captain now, but I think he’d be tempted by us. A partnership of him and Koscielny would be absolutely mouthwatering.

  17. Raz

    I just saw this somewhere – I chuckled/died inside….

    “Hey soccer fans. Arsenal Wenger is plotting a major psychological transfer of his time which will not only bring Man united, Man city and Chelsea but will bring the likes of Barcelona, Beryern and real madrid to their knees. Inspired by defeating European champions at their home ground, Arsenal have not lost any game since then and intends not to lose any game in the near future. This is the time he was waiting for while others bought players, he kept his money. He has more money than what he is revealing for transfer.

    How will this be possible? Watch his (manager Arsene Wengers) transfers. He is one of the greatest coaches in Europe and he will do it. He is preparing for a major upset in European soccer.”

  18. luke

    Shit guys, we’re not going to get Schneiderlin. There’s nothing on youtube for Grimandi to watch…

  19. luke

    Huh Rohan. I know of Howedes, but have never really seen much of him tbh. I’ll keep an eye out. I am sold on getting a CB to pair the Kozz as in my book he’s our best CB.

  20. tom

    Schneiderlin would be useful. He is a very tidy footballer and he has a bit of a bite to his game.
    8 to 10 million is a more realistic valuation. He is only 24 and may well improve, Arsenal would be a good place to do it.
    We were interested in him before, and he only has a year to go on his contract.
    You never know…

  21. tom

    I guess he signed an extention. He set till 2017.
    Still, the right money might get him.
    Schneiderlin that is.

  22. Raz

    Howedes was someone many people wanted to join the prem last summer, but his club wanted £20m for him.

    Apparently he really is that good though.

    Still, he only kept Mert out of the German starting line up until Mert joined us. That said, I think in the not too distant future Hummels and Howedes will be the German CB pairing.

  23. sam

    Cesc won’t come back to arsenal to celebrate 4th place, please get your head out of your backside. he’d rather warm the bench in catalunya or go to man utd.
    Sorry! I don’t have time to fantasise about falcao, cavani, cesc and all these big players because 1. wenger wouldn’t pay their high fees 2. arsenal is not their first choice if they become available.
    I can talk about grenier as he seems more like arsenal type of signing. cheap/ unproven/french/ final year of his contract/ buyout clause /will recommend low salary.
    anyway we have a chance to sign alcantara or nick 2 more 16 years old from la barca. or maybe puyol on free transfer. forget cesc, we can’t afford him.

  24. tom

    Works for me, Raz.

    Truth is we will be linked to every one this summer.
    Might as well be a lottery, as it’s anyone’s guess who we actually will sign.
    Fun to speculate but not worth getting wound up by.
    Still, it would be nice if the club got things sorted early for once.
    I reckon there will be 5 coming in, 2 of which will be ‘names’.
    Schneiderlin wouldn’t count as a name in that context, though maybe he should. I don’t think Grenier would either.

  25. Marko

    Possible Arsenal team next season (well).

  26. tom

    Klopp has to rebuild Dortmund knowing that, in spite of his best attempts, he hasn’t affected the status quo and his next team is as likely to get plundered as this one.

  27. Marko

    Dortmund should be ok though apparently they’re looking to replace Gotze with Erikson of Ajax and also Lewandowski they kind of knew for a while and are looking to bring in Negredo for him. And as long as they keep that back 4 and especially Gundogen and Reus they’ll be fine. Still Bayern will dominate for years to come which is a shame

  28. sam

    If mourinho was taking over at arsenal I would be happy to discuss big signings.
    Nothing will change under wenger even if we get a real suga daddy.
    hey, our first signing is a 20 years old french on free transfer what makes you think he has falcao and cesc in his shopping list?

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    @Mental Strength

    Bit of over the top posturing there with a player who’s only got 12 months on his contract left.

    I think we’ll sign 6/7 in total. but 3/4 of them will be kids, but better kids than the ones we’ve just got rid of

  30. Nasri's Mouth


    I guess when your competition can afford to pay their players twice as much, it’s always going to be hard. I’ve been very impressed with Klopp’s attitude but I do wonder where he’ll be in 12 months if Bayern cruise to the league title again next season.

  31. tom

    Sam, get a grip. There’s plenty of time for Arsenal to make quality signings. There’s money for them too.
    I haven’t hear anyone claim we are in for Falcao (though we could dream) and Cesc, if he is available, is a real option.

    You can drone on about 20 year old free transfers but when they come good you look foolish.
    Arsenal are famous for unearthing hidden gems, maybe Sonogo is another.

  32. Gunner2301

    Mental Strength

    Great teams don’t rest on their laurels. They consolidate and improve once they’ve won something like Bayern are doing or if they don’t win like Man U they don’t throw the towel in like Arsenal they go out and buy a player like RVP and win the title back. Moyes could potentially bring in Baines and Fellaini for starters and with Ronaldo possibly coming back how scary will they be.

    We are a long way from being a great team. If anyone thinks Wenger is all of a sudden going to change personality like a schyzo and spend 100 mill over a Summer it’s not likely. Expect more like the past 7 years.


  33. Marko

    I’d love it if he ended up here. All those values that he holds dear and looks for in a club well he should look no further than Arsenal. Klopp at us would be super, ever hear the guy talk? He talks just like your everyday passionate fan

  34. Gunner2301


    Wenger has another year on his contract left. Hopefully he will have taken his cue from SAF and is not going to try to extend. Time for a new face, new ideas. How refreshing will it be to have a manager that doesn’t tell blatant lies and isn’t a hypocrite. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.

  35. Gunner2301


    Maybe Klopp feels he has taken Dortmund as far as he can. He would suit Arsenal well and seems to have an eye for young players and how to build a team from the back.

  36. tom

    I hope he’s prepared to stay a while longer. He has done something special at Dortmund and it would be hard on the club if he just gave up on them. Hard on him too, I imagine.

    Still, if he is a realist he will know his ambitions are handicapped by Bayern dominance and it’s hard to imagine the situation changing.

    How long is he prepared to give it?
    How long should he get?

  37. Marko

    I’m not just saying this but I’d say they’re looking at Klopp potentially already cause I’d say they know Wenger isn’t gonna be much longer and with the way Klopp does things and his age I’d say they view him as a long term option. Cause why teams would go for a short term manager is stupid with all the money clubs pay to bring in new managers and all that. Bring in Klopp and you’re talking a guy in there for 5-10 years easy

  38. tom

    Given the circumstances, would you think Klopp lacked ambition if he elected to remain at Dortmund long term?

  39. Hitman

    Schneiderlin has what our squad currently lacks – legs.

    He can track back at speed. Our current CMs are either slow or lazy or both. One is always injured.

    A cheaper but smarter less risky option than some of the overrated players being mentioned in the French leagues.

    Some on Wenger stop procrastinating.

  40. Gunner2301


    If Dortmund were like Arsenal finishing in the top 4 of their league occasionally beating Bayern then they’d be doing well. Klopp has helped bring the club back from bankruptcy won back to back titles I believe and won the league with a ridiculous number of goals conceded.

    How long should he get? To do what? (and I’m not being snide). They could have win the CL. if the Bayern player had got sent off which he should have been. So apart from winning that with Dortmund there’s nothing left for him to do.

    Given that they are getting plundered annually. Does he believe they will get another chance like the one just gone? I don’t not for a while so he may look for pastures new.

  41. Hitman

    If Klopp’s ambitions are handicapped due to Bayern, why would he come to a club that handicaps itself?

    We will have zero ambition whilst Slimy Gaz and Silent Stan are around.

    Klopps is waiting for a big club.

  42. tom

    I think a new manager ought to be given time to do something. They seldom get it anymore. You can’t build anything substantial over night that’s healthy.

    In Arsenal’s case, the new man will inherit a club that’s healthy and he may not feel a need to change things too radically. He may not be given the power to do that anyway.
    It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
    I expect Wenger will have a role in selecting Arsenal’s next manager. He’d be incline to choose a candidate that would respect his legacy, one would think. Probably not someone who would abandon the principles he has worked so hard to champion.
    Would that candidate seem neutered to the fans?
    Or would they be happy?

  43. Mental Strength

    I don’t see Klopp as a RM/Barca type manager right now, he likes clubs that he sees as ‘projects’. Arsenal are one of those clubs he may see himself managing.

  44. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Spain midfielder Isco has suggested a move to Manchester City is possible after he spoke of his desire to follow Manuel Pellegrini out of Malaga.
    Pellegrini, 59, is widely expected to succeed Roberto Mancini as City manager after the Italian was sacked on 14 May.
    Isco, 21, was signed by Pellegrini from Valencia in 2011 and wants to play under the Chilean again next season.
    He said: “He’s been my footballing father and I know that he likes me. Of course I’d like to continue with him.”

  45. Keyser

    “Name me a starting xi of unearthed gems”

    Lol is that one of those loaded questions where you say Wilshere ? pftt, everyone knew about him in Stevenage, Cole ? That’s a Graham player, oh you said Arsenal, yeah well all those AKB’s think Arsenal started with him, what billionaires look at how rich Wenger is, Osama Bin Laden was a gooner, cunts the lot of them.

  46. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Spain midfielder Isco has suggested a move to Manchester City is possible after he spoke of his desire to follow Manuel Pellegrini out of Malaga.
    Pellegrini, 59, is widely expected to succeed Roberto Mancini as City manager after the Italian was sacked on 14 May.
    Isco, 21, was signed by Pellegrini from Valencia in 2011 and wants to play under the Chilean again next season.
    He said: “He’s been my footballing father and I know that he likes me. Of course I’d like to continue with him.”
    Isco, who made his full international debut for Spain against Uruguary in February, signed a new contract with Malaga at the beginning of the year, which includes a £30m buy-out clause.
    But the playmaker also suggested regular first-team football would be uppermost in his thinking when he decides where he will play next season.
    “It’s a very important decision for me and I don’t want to get it wrong,” Isco said.
    “I want to play, wherever it is, and that’s the most important thing. I don’t want to regret it after not getting many minutes.
    “I’m not closing my door to anyone but my priority is to play and I don’t want to be on the bench. We’ll see what happens in the summer.”

  47. Arsenal 1886-2006


    You been drinking?
    No it was a serious question, i cannot think of any top club that actually unearths hidden gems regularly.
    They just snatch players from other clubs that have developed them.

  48. tom

    Wenger’s unearthed gem collection XI


    I doubt all but a handful of gooners had heard these names before Wenger signed them for Arsenal.
    That team would beat most and slaughter many.

  49. Arsenal 1886-2006


    You been drinking?
    No it was a serious question, i cannot think of any top club that actually unearths hidden gems regularly.
    They just snatch players from other clubs that have developed them.

    A hidden gem in my eyes is somebody that has had a failed career or a discarded youth that has been given a second chance to prove themselves.

  50. sam

    oh he(Aubameyang) said he dreams of playing for real madrid one day.
    not this summer then.

    come on wenger get your chequebook out

  51. Keyser

    Arsenal1886-2006 – That’s the whole point isn’t it, everyone has their own set of criteria, then you have the nutter AKB fundamentals who change their goalposts to match, like everyone knew Wilshere would turn out great he doesn’t count.

    Overmars for example had suffered a leg-break before we bought him. What’s your criteria ?

  52. tom

    Recruiting Koscielny from Lige 2 is a classic example. He was unknown and unproven and somewhat raw, yet Wenger saw the potential.
    Of course if you follow the french lower leagues you would have known all about Laurent.
    Still a hidden gem.

    I reckon the definition must be a player most people have never heard of.

  53. sam

    lauren was already a cameroon international before we signed him
    van persie was a young dutch winger at feyenoor he got kicked out because of trouble and we grabbed him on the cheap as usual.
    monaco did the same with adebanjo
    who’s gael clitty? did you mean that bitch that get shafted on the left every week? I actually didn’t know nacho monreal before we signed him.
    but i knew andre fat santos and squealachi ha ha ha ha ha aha!!!!!!!!!!

  54. tom

    Any player developed by the club has got to be in the “unearthed gem” category.
    It down to the club to spot them, and down to the coaches to bring them through, then down to the manager to call them into the first team.

  55. Arsenal 1886-2006


    Chezzer a gem? Really.

    Lauren was not really unknown to spanish media, maybe in england yes.

    Clichy, I agree with this one.

    Koscielny, I agree.

    Toure, i agree.

    Vieira, he was well known to others, he was a french u21 player before he came to us.

    Flamini, yes.

    Wilshere, a youth product not what i would called a hidden gem.

    Cesc. You telling me barca didn’t know he was good? they were furious when we signed him as they were not allowed to offer kids contracts due to spanish laws.

    Anelka, tough one could go either way. He was seen as a talented but troubled individual at Clairefontaine. I would tend to agree with you.

    RVP. No way are you getting that one, van Marwijk didn’t like his attitude but he was by no means unknown.

    Good list

  56. tom

    Sam ,

    Swap Lauren for Jenkinson and drop RVP (bring Cesc Wilshere forward) and play Song next to Flamini.

    Clichy is a very good player and would walk into all but the very top teams. He is a starter at City isn’t he?

  57. Keyser

    Arsenal1886-2006 – See I think there are varying degrees, like Van Persie might not be hidden, but he was unearthed, he’s made a fair amount of progress over the years and we’ve born the brunt of it all.

    Same with Fabregas, Barcelona might not have wanted to let him go, but he wanted to lave because he knew he wasn’t going to get the oppurtunity that he was getting with us, even Henry if you take what we started with and what he left as.

  58. tom

    Arsenal 1886-2006

    I’ll stand by Chezzer.
    Would you give me Edu if I drop Vieira? I’d hate to have to put Eboue in the middle of the park….

    Sure some of the others had previously been noticed , van Persie for example, but it was down to Arsenal to take a chance when nobody else would. The kid arrived with a bad reputation and many thought he couldn’t be tamed.
    He was a rising star in Holland but only a household name for the wrong reasons.
    If he’s not a hidden gem, he’s still a gutsy and ultimately brilliant signing.

  59. Arsenal 1886-2006


    It is subjective, but I would say that gems are players that play a significant role in elevating the team onto better and greater things.
    It is almost like the way the term world class is bandied about these days.

  60. tom

    It’s easy to pick out the duds in hindsight. For every Koscielny there is a Cygan.
    Still, on balance AW has done well.
    Bargain hunting is a risky business but the rewards can be tremendous.

    I’m glad Arsenal are still prepared to have a punt on someone unproven , maybe Sonogo will be a sensation.

    Unearthing a gem feels extra satisfying, doesn’t it?

  61. arsenal-flavour

    tom your critera for hidden gems is of a pretty low standard! you can’t say jenkinson or eboue are hidden gems… they are decent players and in Jenkinsons case he has not proved him self as a gem but rather a capable decent player. If that is your standard for a gem then all the other clubs in the premier league have unearthed countless hidden gems!

    a gem to me is a viera a henry to be a gem you have to be special not just good!

    btw Im not slating jenkinson but luke shaw for instance and ashley cole would count as hidden gems…

    The problem with this idea of unearthing hidden gems in recent years its all gone wrong for wenger, yeah koz is good, but that’s about it… and as for Jack wilshire that’s not got alot to do with wenger and more to do with the youth coach! its very easy for wenger to take all the credit for another mans job! Just saying!

  62. Keyser

    Arsenal1886-2006 – I just think it’s pretty pointless right now, I remember gradual changes in Van Persie or Fabregas’s game over the years as they developed into who they were when they left, Wenger’s persistance with players is now seen as a sin when before it was virtue, because teams don’t bother getting the best out of players or as a whole, but simply stockpile talent until winning is a by product rather than the end result of a team building efficiently.

    All 3 of the teams above us, you couldn’t point to a specific player saying he’s at his peak lifting them above and beyond without saying anothers flopped.

  63. arsenal-flavour


    maybe sonoago will be a waste of time effort resources and wages and indeed places on the squad!

    Im no wenger hater I feel he should be our manager but stripped of all power over transfers… his fetish for french players is really going to damage us!

  64. Keyser

    Henry’s our clubs top scorer ever, pretty extremist there.

    Jenkinson was bought for a million, from Charlton, and even if he tunrs into a semi-decent premiership player I think he’ll have done well.

  65. tom

    When you bring in a famous star, it can be hard to trust his commitment.
    You worry; he may either be apathetic or only see Arsenal as a short step on his way somewhere else.
    Obviously, it’s a bit of a paranoid view but it has basis in reality.
    With a less illustrious signing, you hope his experience, or lack of it, helps him to realize how lucky he is to be at our great club. If he proves a success it feels even sweeter as he’s “one of ours”.

    Of course both these notions are ill conceived as, in reality, a less than famous kid like Adebayor could be a lazy, greedy git and a world talent like Bergkamp could get Arsenal tattooed on his heart.

  66. arsenal-flavour

    yes but his not a hidden gem!

    a gem is very valuable item lol! jenks maybe a hidden pot of silver lol! to call him a gem is absurd!

    because a player turns out to be decent doesn’t make them a gem it makes them a decent player!

    its this attitude now days to exaggerate everything and anything!

    like yeah ox is going to be world class one day! its incredibly naive there is no evidence of this, yeah i rate him and he may well become world class but that’s like saying my lil brothers really fast his going to the world fastest man!

    It’s ridiculous people need to be more realistic sensible

  67. arsenal-flavour

    the problem with sanago everything I have seen of him has been less than promising!

    If i saw a spark i’d go yeah his potentially got quality! but obviously wenger thinks he has seen something! I just think alot of us Arsenal fans no longer trust wenger anymore in that regard!

    I feel wenger is a capable general but he should leave the recruiting of the soldiers to someone whose specialized in that area

  68. tom

    arsenal-flavor says
    “…his fetish for french players is really going to damage us!’

    just before,

    ‘It’s ridiculous people need to be more realistic sensible”


    Also what have you seen of Sonogo that makes you think he’s a dud? There’s not a lot of information on him out there. His youtube looks nifty enough.

  69. Rohan

    I honestly don’t mind us making 5-10m punts in the market on players on the verge of breaking through. It’s pretty low-risk in that in most cases we can recoup most of it. And if they do come good, we’ll be laughing.

    Arsene’s early years at Arsenal were full of signings like these. Players like Schneiderlin, Grenier ought to be complemented by top players of the Benzema ilk though every now and then.

  70. Arsenal 1886-2006


    I have never trusted those youtube videos compilations.
    Every time i have put up a video containing any football related video i get a notice to remove or it has been removed due to copyright infringement.
    I would not be surprised if the clubs and agents put together some of these videos themselves.

    You could easily make a sub-standard player look good.

  71. Arsenal 1886-2006


    Unfortunately most of these punts on these players are disastrous and not cheap. Wages for a 4-5 year contract can drain £10 million plus for each of them, if you have 10 or so on your books then that is a massive loss financially (£100 million+) with no chance of recouping the money on a decent transfer fee.

    Let’s face it, we know more about this subject than most.

  72. tom

    Agreed, Rohan.

    Though I have a little doubt about Benzima, don’t ask me to explain, it’s an irrational doubt from the gut.

    Would have loved Lewandowski but it was never on the cards.

  73. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Just reading through this piece again and i always have a little chuckle at his paragraph.

    ‘Some of Comolli’s friends have been made in high places, with Billy Beane, of Moneyball fame and a confidant of Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry, one. Comolli met Beane at a sports industry conference; Beane was impressed and, when the Fenway Sports Group took over at Anfield, he introduced Comolli to Henry. Comolli is adept at working a room, which is pretty important in his vocation. As an aside, Beane’s “true hero”, according to Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, is Wenger.’

  74. tom

    It’s true that if you sign too many duds to long and lucrative contracts you have a problem.

    Arsenal are guilty of this for sure.

  75. Rohan

    That’s a good point, 1886. We have to make smart punts. Wages are an issue though.

    Most of our duds are youth players we had from the ages of 17 and never really made it. I’m talking more about players around 22/23 like Koscielny for example.

  76. Rohan

    I definitely think United will struggle next season. The squad aren’t going to respond to Moyes immediately.
    City need to strengthen significantly. We’re not that far behind them. Interesting that City don’t seem to be going for any big names.

    If Arsenal buck up, and sign 3 world class players , we’d probably be in with a shout. We probably won’t push the boat that far out though. This is definitely a great time to make a push though.

  77. tom

    It’s easy to see how it happens though.
    You find or develop a prospect.
    In the case that you find a prospect, you then have to entice him to the club. Arsenal has several ways they can induce a player; there is the facilities and coaching Arsenal provide, there is the hope of quick progression into the first team and there is the compensation package.
    Arsenal have to compete for the top young talent with their rivals. This effects price. Ramsey was expensive because United wanted him too.
    Even if you sign a player on a free and he does well, you’ll have to pay him well to keep him. 1 decent season will have a player agitating for more money, and having been in the shop window, he has some leverage.
    Bright prospects like Denilson and Bentner were signed to good long term deals when they had looked so promising that the vultures had started to circle. It was a gamble that they would fulfill their potential and it failed.
    A player like Chamack, who on paper had good credentials, would only sign for a good deal.
    So footballers are expensive one way or the other.

    The wage system Arsenal adopts compounds the problem.
    But all clubs of any size and ambition have a deadwood department.

  78. Thomas

    @ Rohan

    We have had several seasons where it was a great time to “make a push” and failed every single time. Wenger just can’t compete anymore.

  79. tom

    City may get Isco. Would make sense for him to follow his manager.
    United will be adjusting but there is such an aura of professionalism around that club I wouldn’t bank on them slipping too far.
    Chelsea may get stronger. If Mourinho returns there will be a surge of belief (amongst the fans at least) and he will bring recruits. Plus Hazard and Oscar have had a season to adjust.

    Arsenal will still have plenty to do, whoever they sign.

  80. Arsenal 1886-2006


    I wouldn’t really say most of our duds were young when we bought them, a lot of them were above 20.
    When Clairefontaine was producing exceptional talent we prospered because we were among a handful of clubs looking there, now they are others stealing the best talent leaving us with the 2nd string choices.

    Wengers unwillingness to buy quality off the shelf has put us far behind in the pecking order when it comes to quality players looking for an upward career move. We are seen as a stepping stone and not a place to win trophies.
    We need to show some intent before we become insignificant amongst the very best.

  81. Cesc Appeal

    Lot’s of Arsenal not willing to meet fee stories coming out regarding Jovetic.

    We want to pay £20 Million, they want £25 Million…£5 Million for crying out loud. Just pay it, what does it matter really?

    This is what everyone means with Arsene, since January we’ve heard Jovetic is his priority signing, he wants him having scouted him for almost 2 years…but then he flaps.

    Either you want him, and you’re willing to stretch a bit on what the footballing messiah Wenger has decided he’s worth, or you don’t.

    Look at Mata, we offered £18 Million, Chelsea got him for £22 Million, do you think that £4 Million extra was worth it?

    When you add up the fortunes he’s spent on utter shit. Ridiculous!

  82. tom

    For every season we may have made ‘the push’ there has another where the rug has been pulled out from under.

    Hard to build when your top talent keeps getting poached.

    Ask Dortmund.

  83. Cesc Appeal

    I hate that bout him, he decides what a player is worth and that’s it.

    If the team who own that player come back and say well we think he’s worth X, Y or Z he sees it as a challenge…like when the fans chant for a certain player to be brought on, or spend some fucking money etc etc

    He really is stubborn.

    What a realistically hope is that we get a few decent players like Grenier out of this window so qualifying for the UCL is a lot more comfortable next year and then we get a clean break from Wenger.

    New kit will kick in and will other commercials, coupled with another year of profit the new guy (hopefully Kloop) will have £100 Million + to spend.

    I think that is the best we can hope for.

    Because right now it feels like getting General Patton to hop off his tank and abandon his old style of warfare and embrace modern sophisticated tactics. Just isn’t going to happen.

    Or trying to tell your Granddad to buy a new computer but he refuses because his one from 1997 still does the ‘job’ just fine and ‘upgrading’ would be a waste of money.

  84. Cesc Appeal


    But we needn’t let our top talent get ‘poached’.

    And here’s a crazy idea, the fee’s you get for your stars you could…jeez I don’t know, reinvest it!

    Let’s see what Dortmund do this summer with about £70 Million from Gotze and Lewnadowski.

    Quite interesting they have the same amount as us but actually have a manager with balls and guile…let’s see what happens.

  85. Rohan

    I’m quietly optimistic we’ll challenge to an extent. It is not inconceivable that we’ll improve by 10 points without any additions, given our rather poor start last year and us not losing any key players this summer.

    That’ll theoretically put us in title challenging territory. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

    We performed well against teams below us. We need to improve much much more against teams above and around us if we are to close the gap. For that we need the top top players. I don’t know if it’s mentality or us not being good enough. Suspect it’s a bit of both, but at the end of the day, it’s the big players that make the difference in games like those. We don’t really have those.

    Just a top class striker would improve us no ends. Giroud is a solid backup. Podolski/Theo provide adequate cover. Have to say that we didn’t struggle too much with injury this season. We were lucky in that respect.

  86. Arsenal 1886-2006


    Do you feel that these players that have been poached or sold willingly would have left if quality was coming in and not being let go?
    I believe they would have stayed knowing that they were in with a shout of winning something.

  87. Cesc Appeal


    If Wenger went out and got a Jovetic/Higuain/Benteke/Rooney and then a CDM Pogba preferably or Gonalons/Capoue just those two players would improve us.

    But Wenger has GOT to be ‘clever’.

    He can’t just do what ‘anyone else could have.’

  88. Cesc Appeal

    Just saw headline ‘Star to return to the Gunners!’

    I thought, please be a Fabregas rumbling!


    Santos. Excellent.

  89. Cesc Appeal


    I think what Kroenke and Gazidis thought is that they were onto a goldmine.

    Buy them young, cheap and talented, enough in the squad to get us to top four, then when they peak sell them for MASSIVE profits. Rinse and repeat.

    But it hasn’t quite worked like that.

    All our young talent have failed to come through really.

    After everything that’s been spent on him Walcott sold even for £25 Million would represent a massive minus.

    Oxo has actually regressed this year.

    We’re just not seeing them anymore.

    That’s why I worry we’re going to see and influx of cheap 19-21 year old’s this window. Like Grenier, who we can play for a few years until he gets really good..then sell for a £20 Million profit.

  90. Cesc Appeal


    Wenger should be sacked just for the whole dross on wages thing.

    Chamakh on 70-90 000 pw

    Santos on 60 000 pw

    Squillaci on 60 000 pw

    And so on.

    That is actually criminal, and in any other walk of life if your CEO asked you why your average employees where earning way way way way way above average wages and you had no answer…like Wenger doesn’t…you’d be sacked for gross negligence…and probably investigated for fraud/embezzlement of some kind

  91. Jack

    Rene Van Maulsenteen just left united. We need top quality title wining coaching experience. He would be a great addition to arsenal. Arsenal need to go after him big time.

  92. Arsenal 1886-2006


    I reckon Kroenke will be off when FFP hit’s the wall and PSG, Monaco and others blow it apart.
    They will have to spend to keep Arsenal above the waterline and they will not be prepared to pay what is needed.

    I reckon that the American owners will start to bale from the prem pretty sharpish when it comes to meaningful investment in the clubs they own.

  93. Bade

    Morning chaps,

    Cesc will force rethinking of the current formation

    Santi isn’t a wide player & he’s fairly wasted there. Even when he played wide, most of his goals & assists came when he actually played as n.10.

    Cesc would be great if we brought another top DM that can compliment him the way Flamini did. Then him & Santi can work together & we still have Jack, Rambo & Oxo for cover.

    That said, we shouldn’t forget Cesc is a lower priority than many other essential signings we must have, if we’re looking to compete

    Namely, DM, CF, CM, GK

  94. Cesc Appeal


    I agree.

    I really think Kroenke is bad for the club, people go on about these top notch commercials, but what good are they if they’re not used for the benefit of the club?

    Really is pointless, like winning the Euro Millions and then just leaving every penny of it in your account and still living hard, letting it generate interest until the day you die…what was the point in even having it?

    Kroenke ‘ownership’ is a lot like that…you just think…what’s the effing point?

  95. Rhys Jaggar

    When you look at Klopp, you look at a man who stays at clubs for quite some time. He’s not a flitting prima donna, is he? He played for Mainz and managed them, getting success. Then he went to Dortmund and has stayed for several years. At both clubs he brought success, be that promotion (Mainz) or back-to-back Bundesliga titles (Dortmund), as well as well as the German Cup last year.

    I guess for him, the question is what he can get for the £50 – 60m Dortmund will get from Bayern in sales. If he can buy four or five maybe he can repeat what he did with this squad. What I saw from Dortmund was a real team in action: no prima donnas, no world stars, but 11 men all working for each other. Schmelzer, Grosskreutz et al: hardly Beckenbauers, were they?? Good, honest pros making the most of their talents. If I were Klopp staying at Dortmund, I’d say to the Board: ‘we need to gamble a bit on 4 or 5 that could become the next Goetze or Lewandowski. If we have a 40 – 50% strike rate, even assuming nothing comes out of the academy, we’re on an even keel. Will you back me?’

    No reason they couldn’t compete for the Champions League again – after all, Bayern lost two finals they should have won before winning one. Maybe Dortmund would win one they deserved to lose??

    As for Klopp and EPL, you’d have to say that he doesn’t fit City or Chelsea really. The sorts of cultures he’d fit into would be Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal, West Ham, Spurs, Villa, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield clubs. Clubs with passionate fan bases, a real spirit to them, a place where his way of managing will be admired, honoured and revered. You could see him at Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao (assuming his Germanic roots didn’t disbar him from the Basque cause), at Napoli, at Marseilles, at Valencia, at Roma, at Celtic or Rangers just to name a few. You could probably see him at Man Utd, but it doesn’t look like that job’s available for a while.

    Is he really a corporate animal, taking players to please the maverick owner?? I doubt it. Of course, only one or two of those wouldn’t be a step down for him right now, but the question he will ask himself is whether he is happiest taking a club to its potential or whether he wants to manage one of the very, very top clubs. Only he will know the answer to that. And only he will really know whether he has already taken Dortmund as far as he can take it or whether there is still more to achieve in another 3 – 4 year cycle. He seems a very, very self-aware man with a very clear sense of values after all. No doubt, he’ll be mulling these things on the beach or wherever before he comes back to prepare for next year.

    I’d take him at Arsenal like a shot. But I suspect they would be quite a bit of ructions behind the scenes if he sensed there were too many overpaid coasters seeing the club as a bit of a gravy train. Because for him, the fans come first. A football club is about winning with the fans, not reporting profits to shareholders.

    Do the powers that be at Arsenal accept that??

    Because if they don’t, there isn’t a fit.

    No matter how much the fans might want it.

    Because the fans have no votes at AGMs, do they?

    I wonder how the board would take it if Klopp said the terms of his coming included selling 20% of the club to the fans????