Wenger’s summer strategy not about the striker?

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Can’t deny it, was a bit gutted to see QPR turnover Wigan yesterday. I’ve never supported a team in the Championship, but man, do I feel the probable pain that goes hand in hand with losing in the playoffs. Wigan played 67 games this year. An outrageous campaign. I really think the Championship needs an overhaul. Less teams, more quality, ultimately, more money…

Same with the Premier League. Let’s lose a couple of teams. Align with Europe. Aston Villa survived this season on 34 points. That’s a shambolic survival total. West Ham were once relegated on 42 (memory?). We need to concentrate the quality. The league was fun this year, but ultimately, it was won by the team who spunked £93m on the already best squad in the league.

Someone was snorting at Chelsea signing Costa last night. They highlighted Negredo as an example of a spectacular failure from Spain. Not sure I can buy that City’s 3rd choice striker, who bagged 26 goals, was a failure. And that’s just it, City then had Jovetic, Dzeko and Aguerro to choose from. I’m hardly inspired by Pelligrini. He came in, let great players play stylish football and he formed personal relationships with players.

Hardly rocket science.

Still, what is getting me slightly moist about the summer is the FFP fines. Now, regardless of whether they get overturned, point is, they’re serious fines. Clubs all over Europe looking to push boundaries will have to think twice. City can’t splash outrageous this summer. Chelsea will have to continue to balance the books. The only clubs who can really go wild are Arsenal and Man United (UK).

Now, Arsenal have shunned Diego Costa. Not sure why, but then again, what do I know. I’m not the guy who scouted Sanogo and Park. However, to all the Arsenal fans dirtying the Spanzillian, take in a few facts.

He’s scored 27 goals in 32 La Liga games for a team on course to win against ALL the odds. He’s scored 8 goals in 8 games in the Champions League for a team in the final. He scored 20 goals and bagged 8 assists last year from outwide because he had Falcao to contend with. He’s at world class levels, at worst he’s knocking on the door. People complain that he’s not Suarez / Aguerro level. Give him a chance, he’s 25 years old. 2 years younger than Suarez, a player who 2 years ago wasn’t a natural finisher. Costa has every chance of being a monster of a premier league player. 82kg, 6ft2, athletic, fast and outrageously aggressive.

This is not a Soldado, this is someone who has the attributes every manager dreams of. I don’t mind missing out on him, I just hope there’s a damn sexy plan to counter his loss. My fear is this, we’re not going big on a striker. Remy is far too cheap and appealing for Wenger. From the rumours I’ve been hearing so far, it looks like speed is on the agenda. I think he might go for calculated potential up top, with proven star quality outwide. Pedro and Alexis feel like very real opportunities. Draxler is also a very real choice. Konoplyanka isn’t, but hell, I’m gonna bang on about him regardless. Point is, there’s a lot of pace out there. If you supplement a very good finisher with pace and skill, you’re in a very good place.

We need to start making bold moves in the transfer market now though. Not waiting until it’s too late. Chelsea are pretty much done with Costa, United have moved for Luke Shaw… when will Wenger move? The tactic if waiting for everyone else to do their business first is what the manager usually does. Why not be proactive? We need to shake this fear of getting into a bidding war. Who cares as long as it doesn’t get outrageous. We can afford to go in for  player that has more than one club in for them.

We’ll need a right back, a box to box defensively minded midfielder with outrageous tenacity, a striker and a wideman.

How about a little FA Cup memory from a reader?

1993 FA Cup Final Replay

It hammered down with rain all day. We found a pub in the West End early door,  it was just down the road from Sportspages – and in true FA Cup fashion, we hit the booze. Hard!

The game felt like it went on for an eternity, we headed into extra time and the final corner, at this point, I wasn’t drunk, but I was feeling the after effects of over indulgence, I was too tired to get up out of my seat and witness the final set-piece at the far end of the ground, but I still managed to see the ball float over, Linighan rise and nod home, cue absolute in stadium carnage. An amazing moment that certainly had me off my seat!

Those replay programmes are going for a tidy sum on ebay. I’m guessing that most of those brought on the day had rotted away having spent far too long in soaked anorak pockets.

It was my first ‘live’ cup final and couldn’t have been more different than those sunny May afternoons watching the game on World of Sport in the early 70s, replaying the match in the back garden (whilst the winners were being interviewed chugging down bottles of milk).

Alan Thompsett

Do you have an FA Cup memory?

729 Responses to “Wenger’s summer strategy not about the striker?”

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  1. TitsMcgee

    No Sanogo? There’s a shock. As for Nasri I haven’t forgiven hom for thinking he was the mutts nuts after 6 months of good form, so no sympathy. Still a better squad than England though, QF’s my predication for France. England will be lucky to get three points and will not make the knock out stages.”

    Meh. The French are always good for a choke job unless they are playing in France.

    Talent on paper yes but I won’t believe their hype unless they get to the quarters at least.

  2. Romford Pele

    Yeah Eagle, Deschamps messed it. At least he’ll be gone by 2016 which is when I expect the French to make an impact, especially being at home. Umititti, Kondogbia, Zouma, Benzia, Thauvin, Pogba, Sanogo, Griezmann, Ntep

  3. TitsMcgee

    THIS JUST IN: Radamel Falcao is IN the Colombia World Cup squad. He hasn’t played since tearing his ACL in January pic.twitter.com/F7KDorVWYV

  4. WengerEagle


    7 players that play in the centre and only two wide players, one of whom that has earned a single cap for France.

    Silly from Deschamps.

  5. Romford Pele

    Tbh until the French learn to work together and stop all the in-fighting, they will struggle. Deschamps should be able to put bias aside. Nasri should be a shoe-in for the first team. He’s been in great form this season too

  6. TitsMcgee

    Look at the team Lowe just put out v Poland.

    1 Ron-Robert Zieler
    3 Matthias Ginter
    5 Shkodran Mustafi
    14 Oliver Sorg
    19 Antonio Rüdiger
    6 Sebastian Rudy
    7 Maximilian Meyer
    10 Julian Draxler
    16 Christoph Kramer
    17 Leon Goretzka
    11 Kevin Volland

    I think the phrase here is “meaningless friendly”

  7. TitsMcgee

    Nasri should be a shoe-in for the first team. He’s been in great form this season too”

    Only thing I can think of is maybe Nasri was one of the in-fighters?

  8. Romford Pele

    How comes Germany are playing tonight?Still, Ginter, Draxler, Meyer, Volland and Goretzka are all in the C team. We’d be calling them up for England’s first team. Massive difference in depth

  9. Romford Pele

    Tits, probably. Nasri is a notorious trouble maker and is said to very rude. Still, if Benzema, Ribery and Griezmann get injured, you’re wondering where the firepower is gonna come from.

    Was looking forward to seeing the French squad but it’s a massive let down really bar the defence and a few other individuals

  10. tunnygriffboy

    Somebody with knowledge of french situation posted yesterday or day before that Nasri had indeed been one of the in fighters and that his attitude and professionalism when playing for France were really poor. A bad influence.

  11. andy1886

    Romford: “At least he’ll be gone by 2016 which is when I expect the French to make an impact, especially being at home. Umititti, Kondogbia, Zouma, Benzia, Thauvin, Pogba, Sanogo, Griezmann, Ntep”

    I can’t believe that you put Sanogo in that list! I had to read it twice. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was still looking for his first Arsenal goal by then, or if Wenger has gone he may not be in football at all.

  12. Romford Pele

    Andy, Sanogo plays for Arsenal so he pretty much has a free pass into the French squad.

    In all seriousness, I can see why Wenger likes him. My main issue with him is that:

    1) While there’s potential there, he’s incredibly raw for a 21 year-old, especially when there’s someone in the reserves who is three years younger, bangs them in for fun and is much more refined. The only real difference between the two is Sanogo’s strength.

    2) The first team shouldn’t be used as an apprenticeship for young players. Sure one or two but we already have enough to worry about developing. Also, Sanogo plays in a critical position, you need too quality up there and for a club who has £150m in the bank, it’s pretty disgraceful that he starts such high profile games for us. And the fact he has started such high profile games already means he’ll continue to get game time next season.

    He may well come good but it’ll be at Akpom and the teams expense

  13. Mike adamski

    That’s gotta hurt Samir Nasri .

    Quality player . Wish we still had him .

    Does come across as a horrible little git though .

  14. TitsMcgee

    Ashburtön Gröve ‏@ashburton_grove 11m
    Fantastic @mertesacker picture on the wall in the tunnel at Wembley ahead of Saturday. Picture: @Ben2012_London pic.twitter.com/SeHjgZid49

  15. TitsMcgee

    ESPN FC ‏@ESPNFC 12m
    Deschamps also said Nasri’s performances for France haven’t been as great as his play for Manchester City.

    ESPN FC ‏@ESPNFC 17m
    Deschamps said he did not pick Nasri because he’s not happy when he doesn’t start. It shows and it affects the squad #France



  16. kwik fit

    Don’t like hearing that islington council have put up signs regarding a parade on Sunday. Premature ejacluation comes to mind.

  17. WengerEagle


    True that although Tevez being a street kid is insanely popular in Argentina, even more so than Messi.

    He’s still a quality player to be fair but I agree that Messi, Aguero and Higuain are better.

  18. WindyCityArse

    Thought we were tight wads…. How are we in a situation where Sagna & Fabianski have run down their contracts and are going to leave on a free?
    Is it devious players lying about signing on without ever having the intention to do so, incompetence from the club, or a mixture of both?
    Someone needs a slap for this situation.

  19. Mike adamski

    With that amount of talent I doubt tevez will get in the squad .

    His stats for the national team aren’t good and he hasn’t played in any of the qualifiers so it can hardly be a surprise .

    Fans are protesting hahahaha

  20. TitsMcgee

    Netherlands WC squad (1/3):

    GKs: Krul, Cillessen, Vorm, Zoet

    Netherlands WC squad (2/3):
    DEF: Verhaegh, Van Aanholt, Rekik, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Kongolo, Blind, Veltman, Vlaar, Janmaat

    MF: Sneijder, Fer, Nigel de Jong, Clasie, De Guzman, Van der Vaart, Vilhena, Wijnaldum

    FWD: Depay, Boetius, Lens, van Persie, Kuyt, Huntelaar, Promes, Robben

  21. TitsMcgee

    The Dutch defenders leave much to be desired.

    I can see the Dutch team struggling big time on a whole.

  22. WengerEagle

    It’ll be interesting to see if Sneijder can roll back the years.

    That really is an average Dutch squad outside of RVP and Robben.

    They won’t make it out of the group. Spain and Chile have more quality.

  23. WengerEagle

    Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Mariano Andújar, Agustín Orion.

    Defenders: Ezequiel Garay, Federico Fernández, Pablo Zabaleta, Marcos Rojo, José María Basanta, Hugo Campagaro, Nicolás Otamendi, Martín Demichelis, Gabriel Mercado, Lisandro López.

    Midfielders: Fernando Gago, Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega, Angel Di María, Maximiliano Rodríguez, Ricardo Alvarez, Augusto Fernández, Enzo Pérez, José Sosa, Fabian Rinaudo.

    Forwards: Sergio Agüero, Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Rodrigo Palacio, Di Santo.

    Di Santo?!!! Seriously?

    Bet Tevez is pissed.

  24. salparadisenyc

    Just saw a picture of that same rainbow over the Emirates, captained Arsene’s warchest is that the bottom.

  25. WengerEagle

    Sosa’s an interesting choice. I’ve liked him whenever I’ve watched Atletico.

    Demichelis too deserves a place based on his post Christmas form.

  26. TitsMcgee

    Van Gaal better hope he doesn’t bottle it because then UTD will get cold feet and the fans will be on his back quicker.

  27. salparadisenyc

    The ole stability card killed Nasri, Clichy and Tevez today, and will excuse Arsene from buying anyone over ₤15 million this summer.

  28. WengerEagle

    ‘Forwards: Sergio Agüero, Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Rodrigo Palacio, Di Santo.’

    5 of the best forwards in Europe and then Di Santo???

    The likes of Tevez, Gaitan, Pastore and even Lisandro Lopez have missed out ahead of this clown.

    At least it’s not the final 23.

  29. WengerEagle

    Zabaleta, Garay and Campagaro are all quality defenders but their lack of a LB, decent GK and quality in CM might cost them.

    Their forward line bar Di Santo is awesome though.

  30. WengerEagle

    I’d put Spain as a favourite too.

    Tbh I forgot how unbelievable their squad was until I saw Isco was left out of it.

    Diego Costa up front and bang in form will be a huge plus for them too and will offer something different.

  31. Romford Pele

    World Cup 11, only two from each nationality

    Aurier Varane Koscielny De Sciglio
    Busquets Kroos
    Messi Aguero Reus

    “No Ozil Romford?!”
    I choose him all the time so thought I’d be different for once

  32. WengerEagle

    ‘World Cup 11, only two from each nationality’

    In that case:

    Lahm Koscielny Thiago Silva Azpilicueta
    Busquets Vidal

    Reus Modric Ronaldo

  33. WengerEagle

    No.10’s came down to Modric, Rakitic, James Rodriguez and Pjanic as I used up my Germany and Spain players.

    Modric just sneaked it as he’s been unbelievable all season.

  34. TitsMcgee

    Spain have weaknesses via FBs that Italy exposed in Confed. Cup, or am i lying to meeself?”

    Alba and Azpiculeuta? Not for me.

    I think they’re weaker in the middle. No Puyol and Pique(who was never fast) has lost a step. Ramos seems possessed at the moment though.

  35. TitsMcgee

    Spain, Brazil, Germany, Argentina(just for their forwards).

    Darkhorse: Italy and Belgium(no depth though).

  36. kwik fit

    Malaga’s goalie needs too much protection to be effective. Thats why he’s pulled off the squad list

  37. TitsMcgee

    Retweeted by Darren
    Glenn Kitson ‏@glenn_rig_out 5m
    Rumours that Arsenal have bought Jean-Michel Basquiat


  38. Cesc Appeal


    I hope not, Google says he was a boxer in the 60’s who died in 1988…would only be marginally more mobile than Giroud.

  39. WengerEagle

    Azpilicueta Pique Ramos Alba
    Busquets Alonso
    Pedro Silva

    De Gea
    Carvajal Abiol Martinez Moreno
    Koke Xavi
    Navas Isco

    Juanfran Ingo Martinez Bartra Monreal
    Thiago Illaramendi
    Callejon Muniain

    Spain’s 3rd team could give most country’s a proper match. Ridiculous strength in depth.

  40. Die Cashley Die

    Stan’s St Louis Rams have just signed the NFL’s 1st (openly) gay player.

    His next move has to be Bender to Arsenal…

  41. Marko

    Moussa Sissoko being called up by France is hilarious. He’s been awful all season. Should of given the spot to Gonalons or Payet imo. I understand why Nasri wasn’t called up he’s a massive cunt. Doesn’t explain why Evra got called up though. He’s been shite and a cunt all season

  42. london gunner

    I dunno I think Tevez is a level above Higuain.

    His got a far better overall game and their movement and positioning are both equally exceptional.

    I would say that their finishing is equal but peeeps will mention Tevez scoring record in Europe so I will just put in a disclaimer and say Higuain is known as a clinical striker but his not been great in the CL either. Any way over the course of their careers they have both been very clinical statistically.

    What Tevez has over Higuain is easily more pace, more strength, more stamina and his a far better athletic in general.

    His also got an ugly dribbling style but it works and I think he gets round much more players than Higuain which I think is a big weakness of Higuain.

    Higuain is poacher/finisher he makes runs in behind he doesn’t have (that much) pace but his timing and movement is good enough to give him a few yards on defender.
    Thing is I think Tevez movement is just as good (speak to Juventus fans they will go on all day about predator movement) diff is Tevez has more pace so gives him an advantage and has more strength to hold of defenders..

    Tev has this crazy work ethic and has as much stamina as Ramsey, so his relentless he just keeps going for days.

    I think Tev doesn’t go missing as Higuain does, Tev wrecks havoc and is a defenders nightmare! Especially in the world cup when players are nervous to have this crazy persistent bull with great scoring ability hammering at you on you in seconds if your take a heavy touch…

  43. Le Wisham Gooner

    Some funny Fucker has taken Giroud out of the France wc squad and replaced him with Christan Nade on Wikipedia.

  44. goonpharm

    Uruguay for me. Got 50 bucks on them to do it.

    They won the last copa America and with Suarez and Cavani have a very capable front line. Defensively and in midfield they may not have household names but they work as a unit.

  45. WengerEagle

    london gunner

    I’m a big Tevez fan too but tbh Higuain’s Argentina stats shit all over his so I understand why he wasn’t picked.

    Higuain: 36 caps 21 goals
    Tevez: 62 caps 13 goals

  46. WengerEagle

    ‘Colombia have not been in the world cup since 1998’

    They have a golden generation of players with Falcao leading the charge.

    I’m hoping they can be Semi-Finalists.

  47. Bamford13


    Not sure why you found it so hard to understand Nasri being left out. Long established that he’s an arrogant prick and an attitude problem.

    A World Cup is partly about good team chemistry, and given the issues with French team chemistry in the past, it’s no surprise Nasri is out.

  48. WengerEagle

    ‘A World Cup is partly about good team chemistry, and given the issues with French team chemistry in the past, it’s no surprise Nasri is out.’

    How do you explain Evra’s inclusion then?

  49. Bamford13


    Good question. I was thinking that that was the flaw in my argument — because no question Evra has been a problem in the past as well. Must be one or more of three things:

    1. Evra has played nice with Deschamps.
    2. Evra is regarded as indispensable, i.e., they have no other RB options.
    3. Nasri has actually had words with Deschamps.

  50. Arsene's Nurse

    Bamford13 May 13, 2014 22:03:32


    Not sure why you found it so hard to understand Nasri being left out. Long established that he’s an arrogant prick and an attitude problem.

    A World Cup is partly about good team chemistry, and given the issues with French team chemistry in the past, it’s no surprise Nasri is out.
    Any good team requires good chemistry (over the long run). Balotelli would be a great addition to the Arsenal squad as long as we could lock him in an unused cupboard inbetween match days.

    There’s a sufficient space at the Emirates – it’s called the trophy room!

  51. Bamford13


    Agree that Evra seems as big of a jerk as Nasri. I’m still not convinced Suarez was at fault in that whole saga. I don’t think “Negrito” means in Uruguay what it means to Evra.

    Despite all of his bad behavior, I still find Suarez more likeable than either Evra or Nasri.

  52. Zeus

    “I think Tev doesn’t go missing as Higuain does, Tev wrecks havoc and is a defenders nightmare! Especially in the world cup when players are nervous to have this crazy persistent bull with great scoring ability hammering at you on you in seconds if your take a heavy touch…”

    Really don’t understand how these cliches/mus truths about Tevez persist.

    Just check his ABYSMAL record for Argentina. The guy just can’t cut it. I would actually rather he goes missing at time. During the 2010 qualifiers this lunatic had a run of 1 goal in 10 games, a first half red cards and a missed penalty.

    Not for me…..he is just too one dimensional and technically inferior to messi, Aguero, higuain etc.

    All the bs “British” quality that he brings to the table (heart, desire, running, never say die attitude) only manages to detract from on-field chemistry.

    Good/decent at club level, nowhere near to being compatible with Leo, which u need to be since he is the fulcrum.

    Pissed that dimicheles made it as well.

  53. Santos

    Netherlands are going to be a massive joke in the world cup. If LVG can do something with them, then it will be a great achievement.
    Belgium are looking good to. People don’t seem to rate Uruguay; they are very efficient eventhough they don’t have household names

    Spain? Lol. Their talent is ridiculous. If they don’t move away away from playing tippy-tappy, teams with great defences and great counter-attacking ability might hurt them.

  54. salparadisenyc

    Uruguay is a top side that will cause problems.
    Very solid at the back with pretty ridiculous attack, if they can get the supply up to the Cavani and Suarez, not mention Able Hernandez who knows what could happen. Quarters or Semifinal for me.






  55. WengerEagle


    I’m hoping it’s just a bullshit rumour as they already have Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Schurrle, Salah and Piazon and Atsu to come back from their loans.

    Costa and Firmino to Chelsea would be soul-destroying. Next thing you know Mourinho will be after Javi Martinez.

    The depressing thing is we already know Wenger intends to do sweet fuck all until July 15th at the very soonest.

  56. salparadisenyc

    Too right.

    “The depressing thing is we already know Wenger intends to do sweet fuck all until July 15th at the very soonest.”

    Could easily amend that to Aug 31, when “ze market sees some movement.”
    Here’s to sweet FA.

  57. Zeus

    The Diego Lopez omission is a travesty. I know del bisque wants to be loyal to Cadillacs as he’s been at the centre of the history making Spanish run, but still…..

    If that’s not the definition of politics, I don’t know what is.

  58. Godfather

    Les Frenchies are definitely a dark horse team in Brazil ….. As for Nasri: buhahahahahahahaha …

    Could not be more deserving of a summer vacation …lol