Signing 4 lands + How the summer is shaping up

by .


Monday is here

You regret all the beerB

But have no fear, alas, Le Grove is here.

How about that for an opening for Monday morning. What a moment!

So what have we on this fine yet slightly muggy morning? Well, we have plenty to power through.

Squad wise, where we at bro?

Well, things are ticking over quite nicely.

1. We’ve addressed the Szeceney competition issue.

David Ospina represents a very real threat to our keepers number one spot. Personally, I think Fabianski turned his career round and in the end, I feel we’ve let the better keeper go. I think he’ll show you how good he is this season at Swansea. I think half the issue with Lukas at Arsenal is he always carried the ‘dodgy keeper’ sign around his neck. I’m not sure many of us could shake the image of him being targeted with 50 yard shots against Wigan… and struggling.

Ospina represents something different. He’s 6ft on the dot, he’s spectacular and he’s off the back of an amazing world cup. Part of me; the part that is reading into this way too deeply, feels that Wenger has lured the Colombian keeper in as part one of his attack on the nations players. They’ve a golden batch of superstars we might readily tap moving forward. Apparently, James Rodrigues goes out with his sister. So you never know.

Deeper than that, he represents a threat. He’s a very good keeper. He’s 25 years old. He’s hungry. He’s mature and he’ll be professional. When the selfies and the dip in form inevitably comes… he’ll be there to takeover. So we’ll see how this pans out.

Only worry is that Wenger is to keepers what West Ham are to injury prone strikers.

2. We nearly have a full compliment of defenders

Calum Chambers (if you see his name down as Chamberlain, that’s not a typo, that’s Mac autocorrecting) is coming in to compete long term as a centre back. Bellerin moves up in to compete with Debuchy (because Jenkinson isn’t good enough right now). Gibbs and Monreal are both more than capable if they kick things up a gear. Mertesacker and Koscielny give us the stability, we need one more if we can shift Vermaelen (which might not be too likely now).

3. We have options up front

I know, they might not be perfect, but you have to look at this through Wenger’s eyes. We have Theo, Sanchez, Giroud, Podolski, Chamberlain, Cazorla and Gnabry. That’s a lot of excitement and that’s a lot of pace. Remember, City, Chelsea and Liverpool are about individual talent, we’ve tended to play more as a team. We’re about the interlocking pieces rather than the one man who changes a game on his own. I expect to see a lot of positional rotation, which might be able to combat the lack of a world class striker. Giroud isn’t good enough to lead a world class outfit, but surrounded by pace, he might be enough… we’ll see.

4. Confidence

Arsenal lost against New York. The only English team out of 7 to lose to an American team. On the face of it, it’s a shit show and it’s embarrassing. You know why no one is losing their minds online? Because we can all see the plan coming together. The players will be excited, the fans are excited and the Premiership will be fearing us this year. The atmosphere is totally different.

Money doesn’t by you success in football, what it buys you is confidence. It buys you time as a manager. It buys excitement… and hey, that’s what football is all about, right? Taking your budget and using it to bring as much excitement as possible to the game.

Before I leave for the next point, I was reading about the losses made by Amazon. Jeff Bezos is a long term visionary. Some would say, just like Arsene Wenger. Well, he’s been ploughing money back into a long term vision for years, he used to turn a profit, but since 2012, he’s started losing money. He has a vision that puts Amazon at the top of the pile in anything he goes near, be it cloud storage, mobile devices or retail. So he’s recorded a pretty big loss this month, to shareholder despair. One analyst, from Bloomberg said this…

‘Bezos’s strategy since Amazon’s inception has been to invest heavily to expand and earn customer loyalty…that has been been expensive.’

Now you could look at the stadium and say that was investment, and sure, it totally was and it was a brilliant move made at a deadly time. However, the length of time the club left the playing squad unattended held us back commercially as our revenues dipped and our additional partners stagnated (as Man Utd’s blew up!). Arsenal did fantastically well to get the stadium sorted, but we neglected the playing squad which has cost us big time, even with the deal we have now which is roughly half what United picked up (still pretty good going to sell your shirt deal for the same price as Madrid with zero success to negotiate with).

The second quote, which was interesting, and it came from a Forrester Analyst (highly regarded research agency).

“As long as there is money to pour into the business, they will be pouring money in to the business,”

“If you can spend down all your profit and nobody is going to penalise you for it, why show a profit?”

So when people say, ‘it’d be crazy to spend all your transfer budget’, it’s actually crazy not to when you have the cash sitting there. Money in the bank serves no purpose in a transfer market that has inflated by 30% over 5 years. It serves no purpose when you don’t have a squad good enough to compete. It serves the brand no benefit not to have a superstar laden competitive squad.

… and look, superstar doesn’t have to be Gareth Bale. It can be a Sanchez.

So if Arsenal can improve this summer and that means they spend all their cash, that’s not a problem if it’s pushing the club in the right direction. We’re on the right path, however, we’re still short… which leads me onto my final point.

5. The defensive midfielder

We need a defensive midfielder. Flamini is a limited player and he faded badly at the end of last season. Arteta simply doesn’t have the legs. Jack is a massive risk in a position he knows nothing about. We need a Carvahlo, Khedira or a Bender. We need some box to box magic. Something a bit special.

Piecing it together…

Now, this is where you all get upset with me. Bringing in great players is always a massive bonus and it’ll be an immeasurable help. However, if we don’t sort out all of the other issues around the club, it’s a complete irrelevance who is on the pitch. You can’t blag your way through a season without world class preparation, recuperation and analysis.

Will Wenger make the boldest move of the summer and actually implement a plan to deal with all the inadequacies of last season?

There’s the million dollar question.

Injuries hampered us last year, but they happened because training and load management of players was terrible.

Defeats happened last year because we only had one game plan last year.

Spankings happened regularly because we didn’t ever learn from our mistakes. There was no scenario planning. There was no different approach. We just kept doing the same thing over and over again.

Ultimately, you can bury your head in the sand and pretend that the only thing holding us back over the past 8 years was money. Ivan Gazidis is doing an excellent PR job rewriting history… however, the simple fact is it’s been Wenger and his archaic approach to the game that’s been the problem when kicking lots of great teams onto the next level.

Money didn’t stop us sacking Tony Colbert 5 years ago and improving our approach to fitness, despite all the evidence supporting that move. Money didn’t stop us ripping out an old school backroom team and bringing in fresh blood with modern ideas. Money didn’t stop us freshening up our scouting network and hitting the same markets Dortmund have exploited to incredible success. Money didn’t stop us looking at the opposition and preparing.

Really, money hasn’t had that much of an effect this summer either. We haven’t gone mental, we’ve just bought 4 players we needed. It’s mental for Arsenal, pretty standard for any other club with gaping wounds in their squad.

So the long and short is phase one of the summer has worked well, phase two is the season. That’s when we see how introspective the manager is prepared to be… because if he doesn’t change, the same old same old will occur regardless of how well we start.

It’s a big year for the manager. It’s a big year for everyone. Fingers crossed it’s a revolution, rather than a cheeky show of thigh before rolling over and going to sleep.

Right, mega post for you on Monday, before 9am. How’s about that?

Enjoy your day, I’m going to the Puma shop at lunch time…



821 Responses to “Signing 4 lands + How the summer is shaping up”

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  1. luke

    Hmmm. Wonder why Campbell doesn’t have a squad number…maybe Wenger told him to earn one during pre-season. Or he’s leaving on loan or on a transfer…

  2. N5

    No Cesc, but it is in my watchlist, now you’ve recommended it and we have similar tastes I’m going to start it earlier.

  3. Cesc Appeal


    I’d have to staple my nuts to a table just to balance the karmic feeling of goodness to negativity in the universe…that is a sacrifice I’d be willing to make for my fellow Arsenal fans.

  4. Cesc Appeal


    Very, very good.

    Not as action filled as say Rome, if you’ve seen that, tonnes of debauchery though, good script and great characters, lots of violence and gore as well.

    Natalie Dormer (Margarey Tyrell) is in it as well and she’s soooooo hot.

  5. Simon

    It was hilarious to watch Giroud in the World Cup but not so funny to think he’s going to be our main striker for the 3rd season in a row. It’s shameful. Our striking options are Giroud, Sanogo and Campbell? So unless we replace Giroud and Arteta, it’s going to be 4th again. Or 3rd at very best.

  6. N5

    You had me at Margarey 😀

    I tried the Borgious but didn’t get on with it, my wife like it, the pervy old French fancy that she is!!

  7. Cesc Appeal


    She plays Anne Boleyn. We all know how that ends so enjoy her while she lasts 😉

    Never watched that, I have a feeling you possibly may not like Tudors then because just from the ads and what have you it feels a bit similar. But then I could be wrong, the acting and characters and what have you are brilliant…have a watch and let me know what you think.

    Plus Superman is in it so…

  8. Nasri's Mouth

    Simon: Our striking options are Giroud, Sanogo and Campbell

    At the moment Sanchez might play on the flank because Walcott is injured. As well he can play through the middle in some games; we can play with Giroud, we can play without Giroud in a 4-4-2 or in a 4-3-3

  9. Ryan

    This is the first time I’ve read your post in two years. I wanted to see if you still had your anti Wegner agenda, the thing that pushed me away, from what I viewed (and still kinda do) the best Gunnar blog. Now while Wegner might not of admitted his mistakes, he’s sure as hell addressed them these past two summers. He looks oblivious but his ears are very much on the ground when it comes to the opinions of the fans. Callum was our 4 excellent addition. Is it even august yet? Fucking give the gaffa some credit my man.. I mean u don’t fuukin gotta admit anything , just simply praise him for doing this very well, this year. Look how freaking long that post was. 50% was u rambling on about your eventual million dollar question….. Stop, common really? Bottom line and it really was as simple as this, we did not travel well to the big boys’ homes. The team still had the overthinking / come out shaky syndrome arsenal have had since 06. But guess what…. The Fa cup gets rid if that fear factor big dog. arsenal fc is an ever evolving, we don’t know what we are . what we have yet, or what the gaffer will do next… But what we do know is these sure as hell are exciting times to be a Gunnar. Please try to write three positive posts on three days instead of being negative Nancy toward Wegner. Pleassssssse

    And fy,i when ur the best team in the world you don’t have a game plan, your play your roles in your system and win…(manubarcanowbayern) even 2002-06 had no game-plan bro, we just funking went out and won

  10. Cesc Appeal

    New Hobbit looks good…not keen on the title though.

    I get why they changed it from “There and Back Again”…not really enough punch for the most action packed and concluding chapter of the series…but “Battle of the Five Armies”…hmmm

  11. WengerEagle

    Good TV shows to watch:

    The Wire (masterpiece)
    The Sopranos (my all time favourite show)
    True Detective
    Breaking Bad
    Black Mirror (very interesting mini-series)

    If you want a comedy don’t look past:

    The Office UK
    I.T Crowd
    Black Books
    Father Ted
    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    Curb Your Enthusiasm

    If it’s documentaries that you’re after, Louis Theroux is your guy.

  12. Nasri's Mouth

    @cesc appeal


    It’s not mass appeal, it’s probably only good for brits who’ve worked in big corporations but for those that recognise the situations it’s very funny

  13. Cesc Appeal


    I like Louis but after a while I find him too sarcastic and condescending, as if he’s taking the piss out of everything.

    Which is fine except a lot of the times he’s with Americans who don’t get British sarcasm.

    Don’t know why when I watch him I always get cringy moments.

    If you want a good documentary series, Andrew Marr History of the World…brilliant!

  14. Cesc Appeal


    Is that a television series? I’ve never heard of it, just googled it is it written by John Morton?

  15. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    Yep, based around the build up to the 2012 Olympics. Very dry, and lots of little hidden jokes

    It fitted the whole pre Olympics “we’re British, we’re going to fuck it up aren’t we?” vibe

  16. p.c.m

    i rarely comment on here. i usually prefer to read instead. I’m gon break character n weigh in on this defensive midfielder debate.
    The way i see it, a proper DM MUST above all others, have great physique. I believe this is the genesis of the “big and black” stereotype. However, this must be coupled with real technical ability. He needs to be a formidable tackler, a leader, supremely confident on the ball, and a fantastic distributor with great vision.
    He is the bipolar beast that destroys opponents’ attacks, before swiftly morphing into an orchestrator.
    Come to think of it, We had a guy like that, and we sold him to barcelona. now before i get crucified, let me have my say.
    Song was a lot of things bad. he gave away fouls in odd place, was so slow it wasn’t even funny, his leadership and game reading were meh at best and he began to enjoy the attack a bit too much for my liking.
    He ticked a lot of the boxes that make for a fantastic DM. He definitely had the physique and was strong as an ox. There are many times i remember him holding off two of even three players without the slightest bit of panic. And that brings me to the next part. He was very (if not overly) confident on the ball, a surprisingly good passer and dribbler, and i cannot deny, some of those precision through balls to rvp were an indication of great vision.
    Only God knows where it all went wrong, but i think he had the raw ingredients for a great DM.
    To be honest, there aren’t too many players i can think of that tick all those boxes. That position may be harder to fill than it appears.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    Di Marzio on twitter is saying our interest in Douglas Costa is real and concrete.

    Never heard of him before but has a shit tonne of followers on Twitter and saw on an Arsenal forum some saying he’s well regarded?

    If that goes through surely means Cazorla is on his way…wouldn’t it?

  18. WengerEagle


    Agree with you there I’m not mad on Louis the person and do find him annoying at times but his series are excellent because of what he gets out of the people he’s interviewing. He’s this geeky looking unassuming character which leads to people opening up easily to him and saying things that I don’t think that they would say to a more dominating interviewer. Similar to Borat which despite being a laugh-riot is actually a fascinating documentary because of the bizarre responses he manages to evoke.

    Louis is almost sly in the way he gets information out of people, he asks stupid questions that you’re sitting there thinking ‘he knows well the cheeky git’ but by playing dumb and innocent it works for a more revealing documentary.

  19. Cesc Appeal


    Oh okay.

    Might have to check that out. I enjoy dry comedies

    Can’t go wrong with the classics though. Just got through my box set of Fawlty Towers again…never gets old.

  20. gnarleygeorge9

    Don’t tell me the London Olympics 2012 are going to become like pom tele about WWI & WWII, remember the good ol’days. You’ve gotta get outa that time warp & keep moving on in sport, like we have 😆

  21. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah I agree. Sometimes he asks bone questions but you know he’s just trying to make the guy talk himself into trouble almost, or talk himself into just spilling his guts.

    But the one in Detroit, I just felt he was a bit condescending to the Police Officers, as if making fun of them and the whole situation. Turned me off him a bit.

    But I do agree, I’ve watched his “Aliens” documentary so many times where he goes to Area 51 and all that!

  22. Nasri's Mouth

    I can only assume the apparent interest in Douglas Costa is agent driven to get a move somewhere…anywhere

  23. WengerEagle


    Which one is that? Don’t think that I’ve ever seen that documentary. He can be a bit condescending though at times, in the Porn one he was.

    Aliens one? I’ve never seen that either, sounds interesting!

    Just finished the Gambling in Las Vegas one, very good watch.

  24. tunnygriffboy

    Spurs signing Rodriguez ? Bit dodgy. Hasn’t he got the same injury as Theo ? Wally’s happened in Jan and I think his was much later on than his.

    Douglas Costa frightened to go back to Ukraine. Don’t blame him really. He’s not the only one.

  25. Cesc Appeal


    If you have Netflix mate they are all on there.

    Detroit looks like a war zone…Robocop exaggerated nothing.

  26. tunnygriffboy

    Also didn’t Manquillo say he didn’t want to come to Arsenal as it was a big club and he wasn’t sure he’d play so lpool was a better option. I’m sure someone posted the link on here a couple of days ago. 🙂

  27. Dan Ahern

    Lol Sal. Wenger looks at the team sheet. “Where am I short?” Reads to himself. “Ozil… Cazorla… Ramsey… Wilshere… Rosicky… The Ox… Diaby… Zelalem…
    AH! OF COURSE! I need an attacking mid.”

  28. tunnygriffboy

    Aaawww, bless the Ox. He’s all excited his old mucker from Soton has signed. He going round introducing him to everyone. Cesc you may be needed though. He said he’s going to court to secure his rights to the ‘Chambo ‘ nickname !

  29. Cesc Appeal


    I’ll take Wenger to court for neglect if he fails to get a CDM…then get yelled at by the judge as he asks “what is the matter with you?!!”

  30. tunnygriffboy

    Report saying Schniederlin turned us down because he wasn’t guaranteed a starting spot. Can’t believe that


    Do you think we’ll sign one.? What’s your gut feeling ?


    I know. Looks like Jenko still be in London though so they’ll be close. Sad to see him go but a loan is best for all parties.

  31. Relieable sauce


    Have seen Utopia?
    Its a bit black mirrorish with the conspiracy vibe. Plot seems a little sketchy but its visually slick & has some quirky charachters that have me hooked.

    As for documentaries i would highly recommend – All watched over by machines of loving grace. (3 episodes). Ayn Rand, belgians in the congo & the colapse of asian economies. Very interesting series

  32. gnarleygeorge9

    Happy birthday Geoff.


    What has happened to Geoff on here? Don’t tell him this, but I miss his fired up calls on here on all issues Arsenal, etc. He’s a bit old skool, & reminded me of the Headmaster 😀

  33. Moray

    someone looking for recommended documentaries?

    basically anything under the Storyville stable. Far and away the best documentary series out there – I haven’t seen a dud yet. I can particularly recommend their “The Fight” about Joe Louis and Max Schmelling. It’s on youtube…

  34. BacaryisGone

    Assuming Santi stays, we might still be vulnerable against some of the better teams but with Santi, Ozil, Alexis and Ramsey together we could absolutely slaughter some of the lesser Premier League teams.

  35. Dark Hei

    I think with Sanchez now on board, this team has the makings to rival the 2003 team. Though there is still the small part of actually making it happen on the pitch. Looking at our offence below, there are good parallels.

    Henry – Sanchez (Both are roaming forwards, 2 footed, pacey and can make runs AND run at defenders)
    Bergkamp – Ozil (Hugely talented with that free role)
    Pires – Carzola (Carzola is equally talented. If he learns how to make late darts into the box, he will have arrived.)
    Lungberg – Walcott (They both play the goal scoring role. Lungberg is better with the ball while Walcott is a lot faster and plays further forward)
    Viera – Ramsey (Viera is more dominant while Ramsey is the better finisher. Great engine from both players)

  36. Dark Hei

    And looking at the potential squad players, it does seem that this incarnation can be stronger.
    Reyes – Campbell
    Wiltord – OX
    Edu – Wilshire
    Parlour – Flamini
    Kanu – Giroud
    And with Rosicky, Gnarby and Diaby still to draw upon we are perhaps much stronger in terms of quality.

  37. Dark Hei

    The only position left is the that part of the holding midfielder. Arteta is the better passer, as compared to Gilberto, but Gilberto is clearly the better brick wall.
    It is now up in the air who we are going to sign for the DM role.

  38. Moray

    @ Dark Hei: “I think with Sanchez now on board, this team has the makings to rival the 2003 team”

    haha I like your optimism, mate, but this team is way off that one.

    What we used to have was great pace, strength, balance and the ability to turn the ball around extremely quickly. We also had great footballers (winners) with the ability to interchange and counterattack at pace.

    Which of Lehmann, Cole, Lauren, Campbell, Keown, Pires, Ljungberg, Vieira, Gilberto, Bergkamp and Henry do you NOT think would walk into our current first XI (or to be fair, most all time starting XIs)? Add to this the fact that our opposition is stronger these days.

    Arguably, we are not even better than the 2007-08 squad which won diddly squat. At least then we had RVP and the Crozillian leading the line rather than Giroud.

    I think it’s important to keep our feet on the ground. We are still a few players short of a proper team, and many of our players have a lot to prove still.

  39. ikon

    Sanchez is miles off Henry.. I think people are over estimating what Sanchez can do. He will definitely have tougher defenders to deal with.

  40. Ashwin Gunner



    Lot of people konw Arsenal better than Arsene. the only thing Arsene is good at is lying…. and blaming humiliating defeats on luck.. We should have sacked Arsene the day we lost 8-2.. things would had been much much better.

  41. Dark Hei


    In terms of talent, both sides are now similar. Except the current incarnation has a far stronger bench.

    Bergkamp’s peak was in 97, not 2003. No way that Bergkamp could match Ozil. Lungberg and Walcott? They post similar numbers. Viera vs Ramsey? They are different players but both outrageously good at certain things.

    IMO, only Henry could walk into this team. But then Henry is so good he is 1 of the 3 that have their own statue.

  42. Dark Hei

    And here is the truth. Invincibles 2003 will be probably 2nd or 3rd spot in 2014. We were great back then where there is no Chelski or Arab Oil $$ shaking things up. Look at City’s squad. They have Jovetic, Navas and Dzeko as backup. The Invincibles never had that kind of luxury. Take out Henry and you have some iffy striker backups.

    Reyes is the guy that gets cut down because he likes to show the ball and walk past the defender. Referees simply blow the whistle but never dish out the card. Defenders can cut him down over and over again.

    Wiltord is the striker with a terrible first touch. And he miss plenty of tap ins.

    Kanu is the guy that suffers from SAD. Whatever that means, only Wenger knows.

  43. Nasri's Mouth

    Ashwin Gunner: Lot of people konw Arsenal better than Arsene. the only thing Arsene is good at is lying…

    And yet we’re all on here talking BS rather than earning huge sums to manage a PL side.

  44. Gregg

    So, are we done for this years transfer dealings ?

    Looking at the squad composition and taking into account the Home grown criteria, it looks like unless we sign British, then any foreign acquisition needs to be balanced by moving on a non homegrown.

    It’s likely, looking how things stand, that we will register 6 HG’s, although we can add Chambers as an U-21, so he’s a free hit. That means we can only register 23 over 21 players. Not sure whether Coquelin qualifies as HG though it’s unlikely that he’s in the frame that much for game time.

  45. Nasri's Mouth

    Most of the Invincibles would start for us today. I’d probably take Ozil over Bergkamp and either of Mertesacker or Koscielny over Keown. There’d be a space for Sanchez in there and I’d love to somehow play Vieira AND Ramsey, but if I couldn’t shoehorn them both in, then Vieira gets the nod for me. I’d pick Pires over Cazorla, esp on the wing, and therefore I’d have to take Ljungberg over Walcott, because I’m not sure we could play Pires and Walcott in the same side

    Maybe this


    Lauren Mertesacker Campbell Cole

    Sanchez Vieira Ramsey Pires



  46. gonsterous

    I for one am very excited this summer. We Seem to be making the necessary buys and suprisingly doing it on time.. kudos to whoever is in charge of the transfers…. They seem to have got their shit together this time !!

  47. Leedsgunner

    Surely if we are going to be dealing with AC Milan we should be bidding for Super Mario. He’s an eccentric but still a class player and when on top form — unplayable. Douglas Costa is an attacking midfielder and we are served well there.

    We need a striker. They have a striker who would make us stronger. They want to sell him and they seem to be interested in one of our fringe players. Surely either a swap deal or a cash + player deal is the deal to be had. (Why do we often make our transfer deals so difficult?)

    Anyways if we are going to be acquiring another attacking midfielder I would rather be looking at someone like Isco whose just ridiculously talented. Plus Cazorla and Isco were teammates at Malaga and would hopefully settle in quickly.