We’re building a squad. Stop the talk of selling players

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Content is going to be hard to come by over the next few years, so we’re just going to have to wing it…

So, top story this morning is that Theo has denied we’re in talks about a new contract with him. Wenger says we’ve started negotiations. It’s all turning into a bit of a mess.

My personal opinion is that we’ve come a long way with Theo. His pace is electric, he might not be the most dynamic player, but he’s a threat and he scares the shit out of defences. He gives us the ability to press higher up and he’s electric off the bench. I don’t understand how he’s just suddenly not that appealing to Wenger.

UNLESS

He has other plans. Talks are red hot all around Europe that we’re interested in Dybala. He’s dynamic, skilful, powerful, explosive and very, very fast. He has all the raw ingredients you need to become world class and he’s only 21 years old. A really, really impressive talent. He’d cost a few pennies, but he’d be well worth it.

There are also stories this morning that Reus is back on the agenda. This pleases me. We were in for him last season, we negotiated with Dortmund but the deal fell through. Apparently Arsene Wenger thinks he’s one of the best players in the world and just watching a sizzle reel will show you what we could have. Goals, pace, ingenuity… the boy has it all. He threw a bit of a spanner in the works when he signed a new deal, but I’d imagine he can to an agreement with the exit fee… i.e. I’ll take the pay hike, but you give me 10% of the fee if I go. He’s an absolute talent and we’d soon forget Theo if we landed the German. You can bet your bottom dollar the German boys will be talking him into a move.

London is sweet. You can do what you want, fans don’t really hassle you in the street, we certainly don’t in clubs and bars (unless you’re hanging out in the Covent Garden Walkabout). It’s a sweet life. We’re also turning into a sweet team. Things are clicking. We now have statistically the leagues best DM. We have 3 centre backs. I mean, really, the three areas we need to recruit sit at keeper, a Schneiderlin which looks very close and an inside forward type player.

Land those players, keep them fit and full of energy, continue to think about the opposition, continue to chip away at how we operate behind the scenes… well, it could be exciting next season.

I had a dream last night. A dream that we kept on winning games. A dream that culminated in us winning the league.

I know dreams aren’t real. Or are they? I saw inception.

Anyway, we’re in the mix. It’s a big game against Liverpool first. I just don’t think they have the pace in their side to worry us in the same ways they did last season. We’ve addressed our major flaws by acquiring pace going forward and now pace at the back with Gabriel able to work with Koscielny. They looked pretty clueless against a United who kept it tight and the balls long. If we win there, the manager manages the fitness of the players keeping them fresh, then who knows where we could finish. Would be pretty exciting to make the top two for the first time in, what, ten years?

I also want to take on a lot of the negativity around some of our players. Now, I know this is a joke coming from me, but this mentality we have when it comes to players that aren’t Ozil or Sanchez is crazy. WELBZ and Theo aren’t world beaters. But they’re very good players. They are squad players. Think what a squad player looked like 5 years ago.

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Soak that fat old shit show up.

The point of have a huge wage bill is that you can afford quality. We used to spend our wages of average. Now our average is a player we flogged to death in our first team from 18 years old. A player not starting doesn’t mean he has to go, it means he has to improve to get a look in.

Anyway, enough sticking up for the club and stuff.

Have a great Friday. Enjoy your beers, wherever you might be

Also, listen to the Arsenal Podcast I was on last night.

313 Responses to “We’re building a squad. Stop the talk of selling players”

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  1. carts

    Ronaldinho was a born-boss.

    Rijkaard helped create something real special. Ronaldinho talent was limitless.

  2. WengerEagle

    ‘Rijkaard helped create something real special.’

    True but his stay like Wenger’s arguably was broken into two halves, the first half extremely successful (2003-06) and the second half barren (2006-2008).

    He left Barca in pretty bad shape when Pep came in and took over. And it’s fair to say that Pep took them to unprecedented levels of success.

    Still rate Rijkaard as a manager mind and find it strange that he’s not managed a top club since Barcelona.

  3. MidwestGun

    Good transfer porn discussions. Sprinkled in with some old school Le Grove angst via Nasri and Qna. Good times. …… 😀

    Tend to agree with Ozy that Walcott needs to show a bit of that pre -injury form before we commit to a long term contract. If AW won’t play him or Theo is sandbagging waiting for a new deal. They both picked a strange time to do it.

    P.S…… Keyser you missed us…. just admit it. Hahaha.

  4. Nasri's Mouth

    shad: If Arteta has signed a new deal then we might as well give Diaby and Flamini contract extensions too..

    I think we all agree that Arteta is a better player than Flamini, and that he’s more likely to be fit than Diaby.

    Given that Arteta is already involved with coaching, I wonder whether he’s been groomed for a new role in the club

  5. WengerEagle

    For his first 3-4 seasons at Barcelona Ronaldinho was the most talented player I’ve ever witnessed play the sport. And for those 3-4 years he performed at a phenomenal level in La Liga and the Champions League, both of which he won combining plenty of goals, assists, mazy dribbles and mind-blowing pieces of skill that I’ve never seen any other player perform, especially on a regular basis.

    BUT the fact that he peaked at 25/26 and started declining from there on in means that he won’t be held in the same regard as Messi and Ronaldo, rightly so IMO.

    These 2 are undoubtedly the 2 most influential and effective footballers of the last 20 years and in Messi’s case the best player of all time IMO. The fact that they have been performing at this incredibly high level season after season for close to 10 years ranks them both comfortably above Ronaldinho for me.

    Anyone that loves the game loves Ronaldinho though, including myself.

  6. mysticleaves

    Some people don’t understand it yet but I think 2 players we SHOULD keep from this current squad are Arteta and Walcot

    Walcot: I don’t think we will replace him if he was sold this season: Dybala is not ready, Reus might move next year.

    Arteta: if there’s a leader/cordinator in our team, its him. He is as important to us as Rosicky is.

  7. Bankz

    Is that the real keyser?
    Someone please tell me that’s the one & only Keyser.
    Keyser we missed your educative lectures on Arsenal’s philosophy/policies & Arsene wenger plans to dominate the EPL, Europe & the world in 2027.

    Welcome back…

  8. mysticleaves

    Oh, and might I add, Walcot is way better than welbeck right now. Even with is limitations. Selling Walcot for Welbeck will be MADNESS.

    When Walcot was playing he was still this limited, chipped in with a lot of goals and assists and we still finished 3rd/4th even with a worse midfield.
    Now we have someone that can benefit from the midfield and suddenly people harp on about how limited he is.

    Mr industry(welbeck) has played this season, scored lesser goals and assists, put in all the shift in this world and yet we will still finish 3rd/4th!

  9. Keyser

    Yeah, what bit where you just endlessly troll the shit out of each other, or where you try and scare away any new posters with your sycophantic love for Pedro.

    Look at this ‘Banks’ cunt, whatchutalkinbout Holmes ?

  10. Bankz

    Making Arteta captain in the summer & handing him a new deal now just defines why Wenger would never win the big trophies again
    Too much sentiments to build a top squad that can effectively challenge for them.
    Arteta is a spent force & has been for 2yrs now. Why on earth will you hand him a new contract?

  11. mysticleaves

    Arsenal posters(many of them) on here are really pathetic

    Terry, chelsea(spent force)
    Carrrick, Man utd(spent force)
    Gerrard, liverpool(spent force)
    None of their supporters are bitching about them.

    One year we bemoan the club for not signing experience, the next we plead for inexperience (dybala, lazacette, and the rest)

  12. shad

    @Nasri’s MOuth,

    Gundogan’s form has been patchy at best. Can only recall him having one blinder really. The rest he’s been meeh.

  13. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Haha…. so you did miss us then.
    And here i thought it was all this talk of formations and buying multiple players in the tw.
    #freeKeyser
    😉

  14. carts

    Eagle – it pretty much went down hill from 06. Don’t know whether he lost control of the various personalities or desire to succeed having reached unprecedented hights.

    God know how he failed to get another top gig afterwards. Very bizarre.

    Although Ronaldinho blew up over 4 seasons, I feel as though he does enough to get a honouree mention alongside Messi and Ronaldo

  15. Keyser

    ‘Us’ ? Who’s ‘Us’ ? Don’t pretend like you haven’t been trolling all the other Arsenal blogs just so you can report back on here, are you upset you didn’t find me ?

  16. shad

    @mysticleaves,

    Are you serious about Walcott and especially Arteta? Co-ordination? LOL! It really is Joke Friday.

    He is a good influence to have but shouting and pointing to fellow players on the pitch where they should be doesn’t make you a general. His legs are gone and I can count numerous turnovers of possession where he left Per and Koscielny exposed. He should be given a coaching role or made an ambassador, period. Handing him the captaincy was don out of rewarding loyalty and age than merit.

    As for Theo, I’ve said my piece. Won’t shed a tear if we get Dybala for him. He has hit a ceiling, is injury prone and is playing unnecessary hard ball for a contract extension and terms he barely deserves. I rate Ox and Gnabry above him potentially and Welbz has a better work rate. Dybala will be immense.

  17. Nasri's Mouth

    I suspect Wenger doesn’t see the captaincy in quite the way it used to be seen where the captain was the undisputed leader on the pitch and would be with the club for years to come.

  18. mysticleaves

    Shad I feel ur pain re Arteta but I think it helps a group of young new players that there’s Arteta, Mertasacker and Rosicky.

    A Dybala would settle quicker if he had the aforementioned to welcome him rather than, say Wilshere, Sczc and erm..Ozil.

    A lil bit of hierarchy is needed also.

  19. Keyser

    There are no real leaders so he’s gone with age and seniority, it’s upto the younger ones in behind to stake their claim, this isn’t difficult to understand. We’ve got a pretty significant age gap top to bottom, and players like Ozil and Sanchez haven’t been here long enough.

  20. WengerEagle

    If it’s true that Raheem Sterling is demanding more than £100,000 a week then football has gotten even more mental.

    He’s won absolutely nothing, has yet to score 20 BPL goals and hasn’t even played in the UCL.

    Talented no doubt but he’s mental if he thinks that the likes of Real Madrid are interested in him as of right now.

  21. Keyser

    With the new TV deals Sterling will probably get what he wants, Real Madrid are a cartoon club who knows if they’re interested or not.

    That’s how football is, you had 200 million+ worth of talent either side and it was probably one of the most soulless Classicos in living memory.

    If there was a bit more hype this year around Sterling you could see anything happen.

  22. Romford Ozil Pele

    Tbh i’m not really sure who’s bloated Sterling’s head. Actually I do. The English media. Rodgers saying he’s the best young talent in Europe. Gassing him up way too early. He should chill on his 35k a week. I can see City buying him though to make up the HG quota.

    Lol big up Keyser.

  23. Keyser

    WE – You need a Thesaurus dude, Vela would probably be hyped like that, Serie A is a bit of a joke, and I don’t think Sanchez got as much attention and he was probably playing better at Udinese back then, Dybala might be decent, but the way the leagues constructed and the way the hype grows I seriously doubt anyone would be able to guarantee anything.

  24. WengerEagle

    ‘That’s how football is, you had 200 million+ worth of talent either side and it was probably one of the most soulless Classicos in living memory.’

    Soulless in what way? I actually thought that it was a decent match and was surprised to read that so many thought it was crap, both sides created tonnes of chances and there were 3 goals scored, all very good in their own way.

    Bit of playacting of course but we see that in every single Clasico.

    As for Real Madrid agree that it’s a circus over there but even still I couldn’t see them paying £40 million+ for Sterling which Liverpool will presumably want considering they sold Torres for £50 million over 4 years ago in a less hyper-inflated market and Suarez for £75 million last summer.

    Just guess work as of now though.

  25. Keyser

    Players shouldn’t be paid this sort of money, but they’re going to get it, it’s odd that people think they won’t, the Premiership makes like 8 times as much money as it’s closest rivals in tv monies.

    We also have the fairest split, so teams in this league can drive prices up.

  26. salparadisenyc

    I’m always a bit reticent about the essentially unproven youngsters on a great season like Dybala or Laczaette are having. Mixed bag really, could go the way of Ciro Immobile or step up to the next level.

    Importing strikers is a risky business for every RVP you have the Chamahk, NB52, Park ChuYoung, Vela, Aliadiere although he came through the youth side.

  27. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    Vela’s 26, Dybala’s got 5 years on him.

    Not even going by stats alone I’ve watched him a fair few times this season and he was the stand out player with Vazquez in nearly every match. In the 3-1 win over Napoli roughly a month ago he tore them a new one and set up 2 goals.

    Sanchez only hit that level in his last season at Udinese in 2010-11 when he scored something like 12 Serie A goals and he was 22, a year older than Dybala.

    Serie A isn’t as poor as you make out, Juventus are a top team and then you have the likes of Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina, all very good sides.

  28. JJ

    Romford – I know. You’re right. Stupid hope, I hate you. Just like the hot girl that treats you crap but you still jump whenever the phone rings. Bitch.

  29. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I’m always a bit reticent about the essentially unproven youngsters on a great season like Dybala or Laczaette are having. Mixed bag really, could go the way of Ciro Immobile or step up to the next level.”

    Yeah agreed. I always want people to prove it for at least two seasons before we jump on the hype. I remember people in the summer moaning about us missing out on Immobile and Ramos but L’Oreal has easily outscored both despite missing three months of the season.

  30. WengerEagle

    Immobile’s 25 sal but I get your point.

    Said at the start of the season that I thought that him and Ramos wouldn’t work out.

    How many matches for Dortmund has Ramos even played?

  31. WengerEagle

    Romford

    Have you seen much of Brahimi this season mate?

    Was reading about him the other day and he’s caught my eye in the UCL this season, haven’t watched any of him in the Portuguese League though.

  32. Keyser

    WE – I think football’s pretty soulless, so I almost feel bad pointing it out to youngsters like yourself, but honestly when you’re older you’ll see it differently to. You might think this was the pinnacle though.

    Like the Ronaldo/Messi thing, it’s tedious, Real Madrid/ Barcelona have crushed a league to satisfy themselves and Ronaldo/Messi benefit massively from that.

    It’s like Serie A and the Bundesliga, Bayern and Juventus basically use their leagues to practice for the Champions League.

    Watch old Classicos, watch Barcelona vs us in 2011, or when they beat Madrid 5-0, watch Ronaldinho score two against Madrid and get a standing ovation, there was a 3-3 before that, a pigs head on the pitch, taps from ripped out sinks.

    Barcelona in 2011 were ridiculously efficient, you might think they didn’t have the strikeforce and I’d say they were able to build the side by annhilating the league, but the football was far better to, and on the flipside Madrid are underachieving by miles.

  33. Nasri's Mouth

    JJ: That sad thing is that Denilson wasn’t a squad player. He started…
    EVERY. EFFING. GAME!

    He really only had one season where he was a regular starter.

  34. karim

    Lacazette scored 15 in 30 last season and already has 23 in 26 this season, hardly a one season wonder imo.
    Chamack or Park were galaxies away from those numbers.
    Sure shot ! ( obvious Beastie Boys reference )

    Hi Keyser !

  35. jwl

    I think it would be pretty fcuking cool to get beer delivered by drone. The Americans always get the awesome stuff while the rest of us stand outside with our faces pressed against glass.

  36. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle – Yeah Brahimi is a very good winger, rapid pace, great finish off either foot. Scored quite a few in the CL this season. Outshining Adrian and Tello who were supposed to be Porto’s marquee signings. He isn’t young though (25) but has been great value at £5.6m. Doubtful that he’ll end up at a top club though that’s just my opinion.

  37. Nasri's Mouth

    @jwl

    Don’t be too downhearted, drone testing in America is taking a hammering. We might get the beer before they do

  38. Keyser

    WE – Vela at 17-18 looked up there with Di Maria and Aguero or even better, seriously I think they played at the same under-17 World Cup or at least that same summer and he was sublime.

    Juventus who were relegated at one point, are on their way to their 4th ? consecutive title, Milan have imploded as have Inter and Dybala doesn’t even play for Roma, Fiorentina or Napoli, Parma are bankrupt, where do you think Dybala stands at Palermo ? Harry Kane’s scored 29 goals in the premiership he’s 21 to.

    Sanchez helped Udinese to 4th that year and we played them in a play-off that summer.

    It’s two sided, these leagues arent’ as strong as they once were, and the Premiership has fucked itself into the inefficient mess we see now.

  39. salparadisenyc

    Karim

    I hadn’t realized that about Lacazette.

    I closed my eyes to all things Lyon when Wenger let Benzema slip into that galactico grasp. To be fair to Karim, ZZ shepherded him over the line and i’d follow him to the dark side as well.

  40. Romford Ozil Pele

    On a sidenote Eagle, was impressed with your Firmino last night. Think he occupied some sort of false 9 role but linked up well with Neymar and Oscar. He’s a threat from distance too so you can see why he’s such a goal threat.

    Neymar is the shit though. After Ozilm he’s probably my favourite player. His numbers are insane. He’s a troll footballer though. You genuinely get the sense he’s like to make a mockery out of his marker. Beat Sagna with consumate ease last night. Has that Messi trait of slowing the game down to walking pace before accelerating past his marker. You can see why Atletico hate him lol

  41. Romford Ozil Pele

    “http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150327/disruption-at-highbury-and-islington”

    Oh FFS! As if getting to and from the Emirates wasn’t a bitch already.

  42. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    Getting in will be ok, it’s the getting out that will be a nightmare, I normally use H&I going home.

    Hopefully it’s very short term

  43. Romford Ozil Pele

    “the Premiership has fucked itself into the inefficient mess we see now.”

    This I agree with.

  44. karim

    Keyser

    Giroud was top scorer too with a decent amount but there wasn’t this feeling around him, the ceiling is higher imo.

  45. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    You don’t have to apologise I can appreciate that a man of 40 might see the game differently to a 20 year old.

    Not sure it’s THAT much different to what it’s always been though, Atletico managed to win La Liga and were a minute or two away from winning the Champions League last season, you had Dortmund winning back to back Bundesliga’s and reaching the final of the UCL a couple of years ago, it’s true that Juventus have dominated Serie A for the last 4 years but they’ve struggled to put a run together in Europe until now really.

    The BPL has always been the same, throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s before Abramovich took over at Chelsea it was us and United competing for the BPL every year, since he took over we’ve had 2 different BPL winners in Chelsea and Man City in addition to ourselves and United and Blackburn in the previous 12 years. Not all that different considering Blackburn only won it the once.

    Throughout the 2000’s in La Liga it was Barcelona and Real Madrid domination barring Valencia who were like the Atletico Madrid of that time and managed to win the league twice.

    In the Bundesliga Bayern won 7 out of a possible 10 Bundesliga titles between 2000-2010, it’s fair to say that they were just as dominant in this period.

    Serie A has always gone through periods of one team utterly dominating, in the early 2000’s it was Juventus and then when they were relegated Inter Milan ran rampant winning the league 4/5 times culminating in their UCL success in 2010, a result of like you said using Serie A as practice and focusing most of their energy on the UCL given the lack of competition in Serie A.

    Re El Clasico, I agree that it wasn’t anywhere near as memorable as those ones you have mentioned. But it was still a good spectacle IMO and the atmosphere in the Camp Nou was pretty impressive.

  46. Keyser

    Karim’s – We’ve got loads of players with higher ceilings, we’re still trying to maximise them as it is, and he’d still have to adapt.

  47. karim

    When I heard OG was on his way to North London, I thought the gap was big and I wasn’t sure he would make it. Credit to him for that.
    I’m not saying Lacazette will reach Thierry Henry’s level but no other young striker had impressed like that in France for ages.
    Whether it be Wiltord, Djibril Cisse or some other Ligue 1 top scorers.

    In fact, only Benzema looked better.

  48. karim

    Keyser
    Who’s that ?
    Plus I’m not trying to let people think he is the answer to our problems, simply saying the buyer will be very happy.

  49. Romford Ozil Pele

    “When I heard OG was on his way to North London, I thought the gap was big and I wasn’t sure he would make it. Credit to him for that.”

    I remember watching L’Oreal during Montpellier’s title-winning season, and while his goal return was impressive, I never really got the sense he’d make it at a top club. Belhanda and Yanga Mbiwa were always the ones who impressed me more (look where they are now lol). So I guess in that sense, it’s always hard to predict a player’s trajectory.

    Tbh i’m still not L’Oreal’s biggest fan but I acknowledge why Wenger uses him. His goal return, the Monaco 1st leg game aside, has been incredibly efficient this season, and I really didn’t see it coming, especially after 3 months out so fair play to him. Reservations around him still remain but if he continues scoring at this rate, I’ll have to keep my mouth firmly shut.

  50. WengerEagle

    Romford

    Agree on Brahimi, looks an exciting player but considering he’s 25 he’s probably found his level. Would like to see him in the BPL though, he’d arguably start for us atm (not saying that I think we should buy him).

    I didn’t get a chance to watch Brazil-France, heard that Neymar, Oscar and Firmino all played well though. Who was playing as the CF?

  51. jwl

    Nasri’s Mouth

    I am in Canada and our governments ban everything, no fun to be had in Canada. Other parts of world might get beer delivered by drone before America but no way Canada does, we are country where fun goes to die.

    I do hope drones are allowed to be developed and used, there are all sorts of things they could be used for. Saw a clip of drone other day rescue a drowning fella.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    Eagle,
    RE Brahimi, I think Everton/Southampton/Spurs is about his level. A very exciting dribbler but at 25 can still make rash decisions in the final third. He was also appalling in the AFCON.

    Tbh Brazil didn’t play with a discernible 9, Firmino was the only who looked like he was occupying a false 9 role. Neymar coming in from the left. As the game wore on, Brazil became incredibly dangerous on the counter (to be expected tbh). Neymar’s finish was awesome. But then I’ve always thought he’s a top class finisher, his goal record backs that up. And that’s why it was a shock to see him be so wasteful in the Classico because he’s normally as cool as a cucumber infront of goal.

  53. karim

    RP

    Belhanda was very close to the PL, I think Spurs were very interested.
    Don’t know if he played vs Everton but if Kiev goes far in Europa League, someone may knock on the door.

  54. Keyser

    WE – Check the histories, Bayern have made 3 Champions League finals in 5 years, even when they rebuild in the league or regroup they perform in Europe, we dispatched Dortmund quite easily when they first qualified, the year Dortmund made the final their title challenge was over by January. It’s more about squads.

    Likewise Atletico check the last 5 years and check the points totals for Barcelona and Madrid and what they were compared to last, Atletico gave literally every last drop last year, you couldn’t say Real did, so it’s double ended, as good as Madrid might be, even then they should be doing better.

    It is massively different, obviously there’s been a hierarchy but there was usually a fairer split and some sort of stability, each leagues different, but the way top teams pool talent has had a pretty significant effect, the only thing holding them back in Europe is the size of their squads or their own inefficiency.

  55. WengerEagle

    ‘Vela at 17-18 looked up there with Di Maria and Aguero or even better, seriously I think they played at the same under-17 World Cup or at least that same summer and he was sublime.’

    Haha to be fair I do remember this, he was the player of the tournament and top scorer I think. He’s gone on to be an excellent player though at Real Sociedad, not world class but he’s comfortably their best player.

    ‘where do you think Dybala stands at Palermo ? ‘

    What do you mean?

    As for Kane, he looks an outstanding finisher it has to be said and is having a great season but IMO Dybala has the greater skillset and a higher ceiling.

    Agree that the BPL has declined in quality, Chelsea are strolling to the BPL title without even playing that well, they were outstanding for the first 11-12 matches but since then haven’t looked better than any of the rest.

  56. Romford Ozil Pele

    Karim – The same summer we bought L’Oreal, I was hoping Belhanda would come as I don’t think we had bought Santi at that time. In hindsight i’m glad i’m wrong because he’s not exactly pulling up trees!

    Blsany – agree my friend 😉

  57. Keyser

    Karim – Half the team is about potential, Ox, Welbeck, Ramsey, Wilshere, even Sanchez and Ozil.

    Lacazetter, Dybala might work out, but considering the nature of football and the way hypes generated, I seriously doubt they’re going to walk in and do anything significant, unless they’re doing it now, if there’s something that stands out above all else what is it ? What is it that makes him special ?

  58. blsany

    Rop
    Yeah i love him mate.Hope his hamstrings will give him a chance.Ox in full flight is a sight to behold.The talent is there for all to see.

  59. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: In hindsight i’m glad i’m wrong because he’s not exactly pulling up trees!

    It’d be interesting to see how a LeGrove 2011 side would look

  60. karim

    Keyser

    Yeah sure we have a lot of potential there !

    The ratio in itself is impressive, the way he scores with both feet, headers, the fact he never seems to doubt, the size of his thighs too, he rarely goes down…
    Plus the winning attitude, the discipline and the general behaviour and maturity.
    Now, it took 3 years for Benzema to make the spot his own but the competition was Gonzalo Higuain.
    Don’t know man….

  61. Keyser

    WE – Palermo like Sociedad, where do you think they stand,These teams are middling teams, anything in particular stand out ? Seperate them from others, it makes it even harder to judge, especially when the leagues soo top heavy.

    Sanchez at Udinese managed to push them up to 4th, Then he moved to Barcelona, and then to us for 35 million, even now you could says there’s areas for improvement.

    Where does Dybala’s performance rate to that ? Like Kane he’s doing it in a tougher league for a team performing at a higher level, how are you going to accurately judge ? Unless you can say this seperates him from the rest.

  62. Keyser

    Karim – That’s what I mean though, we saw Vela loads over here, and now he’s moved his ratio is impressive to, so much so that people think we should buy him back.

    I’m not sure how this Lyon team compares to the Benzema one ? But you could see that Benzema stood out that far.

    Remember Eduardo, even if he had pretty average all round attributes, when he stood in front of the goal with a chance, his finishing was as good as any striker I’ve seen

  63. mysticleaves

    “Lacazette scored 15 in 30 last season and already
    has 23 in 26 this season, hardly a one season
    wonder imo.”

    Giroud had similar 2 seasons and looked pretty hot. Scoring freekicks and bicycle kicks. He even won the league.

    Now Bamford thinks Lazacettes is better. Lol.

    Thank you Keyser. Been drumming about Dybala/Schneiderlin/lazacettes as not upgrades on what we currently have.

  64. Thomas

    “If it’s true that Raheem Sterling is demanding more than £100,000 a week then football has gotten even more mental.”

    __________

    Not any crazier than Walcott getting £100k / week.

  65. kwik fit

    Reus, Schneiderlin & Dybala please Arsene would get me all wet with excitement. Dare we dare to dream or will Arsene just stick with coq and a couple of freebie’s.

  66. karim

    Keyser

    Benzema’s Lyon was already in decline, the whole spine had gone or was about to ( Juninho, Cris, Essien…)
    Today’s Lyon is a miracle, I’m not sure people realise lol.
    They decided to build a new stadium, sold every bankable player ( Gomis, Bastos, Lisandro…) and started playing with the academy basically hoping they would be in the first part of the table for a few years before money came in.

    Agree about Eduardo, the guy was a killer, loved every second of him.

  67. karim

    Mystic

    He never looked pretty hot, may have scored one free kick ( maybe )and a bicycle because he had lost his balance lol.

    But you know better.

  68. Keyser

    “Been drumming about Dybala/Schneiderlin/lazacettes as not upgrades on what we currently have.”

    Not especially saying that, more that at best they’d come with potential, they’re not prove.

    Bamford’s been trolling the shit out of the blog, it’s actually quite easy to dismiss his argument.

  69. Goondawg

    Lol Mystic I think you got the wrong frenchman there. It was Sanogo who was banging in bicycle kicks and other types of goals.

  70. Keyser

    Karim – But Benzema’s ability stood out, I’d say he was even more efficient then he is now, I remember that Lyon side being quite defensive, physical and athletic, but Benzema found ways to to make the decisive contribution.

  71. karim

    Keyser
    That’s right, he was so good people were a bit disappointed it took him that long to settle in Madrid but Mourinho didn’t help imo..
    It’s all about confidence for those guys.

  72. salparadisenyc

    Anelka should of been all time, head got sizzled by his rep/family… as ROP said other day.

    Look how many clubs he’s played for, sad really.

    Off the Eurostar… sky’s were the limit. That goal past Schmeichel at 18, looked like a young Cassius Clay.

  73. Keyser

    I don’t think it was about settling in, at Lyon, Lyon had little choice, as did Benzema, to get the best out of him, at Madrid they already have what they need, it’s about finding whatever it takes to win, so if Ronaldo works better as a focal point then Benzema has no option but to defer, it’s similar to Ozil and it makes it harder for the player to adapt to any new team.

  74. Keyser

    Either we need Lacazette’s particular skillset, or there’s something about him that allows him to adapt as quick as possible.

    Which is what I mean’t about Eduardo, we had size and skill up front, Eduardo was soo effective because he could score exactly when we needed him to.

  75. karim

    Sal
    He is to blame for his career but one thing I never got was why Liverpool didn’t keep him that year, he had done a good job there and Houllier surprised me when he didn’t make the loan permanent.

  76. salparadisenyc

    Karim

    Should of been Ali… many baffling questions. Can’t say Wenger didn’t replace him well.

    🙂

  77. gambon

    “Tbh i’m not really sure who’s bloated Sterling’s head. Actually I do. The English media. Rodgers saying he’s the best young talent in Europe. Gassing him up way too early. He should chill on his 35k a week.”

    Hmmmm find it hard to agree with this.

    Hes one of the better players in the PL, hes also by far the best young player in the league (under 21)

    Compared to someone like Bellerin hes miles ahead.

    Hes also Liverpools best player.

    No way he should earn the kind of momey Liverpools 3rd choice keeper would earn.

  78. Hunter

    Just thought I would say that despite Flaminis limitation I would rather fight a war with him by my side than any of Arteta,Wilshere,Diaby,Walnut even Ramsey!Flamini isn’t the best footballer but he is a fighter and wears his shirt with pride!Too often he gets slated on this blog but I am sure he loves the Arsenal albeit he left us a few years ago on the money train.If he leaves at the end of the season then I wish him well if he doesn’t then I hope we get behind him!

  79. Nasri's Mouth

    gambon: Hmmmm find it hard to agree with this.

    Yeah, I agree. £35k/wk is well off what similar players are earning

  80. Nasri's Mouth

    Hunter: Just thought I would say that despite Flaminis limitation I would rather fight a war with him by my side

    Well, should France declare war on someone you need to make people aware.

    In the meantime, while we’re just concerned about playing football, rather than killing people I think we all ought to agree that Flamini isn’t very good

  81. Zacharse

    Why haven’t we established an in-house first team band?
    we got chez and alexis on keys.
    I could see Per being a pretty good drummer.
    Koz on the accordion.
    Theo’s the singer i think. Actually there could be a whole boy-band front line. theo, gibbs, jack, ramsey.
    Arteta could be lead guitar, bet he’s a natural flamenco guitar hero
    Why hasn’t this been established

  82. salparadisenyc

    If Pool want to secure Sterling, he’s going to easily be on 100k + a week.
    Too much money existing / coming into the league. Whomever used Walnut, perfect example.

    No reality to it, money’s there as is the demand just like sport in America or Hollywood.

    Nicholson, Dicaprio or Downey Jr. making 30m per picture and points on the box, think on that for a second.

  83. alex cutter

    “Nicholson, Dicaprio or Downey Jr. making 30m per picture and points on the box, think on that for a second.”

    RDJ will make $40 million before points for CA3.

    Are you implying that they’re not worth it?

    Their movies make hundreds of millions of dollars. Obviously, if the producers lost money on these films, they would not pay the stars as much.

  84. salparadisenyc

    Alex

    Point is/was, the money is there and fans of Sterling / Downey Jr. certainly aren’t cueing up to see Rodgers or Russo brothers. Like it or not, thats the going rate.

  85. Waldo

    Is Theo married????

    Because I’ve have many many conversations where I know that my wife and I finished talked about shit and she comes back two days later saying we have not even started talking. (I guess Theo is the bitch in the relationship)

  86. london gunner

    Just got back from the game.

    Sterling is superb and is on another level to the rest of the team in terms of technique, ball control and creative imagination.

    Fabian Delph looked really good too. Very comfortable on the ball and was causing all kinds of danger in terms of build up play.

    Baines had a really poor game.

    Clyne was ok. Made a few mistakes but was more effective in the opposition half than Baines.

    Welbeck great piece of skill to beat his man for the Rooney goal. He has lots of industry still not Arsenal quality for me though.

    Rooney may not have looked great on the highlights, but he was basically the heart of most of the good moves. He dictated the attack like a general and was unlucky not to get a hatrick. Everything flows through him.

    Kane isn’t just a goal scorer that’s hogwash he plays well with the ball while being pressed and thus is very good with his back to goal and holding up the play. Also he is a lot faster than you would imagine. Really like him.

  87. Wallace

    gambon

    “Hes one of the better players in the PL, hes also by far the best young player in the league (under 21)
    Compared to someone like Bellerin hes miles ahead.
    Hes also Liverpools best player.”

    last year he was brilliant, this season i think opposition fans rate Sterling higher than Liverpool fans do. it’s been Tremenderson & Coutinho looking brightest for them this season.

  88. mysticleaves

    Sterling is just above average. The fact that he is fast is his selling point. We are just like the media. Overating these boys.

  89. Wallace

    mystic

    the premier league has to pass Dyke’s proposals by a two thirds majority. no way that’ll happen in it’s present form.

  90. qna

    @Wallace. Balanta looks like he had pretty good ball skills to me. Not sure if Titus had that. He reminds me more of Kolo when he was at his best for us. Balanta looks like one of those kids that hit puberty 2 years before the other kids and was bossing them around. It would be interesting to see him play with kids his own size :). But I hear that Madrid are also looking at him. My thinking is that we have our 1st choice settled for the next season or two (Kos-Gab), so we should bring in another youngster with potential to come in next. I also think we should sell Mertesacker while he still has some value.

    If this Balanta blows up, he would cost probably 30m at least – probably more after expected inflation. But right now he would go for less than 10m.

  91. mysticleaves

    Yea Wallace. Arsene also proposed proper coaching, from age 5 to 20. That sounds better.

    Qna: also think we should sell
    Mertesacker while he still has some value

    Am beginning to be confused about Arsenal fans favorite word. Usually it was “buy”, now its “sell”

  92. Wallace

    qna

    i’d be happy to go into next season with Koscielny, Gabriel, Mertesacker & Chambers at CB. think Gabriel will take Mert’s place alongside Kos, but i’d definitely keep Mert around for his height and experience. and Chambers will hopefully just stick to playing CB and build on the huge promise he showed at the beginning of the season. am hoping Chambers/Gabriel will be the future for us.

  93. Wallace

    qna

    remember Kolo’s debut against Chelsea? he was everywhere, all at once. one of my all-time favourite Arsenal debuts.

  94. qna

    Mystic. Not really. I havent said sell. I have actually said buy. The squad of 25 is a zero sum game and you usually have to sell to buy, unless you are promoting an U21, in which case you are just selling. I havent said sell a first team player, I have said sell an aging bench player, who did not have a good year, for a younger, more promising talent that is rumoured to being looked at by the worlds best teams include Real Madrid.

  95. tunnygriffboy

    Loads of fantastic names and players being suggested that we will or should sign. Sometimes it’s a bit realistic. Firstly we have to move on the players that are surplus to requirement. After that we have to consider the budget we have. Then we have to approach our targets. Some may be open to a move to us, others may not.

    I don’t think we’ll see lots of new faces. He will want to keep stability. I would expect a powerful midfielder, a GK and a forward of some description to arrive. Not much more. The likes of Per Kos, Santi, TR7 are valuable as they provide much needed experience. Whilst many of our younger players (25 or under ) have gained experience they are not yet quite mature enough in their leadership or knowledge to be considered mature pro’s. That will come in the next couple of years when the fully understand their game and put in really consistent performances

    With the right signings and a much improved injury situation we will be a handful as these young men mature.

  96. qna

    Mystic. I also think Arsenal need to completely re-evaluate their scouting and recruiting system. We used to be the best at this. Now we are probably the worst club in the top 20 in the world at recruiting young players before they become stars. Even Madrid who are willing to pay whatever it takes for the best players still manage to scout players like Varane at the youth stage. PSG with Verrati, Matuidi etc. Barca are able to get them even younger. Bayern with Alaba. Who has Arsenal got in recent times. Nobody of genuine quality, unless you are counting Ramsey and Wilshere and even then how long ago was that now.

  97. mysticleaves

    Qna, mate, hope you didn’t take that seriously? Its just what it is; funny remark.

    But really, I wouldn’t sell Mertesacker. He’s pretty still starting all the games and has done good, bar one or two bad games, really.
    He’s slow yes, but that’s about all of his criticism.

    More so, should he be relegated to bench next season, he would be the best 2nd choice defender anywhere in the world.

  98. mysticleaves

    Nice post TGB. Disruption of team is negative at this point.

    People that I think will defo go are Flamini, Diaby , cos their contract is up.
    If poldi finds a club, he’s gone.

    The GK situation is a lil bit complex for now, Ospina just came in, so moving for another GK? Really don’t see it.

    Maybe we get one additional CM to replace Flam or we get fuck all.

  99. qna

    TGB. I agree with what your saying. Too many faces will likely cause problems. I think also that Sanchez hasnt fully acclimatized to the team, or the style of play. I would say that Ozil has finally found his feet in the team. Last season Santi was disrupted by Ozil coming in, but the two of them have finally clicked. I think there is still some adjustments needed, in the sense that Theo and Jack are almost like new players coming in. I say this in the sense that they have not played too much with our current first team. I think heaps of credit must go to Welbeck for seamlessly fitting into the Arsenal system. (I personally still think he is not a good enough goal scorer or a good enough player for Arsenal – but I give him huge amounts of credit for his overall play and his contribution in general).

    I dont think we should bring in a keeper unless its Petr Cech – he is outstanding, but otherwise, we should stick with Ospina and Schezeny as his backup.

    I think our back four is settled and yes Mertesacker would be a great back up. I do think that if we think the next Varane is out there, now is a perfect time to sell Mert and bring the new CB into the team as a squad member – this should not cause any of the disruption that TGB is rightly pointing out.

    I think we definitely need a new CB. But that CB has to be better than Coq. I dont agree that Schnederlin or Sissoko are. I have seen enough of them to be sure of that. If Carvalho is good enough, then do it. I think we should go all out for Verrati. He is a 10 year player that will still have re-sale value back to italy when he is in his 30s. Yes, the new CB will cause significant disruption to the team. So probably, only 1 or 2 more 1st team players could be brought in after this.

    LW is a big weakness for us. We all want to see Sanchez come out to his favoured right and we have other players that can also play right. We should go all out for Reus. Can’t see that happening personally. I don’t see too many other options that we should make here.

    CF. We have only one goal scoring CF in the team and that is Giroud. I like him, but at the end of the day, he is only a 20 goal a season forward and we are competing against teams that have 30 goal a season forwards. This is a big difference make no mistake about it. Its doubtful that we can buy someone to improve upon Giroud. Players that we should buy if they are available here include Lewendowski and Cavani. I am not sure about Benzema since I have a concern about a squad with Giroud and Benzema. Bringing in a new first choice CF will have a huge disruption to the team and possibly the squad – with egos etc.

    An alternative move would be to bring in Dybala. He would not be our 1st choice CF. He would have to win the starting position. I like this idea. He could also see if he could work for us on a LW/RW until he is ready.