Double Ligue One raid on the cards?

by .

tumblr_mxb1if9MvW1qhebo9o1_500

Hit the midweek feels like I’ve stolen a day. Sweet feeling.

Arsenal news is as usual, at a premium. The season nearly sewn up, much of the focus has centred around what we need next season. Thierry thinks we need a new spine, Gary Neville thinks we need to reinforce the spine and Phil Neville likes One Direction.

I think we need to bolster in certain areas. I think we’ll see a few leave this summer. Lukas, Campbell, Rosicky, possibly Arteta and Flamini. I reckon we’ll see Jenks and Theo move on.

We don’t seem to have a lot coming through the ranks, well, anytime soon. What happened to Zelalem? God like player. Will Toral become anything of note? Will Chuba get over his stint at Forest? ZERO goals and a lot of fan disdain. So many sad questions… as a great man once said,

‘Arsenal kids are best dealt with like farm animals, don’t name them, because it’ll make the process of the inevitable so much more painful.

MERIDA! VELA! LANSBURY!

Still fresh in the mind.

I guess what’s important here is that the senior players mentioned above are barely squad players. They’ve mostly all been ignored this season. We also have Jack and Chambo coming in on the regular, which would give us more options.

So basically, what we’d be doing is trimming wage fat more than anything else. A defensive midfielder is the big one for me. It’d be a tragic mistake to think Coquelin is enough for the year. I’d like to see an inside forward to add more unpredictability to the front line. Reus will surely be available and Sterling, despite Rodgers ‘I’m gonna keep him and lose him on a free’ statement’ will likely be available. You’ll also have the yearly player frenzy around Madrid and PSG.

Abdennour was excellent in the first leg against us. Looks a machine. Not sure who he’d replace. We have four centre backs? Fekir looks exciting as well. Also attracting interest from PSG.

There are plenty of options. The key to next season is a proper start. The second half of the season needs to be built on. More detail, more focus on the right sort of training and a bolstering of technical staff where we need them.

Interesting watching the Madrid game last night. A smart battle between two very good teams. Madrid edged out by a Carlos Tevez goal. Bayern vs Barca tonight, all eyes on a Barca side looking slightly incredible at the moment… and a Bayern side looking, well, a bit lost after two losses on the bounce.

BIG NIGHT OF FOOTBALL.

Have fun. x

500 Responses to “Double Ligue One raid on the cards?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. YoungMurphy

    Not sure what sort of research this would entail but Pedro I’d like to see something on the state of Arsenal youth. G Neville mentioned on Monday that Chelski has won 4 of the last 6 FA Youth Cups. How is Arsenal getting on? It does seem a while since I have heard any noise about any young Arsenal players of note.

    No doubt some wage fat will be getting trimmed this summer. Interested to see what AW will do

    PS @DM you had me in tears when you wrote ‘Allll by myself…’ I could just imagine someone singing it and had to catch myself before my colleagues looked at me…

  2. Micheal

    Pedro: I love the old badge crest.

    It shows the club motto and is much, much better than the synethetic, American-looking badge we have at present which does include our famous motto.

    Shame we can’t revive the old crest on our shirts.

  3. Bamford10

    Emiratestroller

    1. “Teams like Juventus and Real Madrid are certainly no better than Arsenal whatever the media and pundits may think.”

    2. “The only team in Europe which is better than Chelsea is perhaps Barcelona.”

    _____

    No offense, Emirates, but you’re out of your mind. You’ve lost a bit of credibility with these remarks.

    Both Madrid and Juventus are much better than Arsenal. Much better.

    They were both missing key players last night — Pogba, Modric, etc. — but they’re still way above us even without those players.

    As for Chelsea, not only are Bayern and Madrid better than they are, so too are PSG and Juventus. PSG beat Chelsea because they were better than Chelsea. Did you even watch that tie?

    Your remarks above are patently absurd and suggest that you may not watch very much non-EPL football. No offense.

    p.s. I love the idea that Barca are “perhaps” better than Chelsea. PERHAPS!

  4. vicky

    Slightly off the topic

    Is it me or CR7 is really not all that ? Granted he scores a lot of goals but as far as skills are concerned. in my opinion he lags behind many great players. Messi is from another planet.But even If I leave Messi aside, the guys like Zidane, Brazilian Ronaldo, Ronaldinho looked different class. Ronaldo is good at scoring from tap-ins, headers, penalties, free kicks but very rarely does he produce WOW moments. Messi, Zidane etc always dazzle me with their breath taking skills but the more I see CR7 play, the more I think he is over rated. Rarely beats 3-4 players by exquisite dribbling, is not blessed with great vision either. Just a tremendous physical machine but nothing extraordinary about him. Can’t help but think if Suarez had Ronaldo level finishing skills, even he would have done more than CR7, not in terms of only numbers but overall impact on a game.

  5. Micheal

    The Latin motto “victoria concodrdia crescit” dates back to around 1913 with the first move to Highbury. The rough translation means: Victory Through Harmony.

  6. Blsany

    Vicky
    I too don’t like the way Penaldo’s career has gone.I preferred him when he was young ,unpredictable ,dribbling winger.No one can argue with goals etc.. but something in his game died.I mean he can’t even beat player with a skill anymore. That’s the price you pay when you try to alter your game to keep up with the Messi.Last night he looked like a cumbersome old fashioned target man.

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Is it me or CR7 is really not all that ?”

    Lol that’s pretty much blasphemy in world football though I very much agree. Ronaldo is a fantastic athlete and a great goalscorer but I generally don’t enjoy watching him. He doesn’t get me off my feet like Messi does. He was actually much better to watch when he was younger, would take on players for fun (though the end product was lacking). Now he’s an efficient goalscoring machine but he actually doesn’t know how to influence games through manipulation/vision ala Messi. Ronaldo had a better goalscoring record than the likes of Ronaldinho/Zidane but the latter two defintiely had more of the WOW factor about them.

  8. Bamford10

    Sign the following this summer:

    Cech
    Schneiderlin
    Fekir
    Higuain/Benteke

    and run this XI next season:

    __________Cech
    Debu__Gabr___Kosc__Monr
    ______Jack_____Coqu
    ___________Ozil
    Fekir____Benteke___Sanchez

    That’s a decent side.

  9. Romford Ozil Pele

    “That’s the price you pay when you try to alter your game to keep up with the Messi”

    Pretty much. He’s trying to keep up with Messi’s goalscoring exploits but lost so many other facets of his game in doing so. He’s already 30 now anyway so physically it’s only downhill from here.

  10. DM

    Sorry, but the new badge is a lot better for today’s market than the old one. It’s modern, slick… like it or not we are in 2015 and that badge goes with our shirts beautifully. As much as the older, “vintage” style has it’s place, you have to move with the times!

  11. qna

    Fekir. Yes. But would prefer hakan calhanoglu.

    Abdennour: Too slow. Like Pedro says already have 4. If we are going CB, no more moneyball please. Get a Varane or a Hummels.

    Campbell for Carvalho straight swap. Would prefer us to go out and get Kongdogbia. But it would be pretty hard to turn this one down I must admit.

  12. Bamford10

    Yeah, CR7 has never been the footballer Messi is, but at his best, his dribbling and goal-scoring are comparable to Messi.

    Vision, passing, intelligence, consistency? Not even close.

  13. Thomas

    ————————–Lloris————————-

    Debuchy—Abdennour—Koscielny—Monreal

    —————Coquelin——Schneiderlin———-

    Reus——————-Ozil——————-Sanchez

    ———————–Benteke————————–

  14. daz

    Cr7 almost seems robotic when on the ball he’s not very graceful the likes of messi and zidane are very natural where ronaldo seems to force things IMO,

    Bamford I personally would say Chelsea are better than PSG yes they were better on the night but I would say if they were to play 10 games Chelsea would come out on top, we were knocked out by Monaco would you then honestly say they are better than us?

  15. qna

    Bamford. I would instead sign: Leno, Kongdogbia, Reus and Dybala.

    Ospina/Leno
    Bellerin Per Kos Monreal
    Kongdogbia Cazorla/Coq
    Sanchez Ozil Reus
    Giroud/Dybala

    Slash (/) indicates hard to pick 1st choice.

    Think my best 11 would beat yours. BTW if your spending £20m-£25m on Schnederlin for the bench, why not spend a bit more and get someone for the first team?

  16. Romford Ozil Pele

    Fekir is a cracking little player, watched a lot of him this season. Fantastic talent. Expect him to be crowned young player of the season in Ligue 1 too.

    Bamford, CR7’s dribbling is nowhere near what it was. Only averages 1.6 dribbles a game. Messi is like 4.5.

  17. Romford Ozil Pele

    DM – Yes I agree the current badge is better for marketing opportunities. Just saying I prefer the old one.

  18. Keyser

    Welbeck needs to sort his knee out.

    If we win against Swansea ad United don’t win their game we finish 3rd at worst, we’d then have 3 games to prepare for Villa and give Welbeck a proper run.

    Villa are unpredictable and I wouldn’t say our performance against Hull was good enough let alone the way we played against Reading.

  19. Hitman49

    DM

    That new badge is a disgrace !

    Complete Micky mouse,I remember when it was fist unveiled at Highbury and the crowds reaction to it !

    And that still holds up today.

    Yes you move forward always but do it with a bit of style and pride, a sence of who you are and your history.

    That is missing completely in that new thing.

  20. vicky

    Shame that guys like Pirlo, Iniesta, Buffon have not got a single Ballon d’or and CR7 has got 3, an award decided on the basis of votes from football “experts” and players themselves.

  21. Romford Ozil Pele

    Tonight Pep faces the beast he created. Can’t wait. Shame Robben and Alaba aren’t fit though.

  22. GS88

    Afternoon Ladies & Gents.

    Re: Vicky

    You have hit on a point that I was having with a friend a few weeks ago. We both think that CR7 has maybe lost a year of pace. He used to fly past layers but hardly does that now.

    Always said that Messi is a far far better player. Messi also plays for the and only for his own glory.

  23. Romford Ozil Pele

    Ray Wilkins saying that Mourinho would never allow Cech to join Arsenal. Saying he doesn’t want to directly strengthen Arsenal as he sees us as a direct threat. Reckons he’ll go abroad to either PSG or Roma.

  24. daz

    rop yeah I really doubt that we will get him maybe if he really pushed for it but can’t see him doing that, Luciano Vietto could be worth looking at 18 goals in 36 not bad

  25. DM

    Hitman

    Really disagree. When something old and loved is being replaced it’s always going to be harshly criticised, so I’m not surprised people weren’t happy with it at it’s unveiling, but the badge itself is simple, slick and looks like quality. Look at Hull and Everton’s badge – they redid them and they look cheap and pretty pants.

    I’m proud of our new badge 😀

  26. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Luciano Vietto could be worth looking at 18 goals in 36 not bad”

    Daz i’m a big fan of him. Plays for a top 6 side and has scored loads of goas this season – his first in Europe too so all the more impressive.

    There are still strong rumours that Arsenal harbour hopes for a wide-forward/playmaker (Fekir,Reus are constant links). If that does happen, I wonder whether Wenger will again try and give Alexis a run up top. He plays there for Chile and had 5 games up top for us this season. And we can see he has huge goalscoring potential. Who knows though, it’s all speculation. We have a lot of small players by trade so Wenger prefers to go with a bigger striker to play from.

  27. Gooner Down Under

    Does anyone know why the canon on the new badge points right, when it pointed left on the old one?

  28. Joe

    Jack in the starting 11? And debuchy?

    Give me one reason why jack deserves to be in starting 11. He slows the game down. Holds on to it too long. Loses the ball.

    And why would bellerin lose his spot. He’s been one of our better players this season It’s his job to lose

    We need our own veratti, schenderlin, etc to play along coq. Veratti is everything jack is not. Kongdobia(sp)

    Benteke would be great. Or higuain. What shambles we missed out on him 2 seasons ago. Another wenger cock up

    Reus! Yes. Would love some more Germans in the mix. Along with klopp

  29. willie

    I also find/found the likes of Ronaldinho, Zidane, and Ronaldo Fenomeno more talented than CR7. Even Pirlo is more graceful to watch than CR7. Still a great though. Just not on the level of the likes of Zidane, and definitely nowhere near Messi.

  30. Blsany

    “Does anyone know why the canon on the new badge points right, when it pointed left on the old one?”

    They moved the top 4 trophy to the right…..?

  31. DM

    Gooner Down Under

    Don’t know for sure but always assumed that they just figured it should be facing “forwards”, towards progress!

  32. Micheal

    DM
    Sorry, but the new badge is a lot better for today’s market than the old one. It’s modern, slick… like it or not we are in 2015 and that badge goes with our shirts beautifully. As much as the older, “vintage” style has it’s place, you have to move with the times!
    ——————————————————————-

    The current badge is very American – slick, tasteless and all style and no substance.

    We are a world famous club with an outstanding history and great tradition. Why junk it for a piece of shabby tat. You can always buy a marketing man to come up with a new logo. But you can’t buy tradition and class.

    The current badge is anonymous and could be anyone’s. The old badge identifies us.

  33. vicky

    I guess Ray Wilkins is just hoping that Morinho would not let Cech join us than being absolutely sure about it. Also read somewhere the decision depends more on Abrahmovic than Jose. Although I am not even sure whether Wenger is looking for a new keeper.

  34. Blsany

    Gareth Bale is yet another example that British players are not coached correctly at a young age to embed the basic football skills and techniques in their game compared to their continental and South American contemporaries. When they play at the highest level these flaws are always exposed. This is one major reason there are currently so few British-born players in the top continental sides.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    I am not going to keep on repeating what I wrote on last thread and your repeat comment here.

    We have all got our own opinions as to who are playing well at moment. Real Madrid are certainly not the team of last season and I will place money that even if they beat Juventus they will certainly lose to Barcelona in final.

    Juventus played well yesterday but I still don’t consider them a great team. They have built their success around a solid defence, but are frankly rather ordinary elsewhere.

    Arsenal have improved since January, but I do agree with Pedro and others that they have still some way to go before becoming title winners. Much will
    depend on whether Wenger for once takes the bull by horns and shows some real ambition in transfer market. Based on interview after Hull game this was
    actually impression I got. He said that if the club buys it will be only world class players who are better than we have got. That would certainly be my approach.

    Pedro raises also issue of our youth programme and lack of talent coming through. Zelalem played quite well two years ago in Emirates Cup, but this was
    not a ‘physically’ demanding competition. He is physically lightweight and when I watched him play at ‘youth’ level in a competitive game he looked frankly rather ordinary.

    Last year we had at youth level two very good players and one other with raw
    potential. These were Gnabry who was outstanding when we played against Chelsea at U19 level. Bellerin showed also considerable talent, which has been
    confirmed this season at first team level. Akpom has shown raw talent, but whether he can progress at EPL level remains to be seen.

    However, there was not a lot else on offer who were remotely comparable with
    players coming through Chelsea programme. Our players looked like boys against men.

    My concern is that our U18 Academy Team has been particularly poor this season based on their results and they languish near bottom of league. One
    needs to ask how good is the recruitment policy in the club. It worries me when coaches suggest that performance is more important than results, which is often what you hear from those at Arsenal.

  36. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Fekir is a cracking little player, watched a lot of him this season.

    What’s he like ?

    striker ? playmaker ?

    how would he fit in?

  37. DM

    Micheal

    I do get what you’re saying, and I don’t disagree with it in generalised terms. I just disagree with it in this case. I think the new badge is good – good to look at, smart and simple. The cannon is what symbolises Arsenal FC and that is prime position – in fact it’s pretty much the only thing on it! I have no problem with history but when I look at the old badge I see a messy, overly busy crest that needs tidying up. Apologies if that’s blasphemous – I’m just calling it how I see it.

  38. Keyser

    “One needs to ask how good is the recruitment policy in the club. It worries me when coaches suggest that performance is more important than results, which is often what you hear from those at Arsenal.”

    We won the 2008/09 Youth Cup, from that team Wilshere and now Coquelin have progressed to the first team, Gibbs was already promoted and may have missed out anyway, Sczcesny broke both arms in a freak weighlifting accident but would probably have been the keeper.

    Since then with Jonkers immenent arrival, around 2012, we just offloaded almost the entire under-21 team/reserves, and them pushed players up through the age levels, leaving Jonker and the team to work almost from scratch.

    Like you mentioned even then Bellerin has made it through, Gnabry has played a part.

    Since 2008/09, Chelsea have won the Youth Cup 4 out of 6 seasons, I can’t think of many if any players that have made it through, maybe Bertrand ? Josh ‘The new Wilshere’ McCeachran has faded into who knows what.

    People have no idea how big these teams operations are, or how inefficient they’ve been, even with FFP, and teams supposedly trying to comply, they’re still no pressure on teams to make the most of what they have.

    Which is why the Champions League semi-s and the complete lack of pressure on Chelsea has been soo depressing.

  39. WengerEagle

    Was impressed with Juve last night as I have been all season, IMO they are an even better side now under Allegri than they were under Conte.

    Most on here didn’t even think that they’d knock Dortmund out, now they are well on their way to the UCL Final if they can keep their bottle in the Bernabeu.

    Can’t wait.

  40. tunnygriffboy

    Bamford/blsany

    Just got to say your aggression and language used to Emirates Stroller is a bit outof order. He is a thoughtful poster who always thinks through what he says. He has a different opinion to you and the language used towards him was unwarrented, rude and condescending.

  41. WengerEagle

    I can’t stand the little prick but Patrice Evra has been a brilliant signing for Juventus, he’s 34 and is still a top class LB. He’s given Juve a new dimension as they can play a back 4 with him rather than the back 3 (basically a back 5) they previously were using that was letting them down in Europe.

    Have to say that I’m surprised he’s outlasted Cole longevity wise, thought it would be the other way around.

  42. Blsany

    Juve-Arsenal comparison
    Buffon-Ospina
    lichsteiner-Debuchy
    chiellini-Koz
    Bonucci-Mert
    Evra-Monreal
    Pogba-Coq
    Vidal-Ramsey
    Pirlo-Santi
    Sanchez-Marcisio
    Tevez-Ozil
    Giroud-Morata

  43. Nasri's Mouth

    @Emiratestroller

    I think Bellerin has surprised everyone with how he’s made a big step up. While he looked one of the better youth players he never looked head and shoulders above them.
    At the start of the season, there’d have been a lot of moaning if people had known Bellerin was going to get as many starts as he has.

    Zelalem is a tricky one. He’s clearly got the talent but he’s not improving as he should. He’s probably been played in positions that aren’t quite his best, and he only turned 18 this year, so he’s younger than a lot of the other U21 sides out there. He’s got a chance of making it I think.

    Other than him, there is Crowley who is even younger but looking very good at U21 level. Maitland Niles who is a ball playing DM / converted winger and Chris Willock who all look promising.

  44. WengerEagle

    Buffon > Ospina
    Lichtsteiner > Debuchy
    Chiellini = Koscielny
    Bonnuci > Mert
    Evra = Monreal (based on this season)
    Pogba > Ramsey
    Vidal > Coq
    Santi > Pirlo (3 years ago, different story)
    Ozil > Marchisio/Pereyra
    Sanchez = Tevez (I’d argue Tevez is slightly better)
    Giroud > Llorente
    Welbeck = Morata

  45. Romford Ozil Pele

    NM – he’s a wide forward. Can play in any of the attacking positions behind a striker. Left-footed. Dribbles well, combines well with his teammates and can deliver the final pass well. Already into double figures for goals, nearly there for assists too. I’ve watched him over 10 times this season and bar one game, he’s always stuck out to me, more than Lacazette. He and his father both speak favourably of Arsenal, not that it really means much to be honest but if we’re in the market for that type of player, he’d be great.

    How would he fit in? Well If Alexis is gonna continue from the left, he can play from the right. Or if Wenger wants to use Alexis up top more he could play on the wings with Ox/Welbz. Depends really. But we need to improve our attacking game. If that’s through external solutions, he’s a great choice IMO.

  46. Keyser

    Welbeck is better than Morata, it’s not even close.

    Sanchez is better than Tevez.

    Santi 3 years ago would be playing in a different role and I’d say it’d be pretty close still.

    These comparisons are skewed, Juventus have won their 4th consecutive title, with little resistance, we can’t secure 4th without a fight.

  47. Romford Ozil Pele

    Juve will need to defend for their lives in the second leg, especially if Modric and Big Benz are fit.

  48. Nasri's Mouth

    Keyser: Since 2008/09, Chelsea have won the Youth Cup 4 out of 6 seasons,

    Yeah, you wonder how much of that was down to decent coaching, settled sides, playing older players (IE 20/21 yr olds, not 17yr olds).

    Whenever I watch the U21s (not often) it seems we have the more skilful players going forward,(most of our defenders look a little lost) but the other side is the more organised.

    Ultimately if produce more talent for the first team that way it doesn’t matter too much if we lose games at youth level

  49. karim

    I insist Juve were really close to the exit door after the first half at Monaco but last night’s performance says it all. Well done Juventus !
    Haven’t watched the game btw.

  50. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – I know we’ve spoken about Giroud being used as the main foil because of his size and the small nature of the team. Do you see that continuing or do you reckon Wenger may try alternative solutions (e.g fluid front three). He’s tried Alexis up top a few occasions this season with varied success. Alexis does play up top for Chile too.

  51. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Lichtsteiner > Debuchy”

    I’m not even sure about this tbh. Debuchy’s injuries and Bellerin’s emergence have made people forget how good the Frenchman is tbh.

  52. Keyser

    This is why football is fucked.

    If you look at Citeh, or Chelsea, it’s pathetic how little pressure the media have put them under for woeful Champions League showings.

    Or how protective people get with Mourinho.

    The 4 Champions League semi-finalists, basically head leagues where they’ve driven their competition into submission.

  53. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    Sounds as though we could definitely fit him in. I guess so much depends on whether Walcott and Cazorla go. I read a while back that there was no way that Fekir is leaving this summer, so maybe 1 more season of Santi, then Ramsey / Wilshere move into that position and we’ve got Alexis and Fekir to play wide

  54. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Debuchy’s injuries and Bellerin’s emergence have made people forget how good the Frenchman is tbh.

    Agreed. Too much emphasis on the last game

  55. Romford Ozil Pele

    NM – Yeah Aulas has spoken about hanging onto Fekir and Lacazette for one more season. They’re still in a title race so at the very least they’ll be playing CL football and in a new stadium too so you can see why they’re reluctant to sell. It’s all guess work really. I think Theo may be off but Wenger will hang onto Santi for another season IMO.

    ” I read a while back that there was no way that Fekir is leaving this summer, so maybe 1 more season of Santi, then Ramsey / Wilshere move into that position and we’ve got Alexis and Fekir to play wide”

    Yeah seems like it could make sense. Wenger could still move Alexis about mind you.

  56. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    I prefer Welbeck too, Morata has been decent this season though.

    Disagree on Sanchez being better than Tevez, the latter has been sensational all season and is playing the best football of his career. 29 goals and counting in less matches than Sanchez.

    Sanchez has the potential to be even better next season which is what I find so exciting about him, he’s smashed in 24 goals and there’s more to come from him you feel.

    ‘Santi 3 years ago would be playing in a different role and I’d say it’d be pretty close still.’

    Yeah this is probably fair.

    ‘These comparisons are skewed, Juventus have won their 4th consecutive title, with little resistance, we can’t secure 4th without a fight.’

    I know, just comparing them on an individual basis. As a team it’s fair to say that Juve perform better, this is to be expected as take their CM for example, Pirlo and Vidal have been their 4 seasons, Pogba 3, Tevez is in his 2nd season as well. Their defence bar Evra is the same it’s always been.

    Then you look at us, Sanchez is brand new, Ozil has only been here for 2 seasons and you can already see the improvement, Coquelin is brand new in terms of playing every match for us, Debuchy/Bellerin/Chambers all new, Welbeck new.

  57. Keyser

    RP – We’d need a completely cohesive midfield, or to have some sort of physical presence. Welbeck’s miles off Giroud’s ability to use his strength and size, that wouldn’t matter soo much if we were able to consistently use his pace.

    Because our midfield, while talented, still hasn’t produced real passing patterns, Welbecks pace would be ieffectual.

    I’m worried by how productive Sanchez has been, we’ve given him a lot of freedom and I think he’ll fade next year, unless Wenger really eases him back in, which again puts everyone else under pressure.

    I’d keep Walcott because of that, people with short memories have already forgotten how effective he would’ve been with Ozil.

    Pre-season is big now.

  58. WengerEagle

    ‘What’s Tevez’s greatest goal return in a season?’

    In Europe it’s 29, he’s already equalled it this season and is on course to smash 30+.

  59. karim

    Nasri/ROP

    Psg are desperate to get one of the 2 Lyon gems.
    Although Lyon Pdt repeated none would leave, I guess a 40 million euro offer for Lacazette will be enough to make him change his tune.

    I don’t mention Fekir as Lyon won’t sell both this year and Lacazette is the most bankable of the 2 ( for now ).

  60. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Yeah seems like it could make sense. Wenger could still move Alexis about mind you.

    Yeah, he can play anywhere across the front. Reus on one side, Fekir on the other, Alexis up front. I’d imagine that’s a defenders nightmare for marking

  61. karim

    ” I’m worried by how productive Sanchez has been, we’ve given him a lot of freedom and I think he’ll fade next year, unless Wenger really eases him back in, which again puts everyone else under pressure. ”

    Don’t know about that but I liked what I saw in terms of decision-making and cold blood last game from the Chilean.

  62. Nasri's Mouth

    WengerEagle: In Europe it’s 29, he’s already equalled it this season and is on course to smash 30+

    Those Juventus protein shakes are great aren’t they…ahem…

  63. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – I think if the midfield was fully cohesive, we could get away with a more rounded number 9 with pace ion behind. Agree on Welbz though. He needs to learn to leverage his strength better. For someone of his size, I think he’s too reliant on his pace and doesn’t use his height and strength in the way L’Oreal does.

    The hope is that Alexis can reproduce this (maybe better) again next term but then you remember he played WC last summer, is playing Copa America this summer so will definitely need a break. Wenger has already said he’s unlikely to be fit for the start of the season.

    I get what you’re saying about Theo. Who knows his situation though. He’s barely getting any minutes these days. Whether that’s because of the contract situation/Wenger being cautious with him/or whether he’s just fallen out of favour, we don’t really know.

    Pre-season is massive. I’m glad Gabriel didn’t get called up to the NT. Think he needs a summer to continue to acclimatise/learn the language/hopefully force his way into the X1. Bar Alexis, most should be available.

  64. Keyser

    WE – Morata’s a kid, Juventus are a machine, if Real Madrid were half as efficient, Juventus without Pogba shouldn’t really stand a chance.

    Tevez like Morata, has been given the chance to work within that machine, dude come on ‘the best football of his career’ ? Tevez has moved to a weaker league where Juventus are dominant, Sanchez has moved to a stronger or at least more physically taxing league and you could hardly call us a ‘machine’.

    This is why it’s hard to tell, we’re probably going to find it tougher next year, while I can’t see where any challenge to Juventus comes from ?

    Roma want to re-build parts of their stadium, or a new one not sure, Milan may sell a majority stake to a Chinese Billionaire, Inter look way off, Napoli ?

  65. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Yeah, he can play anywhere across the front. Reus on one side, Fekir on the other, Alexis up front. I’d imagine that’s a defenders nightmare for marking”

    That’s my kind of thinking. A fluid front three though Wenger won’t buy both Reus and Fekir, it’ll be one or the other. If Alexis plays up top then one of Welbz/Ox comes in wide. Like Keyser says though, it will only fully work if our midfield is cohesive. The signs are promising and we’re creating a lot more but still a way to go.

    Karim – Yeah you’d think Lacazette is the more likely to go. Who knows though, money talks. It’ll be a long summer but i’d be delighted to sign Fekir!

  66. Keyser

    Karim – How many games have we completely let loose and scored more than 3 ? I remember Vela and co hat-tricks in Carling Cup games, we battered some teams in the Champions League, there was the Gervinho goal and game where we put 6 past Southampton ? The past two years we haven’t really had any of that.

    We really should’ve scored more against Hull, Sanchez could’ve/ should’ve had 4.

  67. Romford Ozil Pele

    Roma will come again, don’t you worry 😉

    Garcia just needs to ditch Totti though, it’s becoming embarrassing now. Strootman was a massive miss for the midfield, DDR has been in and out too. Nainggolan has been the only real plus for them in midfield. Forehead will bring it back though!

  68. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Wenger won’t buy both Reus and Fekir, it’ll be one or the other.

    Yeah, esp with Chamberlain coming through. He’ll want to give him a real chance to prove himself at the top level

  69. Micheal

    DM

    No offence taken. I guess I am a romantic old traditionalist. As a rule, I feel that soceity in general tends to junk its traditions and past for no good reason other than because they can. Newness is not always better and for choice, I would always hang onto tradition and pass it on to the next generation.

  70. karim

    ROP
    Definitely !
    Especially as his price may be much higher next season.

    Keyser
    I was just talking about Sanchez, mate, I mean his ” main limitation ” this season has been to keep dribbling when the pass was obvious or to try too hard.

    Last Monday, for what’s it’s worth, he looked more ” intelligent ” .

  71. Keyser

    RP – Theo came back and played a few games to rest Sanchez and others, he scored a few goals to, it could be a myriad of reasons.

    I think that was around February and then they saw inflammation around his knee when he went off with England, I think Wenger wants to see that cohesion in midfield again, he wants Ramsey to start making decisive choices again, his pass to Sanchez was excellant, not sure if it was too difficult, but looked good.

    Theo’s not someone you build cohesion around, he someone you drop in to a specific role and then ask him to adjust if he can, and with the time out he’d have had to start all over again. plus we keep giving teams annoying goals where we go from comfortable to slightly anxious, or we score 1 and then take ages to get the second.

    If we can get 3rd this weekend, not sure who United play, but Welbeck would have 3 games, if fit to build some form going into the Cup final.

    Worried Villa on their day, with nothing to lose could give us real problems.

  72. Keyser

    Karim – I think players like Ozil and Cazorla were important, but it’s Hull, over the year even when we weren’t at our best, we’ve always had games where someone stands out, a game where they get everything right, Arshavin ended up with 4 assist one game without really doing anything else.

    I think with the space Hull left past teams would’ve got the 4th, 5th or more.

    At the same time you could say this was down to us being more conservative, we wrapped the points up well. Sanchez is already smart enough to do what he did against Hull, there’s a slightly higher level he could be aiming for though.

  73. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    He’s 22 going 23, wouldn’t call him a kid exactly.

    Yeah Real are incredibly inefficient, on paper they should be blowing the likes of Juventus and Atletico Madrid away and yet they’ve struggled big time.

    Even still they should have won last night, if James puts that header under the bar then Real aren’t losing that match. 2-1 up with Juve having to go gung-ho.

    ‘dude come on ‘the best football of his career’ ? Tevez has moved to a weaker league where Juventus are dominant, Sanchez has moved to a stronger or at least more physically taxing league and you could hardly call us a ‘machine’.’

    I’ve watched a fair few Serie A matches this season and their UCL matches, it’s not just the goals he’s their absolute linchpin in attack, he drops deep and drifts wide getting involved in all of Juve’s build-up play, he’s the link between the midfield and the attack and yet he’s still managed to plunder home 29 goals with 7 in the UCL, he’d scored only 3 goals in his last 28 UCL apps before this season.

    Even if the conditions have favoured him he’s been playing better than he’s ever managed before, at United he was a sideshow to Ronaldo and Rooney to a lesser extent and at City he wasn’t as influential.

    Buffon said last week that he has pretty much dragged them to the title.

    ‘while I can’t see where any challenge to Juventus comes from ?’

    Yeah this is the question. Napoli on paper are the best equipped but they’ve been a mess in the second half of the season, they’re more loaded than pretty much any other side in Serie A and already have the makings of a good squad so if it’ll be anyone then it’ll be them IMO.

    Roma just don’t have enough talent going forward and they lack the consistency over 38 matches, Lazio again aren’t packed with quality and not sure what kind of money they have.

    The Milan clubs are in disarray. Mancini hasn’t improved Inter’s situation one bit since he’s arrived.

  74. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – Yeah like I say, nobody really knows the real reasons. From my cynical POV, I thoink he’s fallen out favour but who knows, we’ll see.

    Point taken he’s not someone you build cohesion round but there have been opportunities to use him where Wenger has opted against.

    Yeah Ramsey’s pass to Alexis was very good but you feel like it’s the sort of thing Santi and Ozil can make in their sleep. Like you say decisive choices as his decision-making has been suspect at times this year. He’s into double figures for goals again so you know he has the potential there but it’s about improving other aspects. Looks like it’s coming together again for him.

    You say Welbz will have games to build some form – are you talking about the CF role?

    Villa can definitely cause us trouble. It’s a Cup final at the end of the day. Like Hull, they’ll prepare meticulously so we’ll need to be on our guard as they have a lot of pace and explosiveness in their ranks. Naturally i’m always worried, I support Arsenal, when do we ever do anything easy?

  75. Keyser

    RP – I think he’s closer to falling out of favour, last time around Walcott was in form or had a key role, and I think even then Wenger talked about why negotiations were difficult, I think they mentioned Image rights, now we’re in the stronger position, Theo’s been injured and we have more open choices.

    Wenger usually goes with those playing regularly, Ramsey also scored, I don’t think Ozil or Cazorla score that, I actually thought he’d injured himself with the Hull players follow through then the ball looped in.

    Yeah Welbeck as CF, with Giroud out earlier in the season Welbeck had a run up front and was progressing, I just don’t think he knows how to turn it off and on.

    So upto Wenger really continue form through until the last game, maybe get 2nd, or be happy with at least 3rd, then bring some of the cup players in.

  76. Dan T

    When they changed the badge I was disappointed. But when I look back at it now, it kind of looked like an arsenal themed Christmas decoration.

  77. Bamford10

    Tunny

    Relax. His opinion was ridiculous and deserved to be called so. I wasn’t insulting him personally and I tried to be gentle about it.

    Madrid may not be in top form this season, but the notion that we are as good as they are is frankly ridiculous.

    Nothing wrong with calling absurd pov’s absurd.

    Cheers to Emirates, though, whom, I agree, is often reasonable and insightful. When it comes to Europe, however, he is apparently not so reasonable or insightful — at least not this morning or today.

  78. Keyser

    I still have United and 4th in the back of my head, lose to Swansea, United win, and our trip to Old Trafford takes on ominous tones.

  79. WengerEagle

    Romford

    Who do you fancy tonight mate?

    It’s hard to look past MSN wreaking havoc on Dante especially but Bayern have arguably the better CM if Thiago plays, they could well have more possession.

    Should be fascinating anyway, I think that Barca will win and it could be by a couple of goals. Bayern will just be looking to keep it relatively tight and try to nick a precious away goal to take back to the Allianz.

    If I were putting money on it I’d say 3-1 Barca, with 2 goals from Messi and 1 from Suarez, Lewy to score Bayern’s.

  80. Emiratesstroller

    I have been involved for many years in running a sports programme [not football] which includes athletes who are part of Britain’s WCP [actual/potential
    Olympians].

    Talent and Skill are very important, but they are not the only elements if you wish to achieve success. You have to factor in intelligence, tactics and of course work ethic. Above all in team sports you need to look at balance.

    Arsenal have been for a long time short of work ethic, tactics and balance which is one of the main reasons that our team ‘under performed’. Since January that has changed which is why I believe that our performance level has
    improved.

    It does not follow that the best team on paper are going to win a competition.
    Indeed there have been quite a few occasions when the Champions League
    Cup has been won by teams such as Liverpool, Inter Milan and Porto who were at time not remotely the best teams in Europe. However, on the day they achieved above their level.

    Yesterday’s result was surprising, because frankly Real Madrid on paper are a
    much better team than Juventus. However anyone who has watched Real this season will have seen that their form has dipped and they are beatable.

    As I wrote previously it would not surprise me that they are knocked out by Juventus, but I would be very surprised if Juventus facing Barcelona in final would win. They are as I said a good team, but certainly not better than Chelsea and in my view ourselves.

    That is my opinion.

  81. Keyser

    WE – Yeah, which is why obviously Pogba is a massive miss, one of the few players who would make the switch to Galactico at Madrid. Not sure when he’s back, but with a goal lead his presence could be massive in the second leg.

    Juventus are 15 points clear, in their 4th consecutive title win, I don’t think Tevez would be able to play the other roles he used to now, so yeah he’s been key, but I’d say he’s benefitted heavily from the league and the team he’s in, Juventus won the title in a year where they had Bendtner on loan from us.

    They haven’t really been challenged, I mean I feel like I’m just being an old curmudgeon, but 4 titles without much challenge..

  82. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – Image rights? That sounds like code for something else. What are they alluding to specifically?

    Oh for sure, neither Ozil/Santi take up the positions Ramsey does. Ramsey isn’t the quickest but his runs kind of remind me of a Lampard/Ljungberg hybrid.

    With Welbz, I really want him to progress but he’s never been taught how to play the lone role properly. All he ever wants to do is run in behind and when space is nullified he doesn’t have much else of an answer. Needs to learn to leverage his body like L’Oreal, or dare I say it, even Sanogo to progress. You can see his potential and that he has more ingredients to work with. Whether it’s harnessed is another issue entirely.

  83. Keyser

    Bamford10 – He did qualify it by saying that the Premiership offered far more competition as a whole, and that Real Madrid have benefitted massively from this.

    It’s like you with PSG, PSG have the most talented squad in Ligue Une by miles, yet they’re only 3 points clear. You have to start looking at things more objectively.

  84. Keyser

    DM – Sorry dude, did you mean that we’re cruising into 4th ?

    We haven’t had it easy all year, and there were moments where we were struggling with multiple games.

  85. Romford Ozil Pele

    We – Yeah agree RE Barca. Shame Robben and Alaba are missing. Huge losses. Weighs it favourably in Barca’s direction, especially with the form of MSN. Who knows though, maybe Pep has something up his sleeve? But you feel like Bayern need to score tonight because I can’t see them keeping Barca out.

  86. Keyser

    RP – That was 2 years ago ? Not sure, but he’s English, there must be more of a draw with Sponsors/ tv audiences.

    With Welbeck, I read he says he’s naturally fit, but it looks like he’s piled muscle on, he either needs to use his skill better, be able to work himself a yard, or go all out adonis, and use his size, he’s kind of stuck in between.

    I’m not sure Henry even was that muscular.

  87. Dissenter

    “The key to next season is a proper start”
    You mean like the decent start in the 2013-2014 season.
    We are on top in late January, Wenger spends the entire month boasting about how he will cancel the January window if he has his way.
    Runs down he engines in the team and brings in broke-back Kallstrom to replace crocked players,

    A”proper” start means nothing, Wenger’s ego will always find a way to screw it up.

  88. Blsany

    I think a full strength Bayern would have a great chance against Barca but the absence of the game-changing wide players (R&R) could prove costly. If Guardiola’s Bayern knock Barca out, it would be one of the greatest achievements of his career – particularly as the front line of Messi, Suarez and Neymar are virtually unplayable. Suarez will be decisive as he always is when it really matters. 2-0 Barca

  89. Keyser

    “Wenger’s ego will always find a way to screw it up.”

    Lol and 6 months later he spends 90 million.

    You could say he saved himself from his ego by not chasing after possibilities simply to try ad sate it.

  90. Keyser

    Barcelona have a great frontline but the team behind isn’t that special, a fully fit Bayern would probably beat them quite easily.

  91. Spellbound

    “Cech
    Debu__Gabr___Kosc__Monr
    ______Jack_____Coqu
    ___________Ozil
    Fekir____Benteke___Sanchez”

    So we drop two of the best midfielders in the PL? (Ramsey/ Cazorla)

  92. Blsany

    Aidsbywhore is a really classy guy sometimes he gives money to his familly then talks about them on national press.

  93. Emiratesstroller

    I want to make a final point to those who criticise what I wrote about Real and
    Juventus who may have on paper better players than ourselves.

    Last season Athletico Madrid won Spanish League and were less than two minutes away from winning Champions League. This is a club who are skint and take a lot of players on loan.

    If you had asked most football fans if they would achieve that against the likes
    of Barcelona and Real they would have laughed. I bet that most people if asked
    to name their team/squad at start of last season would have struggled to name three players.

    For a start Costa was certainly not rated the player he is today. He was an unknown at Villereal and had only spent one season at Athletico Madrid. His best goal tally in league before last season was 10.

  94. Willow Wilson

    Dissenter
    “A”proper” start means nothing, Wenger’s ego will always find a way to screw it up”.

    What a load of old tosh.

    Wengers ego? Geezer stays loyal to the club even though he has bugger all to spend and somehow navigates us to 18 consecutive Champion League qualifications, a feat unrivalled. If he had an ‘ego’ he would have jumped ship and fked off somewhere where he had money to spend; any club in Europe would have taken him. He took on Man Utds wealth when he arrived here, then he had to take on Chelsea and Man City, while we struggled through rebuilding the club.

    Wengers ego? You can criticise him for some of his decisions, as you can anyone but it seems some of you will blame him for everything and praise him for nothing.

  95. salparadisenyc

    Very interested to see if Pep is able to take down what he essentially played a massive part in building or if like a black widow he’s cannibalized and left for dead.

    Ill be working which truly blows.

    Enjoy the carnage boys.

  96. useroz

    Rather Rosicky than Arteta tbh. At least Rosicky still has some leg in him and could offer something different.

    Must haves – great DM and striker. Don’t know who/ where from but Wenger is paid to find them. We pay to watch.

    Wa Afobe sale a mistake? May be… but now Akpom isn’t deliveering. Wenger should look at PL loans for these guys. At least we know for sure (more likely) if they cut it.

  97. tunnygriffboy

    Bamford

    If that was you being gentle I’d hate to see you in a rip 🙂 🙂 At least you didn’t call him dipshit. 🙂

    I just think Emirates is a gent, never uses bad language and thought you a blsany were a bit harsh in the way you disagreed.

    Any way not to worry the Welsh Jesus is having a quiet word with Bale to get him at the Emirates next season.

  98. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – Yeah Welbz has always been good for workrate. To me he doesn’t look too dissimilar to his last couple of years at United though I could be wrong. I know he says he does a lot of leg work but there was also something about him saying that he’s naturally athletic.

    I do agree with you though. He either needs to go fully blown Drogba or leverage his skill more to his advantage. Not sure what type of strike he’s trying to be atm

  99. SpanishDave

    Wenger will never win the ECL hes had 18 goes and with some good players.
    He certainly thinks hes bigger than the club, and last summer he failed to strengthen the defence and we therefor failed to get results against the weaker sides at the begining of the season . His ego is a problem because he has so many times refused to do the obvious and this has held back the club.
    The funds have been available but he is a Aldi manager who prefers bargin hunting.

  100. Redtruth

    I would contest the notion that 18 consecutive Champions league appearances is a feat especially as nothing is accomplished by doing so.

  101. Lee

    Willow

    Well said regarding wenger ego.
    No respect for a man who deserves the upmost.
    Totally dignified in everything he does. Unless Pardew or Jose are within radius

  102. Willow Wilson

    Hitman49

    Not at all on the warpath. I don’t agree that Wenger has been able to compete equally with Chelsea and Man City, only an imbecile who lives in a cave would say that.

    Wenger is a professional football manager, operating at the very highest level. As if he is going to deliberately avoid buying world class players because he would prefer to buy some unknown. Seriously, you should listen to yourselves, it is complete crap.

  103. tunnygriffboy

    Romford

    What about signing Fekir this season and loaning him back to Lyon for a season. Got ready made replacement for Santi then and he will have got CL experience ?

  104. Sancho Monzorla

    “As if he is going to deliberately avoid buying world class players because he would prefer to buy some unknown.”

    I don’t think this is far fetched at all.

    Maybe not so blatantly and maliciously as some may think, but when you consider wages and transfer fees and other factors, I absolutely think Wenger avoids world class players to look for cheaper replacements.

    I thought most people acknowledged this, maybe I was mistaken.

  105. Nasri's Mouth

    @Willow WIlson

    Wenger’s done some good stuff, and his consistency is very rare if not unique, but to close your eyes to the mistakes he’s made is a little dumb really.

    Some of the criticism on here of him is over the top, (calling him senile) some of it is wrong (people moaning about Ramsey playing wide) and some of it is baffling (such as someone criticising him because they guessed his line up against Hull…errr, so what?) BUT he’s made mistakes, he’s been too cautious and he’s not reacted quickly enough at times.

  106. Hitman49

    Willow

    It has been well documented that your man is very indecisive when it comes to transfers, I was reading only this weekend an article that said he had even changed his mind on a player when that player was at the training ground and backed out of the deal,
    That is hardly very professional and he has had money for Christ sake we are a top club playing at the top level operating in the money capital of Europe.
    That means we really don’t have money problems I’m sure he could have what ever he wants.
    But he has a very large ego and that is not his endearing point.
    I think we agree to diss agree but read Emirates strollers post earlier as to what other teams in Spain have achieved against the odds, it comes down to management he is now holding us back any idiot can see that we have less points than last season and other teams around us have been much much poorer than last season.
    We have stood still as always and are treading water .

  107. Nasri's Mouth

    sancho Monzorla: I don’t think this is far fetched at all.

    There’s the theory that Wenger deliberately avoids top class players because he wants to show to the world that he can do it with lesser players.

    This is obviously BS. but his decisions on who he buys have obviously been tempered by economics.

    A fairer question would be have they been tempered too much ?