ZLATAN

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ZLATAN

Those are the rumours swilling around the internet this morning. I have no idea where it’s come from, but it’s a pretty crazy rumour.

He’s a legend and he wins major honours wherever he is, just not sure at his age (33), he’s really suited the league. He’d be great fun though. He’s an outrageous talent, just think he was more relevant 5 years ago. Still, he could be our Henrik Larsson? He’d be a great teacher as well…

I took in the Champions League final yesterday (a day late). Great game. It was a lot tighter than I thought it was going to be. Juve gave a good account of themselves, but I didn’t ever really feel they had it in them to compete.

Barcelona just pay with such a fluid pace. I d0n’t think the Enrique iteration of the club is quite at the level it was under Pep, but it’s certainly very functional. That front three are such a sight to behold.

When I was watching it, I did ponder how British clubs get it so wrong? Barca are ALWAY that good, well, it seems that way. Juventus were relegated 8 years ago, now they’re swinging punches at the top table again. Why can’t we get there? If Arsene Wenger is so good, why can’t he make our team like that? What are we missing?

What is it? Why do they just get it right so consistently at the elite clubs?

Morata looked like a big miss as well… kind of a bit like a lighter younger faster version of Giroud. Really good little player. Though Pogba didn’t dominate the game, he certainly looked like the only player who’d get into the Barca team. Really talented specimen. Reminds me so much of Vieira. He just looks so comfortable on the ball.

I wonder if Arsenal are going to raid the mega teams this summer for the cast offs? I mean, I’d love to snap up Cech. PSG are going to have to shift some names on. Madrid always shift on the primest offcuts.

Interesting that Barca, Liverpool (Danny Ings and James Milner. LOL), United and Juventus are already tying up deals. I hope Arsenal are pushing forward with plans. I know a lot at the club bugger off on holiday around now. Hopefully Ivan and co are executing plans that have been formed for a while… that’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

This summer, I’ll be mixing it up with the writing. James and Alex will be taking on more writing and Simone will be weighing in as well. Stops it getting dull in the dry months!

Right, have a grand one!

Finally, a bit of an ask. Blood cancer is a total shitter, but it can be helped if you have a blood match… which is where you come in. If you could sign up here, and donate your blood stem cells, you could save the life of someone… it only takes two minutes and it’d be amazing if you could help (especially if you’re between 17-30).

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369 Responses to “ZLATAN”

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  1. Nasri's Mouth

    @Leedsgunner

    Just can’t see us spending that much on someone of that age. Seems bonkers to me

  2. Wallace

    agree with NM on Jackson Martinez. 25m for an almost 29yr old who’s never played in a top European League(apologies Portugal)….no chance.

  3. Nasri's Mouth

    @N5

    On last year, so on one hand getting £10m for him makes sense from Chelsea’s point of view.

  4. Dream10

    Leeds

    – we’ll need to loan out Sanogo to a Ligue 1 side
    – difficult to sell Podolski. another loan as well. Should have sold last summer
    when someone offer 10m (correct me if I’m wrong)

    More important to sign a #9 than a GK IMO. Would be happy with Jackson Martinez. He is very good and reliable. Don’t want us to depend on goals from the midfield

  5. N5

    Random it would be a horrible thing to do for him but I think there is to much emphasis on a managers power.

    Contracts are 3 way and surely Maureen would prefer something for him than another years wage and zero transfer fund next year?

  6. Nasri's Mouth

    Dream10 Would be happy with Jackson Martinez. He is very good and reliable.

    I’d hate us to spend £25m on a 29 yr old just because he turns up to work on time

  7. SomeRandomGunner

    @Wallace I think he has decent record in CL . So may not be too bad. But his age is a problem. Lets say if we replace him in another 3 years with a 30m player then we are actually better off by buying a 25 year old for say 45m .

  8. SomeRandomGunner

    @N5 It depends on whether Mourinho likes 10m or screwing Arsenal over.
    I would guess he would choose the later if it were only up to him.
    But with the new FFP Chelsea might sell him .

  9. Emiratesstroller

    I find Arsenal’s apparent transfer strategy for this summer perplexing and in
    many respects laughable.

    I think that every supporter knows exactly who should be offloaded during the
    transfer window and probably what are our current requirements.

    The problem is it would seem that the club will only go into the transfer market if we manage to offload some players. If that is the case why have Arsenal
    exercised contact options with Rosicky and Arteta who are clearly very low
    down the ladder of priorities to sit on bench let alone play in starting line up.

    It is beginning to look as I suggested yesterday that we have in fact a very limited transfer budget now dependent on offloading unwanted players.

    The trouble is that most of the players likely to be on list such as those mentioned above plus Podolski,Sanogo, Campbell and Flamini are not exactly bargains that everyone else wants to recruit let alone buy.

    By the time we manage to dispose of these players I think that we will lose the
    race to buy players that we actually need. This is precisely the same problem
    that has existed over many years.

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    ES: I find Arsenal’s apparent transfer strategy for this summer perplexing and in
    many respects laughable.

    The window hasn’t actually opened yet. I don’t even see how you can guess what our transfer strategy is yet

  11. Dream10

    Nasri

    loool. Many are against the signing of Jackson because of concerns of his age. There are few decent goalscorers available on the market. Benzema, who is a few consider the #1 transfer option is a year younger than the Colombian. Unlikely that he leaves Real though.

    It would be disappointing if we didn’t add a goalscorer this window

  12. Wallace

    i think the majority of top level footballers would sacrifice a bit of money for game time. not always, but fairly sure Podolski and others on the periphery of the squad – Arteta, Flamini, Campbell, Sanogo – will pack their bags when they realize they won’t be playing much.

  13. Jim Lahey

    @SRG – “It depends on whether Mourinho likes 10m or screwing Arsenal over.”

    Mourinho would push his own mother down the stairs if it meant screwing Arsenal over.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    NM

    The opening of transfer window applies to “registration” and not to “signing” of
    players.

    What concerns me more than processes is the signal, which appears to have been coming out of the club that we have already got a full squad and there is
    no necessity to buy players.

    The most recent message suggests to me that we are unlikely to buy a midfielder this summer. Wenger has unquestionably cooled to buying Schneiderlein because of the form of Coquelin.

    I think that buying a “quality” striker continues to be a problem, because of Wenger’s valuation of players and also competition. I would be reluctant to
    buy Martinez on account of his age and also because he is untested in a top
    league. If I had had the option I would have gone for either Lacazette or
    Higuain, but it looks like we are not pursuing either of these players.

    I expect trading at club at first team level to be very thin this summer. Only
    Flamini and Diaby are likely to leave plus perhaps some of those loaned out last season.

    No fireworks!

  15. Wallace

    ES

    “What concerns me more than processes is the signal, which appears to have been coming out of the club that we have already got a full squad and there is
    no necessity to buy players.”

    Wenger has talked well of the current squad, but he’s also said that he expects our rivals to improve. there’s no way we aren’t buying at least a couple of players.

  16. Northbanker

    a GK is every bit as important as a CF – both are vital to improve the team. I see the argument for a DM from a squad point of view and possible rotation / flexing of tactics (Southampton used both Wanyama and Schneiderlin in many games) but to improve the team can’t see it getting any better than the performances put in by Coq so its therefore priority no 3 for me.

    Obviously still no reason why we can’t sign 3 players so a trio of Cech / Schneiderlin (I think) and any one of Martinez /Higuain /Benzema would be perfect to push on.

  17. gambon

    ” but to improve the team can’t see it getting any better than the performances put in by Coq ”

    If you honestly dont think there is a better DM in the world than Coquelin you are abolsutely mental.

    Apart from Sanchez, we could upgrade every single player in the team without looking too far.

    In fact thats exactly what we should be looking to do.

  18. Dream10

    Emiratesstroller

    Jackson is more prolific in league play, European competition and at int’l level than Giroud. He provides the same attributes as the Frenchman, in addition to being a two footed finisher and quicker on the ground. He’s simply a better player.

    Giroud’s contract ends in 2018. We can move him on next summer and buy a younger striker in 2016.

  19. Rocky Pires

    Schweinsteiger at 8 million as quoted in Daily mail anyone?

    He would be an improvement on Arteta, bringing same attributes only better be great to play him alongside Coq (Coq and the pigfucker), proven winner, great foil to all our current CM’s.
    Could imagine getting 3 years out of him in the Pinning CM role/CDM when we need to attack, take off Coq and play Schwein in the “Alonso” role.

  20. Leedsgunner

    We all know who needs to go.

    We all know who needs to come in to make us League title challengers. No matter what people say, we don’t have to spend with ild abandon to get there either. We just need to have a plan and execute it. Chelsea did it and they were rewarded with a league title. I have no doubt if were to genuinely strengthen our team in needed positions, we would do the same… or get close. As an fan that’s what I really want, for us to strengthen in key positions genuinely so that we challenge for the top honours.

    For years now, we have gone to the season with glaring gaps in the squad… last summer it was a DM and a CB, the summer before that, a CB, DM and ST, the and the summer before that, a DM, LW, ST etc.

    Whilst we done well to stay in the top 4 and win consecutive FA cups, as to the league it’s as if Wenger enjoys the challenge of going through the league with one hand tied behind his back and with the blindfold on. Anyone feel the same?

  21. gambon

    I have to say, having looked at it after a season, Welbeck was probably a pretty poor signing.

    I dont know if we have any hope of shifting him until the new TV deal kicks in, when pretty much any team will be able to afford him.

    Giroud is not a brilliant striker, yet due to Welbecks poor finishing, Giroud still has no competition at all, which i think was the point behind buying Welbeck.

    When we signed him, I was quite hopeful, but not any more.

    The problem also, is that we cant really sign a striker until we sell one, so which one do we sell?

  22. Leedsgunner

    “” but to improve the team can’t see it getting any better than the performances put in by Coq ””

    What if he has the second season blues or sustains a long term injury because he’s overplayed so much? Whose going to step up then? Flamini and Arteta? People realise that one of the reasons why we had such a horrible start to the season just gone was because Arteta and Flamini were up to standard right? Or have we forgotten this already?

  23. Dream10

    gambon

    Don’t we have enough squad space for a new #9 if we move on Sanogo,Campbell,Podolski,Flamini, Diaby and Jenkinson off the wage bill?

  24. Dark Hei

    “If you honestly dont think there is a better DM in the world than Coquelin you are abolsutely mental.”

    Be careful there. Coquelin’s ability to close down the opposition while high up the pitch is first class. Whenever the opposition gets a loose ball while in a deep position, Coquelin is there to close him down or nip the ball away. This stops a lot of counters.

    His weakness will be a limited distribution of the ball. He struggles when he is forced to do so.

  25. gambon

    Dream10

    We have Sanchez, Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck for 2 positions.

    I absolutely agree we should be buying a striker, but we should be offloading one as well.

    We have a 30 man squad (3 GKs, 9 Defenders, 12 Mids, 6 strikers) – IMO thats probably a little too much.

    This doesnt include the 5 loan players (who should all be sold)

    IMO if we are to bring in players, we also need to be selling.

    Turning down £10m for Campbell, only to watch his value plummet on loan, was a disaster.

  26. Dissenter

    I’m glad that people are finally catching up to the fact that Welbeck is a big chunk of the problem.
    He’s an expensive mistake who has four more years on his contract.
    He dodged real scrutiny at United because he was on the bench and never got the TomCleverly treatment.
    Problem is we have him on top salary for four more years so it makes it hard to procure a real striker to condemn Giroud to the bench.

    Welbeck is only as good as Cleverly, They looked better playing for the best manager of our generation.
    I hope he gets half the abuse Giroud gets here.

  27. London gunner

    G man

    Hate to say I told you so regarding welbeck and Walcott..

    Walcott is just so much more of an attacking threat.

    Welbecks stat of 25 appearances and 4 goals with 53 accurate shot percentage is pathetic.

  28. peanuts&monkeys

    We all know who all needs to go (in order of priority):

    Wenger
    Diaby
    Podolski
    Giroud
    Sanogo
    Arteta
    Sceszny
    Jenko

    Campbell shd stay.

    Required in:
    Klopp/Martinez/Koeman
    Lacazzete/Berahino/Greizzman/RvP (even a limp RvP far better than Giroud)
    Gundogan/ Schneiderlin/Khedira
    Cech/Forster/Green

    Giroud Shd go!!

  29. Dissenter

    If we were the ruthless team seeking to win everything possible, we wouldn’t need three seasons to determine that we made a mistake.
    Welbeck is among the players I would move on. We will probably make a small profit on him.
    For all his running, there’s no end product. His assist rate is disastrous.

  30. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    For all your whinging about Welbeck are you prepared to admit that your boy Giroud isn’t good enough to spearhead a title challenge for us?

  31. gambon

    London

    I guess its harder to judge a player that you dont watch every week.

    My opinion of Welbeck was an athlete, promising, but needed regular time in the CF position.

    My view now is athlete, not overly promising and just cannot finish.

    He will get another season to show what he can do, but the fact is, now we are running £180m wage bills and have players like Sanchez in the team, he is gonna have to do a hell of a lot to convince the non rose tinted fans.

  32. Dream10

    gambon

    In that case
    – sell the loanees
    – sell Flamini, release Diaby
    – loan Zelalem, demote Bielik to the U21
    – loan Akpom and Gnabry
    – sell Walcott

    – buy Schneiderlin
    – buy Jackson Martinez
    – buy Leno/Cech if Szczesny leaves

    We’ll then have a squad of 25:
    Three GK, nine defenders,nine midfielders and four forwards

  33. gambon

    WengerEagle

    Giroud at least looks like he belongs in a title winning squad.

    Welbeck looks a West Ham/Southampton/Everton level player at best.

  34. gambon

    Dream

    I agree with signing Cech, Schneiderlin and maybe Martinez.

    I would rather Cech, Schneiderlin and Reus.

    Yes we still wouldnt have a world class CF, but Reus, Sanchez, Giroud would score 50 PL goals between them if they stay fit.

  35. WengerEagle

    gambon

    Wasn’t so long ago that you were calling him one of the worst CF’s you’ve ever seen for us, funny how times change.

    Happen to agree that Giroud is a good CF, he’s noticeably improved in the last year and is now a very decent player, he should be our back up option though, he’s never going to be better than a goal every 2 games CF which is very good but not enough to challenge for trophies.

    Neymar was Barca’s 2nd top scorer this season with 40 goals, ridiculous and that’s what we’re competing against in the UCL (unless people are prepared to admit that we cannot compete for the UCL in the near future).

    Welbeck has been disappointing given how well he started the season but for me he’s still a good versatile squad player to have. If he doesn’t hit 10-15 goals next season then I agree that we should start thinking about moving him on.

  36. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle,
    Where have you being all this while.
    I’ve been saying the same thing for ever.
    GIROUD ISNT GOOD ENOUGH TO LEAD THE LINE.
    WE WILL NEVER WIN THE LEAGUE WITH GIROUX AS FIRST CHOICE.

    He is very qualified to be the second striker, over-qualified to be honest.
    We needed someone to relegate Giroud to the bench, instead we got an overpaid English stallion that does not give Wenger any selection migraine.
    Giroud brushed away Welbeck way too easy.
    At least Walcott made Wenger earn his salary by giving him a selection dilemma.

  37. WengerEagle

    Off topic but Aleix Vidal is a brilliant signing for Barcelona, makes them even stronger.

    Whoever signs Dani Alves (hopefully not United) is still getting one hell of a fullback though, he’s coming off the back of one of his best ever seasons at 31. 19 trophies in 7 years at Barca, brilliant player.

  38. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle.
    No matter what people have said about Giroud,we can all agree that Welbeck has been worse…and that says everything about Welbeck.
    We gave Sanogo bell here even though he was still a development player, why is Welbeck any different.
    He’s on top wages, has experience at the very top and has offered little beyond running around like a wild buck. He has no end product.
    David Moyes was right when he told him to wait behind for more shooting practice. That offended Welbeck at the time.
    Do you still hear United fans moaning about missing Welbeck?

  39. Northbanker

    Gambon

    your comments re Coq absolutely wrong. Coq barely put a foot wrong in the time since Jan – he won the ball, dominated the territory in front of the defence and distributed well. There may be players who can hit the long pass better and if so yes that would be an upgrade. But I haven’t seen anyone do that and dominate the back in the way he did. Those that do then like Pogba tend to push forward and leave gaps behind (which is why Schneiderlin needs Wanyama and why Pogba needs Vidal)

    So I therefore cannot see another DM making us necessarily a better team even though we probably need one to ensure we have tactical choice, rotation options, cover etc

  40. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    Must have missed that memo which isn’t odd considering you were giving us the ‘I told you so’ routine every poxy time Giroud stuck the ball in the net this season, conveniently you went very quiet during his 8-9 match drought at the end of the season.

    I also have been crystal clear in that Welbeck should be a squad option for us and NOT a starter, we need an upgrade (Wally sure as shit isn’t good enough either).

    A couple of things:

    – Giroud has taken 2 years to get to a decent level, he scored 17 goals in 47 apps in his first season which is terrible for a starting ST for a club like Arsenal.
    -Welbeck has been playing wide for the vast majority of his time here, not as a CF.
    -Welbeck is 24, Giroud was 26 in his first season for us.

    Not that you’ll take any of this into account.

  41. Dissenter

    If Barca are in a transfer ban, how can they be negotiating a transfer.
    The football world is fuc*ed up
    It’s a pathetic disgrace that no one is talking about how they flagrantly disregarded the transfer ban. They used the glow of the CL win to cover their shameful violation of the ban.
    Personally, I am offended by the Vidal signing.
    They shouldn’t be able to publicly flout the spirit of the ban.

  42. WengerEagle

    Comparing Sanogo to Welbeck? Lol, Jesus Christ.

    ‘Do you still hear United fans moaning about missing Welbeck?’

    Mancs haven’t the brains they were born with, they religiously follow the LVG cult and take his word as gospel so it’s no surprise to see that they agree with his judgement on Welbeck.

    It’s not like their strikers are puling up any trees, Rooney was their top scorer this season with 14 in all comps and he takes PK’s. RVP looks like an old man and Falcao was awful, far worse than Welbeck was for us.

  43. Wallace

    gambon

    “Apart from Sanchez, we could upgrade every single player in the team without looking too far.”

    are you suggesting raiding the Spuds, or just talking rubbish again?

  44. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle,
    Your argument about how long it’s taken Giroud to develop at Arsenal holds no water.
    Welbeck did not need that much time because he’s English and is native to the league. Is the Manchester weather so different from North London’s. Is the language or dietary cuisine any different.
    He came in as a 30-cap plus- English international with CL, European Championship and world cup experience. He has more premier league experience than Giroud.

    He might do better as a winger but he does not have the attribute to excel as CF. Van Gaal and David Moyes saw him everyday in training. We ought to have listened to them.

    That, I believe is why Wenger wanted him on loan.
    If he were on loan, do you think we’ll be making the loan permanent based on his performance?

    I’ve never asserted that Giroud was anything but a second rate striker. My point had always been it’s Wenger who’s placing him on a false pedestal.

    I only wish Welbeck will get half the abuse that Giroud gets here. Notwithstanding that he gets paid the same wages as Giroud.

  45. peanuts&monkeys

    @Gambon, have you fallen for Lóreal’s appearance when you say he looks like a player playing for a top club?

    Do you believe any top club will approach Arsenal for Giroud? Ever?

  46. peanuts&monkeys

    Giroud doesn’t even have the basic instincts of a striker? he is not goal-hungry! he passes the ball even when he has only one defender to beat. Dont be mistaken. He is not being unselfish there. He is simply not confident enough to score.

  47. WengerEagle

    He gets a fair old amount of abuse on here Dissenter to be honest.

    Give us a break, Giroud wasn’t some 19 year old kid we picked up from South America, he was a 26 year old CF who’d played 2 seasons at the highest level and had just finished as the top scorer in the French League. The was also already a French international which is much more impressive than an England international for obvious enough reasons.

    Montpellier weather is hardly drastically different to London, Sanchez came in from Barcelona for a comparison.

    It’s nonsense, you’re judging Welbeck for the same things you excuse Giroud for.

  48. Dissenter

    Hahaha,
    Wenger Eagle,
    United fans were up in arms the weeks after Welbeck was sold to us.
    Fact is no one sees him now and goes “gawd, why did we let him go”

    Sanogo came in as a French U-21 that has missed one year of development due to serious injury. He was objectively criticized for his lack of Arsenal quality presence.
    No one is comparing him to Welbeck. My point for several weeks has been why is there so much quiet about Welbeck’s pathetic first season when Sanogo wasn’t spared?

  49. Dissenter

    Welbeck gets abuse here?
    That’s why you’re raising up straw men zombies to defend him.

    The only regular poster who’s criticized Welbeck is London Gunner, everyone else directs abuse at Giroud and pretend like the 100k weekly England international does not exist.

    I really think you’re mis-stating my position on Giroud.

  50. Wallace

    Welbeck’s first season was a bit Chamakh-like, promising start then fell off a cliff. really has to do some serious work on his finishing this summer otherwise he’s gonna be spending most of his time in the background of Podolski’s social media assault.

  51. WengerEagle

    Lmao, Sanogo didn’t score a single fucking goal, are you being serious?

    8 goals in 35 or so matches from out wide isn’t great but it’s a hell of a lot better than 2 goals in nearly 30 apps as a CF.

    At least Welbeck resembles a footballer and not a circus act.

  52. WengerEagle

    ‘On a different note.
    Do you like Morata now?’

    Not overly, no.

    He’s been impressive in the last couple of months and I thought that he had a decent match in the Final on Saturday but I still don’t think that he’ll go on to be a top quality CF.

    Much prefer Paulo Dybala. He’ll bench him from the word go next season if Morata stays, you watch. (Probably is why Morata allegedly wants to leave)

  53. Northbanker

    I haven’t done the analysis but I would love to see scoring stats for crucial goals rather than late meaningless ‘add to the opponents misery’ goals. Giroud seems to specialise in the latter and yet gets praise for total goals.

    Watch any game where the opponents park their bus and Giroud really struggles. We desperately need someone who can score consistently from half chances. Walcott is the closet and he has major weaknesses.

  54. SomeRandomGunner

    @WE your love for Welbeck is over the top.
    When he joined there were many people on here thought he could be a very very decent option for CF . But he has not got anywhere close to that level.

    He is 24 , he has not improved on anything since the time he has joined us. His first touch is very very poor as is his finishing. He is a good chaotic factor , but other than that he has not done much for us.