Wilshere runs the show | Two Arsenal signings: Is it enough?

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Sometimes, the best cliche in football is…

‘Let the football do the talking, son’

Jack Wilshere put in his most devastating England performance to date with a sparkling showing against Slovenia.

He played in a deep lying role and helped things tick over in a testing England game. His two contributions were pretty special. The first was a tight lay off from Lallana which he rifled into the top corner, the second goals was a sublime move, Lallana again slipping in the Arsenal man who curled a beauty into the top corner.

It was interesting listening to Jack speak after, he said something along the lines of…

‘At Arsenal, we would have played it around a bit more’

Certainly something I’d like to see more of in Arsenal’s game… have a pop sometimes. I mean, we’ve landed that with Sanchez, I think he’s blocked the words ‘don’t shoot’ out of his English language classes. I do sometimes think we lose a bit in our attacking play by not offering up much of a threat from outside the box. It allows teams solace when defending deep against us.

Still, fantastic to see Jack involved in winning the game, I mean, you could argue Theo dropped the winning assist to Wayne Rooney… but that might be pushing it.

Also, for a man who’s played professional sport his whole career, Wayne looked like a twenty a day alcoholic talking to the press after the game!

So, 78 days before the transfer window shuts and I’m starting to panic a little bit. Still no moves, still no concrete news… let’s hope we hear something this week. I have a feeling we’ll know either way on Petr Cech. After watching Ospina balls up in the Copa America yesterday from a tame Rondon header, I’m more certain than ever that we have to accept that what we see with our eyes is likely to be true… Ospina isn’t the full ticket and he never will be. Same with Chezzer, the manager needs to be ruthless this summer. If there is better available, you purchase.

This isn’t a charity. This is a football club desperate to win some major honours. I appreciate that you don’t want to disrupt team harmony, but let’s be honest over here, what exactly has continuity achieved over the past 10 years in comparison to teams like Chelsea who regularly blitz their managers / squads in pursuit of major honours?

A couple of cups. A lot of top fours. Which is lovely. But we need to be aiming higher.

I think Arsenal fans sometimes get trapped in Wenger rhetoric. Realistically, we’d have to be very lucky next season to win the Premier League purchasing just two players. A world class keeper is going to be a masterful move, make no bones about that. We need a world class addition in the middle of the park, not to replace Coquelin, just to stop him facing burn out when he plays all the games next season. That’ll go some way, but for me, I’m not sure there are many players we could put in that position that could offer more than Francis has. The reality is you don’t need world class in that role to win things.

Really, the big moves will come up top. Bringing in an inspired Raheem Sterling changes our shape, brings more pace into the front line and brings up the level of competition. I think we need a striker, Giroud is a talented player, but he’s not devastating. He’s not a Suarez. He’s not really a Diego Costa. You’ll be very lucky to win a major honour with him leading the front line. It’s brutal, but he’s just not quite there.

You watch Lewandowski for Poland at the weekend and you can see the difference. You watch Ronaldo. Marvel at Neymar. That’s the level you need to be at to make it at the highest level.

… I fear that until we unearth a gem at striker, we’ll struggle to drop a major trophy.

One player who is exciting me is Gedion Zelalem. The German born US international has been lighting up the under-whatever Championship. He controls the middle of the park like a seasoned pro. He has a superb first touch and an impressive array of passing skillz. I think the part that excited people who work closely with him is his work engine. He’s incredibly fit. If you could combine a Flamini engine with a Cesc like output, well, you’d have a frightening talent on your hands.

Interesting that Sepp Blatter has leaked news to the press that he might reconsider his resignation… he’s such an unbelievable embarrassment. Like your granddad who’s been sent to bed at a wedding, returning for one last dance with your girlfriend.


*Removes belt slowly

He’s apparently had support from Asia and Africa. I’m sure he has… that grouping of associations have been a key political pillar in keeping him going… you know, in exchange for sweetners.

That whole organisation needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Wonga are doing the same over here, rebranding under a less toxic name. The very thought that Sepp might come back is just amazing, he has no shame, or concern that he might be coming under the gaze of the FBI.

More worrying, the FA are rumoured to have dropped a lot of suspicious perks to people like Jack Warner. That’ll be really upsetting if we stooped to that sort of low to win a World Cup.

I guess it’s tough though, a bit like cycling back in the day (or athletics now). When you know the only way to compete is to do what everyone else is doing, what do you do? Pull out? Or go toe-to-toe?

… when you’re the FA and you’ve been kicking up a global fuss, I guess you should really keep your nose clean.

Bad times if we didn’t.

Right, it’s kit launch tonight. I’ve been given Nacho Monreal to group interview. I don’t normally like doing stuff like this, it’s a bit rich, critiquing players one day, crawling up their backsides the next. But, if you have any burning questions, drop them in the comments or tweet them to me.

‘Hey Nacho, if you were a fan, would you wear a replica shirt?’

Not sure how well that’ll go down. I might ask him if his friends make jokes about his name being a popular tex-mex dish (Hey Nacho, do you get on with your brother Dorito?). So many possibilities.

Anyway, lemme know.


513 Responses to “Wilshere runs the show | Two Arsenal signings: Is it enough?”

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  1. Cesc Appeal


    I think this will be an Ozil summer, frustrating, quiet, unless an opportunity like Benzema becomes available I don’t think we will move a lot.

    At the very least please let Cech to come fruition.

  2. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Source? Various papers.

    Only thing I’ve seen is the Telegraph today that speculates on his wages.

  3. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, yeah I really don’t think it’s good enough personally. Wenger’s banking on what he has improving. Can only hope that comes to fruition cos right now we’re not that level

  4. Leedsgunner

    Hats off to Theo and his agent…

    He’s sure making the most of it isn’t he, especially after not kicking a ball for the good part of 12 months. In fairness to him if he is fully fit — his pace is perfect for Özil to exploit, and he is a big game player and a game changer. In a big occassion Theo has a good habit of coming up BIG.

  5. Cesc Appeal


    I agree.

    He’s probably looking at his side going well if Walcott stays fit and finds consistency at 26, if Wilshere stays fit and finds consistency, if Oxlade steps up and stays fit, if Ramsey stays fit etc

    Huge risk. For me, sunk before we start but, there you go. I feel as if I’m ready for the trials of marriage having been an Arsenal supporter, those days where you look at it and think ‘why do I continue to love you…’

  6. Wallace

    barring serious injury i think Theo, Sanchez & Giroud guarantee you 60-70 goals between them. do any of our rivals have three of similar potency?

  7. Keyser

    What would be good enough ? The only real player who’s actually playing for a team better than us is Benzema, why would he leave ?

    It’s just odd how people start clucking for players, I’m guessing Panini stickers would sell like crack nowadays.

  8. Lee

    CESC appeal

    Walcott career goals for arsenal

    FA CUP
    League cup

    Less than a goal every 3 starts
    Most of those goalless starts coming before he was 21 and being played on right wing
    If sterling is worth £150k a week then theo is.

  9. MidwestGun

    Y’all are gonna be mad when my Theo avatar shows up wearing designer shades and a diamond watch.

    Seriously tho, not sure how sponsors, fans and other players are gonna react
    If we net spend 0 with reported 70 mill or whatever budget. So I’m expecting somebody. The Theo thing doesn’t bother me as I don’t see him as the problem.

  10. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah CA it’s all IFs. There are no guarantees. Wenger likes internal development, no problem with that but supplement it with top external signings.

    Can Theo, Alexis, L’Oreal and Welbz fire us to a title? I’m doubtful but hope to be proven wrong.

  11. Nasri's Mouth


    Probably yeah, though he was probably above the curve with his last deal, and we’re not in the same situation we were in then.

    While the media are saying he’s going to re-sign, (which has probably been leaked from both sides) I doubt they have any clues about wages. If it’s leaked from Arsenal, we’ll make it seem as low as possible, (we’ll quote basic wage, no bonuses, sign on fee etc.) if the info comes from Theo’s side they’ll add in everything.

    Matt Law is saying that he’ll get close to Ozil and Sanchez who are on £140k, but I doubt that’s come from us at this stage of the negotiations. He’s sticking his finger in the air.

  12. salparadisenyc


    If were lucky… thought that but could very easily see us slide into the opener with the FA cup side.

    I’ve never been convinced on Cech coming through… would be pleasantly surprised if he did.

  13. Cesc Appeal


    Walcott getting a new deal isn’t an issue if you think Wenger will still get a ST, but we all know exactly what will happen and what he will say when pressed.

    Frustrating. Immensely. Right now I’d say our side is better than City’s and United’s, not Chelsea’s obviously, but not far off. Going to waste it, that’s the fear, waste this position and 12 months down the line we will be lagging again…

    What can you do though. Just have to keep our fingers crossed there is something in the works and new deals are just added bonuses to great transfer business.

  14. Cesc Appeal


    100% the Chelsea game on 2nd August (I think) we will have the same side. Wenger will use that as some weird yard stick.

  15. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, yeah all we can do is hope. Right now our attacking strikers are Theo, Alexis, L’Oreal and Welbz. I mean it’s not bad but I’d like another elite player in there.

    Put it this way, if the players don’t perform, the knives will be out for them.

  16. salparadisenyc

    I’ll take that bet if goalkeeper is off and we go with the remaining 10 players.
    Middy’s my bookie.

  17. Nasri's Mouth


    I’d hate to guess. We don’t even know whether the 100k is accurate or how it’s structured, and we don’t know much about what he’ll get this time.

    If I was to guess, I’d say that Wenger is unlikely to put him on the same as Alexis or Ozil and that his last deal was only 2.5 years ago, since when he’s not done much for his agent to push for much of an improvement. Obviously clubs are even more awash with cash these days, but I think the club could argue strongly against a 25% rise or greater. On the other hand IF clubs are offering Sterling £150k, then Walcott has good ammunition to demand a significant rise

    There’ll be bonuses for getting top 4 and winning the FA Cup.

  18. Wallace

    the transfer window doesn’t officially open for another two weeks and people are already losing their shit. it’s going to be a long summer on le grove….

  19. Nasri's Mouth

    NM: and that his last deal was only 2.5 years ago, since when he’s not done much for his agent to push for much of an improvement.

    Having said that I just read this:

    Theo Walcott has either scored or assisted 39 goals in his last 50 Arsenal starts. That goes back to the 7-5 at Reading

    That was back on 24th March

  20. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah I’m not saying our front line is bad, we will get into the top four with it, but I highly doubt we’d win the league or mount a serious, sustained challenge with it.

    You’d need Oxlade to take a big step up and stay fit, Welbeck to find composure and a clinical side to his game, Walcott to do two things he never has in almost a decade at Arsenal, be consistent and stay fit and for Giroud to have the majority of the season in form, and when not in form find a way to affect games.

    Obviously as well you need Sanchez to come back from Chile and pick up where he left off…and not get injured, that would be a disaster for us.

  21. Nasri's Mouth


    It’s like watching a horror film with a bunch of people already highly strung and on the edge stuck in a house running out of food and water, surrounded by zombies, with another 90 mins of the film still to go

  22. salparadisenyc

    I’m saving the crazy this summer… its going to be a repeater of 2013. Likely without Ozil.

    Marko I was betting the other way… can easily see Wenger go with Coquelin and Arteta as senior figure adding depth and support (whatever that means).

    Im betting on no additions to the staring XI by the opening day… (goal keeper not included).

  23. Keyser

    Why does shit get lost ? Why don’t people learn ?

    Who the fuck are we going to buy, who will guarantee us titles ? and why would you want that anyway ? This is why football is starting to become pretty tedious across Europe.

    Pick a player ? and for whatever talent they may bring, they’ll carry as many question marks, especially when you consider the league we play in.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    CA, tbh I’m not really angry or throwing my toys out of a pram because I know what Wenger is like. I know the route he’s choosing. If it goes tits up though, he’ll be open to all sorts of ridicule. I’ll always be behind the lads but like you say, we’re asking the lads to step up massively if we’re gonna win the title. Alexis is already gonna miss the start of the season cos of Copa America

  25. Nasri's Mouth

    salparadisenyc: Im betting on no additions to the staring XI by the opening day…

    It wouldn’t surprise me. This might be a summer where we need to wait for other deals to fall.

    But honestly, it’s all so vague, no-one really knows enough to make a judgement

  26. Keyser

    It’s paradoxical, we’re close because we’ve developed numerous players eternally, but we’re soo far away because we won’t buy in supposedly ready made talent.

  27. MidwestGun

    Odds hmmmmm

    Reus like 20 -1.
    Sterling like 10-1
    Cavani 16 -1
    Bale 50 -1
    Kondogbia 8 -1
    Vidal 3 -1
    Gundogan. 25 -1
    Schneiderlin 4 -1
    Wenger signs nobody but a keeper. … give you even money.
    Get your bets in now. I got bills to pay. 🙂

  28. Thank you and goodnight

    If we don’t buy a forward I hope Akpom is given more of a chance. I think he’s a naturally better finisher than welbeck and sanogo.

  29. Nasri's Mouth


    Odds are based on how much money punters are putting down as much as the chance of something happening

  30. Nasri's Mouth


    I hope he’s sent on loan either right at the start, or as soon as our involvement in the Carling Cup finishes

  31. Romford Ozil Pele

    Keyser – Tbh I agree with you although Wenger’s modus operandi is always to work with what he’s got first, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If anything I’m proud of the fact that we develop players eternally. That said, I do want us to compete for the best on the market. I know we’re up against financially doped clubs and have to be selective in how we use our funds but I’d like to see us say push the boat out on £50m Reus.

    Unlikely to happen but I’m a season ticket holder and I pay my money, I want a return for that. It’s not really a case of throwing my toys out the pram/kicking up a fuss. If anything I haven’t even thrown a tantrum, all I’ve said is what I think Wenger will do. We’ve definitely improved in certain instances but would still like to see us more ruthless on the transfer front if possible. It isn’t always easy to do that but we should throw our weight about a bit more IMO.

  32. Nasri's Mouth

    steve: Walcott £150k / week lolololol what a joke.

    Again, who is saying he’s going to get £150k ?

  33. Wallace


    am also very interested in how Akpom develops. think he could really push Welbeck if he hangs around, but at 19 he just needs to be playing every week so think he’ll be loaned out.

  34. Keyser

    RP – It’s got little to do with Wenger really, it’s about how football should be, actually competitive, with quality football being played.

    Reus has had two injury plagued years, where he’s been pretty average, the only reason he’s seen as a 50 million pound player is because of the Beliebers and how fucked the market is.

    I see your perspective as a season ticker holder, and I’d rather they simply lowered ticket prices. That’s where the club, Wenger, whoever should be criticised.

    Even then it’s a wider problem across the World, as we’ve seen with FIFA.

    I want Sanchez style signings if we do buy big, thing is I honestly can’t see many out there ?

    Really call me an AKB or whatever but who is there ?

  35. Wallace


    “Theo Walcott has either scored or assisted 39 goals in his last 50 Arsenal starts. That goes back to the 7-5 at Reading”

    you sure? seems kinda…productive.

  36. Nasri's Mouth


    I’m not sure, spotted it on twitter, but it sounds about right given his goals / assists. Will be higher than that now of course

  37. Lee


    Ok. I Agree with you on most of your posts. Your philosophy is rather in sync with my own with regards to matters concerning arsenal.
    With that said there are certain players who would almost instantly improve us, no questions asked.

    De Gea. Straight away. Straight in. No questions asked.
    That’s 6-10 points

    Hummels. Ok not as cut and dried but tell me what baggage he would come with? Leader

    Bale. I know but please tell me he wouldn’t deliver the title. Another 10 pointer

    Now i would rather see our players grow into title winners rather than replace them.
    I want jack, Rambo theo and ox to dominate the world.
    However there are players who would instantly come in and win points. I’d love bale at arsenal.

  38. Bamford10


    “Why does shit get lost? Why don’t people learn?”

    Because Wenger still never signs the needed players and we remain also-rans, year after year after year. What is it that we’re supposed to have learned, exactly?

    “Who the fuck are we going to buy? Who will guarantee us titles? Why would you want that anyway? This is why football is starting to become pretty tedious across Europe.”

    Let’s start with the second sentence, which is a vintage Keyser red herring: no ONE player can ever “guarantee” a title, which is why that is never the question. The question is which players can improve us and improve our chances at a title.

    Keyser likes making this red herring the question so that the answer seems to be: no one can guarantee us the title, thus we should sign no one.

    The ludicrousness of this argument does not keep him from making it over and over again.

    Now let’s look at sentences 1, 3 & 4: these provide insight into Keyser’s bizarre, demented approach to football. Apparently for Keyser, all of the exciting, promising, talented players in the world are either (i) already playing for Arsenal or (ii) are never going to play for Arsenal.

    Therefore talking about how this or that player might improve Arsenal, dreaming about what we might look like with a better CF, or CDM, or wide player, is for him, “tedious”. We already have all of the exciting players in the world, you see, and all that we don’t we’ll never have. Curious.

    In truth, what’s really “tedious” is watching a plodding mediocrity like Olivier Giroud start up top for us for three years straight, guaranteeing us both a static attack and a third or fourth place finish. Now that’s fucking tedious.

    (Reading Keyser’s inane sophistries is tedious as well, but that goes without saying.)

    “It’s paradoxical, we’re close because we’ve developed numerous players eternally, but we’re soo far away because we won’t buy in supposedly ready made talent.”

    What the f*** is this twat talking about? Did we develop Ozil and Sanchez internally? Cazorla? Would we have had even the limited success we have had in the past two years without these three players? No. So what is he on about?

    Perhaps he’s suggesting we would’ve been better off signing none of these players? An interesting theory — one supported by precisely one person in the world.

  39. Joe


    Couldn’t of said it better myself. Bravo!

    Keyser’s number one concern is money as if Arsensl is spending his own money.

    We need a few players to improve our chances at the title. If we stay as is and buy no one as Keyser wants because there is no one to buy according to him, we will finish 3-4th again. I’d say 4th.

    Of course there is no one better than Giroud out there and no one better than Ramsey to play winger.

    The market is what it is. No one especially Keyser or wenger are going to change it so you may as well join in and buy the players we NEED!!!