Are we going to ship out two keepers?

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Someone asked me earlier on what my thoughts were on Liverpool’s new signing?

I said, ‘Fir-mi-no’

How about that for some ‘hit for six’ banter in the AM?

You loved it. Don’t pretend you won’t be dropping that joke in your Football Whatsapp group.

Se we had another smattering of ‘CECH DEAL DUN’ yesterday, but still no news on the Arsenal.com, and as you know, if you’re a real bore, you’ll constantly be telling people you won’t believe anything until it’s on the main site.

HAVE SOME FUN. LIVE A LITTLE. CLICK A BIT OF LINK BAIT YOU SALMON.

Bask in the unofficialness of it all.

Anyway, I think I raved pretty hard about Petr Cech yesterday. There are few people upset that Chezzer isn’t getting a fair crack. The people who truly believed he’d be the best keeper in the world (and probably told a few people they didn’t get football if they didn’t understand Denilson’s value) and that it was only his attitude keeping him rooted to the bottom of the save percentage league for keepers who have played over 50 games.

On the Pole. He looks like he could be a good keeper, but the reality is, he’s really not. He had the same remarkable skill Almunia had in being able to make ineptness look like bad luck. I think the reality of Chezzer and Ospina is this… the team in front have done a fantastic job two seasons in a row in making Chezzer the golden glove despite not ever really showing for it, and making Ospina look acceptable between the sticks.

Imagine how good we’ll be when we have a keeper than can actually dig us out some points?

Another thing you have to consider is his attitude. The fans aren’t too keen on him and nor are people who work with him at home and internationally. He’s not a hugely popular figure. I was told a few seasons back he and a previous captain had a dust up over his LIFO attitude to training (last in first out). Then you factor in the selfies, the cross bar challenge antics at half time against Monaco, the smoking in the changing room, he’s dad digging out Mertesacker, the smoking at the FA Cup, the smoking on the jeep outside his flat, the average performances… I mean, it’s hard to say he’s not made it extremely difficult to believe we’ve all got it wrong?

I don’t think he’s been helped by having a keeping coach we all know is substandard.

Can’t believe @Arsenal have let @Keepersworld Tony Roberts go!!! #bestcoachbyamilethere!!

— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) June 18, 2015

Good to see Big Dave saying what we’ve told you for a while here. Gerry Peyton still at the club. Part of the fraternity. Well, at least he’ll be marginalised this season. Writing is on the wall though.

Charity Shield will have a bit of extra spice, wont it?

Yes it will.

What else is going on in the world of ‘OMG that’s hilarious?’… how about Harry Redknapp doing a piece with Guardian?

The only bit worth entertaining is this…

“Unless you’re Arsène Wenger and have real control of the club, agents will go directly above the manager. If they have an issue with one of their players, they’ll go to the chairman: ‘Oh your manager is an idiot because he’s not playing my player’. That’s how it’s gone.”

POWER. I mean, really, it is a sorry state of affairs how it is in the game at the moment. It’s quite clear that Tony Fernandes just wants to manage the team himself. And hey, why not? Stick a stooge in and run things. After all, it’s his money! If you can’t have fun with it, what’s the damn point?

Another interesting story brewing in the background is the Ramos one at Real Madrid. The 29 year old appears to be on the way out of there after falling out of favour with Perez. This read here is interesting because you realise what a total farce it is over there. It’s run more like a defunct political party than a world class football establishment. It’s amazing how they succeed financially by being so groteque.

Anyway, at 29, he’s probably not worth it. It is worth mentioning we went in hard for him a few seasons ago when he was having issues with Jose Mourinho.

One to watch is announcement of the Laporta / Abidal campaign for the presidency. I sincerely hope there aren’t any Arsenal players looped into the major promises they normally dish out during these runs.

You know what is a bit sad, and I’ve written about this before… the race for page views via transfer stories.

Now, I get that publishing houses need views to make money, but for me, that whole approach is totally flawed anyway and marketeers are going to catch onto that soon enough.

Here’s are the things you need to consider as a publisher.

1. If you’re chasing page views, you’re chasing the wrong metric, because anyone can get page views through work that isn’t credible. Publishing is about creating work that is meaningful. Sure, you’re always bring in a certain type of fan with the durge, but the job of content is create a connection. To create a relationship with your audience in some way shape or form… dependent on what your brand is about.

2. The Holy Grail of publishing is to become a destination website. Somewhere people land in their morning run of websites. Buzzfeed is a destination, The Guardian are a destination, Le Grove, on a small scale still manages to be a destination for a lot of people… how many of those shit peddling website earn a direct visit from you? Very few.

3. You can chase a read, but if someone lands on that read and it’s a round up of other nonsense and they’re disappointed, chances are, they’re not going to hang on your destination and visit other pages.

So this desperate chase misguided news sites are involved in generally occurs because in dying business models, the people at the top are looking at the wrong metrics and destroying their brand in the process.

The solution to low traffic can never be to lower your values.

Buzzfeed have it nailed because you don’t buy advertising space around the side of the site, you buy a news story (native advertising) that blends in with the rest of the content (and you buy it up front). The only reason they can do that is because you generally know what you’ll get there. ’10 moments Kim Kardashian at an Apple perfectly’ will deliver on your expectations as a reader. You know that they connect with what you want in that moment, so you’ll explore ten or so pages. So advertisers content blends in, and often does better than normal content because it’s part of the story, not an interrupter around it (banner ads).

Even The Daily Mail get this. They create stories that rile you, but they don’t tend to engage in too much utter drivel with transfers (if it is, at least it feels original), they know, if they want to keep you on that site, they have to rile you… and they do it incredible well and in the process, make themselves a destination.

As archaic advertising models evolve, I’d imagine these pissy sites that peddle increasingly absurd stories will begin to die… because sites like Medium are charging on consumer time on site over page views. Quality over someone just dropping in and out with zero context.

Anyway, there’s my little piece on the state of digital publishing.

P.S. We signed the Romanian under 16 captain. WOO!

 

719 Responses to “Are we going to ship out two keepers?”

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  1. qna

    Yeah Vicky. Vlad Dragomir, perfect name for an old school vampire character. Hope we get to see him in a Carling Cup match sooner, rather than later. Just turned 16, so will he qualify as home grown?

  2. Emiratesstroller

    I think that there has been far too much criticism of Ospina. He is not as many
    including Pedro has suggested an “untalented” goalkeeper.

    If you analyse our record in the games which he played for the first team he has an excellent record. People seem to always remember the two or three occasions when he had mishaps.

    Let’s face it all goalkeepers make mistakes and I think that the only game where he cost us points was the game against Swansea where we conceded a late goal. That was not down to poor goalkeeping, but rather his lack of reach.

    Personally I would prefer to keep Ospina as second choice because he is in my
    view a “safer pair of hands” than Szczesny. He is not reckless and as pointed out
    we didn’t lose too many games when he played.

    Szczesny for me is an accident “always waiting to happen”. You can expect him
    to make at least one poor decision in every game that he plays and when you
    watch him “the heart is always in the mouth”. Frankly you don’t know when he
    will make the next daft decision.

    His saving grace appears to be that he is ” home grown” and one or two supporters like Wilson think that he is still young enough “to grow out of his mistakes” and fulfil his “potential”.

    Personally I don’t think that will be the case. He does not remind me of Almunia as many suggest but Jim Furnell who could on occasion make a spectacular save, but more often than not was an accident waiting to happen. In all probability Furnell was the worst goalkeeper to put on the jersey for Arsenal.

  3. Lee

    This is our year. I can feel it brewing. Total 97/98 feel
    Let’s get sneiderpuss in with a left winger and rip that title from the chavs

  4. Ashwin Gunner

    Pedro

    Le Grove is where i Land every moring errr.. Afternoon.. you are doing a great job Keep it up

    As for GK, i would not be sad at all if we let both our goalkeepers go.. They both are at an age where they have to play. they may well get a chance some where else.

    I really like Damián Martínez . He has a fantastic attitude and with right coaching he can become one of the best.. Atleast taht’s what i think..

  5. qna

    Sam, yeah agreed. That is steep. I think Liverpool had no choice. He is in the bracket of top class, but not yet proven. But anybody in this bracket of players (including Firmino himself) usually have options at bigger clubs or clubs playing in the CL. So Liverpool will have to pay overs in both transfer fee and salary when it comes to players in this bracket.

    This has been the ultimate value of Wenger’s 4th place trophy to us. It has allowed us to attract top players like Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez. Even Cech. But this has also been my argument for the last few years about us not spending on players. Because if we fall out of this status quo and let Liverpool in, then our respective status will very quickly reverse and we will have to be signing players like Firmino on these wages and fees instead of being able to sign the better players like Sanchez.

    Same goes for this transfer window. We are close enough to the title, that we should spend 100m to get it and when we win another league and look like the shit in the CL then we can attract the best players in the years to come.

  6. Doyindav

    Do Liverpool actually have a plan for the summer? Or are just going about buying any B level players they can drop £100K per week on.

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lol Firmino, poor Eagle. 40m euros is an awful lot of money for someone who isn’t as proven as established stars. I like him but when you consider proven players have gone for the same or less, it really shows you how turd the market is. Hard to find value for money.

    That said, very much a Rodgers play. If they can get Sturridge fit, Coutinho, Lallana and Firmino behind is very good (assuming Sterling leaves to City).

  8. Nasri's Mouth

    Vicky: our first signing

    We’ve signed a couple more youths already.

    I’m guessing we won’t announce it on .com till 1st of July.

    Definitely some rebuilding of the youth set up going on

  9. Sam

    “We are close enough to the title, that we should spend 100m to get it ”

    I think the moment the price of the players isn’t really the problem. The issue is that the players that can actually improve us and make take us to that real elite level have no incentives to join us

  10. vicky

    Brenda’s policy is simple. Sign 7-8 unproven but seemingly talented players. Even if 3 players turn out to be good, the team would have progressed. The good thing for him is most of his buys are free transfers or below 10m mark, so the risk is low.

  11. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Definitely some rebuilding of the youth set up going on”

    Not a surprise considering the amount we’ve let go.

  12. Romford Ozil Pele

    “The issue is that the players that can actually improve us and make take us to that real elite level have no incentives to join us”

    Pretty much. Also the fact there aren’t many elite level players about. This is why you hope the young talent you have can step up and become elite themselves. It’s always been Wenger’s way.

  13. qna

    Sam: I think the moment the price of the players isn’t really the problem. The issue is that the players that can actually improve us and make take us to that real elite level have no incentives to join us

    Yes, true. We are in pretty much the same situation as Liverpool, but we are a level up. We had to overpay for Ozil for this reason. For me it was worth it. Same thing goes with players like Verratti and Reus. Even if they hit the market they wont choose us over Madrid. So we either have to overpay in the transfer fee, to get the player to talk to us only and negotiate a deal. Or meet the fee and pay overs on the wage. Realistically if Madrid want Verratti or Reus, then we have virtually no chance. Same with Cavani or Benzema, if he becomes available the transfer fee will probably be fixed, but then we have to outbid City and United on wages – which again, we cant do due to our socialist wage policy tying up all our wages on guys like Arteta, Wilshere and Walcott. If we release Podolski, Arteta, Flamini and Diaby we actually do have a huge wage block that we can reallocate. But it sometimes feels like Wenger is more keen on bumping up his existing players salaries with any surplus.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    Romford Ozil Pele

    Our youth programme has been pretty poor in recent times when you consider that we were in second division of U21s and failed to get promoted.

    Our Under 18s were even were even worse and anchored at bottom of youth
    league.

    Jorge Bird who follows regularly our youth programme was not exactly ecstatic about the performance levels. I heard also from a local sports journalist that
    Arsenal’s programme is well behind that of Spurs. That tells you something
    about our so-called investment in youth.

  15. Wallace

    “Also the fact there aren’t many elite level players about. This is why you hope the young talent you have can step up and become elite themselves. It’s always been Wenger’s way.”

    yeah, go to work on Walcott and Welbeck and if another Cech-like situation develops with a striker…

  16. Sam

    “This is why you hope the young talent you have can step up and become elite themselves. It’s always been Wenger’s way.”

    I think it’s the only viable solution in football now. Glad to see Ivan and the club are putting a lot of their efforts/resources that way. Especially with the new home grown rules coming, we’ll need to have La Masia like academy soon.

  17. Nasri's Mouth

    @Vicky

    I read a good piece by a Liverpool blogger about the reality of transfers, how successful they are and the cliches that surround them

    How teams are always in need of 2-3 players to make them competitive for example.

    And if you sign 3 players, the chances are 1 will be a failure.

    Rodgers is hamstrung by a lack of real funds to spend, no CL football and too many other clubs looking at the top players. He’s on his last chance so he can’t waste time developing too many players, he needs them to hit the ground running. Ings and Milner know the league so they both make sense. Not so sure about Firminho. He’s an expensive signing (in fee and wages) but I’m not sure where he’ll play him.
    Liverpool have a tough start, and if they don’t hit the ground running the knives will be out for Brendan. With no Gerrard to steady the ship in the dressing room, it could be a hard place for Firminho to settle

  18. GoonerGaunty73

    the defence has made both keepers look better than they are, definitely in the case of Ospina. He only had one save to make against Swansea recently and managed to dive behind the line.
    Luckily it didn’t make any difference in the final league standings, but it could have.

  19. Nasri's Mouth

    Emiratestroller: That tells you something about our so-called investment in youth.

    And yet we have a lot of youth players coming through into the 1st team squad recently.

  20. Romford Ozil Pele

    Emirates – I don’t think you’ll find many arguing that our youth are pretty turd. The exciting prospects we have at U21 level have been bought (Crowley, Zelalem). Akpom is literally the one in recent times. That said, all our good youngsters already play for the first team. Bellerin, Gnabry, Coquelin all did their stint at reserve level. Wenger is probably one of the only managers still willing to give youth a chance. And I hope we can improve in this department with Jonker as due to a shortage of talent on the market, we may have to dip into our reserves.

  21. Sam

    “And yet we have a lot of youth players coming through into the 1st team squad recently.”

    I’d probably say we have been fairly good at producing players that go on to play in the lower leagues and for mid-bottom table prem teams but we have been quite lacking at producing players good enough to play at our level. But tbf not many academy’s bar maybe Barcelona have been able to do that.

  22. Gregg

    Decision time on the keepers. Is Martinez ready to be number 2 ? if not then he needs to get loaned out for experience. My guess is that it’s a final chance for Schezza. A chance to see whether he is ready to learn from a ‘great’ – mirror his professionalism, his attitude and habits. If he does that then he will be a decent keeper himself.

    I know Pedders has a downer on him and many others do and I understand why, but it’s worth remembering that RVP was a similar character when he was here and it was seeing how Bergkamp carried himself that led to change in attitude. Bottom line is if he can’t learn from Cech, then he can’t learn.

  23. Wallace

    qna

    “But it sometimes feels like Wenger is more keen on bumping up his existing players salaries with any surplus.”

    imagine your boss getting you all together one day and saying, ‘we’ve had a great few years people and made lots of money. i’d really love to give you all a slice of that, but instead i’m going to give it all to Slick Rico. a new guy from Panama who can do some crazy shit with powerpoint.’. how would you feel about that? you make Wenger looking out for his players seem like a character defect.

  24. Sam

    “My guess is that it’s a final chance for Schezza. A chance to see whether he is ready to learn from a ‘great’ ”

    I personally think its over for Schez now. Not because hes a bad keeper per se but because we should realistically look to get about 5 years of good service from Cech, meaning Schez will only play the odd CC of FA cup game which are not guaranteed.

    Don’t really see him improving without game time and I don’t he has the right attitude of temperament to succeed as an understudy.

  25. gazzap

    What I don’t like is Wenger giving all cup games to the sub standard keeper. what are we a charity now? We should be trying equally hard to win every game we play.

  26. Gregg

    I think Brenda is resigned to losing Sterling and this guy has come in to soften the blow, albeit he is a decent player in his own right. However it doesn’t really matter what they get up front, defensively they’re a shambles and until they address that then they won’t be troubling too many.

  27. Romford Ozil Pele

    Martinez is well worth a PL loan. From the news it sounds like Chesney will stay and Ospina will go. Do like what i’ve seen of Martinez.

  28. qna

    “This is why you hope the young talent you have can step up and become elite themselves. It’s always been Wenger’s way.”

    This only works if you have a good talent and scouting network. Its clear that Arsenal dont have that anymore. Like Emirates says, we have performed terribly in recent years.

    I think a more realistic policy for a club like Arsenal is to pick the fruit once they start to ripen, but before they hit their prime and move to one of the top 10 clubs in the world. To me that seems to be the age of around 22 years old. This season players that fit that bill include:

    Leno (GK), Gaya (LB), Fekir (AM/LW/RW), Calhanoglu (AM), Rugani (CB), Firmino (LW/RW), Depay (LW/RW), Laporte (CB), Dybala (CF), Vietto (CF), Kondogbia (CM), Imbula (CM) etc etc.

    Now these guys already have some premium built in, but if you can get them for between 10m to 20m, like many of these players have been valued at until very recently, then it is a sustainable model given our financial strength. We have Bellerin, who I think is in that category. Many of these players also have very affordable release clauses, we need to be able to get deals done before they are convinced to resign contracts etc. Personally, I am not very impressed with our whole transfer department. I think Dick Law doesnt do enough. We need to modernise our thinking and methods to keep pace with the clubs that do well in the market.

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    @sam

    We probably have about £90m+ worth of players in our squad that have come through from our youth. That’s pretty good really

  30. Romford Ozil Pele

    “What I don’t like is Wenger giving all cup games to the sub standard keeper. what are we a charity now? We should be trying equally hard to win every game we play.”

    Huh? Wenger has ALWAYS played his no.2 in cup games. Why is this a surprise? It’s hard enough finding a decent no.2 that’ll sit on the bench in most situations. You have to be able to appease them too. It’s all part of squad management.

  31. Nasri's Mouth

    RP: Lol I bet there’ll be a Firmino vs Depay debate next season.

    I imagine Liverpool fans will manage to shoehorn a Firminho is better than Ozil one in there too somehow

  32. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Leno (GK), Gaya (LB), Fekir (AM/LW/RW), Calhanoglu (AM), Rugani (CB), Firmino (LW/RW), Depay (LW/RW), Laporte (CB), Dybala (CF), Vietto (CF), Kondogbia (CM), Imbula (CM) etc etc.”

    The ones who have gone have all gone for over £20m. In Depay and Firmino, we have Alexis. Dybala and Vietto are both great but the question is whether they can lead the line by themselves? We play a single striker system. Neither have shown that they can play this role. Both have played with/off a partner.

    Imbula interests me, as does Fekir,. No need for Laporte, especially at the price touted when we have Gabriel and Chambers.

  33. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I imagine Liverpool fans will manage to shoehorn a Firminho is better than Ozil one in there too somehow”

    Lol they’ve probably already started tbh.

  34. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Andy Carroll still remains the record signing at Liverpool. Embarrassing!”

    They also spent £20m each on Downing and Henderson.

  35. qna

    Wallace: imagine your boss getting you all together one day and saying, ‘we’ve had a great few years people and made lots of money. i’d really love to give you all a slice of that, but instead i’m going to give it all to Slick Rico. a new guy from Panama who can do some crazy shit with powerpoint.’. how would you feel about that? you make Wenger looking out for his players seem like a character defect.

    Yes mate. It is a character defect. If all slick rico can do is power point then my boss needs to be given the sack and be replaced by someone who can recruit genuinely talented employees. Then if that person is going to take the club to the next level then he should get a bigger pay than the guys that are already there.

    Your thinking is just wrong Wallace. You are living in a bubble. You need to widen your gaze and look at how football clubs operate broadly. There is no such thing as parity in wages. Every club has a limited amount of wages and the club will need to maximize the use of that. This means making decisions on football terms, not based on loyalty or some other ideal. Ultimately how you spend the wages must be judged on the results and the results of the socialist wage policy are that we can maintain a status quo of CL football, but get nowhere near the title. The minute we break the socialst wage policy with guys like Ozil and then Sanchez, we see a breakthrough and win a couple of trophies, but we are still no closer to winning the main trophies that the club is responsible for trying its earnest to win.

  36. DUIFG

    Surely this is curtains for Sterling then.

    Good buy from liverpool there, about the best they could have done given their situation.

    They needed a decent buy after the dross ofilner, ings and that charlton lad

  37. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: Now these guys already have some premium built in, but if you can get them for between 10m to 20m, like many of these players have been valued at until very recently, then it is a sustainable model given our financial strength.

    That’s fine, except your argument falls down when look at how much these players ARE going for.

    Dybala £28m
    Firminho £22-29m
    Depay £24m
    Kondogbia £26m

    Fekir wont be sold for £10-20m either

    I’m sure if we could have snapped up Kondogbia for £15m we would have, but he simply wasn’t available at that price

  38. Dark Hei

    Stroller

    I will have to quote Untold about this, I know they are nutters, but they brought up a very good point.

    Remember Alex Manninger? At one point during the 97-98 season, he came on for Seaman who was out for 6 games. In those 6 games, he conceded ZERO goals. But when Seaman was fit, he went straight back into the team.

    In other words, when it comes to goal keeping, perhaps it is more than the stats. They also made a good point about Vito Mannone being player of the season at Sunderland and subsequently became a bench warmer in the following one.

  39. qna

    ROP. I wasnt giving a list to sign. I was saying that our youth policy doesnt work because our recruitment network doesnt work. The best we can come up with is to raid Barcelonas.

    So instead of that, we need to look at player that have already started to ripen. We need to focus on signing players like I listed while they a) have reasonable release clauses – eg. Laporte, Gaya and Vietto until recently and Leno even now – or b) during the middle of (winter), or just before they have their break out season that sees their premium sky rocket.

    Or we need to go back to the drawing board and see why we didnt scout the players on this list earlier and have them break out while they are signed to us, but possibly on loan to another club.

  40. Nasri's Mouth

    @qna

    Why do you assume we haven’t scouted them?

    We scout 100s of players, chances are, we’ve looked at all those on your list

  41. qna

    Nasri: “That’s fine, except your argument falls down when look at how much these players ARE going for.

    Dybala £28m
    Firminho £22-29m
    Depay £24m
    Kondogbia £26m
    Fekir wont be sold for £10-20m either

    I’m sure if we could have snapped up Kondogbia for £15m we would have, but he simply wasn’t available at that price”

    Like I said, we need to have a policy looking to get them at the right time, or when they still have a good release clause. It requires us to have a better scouting network than we have.

    But I think the policy still works even if we are buying at that price. At 22 years old, we have an extra 4 years with the player, than buying an Ozil/Sanchez at 26. If we add 2 of these 22 year olds for £50m every summer transfer window, and cycle out 2 older post-prime players that maybe still can fetch £10m, then that is sustainable. Guys like Dybala and Vietto will be on reasonably low salaries too, so you can use the surplus salary to up the salary of the existing players who have earnt improved contracts.

    Obviously you still need a youth policy and hopefully some of these come through to the first team as well – but its folly to be reliant on this.

  42. Gregg

    Agreed, If we wanted Martinez we’d have got him last year instead of Welbeck.

    Doubt we had much interest in Kondogbia either, despite the media stories.

  43. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    Hello Porto, would you consider selling Martinez for £15m?

    “oh hi Arsene, well, we’re looking for around £25m and Jackson himself would like around £100k a week, but I’m sure we can structure the deal in a way that would be more appealing to you, what do you think?

    Arsene ? Arsene ? are you there? I think we have a crossed line, all I can hear is someone laughing”

  44. Sam

    “Doubt we had much interest in Kondogbia either, despite the media stories.”

    Think anytime we scout a player, it immediately means we wanted to sign them desperately.

    Now we wait for all the @Martinez snubs Arsenal’ articles

  45. DUIFG

    Ye never looked likely martinez, bween around for ages.

    just hope our lack of interst is a simply to do with him rather that a general lack of st interest

  46. qna

    NM: Why do you assume we haven’t scouted them?

    It doesnt matter who we have looked at. It matters on who we have taken positive decisions on and how they have turned out. Scouting top talent and passing on them is even worse in my book.

    It is not easy to scout talent. I have never said it was. But nothing at elite level sports is easy. So if we dont have good people, we need to get the right people and pay them what they are worth.

  47. Romford Ozil Pele

    “oh hi Arsene, well, we’re looking for around £25m and Jackson himself would like around £100k a week, but I’m sure we can structure the deal in a way that would be more appealing to you, what do you think?Arsene ? Arsene ? are you there? I think we have a crossed line, all I can hear is someone laughing”

    Heh.

    The media will then throw stuff in like ‘Arsenal snubbed by Jackson’ or ‘Arsenal unwilling to meet Jackon’s clause’.

    Surprised Atletico themselves paid 35m euros for him. Would imagine with him and Vietto in that’s their business done.

  48. Nasri's Mouth

    @qna

    The problem with your plan is that however good our scouts are at spotting young talent, they’re very unlikely to be as good as the clubs trainers who see the player day in day out.

    Add into the mix that many more clubs are scouting much more seriously now.

    So if we try a sneaky bid of £15m for Kondogbia 2 seasons ago, we find we’re already in a queue of half a dozen other clubs all trying the same tactic, and all being told the same thing

    ‘Thanks, but no thanks, we know exactly how good a player we have, and we’re going to keep him for 2 more seasons until he reaches his potential. That way we maximise our earnings, and we have a very good player on our books for 2 more seasons’

  49. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream – I don’t think so. I’ve seen this situation a lot over the years. X player likes Arsenal/X player supports Arsenal = Arsenal interest according to the media. Wenger isn’t gonna buy a 29 year-old striker. That i’m sure of.

  50. Sam

    It seems we’ve reached a consensus on here that our transfer business should now be focused on getting in another DM and then waiting it out for an elite striker (Big Benz) or an elite ‘too good to turn down’ talent like Reus?

  51. Dream10

    Atletico have bought Jackson and Vietto. There were rumours earlier in the summer that Chelsea were interested in Griezmann. Makes sense for both parties. AM make a profit and Chelsea add another goalscorer to complement Diego Costa

  52. Keyser

    qna – You’ve already placed us above Liverpool, but in a similar position.

    We get it at both ends.

    We have to pay over the odds to attract these players over other teams, but when it comes to the youngsters you also have to pay them enough to keep them at the club, instead of them being picked off.

    There’s been little wrong with our wage policy and it’ll only spread further as we spend more.

  53. Gregg

    It seems we’ve reached a consensus on here that our transfer business should now be focused on getting in another DM and then waiting it out for an elite striker (Big Benz) or an elite ‘too good to turn down’ talent like Reus?

    Yep absolutely

  54. Nasri's Mouth

    @Jim Lahey

    Could be even less than that, but that’s four 16/17 year olds we’ve brought in this summer already, from France, Romania and Greece.

    Looks like we’re making a decent attempt to bring in some youth talent.

    And the 2 things to remember are

    1) In the grand scheme of things, they’re very cheap, so as long as they reach a decent level of football such as championship, we’ll make a profit on them.

    2) If we get 1 player a season into the first team from the youth set up, that’s a very good return really

  55. Keyser

    I think people are bit off about our Youth really.

    We’ve actually done quite well.

    Bellerin as an example was a winger at Barcelona, when he moved over, I’m not sure he was directly part of the Fabregas transfer, but Barcelona did want to insert a buy-back clause, we sold them Fabregas and made sure no clause was inserted into Bellerin’s contract.

    People don’t seem to be able to compare us to other teams, or appreciate how deep a process it is.

    Wilshere’s been with us something like 13 years, when Jonker came in there was a pretty big overhaul, hence we moved on 20 odd players.

  56. Nasri's Mouth

    Looks like summer has finally come. I’m sitting here sunbathing on my balcony, drinking juice and listening to music.

    (A big two fingers to all of you sitting in the office 😉 )

  57. Dark Hei

    Gregg

    I think the term “DM” means different things to different folks.

    I would want a deep lying midfielder who can pass the ball and remain disciplined in position. A Xabi Alonso figure.

    Some folks wants a big black guy who is one hell of a meat tank. A Kondogbia figure.

  58. Jim Lahey

    @NM – Yeah I have no problem with us bringing in great young talent, its exactly what we should be doing. Just a bit tired of hearing people hype these kids to death, we have had so many wonderkids thats have failed to produce.

    If I remember correctly we beat off Europe’s elite to sign Senderous at the time! He was the next big thing in football! Sometimes it just doesn’t work out like that.

    All credit to the club, just tired of the media.

  59. Keyser

    NM – No really sure we have, it could just be us fleshing out the age groups, because of all the players we’ve moved on.

    Also :

    – I think the youth process in other countries may be more dependable.
    – The age at which Youth and then Reserve players are expected to move over into say the first team went down quite a bit.

  60. Leedsgunner

    I wish we were as expedient at signing first teamers as we seem to be in signing youth talent… oh well, only time will tell whether they are good enough. If they are, I hope by then we will have a EPL and a UEFA Champion’s League trophy to convince them to stay. Nothing is more irritating than seeing a youth player develop into a WC talent only then for him to p*ss off elsewhere because he wants to win things.

    Back to back FA Cups has to be a start and not an end in itself and a platform for us to mount a serious crack at the EPL title and the Champion’s League.

  61. Dream10

    Agree with qna that we should pick the fruit before it ripens.

    We’re a second tier club who needs to buy astutely in the 18-23 category or wait for an elite castoff.

    Leno, Gaya, Mustafi (long term replacement for Per), Kovacic, Imbula, Carvalho, Bernardo, Vietto need to be signed before they move to a tier two English club (Liverpool,Spurs,Everton) or even a similar club abroad (Valencia,Atletico,Dortmund,Juventus).

  62. Nasri's Mouth

    Dark Hei: Some folks wants a big black guy who is one hell of a meat tank

    I do, but that’s nothing to do with football

  63. Leedsgunner

    As for jokes, imo, ROP’s gag yesterday… you Petr Cech yourself was better. 😉 Pedro, don’t give up the day job just yet.

  64. Blsany

    Am i the only that rates -.Firmino,Kovacic,Gomez.Good luck to Brenda he has no other option but to put all his eggs on youngsters.

  65. Nasri's Mouth

    @Keyser

    Could be, looks like the 2nd part of the process, get rid of the ones that will never make to clear space for some that might.

  66. Nasri's Mouth

    Leedsgunner: I wish we were as expedient at signing first teamers as we seem to be in signing youth talent…

    Dunno, I imagine the risk assessment takes a little longer when you’re sorting out a £40m deal compared to a £1m one

  67. Blsany

    “(A big two fingers to all of you sitting in the office )”

    you cheeky bastard don’t choke on your juice ( ˘︹˘ )

  68. Keyser

    Jim Lahey – I kind of like that, not he hype, but that’s everyone really, all aspects of football.

    Just someone like Wilshere, or now Coquelin/Bellerin, you can see how they’ve progressed.

    When Setanta covered our reserve games, it was awesome watching a full stadium at Barnet welcome Eduardo back, even if it was the kids/reserves.

  69. Leedsgunner

    Blasny

    Unless the old Soton first XI suddenly play like they did before they moved to Liverpool, I give Brenda until Christmas. The truth is Suarez and Sturridge made Brenda, who is average at best, look better than he is.

    Well, if he is really good the first 10 games of the upcoming season will be the test… because he will be tested. How they do is of little consequence anyway, they are the Tottenham of the North, small minded club with even small minded fans. The reason why it has the exposure it does in this country is because our media loves ex-LFC players for some reason.

    If Brenda goes as I suspect he will, all those players he’s signed this summer will want out. Then we can just pick off the ones worth picking…

  70. Nasri's Mouth

    @Gregg / Jim Lahey

    They got an awful lot for selling Suarez too, and there’s an awful lot of money swilling around in the PL now.

  71. Leedsgunner

    “Dunno, I imagine the risk assessment takes a little longer when you’re sorting out a £40m deal compared to a £1m one”

    Don’t know whether you meant this as a snide remark, but in this electronic age, where information is sent around the world in a blink of an eye, I suspect there isn’t much about a £40m player we don’t know already. By the virtue of being a £40m being he will be well known to most coaches and scouts at the big clubs.

    I suspect more often than not, it’s not the due dilligence that takes the time but the people in between agents and what not who try to get in the action.

  72. qna

    Keyser: I think people are bit off about our Youth really.

    As usual, blind optimism that is out of touch with reality. The only top player from the youth system that we have in recent times is Bellerin and he was poached from Barcalona after they had done the hard work of developing him.

    Wilshere is not recent. We did have a good scouting network, everyone knows that RVP, Fabregas etc etc. But the football world got wise, learnt from us and got better than us. They have left us for dust. We have not brought through a top player from our youth system in many years except for Bellerin. Its highly debatable whether Coquelin is at the level of top class. He is doing a job and doing it well, but is he at the level of Kondogbia etc? I dont think so.

    Akpom etc wont make it. Nor will Chambers or Welbeck or Jenkinson. I wouldnt call Gibbs a failure, but he is the prime example of what we can expect to get out of our youth system. Not skillful enough, not tactically smart enough – a squad player at best. Worth our efforts, but will not help us to achieve the lofty ambitions of the 8th richest club in the world. Looks like we will be adding Szchezeny to that list pretty soon.

  73. Dissenter

    Liverpool overpaid for Firmino, might be lack-of -CL premium or that they had to pay off his third party owners.

    I read Romford saying that he’s not an established international, true but he’s Brazilian and they have enough quality players to field 2-3 international teams.

    This is probably the type of players they should have been seeking.

    I agree that there’s an element of risk because he could very well be another Firmino.
    He’s strong, tackles hard and just seems more suited to the English game than most Brazilians.

  74. Wallace

    qna

    “The only top player from the youth system that we have in recent times is Bellerin and he was poached from Barcalona after they had done the hard work of developing him.”

    we snaffled him at 16. there’s a whole heap of 16yr old footballers who look like they might be world beaters. if they’re still looking great at 20 then you’re talking.

  75. Emiratesstroller

    Nasri’s Mouth
    Romford Ozil Pele

    Coquelin is no longer a chicken. I think that he is now 23+ and has quite a lot of senior experience.

    I do think that both Bellerin and Gnarby are potential major stars. Bellerin made a major breakthrough this season, but Gnabry on the evidence of what I
    saw in previous season could be world class. I would like to see him kept at
    Arsenal and show what he can do this season.

    However, the real point I wish to make is that our youth programmes should be able to stand on their own two feet with or without these players. They should be competitive with clubs like Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea at youth
    level. At the moment we are not.

  76. Nasri's Mouth

    @Leedsgunner

    From a financial POV you’d have to do a lot more research into a big transaction than a small one. And from a playing angle you’d want to spend as long as possible making sure your potential new signing will fit into your side as efficiently as possible. No point in buying a potentialy very good target man like Balotelli if your game plan is all about pace and passing, and he turns out to be a arsebrain.

    Added to that, any negotiations will be considerably more lengthy, numbers of clauses and bonuses and details. and there is more likely to be more input from other parties who are interested in the player

  77. Dissenter

    The Cech deal won’t be sealed until Chelsea sign a replacement for Cech.
    That’s where Mourhino will seek to have his pound of flesh. He can take his time and help SLOW down the deal.
    I understand he’s set the bar very high for the replacement keeper; has to be at par with Cech in stature, problem is which quality keeper will want to warm the bench for Courtois?
    When Chelsea announce they’ve signed a replacement keeper, then the deal is sealed.

  78. Keyser

    qna – Like I said off.

    Do you not question why soo many of Barcelona’s youngsters leave ? Or how many make it elsewhere, they have a massive operation, we couldn’t really operate at that level for numerous reasons, these players are talented but not close to being fully developed.

    Bellerin played as a winger for the majority of his time there. It took another 3 years in the reserves, and he still isn’t completely ready.

    Pressures are different over here, the surprise isn’t that Bellerin has made it, the surprise is that Bellerin on his own is more than most other teams produce.

    That was neither blind optimism, or out of touch with reality, it’s just the truth really.

  79. Leedsgunner

    “Akpom etc wont make it. Nor will Chambers or Welbeck or Jenkinson. ”

    What’s the definition of “making it?” If making it is being included in a EPL first team regularly I would say they have already made it. If you mean WC future Balon d’Or contender, you’re probably right.

    To say those all those players will not make it is unnecessarily negative in my opinion.

    Jenks’ case is very interesting actually. I think he is a shift and a symbol of change in our loan policy. Largely before Jenks, players sent out on loan were done so because the manager didn’t see a place for them in the squad, ie. they were considered failures (Park, Denilson, Chamakh etc). I think Jenks is different though. He, like Coquelin has taken the loan seriously and used it to develop into a better player.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Akpom gets another loan to a EPL side to help him develop,. Perhaps influenced by Coquelin’s experience, Wenger seems like he’s now going to use the loan as a symbol of faith and not rejection.

  80. qna

    Wallace: we snaffled him at 16. there’s a whole heap of 16yr old footballers who look like they might be world beaters. if they’re still looking great at 20 then you’re talking.

    But they wont Wallace. They wont be world beaters. Our Youth recruiting has been failing to spot and develop these players for many years now. The last top talent that we developed before Bellerin is probably Wilshere and even he doesnt make the best 11 of a premier league winning side.

  81. qna

    Keyser: Do you not question why soo many of Barcelona’s youngsters leave ? Or how many make it elsewhere, they have a massive operation, we couldn’t really operate at that level for numerous reasons, these players are talented but not close to being fully developed.

    Because Barcalona are very successful at player development and the line for first team is very long. It is often better for their development to move to a club where they can get first team football.

  82. qna

    Leeds: What’s the definition of “making it?” If making it is being included in a EPL first team regularly I would say they have already made it.

    No making it is not being in the first team of an EPL team. That shouldne be anyones definition of making it. Making it means being in the first 11 of a side that wins big trophies. The PL and CL. If not winning the CL, then regularly progressing to the SFs and finals. None of our players have “made it”, which is why we had to go out and get Ozil and Sanchez, and now Cech. Even with Cech we will be short of the above this season.

  83. Nasri's Mouth

    @ES

    I guess it depends what you want from the youth side. If you want it to win medals and compete, then it’s an abject failure, and has dropped alarmingly in the last few seasons.

    If you want it to provide players for the first team squad then it’s as successful now as it’s been for a long time

    Szczesny
    Martinez

    Gibbs
    Bellerin
    Hayden

    Wilshere
    Coquelin
    Zelalem
    Bielik

    Gnabry
    Akpom

    I could add Jenks to that list too, but he’s on loan and was 19 when we signed him.

    All came through at practically no cost. That’s a big benefit to the team.

  84. Nasri's Mouth

    Dissenter: The Cech deal won’t be sealed until Chelsea sign a replacement for Cech.

    I don’t think it’ll take much longer now.

  85. Keyser

    qna – It’s successful because they constrict the league, because it’s bigger than most other clubs in their league.

    You won’t get that over here, because Arsenal don’t have the dominance, there’s probably 5-6 teams who could invest as much time and effort as us in their Youth side.

    Pressures are different.

  86. Wallace

    qna

    you missed my point. you implied Barca should take the credit for Bellerin. i’m saying not many brilliant 16yr olds develop into brilliant 20yr olds. Arsenal and Wenger deserve a lot of credit for Bellerin.

  87. Arsene's Nurse

    Nasri’s Mouth
    June 24, 2015 09:24:00

    @RP

    Hello Porto, would you consider selling Martinez for £15m?

    “oh hi Arsene, well, we’re looking for around £25m and Jackson himself would like around £100k a week, but I’m sure we can structure the deal in a way that would be more appealing to you, what do you think?

    Arsene ? Arsene ? are you there? I think we have a crossed line, all I can hear is someone laughing”
    ———————————————————————————-
    I think all the calls to Wenger’s phone get handled in the same manner as big companies:

    Congratulations you have reached the phone of Arsene Wenger:

    If you are wishing to discuss the selling of a player press 1 . Thank you for selecting 1. If your player costs less than £15m press 1, if your player costs more than £15m press 2, if your player is a French African with a long injury record press 3, if you are Salomon Kalou or his agent press 4, etc.

  88. Leedsgunner

    “Making it means being in the first 11 of a side that wins big trophies. The PL and CL. If not winning the CL, then regularly progressing to the SFs and finals. None of our players have “made it”, which is why we had to go out and get Ozil and Sanchez, and now Cech. Even with Cech we will be short of the above this season.”

    Fair enough, I think you’ve set the bar extremely high… so high that I don’t think there is a EPL side that would satisfy your requirement. If this is the case, I trsut that you have no problems with sides like Man City and Chelsea therefore going into the transfer market to get the players they need? Because frankly speaking Man City and Chelsea have fewer players that have “made it” by your definition. Not trying to pick a fight by the way… just saying we can’t have it both ways.

    I happen to think that our youth program although not the best, we are definitely not the worst. Plus, the players that you have mention as “not making it” are still very young. Whose to say in years to come they won’t win trophies with the Arsenal. Having pros like Sanchez, Özil, Cech and Cazorla can only be good for their development. I wouldn’t write them off so quickly myself, but hey that’s just me.

  89. steve

    “I agree that there’s an element of risk because he could very well be another Firmino.”

    Who could?

  90. Bamford10

    Wow, the way he stands at attention during his national anthem. Impressive. Real promise there. Can’t wait to see this kid stand at attention in a cup match six years from now.

  91. Keyser

    Bamford blood at the bottom of the picture towards the left, obviously once you’ve clicked play, there’s this little circlular button thingy that you can drag along, it allows you to time travel.

  92. Bamford10

    Actually, the kid does look promising. On top of technique you can see he has real pace and athleticism as well. Would be better if he were already 2, though, as we need an understudy to Ozil.

  93. leon

    if ospina were to i think it be a shame he is a really good keeper just not very best but he is far to good to be sitting on the bench he wants to play. on the striker situation i can understand why wenger did not push to hard on the martinez deal, at 29 if he does not work out not much re-sail value at 30 wenger needs someone between 23-27 who can score 25-30 goals

  94. Le Prof

    qna

    ‘I think Dick Law doesnt do enough. We need to modernise our thinking and methods to keep pace with the clubs that do well in the market..

    What make you qualified to judge whether or not Dick Law does his job well enough? I’d say he seemed to do a pretty good job last summer.

    Which clubs ‘do well’ in the market out of curiosity? What the clubs that pay extortionate agents fees and/or inflated transfer fees.

    We don’t have an endless pot of money where we can freely spend £100m every summer we need to get value and be efficient in who we buy.

    II’ll ask your age again because yet again you seem very naive in your expectations in relation to the reality of our particular situation, not Chelsea’s, Man City’s or Man U’s but ours.

  95. Blsany

    Anyone saw Rio Ferdinand stirring race issues in Under 21 England camp?.Its big news over here.He fucking has to shut the fuck up.

  96. Blsany

    leeds
    Agreed mate.I ll be keeping a close eye on kovacic this season i really rate that boy.Why are they letting Brenda spunk all this money then if he might not be in their future longterm plans?

  97. Le Prof

    Nasri

    ‘‘Thanks, but no thanks, we know exactly how good a player we have, and we’re going to keep him for 2 more seasons until he reaches his potential. That way we maximise our earnings, and we have a very good player on our books for 2 more seasons’’

    What? You mean the transfer process isnt as easy as deciding what player you want and approach their club, offer them over market value and get them anytime you want?

    Who’d of thought it?

  98. Carts

    ‘Can I ask a question… How do liverpool have £30m to drop on a player while they are redeveloping their ground?’

    Liverpool probably only spent £20m net last year on deals.

    Redevelopment of infrastructure is separate to squad investments – hence why FFP didn’t factor in City’s huge redevelopment of that mini stadium etc.

    Liverpool will amorticise(?) the cost of Firmino over the duration of his contract. £25m + £3m pa x 5 years= £40m / 5 years = £8m pa. (Circa)

    Amiright doe? Amiright?

  99. Carts

    Depending how highly iliev and Martinez are rated will likely determine the plight of Ospina and Ches…

    Besides that horror show v Reading some seasons ago, Martinez seems to have improved. Seriously, lodge both Ospina and Ches and start it again with Cech and Martinez.

  100. Jay

    Not getting too excited about the Cech deal. Don’t think he’s as good as he once was (not as good as the excitement indicates anyway) but definitely better than what we’ve got

  101. Gregg

    @Jay,

    Buffon, Vand Der Sar, Seaman. Aside from those few keepers play for top,top sides beyond their mid thirties. He may join that band but I think realistically we should only expect two or three seasons from him

  102. Moe

    Anyone thought about how injuries kinda helped keep our squad happy. Gave people like Coquelin, welbeck, Bellerin, nacho and even chambers etc opportunities to play whilst those they replaced couldn’t complain too much cos they were out with injury as per usual arsenal season. However, if we’ve really overcome our injury issues as suggested by second half of season, gonna have load of unhappy players not even making the bench

    Assuming we maintain the fitness of Giroud, sanchez, ozil, chamberlain, coquelin,Cazorla and our back 5, that leaves Sczscesny, Gabriel, gibbs, Bellerin, Ramsey, Walcott, welbeck on the bench. Not even counting the couple of potential additions, that leaves so many names out of matchday squad (Captain Arteta, wilshere, chambers, rosicky,Gnarby etc) unless they have a decent cup run and become our cup team . There were already mutterings of discontent from Ramsey, Walcott and rosicky last season.

    To maintain happiness with playing time, either our squad may need a cull (very risky if the fitness we saw last half of the season may have been false dawn) or we need very decent cup run in league cup (1st half of season) then our trophy in the middle to second half of season.

  103. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lol I’ve only just realised that Firmino looks like a cross between Miley Cyrus and Neymar.

  104. Arsene's Nurse

    Keyser
    June 24, 2015 10:50:59

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/17/arsenal-place-trust-arsene-wenger-army-statdna-data-analysts
    ——————————————————-
    Interesting. I found this bit to be particularly true;

    “The analysis that it [StatDNA] undertakes is highly technical and IT-based. Therefore, the true value of the operation is in its proprietary data, its computer programmes, its algorithms, its analysis methodologies, which it has developed and owned, and its people.”

    as I’ve had extensive experience with propriety data; designing test programs to generate it, managing the ongoing tests, analysis of the generated data and presentation of that data through the companies then ageing 1970s database and in put in to the development of a new database (ran into tens of millions) to replace the old one.

    In any one year I was responsible for around a million quids worth of ongoing test programs and I wasn’t the only one doing it as the company had other divisions handling other projects. The propriety data the company owned must have been worth over a billion pounds. There was data that had been generated during WWII, all lovingly hand drawn on graph paper and catalogued in leather bound books that had to be kept as a record to back that individual computer database record.

    Owning a firm that has this capability gives Arsenal the ability to get specific data that may not be available from other analytical companies. Probably cheaper in the long run because you then own the data and the processes which are worth lots of moolah.

  105. relieable sauce

    The only thing we know for certain is that if we sign Cech it will be as 1st choice.
    By picking WS for the final I’d guess that Wenger hasnt totally given up on him, at that time anyway.
    How has he responded to our pursuit of Cech though & will he accept a bit part role or loan deal? Will he take his medicine, show some professionalism & some marked improvement?

    If we were offered £10m+ I’d be ok with selling him and going with Cech/Martinez.