Defenders expensive and cheap move as Arsenal continue to sit on hands

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Well, some good news that isn’t really great news is that Gabriel is apparently only out for 6-8weeks. You know, the same sort of ‘it’s not serious’ injury news we had about Danny Welbeck last season. Or the Jack Wilshere news a few seasons back. Or the Tommy V news a few years back.

We’ve been here before with Arsenal underestimating injuries… then paying a heavy price. Why is it not that great? Well, as much as I want to love Gabriel, he’s been a car crash so far and has rarely looked anything beyond average.

So who is moving?

Ok, so Ashley Williams has moved to Everton for £12m. The Welshman has been super for Swansea and Wales over the past few seasons, he’s very experienced, if not a bit slow… but most importantly, Ronald Koeman thinks he’s a good defender, which tells you a pretty potent story.

Who else has moved? John Stones, ball playing centre-back has made his way over to Manchester city in a £40m move. Again, exactly the sort of player we could easily afford, a player who will likely be a rock of England’s defence for the next ten years, a player we’ve passed on because it’s not like we don’t need a 6ft2 classy centre back that’s 22 years old.

But brace yourself kiddies… it’ll be Mustafi or Jonny Evans. Now, Jonny Evans could be the next Silvestre, or he could be an Ashley Williams or Wes Morgan. Tony Adams was classed as a donkey when he was younger. We just don’t like it that he didn’t tear up trees at United. Nor did Hernandez, then he went on to become one of the most potent strikers in Europe. This idea that just because you’re moved on by a big club, you’re somehow shite is not smart.

Plenty of clubs from Europe fed off big club players last year and made them better. KDB was booted by Chelea a few seasons ago, Saleh went to Italy and did really well, Cuadrado went to Juve and did great things… so whilst I’m not thrilled about Mr Evans, I’m also not snobby enough to think he can’t do a job for us. There are plenty of good defenders in the Prem we turn our noses up at because they play for unfashionable clubs… I was ripped a few seasons ago for suggesting Williams, I’ve been told by countless people that John Stones is a terrible player, we were too good for Winston Reid… I banged the drum hard for Wes Morgan.

What, I did?

JUST JOKES. But remember, Thierry, Kanu and Overmars were all finished.

Clubs should be able to develop talent. If Steve Bould thinks he can develop Evans, why not?

Anyway, point is that we’re in a mess heading into the new season as we always are. Injuries happen, they always happen to us, but we don’t learn and we always go into the season underprepared.

Someone should sit down with Arsene and actually challenge him… Arsene, how have you not signed a striker in 5 summers? Why do you think that is? What can you learn from other managers?

Instead, we sit there and tolerate his rhetoric on treating ‘his’ clubs cash like ‘his’ own. That is, to let it depreciate every summer as he continues to dither and dally over what to do with it. Nothing smart about that. Why doesn’t someone in the press core get into the nitty gritty with him? Challenge him on his mistakes of the past? Far too cosy if you ask me.

The joke of our summer climax is people genuinely believe we’re going to pull off a Griezmann, Lewandowski or a Benzema.

For me, unless something completely crazy happens, those attempts are diffusion PR tactics… so the fans can say, ‘well, he tried’… I mean, honestly, think about it… Wenger tried for Vardy and failed, then tried for Lacazette… and we’re supposed to believe that now the summer is coming to an end he’s punting on 2 of the best players on the planet?

Do me a fucking favour…

But fans fall for it. Fans sing One Arsene Wenger… so what can we say?

Another summer of the same incompetence. Another summer of neglect. Another season of disappointment awaits.

Because best will in the world, you’re never winning the league with a squad that knows it’s not strong enough… or with Giroud as your main man.

… still, wrap yourself warmly in the ‘I’ll reserve judgement till 31st August’

Finally, because this internet is a never-ending fuck up of change, I’m having to put my content in new places to keep apace. I’ve partnered with 11versus11… so download it and get Le Grove in your app box every morning (they edit my content as well, so no spelling errors!).

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688 Responses to “Defenders expensive and cheap move as Arsenal continue to sit on hands”

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  1. Vince

    How reliable is Ed Aarons of the Guardian. He just tweeted this:
    Amid rumours of £35m Arsenal bid, told Riyad Mahrez’s agent had meeting with Leicester’s director of football John Rudkin today #lcfc #afc

  2. Cesc Appeal


    Agreed, seems a pretty basic point that I kept forwarding throughout the summer, prices are only going to go up, unless you are waiting for a miracle a ‘wait and see’ approach at finding value in this market is not smart.

    Look at Icardi, the figure talked about at the start of the summer was £35-38 Million, now Inter allegedly want closer to £50 Million.

    And it stands to reason, they only have a few weeks to find a replacement, they now the buyer is desperate and flush and really, they don’t want to be losing that player this late on.

  3. InsideRight

    Did I read correctly in the press that Wenger is wavering on Mustafi because he isn’t sure the player is of the right quality?

    Is he for real? Does he think the current stock of available defenders ARE of the right quality for a team aspiring to win the title?

  4. Leedsgunner


    “He was a fully fledged #10. What does Wenger go and do? shoves the man wide left, ffs”

    He then repeated the same mistake when he shoved Özil out wide so he could play his pet Wilshere in the #10 spot remember that? (during 4-1-MESS-1?)

    It’s to Özil great credit that he didn’t take offence and put in a transfer request then and there…

  5. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Wallace…Bony is a good striker? If regression is your thing then knock your socks off.

    He was barely decent at Swansea and marginal at ManCity. Bony being signed would be flat out desperation. Signing any decent defender is required to fill a gaping hole, but doing the same with Bony? That makes less than no sense.

  6. Vince

    More smokes from Giles Favard.
    “Mahrez soon to Arsenal.”

    For the sake of my sanity I hope these guys aren’t Gialuveini (no apologies for butchering the buffoons name) in disguise.

  7. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @InsideRight…”Does he think the current stock of available defenders ARE of the right quality?”

    Apparently, Yes!!!

    Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. What a misery it is to watch Wenger continue dithering.

  8. Rambo Ramsey

    “If you want quality people, you have to pay the amount of money”- Arsene Wenger.

    All I want to know is at what point will he start putting this special knowledge to practice.

  9. tunnygriffboy

    IF IF IF! we sign Mahrez and Mustafi that’s as good a window as we’ve had in a long time. 3 proper players, automatic starters unless being rested.

    No striker but we’ll have goal threats on either side of the striker. Hasten to add with a skillful footballer on the right then our strikers will have the chance to score more.

    You see I’m getti g excited and optimistic again. It’s just a huge IF should we get those two players .

  10. Carts


    Exactly; and tbf, being one of Ozil’s fiercest critics, I used to give him a torrid time around these streets for his shit performances while playing wide left.

    It’s like cooking a Chicago town pizza in the microwave as opposed to the oven – yeah it’s edible but you really shouldn’t do it if you genuine apprentice a well cooked pizza.

    Arshavin had every right to switch off and wait for pay day. Wenger fuckin ruined that guy in record time.

  11. Leedsgunner

    “Wenger unsure about Gunnner’s future.”

    Don’t get fooled. This is just a thinly veiled ego trip to get his supporters to come out of the woodwork and say bs like…

    “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”
    “Becareful what you wish for.”
    “We owe him this for what he’s done for the club.”
    “If not Arsene, who else is out there?”

    Wenger is owed nothing. He’s an employee of the club. If anything, he’s been given more time and money to do not very much.

    Arsenal made him who is today, not the other way around.

    No man, even Arsene is bigger than the club.

  12. Daz

    “It’s like cooking a Chicago town pizza in the microwave as opposed to the oven – yeah it’s edible but you really shouldn’t do it if you genuine apprentice a well cooked pizza.”

    Have to disagree Chicago town pizza is better in the microwave 🙂

  13. Carts

    “Have to disagree Chicago town pizza is better in the microwave :)”

    Soggy as fuck when eaten from the microwave.

  14. Leedsgunner

    No doubt though if we fail to sign anyone of note, the uncertainty over Wenger’s future will be used as an another excuse to why we couldn’t bring the big players in…

    Accountability is a dirty word at Arsenal isn’t it?

  15. Carts

    This time yesterday, Mahrez was signing for Chelsea though.

    Would Mahrez want to come to Arsenal…I’d imagine so. But then again, I find myself asking why that would be.

    London. CL football and money? yes

    Better players, and chance of winning major honours? hell no.

  16. Leedsgunner

    If we wanted Mahrez — the way to have done it is to put in that bid at the same time that we put in the bid to Jaime Vardy.

    That way we would have had all summer to look for alternates if it failed.. and perhaps persuade Vardy and Mahrez to move to Arsenal as a duo.

    If Mahrez is going anywhere it is to Chelsea. Kante is already there — and Mahjrez is not going to go to a club Vardy rejected. If it wasn’t good enough for Vardy why would it be good enough for him?

    It’s just another “I tried to sign” exercise in my opinion.

  17. Carts


    That a very good point you made there!

    I completely;y forgot Vardy told Wenger to fuck off.

    Vardy, you’d expect to be in Mahrez’s ear telling him to stay. While Kante is in the other ear telling him to wait for Chelsea.

    Lastly, IF we signed mahrez then I can’t see how Theo isn’t moved on, whether on loan or permanently

  18. tunnygriffboy


    If Mahrez signs Theo is our 2nd striker


    I think Vardy and Mahrez may be an either or. To be fair to Wenger he was at a function with other managers promoting the start of the PL. He had to do an interview and there were a lot of different football people there. Can’t really shoot him down for that.

  19. Joe

    ‘Up until 31 August anything can happen, but we’re really satisfied with the players that we’ve got. It’s very difficult to improve our squad.’

    Has a different ring to it when real
    Madrid say it compared to Wenger haha

  20. vicky

    Sorry but Vardy and Mahrez situations are not comparable at all.

    Vardy is from England, moving from one EPL club to another is not the same for an Englishman as it is for a foreigner. Foreigners don’t care much about the abuse/hostility when they switch clubs in England as their stint in the country is short-term.

    Secondly, Vardy has a couple of years of top-flight football left in him at a stretch. He would rather stay at Leicester and be recognized as an immortal club legend. Mahrez is far younger and he can achieve a lot many things if he moves to a bigger club. Surely he doesn’t see himself spending the rest of career at Leicester, no chance.

    So, I don’t believe Vardy rejecting Arsenal will play much in the mind of Mahrez.
    Although, I doubt Wenger will pay the money required to snap him.

  21. Red&White4life

    “No man, even Arsene is bigger than the club.”

    Well, that’s not the impression that we have since a decade…

  22. Joe


    Sky sources have told us that Arsenal have not made a £30m bid for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez.

    Reports in France this lunchtime stated that Leicester had rejected an approach from the Gunners.

    However, we understand that is not the case and the Premier League champions are determined to keep hold of the PFA Player of the Year.

  23. Dissenter

    Why will Leicester sell Mahrez to us so l;ate in the transfer window?

    The way we conduct our transfer business is a disgrace.
    What we are doing is really tire-kicking.
    It’s like when you put your old car up for sale on buy-and-sell [craigslist in the US] and some stupid buyer responds with a million questions.
    You know he’s not going to buy but is just going through the motions, kicking the tires and looking for scratches while making an unreasonable offer.

    We ought to just change that cannon on our crest to a wheel.
    Arsenal, we kick tires when others do the serious business.

  24. Dissenter

    Watch as Leicester publicly shoo us off buy setting a price they know will make us crapo out out trousers
    They’ve beaten us off already once this summer.

  25. Joe


    You mean 30+1 ?

    Wenger won’t pay a pound more than what he believes is the value of the player

    Anyway. Sky sports saying we didn’t make an offer.

    It’s all bollocks

    Remember Wenger can only do one thing at a time. Right now he is working on getting dojouro in on loan for the season

  26. Rambo Ramsey

    Lyon handing Lacazette a bumper new deal it appears. Hilarious how many times this happens. Arsenal express interest in a player,are involved in low balling to duly get slapped back with indignation from the other club, slither away without much fight, player signs new and improved deal with the club.

    The cynic in you wonders whether Arsenal are involved in some shady business here with the player. Help him get improved contract and get a cut out of that, like an agent.

  27. Leedsgunner

    The truth is, and it hurts me to say this, Arsenal is no longer a destination club. It’s a club that you go to if or when Man United, Chelsea or Man City reject you or don’t go for you. We’re a club you got to if you want to make a very comfortable living without the pressure of winning anything really important.

    We are no longer a top club in England, never mind London.

    I hate what Wengazidas and Kronke have done to our club. I really do.

  28. Daz

    “The cynic in you wonders whether Arsenal are involved in some shady business here with the player. Help him get improved contract and get a cut out of that, like an agent.”

    Its more likely the agent contacts arsenal telling them the player is available for £X, arsenal enquire about the player with club who reject the offer, agent then demands improved contract for player as they are wanted

  29. Paul Mc Daid

    Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham are all more progressive than Arsenal,
    Have to congratulate Wenger, He has us in Fourth Position again,
    But we better be careful, Crystal Palace are rapidly hunting us down.

  30. Leedsgunner

    As I feared — our transfer indecisiveness and inaction will push Özil and Sanchez out of the club.

    If that happens we are in pretty much the same place we were when RvP left the club. We will be a selling club again.

    I shouldn’t be surprised, after all we’re making the same mistakes.

    Where’s the escalation of financial firepower we were promised Ivan?

    “The only people at Arsenal spending money are the fans.”


  31. Leedsgunner

    “News that arsenal are going back with a bid of 35m for mahrez”

    They don’t need to sell to us. More importantly they don’t want to sell to us. Unlike our manager, they’re relishing playing in the Champion’s League and I would not be surprised if they punch above expectations and get out of the group stages at the first time of asking. If they are going to do that, they’re going to want to keep their best players.

    What’s Arsene’s plan for us in the Champion’s League I wonder.

    This second bid, if it is real, is just for show. Just to give Arsene a reason to say he tried to sign Mahrez.

  32. Joe


    It wouldn’t surprise me if they to better than us in the CL this season.

    Claudio is more clued in than Wenger is

  33. Bermy boy

    As we live and breathe Ozil and Sanchez will leave at the end of the season after watching their title ambitions flounder season after season.They are the last big name finished articles AFC will ever attract with their sustainability plan.I thought the guy burning his Arsenal jersey was a bit fuckin much ,not so sure now.

  34. Joe

    This second bid, if it is real, is just for show. Just to give Arsene a reason to say he tried to sign Mahrez

    The first bid wasn’t real and hasn’t happened

    Doesn’t leave much hope for the second bid


  35. Leedsgunner


    At the beginning of the summer he would have cost £40m. Had we paid it, we would have had an experienced striker… and a top up and coming midfielder. All we would have need to do was add a good defender.

    Lyon, like Leicester, don’t need to sell to us. More importantly they don’t want to sell to us. Unlike our manager, they’re relishing playing in the Champion’s League too. The price increase is because Wenger dithered. Is he going to make up difference?

    No we are.

    Arsene makes the mistakes. WE pay the consequences.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the reasons why our transfer deals take so long is simply, other clubs don’t want to deal with us. Wenger is a self righteous pompous time waster… I bet some clubs would sell to anyone else if it meant avoiding Arsenal because of Arsene.

    Who suffers? Not Arsene. He still gets paid regardless. Come rain or shine, he gets paid.

    Arsene makes the mistakes. WE pay the consequences.

    How is this progress in anyone’s book?

  36. Bergkamp63

    Wenger will be doing his usual on the last day of TW looking to pick up something cheap,

    Like a guy hanging around the reduced counter at the supermarket looking for anything that’s reached it’s sell by date in order to save a few pence !

  37. STV

    Wait what happened havevwe actually put in a bid? Yes 30m! apparently. and rightly rejected.

    But still a surprise. After 2 months of painstaking research and hardwork we actually tried to sign somebody!!

  38. STV

    Joe you can bet he’ll bid atleast 5m below their lowest valuation so that it ca n remain ‘almost signed’.

    Still it’s surprising to see him actually doing a part of the job he actually get paid 8m for rather than bigging himself up in the pressers..

    Up the Arse..

  39. Red&White4life

    ” our transfer indecisiveness and inaction will push Özil and Sanchez out of the club”

    I hope they will make the right decision for them, and decide to leave Arsène FC.

  40. Dissenter

    The cost of repairing the 4-6 seasons of transfer window bunglings will be colossal.

    The first manager after Wenger will have to spend the Chelsea/City/United transfer sums of money to rectify the years of under-investment in the squad.

    All that Gazidis talk is to protect Wenger. We are going to have to spend as everyone else to keep up after he leaves.

  41. Dissenter

    Has anyone else noticed how Leicester wont stop punching above their weight.
    They aren’t concerned to just hoard the money they’ve earned. They are re-investing it.
    Brazilian media are reporting that Leicester are close to signing Gabriel Barbosa [Gabigol] They made the highest offer to Santos and have offered him the highest wages.
    Is he coming to replace Mahrez or just an addition to their squad.

    It’s impressive that Leicester didn’t slither away like cowards onse they learned they were competing against Juventus and Inter Milan. Arsenal would have made the lowest offer and disappeared like mist on a summer day.

  42. Leedsgunner

    “”I am humble enough every day to question myself, to accept my mistakes, and believe me I do that,” (Wenger, March 2016)

    Qs for Wenger

    1. If you’re so humble why do you insist you have to be the highest paid at the club?
    2. If you’re so humble why do you keep blaming accidents and bad luck for your mistakes when they happen over and over again?
    3. If you’re so humble, why didn’t you offer your resignation when you lost the title race to Leicester? Who cares if you feel guilty now?
    4. Who cares if you accept your mistakes? You sure don’t learn from them.
    5. Who cares if you accept your mistakes? You’re not held accountable are you?

    If you have to tell people how humble you are, you really aren’t humble at all.


  43. Marko

    At least we’re in negotiations with Valencia for Mustafi. At least it’s something. Probably be it though…oh to be a gooner

  44. Leedsgunner


    You have to admire Leicester’s ambition and bravery. Bravo to the Foxes… you don’t hear Rainieri moaning about how difficult and unfair it is do you?

    They just get on with it.

    I wish we did.

  45. Leedsgunner

    Wenger May 2016: ‘We lost the title due to lack of goals’.

    Wenger August 2016: ‘”I believe that he has all the ingredients to be a great striker, because of the quality of his runs,” Wenger said.'” (On Walcott as a striker.)

    Is this Wenger’s solution to the lack of goals?

    Is Walcott a 17 year youngster? Why does Wenger speak about him if he is? He’s 27. He’s had 11 years to figure out what Theo does best.

    Theo Walcott – the world’s best paid work placement candidate.

    How is Theo Walcott the answer to anything?


  46. Daz

    “1. If you’re so humble why do you insist you have to be the highest paid at the club?”

    Does he insist this? I’ve genuinely never heard this

  47. STV

    Despite Mourinhos insults and despite being in an embarrassing position to talk about Wenger again had his say on the Paul Pogba deàl..

    “The value of a player is dependent on his talent, the expected strengthening of the team, his age and of course his resale value,” said Wenger.

    “When you speak about Pogba, it ticks all these boxes – but we are in a system that we don’t master. We have to follow the prices paid by other people. That has gone up because the availability of money is much higher. That’s why we may have crossed the £100m bar for the first time.

    “It makes the market more unpredictable,” he said. “Where you could approximately value a player before, today the identity of a club that comes in for a transfer is more important than the rest.

    “If you go to Spain and you’re an English club – straight away the inflation comes in. So I would say, in France the clubs, amongst themselves, are very reasonable. If an English club comes in, the price goes straight away up because they know there is money in England.”

    Sounds like Alexander Henry.. Real life troll

    Wenger is a wind-up. He’s stale and utterly useless. How can you expect yourself that you can comeup with bullshit like this year after year without actually doing your job!

  48. tunnygriffboy

    So it’s reported that we’re after Lewandowski or Griezeman ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Can’t make it up. I just don’t know what Wenger and the club are thinking. You’ve got to laugh or you’ll be crying for the next 9 months.

  49. Mark

    Fuck me Leedsgunner, you’re on fire today. I wish there was a way to email your posts directly to Wenger.

    What a total disgrace our transfer window is. As pointed out Leicester may well do.better than us in CL this year.

  50. STV

    Arsene cWenger surely have this unwritten rule that no player should be paid above him.. He’s nothing but a huge bad of ego. Totally useless.

  51. Daz


    I know he does earns more than anyone else but is that because he insists on it? Or just how it happens to be at the moment, I’m sure if ozil or Sanchez sign up to new deals they will surpass him

  52. Ozy

    A few days away from the first game of the season in yet another defensive injury crisis and all you hear about is how Arsenal are READY to bid 30 million for Mustafi … or are CONSIDERING Mustafi or Evans ..

    The incompetence is absolutely astounding.

  53. Dissenter

    Wenger will only react to negative developments so hoping our first three games gives him a lot to react to.

  54. Red&White4life

    “Watching this transfer window is enough to affect anyone’s blood pressure.”

    Yes but, compared to the fans of the other clubs, our blood pressure is very, very… low ??

  55. Leedsgunner


    One of the stories around the failed Mkhitarian transfer was that the player wanted £170k a week — and Wenger vetoed it because it would take Mkhitarian above Wenger in the wages and upset the whole socialist wage structure at the club.

  56. China

    What you lot have to remember is that we say we’re going for Evans or mustafi but I don’t recall there being any concrete evidence. These are names pulled out of a hat by newspapers and football sites which other papers and sites pick up and run with to generate stories

    How many players are we reportedly going for per summer? More than 20 lol. In reality we probably only bid for about 3.

    How many times have we seen protected transfer sagas where this or that player is nailed on, waiting to be unveiled in the next week, bla bla bla only to get a quote after 2 months of ‘negotiations’ that Arsenal have never been in touch or haven’t submitted a bid

    We genuinely might not be anywhere near signing the defenders we’ve been linked to. We might not even be interested in them.

    I don’t really know why in 2016 people still believe the ‘reports’. Making up transfer stories is an entire industry of its own now (look at tribal football lol). If the papers or websites say we preparing a bid for this guy, you lot do realise their source is ‘my m8 dave who once had to fix the squeaky door in the Emirates ladies’ restroom

  57. Chigooner


    I think even Wenger has come out and admitted that the socialist wage structure doesn’t work. Lately he’s been talking about the lower league players because and saying they have more passion and work harder because they aren’t millionaires as teenagers.

    Ironic, since the youth players used to always come to Arsenal because we paid the most. Ramsey would be at Man U if it wasn’t for Wenger and his paying the kids model.