Relax….be happy

by .



Morning all – James here, tasked with trying to cheer you miserable lot up.

So, after a summer of clamouring for the manager to make substantial additions to our squad, the events of yesterday evening should have appeased the clamours, however the news which broke last night of deals to sign Deportivo’s Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi was met with mixed emotions.

The first element of disgruntlement which I can totally empathise with is the lateness of the deals – I find it difficult to believe that Perez in particular was not attainable at the opening of the transfer window. My view is that Arsenal wanted to sign a megastar striker, but when it became clear it wouldn’t come off, Perez was there Plan B (or C, if you consider Jamie Vardy to be Plan A) striker. Several of the papers have come out this morning portraying Perez as a panic signing and that we have flip-flopped on him. Those far closer to the club than me say we have been scouting him for the last year or so. As far as I can tell, Perez represents a backup option, and I see very little wrong with that – we get pilloried for not having contingencies in place, yet are criticised when we implement our contingency plan.

I get that Perez is not the blockbuster striker we wanted, but the reality is if Madrid don’t want to sell Benzema, if Bayern want to keep Lewandowski, they are not the kind of clubs who can be strong-armed. Given the option of Perez or Lacazette, I think we have made the right decision (based on the little of Perez and substantial amount of Lacazette I’ve seen).

It may not be sexy, but sometimes pragmatism has to prevail. Perez’s career and profile is an interesting one, and as others have pointed out, he has trodden a similarly tumultuous path to that of a certain J. Vardy. He hasn’t followed the conventional route of the modern footballer, but has been something of a journeyman, plying his trade in the outreaches of Ukraine and more recently in Greece. Last season was the first in his career where people stood up and paid attention, with a seven game consecutive scoring streak bringing links to Barcelona in January. An outlay of 17 goals and 10 assists in the league in a struggling side is an impressive return.

His style of play is not dissimilar to that of Vardy, with a game based around high energy, speed and breaking the lines. My view is that whilst Perez is somewhat underwhelming in the context of the names some of bandied around, it adds depth and crucially a viable, more mobile alternative to Giroud. The risk he represents is that, ala Vardy, last season could be a one off. Time will tell.

The signing of Mustafi for a reported £35 million is one that makes a lot of sense, and one that we should be excited by. He has vast experience for a 24 year old, is a world cup winner, is fluent in English and from speaking with those who have followed his career far more closely than me, he seems to be the perfect fit stylistically too. He isn’t the tallest at 6 ft, but has a fantastic leap, he is an expert reader of the game, has a good turn of pace, and crucially he is a brilliant ball-playing centre-back. In a team like Arsenal, the value of this really shouldn’t be underestimated. He is also a calming presence and should be an excellent foil to Koscielny (and Gabriel *shudders*). Those who are non-plussed by this signing confuse me – we wanted a top-class centre-back, we have spent £35million on one and some are underwhelmed. It reeks of spoilt brats. Yes, it should have been done weeks ago, but it seems like we have got our man, and I for one am delighted.

I still think a winger of real quality is required in this side, which could also compensate for the lack of elite centre forward, but sadly I think it is unlikely in this window.

Nonetheless, there is plenty to be positive about. Granit Xhaka was one of Europe’s most coveted holding midfielders over the last 12 months, he captained Borussia Monchengladbach to the Champions League positions at the age of 23, he won three man of the match awards at Euro 2016, and crucially fills a problem position for Arsenal. He was signed in late May – if he was announced as an Arsenal player tomorrow, the fan base would be delighted. Because we actually got that piece of business done early, it has seemingly been forgotten by some.

Context is also important – we are susceptible to seeing only a red and white tinted vacuum, with little consideration for the travails of our rivals. The argument that what our rivals do is irrelevant is churlish – of course it matters. Look at Chelsea – miles off the pace last season, they have only brought in two players of note, with holes still to be plugged (centre-back, left back). Tottenham – they have brought in Wanyama and Janssen – two players who wouldn’t get near Arsenal’s starting XI. It shows it isn’t that easy to just “get it done”.

This summer hasn’t been perfect – particularly in terms of execution – but we have brought in real quality and the squad is in better shape than it was this time last season.

It isn’t a sign of weakness to just wait and see how these new players perform. It’s okay to be excited and see how the season pans out.

It may be Groundhog Day again, but until that becomes a reality, sit back and enjoy the football.

P.S. We have Mesut Ozil.

Follow and abuse me on Twitter @BeardofPires

637 Responses to “Relax….be happy”

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  1. N5

    “What do you think the starting lineup will be?”

    We’ll he was talking about starting Ozil but not Giroud. So we’ll see almost the same team the lined up against Leicester imo but with Mesut instead of Aaron. (obviously the midfield will be juggled to suit).

  2. Rambo Ramsey

    “I despise the man so much and what he’s done to out great club that I would be stamping on his face right now if he was here.”

    I see the unhinged nutcase has returned.

    Knifing someone in the face last week, stamping on the face this week.

  3. loyika

    Le Grove is fast becoming a damned if you do and dammed if you don’t blog.

    We are all sad about the debacle that has been our transfer window but the idea that we don’t now give players a chance to show their worth is a clear example of this generation’s philosophy of “I want it now!”

    The players were not the ones that signed themselves and if we took this silly attitude in the past many of our so called great Arsenal players of yore wouldn’t have made it at the club as only a handful of them were considered; “Top Quality” when they signed.

    Sometimes we all need to just take a fucking chill pill and not go all “dumb fuck” like some posters go over everything Arsenal related.

    They seem to keep forgetting; it’s Arsenal FC and not Arsene FC. It’s all fair and good to trot that line to others when accusing them of being so called Akbs, but what’s good for the Goose is also good for the Gander.

    For once in a long time I agree with what Bamford had to say (never thought I would ever again. Lol!!) Let the fucking players play some actual games first before you start acting like spoilt brats and mouthing them off before they actually kick a ball.

    They might not be the kind of signing we crave but they could end up being hidden gems and we as Arsenal fans should want anyone that is privileged to wear the “Red and white” to succeed. If they end up being shyte then fair enough call a spade a spade, but to slate any player that signs for the club before he even has a chance to get on the pitch is just childish and shows why this “Internet age” is so fucked up (because it let’s some people who under normal circumstances should not even be let out of their homes talk less of having human interactions with others)

    In other news, looking forward to the Pool vs Spurs game.

    @ Bam and others

    How are you seeing Klopp!? (not in relation to Arsene pls) Have you all been impressed so far!? I still see him as a bit “hit and miss!” I believe apart from his energetic demeanour which excites some, i still feel many Pool fans are not fully convinced he can get the club back to greatness on a constant level.

    I think Poch will do a better job with those clowns with the “Cock on a basketball” than Klopp will at Pool.

    @ Wallace

    Don’t you dare think of leaving the blog mate!! (Lol!) We shall drag you back regardless (kicking and screaming if you so wish)

    We will always need diverse opinions here or else the blog will go to shit.

  4. Thank you and goodnight


    Spot on mate….the AKB’S are now wetting their panties thinking we’ll smash the league lol

  5. gunnergetyou

    ‘We will always need diverse opinions here or else the blog will go to shit.’

    In truth the blog has already gone to shit. I’m firmly in the Wenger out camp, but the whole point of a blog is so that people can share different opinions.

    Pedro has done a great job over the years, but the abusive posters are allowed to get away with murder here.

  6. Thanos

    The abusive posters should get kicked. I love different opinions but if you have one here you can get shouted down. Still really enjoy the blog though.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    A lot of papers still have us as active in the market even after Perez and Mustafi which is good, we’ve got the funds to push on still.

    Though I’m not buying the links to Lacazette, some claiming Wenger is ‘desperate’ to sign him and so will now pay whatever, just doesn’t add up with reality when he turned away from the deal when Lyon wanted an extra £5 Million earlier in the summer.

    More likely I think is maybe a Brozovic type deal who seems to have been linked with us for the past year.

    As I said though, if I was at Arsenal a James loan deal is what I’d be going after whilst trying to shift a few players out before deadlines day, Chambers loan for sure, Debuchy sold, Walcott sold as well…particularly if Palace are selling Zaha, they seem to be reckless with their money so maybe slap a skirt on Walcott and walk him up and down past Selhurst.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Fingers crossed big game Liverpool turn up today, though the Spurs defence will not be as generous as ours was.

    Should be an interesting game, can only see a Spurs win though unfortunately, Liverpool’s defence has been woeful so far and Spurs have more than enough to punish that.

  9. Jeff

    The attitude of AKBs is a bit like playing or not playing the lottery. If no ticket is bought at all, they tend to wither somewhat because even they know we have no chance. But when we buy 10 tickets, all of a sudden a surge of hope engulfs their poor little souls and they leap for joy. Little do they realise that one ticket or ten tickets – the difference in probability is negligible.

    When February (the month of trauma) parks up and both PL and CL recede, a couple of months of serious introspection ensues. Their hope is renewed once again in May to August after the reality of fourth sinks in and they have no choice but to congratulate themselves inwardly yet again for another “happy” end to the season.

  10. SUGA3

    I am finding one thing to be positive: the loud discontent does work. And whilst reactionary, let’s not pretend this has been as bad as that trolley dash signing five players on one day.

  11. arsene nose best

    and i hope, just because that cretin has made a few panic signings, the away fans don’t all start singing that cretins name again. WE WANT WENGER OUT, SAY, WE WANT WENGER, OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. gunnergetyou

    Mustafi and Xhaka are very solid signings that should improve our first team. These are areas that Wenger has chosen to neglect over the years but at least we now have a solid base to work from.

    Our main problem has been upfront where we have needed a clinical striker for the last 4 years. Is Perez the answer? Not if he’s only a backup for Giroud, which is what expect him to be. We won’t compete for the title until the Giroud issue is resolved.

  13. loyika


    Please explain how we will be 9 points behind? (even if we lose today) It’s clearly obvious you don’t watch the games. Lol!!

  14. Paulinho

    Liverpool will not be threat long term as long as Klopp keeps putting Wijnaldum as part of a central two in midfield. He’s a shit midfielder, who doesn’t tackle, or distribute with any real thought; he’s more Ramsey type who needs a free role in advanced positions.

    Spurs will swamp them if they go with him again.

  15. Sensible old man

    If this place is anything to go by – then Our pathetic fans will be singing ‘one arsene wenger’ because we have signed two players. One okay defender and one SHIT striker – who is the latest chamakh.

  16. Paddywhack

    We will beat Watford 2-0, Walnut and Ox the scorers then a snooze fest in 2nd half. How is that for a prediction

  17. Ishola70

    Wenger doesn’t deserve any credit at all for bringing in Mustafi.

    Not a shred.

    We all know he was quite content with Koscielny, Gabriel and Mertesacker for the season until the injuries.

    So the signing of Mustafi ultimately has nothing really to do with Wenger. It was circumstances beyond Wenger himself that has seen this signing. No proaction. no foresight, no forward planning.

    If Mustafi turns out killer Wenger has lucked out…….again.

  18. LegendMax

    Hoping we challenge for the league when you want Wenger out will be counterproductive. Will only provide reason for him to stay. I don’t wish we lose matches but the worse we perform in the league, the sooner Wenger leaves. So Im not fussed about who we sign or do not sign.
    If new signings would make us league winners in May, then I’d be all up for it. but it won’t, not with Wenger in charge.
    The little positive tho with the Perez signing is that I won’t have to put up with Giroud sludging about upfront and killing our attack, then making those faces when he misses a good chance. sucks the little joy left in watching arsenal (wenger’s killed most of it) right out.
    But knowing wenger, he’s gonna bench Perez just so Giroud gets his game time. sad

  19. STV

    “We all know he was quite content with Koscielny, Gabriel and Mertesacker for the season until the injuries.”

    True he always responds to injury.. Monreal, Kallstorm, Elneny now Mustafi..
    Had Nerts n Gabriel not injured, he wouldn’t have signed them..

    Can’t complain because Mustafi is a good player. Our luck came in the form of injuries and horrible start of the new season.. But we got decent defender after all..

    Bad part maybe the title is already gone sitting 5pt behind big 3 after 2 games..

    But hey the great man will get us 4th place trophy..

  20. Ughelligunner

    Ishola, before the injuries to our defenders, wenger had already bought Holding to take over from them in the future. He wanted to splash the cash on a super forward, two defenders broke down, change of plan. I wonder if you have a change of monetary plan in your business, work or family line, especially when you are working on a budget. Shouldn’t be replying to you, dont know why. Legrove isn’t an Arsenal F.C site, but a wenger Out site. If you have been on legrove for a long time, then you become institutionalized except you take long interval breaks. It affects your normal thinking as a fan when conversing with fellow gunners in reality.

  21. gunnergetyou

    ‘We all know he was quite content with Koscielny, Gabriel and Mertesacker for the season until the injuries.’

    This is why I said at the time that these injuries were a blessing in disguise.

    LegendMax: Hoping we challenge for the league when you want Wenger out will be counterproductive.

    After 12 years I think any true fan would want us to win the league regardless. However no sane person thinks Wenger is capable of winning the league title anyway.

  22. Ughelligunner

    We already had kos, Mert, Gab, Chambers, a new player in Holding. And on a normal day, it isn’t normal to expect anymore signings on that front. Not when your goal keepers (2 different) won the golden gloves for two times in three years.

    Defending was never the problem, scoring goals was. And to blame wenger for buying an expensive replacement whether planned or not, is travesty.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    Sturridge not playing again, I really don’t think Klopp and Sturridge get along.

    With Giroud and now Perez in, I wouldn’t mind a £30 Million bid from us for him, I know he is a chronic sick note, but he’s also a top, top quality ST, with a season where he stays the majority of it fit he’s got the potential to be top scorer, especially when you then think of Ozil supplying, Sanchez playing off of him as well.

    Unhappy player, seemingly not getting on with the manager, bad injury record, I think we could get a deal there.

    I just think we can afford to take the risk now.

  24. LegendMax

    cesc appeal Sturridge is not top quality. He’s a good player but that’s it. never scored 25+ goals in the league n always injured. in fact, he’s only scored 20+ goals once: the season when he played with Suarez n sterling. No I don’t want us buying him.