Arsene tests features of new scouting operation and stakes season on stability

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Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 18.54.14

Happy Saturday you wonderful, wonderful folks!

I’m back in the UK for a wedding, can’t get over to the Arsenal today, but interestingly, my sisters fiance is taking my dad to Watford.

He does not understand the risks.

Anyway, what has happened since the last time we conversed?


Yeah, pretty excited about that. Though the deals are not penned yet, and the registrations are NOT ON THE DOT COM. It’s pretty clear we’re about the finish our summer with a centre back of promising quality and a striker that is way out of left field.

How do I feel about it? Pretty excited.

My concern is that both Mustafi and Perez are a little bit the reaction to a bad opening 2 games. I’m not sure Mustafi was on our radar before the Euros and I’m certain he’d not have been on our to-do list if it weren’t for Per and Gabriel being injured. Same for Perez, he must have been pretty low down the pecking order. Wenger says we’ve been keeping tabs on him for 2 years. I’d love to know to what degree, because he only started playing as a central striker last season.

However, why I am excited is because we have a good amount of bodies in the squad. Going into this season with a player who has had one good season playing as a forward is better than going with what we’ve had. I’d never heard of Perez until this week, but 17 goals and 12 assists is pretty positive. He looks mobile, he can switch out wide, he scores a variety of goals and there’s no reason he can’t continue his form in an Arsenal shirt, especially when you consider the service he’ll be getting.

He’s also the first example of a plan C we’ve had in a while. Lacazette might have been the more talented option, but at £60m, you have to say that would have been a pretty grim deal for Arsenal. My biggest concern here is that we’ve sought value over quality. We might get lucky and have unearthed a 30 goal a season striker, but we’ve taken a big risk because the price was small. My other slight worry is that only Arsenal were in for him, a prerequisite for most of our signings. Stroke of genius… or Chamkh-Chu-Young-before-you-Sanogo type unearthing?

Mustafi picked up average ratings from Ballague. I thought he looked pretty good for Germany and people who religiously watched the unravelling of Gary Neville seem to think he’s a smart signing. I think most of my positivity comes from his nationality…

‘German right? Should be fine’

Was he the best centre back in the market right now? I’m not sure. Koulibaly or John Stones would have floated my boat a bit more, but hey, he’s a body, his stats are pretty good, he has room to grow at Arsenal and he’s going to be way more useful than Chambers and Gabriel.

So our summer, all in all, hasn’t looked as awful as it did 10 days ago. However, let’s not kid ourselves that it’s been of the highest quality. I’m pleased we have something to be excited about and I’m pleased that we’re at least testing the features of our new scouting network. If that new Leicester chap delivers us what he delivered them… we’re in great shape. If he hasn’t, all it’ll prove is that it’s getting harder and harder to defy the market and it’ll prove that the manager may have lost his sparkle.

Important thing here is we have a squad. We’ve plugged most of the holes. We aren’t fighting for internal solutions.

Wenger’s major play this year, and the reason he didn’t upgrade failing parts, is stability.

So we’ll see.

Big game today, the manager, in waiting until now to land the right players, has changed the season from a 38 game run to a 36 game run. We’re 5 points down. We cannot afford to lose any more points, because that’ll be a major psychological blow too early on.

We’ve had a good run against Watford, the squad will hopefully have a lift from the new signings and hopefully, the boys will want to impress.

Fingers crossed. The season starts today!

See you in the comments!

740 Responses to “Arsene tests features of new scouting operation and stakes season on stability”

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  1. champagne charlie


    settle down with the lacazette fixation, kezman scored buckets in the dutch league too at one point. The french league is utter piss mate, PSG won by 31 points last year…

    Lyon are about on par with Stoke. Good player, not worth 55m end of story. Also crocked now.

  2. STV

    The thing is, from the next 35 matches he could score 11 goals and still have racked up good stats..

    I am not reading much in to that yet..

  3. DaleDaGooner

    PSG would piss all over any Premier league team….

    I reckon they found the mighty Chelsea a tough.

    I was going to ask how Morata was doing for a missed striker……he just scored, I see

  4. Follow the money

    I see on the other blogs 12 years of penny pinching, lies, smug drivel, condescension, hypocrisy and tactical ineptitude have been forgotten because we beat the mighty Watford. Good Lord

  5. SUGA3

    Milik was under God’s tutelage at Ajax 😉 He is still young, if he clicks, Poland will have fearsome front two in him and Lewandowski.

  6. Cesc Appeal

    Watford could be an interesting to side to watch going forward, terrible in the first half, but then a combination of us going to bed early and them introducing some new signings livened them up a bit.

    Pereyra looks good and Success (greatest footballing name ever by the way) lookd a prospect when he came on.

    Journalist are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for him to score with literally a thousand headlines ready.

  7. mysticleaves

    we have used 3 different cm combinations in 3 matches. would be fascinating (I know I shouldn’t use this word but none better is coming to my head right now, or is that the word?) to see the pair we settle with going forward.

    by the way… Wenger out!!!

  8. steve

    “I see on the other blogs 12 years of penny pinching, lies, smug drivel, condescension, hypocrisy and tactical ineptitude have been forgotten because we beat the mighty Watford. Good Lord”


    Hilarious really. Typical Arsenal have the most gullible fans ever. One win against a shit Watford and all of Wengers bullshitting is magically forgotten. Pathetic.

  9. Batistuta


    Majority still want Wenger out but anyone going around bitching about after his team picks up 3points away from home starts to sound like a prick

    And also we know Wenger ain’t leaving this season so it kinda gets boring

  10. SUGA3


    He was a bit meh at the Euros, fluffed his lines against ze Germans, but then again, Lewa also failed to impress and look at him now firing again. Hoping he will do well for Napoli.

    On the tutelage subject, I would like to see Henry do well for Belgium.

  11. Batistuta

    Constantly repeating and screaming Wenger out is boring and anyone who says otherwise needs to get his head checked really cus if it was having any effect he’d have been gone a long time ago

    So relax grab a beer, the European season just started and there’s a shit load of football going on everywhere so why not occupy yourself with that cus telling people to continuously scream Wenger out especially after a win is stupid and kinda makes you look like a looney

  12. SUGA3


    ‘And also we know Wenger ain’t leaving this season so it kinda gets boring’


    I mean, I am one of these who had Wenger figured out years ago, as these pages will attest. I want him out of the club, as I know he ain’t changing to adapt and update certain things. I believe that in this case, him staying is counterproductive. If he can change his approach to tactics, substitution, rotation, fitness management and coaching, he can stay until he is 167 for all I care. But we all know it is not happening.

  13. SUGA3

    No one is forgetting zip, I don’t believe a word that is coming out of Wenger’s mouth. Yes, he is done the bare minimum again so far. But at least we have these bodies we needed and the season no longer has the turd sandwich appeal to it. And we did not fuck about with bargain basement signings really. £70M on two defensive players is a lot of money for AFC standards.

    Yes, we should be a bit more bold. Sell AOC or Walcott, or both, put some money on top, buy James. Wages would more or less balance. Make the other teams take notice. Send out the ‘we are coming for you’ message to them. Sell a truckload of shirts. Pump up the feelgood factor.

  14. Wenker-wanger

    Wenger out Wenger out!
    Just to remind the brain-dead AKBs that the enlightened mature fans do not get excited by a cheap victory against the 2nd worst prem team of 2016.
    Wenger still runs the club and until he dies I suppose we are stuck with this tosser. Doesn’t mean we have to enjoy the predictable 4th place and blowing out after the group stages in the champs league.
    Why do AKBs slavishly follow an owner that just wants profits and a wanker of a manager that has nothing in his life aside from being at arsenal and needs arsenal a 1000 times more than the club the players and the fans need him.
    On another note how freaking lucky are those mancs?

  15. Cesc Appeal


    Someone needs to change their surname to Back-Of-The-Net and then raise a child to play football from birth essentially.

    Back-Of-The-Net or maybe What-Are-You-On-About-Ref

  16. champagne charlie

    “Wenger out Wenger out!
    Just to remind the brain-dead AKBs that the enlightened mature fans do not get excited by a cheap victory against the 2nd worst prem team of 2016.”

    Can’t make it up, “enlightened mature fans”….

    Guess coming on a blog after a convincing away win 3 games into the season saying “wenger out wenger out” is stellar maturity. hahahaha fucking nobber.

  17. Jim Lahey

    “Guess coming on a blog after a convincing away win 3 games into the season saying “wenger out wenger out” is stellar maturity. hahahaha fucking nobber.”

    I don’t think he has become a staunch Wenger out supporter over the last 3 games.. I could bet it was more likely to be over the last 12 years.. But I guess we should all just shut up and Judge Wenger in May.

  18. Sam

    Enjoying our first win of the season

    So encouraging first time in a longtime we scored 3 in the first half
    I feel we still need one more guy up front, James Rodriguez loan? Draxler?
    Sanchez alone will suffer burn out soon

  19. Ozrus

    Jim Later

    ‘I don’t think he has become a staunch Wenger out supporter over the last 3 games.. I could bet it was more likely to be over the last 12 years.. ‘

    Like mature cheddar cheese he has earned the right to be smelly

  20. Sam

    Ozil’s goal was world class n that pass from Sanchez
    Hope they do that every week

    btw, I’ll take Sanchez up front over Vardy anyday

  21. Leedsgunner

    Just caught the Match of Day highlights — I haven’t listened to the pundits’ analysis but my impressions were the following:

    1. Had we taken our chances in the first half — we should have gone into the half time break 5-0 up.

    2. Theo got himself in good positions and arguably should have grabbed himself a brace had he finished better.

    Is he just unlucky or just not very good? Discuss.

    3. I loved Özil’s goal… ironically his run into the box and header reminded me of Ramsey at his best. Nice to see Mesut creating like he did today.

    4. Despite his goal Sanchez still doesn’t convince me as the central striker… I think he is so much more dynamic on the wings… Give Sanchez back his wings!!!

    5. Had Watford taken all their chances in the second half they could’ve drawn the game. We need to be more disciplined — better sides will do much better than the Hornets did today. I’m not meaning to be negative but honestly? We got away with it today and I’m still glad we did.

    We were due some good luck after this transfer window.

    Good performance but we need to be like this versus clubs like Man United and Chelsea.

    Three points versus Watford is welcome but it is what we should be doing.

  22. Leedsgunner

    Sturridge is unsettled.

    If Liverpool was open to a player swap — say Wilshere or Walcott for Sturridge would go for it? Or is he still too much of an injury risk?

    Yes or no?

  23. freddylekgunner

    Sam, Mustafi should walk straight into the team alongside Los. Holding has done well but Mustafi is better and more experienced. James even on loan will be the best Arsenal transfer windows ever but I don’t see it happening as Wenger believed in his babies, Iwobi should be back after the breaks and relegates Ox. Walcott is also proving very useful.

  24. WengerEagle

    ‘Is he just unlucky or just not very good? Discuss.’

    Leeds mate, seriously? 😀

    I mean, I’d have given you the benefit of the doubt if it was 2006 rather than 2016.

  25. Sam

    Balague talking sh!t as usual

    Lucas Perez will be top signing for Arsenal

    Sure sure, thats why we are competing only with Everton for his signature

  26. China

    I don’t know if you lot got to see the whole game because of it being a 3 o’clock game but we get high quality streams of virtually every match out here in China so I’ll give my thoughts

    It was a really good first half with 3 well taken goals and, besides ox, decent performances all round

    The second half was very disappointing though. If it wasn’t for cech and some poor finishing from the opposition we’d have capitulated for sure. We played really poorly in the second half, failed to control the game and most of the team vanished.

    It wasn’t a routine second half of comfortable at all. Ox was dire. Like really really dire. Xhaka vanished for most of the second half and our midfield looked second to theirs

    It was a good result overall and I was happy to see Arsenal get 3 first half goals without conceding which is so unusual these years. There were lots of positives in the performance, especially xhaka’ skillet passing but as well we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves

    This was a game which could’ve easily turned into a Newcastle level capitulation if not for heroics from our keeper and their front line missing so many efforts

  27. China

    Leedsgunner theo and Jack both have terrible injury records as well so I’d rather take Sturridge

    And yeah Jack was anonymous yesterday. He got overrun like most of our midfield in the second half and failed to take back control and settle the game as we needed

    But hey if you’re going to make predetermined 68th minute substitutions rather than pick and choose suitable player for suitable moments then you can’t expect good results…

    Re wanting Wenger out – how ridiculously soft it is that we can be shite for a decade and be 5 points back after 3 games but we hold on and just manage to avoid a total implosion against mighty watford and now Wenger has redeemed himself

    Enjoy the win. It was a good first half. But for the love of god if it’s that’s easy to placate the angry fans then there’s zero hope of Wenger leaving before he dies of old age.

  28. China

    That performance by ox was one of the worst I can recall from an Arsenal wide or attacking player in a really really long time

    Remember that game years back when eboue was so bad he got booed and had to be subbed off, it was that level of stink

    I literally lost count of how many times he ran it straight out of play. It was like 4+ times what the actual fuck

    He also had a few times in the middle where ozil and xhaka were looking to feed him and he just stood there rather than making a run.

    Then of course his crap shooting

    Wally on the other side put in some really useful crosses and was very effective yesterday and in comparison to ox looked like messi. When you make Wally look like messy you’ve really fucked up

    I was literally shouting at the screen when Wenger waited until 68 minutes to pull him. STOP pre planning your substitutions arsene you absolute cunt.

    We were getting overrun and outplayed in the second half and ox was dragging the performance down so badly when we needed a calm player to keep possession

  29. goonerboy

    Convincing away win my arse. Far better result than performance. Could only convince those who didn’t watch our second half display.
    This team looks no better equipped to hold a lead against a good team than any others Wenger has put out for the past 10 years- thats why he has to go.

  30. Joe

    China, goonerboy

    But but but but it was a convincing win against watford

    But but but but Wenger signed Perez and mustafi.

    In Wenger we trust. One Arsene Wenger

    Maybe if watford had a striker like Perez they would have come back to tie that game

  31. Joe

    Great analysis China.

    You are one of the better posters on here.

    Im sure the Akbs are planning an open top bus parade to celebrate ” we beat watford comfortably away” trophy

  32. Joe

    And before anyone says ” well were up 3 nil we turned it off in the second half”

    The game is 90m long

    And we under Wenger should be the last team to turn it off ever. Two 4-4s tell us why.

  33. Joe

    STOP pre planning your substitutions arsene you absolute cunt.

    Have you made 50,000
    Substitutions?? (All at 67 minutes :-))

    Why you look at me?

    So as of right now compared to last season

    We already have 2 less point than we did vs Liverpool
    2 points less than we did vs Leicester
    Same so far vs watford.

    So we are still 4 points worse off than last season

  34. Leedsgunner


    Sigh — Walcott, what a sad epitome of Wenger at Arsenal. Project British Core is such a sad indictment of Wenger’s judgement.

    Walcott, Wilshere, Gibbs – irrelevant even when fit.
    Jenks, Ramsey – injured
    Chambers – frustratingly ordinary despite making a good start

    Let’s hope Oxlade comes good this season… and Holding doesn’t join their ranks of mediocrity.

  35. Highbury4ever

    can’t wait for the “big” games against city, manure and chelsea, the real truth is going to hurt… all the wenger lovers are already planning their stupid excuxes.

    “I feel we still need one more guy up front, James Rodriguez loan? Draxler?”
    Sam, what about Messi on loan ??

  36. China

    Man arsene not withdrawing Ox earlier yesterday was close to pushing me over the edge

    He had a crap first half. Ok you wanna give him a bit more time, save your subs in case of injuries etc. that’s one thing. But pull him off on 55 minutes after he started the second half like that. I’ve always hated the 70th minute subs bullshit but I remember a poster on here the other day referred to them as 68th minute subs rather than what I thought which was 70.

    That poster, whoever you are, was fucking right. 68th minute I was like fucks sake it’s not even roughly 70 minutes! it’s so predictable you can nail it down to 68 fml

  37. N5

    China it was me that said the time of the sub. But I think everyone knows Arsene always does one between 67th and 69th minute.

  38. Bermy boy

    Feeling greatful because asswipe did the bare minimum with transfers is a huge indicator of our lowered expectations.Least we forget the only reason we acquired these chaps is do to injuries and two shit first games.How in the fuck do you buy a plan C player you previously turned down not to long ago.If these guys make good then great but it is not do to any genius work by Wenger.

  39. DivineSherlock

    I don’t mean to rein in your negative parade , but a fan has rightly reasons to be happy beating Watford away.As it is you’ll get more chances to moan when we dont play as a team . If that first half didnt excite you , made you jump with joy , then sadly you’re dead inside .

  40. DivineSherlock

    ” When Sanchez , Ozil and Xhaka click , a lot of people who love football will have orgasms. ” Walter Mazzari (Watford ) after the game.

  41. Leedsgunner

    Soton at home next. Very tricky. The worst game in the EPL last season was the 4-0 capitulation at St. Marys. Anyone know anything about their nel manager? I think he’s called Claude Puel?

    You have to give it to them — if there’s a team that does manager succession well it’s them. Pochettino, Koeman… and Nigel Adkins before that who took them up with back to back promotions…

    Maybe we need to examine how they do it?

  42. DivineSherlock


    Im sure you like most of us have an opinion on Walcott , but yesterday the guy worked his arse off , didn’t work out for him . Walcott was not anonymous is what I should say. Thats a good sign .

  43. Rambo Ramsey

    Walcott is a better player than Chamberlain, no doubt. We are comparing turds here but if we are to answer who out of the duo has contributed more in an Arsenal shirt, its clearly Walcott.

    At Chamberlain’s age, Walcott was comfortably managing close to 10 goal, 10 assist per season whereas this clown is yet to score 10 goals in his entire Arsenal career.

    People think just because Walcott can’t dribble to save his life while Chamberlain is better at it, the latter is a better footballer.

    Sorry, that’s garbage analysis.

    9 out of 10 Chamberlain’s dribbles lead to nothing–either running the ball out of play or losing possession, he is atrocious at crossing, doesn’t give you end-product and is a defensive liability.

    Worst of all, how many professional players can you think of who never get their head up during play? When Ox has the ball at his feet, he is completely unaware of anything else going on in the pitch. Which is why you can so often see his offensive runs suss out–because he doesn’t use the support of teammates–AND also why he is usually caught napping defensively–because he is unaware of the positioning and runs of opposition players.

  44. Leedsgunner

    We were due some good luck after this transfer window

    Why were we due some luck. It was wenger’s own doing

    True… hey listen I’m not saying we are suddenly going to win the Quadruple or anything nor am I saying Wenger needs to be given more time. Regardless of these acquisitions he needs to go.

    These late moves in the transfer market doesn’t change anything in the big picture but let’s be positive for the club when merited. In my mind an experienced CB and ST is worth being cautiously optimistic about.

    To be negative all the time is boring and it takes away from the force of our arguments when things do go wrong.

  45. DivineSherlock


    Hit the nail on the head mate. I got nothing against Ox but he really needs to sort his confidence issues. Its like watching a different player than the one in preseason

  46. China

    There were plenty of positives and negatives in that game

    The biggest positives were 3 first half goals without conceding and xhaka’s first half performance

    He faded a lot in the second half but looked like xabi Alonso in the first half

    Fingers crossed he can put in performances like that first half on a weekly basis and keep it up for close to the 90 mins

  47. Leedsgunner

    Divine and Rambo

    Agreed about Oxlade. Needs to step it up big big time – no use scoring a monster if he can’t produce it against teams like Watford. I’m not necessarily saying Oxlade is a better footballer than Theo lest I be misunderstood. He does have time on his side though to learn from the likes of Sanchez and Özil.

    Whereas Walcott I think should be so much further than where he is considering the sheer amount of football he’s played. At 27, he should be at the top of his game. To be fair injuries have hampered his career but where’s the hunger then to make up for lost time?

    I just wander if many of our underperforming lot do so because they have forgotten what a great and beautiful privilege it is to play football for a living.

  48. tunnygriffboy


    Good post. The manager is here all season. I’m going to try and enjoy our performances and the play of our players.

    We were a bit flat in the second half we retreated a bit and Watford came back at us. Fair play to them

    First half we were very good. Ozil makes such a difference. Alexis was at his best. His movement was good today. Pulling wide and allowing people to run into the space. Love Xhaka long passing. Will give us another dimension.

    Theo did well today. If it wasn’t for good saves by Gomez he could have had a couple of first half goals. Ox mmmmmmm

    Happy to have 3 points. We could really do with another coup, e of weeks together and it’s unbelievable it’s international week again. Players only just got back to match sharpness after Euros. Lot of manager’s rightly not happy with it. Preying for no injuries. Worst thing is some of the games are friendlies. Bah !!!

  49. Rambo Ramsey

    Leeds, agree, that ACL injury combined with Wenger’s ‘Walcott-as-striker’ experiment stalled his career. Not that he was setting the League on fire before but he did resemble something of a very decent option.

    Regards to Oxlade, he really should be sent on loan to play under a strict manager, get him to learn some discipline and focus. I’m really fed up of all our British core tbh. Ideally this should be the last chance they’re given, failing which move them out and replace with the next batch of promising youngsters to satisfy home-grown quota.

  50. Leedsgunner


    Great points about Theo and Oxlade but in response I would ask why does AOC need to go out on loan for disclipline and focus? These should be already being provided shouldn’t it not? These are man management issues that Wenger is apparently famous for.

    What does Wenger ACTUALLY do for his wage packet?

    The most reactive and underwhelming manager in the EPL today.


  51. Joe

    What does Wenger ACTUALLY do for his wage packet?The most reactive and underwhelming manager in the EPL

    Spot fucking on

    Divine you be happy beating watford.

    Let me know how you feel when Man U, city, and Chelsea rip us a new asshole.


    Let me know how happy you are with the watford win after dropping 5/6 points in the first two matches

    The expectations have been lowered so much by Wenger it’s ridiculous.

    It’s all about 1 off victories now. Never a lot the over all picture. We are not going to compete again. Beating watford doesn’t Change That

    I could care less if Wenger is here this year. Doesn’t mean I have to be happy with 4 out of 9 points and beating a watford team that will
    Probably just survive this year

  52. mysticleaves

    Leeds, Rambo

    I really think Theo is on a redemption mission. all the abuse from the fans and the slagging off from his (finished) manager gets to you at some point.

    last week I felt he was very good. he worked hard and was always an option on the right like old Wally.

    this week again he was good. if he continues playing like the last two weeks I think the fans will forget a lot. except the ones that have “Theo is shit” locked on.

    before he suddenly wanted to be a striker I always thought Theo was the best English winger. not cos he was at arsenal but cos he played like it. I still believe he can be it. not Like that a much of a barometer anyway.

    1goal, 1 assist already

  53. mysticleaves

    ” Good post. The manager is here all
    season. I’m going to try and enjoy
    our performances and the play of
    our players.”

    Arsene Wenger knew we would be saying this. that’s why he made those signings.

    that’s why I asked the question earlier if the away fans were singing “Wenger out” cos he didn’t sign players or cos Wenger is finished as a coach. if it’s not cos of the latter then we are finished cos the away fans are the ones with a few balls at arsenal

    win or lose, am not happy with Wenger here and will always make it known.

    tunny, leeeds, hope your stance don’t change when we lose the next match

  54. Leedsgunner


    Be honest when Sanchez won that penalty yesterday I bet you were thinking, “Please not Theo…” ;). At least that’s what I was thinking when I watched MOTD knowing nothing of the score.

    When Theo was assisting RvP for fun (during his last season) I thought we had a tidy player then. Then when RvP left I think Theo unfortunately bought into his hype and thought he could fill the gap.

    Wenger should have told Theo to concentrate what is good at rather than letting him play Henry. The

  55. Leedsgunner


    Fair enough I’ll try not to be reactionary like Wenger… although when we lose it’s also the manner of our loss as well as the result itself.

    I know I can be a grump sometimes but I genuinely want the team to do well and would like to think I’m fair and balanced.

    Although I have to say I’m done with Wenger. Even if he wins the EPL I want him to go – although I will be happy for him he finished his tenure on a high. 🙂

  56. tunnygriffboy


    Just not going to get myself worked up about it. I lost the plot for a few weeks I was so hacked off. He’s here until the end of the season. I will probably have a meltdown at some point though 🙂

    I enjoyed much of the first half yesterday. There really were some skillful and enncouraging performances.

    Pity the signings weren’t made earlier but I agree with Pedro that we don’t have any glaring gaps now. If we manage to keep players fit we could have a half tidy season. I hope we do.

  57. tunnygriffboy


    I have similar feelings as you. If we play poorly then the team deserve criticism. Play well like the first half yesterday and the deserve praise

    What did you think of Xhaka ? Is his passing range going to give us a different dimension ?

  58. Leedsgunner


    It’s such a shame isn’t that Wenger used the first two games as our de facto preseason. Had we played liked that versus Leicester and Liverpool we would be right up there with Maureen and Conte!!!

  59. mysticleaves

    Leeds, tunny

    agree with everything you have said. we really played well vs Leicester. they are more organised than Watford that’s why er didn’t score.

    I really want ox to improve but cant see it. there’s no hope for him smh. occasional one or two good games like Lennon, Townsend etc. and he’s not exactly a grafter like milner.

    I will sooner wish Lucas/olli start over him and Sanchez goes back to the wings.

  60. Leedsgunner

    Xhaka looks like the real deal tunny.

    A nice combo of Gilberto with touches of Cesc. If he keeps it up for the entire season I might call him the new PV4 not until then… It’s PV4 we’re talking about. 🙂

    Plus it was Watford. I want to see him do that versus Chelsea, City and Man United before I wet myself….

    … and Tottenham I want him to flatten and humiliate Spurs. I couldn’t stand them last season going on about Dele Alli this Dele Alli that…

  61. Leedsgunner


    Fair point about Leicester they are an organised side. Did you watch Drinkwater yesterday? He ran their show! He looks like he means to continue where he left off last season.

    Wilshere could take a few pointers from him!

  62. mysticleaves

    ” What did you think of Xhaka ? Is his passing range going
    to give us a different dimension ?”

    surely his passing was good yesterday but I think am more interested in his defensive duties than his range (as a defensive mid). coq slides in and clears that ball that lead to their goal all day.

    I think he will be worth the money, give us a new dimension and all but he has a lot to learn here.

    coq gave us a lot if long balls last season, albeit more diagonal than piercing. lol I like coq a lot sorry

  63. mysticleaves

    Leeds I wish I did. Drinkwater is a player I like from last season but I haven’t really watches him this season. kind of cool that he is still proving Roy wrong.

    I hear mahrez lost a penalty yesterday. leceister have resumed this season with their penalties

  64. useroz

    Wached the entire game. 2H was shocking for any title aspiring teams. Fortuanately, under Wenger, we are not or I’d be very worried.

    What 2H shows is the team, like Wenger (and stan) has no ambition and it reflects. Pretty much walking in the watford park. We actually lost the 2H 0- 1.

    The watford manager took risk and changed to more attackingformation at HT to 4 4 2 and we stuck to 5 a side. Our midfielld outnumbered them but it didn’t show at all. No improv even after 69″, 72″ or whatever. Mindset isn’t there and mini panic every time the opposition mounts some sort of a come back. Only rubbish managers at this level (bpl) would allow that year on year.

    Some players are short in fittness that I’d understand, given Euro, etc. But why are we still having players like Ox, Walcott in the starting 11, injurie snotwithstanding??

    Ox isn’t coming good in arsenal. Forget the age and fancy footwork (one led to goal) in pre season. Iwobi has the fundmentals (skill, brain, pace, attitude) to be good but where do you see these in ox soon? If wenger (and ivan) walk the BS talk in being financial prudent, sell ox and recover what we can esp in today’s ‘crazy’ market, as wenger put it.

    Ditto walcott though he can score fr time to time though useless anything else. Did you recall he got pass any almighty walford defenders?? So what happens when we play the top 6, or in CL? Last season all over again if you remember how hopeless walcott was. Too late for redemption at his age… lacks fundamentals.

    Bellerin isn’t improving much is a worry. Still v. Goof at his age; called up again by Spain. Lacks proper coaching I think.

    Cech’ was good yesterday. Actually his prev coach just left chelski so why don’t we pick him up? Cech needs him to keep at top level and our other goalies would benefit…. Except for a small problem. Wenger’s mate is our long time goalie coach. Ffs.

    Happy to see a win. No change to the big picture. Wenger still needs to go at end of season; already judged every May since 2006.

  65. Leedsgunner


    I do have a soft for them :). Amazing they’ve been out of the EPL for so long. They ironically could have done with Arsene when they were spending money like it was going out of fashion… when O’Leary was manager for them (who was of course a Gooner great 🙂 ).

  66. Leedsgunner

    Both DT and Troopz of Arsenal Fan TV hinting that the club is looking into bringing another German signing… Draxler maybe? In all probability it’s ITK nonsense but intriguing nonetheless.

  67. mysticleaves

    Eden hazard though. a monster of a player. he’s going to the next level now. looks a class or two above every attacking midfielder In the pl currently

  68. Brooklyn

    Hazard though…what a gem of a player…makes game beautiful….I posted here couple of times we should put cheeky 60-70 mil bid at the end of last season. He will continue to be beautiful dream of mine as there is no way Wenger will sanction amount needed to sign him nor will Chelsea sell him to us….

    Onto our team….like Paulinho says lots of player are inadequate for their position…Ramsey, Wilshere, Elneny will all look better then they are now in 3 man mid….but then Ozil will be redundant….Ox and Wilshere are dumb player tactical….

    Walcott I like him he is limited and he knows it and is tactically one of most intelligent British player offensively at least for me….He is doing what I thought he should be doing previously…increase stamina and playing intensity and run up and down that right side whole game (i.e. be more aggressive defensively)…people say all he has is pace to go behind defence and so is useless against packed defence and I believe that is not true…he has that Thomas Muller like knack of being in right place at right time even when playing against packed defence but he is half(or less) the finisher Muller is….if he continues to play like last couple of games, defensively at least then he will score and assist 10 goals each and also will miss about other 10-15 good scoring oppurtunities what with Ozil and Xhaka abilities to pick out early pass and his own ability to get in space either behind defence or inside of parked bus….Too early for me giving hype to Walcott but he is now playing the role which I thought will be perfect for him couple of season back.

  69. Emiratesstroller

    Looking at Arsenal’s likely squad for this season I would assess that there are now 8 players who if fit will be automatic starters for First X1 in the most important games. These are:
    GK Cech
    RB Bellerin
    CB Mustafi
    CB Koscielny
    LB Montreal
    CMF Xhaka
    AMF Ozil
    LW Sanchez

    The three remaining places will be competed by:
    CMF Cazorla,Ramsey,Wilshire,Elneny,Coquelin
    RW Walcott,Oxlade-Chamberlain
    ST Giroud,Perez,Welbeck*

    Squad players are:
    GK Ospina,Martinez or Macey
    RB Debuchy
    CB Mertesacker*,Gabriel,Holding
    LB Gibbs
    W Iwobi [U21]
    ST Akpom [U21]
    * injured until 2017

  70. useroz

    Hazard is a case in point. He was poor last season but basically a top player, unlike ox and walcott. With the right environment and coaching, hazard would just take off.

    Don’t think we’d bring another player in other then the two, unless it’s a last minute flash sale and under 20m and wenger could sell one to offset.

    If the intricate, eye of needle passing didn’t work, the team (esp midfield) lacks strengths and power to force a result/ make things happen, unless we are playing minnows. This has been what’s missing. Xha may add a bit to it but we are still short. Just recal how cazorla and ozil usually disappear in big games…

    And too many needless backpasses in the final third even when we are chasing a game. Well better than losing the ball if it’s ox or walcott I suppose.

  71. tunnygriffboy

    Firstly you have to beat what’s in front of you. Chelsea fed behind and scored two late on to beat them. We played very well 1st half yesterday.

    I give Walnut a thumbs up for yesterday. Much better from him. Good assist and had two really good attempts saved by Gomes

    Xhaka hits 40 yard passes to land on a postage stamp. I agree that it’s early days and we need to be watching his defensive game. I’m sure the more he plays the more he’ll get used to the pace of the game here and his team mates. He looked at home yesterday


    The beauty now is because we have a lot of options in midfield we can swap things around and can afford to give players the odd game off through rotation. In some games because of Xhaka passing ability we can play him and Coquelin to give our defence some cover. Coquelin could also come in and give Xhaka a rest.

    I like Coquelin too 🙂

  72. tunnygriffboy

    Looking forward to seeing Lucas play. Energy and work rate like Alexis, pretty quick, links well with others keeping his head up and looks pretty calm in front of goal

    I hope he turns out to be a little gem. Know he’ll be up for it. A great chance at a big club from someone who has had to work hard to get where he is. Read some comments from Deportivo fans. They absolutely love him. He’s a local boy but he goes with their best wishes

    Guillem Balague who doesn’t think much of Mustafi links him very highly. We shall see

  73. Emiratesstroller


    There are different opinions with Mustafi and Perez, and that is why we should not prejudge either of them.

    However, my list of 8 players who will be in our starting eleven includes all those who have cost £30 million+ and our regular defence.

    The club are unlikely to invest £30 million+ on a player to sit on bench.

  74. Gregg

    Xhaka will be a revelation for us, his passing range is similar to Emmanuel Petit. I think Walcott ould benefit greatly from this in the way Overmars did with Petit. Both make central runs from wide positions. Think this could be Walcotts best season (that’s not hard to beat mind)

  75. Emiratesstroller


    Xhaka demonstrated yesterday that he has not only got superb passing skills,
    but is also positionally excellent particularly when we are being counterattacked.

    I agree with you that Coquelin when on form and playing alongside a disciplined central midfielder is much better than many who post here think. I think that he offers good value to team particularly in games where opposition are physical.

  76. Bamford10

    Count me among those with a new-found optimism for this season. Yes, I may be retracting this optimism next week, but yesterday’s performance (combined with the signings of Mustafi and Perez) has me thinking we could be a solid, interesting team this season.

    I’m also reversing my opinion re who should play through the center (again). One of the keys to our quality of attacking play in the first half yesterday was the amount of movement off the ball, especially from the front three. If you play Giroud through the center, however, this movement dies. So I am back to thinking Perez should be played through the center and that we should live with the limitations or imperfections of either Theo, Iwobi or Oxlade wide right.

    If Theo works hard, plays simply and delivers the kind of cross he provided for yesterday’s second goal, he will be a serviceable wide right, and he may even earn a bit of redemption (as Mystic or Tunny said above).

    And while I loathe Wenger and will never forgive him for a million things, I am even thinking some small bit of redemption may even be on the cards for him.

    However it is early days. There is reason for some optimism, though, I think.

  77. Bamford10


    I agree with your 8. And I appreciate that you left Giroud out of it. Whether he or Perez should be the starting CF is an open question that only the season can settle. (Though I have my own preference here, of course.)

  78. Cesc Appeal

    Perez has to play as ST when he arrives, as a player he only really came to life last season when playing ST, I don’t want to see him shunted out to RM.

    A right footer at LM and a left footer at RM, everything becomes a bit narrow as well, we’re all always complaining about teams packing the centre and making it impossible for us to do anything, that will only be exacerbated.

    Would like to see Perez at ST for sure, Sanchez wide and Ozil behind, RM is still a problem though.

    On Oxlade, always sort of stuck up for him, always thought there is a top player in there trying to get out, put rapidly losing patience now, absolutely zero progression as a player, in fact regression from that first season at Arsenal where I fondly remember him tearing into United, Milan and that game against Blackburn.

    Loan him, or heck, sell him before deadline day and go for a RM.

  79. tunnygriffboy


    Agree about Coquelin. Beauty this season with Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky having left and Elneny and Xhaka coming if we can keep everyone fit we have really good options and combinations to play in midfield.

    If everyone is fit we will have some good players who don’t make the bench

    I’m annoyed at this international break so soon after the Euros. Just as the players and team are getting up to speed they bloody well shoot off to play internationals, some of which are friendlies. It’s ridiculous and I always worry about injuries. Pocchetino was moaning about it yesterday as well. I don’t blame him. After all the clubs have nursed the players back and are paying their wages.

  80. Gregg

    Agree Bamford, the interchanging and movement of the forward three was impressive. Pace gives you so many options and defenders do not know who to mark. Walcott has his limitations as did Overmars. Neither were wingers per say, neither particularly skillful, neither go to the byline and put crosses over. Boths strengths are making central runs from wider positions and latching on to through balls. Overmars was a superior finisher though.

  81. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    What is beginning to emerge this summer is that the club are for once buying
    players that we need.

    As I have suggested there are now 8 positions in first team, which will select
    themselves if fit and play in those games that matter.

    I think that the other players in the squad will be competing for remaining three places in team or playing when eight are injured or need a rest.

    One of the lessons learned about Leicester last season is that they played with
    a settled team.

  82. Cesc Appeal

    Seems there may still be the potential for a move for Brozovic before deadline day, still getting strongly linked to him.

  83. Emiratesstroller

    Don’t discount Giroud. I still think that when fit he will start season as our first choice striker, because he scored last season 21 goals in EPL and CL. When you
    factor in his games for France he scored 30 goals.

    A rested Giroud can and will be useful against certain teams because of his physical presence and heading ability. He is a decent player when rested.

  84. BigCheese

    Theo was great yesterday. 3 games in, 1 goal and 1 assist. Would have had more goals but for poor finishing. Having said that he gets into positions none of our wingers can get into and makes the chance himself.

    Seriously think he’ll have a storming season, injuries permitting of course.

  85. STV

    Theres no redemption for Wenger for me, I could never forgive him for spectacularly bottling our last season.. I even supported him at times knowing that would be his best chance to finish on a little high and retire.. Alas he reverted back to type sooner than we all know..

    There’s no way he can win pl sadly. I just hope for an odd Carling cup or FA if we get an extremely lucky draw..

    I have great optimism this season. It’s not even unrealistic to expect he’ll not be staying past this season.. Ofcourse the odds are stacked against but never seen him more beleaguered..

  86. Cesc Appeal


    Of course, with Giroud I always think he’s not as s**t as some people say, but he isn’t as good as others try to say, he’s somewhere in the middle. Fit and up for it, he’s decent.

    But I don’t want to see Sanchez, Giroud, Perez too often, Perez has only really hit good numbers once in his career and that came playing ST for a poor (with respect) club.

    Sanchez, Perez, Iwobi/Walcott/Ramsey is what I would like to see, well preferably Sanchez, Perez, New RM.

    We saw the trouble Welbeck caused in out set up for the opposition last year, because we have Ozil, Sanchez, Xhaka etc because of our movement I really think that even a decent ST with a bit of a pace and willing could do very well in out set up.

    Now Perez seems to have the same attributes as Welbeck in terms of speed, strength and work rate, but seems far better in front of goal, so I would like to think he could get decent numbers for us.

    Giroud is good, but we’ve flogged that horse and we know it gets us nowhere. This is a bit of a gamble, bit of an experiment, but I’d rather see us give time to Perez.

  87. Emiratesstroller


    Despite gossip I don’t think Wenger will buy any further players. Our business is
    done and it becomes counterproductive if you overload the squad.

    I think that we offload Chambers, Gnabry and Sanogo + either Martinez or Macey on loan. Otherwise our business is I think done.

  88. STV

    “Perez has to play as ST when he arrives, as a player he only really came to life last season when playing ST, I don’t want to see him shunted out to RM.”

    True Cesc, he’s had his failed career at Wings.. Time to build on his last season..

  89. SUGA3

    …rested and kept on his toes by the competition. One of my biggest criticisms of Wenger is for rank incompetence when it comes to utilising the squad. This leaves the ‘A team’ players being ‘a little jaded’ and the ‘B team’ ones ‘lacking a bit of sharpness’. Now, where did I hear these two phrases? Hmmmm?

    I can’t for the life of me understand how an intelligent person, which Wenger is without any doubt cannot see what is right in front of me. Dude is like socialism: heroically fighting self created problems that are unknown to any other system.

  90. Cesc Appeal


    I’d like to see a RM, we can all quote the list of names who can play there but I’m not convinced by any of them.

    For certain I’d like to see some selling and loaning done, Debuchy sold, Sanogo sold (though to who is another question) Gnabry loaned, Chambers loaned and even starting to think Oxlade loaned. Personally I’d be looking to sell Walcott still as well, but seems Wenger is not going to do that which is a shame.

    Then I’d be looking for that RM, give us an option outside of what we know has failed before.

  91. Wenker-wanger

    I now know why champagne Charlie has the abbreviation C.C…,…. Complete Cunt.
    I used to refrain from inter- fan baiting… However this “individual” warrants such reaction.
    To be a simpleton AKB is fine for a personal lifestyle of deluded walter-mitty” existence, but when it affects a positive movement that’s attempting to oust a negative force controlling our beloved arsenal, then of course I and many other fans will oppose and react to such negativity.

  92. tunnygriffboy


    What a lovely positive post. You’re taking my half full glass away from me 🙂 🙂

    Xhaka’s passing will really suit Walnut. There was one 40 yarder yesterday which landed on a dime, Walcott hit it first time and Gomes made a great save

    I agree that the mobility and movement of the front three gave Watford real problems yesterday. At times Alexis pulled wide giving their CBs no one to mark and late runs into the box caused them real problems.

    Am interested in seeing what Lucas can bring to the table. Obviously he’s not a worldie but he has a bit of pace, good movement and link play, he’s good technically, is able to run behind and has a workrate like Alexis. This is a guy who hasn’t had things easy in his career but has now got his chance at a big club. I think he’ll be mad for it and will give it everything

    Heard some good reports about Mustafi from one Spanish journalist but not so good reports from another. I know he’s quite quick and a good footballer. Will allows to play a high line if we want.

  93. Emiratesstroller


    Our squad can always be improved, but you have to counterbalance finance and availability of the right players needed.

    The club has spent this summer over £90 million net. The only sale sofar is Hayden at £2.8 million. I think that is realistically what you should expect.

    From my perspective I would like to see Arsenal focus on renewing contracts
    of Koscielny, Sanchez and Ozil.

    The club should also plan better their transfer business for next summer with
    at least one major acquisition in £50 million + bracket e.g. Griezmann.

  94. SUGA3

    I mean the first paragraph about Giroud.

    And I agree with CA that Perez seems like a Welbeck with better finishing skills. Playing our formation requires a mobile striker, but Giroud has the attributes like his presence that have their uses in certain games.

    I think that any manager who can keep certain players guessing about them being selected would get the extra 10-15% out of them. Sure, GK and defense should be more or less the same with the occasional 1-2 games in one position for some to give the main back line a bit of rest, especially when playing every 3-4 days, but the front six should be kept on their toes at all times with no one being too assured of starting the next game.

  95. Cesc Appeal


    But again though, Walcott and Campbell sold, Mkhitaryan essentially paid for…just as an example. Draxler went for £28 Million last summer where we spent £10 Million for the entirety of the window, still surprised Wenger didn’t move on that one.

    If we pull our finger out we can get things done, and cleverly as well.

    But in terms of Walcott, Oxlade, Ramsey and Iwobi at RM, not convinced by any of them. Whilst Mustafi and Xhaka are great additions to our defensive and possession sides of the game I am shocked at how little our forward line has been changed. Wenger went in hard on that aspect of our game at the close of last season and I fully thought that would be the end of Walcott, Campbell too, that Oxlade might be loaned out and that a couple of big signings (ST and LM/RM) would come in.

    I am surprised our forward line is essentially the same with one gamble like signing added.

  96. tunnygriffboy


    I agree about keeping players on their toes to get extra out of them. Having got rid of Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky and brought in Elneny and Xhaka we now have much more quality in midfield

    We have enough good players to rotate depending on opposition or fatigue of players. We have Luca in upfront so we can do it without weakening the team too much.

    I hope things will be a bit more interesting this season. We keep players fit and there is reason for a bit of optimism

  97. BigCheese

    but the front six should be kept on their toes at all times with no one being too assured of starting the next game.


    Bang on. Keeps them fresh and chomping at the bit to get game time. Class players increase their output when faced with competition whilst the pussies cry and hand in a transfer request.

    Giroud would benefit the most I reckon. Two of his best patches of efficiency coincided with us trying to buy Suarez and Wenger alternating between The and Giroud for the CF spot.

  98. BigCheese

    Cesc –

    I thought we tried for Draxler but he wanted to stay in Germany?

    Don’t know why but I get the feeling he may be a Reyes type “Homeboy”. Looks like he’ll cry if Shawcross looked at him.

  99. SUGA3


    But at least there is an additional player for the front line compared to last season. I mean, yeah, Campbell is on loan now, but technically, he is still an Arsenal player.

    But I think we should not keep both Walcott and AOC. If both kept, definitely should not start together. On current form, Walcott ahead of AOC and the latter as a sub, possibly at halftime if Theo goes off the boil. And actually do it once or twice, so that the players would get out of the ‘worst case scenario, I will be pulled off in the 67th minute’ stupor. That’s another extra 5% in performance for some.

  100. Bishop

    Bamford / Emirates

    I guess Wenger has had enough of the Giroud way(target man) and wants more of fluid 3 (interchanging)…Sanchez Perez wally Iwobi,OX.

    Check it, we have been playing the Giroud way for 4 seasons and we are stagnant.

    Seems he has finally decided he want pace Vardy- like hence Perez now after Vardy failed to come.

    That’s part of why he is playing Sanchez upfront pending the arrival to get the team used to it.

    Giroud is Fit but he wants.this new style established ASAP and that’s why he’s holding him back abit.

    Don’t forget he bought Xhaka too who works even better in a Vardy like system plus that’s 2 over the top creators.

    He will definitely still have Giroud playing in some sort of games as in start but I see him being less important and Vital going forward.

    If Perez gets going fast..he owns that No9 for atleast next 2 seasons.

  101. Cesc Appeal


    For sure, I’m reasonably happy with Perez, all I have are clips of him and then what Deportivo fans are saying but he seems to have some attributes that mean he might do well we Ozil and Xhaka firing him balls and Sanchez playing with him.

    Just surprised that really, its business as usual up there, Walcott really should have been sold in my opinion, take advantage of the cash rich EPL, the fact he’s English and inexplicably still has a ‘potential’ tag around him…hearing the commentator say ‘is this the season Walcott fulfils his potential’ yesterday was hilarious…but Campbell, clearly Wenger does not fancy him, so sell him and raise some funds.

    I don’t know, just feels as if RB, CB’s, LB, CDM/CM, CAM, LM is fine, but then RM and ST, just like last year not sure at all on that…but again, Perez at least may turn up and pick up where he left off last year.

  102. useroz

    Seriously Wenger have to sell Sanogo asap to make a statement, esp with his new found concern over paying 600 staff. The 20 or 30k sanogo picks up per week probably cover 20+

    Lucas should be good (as striker) in our setup so long as ozil and cazorla can be kept fit.

    If wilshere doesn’t step up big time, he’d not be relevant very quickly.