New signing + good news on contract talks | Bayern Munich ground-hog day

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You acclimatised to it, didn’t you? Early morning posts which were actually late ones, because I was writing them before I went to bed in Alaska. I’m going to try and write them at night moving forward so you have something ready for your morning.

So what did I wake up to today?

Bayern Munich, last 16 of the Champions League. Like a ground-hog nightmare this, isn’t it? Barca or Bayern. Standard. If we’d finished 2nd, we’d have landed Barca as well. Doomed.

Still, I’m not going to cry about it. It is what it is and I think things are slightly different this time around. Firstly, we have a mobile, clinical, athletic striker… no, not Yaya Sanogo, Alexis Sanchez. That’s massive. It allows us to press hard from the front and it means Bayern can’t push up high against us like they did last time. We might even have WELBZ back in contention by then, and I really think he could be excellent for us in the back half of the season.

We also have a squad this time. Providing we don’t have a bad December, we’ll be able to choose two sides that can do different things. We can press with power and pace, or we can sit deep and protect using Xhaka and Coquelin in a double pivot. What were our options last time? Arteta and Flamini? Pretty grim in comparison to what we have this time around.

Also, and this is a nothing comment, we really are due a horrible win at some point. Blind squirrel, broken clock, out right luck out… we deserve a win we’re ashamed of. Amirite?

Some pretty exciting games elsewhere.

Manchester City v Monaco
Real Madrid v Napoli
Benfica v Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich v Arsenal
FC Porto v Juventus
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Paris St-Germain v Barcelona
Sevilla v Leicester

I’d say City lucked out, but Monaco have been free scoring this year, undoubtedly a tough tie. Leicester vs Sevilla is going to be interesting because judging by the teams in their group, they’re being underestimated. Even Pep was guilty of that at the weekend.

Madrid vs Napoli is a must watch, as is Benfica vs Dortmund. Finally, the games are about to get interesting.

As for Tottenham, Gent in the next round of the #Spursday League. Crying with laughter emoji.

In transfer news, club secretary David Miles reckons the talks with Ozil and Sanchez are going pretty well. He also said Wenger might be looking to strengthen this January. Which is weird, being that this feels like the first Jan he doesn’t need to buy… maybe the new scouts are impressing him?

‘Obviously that’s Arsene’s domain, and it’s in very safe hands,’

‘I know he’s already looking for opportunities to strengthen the squad.’

That makes the news that we’re about to sign Riechedly Bazoer, the Ajax midfielder I know nothing about, all the more believable. Apparently Ajax can’t fit him into their system, which is a 4-3-3. He’s a bit of oddity, in that he has good defensive ability (was a centre back), but actually sees himself as a midfielder. His strength lies in transitioning the ball from defence to midfield. Is he a potential upgrade to Coquelin, or is he an understudy for Xhaka? Here’s a more detailed overview here because I don’t damn well know.

Right, that’s all you’re getting. See you in the morning. x

UPDATE: That signing didn’t happen, he went to Wolfsburg. Apologies for piquing excitement there.


181 Responses to “New signing + good news on contract talks | Bayern Munich ground-hog day”

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  1. Cesc Appeal


    If true we cannot have any concerns about the wage increase cap for Sanchez and Ozil then, both of those are low priority compared to these two.

  2. kc

    So we move our only good wideman to striker and now our best choice at wing is Oxlade Chamberlain? Common sense says we’re either short on Strikers, or short out on the wing. But please go on about how we have a proper staffed squad this year…… Ignorance must truly be bliss. And please do one with the Oxlade is one of the better wing players in the league. One good game is all it takes and half you morons want to sign up the player for life. Must be because he’s British. Iwobi all day long over Oxlade. He’s already at the same level in year one ffs.

  3. Jim Lahey

    @Kc – “So we move our only good wideman to striker and now our best choice at wing is Oxlade Chamberlain?”

    Would love to see a push to bring in Payet and Draxler this Jan.

  4. gonsterous

    Would love to see payet in an arsenal shirt. Guy is a top player. Have my doubts he can play with the big boys but something worth trying out .

    Can’t see the fuss about draxler but then again I don’t follow him much. Just watch bundesliga highlights from time to time !!

  5. Dream10

    Cesc Appeal

    Agreed. Don’t think there will be a problem in re-signing Ozil and Sanchez. Think one or both Ramsey or Wilshere will be sold though.

  6. Romford Ozil Pele

    One of our executives seemed quite positive on getting Alexis and Özil signed up so fingers crossed.

    Also Alexis is much better higher up. Better to utilise his running as a striker rather than the other way as a winger.

    Love Draxler as a player but can’t see us signing him unless Wenger doesn’t have faith in Ox or Iwobi.

  7. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, I can see Ramsey going I think, Wilshere won’t have much demand, and despite what many think, I do think Ramsey will have takers and that we could get a decent fee for him.

    Debuchy will be sold, Mert will be sold, Campbell, not sure what his contract situation is but I was baffled he was not sold in the summer. I have a feeling this is a make or break season for Oxlade as well, as it should be, because we really could do with a great wide playmaker, but it is not likely to happen with the personnel we have taking up space right now.

    But then, I thought Giroud would be for the chop this summer, or rather push for a move, but if those extension reports are true, strange one.

  8. Champagne charlie

    Don’t see Draxler being landed Jan however much that’d be welcome! That being said, they’re struggling and may want the cash to reinvest in a couple of players to help dig themselves out relegation.

    Same can be said of West Ham with Payet, and of the two players I think Wenger would have more reason to bring in Payet to play over Iwobi/Ox because of his senior status. Bring Drax in and that basically says fuck you guys this dude is better. Payet comes in and you can say dude is a baller, learn from him.

    20mil for a Payet in Jan? 3 year deal. I’d do it in a heartbeat. Perfect Theo foil and Payet and Ozil pulling the strings is just naughty. Shouldn’t be allowed

  9. underrated Coq

    Bamford10, with you re Chamberlain. Capable of producing moments of sheer class and credit to him he’s doing it more consistently compared to previous seasons but not a good 90-minute player. Him and Walcott are in the same boat in this matter, both can pop-up with match winning moments but drift off for large patches of a game.

    Re Coquelin, aren’t people ever gonna tire of doubting the lad? He’s come leaps and bounds as a player, beating off more talented and fan favorite players like Wilshere, Ramsey. If they had half the commitment and desire of Coquelin, they’d probably be doing a whole lot better.

  10. Jim Lahey

    @Gonsterous – “Have my doubts he can play with the big boys but something worth trying out .”

    He has done very well with the French national team so I wouldn’t be too worried about the step up, would also love to see him at Arsenal.

    Regarding Draxler, he is one of those players with unlimited potential, however at 23 it is time he stepped up and I believe at Arsenal we could get the best out of him. The guy is a fantastic footballer, ambipedal and 6’2″. Can play anywhere across the attacking midfield. He already has a WC medal to his name.

    He is exactly what we need at the moment, he will leave this Jan. Its now or never for Arsenal and Draxler.

  11. Jim Lahey

    Champagne charlie –

    “Bring Drax in and that basically says fuck you guys this dude is better.”

    I feel this why we haven’t won the league in a long long time because Wenger is unwilling to do just exactly that. It would be ruthless of him to bring in a player like Draxler…. but that is really what we need. He is better than both Iwobi and Ox so why not bring him to the club?

  12. Red&White4ever

    “20mil for a Payet in Jan? 3 year deal. I’d do it in a heartbeat. ”
    Is it arsène speaking ??
    FFS, I knew it was too good to be true…

  13. Ashley

    good time to be an arsenal fan at the minute … Haven’t had the usual feeling of X player shouldn’t be anywhere near the pitch , maybe that feeling will come back when mert gets shoe horned back into the side but surely that can’t happen can it ? Let’s make a smart move in Jan and win the league , not too much to ask ay …. Everton banana skin – we need to be focused

  14. gambon

    Really dont think Draxler is the player we need.

    I used to think he was, but he basically hasnt improved in 3-4 years. We dont improve as a club by signing him, so I dont really see the point.

    Unless Wenger can see some crazy Bale like improvement, I just dont see why its even being discussed. Gnabry is doing better things in the same league, and Wenger didnt seem to want to keep him.

  15. gonsterous

    We haven’t embarrassed ourselves for a while now. Maybe we should go in with a 60 million offer for bale in the January window so we keep fooling everyone !!

  16. gambon

    But I do agree with Jim Lahey.

    Wengers overly sentimental ways have held us back for years.

    If Wenger thinks Chamberlain, Iwobi, Walcott, Elneny, Ramsey and Coquelin are good enough to build a successful team, we’re fucked.

  17. Louis Almeida

    True but not every player in the squad needs to be world class. Some can just play functional roles as squad players.

  18. Vince

    Some good news according to twittee.
    Get French Football @GFFN
    Breaking | Arsenal have reached contract extension agreements with Olivier Giroud (until 2019) and Francis Coquelin (until 2021), per RMC.
    Get French Football @GFFN
    Laurent Koscielny is in advanced contract negotiations with Arsenal about extending until 2020. (RMC)
    2:51 PM – 13 Dec 2016
    157 157 Retweets 64 64 likes

  19. vicky

    Ox is not your usual steady type of player, he is an impact player who can change a game with his moments of brilliance but can also have a lot of silly moments. Judging him by his decision making ability is not appropriate. He beats a lot of players in his build up, gets in to the opposition third very frequently and I would have him in my line up against most teams in the league although he needs to work on his final ball more to be a terrific player. Iwobi as earlier pointed out has struggled to maintain any sort of consistency and fizzles out after some time when he gets a place in the starting line up. The level of his game fluctuates a lot and his output is not better than Ox despite his supposedly better decision making.

  20. DaleDaGooner

    Leave it to gambon to put Coquelin on the chopping block. You say a few decent sensible things, then go ahead and get all outrageous with your ITK bs. Pedro, you too, your undercover hatred for Coquelin shows.

    I remember for years we asked for a player like him outside our squad, and he finally develops into just that powerful midfielder who breaks up play and snuffs out dangers, and some of you can’t wait to get rid of him for a new shiny defensive midfielder…..go figure.

  21. DaleDaGooner

    Fletcher, Cleverly, O’shea, etc….these are some types of players in United’s squad under Fergie when he won some league titles……

  22. DaleDaGooner

    I’d agree that Wenger is overly sentimental by keeping Per, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ox constantly in the first 11 whenever he gets a chance to, but don’t go as far as trying to get rid of some of the performers in your overly egregious analysis of individual players in Arsenal

  23. Cesc Appeal

    Oscar joining Shanghai SIPG for £52 Million in January. That is some firepower in the market for Chelsea.

    Anyone we could try and flog over there, ridiculous fees!

  24. Samesong

    This will be a physical affair don’t see what Perez will bring to this game. Bring him on second half when they are tired.

  25. raptora

    Toffee’s fans have been absolutely fantastic. This noise that they make… – we lack this on Emirates soo bad. They are literally brought Everton back to the living. This is going to be a very rough one.