Another new deal proves revealing | Results working hard for Arsenal so far

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Let’s get back into the swing of things now the PR wave of cringe propoganda has slowed down. We have Burnley tomorrow in a game to be wary of, but not one to shit our pants about whilst preaching that any team is capable of an upset. That said, away from home, it’s worth remembering it took a late Kos goal to settle the result our way.

This weekend was supposed to be a good one, fully hoping that someone would stop Spurs or end City, whilst quietly accepting this would be a chase the pack weekend with United and Liverpool playing easy games.

THE AMAZIZATION OF THE PREM NEVER FAILS THOUGH

Swansea, who were pretty decent in spells again, turned over Liverpool in hilarious fashion. Going 2-0 up, you felt Liverpool would power back into it… Firmino taking the lead, bring them back to 2-2. As you watched the Liverpool attack pound Swansea, the last thing you expected was a quick counter, a Klaven assist and a Swansea player to bang home a winner.

Well played Paul Clement. What a spectacular win!

United are currently boring the hell out of me, going toe-to-toe with Stoke in a game of HIT IT TO THE BIG LAD. Nice to see them struggling when played against average to good teams. Sad to know they’ll still beat us when it comes to the crunch. Anyway, all fingers pointing towards those guys having trouble breaking the top 4 this season.

Per Mertesacker has signed a new deal at the club.  It’s hard not to love the mighty German, a superb servant and a strong personality in the dressing room. He also sings on the website occasionally, which is funny. He had this to say on his new deal.

I would like to say how very grateful I am to have extended my contract here. It makes me really proud and also a bit emotional. I’ve been out for six months now and to have such trust and belief from the manager makes me very humble and thankful.

Trust me, I’ll do everything possible on a daily basis to make myself better and everybody around me better. I’m working really hard to come back and show that I’m still capable on the pitch, because I want to help make this great club as successful as possible.

It’s tough not to feel something for him, but I do wonder here. We’re a team that hasn’t won the league in 12 years. We have big issues and one of them, sadly, has been him over the past few years. He’s slowing down and his pace is a real issue in a league choked full of it.

My worry is that the bigger picture here is that Arsene has signed basically everyone to new deal. That’s great for stability, but as has been evident over the past 10 years, it’s clear that stability really doesn’t hold as much value in football as Wenger would have us beleive. Chelsea are far from stable but have more trophies than we could dream of. Leicester won the league after sacking their manager. Stability, when I look at Arsenal, means stagnation.

Wenger hoards players like my nan hoards newspapers and ice cream tubs. It’s like Wenger was psychologically damaged in the years he had to sell… and his reflex now is to never let anyone leave.

Santi is a brilliant player, but 2 years of long term injury layoffs… and, well, why are we giving him a new deal? Same with Per. Same with Chambo when he signs on. Why aren’t we shifting these players on BEFORE they start standing out like a naked old man in a school playground?

We kept Rosicky and Arteta on for far too long… we didn’t sell Ramsey or Jack when they were at peak value. Now we seem to be making the same mistakes again.

I’m all for sentimentality. I live in New York and go to Man Cry Seminars twice a week. I’m just not game the old boys charity club. We seem to lend more to being sentimental than we do to winning things. It’s no way to run a club in my opinion… but I guess when the tone is set by the owner tying a duff manager down to a new deal based on nothing other than what he did back in the day, you can’t be surprised that filters down.

The end result? We drift…

See you in the comments!

 

1,009 Responses to “Another new deal proves revealing | Results working hard for Arsenal so far”

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  1. vicky

    Clueless apologists always jump to their standard excuse of blaming Wenger and his system when their expensive dream star turns out to be a dud rather than admit their judgment of the player was (and still is) wrong in the first place.

  2. qna

    Vicky: Clueless apologists always jump to their standard excuse of blaming Wenger and his system when their expensive dream star turns out to be a dud rather than admit their judgment of the player was (and still is) wrong in the first place.

    Talk about a clueless poster. Looked at yourself in the mirror. So wait you call me an appologist while defending Wenger and his system. Sure. Xhaka during his 15 odd games is one of Arsenals biggest causes of more than a decade of failure.

    And if you want to jump in on a conversation at least pretend to know what your talking about.

    This “Dream Star” is someonr who I was against us signing. I wanted a world class B2B that could replace Cazorla. I in fact said we should sell him and foretold he would have an injury interrupted career from that point on. As I have said several time above I suggested we buy Kante instead of Xhaka.

    If you werent such a useless waste of time poster I am sure I could find a post where youwould have defended the signing of Xhaka at the time. Please do show us where you had the forsight to predict this signing being “wrong in the first place”. Stick to cricket loser.

  3. vicky

    Trump haters are not doing anyone any favors by making the political and public discourse more and more rancid by protests and media onslaught. Hollywood bozos and other loonies should come to terms with the fact he is the US president now instead of creating mayhem. The more they hit out at

  4. Wallace

    vicky

    “Trump haters are not doing anyone any favors by making the political and public discourse more and more rancid by protests and media onslaught.”

    seriously? you don’t think a couple of million people around the world getting out and protesting his presidency does anyone any good? the media should just let him get on with presenting his ‘alternative facts’ and not call him on them?

  5. vicky

    Damn incomplete posts somehow getting through by auto refresh

    Wallace and RR

    It’s no surprise Trump’s speeches and press conferences lack gravity and depth. His knowledge on most things is very shallow. But that being said he deserves to be given some space by his critics. He has not been a seasoned politician and he doesn’t know how to talk like one. To expect him to make speeches like a pro is misplaced. Besides over the top protests by Maddonna and Co. make the public discourse very acrimonious. Generally every new ruler is given at least 6 months of honeymoon period but here you have millions of people protesting even before his swearing in ceremony. He won under the rules prevalent in USA fair and square. Obama couldn’t get most of his job done because of hostile opposition from Republicans and it did not help USA and the world. Do you really think anything good will come out of constant bickering, mudslinging and protests ? I doubt so.

  6. Rambo Ramsey

    vicky, no doubt that political and social outrage can get very over the top but Trump and co have the power and the responsibility to handle the situation with a bit of grace and dignity. Instead of attempting to put out the flames of anger and unrest, Trump and his party are pouring oil over it. That isn’t down to inexperience, its down to arrogance and stupidity.

  7. Emiratesstroller

    qna

    Good morning all on this crisp and foggy day.

    I have to correct some inaccurate facts, which are being posted about Xhaka. First he has played sofar this season in 27 games [1,909 minutes] and he has been awarded 2 Reds and 3 Yellow [1 of these in CL].

    That is hardly the record of a malevolent/dirty player. I would venture to
    suggest that there are far worse in the current and past history of the
    game including at Arsenal.

    Moreover both reds were if you review them hardly the most dangerous tackles that I have seen. The first awarded against Swansea was a yellow at
    worst for a ‘trip’. The second yesterday was a tackle made at fairly slow motion albeit a scissor kick and not exactly leg breaking.

    What is true about Xhaka is that he lacks pace and needs to improve his
    tackling technique. As has been pointed out elsewhere he is not alone amongst footballers including some great ones for being a poor tackler.

    There are some posters who like to criticise every player in the Arsenal team and if you listen to the likes of RT all our players are complete rubbish.

    Xhaka is not a “great” player or a “match” winner, but I do think that he has
    the potential to be a good one. After all he was rated last season to be the
    best Central Midfielder in Bundesliga despite his poor disciplinary record.

    Personally if I have a choice I would play him in the role of Ramsey rather
    than in DMF mode. He is technically a superior player and has a fearsome shot as well as being a free kick specialist.That would reduce the risk of him landing up with disciplinary problems.

    It raises also the question of bringing into the team a more athletic a better
    calibre of defensive/box to box midfielder to play the defensive role. Clearly
    the best player for that position in EPL is Konte who left Leicester and went
    to Chelsea.

    We need an additional midfielder, because we are light in that department
    at moment. Cazorla appears injury prone and to be perfectly frank I don’t
    rate either Ramsey or Elneny. Both are fairly ordinary players perhaps good
    enough for mid table team. If it was not for his injury record I would prefer
    to bring back Wilshire, because he is a vastly superior player to Ramsey.

  8. vicky

    RR

    Trump is very thin-skinned. I don’t think he will ever be able to handle any criticism gracefully and sensibly. That said people must criticize him for his wrong policy actions like Bernie Sanders does but I think at the moment attack on him is borne out of personal hate. When you see Madonna talking about blowing the White house, Judd talking about Trump’s lust for Ivanka etc. you can’t help but feel all these are borne out of sheer hatred rather than genuine concerns and grievances.

  9. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Personally if I have a choice I would play him in the role of Ramsey rather
    than in DMF mode. He is technically a superior player…’

    Huh? You would play Xhaka as the B2B, roaming type player? What attributes do you see in him that make you believe he’d make it work?

    Does he look comfortable moving up and down the pitch? Nope
    Does he have the pace or the engine to move about? Nope
    Does he look comfortable leaving the safety of our half of the pitch to assist the attack? Nope
    Does he make runs into the opposition box? Nope
    Is he capable of interchanging with our wide players? Nope
    Can he dribble or outmaneuver opposition players, has he demonstrated an ability to function in tight spaces under pressure? Nope

    Technically superior my bottom.

  10. Ishola70

    I think the bottom line question re: Xhaka is this. Is he the player that can propel Arsenal onto the next level and to win the major honours? The question is asked because Arsenal have been at the same level for so long just underneath the top spot and you are always looking for the big signings to make that difference that will see Arsenal win big rather than being the perennial bridesmaids.

    And I am afraid the answer has to be no. There is no indication that Xhaka will propel this team forward onto the major honours.

    Those that defend Xhaka but in the same breath admit that Kante would have been the better signing answer the question themselves as well albeit in a round the houses way.

    Arsenal need certain characters and characteristics and certain type of players to come in to improve. Wanting another playmaker in the side to come in on top of Ozil is I am afraid showing that certain fans unwittingly have been Wengerised to the core.

  11. Emiratesstroller

    Ramsey Rambo

    I appreciate that you don’t like the guy, but he is an excellent passer of the
    ball something that Ramsey is not. That was something Arsenal were lacking last season particularly in absence of Cazorla.

    As I said I would pick Wilshire ahead of both players in central midfield department if it were not for his injury record, but he has also been criticised
    for his tackling by many critics and posters.

  12. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    That is fair comment, but then we did not pay a transfer fee for a “world class player”. We paid for a good one.

    At the moment there are very few actual or potential world class players available in the market and you are going to pay grossly inflated prices to secure anyone of them.

    Sadly Arsenal’s major shareholder and the club’s management are not going to compete in market and pay an inflated price as for example Man Utd
    did last summer when buying Pogba.

  13. Red&White4life

    Didn’t saw the game yesterday.
    Only learned the result last night.

    Pathetic, really… Chelsea will purely and simply destroy us, Diego Costa is already in heat lol

  14. Ishola70

    Emiratesstroller:
    “That is fair comment, but then we did not pay a transfer fee for a “world class player”. We paid for a good one.”

    What is your view on Kante then? He would not have cost an arm and a leg and there are many that think that Kante would have been a much better signing in regards to what this team needs. Kante is one of the best off the ball midfielders in the league and Arsenal are continually criticised for not having another players that are very good off the ball.

    I’m not sure that players that Arsenal need are off the scale to purchase. It’s just a case that Wenger picks the wrong ones.

  15. Wallace

    Ishola

    “What is your view on Kante then? He would not have cost an arm and a leg and there are many that think that Kante would have been a much better signing in regards to what this team needs.”

    what, we needed another Coquelin? I thought we needed a guy at the base who was solid defensively and had the ability to get the ball to our talented players further forward. and that aint Kante.

  16. Rambo Ramsey

    Reckless Xhaka leaves Arsenal weak in midfield

    Granit Xhaka has given his manager a problem. Two problems actually: a short-term one and a longer-term one. For now, Xhaka will miss four games for his clumsy lunge at Steven Defour and it leaves Arsenal with only two central midfielders, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin.

    As for the bigger picture, Wenger was clearly disappointed in Xhaka for an inability to cut out the kind of reckless tackling that can lead to double punishment – playing with 10 men, and then a ban. The Arsenal manager doesn’t often criticise his players in public but he didn’t hold back on Xhaka. He hoped the lesson had been learned with a suspension earlier this season, albeit a harsh one for what most would regard as more of an orange than red card. This was a player he had been prepared to wait to sign and wanted to build a new-style midfield around.

    Burnley came so close to grabbing a late point against ten men, before Arsenal were able to seize all three even later. It took time for Xhaka to earn Wenger’s trust and become a regular starter, and having to regain it won’t be easy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/23/premier-league-10-talking-points-weekends-action

  17. Ishola70

    Wallace:
    .”what, we needed another Coquelin? I thought we needed a guy at the base who was solid defensively and had the ability to get the ball to our talented players further forward. and that aint Kante.”

    You see this snobbish attitude from the fans is not helpful at all is it in trying to get the ingredients together to make a team that can improve. I was always under the notion that the really good teams in the past had different characteristics in the side that made them top winners. The flair attacking players and the more unsung players, the workers that allow others to shine.

    Kante is a superior player to Coquelin in what they both do and what their roles are.

    I’m not surprised Wallace that you continue along this line that certain players are not worthy to play for Arsenal. If Kante is deemed good enough for Chelsea and looks to be winning his second EPL title in as many years why not good enough to line up for Arsenal?

    At least you are consistent in your views though Wallace. I’ll give you that. The Wenger wonderland view.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola70

    With hindsight I would probably have gone for Kante, because of his defensive qualities and mobility. Also because of his experience in EPL.

    However, Arsenal had already bought Xhaka before the beginning of Transfer
    Window and perhaps you can also factor in the difficulties we had when we
    tried to buy Vardy and showed interest in Mahrez.

    When you look down the list of transfers this summer very few were top class
    central, box to box or defensive midfielders.

  19. Paulinho

    Yeah Xhaka is great at getting the ball forward when he completely bricks it every time a defender gives him the ball with his back to play and he passes it straight back.

  20. Ishola70

    People talk about how good Xhaka is with his passing but he is giving the ball away too cheaply too many times as well.

    That sending off yesterday followed on from a stray pass from him that gave the opposition possession.

    He was giving the ball away cheaply as well in the first half against Swansea.

    So the aspect of his play that some are trumpeting is not fool proof at all either.

  21. Paulinho

    Long passing is completely overrated in football anyway. Go through all the great players in the history of the game and you will hear ‘oh he was a great long passer’. It’s all the other aspects of the game that made them great.

    Pirlo wasn’t a great long passer but his passing was exceptional because of the idea behind them, and the frequency of the them in a short period. Turning the screw subtly with four or five passes in quick succession. That’s running a game, not hitting isolated David Beckham type passes.

  22. qna

    @EmiratesStroller

    I agree on the weaknesses stated about Xhaka. I dont think he is world class. But he is one of the few players that I think is still young enough to go to that next level.

    I keep going on about Wenger’s system and Xhaka’s suitability. This is because it is a vital part of the discussion for a player like Xhaka. The example I have used to explain this is Pirlo. How would Pirlo do in yesterday’s Arsenal team. Sitting next to only Ramsey who wonders off, frequently taking the ball off players like Ozil, Sanchez and Giroud who were much further forward. I dont think that Pirlo would look world class in a Wenger team. In fact, he would be a liability because he would be left exposed and left to defend a fast paced counter attack. That is the bread and butter of the England game. So if you were going to bother having a genius like Pirlo in your team, you have to have a system that suits him. Juventus played three central midfielders. PSG play 3 and so do Bayern Munich. Real Madrid. Most top teams that have not switched to a back 3, play 4-3-3 and Xhaka would fit easily into any of them (not necessarily being first choice in all of them, but he would not be out of place).

    RM: Kroos – Modric – Xhaka OR Kroos – Xhaka – Rodrigez/Isco
    PSG: Verratti-Xhaka-Matuidi
    Bayern- Vidal -Xhaka – Alcantara
    Barcalona – Iniesta – Xhaka – Rakitic

    He may not be as good as Mordic, Busquets or Alonso yet, but each of these line ups would be comfortable with him in it. In each of these formations there is balance and Xhaka would not be left exposed to the weaknesses you mentioned. In many cases a pure DM like Wanyama is not used because 2 or 3 of the central midfielders have enough defensive qualities between them and they play to a structure that is in itself protective of counter attacks. You could substitute Pirlo for Xhaka into any of the above formation because there is enough quality and protection. But you could not field a team with Pirlo next to Ramsey who are behind Iwobi and Ozil.

  23. Wallace

    Ishola

    “Kante is a superior player to Coquelin in what they both do and what their roles are.”

    never said he wasn’t. my point was, did we need another Coquelin.

  24. underrated Coq

    I maintain what I wrote a few weeks back, Xhaka is not a good fit for the PL. Take a glance at the squads of the other sides this year and the past few years too if you want, how many such ‘registas’ have been around?

    Most of the top midfielders had/have a good blend of technique and athleticism.

  25. gambon

    Xhaka is a dud.

    Hate to say it, and I was calling for us to sign him for a while, but hes not remotely good enough.

    As has been said, he shits himself when he doesnt have space, is massively limited physically, and is just a moron.

    We should just cut our losses and sell to Serie A.

    We have way too many players that are only comfortable when its all very easy.

    Makes you wonder what they do in training every day.

    Sit around having tea parties and playing charades i would imagine.

  26. Paulinho

    Kante is ten times better than Xhaka under pressure and dealing with the ball in tight spaces, so he gets the ball forward to the attacking players much better in those situations than Xhaka. This contrived set-piece style of Xhaka from deep is only one way to get the ball forward, and an extemely one-dimensional one at that.

  27. qna

    Emirates. Regarding the price of Xhaka. 30m seems like a high price because Arsenal have been holding the purse strings so tight for all of these years. It is disappointing for when they finally spend that they dont buy a world class player. But you wont get a world class player for 30m. We should have been looking at 50m to 60m at somebody like Verratti.

    I also said at the time that rather than Xhaka for 30m we should have gone for Kante for 20m (his buyout for a CL qualified side). But we cant get every player we want. Kante might have gone to Chelsea anyway, so I dont cry foul on the decision to bring in a talented but not world class CM for 30m as this guy might step up to the level that Alsonso is. But he wont be able to succeed unless we play to a modern style of football. Wengers is so outdated now that we are carved to pieces by Monaco and Dortmund and so on. We need to update our manager first. I think with a Koeman or an Allegri at the helm, we can change our system and Xhaka can be a big part of what we do going forward. He may yet become a world class player. Who else are you going to go out and buy 6 months on for 30m? I bet none of the names that you are thinking are going for 30m or less.

  28. Wallace

    Paulinho

    “That’s running a game, not hitting isolated David Beckham type passes.”

    never once mentioned hollywood passes. it’s the 15-20 yd vertical passes, hit low, that I think he excels at. i have no interest in the hollywood stuff.

  29. Ishola70

    Wallace:
    .”never said he wasn’t. my point was, did we need another Coquelin.”

    And what do you think this team needs Wallace to go and win big? More ballers?

    Wenger’s way of wanting to win is not working and hasn’t worked for a long time.

    Chelsea is an example of a team that is more pragmatic in their approach. They won a Champions League with a more pragmatic approach and yes a bit of luck on the way as well. They have won EPL titles with a more pragmatic approach than Arsenal and look to be winning another EPL title in this way as well this season.

    Deflectors like to focus on the price tags of players and state why this why they can win big. It’s not just about the individual players. It’s the approach and mentality just as much.

  30. Wallace

    Paulinho

    “Kante is ten times better than Xhaka under pressure and dealing with the ball in tight spaces, so he gets the ball forward to the attacking players much better in those situations than Xhaka. ”

    hmm, maybe there are two Kante’s and I’m watching a different one to you.

  31. Jim Lahey

    “. it’s the 15-20 yd vertical passes, hit low, that I think he excels at.”

    Any player that isn’t capable of a 15-20 yd pass shouldn’t be playing in the Premier League, have we spent £35m on a player that excels at a basic skill…

  32. Jim Lahey

    “hmm, maybe there are two Kante’s and I’m watching a different one to you.”

    Must be, Kante is great in tight spaces and has great vision for a defensive midfielder. He showed it all last year and continues to do it at Chelsea.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    Paulinho

    The issue is not the pass long or short, but making the right pass and actually I do think that Xhaka has good vision.

    We can debate ad infinitum all his weaknesses. This is his first season in EPL. Many overseas players struggle when they come over to England particularly with the pace of game.

    Let us judge him next season. What is more relevant as I have suggested on
    more than one occasion before yesterday’s red card is that the club is woefully short of midfield resources.

    Following departure of Wilshire to Bournemouth we were left with just
    six experienced midfielders on the books if you discount Iwobi who was playing last season on the wing.That compares with 10 that we had in
    January following recruitment of Elneny albeit that Messrs Rosicky, Arteta
    and Wilshire were missing for most of season.

    At the moment we are down to just 3 experienced midfielders in Ozil, Ramsey and Coquelin with Xhaka out for at least 4 games, Cazorla probably out
    for most of rest of season through injury and Elneny out in Africa.

    We have absolutely no margin for error, which demonstrates just how foolish Arsenal were for loaning out Wilshire for whole season without right of
    return.

    No other major club would leave themselves so exposed with our game schedule.

    As I said yesterday we need to bring in an additional midfielder before transfer window closes, but knowing Wenger that is not going to happen.

  34. qna

    Paulinho: Kante is ten times better than Xhaka under pressure and dealing with the ball in tight spaces, so he gets the ball forward to the attacking players much better in those situations than Xhaka. This contrived set-piece style of Xhaka from deep is only one way to get the ball forward, and an extemely one-dimensional one at that.

    Kante is not our player and he is not for sale. So forget about him now. Who are you going to bring in? Tell me. Kante was a no brainer and as usual the geniuses at Arsenal look at gift horse in the mouth, spat at it, tried to get a blow job and then punched it in the fucking nose. End of story. Opportunity missed. What your solution now though?

    I told you Kante was the answer when he was an option for a miserly 20m to rub salt in the wound. I told you that Schneiderlain was not the answer when many were begging for him. I told you Xhaka was not what we needed when we bought him. But you still have to put your hand up and put you head on the chopping block and give some solutions.

    There are not any obvious fixes for our problems. Xhaka is as good as anyone we can buy unfortunately. We have to build on what we have got and as far as the resources at our disposal we should be clearing out a lot of other deadwood before we get rid of Xhaka.

    Btw, I put my hand up and say my call for Kondogbia was off as well. But I say a lot of names as you well know and go and look through them. Expensive names but few of them are wrong. The thing is there are no secrets in world football. Everyone knows who the good players are and thats why the cost mega bucks. If we want to get good player we have to put our hand in the till and spend good money.

  35. vicky

    If someone said to you Theo was a great player because he’s got great pace , would you agree ? Hell No !! Xhaka is also a one trick pony. We need a more rounded midfielder.

  36. qna

    By the way. If we want to improve our midfield with a gun player who will move in the next 6 months, We should be throwing cash at Monaco for Bakayoko. This guy would be that Kante type player that we missed. But he will cost a lot more than the 20m that we could have got Kante for 6 months ago.

    Again this guy is no secret. But no doubt we will go and find another Elneny instead.

  37. Uwot?

    We could do with another coq no question.you can’t have enough of coq.as for Ramsey.a crab.side ways ,backwards.a flick here a flick there.loses it.way too many touches & slows down play.has lost his one asset.which was scoring goals.what’s left.nothing.accept attempts at Hollywood passes with an inane grin on his face when he,as usual,f**ks it up….

  38. Emiratesstroller

    qna

    You summarise it perfectly. There are few cast iron guarantees when buying
    footballers. Very few overseas players make an immediate impression when
    they arrive in England.

    Let’s face it there have been plenty of duds bought by Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City in recent years. The difference between us and them is that they are
    willing to throw money at the problem like confetti and also they are more
    ruthless than us at offloading players.

    Manchester’s track record in transfers since departure of Fergie is awful not
    least with acquisition and sale of Di Maria.

  39. Dissenter

    Kante has all the defensive attributes of Coquelin and the engine + vision of a proper central midfielder. He knows how to manoeuvre tight spaces, can dribble and hardly gives up the ball.
    Under Conte his offensive abilities are also coming through.

    He’s the closest thing to a complete midfielder in the modern game.
    He was premier league tested.

    He (followed by Wanyama) was the best signing of the season.
    Wenger passed on him when he was in league in.
    Wenger passed on him when he was th best defensive mid in the league.
    The most annoying thing is all we got for waiting is an expensive version of Lorik Cana or Lee Cattermole.

  40. qna

    @Jim. Is that your suggestion or your asking my my opinion on him. If the latter, then no, not for me. He is a bit like Sissoko dont you think? I dont think these guys are good enough for elite teams. They are mid-table team players or squad players for a team like Arsenal (should be). I am not interested in us signing squad players. I want us to use our youth system for that. We bring guys like Bellerin, Iwobi, Adelaide and so on through and give them opportunities as squad players. If they make it, like Bellerin then we have one less first team player to buy, if they are not quite good enough then we sell them and reinvest in youth.

    Sevilla have had a great season. But I am not impressed by one season performers.

  41. qna

    Emirates: Let’s face it there have been plenty of duds bought by Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City in recent years. The difference between us and them is that they are
    willing to throw money at the problem like confetti and also they are more
    ruthless than us at offloading players.

    Haha. I am willing to throw money at the problem too 🙂 and be more ruthless at offloading players 🙂

  42. qna

    Dissenter. Not disagreeing with you on Kante. We have more chance of buying a player from PSG, Bayern, Mardid or Barca than Chelsea. So what do we do now? Ok so you want to sell Xhaka. You take a loss of maybe 5m and sell him for 25m. Who do you bring in then?

    I have mentioned I would love Bakayoko. But that guy is not premier league ready. If you are selling Xhaka based on 6 months, you will definatley not be happy with Bakayoko for his first 6 months. You would have also sold Pogba long before he showed how good he was going to be.

    Whats your plan for us?

  43. Dissenter

    Vicky,
    I find your comments about Trump disappointing.
    Please explain how freedom loving people are supposed to show dissent in a democratic process.
    He wants to muzzle the press.
    He wants to create his own “alternate facts”
    The make calling was escalated by Trump so stop blaming the Hollywood bums for using it against him.

  44. Wallace

    Ishola

    “And what do you think this team needs Wallace to go and win big? More ballers?”

    the last few seasons the issue has been scoring enough. a Kante/Coq midfield wouldn’t have helped at all in that regard.

    “Chelsea is an example of a team that is more pragmatic in their approach. They won a Champions League with a more pragmatic approach and yes a bit of luck on the way as well. ”

    ‘a bit’? they were outclassed by every team they played from the last 16 onwards. their fans probably feel about it how i feel about the 2005 FA Cup final – ‘we won! also, let’s never revisit that game ever again.’

  45. qna

    Dissenter: He wants to muzzle the press. He wants to create his own “alternate facts”

    The main news story was about “alternative facts” not the millions of people that were marching in protest uniting almost every minority group that has ever had to fight for their rights in history. He killed the real story by creating bizarre argument about something that really doesn’t matter.

    The Trump team is either incredibly smart or incredibly lucky. They have been all along which makes me wonder there actually really is some mad genius pulling the strings. But no.. still seems too implausible. I have to go with the Mr Magoo explanation.

  46. Wallace

    Jim

    “Any player that isn’t capable of a 15-20 yd pass shouldn’t be playing in the Premier League, have we spent £35m on a player that excels at a basic skill…”

    many different kinds of 15-20yd pass, Jim. some easy, some less so. thought it would have been obvious i wasn’t talking about the basic stuff.

  47. Emiratesstroller

    qna

    The reality is that Arsenal are a conservative club. That is not going to change
    under Kroenke even if we offload in due course Wenger.

    Clubs like Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd and for that matter most other clubs around Europe have been acquired by self made men often of dubious financial background.

    That is not the Arsenal way whether or not most posters on Le Grove like it. It is precisely the reason why Roger Levitt could not buy the club or for that matter Usmanov.

  48. Dissenter

    qna,
    Honestly I would start all over again.
    I would keep Cazorla and wrap him in cotton wool for the big games.
    I would keep Ozil for 175k. He’s too peripheral to build a team around.
    I would keep Coquelin, he’s effective at what he does and it will cost at least 30 million to replace him.
    I would keep Iwobi for the promise he’s shown.

    Every other midfielder is on the chopping block:
    – Wilshere (who’s not doing that well on loan)
    -Ramsey who’s too bid headed for his own good. The needless showboating is o it of control. Ramsey exist for his own self aggrandizement on the field.
    -Oxlade don’t let me get started.
    -Elneny is probably good value for a 3rd/4th choice.

    -I agreed with you about Tiemoure Bakayoko
    He’s the one I would have spent £35-40 million to get last summer.
    -Rakitic is going to be on the move this summer. I would break the bank for him.

  49. china

    i don’t really see how xhaka in ramses’s role stops him being a liability. his seeing red is his number one problem, more so than his ability.

    he could play as a CF and he’d still be diving in on opponents every time something went against him. he has the bullshit attitude that pre-conte costa had. players like this will get themselves into major trouble regardless of where they are playing.

  50. Bamford10

    If Xhaka can learn to be more disciplined — he’s 24, recall — then he could be a decent, solid player.

    However, he is relatively slow and unathletic and in no way looks the player capable of transforming our central midfield, getting us to the next level. And yet this is why he was signed.

    If he does not learn to be more disciplined — and I have some doubts about his ability to change at this point — then he will be, as gambon said, a complete and total dud.

    And there is no question Kante would’ve been a better signing, though I’ll admit I didn’t necessarily see this at the time.

  51. Bamford10

    Emirates

    We spent 90m this past summer. And we’ve spent decent amounts in several previous summers. When you say the club is “conservative,” what is it you are saying they will do, and what is it you are saying they will not do?

  52. steve

    Xhaka is an awful player. Extremely slow and doesn’t read the game well enough to cover for his lack of pace. £35m down the drain. Good job Arsene.

  53. vicky

    Dissenter

    Dissent and protests are perfectly legitimate in any democracy. In fact, a democracy can’t be successful if there’s no opposition voice. But when you see CNN discussing what would happen if Trump and Pence got killed, Buzzfeed falsely reporting Russia having compromising videos of Trump and a bunch of celebrities using invectives to vilify Trump, you got to concede there’s a well designed vilification campaign going against him. Trump being an idiot that he is aggravates the whole situation anyway but that doesn’t mean his opponents are carrying themselves with any grace. John Kerry was among one of the protesters marching against Trump a few days ago, do you think that’s warranted ? I am no fan of Trump but this unending tirade against him is a bit over the top in my opinion. There’s a need for balanced discourse. I like how Bernie Sanders always talks about issues rather than personalities and I believe that’s how it should be.

  54. Bamford10

    If you played with a Rakitic + Verrati midfield base, or a Rakitic + Gundogan base, or a Gundogan + Verratti base, i.e., two mobile, quick, skillful, tackling ball-players as your midfield base, then I don’t think you need a “CDM” per se.

  55. Bamford10

    Vicky

    I think it’s quite good that millions of people marched in US cities and around the world in order to let the Trump admin know that they might have won the electoral college but they in no way shape or form have the support of the American people or the world’s people.

    My main issue with these protests is that they were narrowly focused on women’s issues and “racism,” while the real threat the Trump admin poses lies elsewhere.

    Trump wil not be grabbing any women by the genitals during his tenure, nor do I think they will be making abortion illegal, but he will be bringing in the most right-wing admin in US history, destroying what remains of the social safety net, privatizing public education, starting trade wars and launching real wars around the world.

    This is the real threat, but the identity politics crowd wants to focus everyone’s attention on identity issues.

  56. vicky

    Bamford

    Agreed. Too much focus on personal and identity issues rather than on real issues.

    Meanwhile, Wenger could get a 10 match ban according to reports.

  57. Alexanderhenry

    Vicky

    I agree. We all love democracy until it throws out a result like the Trump win. The same point can be applied to Brexit.

    What I think will be fascinating is whether trump can deliver on his policies:

    1) Building a wall and getting Mexico to pay for it. I don’t see that happening.

    2) Effectively ending global free trade, restablishing America’s industrial base and reopening factories etc
    Harder said than done.

    3) Investing heavily in infrastructure. This goes against republican party thinking. I’m sure the GOP will working on making trump drop that policy.

    4) Foreign policy. Tearing up Iran deal, moving US embassy to Jerusalem, Getting nato member state to contribute more or disband it. And whatever weird shit is going on with Putin.

    I’m not sure he’ll be able to put these policies into practice which will quickly undermine his presidency.

  58. Rambo Ramsey

    ”Climate change is a hoax’,’ though 97% of scientists disagree.
    ”I did not mock that disabled reporter”,was only trying out my acting skills in front of thousands of people.
    “More people attended my inauguration than is being reported”, fuck the cameras that have recorded the whole thing.

    courtesy, the Donald.

  59. Spanishdave

    If Wenger and his marvelous set of scouts must have checked Xhakas record?
    Perhaps not, so unless he sorts him out we will loose his services for 6 or more games per season.
    Oh well we have Wengers fav Ramsey to sort things out.

  60. Scuba

    I get that the narrative today is all about Xhaka and Wenger, but Aaron Ramsey was an absolute travesty yesterday. Since injuries allowed him back into the lineup, his late runs into the box have just become runs into the box. Every time Arsenal had the ball in Burnley’s half yesterday, Ramsey was on the shoulder of the last defender, and Xhaka was alone in midfield.

    For the amount of the ball that Burnley had, there’s no reason at all that they should have been able to walk through the center of the pitch the way they did, and create the number of chances they eventually had. Coquelin is a squad player at best on a good team, but at least he stays in the midfield. Aaron Ramsey just doesn’t have a place in the Arsenal setup unless they manage to add a Kante clone.

  61. Joe

    So want happens if wenger gets a massive ban and we actually play like
    A top qualidee team with passion, tactical
    Awareness, no handbrake etc under bouldy??

  62. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘So want happens if wenger gets a massive ban and we actually play like
    A top qualidee team with passion, tactical Awareness, no handbrake etc under bouldy??’

    The Arsenal board will give him a promotion and make him the next manager. The club loves them internal solutions.

  63. Tipster

    Why all the negativity with Trump, if I were an American he would get my vote, that’s the thing, the vote was for Americans, bit like Brexit, vote for the British to decide, no one else….anyway, what did Obamba ever do for the UK, back of the queue comes to mind.

  64. Joe

    The problem
    With xhaka is that he is playing under a buffoon manager. The man who said xhaka was a box to box. SMH

    A top
    Qualidee manager would realiZe what players strengths are.

    Wenger just puts square pegs in round holes. Bedtner out wide. Ramsey out wide. Ramsey in the middle. Ramsey anywhere. Walcott up front. The list is endless.

    Wenger doesn’t build a squad. Buying players that compliment each other. Buying Ozil when we needed a striker. Buying xhaka when we needed a box to box.

    Xhaka issues are solved when wenger leaves

  65. qna

    Dissenter. Agree on clear out. Not sure how it can be done now. The squad is just too low quality now to even slowpy churn through

    If AW does get a 10 match ban we wouldnt notice anyway. He doesnt do anything. 67th minute predetermined sub. A monkey could do the job he does.

  66. Emiratesstroller

    Bamford 10

    By conservative I mean that Arsenal will always work within their means and do not gamble unnecessarily in the transfer market buying speculative players at grossly inflated prices.

    Whatever the criticism about Xhaka he had a solid reputation as a player when playing in Switzerland and Germany.

    There are far too many people who post on Le Grove who shoot their mouth
    about players when they have a bad game or do something stupid.

    I read constantly negatives about Giroud and Coquelin. Yet both are solid and
    reliable players offering good money for value. Giroud has the best goalscoring record in EPL for minutes played.

    They may not be world beaters, but they are not bad players.

    Arsenal have bought over the years some rubbish players, but most have been
    fairly low budget or risk purchases. When you look at other clubs spending
    £30-50 million on financial disasters such as Torres or Di Maria or paying salaries of £200K pw to the likes of Falco we should be over critical of the club.

    My main criticism is our failure to change the management and the inertia at
    the club not the amount we spend on individual players.

  67. China

    I think people wouldn’t have made this all about xhaka if he hadn’t consistently been doing this crap for us all season

    The same way coq fucked up and people didn’t dwell on it, or if kos had got himself sent off stupidly people would be like ducks sake but then quickly move on.

    People have made this all about xhaka because it was predictable as hell and just a continuation of what he’s been doing wrong all season

    But alas wenger had to wait until now to even mention his disciplinary record. He should’ve come up to him after his first red and told him to cut this shit out immediately if he ever wants to play for a big club.

    But we all know how this story ends. Tap on the wrist for the naughty player and straight back into the first team when he’s no longer banned. And another penalty, red card or unnecessary injury to an opponent will soon follow

  68. Joe

    4
    “So want happens if wenger gets a massive ban”We’ll probably beat chelsea…

    Exactly.

    Be great if he gets a season long ban and we win the league haha

  69. Alexanderhenry

    People are going way over board on Xhaka. He’s been disappointing so far but he’s only played half a season for us and many on here are dismissing him already.

    I think he’ll be a key player in the future, and as Martin Keown rightly said on MOTD:

    ‘he’s working under the right manager’

    Arsenal are second and it’s still all to play for.

    Many of you hate that of course so you’re laying into xhaka.

  70. Joe

    Alex

    All we have left to play for is wenger’s favourite top 4 trophy. If you think we are still competing for the league, you are more deluded than the man himself.

  71. Joe

    I think he’ll be a key player in the future, and as Martin Keown rightly said on MOTD: ‘he’s working under the right manager’

    No way! Keown said that? He’s more of an akb than you alex

  72. Joe

    As red said yesterday,

    You think wenger is going to fix xhaka’s disciplinary issues when he got sent off in the same game haha

  73. Leedsgunner

    What was Wenger doing?!?

    Sure, show some passion but you cannot push an official like that!

    I can see the FA giving him at least a three match ban and a ten to 12 matches if they are feeling like they want to set an example.

    Will the team use it as an excuse to falter or will they bond together?

    Arsene is forever going on about mental strength… the time for the team to show it is now more than ever.

  74. gonsterous

    Alex

    I love arsenal. But if I’m Being truthful, I can’t see us lifting the title. We may come 2nd or 3 rd but is that good enough ?? I used to think we dint have the right players but its so clear we need a new manager to get us over the finish line !!

  75. Joe

    Remember a lot of posters on here crucifying Jose for his behaviour with officials.

    Wenger pushed an official twice. After being sent off

    No comment on that ? Alex? Wallace??

    Wenger is no better than Jose. Whatsoever

  76. Jim Lahey

    “Remember a lot of posters on here crucifying Jose for his behaviour with officials. Wenger pushed an official twice. After being sent off”

    Probably the best thing he has done in years! Fucking useless officials….

  77. Joe

    I used to think we dint have the right players but its so clear we need a new manager to get us over the finish line !!

    Gons

    Finally. An a a k b who’s sees the forest for the trees.

    Bravo.

  78. Joe

    Jim

    The same official have helped us to quite a few points this season

    Kos’s handball in the reverse encounter.

    Soton penalty call

    Non penalty call v Leicester

    Off the top of my head.

    Kos was offside for the penalty call yesterday as well

  79. Leedsgunner

    Joe

    You should know by now — it’s never Wenger’s fault!!! 🙂

    It WOULD be funny if the team went on a great run even without him on the bench… lol.

  80. Joe

    Leeds.

    I want a season long ban and us to win the league haha

    The only way it would happen anyway

    I bet you will see a competely different team that we have seen for years while he is gone.

    A team full of life and not the walking dead

  81. gambon

    Rambo Ramsey

    “though 97% of scientists disagree.”

    100% of scientists agreed that the earth was flat once.

    Always worth having an open mind.

    The earth has been warming for 12,000 years – cant blame my can of Lynx Africa for what was happening 10,000bc

  82. Joe

    Gambon

    It’s not global warming

    It’s climate change that is worrying. The extreme events happening all over the world

  83. gonsterous

    Joe

    Im glad to know you think anyone who wants arsenal to win under Wenger is an akb. I want arsenal to win no matter who the players, manager or owner is.. that’s the definition of being in love with arsenal !!

  84. qna

    Gambon. Thats true. It cools as well by the way. But if you dont want to look and understand the credible science on the rate of warming in the last 50 years and projections into the near future then you are just burying your head in the sand. You are worse than Wenger appologists that are afraid of change.

    There have been plenty of periods of the earths history that have been uninhabitable by modern humans. If we dont reverse the current rate of increase in earths temperatures (whether they are caused by your Lynx or by natural causes) then the earth will become plagued by extreme wheather events and other massive side effects. At the very least, if we can act now we can have a meaningful effect on the quality of life of future generations. Anyone who doesnt think that is worthy of them sacrificing some of their comforts is simply a selfish cunt. If your purely selfish then you can think of it in monetary terms as the natural disastors and the massive damage to the environment will have very real effects on the economy and your goverment will have to use your tax dollars to mitigate some of the consequences of climate change.

  85. Joe

    Gons

    That’s not what I think an akb is. You know exactly what an akb is.

    Everyone wants Arsenal to win the title.

    There are some who realize we will
    Never win it under wenger

    Glad you can see that

  86. gonsterous

    Joe

    I may have been an akb till about 2010 or 2011. But I’m not going to go around defending myself as the go to response to 90% of posters here is to call someone an Akb. Maybe there is a place for a neutral but not to most posters here. Disagree with something, you are automatically put in the akb bracket. And posters who associate themselves as wob go about thinking they have seen some glorious light.. I support arsernal and I look at the team and club and see what needs to be sorted for us to win.
    Some may argue it’s the owner but I think Wenger has too much power and so he has to be the first to go.

  87. Jim Lahey

    @Joe –

    Its amazing how it hasn’t been introduced yet, it doesn’t have to slow the game down at all, a penalty decision, a sending off can be decided upon within seconds watching the instant replay.