Sell the two megastars and upgrade their weaknesses

by .


I am BACK in London. Excited to see my sister get married to an Arsenal fan. An away fan as well, super exotic.

Big topic floating around the ether is the one that centres on Alexis Sanchez. We’re currently witnessing a horrible situation where it appears Pep G wants to add the superstar winger to his starting 11, and pay a small fortune for the pleasure. DESPITE largely ignoring him back in the day.

You have to imagine the flapping around and crazy bids have more to do with Arsenal trying to wrestle as much ‘but we tried’ currency with fans before finally admitting that the best we could do is Lacazette for £60m. Which is pretty disgusting in my opinion. The guy has talent, but I’m just not feeling him as the full ticket and he’s certainly a way off the standards of Sanchez (even thought we’d probably need a new winger to replace him rather than a striker).

Arsenal are amazingly riding high on solid PR after papering the season with the FA Cup –  we’ve forgotten that we were a total mess last season. Wenger’s version of the situation has been beyond delusional. Good teams around Europe seem to be doing their business with precision and ruthlessness. Arsenal are, as usual, flapping around and the whole scenario feels very atypical of our summers, just this year, we have top player exiting.

For me, if Ozil wants to leave, move him on.

If Sanchez wants to leave, move him on.

There is literally no point in fighting to keep a player who could leave on a free next year, and leaving £90m on the table. It’s like keeping someone on notice for a year. I had to do two 4 months notice periods in 10 months in the 2015-16 work season, and even when you’re trying, it’s really difficult to give a rats arse about anyone after a while. You’re dreaming of pastures new and giving zero f*cks about making sure that infographic about telematic car insurance hits the ‘expertise’ proof points succinctly.

Keeping two players until the end of their deal sounds macho and aggressive on the face of it, but the reality is it’s just stupid. When it was Robin Van Persie, it made sense to keep him. We weren’t going to use the money, and Robin Van Persie was pushing 30 years old and had a World Cup he needed to be prepared for. He had literally no space to slack off.

Alexis? He was tapping out in February. Ozil? Man, he was so bad at times this year it bordered on petulant. Both are young enough in their position to take a year out, milk the cash cow and the book deals, then take mega cash next year. That won’t help us win the league.

Will we have to work hard to replace those names? Yes. But it’d also give us the chance to upgrade on personality and maybe think about the new system and how we could buy players against that system, rather than just buy for the sake of it.

> What is our system

> What are our footballing values (we are skilled workhorses)

> What do we need to better Ozil and Alexis (less selfishness (love Alexis, but if there is a weakness) / more fight (Ozil)

Now, say what you want, but Spurs spent a lot less on Eriksen than we did on Ozil and have arguably a player who shows up in big games more often (serious question, do you think Spurs would struggle for suitors like Ozil is?). Mikki over at United, if he’d been used properly by Jose, could have been the sort of player that’d replaced Sanchez.  Could we look at developing Douglas Costa? Who is going spare at Madrid? Who has bombed at Barcelona? Could Forsberg come in having led the way in Germany this season? If we’re looking on the right, is Mahrez the right sort of character, or should we be looking a Pulisic for raw talent and marketability?

We have the money to be a financial bully. I can’t help but think we should be looking to achieve value, rather than spunking our money on a player I’m pretty sure is like a slightly better Jermaine Defoe.

We’ll see, I know the club has been scrambling for names. I just hope there’s a robust plan in place, rather than the usual car crash of players that haven’t been vetted, or are clearly not ready because they’re £2m and need 3 years to come good.


227 Responses to “Sell the two megastars and upgrade their weaknesses”

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  1. karim


    Good game after a sloppy start from both teams.
    Kane woke us up lol.

    At last an exciting line-up and it starts paying for us.

    Disagree with Vicky about Pogba, who I often criticise by the way, thought he was very good.

    I liked Heaton’s first half, wasn’t it his first cap ?

  2. Jim Lahey

    @CA –

    Previously I wasn’t sold on the Mbappe hype… but his movement is very reminiscent of a certain other French striker that was very popular at Arsenal. I am now a believer.

    I know all we seem to do is moan on here all day, but why are none of these players at Arsenal? We once had our pick of the French talent and now nothing, our team used to be full of young French players with potential.

  3. Jim Lahey

    Regarding the offside decision against Giroud earlier, wasn’t there an agreement a number of years ago to give the benefit of doubt to the attacking player? Giroud’s body was offside, both both his legs were onside, I feel the rule really needs to be looked at again.

    Also I am happy yo hear they are trialling the use of video evidence tonight, hopefully it will become a part of the game.

  4. TR7


    What’s the general perception about Deschamps in France ? Despite so much talent to pick from, I don’t think France National team has ever looked spectacular under him. Even tonight defense looks at sea and midfield just about average.

  5. Relieable Sauce

    M’bappe and Vinicius Junior in attack for Real Madrid is something I’m really looking forward to as an Arsenal fan.

  6. karim


    Deschamps has a lot of credit due to his previous success as a coach and of course, as a player but you’re right, people are a little frustrated by the lack of panache.

    We have a ton of potential but it takes time I’m afraid.

    Shit, did he really have to send him off ?

  7. karim

    Kane has had 2 excellent seasons in England and doesn’t look too bad with England too.

    Top 10 strikers ? Yes, I think so.

  8. karim


    Depends if one of the big clubs lose one of their stars, which doesn’t look likely right now.

    Don’t think Spuds are gonna sell him if they really want to win the league too.

    Sterling keeps diving, getting a little annoying now.

  9. karim


    I thought about it after hitting ” post comment ” but again, I’d stay at Spurs for now if I were him.

    Who’s supposed to come to Chelsea now that Costa is off btw ?

  10. Jim Lahey

    @karim –

    “Who’s supposed to come to Chelsea now that Costa is off btw ?”

    Lukaku I believe.

    Ahhh Mbappe off the crossbar, should have scored!

  11. Relieable Sauce

    Did Gareth think Oxlade can play CM because Wenger played him there? Or did he come to that conclusion by himself?

    Worrying either way tbh.

    When will these England managers stop believing and perpetuating the myth of Wenger.

  12. Relieable Sauce

    Cahill doing his best De Gea impression when he should be doing a John Terry.
    Are there any good proper English CB’s around anymore?

    Holding out for Holding, who can hopefully push Stones onto the next level (not the wenger “next level” obviously).

  13. salparadisenyc

    England cant close out a 10 man France, forever the frigid bridesmaid.
    A france so deep, I bet they could field 2 different starting XI’s with same result.

  14. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah he is very good. I would like to take both Mbappe and Lemar from Monaco.

    Surely Mbappe’s price dropped £20 Million after that miss as well 😉

  15. Champagne charlie

    If there is a sniff that we could get mbappe it’s something we have to pursue as long as possible this summer.

    Yea Lacazette is an upgrade, but Mbappe is ‘era defining’ in terms of talent. Genuinely looks Henry II, dare I say potentially better.

  16. Relieable Sauce

    Maybe the injury and botched ops have been the only reason why no big club has in for Butland so far. Will now go for more than the Sunderland stopper fo’ sho’.
    I would of liked us to have signed Butland a good few years back before he went to Stoke…but then we signed Cech 🙁 … “The final piece of the “puzzle” : / “…???
    …The summer TW when we didn’t sign an outfield player.

    Ahhh, memories.

  17. Relieable Sauce

    Chambo options:

    -Stay at Arsenal and be a utility player – RWB/LWB/CM/RW and witness wengers demise first hand.
    – Move to Liverpool and compete and play with a front four consisting of Coutinho, Mane, Lallana, Firminio and possibly Sturridge, under the guidance of Klopp.

  18. PieAFC

    This club isn’t even worth a thought anymore.

    If you’re being critical of the club because it’s deserved, you’re deemed negative and part of the problem.

    You try and show an ounce of optimism for this shit show of a club, it gets shot down again but reading what’s going on.

    I’m predicting 1st game of the season will be no different than the time we lost against our first few games.

    Cue a panic buy and the club trying to paper over more cracks, this time with an even shitter squad only filled with players good enough for mid level clubs.

    Sound familiar of course it does, because it always happens with Arsenal.

  19. PieAFC

    If I was chamberlain, I’d move too.

    The tactical nous of Klopp, the energy that team would have.

    You could see the interview with Ox at Liverpool

    “So Alex, why do you think you have had a great season? Klopp a major factor? Different from Wenger?

    …..cue a wry smile from chamberlain.

  20. David Smith

    Dick law

    That cutting edge bunch have Jobs for life
    Gazidis doesn’t get his way on anything, but remains on 2.6 million a year

    Thanks to one man…Stanley Enos Kroenke…remember that when we have cause to protest next season

  21. Joe

    If there is a sniff that we could get mbappe it’s something we have to pursue as long as possible this summer.

    We don’t have a sniff. We have a 0% chance of getting mbappe

    What’s your inside source say CC?

    Griezmann and mbappe In a double transfer?

  22. Relieable Sauce

    Tragic that anyone thinks that Arsene-al have any chance or intention of signing M’bappe

    Would any genuine football fan want him to come and wither under the the great pretender wenger.

    Don’t forget your Theo Walcott – AKA: TH MKII – testimonial ticket when you renew your season tickets…

    : /

  23. China

    Who we sign is likely besides the point

    However good our major signing may be this summer, it will only be to offset the sale of another major player

    Sideways progress. This is the wenger way.

    We have two star names at the moment. Next season we will too, they may just have different names

  24. China

    Also lol at the club for pushing the elite signing narrative until ST renewal time, then resorting to either silence or random unknowns worth nothing

    The pr at Arsenal is sooooooo transparent. It’s a pretty damning indictment of our fans that people believe it

  25. China

    You’d think a club as wealthy as Arsenal could hire some actual pr experts, but then we know arsene wants to control everything himself and is the self appointed head of PR (bet he gets an extra salary for that too)

    If anyone was ever in any doubt, arsene is seriously not a clever man.

  26. arsene's used sock

    pfffffffft France have a disgusting amount of young talent

    varane been around so long it’s easy to forget he’s still 24

  27. tonyd

    Been signing Lemar’s praises for a while. Mbappe is a star and has the potential to be a world best.

    If we are going to play a 3/5 back line our mobility and speed of attack needs to be similar to the French attack or better; lightning quick and very direct, as it was with the Invincibles. We would have the talent to recreate and maybe better it.

    What’s scary is that this French team can only get better.

    Buy Lemar and 3 more of his quality and above quickly, then Sanches might just have a rethink.

    This situation is crying out for Wenger to make a big and bold statement not playing PR stunts holding hands with Ivan in Nice.

    I’m happy they’re besties now, but that statement needs making now to really show intent.

    How many managers would love to be in Wenger’s shoes right now? Huge rebuilding budget, a puppy dog CEO, a board with sun tans so golden it’s a wonder if they spend more than a few months in the UK.

    Then an owner who says keep the spread sheets on course and do whatever you need to do.

    Getting that job would be like getting 10 Xmases at the same time.

    Carte blanc to rebuild a team for the 6th richest club in the world and play in one of the best leagues in the world.

    The chance to throw your hat in the ring with elite managers……Pep, Mourinho, Klopp and Pochettino who although not elite yet, is getting there.

    Next season is shaping up to be a great season with the mid table clubs knocking on the door to join the top 6. There’s more TV money throughout the league now, so clubs can afford better talent and games are going to get harder and defenses tougher to break down. West Brom highlights this point.

    Right now Wenger hasn’t thrown his hat in that ring; he’s busy plugging the holes of a very leaky ship type squad, which he thinks with 2 to 3 additions can win the league next season.

    Pep and co must be looking over their shoulders collectively thinking there’s not going to be a challenge from Wenger and his mostly mid table level talent that makes up his squad.

    If He really spent the budget and culled the squad, Wenger could cover himself in glory even if he lost the title by less than 3 points and have an even better 2nd season.

    If He won the league he would be in Wenger utopia land. He will be back on top again. Everything in Wenger’s garden will be rosy and he’ll have more money to keep improving the squad.

    The chances are very strong that Wenger’s hat is not going into the ring. He’s in his tried and tested survival mode. It’s a model that’s worked for 13 years that Wenger seems to be working again.

    Really can’t wait for next season………..

  28. tonyd

    ..If only…

    ‘Meanwhile, the one and only Tribal Football is reporting that Wenger has given Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis a five-man wishlist of players he wants to sign this summer.’

    Those players are Kylian Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette, Nice midfielder Jean Sarie, Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg.

    I’d be happy with those additions.


  29. Wallace

    “Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has said the Gunners can have Lacazette if they sell them France striker Olivier Giroud in a player-plus-cash deal worth £60m.”

    – Le10Sport

  30. Wallace

    “Arsène Wenger is pushing forward with an overhaul of his attacking options in preparation for major Arsenal departures this summer, with potential deals for Kylian Mbappé, Alexandre Lacazette and Thomas Lemar all still being worked on.

    There is now little hope of Alexis Sánchez agreeing a new contract amid interest from at least five major European clubs but there is also doubt over other attacking players, notably Mesut Özil and Lucas Pérez, and to a lesser extent Oliver Giroud.

    Wenger has been working on possible replacements and his attitude to selling key players will be shaped largely by his success in pursuing other creative talent.”

    – Jeremy Wilson

  31. shaun

    the ox was terrible last night , apparently the ox is the young talent arsenal want to keep at the club lol………………… Monaco have Mbappe and to think arsenal were expected to beat Monaco in the CL a couple of seasons back , Monaco are leagues in front of us in every department SHOCKING REGRESSION FROM ARSENAL but I guess that is all we can expect from the old man

  32. Rambo Ramsey

    Giroud + 60 million for an overrated player whom no big clubs ever show an interest in?

    Lyon can go fuck themselves.

  33. TR7

    Cash plus Giroud for Lacazzete – honestly I don’t see any logic in this deal. How much of an upgrade over Giroud is Lacazzete for us to spend 60M on him? I would rather we spent 15-20 M more and got Bellotti who is a vast upgrade on any of the strikers we have.

  34. TR7

    Yes I get that Wallace. Given Giroud’s age his transfer value should be close to £20M. So we are going to pay Lyon 40M plus Giroud for Lacazzete. Makes sense to you?

  35. N5

    “I think it’s valuing the deal at 60m overall. not Giroud + 60m, which would be insane.”

    That’s how I read it too. I think its something like Giroud + £59,5M!

    😀 Just kiddddddding, I like Giroud.

  36. GuNZ

    Leicester, Stoke, and Liverpool in the first 3 games of next season. Oh how I am looking forward to that.

    I’ll send Arsène back to you once he’s finished managing The Lions tour over here.

  37. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    Away to Liverpool and Chelsea within a month of the season starting. He’s preparing his excuses as we speak.

    Get your banners ready, book the protest plane and hound this old fool out of our club.

  38. Wallace


    I’d value Giroud at 25-30m.

    a complete revamp of the front 3 would be exciting – Lacazette, M’Bappe, Mahrez & Welbeck – although probably takes a while to bed in.

  39. Cesc Appeal

    Tolisso at €40 Million is a heck of a deal, good business yet again from Munich.

    Interested to see if any of the big clubs go harder for Dembele after last night, with Mbappe and Dembele it seems France could have a potent attack for years and years to come, potentially scary combo.

    Arsenal need to start pulling their finger out now, we say it every summer and it never changes, but this do nothing and see what becomes available approach makes no football or economic sense.

  40. Cesc Appeal

    Forgetting the fact we have Wenger as manager for a second, because otherwise everything Arsenal becomes totally pointless, that really is the only way the club recovers from selling Sanchez.

    I still think we can get £50-60 Million for Sanchez in this market if we play it right even with his contract situation. If you take that and sink it straight into Mbappe likely having to add the same again from your own transfer budget and then spend another £40 Million on Lemar, I think the fans will let Sanchez slide then.

    Net you would have likely spent £100 Million or thereabouts for two players, but two players who performed in pressure situations last year, who look like potentially great players and one of which who could literally be one of the top talents in Europe.

    Would still leave you £50 Million of your budget (without factoring in any more sales of dross like Wilshere etc) to buy a CM.

    If you ended with Kolasinac, Mbappe, Lemar and an all action CM, even though we are likely to fall apart in the same way this season, at the very least you can see we got the summer spot on, have some exciting talent to watch and have really set up the future of the side.

  41. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    a complete revamp of the front 3 would be exciting – Lacazette, M’Bappe, Mahrez & Welbeck – although probably takes a while to bed in.

    I admire your optimisism.