Ramsey and Santi need replacing | Another new staffer | Bad attitude pairing worth it?

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So what do we have here?

A new keeping coach. Sal Bibbo. Sounds like an extra from Lord of the Rings, but he’s not.

He’s Basingstoke born and raised, Havant & Waterlooville is where he played most of his games, Chillin’ out max, and relaxin’ all cool, and all trainin’ some keepers at the Nike Academy school. When a couple of guys who were up to no good (Ivan & Wenger), made him a nice offer to join the Arsenal neighbourhood

… and he did.
No idea how good he is, doesn’t sound like Lollichan, but whatever, he has a real chance at being better than Gerry P.

We have Lacazette onboard now. It seems clear that we’re bringing a wide player into the mix. Who that’ll be is a mystery. It appears we’ve given up on Lemar, because Monaco want proper money from him and have probably pulled their trousers up after being severely dealt with by the bigger boys in the elite playground.

The rumour is Leicester City enigma, Mr Mahrez.

Now, he’s no doubt talent. However, I do have my worries that we’re taking a punt on a guy who went well and truly missing last year. He has a character flaw, and £50m is a helluva punt for a guy who might not show up. I’d also be super worried about being dependent on the grit of him and Ozil when the chips are down. They’d probably spark up a cigarette and pull out a pack of cards for a quick game of bridge if weather permitted on a dry night in Stoke.

It’d go one of two ways… the dream, where we bring title winner Mahrez back to form. A little but like the rebirth of the whole Chelsea team, in particular, the rebirth of Eden Hazard.

Or he’ll just be an expensive luxury the Gen Z tactics and stats nerds rally behind as the genius that can only be seen through the prism of an Xg graph, wrapped in a radar, contextualised through an opta stat like ‘meta transitional semi-sprints.’

The same carry on that stats pin Aaron Ramsey as the most important midfielder in Europe no one knows about.

I had an interesting debate with Alfred that centred around the Welshman. He feels Aaron is the replacement for Santi Cazorla, so we don’t need a replacement. My view is that doesn’t work for me. He’s never come close to replacing the genius of Santi, and he’s had plenty of chances. We need a direct replacement for Santi, right now. He’s over as a first teamed. Aaron should only be seen as a squad player until he can be trusted to stay fit, stay in form, and contribute to more than 10 games a season.

We need to start getting ruthless with players who can’t offer 40 games a season to the club. That’s both Ramsey and unfortunately, fan fave, Santi Cazorla.

On the Lacazette front, I’ve come to accept that he is the level we’re at during these heady Europa League times. His stats looks comparable to our two most prolific players at the moment. Here’s some back of a fag packet math.

Lacazette

  • Starts 45
  • 37 goals
  • 4 assists
  • 115 shots
  • 63 shots on target
  • 32% conversion rate
  • Goal per minute – 109

Alexis

  • Starts 54
  • 33 goals
  • 17 assists
  • 182 shots
  • 76 on target
  • 41% shots on target
  • 18% conversion rate
  • Goals per minutes – 147.2

Giroud

  • Starts 27
  • 24 goals
  • 8 assists
  • 83 shots
  • 40 on target
  • 48% shots on target
  • 29% conversion rate
  • Goals per minutes – 101.25

The way I see it is at worst, Lacazette is a faster version of Giroud. That goes a long way with how we hope to play. What we lose is having a bully up top. We’d be the only top 7 club without a lead striker under 6ft tall. But look, if we play fast, aggressive soccerball and we learn how to press in every game like we did in the cup final, we’re upgrading.

The absolute most important thing for the club is to keep Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Keep those, and the summer could be a massive upgrade.

I also don’t buy into Alexis asking for £400k a week. You have to look where that’s coming from. It feels like propaganda to soften the blow of selling him. Reality is, Alexis is very unlikely to move to China, because that league is pony to cartoon like proportions. He’d also not land that sort of cash anywhere else in Europe. We should go all out to sign him, £300k a week would be fine by me if he delivers like he did this season. I’d not pay Mesut that, but be real, no one else would and no other club is in for him. His punishment for switching off last year. He must have forgotten Bayern Munich and PSG also have access to Nickelback soundtracked YouTube scouting montages.

So this summer is panning out real nice, some steady changes… still the underlying feeling we’ve been here before, but hey, you might as well enjoy things while they’re dreams and hopes!

Plenty of time for me to dash your dreams in September.

Right, listen to the podcast and subscribe and leave a damn review AND LOVE IT.

THANKS x

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448 Responses to “Ramsey and Santi need replacing | Another new staffer | Bad attitude pairing worth it?”

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  1. Paulinho

    CC – Yep, righty-O.

    Ramsey barely played, and Xhaka actually played his best stuff next to him, and his worst with Coquelin, who is the most defensive minded.

    I think you need to re-think that bit of revisionism.

  2. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘I remember Hazard creating an excellent chance for Willian against Arsenal at the Emirates that Willian screwed just wide. That would’ve made it 1-1.’

    Hilarious.

    So what, are you suggesting Mahrez didn’t even do this when he played at all those venues?

    You make no main point- just rehash the same lazy rhetoric ‘Player X doesn’t show up at Anfield, Old Trafford, Stamford bridge etc. And you know- it probably holds true for about 95% of the PL footballers, so what’s genius about it?

    Still waiting for you to give me names of players who in your eyes could shine at Old Trafford, Stamford bridge, Anfield etc

  3. Paulinho

    Rambo – Yep, and to win titles maybe you need to buy the 5%? Starting to become clearer now?

    I’ve never said it was a genius concept. You just seem to have trouble accepting obvious points, suggesting you didn’t think it was so obvious at the time it was said.

  4. Jim Lahey

    Regarding Xhaka, I was a major critic of his last season; but I am willing to see how he does in his second season at the club.

    I think a lot of us felt that when Xhaka came in he would be this dominant ball winning midfielder and we judged him on merits that he didn’t have.

    Negatives surrounding his game:
    – Mindless tackles at times..
    – Not the fastest player
    – Not a complete ball winner
    – Not completely comfortable being pressed with the ball at his feet

    Positive aspects:
    – Great distribution from the back
    – Reads the game well and is positionally sound
    – Height, always good to have a tall powerful player in the centre.

    Xhaka really needs a positionally sound B-t-B player playing alongside him, Ramsey does not have the discipline to do this.

  5. champagne charlie

    Again not reading whats said. Nothing to do with whether a player is defensive or not, all about discipline which Coquelin utterly lacks.

    His all action style might impress some people but he’s awful tactically and leaves massive holes time and again, plus this season he fancied himself was a skilful type which was just as embarrassing to watch.

    Xhaka (like anyone in the centre) needs a partner with discipline, he’s only had a Rambo who drifts in and out of responsibility. Making him the best fit at present, but only one that will continue to be productive if Rambo reels in the ambition to vacate every 2 mins.

  6. HighburyLegend

    I look at the picture of today’s post, I realize who our goalkeeper is…
    That gives me chills.

  7. Rambo Ramsey

    Paulinho, again, give me names of those capable players who you feel Arsenal ought to target.

  8. Paulinho

    “Negatives surrounding his game:
    – Mindless tackles at times..”

    But supposedly Coquelin is the one that lacks discipline.

  9. raptora

    I’m with Paulinho on this one. Never rated Mahrez as much as ppl did even when he won player of the year award. Thought he won’t play as well in his next season and it happened. He is a quality wide player don’t get me wrong. If his price was in the region of £25-30m that would be a good price for him. But with the slapped £50m price put by Leicester no one will ever buy him. If they drop to £40m or less maybe Wenger could go for him. Depends on Lemar situation as well. But in my eyes the difference between Mahrez and Lemar is to the moon and back so I would be willing to pay extra to get Lemar than spend silly money on Mahrez. Also Paulinho is right when he says that Mahrez did fuck all in defense the season they won the league or last one. He would always stay in a position to run at the kicked in to the universe ball by one of his teammates from the back and ran at ppl trying to score or with Vardy always an option. It’s known that Wenger has been aware of the player for years but he thought he lacked enough consistency in his game. Maybe the stars aligned that one season in Leicester but he has failed to reach the same quality of his game on a consistent basis ever since. Anyways he is a baller but I don’t think he is what we need.

  10. Paulinho

    CC – Yeah, because I didn’t mention Bernardo Silva – to you – about six weeks ago, and I didn’t say Lemar would ‘help’ in that regard a few hours ago.

    Pay attention you dope.

  11. Marko

    It seems as if Wenger has opted for Lemar anyway, we are back in raising our bid by £10 Million with just a our second offer. Journalists are saying we have basically laughed off Leicester’s asking price for Mahrez as well. Might be Wenger thought of Mahrez as the cheap option but now Leicester have essentially made him think he might as well pay big money for Lemar instead if the monetary difference between the pair will be minimal.If that is the case, it is one of those rare times I get to say ‘good decision Wenger’.

    Exactly right. 40-50 million odd for Lemar or 40 million for Mahrez I know what I’d go for. On Mahrez most of the people who wax lyrical about him are really only pointing to one season as evidence whereas most people like myself tend to look at the previous two years before that and last season when looking at him. He’s good but not great. Lemar is very good potentially one of the greats in Europe

  12. Paulinho

    CC – Are we trying to win a competition for mentioning most obscure player or something?

    I happen to think the level of football around europe and the world is the lowest it has ever been for many years, so there’s actually not many around, if any, bar two or three. I’ve been vocal about this for years, hence the overrating of dross like Xhaka.

    Do you want me to make up a Latvian name to make you feel better?

  13. raptora

    Re Lemar, isn’t it strange that if Monaco said that they are not selling we came back with another bid?! Obviously we got encouraged somehow to keep going back at it. It just doesn’t make sense if Monaco told us that Lemar is not for sale and what do we do – we bid again. Could be that Monaco just want more money and in that scenario a possible transfer could happen.

    What do you guys think of Lemar coming in and Alexis out. Maybe a move like this could help us. As good as Alexis is he was usurping a lot of our attacks last season. His desire to always play with the ball maybe made us more predictable in a matter and his idea of dropping back to get the ball and then trying to make passes that Ozil should do?! And his occasional bursts started happening a lot more often. Maybe Wenger thinks it’s okay if we get Lemar and sell Alexis to a team that is not in EPL. It’d be good in my opinion.

  14. TR7

    you can’t say we should pay 100M for Mbappe based on great performance in 1 season and then argue against paying 40M for Mahrez who also had just 1 great season. To be honest last season he did well in CL . Besides his head had turned last season which explains to some extent his dip in performance. Better to argue on a player actual ability which Mahrez undeniably has in plenty.

  15. Wallace

    Bamford

    “Calm down, everyone. Let’s play nice. Surely we can disagree about this or that without suggesting others know nothing about the game.”

    Paulinho loves to play the know it all. I’m cool with him taking a bit of shit.

  16. Paulinho

    In Wallace World unapologetically stating your opinion is being a know it all.

    Being dippy Liberal everything needs to be laced with platitudes, lest we offend with an inflammatory tone…….

  17. Wallace

    A Chilean newspaper running with Alexis informing Arsenal of his desire to move to City. So one saying he’s staying, one saying he’s off. No idea which is considered the more reliable.

  18. Marko

    Better to argue on a player actual ability which Mahrez undeniably has in plenty.

    No one’s denying his ability but if you only showed that ability consistently at a high level for one season it’s ok imo to have question marks over the player. Also the difference in Mbappe and Lemar having one great season is at 18 and 21 that was likely their break out seasons respectfully. Mahez at 25 having one stellar season isn’t comparable for me

  19. salparadisenyc

    No chance Wenger brings in both Lemar and Mahrez. Seems like a 1st and 2nd choice option in Wengers land of quality players vs whats type of players is needed to replace the outgoing.

    I’d love to see a front three of Lemar, Lacazette and Sanchez but what are the odds on that?

  20. Joe

    Oh you said Lemar? Shit is that an inside scoop you have?..

    Yeah like your griezmann scoop

    Hahaha moron

  21. Marko

    I’d love to see a front three of Lemar, Lacazette and Sanchez but what are the odds on that?

    Probably slim but that’s title challenging for me. Provided behind them gets addressed too

  22. Rambo Ramsey

    No, Paulinho, you use the same tired stick to beat every player. Its boring, its pointless, its dumb. You know what else it is? Comical, considering even the best players only very rarely strut their stuff at tough away matches.

    ‘I happen to think the level of football around europe and the world is the lowest it has ever been for many years, so there’s actually not many around, if any, bar two or three.’

    You don’t say! Then why do you whine about it re every signing we make or might make, Captain Obvious?

  23. HighburyLegend

    “I’d love to see a front three of Lemar, Lacazette and Sanchez”
    that’s a bet!!
    (lol)

  24. T

    I think it would be good biz if Arsenal traded lemar in and Alexis out for roughly the same prices. Wouldnt be surprised if giroud left too.

    A forward lineup of cazzet, ozil and lemar sounds good to me and having bench option of lucas, theo and welbz is fairly good too.

    Arsenes defence looks a lot Møre credible now too with 3 centrebacks.

    The real question is can the midfield pair play on equal level to defence and attack?

    Imo the club has only 3 middfielders capable of playing at high enough level in xhaka, cazorla and Ramsey. And each of them have some question marks on them… So the most important signing the club should be looking to is a world class midfielder.

  25. Zacharse

    We should sell Ramsey to Everton and buy a real Santi replacement that he can mentor for a year. There’s plenty of midfielders who would be a step up… and what’s happened to James Rodriguez? He’s fallen off the gossip charts lately

  26. Zacharse

    Main thing we need in a midfielder is a strong headed leader who can counterbalance ozils space exploration

  27. Bamford10

    Rambo

    “No, Paulinho, you use the same tired stick to beat every player.”

    Actually, he doesn’t — as everyone here can plainly see. His critique of Mahrez, for example, is totally different from his critique of Xhaka or of Ozil.

    You just don’t respond well to people with a different point of view, and you to tend to oversimplify and misrepresent what they’re saying. Like when you accused me of being a Kroenke supporter simply because I think Kroenke should be blamed for the things he is responsible for but not things he is not responsible for.

    Kroenke is a “yank cunt” is all you wanted to hear.

  28. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    You can think the state of the football world is dire all you like, still has no relevance when pressed for considerations as to who we should be targeting.

    We have our place in that football spheres and it ain’t the top, so offer up some names and solutions instead of your usual preachy bollocks about what isn’t right. Not hard to take shots at a team that finished 5th, but suggesting viable routes to take requires outing your neck out there. Yours remains firmly up your own arse though, as you were.

    Joey
    I see mummy has given you keyboard access. Quickly, make your usual daft points before its taken way again.

    Oh and what are you barking on about Griezmann every other week for?

  29. jwl

    If Arsenal buy two, fifty million quid players this summer and then buy two more fifty or sixty million quid players next summer, perhaps Sanchez could be convinced to stay.

    Would Chilean be tempted to stay if he was part of salparadisenyc front three – sanchez, laca, lemar – and someone to replace Santi,who can play with Xhaka.

    It would be easy to transform squad with a few perceptive player acquisitions and all the money sitting in banks. Might not win league but Arsenal would at least be there or thereabouts at end of season.

  30. Bamford10

    Wallace

    Sorry, but I don’t get know-it-all at all from Paulinho’s posts. I get someone who knows what he is talking about and has well-defined views which he is happy to defend and explain.

    The same cannot be said of everyone here — some of whom spend a good deal of time telling other people to pipe down, that they don’t know what they’re talking about, etc.

  31. Zacharse

    TROS7

    Mbappe is not yet 20, mahrez is closer to 30
    Mbappe scored big goals in big CL games, mahrez, meh, scored a bit here and there
    Mbappe is a big lad w great fitness, mahrez is neither
    Mbappe looks to be a fixture for France, mahrez for Algeria

    I think mbappe is the obvious choice here regardless of the bill that wenger will not pay. A player like mahrez gets on a team like arsenal and he’s done, just like our current waif ozil

  32. Carts

    Folks,

    probably a pointless question but does anyone actually believe – even with a front 3 of Lemar — Lacazette — Sanchez, and Kolasinac plus whomever else we bring in – that we’ll be a force to reckon with Wenger still in charge?

    Or is this all just optimism in the hope that with two new attacker, a defender and possibly a midfielder, we’ll make a challenge?

  33. Paulinho

    Cheers Bamford.

    I identify the same in your posts as well.

    Not sure whether the population is gradually being dumbed down but people have huge problems in accurately representing points people actually make without falling into logical fallacy territory. If you disagree fucking disagree.

    Problem is these types lack the actual knowledge to do so, and lash out by attacking intonation and all in all going into snowflake mode.

  34. Cesc Appeal

    Carts

    No, I don’t think so anyway.

    Wenger is too weak tactically and in terms of preparation, plays favourites a lot as well, tries to be too smart for his own good, ignores the basics.

    But we would be far more interesting to watch and would likely dispatch the lesser teams at home with greater ease.

  35. Bamford10

    T

    Agree that our defensive shape looks better in the 3-4-3, and I agree that a front three of Lemar + Lacazette + Ozil wouldn’t be bad, but I think it would be better with someone who was more a scorer than Ozil. I think those three would give us a fair amount of movement, combination play, dynamism and scoring, but I don’t think they’ll give us enough scoring and chance-creation, esp. against better sides.

    In a way it’s a moot point, as Ozil is probably going nowhere any time soon, but I’d prefer to see him in more a midfield role, with a front three of attacking players who can all dribble, combine with one another AND score.

  36. jwl

    Internet is worst, most people can disagree without being disagreeable in real life but online so many people become belligerent twats.

  37. Rambo Ramsey

    Bamford back to usual after a few good days. What’s that saying- ‘Old habits die hard’ ?

  38. gonsterous

    no matter how many YouTube clips I watch, I see nothing special with Lemar.. I could be wrong but looks like he heavily relies on his left foot and doesn’t have good close control with the ball.. still young though…

  39. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Problem is these types lack the actual knowledge to do so, and lash out by attacking intonation and all in all going into snowflake mode.’

    Says the guy who gave me ‘Joe Ledley’ as an answer to a simple question of mine. Clearly you think you’re above such questioning.

  40. Wallace

    Bamford

    “His critique of Mahrez, for example, is totally different from his critique of Xhaka or of Ozil.”

    ‘they don’t like it up ’em’ is his basic take, isn’t it?

    any disciplined, high-energy team can make life extremely difficult for a side that isn’t quite on its game. far easier to assemble a solid defensive team, than it is a sparkling attack.

  41. Paulinho

    CC – If you were constipated you would be speechless, so do us all a favour and eat some stodgy food eh?

  42. salparadisenyc

    Carts,

    Said it many times, Wenger has become a single elimination cup manager, where consistency is required over the course of season or 180 minutes he gets found out.

    Past decade plus speaks to exactly that, along with Sanchez’s need to move.

    But that front three would certainly take the sting out of it, and maybe well push into round of 8 in Champs…. err Europa league.

  43. jwl

    Carts – “that we’ll be a force to reckon with Wenger still in charge?”

    Depends on players who we bring in – if Arsenal are buying two or three more players with big personalities like Sanchez has, then you never know.

    Can’t remember which player now but there was an interview fifteen yrs ago with Arsenal player and he said he hated losing so bad that he even cheated while playing board games with his three yr old child.

    We need three or four world class players who cheat while playing games with their bairns, that kind of work ethic, will to win, that one of ingredients top teams need to win.

  44. Champagne charlie

    “Bamford back to usual after a few good days. What’s that saying- ‘Old habits die hard’ ?”

    Just thinking the same, the veil is so thin

  45. Wallace

    “Problem is these types lack the actual knowledge to do so, and lash out by attacking intonation and all in all going into snowflake mode.”

    🙂 chump

  46. Paulinho

    Wallace – Well no, not really. Hleb was at his best thrived when the opposition went at him, despite him being a waif and seen as an elegant flimsy type.

    You’re the one that is superficial and assumes attacking players are good at things associated with ‘creative’ players, without actually looking into whether they are or not.

  47. Champagne charlie

    Pauline

    Sorry mate am I getting in the way of all your arrogant ‘snowflake’ this and that rhetoric?

    Terrible shame.

  48. Bamford10

    Carts

    Strangely enough — hope springs eternal in me, I guess — I think a team led by that front three could contend (in spite of Wenger) BUT we would need to improve our central midfield. As I said above, we would need at least one athletic, ball-winning, technical CM a la Fabinho. THAT team could contend IMO, in spite of Wenger.

  49. Carts

    Cesc

    I agree with that, tbh. I, too, think we’ll win more winnable games, especially at home.

    I think against Utd x 2, City x 2, Liverpool x 2, Spurs x 2, Everton x 2, with a maximum points total of 30 points, we really should turn up for home games.

    I’d expect 9 home points; 8 away points, from the above big fixtures.

    Problem with Arsenal, is that I think 9/10 the team just wings it. We’ve been doing this for a while.

    Then you have rare occasions when we play with a rocket up our asses. City away, the season before, when we won 3-1, as well as City and Chelsea in the Semi and final.

  50. Bamford10

    Rambo

    By my “usual,” do you mean “having a pov that is different from yours” or “not being in love with your commentary here and highlighting why”?

    If so, yes, I guess I am back to my usual. Actually, I’ve never been any different. We just disagree on something today, and you’re sermingly incapable of making reasoned counter-argument.

    Not a big deal.

  51. Paulinho

    Wallace – Huge fan.

    Probably my favourite Arsenal midfield. Although would’ve preferred Diarra to Flamini, even Flamini did well that season.

  52. TR7

    I don’t understand the vitriol of some of you towards Paulinho. It’s a fact most of our players can’t string a few passes together against top teams in the league and that applies to the likes of Xhaka,Ozil,Coq etc. What’s wrong in pointing it out ? It’s also a fact that there are very few midfielders in the world who are in the mold of Cesc, Rosicky,Modric etc. who can deal with pressure and work in tight spaces and still create magic. If he points this as a weakness of a particular player and in turn argues the player thus might not help much, that’s a fair point in my opinion.

  53. Champagne charlie

    TR7
    That wasn’t what was being argued. Paulinho was talking utter drivel about Mahrez originally saying he doesn’t turn up at various away grounds etc. He was challenged on that and continued to peddle nonsense that flew in the face of the reality everyone witnessed the season Leicester won the league.

    Then he was asked to provide solutions and such to what he considers faults in the side, to which he went mute only stating Joe Ledley. That coupled with his inflated self importance has people popping at him.

    Nothing to do with your idea he’s being treated harshly for “stating facts”. You’ve not followed very well if you think that’s what anyone is talking about.

  54. Carts

    Sal

    Domestic single cup comp’ is definitely Wenger’s new found strength.

    The front 3 reads impressive on paper. I’d imagine some games we’ll run riot, other time there’ll be zero chemistry, and this is where cameras will pan to Wenger and Bould, and they’ll be sitting, rocking on their hands like idiots.

    Jwl

    This goes back to my posts earlier this week where I spoke about the lack of certain players, and I’m sure this is by design so that no one dares question or undermines Wenger.

    Where are these big character, vocal individuals. I mean, half the time we look like we don’t have a skipper.

    Bamford

    I think you’ve hit the nail on its head – our core area is where we’ll get found out. It’s been our week underbelly. Coquelin isn’t good enough and quite erratic; Elneny is tidy but quite weak and not very impactful; Wilshere is broken; Santi could well retire; Xhaka is very limited, but I’ll reserve judgement for the time being; Ramsey I don’t rate at all. He too unpredictable and force the issue too much.

  55. Rambo Ramsey

    Bamford, its shit like this

    ‘You just don’t respond well to people with a different point of view, and you to tend to oversimplify and misrepresent what they’re saying.’

    I mean, you are the bizarro who took my frustrations with Kroenke( yes, my Yank cunt comment ) as some deep rooted Anti Americanism. Lets talk about abhorrently misrepresenting others eh?

  56. Paulinho

    “He was challenged on that and continued to peddle nonsense”

    Perceived nonsense in the eyes of someone who talks shit such as the standard of footballers not impacting who we sign – despite Wenger himself saying exactly that – doesn’t hold any weight to anyone with a brain.

  57. China

    Cesc hleb and rosicky now there were 3 players who could play triangles for days!

    Shame hleb refused to shoot because he could’ve been a BEAST if he’d have just stopped playing sideways passes inside the box

  58. TR7

    CC

    I have followed the entire thread.

    Regarding Mahrez – No, his point that Mahrez didn’t turn up at Stamford/Anfield wasn’t contested, rather people said very few players if any turn up and rip teams apart in those stadia. Rambo for example gave Hazard’s example. So you can argue he is demanding very high standards from Mahrez but the point he made wasn’t refuted in its entirety. I personally like Mahrez and would like us to sign him although.

    Regarding solutions – He mentioned Bernardo, Lemar for instance. Last season he thought Kante could be that player. So it’s not that he hasn’t provided solutions. It’s just that there aren’t many very high quality midfielders around for someone to reel out 10-15 names.

  59. Champagne charlie

    Paulinho

    Nothing perceived about fact you tit, you say Mahrez didn’t turn up against big sides but he destroyed them when Leicester won the league. He didn’t destroy them because I said so, that actually happened….get it?

    “the standard of footballers not impacting who we sign”

    Where have you plucked that gem?

  60. jwl

    Carts – Keeping players over 30 even tho injured when Wenger used to sell players when they neared 30, shorter skinnier players instead of players over six foot, all point to decline in Wenger’s ability to manage.

    There is reason why Wenger has surrounded himself with meek average height players, while giving himself highest salary at club, he old conservative man with declining mental abilities and he needs total power or he will be found out.

  61. Paulinho

    It’s actually more about Ozi not turning up. Mahrez can turn up in big away games and score – more so than Ozil- but it’s his style of play that is the issue. He likes to skirt on the edge of games high up the pitch, and with Ozil and Xhaka in the side, we will struggle to to keep possession and keep the opposition honest.

  62. Paulinho

    “You can think the state of the football world is dire all you like, still has no relevance when pressed for considerations as to who we should be targeting”

  63. Champagne charlie

    “We have our place in that football spheres and it ain’t the top, so offer up some names and solutions instead of your usual preachy bollocks about what isn’t right. Not hard to take shots at a team that finished 5th, but suggesting viable routes to take requires outing your neck out there”

    Missed a bit there Pauline, would hate for you to unintentionally misinterpret ehh…

    I’ll rephrase as you’ve had trouble understanding: the ststae of football can be shit around the world according to you, but Arsenal are shitter…ergo there’s players out there who would better us. If not then beggars belief why you spend so much time calling ours shit as they’re the best available if your statement is true.

  64. Paulinho

    Destroying teams at home has nothing to do with my point. I specifically mentioned away games against teams that press – like Everton away, United, Chelsea away – and how his impact is reduced to feeding off scraps high up the pitch, being unable to create the space for himself by dropping deeper and linking play.

    Try and stay on track.

  65. TR7

    CC

    Continuing the theme of the last post – Even you will concede one of the reasons we haven’t competed for the league for many seasons is our abject displays against our rivals especially playing away. Correct me if I am wrong we haven’t won in last some 20 odd away games in the league against Chelsea,Liverpool,United etc. If you look at Chelsea last season they did win a few games away against big teams which is essential for any team to compete in the league. It’s also no coincidence our abject display away has been concomitant with the post Cesc-Nasri era. So, it’s essential we sign midfielders who can address our lack of ability to physically and technically match our rivals especially playing away. Xhaka and Ozil for instance are smooth passers and look at ease against average to half decent teams but against PSG in 2 legs and Munich in 2 legs our midfield was abject , bereft of ideas. How do you expect things will change unless we bring in different type of midfielders ?

  66. Paulinho

    CC – Getting rid of the manager was the most viable route. Maybe that’s why we finished fifth?

    With this manager, and inability to adapt or change style – unless out of desperation – the players are simply not there.

    It’s identifying players that actually our major weakness. Not players that are more of the same.

    You are all over place. We are not in the top realm but yet Bayern can’t compete with us.

  67. Paulinho

    Leicester played a different system to us. Absolute muppetry to take Mahrez’s performances in isolation without consideration as to whether he would be as effective under a manager that attempts to play a completely different way.

  68. Champagne charlie

    TR7

    That’s mentality, or lack there of in our case. We play assertive, dominant football with our tails up, but we have an awful habit of being like a deer in headlights. You won’t see Arsenal sign a more proficient player for possession football than Cazorla and we’ve had the same failings with him in the side.

  69. Champagne charlie

    I’m all over the place yet all I say is in retort to your ridiculous assertions. Focus mate…

    You’re that busy trying to assume the role of football oracle you’re making dumb comment after another.

  70. TR7

    CC, Cazorla was handicapped by the necessity to cover for Coquelin’s lack of ability with the ball. If we had a Kante type of player as our DM, I am sure Santi would have been even more effective. Even with Coq, I remember him tearing United apart when we scored 3 goals in 30-35 minutes against Schweinstiger and co. He had some memorable performances against City as well. Spurs and Everton were the sides he struggled against due to overly physical nature of their midfield. Still if he was surrounded by right players he would have done wonders I think. The guy had to play with Coq, Flamini and crocked Arteta.

  71. Rambo Ramsey

    TR7, vitriol? Give me a break. He was called out for his opinions, same as any of us are. What is he, like the crowd favorite who shouldn’t be ruffled? Lol

    ”So it’s not that he hasn’t provided solutions. It’s just that there aren’t many very high quality midfielders around for someone to reel out 10-15 names.”

    Yes, that’s the point my man. There AREN”T many players in the world who can stamp their authority regularly in big games. As Paulinho himself admits later.

    So with that in mind, can you tell me- What the fuck is the point of using that particular stick to beat players? If that’s your criteria, you’d be scratching off the names of 99% of football players from your target list.

    There is a reason I chose Hazard as an example.
    1. He is considered the best or most efficient attacker/playmaker in the League.
    2. He is the main man at Chelsea- the side that won the league.

    So you have the best attacking player struggling to impact any big game last season and his side who lost most of the away big games. Yet they won the title at canter.

    With that in mind, tell me again-Why are those matches at Old trafford, Stamford bridge, Anfield made such a big fuss about?

  72. Wallace

    TR7

    “Even you will concede one of the reasons we haven’t competed for the league for many seasons is our abject displays against our rivals especially playing away.”

    is there any team that wins even 40% of its away games against the other top sides on a regular basis? Utd didn’t score one single goal in the big away games last year. you mention Chelsea doing okay, but City should have buried them at the Etihad.

  73. TR7

    Rambo

    Of course everybody’s opinion can be contested here. Nobody is beyond criticism or above scrutiny. My limited point is the particular attribute he talked about has been missing in our midfielders and thus we should sign players who bring that attribute to the table rather than signing more of the same.

    It’s not true Hazard was anonymous in all the big games last season. Yes he went AWOL in a few games but I can distinctly remember his splendid performance against us when Chelsea beat us, against City he was great in 2nd half and a couple of more which I remember but a bit vaguely. Besides, Chelsea anyway have players like Wilian and Kante who can play against technical and physically imposing sides, so it doesn’t hurt them much if Hazard goes missing sometimes. We have none and that’s the problem.

    And last point Liverpool, Chelsea and City games are generally 6 pointers – not statistically but in terms of standing in the league. Thus making fuss about them is justified.

    Wallace

    There’s a reason United finished 5th last season. And our percentage is 0% which is way lower than average of 30%-40% that you mention for other teams.

  74. Paulinho

    Rambo – We’ve struggled with the press at those grounds for years. That’s why they are mentioned. Those games are a snapshot of where we are in terms of possession football. If we treat the ball like hot potato in those games we ain’t doing anything come the business end of the season, regardless of whether we fluke a result in those games despite playing awful football.

    And you really, seriously, need to read the actual posts and the actual points people make. Criticisms of Mahrez were made on the assumption of Ozil and Xhaka lining up alongside him.

    If Hazard goes missing, they have Willian to come on and help them keep possession. We don’t.

  75. Rambo Ramsey

    Nobody has addressed the point I made hours ago.

    Liverpool don’t have one player in their team who you’d go gaga over. Yet they had the best big game record. System and commitment levels from players matter an awful lot too.

    How is it that the same Arsenal team that capitulated at away big games turned in super performances at Wembley against same opposition?

    The players were the same. What was different was the system, the mentality, the commitment and energy levels of the players.

  76. Rambo Ramsey

    Vicky, no the point of discussion was particular to AWAY big games.

    Paulinho, what part of
    (1) Chelsea’s players were turd at those away venues
    (2) Which is why Chelsea lost most of those games
    (3) Chelsea won the title at canter regardless

    is your brain struggling to comprehend?

  77. Paulinho

    Rambo – What part of your brain is struggling with the fact Chelsea have a different team and squad to us? Also, we played all those games at pivotal points in the season while Chelsea played United when they won the league and they drew at Liverpool while we got smashed.

    Also, that was one season, whereas I just mentioned that those games have been a consistent problem for us? Have they been for Chelsea? What is our away record compared to them in previous years against top five?

    “Vicky, no the point of discussion was particular to AWAY big games.”

    This is just embarrassing. It was always quite clearly about away games. Wasn’t the word ‘venue’ a bit of giveaway?

  78. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Criticisms of Mahrez were made on the assumption of Ozil and Xhaka lining up alongside him.’

    Sorry, I missed this.

    The same Ozil that gave a display of substance and the same Xhaka that bossed the midfield in the final at Wembley.

    Look all I’m saying is there are a lot more things that make the difference in big games. Its not just about having players who are good on the ball as you suggest. That’s fucking simplistic.

    We had players once who were great on the ball as you yourself brought up earlier. We had players that dominated big games. Yet the likes of United and Chelsea always got the better of us fielding bang average footballers.

    Gameplan from the coach’s side, execution from the players’ side- the energy and commitment, the little moments of lapses in concentration-yes, the defense matters too.

  79. TR7

    Ramsey

    After dissing Ozil and Xhaka round the year now you are suggesting the problem is not with them but our mentality alone?

    One swallow doesn’t make a summer. One FA cup final display should not be used to gloss over what is a long term ailment.

  80. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Also, that was one season, whereas I just mentioned that those games have been a consistent problem for us? Have they been for Chelsea? What is our away record compared to them in previous years against top five?’

    Did Chelsea win all of the last five editions?

    Do you really think four or five away big matches have the biggest bearing on where the league title goes.

    I concede that Arsenal over the years have a horrible record in the big away games. But I’m repeating this again, how much of it is that down to players’ ability on the ball? Knowing we once had likes of Hleb, Fabregas, Rosicky and would still be beat.

    You and TR7 are just being a bit dense now, sorry lads. Big games depend on a lot more factors.

  81. jwl

    Also, why are Arsenal waiting to appoint Per to academy at end of next season – the BFG was given sabbatical last season, as far as I can tell. Per made two appearances last season, I think?, retire and take over new job now and Chambers can take his place.

  82. Wallace

    Rambo

    “How is it that the same Arsenal team that capitulated at away big games turned in super performances at Wembley against same opposition?”

    the most frustrating part of being an Arsenal fan, for me. knowing we’re capable, but for whatever reason not being able to do it consistently.

  83. Rambo Ramsey

    Wallace, I’ve written this several times now but every-time I see Arsenal take to the pitch on FA cup occasions, its like I’m watching a different team.

    The Hull final was shaky, really showed the lack of belief and confidence running through the team. Not been the case in the last two cup runs, has it?

  84. Paulinho

    Rambo – I’m fully aware of that. My point is we sign Mahrez – get no closer to the style of football he wants to play – and we still have the same mental flaws.

    Just be nice for Wenger to sign players that actually bring some of Rosicky and Hleb did. That is all.

  85. Wallace

    Rambo

    “I’ve written this several times now but every-time I see Arsenal take to the pitch on FA cup occasions, its like I’m watching a different team.”

    yeah, I know what you mean. maybe away from the grind of the league programme we’re less inhibited…who knows.

  86. Rambo Ramsey

    Paulinho, it’d make the matches a lot easier on the eye from an Arsenal fan pov, that is one guaranteed outcome. But we go back to the question I’ve repeated many times today- how many players with such technical ability to run the show in hostile environments are there now?

    Frankly with some game-plan, this lot we have now can do much better than what we’ve seen. And a better attitude- guess this is where you can blast likes of Ozil.

  87. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘yeah, I know what you mean. maybe away from the grind of the league programme we’re less inhibited…who knows.’

    Now that I think about it, that whole cup run in 2013/14 was shaky. Everton, Liverpool-only days after the 5-1 mauling, Wigan(?) in the Semi took us to extra time! Going down 2-0 to Hull in Final…

    Nail biting affair all the way till we lifted the thing.

    Compare it to the runs in 14/15 and 16/17. Funny what a bit of confidence can do.

  88. Paulinho

    £how many players with such technical ability to run the show in hostile environments are there now?

    There is a lack of them, although Wenger could’ve still done a better job of bringing players with better profile in terms of ticking boxes of what we need in those positions. It’s like he just completely lost his ability to judge a player, and it’s only when they arrive he sees what he’s bought and what they lack. Why we are in this ridiculous situation where Iwobi starts way too often simply because he brings some of that fluid dribbling that our system/style needs.

    Crazy to think Bolton could pick up the likes of Okocha and Djorkaeff, and Portsmouth Prosinecki/Alessandrio back in the early 2000s. Simply none of them around anymore.

  89. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    Are you having a laugh? For someone who sparsely comments you do chirp up at some odd things given the content some posters continually produce.

    Did I hurt Paulinhos feelings? Sorry Pedro, don’t tell my dad.

  90. Sanmi

    Paulinho,

    Ever wondered why okocha never played in a big team? As gifted as he was, he has no real end product until the Twilight of his career. Kanu has more end product in our national team.

    Remembered from 1994-97 when we has a very good national team, okocha was permanently on the bench, our coach preferred Siasia to him- The whole Nigeria criticized him then, we later discovered with all the flamboyant displays he’s not that effective.
    But in the 2000s he started concentrating on goals and assists but twas a little too late, he was already in his late 20s.
    My point his- flamboyant display doesn’t mean much, effectiveness trumps all. For all our hates on ozil, he’s fucking effective. No matter how bad he plays in an entire season he’d contribute to 20+ goals directly (either scoring or assisting). Okocha will struggle to do 10+

  91. Joe

    Rambo“I’ve written this several times now but every-time I see Arsenal take to the pitch on FA cup occasions, its like I’m watching a different team.”

    Maybe it’s because we played Lincoln, Sutton, Preston and soton reserve team.

  92. Wallace

    I was watching some youtube of Prosinecki last week. insane player (loved that whole Croatian side). at Portsmouth apparently he could never be bothered to listen to Rix’s team talks so would just head for the showers and have a smoke. a forerunner to our Polish keeper.

  93. Cesc Appeal

    Apparently Chelsea have matched United’s offer for Lukaku but are refusing to pay Raiola his £12 Million cut. Do not know if that is just DM rubbish, but I wonder how that one will go in that case. Would imagine United becomes ‘in Lukaku’s best interest’ according to his agent.

  94. Vince

    Sanmi.
    Agreed with Okocha being wasteful/showboating but he wasn’t benched for that period of 94 to 97 if memory serves me right. Infact I think he was an ever present. and if he was benched it definitely wasn’t for Siasia. It’s Amokachi that was contesting for the assistant striker’s role with Siasia I think as Yekini was the fulcrum of the attack.

  95. gazzap

    Ozil is a bottler who disappears when the going is tough. you cannot win the premier league with a key player who has his characteristics. It’s a physically tough league and he cannot handle it. No wonder no other club has shown any interest since he joined Arsenal. I’d sell him first bid we get but I bet we don’t get any bids.

  96. Wallace

    Yekini, Amokachi, Ammunike, Oliseh, Okocha, George, Babayaro(?), West…ach, always struggle to remember the defenders.

  97. David Smith

    Gazzap, but Ozil did win the World Cup with Germany, think he played most games, and did well in the final. And he shat on England in a major tournament as well, ok most do, but maybe the reason the media have it in for him

  98. Cesc Appeal

    Papers are saying if Chelsea cannot get Lukaku (not likely if that agent fee thing is correct) they will turn to Belotti. I think that would be a slice of good fortune for them in the long run, really do think Belotti is going to explode. As a player he just has all the ingredients you want to be able to handle a big move and thrive, great physicality coupled with a relentless work rate and technical proficiency. Particularly in the EPL I think he will thrive where his physical game will really pay off.

    If Chelsea manage to get their targets, Rudiger, Bakayoko, Sandro and Belotti, that is a set of really powerful players giving them a steely core.

    EPL is shaping up to be fascinating next year, Guardiola is going one way and relying on highly technical players, Chelsea are building on what they did last year, United seem to be taking a turn toward a physical set up and Spurs do not seem to have the financial firepower to move and so are being cautious and trying to protect what they have. Would imagine they will look to move for a pacey wide player once Walker’s move to City finally goes through.

  99. Thanos

    So we have agreed personal terms with lemar so now we need to agree a deal with Monaco surely that means they let us talk to him and we did not just do a dirty like liverpool. He obviously wants to come which is amazing

  100. Cesc Appeal

    Thanos

    Always wary of those ‘agreed personal terms’ stories. But it is looking good, Sky Sports reported Lemar is Arsenal’s priority target now and maybe for once we are acting with common sense and realising we need to get it done before his price inflated even more and before other sides come snooping around.

    But apparently he is best friends with Lacazette and liked his posts about moving to Arsenal on social media. He was also left out of Monaco’s latest kit launch promotions and some journalists are saying Arsenal are now ‘confident’ or a deal being agreed.

    Would be a great signing. Really exciting.

  101. Thanos

    Coq knows lacazette and lemar really well and was instrumental in convincing lacazette to come. Lemar would be comfortable due to the amount of French players. He obviously wants to come

  102. Thanos

    Cesc keeping sanchez is imperitive we go backwards whoever we sign if we don’t keep him. Anywhere but city if he leaves we can’t lose another player to them

  103. Sanmi

    Vince

    Okocha wasn’t ever present. You probably mistaking the U-23 team for Senior team.
    Yemisi
    Amokachi (nobody dares bench the bull, he was by far our most experienced and travelled player)
    Finidi
    Amunike
    Siasia (okocha only starts when he’s injured- till 97 when he no longer featured)
    Oliseh
    Ben Iroha-plays LB (babayaro came in when he retired)
    Uche Okechukwu
    Steven kechi
    Uche Okafor- plays RB (Mobi Oparaku came in after 1996)
    Rufai in goal

  104. useroz

    If Wenger does not start getting rid of the dross there’s little going to happen on the buy side. Stan and Wenger aren’t generous on that front.

    Adding a no name/track record GK coach is a disgrace when Lollichan (Cech’s ex coach) is available. Ffs.

    No right or wrong re Alexis situation. So many factors, variations and unknowns. Plenty of legit arguments aka half full/ empty. It would be the net net position at end of TW that matters.

    If Cazorla isn’t replaced or a young version brought in to be groomed, season probably done.

    If. Wenger expects Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Wellbeck to suddenly be able to step up and deliver as top players, dream on. 3 or these 4 should be sold asap this TW.

    Leave Coq on the bench and get a proper one. Our win ratio with Coq starting isn’t good I think.

    Some thought we should give away Gibbs, Debuchy, Jenks if fees can’t be agreed. I think that’s exactly what we need. Lose 15m max in reality given their wages; total 180k+ pw easily…

  105. China

    That hleb flamini cesc rosicky midfield was fucking great – for that year at least

    Hleb only lacked goals and a willingness to pull the trigger

    Flamini was a one season wonder but that year was brilliant (2010 I think?)

    Cesc was and remains one of the best players of a generation. A marvelous player who is imo the best midfielder Arsenal have had in my life time and a serious contender for best midfielder of the PL era fullstop. It’s a footballing tragedy that Barca signed him purely for ego purposes and spat him out. If he’d stayed with Arsenal or joined pretty much any other team he’d have been even better

    TR7 was the real deal, such a shame injuries stopped him going all the way. He was a 9/10 player who never got beyond an 8/10 because of his physical weaknesses

    The only thing that midfield lacked was a few more goals to support the front line. Other than that it was fucking brilliant

  106. China

    Well let’s hold off on getting excited about lemar because this is Arsenal we’re talking about and great signings rarely happen without a but (and brilliant summers almost never happen full stop)

    So the sounds are much better this summer. Laca was a solid buy. But a few years back we almost got hig and suarez before both fell through, so let’s not read much into this unless the sounds are coming from especially credible sources and are overtly positive

    Making an improved offer doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t match their valuation

  107. China

    Re lukaku, he’s obviously very good and his numbers are nice but he’s not my kind of player

    I’d only be happy with a striker like that playing in a front 2 with a really different style partner

    I’m really not a fan of bulldozer ‘big lump’ type strikers

    I prefer technical link up strikers to battering rams. Rvp, Henry, bergkamp all glorious examples despite being different from each other. Lukaku is a good foil to a more link up based striker

    I’ve never been a fan of strikers who go missing even if they chip in with regular goals. Give me an Henry who hits 20+ but gets assists and causes havoc over a van nistelrooy who doesn’t touch the ball for 85 minutes but scores a tap in for the winner

  108. Wallace

    intriguing that both Man Utd & Chelsea are willing to pay 75m+ for Lukaku, which most think is slightly desperate, but neither seem interested in Aubameyang.

  109. Sanmi

    Re: aubermayang

    I have refrained from commenting on him. My view is , he’s not as good as people think, same with Higuain . They are good strikers not elite strikers.
    Lacazette is on their level, now that he will be in a team that creates loads you’d see.

    Re: Hleb,
    As much as I love his tight space control but I dare to say Iwobi will be a more effective player than Hleb ever was.

  110. Sanmi

    If you hate Giroud style of play, I don’t get why you will like Lukaku. His number of goals is deceiving , watching him over the course of a season you’d discover is lack of consistency, might not score in about 3-5 games in a row, then he’d score hatricks and braces in consecutive matches. At the end of the season his stats looks like 1 in 1.5 games, meanwhile he’s failed to show up in about 15 games of the season (remember he doesn’t contribute nada beside goals), so if he’s not scoring he’s useless

  111. Sanmi

    I’m curious as to which team gets Lukaku , man utd or Chelsea. The team that fails basically will be without an elite striker next season.

  112. champagne charlie

    Disagree SAnmi, Higuain shits on Aubameyang in terms of touch and creativity/linking with others. Lacazette is good here too which is why he’s a better option for us. Aubameyang is a clinical/powerful Walcott.

    Starting to get the impression Lemar and Mahrez could be landing at Arsenal and I only see that meaning Alexis is off.

    Question is, if it ends up City what will the fans reaction to him be? Surely he’s every bit a snake given they’ve won fuck all in the period he’s been here and we have?

  113. Wallace

    champagne charlie

    would be concerned that Lacazette, Lemar, Mahrez & Ozil lacks a bit of muscle & devil, but no doubt it’s a very exciting & talented attacking group. if we do lose Alexis but gain those three you’d have to be pretty miserable to complain.

  114. Wallace

    and you’re prob looking at it costing you 80m or so net. heck, get shot of Walcott & Giroud as well and you’re down to 25-30m. and probably saving yourself some on salaries.

  115. Karl

    The Lukaku’s deal is an initial fee of £75m with a £15m add-ons. This is sick! I doubt it also includes the reported 12m fee for Mino Raiola.

  116. china

    if we weren’t in this ridiculously inflated era, Lukaku would be a 30m striker

    for me this 70+ stuff is absolutely nonsense unless you’re getting one of the world’s very very best. something which he isn’t

  117. champagne charlie

    Wallace

    I think Lacazette will surprise you with his ability to repel defenders mate, but I get what you’re saying because they’re all skilled players vs being ‘athletic’. For me though you can operate this way with a good defensive unit comprised of those types, and we potentially have that.

    Not saying it’s going to happen, but if that setup did occur I think it’s a very exciting option. Monaco-like in reality given none of their forward players are very physically dominant. Though it’s a judgement call whether that’s a requirement for the prem.

    Kolasinac brings a lot of physicality, and Xhaka/Rambo would be a strong central unit if they can be disciplined. Welbz and Ox are physical types remember and they don’t exactly tear up trees

  118. china

    and yeah goal distribution is arguably the single most meaningful striker statistic but nobody ever mentions it

    a player has scored 5 goals in his last 10 games – yeah but he scored a hat trick and a brace spanning 2 games and didn’t do anything in the other 8. and those goals were against relegation fodder or in a dead rubber

    it’s better to be a striker who scores 20 goals a season with goals registered in 20 games out of 38 appearances than it is to be a striker who scores 30 goals a season but is only scoring in 10 games out of 38 appearances – sure you’d likely be winning all those 10 games but what about the rest? Half your goals would just be rubbing it in in matches you’re already winning.

    hitting 3 in a game you win 5-0 is valueless outside of goal difference (which rarely impacts on league positions)

  119. Karl

    Man United seem to be naive in the transfer market these days. They keep showing their desperation to selling clubs. How Lukaku is worth that much is a mystery! Mino Raiola keeps ripping them off. I guess Lukaku will request for £200k plus, per week.

    It’s good news though as long as he fails to perform well at Old Trafford

  120. china

    this is exactly why people shouldn’t depend solely on stats unless the stats themselves are so ridiculously one-sided they can’t be disputed (yaya sanogoals lol)

    I often bang the welbeck’s stats are shite drum but i also think he’s good awful in reality and not just in numbers i should clarify