Arsenal are having a really weird summer

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'We play with the handbrake off, Boro'

‘We play with the handbrake off, Boro’

I know, I know… you all come here because of how integrated I am into the fabric of the game. Raiola dinner parties, Mendes poker games, beers with Vik Akers… sure, that’s my life,  but did I tell you about the time I was on the plane with an agent who reckoned he knew Elneney and he told me the Egyptian was possibly leaving?

No, I didn’t. But I am telling you now because Leicester has been linked with him for £10m. I really like the Egyptian. No nonsense, no fuss. Just a great engine, some neat passing and a good frame for getting in the mix of the physical challenge that is the Premier League. I think he’s the sort of squad player you want to keep on the books, but that’s just me.

In other news, David Luiz has perked up Arsenal fans by lavishing praise juice all over our new SUPER STAR STRIKER SIGNING.

“Lacazette is a top player, top striker. I had many opportunities to play against him in France and he was always difficult. Arsenal did well to take him.

“What makes him so good? He has the timing to go into the space, he finishes well, he can score many goals, he can assist. So he is a top-level player.”

 

That’s high praise from one of the most successful defenders of the last ten years. Especially considering he didn’t need to make those comments. He could have just said, ‘he’ll have to adapt to a tougher league, and stop crying all the time’, which would have suffice.

I do have to say, in general, I’ve been kind of flatlined by how poorly the Premier League seems to have spent money this summer. I mean, some good players, but for a league so loaded and stupid, we really are lacking blockbuster names. PSG are raiding Barcelona for Neymar to the tune of £220m, and we’re clapping away at the Premiership making marquee signings of Lacazette, Moratta, and Lukaku. All good players, but if this were a sexual escapade, it’d be dry and very apologetic.

Remember the summer of Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Francis Jeffers? Those were the days…

Jokes aside, I’m sure they’ll all score goals. But where’s the flair of Thierry, Aguero in his pomp, Didier Drogba?

We’ll see though. Three very different strikers. Someone is going to win and someone is going to lose.

I really wish Arsenal would move a bit harder on the squad. Wenger looks like he’s taking another marginal gains summer, instead of being brutally honest about what he needs and making moves. I mean, West Ham are going all out, and you cannot knock their moves. Joe Hart, Marco Arnautovic, Zabaleta, Hernandez, and Lazio’s Keita (who looks a real gem in the making).

That’s a seriously aggressive summer. It’s the sort that takes you from shite to competing in for the top 6 if you’re lucky.

Where are our heavy moves? What takes us from 5th to 1st? A back up left back and a striker won’t solve our problems. Goals were not really our issue last season. Where are the upgrades? Where are the players that are going to fundamentally change how we play? Where are the leaders that we lacked last year? Where is the forward planning so we don’t end up in the dumpster next summer?

I really feel it’s arrogant. I mean, things could change very quickly. Just have my doubts. You look at our summer and you can’t help but think Wenger will think it’s job done because he had a go at doing big signing… and we know, because we’ve seen time and time again, that he’ll be more than happy to park signing a left winger and a major striker because he’ll be looking at maybe next season (Waiting 3 seasons for Santi / 2 for Chamakh / 2 for Baptista).

Wenger, always pining for tomorrow… which is why we’ll never be a serious club under his watch. No impetus to kick on because he’s essentially invincible.

I feel next season is basically going to be about 3 at the back and whether that can shake us into a title winning team, versus accepting we’re rotten, and carving out the nasty bits.

On the upswing of things, because life isn’t all DOOM DOOM DOOM. I am excited about the season.

I think there are some things to be positive about.

I DO like our new formation, even if it is copied. It allows us to play a free flowing style of football I’ve not seen in a while, it also seemed to energise our playing staff.

I AM excited to have a striker in the side that David Luiz is fearful of. That’s fucking massive. Having someone who is explosive and clinical, regardless of whether he is Thierry, is very important. We’ll have to deal with the lack of physicality, and I do worry he’s a bit of a Wiltord, but hey, he looks an improvement.

I am very excited about Iwobi maybe coming good. I’m hoping Hector plays a stronger role in the new setup. I think this could be a breakthrough year for Chambo. I also think Holding could be an immense figure this season. Call me crazy, but I really, really, really like Emi Martinez. That penalty save was superb. I think his frame and growing maturity could be interesting.

I’m also super interested to see what our season looks like if we squash the contracts into shape so we don’t have collective what-the-fuck is-going-on-itis rampaging through the squad like the shits after an rotten Italian lasagna party.

That’s me done.

IT’S TOO POSTIVE I AM GOING TO BED.

x

 

432 Responses to “Arsenal are having a really weird summer”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    Keita Balde Diao and Bernardeschi likely to move, both would be good options if Sanchez is leaving along with having Lemar come in.

  2. Paulinho

    The level of footballer in the world has been gradually, almost insidiously, dropping for ages. When Barca started signing decent but ultimately mediocre players like Rakitic and Turan, then it was obvious this dearth of class was being exposed.

    If it wasn’t for the cadre of class at Monaco then football would be well and truly fucked. But they’ve almost single handedly injected life into football with their talents, although it does remain to be seen just how good these players turn out to be (Bernardo Silva, Mbappe aside).

  3. Cesc Appeal

    Marko

    Guaranteed Conte will be eyeing up Oxlade for RWB if that is the case to take over from Moses.

  4. Marko

    everyone – Wenger, Pep. Conte, Mourinho – has remarked on how difficult this summer has been to get the players in

    Yeah I think that’s kind of bollox though. I mean Mourinho clearly was saying it as a way of getting his chief executive to get a move on otherwise Conte and Pep haven’t had a problem making signings so far. With us it’s honestly been an excuse for years. Even before the prices went crazy we always seem to struggle in the transfer market no real approach to a window

  5. HillWood

    Alex Iwobi admits he “lost my hunger” last season.
    He is only 23 FFS.
    I think this is a big problem with Wengers Arsenal.
    They get so much money and have such a comfortable time at the club they become complacent
    Wenger is incapable of instilling discipline

  6. Peter12

    I think we should sign Mahrez. I have a feeling that Pedro said he is not keen on this player, but I think Mahrez is superb, he would also bring a quality that Arsenal lacks – in free kick department. It would be a class signing. Please Mr Wenger, please don’t mess it up by missing this one. Rather than chasing impossible signings, sign Mahrez. He is class, has EPL and Champions League experience, scores goal deadly in freekicks.

  7. Wallace

    yeah, I think Mahrez would be a great addition. understand the worry re him & Ozil as two of the three, but can worry about that later. just get the quality in at this point.

  8. Charlie Nick

    Chris Samba may be getting a short term deal at Villa. Remember when he was the solution to our CB woes? Now if we move fast there, we can finally nab Solomon Kalou and we are done.

  9. Don

    Ox will go this week.We need a creative wide man not a headless chicken like Wally Walnutt.Mahrez is the one

  10. Samesong

    Sky in Italy: Roma have made improved bid of £27m for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez. First bid was £20m

  11. Cesc Appeal

    £70 Million would be a great price considering the circumstances.

    Problem is do you trust the current administration at Arsenal to kick on from this and really show some ambition with a number of new arrivals?

  12. TR7

    WE

    Elneny is not going to start any game of significance in the coming season. he is a utility player who will probably be used in Europa league games. He won’t get enough opportunities to cost us many points. Ramsey and Theo will and they will cost us points. Elneny was anyway about to be sold but looks like the move didn’t materialize.

    Meanwhile Wenger has gone absolute bonkers if he going to sell Sanchez,Giroud and Ox in the same summer. I mean I get it many people here don’t like Giroud and Ox and that’s fine but for god sake those two are not the worst players in our squad.

  13. TR7

    CA

    Yes, that’s quite possible. My sense is Wenger has told Ox that he has no place in our central midfield for him and that even in RWB, he will have to fight for his place with Bellerin. Conte must have given him assurances that he will start ahead of Moses unless he performs horribly.

    People here never get tired of slating Ox ….well if rumors are true the PL winners are interested in him and so was/is Liverpool. Surely he can’t be that shit, right ? But hey Theo scores a few goals at least, so he must be better.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    TR7

    Maybe his end of season surge at RWB caught Conte’s eye? He is such a powerful player and so pacey you can imagine him liking that.

    I have always liked Oxlade, he is an immensely frustrating player but I just always sense he is on the cusp of breaking out. Just never seems to actually happen.

    Interesting though, if Wenger sells him and he flourishes under Conte that might say something.

    If we lose Sanchez and Oxlade over the next week or two sure as shit Wenger has to up his game in the market. If Chelsea really want him they will likely have to pay about £30 Million (English and EPL ‘rival’ premium) which means we will have brought in £80-100 Million in totally new funds.

  15. bacaryisgod

    I think we know where everything is headed this summer.

    1. Chezzer out so probably Ospina stays. I would have preferred Chezzer to spend another year behind Cech instead of Buffon but I think his ship sailed after the smoking in the showers/sucking on his water bottle like a dummy Soton game.
    2. Gibbs out, Kolasinac in.
    3. Chambers out. No-one in. We’ll buy big when Mert leaves.
    4. Alexis out. Lemar in but we’re keeping Mahrez hanging on in case Monaco stand firm.
    5. Lacazette in.
    6. Debuchy out.

    Now for the toss-ups: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Olivier Giroud, Carl Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere.

    Ox: Very interesting comments from Ivan the other day about Arsenal being driven to give youngsters a chance. Does this mean we’ll be prepared to give Maitland-Niles and Nelson a chance for more time and decide to cut our losses with the Ox? Certainly not this season, I hope. Besides, we have Hector to nail down the right wing-back spot. Arsene already said that it’s vital we keep Ox, so I’m hoping we’ll hold on to him.

    Giroud: The odds are that he leaves, probably to Everton. It feels like we’re going to rely on speed this season and Welbeck will be Lacazette’s back-up when he’s not playing out wide.

    Wilshere: The odds are the Jack leaves too, probably to West Ham.

    Jenkinson: He might be this year’s version of Sanogo. We can’t even give him away at this point. Here’s the problem. He’s on 45k a week and has a contract until 2020. We might just end up paying half his wages for a Championship or struggling Premier League team to take him. He’s done at Arsenal.

    You would think that with it being likely that with up to 12 players leaving (Chezzer,Chambers, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell, Giroud, Alexis, Akpom and Lucas Perez) then we’ll be bringing in close to an equal number.

    Think again.

    7 of the players were on loan or did not feature (Chezzer, Joel Campbell, Debuchy, Jenks, Wilshere, Chambers and Akpom). Arsenal won’t consider that they need replacing.

    2 of them already have replacements (Gibbs, Giroud)

    This leaves three players.

    1. Alexis who we’re guessing would be replaced by Lemar or Mahrez.

    2. Lucas Perez who was a bit-part player and his minutes will likely be replaced by added time for Iwobi, Maitlaind-Niles and Nelson. Not an adequate solution, I agree.

    3. Oxlade-Chamberlain. I just can’t see us letting him go. The logical move is to move him into central midfield where his only competition is Xhaka, Ramsey, Coquelin, Elneny (still a slight possibility to leave) and a crocked Cazorla. We all know (and so does Arsene) that his best position is right wing-back. He can be a world-class right wing-back because so few players these days can skin defenders like a flying Ox. But he’s set on central midfield and it’s probably a risk worth taking. He’ll get plenty of game time and maybe could grow into a top class central midfielder.

    Predicted Squad for 2017-2018 Season (with 90% accuracy)

    Starting XI:

    Cech (GK), Mustafi (RCB), Koscielny (CB), Monreal (LCB), Bellerin (RWB), Lemar (LWB), Ramsey (CM), Xhaka (CM), Ozil (ACM), Welbeck (CF1), Lacazette (CF2)

    Primary Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel, Holding, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Cazorla (long-shot).

    Assuming a 25 man squad, this leaves room for 4 more players. Maitland-Niles has already been promoted to the squad and we might just see Nelson and Bramall get some time too. Bielik, Willock and Toral are not ready to step up. Zelalem will be out for a while.

    Fingers crossed, this might mean that aside from Lacazette, Kolasinac and Lemar/Mahrez, there might be room for one more significant purchase this summer because without Alexis we’ll need it.

    Nwakali and Asano will go back on loan.

  16. TR7

    CA

    The sad thing is we’re getting 100M from selling players we should have kept. Give me 70M from selling Ozil and Theo any day over getting 100M from Ox and Alexis sales. With these two and possibly Giroud we are losing 3 of our better attacking players but that’s just me though. Wenger might end up with making a profit in the current transfer window.

  17. David Smith

    Ozil can do great things, but needs another play maker, not the type of player to do it on his own

  18. Cesc Appeal

    TR7

    Could not agree more.

    It actually feels like a double gut punch Sanchez is being sold in the same time frame that we are handing Ozil a £280 000 a week deal, sickening.

    Said last summer I would have sold Ozil, said it again this summer. Just do not see a future for this team with him in it. Would have sold him and then really restructured the whole side.

    Sadly, this is the way things are. Ozil is the most Wenger player I have seen, sort of like the personification of Wenger’s footballing ideals. Technical brilliance when he feels like it, nice passing, capable of looking world class when he feels like it, but no back bone, no fight, no spirit, no big game bottle and will not do the dirty stuff or even attempt to address his shortcomings, lazy.

    In my opinion now we need to see Lemar come in and a young premium talent, like Balde Diao for example. On top of that we need to see someone like Goretzka come in.

  19. Cesc Appeal

    David

    That is the problem though, do you not think? Ozil seems to require everything to be just so around him to see the best of him.

    That is an issue when Wenger is the manager, he has not built a well rounded team for years and years.

    I agree with you, Ozil basically needs a high energy, well rounded, physical central midfield backing him up, a pacey, clinical ST with good movement beyond, pace on one flank and then another play maker on the other all surrounding him to ping balls to.

    But people were saying that back when we bought him, and have been ever since the weaknesses in his game came out.

  20. TR7

    CA

    I am beginning to feel this summer is irredeemable if Alexis leaves. I had a faint hope that we could keep Alexis for another 12 months but can’t see us rejecting 70M. That’s huge money for someone in the last year of his contract. And then Giroud and Ox out as well. Nothing has been done to strengthen CM area either. Not waiting with bated breath what Wenger does next if Alexis leaves.

  21. Carts

    No way PSG will pull off Sanchez and Neymar this summer. That is madness.

    They’d need to sell Moura, Krych, Aurier, Pastore and Matuidi.

    I’d actually try my luck with Pastore and Moura as replacements for Walcott (and Ozil)

  22. Relieable Sauce

    Is everyone seeing a complete lack of direction, yet again. I have a better understanding of what the rest of the top seven are trying to achieve as they’re actually addressing their squads glaring issues.

    Wengers flips between complacency and self preservation mode and we get this haphazard approach to squad building with no apparent strategy.

    We still need a top GK, the average looking Martinez as 2nd choice to the decent Cech is asking for trouble and displays no foresight or ambition at all.

    We needed a top CB when we played with 2, what’s the plan now we are dabbling with 3.
    Good job we have Monreal : / and…Elneny…We do still have Elneny don’t we ???

    CM, well that’s a train wreck and has been for some time.

  23. Do one gambon

    Reliable sauce

    I think k everyone sees the complete lack of direction yet again.

    We will go into season under prepared again and we will probably drop points again.

    Over and over and over again. Indeed.

  24. Elmo

    The Guardian are reporting the PSG offer for Sanchez is EUR 45m / GBP 40m.

    I would offer Sanchez £450k a week to stay (<£25m a year in wages, which he's easily worth to us) on a 3 year deal (with 1 year option exercisable by the club). Tell him he has a week to decide. If he turns it down, sell to PSG as long as they offer at least EUR 65m / GBP 58.5m.

  25. Carts

    I think it’s in PSG’s best interest to keep their offer as low as possible knowing full well we have to sell Sanchez, regardless.

    I think we’ll end up accepting in the region of £50m; but as I said I’d be looking to part exchange a player as well

  26. Emiratesstroller

    A lot of tosh has been written yesterday about Sanchez with a host of newspapers and so-called pundits repeating more or less verbatim the same story as though it is gospel.

    It started off last week with the suggestion that the PSG Football Director had travelled to London. Since Wenger is in China the question would be with whom did he negotiate? I assume that Gazidis is also in China.

    Then yesterday there was the story that Sanchez was in Paris negotiating with
    PSG. This could only happen with the agreement of Arsenal and in any event
    would only have occurred if the two clubs had reached an agreement on a sale.

    If Sanchez was there without agreement it would be in clear breach of FIFA
    Rules. Considering that Monaco have just lodged a complaint on Thursday
    about tapping up of Mbappe, which allegedly has been made against PSG
    you would have thought that the club would be cautious in how they are
    negotiating.

    What makes the whole story most improbable is the alleged fee that they are
    willing to pay. I know that PSG rather like Man City may have unlimited resources, but the people running that club are not fools.

    They will want to pay market rate for a player who is shortly 29 and in his final year of contract.

    That is why the story should be taken with a pinch of salt albeit that it does not
    mean necessarily that PSG are not interested in buying the player.

  27. Wallace

    if he’s going PSG’s as good a place as any. anything less than 50m would be disappointing though. I’d lob whatever we do receive in Leicester’s direction for Mahrez, and then make a decision on continuing with the Lemar pursuit, or switching to another target.

    also comfortable with Giroud and Walcott leaving, the latter especially. and Jack to West Ham sounds like a good move for all concerned.

  28. danimax

    Any thoughts on Sanchez for “Lucas moura and rabiot/krychowiak” The best way to replace some positions we need to fill is by doing player swap with psg. Knowing that Wenger might not actually spend the money received from psg.

  29. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    You realise that if we sell Sanchez,Giroud and Walcott we are losing three players who have scored collectively 65 goals last season.

    My concern is that if Lacazette got injured for any time we would be relying as
    a backup on Welbeck who is hardly a prolific goalscorer.

  30. London gunner

    Mahrez as a replacement for Sanchez would be underwhelming.

    Mahrez has been a one season wonder his whole career peeps forget that.

  31. London gunner

    We should keep Sanchez bring in Lemar and bring in tolisso or some other CM.

    Looks like city have brought in danilo now…

  32. China

    On the one hand I do agree that the quality of footballers around the world right now are noticeably poorer than those of a decade ago

    On the other hand you have to consider that 10 or more years ago the football pyramid was incredibly steep with literally a small handful of clubs worth a damn in the grand scheme of things. This allowed those few teams to attract basically all the world’s talent whilst the drop off to the next level below was huge. It’s no surprise that utd and Arsenal had 75% of all the meaningful talent in England in the early 2000s because there was no point going anywhere else in this country back then

    Now we have 5 teams jostling for those elite positions and with money to burn. PSG are also a drain on world football talent by dragging a squad of quality players into an irrelevant league.

    I guess there’s a lot to be said for the demise of Italy outside of juve, but largely speaking I think the issue is both a lack of genuine talent at the moment combined with too many wealthy clubs competing for this relatively small talent pool

  33. China

    The England squad is a good example of this

    For all the shite and failures that our ‘golden’ generation provided us with, as players they were a wonderful squad.

    Now? I really can’t see it anymore. A couple of excellent players and a few good ones but largely it’s a really forgettable team

  34. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Mahrez has been a one season wonder his whole career peeps forget that.’

    On goals/assists produced? Very simplistic take. If you actually watch Mahrez, you’d see that his technique and skills on the ball are without question. A footballer can’t make these individual attributes appear for a period and then lose it. Whereas goals/assists are dependent on the level his team are playing at.

  35. Wallace

    ES

    “You realise that if we sell Sanchez,Giroud and Walcott we are losing three players who have scored collectively 65 goals last season.”

    yup. but Giroud & Walcott won’t be scoring that many this coming season from the bench/stands will they? I think Lacazette will score a lot, Mahrez, if he comes, knows where the goal is, and whoever we replace Alexis with will have to share the goalscoring load. but that’s the gamble.

  36. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    I do not see Arsenal making ‘wholesale’ changes to our forward line in this
    transfer window.

    We know that Lucas is going to leave this summer and in all probability was
    brought in as cover last year for Welbeck who was out with a serious injury.

    However, the idea that Arsenal will sell this summer Giroud, Walcott and
    Sanchez seems unlikely.

    We may lose Sanchez or Giroud but not both.

    What I do know is that there are very few serious rumours floating around
    this summer about players we are interested in buying. Lemar is just about
    the only one being suggested.

  37. jwl

    Today’s Guardian –

    “Paris Saint-Germain are increasingly confident of signing Neymar from Barcelona and Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal in the next few days in what would rank as one of the biggest double-signings in football history.

    An opening offer of €45m (£40.3m) is expected to be lodged quickly by the French club and it could help their cause that Arsène Wenger has a great relationship with Al Khelaifi, who has been employing the Arsenal manager for many years at Al Jazeera and beIN Sports TV channels.”

  38. peanuts&monkeys

    by the time you will finish reading today’s pedroPost your darling manager of 21 years of special failure, would have sold Arsenal’s best player since 2005 to PSG. What a motherfucking bastard Wenger is. May he burn in hell!

  39. jwl

    China – “On the one hand I do agree that the quality of footballers around the world right now are noticeably poorer than those of a decade ago”

    ———

    Barcelona bought Toni Duggan a few weeks ago, that’s how difficult it is to find quality players now.

    More seriously, kids are over managed now with organized teams and don’t spend nearly enough time playing sport on street for fun where they use to learn flair and street wisdom. To me, players are boring now, all much of a muchness.

  40. peanuts&monkeys

    But, i feel good for Alexis. He could never adjust to Wenger’s style of rewarding non-performance and mediocrity. He could never really accept Arsenal and its supporters’ loser mentality, the lack of fighting spirit. in fact, whatever little spirit arsenal could show as a team, it was only because of Sanchez. With Sanchez gone Wenger can now restaart putting his stamp of meciocirity and loserness on the team. and, why not.,…? look at the team. every player is a loser and mediocre. whoever wants to make it big in their career and has something in him has left (Fabregas, RvP and Sanchez). everyone else, if just there to enjoy life in London. Bloody parasitic existence.

  41. Sanmi

    peanuts&monkeysJuly 22, 2017 09:45:19
    by the time you will finish reading today’s pedroPost your darling manager of 21 years of special failure, would have sold Arsenal’s best player since 2005 to PSG. What a motherfucking bastard Wenger is. May he burn in hell

    Idiot! Wait till he’s sold

  42. Sanmi

    AlexanderhenryJuly 22, 2017 09:58:39
    ChinaInteresting you’re going. What’s the support like for arsenal out there

    It is massive! Only on le-Grove does it seem dearth

  43. raptora

    Sky sources: Arsenal have rejected a £10m bid from West Brom for left-back Kieran Gibbs. It is thought Arsenal are looking for closer to £12m for the player.

  44. Sanmi

    In the last 3 or 4 seasons , we have only had one weakness. A pacy CF that can score. We have it now!
    All the talks of CM don’t impress me. Only spurs has a better midfield than we did last season. We were never outplayed in any match. What we lacked aside the CF is consistent motivation

  45. karim

    China

    An irrelevant league that had 2 teams in European cups semi-finals this very season.
    An irrelevant league that boasts managers like Bielsa, Ranieri, Favre, Emery, Garcia…
    Players like Cavani, Verratti, Alves, Balotelli, Payet, Lemar, Falcao, Tielemans, Thiago Maia, and many more.
    An irrelevant league where unknown players become superstars as soon as they cross the Channel.
    Not sure we can call it an irrelevant league any longer.

    I understand it’s not as good as la Liga or the EPL but it’s quite comparable to the bundesliga or the Italian league right now imo.

  46. Wallace

    I think the increasing emphasis over the last 10yrs on fitness & athleticism may well have contributed to a slight fall off in the number of top level players. if you look at the Spuds, definitely the hardest team to play against last season, they only have two players you would consider ‘talented’ in Dembele & Eriksen. the rest are better known for their physical qualities. a lot of the great players of the past wouldn’t be fit enough to play in today’s PL.

  47. Wallace

    karim

    I knew you’d bite at that 🙂

    quite baffling the lack of respect afforded the French league here.

  48. N5

    “Ozil can do great things, but needs another play maker, not the type of player to do it on his own”

    Then why bother with him then? Ozil costs to much to have to have a buddy system. He either is a #10 or he isn’t.

  49. Emiratesstroller

    For once we need to be clinical and realistic about transfer business in this window.

    There is absolutely no argument from me that all the players who were sent out on LOAN last season are potentially surplus to requirement.

    Szczesny has been already sold and I am sure if the right offers are made for
    Chambers, Wilshire, Campbell and Akpom they would be sold as well.

    We know also that at least four members of last season’s squad are surplus to
    requirement namely Debuchy, Jenkinson, Gibbs and Lucas. They did not
    travel to China and Australia. The first two have been probably replaced by
    Ox if Bellerin is unfit or needs a break, Gibbs has been replaced by Kolasinac
    and my personal view is that Lucas has been replaced by Welbeck who was
    out in first half of last season with longterm injury.

    So we now look at who else is LIKELY to go. Obviously most posters believe that Sanchez will be sold this summer and probably replaced by Lemar assuming that Monaco are prepared to sell him.

    You could argue that Lacazette has replaced Giroud. That may be the case, but
    why would Arsenal have taken him to the Far East? That applies also to Ox.

    So if we factor in all the players who were registered last season and could leave we are discussing 7 players and that does not include Cazorla who is still
    out with a long term injury.

    Somehow I don’t see Arsenal bringing in another 5 players this summer which
    is what we would need to do to fill our quota of 25 registered players.

    If youngsters are added to the first team squad such as Bielik, Nelson and Maitland- Niles they do not need to be registered, because they are still under
    21.

  50. Marko

    In the last 3 or 4 seasons , we have only had one weakness. A pacy CF that can score. We have it now!
    All the talks of CM don’t impress me. Only spurs has a better midfield than we did last season. We were never outplayed in any match. What we lacked aside the CF is consistent motivation

    Jesus

  51. Frost

    Sky saying 90% chance Neymar will leave Barca this summer as he’s tired of playing second fiddle to Messi at 25 & believes he can win the Ballon dor somewhere else.

    So you’re telling me, looking at our cash reserves, we can’t sell Sanchez & bid £192M for Neymar?

    Lol chuckled as i typed that.

  52. Frost

    “In the last 3 or 4 seasons , we have only had one weakness. A pacy CF that can score. We have it now!
    All the talks of CM don’t impress me. Only spurs has a better midfield than we did last season. We were never outplayed in any match. What we lacked aside the CF is consistent motivation”

    Oh dear lord what did we ever do to deserve fans like this! Ffs!

  53. ThePuma9

    ‘quite baffling the lack of respect afforded the French league here’

    The ignorance and delusion knows no bounds on here.

  54. China

    The French league has two good teams.

    One of them is also realistically a flash in the pan that will likely be ripped apart over the comin couple of years and revert back to general mediocrity. How much can you read into monaco’s one elite season really??

  55. Marko

    I wouldn’t argue about the competitiveness of the league too much but it’s hard to argue about the talent that comes through the French league when you look at the generation of French players now and coming through.

  56. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Pedro

    I disagree I’m not looking forward to this season at all.

    In fact I’m turning into an anti arsenal supporter whilst that cretin remains…

    I really want us to fail miserably

  57. Akilan

    Bayern just got trounced 5-1 by Milan. Tolisso and martinez got overran. That scoreline though…. Lol

  58. karim

    China

    Monaco were already supposed to revert back to mediocrity 2 seasons ago after selling Carrasco, James, Abdennour, Kondogbia or Kurzawa.

    Lyon, Marseille, Nice, even Lille are constantly growing, do you think Bielsa or Favre have time to waste ?

    5 new stadiums in less than 3 years for Nice, Lille, Bordeaux, Marseille, regular increase of the tv rights, all this points to a not so shitty league imo.

    Lazy thinking imo.

  59. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    France have constantly done better than England at tournaments
    Won cups more recently than us ….

    A bit more tinkering an the French will soon take over the prem

  60. Bamford10

    The XI:

    Ospina, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bramall, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette

    Giroud is apparently not even on the bench.

  61. Bamford10

    Chelsea:

    Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.

  62. Frost

    Sky also saying City have agreed in excess of £51M for Mendy.

    I know pep’s buying the league but good grief do they get business done.

    If they getting this for Mendy I’m almost certain we not getting Lemar now.. Would have to smash our record.

  63. Cesc Appeal

    Akilan

    What was Munich’s line up, do you know?

    I did not think they were especially impressive against us, tore us apart in the first half but really lacked sharpness in front of goal. Though we did not test their defence really all too often we still carved out some chances. Whereas it sounds like Milan ripped their defence apart.

  64. Bamford10

    19 year-old Italian striker Patrick Cutrone has two goals so far in Milan’s 3-0 lead over Bayern Munich.

  65. Cesc Appeal

    Bamford

    That is low. But then if the DoF at PSG has basically got an agreement with Sanchez, knowing he has one year left, watching him kick for the exit and knowing Arsenal are amateurs in the market, they might be trying to get a £45 Million deal, or thereabouts.

    Arsenal really need to look to get at the very least £50 Million.

    Crazy as that Neymar deal sounds, if PSG really are doing it they will not want to overspend on a player trying to force his way out of Arsenal with one year left on his deal as well.

  66. Leedsgunner

    PSG can offer us £200m for Sanchez and we will end up poorer because Wenger never replaces like for like especially when we need them.

    He sold Henry brought in Eduardo.

    Sold Cesc brought in Arteta
    Sold Nasri brought in Gervinho.
    Sold RvP brought in Giroud.

    Mark my words if Sanchez is sold his replacement won’t be bought this season.

    Kronke will be pleased because his bottom line will be healthy and the club PR will rage furiously about how Wenger will spend big– next summer.

    Always winter but never Christmas… at Arsenal.

  67. Bamford10

    Christian Früchtl
    David Alaba
    Mats Hummels
    Juan Bernat
    Rafinha
    Thomas Müller
    Corentin Tolisso
    Javi Martínez
    Robert Lewandowski
    Franck Ribéry

  68. Frost

    Pretty sure Sanchez is going nowhere if PSG think they can do a deal with anything less than £50M.

    We surely

  69. Cesc Appeal

    Leeds

    But, what is interesting is surely the focus on Wenger’s future will be acute again come the end of the season. No way will fans want another season like last season where the egotist indulges himself with a season in the spot light.

    Really fan groups need to pressure the club to either extend Wenger’s deal or have him quit next summer because we cannot go through another season of that shite. Especially after the egotist admitted it caused a great deal of uncertainty in the club even though he refused to acknowledge that whilst he was throwing a tantrum about being potentially required to change.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    Bamford

    Interesting. Alaba at CB again?

    That is a decent enough team, though missing a few players, worrying signs for Munich to be turned over that easily.

  71. Cesc Appeal

    Chelsea going in for Sarr as well. Must be reworking their defence, Rudiger will surely drop straight into the starting eleven, Sarr might be one for the future with sporadic games this season.

  72. David White

    The Ox could become a great player with the right coach/manager sticking the right ideas between his ears. Sadly, Wenger will never do that.

  73. Bamford10

    I don’t see how you sell Sanchez this late in the window. It leaves you in a very difficult spot in terms of replacing him, and we needed to improve, ffs, not tread water or go backwards.

    Unless he knows he’s going to get both Lemar and Mahrez, I don’t see how he justifies selling Sanchez.

    And if Wenger sells Sanchez without massive replacement signing/s, the season will open with protests.

  74. WestLondonGoon

    So a Qatari owned club is buying a player at over double the price of of the previous highest transfer fee, from another Qatari sponsored club.

    UEFA should have their legal people all over this, but they won’t.

  75. China

    The bastards put a free wenger mask with a hat on every Arsenal seat!!!!!

    On a more positive note the birds nest atmosphere is rocking ten times louder than your typical Emirates match

  76. Akilan

    Thanx bam for posting the line up. Bayern have a crazily deep squad, the deepest IMO in Europe. But I don’t know how they fit in as a team. If lewy and robben start (guaranteed starters IMO), who else gonna play? James and Mueller? Can all play at their preferred positions. Ancelotti has a huge problem, a good one to have though. They really need a rb as well.

  77. Bamford10

    I fear pre-season training and friendlies give Wenger a false sense of confidence in the players and squad he already has. He is so deluded and romantic that he says to himself: “Why do I need to spend when I have Iwobi? Why do I need to spend when we beat a Bayern in penalties?”

    How are we still stuck with this moron?

  78. Marc

    I think we can draw two conclusions from the first 8 minutes.

    1 – Maitland-Niles is not a backup CB

    2 – ITV should never be allowed to show another football match again

  79. raptora

    Maitland-Niles is way too raw for us to depend on him this season. Could fk the boy up too if he gets played in important games and plays bad cause he’s way too green for it. Loan the boy now.

  80. Marko

    Chelsea going in for Sarr as well. Must be reworking their defence, Rudiger will surely drop straight into the starting eleven, Sarr might be one for the future with sporadic games this season

    He’d be silly to go to Chelsea for me. At 18 you need games and he won’t get that at Chelsea. They’re just as likely to buy him loan out for a few years and either make a profit on him or break even

  81. Southernpeople

    Bamford10

    “£35m for Sanchez in this market is a bit derisory, no?”

    Absolutely. I wonder what they’re smoking over there in Paris or in the media world. Is it the media trying to belittle Alex and Arsenal or is Paris people trying to get the price down.

    Anything over £60 sit and negotiate; anything less tell to fuck off.

  82. Paulinho

    Marc – He can find a manager that can make him focus better than Wenger(not hard to be honest), but he still zones out and switches off and that is just him. Would actually love it Chelsea gave him a prominent role; would be funny watching him be a gradual liability with his endless ditsy moments.

  83. Confidentgoner

    Difference between Chelsea and us is that when we attack they have at least 5-6 players defending. We on the other hand give them more openings.

    We need to have players willing to run back, not lazy around the pitch. Arsene needs to address laziness and application. You always see this with his team.

  84. Marc

    Paulinho

    I think a manager like Conte would shape him up pretty quickly.

    Do you not think he’s aware of how he plays for Arsenal?

  85. raptora

    Game is live on http://www.arsenal.com . Also Mait-Niles is playing CRB not RWB. His problems were with 50/50s and the simplest of passes to Mertesacker. Both would have to make a ton of if he’s played in the CDM position. I don’t think he’s anywhere there yet even as a squad player.

  86. Confidentgoner

    The defensive nouns of Chelsea is what has made the shots on goal limited from an Arsenal perspective. Game is on balance, but Chelsea has more shots, due to the Chelsea tactics.

  87. Zaco

    Difference between Chelsea and us is that when we attack they have at least 5-6 players defending. We on the other hand give them more openings.

    We need to have players willing to run back, not lazy around the pitch. Arsene needs to address laziness and application. You always see this with his team.”

    this is one big problem with arsenal for the past 2-3 seasons now, just don’t know why the manager and his team don’t see that

  88. Confidentgoner

    Zaco. Its on the manager. He closes his eyes to laziness.

    Ox and Bellerin can share the role of wing back.

    Williams andosed having two serious attempts, and Batsuaye scoring a perfectly good goal wrongly ruled offside.

  89. Paulinho

    Marc – Well Chamberlain seems to have the whole world hoodwinked so wouldn’t be surprised if Conte has fallen under his spell as well.

    Depends how they use him as well. Conte might be aware of his flaws but thinks he can rotate with Moses and if does use him like that he would be a good option for them. In condensed periods of play he does better because he needs less mental reserves to play. It’s if he plays week in week out it will start get ugly for him.

  90. Confidentgoner

    Niles should always play as DM. Chelsea are really dominating us, mainly because of the way we set up.

  91. Leedsgunner

    Also re Sanchez

    Selling Sanchez for double his money makes plenty of business sense but completely no football sense because teams who are interested in winning titles do not sell their best players.

    If Wenger could be trusted to find a replacement I would happy selling Sanchez but I don’t.

  92. Southernpeople

    R.S.C.P

    Who cares? What can Alex do in a season for Arsenal is much more valued, and what they can miss out on this season is huge.