Arsenal season preview: Youth and rebel attitude key to success

by .



Yes you do.

Really felt like football was gone for a long time this year. I’ve missed it greatly. I’m very excited about the next 9months. Why you say?

I’m at ease with the situation at the club now. I think when you’re drip fed faux ambition over the course of a 10 year period, you find yourself upset when things go wrong.

This year we know. Wenger signing was a new chapter in the greatest power swindle in professional sport.

The club doesn’t really care about anything outside keeping the manager happy.

If you know he’s not going anywhere, it allows you to reframe how you approach the season.

I have zero expectations of this year.

Straight up, we’ve not done enough to the squad to pretend we’re a serious club. That’s both in addressing deficiencies, shipping out deadwood, or signing our best players to new contracts.


We didn’t do enough to the backroom team. Jens Lehmann is an interesting hire, but when you juxtapose it against the backdrop of Wenger’s career of aggressive authoritarianism, it’s hard to see how he impacts what we do, level that in with his lack of experience as a coach, and well, it’s a veneer. I wonderful veneer, but kind of pointless unless he’s afforded power. Huss Fahmy hasn’t done anything contract wise. The new fitness coach isn’t here full time until next year.

We are status quo. There’s even a story in The Standard about Wenger overruling suggested transfers (Lemina) to reestablish the notion he is king.

Training is the same. Prep will be the same. Outcome will be the same.

However, pushing all that to one side, I’m still a fan. I like seeing new names in the side, and I’m pushing into full on 2011 mode.

‘What if the kids come good this year?’

Iwobi is a talent. He was drained last year, then his form dipped, then we all wrote him off. I think he’s silky on the ball, he’s an awkward talent to defend against, and he looks like he’s bulked out a little bit over the last 6 months. He reminds me of a cross between Rosicky and Hleb. Intelligent, tight control, and the potential for 10 or so goals.

Reiss Nelson. I hate to say it, because I’ve seen this movie. But he looks one step ahead of his peers. 17 years old, explosive pace, a deft touch, and the arrogance of youth firmly on his side. It’s been 10 years since we last had a break out teenage talent. Could this be the jewel in the crown of our slow attempt at cultivating local talent?

Finally, I can’t not talk about Rob Holding. A bit rusty in the Community Shield, but undoubted powerhouse in the making. He has all the elements of a northerner we traditionally don’t have in our squad. He’s a basically a kid and he’s bullying Diego Costa and getting under his skin. He’s not afraid of anyone, he’s extremely comfortable in possession, and he has a calm head on his shoulder. What a find. I really hope he’s given games this year.

Then we have the new signings. I appreciate that Arsenal are going to have trouble attracting top talent this year. We have a less than elite manager and the club was in a shambles backend of last year. I also think agents smell blood at the moment, they know this is the year 1630 and Wenger has taken a nasty flesh wound fighting for the Kingdom of France. He’s in trouble, question is, how long will it take for him to succumb to the fever?

So on that note, Kolasinac, the best left back in Germany last year was a steal. We’re all excited about an Eastern European powerhouse that can impose himself physically, but also bring class and final product to the table. I’m also pleased with Lacazette. In seasons past, we’d have messed around trying to sign M’Bappe and Benzema.

Instead we’ve rolled the dice, hopefully they come in good. I have my concerns about his ability to make an elite impact on our front line. What I mean by that is we had a 20 goal a season striker, but not one who could change a tight game with one chance. Lacazette comes across as hard working, calm, humble, and extremely focused. If he sharpens his movement and falls into sync with the rest of the team, his mobility will add a different dimension to our forward line.

There’s a very strong chance we could keep Sanchez. I’d move him on if we could get big money, but it’s past the point of no return if there’s not a 20 goal, 10 assist winger to move in for. I really hope we don’t buckle, but I fear the board’s love of money could see us do so. We’re also keeping Ozil, and for all my annoyances about his attitude, he’s a provider. He’s like a trust fund best friend, he’ll fork out when the going is good, but don’t expect him to step in when you’re getting a beating from 5 West Ham fans on the District Line.

A big chunk of our success this season comes down to how the contract rebels behave. Do they fight? Or do they take a February summer holiday and drop the mic on our season?

Finally, we could still move for an upgrade on Coquelin. I mean West Ham, who are having an epic summer, just landed Carvalho. If Matuidi is on the market, we should move for him. A perfect fit for 3 seasons. Even Kyrochowiak would help out. Is there nothing we could do about Mahrez? Seems a lot of players need new homes this summer, is there a chance we could boost our chances, because our midfield is looking threadbare.

So there you have it. A weird post. But this is a weird season.

Buckle up, it’s going to be fun.

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252 Responses to “Arsenal season preview: Youth and rebel attitude key to success”

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  1. Elmo


    Yes, I was roughly estimating something similar. Add that £3m to the £12m in surplus wages for a free signing, and the overall Bosman premium might be around £15m (i.e wages and fees that wouldn’t be paid under a normal transfer).

    Having said that, agents’ fees (c. 10% of transfer fee) would be payable on a regular move. Say he was under contract and was sold for EUR 25m. Adding on the 10% fee to the agent, that makes EUR 27.5m or roughly £25m.

    That would make the saving about £10m, which is good business.

    Don makes a fair point, though, that by agreeing to the Bosman premium wages, it means you’ll be unable to move on the player during the contract if they flop, as well as the player’s wage expectations being unrealistic when it eventually does come to renewal.

  2. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Celebrating the pat on Wengers back will halt tomorrow

    All stops tomorrow

    Cynicism is the new realism

    When it comes to Arsenal

  3. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    So the hammers have signed carvello !

    Lord a player Wenger wanted for 5 years

    Another one to the we could hVe signed list ..

  4. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Maybe Wenger is gonna do a Whitney

    I believe that children are the future this season ??

    Who knows ….

    But to lil to late for me

  5. HillWood

    Man City have paid £50million for Kyle Walker
    Are his weekly wages less than £140g ?
    What would he be worth if he flops?

  6. loyika

    Right now my gut tells me league is between Citeh and United, the rest will be fighting for UCL places.

    Conte might decide to focus his energy on the Champs League (which Roman really wants) and sadly i just don’t see Spurs doing well at Wembley. Pool would be determined by what will happen with Couthino.

    Araenal might only make up the numbers and probably take advantage of any slip ups. But that would require us to hit the ground running and putting all our eggs firmly in the EPL basket.

    Eitherways, i am happy footie is back. Lets hope the team gets off to a flier tomorrow against Leicester.


  7. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Warms the cockles to see little Pedders so hopeful whilst showing he’s not. Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed…to that end, I expect nothing but solid entertainment this season whilst the lads self-destruct as they do each and every season. Warms the heart does failure.

  8. Danish Gooner

    It is beyond absurd we let Carvalho leave for WH a massive,massive steal and another big let down from Wenger,in two years time when the old fart wants to sign him he will be quoted 90 mil or something in that order.Best player at the euros.

  9. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Carvalho is old and slow, DanishG. Not sure what you are seeing, but I see old and very slow…not worth a glass of water. West Ham can have him. BTW…who is reporting this one, I’m seeing nothing on this transfer?

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Of ten sports writers asked by The Mirror on their season prediction article, only one has Arsenal getting back into the top four.

    That is how far we have fallen even in terms of our credibility. I think it seems pretty obvious most think the new Wenger deal was the wrong option.

  11. Confidentgoner

    I must say I will be disappointed if Sanchez refuses to sign with the offer of £300k per week on the table. If he plays on his old wages, he looses a lot of cash. Surely we can do a win win. Offer him the money even bigger ( 330k ) then have an option to leave with a release clause at year1. This will make sure he gets top money whilst we also make something. The drawback may be the agent! We can mitigate that with a package for him.

  12. loyika

    @ CA

    Everyone knows that Arsene resigning was a dumb decision, but it is what it is.

    Like i said before, this is a period in Arsenal’s history that we just have to buckle up and see play out (i have a feeling this will be his last contract, but i could be wrong)

    As for journos? Pay them no mind, they just base their predictions on last season’s showings (they always do) Expect most of them to change their tune after 10 games.

    Frankly we have no reason whatsoever to not get back into the UCL (Since that is our main priority nowadays) I think the Manager and club has made that their focus and will play the second team in all Europa games until we manage to get into the quarters or something like that.

    If we have a good start to the league (and with it being our sole focus) i believe we can rise up.

    Teams like Chelsea and Pool will have a tougher schedule than last season, so it should be more open.

    I just hope we add 1 or 2 more quality players before the TW window closes, and then we take it up from there.

    But a good start tomorrow wouldn’t go amiss. Start poorly and the Em crowd return back to being gloomy.

  13. ArseneisaFraud


    Ah … but you are talking about the all mighty genius that is AW! He has to show everyone how he knows it all and that you must all listen to him.

    They all listen to him. Don’t they…. eh?

    He has predicted the future… all players are going to run down their contracts so that they can prove that they’re worthy of a new contract for more money at his current or another club!

    Just wait for this to happen. We’re all waiting AW.

  14. Bamford10


    Interesting that only one of ten has us finishing top four. The Arsenal-is-always-the-best-no-matter-the-reality crowd will likely attribute this to “media bias” against Arsenal, but in reality it is simply the result of the fact that neither our squad nor our manager are all that great.

    For me, I can actually see us finishing fourth, but only because I think Chelsea and United might struggle to gel and find form and I think we will ultimately be pretty solid defensively.

  15. Leftsidesanch


    I can see Arsenal sneaking a 4th place too.

    Interesting to see if the new terms are enough for Sanchez.

  16. Emiratesstroller

    There is a lot to agree with in Pedro’s post, which of course has been discussed ad infinitum.

    The management and coaching structure of the club is stale and over dependent on Wenger. There is very little “independent opinion” coming out of the club.

    When I read recent statements from Wenger about appointment of women managers and sports scientists making decisions on players and tactics I question his view on the game. Is Wenger a visionary or crackpot?

    In the past Wenger had some value to the club. His socialist management style was popular with our players particularly if you were a youngster or a squad player, because you were offered opportunity to play in first team and
    if you were a squad player paid above the going rate elsewhere.
    That philosophy is now creating serious problems for club as I highlighted yesterday. Top players like Sanchez want to be paid top rates AND see the club invest in team and have ambition.

    Younger players like Oxlade-Chamberlain want clarity in the direction of their
    career. If that is not on offer then they or their agent want them to leave, but on their terms.

    Arsenal have also stockpiled a large number of unneeded players who are on
    inflated wages and now in many cases on contracts where the club has limited
    say in their next destination.

    We have on our books at least 10 players who in my assessment are not good
    enough for team or squad. If they are on inflated wages then they are almost
    impossible to shift out of club particularly on a transfer fee being demanded.

    The upshot is that the only resolution will be to loan them out before close of
    transfer window most probably with Arsenal having to pay bulk of their wages.

    What is clear today is that finding players in your Academy who are going to make the grade for promotion to first team and squad is very limited. At the
    beginning of 1990s George Graham told me that the opportunities for an Academy player making the grade at Arsenal was one in a million.

    With the advent of EPL and the recruitment of players from worldwide that
    likelihood is even more remote. Moreover if you find such a player they are
    unlikely to stay loyal for very long.

    Arsenal’s predicament is that they are not at the top of pecking order, which
    are now the clubs like Paris St Germain and Manchester City who are state
    funded. They drive the market.

    Not even the historic major clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich
    or Manchester United can realistically compete financially.

    Arsenal now sit in the third tier of world football, which is those clubs which
    deliver modest success i.e. usually qualifying for CL and win periodically trophies. We are in the same category as Chelsea albeit that club’s owner has
    displayed in last decade far more ambition than ours.

    Many posters on Le Grove criticise our lack of ambition. Realistically Arsenal’s horizon with current ownership is to win periodically the EPL title and nothing else. We have never been particularly successful in Europe and to be honest the chances today of doing so are even more remote.

    The EPL is a highly competitive league with five or six clubs challenging for title or a top four finish. We fit in that category whatever are the negatives expressed on Le Grove. Man City or Man Utd are deemed favourites this season.
    Yet a number of other clubs including ourselves are in frame.

    Recruiting a couple of new players who are clearly decent footballers is not
    enough. You do not need to make annually wholesale changes which can be
    counterproductive, but we should be making annually four or five changes if
    for no other reasons freshening up squad and keeping other players on their

    To conclude the club has made small changes to squad, but as usual not enough to make us genuine challengers for League Title. That is down to
    lack of real ambition.

  17. Black Hei


    I don’t think Wenger have that great a control over the club through these years.
    If the Stats coughed out the likes of Gabriel and Elneny, I think Le Grove community would have said no Lemina as well.

  18. Black Hei


    In the books by George R Martin, Jon Snow got killed and the next book hasn’t been released yet so we don’t know if he will actually, wake up.

    Personally, I would be disappointed if he did wake up and look all pretty and normal.

    There is a brutality in the book series that TV is unable to stomach which gives greater authenticity. I hope it stays that way.

  19. Emiratesstroller

    I have no argument with Wenger’s statement yesterday that we have too many players on the books and if we buy it must be an exceptional player.

    The ambition must be to IMPROVE AND REFRESH squad.

    My concern is that he has created an environment at club where it is difficult to shift out unwanted players and more importantly be in a position to compete for top quality players in market.

    Bringing in a couple of players this summer is not enough.

  20. Wallace

    Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is battling a pay crisis in the wake of England left-back Danny Rose’s criticism of the club’s ambition. (Mirror)

    Rose got a “heroes’ welcome” from the Spurs dressing room, with team-mates threatening to speak out. (Sun)

    Tottenham stars are lining up to leave because of the club’s rigid pay structure. (Daily Mail)

    the downside to that much admired Spuds pay structure…

  21. Pierre

    Who gives a toss about top 4… It’s the title or nothing(or at least compete for the title) .. Being out of Europe is not the end of the world.. People say that players won’t come to the club if you’re not in Europe but I disagree… You only have to look at the players city attracted to the club whilst not in Europe.. Aguero, silva, company, ya ya… Man Utd the same… If you offer a player enough money they will come to the club…

  22. Pierre

    Wenger is quoted as saying that he is not in for mahrez because we have similar players, wilshire and iwobi….. Is he being serious, sadly I think he is…

  23. WestLondonGoon


    It’s not just about the money, players have to be sold a vision of where the club wants to be and how they were going to do it. Elite players have elite dreams; they don’t just want to hear ‘We want to go to the next level,’ which in itself is a fairly lazy comment. They need to be shown a tangible structure that they can believe in so they can progress their career with the right club.

  24. Don

    West London

    It’s mostly the money

    Why would neymar leave Barca? It’s only downhill from there.
    Messi isn’t going to last forever then he would be undisputed king
    But no
    He was sold the dream of coming up against tolouse or Montpellier!!

  25. Don

    Wenger had been able to sell the dream
    It’s what happens after that disillusions the ones that truly want to win
    That’s why RvP and now Sanchez had enough

  26. WestLondonGoon


    Perhaps Neymar just looked at his team mates at Barca and decided that they have had their time for now. There is very little coming through from La Masia, and there is a massive rebuilding job needed; PSG however, are building a squad with the focus on winning the CL, all directly backed by Qatar.

    Neymar has been sold the dream of being the main man there, and he (and his old man) is obviously quite a self-centred little worm, so they just used this to make it all about him. Which he’s lapped up.

    Who’s to say PSG won’t be the next big thing?

  27. raptora

    Yes, you can sign top players without being in Europe by offering big wages but are we Man City?! Do we pay the same transfer fees or same wages?!

    Just look at those tables and cry:

    In Arsenal’s history we have 5 transfers over £19m.
    In Man City’s history they have 31 transfers over 19m. THIRTY FKIN ONE!!!!!

    How can anyone even compare us to them and expect same results. It’s like that everywhere across the world – the clubs that pay the most win the most. It’s as clear as day. We are under a huge handicap cause one owner gives money and the other one doesn’t. Even fkin Francis Jeffers is our #15 top transfer ever made in 2000/01. All of the 31 transfers that Man City made over £19m have been in the last 8 seasons. That’s insanity. You cannot fight that. Not in modern times. Yes we could have snatched the lucky title like Leicester, that’s on us I get that, but to fight those kind of money year in, year out it’s not happening. Chelsea have signed 29 players over £19m pounds, Manchester United 25. Even fkin Liverpool have 14. We have 5! It only makes sense that we don’t challenge, no?

  28. WestLondonGoon

    Wenger sells his ‘dream’ but when the elite players ask who else is coming, he takes them to Hale End and shows them a 16 year old who he thinks will have a big future.

    PSG sign Neymar then go for Mbappe. That is real ambition.

    We are poles apart.

  29. Don

    West London

    That’s £360m on two players!!!
    Nobody else but PSG are going to pay that money
    Not one club in the world
    Well not right now anyway
    We’d have to sell our stadium to finance that!!!
    You still have to work within the parameters of what you have
    What PSG are doing is crass
    These Oil rich sheiks drive around in gold plated cars
    They have gold plated taps on their baths and gold plated cutlery
    It’s just crass from top to bottom. No taste, no style, no decorum. Just a shit load of crass.
    I’d be disgusted if I were a PSG fan.
    Truly I would

  30. Don

    Neymar is at Barca
    Dress it how you like but PSG is a step down
    No matter how much they spend.
    Same as Chelsea
    Same as city

    I know we all like to see Barca get stuffed but if I’m a top level pro footballer and Barca come calling, that is the pinnacle. Apart from THE ARSENAL of course

  31. Don

    Anyway there is an offer on the table of £300k for Sanchez
    That’s why he asked for
    Let’s see
    What a dream it would be to get him to sign on!!!
    Fuck me

  32. Pierre

    I know we are competing with one arm tied behind our backs which is a massive handicap ..
    Until we find an owner who will invest some of his own money then we will be facing an uphill battle and that’s a fact..
    We are in a position where we can offer near top wages ,the 300k offer to Sanchez confirms that ..
    Look at Spurs . The team will be ripped to pieces now. Their dream lasted 2 years , the vultures are circling and if they start losing players I have no doubt they will lose their very good manager .

  33. Elmo


    We’re not in the bracket of clubs with Chelsea, Bayern, Juve etc.

    We’re in the bracket below that with Dortmund, Roma, Lyon, Napoli, Liverpool, Atletico etc.

  34. WestLondonGoon


    That’s not what I’m saying. City, Chelsea, and PSG were/are all coming from a point way behind the supposed elite clubs, so to get where they want to be they had to have a plan in place and be prepared to invest massively, or have someone willing to invest enormous amouts for them.

    The other core thing those clubs have in common, and pretty much every club at the top of the game. is that they change their manager if he fails to produce.

  35. Don

    Win the league
    Get Sanchez to sign a one two year deal
    Add van dijk and goretzka
    Win champions league


  36. champagne charlie


    I know you’re a fan of jacks talent mate, but you’re ignoring reality to suggest Jack will have an impact relative to what Mahrez would. Frankly the idea we have Iwobi and Jack, as reason for not pursuing Mahrez, is a depressing statement at best.

  37. Don

    West London

    There was no plan
    They just spent as much as they could on whoever they could get
    If they were making plans then they made them badly as they sacked a new manager (on average) nearly every season
    One season they had 3 managers
    How can you plan if you have. A new guy with new plans, tactics and ideas every season or two?

  38. Pierre

    “The other core thing those clubs have in common, and pretty much every club at the top of the game. is that they change their manager if he fails to produce.”

    Of course Wenger has overstayed his welcome but it’s easy for city , Chelsea and united to change managers every other year ..a new one comes in and spends 500 grand, easy…we can’t do that

  39. Don


    I don’t rate marhez that highly.
    If we are talking lemar then fine but for me marhez is aanother light weight mercenary that turns up when he wants to. Not dissimilar to Ozil.

    Players brought through at the club are the life blood of the club and a connection to the supporters
    Hence the hatred towards cole for his betrayal.

    Both jack and iwobi have enough in their locker to be top level players for their respective positions

    I’d rather see them make it at Arsenal and fight for us than a mercenary who has no love or emotional connection to the club

  40. Pierre

    “DonI know you’re a fan of jacks talent mate, but you’re ignoring reality to suggest Jack will have an impact relative to what Mahrez would. Frankly the idea we have Iwobi and Jack, as reason for not pursuing Mahrez, is a depressing ”
    statement at best.

    Exactly how I felt when I read the Wenger quote…my heart sank

    I really hope that jack turns it round but it seems ridiculous to not go in for someone of mahrez class who is probably affordable.

  41. Wallace

    “PSG sign Neymar then go for Mbappe. That is real ambition.”

    no, there’s nothing to admire about spending 350m on two players.

  42. champagne charlie


    Explain the mercenary angle? I’ll have to disagree massively on the idea he’s overrated.

    Iwobi has potential, but his finishing and final ball is currently atrocious mate. Jack has all the talent but he’s made of weetabix. The idea either or both are an impediment to adding a guy who was player of the year in England the season before last I think speaks volumes for our inability to seize an improvement at the expense of a little sentimentality.

    Jack is finished at Arsenal Don, id be impressed if he managed a notable career begin this point at a side better than West Ham.

  43. WestLondonGoon

    I’m not saying that this is what I want for Arsenal, it’s more an arguement for why we won’t be an elite club any time soon.

    There are other ways of doing it, like Atletico or Monaco have done. Granted they aren’t elite (yet?), but they both clearly have a plan to try their best to get there.

    More often than not, we just seem to stumble about in the transfer windows. Look at a couple of years ago when we only bought Cech…..madness. Now this running down of contracts being ‘ideal’ – madness again.

  44. Pierre

    “I’d rather see them make it at Arsenal and fight for us than a mercenary who has no love or connection to the club”

    Great sentiments Don,we would all love that, it should really be Walcott/ozil who’s place is at risk if mahrez was signed

  45. London gunner

    What is actually going on in the mad house that is Arsenal FC?

    We have lost out on European football and only brought in two players…

    If we don’t reach CL football this season we could turn into a Liverpool nay an Everton level team.

    Is this Wengers height of arrogance thinking we can secure CL football?

    Or is it even more dark and sinister and are the club now settling to be an upper middle team?

  46. Pierre

    I can’t help thinking that mahrez would be perfect for Arsenal coming off the right flank to play a little reverse through ball for lacazette to run on to ….

  47. TR7

    I like Iwobi’s game but let’s be honest over here-he should be nothing more than a backup player at best. Last season he had a few good games and then he completely faded away. He’s not a goal threat and still has issues with his final ball in the box.

    As far as Jack is concerned, it’s okay to give him yet another chance but to bet our season on the fitness of Jack and Santi is foolhardy. It’s almost as if we set ourselves up to fail, repeating the same mistake over and over again. Tomtom the signings of Kolasinac and Lacazzete as much as you want but to not strengthen our weakest link – central midfield – is ridiculous.

  48. Wallace

    Wenger holding up Zlatan’s first season in the PL as a challenge to Lacazette. obviously thinks he can handle the weight of expectation.

  49. Emiratesstroller

    For all the criticisms that I have expressed this morning about the way that Arsenal are managed and run I think that there are some people who post here who are completely unrealistic if they believe seriously that Arsenal can compete in the transfer market with the likes of Paris St Germain and Manchester City.

    PSG have just spent almost £200 million on a single player + huge wages and
    Man City have spent a similar amount on improving their squad.

    Both clubs have indicated also that they are still in the market and can buy
    additional players.

    None of the largest revenue generating clubs like Man Utd, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern can remotely compete in the transfer market at that level
    UNLESS they manage to sell players of substantial value.

    Arsenal as I have made clear on numerous occasions have almost certainly a
    net budget of £50 million per year plus whatever money we achieve in player

    Frankly we are not in the same ball park as the six clubs that I have listed above.

    That is fact and the sooner that posters understand it the better. If you don’t
    like the financial reality go off and support Man City who will fulfil your dreams.

    Having said all this football is a team game and spending money helps but is
    not a guarantee of success as Leicester proved two seasons ago.

    Arsenal need to build and manage a team in the correct way, but that will not
    happen unless the management focus more on our weaknesses and plan better for the future.

  50. champagne charlie


    My sentiments exactly, there’s not been a more classical Arsenal player in recent memory for me. Every time I see him I think he should be on our RW

  51. Don


    I agree with all of you but seriously
    Marhez would be coming as back up
    Iwobi and welbz already are back up
    They aren’t starters
    No way is marhez walking into our first team ahead of Sanchez or Ozil
    Not with Wenger trying to get them to sign on again

    Iwobi had his break out season last year
    He’s 5/6 years younger than marhez so who knows how good he could be at that age
    You sign marhez then you’re shuting him out.
    Wilshire played in a completely different position anyway
    He’s cm
    He may be “made of weetabix”
    We all thought that about RvP though and then he scored over 70 goals in two seasons for us.
    I have seen marhez change when the going gets tough
    He hides, like Ozil, to me he is a fair weather player.
    He doesn’t do the dirty work and we can’t afford another player like that.
    Also he’s had ONE season his whole career. Ok it was a very good season but many have come and gone with just one wonder season under their belt.
    Sorry, I just don’t like him. Another player with a questionable attitude for £50m??
    Nah not for me

  52. raptora

    “City have dismissed reports in France that they are willing to waive a fee for Nasri in a bid to get his £185,000 a week salary off the club’s bloated wage bill and are understood to want between £10 million and £15 million for the 30-year-old.”

    Nasri for 10 to £15m is a great deal. He is still 30 and will be an upgrade on anything we have in the middle. I think at his current state he could have a bigger impact than say Ozil. The salary he’s been getting for years and years now though.. HOLY HAIRY BALLS!

  53. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Wengers dream in reality is a nightmare in disguise ….

    We want a stronger team at any cost
    Even if it means the time if wenger is lost .

    The most deflated I have ever been pre season

    Wenger is the con artist at the end of any market doing the three card trick

  54. Don


    I think we would be better suited playing a hard working am to compensate for Ozil or alexis who gives the ball away but is hard working.
    You okay marhez alongside any of them and you weaken the dude when defending from the front.
    I’d like welbz there at the minute
    He terrorises defences when they have the ball and he tracks back
    Almost like the Freddie Ljunberg of the side, compensating for less defensive player while still offering plenty going forward

  55. Emiratesstroller


    Sorry but Mahrez is not a solution to our current problems. He may be slightly better than options at Arsenal, but not enough to go out and spend £50 million.

    Arsenal’s priorities for me particularly if you apply Wenger’s logic is to find
    “exceptional” players where the club have weaknesses.

    That is centre back and central midfield. We are weak in starting lineup in both positions comparative to the best teams in Europe.

    The club is more than capable of offloading surplus squad players to a value of £50 million and that should be enough to buy quality players in both positions.

  56. WestLondonGoon


    Don’t for one minute think that I was advocating the PSG/City/Chelsea model. The point I was making was the lack of planning at our club, whereas if the aforementioned were going the spend upwards of £1bn, it would be vatal to have a deent plan in place.

    As I said, Monaco and Atletico, have a gone different way about it and haven’t spent beyond their means – but both of them clearly know how they want to get to the top and are progressing nicely.

    My initial post about big spending was as a reply to this:

    Who gives a toss about top 4… It’s the title or nothing(or at least compete for the title) .. Being out of Europe is not the end of the world.. People say that players won’t come to the club if you’re not in Europe but I disagree… You only have to look at the players city attracted to the club whilst not in Europe.. Aguero, silva, company, ya ya… Man Utd the same… If you offer a player enough money they will come to the club…”

  57. champagne charlie


    You can’t compare RVP to Jack mate, thats piss poor. Diaby is a better comparison considering RVP still managed to contribute to games throughout the season but could never sustain a run of matches before finally learning how to manage his body. Jack and Diaby have literally been paid to train for arsenal and watch from the dugout. Not the same at all.

    Mahrez didn’t have a ‘very good season’ either. He had a season only 2 Arsenal players are capable of having which speaks volumes of his ability. I also don’t think you followed much of hi or Leicester last year if you think he only had one good season. He was superb again last term but the fairytale was over and Vardy/Slimani were back to being barn door snipers. All in all, the point stands that no Mahrez for Jack/Iwobi is weak sauce from Arsenal.

    But that sentiment applies to pretty much Ayn player of significant input vs those types in our side. Mahrez is the name mentioned here but take your pick for players of that calibre when players like Jack are taking up a spot that would otherwise be used by someone able to contribute.

  58. Emiratesstroller

    I have written also today in a previous post that Arsenal’s horizon unless we
    are taken over by a Sovereign Fund is the EPL Title and not Champions League.

    The EPL is a competitive league and winning it is about having a quality and
    balanced squad + a little luck.

    Despite most of the criticism Arsenal are not a million miles away from producing a TEAM that can win it.

    However, sometimes you need to go the extra mile to do so and that has been lacking at major shareholder, board and management levels.

    Arsenal should have made the decision before the transfer window opened to
    sell their deadwood for “the best prices” that can be achieved in the market
    and not just set unrealistic transfer fees.

    Had they done so when window opened they could have pulled in an extra £50 million + to go out and buy additional top quality player early in window.

    Now it is probably too late on both counts.

  59. Pierre

    I never said mahrez is a solution , I was reacting to wengers quote on not buying mahrez because we have Iwobi or jack …..if he had said he don’t rate him then fair enough .
    Personally , I don’t think you can have too much quality in attacking positions ..we could easily get 20/25 million for Walcott and the same for giroud . Mahrez is a more of an arsenal player than either of those 2.
    Mahrez plays in a Leicester team that normally has maybe 30/40% possession , with Arsenal We have 60/65%….. Obviously this would mean mahrez has more of the ball in attacking areas. his assist/scoring stats could go through the roof .

  60. champagne charlie


    Kos, Mustafi, Per, Holding

    Kompany, Otamendi, Stones, Mangala

    Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof, Jones,

    Luiz, Cahill, Azplilicueta, ?

    Lovren, Klavan, Matip, Sakho

    Only Chelsea (at a push) offer what you’d consider better personnel, but even then they have little to no depth in the position of note.

  61. Pierre

    “Nasri for 10 to £15m is a great deal. He is still 30 and will be an upgrade on anything we have in the middle. I think at his current state he could have a bigger impact than say Ozil.”

    Have to say that nasri looked very good for Seville last season with nzonzi alongside him..he looked a little overweight though , he played centrally and looked class ..10/15 mil for him as a santi replacement for a year or 2 , why not..

  62. TR7


    Mahrez would be a backup player for us? He is miles better than any attacking player we have bar Alexis and Santi. We always overestimate the ability of our players in preseason.

  63. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal’s starting front lineup when everyone is fit is Sanchez, Lacazette and Ozil.

    Players like Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott and Iwobi are more likely to be bench players.

    So we don’t need Mahrez.

    What the club needs still to improve is our backline and midfield. You can buy
    still a top class cb and cmf for £50 million.

    Had we sold early in transfer window Perez [£10M], Wilshire [£10M], Szczesny
    [£10M], Gibbs [£10M] and Chambers [£15M] we would have had more than enough to buy Van Dijk or an equivalent level player.

    From what I have heard the club has received offers of at least the amounts I
    have quoted but rejected them in all cases apart from Szczesny.

  64. Emiratesstroller

    Champagne Charlie

    I was not just comparing our defence with other clubs in England, but in any event our backline leaked a lot of goals last season.

    Holding is a young player who is very promising, but can he maintain performance for 40+ games.

    Gabriel and Mertesacker are not good enough to play in first team. Please do
    not judge Mertesacker on a one off performance in Cup Final.

    We know also that Koscielny has an inhibiting injury problem,and will probably struggle to play two games a week.

  65. Don

    Cc TR7

    You think he will play marhez over Ozil or Sanchez? I don’t. Especially when he’s trying to get them to sign contracts.

    And yes he can play. I’m not denying that. But he only turns up when he wants to and is too lightweight/doesn’t seem Interedted in defensive work

    If we are going to add a player there it has to be someone who can truly elevate us
    Sanchez already offers more than what he can. How he hasn’t been voted player of the year I don’t know.
    Wilshire plays centre mid so I really wouldn’t see marhez taking his spot.
    And the reason I compare wilshire to RvP is that wilshire can come back and achieve fitness like he did after having such a long spell out
    He won’t score you 40 goals but he can offer something we don’t currently have in our midfield. Which is where we need someone most right now.
    I don’t expect everyone to see it as I do regarding wilshire because I have personal affection for the guy and the way he plays the game
    Everyone has that one player that they really love to watch and he’s mine
    I used to feel the same for fowler when he had his injury troubles and never made it back.
    RvP was another too
    Just love the way he plays the game

  66. TR7


    ‘Gabriel and Mertesacker are not good enough to play in first team’

    Mertersacker is a better center back than Mustafi who is your first choice CB. In fact Mertersacker is the best CB we have along with Kosscielney.

  67. Emiratesstroller


    Much as I liked Wilshire I am afraid that he has an injury track record, which
    has to be factored into his longevity in sport and performance record.

    I don’t think that in the modern game Arsenal can afford to take a risk on renewing his contract. The only basis that I would keep him is the deal offered by Spurs to Ledley King which was to pay him for the games he played.

  68. Don


    Like I said
    I don’t expect everyone to agree
    I just personally love wilshire as a player.
    Kewell was another one actually. Loved to watch him
    Hated that injury ruined him.

  69. Cesc Appeal

    Thank goodness football is back, though a good chance in a few weeks I will want it go away again.

    Tonight I will go with a very similar line up to the Community Shield.

    —-Holding, Mert, Monreal
    Oxlade, Xhaka, Elneny, Kolasinac

    Do not care if Ramsey and Ozil are fit or not, that is what I would go with. Shame Sanchez is injured or he would take Iwobi’s place, though we may have to get use to no Sanchez in the side. Even if he stays, which I doubt, I think he will be ‘injured’ quite often this season.

  70. champagne charlie

    “But he only turns up when he wants to and is too lightweight/doesn’t seem Interedted in defensive work”

    As opposed to the bulldozing defensive warriors we have in our attacking trio? Odd comment. You can say Wilshere is a CM and Mahrez plays wide but everyone is simply commenting on the statement from Wenger that we have players ‘like mahrez’ in the form of Jack and Iwobi. Neither are in Mahrez’s class in terms of ability, production, or durability. That’s the point some of us are making here. Best case scenarios aside, the reality is Wilshere will have no input this season for us, and Iwobis will be fleeting at best.

    I know you weren’t commenting on teams from England, but personally it makes more sense to view the premier league title as the most relevant marker than Europe so for the time being our squad needn’t be compared to PSG’s and the like.

    Our personnel holds up against anyone in the leagues IMO, I don’t see any other side who I can say are definitely better. The system used to get the best from those players was the issue last term, but it appears we’ve finally found a means to balance our team with the new formation and emphasis on possession from deep.

    You call Mertesacker and Gabriel (a player I didn’t even mention as a starting 4) ‘not good enough’ but Per is as good as any 3rd defender in the leagues top clubs. Gabriel less so, but he’s still proven that the RCB role was better suited than being one of a CB two. You’re making the simplistic argument our defence shipped goals so our defenders need replaced. Not buying it. Van Dyk would be a welcome addition, but he’s not coming in and making us impenetrable any more than adequate management will.

  71. Don

    Cc you rate him, I don’t
    I rate wilshire, you don’t.

    I agree we hardly bulldoze defences with what we currently have but I’d rather spend £80m on lemar than £50m on marhez

    If you’re gonna spend then bring someone that can take us to the next level.

  72. champagne charlie


    Thats not the argument anyones making here mate, and I do rate Wilshere but he’s not in any way physically dependable ergo he’s a waste for me.

    Im not advocating Mahrez instead of 80mil lemar. I’m reacting to ‘we don’t need Mahrez we have Iwobi and Jack’, and saying thats really poor from Arsenal. Dump Jack and Theo, replace with Mahrez. Lowers the high squad number, doesn’t cost much to achieve, and improves our potency all at the same time.

  73. Don

    Yeah well we were all saying something similar about Ozil 4 years ago and then we found out the hard way that he wasn’t all he was cracked up to be


    Lemar is top rate
    There’s a reason Barca are sniffing round him and not marhez

    I’ll say this
    Most of Europe’s elite must agree with me as he is there for the taking.

  74. Don

    Marhez is there for the taking

    Chelsea need players
    And goals. Why aren’t they after him? United? Barca? Bayern are looking to upgrade in the wide positions too
    They must see question marks over him too

  75. Emiratesstroller


    That was not what I said.

    What I said is that our forward options are now good enough to compete

    Mahrez stats are not as good as Sanchez and probably similar to Ozil.

    He will cost £45-50 million and for that amount of money I would rather spend it in CMF or CB positions.

  76. TR7

    Keep interest from Barca aside for a moment, I want to know what aspect of his game people find very impressive? Looks like an efficient and hard working player to me but nothing really wows me about him. I just want to understand what others see in Lemar that I can’t.

  77. Don

    Look I agree wth Wenger here
    You’ve got £50m
    Why blow it on Marhez
    Let iwobi mature
    See how he gets on
    Then add some one better next year if you aren’t sure and you lose either Sanchez or Ozil or both.
    On wilshire I’d give him this season
    Last chance saloon
    I certainly wouldn’t throw £50m at marhez anyway
    £30m max, £50m Is a laugh. Fucking spend that on van dijk if you have It

  78. champagne charlie


    “Most of Europe’s elite must agree with me as he is there for the taking.”

    That old chestnut ehh?

    Ozil is everything he’s cracked up to be, don’t let the fact he’s not been supplemented to maximise his ability skew that fact. Ozil, rightly or wrongly, needs a midfield that can anchor a game, and a striker that can find the back of the net. Classic of a cute #10. He’s had a midfield anchored by Coquelin, and Giroud as the best Striker on offer to him.

    Nothing wrong with buying Ozil, everything wrong with the total absence of those things needed to make his arrival significant. Like buying a top class #9 and having nobody capable of creating any chances, plain dumb.

  79. gonsterous

    cech in goal is another joke that needs to be sorted next season. the defense is good, no additions required. In midfield we need a good CM (though xhaka has impressed me). Wenger is not going to tamper with the forwards now and we have more than enough. just wish perez was above welbz in the picking order…
    we do need massive upgrades on the wings. they offer nothing.. can’t cross, can’t score, can’t dribble… what do they even do ??

  80. PieAFC

    Some news outlets have us playing


    Ozil behind lacazette and Welbeck.

    I’m intrigued by that formation I will say. Something different.