Biggest keeper deal in history on the cards

by & filed under News Review.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 19.26.57

Sorry for being off the radar this week, work has doubled down on crazy, and I’m struggling to give 2 hours a day away to writing, podcasting and managing the blog. The work/blog balance is off key, but fear not, I’ll be writing a strong letter to the boss over the coming days.

So what have we missed? A podcast this week. A series of work-induced issues stopped us spreading the gospel of Arsenal. It might be a case of re-upping the noise after the international break. But fear not, I have all my dates penned in for the next month, so you’ll be getting some full-throated greatness heading your way.

So what’s been happening in the world of Arsenal?

We continue to be linked to Jan Oblak of Atleti. The superstar keeper has a release clause of £88m, which I’ve no doubt we could circumvent for less. A few fans wetting their pants over his fee, I just don’t get it. Your spine needs to be strong, especially the man commanding the base. Look at how many points De Gea saves United a year. We need some of that. Oblak is an unbelievable shot-stopper, he’s slightly ginger which means he’ll have a vendetta against the world even if it is well hidden, he’s strong, he has great bravery, cat-like reflexes and he’s good with his feet. He’d be an immense signing. The great thing about a 25-year-old keeper is they last for 10 years.

Arsenal drew CSKA Moscow in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. An excellent draw. A geopolitical hot potato. Mother Russia, versus Theresa May’s Barmy Army. The stuff dreams are made off. I mean, even hotter if you’ve gained a full understanding of Russian cheating by taking in 2 hours of Oscar-winning doping documentary, Icarus. They did mention in that show that the issues spread to football. Would explain why Andrey Arshavin was so great for the first 4 months, then minced away into a bit of a lazy fat bastard.

The travel checklist is quite extensive. Are you black, brown, heavily tanned, from Essex, have you ever listened to pop music, have you ever thought about a rainbow… if you answered yes, or even thought about answering yes. Stay at home. Also, avoid the tea at all costs.

I think the game should be relatively straightforward. Wenger is padding his end of season sizzle reel a dream at the moment. He’s getting Europa draws that are either outrageously easy, as in Ostersunds, or he’s landing clubs that have the reputation of greatness, but the reality of shite (Milan). He’s an incredibly lucky manager. I still think Atletico will make for a tough draw. We have no chance in the semi-final because it’ll be two legs, but we have a chance in the final because THAT’s is the magic of the cup.

Someone asked if we won the Europa whether it would constitute a successful season.

Errrr… yes. Of course it would. Wenger has never won a European cup. Winning one, and gaining a route into the Champions League would have to take the same ‘OH MY GOD JOSE YOU GENIUS’ platitudes as the United manager. However, you’d still have to layer the context of the last ten years over the achievement. The club need to kick on, the fanbase needs something to care about, and Wenger isn’t the man to deliver. Winning a European trophy then moving on is literally the most ideal way to part ways with Wenger this summer. A bit like when Liverpool moved on Kenny Dalglish for the MIGHTY Brendy Rodgers (Brendy, a nickname as cringe as his team talks).

There’s a good piece on the Fan Forum that Arsenal held over at Arseblog news. This on Raul Sahnelli.

Talking about knowing Raul Sanllehi from MLS days. Very well known in the industry. Mentioned he has overseen 8 manager changes at Barcelona. Played down the meaning of job titles with respect to ‘Director of Football’.

An interesting point to raise about the Director, he’s clearly been brought in to deal with the change of manager, I just hope it’s this summer.

#NoMoreDelays

Raul also spoke highly of the club.

Extremely excited about this new project in my life. Very happy to be at the club, one of the top clubs in Europe. A club that everyone looks at. It was a no-brainier to join and very thankful for the opportunity. Someone asked me, ‘Why did I join Arsenal?’ I said, ‘Who wouldn’t!’

GET IN RAUL MAKE IT RAIN TROPHIES.

Ivan also went balls out on achievements.

Fair question. I have no interest in fighting for 5th, 6th, even 4th. We want to compete to win the league. Not going to go into change of manager, it’s not the right forum for that and it’s not respectful. Just because the manager hasn’t changed doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any changes, there have been many and a lot of investment. Recruiting the best people.

Let’s understand we want the same things. Myself, Raul, Sven and Darren Burgess spend all there time thinking about how to achieve this, working very hard, very capable people.

Marvelous words to hear, full read here.

Right, that’s me done. Have a grand old day and I’ll see you at 9am SHARP tomorrow morning.

 

 

132 Responses to “Biggest keeper deal in history on the cards”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Paulinho

    Sort out the outfield ten first, then consider spunking big money on a goalkeeper.

    If the team is not good enough, a good goalkeeper only delays the inevitable.

  2. Guns of Brixton

    he’s slightly ginger which means he’ll have a vendetta against the world

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

  3. Marko

    The superstar keeper has a release clause of £88m, which I’ve no doubt we could circumvent for less

    We couldn’t and we’re not going to. LOVE Oblak but it’s never going to happen. Bernd Leno who apparently has a 22 million pound 30 million euros clause is a far smarter deal imo. 88 million should only be considered for a top midfielder or two or a defender.

  4. Bamford10

    Victorious

    “From Whoscored: Xhaka had 91 touches,77 successful passes(93%),1 chance created,4 long balls(100%),3 clearances,2 blocked shots,2 interceptions, 3 tackles,etc.”

    Right, but none of these numbers says anything about the time and space that he was given to do these things. These numbers lack context. Milan were poor — and on both sides of the ball. Not only did they not have a lot of quality in attack, they didn’t have a lot of athleticism in midfield, so whatever they were trying to do in the way of defending was ultimately highly unsuccessful. Our players alway had a fair amount of time and space to play in. This is not as true when we play good teams. When we have played against teams that have not given Xhaka time and space, he has been poor.

  5. Bob

    Only goalkeeper arsenal should buy is Jack butland he’s doing he’s best in helping stock city getting relegated.
    Or arsenal can go for Jordan pickford he’s a good keeper.

  6. Micheal

    Can’t see Oblak happening as long as Wenger is in charge. Arguably the only strong ‘keeper that Wenger bought in 20 years was Mad Jens.
    He inherited Seaman, persevered with Alumina when he was obviously inadeqaute, thought Sczezzer would be adequate and who can forget gems like Shaaban, Poom, Taylor, Mannone and the inspired signing of Richard Wright.
    I have always felt that Wenger has a blind spot about ‘keepers – among one or two other blind spots in his make-up.
    However a strong dependable goalkeeper is essential for any team and we should be buying the best if Arsenal are ever to compete at the top again.

  7. Bamford10

    Champagne

    “Wouldn’t bother there mate, Paulinho lives solely in the land of the subjective so stats don’t do anything to him.”

    This is a false dichotomy. The correct dichotomy is not subjective vs. quantitative but subjective vs. objective and qualitative vs. quantitative.

    And the “qualitative” cannot simply be reduced to the “subjective”.

    I will give you a very simple example. Let’s say Player A made 50 pass attempts in a game and completed 45 of them. This would give him a 90% pass completion ratio. Now the first two numbers (45 + 50) are purely quantitative, but they give us a third number (90%) that is both quantitative AND qualitative — i.e., that tells us something about both the number of passes he made and the quality of those passes. However, even that 90% — though it tells us something about the quality of his passing — does not tell us everything about the quality of his passing. What if some of those passes were actually not the best of passes, e.g., they were bouncing rather than on the ground, they were weighted improperly, they were behind the player rather than in front of him, etc.

    Well, then, that 90% would tell us something, but it wouldn’t tell us everything. Further, what if some of those passes were objectively the wrong pass, i.e., there were better passes available, they were backwards passes when sideways passes were available, sideways passes when forward passes were available, or passes that went into closed down spaces when another pass would have allowed to find more space?

    Well, then, that 90% would definitely not be telling us everything about the quality of Player A’s passes. If a Paulinho came along and said, “hold on, that 90% only tells us so much. Let’s look at x, y or z,” he wouldn’t be appealing to the subjective, he’d be appealing to the qualitative, the quality of a thing.

    Now, I agree that in assessing the qualitative the subjective sometimes comes into play. Two people might have a different opinion of what constitutes the better pass, for example. However, this is not true in many cases — a properly weighted pass is objectively a better pass than a mis-weighted one — and even in cases where there is a difference of opinion, one person is often actually correct.

  8. David Smith

    Just reading the transcript /summary of that recent fans forum meeting linked in this article.
    Interestingly, not a word of,support for Wenger from Ivan. Says himself, Burgess, Raul and Sven are working very hard to improve things, not a word on Wenger.
    Seems these reports of a divide are true. Let’s hope they, or more likely Josh can get through to Stan

  9. mysticleaves

    “Right, that’s me done. Have a grand old day and I’ll see you at 9am SHARP tomorrow morning.”

    Thanks Pedro for giving me a heads up. Maybe i will try for the tr4phy tomorrow?

  10. Ogban

    Why spend that much money on a keeper when several other critical positions are crying for attention? We lost 5 players in January and only brought in 2. We will lose Mertesacker, at least, in the summer. So, number wise, we are already grossly short. For me, Cech can still do a job for another season or two. Any money we have to invest should go into some solid outfield players – ideally 4, minimum 3. We need a commanding CB, a proper DM and an attacking midfielder or winger. As icing on the cake, maybe, a RB. Leave Oblak for those who can afford the luxury.

  11. mysticleaves

    Bamford

    I have to say, you absolutely killed that post. I just hope people will see it for what you wanted it to achieve. Really great post

  12. mysticleaves

    That’s right, I wouldn’t touch Oblak if the money is that high. I also wouldn’t keep Cech as 1st choice for another season. I would go for what’s in-between them…

  13. Guns of Hackney

    We have a couple of £60m forwards and they’re cunts.

    What’s stopping our new £88m GK becoming a kunt under the biggest cunt in football?

    Watching Wes Morgan…wow. He must be 30 stone if a pound…even makes Mikki look svelte.

    Wenger out.

  14. Carts

    Good day, Pedro!

    Seems like Russia is still fucking us sideways with the snow. Flying into Gatwick this morning – going from 32 degrees Maldivian sun to 0 degree in south London – was painful.

    But yeah, goalkeepers. This will require a sizeable amount of coin. No where near £80m, obvs. However a £20m-£30m outlay seems more realistic.

    You’ve got your top tier:

    Neuer
    Navas
    Oblak
    Ter Stegen
    Buffon
    DDG
    Moraes

    Tier 2:

    Courtois
    Donnarumma
    Handanovic
    Subasic
    Allison
    Szezchney
    Leno

    From tier 1 we should be prepared to make a beeline for Navas if Real get DDG, Courtois or Allison. I don’t think we’ll pay anything close to Oblak’s release clause.

    From tier 2 it would be Leno, realistically. The numbers banded around for Allison is wild. The others simply don’t strike me as probable. That’s leave Handanovic who might want top Europeans football as Inter look like missing out again and he’s soon to be 34.

  15. Carts

    “Comment of the day to Bamford there“

    Second that. Nicely articulated.

    That’s the Bamford I like. More of that, Bruv!

  16. Victorious

    Banford
    This is a false dichotomy. The
    correct dichotomy is not subjective
    vs. quantitative but subjective vs.
    objective and qualitative vs.
    quantitative.
    And the “qualitative” cannot
    simply be reduced to the
    “subjective”.
    I will give you a very simple
    example. Let’s say Player A made
    50 pass attempts in a game and
    completed 45 of them. This would
    give him a 90% pass completion
    ratio. Now the first two numbers
    (45 + 50) are purely quantitative,
    but they give us a third number
    (90%) that is both quantitative AND
    qualitative — i.e., that tells us
    something about both the number
    of passes he made and the quality
    of those passes. However, even
    that 90% — though it tells us
    something about the quality of his
    passing — does not tell us
    everything about the quality of his
    passing. What if some of those
    passes were actually not the best of
    passes, e.g., they were bouncing
    rather than on the ground, they
    were weighted improperly, they
    were behind the player rather than
    in front of him, etc.
    Well, then, that 90% would tell us
    something, but it wouldn’t tell us
    everything. Further, what if some
    of those passes were objectively the
    wrong pass, i.e., there were better
    passes available, they were
    backwards passes when sideways
    passes were available, sideways
    passes when forward passes were
    available, or passes that went into
    closed down spaces when another
    pass would have allowed to find
    more space?
    Well, then, that 90% would
    definitely not be telling us
    everything about the quality of
    Player A’s passes. If a Paulinho
    came along and said, “hold on,
    that 90% only tells us so much.
    Let’s look at x, y or z,” he
    wouldn’t be appealing to the
    subjective, he’d be appealing to the
    qualitative, the quality of a thing.
    Now, I agree that in assessing the
    qualitative the subjective
    sometimes comes into play. Two
    people might have a different
    opinion of what constitutes the
    better pass, for example. However,
    this is not true in many cases — a
    properly weighted pass is
    objectively a better pass than a
    mis-weighted one — and even in
    cases where there is a difference of
    opinion, one person is often
    actually correct.”

    Yawn,sorry I slept halfway through your post,a bit too long winded and tedious

  17. Guns of Hackney

    An addendum to Bamford’s post.

    99% of arsenal fans are mouth breathing cretins who complained to their local councillor when KFC ran out of poisoned chicken.

  18. Guns of Hackney

    Leicester and Chelsea’s kit clash.

    There isn’t enough contrast. Dark blue, lighter blue and green pitch…clashville.

    Where’s queer eye for the straight guy when you need them?

  19. Carts

    “99% of arsenal fans are mouth breathing cretins who complained to their local councillor when KFC ran out of poisoned chicken.”

    LOLOL

  20. Guns of Hackney

    Leicester won the title two years ago.

    Arsenal…fourteen.

    Leicester’s players are all cross eyed, gas fitters.

  21. Guns of Hackney

    When arsenal fans travel to Russia, it’s the Russians who are scared to get poisoned.

    A snap poll said 98% of people would rather eat nerve agent than watch an arsenal match.

  22. Champagne Charlie

    “I used to share the same opinion that with a new manager and a new system the team would show it’s ‘true’ quality. But now I just think so many of them have become wengerised, a new manager/ system wouldn’t fix the obvious shortcomings.
    Under this constract, don’t you think it would be better to shuffle the pack?“

    Yes and no. Arsenal are stale and I’d like to see heavy reinvestment/turnover. That being said players like Xhaka (age on his side and good attributes) aren’t on the list for me. In midfield alone you have Elneny, Jack, Rambo who for varying reasons can be let go.

    I know some fans are piping up the Rambo is amazing stuff of late but here’s the facts: Rambo is in the final year of his deal, and can command BIG money. Do you sign him up to a mega contract, or sell him on as a valuable asset and reinvest? Valid argument imo.

    I’m all for analysing how much improvement can be had per move. Sell Xhaka and you’re replacing a guy that turns out for us every week. Sell Elneny and you’ve now got the replacement + what Xhaka offers (which is miles more than Jack/Elneny). Do I want Xhaka + Fabinho or Elneny + Fabinho for example. I know which one Id prefer.

    For me the list of expendables this summer is as follows:

    Ospina, Cech
    Chambers, Bellerin, Mustafi
    Elneny, Jack, Rambo
    Welbz, Perez, Campbell

    Various permutations with each of course. I’d be looking to recruit a GK, CB, CM, wide forward.

  23. Champagne Charlie

    Banford

    I know how stats work mate. I’ve never once suggested you can throw numbers out there as concrete evidence of a player.

    However… trends and patterns within the numbers suggest characteristics of a player. In Xhakas case with those numbers he’s a a guy that looks afte the ball, covers considerable ground, and has the quality to produce an end product. Those watching will have also taken that away from the game.

  24. Guns of Hackney

    Victorious

    This Guns chap has been around longer than you…you are merely an embryo compared to me.

  25. Elmo

    On the keeper line, Cech is in the studio as a pundit on the BBC’s live TV coverage of the Leicester v Chelsea game. Could be a sign that he’s going to retire in the summer; clearly he’s auditioning for future post-playing career punditry work today. I’m sure he intends to stay in London seeing as the main reason he moved to Arsenal was because his kids were settled in schools here.

  26. Akilan

    Charlie,
    I don’t know mate. I just don’t think we’ll be stable with Mkhi, Ozil and Xhaka at the same time. Team looks too one paced and defensively light. On top of that,If we sign a Malcolm or Mahrez, we’ll have 4 players that are not good off the ball + Auba. That’s half the team and I can’t see it working.

    I would keep Ramsey and Elneny. Honestly, I can’t see Elneny leaving the club. He, if the press and ITKs are right, is negotiating a new deal.

    Ramsey has done more for this club than Xhaka has over two years. 3 good games(two in Europe) doesn’t make Xhaka an improved player. Chances are he’ll still struggle against top EPL clubs that will press the shit out of him.

  27. Guns of Brixton

    Juventes got a tough run in from now till the end of the season to win the league title.

    Milan in Coppa Italia final as well.
    Real Madrid in UCL…

    Will enjoy watching them closely.

  28. Carts

    Akilan

    What ever happens, we need, maybe, 2 new midfielders. If that happens then at least 2 will be shown the door. My money is on Wilshere leaving.

    If Wilshere signs then we’re bck to square one. New deal for Elneny. New deal for Wilshere. Xhaka is undroppable let alone being sold. Ramsey angling for a new deal unless we sell this summer.

    If all goes accordingly, that’s 4 MFs on extended deals.

  29. Guns of Brixton

    Victorious

    Man city got their filthy claws into him already.

    Shame as well. I think if we went for him this summer he would of come running.

  30. Champagne Charlie

    “If we sign a Malcolm or Mahrez, we’ll have 4 players that are not good off the ball + Auba. That’s half the team and I can’t see it working.“

    That’s managerial mate, Mahrez worked like a Trojan under Ranieri, Auba was a demon under Klopp, Ozil goes mental for Germany under Low.

    Also, for me, if you have a stable back 4 plus two CM doing their bit then the front four can afford to be more relaxed defensively. I say relaxed because I don’t mean they do nothing. But Liverpool’s front three aren’t defensive specialists and are best in the league. Balance is what we lack, you wouldn’t talk about Ozil and co. if the defenders and midfielders were rock solid.

  31. mysticleaves

    A case for Mahrez and the top 6
    assuming he will play from the right wing

    Salah (no)
    Willian (no)
    Ozil (no)
    Martial/mata/Lingard (yes)
    Lucas/Sissoko (hell yes lol)
    Sterling/Bernado (no)

  32. Guns of Brixton

    @Carts

    See AC Milans Comeback?

    Gattuso winning my heart atm !

    Napoli have the slightly easier run in but imo its obviously gonna be 100 % decided when they meet Juve in April.

    Whoever wins that will win the league

  33. Emiratesstroller

    From my point of view Arsenal’s transfer priorities this summer is our spine.

    The main priorities are Goalkeeper and Centre Back positions. If we have the
    money I would go for the best quality players available in these two positions
    that the club can afford.

    The reality is that Cech cannot be rated a first string Goalkeeper after this season and the same applies to Ospina as well. Whether Oblak is available or we
    can afford him is debatable.

    The Centre Back position is also critical because Koscielny is now 32 and is clearly injury prone and no longer playing two games per week. Messrs
    Chambers and Holding may be okay as squad players and improvable under
    a new Manager, but I would not be convinced that they are good enough to
    play next season as first string players.

    The centre midfield is dependent on whether Arsenal sell either Wilshire or
    Ramsey . If they stay then I would consider some players who are likely
    available on Bosmans or an experienced player who can be secured on a modest transfer fee. What I would not consider is to spend £50 million + on Modric
    a 32year+ player.

  34. mysticleaves

    CC

    Firminio and Mane are probably more defensive than Ramsey and Xhaka so they do their bit from the front. Track back and harass the defenders and midfielders of opposing teams too. Salah is the only hanger they have and for good reason too

  35. Champagne Charlie

    “Firminio and Mane are probably more defensive than Ramsey and Xhaka so they do their bit from the front. Track back and harass the defenders and midfielders of opposing teams too.“

    Odd comparison. Not true whatsoever either. Firmino is a workhorse, but comparing him to the CF we have and you’ll have to do very well to suggest he’s better than Auba based on defensive contribution alone.

    As I stated, Auba worked tirelessly under Klopp so it’s a moot point given the “demands” under Wenger.

  36. Marko

    In Xhakas case with those numbers he’s a a guy that looks afte the ball, covers considerable ground, and has the quality to produce an end product.

    Debatable about looking after the ball considering the amount of errors leading to goals he has but granted he can pass the ball sideways. The covers ground stuff is something we should care less about because it’s his job to sit in front of the backline and not cover ground or in his case get caught out of position. And again the quality to produce end product isn’t necessary in a team with Ozil, Mhiki and the likes. We need a midfielder who can tackle read the game and who’s smarter than anything Xhaka has shown in the two years he’s been here. It’s admirable you keep in his corner but honestly ask yourself in the two years he’s been here can you say he’s been a good signing? There isn’t a scenario that I can think of where I’d want him anywhere near the starting 11 next year and he’s not going to sit on the bench so sell him. I don’t see a point in renewing Jack’s contract and Ramsey I’d be 50/50 on keeping cause I’d imagine or hope that a new manager will come in and sort out our midfield and if that happens Ramsey doesn’t start for me

  37. Leftsidesanch

    Kudos on the ginger comment Pedro.

    My G lives in Moscow, he’s told me on numerous occasions to never visit Moscow being a man of brown skin.

  38. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    Yes, we’ve covered your penchant for football manager tactics.

    I’m not going to bother rising to the sideways jibes etc. Same nonsense Arteta got hit with

  39. Victorious

    Salah (no)
    Willian (no)
    Ozil (no)
    Martial/mata/Lingard (yes)
    Lucas/Sissoko (hell yes lol)
    Sterling/Bernado (no)

    Except maybe Salah who apparently whatever he touches this days turns to gold,but surely Mahrez is more of an attacking threat than William and he would start for us because Ozil isn’t really a right sided player

  40. Marko

    I’m not going to bother rising to the sideways jibes etc. Same nonsense Arteta got hit with

    Odd that you would take it personal. If it makes you feel better Busquets is another sideways passing stat peddler I could care less about but he’s at least defensively solid. Do you think he’s been a good signing though?

  41. Dream10

    one of the reasons why we’re so poor defensively is because our attack is so blunt.
    Our loan centre forward is often isolated because we have to play a spare attacking midfielder/centre midfielder out wide to balance out a CM pair/trio who have no outlets to pass to, who have to shield a pair/trio of CBs who face wave upon wave of attack (doesn’t help that the majority of our defenders can’t cope 1v1). No pacy runners off the ball and no dribblers who can create seperation. We don’t have a 25 yr old Henry who was a one man offensive juggernaut to carry our squad. Our dynamism has to go up two or three levels.

  42. Akilan

    I agree with what Charlie says except, I would trust even Ramsey and hell even Jack more than Xhaka to hold in a 2 man midfield. Watch the Swansea away game for reason. Even arteta was defensively better than Xhaka. He was old and he wasn’t a DM.

  43. Bamford10

    You know what I do when a comment is overlong and tedious? I quote the comment in its entirety for no reason whatsoever, then add, “Yawn. This was overlong and tedious.”

  44. Bamford10

    No way Xhaka could play in a two-man midfield, not a good one st least; he isn’t mobile enough, doesn’t cover enough ground quickly enough, isn’t athletic enough.

    As for Busquets, he is more mobile than Xhaka, is a better tackler than Xhaka and most importantly is way better with the ball when under pressure. Indeed like most Barca players, he is something of a genius with respect to the latter. Xhaka, in contrast, makes poor passes or poor decisions.

    As for sideways passing and Busquets, Marko, let’s note that not only is sideways passing often necessary, the sideways pass is often the correct pass, the best pass, and there are certain positions on the field, like CDM, where switching the field and point of attack is precisely what the player is supposed to do. Thus “sideways passing” is written into his job description.

    This shouldn’t be all he does, however.

  45. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    Where do you get the idea it’s personal? I’m stating I’m not going to sit and deconstruct more critiscims of Xhaka, I rate his ability and his characteristics as I’ve said time and again.

    Not much else to say on the matter. Partner Xhaka with someone that can play as a Cm and we could get somewhere. As someone already mentioned, he’s vastly improved his effectiveness with two runners in there with him.

    I know folk like to chip at players for this or that, but it’s the managers job to balance the side taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the players. Xhaka weaknesses are overstated by detractors and his abilities understated, it’s the classic football fan approach.

  46. Marko

    I rate his ability and his characteristics as I’ve said time and again.

    Surely not on anything from the last two seasons?

    Partner Xhaka with someone that can play as a Cm and we could get somewhere.

    So not a DM? I’ve got the feeling that you think Ramsey is the problem in midfield more than Xhaka but believe me Xhaka is. And I get the idea that for example he’d probably flourish in a midfield three with runners either side of him basically making up for his discrepancies but we’re not and should not build the team around him or structure the team in a way that gets the best out of him because that’s what we need to do with Ozil. Going forward we can’t play a three man midfield because of Ozil and Mhiki and hopefully a future winger. We need a good two man base who can cover the defence and who’s good under pressure with the ball. That’s not Xhaka in the slightest. For example say we bought someone like Fabinho or Casemiro to partner Xhaka they’d have to end up doing the work of two men in there because Xhaka can’t tackle, can’t read the game and has no real positional awareness. He’s no pace either to play box to box. Imo.

  47. Marko

    Xhaka weaknesses are overstated by detractors and his abilities understated, it’s the classic football fan approach.

    His weaknesses are overstated by detractors because of the mistakes he makes and his abilities are understated because he’s been poor to average by and large since joining. I can’t believe it’s yet another Xhaka debate going down. He’s been poor since joining he’s been a bad signing he’s been part of one of the worst Arsenal midfields for the last decade. This isn’t a debate for me because it’s been that obvious. I’ve a feeling that a couple recent victories coupled with time off from not being in the FA Cup and an international break coming up has more to do with it being talked about more than anything. Certainly no one was championing Xhaka after the two defeats to City or the Brighton game

  48. Champagne Charlie

    “So not a DM? I’ve got the feeling that you think Ramsey is the problem in midfield more than Xhaka but believe me Xhaka is“

    Don’t talk like that, it’s banford-like and incredibly off putting. You’re giving an opinion, not stating a fact here. Enough of the “believe me” bollocks.

    Xhaka is a better CM than Ramsey by a distance. Ramsey doesn’t flourish there or have the skill set for it, his game is final third efficiency and stamina. Shoehorning Ramsey into the midfield is typical Wenger frankly, same with Cazorla being converted to deep.

    I don’t like Ramsey in CM, his head is in the final third and he’s not competent enough to be in there. I’d much rather he was off the striker linking midfield and attack.

  49. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    You can’t believe there’s another Xhaka debate but you’ve written two essays about it.

    I rate his game and his qualities, he’d produce more in a better system imo. I don’t care much what you or others believe, so either accept my point of view or dismiss it and move on. I’m not interested in changing opinion.

  50. Marko

    You can’t believe there’s another Xhaka debate but you’ve written two essays about it.

    Yeah the same shit that I’ve probably said 6 months ago and that tells you nothing’s changed. I agree that Ramsey is better suited higher up the pitch and not CM probably AM but he’ll never play there.

    I rate his game and his qualities,

    So you think he’s been a good signing?

  51. Champagne Charlie

    “So you think he’s been a good signin“

    Yes, because I rate the player. Have we seen the best from him? No. That’s systemic because his quality is undeniable (unles your goal is to undermine).

    I know you want me to say no because he’s not flourished, but that’s about as weak as it comes.

    Lacazette has been average relatively speaking, he’s still quality. So let’s agree to disagree. I rate Xhaka’s ability, and I’d be keen to see it in a proper balanced setup.

  52. Marko

    Well I can’t believe anyone can think he’s been a good signing. You’re more than likely basing it on his performances for Gladbach because he hasn’t performed for Arsenal. And to be fair to Lacazette he’s been here half a season and was top scorer before his injury so he hasn’t been that bad. Had he been here for say two years on about 10 goals then he would be a bad signing irrespective of how he performed prior to joining us.

  53. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    You’re acting like a dog with a bone. How can you moan at a Xhaka discussion yet continue to prod and poke at it?

    “to be fair to Lacazette he’s been here half a season and was top scorer before his injury so he hasn’t been that bad.”

    I’ll repeat what you say when I comment on Xhaka being a permanent fixture in midfield… says a lot about the forwards in the side for Lacazette to be top at the half with X amount. It’s a silly angle to come at.

    Has Xhaka, Mustafi, Lacazette and co. had a fair shake? Not for me. I think to judge them absolutely during their time here is gung-ho and short sighted.

    Arsenal have been poor the last decade by your admission, even worse the last few years. Until we change manager and see a modern, disciplined, collaborative approach then I’m not going to make concrete claims about any of the players on the books honestly. I think a lot of players can go up a level or two under the other guidance.

    Anyway, flogging a dead horse at this point as you know my thoughts and I know yours.

  54. Bamford10

    RB Leipzig beat Bayern 2-1 today, and while Bayern didn’t play or start every one of their best players, they still fielded a strong XI.

    Goals for Leipzig came from Naby Keita and Timo Werner. I only bothered to look at the highlights of this match because of the tweet below, which refers to the fact that Liverpool are set to sign (or have already signed?) Naby Keita.

    “Naby Keita dominated Bayern Munchen. Goal, assist, influence on the game. Best CM in the Premier League.” – @LiberoTM

    Could Leipzig give us trouble in the Europa if we were to encounter them? Bundesliga watchers?

  55. Champagne Charlie

    “Could Leipzig give us trouble in the Europa if we were to encounter them? Bundesliga watchers?”

    Obviously. Brighton could ffs, don’t need to watch Bundesliga to figure that out. They’re a well drilled side with some stellar talent sprinkled in.

  56. David Smith

    No point in judging the players harshly until they get a new manager and proper coaching set up.
    The latter day Wenger, supported by Primorac and co have the potential to ruin any player in today’s game, including I would suspect the finest players on the planet.
    His lack of coaching , organisation and an obsession with playing some out of position kills confidence and eventually, motivation.
    If the club choose the right manager, some of these players may thrive

  57. Champagne Charlie

    “What a dickhead. As always“

    Totally, because none of what I said was true?

    You just asked if a team that beat Bayern could “give us trouble”. Last time I checked we were fucking awful and 6th in the league.

    So yea, reckon they could give us a spot of bother. Run it by the rest on here though just to be sure.

  58. Relieable Sauce

    Lol, old coots a bit of a wenger.

    “Conman”…
    Is Maxine Waters as filthy rich as Nancy and and Chuck?
    Shapiro said she was like the most corrupt person in politics or something. Thats quite an achievement for…her.

  59. Bamford10

    Champagne Charlie is ruining Le Grove. This guy sucks, and he has sucked from the minute he arrived. Sorry, all, but this is the truth.

  60. TonyD

    According to the DM Jose is going to have a clear out in the Summer, which could include Shaw, Smalling & Martial leaving.

    I never wanted Mikhi and the jury is still out on him in my opinion. Yes, he’s had assists and goals, but they have been against dross sides – not top 6. he goes to ground too easily and feints injury too much for my liking.

    As with Auba they need time to redevelop their Dortmund relationship if that’s possible and against savvy defending – not Watford and lower teams.

    That said, and as much as I hate United cast offs, I’d take Martial, and seriously look at Shaw and Sampling simply as we don’t have a big budget and they are proven in the PL.

    Maybe Shaw has been poor, but maybe he’s been Joseyed! A maybe Pierre would say and has said about Salah Mikhi & KDB.

    We don’t have a great transfer budget going forward and I agree Mustafi needs to go and Kos and Monreal are on the wrong side of 30.

    I’ve always liked Martial and thought he hasn’t had the chance to grow at United and maybe Shaw and Smalling would be good squad players to have with Holding and Chambers.

    Then we’d only need one elite CD and then concentrate on our midfield.

    Obviously for this to work we’d need Wenger to vacate the premises.

  61. Victorious

    Binford
    “Champagne Charlie is ruining Le
    Grove. This guy sucks, and he has
    sucked from the minute he
    arrived. Sorry, all, but this is the
    truth.”

    Why not let it out,in summary you want him binned yeah?The fu”kin irony when its you who is really the drama queen with your incessant bitching,Binford fits you like a glove

  62. TonyD

    Victoria
    Easy there tiger, both Bamford and CC write good posts at times and are 2 of the many characters who make this blog fun and interesting to read.

    They don’t always make sense but do any of us ALL the time?

    Being binned for racist and any serious personal attacks are right by Pedro and he’s normally right when he makes the decision to bin someone.

    Try contributing more to the football side and less on personal attacks.

    Charlie and Bamford can more than look after themselves here.

  63. Carts

    GoB

    If it was to come down to that Juve v Napoli fixture as a title decider then, I agree, that juve likely wins.

    I suppose a lot depends where they are in regards to the champions league.

  64. Carts

    TonyD

    I read Shaw didn’t have his best game against Brighton, but when you can also say the same for Pogba and Sanchez of late, find it a bit odd none that the level of criticism loaded on the, pales in comparison to Shaw.

    Personally, Jose is still reeling from Shaw rejecting his overtures when Jose was Chelsea manager.

    I mean, is also alleged senior figures have also noticed the excessive criticism Shaw has been receiving.

  65. mysticleaves

    I actually thought CC gave an honest reply to Bamford’s question but because Bamford doesn’t like CC (or he is biased towards him) he thought CC had a poke at him. Lmao. These are things girls do.

  66. Pierre

    Tony
    Shaw was a quality left back at Southampton but is obviously not joses cup of tea so should leave and play for a manager who appreciates what he brings to the game.

    Personally I like the look of the palace left back van arnolt (I think that’s his name)…he reminds me a bit of Ashley Cole …
    would like Nzonzi in midfield
    Mahrez on the right..
    Burnley centre back James Tarkowski

    As for mhkitarean , there are a few negatives but I think the positives outweigh the negatives.
    personally I like it when he plays on the left and comes in on his right foot but he is a player who needs a team mate to link with . If he is isolated he is not effective.
    His assists should not be underrated , I see a bit of Kevin Debruyne in him when he is in and around the box…he has the ability to cross low with pace and precision and pick out a player and his through balls are often timed and weighted perfectly.
    On the negative side he can be loose in possession of the ball but he is a good worker and a team player..

  67. mysticleaves

    Carts

    No, Shaw didn’t reject Chelsea. Chelsea werent willing to match the wages Man utd put on the table for Shaw so he went to Man Utd.

    As for Shaw’s performances since he went to Man Utd, am pretty shocked he is not tearing up the league. He was so good at Soton and maybe he doesnt deserve the “trolls” from Jose but he hasn’t actually covered himself in glory.

    I would take him at Arsenal though, same with Martial but I wouldn’t go for Smalling…

  68. Bamford10

    Mystic

    Nah, CC only replied the way he did because he’s a petty dickhead and he doesn’t like me. He is on record about this and, when offered a truce of sorts, refused it. Remember?

    My comment about Leipzig was totally bland and in keeping with the consensus here on Le Grove that we shouldn’t have a problem with anyone left in the Europa save Atletico, but because CC is a petty dickhead and has a vendetta against me, he replied to the comment as if it were the silliest thing he had read in years.

    The guy is a dickhead. The only reason anyone here would say otherwise is because he doesn’t have a vendetta against them or because they don’t follow his commentary closely.

    Anyways, I’ll try to ignore him, but the guy sucks.

  69. Bamford10

    Question: what, IYO, is the worst beer/ale/lager in the UK? What do people regard as piss? (For the purposes of this survey, please exclude American beers, as I’m sure people have a pretty low opinion of them.)

  70. Bamford10

    Nemanja Matic says winning the FA Cup wouldn’t make United’s season a “successful season,” says a top club must accomplish more than that.

  71. Victorious

    “Personally I like the look of the
    palace left back van arnolt (I think
    that’s his name)…he reminds me a
    bit of Ashley Cole …
    would like Nzonzi in midfield
    Mahrez on the right..
    Burnley centre back James
    Tarkowski”

    This is quite a bunch of average players who won’t get us anywhere a title, except for maybe Mahrez who will should really buy,Tarkowski’s mate at Burnley Ben Mee is a more assured CB

  72. TonyD

    Carts
    Pierre
    I liked the look of Shaw at Southampton as well. No doubt he’s a good player, but lost his way for various reasons, injuries and managers.

    I can see Mihki has got something, Pierre, but still have reservations on him being a player to really make us challenge for titles.

    Maybe if he can reestablish his form with Auba it a possibility. I can also see what you’re saying about playing on the left, but I’d prefer a winger with real pace and dribbling skills, such as Lemar and Malcolm and others.

    I like Mahrez too but he can easily down tools. Maybe too temperamental although a good manager should keep him in check.

    What are your thoughts on Martial and Smalling guys?

  73. Bamford10

    Tony

    I really like Martial; think he’s class and think he’s being wasted at United under Mourinho. That he only played the last 15 minutes against Sevilla was just silly.

    I used to rate Smalling and still think he’s better than some here think, but he hasn’t turned out to be the dominating center back people thought he might.

    He has looked decent of late, though. Nothing mind-blowing, but decent.

  74. TonyD

    Bamford
    Sums up my thinking, too.

    Replace Mustafi with Smalling and buy an elite CD to boss the back 3/4.

    I’d take a serious look st Shaw to replace Monreal who I’d keep as back up for LB /LWB, and for an extra body in midfield when we need to boss it more to close games out.

    With the limited funds we have compared to City, United et al, we can use the funds to rebuild our midfield.

    As well as buying a WC keeper.

    All post Wenger of course.

  75. Bamford10

    According to Talksport, we are interested in a number of targets, including (in attack) Nabil Fekir, Timo Werner and Lorenzo Insigne, and (in defense) Kalidou Koulibaly and Ben Wilmot.

    I saw another good article on RB and LB possibilities; I’ll try to track that down.

  76. TonyD

    Bamford
    Martial would be a good acquisition, I wanted him instead of Mikki.

    Also think with Smalling and a WC CD both Chambers and Holding could be moulded into a good defensive unit with the right coaching and game management T Adams style.

    Then we still have this Greek kid who we haven’t seen yet.

    Definitely like the look of Malcolm.

  77. Bamford10

    According to ITV, Arsenal are monitoring Benfica’s Serbian winger Andrija Zivkovic and Real Madrid have agreed a deal in principle to sign Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.

  78. Bamford10

    Most goals in 2018 in Europe’s top 5 leagues:
    1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 18
    2. Antoine Griezmann – 12
    3. Luis Suarez / Mo Salah – 11
    – @WhoScored

  79. Bamford10

    That’s just 2018, though, btw, so it’s little misleading. Salah has 28 goals in 31 PL appearances this season.

  80. Victorious

    Binford
    Talk-shite you mean?yea the site that has no limit for the amount of BS they churn out on a daily basis,wouldn’t take anything they write serious

    Not sure we’ll be bringing any attacking player in,squad is bloated already, we have Auba,Laca,Welbeck,Mikki,Ozil,Iwobi,even young Nketiah can’t get a game,we’ll need to offload at least 3 from that list

    imagine major signings would be made in defence and midfield,for instance a Lacazette/Oblak swap deal would be fantastic for all parties,I think

  81. Bamford10

    According to The Telegraph, some Manchester United players now believe that Shaw is being “bullied” by Mourinho.

    Mourinho is such a nightmare of a human being.

  82. Victorious

    Oh yea,Shaw needs bailing asap,Boringnho has sucked all energy and talent from the poor lad,shame cos he really was a talent,Boringho is really the antithesis of a talented footballer,wouldn’t go near him

  83. Champagne Charlie

    Mystic

    It was an honest retort, same as I would’ve done for anyone else who said it.

    You’re asking if a team that beat Bayern could give this wank Arsenal side some trouble. Who the fuck couldn’t!

  84. Champagne Charlie

    Banford

    Ridiculous response highlighting your insecurities once again.

    You asked a stupid question. If anyone else asked it they would’ve got the same sarcasm drenched response. You’re not special

  85. Champagne Charlie

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-captain-per-mertesacker-disrespected-club-fans-dietmar-hamann-a3793116.html%3famp

    Precisely what I felt about those comments on anxiety and elite sport stresses.

    It’s damaged Mertesackers character for me personally. Questionable how a guy actively wanting to avoid the first,XI whilst under contract and captain, can be a leader to others both now and in his next coaching role.

  86. mysticleaves

    Bamford

    Yes I think Alli is as good as any player in his position and age group. He is a serious talent.

    As for Zikovic..very good little player. Likes to cut in from the right, is dynamic with his dribbles and can shoot. Hell yea… we dont have. that type of player here. think a Salah reincarnation.

  87. Bamford10

    Charlie

    Fine. I’ll accept that. Except that, again, the consensus here was/is that aside from Atletico, none of the remaining teams should give us much of a problem. So I don’t see how my comment, which just adhered to this line, merited the response you gave it.

    Did Milan give us a problem? No. Not at all. So apparently when we’re focused and up for it in Europe, we might be a little different from the team that fell to Brighton. Or maybe the issues we deal with when facing a Brighton don’t rear their head as much when we face teams from the continent. Or maybe Brighton was a little down to the malaise following the back-to-back City defeats.

    Regardless, I still think your comment was kind of lame. Whatever. I’ll move on.