Sanchez having a good time | Per Mertesacker in brutally honest interview

by & filed under News Review.

DU5afQsXUAAJoio

My two favourite words this morning?

Unused. Sub.

Yep, SUPERSTAR WINNERTIVITY AURA MERCHANT Alexis Sanchez was an unused sub against Brighton yesterday. The Chilean wizard of giving it 100%, and caring 50x more than anyone else, didn’t earn a single minute.

So, where does that leave his stats?

Played 10. Scored 1. Assisted 2.

Even when he scored, it was a rebound from a penalty he missed.

Sure, tell me to move on, and I’ll tell you TO SHUT THE FLIPPING HECK UP. I enjoy the failings of others. I enjoy more to juxtapose them against the successes of the players who are really producing.

Nacho Monreal: Played 6. Scored 3. Assisted 2.

Mikkkkkkki: Played 9. Scored 2. Assisted 6.

The Armenian bottle job eh? He’s knocking out stats for fun in the worst Arsenal side since Wenger started. Imagine what he’d be doing in the United side right now. He might be giving poor old Alexis some service.

In other news, a cut off your left arm/right arm moment dropped out of the sky when Spurs vs United was drawn in the FA Cup. My head is with United, I can’t have Spurs winning and I’d love for Ed Woodward to give Mourinho another £150m to get Pogba and Sanchez firing on all cylinders.

Mr Cech weighed into the Wenger in/ Wenger out debate by simply saying it’s all a bit shit.

‘Obviously, all this speculation about the coach in, coach out and what’s going to happen next. ‘Once you as a player start thinking too much about it obviously it can affect your performance and that is not going to help you. So I try to avoid all these things but as I say everybody is different and some people might think too much about it.’

 

We’re now in the second year of blaming speculation for shite form. Last year because we didn’t know if he was staying, this year because he’s been so shit, players can’t believe he is staying. I hope Ivan and co are talking to the players to land a solid assessment of the situation.

If you read two things today, one being this, the second would have to be Per’s Interview with Der Spiegel. An incredible write up about a man we all love at Arsenal. He talks about pressure, anxiety, and the sacrifice of modern football.

“This is the first time I’ve spoken about the nausea issue,” Mertesacker says. The nervousness starts the night before the game. Clemens Fritz, with whom he shared a room back when he played for Werder Bremen, once called his attention to it. “He said he did everything he could to try to fall asleep before me. Before games, my right foot would twitch so hard that the entire duvet would rustle. It drove him crazy.” Mertesacker says he had never noticed it himself.

Then there’s the diarrhea he gets on the mornings of matches — looking back, he says it happened on more than 500 days of his life. Mertesacker looks down at his long fingers as he goes through the list. “I have to go to the bathroom right after getting up, right after breakfast, again after lunch and again at the stadium.” Everything he eats just passes right on through.

This bit on pressure was particularly interesting.

He says he wouldn’t have been able to handle another match at the time, and it wasn’t because of his heel. “I got eaten up by the pressure,” he says. “This constant horror scenario of making a mistake that would lead to a goal.” He stays silent for a moment. “You also have the fear during other games; you’re constantly looking at the scoreboard and counting the minutes. But at the World Cup, that was inhuman.” Mertesacker gets lost in his thoughts with his napkin, which he rolls together and then back apart again. “But could I have said that? That I was happy that we were out?”

Quite incredible to listen to a pro being brutally honest about how they think in big moments. He also had this to say on his last year with Arsenal.

“Everyone says I should really savour the last year, play as much as possible, really soak everything in,”

“I’d most like to sit on the bench, or, even better, in the stands.”

Fairplay to him, if anyone has deserved a break, it’s him. He put on one of the greatest performances I’ve ever witnessed in an FA Cup final last May. If he’s taking it easy in the final 5 months of his career, good on him.

It was pretty disappointing to read that Hamann, a fellow German footballer, would take pretty gross view of the comments, especially considering the demons he’s had to deal with.

“He makes another statement that is questionable for me”

“He is still under contract with Arsenal and says that he has no more buck and likes to sit in the stands. He is still paid by the club and has a responsibility.

“I find that disrespectful to the fans, his team-mates and the coach. The club is up to its neck at the moment and then you have one of the captains who sits down and says that he no longer wants to play for the club.

“Whether he is the right person to give young players values such as identity and loyalty next year, I have my doubts.”

Can you imagine being a young player and not wanting to learn from a World Cup winner / Bundesliga Winner / 4 time FA Cup winner? I can’t. What a toxic comment.

Per is a legend. I’m now getting excited about what he plans to bring to the youth setup.

“I want to attack the system. We are responsible for the boys who come to us. They cannot bet everything on the football card and neglect school.” He says that ultimately, only 1 percent of them will succeed. “And of the remaining 99 percent, 60 percent will become long-term unemployed.”

I mean, I’d prefer you attack the system and send some to the top, but it’s nice he’s thinking about the kids as humans.

Right, that’s me done.

x

148 Responses to “Sanchez having a good time | Per Mertesacker in brutally honest interview”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Leftsidesanch

    Blaming the speculation to mask the fact that we’re just very average these days is just blame shifting.

    What will be the case if Wenger stays on next year? and is rewarded with a new deal. What will the form be blamed on then? it’s not going to get any better while that leach is in the dugout.

  2. steve

    Pedro you seriously have to let go of this Sanchez thing. It’s not healthy. Also most of Mkhitaryans points have come at home against shit sides Everton and Watford. He was useless against Spurs, Man City and Brighton.

  3. Emiratesstroller

    I respect Mertesacker for his honesty BUT if he has felt like that for some time
    it would have been better for him to retire at end of last season and started working at the Academy then.

    Continuing to accept a footballer’s mega salary when he does not want to play
    is ridiculous.

    Arsenal under Wenger have renewed far too many contracts of players who
    should not have had their contracts extended i.e. in recent times Rosicky, Arteta, Cazorla and Mertesacker.

  4. steve

    @Emiratesstroller

    What do you expect? Arsenal is pretty much a charity organization. Shocking management for a supposed professional football club.

  5. Emiratesstroller

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Alexis Sanchez if he continues to
    play poorly at Man Utd under Mourinho.

    How long will they keep him or will they cut their losses? The transfer fee is
    not a problem, but his mega wages are.

    Apart from perhaps China where can he go?

    In my view Sanchez and his agent may have secured mega bucks but his playing career in Europe could well be over in the next 12 months.

  6. Pierre

    Steve
    “Pedro you seriously have to let go of this Sanchez thing. It’s not healthy”

    Says the Wenger obsessive.

  7. Pierre

    Steve
    ” Also most of Mkhitaryans points have come at home against shit sides Everton and Watford”

    Oh,so they don’t count then

  8. steve

    @Pierre

    What I’m saying is he plays in an entire different comfort zone when playing at home against those teams. It’s a problem if he can’t do it in other games as well. He might be a flat track bully type of player.

  9. Guns of Hackney

    1. Sanchez is doing about £400,000 pw. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care about being a sub. Move on.

    2. Per was and is, a very average defender. One stand out performance in the FA Cup final doesn’t make an Arsenal career.

    I admire his honesty and he comes across as a decent chap who may have a future at arsenal after his playing career ends. Good luck to him.

    I can’t stand this “legend” bullshit that gets thrown about to ex players. Eboue: legend. No. He was fucking dog shit. Per. Legend. No. A 6/10 player and that’s one good day. Kos. Great player. No. Mostly garbage.

    The club doesn’t move forward becasue we have delusional fans who can’t see arsenal for what it is: a well paid retirement home for shit footballers.

    Wenger out. Per out. Sanchez’s £20,000,000 a season, in!

  10. Pierre

    Steve.
    I know what you’re saying and I think you will find that most top players stats are considerably better against the lesser sides.

    His all round game is not perfect by any means but he can certainly play the through ball to aubamayang with perfect timing and weight which is not as easy as it seems.
    He also has the ability to pick out players with hard low driven crosses which are very difficult to defend.

  11. S Asoa

    AFC is a charity outfit. What you’ll nincompoops expect with Le Senile One in charge. Charity starts with Wenger and the maximum at that.
    WengerOut

  12. kenyangunner

    ‘Also most of Mkhitaryans points have come at home against shit sides Everton and Watford’

    Sanchez goal was against the mighty Huddersfield Town

  13. Carts

    If I’m honest, I don’t find Per’s revelations surprising, in the grand scheme of things. I’ll tell you why – and this goes back to what a lot of people are suggesting – Arsenal is too much of a comfort zone for these players.

    I’ll long for the day to hear something similar from any other player representing a top EPL team. It’s nothing more than bad timing as well as an indication of what we feel towards arsenal and a lot of the players. Frankly, if Per really respected Arsenal, as much as some may think he does, he’d leave those revelation till excerpt from his book is serialised in the Telegraph newspaper or something.

    Frankly, Per isn’t and never was anything special. He’s done well to hold it down since he signed for us; and now he’s got a cushty number lined up simply based on him being likeable. Nothing else.

    Last time I commented on this I said that maybe Arsenal activated an extra year as they wastefully did for Cazorla and Ribery. However, the more I think of it, Per simply viewed staying as free money. He lost his arsehole when he needed to be honest with himself and Arsene.

  14. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    Disagree entirely on the Hamann point of view, I share it.

    You’re wrapping Per in cotton wall talking about ‘demons’ he’s faced. Nobody has said elite sport is easy to cope with mentally. But that doesn’t mean you can have your club captain actively seeking to avoid being put onto the pitch.

    To come out and talk about the anxiety and stresses caused was a positive move. To then go further and say you don’t want to play because of them anymore when you’re contracted to Arsenal is too far.

    Players often get talked about as not having the “right mentality” for a top side. You’ll have to explain how Pers comments suggest he does at this stage.

    As sympathetic as I am to the stresses present at that level, being able to overcome them and handle them is a large part of what defines you as ‘able to play at that level’. How very Arsenal to take up a spot on the squad and pay a years wages to someone who doesn’t want to go on the pitch. Odd

  15. Champagne Charlie

    The ITK squad are rounding on the news that Allegri is our numero uno target end of season.

    I like him, have wanted him a while. Low supppsedly seen as too difficult given the World Cup year and limited time it leave to transition. Don’t rate him for club management frankly.

    Still expect Ancellotti to be firmly in the mix come the summer.

  16. Carts

    “‘Obviously, all this speculation about the coach in, coach out and what’s going to happen next. ‘Once you as a player start thinking too much about it obviously it can affect your performance and that is not going to help you. So I try to avoid all these things but as I say everybody is different and some people might think too much about it.’”

    Cech is alleged to be an intelligent, man. But I can’t help but question his IQ when I read shite like that. If he’s implying that the “some people” thinking too much about it are the supporters, then he needs to get his head out of his arse.

    The speculation about Wenger is not without merit. The murmurs didn’t start last year out of nothing. These are paying supporters having an opinion on the direction that Arsenal are going. It stems from the top, right down to Cech’s inability (till last week) at saving penalties for Arsenal.

    Was it not Wenger who cock-teased the whole world on his non-committal surrounding his future. Only to then come out and admit what he did was wrong, and a massive distraction to the players, after the damage was done.

  17. 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.

  18. mysticleaves

    Carts
    You totally misread it, He was talking about the manager situation in relation to the poor performance of the players on the pitch. That if you think too much of it, it could affect performance. Nothing to do with fans…

  19. Carts

    Mystic

    “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.”

    Might be semantics from me, but Shaw still rejected Chelsea….no?

    I mean, Ramsey rejected Utd for us, and I doubt it come down to £20k p/w difference…

  20. Carts

    Mystic

    Ahh, ok. If that is in fact his angle, then I misinterpreted it.

    Note to all: pretend my post has been deleted. Scroll past it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Carts

  21. Carts

    Not sure how I felt about the Luis Enrique rumour.

    His time at Barcelona should have an asterisk next to it. Yes he won the 9 honours with them, inc. back to back La Liga titles and a champions league. Though, imo, there’s a caveat that must be addressed.

    Barcelona picks themselves and still finishes first or second, wining the champions league or at very least getting to the semi’s.

    His stint at Roma was trash. They lost as many games as they won in that season. But I do remeber him, quite obviously, trying to implements possession based football. Defensively that Roma side were awful and lacked cutting edge.

    He fared not better at Celta Vigo, but I didn’t watch any of their games, tbh.

  22. Mark

    A point I wanted to mention for a little while now is a growing concern about how poorly I feel our younger players are managed. I’ve felt this for a few seasons now as I’ve watched young hopefuls leave the club, in search of 1st team opportunities ie Willock , Toral. Most recently highlighted by McGuane going to Barca recently.
    There’s been a few matches EL especially, where I’d like to have seen Eddie or Reece get some minutes. There’s been opportunities but Wenger has just completely ignored the young players. They must look around and see other youngsters getting minutes like at Man city and think why should I stay here?
    McGuane’s comments about young players having to look outside AFC , is not good. Nelson’s not happy about his limited game time , Eddie can’t be either.
    Wenger just doesn’t seem to be able to keep players feeling like they’re involved or wanted. Eh Debuchy, Perez, Campbell. All players I feel weren’t given a fair chance to shine or a decent run of games.

    Yet when we’ve persisted with others Walcott, Iwobi, Bellerin , Ramsey , Ozil through poor form & some never benched, it makes you wonder what is it Wenger sees.
    I just feel we’re on course to lose some of the genuine talent from our academy, due to the ineptitude of Wenger yet again.

  23. Bamford10

    Mertesacker is retiring soon in order to coach and manage. I have no issue with his opening up about the anxieties and pressures of playing at the highest level. Good perspective. If he were still one of our starting CBs, I might think differently, but he’s basically an assistant coach at this point.

  24. Champagne Charlie

    “Good perspective. If he were still one of our starting CBs, I might think differently, but he’s basically an assistant coach at this point.“

    That’s not being argued and you’re omitting the facts to suit once again. Nobody has any issue with him opening up about anxiety in football I’d wager.

    It’s the desire to avoid playing people question, and you’re being dishonest to avoid it.

    He’s contracted as a first team defender, one of our 23 in the squad, and registered for European game sunless I’m mistaken – he is not a coach. So judging him as “basically a coach” is erroneous at best.

  25. Redtruth

    It’s very rich of Champagne charlie to lecture Bamford on how shit Arsenal are when he himself has been a supporter of Wenger for many years …

  26. Carts

    Bamford

    As in an assistant coach on £70k p/w?

    Come on, man. His situation is comical.

    I have no issue with what he said, per se. What does bother me is that he’s still be paid a very good salary yet he talks about rather not playing.

    Save that shit for an autobiography, or something.

  27. mysticleaves

    Carts

    Again, I rate Enrique. His time at Celta was good/very good for their resources and current standing in Spain. I seem to recall Barca couldn’t (or found it hard to) beat them when he was in charge. He had a set tactics, and also titled towards possession football.

    At Roma he failed, yes, but a major part of the reason was that he was against the board regarding Totti. Totti wanted a place in the starting XI by all means and Luis wasn’t having none of that. It’s fair to say that Totti yields more respect in the dressing room than any coach so he was undermined a lot there. The rest is history.

    Barca as good as they have been saw a change in their pattern where the midfield was largely bypassed in favor of direct attacking footie, Luis oversaw this. So in as much as anybody can coach Barca to win, his style was clearly seen in the team.

  28. Jamie

    Completely agree with Carts.

    If Per still raking in 70k a week? If so, his comments are an absolute disgrace. 70k a week and he’d rather be in the stands? Surely he must be on coach’s wages for his final year; 15k a week max, no?

  29. Bamford10

    Actually, the people who are being dishonest here are those who aren’t putting Mertesacker’s remarks into context. Mertesacker told Wenger that he was ready to retire, but Wenger persuaded him to stay for another season. Someone here already made this point previously. Why would Wenger have done this? It’s obvious. He wanted to keep Per on as an experienced leader and voice within the squad, plus they had decided to offer Mertesacker a job as a youth coach. Does it make sense to pay a player 70k a week who is not interested in being on the field? No. But take this up with Wenger, as it was his idea, and it is not the first time he has had some strange ideas about how to manage a squad and dole out salaries.

  30. Rambo Ramsey

    Mertesaker’s comments are an embarrassment. What sort of a sportsman, no wait, who in any profession comes out and gives out such a loser speech?

    ‘God I don’t want to work, the stress is disgusting, makes me want to puke, I just want to sit in an incliner with a beer in hand’

    Seriously this is the guy we choose to hand over the academy to?

    ‘Sir coach, I don’t like running and chasing opponents, tackling makes me queasy. Kicking the ball makes my leg hurt waaahhh’

    ‘Aww kiddo, I perfectly understand. Take this week off, don’t stress’

  31. HighburyLegend

    “Mertesacker told Wenger that he was ready to retire”

    I have dreamed that it was the contrary.

  32. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Mertesacker told Wenger that he was ready to retire, but Wenger persuaded him to stay for another season.’

    Don’t be daft, Bamford.

    Contracts need agreement from both parties. And once an agreement has been reached, are you not bound by duty to talk and act responsibly and professionally until the last day of the contract? Especially so if you are signed on for leadership roles?

    Basic ethics really.

  33. Carts

    Mystic

    Ok granted: your point about Celta Vigo is a fair one. I have no real qualms about that.

    With regards to Roma, though, I can see where you’re coming from but a 34 year old Totti was still more than good enough for Roma in 2011/12. I can see how his influence would create divisions in the dressing room but are we attributing that to why he failed, massively, at Roma?

    Barcelona show nuances under different managers. I’d start with the foundation laid by Rijkaard, when he eventually got it right. Pep refined it and nailed it, and so on…
    But still, without a manager, that Barcelona team is more than capable.

    I’m not shitting on Enrique, as I’m sure whatever approach he takes with Arsenal will be more pragmatic than its been with Wenger for the last 10 years.

  34. Jim Lahey

    “1. Sanchez is doing about £400,000 pw. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care about being a sub. Move on.”

    Ozil is doing about £350,000 pw. I am pretty sure he doesn’t care about poor performances, move on.

  35. Jim Lahey

    Someone who has gotten away relatively lightly with his shit performances all year is Paul Pogba, £100m and playing second fiddle to McTominay.

  36. Bamford10

    Rambo

    I don’t agree that he’s behaving “unethically” or “unprofessionally” here, so we just see that differently. I also think he is being this frank because his arrangement with Wenger more or less assumed he wouldn’t really be seeing the field this season. Again, if you have a problem with the arrangement — which maybe we should — take this up with Wenger. However, the notion that Mertesacker should have been like, “No, Arsene, I realize you would like me to stay in the squad as a player-leader for another season, but I really think you should instead make me an assistant and pay me 15k ” is ridiculous.

    I will remind everyone, again, that this is the same Per Mertesacker who not only gave us a MOTM performance in the cup final last year after playing very little last season but also who took Ozil by the scruff of the neck and forced him to acknowledge the away fans at City when Ozil was behaving like a petulant, little brat.

    Per Mertesacker is a quality professional, a loyal Gunner, a very decent human being and a class act. This piling on over these harmless comments is, IMO, a bit misguided.

    Moreover, it’s just not that interesting of a topic.

  37. HighburyLegend

    “Ozil is doing about £350,000 pw. I am pretty sure he doesn’t care about poor performances, move on.”

    loooooooooool

  38. moray

    Only Wenger could make captain a guy so scared of failure that he never wants to play for the club again. Then invites him to manage the youth team while keeping him on 3.5m wages every year to play 2 games (16-17) and 11 games (17-18).

    Only Wenger would sign a guy on loan at Christmas who has a broken back.

    Only Wenger would buy a player who would steal his team mates boots from the changing room.

    Only Wenger would sign a hapless postman and claim he could become “one of the best attackers of his generation”

    Only Wenger could sign a gay Moroccan who then gets involved in a blackmail case.

    Only Wenger would sign Silvestre and look smug about it.

    Only Wenger would let two >GBP50m players run their contracts down and do nothing.

    Only Wenger…and he’s still at the club. It’s no wonder we are a complete joke these days

  39. Carts

    Pogba has been shite. Is Mourinho failing him? I think so, sadly.

    I’ve seen too much of Pogba, while at Juventus, to see that he’s simply not responding to Mourinho’s demands.

    Add Shaw and Martial to that list.

  40. Rambo Ramsey

    Pogba played with Pirlo and Vidal at Juve. I mean, these are players who were/are the best in the business at what they do. Not too hard to look good when playing alongside them. Pogba got overrated.

  41. DivineSherlock

    Carts

    Mourinho is a cunt, it always has to be about him, big ego he cant control . At this point I am worried that he’ll get the sack and ManUtd might appoint Allegri .

  42. Pierre

    a little bit awkward for the FA regarding Spurs being at home in the FA cup semi final .
    I have no doubt that Jose will bring the subject up prior to the game…

    They should change the venue but they won’t as the FA have a financial obligation to play at Wembley .

    If Tottenham go on to win the FA cup then their achievement will be somewhat devalued as they would have had an unfair advantage in the final and the semis.

  43. DivineSherlock

    Moray

    ” Only Wenger could make captain a guy so scared of failure that he never wants to play for the club again.”

    You lost me at this. The guy is a world cup winner , scared of failure ? The guy is being honest . Stop maligning players with your drivel . And don’t say we are joke , you are a joke & thats not even funny.

  44. Carts

    “If Tottenham go on to win the FA cup then their achievement will be somewhat devalued as they would have had an unfair advantage in the final and the semis.”

    Disagree. Fact of the matter is: on the day, there’ll be 40% Utd supporters, 40% Spurs supporters and 20% neutral heads.

    Wembley on the day will be a neutral gaff!

  45. DivineSherlock

    Jim Lahey

    “Someone who has gotten away relatively lightly with his shit performances all year is Paul Pogba, £100m and playing second fiddle to McTominay.”

    Just imagine If this was Ozil , the amount of hate he got was unreal at times . Pogba gets away with it because its Mourinho not using him well. I don’t see Neville , Gerrard slagging him off like they did with our players. Biased as fuck.

  46. Carts

    Divine

    Mourinho looks like he’s on the edge, but due to the fact that this was brewing long before he signed his ext. make him signing an ext. all the more baffling.

    Sack him between now and next year and Utd will be paying out their ring piece in compensation to him and his staff lol. Woodward isn’t a bit of a melt; giving him a new deal was beyond reactionary.

  47. DivineSherlock

    Carts

    Yeah , I mean an extension on the back of what , a Europa league?
    Hoodwinked everyone I guess. As Pedro said let him go on for another year . Would be fun to watch.

  48. Dream10

    Carts

    Triggering Per’s one year contract extension is a classic AW move. He does that so he doesn’t have to buy a replacement CB. He avoids the transfer market as much as he can. Wenger has previous in this category. Arteta, Rosicky had even longer layoffs in their last two seasons. They were kept on for the illusion on depth

  49. champagne charlie

    “Actually, the people who are being dishonest here are those who aren’t putting Mertesacker’s remarks into context.”

    Oh really? Elaborate contextually on the following: “Everyone says I should really savour the last year, play as much as possible, really soak everything in,……I’d most like to sit on the bench, or, even better, in the stands.”

    Sounds pretty clear as day to most. Rather than savour the final playing year of his career he’d much rather be anywhere but the pitch as the stresses and anxieties have gotten too much for him at this point. What is being missed here according to you?

    “Mertesacker told Wenger that he was ready to retire, but Wenger persuaded him to stay for another season.”

    Lol unless you were in the room consulting such affairs let’s go ahead and take that with a massive pinch of salt eh? I won’t dwell on how self serving that notion is to your argument.

    Was Mertesacker held at ransom to agree to the extension? Safe bet says no. You can’t wax lyrical about him being a great guy and leader if he’s willing to take the place of a professional that will actively aid the cause of Arsenal football club on the pitch.

  50. champagne charlie

    The business sense surrounding Per is every bit as nonsensical. £3.7 mil in wages paid to him this year roughly but we thought £10 mil for Gabriel was the better sacrifice in the summer.

    Arsenal would have been much better off keeping Gabriel for the £6.5 mil difference and giving Per a sabbatical year before taking over as a coach. This coming from the same side that wanted to buy Jonny Evans mid season because their CB options were gash.

    Arsenal do make you laugh at times, and cry at others. Bizarre place.

  51. Carts

    Dream10

    I know what you mean, but I’m not sure there was an optional 1 year in there. Usually we hear about these 1 year being triggered quite publicly.

    Take Cazorla and Rosicky, for instance. Even more recently Ashley Young and Luke Shaw, it’s rather standard. Though I do agree that Arsenal like do operate under dark for some stupid fucking reasons, a lot of the time.

    I simply think Per caved into Wenger bollocks, was told he’d be on the same money, and thought fuck it, why not. What he didn’t envisage was how bad thing would get. Now shits hit the fan, he can’t hold his tongue.

  52. Guns of SF

    Merts comments are perplexing. OTOH, he is honest about how he feels- and his anxiety levels. OTOH he should have get this quiet until he was officially retired.
    The net result, is that we look like we have egg on our face again. Last thing we need during this season.
    Im not convinced we need him as a coach TBH now. Young players need a strong coach, not one who would rather be not playing.
    I mean great for fighting through it Per but your comments are totally mistimed.

    I can see him getting out of Football and pursuing regular things…. too late he has signed on for cushy coaching money now.

    Pity

  53. Dream10

    Guns of Brixton

    Wouldn’t take Luke Shaw, but we do need a new LB. Never be convinced by Kolasinac. Monreal also has injury issues and will reach the Koscielny stage, where he’ll be playing thru injury and at 60=70% because he’s the best option.
    A quick LB please. We have too many slow defenders who struggle 1v1

  54. Pierre

    Carts
    “Disagree. Fact of the matter is: on the day, there’ll be 40% Utd supporters, 40% Spurs supporters and 20% neutral heads.”
    “Wembley on the day will be a neutral gaff!”

    Really!

    Supposing United said to Tottenham “let’s play the semi at old Trafford “..would you/they still say it’s neutral even if the fans are split evenly….of course not .

    The fact of the matter is ,the match is played on the pitch not in the stands and players become comfortable in certain surroundings (their home ground) and if Tottenham were to play the semi at old Trafford it would give United a massive advantage .

    In the old days when semis used to be played at neutral grounds (not Wembley) if Arsenal or United or whoever were in a semi final it would always be at a completely neutral ground …they would never have had it at Highbury if Arsenal were playing , why ……..because it is not a neutral ground even if the fans are split evenly.

  55. TR7

    Few people dislike Mourinho as much as I do but still I wouldn’t blame him for Pogba’s poor performances. The guy has got decent skills but he plays like a headless chicken. He has no idea where to position himself, often makes poor decisions and has got very little understanding of the dynamics of a game. In other words he doesn’t know what he’s doing. That he believes his own hype makes it even more difficult for him. Give me Dembele, Can, Gundogan over Pogba any day of the week.

  56. Carts

    GoB

    I’d take Shaw. I think he’s a good player. Mourinho has had a bee in his bonnet since he opted for Utd over Chelsea. Only for Mourinho to end up as his manager lol

    What exactly Shaw is meant to be shit at isn’t clear to me. His confidence was shot to shit a long time ago. He finally gathered it together then Mourinho publicly fucks him again. Can’t forget that leg break too…though I don’t think that’s inhibiting him like Mourinho public humiliations are.

    I see him going Spurs and Rose going Utd. It’s seems like a logical transfer.

    And yes – I’d have him at Arsenal under any manager besides Wenger.

  57. Carts

    Pierre

    Spurs have been at Wembley less than a year. I don’t think they’ve been there long enough for them to really reap any benefits of “having some kind of home advantage”.

    They’re hardly undefeated at Wembley, are they.

    The old model is a different context as we’re talking about a teams spiritual home

  58. champagne charlie

    Brixton

    Not a lover of Shaw, lad strikes me as a fucking moron who’s barely serious about being a professional. Always looks tubby, and Jose has ripped him a a new arsehole more than most in his career which is an indication things aren’t right in itself. Would avoid.

    Left back for Napoli Ghoulam is doing good things, but I think Jose Gaya will make a move this summer and he could be a smart option. Stagnated slightly, but talented boy and still just 22.

  59. Guns of Brixton

    Yeah
    I agree

    Shaw seems to be a solid player who just needs a non narcissistic manager to coach him.

    Him and Kolo battling for LB seems healthy to me.

  60. DivineSherlock

    TR7

    The thing is he does look good when he plays internationals with France. So different now then he was at Juve. Should’ve gone to Madrid Pogba. At times he overshadowed Pirlo and Vidal in that midfield.

  61. TR7

    Pirlo was a master at reading the game and maintaining it’s tempo. Vidal was a beast of a central midfielder when Pogba was at Juventus. Those two made Pogba look far better than he actually was.

  62. UTarse

    Bamford,
    How on earth do you know the ins and outs of mertesecker staying on details ? My guess is it went something like this …..

    Wenger : ” per, I’m gonna need you to hang around on the playing staff for another year as back up, that Gabriel won’t play for us and wants out….”

    Per : ” sure boss, whatever you say, but I still want 70k a week”

    Wenger : “sure per, don’t worry about the money”

    Per : ” fantastic, I guess I’ll be lucky to play 2-3 games right ? Cos you know boss, I’m soooo done with playing”

    Wenger : ” yeah yeah no issue ! I can always buy another defender in January if we get desperate”

    Per : ” you da man boss ! Fancy a game of cards ?”

    Wenger : “yeah , fuck training !”

  63. azed

    “An argument can certainly be made as to if Pogba is even a better midfielder than Xhaka”

    Dude that sh*t you’re smoking ain’t good for your health.

  64. Champagne Charlie

    Pogba is a mega talent, this one is squarely on Jose Mourinho and his canny ability to destroy attacking talent.

    Pogba would be a monster under Pep. Says it all.

  65. Dissenter

    TR7
    “Pirlo was a master at reading the game and maintaining it’s tempo. Vidal was a beast of a central midfielder when Pogba was at Juventus. Those two made Pogba look far better than he actually was.”

    Take a bow for the above comment.
    Pogba needs to apply himself to his trade. He seems like he’s too busy doing everything else but football.

  66. Bamford10

    TR7

    I don’t think it’s so much that those two made Pogba look better than he is, more that if you want to get out of him what he is capable of, you have to play him in the proper spaces and the proper role, and you have to play him in a well-organized, balanced midfield.

    Mourinho hasn’t figured this out yet, and it isn’t clear that he will.

    Pogba is a very good player, but he is not cut out for all of the work one might do in midfield. In general he should only be used as a CAM. He is capable of the spectacular, but he is also capable of looking a bit awkward and out of place here or there.

  67. Bamford10

    An interesting question might be something like: if we could sign Pogba for 60-70m, would people be interested? This would’ve been a no-brained 12 months ago, but things have changed a little, I think.

    I personally would not be as interested as him as I once was. Totally different kind of player, but I’d much rather have Martial than Pogba.

  68. champagne charlie

    “An interesting question might be something like: if we could sign Pogba for 60-70m, would people be interested?”

    Would rip your arm off, and spend the duration of his contract laughing at United for letting such a baller go as he flourishes under a proper coach (even Wenger could get him humming a better tune).

  69. azed

    “An interesting question might be something like: if we could sign Pogba for 60-70m, would people be interested?”

    I’ll throw in Xhaka, Wellbeck, Wenger and a thank you card.

  70. Bamford10

    Pierre

    Why, you cheeky little ….

    Depends a little on the role, but I honestly think I would go with Ramsey.

    Yes, I’m aware I once said Pogba was three times the player Ramsey is, but that was after watching Pogba do some spectacular stuff for both France and Juve and it was also in the midst of a run of Ramsey at his most frustrating.

    My view has changed, I think.

  71. Pierre

    Maybe we can do another swap with jose

    Ramsey for pogba..

    Something tells me he may be interested in doing another swap deal.

  72. James wood

    Pogba- Balotelli- Diouf-Gallas-and Our own Abeydayor
    All seemed to have been disruptive in their own ways.
    All had this attitude problem.
    All thought they where better than they actually where.

    Pogba would be my last pick to play for Arsenal.
    Mahrez would be my first.

  73. Pierre

    Nzonzi and pogba in centre midfield

    2 6ft 6ins (or thereabouts) centre mids who have everything you need to control that area…

  74. Dissenter

    “France boss Didier Deschamps has claimed Paul Pogba is unhappy at Manchester United – and he will offer him counselling during the international break”
    What nonsense, better players have been benched in their clubs with no need for “counseling”
    Deschamps may start by telling him to spend less time with the hair dressers.

  75. Champagne Charlie

    “Nzonzi and pogba in centre midfield“

    More like Kante and N’Zonzi holding with Pogba given a bit of attacking licence to support Mbappe, Griezmann, Dembele…

    Lol the talent.

  76. mysticleaves

    Pogba can’t play CM in a team man CM formation. Is Nzonzi. ot basically a controller like Xhaka? How is his mobility without the ball? Interception and tackling stats?

  77. mysticleaves

    Might also add that I wouldn’t take Pogba for 60/70m. Hes just another auxillary player that needs heaven to align for him to shine. Plus you need to massage his ego and also make sure you don’t sign another person that will be paid more than him. For that money or less there are better and more rounded options for less than half the wage he would command.

  78. mysticleaves

    Carts

    Re our Luis Enrique discussion, no, The Totti problem wasn’t the sole reason he failed at Roma but am guessing it contributed a lot.

    And also maybe the way he tried to play the whole Totti drama was ill advised. An upstart taking on a legend without the backing of the board always results in shame for the upstart; case in point, Gazidis and Wenger lol

    Let me also reiterate that while I have backed Brendan and now Enrique, my choices still remain Simeone, Allegri, Jardim in that order. But I wouldn’t mind both if the others werent attainable

  79. Carts

    CC

    “Not a lover of Shaw, lad strikes me as a fucking moron who’s barely serious about being a professional. Always looks tubby, and Jose has ripped him a a new arsehole more than most in his career which is an indication things aren’t right in itself. Would avoid.”

    Really??? I’m sorry but that’s extremely harsh.

    I’ve read that Shaw isn’t the most intelligent chap out there; but besides Mourinho publicity chastising him – based on what he’s not doing on the pitch – I’m yet to hear anyone else buttress Mourinho criticisms.

    Mourinho is a narcissistic cunt. Period!

  80. mysticleaves

    CC

    That’s in your opinion, certainly not mine. I saw through him at Juve and I called him out a long time ago, Bamford can attest to that.

    Man utd got a free run at him when he could have easily gone to Barca or Madrid. Thats not an indictment of every player but in Pogba’s case, it says a lot.

    I think Juve watchers will recall that Vidal and Marchisio did a lot for Pogba AND Pirlo both of whom didn’t have to exactly be aware defensively.

  81. mysticleaves

    It was here also, on this blog, that people called Balotelli world class/top player because of a few man city goals and various display of arrogance/cockiness

  82. Carts

    Mystic

    Let’s just take: Allegri, Jardim, Enrique, Rodgers and Simeone – what will be evident is how we approach games from the outset; how we respond to being a goal down; how we deal with those high ball merchants; how we deal with the likes of Sane and KDB, while trying to isolate players like Kompany and Lovren.

    Strengths:

    Allegri – expansive football where Juve are able to contain teams and stretch the play with wingbacks and wide attackers. Tactically astute being able to make wholesale changes while not disturbing the rhythm of he team’s play.

    Jardim – shown that he can utilise 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 to good effect. Depends highly on a robust central pairing and wide outlets.

    Rodgers – penetrative football with the likes of Suarez, Sterling & Sturridge. Good attacking philosophy.

    Enrique – possession based football but requires high level midfielders to turn over the ball at pace as well as regaining possession almost immediately.

    Simeone – sit back and absorb pressure. Defensively solid but stylistically not that easy on the eye though has shown how teams should defend in number.

  83. mysticleaves

    Nice analysis of the coaches styles there…but Simeone defence merchant? Only in the season he won’t the Liga. Because he was mostly a dark horse then and needed to see off teams to win

    These days he plays expansive beautiful possession laced with attacking football and scores a ridiculous number of goals while also retaining his defensive solidity.

  84. Bamford10

    Mystic

    Given that Pogba was quite good at Juventus, I’m not sure how one could have “seen through” him there.

    He has his limitations, but he remains a very talented player who is capable of phenomenal moments.

    I wouldn’t invest in him at this point, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a talent.

  85. Champagne Charlie

    “That’s in your opinion, certainly not mine. I saw through him at Juve and I called him out a long time ago, Bamford can attest to that.“

    I’m not talking on your behalf so not sure what you’re getting at.

    Wouldn’t give it the “I saw through him” garb, I’ve a couple of close friends that are Juve mad and they’re pissed at how he’s being messed about at United. They both say he’s top drawer and they’ve watched him at Juve more than me.

    Pogba has all the attributes, he’s a freak of a talent and world football would want him if he became available. There’s a great deal more supporting that than your “see through” notion.

  86. mysticleaves

    CC, Bamford

    Fully acknowledge that he is a talent. However he isn’t any thing special and would need heaven to be moved for him so he can perform. That’s more like a liability.

    He was available alright and only Man utd stumped up this fee. Madrid (Zidane) was always talking about Pogba but when he became available he dodged lol. Considering that since that time Barca has signed Dembele for 98m and Coutinho for 142m is also an indictment of Pogba’s suitability to teams.

    He’s talented none the less but nothing special.

  87. Pierre

    Mysticleaves
    If you are unsure of nzonzis talents then I would ask you to take a look at his performance at Old Trafford recently for sevilla, he ran the show from start to finish..

  88. Jackie

    Pedro must be dumber than Mertesacker if he thinks that his interview was honest.Mertesacker quit from international football immediately after the world cup knowing that he wouldnt have been selected again in the team.

    Our captain who is afraid to play the games while drawing decent wages off the club, is going to be in charge of the academy from next season.What a message he is sending to the kids!

  89. mysticleaves

    Normally, I would prefer to lay on my bed from 7am to 7am and play game, watch football and sleep with Shakira and Rihanna. But that’s not what I do, I get up before 6am every day and have to be at work before 7:30 and I work my ass off everyday to make a living.

    You people slamming Per should have a word or two with yourselves. He is a professional because he realises he has a job and he does his job to perfection regardless of what he wants. The world is looking for correctness in all aspects of human life now that they forget those things don’t matter.

    Per has never voluntarily missed training nor come late and is the task force chairman among the players. He’s a beacon of professionalism and the players he will be coaching only needs to look at his professional career to know how professional he was. If the players duel on what Per wants but doesn’t do, then it’s their problem not Pers…

    If as old and mature as you all claim you are you still judge people for what they say and not what they do then you all need to grow up a bit. Action speaks louder than words.

  90. Carts

    Mystic

    Tbf, Atletico style has improved lately, I agree. I used to find them a bit one paced at times; as if to say I saw a bit of Mourinho in the way Simone pitched his tent.

    I think what Simone has done, with the resources available to him, is fantastic. He drove a wedge between Barcelona and Real – which is always nice; and he looks to be on course for a second place finish and potentially the Europa League.

  91. Bamford10

    Who do people think deserves the POTY award — Salah, Kane, De Bruyne? Without even looking at the numbers, I feel like it’s clearly Salah, but I’d be interested in hearing others’ opinions.

  92. Bamford10

    Slow news day. Looking at schedule of international friendlies, there are a couple of interesting matches on Friday:

    Russia v. Brazil
    Argentina v. Italy
    Germany v. Spain
    England v. Netherlands
    France v. Colombia

  93. Dissenter

    Bamford
    Saleh will definitely win the award. I won’t be surprised if he sweeps all of the awards like Bale did.
    He’s provided the league with the most consistent individual performances. De Bruyne comes in a close second but his work is more to make his team play better.
    If the award was for contributions to the team then KDB ought to win but it’s always been the individual that lights up the game regardless of the team placement . That’s why players like Van Persie, Bale, Suarez and Gerrard won it even though their teams didn’t win the league.

  94. Barking Arsene

    The Sun is reporting that we are “lining up” a £25m summer move for Leverkusen GK Bernd Leno.

    Very good news if true.

    Also, Salah for me as well – hell of a season he has had.

  95. TR7

    Charlie

    ‘More like Kante and N’Zonzi holding with Pogba given a bit of attacking licence to support Mbappe, Griezmann, Dembele…Lol the talent.’

    Midfield of France national team despite abundance of talented players flatteres to deceive against big teams because all their midfielders are more or less of similar style – big, powerful and athletic midfielers who can run across the pitch all day long, put in good defensive shifts but when it comes to orchestrating a game, using finesse, touch and vision to unlock good defenses, they are found wanting. Pogba,Matuidi,Sissokho,Kante,Diarra, Nzonzi etc. lack the ability I referred to. It’s no surprise France did well in Euros when Payet was in his prime – a player who had creative spark in abundance.

  96. Guns of Brixton

    :Midfield of France national team despite abundance of talented players flatteres to deceive against big teams because all their midfielders are more or less of similar style – big, powerful and athletic midfielers who can run across the pitch all day long, put in good defensive shifts but when it comes to orchestrating a game, using finesse, touch and vision to unlock good defenses, they are found wanting. Pogba,Matuidi,Sissokho,Kante,Diarra, Nzonzi etc. lack the ability I referred to. It’s no surprise France did well in Euros when Payet was in his prime – a player who had creative spark in abundance.”

    Just about sums it up.

    ##zidane

  97. TR7

    Jackie

    From what I have seen of Nabil Fekir, he is a CAM and winger rolled in to one. If someone like Del Bosque were managing France, I guess he would have Fekir as one of the first few names on his team sheet but I don’t know whether Deschamps sees it that way.

  98. mysticleaves

    Carts
    Fully agreed, he has proved himself more dynamic than Jose and I can’t wait for him to be appointed as head coach of Arsenal. We already play with flair, just need to input structure and tighten the defence

    Salah for me for POTY

    In other news…
    There’s report that Timo Horn of the Koln fame has a £5.4m release clause should they be relegated. His stats this season also, for a team that faces the amount of shots he faces and also at point blank range is astonishing. Worth a look.

  99. mysticleaves

    Please am looking at games I can put a few cash on. Bet wise…anybody has a clue or two? Would be appreciated

  100. Kenyangunner

    Tim Horn of Cologne is a good shot stopper just like Almunia was.
    Arsenal needs a keeper who can maintain concetration for 90+ mins

  101. PhD07

    mysticleavesMarch 20, 2018 12:01:29
    Please am looking at games I can put a few cash on. Bet wise…anybody has a clue or two? Would be appreciated
    ———————–
    Ask Banford..He’s the all seeing and all knowing..
    I’m pretty sure,he can advise you accordingly.

    Lose your money,dependent upon his advise..He’ll find a way to berate you and call you a “dipshit”.

    Good luck..
    Jokes aside..Usually Ishola/RSPCA are your best bets for that type of advise.
    Me personally,I frown upon betting.It ruins lives.

  102. PhD07

    Bamford10March 20, 2018 10:28:25
    The Sun is reporting that we are “lining up” a £25m summer move for Leverkusen GK Bernd Leno.
    ——————–
    You are using -‘The Sun’ as a reference point?
    Lol

    And even if you are not,why cite that source?
    Lol

    You are pure comedy gold..
    I grant you that..

  103. Dissenter

    It’s odd seeing Ryan Giggs managing Wales since he never deemed his country important enough to play for. It’s obvious it’s just a stepping stone job to bigger things.

  104. Emiratesstroller

    As I wrote yesterday I would have no issue with Mertesacker admitting in public
    that he is no longer enjoying playing football on account of anxiety.

    However, he should have stated that BEFORE his contract renewal in 2016. Arsenal have renewed too many contracts for players who were no longer able to
    perform at top level i.e. Rosicky, Arteta and Cazorla.

    Apart from Mertesacker we have now a potential problem for next season with Koscielny. It is well known that he is no longer able to play two games a week and it has been fairly clear that his performance level has declined this
    season.

    We know that we need a first string Goalkeeper to replace Cech and in my view the next priority is a top class Centre Back replacement.

    As I wrote yesterday finding two replacements in these two positions is going
    to cost Arsenal at least £70+ million.

    If we are lucky Arsenal will spend perhaps another £50 million on one additional player.

    One thing is for sure the club are unlikely to spend this summer £150 million.

  105. Emiratesstroller

    What is increasingly clear in recent seasons is just how mismanaged our contract renewals and transfer business has been handled.

    Whilst the club’s new management may have extracted us out of a major loss
    with the exchange of Mkhitaryan and Sanchez the fact is that over last two transfer windows the club has landed up offloading players at well below market rate.

    Furthermore the club has relative to most of our competitors in top 6 underinvested in our squad.

    Here is the expenditure and outgoing transfers in last two transfer windows according to transfermarkt.

    Man City Expenditure £284.22 Million/ Sales £86.04 Million
    Chelsea Expenditure £232.02 Million/Sales £180.54 Million
    Liverpool Expenditure £151.23 Million/Sales £150.48 Million
    Man Utd Expenditure £147.96 Million/Sales £10.35 Million
    Spurs Expenditure £109.35 Million/Sales £91.89 Million
    Arsenal Expenditure £106.97 Million/Sales ££109.98 Million

    Man Utd and Arsenal stats do not include the swap deal for Sanchez and Mkhitaryan.

    However, when you factor in revenues and current commitments by Spurs to
    rebuilding their stadium Arsenal’s investment in players in 2017/8 falls well
    short of our competitors and that is reflected also in our current position in
    league.

  106. Victorious

    utASS
    “Highbury,
    You have to laugh, we support what has
    become a laughing stock of a club
    D”

    Then why bother?I mean its not as if your been forced at gun point to support the club are you? you and highblushitlegend should get a room already and quit been nuisance on Legrove, twats

  107. London gunner

    Ronaldo was epic the other day smashing in four goals… Guys still has beast mode pace at 34. Wonder how he has managed to retain so much of it

  108. Freddie Ljungberg

    We have underinvested in the team for a long time and it’s finally catching up to us for real this season and last. First of all Wenger needs to go, that’s a given at this stage.
    Secondly we need to buy a lot of players, and since we are Arsenal and can’t (or won’t depending on your view) buy 4 or 5 £50m players we have to be smart about it.

    Cech needs replacing as first choice, Ospina is most likely leaving.

    Leno for £25m or lafont, Napoli only wants to pay £10m + add ons so maybe he can be had for 15 mil.

    Oblak is a silly dream, we’re nowhere near in a position to spend that much on a keeper when half or more of our team needs upgrading.

    Kos can’t handle it as first choice anymore, doubt we’re buying 2 starting cb so go big here, Koulibaly or Manolas will cost between 30 and 50 mil. Would prefer Koulibaly, beast.

    Wilshere is likely off, cazorla isn’t going to play for us again.

    Doucoure for 25mil and Max meyer on a free, sell Xhaka and we almost break even if we’re lucky.

    We need a winger desperately, can’t stomach another season of watching Iwobi starting.
    Get Fekir in, rumoured £45m price tag, would provide goals and creativity.
    Iwobi on the bench, sell Welbeck, promote Eddie.

    This is going to cost us anywhere between 80 and 100 million, and it’s still doing it on the cheap in some positions and there will still be work to do in coming windows, but that’s the situation we’re in now, we have to start addressing the weaknesses in the first team now.

    We could sell off Bellerin (and if we get 50 mil we should) to offset the cost, can easily find another RB for under 20 mil and not lose out in quality.

    The only other saleable asset we have is Ramsey, and if he doesn’t sign this summer, sell and bring in another midfielder, we can’t let any more players run down their contracts and hold the club to ransom.

  109. PhD07

    Liverpool Expenditure £151.23 Million/Sales £150.48 Million
    ——————————————
    Wow…

    What an amazing investment Mo Salah was and is..

    Wow..Amazing figures expenditure vs sales