Arsene fairytale very sad + Managerial search and select gets very exciting

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THE NEW KING via @Arsenal instagram

THE NEW KING via @Arsenal instagram

Arsene Wenger’s final game at Old Trafford worked out in entirely predictable fashion.

We lost to a cloggers goal, Fellaini scoring a dirty late header.

We lost to Mourinho, which has been a thing.

Over a decade without winning at Old Trafford, which is shameful. We’ve one once there since 2004 in the league (I was there in 2004)

We stretched our horrific record of not winning away in 2018 out another game.

You can talk about how you were proud of the performance, but you’d be behaving as you’ve been conditioned to: like a total loser.

Arsene Wenger has taken us from a team that were so elite, it refused to lose a game in an entire league campaign, to a club in which the fan base were actually pretty pleased they didn’t concede 8. Where the faithful gushed about only losing by a late goal against an utter dross Manchester United side.

How low have we sunk?

I’m not going to tell you I didn’t enjoy the game, there were lots of positives I could take from the day. I just felt a little empty after.

Arsene Wenger wasn’t misunderstood, my campaign to oust him wasn’t off the mark, there will be no fairytale ending. We’re dealing with the cold hard realities of decline. In sport, no one cares about who you were, it only considers who you are. Arsene is an old man in a young man’s game, he’s a Luddite who overstayed his time in the elite lounge, he’s been indignant about progress, he even admitted as much.

“It was like when you’re driving along the road,”

“You have to be aware of somebody coming up in your wing mirror, trying to overtake you.”

Too true. Now we’re paying for it, as is Wenger’s legacy.

I wanted him to go out with a bang, but he’s going out in utterly humiliating fashion. The fans don’t care for him, the players aren’t interested in playing for him, and his legacy has been so damaged, the first thing people will say for years to come is…

‘Well, which part shall we talk about, pre or post-2004’

There are some positives though, and I do want to wax some lyrical goodness on a couple of players.

Firstly, AMN. That boy is my new drug. I’ve been calling for him in the middle of the park since he burst onto the scene. He landed his chance there and he was immense. He played a box to box role and he was electric. We knew he had the physical attributes our midfield has been crying out for, what we weren’t sure about was whether he could play. Boy, did he show us how he could play. He’s a thinker, building plays before the ball arrives, he’s strong, he looks level-headed and he has that recovery pace you need to play in an Arsenal setup that’s clueless about cover. He was really good today and looks the real deal. Get that man a proper coach and watch him fly.

Mavrapanos made his Premier League debut, he’s the first real signing off the Mislintat era. The Greek defender put in a rock-solid performance. He looked comfortable on the ground, he was strong in the air and he gave the team confidence. I really was excited to see him in the team. One for the future, no doubt. Still not quite sure why Sven is eyeing Sokratis this summer, unless he’s like a very expensive Remi Garde to help bed in Mavrapanos?

The bad eggs were still there. David Ospina is the goalkeeping equivalent of Graham Poll, when things get heavy, he makes it all about himself. Flapping for crosses, faking an injury, making unusual decisions. He really is a bang average keeper. An elite name would have kept that Fellaini header out, no doubt. Who do we start away in Madrid? A tough decision. We have two badly out of form keepers.

Xhaka is another horror show of a player. I called it this week amongst the buzz around his paper stats. Context is king, there’s a reason people on the internet don’t work with data. The Swiss doesn’t cut it. He nearly found himself sent off for two dopey challenges (the Sanchez stamp was nasty), he gave the ball away early on, and his slide tackle was atrocious for United’s first goal. Even his assist was a product of him giving the ball away earlier in the move. I’ll take it, but let’s not whack skippy over a bit of good luck. He doesn’t have the pace, concentration or desire to defend to make it with us.

On the positive side of things, I think we can all agree that Mikki is a good player. His goal was great, some of his touches were incredible, and his silky runs were a sight to behold. I really like him, hopefully he’s available for the game this Thursday.

The key conclusion of the Old Trafford day trip was predictability. You knew what was going to happen. The team are mentally weak from top to bottom, the players don’t truly believe in themselves because the club has no philosophy, and the output is nailed on. Moving forward, you might grow to miss that, because the new person we’ll sign will have a different approach. We’ll lose at Old Trafford again, no doubt, but we’ll go there armed with the right thinking and the right players. Arsenal is about to enter a new era built for the big occasion. I for one, cannot wait.

On the managerial front, there’s a German forum that reckons Nagelsmann is off limits this season as he has a tight contract. He was fishing for attention from big clubs as an ego push because he’s basically a child. That thought runs counter to the Guardian article I posted yesterday that says Hoffenheim won’t stand in the way of a super club. Also, be real, this is a tiny German club, we have enough money to make it worth their while if we do go in that direction.

Rapha confirmed the story.

Then this:

Sarri’s Napoli totally bottled Serie A losing 3-0 to Fiorentina, with Simeone’s son bagging a great hattrick.

A manager I was all over earlier in the year – one Ivan spoke to last season – is now facing the sack. Ralph Hassenhutl will not be getting a new deal after failing this year. Amazing how quickly your stock can drop. Leipzig now looking at the RB Salzberg coach, Marco Rose. The same club has an assistant who started life as a blogger… not that I’d ever throw my name in the ring for Arsenal, but Ivan, if you’re reading, let’s fucking do this bruh.

Jokes aside, remember I was all over that Dortmund fitness coach (who had Klopp’s team firing), Oliver Bartlett, who is another guy who made it into the Red Bull mix back in the day. There’s no doubt, if you want a Sporting Director to lift the playing side, that’s Ralph Rangnick. What a beast.

There are reports coming out of Spain that we’re interested in the Shaktar coach, Paulo Fonseca. Balague also thinks we’re interested in Bielsa and his old assistant Berrizo.

Don’t be put off by the people dropping out the race, the club are in a great position to hire someone incredible. Conte, Sérgio Conceição, Tuchel, Tedesco, Favre, Carlo are all still available. I still worry that we’re going to jump for the Italian who turned down the Italian national team because he had a club in mind.

My big worry is Patrick Vieira. My gut feel says if we go curveball, it’s Arteta. My head says we should be going for Jardim.

Let’s see where this managerial game goes… but damn, take a moment to lap this up, the dream is no longer a fantasy. We’re really f*cking doing this… what a moment.

Also, be aware, the club hasn’t made a choice. There are so many names because they want the world to guess. We’re taking our time and it appears there are favourites, but everyone is still under consideration.

See you in the comments, listen to our podcast, I have two old school Le Grover’s on this week, SalParadisenyc and Dan Ahern. Tune in.

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266 Responses to “Arsene fairytale very sad + Managerial search and select gets very exciting”

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  1. Ishola70

    Arsenal need to sell and sell again to get the coffers up to make a mark in the market and bring in the necessary players.

    Players that could be sold tomorrow:
    Cech
    Ospina
    Mustafi
    Koscielny
    Chambers
    Xhaka
    Wilshere

    Take your pick out of those.

    Problem players:
    Bellerin – may improve under new management. Defensively suspect.

    Kolasinac – Average player. Doubts about his defensive ability and engine. On far too big a wage for such a player.

    Ramsey – contract running down. Can self-sufficient Arsenal afford yet another player on mega wages?

  2. Marko

    Kroenke hasn’t put a single penny in to Arsenal from his pocket. In fact he has taken money away from us in the name of bogus advisory services. What a magnanimous owner !

    Come on he’s taken 2-3 million here and there I believe. It’s no big deal

  3. Ishola70

    TR7
    “Kroenke hasn’t put a single penny in to Arsenal from his pocket. In fact he has taken money away from us in the name of bogus advisory services. What a magnanimous owner !”

    And he is under no obligation either to put a single penny into the club.

    The club is self-sufficient and that means no outside investment. Only money that is made within the club. That is the blueprint I’m afraid.

    Kroenke is a leech no doubt.

    But the way Arsenal is run anyone that comes into Kroenke’s position in the future will also be seen as a leech if the club remains self-sufficient.

  4. Marko

    Going to be the most telling barometer of the Kroenke’s ambition and future vision the club we’ve seen. I presume Sven and Raul were given certain parameters they’d be working within as well and I can’t imagine those were minimal budget oriented considering where they came from.

    Exactly. You don’t go from pissing money up the wall at Barcelona to being told you have to hold it in at Arsenal.

  5. Marc

    Ishola70

    Are you deluded – your list of players that could be sold tomorrow includes:

    Wilshere – available on a free in 6 odd weeks
    Kos – injury prone
    Ospina – not very good full stop
    Cech – past it

    So half of your list won’t generate enough money to buy a hotdog in the stadium.

  6. Ishola70

    These guys that were brought in from Dortmund and Barcelona will be on a better wage themselves at Arsenal from the clubs they left.

    That is something to bear in mind when talking about them in relation to their previous clubs.

  7. qna

    All this talk of we don’t need Fekir because we have X,Y, Z is nonsense. The first thing people have to acknowledge is we don’t have anyone. Not until the new manager decides which players he can use to deliver trophies. He is inheriting a squad that is basically what used to be Everton quality when we were a top 4 team.

    Lacazette, Xhaka, Mustafi and Kolsianic all recent buys. All useless. Koscielny, Cech,, Monreal, Cazorla – all starting 11 players that are past their prime and should have already been sold. These players are amongst our better players too. The squad needs rebuilding from top to bottom.

    Fekir would be a perfect addition given not only his quality, but his age. Even if we have to sell to buy him, he is an upgrade on any player we have in our squad including Ozil and Mkhitariyan.

  8. Marc

    Ishola

    That’s not what you said – if you mean the squad needs a clear out then yes but we’ve already seen Sven and Sanllehi start that process with the sale of players in Jan. Why not give the new guy’s a chance to show what they can do?

  9. Guns of SF

    There needs to be a fire sale this summer. I would add Iwobi to any list anyone created that does not have him on it…
    was optimistic about him but he sucks
    Our midfield needs a revamp as does the entire back line and keeper. Expecially Chambers…. Kos too old, Nacho is getting older,,,, Bell is still suspect… all of them need to fight for their places.
    50M? I think that number is bogus. I know we have more than that!

    Im for Enrique if that means he is ruthless in the clear out…. How can one of the richest clubs in world not have this kind of money to win.
    Wenger has messed with our minds too much with his penny pinching ways. Its almost already ingrained in us, that we are broke. that we cannot spend.

    Come on… this is part of the problem. The malaise, the brainwashing

  10. Ishola70

    ok sorry Marc I forgot to put offloaded in addition to the sold part.

    And yes let’s see what they can do.

    Are you suggesting that I think they are incapable? Why do you think that?

  11. TR7

    ‘Come on he’s taken 2-3 million here and there I believe. It’s no big deal’

    That his net investment in Arsenal runs in to negative figures qualify him to be called a penny pincher which Bamford thinks is a bogus narrative. It’s almost as if facts don’t matter to him.

    Stan taking a few millions out of Arsenal might not be a big deal if we look at it in isolation but when you contrast it with what Sheikhs and Roman have been doing over the years and how much money United make commercially, I would say it’s a big deal. Arsenal financials are stressed right now with declining bottom line , ballooning up of operating cost and add to that increasing prices of players in transfer market. I don’t see how can Arsenal manage to provide enough fund for a new manager without Kroneke dipping his hand in to his pocket.

  12. Dissenter

    qna,
    “Fekir would be a perfect addition given not only his quality, but his age. Even if we have to sell to buy him, he is an upgrade on any player we have in our squad including Ozil and Mkhitariyan.”

    We have Ozil and Mykhi on long term-high wage deals already.
    We do not need and we cannot afford Fekir.
    How about just getting the right type of round pegs to fit into round holes. Enough of buying the same type of players and trying to make them play in their position of weakness.

    We do not need Fikir. We have to start addressing the basic squad imbalances.

  13. Marc

    Ishola

    !Are you suggesting that I think they are incapable? Why do you think that?”

    Because your narrative is so bloody negative.

  14. Guns of SF

    TR7

    Kroenke has been placated by Wenger. He never asked him for $$4
    I think the new coach has the balls to lay out his plan with who he wants, and the team then finds a way to fund these transfers- if that means Ivan or Sven or whomever needs to get in his ear, then it needs to happen. Kronke was happy with Wenger not asking for money. I think Kronke needs a reality check and get real. Not going to happen again

    I worry about Arteta or someone with small balls, who does not have the courage to ask… too much a company man and too young and inexperienced to ask for more $$….

  15. Ishola70

    Realistic Marc.

    QNA you still have big problems with Lacazette.

    To brand him as useless and put him in the same bracket as Xhaka and Mustafi is not only well OTT it is plain wrong.

  16. Marko

    Whatever happened to donyell malen ?

    Sold wasn’t he? Went to Portugal or back to Holland. Has Mino Raoila as his agent so that lad will be just fine

  17. Dissenter

    Contrast Kroenke to the FSG group that own Liverpool.
    Kroenke has never had to take tough decisions abput Arsenal, it’s been cruise control into near mediocrity until now. Even when Wenger was ditched, he was quoted as saying sacking Wenger was the most difficult decision he’s taken.

    John Henry at Liverpool forcibly took over from the previous silly out the owners, paid off the 200 million debt, fired a legendary Liverpool character who was manager, made a difficult decision about their stadium and of course gave us the public middle finder when we made the 40,000,001 approach for Suarez.

    Kroenke has never done a damn thing for Arsenal besides just stay on the sidelines watching the club slide into oblivion, all the while our opposition was strengthening,

    He’s never put a penny of his own money into the club besides the one he used to make the buy-out. He doesn’t even have the ethos or know how about sports management. He’s like the land speculator that buys out land and just waits for decades until the land values soars before selling and moving on. He’s a scumbag.

    Bamford, you need to desist from defending him, not even remotely.

  18. qna

    Dissenter. Just because we have Ozil and Mkhitariyan doesn’t mean we can win the league with them. I don’t see it. Anybody that thinks a new manager can come in and actually win the league or CL with this squad is deluded. He needs to start building a team that can and Fekir is better than both of these players.

    The argument appears to be that we can’t sell Ozil because nobody wants him so therefore let’s win the league with him. Er no. Nobody wants him for good reason. Like I said the rebuild needs to be top to bottom. But just because we need a GK and CM more urgently doesn’t change the fact that the players we do have up front aren’t good enough. If Fekir is available for 35m he is a must buy even if we have to sell to buy him. He is 24/25 which is the age that we should be looking at.

    Ishola. Lacazette isn’t good enough. Haven’t you realised that yet. My opinion on him has only been reinforced since he came. He is exactly what I thought he would be. A great finisher, but not quick enough and not intelligent enough. He is not a CF that you can win the league with. He is also not quick enough or powerful enough to be the 2nd striker that you bring on from the bench when your chasing a game.

  19. Guns of SF

    A big name coach will have big time expectations. that means a larger transfer budget… I am not opposed to Ancelloti for this reason even! we get a up and comer, or arteta, someone who is weak,,,, who Ivan can blame for inexperience and then sack him… when the results dont peter out. the ultimate fall guy.

    A big time coach makes it a little harder to con and sack. They have demans for success. Im beginning to think we need a big name with big demands. It forces action on the club

  20. Ishola70

    Lacazette has been a bit of a mixed bag and shown some decent stuff and also not set the house alight either.

    Maybe a manager that shows real faith in him will see him do much better overall.

    But to label him as useless and put him in the same bracket as someone such as Xhaka is not right.

    Xhaka is a destabilising influence on this team. Lacazette is nowhere near that sort of problem or headache.

  21. qna

    Ishola. Lacazette is too slow for this league. He just isn’t good enough for a team with title ambition. A new manager isn’t going to turn water into wine with this guy. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he is sold in the summer. The only thing stopping it will be a complete lack of interest in him for the money we paid for him and that we are paying him. This is always the problem at Arsenal. Hint: if you have a player that you can’t sell then you probably shouldn’t have that player.

  22. Ishola70

    I don’t agree qna.

    The Arsenal offense which we have atm should be seen as a collective rather than individual and as a collective it is a very decent one which Lacazette can play a part in.

    Mhiki as well. I mean I still think Mhiki can be a lightweight at times and he will go missing but he can play his part as well in the collective.

    I don’t think fretting about the offense has the priorities right at all when we see the team overall and what definitely needs improving.

  23. Nw9 gooner

    I can’t understand why some are so hell bent on selling Lacazette- any decent team needs two quality strikers . Our forward line is fine – it’s the midfield and back line that needs urgent regeneration- may be in 2-3 transfer windows

  24. qna

    Ishola. Based on what exactly do you think that our offence is capable of winning the league. I am not talking about qualifying for the CL here. I mean actually winning the league. There is nothing. Spurs, Liverpool, United, City all have much, much superior players than we have. You can bet that by the end of the next transfer window that Chelsea will too unless we also strengthen.

  25. Ishola70

    On the basis that we can’t change the whole eleven qna then there has to be priorities.

    And I don’t think many see winning the league in quick time as on the menu just yet.

    Getting back into CL through league placing should be the first aim.

    And the best most sensible way to achieve this first phase aim would seem to go about improving the back line and midfield.

  26. gambon

    QNA

    “All this talk of we don’t need Fekir because we have X,Y, Z is nonsense. ”

    The problem is, buying a CAM to replace Ozil is way, way way down the list of priorities.

    But Fekir is brilliant, so I agree…….

    ……if we manage to sign a top GK, 2 centre backs, 2 central midfielders, and a top wide player, while also selling Ospina, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Holding, Chambers, Xhaka, Perez, Campbell, Akpom and Iwobi……

    …..Then I agree, lets buy Fekir to replace Ozil.

    All assuming we can get someone to buy Ozil, who is on wages well above his ability level.

  27. qna

    Ishola. I agree that winning the league won’t happen in quick time. So they need to be realistic about that. How long? If they aren’t going to be realisticly able to win the league in the next 3 years then what is the point of Ozil, Mkhitariyan and even Aubamayang. These guys will be completely useless at the top level in 4 seasons time. So what’s the point? If a guy like Fekir at 24 is available, he will still be a good player in 4 years. At 35m he is a bargain. If he costs 60m then I agree he is not where we should be investing.

    But ideally, we should be selling any player with good resale value that won’t be part of the team in 3 or 4 seasons. Because we aren’t winning any titles before then. Anything else is just going right back into the Arsenal Wenger top 4 cycle once again.

  28. gambon

    “And the best most sensible way to achieve this first phase aim would seem to go about improving the back line and midfield.”

    Not quite.

    We still seriously need an attacking player to replace Sanchez.

    Sanchez was one of the top producing attackers in world football, we now have a combo of Welbeck and Iwobi on the left wing contributing about 6 goals per season, vs Sanchez’ 24 goals.

    To get back up the league we will need to work on both attack and defence.

  29. Ishola70

    Where have the stories come that Fekir can be got for 35m?

    I very much doubt it.

    Fekir is seen as a real top player and is a signing that would put the finishing touches on a team.

    Unfortunately Arsenal are not in a position to splash the cash on a single player where there are quite a few positions that need urgent remedy.

    But as Gambon said if we see a fire sale at Arsenal in the summer and Fekir can be squeezed in as well as the bigger priority signings then that would be great. Long shot though.

  30. qna

    Gambon. If Fekir is available for 35m then we have to make him a priority. He is the right age for us considering how long this rebuild post Wenger is going to realistically take.

    I agree that we need to buy in all those areas. But if your thinking that we will buy what we need to win the league next season your dreaming. It will take several years to recover from the damage Wenger has caused. We need to buy quality whenever we can in all the areas that we need. But importantly those players need to be young enough to be around when the rebuild is completed. We shouldn’t be buying players at top of the market prices or players that are getting close to 30. As much as I rate Aubamayang, he is both. Lacazette is an ok but on the old side, but he was overpriced and most importantly, he wasn’t good enough.

    I would like us to get Max Meyer and Leno. We also should be trying to sell both Mustafi and Xhaka and replacing them with really good quality players. That will probably be our transfer budget gone, so to raise 35m for Fekir we will need to sell attacking players. Welbeck should have some value and maybe one or two of our kids that clearly aren’t going to be top grade stars. Iwobi for example.

  31. gambon

    QNA

    Firstly, no way in the world will Fekir be £35m. Martial went for a basic £36m and that was 3 years ago, and Fekir is much more proven. It will be £60m+

    But as i say, unless we sell Ozil or Mykhitaryan, it cant happen.

    Theres no way we will be selling either.

  32. Bamford10

    TR7

    “Kroenke hasn’t put a single penny in to Arsenal from his pocket.”

    We have a self-sustainable model; Kroenke was required to agree to it when he became majority owner. You’re complaint is with decisions the board took before Kroenke even took over. Send them a letter if you want a different kind of model, a different owner.

  33. qna

    Gambon. My post was in response to a posted link that suggests the price will be 35m. I am saying it would be just insane if we let him go to AC Milan at that price without putting our hat in the ring. Especially if the reason was because we already have Ozil. The only reason we are paying Ozil the highest wage in the league is so Wenger and/or Ivan could save face over Sanchez.

    Ishola. Liked Meyer when he was an attacking player. But even more now that he moved back to CM. Reminds me of Cazorla, but also Verratti. But mostly he fits the profile of players that I think we should be signing. He is 22 and has already demonstrated in a high quality league that he could be a world class player. That is exactly the type of player I think we can build our team with in an affordable way.

  34. gambon

    Meyer is too much of the same tippy tappy, small, and lacking physicality.

    I want to see a powerful midfield, like we used to have.

  35. Bamford10

    Agree we should sign Fekir for 35m if that’s possible. That’s too good of a deal and we need a wide creative player.

    Sell Mustafi or Xhaka.

  36. Ishola70

    qna

    Meyer only works at Schalke because of Goretzka.

    The same as Cazorla worked at Arsenal because of having a proper DM beside him in Coquelin.

    You take way the safety net of those players backing them up and they are lost.

    Bit like Dahoud holding the hand of Xhaka when he was at Moechengladbach.

    Arsenal need to bring in the player that backs it all up in midfield. Not the players that benefit from the backer.

  37. Dissenter

    qna
    I really wished we had let Ozil run out his contact to leave for free. That scenario would have just replaced Ozil with Fekir.
    I really think we weren’t brave enough last January and we are paying for it now.

  38. gambon

    Nzonzi is 29.

    Cant keep signing 29 year olds, it will lead to a disaster situation in 3-4 years when they all need replacing.

  39. Champagne charlie

    More interference for Kroenke, shocker.

    Hiding behind the “self sustainable” bollocks now I see, funny how that’s relevant when it suits. Stan didn’t have to pile money into the club, but what stopped him assuming the debt?

    Could’ve easily paid that back and avoided us having to sell a big player year after year. Adebayor, Nasri, RvP etc all sold because we had to balance books first and foremost. Abramovich, Mansour and the rest would’ve taken that burden off the club, and certainly off the playing staff.

  40. Champagne charlie

    Haha sell a CM/CB and buy an attacker. Just what we need!

    Here’s hoping we win games 7-5 next year with that strategy

  41. Pierre

    Gambon
    I get what you’re saying about replacing Sanchez but I do think we have enough goals in the side for next season ….I would expect aubamayang and lacazette to score minimum 20/25 …mhkitarean 15/20 …Ramsey 10/15 ..ozil 10 (if we’re lucky ) ,welbeck same…
    Probably being a bit optimistic but that’s anywhere between at the least 70 and max about 100.

    I agree with you about the midfield ,maybe try and nick wanyama to play with nzonzi and you have a really solid midfield who can both mix it and play a bit.

  42. Kunle Akintayo

    Le-Groove you talk as if y0u know it all, but I bet you don’t even know anything, I won’t be surprised that you get all that you want for Arsenal and at the end of the day we get relegated at the end of 2018/2019 season, you are too negative and apart from Wenger people like you are really part of the problems, transferring your negative energy to everyone and everything around the club, why don’t you go support spurs and leave the real Arsenal supporters alone.

  43. UTarse

    Bamford,
    The fact of the matter is Stan was happy to see his investment triple whilst presiding over the club decaying competitively every year since he took over. HE is the one who kept giving the fraud extensions and now that he has seen the error of his judgment HE is the one that has to put back some of the massive profit he has made by owning Arsenal BACK into Arsenal for Arsenal to regain its place amongst the top football clubs in a Europe.

    So please stop with your narrative about this “model” that exists at the club. The club has fallen on hard times comparatively and he needs to inject something back in.

    If you think we can clear up the wenger mess without any additional funds you’re deluded.

  44. gambon

    Pierre,

    See, I think thats way too optimistic. People tend to assume every player will have their best ever season when doing this.

    Auba is certainly capable of 20 PL goals, if he has an amazing season maybe 27/28.

    Mykhitaryan in top leagues averages about 8 goals.

    Ramsey averages 6 PL goals per season in the last 5 years.

    Ozil averages 5 goals per PL season for AFC.

    Welbeck similar.

    So if we play a 4-2-3-1 with these guys, we are looking at 44 goals.

    Not to mention that Ramsey just being in a midfield 2 unbalances the team massively because he barely does any defensive work at all and is always too far up the pitch.

    So we are already defensively weak, with 40 goals still to find.

    We definitely still need a marquee attacking player.

  45. Pierre

    Gambon
    Lacazette ….20 at least .

    Can see a lot of alternating positions next season with the front 4 aubamayang,lacazette ,mhkitarean and ozil. …..just need a solid midfield base behind to protect the back 4 .

  46. BacaryisGod

    HillWood

    Hate to agree with you but you’re right about Cazorla. He’ll be 34 during the middle of next season. He’s out of contract too. There’s no possible way we give him a new deal. Malaga are about to get relegated from La Liga. I think it would great if he’s able to return there and help them get promoted.

  47. BacaryisGod

    Your CIt’s also tough to take but also a fact that Enrique and Allegri will require a big transfer budget. Unfortunately, Arsene has left the squad in a disjointed shape.

    This is down to 3 things:

    1) Older players that cost a lot or are on big wages. These include Aubameyang, Cech and Koscielny.

    2) Big transfer spend on average players who won’t get the same return if we sell them. These players include Mustafi and Xhaka.

    3) Young talented players who just aren’t ready to be playing frequently. These include Maitland-Niles (although he’s very close now), Nelson, Mavrapanos and Willock. I think they should all be locked down to long term deals but all except Maitland-Niles should go out on loan next season.

  48. Bamford10

    UT

    I agree that Wenger has left us in a bad spot, but how do you KNOW that we can’t dig ourselves out of this spot except by way of the owner writing checks? How do you KNOW that we can’t dig ourselves out by way of the funds available to us via the operating model?

    Further, if anyone has a grasp of this, it’s Gazidis and Sanllehi. If they think we’re doomed without the owner putting some money in, I imagine they’ll tell him this. Right?

  49. Akilan

    Lol Fekir for 35m. Realistically speaking, if we’re trying to sign him after the WC(assuming he futures), the figure will be closer to 100m. If it were up to me, I’d directly swap Ozil for him. Remember we’ll have to negotiate with Aulas. Good luck with that.

  50. BacaryisGod

    On the positve side, we have the following:

    1) Mertesacker, Cazorla leaving will free up some money. Maybe Wilshere and Cech too.

    2) If we keep Ramsey, there’s a lot of goals in this squad between Auba, Laca, Mikki , Ramsey and Ozil.

    3) There should be some decent increase in sponsorship deals, even if our marketing team seems to be far behind some of our rivals.

  51. UTarse

    Bamford,
    Wow ! Really ? So you’re saying you’re not bright enough to see that the playing staff of this football club is ageing, unbalanced, over payed , not very good (vs our peers at least) ?

    If you KNOW the above then you should be able to conclude that the sums just don’t add up ?

    We need to spend a minimum of £200m to just get back amongst the top 4, who are we going to sell to raise 100-150m ?

    As for your mate Gazidis “telling” Stan to cough up, I’d like to think he kinda done that already ? All I’m saying is I hope the silent twat is ready to put something back in, so you jumping to his defence because of this model that was “imposed” on him is a silly and weak argument.

  52. Dissenter

    Bamford
    If you want to see a model of an American owner that knows what he’s doing, look no further than John Henry’s management of Liverpool.
    John Henry had definitely improved the club and didn’t dither when needed.

    Kroenke is clueless, self-sufficiency model or not.
    His passive cruise controls approach has rendered this club a shadow of what it used to be.

  53. HillWood

    Bacary
    Exactly. With all the the rebuilding that is necessary, why would anyone give an extension to Santi Cazorlas contract

  54. Pierre

    Gambon lol
    We will see lol…he’s scored nearly 20 this season and missed a quarter of the season and been hooked off most games with 20/25 to go plus he will be one of our 4 front players. Not a substitute lol

    Anyway you know that lol.

  55. Akilan

    Let’s analyse our CM options. Ramsey isn’t a CM. Jack is a goner. That leaves us with only Elneny and Xhaka as our senior CMs. Elneny is clearly a backup, doesn’t earn much and is clearly staying.

    We need atleast one DM and possibly two if you don’t rate Xhaka(majority of us). Assuming we sell Xhaka for 25-30m, we’ll have to buy two MFs. This is where Meyer is coming. He allows us to get atleast one 50m MF. We can buy Kovacic or Fabinho. Let Meyer and AMN fight for the another CM position with Ramsey and Elneny as covers.

    Even if Meyer and AMN don’t work out, we’ll have a Fabinho or Kovacic at the base and we will need only one MF the next year. Meyer is a German international and will probably go for 30m even after a poor season, he’s still very young.

  56. Akilan

    As for Meyer, his interception numbers are higher than Kante’s and he makes around 2 tackles per game, which would be as many as Ramsey’s, our best tackling MF.

    Of course his numbers are helped by tedesco’s system and Goretzka. What should also be noted is his attacking game has been heavily limited because of the same reason. His take ons went from 3.5 in his debut season to 0.6 in this one. Though he’s a bit lightweight, he covered almost 13km in a game and is fairly tenacious. He’s been asked to keep it simple offensively and has done a decent job for Schalke.

    To sum up he’s a polished, ambidextrous, defensively better Jack with one hell of an engine.

  57. englandsbest

    Football fans (in our case, Arsenal fans) tend to look at their Club historically as a sequence of managers – the Chapman years, the Bertie Mee years, the Graham years, the Wenger years.

    But a closer look reveals that a far more significant factor is the ownership. They are the true dynasties.

    No surprise in this: a good owner hires an efficient manager who gets the desired results. With an elite Club (like Arsenal) I believe that means genuinely competing for titles and awards, and to do this consistently, Otherwise the Club ceases to be elite.

    Stan Kroenke says that any owner of a sports Club who puts such a high value on winning competitions should not be the owner. His point I take be that a sports club is a business like any other.

    Well, I have news for him. He is wrong. Arsenal is not a business like any other, it is much more.

    The owners used to be fans, they shared our emotions, and like ourselves, their passion was to watch a winning team. They viewed themselves as custodians. No longer, sadly.

  58. salpardisenyc

    Allegri would be such a sea change, hard to envision the overhaul and outlay it would take to get this side into his stout 352 formation or double pivoting in 4231 with whose on hand.

    Attempting to gauge whose coming in or going out with all hinging on who new manager is and what system he’s bringing along is like swinging sticks at Pinatas on the Mezcal.

  59. LINP

    I am afraid that this so called self-sufficiency model can’t sustain itself. Look at those years while we were still in top four, our team is getting weaker every year. Now that we are out of the Championship league, Our team will be less attractive to sponsorship deals. TV money will also reduced. The share price will drop. The owner can’t afford to let the team slipping even further.
    I am sure that the owner and his advisers will do something to correct this situation.

  60. mysticleaves

    Lol Bamford and his Kroenke interference team on overdrive. It will shock you to know that since Kroenke took over, he hasn’t tasked Wenger to win the EPL not once. He’s a clueless fxker who thinks top 4 is enough season after season. It’s not even the money part, it’s the part he’s played in enabling Wenger. SINCE 2013 (post austerity years) WENGER HASNT BEEN TASKED WITH WINNING THE LEAGUE.

  61. mysticleaves

    Seems Arsenal has offered Wilshere an improved deal.

    The Mirror says the proposal would see the England international paid “in excess of £100,000 a week,” and he is understood to prefer the option of staying to work under whoever the next boss turns out to be.
    Championship winners Wolves have emerged as contenders to sign Wilshere as they prepare for life back in the Premier League, while there is also reported interest from Everton, Juventus and AC Milan.
    But the Mirror says Arsenal “have not given up hope” and “know it would be a hugely unpopular move to let him go for free.”

    Fxck!!! I thought Wenger was the clueless one? Unpopular with who exactly? Everyone wants him gone

  62. Pierre

    Mysticleaves
    Do they …don’t you mean the “fans” who want him gone are the same “fans” who want all the other players who came through the youth system gone .

    Iwobi , bellerin, Wilshere and soon it will be Nelson, Maitland niles, willock, nketiah.

    The Wilshere we saw earlier in the season up until the Chelsea league cup semi was playing well but his form has taken a downturn in recent weeks , that doesn’t make him a bad player and if he signed a pay as you play contract with an option to sell him if it doesn’t work out then that would be better business than letting him go on a free .

    Obviously your opinion of Wilshere is different to massive clubs like juventus and AC Milan ….maybe it’s you that’s clueless.(just a thought).

  63. TonyD

    I know the usual muppet suspects here will disagree, but the ceremony and pomp the club is planning for Wenger is nauseating.

    There is no reason to go into details; we all know what a shit show the club is and a club that is unrecognizable as an elite force.

    What’s more upsetting is that Wenger would have continued for as long as he could get contracts. He only cares about himself and his ego.

    They should have just told Wenger to leave when they announced he was being succeeded and left Bouldy to continue. After all Wenger made a pig’s ear of the first EL leg where Bould may have been better off at drilling the defense and team selection.

    The last game can’t come quick enough for me and see the back of the most successful arsehole Arsenal has ever employed.

    Begone Wenger and good riddance. I could care less what the Wenger apologists think or say.

  64. Dream10

    Wilshere getting a larger contract offer could well mean that we won’t sign a CM in the summer. Xhaka & Ramsey as the starters. AMN, Elneny & the Wilsh sharing the minutes when Aaron is injured/rested.
    Arsenal love to address a position by committee.

    Interesting how Jack was presented with higher offer once AW announced that he was leaving. This smells of the club keeping him because it’s cheaper to pay him an extra 20k or 30k per week instead for forking out 30m & similar wages to a new player

  65. TonyD

    There is far better than Wilshire out there. No reason to keep him and pay silly money for his salary for a player you know will need rests and eventually be on the treatment table again.

    I would trust Sven to find a younger and more talented, robust player with something to prove.

  66. Dream10

    Tony D

    The club is generally cautious & cheap.
    I know many are singing the praises of Allegri. He’s a fine coach, but I believe we need a manager of who can work with younger players. Jardim/Tuchel will suit us better for the next two or three years.

  67. Pierre

    To compete for or win the league we need to spend some serious money unless the new manager can do a George Graham and organise the team defensively especially through the middle.
    Maybe the fact that Wenger has always played with both full backs high up the pitch, leaving the central defenders exposed had not helped matters though that doesn’t excuse Mustafi’s propensity for diving in and committing himself instead of staying on his feet.
    Will be interesting to see if Holding and the Greek lad get a run or if Kolasinac and Bellerin can be solid at the back as they will probably be more defensively minded.

    I do believe the Wilshere contract offer is just newspaper talk… There is no way the club will give him a contact now without the approval of the new manager.

    I believe we can get a result on Thursday. We must treat it as a one off game like a final.
    Atletico may be cautious as they know a 0-0 draw will be enough so it could be a cagey affair with no team willing to commit too many players forward for the first hour or so, as long as Arsenal stay in the game we are always capable of nicking a goal.

  68. TR7

    Until we hire our next manager, I doubt we will offer anyone new deals or sign any players in the market. Wilshere, Fekir rumors are just that, rumors. I don’t expect Wilshere to stay at Arsenal now that Wenger is leaving.

  69. Dream10

    Pierre

    We’re in the era of attacking football in the PL. Having a watertight defensive setup isn’t enough anymore. Our away goalscoring record is poor & anytime we play a top side 6 side away in the legaue/Europe, we don’t score more than one goal.

  70. Wallace

    gambon

    “Sanchez was one of the top producing attackers in world football, we now have a combo of Welbeck and Iwobi on the left wing contributing about 6 goals per season, vs Sanchez’ 24 goals.”

    bit of an exaggeration, no? Welbeck & Iwobi will start on the left IF Aubameyang is ineligible for the game, and IF Mkhitaryan is injured. otherwise they’re 3rd & 4th choice there.

  71. TitsMcGee

    Arsene Wenger has taken us from a team that were so elite, it refused to lose a game in an entire league campaign, to a club in which the fan base were actually pretty pleased they didn’t concede 8. ”

    This mentality more than anything else is the reason Wenger had to go.

    He’s been lowering the bar to excuse his shortcomings for years and years.

    4th place is a trophy.(gone now)
    At least we finished ahead of spurs(gone now).
    At least we are in the UCL every season(gone now).

    It’s really a study on how naive people can be that they followed an individual off a cliff like lemmings.

  72. Wallace

    re Jack – would be very sad to see him go as he’s easily the most talented player we’ve produced in my time as a fan. that said, if his departure means more minutes in CM for AM-N I’d be good with that.

  73. TR7

    Dream

    Lacazzete, PEA, Mikhi, Ozil,Welbeck – I think we are well covered in attacking areas. Iwobi is the one who I am not convinced about at all. If we replace him with a quality winger, we are sorted there. That we struggle to score goals away from home is down to our poor midfield.

  74. TitsMcGee

    I wanted him to go out with a bang, but he’s going out in utterly humiliating fashion.”

    Nobody but himself to blame. Greed is an amazing thing. He greedily signed an extension with a raise after finishing 5th 18 points back of Chelsea with claims of “rejuvenation”.

    Any but the most idiotic saw right through that. His “rejuvenated” self has us 36 points back of the leaders(twice the gap of the previous season).

    He knew he had no answers but he cashed in on Arsenal anyway.

    Fork him!

  75. TitsMcGee

    Lacazzete, PEA, Mikhi, Ozil,Welbeck – I think we are well covered in attacking areas. Iwobi is the one who I am not convinced about at all.”

    Welbeck?

  76. TR7

    Tits

    Yes, Welbeck is a very poor goalscorer but he can dribble, physically rubble defenders and has good movement. I know not many rate him but if he is used smartly he can be very handy.

    P. S : Who would be your pick for the new manager?

  77. TitsMcGee

    P. S : Who would be your pick for the new manager?”

    Personally I like Alegri, Jardim or Simeone.

    Tuchel and Enrique as second tier.

    Nagelsmann, Arteta and Veira aren’t on my radar and I think would be mistakes at this stage. Maybe for the future though.

  78. Dream10

    TR7

    We’re still short a first XI winger w/ dribbling, pace & a final ball along with a wide forward with a good shot volume (Son, Salah type) in our squad. You add the likes of Nketiah & Nelson who can get some cup minutes, then we’re finally stacked. I want us to be an outstanding offensive team first. We should aim to be a side who can go to any ground in the country & be able to freely create chances. AW has lost his attacking touch & we don’t have enough pace plus penetration in our squad. I think many of our fans are underestimating our offensive shortcomings.

    It’s vital that we restore that if we want to be a top side again

  79. Wallace

    Dream10

    “I think many of our fans are underestimating our offensive shortcomings.”

    we have a lot of offensive talent. Aubameyang’s inability to play EL combined with Wenger resting Ozil etc in the league means we haven’t really seen our true offensive potential. agree a dynamic winger would be ideal, but think Lacazette & Auba might be given time to see if they can play together first.

  80. gambon

    “bit of an exaggeration, no? Welbeck & Iwobi will start on the left IF Aubameyang is ineligible for the game, and IF Mkhitaryan is injured. otherwise they’re 3rd & 4th choice there.”

    So we’ve been desperate for a top CF for years, and we sign one then put him on the wing? Makes sense.

    Mykhitaryan will mainly play wide right, so irrelevant here.

    A front 4 consisting of our current options wont score enough goals, simple as that.

    We need another goal scoring option, and a very good one at that.

  81. Dream10

    TR7

    Mancini got the job? Might mean that Ancelotti is sure of landing a club job, seeing as he the job was his, if he wanted it.

  82. gambon

    Totally agree re Xhaka.

    If we’re playing a 2 man midfield he has to go, any top manager would recognise his lack of athleticism.

    If we play 4-3-3 Ozil has to go.

    If we play 4-3-1-2 he may work, and lazy Ozil would fit that system, but again I think hes just a substandard player.

    I would much rather have a tactical DM that tackles and fills in tactically when FBs go forward. For some reason Wenger has never cared about this and it costs us so many goals. Fabinho would be a monster in this role.

    Also a high rate passer next to him that can do what Cazorla has done a la Alcantara, Pjanic, Veratti. No idea who could do this.

    What I do know is I dont want to see half measures. I want to see a new CB and CM partnership next season. No keeping Koscielny, Xhaka or Ramsey around for sentimental reasons.

  83. TR7

    Dream

    There will be a managerial merry go round in the summer. Arsenal, Chelsea, Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayern and PSG might/will change managers. Carlo is very likely to land one of those jobs should there be any opportunity. He is keeping himself in the mix I reckon.

  84. Wallace

    i would like to see us play a few games lined up –

    CM – CM
    Ozil – Mkhi – Auba
    Lacazette

    with Auba in the old Henry position. not saying it’ll definitely work, but would like to see it.

  85. Dream10

    Wallace

    We’ll need either two ball winners, two passers or combo of both for CM spots to support that front four. Rules out Ramsey, Elneny, Wilshere.

  86. Biggles

    If Wilshere isn’t going to cost too much, and as long as there are break clauses if he keeps getting injured, I’d keep him. He’s never lived up to his potential etc, but let’s be honest, the money in football now is obscene. Andre Gray and Kevin Wimmer were £18m players. One is a striker who doesn’t score goals and the other is a defender who doesn’t stop goals. That means Wilshere in the open market would probably be £25m or more. I don’t think he’s good enough for my dream starting XI, but he’s not the weakest link in the team by a long shot.

    As for defence, I’d be getting rid of Mustafi and trying to bring in Evans if I could get him for £3m. Band-aid solution, but if it gives us a year to bed in Mavropanos/Chambers/Holding and if just one of those two is good enough to be a first team player, then great.

    Aside from Xhaka, there’s not many people in the team that I would immediately bin. Simply because it’s hard to tell the true level of a lot of them from having played under Wenger for so long. Maybe Bellerin could be taught how to defend. Maybe Ramsey could learn positional discipline. Maybe Welbeck could be taught how to shoot at the goal as opposed to his usual falling scuff approach.

    I don’t mean we shouldn’t sign anybody. Just it’s really hard to figure out who is worth keeping.

  87. Pierre

    Mkhitarayan, özil, Aubameyang and lacazette will definitely score enough goals,just need protection behind them.

  88. shaun ellis

    Xhaka,Mustafi,kos,chech,eleny,ospina,wilshire and iwobi all need to go immediately as they are just not good enough or too old to change their ways.Kos =critical game changing mistakes as part of his game now and has to go ,same for Cech and as somebody else mentioned a top goal keeper would have saved the fellani header and I have seen to many goals where Ospina has been wanting and I say the exact same thing………..Xhaka and Mustafi are just joke business and fucking redicluess to be honest .I would chuck chambers in as well as we need to generate some cash and him and holding are one paced central defenders and we don’t need two of them and just think chambers will get more cash for from Everton or wolves or someone like that .That would realistically generate 55-60 mil on a bad day and 60-65 on a good day .eleny can go although you won’t get much for him 5-7 max as he is a nothing safe pass mid and if you are going to give Niles a chance then he is faster more athletic and looks to be more dangerous already .If we are sensible we drop this Fekir nonsense as we need quality defence more than anything but if we are going to add to the attack then we need Malcom or a real winger with speed or penetration, width is so much more needed with the current personnel. If Everton, wolves or Brighton would offer 15-20 for Welbeck I would take that also, nobody teaching him how to finish now. So that is like ten players from the first team squad and in all honesty I would prefer a Thanos solution and just click my fingers and they are all gone ……………Wenger included of course. That ten spaces in the first team squad for a new manager to fill with what he thinks is required, well we can all dream and they are just opinions and thoughts but it is nice to think Arsenal again

  89. LINP

    I really think that Guardiola could transform Welbeck to be another good winger. He has the correct physical attribute. That said, we really need the next coaching stuff to be able to improve our players.

  90. Emiratesstroller

    It is interesting how the contract situation at Arsenal has changed materially since the start of this season.

    At that time I expressed concern about how many contracts of players were due to expire in June 2018 or 2019. It applied to more than half of the squad.

    That has changed clearly with departures, new arrivals and contract renewals.

    Mertesacker and Cazorla who are both in their 30s will come off the payroll this summer. Mertesacker has announced retirement and I would be very
    surprised if Cazorla with ongoing injuries gets an extension.

    Wilshere is now the only other player on books whose contract expires this
    summer, but suggestions are that he wants to renew.

    There are five players on the books whose contracts expire in 2019. These are
    Cech, Ospina,Monreal, Ramsey and Welbeck.

    The only real concern for me is Ramsey, because he does have a considerable transfer value. No-one wants to see him move into the final year without contract resolution. Otherwise we are seeing a repeat of Ozil and Sanchez situation where the club has gun at its head.

    Welbeck has also a modest transfer value, but we are not short in the striker
    department. It will be interesting to see whether he might be offloaded this summer.

    The other three players are now in their 30s. Monreal is still playing well. Frankly I would not lose sleep if Arsenal do not renew contracts of Cech and
    Ospina.