Arsene delivers style on and off the pitch in touching farewell

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What a party that was! I mean, I wasn’t quite there, but in spirit, we all were. Fans from around the world tuned in to bid Arsene Wenger farewell, and to say #MerciArsene.

The man came, he saw, he conquered… he went a bit off the rails for 8 odd years, but overall, I think in time we’ll forgive the banter years, and maybe even embrace them.

Yesterday’s beasting of Burnley was fitting. An exuberant show of football to see out 22 years. 5 excellent goals, beautiful clear skies, a packed house at The Emirates. It was lump-in-your throat time after the game as Wenger did his final lap of honour. What a career that man has had. What an impact he’s had on the clubs brand of football, he took us from boring, boring, Arsenal, to the must-see club in world football. His ability to keep the team afloat during the skint years will be looked back on as legendary. He’ll always have the honour of putting the first three trophies in the new grounds trophy cabinet.

He’s been a monumental part of our history. No doubt about that.

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As for the football, well, it was all great fun. It was the testimonial match we’d been hoping for. Some interesting curiosities came out of the game, but before we get into the details, what about Mesut fucking Ozil? He missed training the day before, fretting over a back injury… sure mate, we’ve all been there ducking rugby class in sub-zero temperatures back in the day. You have to get it into your heads people, Mesut doesn’t give a fuck about Arsenal. The rest of the boys all paid their respects, Mesut wimped out. In fact, he’s so prolific at not turning up for games he doesn’t fancy, there’s a song doing the rounds.

The Oziltoligists excused the episode as a non-issue because the game didn’t mean anything. I have to back people up on that, firstly, yes the game did mean something, it was the difference between 7th and 6th, and it was Wenger’s farewell party. Finally, and most importantly, he’s our most handsomely paid player. He has a responsibility to lead by example. The man is a liability, I just can’t believe we gave him that much money to stay on. No way he’s going to get sold this summer. Hopefully, the next manager can whip him into shape. Going missing in tough away games cannot be this thing we deal with, having cheeky breaks away so regularly cannot continue to happen, going missing in big games needs to be a thing of the past.

Those that did show up put on a great performance. Iwobi combined in a lovely one-two with Lacazette, dinking a chip into his path, the Frenchman pirouetted into a shot he dragged across goal, with Auba foxing from a yard out.

Our second goal took 30minutes to arrive. Arsenal fans spent most of that time cooing over Mavrapanos, the Greek very much looking the part, sparking excitement that Diamon Eye is going to be a big deal. Strong in the air, fast on the ground, with a good range of passing. I know we always lose our minds over young players, but he looks a very good prospect.

At the death of the first half, Iwobi started the move for our second goal, he fed a teasing ball into Hector Bellerin on the right, the Spaniard clipped a ball to Lacazette at the front post, allowing him the chance to finish first time on the volley. A great goal, taken perfectly in his stride.

The third goal came from a powerful Jack Wilshere run from deep midfield, his acceleration allowed him to run at a retreating Burnley defence, he switched his pass out to the right, Kolasinac picked up the ball and launched it across goal past the hapless Nick Pope.

The game really did take a turn for the bizarre when Auba turned provider from the right, he cut a ball back to Iwobi in the box, the target shy Nigerian took one touch, made some space and launched his shot into the top corner. Majestical guys, that’s the word I’m making up to describe that goal.

The final goal came from some good work from Ramsey in midfield, Bellerin was found wide right, he found Auba with a teasing cross 8 yards out, with the man from Gabon doing what he does best, finding the net.

There was still plenty of fun to be had when he goals dried up. Wenger waited until the 71st minute to make his subs as usual. He brought on Per Mertesacker, a man we’ve all grown to love over the years. It was fun watching the players make sure he landed plenty of touches. Maybe a little uncomfortable for the German if truth be told, but it was all part of the carnival atmosphere.

The final whistle blew almost exactly on 70minutes, Wenger shook some hands readying himself for his final lap and his speech.

He definitely took in the moment, soaking up the applause and hearing his name being sung. A really beautiful thing to watch. Any upset you may have had over the years melted into nothing but respect.

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‘Thank you for having me so long, I know that is not easy. But above all else, I’m like you, I am an Arsenal fan’

‘This is more than just watching football, it’s a way of life. It’s caring about the beautiful game, about the values we cherish, and as well, that something that goes for all our bodies in every cell of our bodies. We care, we worry, we are desperate, but when you come here, the theatre of dreams we realise what it means.’

‘I would like as well to thank everyone at the club who makes it so special, I would invite you, really push, support these players and the staff who remains behind me, these group of players has a special quality. Not only on the pitch, but off the pitch. Please, as you follow this team, support them next season because they deserve it.’

“I would like to finish in one simple sentence: I will miss you. Thank you all for having such an important part of my life, thank you all, well done, bye bye.”

God damn it Arsene, you got me all teary-eyed over here… I’LL MISS YOU TOO! x

Short and sweet, a man of class until the end.

Now we have to move forward. The Wenger chapter has closed. Our job as fans is to back the next manager with the same force we backed Wenger. It’ll be a rocky season next year, the main difference is it’ll all be in the name of progress.

You saw today that we have a lot of great talent to work with. Aaron Ramsey, Auba, Lacazette, Mavrapanos, Bellerin, Iwobi and even the young kids coming through are going to be given a new lease of life. We’ll hire someone who can coach, instil discipline, come armed with an exciting football philosophy, hopefully, one that involves some form of pressing. Ideally, we’ll bring in a manager who can unite the fanbase, the backroom team and the players.

This summer is going to be fucking crazy. Not only are you losing Wenger, we’ll likely see the back of a number of coaches and people who work behind the scenes. It’s hard to see futures for Boro, Peyton, Colbert, Priestly and a few of the others. Not only do we need to hire a brilliant mind to spearhead the next move, we need to gel that person with some of Europe’s elite coaching staff. It’ll be fun, but new ideas take time to bed in. Pep did fuck all in his first year at City, same can be said of Klopp. It’s all about laying foundations and building for the next three seasons.

I’m excited. If we’re shooting for a young buck like the LA Rams did, let’s hope the club does its due diligence. If we’re talking to one of the tier one managers, let’s hope they’re able to lead the club with care and attention. Whoever we hire, be sure of this, it’ll be a massive improvement and very much needed, and you’ll be jumping out of bed to get to the Arsenal on Saturday mornings.

That’s what football is all about. Shared joy. I can’t wait to write about it, and I’m excited to go on the ride with you all.

On that night, I shall tap out.

Thank you Arsene, you’re one of a kind, and we’ll miss you too. x

Have a great day everyone and stop crying at your desk.

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420 Responses to “Arsene delivers style on and off the pitch in touching farewell”

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  1. tee

    @Gambon, you have said it all. the midfield is shite. it’s injustice to single out Xhaka as the main reason

  2. Rambo Ramsey

    Xhaka’s ability in possession is so overrated as well. Compare him to someone like Cazorla or Fabregas and its night and day, really. The guy can’t deal pressure, that’s why he is played as the deepest mid so that he gets plenty time and space to find his passes.

    Just a complete bag of ‘meh’

  3. gambon

    I didnt single out Xhaka.

    However if we want to win the PL Xhaka is not good enough. The question is would he be good enough in a different role (Cazorla role) or with coaching?

    Im not so sure he is capable of playing alongside a DM

    I think he is maybe just a very average DM that passes well. If thats the case he has to go.

    The next manager wont be basing decisions on sentiment, and who gives the best blowjobs, like Arsene did.

  4. Marko

    I just don’t know how one could make a case for selling Bellerin for example because he’s become a liability in an important position or Mustafi because he’s a liability in an important position and then not make a case for Xhake who’s been a liability in an important position for two years now. It’s alright to admit that a signing hasn’t worked out once in a while admit defeat and move on. Club needs to be more ruthless with its players

  5. gambon

    ALso, I would like to think the new manager will want to bring power, pace, and physicality into the team.

    As a bare minimum we need 2 CMs and 2 CBs with these qualities.

    If that happens it would make sense to sell our players who are most lacking in these qualities, which would mean Xhaka, Wilshere, Mustafi & Chambers.

    If we can sign a marquee attacking player and sell Ozil then we’re in business.

  6. tee

    @ishola, you are the who became defensive. stop turning the table. You said he should be the first priority, CC said gk, df should be the first and you and ramsey asked if xhaka is the one to take us to the next level and I replied that non of our current midfielders is. out of the midfielders on ground, Xhaka has played more matches than the rest. meaning he isn’t injury prone. I see No reason why you will want to sell a ever match fit player instead of the injury prone ones.

  7. China

    Lol at needing to ‘respect’ wenger.

    The guy didn’t respect the fans. He lied to the fans. Blamed the fans for his shortcomings. Cheated on his wife.

    I don’t follow how achieving something in another era means all of the above must be brushed under the carpet for eternity.

    He could slap half of you lot around the face with a wet fish and you’d still be there talking about respecting the great man

    Grow a pair. Jesus

  8. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘If we can sign a marquee attacking player and sell Ozil then we’re in business.’

    That went out the window with the 350k salary deal. If the club knew Wenger was leaving at season end, why did they sign off on that deal in January?

    Madness.

  9. tee

    @Gambon, I’m not referring to you. I support your view. all im saying is non of our midfielders is the next level. should we sell all of them at a go? no, but we can add more fire power to it while getting rid of the injury prone ones.

  10. Ishola70

    tee

    get over it man.

    I still stand by my original comment.

    I see Xhaka as the weakest link in this Arsenal team and thus think he should be the first shown the door. And I am not alone in this thought.

    That you disagree with that thought along with others doesn’t make it a completely incorrect thought. You merely disagree with it.

    That Wenger has continuously played Xhaka is neither here nor there. And Arsenal have had some of their worst overall form for years and years in tandem with the almost ever present figure of Xhaka in the side. Coincidence?

  11. gambon

    “That went out the window with the 350k salary deal. If the club knew Wenger was leaving at season end, why did they sign off on that deal in January?”

    I think both Wenger and the club desperately needed to save face after the Sanchez debacle. They have basically thrown money down the drain to avoid looking like the most badly run club in world football.

    Im just hoping a new manager comes in and tells Ozil he either leaves or he will be playing with the U10s for the next 3 years.

    He will soon find another club.

  12. tee

    ozil ain’t going nowhere cos he is in future plan of the new guys (sanhelli and the other guy) brought in by gazidis which is why he was given a new contract.

  13. TR7

    Xhaka and Mustafi are the worst two players in our team. Xhaka can’t play the role of a circulator either, one has to be good with the ball at his feet to play that role. Let’s not even talk about Xhaka the defensive midfielder.

  14. Steveyg87

    Wenger described both Allegri and Enrique as competent to take over, not sure if we should read n to this or not, Jack also looks sure to sign on, good business IMO

  15. Steveyg87

    Wenger also played down Ozil’s massive contract by saying he was free…

    Who’s fault is this Mr Wenger?

  16. tee

    @Gambon, that’s why we need someone like allegri who can stand is ground. he won’t just come in and say it’s either you leave or play with the U10s. it’s never done like that. he has a vision and will keep players who fit into it. who knows ozil May up his game if challenged by an proper coach otherwise the door will be wild open.

  17. gambon

    Has their ever been a physically less impressive group of midfielders than Xhaka, Elneny, Cazorla, Wilshere & Ramsey.

    I mean I know technique is important, but you cant just pretend physicality isnt.

    None of them have any pace, only one of them can dribble past opponents, a few of them are midgets, none of them have any power at all.

    When you look at our centre backs as well, you see just how poor our squad building has been in recent years.

    Our CBs are incredibly short, completely lack strength, mostly lack pace.

  18. Dissenter

    Ishola
    Replacing Xhaka is not our number one priority
    It’s not even in the first five priorities
    There are bigger problems in the team.

  19. Emiratesstroller

    The bottom line is that our goalkeepers and defensive cover have been awful this season conceding 48 goals in EPL. Also you need to look at how we have lost away games.

    Most of the mistakes we have made this season have originated from set pieces, corners and counterattack.

    That is not down to individual players, but the tactical game or lack of it under
    Wenger. Too many players are out of position.

    I agree with Gambon that our midfield looks unbalanced. That has been a problem in absence of Cazorla. Cazorla’s positional sense made a huge difference to overall performance and none of current players comes close to solving that problem.

  20. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    Do you want to see Xhaka as an ever present in the Arsenal side like he has been for the last two seasons?

    Not sensing danger. Ambling back. Putting in awkward tackles. Being outpaced.

    Crazy really to think that people are ok with it all.

  21. Ishola70

    The answer is obviously yes Dissenter because Arsenal are not going to make six changes to the first XI. That really is FIFA play station style,

    Good luck with it Dissenter.

  22. Guns of Brixton

    One more thing ppl miss.

    I think we need a RB.

    Bellerin looks to comfortable atm. No one to really compete with to keep.him on his toes.

    I mean who is our 2nd RB? Mustafi?

  23. Dissenter

    gambon
    “Im just hoping a new manager comes in and tells Ozil he either leaves or he will be playing with the U10s for the next 3 years.He will soon find another club”

    Nope, that boat sailed away a long time ago like Rambo stated?
    We could hav used securing a place in the German WC squad as a leverage for Ozil to move else where for a meager transfer fee. He could havbed he will waste away in the U-23s unto he found a club willing to pay a transfer fee.
    Instead, Wenger convinced the board that he will sign an extension.

    The Ozil deal is by far worse that the United deal for Sanchez. Sanchez wouldn’t try the things Ozil does here with Mourhino and United can afford his wages.

  24. Rambo Ramsey

    Why is there talk of a priority list? The Wenger time is over, wake up people, we no longer need to worry about the whole outdated ‘2-3 changes to team max’ rules.

    New managers almost always bring with them more changes.

  25. tee

    stop saying Xhaka is the weakest link in the team when there is nothing like a link in our midfield. opponents walked past it as if there are no players in there. all our midfielders are not performing. You can count a number of time when we are under opponent counter attack only to see our midfielders jogging back.

  26. Ishola70

    Rambo Ramsey
    “Why is there talk of a priority list? The Wenger time is over, wake up people, we no longer need to worry about the whole outdated ‘2-3 changes to team max’ rules.New managers almost always bring with them more changes.”

    Let’s hope you are right and the obvious weak players in the team are swept away pronto.

    Too many with the lazy assumption that get rid of Wenger means everything will be alright. No. Other surgery needs to be done as well and that includes the removal of certain individual players.

  27. Dissenter

    Ishola
    Putting aside your disdain for Xhaka, which is well known around these parts,
    Do you really think replacing Xhaka is more important that replacing Cech as our starting GK
    Pause before you answer because you’re getting a second stab at it.
    We don’t have a competent senior central defender , we need two (Kosh is finished and Mustafi isn’t good enough).
    We do not have a starting or back-up GK (we need two GKs)
    We need a central midfielder who can play defensive mid and central defense like Eric Dier. He doesn’t have to be a big name, Dier only cost Souds £4 million. That’s the person that will push Xhaka for a starting place.

    Those are the top five priorities for me.

  28. Ishola70

    Unfortunately tee Xhaka is in a position in the team and role where he is looked at to show leadership in certain disciplines and actions. He shows none on anything like a regular basis. He is overall failing at Arsenal.

  29. tee

    I think sanhelli and the other guy will ease the new guy in. they already know who to flog out coupled with any other that can’t fit into his game plan.

  30. Marko

    It’s not even in the first five priorities

    Midfield is a priority and Xhaka is a midfielder. Unless some people think that we’re just one midfield signing away from sorting out the midfield. I’m sorry but we’re not we need two new starting midfielders and two new starting CB’s.

    Also Rambo is right with Wenger gone now gone are also the days of two-three maximum signings. Gone are the days of waiting until the final month of the window is upon us before we act in the transfer window.

  31. Paulinho

    Kind of goes without saying Xhaka needs to be booted out of the door. I said that the moment we signed him – before he even played a game for us – and surprise, surprise, my opinion hasn’t changed.

    He has certain plus points – good robustness, seems enthusiastic, strong mentally to an extent, age – but unfortunately the most important element of being part of side is that wants to challenge at the top is being a top footballer, and as much he tries, and as much he shows passion when we score, he simply is not good enough, and it’s the most important part of the pitch.

    A manager worth his salt will bin him ASAP.

  32. Marko

    Also don’t think we’d struggle to get rid of Ozil if we really wanted to. It’s just because of his wages we’d struggle to get something big like 60-70 million for him. 40 million something like that should be realistic

  33. Dissenter

    A new manager won’t have the eternal gratitude of the board. He won’t have 50% of the fanbase jerking off to his photographs every morning.
    A new manager won’t have allegiances to ANY player.
    The new manager won’t be afraid to try something new.

    I’m pretty sure Ozil may be very well driven out of the club by a proper manager and Ramsey won’t have the latitude he gets with Wenger.

    There’s going to be a lot of upheaval coming up. We have a very disjonted squad of players being played away from their best positions so that certain players can get to start more.

    If a new manager decide to make tweaking changes then he won’t last long.

    We need to sort out the players in their last year if their contracts by June 30th. We can’t afford to lose out on their transfer fees, however mall they may be; Ramsey and Welbeck – sign an extension or f**k off.

  34. Dissenter

    If we are selling Xhaka then surely this is the summer to do that.
    He still has two years on his contract.
    If he has a decent WC, then we have to maximize the transfer potential quickly.
    We need decisiveness this summer; lots of contracts need to be decided before the player gets all the power.

  35. Ishola70

    I’ve already said Dissenter that overall Cech is less of a handicap to this team than Xhaka is.

    No need for prompting second chances on that opinion.

    I just don’t think people really get it just how much of a handicap Xhaka is to this team on too much of a regular basis.

    Fair enough with the overall midfielder call. As long as it means no Xhaka in the first XI then that’s ok.

    Yes CBs are a concern but I think Arsenal have some decent young players for that position the Greek and yes Holding as well. A more experienced CB needs to come in but that can be done on selling Mustafi. The new more experienced CB signing could play alongside the Greek kid. If you are good enough you are old enough. What has Mustafi’s experence at CB done for Arsenal overall as a team? Not much eh.

  36. Marko

    I expect sweeping changes not tweaks here and there and none of this minimum two to three shite. This is after all a squad that’s finished 5th and 6th place and unless the new manager wants to be unsuccessful in his tenure he’ll be making drastic changes

  37. Dissenter

    Ishola
    Let’s agree to disagree.
    I’m not a Xhaka fan either.
    However Cech has been really really average. I wouldn’t even put Cech in the top 10 goal keepers in the league this year.
    He cost us at least 7-10 points all season. He’s been that bad.

  38. tee

    @ishola, I understand you but what I’m saying is what applies to Xhaka applies to the rest. do you think any other manager like pep will have Ramsey just bombing forward to score a goal while neglecting his defensive duty? Xhaka has his flaws but I think it will be harsh to completely single out Xhaka for other’s fault. when you put into consideration the distance between Xhaka and Ramsey when we are under attack then you will understand my perspective.

    overall, I believe the next few months will open our eyes to the real deal. the incoming manager has a lot to do. I pray it’s someone who knows his onion

  39. alexanderhenry

    I think we’re stuck with ozil for the next couple of seasons.
    No other club will pay him £350,000 a week.

    There’s always a chance the new manager will get more out of him though.

  40. Dissenter

    I expect Allegri to turn Naitland Miles to a beast in central midfield.
    Wait until he meets the lad’s mother.

  41. Bamford10

    The question about how to rebuild our central midfield is a tricky one because all of the current pieces are inadequate (or at least not totally adequate) in one way or another.

    I personally would argue that Ramsey is the best footballer of the bunch, but I also see his limitations (though I also think these are overstated at times).

    However, one question that has to be sorted before discussing whom to sell and whom to keep is where you are going to play Ozil. Because if you’re going to play Ozil as the CAM, this means you need two CMs and two CMs of a certain type. Whereas if you’re going to play Ozil as a wide creative, then you need three CMs and three CMs of a certain type.

    Given that the simplest thing for a new manager to do is to play Ozil as the CAM, this is where our thinking should start, IMO. If Ozil is the CAM and we need two CMs behind him, which one of our existing midfielders would best fill one of those two slots? While I think Xhaka could be an adequate circulator of the ball, he is so poor defensively and so poor when pressured, I don’t think I would go with him. Yes, I could see him possibly being just decent enough, but I could also see him being a major problem for us if we want to finish top four.

    For me Ramsey is the one CM we have who could feasibly play CM in a top four side, who could perform a CM role behind Oil next season in a satisfactory manner. Yes he has his deficiencies, but I think a good many of these would go away under a more disciplined manager.

    Of course, you could sign two new CMs to play in support of Ozil — and sell or bench our existing CMs. This is a possibility as well. But if you were trying to minimize the work you had to do this summer by keeping one, I personally would keep Ramsey.

  42. Marko

    He cost us at least 7-10 points all season. He’s been that bad.

    Xhaka as our enforcer in midfield has cost us more I’m afraid

  43. Leedsgunner

    Wenger is gone. The Board having “fired” him now need to do the decent thing and support the new manager with a decent “war chest”.

    Funny that, a war chest that will actually be used to strengthen the squad — and not just talk about it as Wenger used to after the fact.

    I cannot wait to see what this new era will bring.

  44. Dissenter

    Cech’s ball distribution is the most shambolic I’ve ever even in a supposedlytop class GK
    It’s as if he made the transition to GK from volleyball or handball, sports that don’t involve foot work.
    Any team that prides itself in possession football and keeps a GK with horrible distribution skills is doomed to failure. Cech can’t kick the ball past the halfway line.

  45. Marko

    Yeah I can’t wait until the summer gets going. For the first time in probably 20 years we can get excited about transfer windows once again

  46. Bamford10

    Minimum needs for the starting XI are: new GK, new CB, new CM. Probably new LB as well, as Monreal looks done and I don’t trust Kolasinac defensively.

  47. Dissenter

    AlexanderH
    One of my grouses with Wenger is that he really cost the club a pretty penny with the botched contracts for Ozil and Alexis. Wenger was convinced that he could get both players to sign.
    Wenger repeatedly justified the Ozil deal as a good investment because it was a free transfer negotiation but the question that wasn’t asked of him is, WHY DID WE LET IT GET TO A FREE TRANFER?
    I’ve never seen a Europa league team pay so much money to any player, not even Russian clubs do these type of deals.

  48. Marko

    Monreal’s been our best defender this season but agree we need a new LB.

    Scratch that Mavropanos has been our best defender this season

  49. Dissenter

    Bamford
    Add Koschielny to the list of DONE players
    He’s out for 6 months following his surgery on the archilles tendon.
    There’s still life for him in Ligue un but he’s done at the highest levels of football. He’s contracted till 2020, lucky him.

  50. Ishola70

    What are the repercussions of signing another youngster for CB position that kid from Freiburg?

    That would make four green CBs in the squad. Mav, Holding , Chambers , Turk from Freiburg.

    Something has to give there no? Chambers?

    Who is to say a more experienced CB that is not called Mustafi paired with a young physical beast like Mav could not be a good overall partnership? The more canny experienced CB more potential sense and canny staying back more and the younger Mav being the aggressor attacking and coming out more often.

    Can work.

  51. Bamford10

    Agree that Monreal was excellent this season, but towards the end I feel like he was slipping a little and he’ll turn 33 in the coming season.

  52. Marko

    Nope we have to stop taking chances in important areas. As promising Mavropanos and Holding look at times their not good enough to start especially if we have ambitions to be better or challenge. Just stop taking chances in that area aign the necessary quality and experience and if the young guys are good enough they’ll get their chances and they’ll be knocking on the door. Same with Maitland Niles if he’s good enough he’ll challenge for a spot in the team but the idea of making him a starter next year is too much too soon. Quit taking chances in important areas

  53. tee

    @bamford, I agree with you but what happens when Ramsey goes on his seasonal leave? has he ever been fit for a whole season? that’s why the board must appoint a person like allegri. it could be harder than we think. it could even surprise people to find out that Ramsey might not fit into his vision. when you watch this guys analyse matches then you will know that what they look for in a player is more than just running around like an headless chicken.

  54. Jamie

    40m for Ozil??!!!! Yes please!!

    No chance. 10m tops, given his astronomical wages, and even that is a stretch. I can’t think of any clubs willing to pay him 350k a week. Unless in China..

    As for Xhaka, he’ll never be good enough. He has some decent attributes, as have been mentioned by others above this post, but he isn’t suited to the prem. He’s sort of like Ozil, in that he needs two other midfielders doing the running/defending for him so that he can ping a pass.

    Again, it was mentioned by someone (Dissenter?) earlier, but compare Xhaka in possession being pressed vs Cesc or Santi in a similar situation. They make create their own space and still manage to complete incisive key passes under under defensive pressure. Even Wilshere handles being pressed, then creating his own space (although more often than not his ankles get crunched in the proceeding tackle) to bring the ball forward.

    Replacing Xhaka isn’t a priority, because he can be used for cup/Europa games, but to push on in the league next season, he shouldn’t be in the starting 11, imo.

    No idea who I’d replace him with though. God I miss Santi.

  55. tee

    we don’t need kids in our defence. the carabao is there for them and some few minutes here and there in the league.

  56. Leedsgunner

    Monreal is a good leader and squad player, and realistically we can’t purge all experience from the squad.

    Here’s a thought, why not bring Gabriel back? Surprisingly under a new coach, and regular playing time he has got his career back on track in La Liga.

    Otherwise we should look at proven EPL performers like Evans to add experience and nous to that back line if we are in a budgetary constraints. Evans isn’t ideal but for £3m, it would be a steal.

    I do wish Holdings and Cohen Bramall well, but I think they were vanity purchases by Wenger, just to prove that he too could unearth an unknown gem from the lower leagues – a la John Stones.

    Hopefully our new coach will carry out some proper defensive drills and equip them with some discipline because we have been looking lost at the back for about 14 years now.

  57. Ishola70

    tee

    Mustafi has been seen as not a good signing but he is not a kid and is seen as an experienced player. But still not seen as good signing.

    Think it’s about parterships really at CB.

    Arsenal need a conservative, intelligent CB to go alongside a more aggressive one.

    In truth Mustafi plays like a kid defender really despite his age.

  58. Bamford10

    While I see the concerns of those who want only experienced CBs in the XI, I’d like to note that Raphaël Varane started for Madrid (over Pepe) in the 13-14 CL final (when he was only 20 years old). I am not saying Mavropanos is Varane, but I think there might be a little more flexibility on this point than some are allowing.

  59. Dissenter

    Ishola
    So you really think keeping Mustafi as a “senior” central defender to work with Mavros can work
    The same Mustafi who has a the attention span of a gadfly that cannot read the game will be responsible for organizing the back four.

    Yuuuup, you really have disdain for Xhaka.

  60. Dissenter

    Bamford,
    “I am not saying Mavropanos is Varane, but I think there might be a little more flexibility on this point than some are allowing”

    You’re. It saying it …just suggesting it.
    Mavros has only played two games on the bizggestx

  61. China

    Mustafi and kos are both error prone and we effectively don’t have defensive coaching at all, so our poor kids have absolutely nothing in the way of guidance

    Maybe under proper stewardship Chambers, holding and mav will be proper players. I look forward to finding out.

    With kos now out for the long term and Mustafi this bad, I think both need selling immediately. Their combined fees can be hopefully break 25m which is a good start towards a proper CB at least

  62. Jamie

    Chambers and Holding both looked ‘good’ in their first few outings, if memory serves. Let’s be realistic and suggest he’s one for the future.

    Crazy how people underplay how hard it is to be a consistently good CB in the prem. If nothing else, you need years of experience.

  63. Bamford10

    Dissenter

    No, Ishola is clearly saying Mustafi is NOT that CB.

    And again, I’m not saying that Mavrapanos is Varane; I’m simply saying that a good CB in his early 20s can in fact be an effective CB at a high level if paired with an experienced CB.

    Do we need to sign two new CBs? Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe we can get away with just signing one.

  64. alexanderhenry

    Dissenter

    The sanchez transfer fiasco was one of the main reasons wenger was pushed in my opinion.

    At the time, I was utterly amazed it happened..

  65. Ishola70

    yeah exactly Bamford.

    It’s been made plain by me to sell Mustafi and replace him with another CB that is seen as more experienced.

    Really you want an experienced CB that is the opposite in profile to Mustafi. A more passive CB if you will. One that is more intelligent. less rash and stays back more.

  66. HighburyLegend

    To say it more clearly: Varane is totally lost without Ramos, like we have already seen it a couple of times before at Madrid.

  67. HighburyLegend

    And he’s sometimes disastrous with the France team as well…
    Anyway, good afternoon to you all by the way, still hard to believe that we are enter a new era – at last.

  68. S Asoa

    Now that Wenger Already Out ( WAO, ask China what it means ! ) , the arguments are directed against each other, which is a good thing because something new can emerge. Better than the last 6 year Sad Sack episodes.
    LoL

  69. Wallace

    Varane did lose his place for a few seasons after that amazing early spell at Madrid. generally it’s rare for a CB to be playing consistently at a big club before they’re 23 or so.

  70. GoonerLad

    Are the owners going to invest in the squad or are we gonna have to have a whip around? Looks like the 2 year contract for Wenger was the club buying time to put a structure/plan in place. So are there any plans to give the new manager funds to strengthen the team now that the new dawn is beginning.

  71. azed

    I understand why Ishola thinks replacing Xhaka is a bigger priority than replacing Cech.

    No matter how good your keeper is, if you don’t have a midfield you are toast.

    Liverpool is a good example. Great attack, okish midfield, average defence, sh*t keeper.

  72. Wallace

    I think Xhaka, Ramsey, AM-N & Elneny is an interesting mix of midfielders for a new guy to work with. add a top quality player to that group…

  73. China

    I’m not really fully subscribing to the need for keepers to have good distribution argument

    Like Lehman’s kicking was useless and usually gave the ball away (unlike his throwing which was *brilliant* but regardless, it didn’t stop the team from dominating possession and battering teams

    Keepers should have good footwork and kicking because frankly this is a basic prerequisite of being a footballer – but I do think the need for quality possession passing from the keeper is hugely overrated.

    As I said, we went unbeaten without proper kicking. I don’t think it’s make or break

  74. China

    I really don’t know how any professional footballer can not be a solid all rounder though

    Like they’ve played football for 10s of thousands of hours throughout their lives, from the age of like 5-35. How do you get to 33, be a professional footballer and not have good technique, skills, footwork, passing, free kicks, corners, shooting, reading of the game etc?

    Theres no reason why this can’t be achieved except for players never bothering to practice it or generally just being a bit shit

  75. steve

    Players I’d keep:

    Chambers
    Mavropanos
    Holding
    Ramsey
    Kolasinac
    Mkhitaryan
    Aubameyang
    Lacazette
    Elneny

    The rest can fuck off

  76. China

    The game definitely has evolved but the invincibles would compete in 2018 undoubtedly. Ironically it was shit Lehmann distribution that handed Chelsea the ball when they scored against us in the CL, but besides that I can recall very few examples

    At the end of the day, if you have a well structured team, players can bring the ball down, are strong, good technique, good defense and the rest I’m not buying that keeper distribution is a particularly significant addition

    It’s marginal gains no doubt but I’m not convinced it will buy you more than a couple of points a season if you consider ‘passing’ keepers are also playing a higher risk game and a fuck up will cost goals

  77. gambon

    I feel like we can get by at Left Back for one more season, and then deal with both full back positions next summer.

    This summer the priority has to be through the middle – GK, CB, CM. We need at least 2 CBs and 2 CMs. Then after that we need a marquee attacking player that genuinely plays wide, and can beat his man 1v1.

    If we get that all right, we can then focus on buying young talent to slowly refresh the squad.

    The board really need to back the new manager.

    Yes, £200m is a lot, but we can make £100m back in sales, and the money we could make if we build a top class squad would be worth far more than £100m.

    Not to mention, if you’re good at buying players, you dont lose money anyway, especially in this market.

    Mane, Firmino and Salah cost £105m, and Salah alone would fetch £150m right now.

    Mavropanos cost £1.8m, we could sell him to a mid table team for £10m after 2 matches.

  78. azed

    “. Then after that we need a marquee attacking player that genuinely plays wide, and can beat his man 1v1.”

    Anyone know what Gervinho is up to these days???

  79. gambon

    “Anyone know what Gervinho is up to these days???”

    He moved to South Norwood and changed his name to Wilfried.

  80. Pierre

    Wenger on ozil
    “Maybe [his season is over]. He was in yesterday [Monday] for treatment and he still has a back problem. Even at half-time in Madrid, he had that problem. I think it’s highly unlikely that he will play again before the end of the season because he doesn’t train.

    “Football players [do not choose when to play]. I can understand that because you [the media] are all positive spirits who see everything negatively, but when he’s injured, he’s injured.

    “It looks like that sometimes, when a player can cover the pain for one game, but then after that there’s a recurrence of inflammation. That’s what happened to him. He wanted to play on Sunday. It was an enjoyable game to play but at the moment he’s injured.”

    Well, that puts that one to bed… There sure are a lot of stupid people on Le Grove who would think that Ozil can pick and choose when he plays .

    “He wanted to play ” …..do you know what that means , yes he wanted to play because he wanted to play but because he was injured he was not allowed to play .

    Maybe the other thicko ,keown , will offer an apology or retract his statement as he was playing with a dodgy back in Madrid …

    Of course , the idiots will think that Wenger has fabricated the whole story…

  81. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s priorities this summer are:
    1. Appointment of New Manager
    2.Replacement of several coaches and ancillary staff who will be leaving with
    Wenger.
    3.Recruitment of a couple of new players specifically GK and experienced CB
    The latter is a priority with injury to Koscielny. If either Wilshire or Ramsey
    refuse to sign new contract then a replacement in CMF will be found.

    The new manager will then be given time to review the current squad personnel in first half of next season.

    The next phase will be dependent on revenue generation. Arsenal will be negotiating next season their equipment sponsorship. The current Puma sponsorship ends next summer. This combined with Arsenal’s prospects in EPL will
    determine how much Arsenal will spend on ongoing transfers.

  82. azed

    “He moved to South Norwood and changed his name to Wilfried.”

    What a shame, he could have fit perfectly with this squad.

  83. gambon

    Lol,

    Pierre is the only person that still believes a word of what Dementia ridden Wenger says.

    Most stopped listening to him when he said he would only sign “Super Super class players” and 3 days later bought Amaury Bischoff for £100k, who was shipped out a year later.

    Or maybe when he said 80 points would win the PL last year.

    Or maybe when he said transfer spending would slow down 3 years ago.

    Or maybe when he said he had 2 world class goalkeepers in Fabianski & Almunia

    Or maybe when he said Senderos, Djourou, Song, Denilson, Diaby would be world class.

    Or maybe when he said Sanchez wanted to stay over and over and over and over and over.

    Or maybe when he said Ozil & Sanchez running their contracts down was a good thing.

  84. Rambo Ramsey

    Arsenal are confident of naming a successor to Arsene Wenger before the World Cup kicks off next month.

    The Gunners have no specific deadline for the recruitment process, but an announcement is expected before the tournament starts in Russia on 14 June – David Ornstein, BBC.
    ——-———————–

    F*ck me

  85. gambon

    Emiratesstroller

    I wouldnt say thats 100% right.

    I think any new manager will certainly want to make changes. In fact, even without a manager, our current management will recognise that we are not good enough across GK, CB and CM positions. There will be a number of changes before the first game of the season,

    There will also be a lot of sales, similar to last summer and january. Any departing player will be offset by a sale, and there is a lot of loaned out deadwood as well.

    As for commercial revenue, our major deals are all but done. Emirates have already extended, the kit deal is pretty much agreed apparently, and there will be a sleeve sponsorship next season as well.

  86. azed

    “Of course , the idiots will think that Wenger has fabricated the whole story…”

    Well Wenger did say it was not possible to sell Nasri and Cesc in the same window.

    Wasn’t it Wenger who also said the 2014/2015 squad was better than the invincibles and he would win the EPL within 3 years after signing a new contract in 2014?

    I also may be wrong but Wenger said Sanogoals would be a 50M player..

    Bottom line is Wenger has a history of saying thrash and this MIGHT be no different.

  87. Rambo Ramsey

    Pierre, how about engaging that brain of yours to analyze what you see and come to a conclusion. Give it some exercise old boy

    Ozil signs fresh terms squeezing a fat contract out of a desperate Arsenal and ever since he’s started citing mysterious illness to miss out dead rubber matches.

    I fear Arsenal bent over backwards and agreed to some very bad stipulations…

  88. Pierre

    Gambon
    Every comment of wenger you listed were his opinions not facts.

    The comment I posted from Wenger was a fact …….read carefully ….he is injured .

    why would Wenger make up the injury, what does he sort to gain from lying to the press ….nothing.

  89. Pierre

    Another dumb comment from dumbo Ramsey.

    “I fear Arsenal bent over backwards and agreed to some very bad stipulations”

    Of course they did…they said we will pay you 300 grand a week and you can pick and choose when you want to play .

  90. China

    In all seriousness I believe that this back injury is genuine – logic does say if ozil was going to pick his matches he’d choose this dead rubber because he likes these more than the real games

    That much is logically true. Regarding wenger, he’s a pathological liar – but now that’s he’s leaving I don’t think he needs to lie anymore because he’s got nothing left to prove. His story is over, no need to make up stuff.

    This being wenger and ozil is never fully write this off mind lol

  91. grooveydaddy

    For all of Ozil’s ‘little holidays’, he’s still played the equivalent of 39 more games (in minutes) than Ramsey over the last 5 years.

    We need someone more robust in CM.

  92. Pierre

    Azed
    Your list are all opinions from Wenger ..

    Stating someone is injured is stating a fact unless of course he is lying .

    Gambon
    “Ozil definitely does have a back problem…..he hasnt got a back bone.”

    Probably not far off the truth there to be honest.

  93. Elmo

    Sanllehi needs to be getting an answer from Ramsey right now. If he’s in our plans, I would offer him £160k pw as a final offer and give him two weeks after the season ends to decide. If he’s unsure, wants more money, or tries to spin out the saga like Ozil, offer him for sale after those two weeks are up. I trust that Sanllehi is moving decisively with our contract business and we’re not waiting until after the WC when the manager is in and players are back to make those kinds of decisions.

    Assuming the team will be built around Ozil at CAM (there’s simply no way we can afford to have a player on £350k pw on the bench, and realistically he won’t be able to be moved on during this contract), then if Ramsey is kept it wouldn’t surprise me if all three of the expensive summer 2016 purchases were shifted (Xhaka, Mustafi, Perez), bringing in perhaps £45m (vs the £110.5m spent, including agents’ and signing on fees) for re-investment into more suitable CMs to facilitate Ozil.

    The problem with selling so many players for modest fees (pretty much all but Oxlade) is that squad depth has really been run down, without being able to afford to replace the depth with better players. Sven really has to get bang-for-buck purchases going again at Arsenal.

  94. China

    I won’t judge auba yet but I feel this entire squad lacks any kind of magic to it

    Before we had cesc and rvp. Those players who could and typically would turn games on their heads single handedly. They could torture opposition and were consistently unplayable

    Right now Ramsey and miki seem to be our best midfielders but I’m not convinced that either is special at all. Both seem like 7 or 8 out of 10 players so far. Worrying indeed.

  95. Dissenter

    Pierre
    You’re too soft on Wenger who’s known for his ultra-protective stance on his players. Wenger makes mama bears jealous with the way he contorts reality to shield them.
    Stop being so gullible

    Didn’t Wenger say it was preferable to have players get to the last year of their deal? You believe that too?

  96. China

    Regarding squad depth, I don’t mind if we give a couple of our fringe youth a chance. They’re probably no worse than the guys we’re selling but are a fraction of the cost and help our home grown quota

  97. Rambo Ramsey

    Pierre, you’re pretty brash for someone who’s got testicles for brain. How else would one explain your bizarre commentery wrt Wenger and Ozil? Quit thinking with your penis

  98. Pierre

    Dissenter
    “Didn’t Wenger say it was preferable to have players get to the last year of their deal? You believe that too?”

    You are getting confused between opinions and facts…the above is an opinion and no I don’t remotely agree with that opinion.

    Stating that someone is injured is a fact not an opinion .

  99. azed

    “Stating that someone is injured is a fact not an opinion .”

    …..and everyone who calls in sick to the office is definitely sick.

    I also remember Almunia having a mysterious injury just before he was never seen again.

  100. Pierre

    China
    The system the new manager plays should determine who we sign in midfield

    If he uses 4 attacking players(lacazette ,aubamayang,ozil and military an) ,similar to Spurs(Kane ,alli,,eriksen,son) , then we need to buy/play 2 defensive midfielders. To give us stability and control of the game.

    If he only uses 3 attacking players then the midfield could be similar shape to what we had at the weekend then he would possibly only need to buy one defensive midfielder though personally I would prefer 2 defensive midfielders especially away from home.

    The 2 players who will cause the new manager the biggest problem are ozil and Ramsey and trying to intergrate them into a team system that works …. It may prove to be that the team needs reshaping without either Ramsey or ozil or both as both have flaws in their game that are detrimental to the team ….it will be interesting to see which avenue the new manager takes.

  101. Dissenter

    Pierre,
    “Stating that someone is injured is a fact not an opinion .”

    Actually it’s not a fact until you’ve seen the medical report.
    Wenger is way too protective of his players, that’s one of his foibles.

  102. China

    I’m really open minded about what system we run with. For now I’m most concerned with discipline and coaching

    The culture of this team is soooo wet. Errors are not only tolerated but expected and nobody is particularly driven to achieve anything of note

    I know it may not be optimal for morale, but part of me would be glad to see the next guy come in and just tear this whole pack of pussies a new one.

    Despite blaming wenger the most, frankly the lack of shits given by this squad makes me sick. Being soft is simply a matter of not minding losing. And THAT is not acceptable in competitive sport. Certainly not when 60,000 fans pay a fortune to watch you strut around for 70+k a week.

    I hope the next guy makes the lot of them cry for letting the fans and club down by being so Half arsed.

    I don’t blame them for being average but I do blame them for being feckless.

  103. China

    Even with all the average players and even if we had no manager at all (might as well have been true lol), this squad should’ve been able to pick up notably more points than this

    The players have been a disgrace frankly. But anyway, hopefully the next guy gives them a good slapping and gets them back in line

  104. China

    Even my Monday night 8 a side foreigbers team in China cares more about winning than these shits.

    We take it really personally if we lose to a chinese team. It must not happen. Thats just basic competition and pride, surely