Defensive midfield musings plus major backroom hire on the cards

by & filed under News Review.

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I’ve just finished the final run of guests, a run that lasted 11 days straight, I’m more relieved than David Beckham after picking up his daughter’s pencil case.

The above comment was all for the joke kids, all for the joke. Or quip. Whatever.

News continued to gather pace that Arsenal are going to make Torriera our first exciting signing of the summer. There’s talk that Napoli are going to enter the race, with Carlo seeing the Uragyaun as an exciting option. Now, I don’t mean to be mean about Napoli, but a few things here.

 Carlo is walking into the same trap he did at Bayern, but with a less dominant team. I struggle to see how the Napoli players are going to adapt to his more relaxed approach to football after an intense few years under Sarri. The same issue happened at Bayern.

 Napoli aren’t on the same level as Arsenal when it comes to player appeal. Sure, the area ‘might’ beat out London. The food is great. There’s a lot of sunshine. But club wise, there’s no challenge. Arsenal fill their stadium, the Premier League is better, the money will be elite, our city is elite and our training facilities are incredible.

It sounds like the deal is moving in the right direction. The player looks very exciting. I like that he looks a leader. That injection of South American passion sitting at the base of our midfield would be a sight to behold. I feel like the club has grossly neglected defensive midfield for years.

Emery made some interesting points in his GFFN article when it came to the position. He was saying that you lose something when you bring in a destroyer, which is why he liked to play Rabiot there when he was at PSG. He mentioned that Bayern/Madrid struggled defensively with Alonso, but they more than made up for his weakness in defensive transition with attacking prowess.

I remember when I would analyse Real Madrid, I thought that Xabi Alonso suffered from not having to run track back and that he was the weak link. When I would analysed Barcelona and saw Busquets, I thought that Sergio suffered from the space left behind him. I thought the same with Thiago Motta. All the great defensive midfielders suffer from a lack of space behind them, and when they are required to track back. But when a team has the ball 70% of the time, that is more important than knowing if you’ll struggle when tracking back. You are the one dominating the matches. That’s why your defensive midfielder’s output during moments where you don’t have the ball is less important.

Because those periods don’t last as long. If I were to put a destroyer at defensive midfielder, there’s a significant trade off between what I can do during build-up play, rather than what I can do in defensive situations. Of course, Thiago Motta needs to better without the ball. But if you analyse Xabi Alonso or Sergio Busquets, the same could be said for them. They struggle during those periods, but they contribute so much more while on the ball. I don’t think this position was a weakness for PSG.

Motta is an incredible defensive midfielder. His injuries were the problem this year. Motta brought a lot to the team and his contribution on the ball was significant. He had difficult tracking back? Fine, but so do two other European champions Xabi and Busquets, who possess the same characteristics as Thiago. I don’t think PSG’s problem was the defensive midfielder.

Let’s talk about Rabiot. He’s a central midfielder, who is more comfortable playing as a defensive midfielder rather than a creative one. Even if he remains more of box-to-box, rather than a defensive midfielder. When you want to play with a defensive, creative and box-to-box-midfielders in fixed positions, Rabiot finds himself confronted to a problem. He has to run, run, run and not play in a fixed position statically. And even less so with his back turned on the action.

Rabiot doesn’t really like playing as a defensive midfielder, he likes playing as a box-to-box, but I prefer him as a defensive midfielder. That’s why after the elimination against Real Madrid, I told him he would play as a defensive midfielder.

In that position, he can be faced with play and switch around with Verratti. He is more competitive in these conditions. With certain players, you can’t impose a strict idea. You have to adapt yourself to their characteristics in order to win in individual and collective competitiveness. Lassana Diarra? He arrived in early January, after having played for six months in a low level league, and he needed time to accustom himself to the high level.

I think clubs are trying to find players that can offer a bit more in both areas these days. When you read up about Torreira he seems to have a bit of Jack, with his ability to break the lines with cute play and pace, he has the long range of passing that Xhaka is known for, and he’s high energy like Ramsey. I found this great write up on him.

Sampdoria primarily work with a diamond formation in which Torreira acts as the base of the three man midfield. When you watch them play, you can see how much compactness is stressed with the high volume of short passing in their build up play, creating shapes within the pitch for passing outlets as they progress the ball in such a methodical manner that will eventually lead to shooting opportunities. It allows Sampdoria to create situations where the opposition are attracted so much by the passer and the player receiving the ball, that connections are formed on the pitch and a third teammate can be reached by a pass, referred as “the third man”.

Torreira is important in the build-up phases for Sampdoria. He’s the one that operates as the base, positioning himself in close proximity with the centerbacks. Because of his ability to be cool under pressure, he can either pass it off to a teammate nearby or play a long pass up to the likes of Fabio Quagliarella and Duván Zapata so they can hold up play and play short passes/layoffs for other teammates in higher positions.

One of the things that I found most impressive with Lucas Torreira when looking at the video is the ease in which he hits long passes, and the variety to which he can hit it. This is born out in the data itself with Played Off The Park’s brilliant piece which tried to use statistical data and the use of z-score application in finding which players fit which archetype of midfielders. Torreira came out fairly well in relation to other players of his age group when it came to deeper midfielders, taking volume into account. Torreira is capable of attempting different kinds of long passes, whether it be while he’s got acres of space to settle down and pick out his target or being hurried by an opposition marker. It’s this kind of versatility that makes him an intriguing player.

Next season, give me someone who can defend, pass well, play in a system and offer us up the kind of mobility that might challenge your grandma in a race. Remember the Alex Song days? What a horror show that was…

We’re baking balance into our squad. An added bonus if we sign him is AMN has someone to learn off, as I see his future sitting at the base of midfield. It’ll also spare us from having to watch Xhaka plug away in a position he’s not built for. Win, win.

It’s also promising the money Sampdoria are looking at is around £20-25m mark. I’m amazed there’s less raiding of Serie A considering the talent they have on offer. Having a proper Head of Recruitment in place is finally seeing us raid countries outside Germany, France and Spain.

Finally, we’ve hired in a Director of Football Development to look after the coaches in the U9-U23s.

Marcel Lucassen (55) goes to work at Arsenal. De Venlonaar has signed a three-year contract with the top club in London and will work as Director of Football Development on 1 August.
Lucassen thus becomes responsible for the development of both the coaches and the players of the teams Under 9 to Under 23.
Lucassen worked for the past three years as Head of Al Nasr Education from Dubai. Before that he worked for the German Football Association for seven years and in 2011 he was assistant coach of TSG Hoffenheim. “What I’m going to do at Arsenal is to further develop the football philosophy, as I did earlier with Al Nasr and the German Football Association, and it was time to start working closer to home so that I could have my family in Blitterswijck. living, can see more often.
He landed big praise from Rene Maric (Red Bull Salzburg assistant) who said, ‘Marcel is one of the most insightful guys I have ever talked with and about football. His amount of detailed knowledge is very rare & was an eyeopener a few years ago.’
This makes me feel far more comfortable about the youth teams moving forward. The idea we were just going to let Per run the whole thing felt a bit off. Now he’ll be guided by a man of experience and exceptional knowledge.
GOOD TIMES!

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290 Responses to “Defensive midfield musings plus major backroom hire on the cards”

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  1. Bamford10

    Cesc

    I don’t think Emery “likes” Xhaka so much as he thinks Xhaka can do a job for us as a holding mid and would like to see what Xhaka can be if given more instruction. All of which is fine.

    As for wide play, Martins definitely has pace. Draxler doesn’t have blazing pace but he has length and athleticism and over 10-15 yards he can actually gallop by a lot of players (both with and without the ball).

    I think both could give us things we don’t currently have.

  2. Bamford10

    Victorious

    Because this isn’t a space for evangelizing or proselytizing. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself, mate.

  3. Zfree

    Yea Vic – totally out of nowhere, not the place for it, and there isn’t much posting bc there’s a lull right now. Have you seen the posting when there’s a game on Sunday? People aren’t at church pal

  4. gonsterous

    vic

    most people sleep longer on Sundays, some are nursing a hangover (cough Pedro cough) and most people get together with the family on a Sunday, so of course it’s more quite than other days when every one is in the office looking to dodge work..

  5. E54_

    “That’s why your defensive midfielder’s output during moments where you don’t have the ball is less important.”

    JEZUS…

    “They struggle during those periods, but they contribute so much more while on the ball. I don’t think this position was a weakness for PSG.”

    H!….

    “Rabiot doesn’t really like playing as a defensive midfielder, he likes playing as a box-to-box, but I prefer him as a defensive midfielder. That’s why after the elimination against Real Madrid, I told him he would play as a defensive midfielder.”

    CHRIST!!!!!

    If you don’t see Wenger in your mind while reading this.. my goodness smh.
    Talking as if Madrid and Barcas success was about flippin DMs and CMs when you got RONALDO Scoring 40+ goals every season and Messi 40+ every season not to mention the other superstar attackers?

    (sigh) it’s not looking good..

  6. Bamford10

    Aubergine

    Well, strictly speaking, you are right. I have neither spoken with the man nor can I read minds.

    But given that I think Emery knows what the fuck he’s talking about, and given that there is little to like about Xhaka’s game, I think it’s reasonable to believe that Emery doesn’t rate Xhaka all that highly.

    If there is a lot to like about Xhaka’s game, and if some of us here have overstated his weaknesses, please tell us about these things. We would love to hear it.

  7. Victorious

    Jesus Christ

    calm down guys

    politics get discussed on here despite having absolutely nothing to do with football..was simply passing an harmless goodwill message,might have come across as baited to irk the atheists on here but trust me that was not intended..point is absolutely no need to lose your shite about that,cheers.

  8. Victorious

    BTW why has Marko not made a comment yet about the failed dippers deal for Fekir?..still cooking up a suitable narrative ?

    arsenal would have be pilloried on here had we involve ourselves with such shambles

  9. E54_

    Nonsense… the champions league myth to sign players has long been discredited. The players will move where the money is and where they feel valued

    It’s been 28 years and counting since Liverpool won their domestic league.. Let that sink in.
    /
    All true, however theres another way to look at this. 28 years for them. 14 years for us. Now the clock doesn’t stop for anyone. So looking at it right now. We are not winning next seasons title so thats a clean 15 years for us. Mabey 29 for them too ok but who is looking more likely to win the league in the next 2-3 years? Ok so if they get 1. Then their clock countdown resets. while ours keeps going. It’s literally in an ex-AKBs interest to see other teams fail as to not expose the absolutely disgraceful situation Wenger has left us in.
    You can say we could win it too? yes this is true. But look at the trajectory. Look at the squad build and look at the progress made. our 14 years plus 1 for next seasons failure. (That makes 15) Then we’re looking at a 5 year disaster era where we could easily become one if the 20 years no League title teams. Firmly putting us beaneath UTD, CITY and Chelsea. Basically Emery has to win the league in the Next 4 years.

  10. Chika

    We’ve been “strongly linked” with Leno but he might be off to Napoli. I hope we still have plans to sign a GK.

    Wilshere should leave already, wanna see more of AMN.

  11. Bamford10

    Victorious

    One can express goodwill towards others — and wish others well — without bringing religion into it. Religion does not have some special or exclusive connection to goodwill between human beings. Far from it.

    And I look forward to reminding you of your Christianity (and supposed goodwill) the next time you have decidedly un-Christian (and unfriendly) things to say about other posters here.

  12. Receding hairline

    @ES4

    Such a long post saying very little

    There is no such thing as trajectory in football.. You are either winning or you are not

    Liverpool have finished fourth and last season with a lower point tally than the previous.. That makes a mockery of your trajectory theory

    Liverpool are not winning the league next season.. You can take that to the bank

  13. grooveydaddy

    I bet Fekir still ends up at Liverpool. Aulas drags out every ‘big name’ transfer. I can’t imagine Liverpool did something so insulting to put OL off for good.

    By the way, who remembers Fekir’s dad saying if he left Lyon, it only be to Arsenal. Why have we let him slip through? I suppose we cooled our interest a bit after his injury….

  14. E54_

    Why does Emery have to win in the next 4 years?

    Well, he won’t get 5 years here. Nobody gets 5 years really anymore especially if you don’t win your league or do well in UCL.

    So let’s do the math:

    Arsenal 14 years no league + 1 (Emerys 1st season 2018/19) = 15 for us 1 for him.
    He now has 3 years left in a 4 year career.
    if.. We don’t win it in HIS remaining 3 years. Thats 18 years for us, 4 years for him. It’ll be over for him.
    New Manager.
    (Likely hood of Winning League in 1st season) Unlikely = 19 years
    That leaves the New Manager 1 year to stop the dreaded 20 Year drought.

    All this while we have an unambitious board who have always been happy to just make the UCL.

    it’s not looking good..

  15. Champagne charlie

    “But given that I think Emery knows what the fuck he’s talking about, and given that there is little to like about Xhaka’s game, I think it’s reasonable to believe that Emery doesn’t rate Xhaka all that highly.“

    Reasonable based on your subjective nonsense regarding Xhaka. To most others it’s far more reasonable Xhaka has he qualities suited to play in a Emerys system.

    Even moreso given the way he described deep lying players, who aren’t destroyers, being incredibly important to the offensive abilities of the teams who dominate.

    Precisely what everyone who rates Xhaka have been on about since day zero. He gets judged as a Kante when that’s never been his remit, he dictates our ability to play from deep. Of course you’re the type of sponge that ignores that for some other quip, such is your unwavering stance on anything you profess.

    Be noteworthy if you weren’t wrong a hilarious amount of the time. You’d think you’d be more flexible in thought. But in a world where Neymar isn’t a top level, Kane is worth 40 mil, and Benteke is elite, I think a pinch of salt can be taken by those reading your football sermons.

  16. Victorious

    I’m sure their opinion carries a little more weight than some fat yank with a micro penis playing to the ‘Le grove crowd’ you sad twat.”

    Ouch…harsh ain’t the word

  17. Receding hairline

    @ES4

    Quit embarrassing yourself with the nonsense u come up with

    Any team who work out a way to win league matches on a consistent basis ends up with most points and wins the league

    They don’t need a statistics board or the length of the managers contract to decide that. Stop trying to sound clever we already know you are not

  18. Victorious

    E45
    ‘it’s not looking good..’

    NO what’s not good is having to skip your incessant rants,its tedious and carries absolutely nothing meaningful.

    here’s an idea:why not halt frothing in the mouth and back the lads?now there’s a good lad.

  19. Bamford10

    What a shock. Aubergine — who has already been binned once, btw — turns to stupid and petty insults rather than just making his point.

    One, I’ve never said that a player needs to be a “physical monster” to succeed as a holding mid. But he does need to have a certain array of attributes, and if he isn’t particularly quick or athletic, he better be highly intelligent.

    As for that list of midfielders you cited, I rate all of those players, but all of them have / had things that Xhaka does not. Xabi Alonso? One, when he was Xhaka’s age, he was quicker than Xhaka. He slowed down more later. Two, he was WAY more intelligent than Xhaka. More intelligent with the ball at his feet, more intelligent without the ball and way more intelligent in the tackle.

    All of the rest are similar stories in one way or another.

    In truth you’re just another bitter anti-Le-Grover.

  20. Cesc Appeal

    If Emery and his coaches can get though to Xhaka and Ramsey there’s a chance a middle three of Xhaka, Torreira and Ramsey could work well.

    We have to work out how to play to Xhaka’s strengths and Ramsey must have positional discipline and maturity coached into him.

    The benefits of a new and just for a laugh actually coached defence should show as well. Sokratis along with a Soyuncu, Pavard, Lenglet type. Xhaka needs to improve a lot but the way the defence has played in recent years in inexcusable, we all basically want a CDM to not allow the opposition to get to the defence because it has been so crap.

    Maybe Emery and his coaches can change this?

  21. Bamford10

    Charlie

    Right, so why do so many here (incl. Cesc, gambon, Romford) not rate Xhaka? Some kind of bias? No, there are just a number of things about him that make him less than ideal.

    I have an idea: if Xhaka flourishes under Emery — something I concede is a possibility — then all of his critics here will admit that we may have been wrong about him; if, on the other hand, he flounders under Emery, if he goes to the bench or is sold, you will admit that you were wrong.

    Yes, I agree; that’s a fair deal. Cheers.

  22. Bamford10

    Cesc

    Agreed: while I personally don’t rate Xhaka, if paired with a Torreira and placed within a better-organized central three, he could prove an adequate piece of the puzzle.

    I personally don’t think he’ll ever be great, though, but that’s not necessarily what we need from him next season.

  23. Cesc Appeal

    Bamford

    We have gone so long without a system we look at players very individually. Xhaka has a lot of weaknesses and I am not totally convinced he can work in the EPL. But just at a basic level he has not been helped by having no position and having no one in the midfield to provide him with balance.

    Maybe having Torreira and then a coached and more disciplined Ramsey might work.

    Wenger did not have a f*****g clue what he was doing, it sounds at least, like Emery does. Have to see.

  24. Bamford10

    Aubergine

    Actually, it’s the criteria I highlight when it comes to players who lack pace, mobility or athleticism, and it just so happens that this is a criteria that Wenger badly ignored, something every astute observer of Arsenal knows.

    When a player, however, is deficient in other ways, I highlight other criteria. Take Coquelin, for example. When many here were celebrating him as a solution to our CDM problems, I was one of those here who said he wasn’t technical enough, wasn’t polished enough, wasn’t good enough on the ball or in his passing. Did I criticize him for a lack of athleticism? No. He was mobile, had an engine, worked hard, was tough and wasn’t bad in a tackle. So I never brought up athleticism with him because that wasn’t an issue with him.

    As for Xabi Alonso, I didn’t say he was quick, I said he was quicker than Xhaka at Xhaka’s age, which he was. And he was also a thousand times more intelligent.

    As for the rest of what you’ve said, it can all be ignored, as it’s just more jingoistic, xenophobic, anti-American bullshit.

    And I’ve been watching the game religiously for thirty years, guy; I’m no “newcomer”.

    As I said above, you’re just another angry hater.

  25. Bamford10

    No, Aubergine, it’s just that my POV on Xhaka is apparently too nuanced for you.

    Also, I’m confused, Cesc Appeal and I have basically the same view re Xhaka. See his comment above at 14:34 (“don’t think he can work in the PL”). Why don’t you take this point up with him as well?

  26. Marko

    BTW why has Marko not made a comment yet about the failed dippers deal for Fekir?..still cooking up a suitable narrative ?

    Was busy. Wasn’t at church that’s for sure

  27. Zfree

    My take on Emery’s quotes are that the close control, vision, passing, composure that Xavi Alonso and Busquets have are Moreno important qualities for a deep lying midfielder in teams that have 80% possession. They aren’t making surging runs forward, they also don’t spend too much time sprinting back toward there own goal to defend. They put out the occasional fire, but for 65-75 minutes of the match, they’re basically playing in a 30 yard radius, making themselves available, jogging around intelligently.

    I think Emery is acknowledging there’s a place for this sort of player, but if arsenal is going up against city or Liverpool, we’re gonna need a midfield with lots of pace, endurance, ball-winning ability, etc. Xhaka might have the endurance but definitely not the pace… When playing City or Pool, I’d prefer something like AMN/new CM, Torreira, with Ramsey in front and Ozil most certainly on the bench.

  28. Guns of Hackney

    Have Arsenal done anything yet apart from bringing in the Greeks to the defense? Which is ironic if you know your history.

    They also invented homosexuality. Arsenal are now officially, a club of shirt lifters.

    Has Emery learned English yet? Where is our revolution?
    Wenger in!!!

  29. Zfree

    Also, it’s all really quite silly comparing Busquets/Xavi to Granit fuckin Xhaka. Let’s just make sure that’s clear

  30. Guns of Hackney

    I’m genuinely surprised more transfers don’t break down over injury. Considering how frequent the old ACL is, I’d imagine that many more players would fail medicals.

    Perhaps Liverpool just dodged a bullet. Fekir’s record isn’t exactly stellar.

  31. Guns of Hackney

    Does anyone know what actually constitutes a medical?

    Do they yank on the leg until it pops or is there some actual science involved.

    Considering most footballers look gassed after 3 mins running…what does the medical actually look like?

    Genuine question.

  32. Elmo

    I hope we are actually in negotiations with Sampdoria for Torreira, and can get it done before the WC, which starts in 4 days. All the training camps are in Europe, so a medical wouldn’t remove him from the group for long.

    If Uruguay do well then his price could rocket upwards, whereas if he does poorly his price will stay the same as he is still vital for Sampdoria. The only way it might fall is if he is seriously injured. If we want him, then there’s nothing to gain by waiting.

  33. Champagne charlie

    Banford

    Actually no, I operate in the real world and not own governed by your rigid black and white bollocks that inevitably end in some “let’s make a bet”guff.

    If Xhaka is used by Emery and flourishes, then it’s because he suits the system. If he isn’t used or hits the bench it’s because he isn’t suited to the system. I’ve seen and played enough football to judge Xhakas agents independent of what one coach believes.

    You don’t rate him, which you’re more than welcome to do. But to kick dirt his way in quite the spectacular fashion you do is pathetic, at best. It’s 100% down to your inability to concede anything or anyone that questions your view of football.

    Notice how your argument is incredibly self-suited, it’s now dependent on Emery as to whether Xhaka is good or bad. Let’s ignore the manager at Gladbach, the Swiss national manager, Wenger, and wait with fingers crossed that the new guy doesn’t fancy him so you can parade your opinion as some elite foreshadowing.

    Spoiler: it isn’t. It’s just what come to be expected from you, an absolutist view on football backed with a series of subjective gash that gets rehashed in a boring attempt to cultivate an accepted narrative devoid of fact. In other words, just a self-important waffling cunt on the internet playing the keeper of knowledge role. Wish you’d stop with it, gets incredibly dull to watch the same show. And yes, I’m sure you’ll cry harassment any moment to deflect. As I say…same story..

  34. Guns of Hackney

    CC

    Blimey O Riley. Settle down.

    Very articulate though.

    But…Xhaka is trash. Under any circumstance.

  35. Champagne charlie

    Back to Arsenal…

    Lichtsteiner done, Sokratis following, Adli following, Torreira edging ever closer (and being negotiated to leave more powder dry for this window), Leno getting the ITK (kike Marin) seal of approval.

    That’s a smart investment strategy we’re seeing, and one that’s addressing the major concerns with the team of recent seasons. If we pull off a Dembele/Draxler deal to put the icing on that cake I think we can be very exited at the potential for growth next season.

    The next week I think we’ll see some quick fire deals as clubs get some shit finished pre-WC. Get those ones with buyouts over he line before it kicks off and we can be very content.

  36. Guns of Hackney

    Why is there a defense for a player who is shit, being blamed on a system?

    True, it may not suit a particular style but that doesn’t mean said player forgets how to walk in a straight line.

    Passing is passing. Tackling is tackiling. Position is position. Everywhere. The fundamentals of football should remain, regardless of the player moves position.

    Jesus.

  37. Champagne charlie

    Guns

    I’m fine mate :)

    …and I disagree. I think we’ll see much more from him (and others) this season.

  38. qna

    Charlie: “That’s a smart investment strategy we’re seeing, and one that’s addressing the major concerns with the team of recent seasons. “

    Umm, nope. It’s not smart unless it leads to something. So far it’s more of the same bargain basement strategy that we have been following for Stand entire involvement at the club. You have defended these bargain buys in the past and not one has planned out. Our only success stories in recent years have been when we have overpaid, or paid at the market rate. And many of those big spends are looking like failures right now too.

    Charlie; “If we pull off a Dembele/Draxler deal to put the icing on that cake I think we can be very exited at the potential for growth next season.”

    Again, more of this “if we” talk. I don’t mind these hypotheticals, but they are massive ifs. It’s a bit rich to pair these “if we” signings with a complement of smart investing. Let’s see what the club does and how that translates over next season before we celebrate this bunch of incompetents running the AFC.

  39. Guns of Hackney

    CC

    I hope you’re right. Xkaka looks like he could be a player but perhaps he just has lapses of concentration…every 20 seconds. I hope the new manager gives him a bit of a boost and we can see the player I think he could be.

    RSPCA

    I live in a small town in middle England. The doctors are a meeting place for the doddering old has beens that populate that town. Average age: 78. You should see them drive!

    However, it does make me a bit of a stud…in middle age…up here…against the old death buzzards. It’s a win for me.

  40. Dissenter

    The idiot that started with wishing all a “happy Sunday” quickly went gutter-style to start spewing personal insults.

  41. Zfree

    For a player we’re targeting with a release clause, is it more wise to wait until after Uruguay is eliminated from the WC? What if he does his ACL…

  42. Guns of Hackney

    Dissenter

    Don’t take Sunday in vain! I’m not. Bottle of Rose in…sunburn on the way and bullshitting on this blog.

    “Jesus saves and gravity graves”

    Anyone gets that reference or knows who that’s by, gets respect and a beer! No Googling.

  43. Dissenter

    I’m not in the camp that hypes up all of Xhaka’s weakness and dumps most of our defensive failings on him.
    We need to surround him with players that complement him, not a central midfielder who thinks he’s a central striker and an attacking midfielder who want’s to play as a winger.
    I find myself agreeing with CC, receding and Aubergine.
    Xhaka can play a role as well as anyone else.
    I’m glad Cesc Appeal sees some possibility in this as well.

  44. Champagne charlie

    Qna

    The club is under a new operational model, and that includes recruitment. I have an idea of what we should be doing and for me our approach is smart at present.

    Vindication can obviously only be attained at the end of the season, but there’s no strategy you can come up with that gurantees success for us so only thing that’s rich is downplaying the current one as if there’s a blindingly obvious strategy for success we’re ignoring. You might think there is, but is speculative.

    Arsenal are addressing squad concerns that will have a substantial impact on the output of our first XI. That in itself is different to recent seasons.

    The profile of player is very much linked to where our budget lies and the risk associated with missing out on CL football again next season. If you want huge investment in burgeoning talent then you’re not in touch with how Arsenal operate. We are on the back foot, and addressing the needs of the squad in a shrewd manner.

    If it makes you sleep easier you’re free to think of Torreira as a 50 mil player we’re getting for peanuts because of a release clause? Not really sure what you’re expecting if the club currently.

  45. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Guns

    Mid England lothario .

    Haha tickled me…

    You wanna see the post office Tuesday morning … all queuing

  46. Guns of Hackney

    RSPCA

    16 year old dumpster baby. We don’t learn. Always chasing the next Messi.

    This is why we’re being beaten. In this day and age, money talks. You got to have a £500m team before you start blooding 12 year olds.

    Fact. Arsenal really do think it’s 1993.

  47. Guns of Hackney

    RSPCA

    yeah, bossing it. I should change the Hackney bit as I moved 4.5 years ago after 38 in the cesspool of Crackney. But that’s always home and I am so fucking protective of Hackney I actually have a tattoo saying as such.

    Middle England shits me though. Garden, big house, freedom etc…living the dream.

  48. Cesc Appeal

    Sokratis, then someone like Soyuncu, Pavard or Lenglet offset by the sales of Mustafi and Chambers.

    Torreria brought into CDM, let Wilshere go and sell the last of rubbish at the club out on loan etc.

    Would be nice then to make one massive winger buy.

  49. Elmo

    Aubergine

    Yep – my mistake about the release clause.

    The point still stands, though. If he has a good WC, there are plenty of other teams who are more of a draw than us who would happily pay that release clause as its peanuts to them, then loan him out or keep him on the bench.

    I know transfers aren’t always that straightforward, especially during a WC period, but I just see no benefit to waiting if we’re genuinely interested.

  50. Gooner63

    Torreira to Napoli looking to best bet, with Jorginho going to City

    Amazingly some players are not attracted by Thursday night football and playing along side Welbeck and Xhaka

  51. Dissenter

    Brazil are the team in the best form leading up too the World Cup.
    The World Cup is a neutral country i.e. the host country dissent have any chance and the home crowd wont be playing a partisan role.
    My money is on Brazil but we all know the competition always throws up it’s own spanner in the works.
    It will take a lot to beat this Brazilian team.

  52. Dissenter

    Brazil have too many match winners,,,too many
    Maybe a Spain or Germany can catch them on a good day with proper tactics and organization.

  53. Dissenter

    The French aren’t that good. They will come unstuck if they play a good South American team like Peru.
    An American team with an average cap of 6.5 proved that yesterday.

  54. Guns of Hackney

    The French don’t need to be that good. They just need to be better than…

    What is a 6.5 cap?

  55. Dissenter

    *six and half International caps [appearances]
    It was a very inexperienced team that’s being built for the future with a caretaker manager.

  56. Guns of Hackney

    I’ll always support the French because I am…historically connected to the frogs. Can’t stand En-ger-land and the Dutch aren’t there.

    It’s the cowardly French for me. Four gears in their tanks…all reverse.

  57. TR7

    Iniesta, Silva, Isco, Thiago, Costa, Ramos, De Gea, Alba, Pique,Busquests,Carvazal

    Not quite like the Spain golden generation team of 2008-2012 but still a great team and of course one of the most cohesive teams. My pick to go all the way.

  58. TR7

    Death, taxes and a fit Nadal winning the French Open…….

    Really disappointed with next generation of Tennis players though, none any close to the level of Fed, Rafa and Djoker. Thiem and Zverev are not quite top class.

  59. Pierre

    Thought I would scroll through the comments of the last few days.

    “gambonJune 9, 2018 10:09:01
    Wow….Pierre is a proper scum bag isn’t he.Fingering his own daughter then marrying her.”

    “Sancho MonzorlaJune 8, 2018 19:40:26
    PierreYou never told us you married your daughter.”

    “TonyDJune 9, 2018 12:00:06
    Sancho Monzorla
    June 8, 2018 19:40:26“PierreYou never told us you married your daughter.”

    No, not too much of a joke at all Sancho”

    And someone with an understanding of how vile the above remarks are.

    “VictoriousJune 8, 2018 20:16:09

    “Not really sancho. Clearly just a joke”a joke? you imbecile.would like to know your reactions when someone make a joke of you r@ping your own daughter,you wastebin”

    The strange thing I have noticed is that fans who were obsessed with Wenger have very low standards in their life.. You just have to look at the disgusting comments by Gambon, Sancho, tonyd, marko dissenter etc..
    They really need to take a serious look at themselves as people.

    Having a bit of banter is fine, we all give it and take it but you cant get much worse than a comment about “fingering your own daughter”… Shame on you and whoever showed support for these people…

  60. Samesong

    I’m with TR7 the Spanish got the know how. Brazil will come unstuck not every team will allow Brazil to play there expansive attacking game. They are still suspect at the back too,regardless of how good their keepers are.

  61. Bamford10

    Dissenter

    Yeah, Brazil look like the most talented team in the tournament, but I still think Germany will be the best organized and I’m hoping this carries the day. The first few matches will tell us a lot, but I must admit that Brazil have looked pretty damn good in their pre-tournament friendlies.

  62. qna

    Charlie: The club is under a new operational model, and that includes recruitment. I have an idea of what we should be doing and for me our approach is smart at present.

    I will judge them by their actions not the propaganda that they have been spurting for all these years. So far a 34 yo on a free and a 29 yo for a bargain basement price for a starting CB. Both are top 4 trophy signings at best. Nobody is signing these two with the honest intention of winning the league.

  63. Marko

    One person said finger your daughter sancho implied that you married your daugter which was a clear joke. Anyway tell us again about Ozil’s depression and how it’s been affecting his performances? Or you just want to gloss over that

  64. Gooner63

    England 1 day cricket team are on the ropes and could well lose to Scotland

    How embarassing is that

    Rugby Union team – crap
    Cricket team – crap
    Football team – soon to be revealed

  65. qna

    Charlie: If it makes you sleep easier you’re free to think of Torreira as a 50 mil player we’re getting for peanuts because of a release clause? Not really sure what you’re expecting if the club currently.

    Torriera is the right age. I won’t complain. But as I have said before, I have only seen him on YouTube, so I can’t make much judgment. What I have seen doesn’t impress me. The fact that he is a £50m player on a cheaper release clause doesn’t give me any comfort at all. On the contrary it reads as more of the same. Signing for a bargain, rather than for a need.

    But let’s see with this one, IF it happens. He is the type of signing I have wanted for the past 10 years, only quite a few inches shorter than I was imagining.

  66. Redtruth

    I haven’t seen Brazil play expansive attacking football for decades.
    France are overrated
    Spain play predictable tippy tappy football.
    Argentina are burdened with Messi.
    Germany too many foreigners in team.
    Croatia are exciting but lack bottle
    England are shit.

  67. Samesong

    England 1 day cricket team are on the ropes and could well lose to Scotland

    Scotland came out the blocks with nearly a record score no embarrassment in that.

  68. Aubergine14

    Pierre

    There’s some fucked up censorship here. Depends who tells on who though I’m assuming from encounters with certain posters.

  69. Marc

    Can’t argue with Red when he say’s England are shit. Actually looking forward to them embarrassing themselves. Even better will be Harry “mong” Kane’s facial expression.

  70. Bamford10

    QNA

    Right, but our first aim IS to finish top four, not to win the title. So signings aimed at making us more defensively solid, or aimed at improving the mentality or level of experience in the squad, make sense. Plus the window doesn’t close for another two months. We’re linked to Torreira, Leno, Klostermann, Martins, Draxler. Relax.

  71. champagne charlie

    “So far a 34 yo on a free and a 29 yo for a bargain basement price for a starting CB. Both are top 4 trophy signings at best. Nobody is signing these two with the honest intention of winning the league.”

    First off, do you think finishing 6th and being nowhere near the top and challenging for the title is a one summer process? Because straight away your sphere of judgement is unrealistic imo. The title isn’t the remit for next season bar a spectacular coming together of some sort, or massive wave of momentum and circumstance.

    Secondly re:Sokratis, he’s in the last year of his deal so comes at a modest fee. If he had 3 years left on his contract they’d be asking for 30 mil plus based on his inputs the past few seasons with them. Also, judging players by fee seems a tad superficial, and by a tad I mean massively.

    “The fact that he is a £50m player on a cheaper release clause doesn’t give me any comfort at all. On the contrary it reads as more of the same. Signing for a bargain, rather than for a need.”

    Not sure how you reach that conclusion unless your desires are for something other than a ball-winning hassler of a player. I personally think his game is what we could do with in CM, he’s a baller with a bite and that’s a nice mix for us.

    My original post served to highlight how we are now actively looking to plug the gaps widely accepted to be in the squad we have. With that said I find your “bargain rather than need” line to be pretty baseless. It’s exactly what we appear to be doing this summer, unlike many summers gone.

    What would you have us do this summer out of curiosity?

  72. Marc

    qna

    Where you see “Signing for a bargain, rather than for a need” I see the club getting square pegs for square holes and filling areas that desperately need strengthening. We don’t have the money to buy an entire new squad in one summer. With what I see if Emery can add some coaching and discipline I reckon top 4’s on for next year.

    What do you want and what do you expect?

  73. TR7

    Red

    Yes, I have watched a few friendlies involving Brazil, I don’t think they are all that exciting. Agree with you on France too. A lot of talent on paper but little on field chemistry between players.

  74. TR7

    Mustafa Dogru (Caglar Söyüncü’s agent): “Sven Mislintat has been keen on Caglar since he was at Borussia Dortmund. He first scouted him back in Germany. There are concrete talks, all that remains is for a fee to be agreed. We will see what happens next.” [@Turkish_Futbol1] #afc

  75. Marc

    Samesong

    I’ll be watching. Always difficult to call when the cars are mixed up but reliability of the upgraded Ferrari engine could come into it vs the Merc’s on a unit at the end of it’s service life.

  76. Bamford10

    Yes, what would a Sunday be without some religious person threatening others with eternal damnation? Thanks for that, Red.

    All the same, whom do you favor in the World Cup? I mean, clearly you think the teams in previous World Cups were superior to these teams, but which team is the best of this bunch, IYO?

  77. Freddie Ljungberg

    Qna

    Would you be happy if we did a United and paid 70m for another 29 year old in Alderwereild?
    Madness.

    Almost forgot that Red isn’t only an absolute nutter, but an absolute bible thumping nutter. Smh

  78. TheLegendaryDB10

    Samesong

    I am hoping that Vettel wins it. Say what you want I always liked the driver since his Red Bull days. He’s got a little bit of that Schumacher aggressiveness in him. … Although I do not mind F1, I am a Big fan of WRC!!!

    Who is watching Soccer Aid?

  79. Freddie Ljungberg

    Not so sure about Soyuncu anymore, had some howlers in him in the latest friendlies and gifted Russia their goal.

    He’s highly rated though, just don’t want another mistake machine after enduring Mustafi for too long.

  80. Cesc Appeal

    Seems like Soyuncu and Torreria are just needing a little more work to be done.

    This is why I do not get the negativity, when have Arsenal ever acted like this before?

    Lichtsteiner in, Sokratis, Soyuncu and Torreira in negotiations and it seems we’re looking at a winger as well and it is June.

    We all know it would have been Sokratis in, Wilshere new contract, Cazorla new contract and then Lichtsteiner as a deadline day free transfer under Wenger.

  81. Dissenter

    There’s stupid…then there is Man United.
    They will rue the day they hired Mourhino as their manager.
    I’m sure Daniel Levi cant believe his luck; a 29 year old who barely paid is being considered for a mega transfer.

  82. Graham62

    Redtruth

    Federer didn’t “chicken out of the French”, he merely decided to protect his body and mind in preperation for the Grass court season.

    37 years of age, 4 kids. What does he need to prove?

  83. Cesc Appeal

    We could be really smart this window.

    Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Sonyucu, Torreria and Pavon were not really being thought about, but that would be a pretty good window. Add a GK and it is a great window in my opinion.

    Really do need a GK as well, plenty of options.

  84. Aubergine14

    Banford nice of you to run to Pedro again to get me banned you little fag.

    You’re a running joke.

  85. Dissenter

    Aubergine
    How can you be banned when I can see your lamentations?
    Relax.
    There’s a different explanation, maybe a pigeon got your posts.

  86. Cesc Appeal

    G62

    I agree.

    All the noises coming out of the club are positive.

    We finally got rid of the one thing holding us back for years.

    We’re adding yet more infrastructure with another DoF appointment.

    New manager who is bringing new coaches, we’re getting transfers sorted.

    Everyone will be accountable.

    How can anyone not be happy?

    For the first time in years I feel great about Arsenal.

  87. Aubergine14

    Dissenter I’m banned.

    Can’t post anymore using my WiFi but mysteriously can using my 4G.

    He’s got me banned it’s pathetic.

  88. Graham62

    So England lost to the Scots in cricket. What a great weekend!

    Never mind, things can only improve.

    England to go all the way and win the WC.

  89. Bamford10

    Aubergine

    I have no idea what you’re on about, but I’m not surprised you’re resorting to homophobic slurs. You’ve got a lot of class, mate.

  90. Dissenter

    Aubergine
    Post whatever you want ton post.
    I hate censorship. I don’t think it was Bamford though.

    If you were banned, you wouldn’t be able to post under your moniker. It’s probably a glitch.

  91. champagne charlie

    Aubergine

    That’s not a thing mate, you’re not banned lol you’re literally still posting. Most likely your internet is having a mare, or previous posts have had a banned word within them. Trust me, there’s a good few bizarre inclusions in the banned word list and it’s quite easy to do.

  92. Graham62

    Cesc

    Still trying to work out why people are so impatient.

    JHC, spent years putting up with Wenger and his delusional methods and yet some on here want immediate action.

    Doesn’t make any sense.

  93. Graham62

    A14

    If you are binned, why act so surprised?

    If you are not binned, just try and show a bit more respect and humility in the future.

  94. Aubergine14

    CC

    Seriously I’m banned. I have a friend who’s been banned before and he’s told me thats what happens lol.

    One word posts like hello, hi, fuck whatever, that don’t include banned words, you post comment and it just sends you to the top of the page minus the comment.

    It’s a liberty!

  95. TheLegendaryDB10

    G62

    Still trying to work out why people are so impatient.

    I have been wondering the same. The season is far from having started and some are hoping we spend 200 mil to get the team right. I seriously wonder how much they know their club at some point.

    I fear that throughout this season some will show the same impatience. I said it before and I will say it again: it will take a full season for the players and the new system to gel. So all of you, just fucking relax and enjoy the new era, regardless of what happens unless it really, really is total shit. But I doubt this. From what I see, Unai is a real thinker who has a plan!!

  96. champagne charlie

    Aubergine

    Never seen someone maintain the ability top post, and be banned mate. Counterintuitive stuff. I’m under the impression the moniker gets binned and that’s it.

    You’re still posting, I don’t think Pedro can ban your router only..