Xhaka shows off his eagle + golden ref comment on new defender

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Our two Swiss boys had a good day at the office. Xhaka banged home a screamer from range on 55 minutes to give Switzerland 3 vital points. He celebrated with an eagle sign, a big fuck you to the Serbians, FIFA no doubt going to step in to punish him because they’re super hot on anything unless it’s proper racism. A bit of gentle goading about some genocide back in the day is sure to garner a ten game ban.

Lichtsteiner played his part, barking orders from the sidelines. I found this piece from a Swedish ref Jonas Eriksson on our new signing.

‘I have met several international players and to judge a person you have to meet them several times – and not just once when they have a bad day because everyone can have it. But I have met Lichtsteiner several times, and he is one of the most unpleasant players I met.’

PERFECT. Get me some of that unpleasantness in our side. Not because I like mean players, more because we’re a soft touch with refs in general.

There are some reports that we’re chasing Russian superstar Golovin. The 22-year-old has been impressive this year; we felt his talent first hand in the Europa League. Juve are favourites, but his current employers are pushing for £25m. He looks a player, can’t believe Everton aren’t chasing him down, looks like an Usmanov centrepiece.

In coaching news, Le Grove favourite Julian Nagelsmann shocked the world when he announced he’ll be joining Redbull Leipzig next season. It’s an odd move when you consider Bayern were very interested in his talents, but from a learning perspective, it’s really smart. He’ll get to work with Ralph Rangnick, who is a bit of a management idol from a mentor perspective. He’ll also have money to support him, a smart scouting network, and he’ll be able to raise a family with his lady.

The big transfer chases going off at the moment for Arsenal centre around Soyuncu. The Freiburg centre-back is going to wait until July to decide where he goes next. Then there’s Banega, who met with Gazidis this week. The Argentine, who has been missed this World Cup seems to be playing games. He’s working out his second stint at Sevilla, and he was upset that Sporting Director Oscar Aries left the club. Seems to me like he’s either looking for more money there or more money with us. So we’ll see how this pans out.

There’s a bit of chatter about Petr Cech heading over to Napoli. I wrote yesterday that we’d pushed our wage bill up a lot so far this year. He’d be a good one to ship off the list. Who wouldn’t want to retire to Italy?

Also, I missed off Per Mertesacker and Santi Cazorla off the out list yesterday. I didn’t do it on purpose. I promise.

Finally, there’s a great write up about Raheem Sterling, by Raheem Sterling on the Players Tribune. It’s rightly being received very well because now people are looking at this guy like a human. Every year, fans of football clubs grow a little. This summer, it seems we’re not about the nasty attacks the press perpetrate on our players. They’re our boys; we’re here to the support the, and the fans will control the narrative. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Tapping out early, but tune in at 4ish tomorrow because I’ll be on Love Sport Radio chatting about our amazing summer.


828 Responses to “Xhaka shows off his eagle + golden ref comment on new defender”

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  1. grooveydaddy

    Xhakiri’s late goal killed me last night. I needed the 1-1 draw for the outright lead in my betting pool.

    Now I’ve got to play catch-up…

  2. raptora

    I watched quite a lot of Shaqiri’s games last season. He was literally the only spark in that somehow dead team. Game in, game out he was the only person putting above par performances.

    Re Wilshere, I know that they re different kind of players. Shaqiri definitely more offensively oriented than Jacky boy. Still though, the Swiss has shown great leadership qualities. I do like him a fair amount.


    Graham 62/Raptora.
    It is also about value ?
    Stoke would obviously up the ante
    if Arsenal come calling but for an injury free type
    player he is, he is cheap.
    would Jack have an higher market value.
    I doubt it.

  4. Barking Arsene

    Shaq went to Bayern to young IMO – he didn’t do too badly but I’d like to see him back in a top side now he is older and a little wiser.

    Like I said before if it didn’t work out you would get your money back as he is worth far more than £12m

  5. Barking Arsene


    As far as I am aware £12m is his release clause. So I don’t think Stoke can do anything.

    Also wouldn’t it be nice to take their best player off them as well…. cunts.

  6. Leftsidesanch

    Read sterlings article yesterday, good read. People can be judgemental without knowing what goes on and what has been previously.

  7. Emiratesstroller


    1. I don’t think that our wage bill is quite as critical as you suggest. I am sure
    that the club will be able to make adjustments in their accountancy. Also
    the club had a lot of players and staff on their payroll last season. I suspect
    that the numbers could well be reduced in next financial year.

    2. On the playing numbers in squad I would mention that several clubs have
    been reducing their squad numbers going for quality rather than quantity.
    Both Real Madrid and Man City reduced their squad size to 23 last season.

    3. I don’t understand why we are considering Banega. The player turns 30
    next week. I am all for recruiting experience, but do we need to keep on
    spending our transfer budget on players who are 28+. There is a danger
    of overdoing the experience in club.

    4. Golovin would be an excellent buy. However, I suspect that would be only
    happening if Ramsey does not sign his contract and is offloaded.

  8. Barking Arsene

    I don’t know what we could reasonably expect to get for Ramsey but let’s say £35m based on the fact he has a year to go.

    Ramsey out for £35m
    Iwobi our for £10m
    £45m sales

    Shaq in for £12m
    Golovin in for £30m
    £42m spent

    It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we could pull that off.

  9. gonsterous

    how many changes have me made to the first team so far ? GK, CB and midfield. Not bad. Fair part of the window still left.

  10. Barking Arsene


    We are doing well IMO. Seem to have addressed (or are in the process of addressing) most of the issues required, except maybe for a wide player.

    Not worried if these guys are older – get a couple of years from them and start bringing in younger replacements during that time. Seems like we have a strategy at least.

  11. PessimisticPat

    Stroller I would like to agree with you on banega but as we have so little quality in central midfield beggars can’t be choosers. Plus imagine we don’t sign banega and ramsey leaves. Elneny xhaka for the season? Jesus.

    People seem concerned about sell on value for players who we buy but aren’t bothered that we might dump 200k a week on a player who misses 40% of games every season. Baffles me.

  12. Masterstroke

    Would somebody please enlighten me. What is the significance of the ‘eagle’ thing Xhaka did after scoring?
    I’m not a fan of the whole of the old Yugo block, so anything that gets up their nose is OK with me.

  13. alexanderhenry


    100% with you on lichsteiner’s unpleasantness.
    I hope he’s especially unpleasant to bellerin next time our sartorially silly RB gets himself caught out of position.

  14. Emiratesstroller

    This is always “silly” season in transfer market with clubs claiming to buy/sell
    players plus agents and the media creating stories as well.

    If you believed a fraction of the rumours Arsenal would be buying half the players on the planet.

    Analysing our squad and what might be done there are in my view only two
    possible positions in team/squad where we might still enter transfer market>
    These are an additional centre back and/or central midfielder.

    In the case of Centre Back position I am assuming that Koscielny is out until
    Xmas and either Chambers or Mustafi are being offloaded. We do not need
    more than 5 CBs on books.

    In the case of CMF we have already got 3 players competing for 2 positions in
    starting lineup in Xhaka, Ramsey and Torreira with Elneny and Maitland-Niles
    on bench. Four of these players have signed new contracts and Ramsey has
    also been offered new contract. Frankly I see no additional place in squad if
    he signs.

  15. Gunnergetyou

    Shaqiri flopped at Bayern and then Inter. I think he’s a player who’s capable of looking top class at times, but does not perform consistently over the course of a full season. The fact he went to Stoke in the first place is enough to put me off, but then you also have to wonder why none of the big clubs have been linked with him since, despite him being available for cheap.

  16. Barking Arsene

    If we are to play a three man midfield then we need one more CM with attacking ability.

    Torreira, Xhaka and Elneny not able to play the more attacking role that Ramsey does. AMN *might* be able to buy is still young.

    Banega would fit the bill and not break the bank.

    Six midfielders for three positions is not overkill when you factor in the EL and cups etc

  17. Emiratesstroller


    I have not included in my list attacking midfielders i.e. we have got on books
    Ozil, Mkhitaryan and even Iwobi can play there.

    The only position where we could conceivably recruit and find space in squad
    is a quality winger, but I don’t think that we have the budget for that player.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    For the record I am working on the premise that we are playing 4-2-3-1 formation, which is why I omitted attacking midfielders from my original list.

    I don’t see us buying an additional CMF if Ramsey signs. It is far more likely
    that we bring in an additional CB if Emery decides that Mustafi is simply not
    good enough for starting eleven. He should not be relying on Chambers,
    Mavropanos and Holding to fill in whilst Koscielny is out injured.


    i would not call Shaquiri’s position a winger.?
    But on that point the winger Australia played
    wide right .LECIE was excellent in the last game.
    I believe he plays in the Bundesliga?
    We should take a chance on players like this.?

  20. gonsterous


    I agree. shaqiri is more of a wide play maker, like what Nasri was. Hence why he wasn’t good enough for Bayern. they wanted a ribery/ Robben 2.0 and shaqiri isn’t that apart from having a good shot…

  21. raptora

    Well I honestly believe that if Shaqiri goes to a team in the EPL, but a team outside of top 6, he will be their best player. At least offensively. I believe he is far better than that team of Stoke that he shouldn’t have even been at, but I guess it was a good thing for him to gain some self belief. Now that his prime years are starting he should be ready to leave a mark in a good team. Whether it is Arsenal or not, we shall see, but he could definitely be useful.


    I can see that.
    Trouble is Arsenal are not at the moment
    anywhere near what we should be.
    It”s about value and what we might be able to afford to move forward again.

  23. grooveydaddy


    The eagle is an Albanian national symbol (they’ve got a double headed one on the flag).

    The gesture was a bit of a ‘f*ck you’ to the Serbs for the atrocities committed against ethnic Albanians in the past.

  24. Marko

    People calling for Shaqiri to be signed honestly need their head examined. It’s been a slow decline for Stoke and Shaqiri has been a part of that these last few years his club performances haven’t been good enough. Also be weary of signing up a player off the back of a good international tournament and be especially weary of signing a player off the back of one single game

  25. Barking Arsene


    I would factor in that although Emery prefers 4-2-3-1 he also plays a 4-3-3 sometimes so is presumably going to need adequate cover.

    I do think we have one more CM in us, even if it is a fairly low cost option just to replace Jack.

    We look to be addressing the gaps though which is great news going forward.

  26. raptora

    I wrote about it several days ago.

    Situation is mostly Torreira, Xhaka, Elneny, AMN covering for the 2 positions of CMs playing closer to our defence.

    Then as AM we have only Ramsey and he is probably the main option, but then again Ozil and Mikki who were also used as wide players by Wenger can play there without problems. So if Ramsey isn’t available Ozil or Mikki could move there and in their place we could see Welbeck or Iwobi.

    It is a healthy number of players already.

    But put in perspective that we just lost 2 midfield players in Cazorla and Jacky Boy (plus Coquelin but I reckon AMN is going to play his role) and even though we got Mikki in the winter, we’re still maybe 1 body short in the creative area.

    Still I would prefer all the money in the world to be put for the real winger that we desperately, desperately need and if we are to get a good AM it has to happen for the expense of Ramsey.

  27. raptora

    Hard to believe that Coquelin never managed to score a single goal for us in the ~10 years and 160 games played of his Arsenal career, but he moves to Valencia and 2 months and 5 games later, he nicks one from a corner. #madness

  28. Cesc Appeal

    Really just want Torreira to be officially done as fast as possible, I’m tired of hearing all the it’s basically done stuff, he is exactly what we need and if we get Banega in addition then great but let’s focus on Torreria first.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    The hold up with Soyuncu is likely Arsenal trying to get the fee lowered a bit and probably to do with us trying to sell Mustafi first or have a deal in place.

  30. raptora

    Yeah, cannot wait for Torreira to be announced. Hopefully everything goes smooth as a baby’s butt.

    Dunno about the Caglar dude tbh. Haven’t seen or hear him, maybe he’s top notch but he will probably need a season or two to get used to everything, no? CB is a very fragile position, very, very important so imo would be too high of a risk to put your whole faith on the shoulders of a 22 yo CB, never played in the league before, with 2 seasons as a professional footballer, and 2 red cards in 25 games in 2017/18.

    Excuse my pessimism but if it was up to me I wouldn’t sell Mustafi and risk too much on a young player that might be the next Chambers or Holding.

  31. mysticleaves

    If Ramsey goes I think we should be all over Rabiot. The same situation with PSG and they won’t want to lose him on a free

    Shaqiri has that star dust about his game where he can win a game off the back of one purely genuis move. Problem is he has been criticized for being lazy and not helping teammates in defence

    PS: It’s amusing that Xhaka’s performance yesterday has gone lowkey on le grove. It’s a bit of a humble pie moment when the villain of the moment puts in a good performance.

  32. Cesc Appeal


    I will feel a lot better when Torreira is anounced.

    With regards to Soyuncu, just have to trust Mislintat on this one. He has been watching him for a long time apparently.

    No problems selling Mustafi because we have Sokratis arriving and I think that Chambers will be sold as well before the window closes.

  33. mysticleaves

    “Excuse my pessimism but if it was up to me I wouldn’t sell Mustafi and risk too much on a young player that might be the next Chambers or Holding.”

    Spot on! We already have Calgar in Chambers and Holding. So if Calgar is to be brought in as a prospect at 22 then C and H should be treated as prospects too. This possible transfer is a head scratcher

  34. Cesc Appeal

    CBs last year: Mustafi, Kozz, Mert, Chambers, Holding

    CBs this year: Sokratis, Soyuncu, Kozz, Mavropanos, Holding

    Midfield last year: Ramsey, Xhaka, Wilshere, Elneny

    Midfield this year: Torreria, Banega, Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny

    Some of those are signings that seem likely but the turnaround in the squad would be good, I think.

  35. mysticleaves

    “No problems selling Mustafi because we have Sokratis arriving and I think that Chambers will be sold as well before the window closes.”

    So when our business is done we have Sokratis and Calgar starting for us at least till January? That idea is fucking nuts.

    Why sell Chambers though? He was an excellent prospect when we signed him. And when he played with us in his first season with the coaching he received at Soton he was aweosme. Wengertritis took over and here we are.

    Whether we have to trust Sven or not is moot at this point given that it will be in expense of another very good prospect in Chambers

  36. raptora

    Problem is that Kozz is out till New Years. That’s a heck of a lot games in a row and pressure to put on a young CB hence my thoughts that Mustafi will probably stay.

  37. Dissenter

    I wouldn’t sell Chambers
    He’s gone through his developmental phases and had a reasonable loan at Middlesbrough two seasons ago.
    He’s just about set to enter the next phase of his career.
    Let’s see how he talkes his opportunities. We still need some British-ness in our backbone.

  38. Dissenter

    I don’t think Koschielny is just out till January.
    I really think he’s out of the top leagues for good.
    He’s struggled with this archilles tendon issues, surgery isn’t going to just make it better.
    He’s gone next summer for an undisclosed fee.

  39. Dissenter

    If I had a choice between getting a Soyuncu or a home grown talent like Jamaal Lascelles from the Championship.
    I would,get a UK talent.
    I’m not going to just give Mislintat that benefit of doubt. We need to scout far and wide, including the Championship. There are some excellent young defending talent there..
    It just seems to be anything Bundesliga or previous Emery player for now.

  40. Marko

    PS: It’s amusing that Xhaka’s performance yesterday has gone lowkey on le grove. It’s a bit of a humble pie moment when the villain of the moment puts in a good performance.

    Think Charlie said it best last night guy was pony and then had one great bit of magic. Very Ramsey like I’d say can be quite anonymous for the majority of the game and then a back heel and a goal and all is forgiven

  41. raptora

    I don’t agree with those who say that after 1 good game people started talking about Shaqiri.

    Everyone knows that I like Ramsey a fair bit but around a week or two ago I said that getting Shaqiri for 12m and selling Ramsey for 45m+ would be top business. That was before he showed his class.

    Anyways maybe he’d be better in the position that Ozil has been playing lately as a right wing positioned playmaker.

    Thing is we are so bad in a lot of things that if we buy Shaqiri overnight he’ll become our best dribbler, best free kick taker, best corner taker, best at shooting from long range. Add to this great leadership qualities, nice speed, tricky. It’s a no brainer for me.

  42. Marko

    CA my guess is with Caglar Soyuncu we’re trying to negotiate a reasonable fee which is absolutely fine because in no way should he be going for 35 million. I think another defender is on the cards too. I’d be shocked if Mustafi isn’t sold and then that’d leave us a bit short

  43. Cesc Appeal


    We have to balance the books though, I think that is the problem for us.

    Mustafi sold and replaced by Sokratis, Chambers sold and replaced by Soyuncu is probably the way the club is looking at it with Mavropanos developing as well and then Kozz returning from injury.

    We still need a winger though, likely Martins given that he might be free.

  44. raptora

    Yeah, Kozz is done at the top level for me as well. Decline has been similar as with Cech. This summer was the moment to sell him but oh well.

  45. Marko

    If I had a choice between getting a Soyuncu or a home grown talent like Jamaal Lascelles from the Championship.
    I would,get a UK talent.

    He’s Newcastle United’s Capt

  46. Marko

    CBs last year: Mustafi, Kozz, Mert, Chambers, Holding

    Merte doesn’t and didn’t count last year. I’d be shocked if Holding didn’t get a loan and if Mustafi wasn’t sold and with that in mind we’d be down to Sokratis, Caglar, Chambers and Mavropanos with one absolutely not ready and two really maybe three that could go either way really. I’d be surprised if we didn’t sign up one more defender. With reports that we bid for Luiz and interest in Benetia and Rugani and Diallo and Pavard (who I’d prefer because he’s very much capable of playing RB) it looks like another defender is on the cards which if we’re being honest is needed a complete overhaul. Some of these players have been a major factor (and the previous manager of course) in the amount of goals we’ve conceded the last number of years. It’s simply been not good enough

  47. mysticleaves

    I would really look at getting a winger and bring back one of Ozil or Miki to the middle. With our options at CM I think we are ok bar a Ramsey departure.

    Miki Ozil and Ramsey in that order for our AM role supported by two of Xhaka, Torreira, Ramsey is not bad at all

  48. Cesc Appeal


    The problem is the defence and midfield needs a complete overhaul and that is going to cost a lot of money, we’ve been very fortunate if we can get Martins for free because that saves us a lot.

    What can you sell from the squad? Mustafi £20-25 Million, Chambers £15-20 Million, Wilshere has left for free, you won’t get anything for Kozz as he cannot be sold, Ozil cannot be sold because of his wages.

    Welbeck and Perez might get you £20-30 Million.

    It can be done, but it is a lot of work this is why I always laughed at the whole leaving a great squad behind for the next manager bollocks.

  49. Leedsgunner

    Along with an established winger I would really give Reiss Nelson a good run in the team as a winger… especially on the left. We need to use him sensibly or we’ll end up losing him!

  50. Marko

    CA the names we’ve been linked with on top of the supposed 70 million budget coupled with sales and i see no reason why we can’t sign some of the players that we’re being linked with. In fact because most of them seem to be quite shrewd and cheap enough in the current market I’ve got a feeling of a potential marquee type statement signing being made by us later in the window. Now whether a Lozano or Pavon or Rabiot or Kondogbia would be considered by some as a statement signing is something else. Seemingly the most we’ve spent or are about to spend is in the 25-30 million region I’ve a feeling we’ll go much higher at some point this summer

  51. Barking Arsene

    Think we will need to keep hold of Mustafi this season – we may even get him looking like a proper defender in that time.

    A proper winger would be nice but we might have to wait a season for that to happen.

  52. Marko

    Along with an established winger I would really give Reiss Nelson a good run in the team as a winger… especially on the left. We need to use him sensibly or we’ll end up losing him!

    No way shape or form is he good enough. He was given opportunities last season and he didn’t impress. Maitland Niles and Mavro did. We’re a big club no way should a Reiss Nelson be anywhere near the first team yet. Loan him

  53. Leedsgunner

    Our U23 squad did really well last year.

    Along with Nketiah, (whom I’ve championed before) and Reiss Nelson we have good youngsters like Emile Smith Rowe and Ben Sheaf, who the club should use for League Cups and encounters with weaker (lower league sides) sides. This way we can keep our strongest players for EPL games and crunch Europa games… and keep them fresh and fit.

    One of the reasons why we have failed to mount a title challenge is because our best players often not available in key matches.

  54. TR7

    ‘I’m I the only one who just doesn’t rate Lukaku?’

    Are you talking about the donkey who plays for Man United? Yes he is ordinary.

  55. Leedsgunner


    You and I will differ, respectfully, in this one.

    Reiss is good enough, but he was used poorly by Wenger. Only time will tell.

  56. London gunner

    Lukuka has a wasteful first touch

    But he has everything else. Pace a d strength in abundance, very clinical finisher, great movement and runs, top class hold up play and brilliant Header and volleys, underrated link up play and performs for domestic and international teams. Amazing record as a young striker as well.

    Hardly a donkey

  57. London gunner


    Has had some of the best striking stats for I don’t know how many seasons. If Kane is wc then lukuka is to for my money.

    Man United wouldnt have gone for him if he wasn’t

  58. Marko

    Now Nketiah I’d give a chance to. In fact I’m all for getting rid the fuck of Welbeck giving Nketiah the third striker spot and signing up a proper left winger (we’ve got zero LW’s zero). Give Eddie minutes in the cups and Europa. Lad got proper fucked over by Wenger last season was pretty much given one opportunity and he impressed and then that was that.

  59. WengerEagle


    Does he? Always feels like he misses a sitter every time I watch him.

    Still have doubts about him at the very top level too. We’ll have to wait and see but don’t see him stepping up in the knockouts myself.

  60. TR7

    ‘Pace a d strength in abundance, very clinical finisher, great movement and runs, top class hold up play and brilliant Header and volleys, underrated link up play and performs for domestic and international teams. ‘

    I wonder why he rarely performs against good teams despite possessing so many brilliant qualities.

  61. raptora

    Oh lord, did KdB actually gave a bad final pass or was it on Lukaku? Anyways problem of KdB is that he ALWAYS looks for the pass. It was a position where he could have easily scored.

    Tunisia are not a match for Belgium but I reckon they won’t go further than a quaterfinal.

  62. London gunner


    Funny that’s when I see him stepping up the most. I’m those cagey knockout games I can see him scoring from a cross or heading in a free kick.

    He is a big presence who never hides.

  63. champagne charlie


    think you’re trying too hard to sell Shaquiri as an option. Guy has a talented player, but at 26 he’s never delivered a season to make you go “ok, have a look”.

    Arnoutavic was able to put together about 18 months of top drawer football at Stoke before a lull, and eventual move to West Ham where he’s back playing well. Shaquiri can do moments, and “look good” all he likes but he’s not delivered a noticeable period of good football.

    He’s known for his laziness and being a bit heavy, I think WC fever is at play a bit here. He’s a talented lad, but so was Taraabt, Balotelli, Belhanda. With Gelson Martins available on a bosman, Shaquiri at 12 mil looks very meh business.

  64. London gunner


    Who says he doesn’t?

    In fact at Everton he had a very good record against the big teams…

  65. Marko

    Has had some of the best striking stats for I don’t know how many seasons. If Kane is wc then lukuka is to for my money.

    Last 4 seasons Harry Kane 135 goals all comps Lukaku 98 goals all comps.

  66. Barking Arsene

    I like Belgium a lot.

    Be interested to see how they do in the knockout stages and who they draw but they have a group of players good enough to win the whole thing.

    Would need to play 100% and get a little luck obviously but it’s possible.

    If anything I’d worry about Martinez and his tactics more than their playing staff.

  67. London gunner


    Those are very good stats, Kane are better but lukuka has been playing at Everton for some of that time….

    Fact he scored the amount he did for a fairly shit Everton shows what a baller he is

  68. champagne charlie

    Lukaku and “underrated link up play” together in the same sentence. Sheeeesh

    Lukaku is a poacher, a well-rounded poacher who can occasionally dominate CB’s. He’s not this elite specimen designed for greatness, just a very good forward who had a 25 year olds body at 17 and has started right from the off.

  69. Marko

    London point is he’s a level below. And honestly he’s not a big game player. It’s what he’s become known for these last few years

  70. London gunner

    To be honest Belgium have the talent and they also play as a team unlike day Argentina.

    Belgium have shown better performances than Brazil, france, Germany and been comparable to Spain and Portugal.

  71. TR7

    Of the 25 goals he scored at Everton in his last season, 21 came against bottom 13 clubs in the league. Even playing for United he rarely scores against top 6. Not just scoring, against good teams he mostly goes anonymous in general play. Good at padding his stats though.

  72. London gunner


    I disagree. Poachers don’t start moves they finish them.

    Lukuka starts a lot of his teams goals driving from deep, releases the ball and then combines with the playmaker to then finish the move.

    Or he holds up play when a long ball is recieved and then distributes, inter links and then finishes.

    Poachers don’t do this they are involved right at the end like a hernandez and don’t really do anything in the build up.

  73. WengerEagle

    Portugal haven’t been great.

    Dominated by Spain, was a real smash and grab job getting the draw.

    And Morocco throughougly outplayed them, game decided by a well taken set piece.

  74. Marko

    It’s funny the way I dig out some of Harry Kane’s stats can make it seem like I’m a fan which is funny because i absolutely detest the lad. Think he’s a little up jump prick with a muggy face but it’s as obvious as the sun and the stats back it up he’s up there as one of the more prolific goal scorers in the world.

  75. Marko

    Disagree all you like London if one guy is getting 135 goals and the other is getting 98 those guys are not the same level. Still a very good striker though

  76. champagne charlie


    You can disagree, but Hernandez too is capable of exactly what you described. It’s not the fact they’re capable or not, it’s that more than not Lukaku is a poacher. Every United fan I know mid season were slating him for being absolutely useless until the ball was in the box.

    How does he rate statistically? His pass accuracy, number of passes, key passes, assists etc. I think you’re elevating him based on a liking of the guy tbh.

  77. London gunner

    Over lukuka premier league career

    45 percent shooting accuracy
    Big chances missed 71


    42% shooting accuracy
    Big chances missed 104

    Tbis isn’t me saying lukuka is better just showcasing he is a clinical striker and that he is better than many would presume

  78. London gunner


    “I think you’re elevating him based on a liking of the guy tbh.”

    Thats you on xhaka dude.

    “It’s not the fact they’re capable or not, it’s that more than not Lukaku is a poacher.”

    Thats the whole point. You were describing him as limited player now you’re alluding to the fact that he is capable of doing more…

    And I’m not saying he is a playmaker just that he is involved in build up plays and that he isn’t hovering around the 6 yard box like an actual poacher that he is all over the pitch, hell he was even decent on the wing for Everton.

  79. Gunnergetyou

    Belgium are looking like the most convincing team right now along with Croatia. Can’t see too many weaknesses in their starting 11.

    This is the most open world cup I can remember.

  80. gambon

    Would 100% sell Mustafi and Chambers.

    Both awful players…..they have had their chances and have done everything but taken them.

    I saw someone earlier say Chambers had “a reasonable loan” at Boro.

    So the standard at AFC is now players that have a reasonable season while getting relegated?

    Chambers doesn’t have the tools to be a top CB. He was a stupid buy and will never have any interest from a top 6 club again in his career.

  81. Bob N16

    Redruth, your relentless negativity is showing.

    At least your racist stereotyping hasn’t hasn’t reared it’s ugly head yet.

  82. gambon

    Shaqiri would be a good squad buy. At £12m certainly.

    Put it this way, we’ve seen Iwobi and Welbeck sharing wide duties recently….Neither are very capable.

    Shaqiri isn’t improving our first team though.

  83. champagne charlie


    No, I rate Xhaka in certain aspects which are rarely noted because people like to bitch about his defensive acumen (something I too criticise). So at least be fair if you’re going to get defensive because I questioned your opinion.

    I didn’t say Lukaku was limited, I actually said he plays as “a poacher, a well-rounded one” and is criticised often for his inability to do the things you’re waxing lyrical about. Being able to do them isn’t something to write home about, it’s actually doing them that’s the difference. He cost 90 mil mate, for that money I’d hope he can play a few one twos no? The fact is he doesn’t do it close to the amount you’re suggesting, and his link up play is absolutely not on the level of his goal scoring.

    If you don’t take may word for it then how about Hazards? His view after the Panama game…

    “It’s not easy playing with a man missing. At half-time, I told him (Lukaku) we needed him,” Hazard said. “He’d been hiding out a bit up front. But once he got in there, involved in the game, like magic, he scored two. I hope he understands that now.”

  84. Marko

    To be fair this focus on link up play certain people have at times is a bit strange. I’ve heard Auba is awful linking up play but Lacazette is good at it I mean they’re all fine at it even Lukaku.

  85. Barking Arsene

    Agree with that Gambon

    Shaqiri as a squad player is a solid buy for that money.

    If he wants to be the main man he can join a mid table club.

    I know Gelson is free but I don’t think he looks all that. Seems to have a poor end product and is also untested in the English league.

  86. Marko

    For the price Shaqiri would likely be wouldn’t we be better suited to go for a Pavon or Lozano? Shaqiri 15-20 million you’d probably get Pavon for about 20-30 or Lozano who cost PSV only 7 million last summer you’d imagine you could get him for around 20-25 million I mean Justin Kluivert went for 15 million and he was as good as Hirving last season

  87. TR7

    ‘No chance we sign Kovacic, Real will want at least 40 million for him.’

    Apparently we will sale Ramsey and get Kovacic in. Net investment zero.

  88. Marko

    WE I can see it. I’m telling you I just have this feeling of one statement marquee type signing. Been spending quite reasonably so far I can see it.

  89. WengerEagle

    Na PSV will be watching this WC and adding on 5 million pounds every time Lozano gets on the scoresheet.

    They’d be silly to sell for anything less than 40 million.

  90. raptora

    Isn’t Kovacic a defensive midfielder and being benched by Casemiro at RM? What about Torreira then? Should be one of two no? If we sell Ramsey and get 2 DMF is a bit too much lol

  91. Marko

    is also untested in the English league.

    But everyone’s untested in the premier league until a club actually takes a chance to bring them to the premier league

  92. WengerEagle

    Na Kovacic is B2B, incredible player.

    Rated as the most talented Croatian since Prosinecki by many in his homeland.

    Boban also said he has a higher ceiling than even he had.

  93. Marko

    Na PSV will be watching this WC and adding on 5 million pounds every time Lozano gets on the scoresheet.

    You’d imagine but they’re a little bit more reasonable about prices in Holland and we seem to have an actual negotiating team now. But honestly Justin Kluivert was as good as Lozano last season and he just went for 15 and they only bought him for 7 million last summer. 20-25 million is a great deal for him. But my point is that the money would be better spent on him than some short arse from Stoke

  94. TR7

    I think we want to rap up our signings first and sell players surplus to our requirements post the word cup. Remember we can buy only till Aug 9 while we can sell players to other leagues till 31st August. So that 70M investment will probably end up 40-50M net by the time window comes to a close.

  95. WengerEagle


    Championship players are going for that kind of price range, Lozano is looked upon as the next Mexican superstar.

    Would be amazed if he could be snagged for that cheap.

  96. Bob N16

    With our kit deal being negotiated before the end of the season, how important is it that we are looking good for a CL slot by the turn of the year?

    Shouldn’t the club be more ambitious with investments?

    Would it be too wishful to think we’ll sort out most positions economically and last minute flash some cash for a top class winger? In other words, our negotiating/ recruitment team play a blinder.

  97. WengerEagle

    It’s 90 mill though Vick and dropping another 40 on Kovacic would mean we would have to recoup about 80 million in sales to get a 50 mill net spend.

    Who could we sell to rack up that kind of dough?

  98. Marko

    Toreirra, Soyuncu, Sokratis, Leno is already 70 million, you really see us dropping an additional 40 mill on Kovacic?

    We’re not paying everything up front and we haven’t even begun to sell some of our players yet. So I absolutely do think that we can do it yes afford someone in the region of 35-45 million yes. And yeah we haven’t sold anyone yet but we will and I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve taken a forward thinking positive approach to the window and looked at buying before waiting around to sell. It’s progressive thinking

  99. Barking Arsene

    “But everyone’s untested in the premier league until a club actually takes a chance to bring them to the premier league”

    Obviously that’s true but from what I’ve seen he doesn’t look amazing so not sure if it’s worth the risk IMO.

    Maybe if we were to offload Welbeck and Iwobi we could bring in Shaqiri and Gelson – they have contrasting style to each other so there could be some benefits.

    I’d say Shaqiri and Gelson are potentially better options than Welbz and Iwobi.