Red flags in Stockholm point to a bumpy season

by .



So here we are, preseason is done, next week we take on the champions as we kick off the new era of Unai Emery. I’m excited, you are excited, we’re all f**king excited.

There’s pause for concern. I think the reality of the new regime is you don’t quickly fix a house that’s been left neglected in woods for 14 years. There are so many agenda items the new backroom team need to address in a short period of time just to bring us to elite parity from a setup perspective. The dream that we’ll be chasing down Manchester City in season one are fanciful, if we’re totally honest, 5th is probably a fair expectation of where we’ll finish, 4th would be the stretch target.

Is that a negative way to look at things? Absolutely not. We have to be realistic. If it took Pep G a year to bed in his ideas, with a team that had won the league 3 seasons before he took over, you can imagine how hard it’s going to be to embed ideas into players who have no success anywhere near the bloodstream in over a decade. The closest most of them have come to a league title is watching 89 on Netflix. Even players like Ozil who had some success at Madrid were there when Mourinho was relevant.

Emery is having to teach a lot of the players how to exist in 2018. You can see that in the way we’re playing at the moment. Yesterday’s Lazio game was a comfortable win, but the Italians just aren’t in the same league as City and we simply won’t be given time or space like that over the next three months.

It’s fascinating to work out what the fuck Emery is going to do. Someone mentioned to me they were concerned that we hadn’t found a system yet. I’m not fussed about that, the best teams in Europe can dance between multiple ideas. Part of the new era of football is being tactically fluid, having players that are actually intelligent enough to change the way they play after 15minutes. Think American football playbooks in the Premier League.

We jumped between 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and what looked like 4-2-2-2 at one point yesterday. I absolutely love seeing us trying new things. My worry isn’t about the system, it’s knowing how to play it. We’re looking very sophisticated at the back at the moment, Calum Chambers and the players we’ve switched in are very comfortable moving the ball around. It’s quite incredible how much width and space we generate simply by having a keeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet. Arsenal is opting for a slow, methodical approach to moving the ball out of the back. It’s a system of patience, maybe a little too patient at times. It’s certainly not the blitzkrieg style of Klopp, or the electric directness of Pep G.

I think the challenge we’ve had is transitioning the ball from midfield to attack. I don’t know if it’s just a tough adjustment, a lack of experience, or just preseason jitters… but there’s a lot of heavy touches and a bit of panic moving the ball forward. When it works, it’s great, when it doesn’t, there seem to be calamitous effects.

The positive for this season is I struggle to see past a Torreira and Guendouzi being the two midfielders at the base. Their movement, passing variety and mobility is going to put them in prime position to relegate Xhaka and Elneney to the bench. The difference those two are going to make this season could be immeasurable. Again, the big issue is there’s a whole team trying to learn on the job, and our two best deep-lying midfielders are new to the league.

Still, what a potential pairing, eh? Guendouzi makes some dumb decisions on the pitch, but he’ll stump that out and no doubt be a force by the end of the season. He’s so confident on the ball, demanding touches at all time. I also like that he’s an aggressor. Torreira had a solid game, tough to read too much into his performance, but I feel he’s likely going to be one of the shrewdest buys of the summer.

Our back 4 are going to cause us issues this season. We still lack quality. Lichtsteiner is an immense competitor, you just feel he’s 3 years too late to be a monster in our starting 11. That said, he was a beast all game. No one fucks with him. He’s dark arts shrewd. He looks fit. That ball he played to Lacazette was the next level Wenger was talking about.

Sokratis looks very slow. Mustafi just isn’t good enough. Jury is out on Mavrapanos and Holding. I love the idea of Vida, because he looks the sort of guy who’d cut your throat for talking too loud at a Tesco Express, but he’s 29 years old heading over from Besiktas. That move reeks of World Cup excitement. We need whoever the next Umtiti is coming in. Not sure we have the wedge to make that happen.

Our real strength this season is going to come from Auba and Lacazette. You can mop up a lot of mess having two deadly attackers there to finish off anyone’s long ball. It’s probably not a bad thing that they have a bit of a bromance going.

Overall, I’m very comfortable about next week. There’s only so much you can do in a summer, and if you count the revolution starting from January, it’s been a beast of a ride. I think the key for fans here is expectations. We have to go with the flow. You’ll have to ignore the bitter Wengerites who will jump on any loss as ‘UNACCEPTABLE IF THIS WERE WENGER’ because it’s irrelevant.

Everything that happens now is something new. If Emery wins an FA Cup, it will be bigger than Wenger’s. If he wins a league cup and takes it seriously, it’ll be more important than Wenger’s FA Cup. If he wins the Europa League, we’ll all celebrate it like it’s a World Cup, because it’s more important.

Everything positive that happened in the last 5 years was diminished when placed against the bigger picture of progress. That’s not me being miserable, that’s just giving you real talk. As we patted ourselves on the back for FA Cup wins, we slowly slipped out of the Champions League, we lost our identity, we shipped our best players, we became the go-to for meekness when describing a team. As we ignored jobless elite managers, dishing out a new deal to ‘the best in Europe’, inferior clubs built out exciting squads and rose from nothing to Champions League finalists.

Moving forward, everything that happens is a building block to something better. Even if things go to shit this season, at the very worst, we’ll have a club with upgraded thinking and players ready to move to the next level with a better manager.

Arsenal is making moves, whatever happens.

Enjoy the ride, keep the faith, and let’s have some good times this season.

419 Responses to “Red flags in Stockholm point to a bumpy season”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Champagne charlie

    “The importance of a goalie dribbling out with the ball and playing a short pass to one of the outfield players is hugely overdone by some in it’s actual importance.“

    Tell Guardiola that.

    A GK being good with the ball at his feet is essential when the system you play starts at the very back.

    Square pegs, round holes and all that.

  2. Kayciey

    For me, Wenger will be the yardstick that I will use to gauge Unai Emery. Because he’s been touted as that great tactician, I expect him to not only win all the matches Wenger won, but also beat the top 7 teams in all the home matches. It did not take Pep a year to streamline City players, he used over £600 million to buy players. Give Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis, Sean Dyche or even Gary Neville that money and they will win the league. Wenger performed badly because he didn’t spend like other top 5 teams did and our academy wasn’t producing Cesc like players like Spuds.

    As Wenger performed so will Emery if he doesn’t buy players. You wouldn’t expect water from the rock if you are not leaving in Moses days neither would you get consistent results with Elneny, Iwobi, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Mustafi …even Granit (too slow for epl). On players we have brought in, I rate Guendouzi and Lichtsteiner. The jury is still out there for Torerria because we can’t gauge a player by performance in the world cup and I can’t pretend I’ve watched Sampdoria play. Ahmed Musa of Nigeria played like Messi in the world cup, yet he’s a Leicester reject. I rate Mustafi higher than Sokratis……I did not rate him in BVB…I don’t rate him now.

    Even though I’m hopeful that some miracle might happen and we could just finish in top 4……..reality tells me otherwise. City just used 60 million to buy Mahrez…..we used 60 million to buy 4 players in the current market……tells you our ambition. The more things change….the more they remain the same. Ramsey and Ivan have realized this and that’s why they are jumping ship. The elephant in the room is Stan Kroenke and until he’s forced to sell his shares, we will be a mid-table team just like Stoke City once were.
    I will easily swallow my words if I’m proved wrong. For now, I will be supporting players and the team regardless of how they perform since the club hierarchy is comfortable with them. Who am I to challenge. To me Jack Wilshere is a better player than Elneny, Iwobi, Xhaka and Mkhitaryan, but we shipped him out and offered the above contract extensions……shows you the clubs ambition. For now, let’s pray for a Maurinho melt down and Spuds being Spuds for us to finish in top four. These are the miracles we should pray for.

  3. Marc


    Oh dear.

    Out of interest if the problem was Kroenke not giving Wenger any money then why were we the 3rd highest net spenders over the last 5 years prior to this summer?

  4. leon

    I am still very disappointed that the club let the Ramsey situation drag on like this, they have had this sorted last year . The fact is the club has not been well run at all. You have players who have been massively overpaid, players contracts being run only the way down. On top of that we have manager who was on absolutely ridiculous wages. This clubs wage bill is through the roof. Now there is no champions league money either, somImam not surprised that we are going to have to sell players to balance the books. Me personally I don’t think this has anything time I with Stan Kronke, this simply down to overpaying on wages and this included the manager

  5. Kayciey

    Oh dear.Out of interest if the problem was Kroenke not giving Wenger any money then why were we the 3rd highest net spenders over the last 5 years prior to this summer?


    Kindly share with me from where that statistics is coming from so I could analyze it too.
    Anyway, by your admission, we were 3rd spenders. Just proves me right. The top spenders finished top 2. In those years we couldn’t produce top notch youngsters either

  6. Kayciey


    Can you recall why Van Persie left Arsenal?……because Wenger didn’t want to pay players more than 100K a week. Then, people slated Wenger for it. We weren’t winning epl then either. Reality will soon sink in anyway.

  7. leon

    As I understand it , Stan Kronke has been pretty much hands off , he hasn’t had any real dealings with the club at all. Over the past five years we have spent pretty big but never in right way, never the positions or the type of players we really. It’s always been hype signings to get the fans off his back, Wenger I mean. And it’s so bizarre to me because Wenger would haggle over one million yet he is prepared to pay Arteter 80k e week and play a single game same thing Mertestaker and have them as club captain. It’s simply myth that stan Kronke is reason don’t have the funds and we have never had the money.

  8. raptora

    “Anyway, by your admission, we were 3rd spenders. Just proves me right. The top spenders finished top 2.”

    That’s so far from reality that it’s not even funny.

  9. Marc


    “Kindly share with me from where that statistics is coming from so I could analyze it too.”


    “Anyway, by your admission, we were 3rd spenders. Just proves me right.”

    Er no it doesn’t during that time we’ve finished 2nd once, the season Leicester won the league – how much did they spend? The other season’s were a 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.

    You don’t have a fucking clue? When did you start supporting Arsenal – 2016?

  10. Marc

    Also ManU as the 2nd highest spenders only managed top 2 last season, the other 4 were in no particular order 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th.

    Come on give me a reply?

  11. leon

    One can only hope that after the Ramsey situation is sorted one way or another that the club is run allot better and make players earn there contracts

  12. Marc


    Maybe a little earlier to take down the AKB page if Kayciey is anything to go by.

    If I’m completely honest Kayciey is a good argument for forced serialisation.

  13. UTarse

    By the same token of what you just Marc, where did you get the justification for this little nugget of a fact :

    “Wenger performed badly because he didn’t spend like other top 5 teams “

  14. Kayciey

    Also can you name all these “Cesc like” players that have come through the Spud academy?
    1. Harry Kane
    2. Kieran Trippier
    3. Kyle Walker
    4. Luka Modrić
    5. Gareth Bale

    I can go on and on….

  15. Barking Arsene

    I assume you are trolling but just in case you aren’t.

    Kane – Tottenham
    Trippier – Man City/Barnsley/Burnley
    Walker – Sheffield United
    Modric – Zagreb
    Bale – Southampton

  16. Freddie Ljungberg

    Saying that they have been better than us lately at producing top talent, either by buying or from the academy. Hopefully that will change now.

    High hopes for Guendozi and Mavropanos.

    Interesting that Mustafi didn’t get any game time against Lazio, hopefully means he’s off.

    A Sokratis – Mavropanos/Chambers CB pairing seems likely against City.

    Also hoping he starts with Torreira and Guendozi as the 2 in midfield behind Ozil.

  17. HillWood

    Went for a ride on the bike this morning and stopped off at the Hale End Academy
    From what I saw through the mesh fencing it’s a hell of a facility

  18. David Smith

    Leon, the club will be run a lot better, by specialists, not the coach, the powers that be have clearly finally realised how much Wenger was actually costing the club, in terms of stature, reputation and most importantly to Stan, on the bottom line, Stan is far from reflect as an owner, but Wengers failings will not be repeated

  19. Marc


    Kyle Walker signed 2009 from Sheffield Utd.
    Kieran Trippier signed 2015 from Burnley

    Harry Kane was bounced over several academies (including Arsenal and Watford) before the Spud’s took him on – they were lucky there.

    I’m going out in half an hour. Could you go on and on in the mean time and I’ll carry on crushing you when I get back?

  20. Kayciey

    I assume you are trolling but just in case you aren’t.Kane – Tottenham
    Trippier – Man City/Barnsley/Burnley
    Walker – Sheffield United
    Modric – Zagreb
    Bale – Southampton

    Like Cesc -Barcelona
    Bellerin – Barcelona
    Chambo – Barcelona

    et al

  21. raptora

    As not that great as Mustafi is he is probably our best CB at the moment. By some margin I’d say if it wasn’t for Papa who is unknown quality atm because nobody knows how he will fit in a new team in a new league.

    All of the other CBs we have atm are green and not ready/good enough for the top level.

    So I seriously wonder when I read comments like this one “Interesting that Mustafi didn’t get any game time against Lazio, hopefully means he’s off”.

    I have absolutely no problem with selling him if I’m 100% certain that we’re getting a better player in return. The quoted names like Caglar Soyuncu and that Gbamin guy, I’m okay with them. But is it good to jump in to a new season with absolutely new defence?! For me Mustafi could work out in the proper setup. Otamendi remember was a car crash before Pep came. Last season he was the leader of their defence. Really, really good.

    Anyways it’s just the idea that we should sell before be have bought anything that makes me wonder?! And how can we be calm with the possibility of Holding, Chambers and Mavropanos playing a huge portion of the season? Mustafi is much better than the first two with the Greek still a question mark.

  22. Barking Arsene

    Like Cesc -Barcelona
    Bellerin – Barcelona
    Chambo – Barcelona

    All correct (well, except Chambo who started at Southampton).

    But that’s nothing to do with you saying Spurs are produced those players.

    They didn’t (bar Kane).

    Most clubs will rely on smaller clubs developing talent as they will provide them with opportunities to play.

  23. Wenker-wanger

    Anyone still thinking the Mr Magoo of epic proportions ; arse wenker should be compared to any result emery gets is living in Wenger’s lala land mindset.
    There’s no comparison. Wenger spent enough but I believe he only spent to get 4th place…he was scared to expose himself by buying and assembling a team to win the league and crashing. He took the 4th place route knowing he could achieve that and to keep his job.
    We’ve said similar before…but some akbs still try and keep this frauds name alive.
    Emery is , by recent history’s standards already a far far better manager, whether we beat city or not.
    Forget wenger, the arsenal sickness is over now the tumor has been taken out.

  24. Freddie Ljungberg


    Well obviously if we sell Mustafi we need to replace him with a better player, and not another young prospect, I’ll leave the name up to Sven, he needs pace though if he’s going to play next to Sokratis.

    If we don’t sell him we don’t have the funds to get that better player.

    Rather go into the new season with a new defence than the one we already know is crap.

  25. G8

    For a top team, Arsenal had the worst scouting system over the last 10 years it’s not even funny..
    From Campbell to Miachi and sanogo..
    and lots of dross at the academy ..
    Wenger persisted with the same scouts despite obvious failure..
    Did fuck all to find proper gems..eventually costing the club fortunes…

  26. Wenker-wanger

    No manager in the top flight of the prem should have more than one of these wenger-shockers on his CV….. 8-2, 6-0, 5-1… A 2-1 defeat in the cup final to a piss poor relegated side(Birmingham)…..
    OK one freak result can be tolerated…football can throw up the odd shocker… But all these…and more????
    Cmon get real… Please vacate this site akbs….

  27. LINP

    How Ramsey’s case is settled would tell us whether our board has changed or not. In the past, players usually take advantage of the club, e.g., Sanchez, Ozil and Walcort. Wilshare’s case has shown that things start to change. Maybe Ramsey’s team thought that they are still dealing with the old administration. For the health of the club, the board has to be responsible.

  28. englandsbest

    Do managers learn much from pre-season games? Certainly the result – win, lose or draw – doesn’t mean a lot. I can remember a summer when Arsenal won every game and then lost at home in the first league game.

    A run-out, a fun way of keeping fit, a chance to fly the flag, and maybe a few extra quid in the Club’s coffers.

    So what conclusions can be drawn from the summer?

    The window is still open, there is time enough for a surprise, but right now it’s clear that we have gained no ground at all on Man C and LFC, indeed they have drawn further ahead of the Club.

    The others in the top five have problems of various kinds – Man U with Jose, Chelsea with a new manager, Spurs adjusting to a new stadium, In other words, it’s a matter of their shortcomings rather than Arsenal superiority.

    Another conclusion to be drawn is that Emery has personnel problems. He has had to make do and bring in players who are past their best. And then there is Ramsay, on past performance the team’s sole player with match-winner status. If he goes, it means the trend of the best players leaving the Club has continued.

    All things considered, matching last season’s sixth place might seem a reasonable result. Anything better would be a bonus.

  29. Kayciey

    The problem here is that if someone raises a contrary opinion, he/she is colored an AKB. An easy way to brush facts aside.

  30. Dissenter

    “1. Harry Kane
    2. Kieran Trippier
    3. Kyle Walker
    4. Luka Modrić
    5. Gareth Bale”

    He’s far from being factually correct but he’s bang on the money.
    Spurs do tend to buy good talent at very low prices even when they don’t come through their academy directly.
    Unlike Wenger’s British core gallery, they tend to turn British players into gold.

    We used to have first pick ahead of Spuds and went famously declined Modric because he was too small.
    They’ve been better run for the past 10 years and that’s helped bridge the gap over time.

  31. Dissenter

    ***We used to have first pick ahead of Spuds and Wenger famously declined Modric because he was too small.

  32. David Smith

    Spurs have a current manager exceptionally good at developing players, if not actually winning anything.
    The problem they have, they will lose said manager as soon as Utd sack Jose, which could be this season, would say you heard it here first, but this prediction is far too obvious to indulge such a claim
    Yes, we all know Poch wouldn’t go to Real, but why would he, a club that would sack him after a season or two. Utd will give him more time, and blow levy out of,the water, and Spurs go back in their trophy less box

  33. Michael24


    Your opinions are your opinions.

    The thing is dishing out statistics and figures with such a passion, sort of gives the game away.

  34. Cesc Appeal

    Chambers on loan?

    That is a weird one given that Holding is very inexperienced and looks nervous at CB still.

    Gives Chambers playing time in the EPL which is good either for next season or to sell him in the summer, but weird one.

    The club must be looking at a CB otherwise this makes literally no sense.

  35. Dissenter

    Chambers is the best of the young central defenders we have- he’s ahead of Mavros and Holding.

    This loan makes no damn sense, even if we are bringing in another experienced central defender.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    Holding is the one that needs the loan, in one of the worst defences we’ve had if Chambers who is 23 now off the back of a season long loan cannot stay to compete for a place what is the point in him?

  37. Marko

    Chambers and not Holding going on loan makes no sense. But I’m all for it because it has to mean that a CB is incoming. But who? Must mean we’re in negotiations with someone. Caglar Soyuncu? Vida? Please no

  38. Paulinho

    It’s quite simple really – the club/Emery doesn’t rate Chambers and will sell him next summer in all likelihood.

    All these contracts mean nothing really. Iwobi will be sold as well in the near future.

  39. Marko

    If Chambers does go on loan after signing a new deal it’s basically us hoping he does well enough that we can sell him next summer for a decent fee

  40. Marko

    Paulinho that’s exactly it. This season Iwobi, Chambers, Elneny and Xhaka are in last chance saloon/the shop window

  41. Paulinho

    Emery like one of those Goodfellas gangsters pretending to rate all of Wenger’s players to their face, but behind their back he’s secretly scheming and biding his time before he ‘pops’ them.

  42. Dissenter

    We are sending off defenders with premier league experience on loan so that slower and older defenders with zero premier league experience can take their place.
    I fear for our defensive result this season.
    There’s too much flux at the moment, no time to let anything congeal before the season begins.

  43. Dissenter

    You’re not making any sense.
    Let mr get this right…Emery is having the club extend the contracts of these players with big wage increases so that he can covertly sell them off …In due time.

    Why not just tell the club to get rid off.
    Every one knows it is harder to move on overpaid players.

    You’re validating your dislike for these players with wishful thinking. If the goal is to sell them off, then there is no better time that when he takes over this season.

  44. Dissenter

    Why would any premier league team try to sign Boateng?
    Premier league clubs do have lots of money but little footballing sense, continental teams just rip the off.

  45. Marko

    I fear for our defensive result this season.

    Surely need not because we’re losing Chambers. It should be because of people like Chambers. 3rd choice CB one injury away from an extended run at CB and let’s be honest he’s kinda wank

  46. Paulinho

    Dissenter – Don’t really have a problem with Chambers, just saying these contracts don’t really mean much, even if they get a wage increase. It’s probably only slightly more than the previous contract he signed not even a year ago.

    Also, Chambers has looked pretty sombre all summer.I think he knows the deal and has known for a while he is off.

  47. Marko

    You’re not making any sense.

    Are you for real? The last few years we’ve allowed Alexis and Ozil to nearly run down their contracts and Welbeck and Ramsey to get down to a little over a year it’s quite obvious that that’s something they’ve addressed by offering young players with about two years left new contracts. I mean Elneny getting a new deal doesn’t mean we believe in him it means that we’re deciding to sell him next summer and not this. I’m assuming because we can’t sell everyone this summer.

  48. Wallace

    hmm, not really following your logic there, Marko. we’re giving them pay rises because they’re surplus to requirements and we want to sell them?

  49. Dissenter

    El neny had two years left on his deal when he got an extension with considerable more money
    Iwobi had two years left on his contract when he got a double your money wage increase this summer.
    Chambers had had more than two contract extensions in one calendar year, both with wage increases.

    That’s a piss-poor way to avoid the Ozil/Sanchez situations. It’s actually worse to extend their contracts with wage increase knowing fully well that their new wages will make it very hard to sell them.
    Why not sell them this window if the manager doesn’t rate them?

  50. Marko

    I mean I hope the pay bumps aren’t too big but yeah you don’t think it makes sense? Elneny for example had we not signed him to a new deal next summer would have a year left and would be worth less. Xhaka too. I mean that’s what I’m thinking. I don’t think Elneny is that valued at Arsenal and is there long term wise

  51. Marko

    El neny had two years left on his deal when he got an extension with considerable more money
    Iwobi had two years left on his contract when he got a double your money wage increase this summer.

    Exactly my point and when we tried to sell them next summer they’d have a year left. I hope the pay bumps aren’t too big otherwise what’s the point. Look I’m just trying to make logic of some of the contracts recently signed okay. I mean I doubt it’s cause we believe that these players will come good. Elneny won’t. If we believed in Chambers we wouldn’t be loaning him.

  52. Dissenter

    Elneny was contracted until 2020 before the last extension
    Why add £1.5 million more to the wage bill to keep him for two more years when it’s going be harder to sell him on a wage of 70k weekly in 2019?
    More clubs will be willing to buy him when his last wage was 40k weekly that 70k weekly.
    Wanyama earns 30k weekly at Spuds for comparison.

  53. Marko

    Do we know Elneny is on 70k? Listen I don’t know why certain players got bumps I wouldn’t have given them bumps or signed them in the first place. Don’t know why Xhaka got a new deal after an average two seasons with us

  54. Dissenter

    Crystal Place tried to sign Chambers for about £22 million last summer [If you believe the tabloids]
    What did we do?
    We turned the offer down …….then increased his wage twice in one calendar year….then sent him away on loan again [If you believe the tabloids]

    What a mess of a club.
    No wonder we gave away all the advantages of a new stadium with a large fan base and have smaller clubs with smaller wage bills competing with us.

  55. Dissenter

    El neny came in on about 40-45kw weekly.
    He was moved on to the next pay band which is about 55-70k weekly. Some places say 55k and others cite 70k weekly.

  56. Marko

    Ishola is going to love the links to Ricardo Rodriguez tomorrow. Nice little shite troupe of Swiss players we’re assembling

  57. Thorough

    Chambers is pants as a CD, average as a full back and manageable as a DM. There’s no way he’s ahead of Mavropanos who’s got no nerves.
    Even at Borough he was so-so. A singular rookie in Holding is enough load for the defense.

  58. Marko

    He was moved on to the next pay band which is about 55-70k weekly. Some places say 55k and others cite 70k weekly

    So you don’t know that we’ll struggle to sell him on his big wages. Also I’d be shocked if Wanyama was on 30k at Spurs I know they’re kinda cheap and shit but he would have been on that amount at Celtic let alone Southampton

  59. Dissenter

    I could be wrong about Wanyama’s.
    The websites that cite wages are all over the place.
    That applies to all the figures I’ve dropped about Arsenal players tbh.

  60. Marko

    Wanyama’s like late 20’s too if he was still on 30g’s a week he’d be fucked by the end of his career

  61. Marko

    I can see us maybe making a move for a United reject if they end up getting Mina or Maguire. Jones or Smalling. Neither ideal

  62. Dissenter

    Lichstenier speaking about the Arsenal project
    ” ‘We are ready and it was important to show this. I see players with big character and big qualities. I think this team just needs this last fire to explode.

    ‘It’s the same project like seven years ago at Juventus. It’s important to come back into the Champions League. Step by step we will grow and go forward.

    ‘When you are at big clubs like Arsenal it’s important to have in your head the aim to win titles.’

    He knows a bit about being in a title winning team

  63. Cesc Appeal

    Chelsea are rumoured to be ready to pay £35 Million for Ramsey.

    The transfer market is starting to come to life now

  64. azed

    Chelsea are rumoured to be ready to pay £35 Million for Ramsey.

    If this is true, we should take it and run.

  65. Dissenter

    The Ramsey to Chelsea deal is surprising given that they aren;’t in the CL.
    It could just be that we wants a change of scene since he’s been at Arsenal forever.
    The e4xit of Wenger could also be contributory.
    Chelsea aren’t going to pay him whatever we offered, even on the free transfer.

    He’s had all the time to contemplate his decision and he’s yet to sign his extension. He also pulled out of the last friendly.
    He’s a goner, no longer a gooner.

  66. David Smith

    If we lose Ramsey, it should not be to a London rival, at least without a very decent return signing.
    Barcelona dembele makes more sense

  67. raptora

    Noticed how many upvotes comments how Callum is our best defender, and how Chambers and Holding are our best CB pair. How Chambers makes them feel less nervous than Mustafi and how they’d rather see the German leaving the club instead of Callum.

    Am I the only one who thinks that Chambers and Holding are both way below the needed standard at our club? Am I the only one that rates Mustafi higher than these two? Mustafi is obviously not the finished article but he has much more to his game than the two.

    Now especially this season that we needed funds for our new beginning, we needed to raise money for new signings, not renew with average players so that we could loan them. Chambers had years in his contract. Would have been relatively easy to ship him off for say 15m. Same goes for Elneny but for ~10m. It doesn’t make any sense. Iwobi was another one that we should have done the same with and Xhaka. Sell the four of them and we could have had the money for Nzonzi and add 10m to get Bailey. Seriously starting to doubt the people with power’s decision making skills. It’s just a very weird thing to do.

  68. raptora

    West Ham are targeting a move for Arsenal forward Lucas Perez as the Gunners prepare to sell the Spaniard before Thursday’s deadline.

    Aaron Ramsey’s agents have rejected claims the Arsenal midfielder wants a £300,000-a-week contract to stay at the Emirates.

  69. Dissenter

    I see that some are talking about selling to “rivals”

    Sell the lad and use the money to replace. Not selling and losing money also strengthens the competition because it’s less money in the pot to buy players that we do need.

  70. raptora

    “Not selling and losing money also strengthens the competition because it’s less money in the pot to buy players that we do need.”

    And could lead to rivals buying a better player with the money that we could have bought that player and upgraded on the position.

  71. Dissenter

    Honestly I don’t see Ramsey doing better football-istically away from Arsenal. There’s no club in the top 6 that will give him the playing time he gets at Arsenal to start with. No-one else will indulge him as much as we have done.
    His stature diminishes outside of Arsenal. His grass is certainly greener with us that with anyone else.

  72. Guns of SF

    Dissenter the problem is that we dont NEED him, when we can sell and get a better player instead. Matteo will be better than Rambo in 2 yrs I guarantee

  73. CaliGooner

    Feels like this site should be renamed le-whine at times.

    The club was mismanaged for years it will take a lot more then one summer to repair the damage. Whining about how much players make and making comparisons is boring. Grow up. We play the champions next week let’s have some positivity for a change. Seems like the only player Angie is positive about is the gues. Fuck yeah Gues!! Anyways let’s celebrate the players till they give us reasons to hate them in games that matter. The level of micro-managing and passing judgement from friendlies is frightening. Till next time, let’s blitz the shit out of city!!

  74. CaliGooner

    Oh and I hope the Lucas Vasquez rumor is true. I doubt it but hey that’s what hope is right? Hope sometimes comes true.

    Dembele is the dream and dreams never come true.

    Bailey is somewhere in between and also not happening. So there we are.

  75. raptora

    Feels like more often than not, le-grove was right and club was the one making the wrong choices.

    Most of the people in here care more than the average fan, that’s why we go into “micro-managing and passing judgement”, because we genuinely care. You think that people working in the club are not going through the same convos every other day? They do. Talking about your problems is the only way to come up with a way to solve them. You think that Emery doesn’t speak to his Spanish fellows sharing his thoughts who should be send on a loan, who should be sold, if they sell this player, who would they go for, if they have a chance to make it happen, if it’s worth it, if there’s enough money to fund it, if they should start Bellerin or Lichtsteiner vs City, if Chambers looked better or worse than Holding, if Ramsey is worth the salary he demands or they have prepared someone that could be much better for us than him, do they invest the potential money for a winger, CB or CM… and so on.

    If in other blogs the only thing you hear are butterflies and sightseeing looked through pink tinted glasses then you know which one is the one that really cares.

    We are not the grumpy mother-in-law. We are the best friend that is in love with this hot, smart chick but one that’s been an addict for 10 years. You’ve been trying to help her this whole time, because you know she can do so much better in life than the mess she’s been in for a decade and stop dating the scumbags, average lowlifes that she’s been going out with. She doesn’t like to talk to you that much because you always end up talking about her problems in yet another try to help her. Now, 10 years later, with the absolutely instrumental help that you’ve given her, she is finally free from her addiction. But she keeps dating the average lowlifes who keep bringing her down… Maybe now that she is healthy she could turn the lowlifes in to honest, good men? Or maybe, just maybe, you are right once again and she will never be really, really free if she doesn’t escape all the ghosts of her past. Including the average lowlifes.

  76. Akilan

    All our senior CBs(Sokratis, Mustafi and Chambers) are RCBs. We did try to sell Mustafi.

    So probably that is the reason why Chambers is going out and not Holding, who plays at LCB.

    And I don’t think we’ll target the likes of Boateng and Pavard and Soyuncu looks dead. ATM, it does seem like there is some truth in Vida’s rumours. Ospina could go the other way. Perez is linked with West Ham. Welbeck could move too.

    There is another signing coming in for sure.

  77. Akilan

    Chambers looks like he’s ready for the first team action. His decision making has improved too.

    I believe a loan to Fulham could just be the best move for his development. If he aces it, I can see him replacing Sokratis next season.

    He did OK at ‘Boro and has improved a lot since then.

  78. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s transfer and contract policies in recent years has been fairly bizarre.

    I accept that as one of the wealthiest clubs in world football Arsenal have been
    compelled to pay transfer fees for players who would otherwise go often out
    on loans to less well off clubs.

    However, the wage structure at the club has proved to be bizarre in recent years with squad players earning wages far in excess of their worth proving
    not only unsaleable but in some cases unloanable as well.

    We have on our books far too many such players with Ospina, Perez, Jenkinson and Campbell hard to shift. No-one is prepared to pay their inflated wages.

    Now it is suggested that Chambers may be sent out on loan to Fulham. If he is
    unwanted why on earth did the club renew his contract and presumably increase his salary? There are other players on books who are in very similar
    situations such as Elneny who are clearly never going to be good enough to
    play regularly in starting eleven.

    The Ramsey situation is also bizarre. If the player wants to leave or even his
    agent is proving difficult why are the club hanging onto him with less than one
    week left in transfer market?

  79. Akilan

    Elneny signed a new deal before Emery took over. And I don’t think he rates the Egyptian.

    Just hope he scores a few long range goals that inflates his value.

  80. Emiratesstroller


    That may be the case, but there was absolutely no urgency to renew his contract. The matter was no longer in Wenger’s hands.

    As I have written many times Arsenal have accumulated in certain positions
    mediocre players who are either not good enough or unwanted and paid them
    ridiculous wages, which no other club would consider paying them.

  81. Wenker-wanger

    Well put.
    Most legrovers care deeply about arsenal. We argue, criticize, swear and theorise because we feel the passion.
    Some people seem to just enjoy winding others up. These self-proclaimed macho- titled dicks seem to get their rocks off by abusing others.
    As for the opinion that you have to physically be in the stadium to be a fan is beneath a half decent intelligent response…..not even worth correcting.

  82. Akilan

    Or you can look at it in this way. We actually had only 2 senior CMs in the entire squad. Jack was a goner. Ramsey isn’t an actual CM and is in a contract situation. AMN isn’t ready and looks more like a FB anyway.

    So, we had to bring in two CMs at least and it made sense to extend one of your only 2 CMs regardless of the quality.

    None of us know how good or bad Guendouzi was when we signed him and he is 19 coming from the 2nd division. So, if you exclude him, we only have 3 senior CMs.

    All of us thought one of Elneny/Xhaka was a first teamer before 3 weeks, unless you wanted a new CM or Ramsey in the pivot.

  83. Emiratesstroller


    I agree that we are lacking world class experienced midfielder.

    Jack Wilshire was not remotely in that category, because of his longterm injury problems. He was frankly a bench player at best and to pay £100K pw in that role was complete nonsense.

    Ramsey is a starting eleven player when fit. The problem with him is that he is
    also injury prone as his playing stats last season reveal. So the question you
    need to ask there is whether he is worth a premium price for his annual
    performance level?

  84. Emiratesstroller

    These were Ramsey’s stats last season

    Played 24 games [started 21][substituted 3]
    Played 1,847 minutes

    Europa League
    Played 6 [started 6]
    Played 540 minutes

  85. raptora

    We’ve accumulated so many meh/average players that no decent team is interested in loaning/buying them. Ozil the superstar, with 0 teams fighting for him. Ramsey, probably our third star player behind Aubameyang, at least there are some rumours connecting him to Pool and chavs, but it doesn’t sound that real yet. And that’s it. Who else is star/ world class quality in our team?! I don’t even want to start counting the world class players that our competitors have and we’ll have to fight them how?! With tactical nous?

    This group of fans having problem with the rest of the fanbase, that dare speak how this player and that player is not up to our supposed standards, answer me please: do you think that we have as many world class players as the other teams in top 5? Why so? Didn’t we spend more NET than Pool, chavs and spuds? How do they have much more world class players? Wasn’t Wenger the person who option 1. Bought this dross; option 2. Halted any progress of all talented players in the last 10 years.

    It’s going to take so much time to fix this mess. Holy fk.

  86. David Smith

    Unable to shift players who earn to much. Last minute dash for new players, no cover in a vital position.
    Can only back UE and wish him well, but as the days go by, they only reveal what a mess Wenger was allowed to make of this club. I have yet to see any realistic reports of Wenger or his merry men being offered any jobs, that may well be telling.
    Kroenke is a very poor , lazy owner, as far as I can tell, all he has done is kept Wenger in place until this summer. I hope they replace Gazidis with someone substantial, Josh Kroenke cannot act as a distant CEO for a club this size that is underperforming and going through major change.
    Wenger has gone a long way towards ruining that which he claims to love.

  87. Leftsidesanch


    Just out of curiousity, do you attend games? and how do you know that other posters don’t?

  88. raptora

    Okay. I’ll try to count them. In my opinion ofc. World class players of every top 6 team:

    Arsenal – Aubameyang, Ozil – total number 2;

    Chelsea – Courtois, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Hazard, Willian, Kante, Fabregas (If I count Ozil it only makes sense to count Cesc) – 7

    Liverpool – Alisson, van Dijk, Salah, Mane, Firmino, Keita (compromise to count only 1 between Keita and Fabinho, for instance I didn’t count Jorginho from Chelsea) – 6

    Man City – Ederson, Otamendi, Kompany, Mendy, Walker, Fernandinho, David Silva, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sane, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus – 14 (fml)

    Manure – De Gea, Valencia, Pogba, Mata, Matic, Martial, Sanchez, Lukaku – 8

    Spuds – Lloris, Alderweireld, Trippier, Davinson Sanchez (or Rose), Eriksen, Kane – 6 (at least; not counting Alli, Dembele, Vertonghen and Aurier that someone might make a case of)

    We reached the point where at least 3 years in a row, in the best 11 of Arsenal and spuds, readers of skysports were voting for Alexis to be the only representative of our team alongside 10 spud players.

    It’s going to take some top coaching by Emery in order to finish in top 4.

  89. Michael24

    There has been one major disruptive influence in the game these past few years that, to all intents and purposes, has put clubs/managers/owners under increased, yet totally unnecessary, pressure.


    Love them(what am I saying?) or hate them, these individuals are now able to destabalize players and teams by putting pressure on their clients, by requesting moves/ contract improvements etc, whilst at the same ensuring they maximize their own personal greed and financial gain.

    Despite what they may think of themselves, agents are parasites. The Del boys of the Footballing landscape. Glorified pimps, dictating terms and conditions and using the advantages of the social media world to disrupt the status quo. Because of these scumbags, we, the fans, have also suffered.

    Back in 2011, SirAlex Ferguson high!ighted how agents were ruining the game. Seven years later, things have got far worse. Now, more than ever, we see the vice like grip they have on not only the players but also the clubs themselves.

    The Footballing authorities must take a stance against these self obsessed glory hunters and set up a protective barrier whereby clubs can restrict agents input and roles when it comes to negotiating player contracts and holding clubs to ransom.

  90. GoingGoingGooner

    Every Gooner who I have talked to has pretty moderate expectations. We expect 5th or 6th, but with an improvement in form, and hope for 3rd or 4th. I have not talked to a single fan that thinks we shall finish 1st or 2nd.

    As for the civil war that has raged over our former manager, my read is that there was no middle ground. Perhaps we should occupy it now. Wenger is not irrelevant in the sense that he is part of our past and most of our present players still bear his stamp on their play. Wenger is irrelevant in the sense that he is not here now and our players are listening to and playing for Emery.

    Much of last year’s vitriol has evaporated and this is a good thing. What seems to be left is hurt feelings amongst those who supported Wenger in or Wenger out. I would suggest we just move forward and perhaps act like adults. After all, its the team that matters in this discussion and an Arsenal title would go a long way in making all our feelings disappear.