Arsenal chase down special Ligue 1 talent

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Very interesting how powerful Gary Neville has made himself in the game. He creates headlines for his opinions, and unlike some publications, he’s usually a force for good. (Interview)

It’s interesting how hard the Raheem Sterling story has pivoted to ‘this is just racist.’ My hope is that we’ll have the same come to jesus moment we had with the press and their treatment of the national team. The press treated the England camp a lot different after their shite long lense story this summer. If you apply pressure to them, their narrative changes, because ultimately, your interest keeps them in work.

Arsenal is apparently ramping up interest in 20-year-old number 8, Houssem Aouar. The player has attracted interest from Manchester City who are also chasing down Pepe of Lille. Thing is, how many players can one team buy? When do you start looking at their squad as a player and think… ‘damn, is this worth it?.’

I think there are two clear things going on with Sven M. Firstly, after reading that great interview in Die Ziet the other day, it’s clear he’s looking at players through a far more technical lense than the spreadsheet virgins online. He’s not just looking at pass completion and core stats. He’s looking at things like efficiency of running, positioning and far deeper metrics that point to value.

I’d imagine the club see that they can get far more value from young players around Europe than they can from very expensive players that might still need quite a lot of development to hit the heights at 28-years-old. This young Frenchman looks like the sort of player Mislintat loves. Fast, technically excellent, light on the feet… I’d be very happy to start snapping up the top talent from Ligue 1 again.

I don’t know why I love the above video so much, but it’s awesome. Thierry enforcing good manners is something else.

Back to Neville. He had this to say on Torreira.

“I think someone like him leaves his teammates with nowhere to go. If you look at him against Tottenham getting forward into the box he’s almost like this bundle of energy that everyone else in the team responds too, & this team needed that”

Mainline that right into my veins. Torreira has been an exceptional find, and it’s unreal how quickly he’s developed into one of the most important names on the teamsheet.

Alex Iwobi reckons he nearly fucked off the Crystal Palace when he was 16 years old.

“I felt that maybe I wasn’t rated at Arsenal but I always felt at home here, so I signed the scholarship forms,”

“Then it was all about proving people wrong.”

Well, top-level sport is about proving people wrong at every stage of your career. He still has a way to go, but there’s definitely a lot of talent there. He needs to find consistency in his end product. The coach clearly rates him, so he’s off to a winner there, but you wonder how long patience will run if he continues to drop stinkers like he did when he came on at the weekend. We’ll see… jury is out at the minute.

Right, that’s me done, see you on the other side.

230 Responses to “Arsenal chase down special Ligue 1 talent”

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  1. Cesc Appeal


    Difficult one.

    I think that in the past Spurs have not handled playing Thursday and then at the weekend very well.

    But I do think it is good they have both stayed in the UCL because there is less attention on the Europa League than there otherwise would have been. If both had fallen into the Europa League all the stories would have been about the English teams now being favourites etc and we really don’t want that spotlight at all this season.

  2. WrightIsGod

    In terms of recruitment and playing staff the model we need to emulate is that of Monaco and Dortmund.

    Fast, strong and technical young players. Sure they may be flaky, may not have enough to get you over the line and may be poached by bigger clubs over the years, but they will be exciting and give you hope.

    Seeing as we don’t like to spend big it’s the best way to go.

  3. Mysticleaves

    Absolutely delighted Liverpool and spurs qualified. There’s less eyes on the EL as is and i want it to remain so. The distraction of having to face English teams and all the press nonsense is what we don’t need.

    Also the money we are getting will be bigger compared to if spuds and Liverpool dropped down.

    Lastly, it also keeps spuds occupied with an illusion of victory in Europe while we sneak up on them on the PL table.

    Win win for us I will say

  4. Mysticleaves

    WIG, we will gradually move towards that level. Sven already bought Guen and Torr so there’s massive hope. We will get de fast, electric wingers soon.

  5. Champagne charlie

    Find that Henry clip contrived and a bit desperate tbh, could have easily dressed the lad down out of camera shot. That was more for HIM than the kid, just a cheap way of projecting discipline and respect. Always been my concern with Henry – narcissism.

  6. Receding Hairline

    Is it good or bad for Arsenal that both Liverpool and Spuds got through last night?

    Personally i don’t think it has anything to do with us either way, especially Liverpool, we are not competing with them for anything this season, they will finish top two. As for Spurs their squad is as thin as ours, i think if we concentrate solely on ourselves and our goals we will be fine, we pay too much attention to them, attention they don’t deserve

  7. WrightIsGod


    Although I like the incident for entertainments sake I agree that Henry is a bit of a twat for this, it’s about him.

    Never rated him as a pundit and he’ll fail as a manager of a club.

  8. HighburyLegend

    @Wright : are you aware of the situation of Monaco this season ?? The owners have totally destroyed the club, total reconstruction needed.

    Any other manager would have been in trouble.

  9. Champagne charlie


    Exactly, it’s comical to watch but if you were to have that as your manager you’d be thinking ‘unnecessary, wtf are you doing to that lad’.

  10. Mysticleaves

    “WTF ??? Barcelona unable to beat Spuds ???”

    It is what it is right? Though the circumstances should not be forgotten; Barcelona had guaranteed top spot and rested players. nothing game for them

  11. Graham62

    I have no problem with what Henry did.

    The guy is a perfectionist and a legend and, imo, will turn it around at Monaco.

    Va Va Voom rules ok.

  12. Guns of Hackney

    I’m pretty sure no one gave spurs or Liverpool a chance on here yesterday.

    It just goes to show.

    I guess Allison’s save is what you pay £70m for.

  13. OleGunner

    “VictoriousDecember 8, 2018 16:41:07
    This is the problem with unbeaten runs. It gives a ‘Drawing is okay’ feel.”Exactly Draw ain’t good enough and the unbeaten run is a myth in making things a bit rosy. Wish Huddersfield will nick the win if for anything but to jolt us out of this,’unbeaten’ nonsense””

    Once again I don;’t know why ya’ll engage” Vic the super fan” whose actively wanting Arsenal to lose games, only on what he’s seen from one half of football.

    He’s a fucking Wenger era troll.

  14. Georgio


    Mane 40 goals vs Iwobi 8 goals in the last 2.5yrs

    …. please can we also know how many minutes they’ve both had on the pitch over this time to put it in perspective??

  15. Graham62

    Henry was a good pundit.

    Always gave a different perspective of thinks and often was able to bring humour into the equation when the likes of Souness,Carragher, Neville and Keane made things sound too complicated and too fudging dour. Guaranteed he smelt better!

    Smart, intelligent and greatly respected and revered, especially amongst the younger generation of players throughout the Footballing world, he is someone we should all be backing to do well at Monaco.

    This guy made Arsenal a sexy club and irrespective of some posters perspectives on Henry, I hope he succeeds just like he did for us for so many years.

    Remember, Henry is, and always will be, the reason so many fans were attracted to Arsenal FC.

    Good luck Thierry.

  16. Mysticleaves

    Gerogio, no matter how many minutes both have played I think we can all agree that mane is better than Iwobi in everything, no?

  17. Graham62

    If Henry was white, he would be called a racist by many for doing what he did.

    A seventeen year old being shown how to set standards.

    The world needs standards.

    Henry should be applauded.

  18. Nelson

    Watching both yesterday’s Spuds and loserpool game, you can’t help but admit that they are both matured teams and well managed. We are still experimenting different formations. It is going to be a big challenge to get into top 4.

  19. Guns of Hackney

    I love Henry, I really do. After Bergkamp, the best Arsenal player ever imo.

    I also agree that he is attempting to set standards for his players. However, it wasn’t too long ago that he was chewing out his younger and less talented teammates when they misplaced a pass to him…even Henry was capable of being a bit spoilt and naughty.

  20. Champagne charlie

    “If Henry was white, he would be called a racist by many for doing what he did.“

    Err what?

    Not sure your need to fiercely defend Henry, nobody has argued anything about his Arsenal legacy. I commented that the ONE act in the video was self-indulgent and unnecessary in front of tv cameras, some others agreed.

    Disagree if you like, but not sure what tangent you’re going off on with the racism bollocks. Publicly chastising people has a tendency to go very wrong in the end, despite the mild amusement or faux applause it gets at the time by some.

  21. Receding Hairline

    We are still experimenting different formations

    There is nothing wrong in having more than one system of play. No self respecting team play only one way, don’t know why this formation thing seems to be a big deal

    Spurs were lucky they played against a team who have already won the group and had nothing to play for, they still didn’t win mind you and have Inter not been Inter Spurs would be in the Europa league.

    In the words of Craig Burley they won the lottery. I don’t get this falling over to give them credit, they did not actually get the result many thought they would need going into the game

  22. gambon

    No surprise that the former AKBs hate Henry

    He was one who didn’t hail at the shrine of Wenger. He was also more than willing to criticise the utter shit show that Arsene created.

    Now if Abou Diaby or Gilles Grimandi had done what Henry did, we would be hearing all about how amazing it was.

    The standards that are set from the top down are massively important. Henry is a perfectionist and I would expect nothing less.

    If it was Wenger he would have turned a blind eye, extended the guys contract, sent him on 5 different loans for no reason, then lost him on a free.

  23. Champagne charlie


    Could take you seriously if you weren’t already on record as having waxed lyrical about the manager Henry will become. You’re just doing your bit to protect that POV as per.

    Nobody “hates” Henry, that’s a little number you’ve spun for yourself as you look for any excuse to have a pop – your last sentence sums you up. What Henry did was self-indulgent with a room full of cameras, would’ve been self-indulgent had any other person done the same thing.

  24. Graham62


    As usual you grab the wrong end of the stick.

    Several posters openly criticize Henry on here and a great deal of this is due to his character and personality.

    It wasn’t “self indulgent” or “unnecessary”. The kid is young enough to be his kid and he was basically saying listen, you ain’t done nothing yet, show respect and act accordingly. Remember, Badiashile is only seventeen. He has learnt a life lesson.

    I know you like your PC methods and principles but going to HR isn’t always necessary.

    Its called growing up.

  25. Receding Hairline

    What Henry did was simply playing to the gallery,some can interpret it as enforcing discipline or whatever but it was unnecessary.

    He was lucky the kid was even looking his way or he would have been left looking silly standing there

  26. Graham62


    You’re wasting your time.

    My son at seventeen would have tucked his chair in. Those that condone Henry obviously feel there is a time and a place. I don’t. My POV.

    Kudos to Henry.

  27. raptora

    I love Titi to bits but he was the epitome of an arrogant footballer.

    Trying to educate a young player to be humble is not really something he was when he was a player.

    It’s more like he wanted to instill power and show the kid who’s the boss.

    If the manager/coach is to be looked as a teacher to the young men, that’s a pretty bad technique. Demonstratively showing supremacy to a person that is obviously below you in the ranks shows big ego and small dick.

  28. Graham62

    Why is it that so many posters on here mock other posters user names?

    Victorious/Pierre/CC etc.

    Shite! Silly me………Of course, it’s that lot.

    Juvenile and totally unnecessary.

  29. Leedsgunner

    You want your players to exude confidence on the pitch… especially strikers. However off the pitch they should be gracious, humble and down to earth. If more players were like this there wouldn’t be this disconnect with the fans.

    Ngolo Kante is such a player. Supereme on the pitch but off the pitch unassuming and unpretentious.

    “Let others praise you loudly before they see you coming.”

  30. Graham62


    “Instill power”?!?

    What a load of crock.

    This wasn’t Mourinho on an ego trip. This was a respected and honourable man( accept to those living in the Republic of Ireland) giving a kid a life lesson.

    It was refreshing to see.


  31. HighburyLegend

    “Honestly, I would like to be coached by Pep Guardiola one day, we have this way of seeing football together”

    What a surprise!! I guess seeing Aouar wearing an Arsenal shirt one day is just a fantasy.

  32. Champagne charlie


    I haven’t the wrong end of any stick pal, I have a particular POV of a video and that’s literally the end of it. You disagree? Great stuff, but my view is that it’s unnecessary and was Henry acting to the camera for the sake of Henry – not for the sake of instilling values into the next gen as is the comical defence of choice.

    As for the name jibe, clearly you miss the countless times all of those you mentioned have been coined variations of their monikers. So kindly do me a favour with your ‘that crowd’ nonsense.

  33. Leftsidesanch

    “VictoriousDecember 8, 2018 16:41:07
    This is the problem with unbeaten runs. It gives a ‘Drawing is okay’ feel.”Exactly Draw ain’t good enough and the unbeaten run is a myth in making things a bit rosy. Wish Huddersfield will nick the win if for anything but to jolt us out of this,’unbeaten’ nonsense””

    I always knew he was a prick, but after seeing this comment in real time theres no way I’d engage with the fraud again

  34. Nelson

    “We are still experimenting different formations

    There is nothing wrong in having more than one system of play. No self respecting team play only one way, don’t know why this formation thing seems to be a big deal”

    I am not criticizing Emery. I just pointed out that Emery is still trying to figure out the best way to use his players. Almost every game he has to make early corrections, either to the formation or to the player. You don’t see that with the 4 teams ahead of us in the table. Up to now, we have been surviving. I just feel a bit uneasy with it.

  35. gambon

    Yeah it’s definitely not a positive thing that Emery has to keep making so many changes.

    He has to go to 3-4-3 because Kolasinac is shit and our CBs aren’t good enough.

    He has to keep changing his AMs because none of them are good enough.

    There’s no doubt he is strong tactically, but so many halftime subs point to more of a problem than a tactician doing hiss thing.

  36. Jamie

    Not sure Henry will make it at the top level, to be honest. Strikers see the game differently to defensively-minded players. How many former strikers have transitioned into great managers?

  37. Paul Mc Daid

    Thiery Henry is our greatest player off all time, He also is an arrogant Bastard , He is a total egotistical piece of shit, He wasted no time in bolting out the door to Barca when the opportunity arose and wasted no time in coming back when it suited him, It is all about him, Always has been, So he is chastising a kid about replacing a chair yet he cheated a nation out of a World Cup with his Hand Ball , Nice, A Proper Cunt but as I said , Our greatest player of all time.

  38. Moe

    Henry’s perspective/demeanor as a player needed some healthy arrogance and narcissism to get to the heights he attained. He needed to believe that he was the best and no one could stop him. I work in a cut-throat field and can relate. Now, I don’t condone showing up other players on the pitch but how often did he do that…..cmon now. Freaking Ozil with zero output does that pretty much every match.

    Now that Henry is a manager, he must have an entirely different philosophy on players, opponents etc. If anyone can’t reconcile those two, then it says more about you than Henry.

    Besides, don’t we all grow and learn every day? So why judge Henry by his actions as an overly confident striker over a decade ago on how he treats his players today as a coach? Perspective guys!

  39. gonsterous

    Henry was a great player, he could still become a decent manager. I want him to succeed at Monaco, but what he did in the video, was sort of unnecessary and pretentious. I’m sure henry as a player never put the chair back in.

  40. Marc

    George Graham’s demeanour as a player and a manager were complete polar opposites.

    Really nothing happening for people to get this excited over Henry’s actions in a press conference.

  41. KAY Boss

    Just don’t get why some posters are criticising TH. Every good player is \was arrogant.
    He did right by his actions. Most go through worst situations @ workplaces in the hands of bosses.
    Henry will succeed as a manager either with Monaco or any team he tends to.
    Most fans now have grown to accept that player need to be cuddled.
    With TH all day

  42. Alone + Easy Target

    Wasn’t that how he was in his last season (06/07) – that intense gaze and exasperation look on his face. Then when we were competing for the title in 07/08 one of the narratives on the improvement of our squad back then is due to him gone akin to a weight finally lifted off the shoulders of young players.

  43. Dissenter

    Henry will get it right at Monaco
    At least he has the balls to actually manage unlike the generation of ex-footballers who are too happy to be pundits.

  44. Champagne charlie


    Tend to keep my job out the firing line, I’m basically a Samurai though.

    Stick to numbers Gumbo..

  45. China1

    That move from Henry was a little self indulgent but my word people like making a mountain out of a molehill.

    The kid was careless and old enough to know how to tuck his chair in as a matter of respect, and for 2 seconds of silence from his boss he learnt a lesson he will never forget.

    Did Henry need to do it that way? No. But does it matter? No.

    It was hardly him trash talking his staff or blaming them for his team’s failures. He literally just said nothing to make a point that the kid should respect where he is and it worked

    We millennials have in many cases grown up mollycoddled and I’m not entirely convinced it’s done us any favors

  46. gonsterous


    You can say that with certainty?

    I can say with certainty that he didn’t do it all the time. Hell even I forget to put the chair back occasionally. Doesn’t mean I’m disrespectful to the other person.

  47. China1

    And yeah talk of Henry being an arrogant player is hilarious. He was arrogant. You’re damn right he was. The guy was the best goal scorer we’ve ever had. Widely regarded as one of the top few players to every grace English football. He won everything that mattered in world football. He scored worldies like we eat buttered toast and he did it week in week out.

    Was he overly hard on Reyes and hleb? Yep. But after all he did for us and the manner in which he did it I wouldn’t give the guy an ounce of criticism for expecting more from those players

    Notice something as well, he gave those glares only to the players who never fulfilled their potential around him. Reyes and Hleb could both of been top class and neither rose to fulfill their talents. I scarcely recall a 17 year old cesc having to deal with Henry because the guy respected that he was doing everything he could to become one of the world’s best players and was the future

    If you lot think Henry was a weight on the shoulders of our poor softies imagine if they’d played for fergie. They’d have got the hairdrier for less.

    Genuine greatness in team sports is rarely content watching team mates drop the ball when they can do better. It’s how you lose games – and sure enough after Henry and his ilk left, we did.

  48. China1

    Seriously, the players Henry berated were total softies for all their talents and their careers failed accordingly

    There are very few such players dominating at the top echelons of football and any elite talent playing alongside them is sure to lose their patience when they can see how costly it is

    Reyes couldn’t even handle a bit of rain. Hleb had some of the most gifted close control in world football but was entirely terrified of taking any responsibility and shooting

    Those guys both had the talent but failed because they didn’t man up