Monchi sleuthing uncovers tasty tidbit + 3 directions Raul could take Arsenal

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal confirmed last week’s exclusive: Sven Mislintat is leaving in early February, dropping an American style short notice period. It marks an embarrassingly short tenure for a hire of such expense/fanfare and it really does demonstrate the damage of a shite succession plan.

The story really is a mixed bag. What is clear is he didn’t impress Ivan or Raul. The timeline of the narrative seems to be this:

  • Ivan promised Sven the Technical Director role when Arsene left. The German was hired with the promise of a promotion. Everyone in business generally knows that if you are hired into a sideways position, you’re usually being bullshitted (bullshat?) about a promotion that will never come.
  • Sven’s first act was to bring the Dortmund band back together. He led the signings of Mikhi, Auba, and Sokratis (rumoured he wanted Pulisic as well). All very expensive with little hope for a long-term return on investment. Were these signings at the behest of Ivan who wanted to shoot for CL short term? Or were they all on Sven?
  • He did bring some youth magic to the club. Lucas Torreira and Mavrapanos are Sven signings. There are conflicting reports over Guendouzi. I read that Wenger was a fan of MG and spoke to him, but then I’ve read that Emery was a huge pull for the player and his family.
    • Worth noting that the players Sven is responsible for were likely overspill from Dortmund. Perhaps that’s why there were rumblings of discontent from the Arsenal scouting team. Sven was just a name dropper, versus a change agent (process/tech/hires).
  • January comes around, the club is being linked heavily with players that look like they’re from the world of ‘contacts’ scouting. Suarez, Banega, James and Carrasco do not have the hallmarks of Sven. They are Emery and Raul teaming up.

Summary: Sven lost the power struggle. Raul and Emery ignored his recommendations. He didn’t impress enough to earn the promotion he wanted. He didn’t show up enough, which suggests his signings were black book specials. He had neither power nor the ear of the execs. He left.

So what’s next for Arsenal?

We could be looking to adopt a bit of the New England Patriots model.

The Patriots were $10 million over the NFL salary cap before Belichick’s arrival, and he quickly went about recruiting more affordable players that fit his system and philosophy. The result was a team that prioritized certain characteristics (toughness, intelligence, work ethic, ability to take coaching, and a team-first mentality), fit within the constraints of the salary cap, and allowed Belichick to develop a unique game plan for every opponent, and adapt on the fly.

“Whereas most people play the game, Belichick plays the opposition,” Wells says. “He adapts to the competition in order to beat them. It’s why he can win a Super Bowl with a largely mediocre roster—his players are adaptable. They play for each other and play for him, and they’ll do whatever they’re told to do to the best of their ability because of it. It goes to show what leadership and proper motivation can do.”

“Just like in business, a quick win is all very fine,” Wells says. “You can borrow from the balance sheet. You can hand out big contracts and bonuses to attract star players. But you mortgage the future. Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft don’t want to win once. They want to win over and over again. They know that’s how you build a fan base, that’s how you build a legacy, and that’s ultimately how you make money.”

Find players at elite clubs that have lost their way, offer them love and support, hope they repay you on the pitch. This method is also comparable to the one Wenger adopted in the early years. He gave old players a rebirth, he found value in markets no one else was looking in, and he took chances on broken players, he outperformed expectations on a budget.

Marc Overmars was a crock, PV04 was rotting on Milan’s bench, Thierry was a right wing back, Bobby P had an attitude problem at Marseille, and Nwankwo Kanu had had a heart attack!

The more I think about it, the more I try and convince myself that there’s value in an approach like this. Pepper in a few Nicolas Anelka’s (which might have been what Raul was trying to do with Malcolm last January) and we could make something happen. My only issue here is you really do need a next level coach to make something like this work (You also need to be finding actual gems as well).

We could also look to Sevilla and more recently Roma for inspiration. The genius of Monchi has been well covered on this site. He’s one of the best talent hunters in Europe. Importantly, he finds value in both young and older players (Raul seems to be of this view). He most recently gave Dzeko a rebirth at Roma, but his real speciality is finding young players like Ramos, Rakitic, Reyes, Dani Alves and Keita. He usually moves them on for huge sums of money, with the uncanny knack of replacing them without decimating the progress of the club he’s running. I also found this tidbit from a 2014 Graham Hunter article about the Spaniard.

This is chaotic for a meticulously planned coach like Sevilla’s Unai Emery and it cranks up the pressure on Monchi not to make a single slip. And there are so many areas wherein that slip could occur: who to sell, how much for, who to buy, what type of guy to bring into this flexible, intelligent, technical but very hard-pressing football philosophy.

You’d think it would stress him. But last year he spent the majority of the season in London, conducting his business from a rented flat there and learning to speak English. Such an endeavour will augment both his market skills and his market viability when, as eventually must happen, he follows the route favoured by his pupils.

He’s a secret Londoner!

He’d suit the Spanish vibe of the club and he’s clearly good pals with Emery. He’d be a comfort for the both of them and he’d have the fans moister than a Mr Kipling baked good. David Ornstein has him linked for the Technical Director role, with Francis Cagiago replacing Mislintat.

We could look the Red Bull franchise for inspiration, seeing as we’re done copying whatever Dortmund are up to. They have a system of coach and player creation that really is a force to be reckoned with. They’ve built a vision around hard pressing young players that are given the chance to play and shine before being moved on to bigger clubs. This is Rangnick on what he scouts for.

‘The difference between us and other clubs is that when we sign or scout new players, we are fishing in a very small pond. We only interested in players aged between 17 and 23, as from our experience, when you are 23 you are no longer a talent. If you look at other clubs and their development, you can see that players start their careers earlier than 10 years ago and finish earlier too. So we are only scouting those players. The maximum age is 23. The second difference is that in both clubs, we try to implement and play the same style of football and of course between the two clubs, we make use of synergies that can be developed out of those two factors.’

Big difference between RB and Arsenal is there’s a philosophy that runs across all the clubs they have under the RB name. This from The Blizzard.

Here are the principles: one, add maximum possibility to the team and act, don’t react. So you need to dictate the game with and without the ball, not through individuals. Two, use numerical superiority and let the ball run directly whenever possible, with no unnecessary individual action and with no fouls. Three, use transitions, switch quickly. Try to win back the ball within five seconds with aggressive pressing. After winning the ball back, play quickly straight away, play direct and vertically towards the opponent’s goal, surprise the disorganised opponent to get into the penalty area and shoot within ten seconds of winning the ball back.

Now, it would appear Raul and Emery don’t want Arsenal to be a developmental setup. They want instant success, which is totally up to them. I just don’t think Arsenal has the resources to be a force there. I think we should be growing out a Dortmund+++ model. Or to be more precise, a project youth with bells and whistles.

I also think we should be building out our coaching staff in the same way we’d like to approach players. Hire in specialists in pressing philosophy, find the coaches with the best ideas when it comes to attacking, find the people who dream of clean sheets and wake up with dirty ones.

That’s my concern with having no CEO and a lack of scrutiny of what Raul is up to. We spent 14 years trying to expel a manager who controlled to the club, now we’ve handed footballing decisions to two people who basically answer to no one (I know, I know, they have a Whatsapp group with Stan). Emery was already allowed to hire in his mates. They’ve already seen off Sven, and though it might have been deserved, the idea of Monchi coming in makes things look even more nepotistic.

All good if it’s working out, not so good if it isn’t.

Still, Monchi is a f*cking baller and he’s done it at 2 clubs. On the face of it, that’d be a stunning coup. Makes you wonder why we were even talking to Edu if the Spaniard was available?

The positive of all of this is at least we’re heading into the unknown. Beats the stagnant vibes of the Wenger years. Let’s hope the latest chapter is a clearer vision for how we get to success. More efficiency, more excitement, more of a footballing philosophy we can all buy into.

While you’re here listen to the podcast. Thanks. x


320 Responses to “Monchi sleuthing uncovers tasty tidbit + 3 directions Raul could take Arsenal”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. keeming

    Slate Arsene for Project Youth.

    Now banging the drums for a “Dortmund +++ model”, essentially a variant of Project Youth. Make up your mind, Le Grove!

    It doesn’t matter right? In any circumstances, this site will find something to carp about.

  2. Mr Serge

    Bring monchi in he has done great as we has seen at Seville and roma. We need elite mentality if we don’t have elite money

  3. Wallace

    “He led the signings of Mikhi, Auba, and Sokratis (rumoured he wanted Pulisic as well). All very expensive with little hope for a long-term return on investment.”

    70m in total for a tough, experienced CB, this season’s possible Golden Boot winner, and a gifted, if inconsistent attacking mid is ‘very expensive’?

  4. Emiratesstroller


    When you initiate a “revolution” post Wenger it is inevitable that you are going to make some mistakes with new appointments plus of course it is also likely that chemistry with some does not work or fit.

    It is likely to take as long to sort out management and coaching teams as finding the right players.

    Sanllehi and Emery’s first target must be to achieve a top four finish in Champions League. That is unlikely to happen this season, but they have got
    one further season to meet that target.

    I believe also that Arsenal need to revamp the Board as I wrote earlier today.
    The club needs proper “oversight” and with a bunch of Directors in late 70s
    and 80s that is not happening. When a business starts making the wrong decisions you need independent people to act in a neutral fashion. That is clearly not happening at moment.

  5. gambon

    I’ve been saying for a long time, that Arsenal should set themselves up as a hybrid between Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

    Find quality young talents that fit into our system, however rather than sell them on when they get to 23-24, put them onto big contracts and reap the rewards.

    Most clubs that have a youth & development based system do it out of necessity, we should do it out of choice, which means we wouldnt have to shift players for big fees.

    We are capable of paying mature players £150k-£300k per week, something most developmental clubs just cant do.

    IMO, if you pay £50+m for a player, you have made a massive mistake earlier in their development.

    Look at some of the outrageous bargains you couldve got if you had the right system in place:

    DeGea £17m
    Alderweireld £10m
    VanDijk £13m
    Robertson £8m
    Kante £6m
    NDombele £8m
    Sancho £7m
    Dembele £13m
    Mane £12m
    Mahrez £500k

    All these players moved for the above prices before they really broke out.

    That team above would be the best in the PL.

    There is absolutely enormous inefficiency within the transfer market still, as evidenced by the above.

    It isnt just about finding good young players, its also about developing them. Look at Hudson-Odoi, he wants to go to Bayern for the good of his career, not just for money.

    We could easily make Arsenal the preferred destination for 17-22 year old talent.

    Last time we tried project youth we got it wrong because

    1- we brought some real shit in (Senderos, Djourou, Denilson)
    2- the players lost faith in Wenger
    3- We got rid of the mature talent too quickly (Vieira, Gilberto, Pires, Henry)

    But its worth remembering that Cesc, Nasri, RvP and Clichy all went on to win things, so we did have the spine of a successful team, we just didnt do the rest properly.

  6. Emiratesstroller


    I like your argument, but of course putting together such a team takes a long time to achieve. It does not happen over night.

    Arsenal have of course found a lot of so-called bargains who fit into this mould. The most obvious example was Kola Toure.

  7. gambon


    Im not sure it would take too long to see the rewards of this kind of strategy.

    Nicolas Pepe cost £10m just 18 months ago, and is now one of the best in Ligue 1.

    Jadon Sancho cost £7m just 18 months ago, and is the best young player in Germany.

    Either way, we need to adopt a transfer policy of some sort, rather than just going into each window to see whats out there.

    If we end up with a 3rd season outside of the CL, we really need to accept our position, and look to build the club back up, rather than find a quick fix.

    A quick fix for CL football was possible 7 years ago (Mertesacker, Arteta, Santos)

    These days, you have to be a very good team just to finish top 4, back then you could be pretty rubbish and sneak 4th.

  8. Un na naai


    Couldn’t agree more. We’ve got to step up our development process as we don’t have the resources to go toe to toe with the super clubs.

    Exciting post from Pedro. Let’s hope it’s goinh in the right direction.

    As a side note, I’d take a loss against untied if we can beat city. We have to focus on the top four this year to attract the calibre required to take us to the next level.

  9. Savage

    “…Try to win back the ball within five seconds with aggressive pressing. After winning the ball back, play quickly straight away…”

    I love this, but doesn’t that lead to injuries? I don’t see how you can maintain the intensity of both extreme pressing and lightning counter attacks, unless you kill off the game early and then sit deep (i.e. the Chelsea game)?

  10. TheBoyCornelius

    Whatever the reasons for Mislintat going, it at least seems a decisive decision. Its not working out, ok so lets cut ties and move on quickly. If we move on with an internal promotion – Cagigao – and a hire like Monchi – (2 Spanish Londoners 🙂 )then there’s a plan, an end game. You would imagine a more streamlined player identification and recruitment process and less of the procrastination that was the last few years of Wengers reign. And like Gambon says – identify the talent early, develop them so we can benefit from either their talent or from a transfer fee but keep the ‘make a home for the less loved older players, those in the 25 to 28 years

  11. gambon

    “I love this, but doesn’t that lead to injuries?”

    I think teams have a hell of a lot to learn about rotation of squad players.

  12. gambon

    – We need to identify players that are stand out talents at Academy level, which is probably much harder than finding first team players due to scouting constraints.

    – We need to identify players at the 19-23 yo age, that are ready to come straight into the squad.

    – We need to identify which countries are developing excellent footballers consistently and put a huge amount of effort into dominating these markets.

    – We need to set up a network of loan clubs that play the same kind of football, and would appreciate being beneficiaries of loan players.

    – We need to massivley improve what we are doing with Academy kids in the 17-20 year old range, as our loans seem to go terribly wrong.

    This all pretty much reads like a Technical Director job spec. Maybe Sven was more than capable of finding players, but not very good at the rest.

    However, I do often have a bad feeling that there is no overriding strategy at Arsenal, its just a chaotic mess of people with their own agendas.

  13. Charlie George


    Clearly You are a bright young man.
    But You do seem have this desire to always imitate.
    In this piece ( commend you for your diligence ,as always) the New England Patriots , Roma or Seville or Red Ball.

    May ,i suggest we imitate no one.
    Clubs use to imitate Arsenal

    What we should do is study where we successful before- and replicate.

    Ie. The famous English back four embellished with the powerful yet skillfull players from France.

    French players as opposed to Latin players adapt better in our ugly football.

    As for this Monchi. Why do you assume he would work his magic over here?

    Has there been examples of overseas DoF/administrators doing well in the UK?

    And if he was to be a success- he would naturally be headhunted. Meaning we start all over again.

    We must have a permanent British heartbeat permeating through the club.

    When we have had that previously-time and time before we have been successful.

  14. gunnershabz

    I wonder how big the scout network team is right now?

    I do think we will sign two players on loan with a view of a permanent transfer in summer

    if we can move on mkhi, maybe getting james Rodriquez on loan could be the news

  15. Dissenter

    Wonderful article
    Correction; Kanu didn’t have a ‘heart attack’
    It was discovered he had congenital heart disease when he had his medical done in the process of transferring from Ajax to Inter Milan in 1996.

  16. Champagne charlie

    New Cardiff signing Emiliano Sala (£15mil), understood to be on light aircraft that went missing over the English Channel last night. Club concerned for his safety.

    This sort of stuff reduces the game to what it is, here’s a potential tragedy about to strike yet again after the Leicester horror story. Hopefully there’s a large dose of miscommunication or something at play here and not the ‘obvious’.

  17. Biggles

    @Charlie George

    I don’t think Pedro is suggesting that we go out and specifically copy Roma or Red Bull etc. He’s merely pointing to specific, known corporate strategies and showing how different clubs implement them. Most top teams – across all sports – have one. Historically Real Madrid signed the Galacticos, Barcelona trained them from the moment they were weaned and Bayern bought the best from every other German club to keep the rest weak. Lots of different strategies out there.

    Arsenal however don’t. Seriously, I can’t find a statement of a specific vision or method anywhere. We hire duplicates of coaches and scouts, we drop big money on random players, we refuse to sign players for positions where we are weak, we hoard poor young players and then sign emergency loan players with broken backs.

    Over the last 22 years, our vision and strategy was whatever Wenger wanted it to be. His goal was to win everything with beautiful football, played by French babies, on a level playing field with no financial doping, and beautifully socialist wage structures, with a little extra on top for him because he was the manager and the king of everything.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t work. And now we need to try and put that structure in place. And it seems that the first parts of that overhaul (the having a proper scouting chief in Sven) isn’t working quite right and he’s out the door and we don’t really know why because we still don’t really know what the goal is.

    Bloody hell, it’s frustrating. But at least there’s some kind of attempts at change.

  18. Dissenter

    There’s a bit of twisted reasoning embedded in your processs.
    You’re giving the Sevilla credit to the DoF, Monchi, which is fair because that’s the person dersering of all the plaudits since he was there from 2000 until 2017. Did you know that Sevilla has a renowned super scout called Jesus Oliveira, why isn’t he getting any applause too.

    If that’s the case, then why don’t you extend the same approach to Dortmund where Michael Zorc has been DoF since 1999. It is he who should get most of the credit not your puny boy, Sven Mislintat. Most BVB people think it’s Zorc , not Mislinat.

    Mislintat shit the bed, admit it.
    He came to a new club and proceeded to reassemble the BVB trio at a HUGE expense.
    -Auba is good but should that have been the best use of £55 million?
    -Sokratis is competent but £23 million would have gotten us Issa Diop who went to Westham.
    -The Myhki deal was forced by circumstances; That really wasn’t Sven’s fault.

  19. gonsterous


    probably Gazidas did want Arteta ( but knowing he was leaving to Milan) meant he could not reinforce his preferred pick

    The reason Raul chose Emery – is he sees him as pliable and knows he ain’t gonna rock the boat, ie. “Yes Man” ( and accept his signings)

    Raul also Probably orchestrated Dortmund Eye s exit. ( as soon as Gazidas left- freezing him out of the picture)
    Raul and Emery were obviously In cohorts with regards to the Ramsey Withdrawal.

    They are also in cohorts with the Suarez/Banega/James nonsensical signings.
    Raul is a streetfigher . And supposedly has a book of contacts.( ie. Spivey agents mobiles).

    HE WILL always do what’s best for him – Arsenal will always be secondary in his thoughts!I think he and Emery are potentially hazardous for ArsenalAnd that’s my honest appraisal.
    * I think Dortmund Eye- genuinely wanted to get Arsenal exciting young talent.

    Lmao CG thanx for the laughs mate. Here’s another theory you may like, the earth is flat and I fart rainbows.
    How about you get some evidences before sprouting another 100 word essay on what’s going on at arsenal.

  20. Dissenter

    Everyone knew Kroenke had an emotional connection with Wenger. He was convinced that Wenger was the best thing in football.
    There’s no such connection with Raul Sanllehi. He makes mistakes, he’s gone.

  21. Champagne charlie

    Arsenal need a strategy and direction before hiring anyone to fit it, then execute it. This club has botched the transition from Wenger worse than I thought possible.

    Only we could contrive to ‘recover’ from sacking Wenger haha farcical leadership.

  22. Dissenter

    If the goal was to use the development process, then why appoint a novice academy director based on sentiments?
    A director who would rather attend a NBA game than watch the academy kids play.

  23. Charlie George

    The reason is we are so bloody aimless- is because he have No British core.

    From the executive to Emery

    It’s this core – that keeps the club going through the lean times

    We jettison people like Ramsey, Welbeck, Chambers , Walcott , Ox on the altar of saving a few quid.

    And then replace with transient journeyman.

    If we are going to immitate any team
    How about Liverpool in the 80’s
    Man Utd 90’s
    Arsenal early 2000s?

    We can get this Arsenal Road Show back on track

    But we have to learn from our mistakes.

  24. gambon


    Mertesackers role is more of an administration role than coaching or technical.

    We also appointed Marcel Lucasson, as Development Director from U9 to U23 levels.

    His role is to develop the technical side of our youth football, make sure we have the best coaches etc

    His background is with the German Youth System. So he probably knows his stuff.

  25. Dissenter

    The light plane the Cardiff player was taking was a Piper Malibu, a propeller driven plane.
    My heart was in my mouth the last time I was give a flight on one of those tiny 3-4 seater propeller planes. It was the bounciest ride ever.
    Hopefully there are survivors.

  26. Cesc Appeal

    If we managed to bring Monchi in I think that would look like a very strong team off the field.

    I think bringing Monchi to Arsenal would put to bed any notion of Sanllehi wanting to take over and take it easy. If you sack Mislintat and bring in one of the most highly regarded DoFs to replace him you haven’t got your eyes on taking it easy.

    It doesn’t matter how well Sanllehi, Monchi and Emery get along, that is an ambitious move.

    Monchi is on record at Sevilla as saying that Emery was absolutely critical to their way of doing things working. I like that we would have a Technical Director and manager on the same page. I don’t think you can overstate how useful it will be to have someone recruiting players/coaches/setting up the youth system etc who knows the play style and direction he needs to go in.

  27. Dissenter

    The academy manager/director’s job involves coaching as well. If you read Mertesacker’s recent interviews, he explains that he’s also coaching as well.
    Be that as it may, why appoint the novice to lead it and provide direction just when you’re going to be banking on the academy to revive the club?
    This was another Wenger/Gazidis fuc*-up in my opinion.

    I won’t be surprises if Mertasacker is gently eased out pretty soon. He should be one cutting his teeth coaching one of the teams, not managing the entire set-up.

  28. Biggles

    Arsenal in the early 2000s were a French team. Of the Invincibles, only Cole and Campbell were regular first team starters – the next most played Englishman was Ray Parlour. And the 01-02 team, whilst having more Englishman in the squad, they still weren’t playing a whole lot of games. Luzhny for instance played more games than Seaman, Upson, Wright, Dixon, Taylor, Adams and Jeffers. I guess you could argue that it all counts towards the culture, and that’s probably true.

    Thing is, I don’t really think it matters where the players come from (assuming they acclimatize to the weather and the physical demands of the British game) provided they develop a culture and spirit of their own. Rangers have had loads of foreign players over the last 25 years and it didn’t stop them winning a truckload of trophies over a long period. But they had something approaching a direction, which we lack.

  29. qna

    The problem with Auba, Mkhi and Sokratis is that they were last generations players. That Dortmund team’s time has come and gone. Sven was spot on the first time he put the band together. But the come back tour was always going to be poor value for money. Our squad was completely devoid of any quality and in particular the quality of players in that 22 to 26 year olds was nearly completely devoid of star quality.

    I can understand a little in spending on Auba, after all, the season ticket holders deserve to watch somebody like him while they wait for the winds to change.

    We need to build our team around players in that 22-26 year bracket. We have enough senior players in the squad that can support them. But its pointless spending big money on anyone over 27 because by the time we are truly back in business again they will need to be replaced anyway.

    This is a long term project. I am ok with that too. I dont expect titles or even champions league if there is a clear plan and direction. Emery may not be the coach that will win us our next title, but he is doing a great job with this utterly shite list that Wenger left him.

  30. Dissenter

    We are transitioning from a manager who held the reins for 22 years, same time as we are trying to create a proper management infrastructure.
    Like Emirates Stroller said earlier, it’s going to take some time and missteps till we get it right.

  31. Marc

    I hope we’re not rewriting history over Sven just to make ourselves feel better. If the guy doesn’t live up to his reputation then fine, the club made a mistake and look to have remedied it quickly – providing they now bring in the right person.

    What we can’t afford to do is spend the next 5 years repeatedly replacing failing members of the management set up.

  32. Charlie George

    I would argue- in every department
    From injuries to transfers to contracts to results we are Regressing.

    And to think – this bar was very very low.

    There is now enough evidence- this transition has been an utter disaster.

  33. Marc

    Auba – good player and at the top of the goal scoring charts.

    Sok – solid defender who I’ve been pleased with. He’s not perfect by any stretch but he’s more experienced / dependable than any other CB we have at the moment. He also has a fighters mentality, something we’ve seriously been missing for years.

    Mikki – Real shame but it just looks like he’s not cut out for the PL.

  34. Receding Hairline

    Bellerin out for Nine months

    A new right back is now added to an already growing list of players needed. Not to mention how it will affect our very talented squad that Emery has to choose from, AMN who is not a right back and Stephan who has proven to be a bad gamble.

  35. qna

    Bellerin out for nine months and probably never the same player again. He is not a great defender and an average crosser. His main strength is his electric pace which he probably loses now. Real shame for the bloke. He was one of the few players in our squad that I didn’t feel needed replacing.

  36. Dissenter

    Do you need a super scout to make a 55 million deal for Auba to go through?
    no one else was after him in Jan 2018.
    Same as the Sokratis deal, 18 million is a lot of money for a player that Dortmund wanted to sell.
    Mislintat didn’t exactly earn his money with this two.

    Torriera had a stand out season in Serie A, so what was the scouting about?

    Guendouzi and the PSG kid we almost signed were Emery’s recommendations. That’s why he plays Guen all the time. He had seen him play in France.

  37. Dissenter

    Sokratis is a good defender, no doubt. He’s brought grit to the back.
    My point is there were good 21-23 year olds for the same price range in the summer of 2018.
    We were supposed to have one of the best scouts in the world and all he did was just replay his previous top-10 hits.

  38. Jamie

    A club career-defining 4 months for AMN coming up. If he doesn’t make the RB position his in Bellerin’s absence, I suspect he’ll be finished at Arsenal in the summer.

    The real fear is that he, too, picks up an injury. Then we’re left with Lich and fucking Jenko – the stuff of genuine nightmares.

    Awful news about Sala.

  39. Emiratesstroller


    The reality is that these days most clubs not just in top divisions are looking at
    the same rough diamonds and potential.

    Also you have several clubs in England and Europe who are willing to throw a
    lot of money and other incentives even at players who are not necessarily of outstanding quality.

  40. Danny

    He was one of the few players in our squad that I didn’t feel needed replacing.
    I feel the exact opposite – he can’t defend and can’t cross, should’ve been sold to Barca when we had the chance BUT the 3 players who can replace him are even worse.

  41. Cesc Appeal


    I get the feeling that Sanllehi thought Mislintat was lightweight for the role and Mislintat decided he didn’t want to just be a scout anymore.

    If Sanllehi can get us Monchi then all will be forgiven.

  42. gambon

    We already needed a RB anyway, so Bellerins injury shouldnt change our transfer plans.

    Ideally we should try and bring a purchase forward from the summer to now, like we did with Monreal.

    The way Emery plays, its absolutely vital we have 4 full backs that can play week in week out.

    We need a RB and a LB this summer.

  43. HighburyLegend

    “A new right back is now added to an already growing list of players needed.”

    For the last time : we can’t buy this january.
    (welcome to the AFC)

  44. Dissenter

    Can we please stop all this Monchi stuff. We all,know it’s not going to happen.
    Monchi is DoF at Roma. He’s in charge of everything football and reports directly to the billionaire owner of Roma, Pallota who’s essentially moved residence to Rome.
    He’s not going to come and work under another ‘director of footballing operations ‘ person.
    You;re asking him time take a demotion, for what?

    Someone is going to make that famuous Pedro marketing pitch soon enough.

    ….we are Arsenal…6th richest club on the planet.. London is a major city…..blah blah.

    Monchi ain’t coming people, you all know it 😀😀😀

  45. Pedro

    Monchi would be a coup. I’m assuming the step up would be that he could build a club instead of constantly having to sell his best players.

    Dissenter, bit of a weird tangent you went on earlier. The opening to my post gives you all the info you need on Sven and we’re not about to sign Zorc.

    Interesting point about the scout from Sevilla. You’d have to imaging Monchi would hire his own network of scouts.

    I’d be interested to know what qualifies him to be a technical director. Does he do that role now? Not critiquing… but that role is a pretty big deal.

  46. Pedro

    Dissenter, Arsenal are still a way bigger club than Roma and don’t rule out personal ambition. The guy lived in a flat on London to lean the language. Clearly loves the place.

  47. Cesc Appeal

    That might be the sell. Sit him with Sanllehi and Venkatesham, outline that the money will increase next year and then only increase after that, he will be building a club up with massive powers to sell/buy etc and he isn’t building to sell he’s building a UCL competitor.

    Having Emery here will also be a sell to him.

  48. Dissenter

    The only way Monchi comes is if we were to sack Raul.
    He’s not coming to work under Raul, you have to know this.

  49. gambon

    I think people really underestimate the pulling power of the Premier League for top talent across management, coaching and playing.

    I remember people on here saying Guardiola would never be interested in coming to the PL,

    Look at the budgets of the best teams in the PL, and the growth of TV and commercial money, and extrapolate that out over the next 10 years.

    If you are good at what you do, and rate yourself, you will really want to work for the big PL clubs, Barca, Real, Bayern, PSG or Juve.

    Half of the best clubs in Europe are in the PL.

    Im not saying we are getting Monchi, but the idea that he wouldnt at least be interested is silly.

  50. Emiratesstroller


    One thing for sure Arsenal need to offload both Lichsteiner and Jenkinson neither of whom are remotely good enough to play in EPL.

    The injury to Bellerin is clearly going to keep him out of the picture for the rest of season. We may also have to wait until the end of 2019 to see whether he can play at top level.

    For this reason Arsenal need to bring in next summer a top class full-back who
    can preferably play on both wings if required. That will be a hard task.

    CA I would not be so pessimistic about Bellerin’s recovery. He is a young man
    and maybe less speed if that proves to be outcome is not such a bad outcome.
    It may force Bellerin to adapt his game.

  51. Dissenter

    He would leave a major project in a major European city where he has full control and direct access to the billionaire. CEO?
    Roma are building a stadium and the owner is the direct opposite of Kroenke with daily involvement. He can discuss football like anyone here and is a proper fan.
    For what?
    To be number two so that he can experience the premier league?

  52. gambon


    I would go one step further, and also sell Maitland-Niles in the summer.

    We are in a position where we need to shift a lot of players to raise money and manage the wage bill.

    AMN only really gets game time at full back, where he doesnt want to play. Hes not trusted in CM because he is never going to be a top CM, and he will never be a top class wide player as he offers almost no goal threat.

    At RB, we need to buy someone, sell AMN, Jenkinson, Lichsteiner
    At GK, we need to buy someone, offload Cech, Ospina, Martinez, Macey
    At LB, we need to buy someone, offload Monreal/Kolasinac and Bramall
    At DM, we need an alternative to Torreira, offload Elneny
    At CM, we need to sell Xhaka and upgrade
    At AM, we need to buy, try to sell Ozil, as well as lose Ramsey
    At Wide AM, we need to buy at least one, sell Mykhitaryan and Iwobi

    Its really not rocket science, but the club will have to make some tough decisions, including selling players that are well liked, such as Xhaka, Elneny, Iwobi and AMN.

  53. Dream10

    Not sure how successful Monchi was for Sevilla in his last few years there.

    The downside of someone like Monchi joining the club means Emery will likely be here for longer than three yrs. Not sure we can get to next level under him

  54. gambon


    Roma & Arsenal are not comparable
    The PL and Serie A are not comparable
    Rome & London are not comparable
    Romas revenues & Arsenals revenues are not comparable
    Romas Wage bill & Arsenals wage bill are not comparable
    Romas transfer budget and Arsenals transfer budget are not comparable

    I would say he would certainly want to listen.

  55. TheBoyCornelius

    Thats quite a shopping list gambon – and quite a cull – a 3 into 1 player all across the backline. It wouldn’t have happened under Wenger/Gazidas – but i reckon we may see something like it under Raul / Emery

  56. Bamford10

    Emery’s saying that AMN will cover for Bellerin and that we will not be dipping into the market for a right-back tells me that we are wary of spending money in January and that we are saving as much money as possible for a busy and important summer. Given the limited options available to you in a January window and given the possibility of making a costly mistake, I think this is probably smart.

  57. Marc

    It’s a good job they put the names of players on the back of shirts because if Gambon gets his way we’ll have an entirely new squad come August. No one will have a clue who anyone else is.

  58. Dissenter

    I agree with most of the last post
    It’s kinda funny when you associated ‘tough decisions’ with selling Elneny, ANM, Xhaka and Iwobi.
    You’re really stating the obvious, there’s no courage necessary for this to happen.
    My critique of this is they won’t fetch much collectively and the cost of replacing them will exceed the incoming.
    I would add selling one of Auba or Laca into that group; that’s the one where courage is really required.

  59. HighburyLegend

    I’m lost.
    Arsenals transfer budget is bigger than Romas transfer budget… but still we can’t buy any players ???

  60. azed


    At RB, we need to buy someone, sell Jenkinson

    I wish whoever is tasked with selling Jenkinson all the very best.
    If your career is hinged on selling Jenkinson, you might as well give up because it would be easier to move on Ozil than to move Jenkinson.

    Dude is here till the last drop on his contact is done.

  61. Savage

    ““hectic” is not really the words I would employed to describe the situation, but whatever…”

    Your club record signing probably just died in a small aircraft accident.

  62. Lkay

    Hector will get lessons from robert pires on how to get back feom a cruciate ligament injury….. Hell cum back stronger

  63. Champagne charlie

    “The reason is we are so bloody aimless- is because he have No British core.From the executive to Emery It’s this core – that keeps the club going through the lean times“

    Nope, this sort of idea is well and truly lost on me I’m afraid.

    Nationality has nothing to do with outlining the ideals of the football club and striving for the sorts of action that brings about tangible change into the right direction.

    Arsenal need a strong leader, and by that I mean someone to outline what Arsenal are all about with a view to what we want to be about tomorrow. That person would ensure the rest of the crew, tasked with their respective roles, adhere to this singular/collective ambition.

    There’s a great deal to be said for organisations and businesses that pull in the same direction vs opposing micro-directionality. The former is more powerful, the latter more chaotic and susceptible to business warfare at the expense of progress.

  64. Bamford10

    Can the team that beat Chelsea on Saturday — substituting AMN for Bellerin — finish fourth? I have my doubts.

    I think they can make a go at it, but I think we may have to plan instead for a fifth place finish and a massive summer in which the squad is transformed a la gambon’s prescriptions above.

    Some will say that we should have done this this past summer, but ultimately the new men in charge needed to better understand what they were working with.

    Any chance we could win the Europa and get CL football that way? Possibly, I guess. Not that I am giving up on the PL, but that may now be our best chance of getting CL football next season.

  65. Cesc Appeal

    To finish 4th we’re slightly reliant on other teams f*****g up, it’s not just on us and I don’t mean because we’re behind right now, just in general we need Chelsea and Spurs not to play to their ability level.

    If this thing with Sarri blows up, if Spurs struggle with injuries to Kane, Alli and having Son on international duty then it might open up for us.

    After the summer though there is no excuse for that being the case, we need to start being a team that can just rely on ourselves to get results and get us where we need to be.

    We know Chelsea will spend a fair amount, but they’ve already blown £60 Million on Pulisic and I’m not sure that’s wise.

    Spurs will have nothing to spend.

    We’re the worst team in the top 6 but we should have every chance to start clawing our way back up over the summer. Especially if we land UCL football.

  66. Bamford10

    To get a better sense of our chances of winning the Europa League, below is a list of the best eight teams remaining in the competition:

    Inter Milan

    What do people think? What are our odds? Better than the PL?

  67. Champagne charlie


    Your commentary there is precisioely why and Arteta-like managerial appointment was such an opportunity this past summer. The club didn’t make investments that outline top 4 as the goal, it’s more hopeful.

    This season is playing out as some predicted it would, 12 free months of football as we shuffle our deck. Not what I wanted to see, and certainly not without a polarising appointment post-Wenger.

    There’s a good chance we finish 6th again and will have wasted a freebie that could’ve been used to roll the dice somewhat, or bring someone so opposite the previous regime it would’ve helped redress the balance in football philosophy (talking a real defensive coach to make some inroads on that side of things).

  68. Goobergooner

    I read a few people the other day saying most of the defensive players we now have are all Emery/new backroom picks.

    What a load of shit.

    1. We have brought in one starting player in the whole back 4/5.

    2. Yeah Licht was bought in, but he was literally a stop gap free signing to bolster the experience/ leadership attribute of the squad.

    3. Leno is a defensive player yes. But he is a keeper. He needs an actual back line and midfield that can protect him, so no way that I put him in the same category as the rest of the defense.

    4. Yeah torreira is a DM, but he has had the box to box/cm roll as well throughout the season. Guen is more a box to box, I feel, in the long run, so 1 of them can be accountable to the defensive side of the team in all honesty.

    So there you have it. Only 2 of 10 outfield players are actually starting quality that the new team has brought in. (3/11 counting Leno, though still leaves a lot to be desired from crosses and commanding his box).

    The 64 million spent, has been spent very wisely in my opinion. Because Sokratis is our best CB, torr our best mid and Leno arguably our best keeper.

    Wenger’s last few years of spending was fucking tragic in comparison.

  69. Dream10

    Cesc Appeal

    We he also have difficult matches I’m not confident of us getting three points

    Away -City, Spurs, Watford, Wolves, Leicester, Everton

    Home- Man Utd, Southampton

    Need at least 16 points from those eight matches

  70. Bamford10


    OK, that is maybe one decent argument in favor of an Arteta: he might have better understood what we had and what needed to be done.

    However, one, who is to say Arteta would have made the right decisions re these players? Take Xhaka. Most here think he isn’t good enough; you disagree. What would an Arteta think? Hard to say, but just because he knows our squad and the PL doesn’t mean he would make the correct decisions re this or that.

    Two, there is also the issue of his never having managed before. Whatever we might have gained via his better knowledge of our team and the PL we might have lost via his lack of experience. There are things managers learn from actually managing, and he would lack these things relative to an Emery.

    Anyways, it’s a reasonable point, but it’s not a decisive one.

  71. Dissenter

    Actually the mistakes of the summer doesn’t include choice of manager.
    It’s allowing the contracts of Welbeck and Ramsey to run out.
    It’s Gazidis deciding to fuc*-off right after Wenger left.
    It’s the lack of decisiveness about Chambers

    An Arteta-like manager [whatever than means] wouldn’t have changed a thing. What has Arteta learned from Pep about fixing a defense?
    Spend £200 on two full backs and £140 million on two central defenders?

    You never give up, don’t ya?

  72. Marc


    Chelsea will spend a significant amount but it will be off of the back of selling Hazard. The £60 million on Pulisic doesn’t sound the best bit of business from what I’ve herd about the player and if the players start downing tools for another manager then you have to ask the question what do they do? At some point managers will see it as an impossible job so they need a clear out and rebuild.

  73. Champagne charlie


    My point was less about Arteta and more about the vision the Arsenal uppers have (I said Arteta-like too).

    The perceived ‘gamble’ of a younger/more inexperienced manager (or older anti-arsenal type) would have been heavily mitigated in a season where we are essentially looking to take stock and go proper in the summer (if you believe those whispers).

    As I say, it’s not what I wanted to see but I’m merely pointing out that personally in such circumstances I’d have sooner seen the club gamble a little on something different. Arteta or similar could’ve exploded as they touched management proper, and someone like Benitez would’ve done much more for our defensive solidity moving forward than Emery will.

    Basically we had the scope to pick from either end of the spectrum and we chose a middle-lane guy. Disappointing, but not unsurprising from those in charge.

  74. Dissenter

    There are pros and cons of being an insider, which is what Arteta would have been.
    Sometimes you need a clean break, someone to look at the situation with dispassionate lenses and start the fix. Problem is we are still encumbered by the long term contracts.
    Left to Emery, he would have shipped Ozil our but he can’t because of contract constraints.
    There’s only so much change as you can make at once, it seems.

  75. Dissenter

    I also think the Arteta-type protagonists [ not just CC] are understating how difficult coaching is, especially the first management job.
    A manager may sign on thinking he’s going to get XYZ, only to have to deal with shift sands under his feet to settle for something else – that’s where experience comes into it.
    Had we had a properly set-up back room with a defined CEO and tested DoF in place for five years before 2018, then may be an Arteta-type appointment may have made sense
    You just can’t have a novice manager at the same time you’re still working out the entire club management structure. That’s a recipe for a calamitious outcome.
    Can you imagine how an Arteta type manager would be reacting to all these uncertainties in the back room and not having money to make cursory signings in January?

  76. Marc

    (or older anti-arsenal type)

    Precisely what is that we’ve had 4 managers in almost 35 years, one of which is 6 months in to the job and another only lasted a season. As Graham and Wenger were like chalk and cheese I’m not sure what on earth you mean.

  77. Cesc Appeal


    Losing Hazard will be an issue, spending £90-100 Million of the fee on Pulisic and Higuain is no that great at all.

    Spurs are obviously going to be really limited in terms of transfers and if they lose Pochettino that is really bad for them.

    If we get it right over the summer there’s a chance for us to leapfrog some teams.

    We’ve been left in a shit state but I can see some teams struggling in the future. that gives us a chance.

    That said if United get Pochettino then that is a team to add to the strong list with City and Liverpool.

  78. Receding Hairline

    Benitez achieves defensive solidity by playing a particular type of football ..There is actually a reason why he is at Newcastle at the moment.

    Benitez would have been no more exciting or forward thinking a hire than Emery

  79. gambon


    Chelsea and Arsenal are massive favourites for the EL.

    In fact, if Chelsea weren’t in it, I would say we should absolutely be expecting to win it.

  80. Champagne charlie

    “As Graham and Wenger were like chalk and cheese I’m not sure what on earth you mean.“

    Precisely that, my biggest criticism of the last few years has been our total lack of defensive appreciation. So IF we were to treat a season as a freebie, i’d sooner we went ultra-defensive in appointment to tip the balance a bit.

    Rafa Benitez was my choice in this mould of manager, he’s incredibly competent and his teams are organised as fuck before anything else. He also knows the league, the language, and how to work with a fuck stick of an owner.

    I’m not dismissing the importance of coaching or the difficulty, i’m criticising the lack of conviction in ANY particular endeavour from our leaders at the club. It’s becoming more clear that this season is one without expectation, and based on hope. I think it’s cowardly to have went safe in these circumstances, plain and simple.

  81. gambon

    Highbury Legend

    Roma made a £10m profit in the summer.

    Arsenal spent £65m net

    Are you under the impression that Arsenal are never allowed to spend money again or something?

  82. Champagne charlie


    Congratulations, you managed to miss the point entirely. That happens when you have a default setting on a particular topic.

  83. Receding Hairline

    Congratulations, you managed to miss the point entirely. That happens when you have a default setting on a particular topic.

    You should know all about default settings have been on yours for quite sometime now just waiting for a chance to spew it, we should have gone for an unknown or an ultra defensive man in the new era rather than use a season to give a new man chance to work in his tactics

  84. Receding Hairline

    I’m actually shocked that some one here haven’t been all over Sarri for using a translator during his rant on Saturday.

    He probably didn’t notice since he is allergic to all things foreign, he would have changed the channel in disgust once the interview started, he actually missed a golden opportunity to buttress his over flogged point

  85. Marko

    All the hallmarks of a now classic Pedro daily routine. I just love how halfway through you’re just dropping in Emery’s name into a conversation about signings and the power struggle behind the scenes. Just cause. And the Red Bull stuff continues to be an alarming trend. All in all great post today didn’t really say much but you got your point across

  86. Nelson

    The reaction of the fans attending the game gives me confidence that there is still a degree of power over this new administration. I heard boos when Laca was subbed and singing when Giroud was introduced. If the team doesn’t win and also plays some boring football, fan protest will start very quickly. KSE will have no hesitation to act, since this new administration hasn’t won anything for the club yet, nor have they contributed to the building of the facility.

  87. gambon

    “It’s a good job they put the names of players on the back of shirts because if Gambon gets his way we’ll have an entirely new squad come August. No one will have a clue who anyone else is”

    Like I say tough decisions….

    That said, we would still have:

    Kolasinac or Monreal

    As well as prospects such as:


  88. Champagne charlie

    “Fuck it why not go with Fat Sam with Pulis as his assistant while you’re at it.“

    Oh good shout Marc, obviously you’re another that has trouble with a differing POV to your own. Rafa Benitez or Pulis…. yes, identical records and reputations in the game.

    No default setting from me ta, I’ve held a POV that’s ran pretty true to date so absolutely no need for me to ‘wait to spew’ anything as i’m only repeating what I said since the summer. I’ve not nailed my colours to any mast like you continue to do, you know it’s laughable when you start arguing points thataren’t even being made. Kudos on joining that level of poster.

  89. Charlie George

    I am amazed that the consensus on here ssems that AMN won’t make it at Arsenal in his centre midfield position..

    Playing him constantly in wing back roles is so detrimental to his confidence and fitness.

    I feel he could be better player than Harry Winks.
    Poch would never play winks in a full back position
    Emery shoud take a leaf out of poch s book.

    Just buy a robust right back.! 10 days to go before window shuts…. and have faith in our young players..

    Other wise what is the point of our youth policy.?

  90. Marc


    I had this conversation with a mate the other day. His view was Kroenke doesn’t give a fuck about the fans. My point was he will if they stop turning up / buying tickets, it took a while for the fans to give up on Wenger it won’t take anywhere near as long if we don’t see things improving (that’s not an invitation for why hasn’t Emery sorted everything yet).

    The pressure will come from the new commercial deals we are doing. Does anyone think Adidas won’t ask questions if we’re stuck in 6th and playing in front of a half filled stadium?

  91. gambon

    “Who would you keep at CB?”

    I think Sokratis plus a top class partner could be a good combo.

    I think Holding & Mavropanos are OK, but we would need another good squad player.

    – New first choice CB
    – Sokratis
    – New squad CB
    – Holding
    – Mavropanos (Possibility of loan)

    Holding is probably our second best CB. If we could get the squad to the point where he’s our 4th best CB, we wouldve done well.

  92. Receding Hairline

    Kudos on joining that level of poster.

    Whatever Oga

    I’ve held a POV that’s ran pretty true to date so absolutely no need for me to ‘wait to spew’ anything as i’m only repeating what I said since the summer

    Default setting ….you have comprehension issues too?

  93. Dissenter

    “The reaction of the fans attending the game gives me confidence that there is still a degree of power over this new administration. I heard boos when Laca was subbed and singing when Giroud was introduced. ”

    The fans who sang for Giroud are unsophisticated babies. They sang for a few secnds then realised the player was playing formthe other side and then shut it. It was comical, that was no fan-power mate. It was fan silliness, same as the ones that boo Laca’s substitution.
    Emery has gotten it right [based on the final result] every time he’s pulled off Laca

  94. Marko

    This club has botched the transition from Wenger worse than I thought possible. Only we could contrive to ‘recover’ from sacking Wenger haha farcical leadership…Your commentary there is precisioely why and Arteta-like managerial appointment was such an opportunity this past summer…This season is playing out as some predicted it would, 12 free months of football as we shuffle our deck…There’s a good chance we finish 6th again and will have wasted a freebie that could’ve been used to roll the dice somewhat.

    Surprising no one Charles. Emery is predictable but Arteta is so unknown that it surely was a missed opportunity. You complain about vision and strategy and all that and there’s not one single thing to point to that would say appointing Arteta would address any of that. Not one thing

  95. Guns of Hackney

    Bellerin our for the season is no loss. He hasn’t looked good for three seasons.

    Does Emery still have a job?

  96. Dream10

    So, Emery is recommending Monchi to become technical director. Why is Unai having any say in who gets hired? I thought his job was to coach the team?

  97. gambon

    On a serious note, what happens to the fee for Sala?

    Doubt Cardiff had made payment yet, but contractually do they have to pay up?

  98. Danny

    Bellerin our for the season is no loss.
    It is a loss because his replacements are worst than him.

  99. Marko

    Basically we had the scope to pick from either end of the spectrum and we chose a middle-lane guy. Disappointing, but not unsurprising from those in charge.

    I know right. On the one hand you have someone who’s got zero managerial experience a total gamble and on the other hand you have this manager (Benitez) who’s been bounced around from club to club and who’s at Newcastle and who’s to say that’s not his level now. And then you have Emery who just becomes available for nothing just after winning the treble in France and who’s won 3 European titles and who’s young. Talk about a disappointing hire alright. We could have been gambling on the unknown or the boring right about now. I mean given how the season is panning out middle of the road, boring or certainly predictable isn’t how I’d describe his appointment. Also I love how you talk about wasting another season a freebie season but talk about a missed opportunity on rolling the dice on Arteta. Isn’t it the same thing

  100. Cesc Appeal

    Some news doing the rounds that Arsenal are now ‘confident’ of getting Monchi and Roma are already worrying that they are going to lose him.

    Not sure how reputable or whether this is just empty journalism but it would be some appointment.

  101. Danny

    Doubt Cardiff had made payment yet
    Imagine being the Cardiff official who told the bank to transfer the money………

  102. Marc


    Well that depends on how involved he is. Recommending someone you know is good to your employer isn’t an issue – you just wouldn’t then expect to be involved in the interview process.

  103. Marko

    Thought that too gambon. Awful story though the lad didn’t really want to join them and has been thinking about it all month long and then decides to join them. Apparently he wasn’t even expected back at Nantes he just wanted to say goodbye to his teammates

  104. Champagne charlie

    “Default setting ….you have comprehension issues too?“

    No, looks like you’re alone with those. Having a POV which contains concerns of what might play out, then witnessing those concerns play out, isn’t a ‘default setting’.

    A default setting is your propensity to defend Emery from every piece of criticism received. Often not because the point itself is unfair or without basis, but because you have a particular disposition toward a poster. Shorthand for that is ‘tool’, I was merely being diplomatic.

  105. gambon


    I really think its probably bullshit (Monchi)

    When news broke that Sven was off, the first thing I said on Twitter was….because we’re getting Monchi.

    I was joking, but thats what journalists do. They just spew a load of bollocks, then when one of their 40 guesses is right, they say “told you so”.

  106. Marc


    Cut it out mate – I really don’t want to get my hopes up would rather sit back and see what happens. Far too much click bait out there.

  107. Champagne charlie

    Good grief, sources suggesting the plane in question had difficulties in take-off and had to attempt it 3 or 4 times before successfully getting airborne.

    I know fuck all about aviation, but that surely (if true) is a red flag for negligence on the part of the operating service? I’m sat eyebrow raised when my car doesn’t start up properly first time around, wouldn’t catch me in a plane that had to circle a runway 3 or 4 times.

  108. Cesc Appeal

    Gambon Marc

    I’m going to choose to just go along with it and imagine a summer presided over by Monchi.

    It’s pretty great over here. Join me.

  109. Marko

    So IF we were to treat a season as a freebie, i’d sooner we went ultra-defensive in appointment to tip the balance a bit.

    Stop saying freebie season ffs. You do realize had we appointed Arteta it would have been a freebie season anyway because he has zero experience and would be learning on the job. Not to mention that he wouldn’t have been involved in the signings and would have been given the same budget. As for the defensive balance that Benitez would have brought his last two seasons at Napoli he conceded 39 and 54 league goals. Not sure you want to analyze the short stint at Madrid or his tenure at Newcastle as evidence of his defensive capabilities. Especially considering he got them relegated when he joined. Also his Liverpool stint is hardly relevant it was nearly 9 seasons ago. Point is that he wasn’t a more obvious hire over Emery

  110. Un na naai

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 22, 2019 14:06:30
    I am amazed that the consensus on here ssems that AMN won’t make it at Arsenal in his centre midfield position..

    Charlie George

    They sharpen their knives for anyone English or from the wenger era.

  111. Receding Hairline

    Don’t know how being in contention for the European places in january with 15 games to go can be considered as a freebie season. If it was a freebie season why the outrage when results started going badly.

    With Arteta are we supposed to smile and part his head during this freebie season while he learns how to be a manager? Or we sit back and watch our players defend for their lives in 70% of games under Benitez and say well it’s a freebie season.

  112. Marko

    Monchi has been linked with United too in the past few months so it’s not like there’s no interest in him or that he’s dead certain to stay at Roma.

  113. Un na naai

    Stop saying freebie season ffs. You do realize had we appointed Arteta it would have been a freebie season anyway because he has zero experience and would be learning on the job.


    Unlike Solskjaer or Zidane or Mourinho eh? God you make such wonderfully well thought out points. Nobody would guess you’re a dub

  114. Charlie George

    Harry Kane and Ashley Cole are clear examples of young players that could have been discarded early on in their careers.

    We have to be patient. There is something this boy has – that i think separates him from the rest.

    Ray Parlour was a late developer too.

    Wish we would follow Fergies formula.

    6 Brits / 5 Overseas….
    Thats the right ratio…

  115. Pedro

    Can’t be certain, but if you read how Monchi operates, he likes to lean heavily on the culture of a city to bring players in.

    Roma and Seville… to Manchester? Not fancying he’d be down for that if there was an opp in London.