What can Arsenal learn from the Red Sox?

by .

Enjoy the monthly column from Jonathan. Make sure to follow him @jblauphoto 

It’s Monday, January 28th, (as I write this,) and Arsenal are the 6th best football club in England.

(I don’t want to hear that we’re still ahead of United on goal different. Shut your mouth.)

It’s a cold, sunny Monday here in the Rocky Mountains, and I’m trying to synopsize the last month for you, since I wrote my “what the fuck is Emery thinking?” column at the end of the year.

At this point, 8 months into his reign, I’d say that the jury is still out on Unai Emery, but doubts are beginning to creep into the global fan base.

(Will he ever stick with one line-up? Or formation? Does he have a grand plan?)

Personally, I was pretty surprised he didn’t run out the same lineup for the United FA Cup match that crushed Chelsea earlier in the week.

Surely, outside of changing the goal-keeper, I thought he would have to play the same team, given how well they handled Chelsea.

Three DM’s supporting 2 (finally) capable CBs, with Ramsey feeding Lacazette and Aubameyang.

I was sure he’d go back to the well.

But, of course, I was wrong.

You can understand why he put Iwobi into the team ahead of Guendouzi, and it’s not like it was a crazy idea. It’s just that almost anyone else would have said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But not Unai Emery, who seemingly loves to chop and change more than my 6 year old daughter playing with her squishies and Shopkins. (Don’t ask.)

Lots of media coverage has focused on Emery the tactical coach, or lately, Emery the failed motivator. On and on, we focus on his rebuild or his vision.

But during the last month, lots of ink was also spilled about the departure of Sven Mislintat, and the nasty power struggle that ended with his shanking out back behind the basketball court.

Surely, to the outside observer, it looks like Arsenal are in turmoil, as there is no firm system in place to replace the “Arsene decides” battle plan that was wheat-pasted up in the board room for the last 22 years.

The truth of the matter is, if you want to understand where we stand in the Premier League right now, you have to look to the Boston Red Sox.

Really, the Red Sox have all the answers.

I’ve noticed lately that Pete has begun to make comparisons to the American sports leagues, but normally he’s cutting and pasting from other articles.

I can tell you right off the top of my head what you need to know.

For a hundred years, the Red Sox were laughing stocks. They were a joke, as they suffered under the curse of Babe Ruth. Having sold the famed ballplayer to the Yankees, their rival, they watched the Yanks win all sorts of things, while their trophy cabinet collected dust like my daughter collects little plastic toys. (She’s got enough to choke a blue whale.)

Always, the Sox were chokers.

They couldn’t win.

But then, a hedge-fund type with partners rolling in Cosby-show-money bought the team, and they became very early adopters of the now-ubiquitous use of analytics.

Yes, that’s right.


Around the time Billy Beane was getting famous for Moneyball, the Sox ownership group, (Henry, Werner et al) went out and hired the man who invented the field, Bill James.

Apparently, he was the numbers geek of all geeks, as he sent out his own photocopied zine that made waves around the sports industry, back in the day.

They hired Bill James, and all of a sudden, began coveting players who drew walks, and got on base a lot. They went after fat guys, (like Kevin Youkilis,) and at first, there was little competition for the players they wanted.

And unlike the Oakland A’s, whose penny-pinching drove them to look for undervalued assets, the Red Sox were a big market team in a sports-crazed city, and they matched their numbers-crunching with some serious investments.

You might not have heard of Big Papi, or Jonny Damon, but the Red Sox players of the early century became Boston legends when they came from 3-0 down in the American League Championship, against the dreaded Yankees, and beat them, going on to win their first World Series in nearly a century.

But that wasn’t the end.

Continuing to invest and innovate, and leaning on their back-room nerds, the Red Sox have now won 3 more World Series.

(Making 4 championships this century for a club that went forever without winning.)

Even better, another of their hero-number-crunchers, Theo Epstein, went to the Chicago Cubs, an equally big loser, and after installing the same operating system, he won a World Series there as well.

So that’s 5 Championships for the analytics team put together by the (gulp) Liverpool owners.

It’s been enough years that I don’t remember when I saw it, but at some point after they bought Liverpool, I read an article about how the owners were investing in football analytics, and expected to be ahead of the curve, as the “right” numbers were not completely understood at the management level across global football.

So here we are, in 2019, and it’s all worked out for them.

Klopp is great, don’t get me wrong, but really, their success has come from finding the right players, mostly for affordable prices, and then making good decisions.

Yes, Van Dijk and Alison were super-expensive, but only because Liverpool got to the point where they were minting enough high-level assets to afford them.

Just think: Mané, Salah, Firmino, Coutinho, Winjaldum… Arsenal could have bought any of them.

(Mané was playing in the Premier League, for heaven’s sake, and had already roasted Arsenal at Southampton.)

But Arsenal, perhaps using the wrong type of analytic analysis, bought Xhaka, Mustafi, and some old guys.

And here we are, in 2019, with a team in need of a massive defensive rebuild, and seemingly requiring player sales of improved assets of fuel the new purchases.

Because unlike the Liverpool ownership group, Stan Kroenke is famous for not wanting to put one of his own dollars into running the club.

So where does that leave us?

Most of you guys probably read this blog each day, and know that Pete has taken on this subject rather often, whether we’ll be a development/analytics club going forward, or a “let me pull out my Rolodex” kind of club, with Raul running the show.

At this point, unlike the last few years, the Kroenkes are finally experiencing genuine success in LA and Denver. (The Washington Post even did a cover story on Stan’s big stadium play in Inglewood.)

The mustache-dude is not averse to spending money in all cases, apparently. And now, he’s getting some serious visuals on how brand-building and winning turn into hard currency.

So that’s where we are now.

I’m hoping that Arsenal will see the writing on the wall, invest in scouting and asset building, and buckle down to work our way back up into the Top 4, and then hopefully into genuine contention by the time Klopp and Pep leave in 2-4 seasons.

There is a blue print out there for us, if we follow it.

Unfortunately, given the resurgence of Man U, and the unlimited funds available at City, plus Abramovich’s addiction to winning, the future does not look rosy.

Not yet.

Not now, at the end of January, 2019.

But, as usual, we’ll know more in May.

Remember, follow him @jblauphoto 

524 Responses to “What can Arsenal learn from the Red Sox?”

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  1. gunnermjj

    Recently Juve started 11 overseas players for the first time in their history. This has Italians quite worried for their (already struggling)product. How many under-25 Italian players could you name? They fear they will be like the premier league soon and lose their identity.

    Now Arsenal is still not a self-sustaining model, that is the rhetoric from the new talking heads in the same old chairs – Arsenal FC is now paying off £1bn+ in debts (£750m stadium 60% still to pay over 10-15 years, and now £300m in loan + 250m interest!! for Stan to buy out Usmanov). This is not self-sustaining, we cannot spend what we make, we can only spend what we make after KSE has taken out circa £60m per season to pay off those debts, or anything else they want, with zero accountability now.

    As I see it KSE are using the club’s income to pay back the loan for the shares they bought – how can anyone support a club has that has allowed that to happen? To be clear, KSE will take £550m out of Arsenal over the next decade to pay off the loan for £300m worth of shares – all because it meant total control in Dodgy Delaware.

    Both owners win, the banks win, the hedge funds win, but the fans and team lose out.

    My boy doesn’t like football (thankfully rugby all the way!) and I have many Arsenal supporting friends who can’t get their kids to support Arsenal, if they’re even interested in actual outdoors football, and you can see it hurts them.

    Perhaps I was just lucky to idolise characters like Wrighty, Merse, Adams, Rocky et al but a huge percentage of kids (mostly with no club – family obligations) were growing up as Gooners because there was a clear camaraderie twinned with a business attitude.

    The pull of English talent like Kane, Ali, Lampard, Vardy, and even Ox & Wally should not be underestimated for those young fans that can actually attend games. Every team has good foreign players, only the better ones get bought, but that isn’t enough to gain real long term allegiances.

    I have honestly learnt a lot from my son by trying to get him to watch Arsenal – how would you convince someone that Arsenal should be their team nowadays?..

    Greedy players & agents,
    Agenda driven management,
    The worst owner possible,
    Highest prices in Europe,
    Soulless stadium in crime ridden area,
    No British star players/prospects to relate to,
    No money (or ambition) for the next decade or two
    The constantly bickering fanbase

    I now accept Arsenal is not the club it was, nor the club for me.

    If I were an overseas fan/blogger, Arsenal is the gift that keeps giving, but in reality if the club wrapped-up tomorrow and the stadium was turned into a Walmart, all the overseas fans would just move on easily and I think I could now too.
    Arsenal’s online fanbase grows as the actual supporter numbers nosedive. For overseas readers, you probably see more kids with Arsenal tops on in your cities than you would in London for the past 10 years.

    I’m honestly impressed by you guys on here all day everyday talking Arsenal, but it is quite funny because the club do not care one iota (unless you’re buying matchday boxes).

  2. Valentin

    The Premier League proposed a maximum of 17 non-“homegrown” players in each club squad, and the squad size is a maximum of 25. This means that in a full squad of 25 players, there must be at least eight homegrown players.
    GK: Leno, Cech
    CB: Sokratis, Mustafi, Koscielny, Mavrapanos
    FB: Monreal, Kolasinac, Lichsteiner
    CM: Elneny, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira
    CAM: Mhikitarian, Özil
    ST: Aubameyang, Lacazette
    That is 17 non home grown players.
    So if Suarez and Nkunku are coming we need to get rid of two from the previous list.
    I know Emery wants Özil gone, but that is not going to happen. As we are already short of CB, then that means 2 out of Lichsteiner, Elneny, Xhaka, Aubameyang and Lacazette. I have discarded Mhikitarian as he is still injured and I doubt somebody will loan him for 6 months when injured.

    I am willing to bet that everybody was so concentrated on the incoming that nobody thought of the outgoing. Except Elneny and Özil (usual Arsenal briefing) not a single rumour has come out of Arsenal regarding people potentially leaving.

  3. Charlie George

    Good heavy duty read gunner mj
    Can’t disagree with much of it.

    Arsenal identity is virtually is non existant.
    Hence , the importance of keeping players like Ramsey – so important
    But alas, it falls on deaf ears..

    Spanish Regime do not trust British footballing talent.

    They prefer their own . ( Suarez /banega types)

    Not their fault.
    It’s ours- for allowing it!

  4. Sancho Monzorla


    Yeah you should just fuck off and support Spurs then.

    Fucking hell, the creeps really do come out at night. Not you Benny, you’re cool. It’s only 420 pm here and I am going on a break to smoke a fat bowl of ganja, I don’t know what your excuses are.

    The entitlement of some fans. The club doesn’t own any of you idiots anything. If you want an all British squad go buy a fucking team.

  5. bennydevito

    Wolves are a great team and have got some great players. My missus’s family are all Wolves, her Dad and brother go regular and my son was a mascot at a wolves game 5 years ago when he was 7.

  6. Charlie George


    We should not be buying anyone or selling* anyone in Jan.

    It’s purely more ivory tower building!

    * unless It’s Elneny

  7. gunnermjj


    Spot on re Pep. He was even living next door to TH14 in New York (whilst the King was playing there), learning English after their Barca time but that was before Bayern not after….Widely understood that Henry would’ve been Pep’s No.2…

    When Bayern snapped up Pep because Wenger wouldn’t relinquish the power he had, Arsenal was done as a top tier club. As you say, KSE were overjoyed with the French accountant in charge so why bring in someone who wants to spend a little?!! I wrote as much the last time I posted here on LG just after the lad was born…

    The damage had been done in many ways by the time Pep was leaving Bayern and Arsenal was no longer an attractive proposition for a ambitious winner. And will likely never be (see Allegri’s snub)

  8. Terri Maaki

    gunnermjj I totally understand your sentiments but isn’t that life in general? I’m born and bread Londoner, there was a time when Sunday seemed like Xmas day every Sunday now its a standard ‘commercial’ day, where you use to have couple of chip shops for a take away now you have every cuisine under the sun, kids would be out playing football now they don’t (crime could be a factor as much as technology) … The comparisons might be off but the point is things have changed (for better or worse) but like society Arsenal F. C must evolve with the times (and some may argue we haven’t done much of that). I don’t agree less kids are into arsenal I think most Londoners/locals etc… might not go to the games, buy from the club shop, but there is still a huge affiliation with the gunners especially amongst the home grown ethnic minorities (you might like it or not) that trend has been there from the times when we had Viv Anderson let alone the glory years of Davies, Rocky, Thomas and then Campbell, Wrigty et al… I’m from SE London so I know what the affiliations like even to this day. Of course the soul has gone it sort of went once the club decided to move from Highbury, it was inevitable it was going to be this way. Would I love to have a couple great English or British players in the side yes most definitely but that’s still not going to bring back what you deem as the ‘good ol years’.

  9. bennydevito


    Total bullshit. The stadium only cost £390m and we’ve nearly paid it off.

    Prove KSE is leveraging the Usmanov share purchase against us and will be taking £60m a,season for 10 – 15 years?

    Prove we are 1bn in debt?

    Total bullshit.

  10. Nelson


    Are you allow to change the squad after each game? Or you are allow to change the squad within this TW only?

  11. Terri Maaki

    I don’t know about that re: Pep, it was always a given that Fergie wanted him at Utd, Pep was keen too, the Arsenal story is what it is a ‘story’. It’s no different to the stories around the hundreds of players Wenger ‘could’ of signed.

    BTW Benny appreciate your honesty in the earlier post. Its enlightening to hear a ‘phoebia’ can sometimes change to a positive…

  12. bennydevito

    Sancho monzorla,

    Cheers dude! I could go for some ganja right now, it’s been bloody ages since I had some of the good stuff.

    Hurry up and legalise it already so I don’t have to frequent the scummy areas of Bristol getting ripped off with light deals from dodgy dealers.

  13. bennydevito

    Terri Maaki,

    Thanks, appreciate your comment. I’ve even done Ramadan the last 2 years and it’s amazing.

    Re pep I’m pretty sure my story is true, especially the coaching badges – it was in the papers at the time.

  14. azed


    Its better for young players to be playing week in week out than not making the team so going on loan is the best thing for them.

    Rowe-Smith is behind Ramsey, Ozil, Guendozi, Xhaka, Toirrera for a place in midfield (notice I didn’t include Elneny or Mkhitaryan) and with us only being in two competitions, would find game time. How would he improve?

  15. bennydevito


    Sorry, didn’t mean to come across aggressive there. Really hope you’re wrong regarding the finances.

  16. Terri Maaki

    Benny man you must of regretted that especially during the summer months! But good on you!

    Re: Pep I don’t recall that but maybe I missed it, I could see a connection after all we were ‘Barca lite’ at one point, but money talks and the fact Wenger wasn’t going to budge was a big factor. But let’s see where we are in May, right about now its too hard to call particularly with the teams around us dropping points. I don’t see Emery as the solution especially if he can’t do anything with our current youths.

    I hear Smith-Rowe is getting a loan to Germany?

  17. Freddie Ljungberg

    I agree about the youths, Emery is a wasteman for not making them a couple of years older and more experienced , after all he’s had half a season to do it, sack him now I say!

  18. Dissenter

    Finally we are sending g these kids out on loan.
    The influence of Raul Sanllehi is already obvious, previously we kept budding talent too long and stunted their development.

  19. Freddie Ljungberg


    No no no, haven’t you heard, there no such things as contracts, they can just decide to stay in Germany, what if they really like bratwurst? We’re doomed, doomed…

  20. Nelson


    A lot of Arsenal fans are still praying that Kroenke would be kind enough not to take money out from the club. A few days ago, I raised the question whether Kroenke could take money from the club to cover part of the cost building the 1.6b stadium for the Rams. I also thinks that Kroenke owns the fans an explanation on the club’s finance. That’s a normal concern of an Arsenal fan.

    It is true that the Arsenal’s online fanbase grows but only the fans in London who go the see the game could influence the board and the owner. They’ll listen if the fans start boycotting the game.

  21. bennydevito

    Terri Maaki,

    Lol! You’re not wrong! Last year was especially tough as each day it got longer and by the end it was something like from 2.30am until til about 10pm – no eating, no drinking, no wanking, no kissing your missus, no smoking, nothing! Was pretty brutal. But I wanted to do it in solidarity with my Syrian friends and to immerse myself in Islam some more after deciding to find out for myself what it was really about and buying a Qur’an at the start of 2015.

    Nothing like the fear mongers, press or media would have you believe whatsoever.

  22. Dissenter

    Ozil has been found out.
    This talk that he declined a loan to PSG till June is damning. He’s afraid of the spotlight and he’s happy to continue his Arsenal vacation. That way lemons like Pierre can keep singing his name.

    Had he gone on loan for 20 weeks. It would have saved Arsenal £7 million because PSG offered to pay his full salary.

  23. Tony

    “And before anyone tries to rubbish this story don’t forget Pep did his coaching badges at Arsenal and was Wenger’s guest and was given hundreds of hours of video footage from Wenger on tactics and drills etc and devised his tactics with Wenger’s ideas as a platform, stayed at Arsenal for a week as Wenger’s guest too.”

    Then Wenger probably put the spin on Kroenke that He taught Pep all he knows about management and tactics. Probably added that Pep would be a good manager in about 5 or 6 years time, but would take time to learn his trade and Kroenke said ok believing Wenger was still a manager god because Wenger reminded Kroenke of His 20 years in management, 5000+ games and substitutions.

    For all Kroenke’s wealth and business experience it’s ridiculous how gullible Kroenke was where Wenger and Gazidis were concerned, and how little due diligence he did on the pair completely falling for the history, traditions and values propaganda spouted by them.

    Still he got the part about his investment achieving significant growth right, which was the only ‘win’ Kroenke was interested in.

    Certainly not interested in his paying customers: The irrelevant & annoying fans.

    Still thinks that way it seems.

    Mind blowing at the absurdity regarding Kroenke being led down the garden path (Yellow Brick Road) by the dynamic duo.

    Wonder how many people Kroenke proudly showed the (words to the effect of) “We have scoured the world and cannot find a better manager than Arsene Wenger” Gazidis rallying speech video.

    Oh well back to the last day of the TW trolley dash scrapping for other clubs’ rejects.

    Last thought is Wenger still turning down all those high profile club management jobs?

    Thought he was going to be definitely working by February. Well, he’s got about 18 hours to find such a job.

    Perhaps Wenger is getting his Karma for running AFC into the grounding Gazidis will get his at Milan. I would imagine the hedge fund managers will be smarter and less gullible than the Kroenkes.

    In Emery we pray and keep fingers crossed for the next 14 games and EL cup rounds.

    Interesting 4 months ahead.

  24. bennydevito

    Charlie GeorgeJanuary 31, 2019    00:25:55


    We should not be buying anyone or selling* anyone in Jan.

    It’s purely more ivory tower building!

    * unless It’s Elneny


    We should not be buying or selling anyone in Jan as it’s purely more ivory tower building.

    What the hell are you talking about? What do you mean?

    You do know it’s not up to Emery who we buy and sell right? How many times does this have to be explained to you? How does Emery dp8ng transfer business equate to building ivory towers? You spouted this tripe the other night and I pointed it out to you then yet here you are repeating your deluded nonsense yet again!

    Is it Emery and Raul you hate or Spanish people in general?

  25. Tony

    “Mesut Ozil turns down loan move to Paris Saint-Germain as French club seek short-term replacement for injured Neymar”


    From the DM this morning.

    Begs the question of why Ozil wouldn’t want to play with Mbappe and other great talents at PSG as well as playing in the CL while hardly getting a start for us?

    I’m sure the Ozilists will have their thoughts on the matter.

    Personally I think he’d be too far out of his depth there and he knows it.

    He’s going nowhere until he’s sucked the last £ of his contract from us on his terms.

    I’m curious as to how you thought Ozil had a good game when you admitted you lost your stream to the City game?

    Doesn’t goals, assists, pre assists and chances created constitute to having a good game for a CAM?

    Because Ozil had none of the above for the game and Guendouzi & Iwobi made much better penetrating passes.

  26. Tony

    “Arsenal rekindle interest in PSG midfielder Christopher Nkunku after move for Yannick Carrasco stalls”

    Arsenal have rekindled interest in PSG midfielder Christopher Nkunku
    It comes after talks for Dalian Yifang winger Yannick Carrasco stalled
    Dalian deemed Arsenal’s offer for Belgium international Carrasco was too low
    Nkunku, 21, is available on an initial £2m loan with view to a permanent deal


    I’d be happy for this bargain-basement loan deal, especially if allows ESR to go on loan to Red Bull for the remainder of the season.

  27. Takin the Mhik


    “Ozil has been found out.”

    At 29 years of ages, 501 chances created in the Premier League, 1 LA Liga, 1 Copa Del Ray, 3 FA Cups, a World Cup, 100s of assists in his career and a 5 time German player of the year… he’s finally be found out.

    Poor statement from you that.

  28. Guns of SF

    Ozil lovers will never dispute he is worth every penny of his 300k per week
    It defies logic. We have better players on a fraction of his salary. Ozil should be paid what he is worth, which is no more than 65-80k per week IMO

    But our last team fucked us up royally and they have left. Ozil is what is left of this travesty.

    An offer to join PSG- even on loan is insane… perhaps PSG are the crazy ones

  29. Guns of SF

    I think you are right…. what were they thinking?
    Kinda sucks as we could have saved 7M in wages to spend on someone else this winter….
    All I hope is that Suarez is a success- relegate Ozil to leave and we sign him permenently

  30. Guns of SF

    I read on one of these click bait sites that PSG will now turn to James Rodriguez, thus leaving Bayern with a hole in their midfield- the article insinuiates that Ozil is pining for Bayern to come for him, or a move back to Germany.
    Thus he turned down the PSG loan this winter.
    Does he know something we dont?

    I think I doubt it. He is tooooo comfy in London living like a King

  31. China1

    For psg it’s not crazy to sign ozil because money is no object and it’s currently a one team league.

    No meaningful risk associated with ozil and he adds star name power to them even further

    For us he’s this massive sink hole of frustration and fan in-fighting but at PSG? No biggie

    Also in the French league he could easily build up his assists stat against most of the opposition there

  32. China1

    Then loaning ozil would be no different from when they loaned Beckham years back

    Marquee star name to continue to solidify the psg brand as attractive to elite talent

    Whether he plays well or is overpriced is basically irrelevant to them

  33. Guns of SF


    you are always the voice of reason… good points.
    Goes to show you that money really does matter. Ozil was seen as a stop gap for Neymar anyhow, who is injured

    Seems overall, Ozil has more potential upside with the loan to PSG but again, he is a poor professional and with some dodgy integrity

  34. Tony

    ‘Marquee star name to continue to solidify the psg brand as attractive to elite talent’

    You talk to people here and Ozil isn’t really well thought of any more – 2 to 3 years ago he was regarded.

    Don’t know how his brand is in China.

    Ozil couldn’t do it against Cardiff so I think he’d struggle in the French league as well when he wasn’t injured or could be bothered to play.

    I think he’d have a tough time in the dressing room as well after they saw him for what he really is.

    French sides would quickly learn Ozil hates physical contact and needs space to operate.

    Normally agree with most things you say China but not this time.

  35. Dark Hei


    How about a revolutionary idea.

    Maybe, just maybe, Thomas Tuchel actually rates him!

    The only thing I would agree with you is that Ozil isn’t worth 350k a week.

  36. Dark Hei


    Ozil isn’t going back to Germany.

    The political right over there hates him.

    I can understand in a way why he is sticking to London. The rejection of the PSG loan move is him digging in and not moving an inch as a message to Raul.

  37. Tony

    Dark Hei
    What’s your honest and unbiased opinion of Ozil this season forgetting his salary just based on his performances and stats, and I don’t mean the daft chances created metric?

    I know we are worlds apart on our Wenger views except for Wenger’s first 9 years.

    Compare stats to say Iwobi and Ozil and leave Mikhi out of the equation because he should never have been part of the Sanchez deal.

  38. Takin the Mhik

    I’ve just read someone on here saying we should sell Aubameyang and bring in Zaha, and sell Ozil and bring in brooks..

    Fuck me, some fans ain’t got a clue

  39. Valentin

    What is shocking is the complete absence of strategic planning. It looks like the recruitment is done on haphazard way.
    It was clear during the summer that the team needed a right winger. Instead of loaning Reiss Nelson, we should have integrated him into the first team.
    So now we got Suarez, but Suarez is not a right winger. His preferred position is 10, but Emery does not play with a proper 10. Moreover we already have players who want to be 10: Mhikitarian and Özil.
    Also why insisting on loan without obligation to buy. we are hiring a player, but we are not sure about him. So only a loan with a option not an obligation to buy. That means that even them are not convinced that he will be a success or that we could not get a cheaper or better suited player in the summer. What a vote of confidence!
    With Cech retirement and Ospina being offloaded we will need a new goalkeeper. Considering the restrictions on non home grown players, it would make sense to try to promote internally or purchase an home grown U21 goalkeeper. Fabianski was cheap and fitted into home and club grown players. Instead we now have nobody and Martinez is on loan away.balsobthe U18 have some prospect, but most of the U21 goalkeepers are just average.
    We have decided to withdraw the offer to Ramsey, but we both ostracise him and rely on him to get to the top 4. Why not bed Willock as a replacement?
    We are going after Nkunku, an attacking midfielder who plays 8. When we need another 6, a dynamic defensive midfielder. If Torreira gets injured, we have nobody to replace him. We make offers for Idrissa Gueye lower than the rejected offers from PSG. It is ridiculous and more importantly unsuccessful.

    If we get two new players, we need to get rid of two non home grown players. Lichsteiner and Elneny are the obvious candidates, but none of them will raise anyvmoney. If we sell Lacazette, there will revolt in the street of Islington.

    Maybe there is a plan, but looking on it suggests chaos and making things up as news or contact answers arrive.

  40. Graham62

    The fact that Ozil didn’t want to go to PSG says it all really.

    Comfort zone springs to mind.

    Knows he’s not capable of pulling the strings anymore.

    Would be found out straight away and ridiculed by the media and fans.

    Not only is he an embarrassment to us, he has become an embarrassment to himself.

    Thanks Arsene and Ivan, you fudging prunes!

  41. Dark Hei


    I like Ozil’s game a lot I confess.

    His technique is better than anyone else in our lineup and his ability to move across the the entire front line and receive the ball comfortably while knowing what to do with it is just awesome.

    The only problem is that, he does not score, or rather, he seems contented, not to get into the box. He is perfectly happy doing play-making in the final third. He is also perfectly happy NOT being the guy who makes the assists or scores the goal.

    That is ok, but if the team loses its protagonists, Ozil is not going to be there to pick up the pieces.

    The other problem is that Ozil is seen as a leftover symbol of Arsene Wenger. He is a touch non-physical and flighty and fluffy. Things you associate with the worst of Wenger style of football that flatters to deceive. Pretty but don’t win you games or trophies. So if you are “Wenger-Out”, the mission isn’t complete until “Ozil-out” happens.

    That and the 350k wage influences our view of him. At 350k, you would expect a player who can change the game ON HIS OWN.

    Ozil is simply not at that level.

    But one thing I am sure.

    He sure is definitely more talented than Denis Suarez.

  42. Freddie Ljungberg


    Suarez has played plenty on the wing before so can be used there as well as in CAM, kind of like a Nasri without the attitude.

    From what I’ve read of Nkunku he can play in the middle, or on the wing as well as right back so I’m guessing we want him now because of his versatility.

    It’s not like we have a lot of options this window if all we can do is loan deals.

    I still can’t wrap my head around those turning their nose up on Suarez just because he doesn’t start for Barca, no one in our team would and maybe 1 or 2 in our squad would make their bench occasionally, that’s the level we’re at now.

  43. Valentin

    If you were Özil, why would you to PSG?
    The only two people who he knows there are Julian Draxler and Tomas Tuchel both with whom he has at best an indifferent relationship.
    Also the role that he would have to play is left winger and he doesn’t like that role.
    Everybody knows that with a resurgent ManUtd, there is a good chance that PSG will be eliminated from the Champion’s league at the coming round. I am pretty sure that Özil is not excited at the prospect of winning Ligue 1 or the French FA Cup.

  44. Takin the Mhik

    So people on here saying that Ozil staying means he wants to keep in his comfort zone.

    Has anyone thought, that maybe, he’s got a bit of professional pride and wants to stay and prove he can fit into Emerys first 11? As well as genuinely loving the club? Agendas

  45. Sanmi

    Typical legroan, playing football managers.
    Gone are the days you wanted Samba, Schneiderlin,
    Now it’s fucking Zaha that flatters to deceive. Can’t even score decent amount of goals. Brooks has.only performed for half a season.

  46. Sanmi

    Majority here haven’t seen Dennis Suarez play I’d presume. He’s amazing 1v1. And has better control of the ball than Zaha.

  47. Valentin


    Suarez did play some games on the right, but whenever I saw him play he was either part of a diamond midfield or of a Front 3 IN a 4-3-3.
    Not as a eat the line and beat your opponent outside winger. I may be wrong, but I don’t think he has the physicality nor the pace to be a pure winger creating cutback and crosses in the EPL.
    I suspect neither does Emery, hence the loan with an option not an obligation to buy.

  48. Freddie Ljungberg


    We’re not looking for a pure winger that hugs the sideline, why would we, it doesn’t suit our strikers at all. That’s also not how, Liverpool, Man city, Man U, Chelsea play.

    By winger I mean part of a front three, as the playmaker, he’s much more suited to that role than Mikhi for example who’s been playing there when fit. Would allow us to rest our strikers a bit more too before they break down.

    I’m not saying he’s my first choice but considering the situation we’re in it could work out nicely.

  49. Dark Hei


    Lol, maybe its a plot to……..bring the best out of Ozil!

    4-2-3-1 formation. Iwobi on the left, Suarez on the right and Ozil in the middle with Auba as the striker.

  50. Freddie Ljungberg

    More likely to be Ramsey in the middle in that case and we’ll get the creativity from the wings, Ozil belongs on the bench or in the stands if he doesn’t want to leave.

    We’ll see though, Suarez could just as well be used as CAM, think it depends on if we bring someone else in

  51. qna

    Sanmi: Majority here haven’t seen Dennis Suarez play I’d presume. He’s amazing 1v1. And has better control of the ball than Zaha.

    Correct, I have seen pretty much nothing of him. Great to hear the big wraps and look forward to seeing him. I love that we have the option to buy. He will have 4 months to prove you right, otherwise we should be putting our money elsewhere.

  52. Tony

    Dark Her
    Nice side step of my question; you’d make a good politician.

    His talent isn’t in question from me – it’s the many other faults he has, which has been well documented here and in the press. That and appalling stats for this season.

    What he’s done before means nothing if he’s not doing it now.

    I don’t subscribe to your Wenger left over narrative either.

    My dislike of Wenger and what he did to our club does in no way cloud my judgement regarding any of his players in the squad. There are a few I would be happy to keep, such as Holding & Bellerin and Laca & Auba obviously.

    Equally if Ozil was working hard to the new system and creating assists each game, especially in big games, then I’d be fine with him too. History proves otherwise.

    Apart from the Leicester game Ozil hasn’t performed, which is why Emery doesn’t trust him.

    However you are right that Ozil should be changing games for that kind of salary on a regular basis.

    We should have sold Ozil and kept sulky Sanchez, as I would feel Emery could get a lot more out of Sanchez and he scores goals to change matches.

    Which leads us back to the Wenger & Gazidis debacle regarding both players.

    Valentin & Freddie
    The lack of vision and planning is symbolic of AFC where this TW is the norm.

    I’d love for Suarez & Nkunku to be the missing links we need to bring home CL football for next season.

    Their problem is they need to hit the ground running and producing the quality we need out wide and through the middle to our strikers.

    Not many have done this in the PL.

    Let’s see how this unfolds.

  53. Cesc Appeal

    Is it time to wait for another Ozil reaction now?

    You wait for his reaction after the World Cup, no no, you wait for his reaction for being subbed early, no no, you wait for his reaction after Emery called him a pussy, no no, you wait for his reaction after being dropped, no no, you wait for his reaction at the club trying to move him to PSG.

    He’s literally turning into Walcott. Justified by a stat, overpaid, overhyped and forever a ‘you will see tomorrow’ player even though he’s 30.

    This is him, this is his level and he’s a system breaker with no intention quite clearly of leaving his comfort zone of earning £1.4 Million a month for absolutely nothing.

  54. Marko

    Worst case scenario it’s just Suarez today. Best case scenario it’s Suarez, Nkunku and Tielemens. Perisic and Carrasco seem unlikely but you never know. PSG for example only showed an interest in Willian during the night

  55. HighburyLegend

    For Ozil’s defence, he had 2 choices : to be the best world’s Fortnite player, or to stay focus on football. We all know which path he has chosen.

  56. gambon


    Youre wrong regarding the need to sell 2 players, because of home grown quotas.

    Mavropanos and Guendouzi dont have to be registered as they are 20 and 19.

  57. Valentin


    In order to be considered U21, you need to have been registered for two years at the club which is a condition that neither meet.
    That is why you can’t just buy any U21 English player to fill your quota. That restriction was added by UEFA and I think copied by The English FA to stop predatory behaviour by big clubs.

  58. Sanmi

    Dennis Suarez skill level is amazing I’m surprised folks here are not excited. For me he’s a winger, he’s too explosive to be an AM. He picks his passes very well though but always run with the ball beating players for fun.
    Auba will hit 30 with him supplying. Iwobi will be shifted to right wing.
    Ozil will never play again

  59. Sanmi

    He doesn’t feature regularly for Barca because his style means they’d have 3 players running with the ball. That’s a conflict.
    He’s a better winger than coutinho for sure.