… and just like that, we were 4th

by & filed under News Review.

Well, the race for Top 3 didn’t take any gratifying twists last night. Spurs and Chelsea both eased past Palace and Brighton respectfully. That means we’re back down to 4th, level on points with Chelsea and one behind Spurs… obviously with a game in hand over both of them.

This is the part of the season where things start to get a little bit jittery. Here’s the thing though… we have very good players. This run-in isn’t the last 4 of the Champions League. Mesut Ozil isn’t going to have the 2019 dash for Top 3 in his career highlights reel. They just have to do a fairly decent job against middling clubs for 7 more games.

Everton at the weekend really shouldn’t be that much of a big deal. Marco Silva, a man many thought should be the next Arsenal manager, really hasn’t made an impact at Liverpool’s second club. They’ve won 3 from their last 5, but we really shouldn’t be suffering against a team that’s sitting 10th in the table… especially considering our incredible form of late.

Emery told the press that he thought the two most players were….

“There are some players maybe you can see this year this improvement – Lucas Torreira, Matteo (Guendouzi).

“The first time in the Premier League, in this difficult competition, and they are improving I think well.

That’s a good shout. Both are very young and have dipped in and out of form this season. I think LT has been the DM we’ve been looking for in that deep role for years. I think he’s been overused, because he certainly looked less active in the back half of the season. MG is just on the track that young people go on… one minute he’s incredible, the next he’s teeing up assists for the opposition. Wait until next season… he’s going to be a monster for the club.

Sammy Umtiti is staying at Barca next season according to Marca… I am in shock. Total shock. Who saw that coming?

That said, we are going to need to do some shaping of the defence this summer. Mustafi absolutely has to be jogged on. Kos is likely to leave. Mavrapanos doesn’t appear to have the sauce if his lack of appearances is anything to go by. Then we have Holding coming back, but he might come with a slow return. Monreal getting older. Jenks likely off. Plenty of opps to bring in some new fast talent on either flank… though the right is starting to look tasty with AMN proving the case for a future.

Right, short post today. I am going out to the shops to buy some gloves because it is seriously cold here. It SNOWED yesterday. Mad fam.

Finally, check out the below interview the chaps at COPA90 have dropped. 👇👇👇

236 Responses to “… and just like that, we were 4th”

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  1. jwl

    I don’t understand why clubs are responsible for paying agent fees when the agent works for the player, not club. Here in North America players pay their agents 10-15% of salary and clubs pay for their own people in bargaining process. It makes no sense at all for clubs to pay agents working against them.

  2. Marko

    Surprised that Wolves only spent 6 million on agent fees. Maybe Jorge Mendes has some sort of arrangement with Wolves maybe he’s got shares in them instead. I suppose they are mostly loans that they done I’m sure he’ll be getting more from them now that Jonny is signed and Jimenez is joining for 30 million

  3. Nelson

    Our last away PL game is against Spuds. We played a solid game. We should play the 5 remaining away games with the mentality that the opponent is Spuds. We should be OK.

  4. Words on a Blog

    Marko,

    Is that the same 2,000 seats that they didn’t manage to fill in their “emotional” first match there?

  5. salpardisenyc

    Mendes has taken the agenting to next level with Wolves been moments this season where 8 of starting XI are his clients. Owners pay his company a consulting/advisor fee on top of the agenting fees with it becoming his testing ground for talent.

  6. Dissenter

    The Jorge Mendes effect at Wolves has also destroyed the myth of special sauce required to be an excellent director of football.

    This guy never played the game and was never technical director anywhere.
    He comes in as director of football at Wolves and virtually every decision has been right
    From manager pick to players…it’s been bingo all the way.

  7. salpardisenyc

    Mendes played ball but couldn’t get past semi pro level from what i’ve read. Whilst playing at that club he also handled all advertising for clubs stadium… getting a cut.

    Apparently from there decided he had a better eye for talent and took on his first client. His mate / goal keeper Nuno Espírito Santo sealing his move to Deportivo his first deal in 96.

    Rest as they say is history, dudes made so much dosh.

  8. Words on a Blog

    Dissenter/Salpard,

    From what you guys are saying Mendes has made shedloads of money whilst Making Wolves Great Again.

    That’s Special Sauce enough for me.

  9. salpardisenyc

    “He comes in as director of football at Wolves and virtually every decision has been right”

    Nuno and Mendes had similar relationship at Valencia, with heavy side of Mendes clients that got Nuno and his staff eventually sacked. A work in progress that seems to of blossomed with Wolves and the Chinese money.

    Game changed when they bagged Neves whilst in Championship. Mendes had to have a piece to make that move for him, next he’ll sell him for the big money to an elite club.

  10. Dissenter

    Sal
    The only way Mendes does his magic is with a contact list/address book, the same stuff that Raul Sanllehi gets derided for.

  11. Dissenter

    Mendes is the one that dropped Bebe on Sir Alex

    That still makes me laugh when I remember the story.

  12. Marko

    He comes in as director of football at Wolves and virtually every decision has been right

    He is not their director of football

  13. Marko

    From what you guys are saying Mendes has made shedloads of money whilst Making Wolves Great Again.

    He’s Ronaldo’s agent and infamously got him an island for one of his birthdays

  14. Dissenter

    Marko
    “He is not their director of football”

    Yes…hes an “adviser” the same way Monchi wasn’t fired

    He picked the manager and built their current squad
    That’s the job description of a Dir of football

  15. Charlie George

    Auba

    Only 3 trophies are worth winning:

    League Championship
    FA Cup
    Champions League.

    League cup was good- now tired.
    Europa Cup- Thursday night losers trophy.

  16. Marko

    Yes…hes an “adviser” the same way Monchi wasn’t fired

    It’s easy enough to find out who their DOF is and whether he’s just an advisor or not. I’ll give you a moment

  17. Marko

    So you only value the CL or PL?

    No it was more a piss take of the other thick cunt who feels like the Europa League is filthy and the good old FA Cup is the dogs bollox. It’s cute really

  18. Upstate Gooner

    “Spurs spent 11 million on agent fees without buying any players? Lol”

    “This is incredible.”

    I too found it funny/interesting at first but then gave it some thought. It could be that when a certain player is bought, the agent receives his fees in several installments over a few years. Another theory is that it is very much possible when an unwanted player is being moved out of the club, not only the buying club has to pay agent fees but perhaps a certain percentage is covered by the selling club as well.

  19. Marko

    Europa League gets you a European trophy and the Champions League. The FA Cup gets you a day out and a trip to the community shield. Very impressive

  20. Dissenter

    Marko
    Jorge Mendes isn’t listed as sporting director because it will contravene FIFA codes.
    He’s the power behind the throne at Wolves. You can insist otherwise if you want to be so concrete.

    It’s a wink-wink approach. This was widely reported when they were in the championship.

  21. Jamie

    Upstate –

    I suspect it has a lot to do with contract renewals/extensions. Agents mop up cash not just through player sales/purchases, they get paid when they successfully negotiate new deals for their clients too.

    Still funny though.

  22. Marko

    Jorge Mendes isn’t listed as sporting director because it will contravene FIFA codes.

    Oh. So when you originally said that he was technical director or whatever that you were just talking out your ass. It explains why you don’t understand our approach to trying to get Monchi in

  23. Dissenter

    The EL is worth about 25 million of CL money at the very least [ not considering the 5-10 million cash prize that the winner wins]

    It’s major trophy, more so for a European trophy-starved club like Arsenal.
    Wenger didn’t win a single European trophy in his 22 years. That will always e a blight on his record, not to dismiss his achievements.

  24. Charlie George

    Marko

    “The FA Cup gets you a day out and a trip to the community shield. Very impressive””

    So that’s 2 days out, then.

    And are these memorable days out- exactly what football is all about?

    (Europa Cup football is devised for fans like you Marko, I am afraid to say.)

  25. Marko

    So that’s 2 days out, then.

    Sure. And the Europa League gets you 6 days then. And more money. I’ve got a feeling your opinions on the Europa League and the FA Cup have something to do with a certain manager’s inability to win in Europe and his ability to only win the FA Cup. Yeah he’s unemployed and screaming into his pillow these days. What does that tell you

  26. Dissenter

    Marko
    You odn’t get it.
    Jorge Mendes is the one pulling the strings and the academy director is occupying the position.
    It was widely discussed in the media.
    Mendes assembled the squad from the championship; all the Portuguese input from the manager to Moutinho, Heder Costa, Neves, Jota and Willy Bolly were signed by Mendes.

    Why is it so hard for you to get?; the special sauce is Mendes but his name cannot be listed formally.

  27. Dissenter

    CG
    The FA cup gets you into the EL
    The EL gets you into the CL

    That should answer the question for you.

  28. Marko

    Pitbull you need to get off my dick I’m not into you that way. Why don’t you change your name again and bother someone else

  29. Dissenter

    Wolves just activated the permanent transfer of Raúl Jiménez for the agreed price of 22.5 million which is a club record.

  30. Marko

    Why is it so hard for you to get?; the special sauce is Mendes but his name cannot be listed formally.

    Yes he’s an advisor to the owner who’s helped him sign clients of his. But still not technically speaking DOF or technical director. From what I can tell he’s actually got no job within the club. Therefore when you said that he was director of football you were wrong.

  31. Dissenter

    Marko
    If it makes your pedantry grow an inch longer, then I humbly admit that I was wrong to label Mendes as DoF.

  32. Charlie George

    Dissenter.

    The top 4 gets you into the champions league.

    If we can’t get in the top 4 – we do not deserve to be competing with the big boys in Europe.

    To win the wretched Europa – you have to be play 18 games ?

    18 Thursday nights.!!! That’s torture…

    You are an astute chap… how on earth have you been duped into liking this monstrosity of a tournament.?

    Its actually impossible to get our of the ruddy thing……the teams are so inept..

    Only athletico have knocked us out( and they were a CL team.( ironically so are Napoli).

    It’s an abomination. So much so – we sell tickets for a £10 and still can’t sell out…

    A tournament for losers ..

  33. Pierre

    Though the group stages and the early knockout rounds of the Europa cup can be tedious , for me the Napoli tie is where the excitement is in the next few weeks .
    The premier league games are just a means to an end , there is no trophy on offer , the remaining games in the prem will have no real excitement or anticipation to them , in fact I think they may be tense drab affairs due to us not wanting to lose our away games .

  34. salpardisenyc

    Titles aside, Mendes built that team into what it is bringing in the heavy lifters that have them positioned where they are in table including his mate and Manager Mr. Espirito Santo.

    10 of the 18 players that started or made bench vs United this week are handled in some capacity by Mendes’s Gestifute.

  35. Dissenter

    Sal
    Essentially Wolves have become Mendes catwalk in a fashion show or his shop window to display players he is representing.
    It’s mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties because he tends to get some of the best talented youngster in his stable.

  36. Words on a Blog

    Marko/Dissenter,

    Let’s just call him Director of Special Sauce.

    After all that’s been revealed by you two on here, particularly the sale of Bebe to Alex Ferguson, which if I recall was done on a sight unseen basis, then he is Christ on a Bike as far as I’m concerned, regardless of his formal title or official employment status.

  37. Charlie George

    “Pierre

    “”Though the group stages and the early knockout rounds of the Europa cup can be tedious , “”””

    Understatement P.

    I am sure we could reduce knife crime by 50% here and in London – if we threatened knife carriers that they would be compelled to watch ALL Europa Cup group matches – if they carry their weapons..

    Its absolute purgatory to watch a Europa Cup group match- dead rubber.

  38. Words on a Blog

    Charlie G,

    You do have a point, the early Europa League stages are a bit like purgatory.

    But sometimes you have to go through purgatory to get to the promised land.

    I for one am looking forward to the match against Napoli in the EL.

    Our match against them a few years ago the Champions League was one my favourite matches ever at the Emirates.

    And (just for you Pierre) that match featured one of Ozil’s most sumptuous performances for the Arsenal.

  39. azed

    “Its absolute purgatory to watch a Europa Cup group match- dead rubber.”

    But some of our youngsters got game time in the group stages.

    Willock and ESR especially.

  40. Charlie George

    Words

    We beat Everton and Watford.
    We are back where we belong..
    Top Table

    Let Spurs play Thursdays-Comatosed group matches in their health and safety violating new stadium..

    By my reckoning…
    If they do not get CL football in the next two seasons.
    They go out of business. … unsustainable.

    With this Brexit background… we have to be in the CL.

    Our biggest game for years – Sunday….

  41. Marko

    By my reckoning…
    If they do not get CL football in the next two seasons.
    They go out of business. …

    You are such a dumbass it’s honestly incredible sometimes

  42. rollen

    Footbal trophies in order: WC, euro, CL Europa, domestic champ, domestic cup, super cups, charities etc frendlies like emirates.
    Never really seen someone questioning this apart from here ofc.

    Maybe for Barca Real or Milan domestic title can be above Europa.

  43. gonsterous

    what’s really the difference if you watch football on a Wednesday or a Thursday ?
    The FA cup (as red rightly puts it) have half filled stadiums till you reach the quarters or semis and then you have those annoying replays and the winners get money that would make a small club happy. for instance, when we won the FA cup, we got about 4 million. That’s loose change for a club like arsenal.

    In the EL the group stage is just a formality, you won’t see the big boys drop out but you give small teams a chance to represent themselves, (kind of like the FA cup)
    The knockout stages get more exciting, especially since you play other league teams. The winners get about 8,5m which is double that of the FA cup. also it leads to CL qualification.
    So the people turning their nose up on the EL and want us to drop out of it should just retire with wenger.

  44. Dark Hei

    Marko

    He is not wrong, per se.

    A hard Brexit is certainly going to be really hard for the short term.

    It can go south quickly. And with so little liquidity in the market, there won’t be no white knight.

  45. Graham62

    The CL and the EL would be so much better if they were restructured.

    Winners and Runner up only in CL.
    3rd and 4th place plus domestic cup winners in EL or better still bring back the old CWC.

    Also, why not straight knockout? Bigger crowds, bigger TV audiences.

    Too many meaningless matches imo.

  46. Chris

    CG

    For teams who automatically qualify for the EL group stage, it would be 15 games to the final. This is only 2 more than the Champions League.

    I would agree that the the group stage games can become a procession for the bigger teams but the latter stages offer up some interesting ties and we are now 5 games away potentially from achieving Champions League group stage qualification. 4th place in the league offers a CL playoff tie if I am correct.

    I don’t think Arsenal are and can afford to be snooty about the EL. We haven’t won nearly enough European titles in our history. I think you are in a minority in thinking the tournament is a complete waste of time.

  47. gonsterous

    I’d rather finish outside the top 4 and win the EL than lose the EL and come 3rd. What’s the prize money for finishing third in the PL ? is there any ??

  48. Charlie George

    The Champions League – according to the Telegraph- will soon be getting a revamp.

    Instead of 8 groups of 4 teams
    The greedy buggers- ( UEFA) want 4 groups of 8 teams.

    European football ( both CL and EL ) would be so much better – if it was just straightforward knock out( FA Cup style)

    No seedings.
    Protectionist group matches are just revenue raising exercises. Devoid of any sporting merit.

    How a team like Napoli ( who were in the Champions League earlier- then drop into the Europa League) illustrates that the tournament in it’s current format – is a farce..

    Europa Cup 2 is also on it’s way.
    To incorporate more dross.

    Socialism in Soccer- concocted by UEFA

    Not for me, thank you.

  49. TheLegendaryDB10

    I received an email from the NFL mailing list (I went to one game and really didn’t like watching it live; prefer to watch it on TV which is these days not very often) and they descended the new Spud stadium as:

    FIRST PURPOSE-BUILT NFL 
    STADIUM OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.

    The media attention to them and their stadium is getting pretty nauseating to be frank. You just wonder what they have achieved to garner such attention.

  50. Charlie George

    I should add Graham- the most striking theme in the telegraph article….

    The future champions league spots – will be based on historical achievement rather than merit…

    A bit like with FIFA – these villainous beuracrats ( UEFA) want more and more influence. Their greed is insatiable too.
    They detest the success of our Premier League.

    Hence why – we have this ridiculous concoction coming down the line.

    EUROPA CUP 2.!!
    Gawd help us.

  51. HighburyLegend

    I have a question about their new diamond (lol) : in which state the pitch will be after the NFL games ?? I hope for them that their grass is removable…

    (in fact I lie, I really hope their pitch will be destroyed)

  52. Graham62

    I’m still seething about the fact that Qatar were awarded the 2022 WC.

    I lived and worked out in Doha for six years in the nineties and despite progression and development in the infrastructure, it should never have been awarded to them.

    Bearing in mind the entire footballing calendar has to be altered to accommodate the event, the whole thing is a farce.

    A fair few Rolex watches handed out for that one.

  53. Graham62

    After watching the highlights of the Spuds game yesterday, I can conclude that, under lights anyway, the Emirates wins hands down.

  54. HighburyLegend

    @Graham : from an aesthetic point of view, indeed.
    But their stadium is SO MUCH MORE MODERN than ours!! (lol)

  55. HighburyLegend

    Spud next game is at their new toilets, vs Huddersfield.

    To resume : if we don’t get the 3 points at Everton, we are screwed.
    (but I don’t want to put any pressure at all on the team lol)

  56. Graham62

    The pitch was cutting up a we bit as well.

    I know it’s early days, but they could have a few teething problems.

  57. Chris

    The NFL pitch at the new WHL is retractable. They will not play on the football pitch so it won’t affect the condition of it.

  58. Graham62

    Chris

    I know that.

    Just saying , did they take into account the toxic atmosphere and airflow that emanates from that neck of the woods?

    That will affect the pitch( lol!)

  59. gonsterous

    Graham

    forget the bad weather. How many workers were killed to make a stadium there. That’s being overlooked as people are being over worked to meet a deadline. But I guess as long as Fifa are getting rich, they will turn a blind eye to it.

  60. gonsterous

    in case you are confused by the sudden post. I was talking about fifa awarding Qatar the WC.
    Putting money in their pockets under the pretence of expanding the footballing world.

  61. Alex James

    “I’d rather finish outside the top 4 and win the EL than lose the EL and come 3rd”

    Absolutely. The record books for winners are what people look at. As someone else says, our club has not won enough Euro trophies for the size of it. Not helped by Liverpool being responsible for the Euro ban, when GG had a good team. Even now, how we lost to Valencia, Real thingy and the Turks still rankles. And the CL losses to Chelsea and the bin dippers still give me stomach ache.