Mr Motivator

by .

Well good ebening my wonderful darlings, and how are we today?

Glad to hear it. Let’s crack on.

John Cross leaked the news that the travel booker at Arsenal is running team motivation exercises before the games. I’d heard that Arsenal do some sort of cringe David Brent huddle preseason, but the news that the responsibility is being passed to a guy who is making sure there are no sharp objects in Mustafi’s hotel suite was quite the revelation.

Outside the big fat bag of cringe this whole thing is, I have some questions.

Firstly, who came up with that idea?

Was it Dave Priestly, team psychologist to the meek? Is it one of his brilliant ideas he imported in from Saracens?

If it is… what the fuck are we doing listening to this guy. He’s here to improve mental strength and we’ve just lost three games in a row by 9 goals for the first time since 1966 (true, according to @AngryofN5).

Raul needs to sit this guy down on a bruised banana patterned bean bag and ask, ‘what have you done for me lately’ (Eddie Murphy accent essential here)? Does the team look mentally stronger this year? No. I mean, like, it did for a bit. But right at the season’s money shot, when you hope all those motivational chats would settle in, we’ve flunked terribly. They literally had a collective nervous breakdown. So WHAT is he offering up here? We are in mental strength regression. The LG team has see the motivational posters on the wall at Colney, but WHAT are they doing for the players? Nowt it seems. Maybe the posters could say better things, like…






IMPORTANT QUESTION: What Mystic Dave talking to Mesut about? Is he digging into that childhood past. Asking him if his dad bullied him about being greedy at party buffets. Probing if his mum made him wear hi-tec Velcro’s BEFORE they were hipster cool. THOSE ARE TRIGGERS!

RAUL, the line of questioning he is using is psychological kryptonite.

‘When you see a long ball over the top, do you see your first childhood pet grinding under the wheels of daddy’s new Ford Focus?’

We need less players sitting with him. More help on the posters. Ultimately, maybe we need to bring back Arsene ringing the ‘MENTAL STRENGTH’ bell around Colney like that scary bitch in GoT.

Secondly, if this magical idea came from Emery, answer me this… why is he outsourcing it?

That seems a bit of an odd thing to do. It’s like he’s struggling to motivate these players, and he’s passing the buck. If you are going to make people do a David Brent, I can at worst understand letting the captain do it, but the guy charged with telling the players to NOT urinate in empty Lucozade bottles on the bus? Fucking mental. That’s like me getting my Uber driver to write me a pitch deck. Or my dad asking me to hold the steering wheel on the M25 when I was six because he dropped a Wine Gum under the seat.

I feel like this sort of carry-on shows you how little leadership is going on at the club. How is an operations guy getting charged for fighting in the tunnel at Palace? Who is nipping that in the bud? Who is paying attention to admin staff running the players motivational excercises? Who has a pulse on the training ground to stop bad leaks happening? Because the above reads like it was leaked to JC for a reason, maybe by the players who think this info needs to be out.

Also worth remembering, shared leadership ends in death or a lack of accountability. Where do you think Arsenal are?

EVEN MORE interesting that The Times say the players are frustrated by the tactics of Emery, and that the manager is more concerned with nullifying the other teams strengths than capitalising on what he has at his disposal. He was accused of this at PSG. Again, why do multiple journos have this? Looks like a choreographed leak by agents of players.

Also adds fuel to the thought I posed at the start of the season that he looks at Arsenal more like a small club like Sevilla than a big one. The big man needs to step out of that mindset, because firstly, he’s not doing a very good job of nullifying strengths of mid-table teams, secondly, WE ARE ARSENAL. Gung-ho or go home… pretty sure that’s what the Latin under our old badge meant.

We have Valencia coming up on Thursday, if there’s one pattern in Emery’s career that’s working in our favour, it’s the Europa League.

Valencia aren’t that bad. They went 2-0 up against Barca away and they beat Zidane’s Madrid. They’re also mathematically out of the running for Champions League spots. That makes them dangerous. What also makes them dangerous is we’ve been utter shite of late. Still, we have more quality than them and Emery comes alive in the Europa (kind of).

The manager has to save his season. I think people will struggle to defend him if we finish outside the top 4 and don’t make the final of the Europa. If he makes the final and loses, he’ll save enough to face give people comfort.

So basically, it’s a big game on Thursday.

Right, I’m done, heading to the work roof deck to practice my Arsenal David Brent special.



Talking of killing things. Someone told me bears don’t kill deer… I was like, ‘bitch, stfu, they eat deer’… and she was like, ‘no way, bears are pescatarian’… I said, ‘check Youtube, bears do not have dietary requirements’… and oh my. Ruined my weekend and my dreams forever. DON’T LOOK (OR LISTEN).

P.S. Denis Suarez injured himself preening his beautiful hair. Gonna be sad to see him go. Nearly as many goals as Iwobi this season. Good luck. One of the most obvious terrible loan signings in years, and we have had MANY.

P.P.S HUSS MY MAN, you know this guy, get him in!

885 Responses to “Mr Motivator”

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  1. Marko

    Right and fair play to them for winning the cup I’d say it had more to do with Tuchel and PSG losing all momentum though. Point is that you just talked up Julien Stephen’s League form and his potential in the league while taking a shot at Emery’s league form at PSG which is honestly baffling considering that Stephen has won 11 games on the season and has Rennes in 11th. It’s a silly point to make honestly

  2. salparadisenyc

    Got the Basel one wrong Marko, I stand corrected didn’t go to WIKI.

    Not sure that has any effect on original point, which was Emery’s achilles has been and continues to be his away form.

  3. Marko

    Tuchel has been integrated more youth team in his first year than Emery did in two.

    This again. Sure mate sure

  4. Marko

    True sal you just don’t have to lie to make your point though. Also plenty of teams lose away at Barcelona. And we’ll just continue to gloss over how good Monaco were in 16/17

  5. Dissenter

    “Tuchel has been integrated more youth team in his first year than Emery did in two”

    If that’s true then why’s he lamenting about the size of the squad?

  6. Tony

    So happy for Ajax and even happier for the Spuds losing at home.

    At least there is some good light in football at the moment just wish we can shine better tomorrow than we have of late.

    Hope Barca does a number on Liverpool tonight.

  7. Tony

    I was thinking about the position we as a club are in after reading many of the posters’ Emery comments here.

    For me it all goes back to even before Wenger was fired – I kept seeing red flags when decisions were made as I’m sure many more here did.

    I seriously questioned why we needed Raul & Sven M? I posted back then it was a train wreck waiting to happen with such polar opposites. Gazidis was up to something if only to set up scape goats.

    Seemed to me Gazidis was either hedging his bets or offering a Machiavellian charade to hide his overtures to leave the club for Milan. It was something akin to a magicians trick where all eyes were lulled away from the action.

    Josh at the time was supposedly completing his several months extensive clueless appraisal of the club obviously oblivious to Gazidis’s maneuverings and seemingly impressive hires with Raul & Sven, which were blindingly obvious to many here that such a pairing was as combustable as phosphorus and air.

    Not only do we have a disingenuous and uninterested main share holder in Stan, but we have Josh who never had a plot in the first place to lose and was/is oblivious to any semblance of football club management coherence.

    In sum, I deduced that Josh was over to look more closely at the figures and how much the bottom line was being affected than what really needed to be done to stop the club’s disintegration by Gazidis & Raul.

    It’s obvious now that Stan was preparing to buy the remaining shares and Josh was his lackey information gatherer.

    Gazidis was continuing to pull proverbial rabbits form the hat by the Auba fiasco where no other club was interested in buying him.

    I just couldn’t comprehend why it took so long and so many people to get the deal done and then why we were rear ended so badly in the deal after the Sanchez and Mikhi train wreck of a deal.

    Not long after Wenger was fired giving Gazidis more smoke and mirrors.

    That Allegri didn’t want to join us spoke volumes and we ended up with Emery.

    We were never going to spend money; we just wanted the cheapest option capable of appeasing the fans to keep the golden-goose train chugging along for the Kroenkes.

    I actually think Gazidis skillfully played everyone by adding Arteta and Viera into the managerial equation and in some ways was another Machiavellian twist in his plot where he got everyone more concerned at fighting each other than seeing the big picture let alone the smaller details of Gazidis’s escape route plan.

    Just look how Le-grove blew up over it and still does on occasion.

    Gazidis MKII: Raul, then started plotting his future inroads to gaining control of the club once Gazidis’s real intensions were known to all.

    I’m sure Sven tried his level best at consolidating his position, but he was no match for Raul who had the weight of his Barca CV backing him up, which trumped Sven’s German league successes.

    The Spanish connection has been consolidated and Sven had no option but to leave.

    I see it as the whole shit show we are continuing to experience is just one long degradation of poor, incompetent management from our owners Kroenke senior and easy-to-be-had-over Junior Josh not learning from their mistakes from Wenger and Gazidis and not seeing that a very similar story is unfolding with Raul & Emery.

    Do the Kroenkes know there is something called Google and Wiki they can get valuable information from to help them make informed decisions? Obviously they do but they just can’t be bothered.

    That’s just gross incompetence and showing zero interest by them

    Had they done their own due diligence they would see that Emery is following his usual path of league problems and decent showing in the EL Cup.

    Perhaps Stan is going senile to not be cable to see the huge bales of wool Raul is pulling over his eyes where it’s just the same shit but different day from the power hungry, incompetent dinosaur at the helm directing traffic into his cul de sac of overall control.

    As we are going nowhere as a club with no quality TD/DoF in place and even further behind on the pitch where, as I predicted many weeks ago, we would not get CL football and end up 5/6th with just a few more points than Wenger did last season.

    If by any huge stroke of luck we do get CL next year that will hinder our path to recovery far more than not qualifying because it will mean more power consolidation for Raul and vast quantities of forgiveness for Emery as Pedro said he would be one to forgive Emery’s managerial transgressions.

    So transition season MKII it is and another spicy Le-Grove year to enjoy.

  8. Tony

    My business mantra for forgiveness is reserved for those who genuinely gave their 100% best with what they have to work with and who have adapted accordingly during the process and not repeatedly made the same mistakes as Emery has.

    There can be no forgiving Raul as per his selfish, aggrandizing, power vacuum agendas.

  9. Redtruth

    March 16th 2017…
    “The French league is 3 teams and the rest are kind of pony.”

    What happened to one horse race…lol

  10. Brooklyn

    Disappointed with this Ajax side, I think it’s toss up between these two for finals…..Hate rooting for Barca, but also hate rooting for any other English teams, hopefully Barca will defeat Lol’pool…

    While I like what Emery brings to Arsenal as replacement for ‘do what you want Wenger’ these last few league games has been bad, and not just talking about result…..Will still persist with Emery for next season though unless we have transfer budget of 100M before sales…Hopefully he has seen we need Ramsey, Bellerin types players…

  11. Brooklyn

    Neres is shit, hopefully we stay away from him. Van De Beek does have interesting profile, mixture of good technical ability and good energy though still seems little weak for PL without that X-factor(pace, dribbling, physicality or extra bit of technical ability)…
    Overall Ajax couldn’t cope with jaded Sp**s physically in second half despite having whole week rest. will like to see the likes of Arthur and De Jong for Barca in few years after Messi Retires…

    De Ligt will be decent defender but still can’t understand hype. Blind is slower Monreal with better technical ability, solid pro for young Ajax Side. Tadic in this Ajax side ripping benefits of playing in EPL from physicality point of view, surprised Juve and Real among all these weak offensive player….Ziyech has interesting profile Abit like Di Maria, seems like he has better mentality than all these talented Moroccans beside Mahrez …

  12. Pierre

    Considering Ramsey has only started 13 games this season , I’m surprised by the amount of praise being heaped on him by many posters on Le Grove.

    The posters that are praising Ramsey are usually the ones who are clinging on in their support of Emery, which is surprising as I would have thought those same posters would have been questioning Emery’s decision to on!y start him in 13 league games and benching him for 8 consecutive league games, especially as Ramsey has been so influential in the matches he has played.

    I am not sure why they refuse to question Emery’s judgement as a better use of Ramsey would I’m sure have produced better results .

    Of course , my view is that Emery decided to punish Ramsey to show him who is boss( similar to Ozjl) for showing displeasure at being substituted.

  13. Pierre

    Have to say that you must be impressed by the Ajax manager as you have such a low opinion of their players .

  14. Pierre

    “…Hopefully he has seen we need Ramsey, Bellerin types players…”

    why would you think that Emery believes we need a Ramsey type player when he has had a Ramsey type player( Aaron Ramsey) all season and has only started him in just over a third of our league games and has benched him more times than he has played him.

    You need to wake up and smell the coffee , Emery’s judgement is flawed as the Suarez debacle confirms.

  15. Un Na naai


    Post of the year that. So expansive and eloquently put. You’ve summed up corporate arsenal perfectly.

    I’d like to see a similarly thorough post on emery and the team.
    You’ve clearly got your finger on the pulse when the suits are concerned though.

  16. Un Na naai

    Beacuse emery doesn’t know what he’s doing. He thought he could build the team around Aaron. Then he didn’t. Then he let him walk for free, then he started playing him as he’d run out of ideas and had to throw the best players (who he jettisoned) back into the team.

    Expect more of the same next season. Fumbling around and flip flopping and not having a clear vision for the side. Players in and out for no plausible reason.
    Incorrect lineups, incorrect tactics
    Half time changes
    Mid Season team reshuffles

    It’s all signs of a man who doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing

  17. Tony

    Thanks Un

    I was thinking of doing a season/Emery summary soon but waiting for the final games’ results

  18. Un Na naai


    You should.
    I was reading an arseblog article the other day about iwobi and how his skill set hasn’t really developed for the position in which he’s deployed and I found it rather interesting.
    The gist of it was that iwobi is better suited to central midfield as his passing and physicality is more suited to it and his lack of pace and ability to provide something unexpected in the final third prevents him from excelling there. I’ve played both positions and I’d agree. Obviously not a first choice but I’d be interested to see if he can develop and mature into a central position. If we are losing Elneny and Ramsey this season then it could be worth a look alongside (hopefully) a cmf signings who can really dominate our midfield, wether that’s physically or technically I don’t care but right now we don’t have that. I’m also not saying iwobi can be that but I certainly feel he has more to offer there than Elneny and Mkhitaryan and more to offer there than in a more advanced position where he seems to just alownour game down through inability and indecision. I wasn’t the quickest but in the final third I was at home in the final third where defenders are more panicked than they would be 10-15 yards further from goal. He’s also so predictable on his right foot. He needs to show more on his left if he wants to fool the defender into thinking that him going wide is a possibility. Nothing is easier than knowing you can push this guy down onto his weaker side and he won’t be able to come up with anything to take you out of the game
    You just show him down the flank and the chance has gone.

  19. bennydevito

    Yeah, yeah, yeah Pierre, you keep telling yourself that, you’ll believe it yourself eventually but you’ll be the only one.

  20. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Why would you think that Emery would bench Ramsey for 8 consecutive league games after playing in 5 consecutive league wins.”

    Would that happen to be the games leading up to the January transfer window where we tried to get a fee from Juve and they would take him earlier?


    After the window closed he started playing more regularly again, worth remembering that Ramsey is fragile as fuck and breaks down for at least a couple of months every season.

    Any more conspiracy theories today Pierre to further your agenda?

    you never answered me yesterday so I thought I’d repost it again.

  21. Tony

    Not sure about Iwobi as a CM or winger he doesn’t quite fit any of those positions and at his age I’m not sure he can improve.

    His final 3rd freezing kind of shows he’s not a natural at assisting or getting results from goal attempts.

    If he froze in midfield that would be Xhakaesque and more likely to lead to goals against.

    I played center half (shows my age) and latterly RCB in the 80s in my footballing days.

    I played more rugby in the 80s where I played Fly Half or Fullback as I was more suited to the game and played on natural instinct as opposed to having to think about playing.

    This is Iwobi’s problem he can’t play using natural instinct that give him split second advantages against defenders etc.

  22. Un Na naai


    Furthermore he doesn’t have a trick or drop of the shoulder to open himself some options and give him a chance to spot a runner or an open pass

  23. Valentin

    Something wrong (concerted leaks by agents, off the record briefing, …) must have happen behind the scene, because we start to see more and more negative articles on Raul and on how players are confused by Emery’s tactics on major newspapers outlets.

    With the lights starting to shine on his reign, Raul will quickly realise that getting on the Iron throne is not the most difficult thing. It’s staying on it. He needs to have a good recruitment transfer window, because otherwise he will be in the firing line.

    The big question is can he adapt to a different footballistic environment. In la Liga, he was working for one of the top dog teams. Every good players dream to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid. Barcelona can have its pick of any players. Clubs are also so poor due to the unbalanced TV deals, nobody can challenge the big 2 financially. Referees also tend to favour Barcelona and Real Madrid. La Liga has four place in the Champion’s league for two big clubs, a medium size club punching above its weight. So even if one of the big two has a bad season, they are never in danger of missing the Champion’s league.
    In the EPL, clubs can’t be bullied into selling their players on the cheap. There is a Big 6 for four Champion’s league. The intensity is so fierce and so relentless, that the smaller teams always tries to give one of the big 6 a bloody nose.

    Raul will have to look for cheaper, younger alternative players. He may have the contacts, but are they the right type of contacts? Well connected agents may not be very useful as Most of the young upcoming players don’t have well connected agents. For example at Rennes Ousmane Dembele main influencing agent was a former player family friend.

  24. Ishola70

    “Van De Beek does have interesting profile, mixture of good technical ability and good energy though still seems little weak for PL ”

    I didn’t see much weakness in him tbh. The most impressive thing about him is the energy he provides to that midfield and that goal he scored not just hitting the net but the move he made on the ball at the start of the move shows he has enough awareness and technique.

    Arsenal have so lacked a player with this energy in the middle with Ramsey being the closest to it.

    Talking about weakness Xhaka has to be one of the weakest around in relation to his size and stature. He should be bullying midfields with the size of him but of course he is not that sort of player. He thinks he is Glen Hoddle reincarnate.

    Would definitely take Van Beek to replace Xhaka but I fear he will be out of Arsenal’s price range now that they have had this CL run and their players become coveted.

  25. Valentin


    I would say the opposite. Iwobi plays on instinct.
    Iwobi is all tricks perfectly suited for a winger or advanced attacking midfielders. His main problem is that quite often his final pass is poor. That would be a disaster in central midfield.
    Regarding this final pass, that can be coached by making him work on specific scenario. For a few games, he was very good, because we had a clear structure for the strikers. Lacazette on First post, Aubameyang on second and Özil/Ramsey late on the penalty point.
    He also needs training session on shooting especially in 1v1 because he tends to be rash in those situation.
    Personally I would bring Henry to coach our strikers. The Belgium players were all very complimentary on his attacking sessions.

  26. Valentin

    I still think that because of lax refereeing in the EPL a midfield of Torreira and VanBeek or any other dynamic technical players would struggle against powerful midfield such as Watford Capoue/Doucoure. We still need a powerful midfielder who can’t be pushed from possession but can bully the opposition.

  27. Just Another Customer

    Damn who needs GoT when the power struggle narrated by Tony is more interesting with all the political maneuvering by Gazidis, Raul, Kroenke et al against Ned Stark-esque Sven who refuse to play the game and ends up on the guillotine.

  28. Tony

    Looks like we are going to have to agree to disagree.

    I’d say that Iwobi has about 20 to 30% max instinct in the final 3rd or he wouldn’t have any assists, and I never said he didn’t have dribbling skills getting to the final 3rd or penalty box – although he could yet still improve a lot more with his dribbling.

    That leaves him being 70% inefficient in the final 3rd because instinct cannot be taught.

    Maybe as he matures in the next couple of years he could slow his decision making process down to bring him to 40+% efficient in the final 3rd that would make him a mid table or lower player.

    We need quality players who play on instinct at least 75% of the time. Ozil in his prime was a 100% instinct player.

    We do, however, agree that Iwobi would be calamitous in MF.

    As for shooting are you telling me Iwobi has practiced this skill?

    That I’m not buying into at any price or odds Valentin. I doubt Van Bastin or similar could improve his shooting because he doesn’t have the composure/instinct and eye for goal.

  29. Emiratesstroller


    It is crystal clear to me that for whatever reason is given Arsenal are not going to spend mega bucks in the transfer window.

    The reality is that Arsenal are currently a “mid table club” when it comes to actual spending power on transfers.

    The problem is and has been for a long time that the club chooses to pay high
    wages rather than buy top players. This approach was of course established by Wenger.

    We see the outcome of this policy in the mediocrity, which has been recruited in recent years and the difficulty we now have in shifting these players out of the club and the level of transfer fees being realised.

    My personal view is that Arsenal will after this season have minimal prospect
    of bringing in top quality players, because of finances available but more importantly the ambition and willingness to spend money by other clubs..

    If that is the case then the club needs to start playing its youth players as Ajax
    have done and hope that one or two of them will develop into “world beaters”.

    Frankly they cannot be worse than several of the mediocre recruits coming in
    in recent years.

  30. Just Another Customer

    We have too many 23+ year olds “prospects” that need to be rid of already.

    At that age the neuroplasticity is mostly solidified and can’t be taught much. Most of them won’t be willing to learn anyway considering their shitty attitude. Just focus on those who are eager to learn and improve and sell this ungrateful lot.

  31. Brooklyn

    Re: Ajax, I guess it is just contrast in style, against Juve and Real Madrid, both teams are slow and old to pressure Ajax teams high up the field. Tottenham with broken team and no rest managed to pin down Ajax for about 60 minutes of the game. So much for Ajax technical ability eh?

    Re Ajax manager, we will have to see, every Ajax manager has been playing same style forever….maybe I am mistaken about their players overall ability? Maybe something just clicked for them this season? We will have to wait for second leg I guess.

  32. Just Another Customer

    That’s because Tottenham finally using the good ol Brexit physical football hoof it to the big lad upfront and it evidently works like the one right from the second half kick off.

  33. Valentin

    Sterling had the same issue of composure and bad shooting technique. That takes time, but as proven with Sterling it is possible to improve upon it with proper training session.

    Instinct is useful for quick immediate decision, that’s not Iwobi problem. He still plays like if he was on a car park of his estate. His deficiency is that when he has time to think about what to do, then he mess things up. Nobody has taught how to play in a more controlled environment.

  34. gambon

    Comparing Sterling and Iwobi is stupid.

    They have massively different levels of ability.

    If Iwobi goes through a Sterling like improvement, he will still be an Everton level player.

    I would happily have him as a squad player for easy home games, but frankly we need all the money we can get, so best to sell.

    All of our wide players need to be sold.

    Kolasinac, MaitlandNiles, Mykhitaryan and Iwobi are all terrible. Sell all 4 and buy 2 x full backs and 2 x wide players.

  35. Emiratesstroller


    I would not buy wingers. Arsenal have reputedly some excellent prospects on their books e.g. Saka and Nelson.

    Let’s fast track them into first team squad rather than spend £30-40 million on
    an average player who may not be better, but more importantly restrict the development of our own youngsters.

    Let’s be objective Arsenal do have apparently some talented young offensive players in our academy.

    However, the academy is not producing same calibre in the defensive department. If that is the case that is where Arsenal should be focussing its
    external recruitment.

  36. gambon


    Saka is 17
    Nelson cant get a game for Hoffenheim

    Im pretty sure theyre not the answer.

    At best they should be back-ups to 2 quality wingers.

    Why are you so certain that £30-40m players are all average?

    Did you think Mane, Salah, Sane, Anderson, Jota were all average?

  37. Freddie Ljungberg


    I thought our squad was fine?

    so that’s 2 fullbacks, 2 center backs, 2 wingers a CM and AM then, in 1 window? Most of them needs to be starters as well if there’s any point to it. Easy peasy that.

    And some people wonder why the more realistic posters understands that we’re mostly shite because our squad is shite. Nothing is going to change before we have a massive squad turnover.

    Give Iwobi all the shooting lessons in the world he’s never going to be a player that should start for us, never mind starting 48 games like he has this season already.

    Mustafi and Xhaka doesn’t need coaching as much as brain transplants, etc etc.

    I would keep AMN , Iwobi and Kola for now anyway, they’re fine as backup and 2 of them are homegrown. Monreal is most likely leaving and we shouldn’t spend time trying to find 2 left backs.

  38. Words on a Blog


    Just read your Game of Thrones style post on the corporate power struggle and the overall situation over at Arsenal.

    I think it’s lucid and, depressingly, pretty accurate.

    I agree that it’s gonna be Season of Transition Part II next season.

    Emirates – with the wage bill high relative to the players’ abilities, the club’s consequent inability to realise Liverpool/Tottenham style transfer fees on any sales, and the Kroenkes having taken on additional financial commitments to buy Usmanov’s share, I can see the transfer budget and transfer activity (no Head of Recruitment, Technical Director) dismally failing to satisfy Grovers and Arsenal fans in general.

  39. Leftsidesanch

    This summer, we need both defensive and offensive reinforcementsm and someone in the middle of the park. We’re dire in both areas.

  40. gambon


    I think keeping Kolasinac and AMN would be a huge mistake.

    One of the most ridiculous things about Emery this season is the endless formation changes.

    Every time we play Kolasinac and AMN we have to change formation.

    Monreal can be back up to a new LB, and we need a good RB to back up Bellerin. Someone that can take over from Bellerin if Barca come calling.

  41. Brooklyn

    Ramsey has been doing well, no? He isn’t particularly good as CAM which Emery did try at beginning of season and was benched.

    Emery likes his midfield base to be static but we greatly miss Bellerin to make it work, AMN doesn’t have lung capacity nor attacking mentality of Bellerin to make static base midfield work. So maybe little late, Emery used Ramsey in midfield pivot to improve our stale attack and it was working and now we have no one else in our team like those two who will constantly put opposition midfield and defence in backfoot and teams keep coming at us. You know no one to follow Emery philosophy of being protagonist. Even then those two were not enough to begin with.

    So I said players like Bellerin and Ramsey, the likes who can stretch play and keep opposition occupied be it with pace and dribbling ability or energy to make constant attacking runs…oh and you will hate it but they must have high work rate except for maybe 2 players in playing XI.

  42. Un Na naai


    I think you’re really underrating AMN. He’s been one of our best players in true least two months.

    Iwobi thinks he possessed skills and tricks but they don’t ever get him anywhere. To me he’s better at seeing a pass early (when he gets his head up)
    For all his feints and shimmies, he never does anything but he does seem to spot a nice pass.

    Don’t shoot me. I’m just sharing an article of a writer who seems to know that emery is pulling rank at arsenal and causing us to go after shite players. There’s a reason why monchi, Sven, et al are running from arsenal. Could be Raul, could be emery, could be the whole set up being put into place. Don’t forget allegri and ancelotti turned us down too so there’something not quite right.

  43. Freddie Ljungberg


    I just don’t we have the luxury of fixing all the problem positions in one go.

    There was talk about a 1 year extension for Monreal but that was never confirmed so it looks like he’s leaving.
    Kola is far from ideal in a back 4 but with better CBs it should be OK for rotation as long as our new left back doesn’t get a long term injury.

    would be nice with some proper competition for Bellerin but again we have so many other holes to plug that I don’t think we should spend any more time on it. Hopefully AMN develops a bit more and Osei – Tutu takes a step up.

    for me realistically we need to focus on 1 CB, 1 LB, 1 CM and a winger, all starters. If we can get rid of Ozil and Mikhi we really could do with an upgrade in CAM as well.

    Would like to see us do even more but can’t even see us do the above, which would be the absolute minimum to catch up with the teams above us and keep the chasing pack at a distance.

    If we keep getting outspent by teams below us it’s just a matter of time before we sink down the table, regardless of who the coach is.

  44. gambon


    There are certain things we need to do that are not optional. They have to be done.

    I would say they are:

    – Replace Kolasinac with a LB that can actualy defend
    – Replace AMN with an actual RB
    – Replace Mustafi with a CB that isnt a complete spastic
    – Replace Ramsey & Ozil with an central attacking MF
    – Replace Iwobi & Mykhitaryan with wide players that are actually capable

    All of these 6 things have to be done, or else the summer is a failure.

    Once these 6 things are done we can think about some other things like a new GK, another CB, replacing Elneny, and a young striker.

    But these 6 things have to come first.

    Selling Kolasinac has to happen. We need the money, and wont get anything for Monreal.

    If AMN cant play RB then he’s pointless. He cant get a game in midfield because he isnt good enough, is too lethargic and has no technique. Sell and cash in.

    This is no time for sentimentality.

    We may even sell a few highly rated kids like Amaechi and NKetiah because we need to be unbelievably efficient.

  45. Bamford10

    As I’ve said previously, it’s going to take at least two summer widows to build a proper squad. We need a great many things, but we are not in position to spend gobs of money, nor do we have a lot of young talent coming through. This is a long-term project and people are just going to need to be patient.

  46. Emiratesstroller


    If as Ljungberg suggests Saka is “special” then I see no reason why he should not be added to the first team squad. Outstanding players often start playing in first teams at age of 16 and 17. Fabregas was introduced at age of 16.

    Nelson may not be at the same level, but I have no problem in adding a winger
    who has scored 7 goals in first season in Bundesliga to our squad. Can he be
    worse than Suarez?

    Smith-Rowe was rated last season to be the best prospect in U23 squad. On
    evidence of what I saw on couple of occasions he played in first team he looks
    to be a very good player provided that he remains injury free.

    I don’t expect the club to bring in wholesale youth players into first team, but one or two coming into squad every couple of years should be achievable.

  47. Freddie Ljungberg

    So that’s 7 players if Monreal leaves. + a backup goalkeeper, Martinez said yesterday that he’s leaving if he’s not guaranteed playing time.

    not very realistic is it? I mean it would be nice, and we would still need more, but it’s never getting done in 1 summer. And this is after already buying in 3 starters last summer. Our squad needs so much work it’s unreal. That’s why most posters were saying it was going to take at least 3 seasons after Wenger left until we can start competing again, that’s the legacy he left. The high wages to quality ratio makes it even more difficult to shift players for decent fees so not much help there either.

  48. gambon


    You keep saying “adding to the squad”

    Thats all well and good, but its Iwobi and Mykhitaryan that are stinking the first team up every week.

    Our rivals have Sane, Sterling, Mane, Salah, Hazard, Son, Moura,

    We are not going to compete with them by playing 17 and 19 year olds.

    I think Nelson and Saka have big futures at the club, but they arent going to score 30 goals next season, which is exactly what we need.

  49. Freddie Ljungberg


    I have no issues promoting youngsters to the squad if they’re talented, we still need at least 1 winger if we don’t want to see the same one dimensional attacking play next season again.
    None of our youngsters are ready to start regularly and Iwobi should not start either.
    Mikhi needs to be sold and then we’re left with no one that can start. Not ideal is it?

  50. gambon

    6 players Freddie, I clearly stated 6 players.


    The club are trying to extend Monreal, in fact we have a 12 month extension in his contract.

  51. Emiratesstroller


    I have no problem replacing most of our first team squad if you have the money to buy new players. Sadly those players you recommend we sell have very little transfer value and we know that Kroenke is not going to spend his own money.

    So it is pie in the sky to suggest that should offload all these players.It is not
    going to happen.

    What should happen first is that Monreal and Koscielny who are in 30s and becoming injury prone should be offloaded. Also we need to buy a top class
    centre back to replace Mustafi.

    Those should be the priorities. Having so many “pensioner” or “second rate”
    defenders is a massive problem for the club particularly when you see the cost of their wages.

  52. Un Na naai


    1) how much could we get for AMN and who could we get to replace him for less and provides better quality

    2) it is not essential we replace our substiturbbright back to challenge for top four next season

    3)why is cb not a priority for you when it is for almost everyone affiliated with the club

    4) how much do you think it would cost to replace Ramsey, ozil, iwobi and Mkhitaryan

    5) how much money do you think arsenal have to spend this summer and if we will have enough to facilitate your plans?

  53. gambon

    “I have no problem replacing most of our first team squad if you have the money to buy new players”

    Ive said we need to buy 6 players.

    How is 6 being described as “most” of a 25 man squad?

  54. Freddie Ljungberg

    I know you stated 6 players, but nothing has been heard lately about Monreals extension and honestly I don’t think he can handle another season in the PL. So that’s 7. If Martinez leaves it’s 8.

    I’m not disagreeing that that’s what we need, I even think we need more, just don’t think it’s realistic in 1 window. This is why I’m willing to give a new manager (regardless of who it is as long as it’s not Arteta) time.

  55. gambon

    “1) how much could we get for AMN and who could we get to replace him for less and provides better quality”

    Why do we have to replace him for less?

    I would try to get Max Aarons. Someone who is actually a RB.

    “2) it is not essential we replace our substiturbbright back to challenge for top four next season”

    Hes not our sub rightback. Firstly he cant even play as a RB, we have to change formation to accomodate him. Secondly, Bellerin is injured, so hes our first choice.

    “3)why is cb not a priority for you when it is for almost everyone affiliated with the club”

    CB is clearly a priority, Sell Mustafi and Chambers and buy a CB. Ive said that for 18 months,

    “4) how much do you think it would cost to replace Ramsey, ozil, iwobi and Mkhitaryan”

    Who knows. Nicolas Pepe was £10m in summer 2017 hes now a £70m player.

    “5) how much money do you think arsenal have to spend this summer and if we will have enough to facilitate your plans?”

    About £100m, a bit less if we dont make CL. This £45m talk is utter bollocks.

  56. gambon

    Martinez will be second choice next season.

    He even said a few months back that the club informed him of this

    The quotes about him leaving are old.

  57. Un Na naai


    It would be madness to get rid of koscielney

    Forgive me but a year ago you were of the opinion that holding should be sold along with chambers who (to varying degrees) have since proved their competency.

    Koscielney is now our longest serving player and the closest thing we have to a leader in any form once cech leaves

  58. Un Na naai


    1) fair enough not a bad shout but I’d not sell AMN. He’s cost nothing and he’s low wage. He’s also (in my opinion) worth more to arsenal than you give him credit for. I’d actually try him in cmf more often as I think he has potential

    To the rest it all seems pretty reasonable but we both know arsenal aren’t spending £100m this summer
    I’d eat my hat if we do.

  59. gambon

    YEah, Koscielny should stay

    He has one year left, may as well just let him see it out, rather than get £5m for him,

    Mustafi clearly needs replacing.

    New CB, Sokratis, Holding, Koscielny, Mavropanos wouldnt be too bad.

    Would also consider selling Mavropanos if we can find another good CB.

    New CB, New CB, Sokratis, Holding, Koscielny could be very strong.

    I would actually try and do a deal with Leipzig to buy their 2 CBs over the next 2 summers.

    £30m for Konate now, then ask for an option on Upamecano for 2020 (give them ESR for 12 months in exchange for the option).

  60. Freddie Ljungberg

    Plenty of articles from yesterday, and from 3 weeks ago where he says he’s leaving if he’s not getting guarantees.

    Nevertheless we’re not fixing everything in 1 window, same as we could only halt the rot last summer, but hopefully we can take a couple of steps forward now. Need at least 2 summers to get a competetive 11, more if we want the squad to be above average as well.

  61. gambon

    Un Na

    1- Having AMN replace Elneny is a reasonable option, as we could then get maybe £10m from selling Elneny to invest elsewhere. The only problem is AMN isnt good enough (in my opinion)

    2- If we could sell AMN for £10m, and get Aarons for say £15m, we have done good business and upgraded the squad. Need to take sentimentality out of it. If AMN was playing for West Ham, not one single Arsenal fan would be calling for us to sign him.

    3- We spent £65m (net) last summer, and we have far more money coming in now. If we get CL football, the revenue difference between this season and next season will be c£100m

  62. Emiratesstroller

    Leaving aside Cech who is 36 and has announced his retirement we have Lichsteiner [35 next season], Monreal and Koscielny [both 34] on our books.

    All three are past their best and need to be replaced. Apart from all these players we have Mustafi and Kolasinac on mega wages.

    Collectively these six players are costing the club about about £600K per week
    in wages. When you see how poor our defence has played this season and the
    number of goals conceded we should be asking some serious questions about
    this department of our game.

  63. Bamford10

    In addition to criticizing Emery, certain people have criticized a lack of leadership at the club, a lack of vision and identity. “Where is the vision?” these people shout. “Who is guiding this ship?”

    Some of this is sincere, some of this is cynical and opportunist, but all of it can be addressed by paying closer attention to what the men who run the club (Sanllehi, Venkatesham, Emery) have actually been saying.

    James Benge’s April 14 piece in Football London on Arsenal’s search for a sporting director is useful in this regard. He writes:

    “Arsenal are acutely aware of the need to get [the sporting director] appointment right. It is arguably more significant even than that of Unai Emery. Whoever is named the sporting director will be responsible not just for transfer policy but also for building an ethos that trickles across the entire organisation, inspired by Barcelona’s commitment to playing the same brand of football from the youngest youth team to the first-team. ‘It is not just that all of the youth teams should play like the first team but that every team should play in the Arsenal way,’ said one club source.

    It is an approach being championed by head of football Raul Sanllehi, who has extensive experience of the successes that such a clearly defined approach has. But it also requires a strong understanding of Arsenal’s current identity on and off the pitch and the free-flowing, aesthetically-pleasing football that has been central to the club over the past two decades. That goes some way to explaining why Sanllehi did not think it was a job for former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, a world-renowned scout but not one closely versed in the Arsenal way of doing things.”

    So, from the above, three things are clear: one, the club knows precisely who they want to be and how they want every team to play (“free-flowing, aesthetically-pleasing football”; two, it is the sporting director who will further define and oversee the implementation of this vision and philosophy, not the manager; three, Raul Sanllehi, for the moment, is steering this ship.

    More on this to come. Football London piece below.

    “New Arsenal sporting director: Who it could be, summer transfer plans and when they will sign”

  64. Bamford10

    AS (Spanish Newspaper) is reporting that Madrid have reached a verbal agreement with Christian Eriksen.

  65. gambon

    Ive said a few times that Spurs and Chelsea have a tough couple of years ahead.

    Now is the time to build our squad up to leap ahead of them both.

  66. Bamford10

    Ornstein is reporting that Ramsey will not be able to return prior to our season end and that he has played his last match for Arsenal. I saw someone say the opposite here the other day, so I thought I should mention this.

  67. Danny

    I reckon there’s a chance AMN could improve so we should hold on to him. Iwobi on the other hand wont improve, he’s shit, just get rid of him.

  68. gambon


    That will require some real hard work, smart investment and ambition.

    The problem is, I think Arsenal see the transfer window as a problem rather than a solution.

    Man Utd will 100% see Chelsea and Spurs struggles as a great opportunity to get, and stay above them for the long term.

    Arsenal, I feel, will say to themselves “at least Chelsea and Spurs wont pull away from us in the next few windows”

  69. Champagne Charlie


    I agree with a lot of what you say, but I differ in opinion on where to start with the squad.

    AMN for instance is a good squad player, compare him to Elneny who is absolute dogshit and has about 14 minutes football this season.

    He’d be first out for me, because he’s exactly the sort of body offering nothing to the side that kills us.

    – Offer nothing: Elneny, Chambers, Ospina, Jenks

    -Bloated wages for their input: Ozil, Kolasinac, Mkhi

    -Players we could get good money for: Mustafi, Xhaka, Laca/Auba

    I think the summer sees a mixture of these lot sold to finance replacements, plus the additional £20 note Stan will ‘allow’ us to use of the clubs resources.

  70. Jamie

    Bamford 10May 1, 2019 10:41:51

    AS (Spanish Newspaper) is reporting that Madrid have reached a verbal agreement with Christian Eriksen.

    How does this happen without Real Madrid falling foul of FIFA’s tapping-up regulations? Genuinely curious. In my view, all these ‘articles’ containing claims a player has agreed terms with a buying club without the selling club agreeing a fee are clickbait.

  71. Marc


    Lich – Contract up 30/6/19

    Monreal – Contract up 30/6/19 although I did read somewhere that we’d taken up an option for a year extension probably just to get a small fee.

    Kos – Contract up 30/6/20

    So your problem is pretty much solved. Personally I’d keep Kos on as backup and bring in 1 or 2 more CB’s. The problem at the club is not those players they’re sorting themselves out the problems are Xhaka, Mustafi, Ozil, Miki, Kolas etc.

  72. Marc


    If you were given two options of what might happen in a random circumstance I guarantee you’d go for the negative outcome.

    I’m not saying everything will be easy but being a miserable bastard 24/7 isn’t’ really a solution.

  73. Marc


    What do you reckon he’ll go for? I reckon £75 – £80 million but some on here have been quoting £120 million etc – I just can’t see a player with a year left (not this player anyway) going for that.

  74. Bamford10


    Hard to say what he’ll go for, as the market is both inflated and a little volatile. I personally don’t think he’s worth any more than £45m, but Madrid may feel differently.


    You may be right. I don’t know about that.

  75. Emiratesstroller


    I have no issue keeping Koscielny for one more year providing that both Lichsteiner and Monreal depart.

    However, Arsenal need to bring in at least two “quality” defenders in the summer transfer window namely a Centre Back and Left Back. Our current defence whoever is selected is not fit for purpose.

    You cannot continue to concede 50+ goals in EPL and expect improvement
    particularly when you are conceding 3 goals in each of last 3 games against
    Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester who are mid table teams.

    That tells you that our defence is not fit for purpose.

  76. Marc


    As you say who knows – I do know that by announcing that they’ve effectively put 12 players up for sale won’t help – looks like they are desperate for the money.

  77. Marc


    I see a LB and 1 CB as being minimum requirements. After that it’s how much money we have plus how many players we can shift on.

  78. Batistuta

    If we don’t don’t do anything about that midfield in the summer then it wouldn’t matter anywhere else though….We struggle to get any sort of control against teams that press us and bar Torreira and the odd ball from Xhaka when he has the freedom of the emirates, our midfield options are terribly shit

  79. Batistuta

    1 CB would be okay for this window at least but we need to so something about our midfield and wings because all our goals literally come from pur forward players, without them, we’re a 16/17th place team

  80. bennydevito

    Personally I’d keep AMN and Iwobi as they’re young, know the Arsenal way and are home grown. AMN can fill in at RB and CM and Iwobi although limited does give us options and a bit of pace coming off the bench.

    Maybe keep Jenkinson and Chambers as back up RB and CB to cover for injuries especially if Kos and Monreal stay on one more year and they’re both homegrown too.

    If it were up to me and I was taking over this squad on football Manager, which I know it isn’t, I’d get rid of Kos, Monreal, Mustafi, Lichsteiner, Elneny, Ozil, MK and possibly Aubameyang if a big offer comes in. I’d buy 2 CBs, 1 LB, 1 AM and 1 winger who can play left or right, but preferably 2, and promote ESR, Nelson, Nikeita, Amechabi and Saka.

    I think I’ve spelt a lot of those wrong and I appreciate this isn’t football manager.

  81. terraloon

    As I pointed out a while ago there is nothing in the 2017/18 accounts to suggest that there will be a lot of wriggle room.
    The every increasing charge in respect of amortisation and the fact that there is no way that the £120 million player trading profit will be replicated indeed increased commercial income will of course help but the 2018/19 accounts will in my opinion show a loss. That’s not to say that the cash reserves won’t go up but it’s the bottom line that FFP is based on and not cash on hand.
    I read the other day that some were questioning how the likes of Brighton can spend more and comply with FFP .
    The simple fact is that for the likes of Brighton they won’t be playing in a UEFA competition so won’t have to apply for a UEFA license meaning their accounts aren’t examined and when it comes to the PLs version the major tests are more about wage growth but even then they don’t have huge historical amortised sums that impact in the same way

  82. gambon


    Heres the problem…

    AMN, Iwobi, Chambers, Jenkinson are not Arsenal quality….or certainly not if we want to make any kind of improvement.

    Even the language you use “know the Arsenal way” is all sentiment and not based on their quality.

    If Klopp had kept Sakho, Ibe, Allen and Wisdom Liverpool would not be on 91 pts right now.

    Tough decisions have to be made, we cant just keep everyone and sign 1 or 2 players.

  83. Un Na naai

    We need a spine.

    could be the makings of one in theory and have the team built around that. I wouldn’t worry too much about the full backs in the summer if we can’t find options.
    I’d focus my efforts on cb, cmf, am, Wong

    That in itslef is a lot for a club Ike arsenal these days but they have to be priority for us now. We have enough youth coming through to sprinkle around that but if we add those four positions properly to the players we already have then we have a great springboard from which to elevate our selves
    Who knows what nelson, Saka, AMN and Smith Rowe could do for us next season? One or two could be a revelation, Ajax style

  84. gambon


    I would say the full back positions have been a huge issue this season, and along with replacing Mustafi, are the priorities.

    That is both RB and LB.

    Kolasinac & AMN are a huge issue because (along with Mustafi) Emery has to change the formatoion every time he wants to play them.

    With Bellerin having a serious injury and not being ready for the start of the season, I would say a good RB is vital. Either a young player (Bellerin succession plan) or an experienced (not 34 year old).

    Now if we are going to buy new full backs, I see no point in keeping the old ones around. They cant play in a back 4.

    People talk about AMN as a midfielder, but no manager seems to trust him to play there.

    If he isnt good enough to take Elnenys spot (I dont think he is) then the best thing we can do is raise funds.

    Buy Chilwell/Tierney/Grimaldo/Firpo for £30m, Aarons for £15m, and sell Kolasinac and AMN for £30m.

    £15m spent, and we have much better FB options

  85. gunnershabz

    the main thing we need this summer is pace and power from the premier league

    we need that athletic midfielder like doucoure of watford £30m

    also ryan fraser as a wide player will be more useful then mkhi and iwobi

    even a playmaker like ruben neves would do wonders

    chilwell and mcquire would be great additions to our team

    but we do need pace and power on the flanks

  86. Marc

    Does anyone know where we are on home grown quota if we’re going to lose Ramsey and Welbeck this summer.

    We might need to keep / integrate some English players to meet it.

  87. bennydevito

    I don’t think we have a snow ball’s chance in hell of getting Maguire or Chilwell.

    City are rumoured to be after Chilwell so they will blow us out of the water and will need to as Brenda is going to be reluctant to sell.

    The same goes for Maguire as Man utd are rumoured to want him.

    We won’t get any of them and need to stop dreaming about it I’m afraid.

  88. Jamie

    Maybe keep all our players (since some argue we have the 3rd/4th best squad in the league) and just replace Emery with habanero sauce?

    The club would save £100m in transfer fees this summer, and the new exciting gaffer would easily have us back in the CL in 12 months.

    “Emery is shit, he lost Ligue 1!” Swiftly followed by “we need to replace Kola, Cech, Mustafi, Xhaka, Elneny, Welbeck, Rasmey, Monreal, AMN, Iwobi, Mkhi, Ozil, Jenko, Chambers in order to compete!” without a hint of irony.

    Our squad is trash, and our shiny £110m strike force are two limited forwards. I think it was RedTruth who said it a couple days ago – “the best players tend to win the trophies.”

    We don’t have a single world class player on the books. Ramsey gets talked-up as some kind of match winner because he’s scored in a couple cup finals during the last decade of service as if he’s helped us achieve anything else during that time. That’s how far we’ve regressed.

    Wait until we extend Welbeck’s contract because ‘he offers so much going forward’. Then watch him try to score more than 5 league goals next season.

    I’m all for replacing Emery this summer because I don’t give a shit about him, frankly. Hire any sexy young manager and restart Project Youth. It’ll take at least 3 years to get back to competing if everything goes perfectly and the kids start to mature as a team. The scenes when the kids finish 10th though.. It’ll be brutal here.

  89. terraloon


    No such thing as a HG quota. What there is is a number of the squad positions reserved for HG players. In effect you don’t have to have any HG players in your squad although that would be madness.
    If you ignore Ramsey and Wellbeck from the September 18 squad you still will have the following HG players. Bellerin, Holding,Dayan, Iwobi, Jenkinson & Martinez who is on loan and of course Chambers who probably will return from Fulham

  90. terraloon


    Smith Rowe and Nelson are under 21 so won’t be in the 25 man squad but will qualify by virtue of age .
    ANM is an interesting one as he was 21 last August so didn’t need to be included in the 25 man squad but for next season he will so the question is will he justify a squad place?

  91. Marc


    Sorry but however you word it each club must have a minimum of 8 “home grown” players in their 25 man squad. We are losing 3 in the summer – Jenko, Ramsey and Welbeck.

    Interestingly AMN was not included in this seasons list. We’re either going to have to incorporate Chambers and one other back into the team, 2 youth players or buy one or two British players.

  92. gambon

    “Sorry but however you word it each club must have a minimum of 8 “home grown” players in their 25 man squad”

    Not true.

  93. Jamie

    terraloon –

    Under 21s can still be included in the squad registration, I think, but they don’t need to be if the squad in question is already loaded with over 21 talent.

  94. Marc


    Premier leagues own website says you can’t have more than 17 players who do not fulfil the home grown criteria you can then make up the squad with a maximum of 8 home grown players to a maximum of 25.

    Now if you’re arguing that we should go into a season with 17 “non home grown” players plus a few others then dear oh dear.

  95. gambon

    We currently have the following non home grown.


    So we can add 3 non HG players without even selling.

    Bearing in mind Cech, Lichsteiner are certainly going we can add 5 players without selling.

  96. bennydevito


    I thought Guardiola said a whole back he wanted to sign 4 players to replace those who keep getting injured and he focused on the LB position citing Mendy as not reliable because of his injury record? He also said he wanted a DM another attacking wide player as KDB is always injured and I think another striker although not quite sure.

    Chilwell, Declan Rice and Ruben Nevas are rumoured to be his top targets.

  97. gambon


    All I know is that everyone has been reporting that City won’t be after a LB and that Mendy and Zichenko will be trusted.

    This was yesterday.

  98. Champagne Charlie


    I’m certainly not against selling anyone, there’s nobody in this squad you could sell that’d she’d a tear.

    But for me AMN is a good squad body, and Licht needs the replacement. Perhaps sell Elneny, replace Licht with that money, then let AMN operate as the backup

  99. Danish Gooner

    To many off our flair players have no end product,Iwobi the latest Gercvinho and Hleb other great candidates the list is endless that is why Willy Zaha would be a good buy probably overly expensive but he is starting to score goals and we need someone lightning fast from the wing.

  100. Marc


    I hope you’re right – we have a recent history of coming up short because of injuries etc. I don’t know how many of the U21’s will switch into the senior squad who aren’t home grown – I think for example Guendozi will step up season after next.

    You also missed Leno off of your list.

  101. terraloon


    There’s no must about it.

    As I said earlier a set number of the 25 squad places can not be filled by non HG players over the age of 21 but that’s it.
    You can have as many under 21 year olds as you like so in theory could go with not one player named in your over 21 squad. Would be madness but it’s allowable
    As far as I am aware then players under the age of 21 aren’t named in 25 man PL squads and in reality it would make no sense whatsoever to do so.

  102. Dissenter

    The talk of replacing AMN and Iwobi is kind of daft because they won’t fetch much in transfer fees. They both cost us nothing and are low wage earners.
    Lets just consider them bodies who shouldn’t be starting no more than 10 league games s a season.

  103. Marko

    Even the language you use “know the Arsenal way” is all sentiment and not based on their quality.

    It’s very true. There’s a lot of Arsenal fans out there afraid of change and who are too attached to players which is baffling to me. AMN will never be anything more than a squad player at best if you can replace him with better do it and become attached with his replacement. It’s not even about tough decisions needing to be made this summer it’s easy and obvious decisions

  104. Dissenter

    The club needs to set a mandate on the manager to incorporate the academy players a lot more. That’s where the lack of a DoF is costing us.

    What in the word is Raul Sanllehi’s job description if it doesn’t include the work of a DoF?
    Someone help me please.

  105. Marko

    The talk of replacing AMN and Iwobi is kind of daft because they won’t fetch much in transfer fees.

    That’s not necessarily true and besides it’s irrelevant if they’re not good enough they’re not good enough you don’t just keep someone because you won’t get much for them and forgo a better replacement. That’s honestly loser talk.

  106. gambon


    We cant incorporate academy players if they arent good enough.

    Really, who are we supposed to incorporate? Most of our U23 players will not even play Championship level football.

    People going over the top based on Ajax’ current success.

    De Jong isnt a great player because he was given a chance – he was given a chance because he’s a great player.

    Its up to the kids to meet a certain standard, not for the standards to come down and meet the kids.

  107. bennydevito

    MarkoMay 1, 2019    13:51:29

    Even the language you use “know the Arsenal way” is all sentiment and not based on their quality.

    It’s very true. There’s a lot of Arsenal fans out there afraid of change and who are too attached to players which is baffling to me. AMN will never be anything more than a squad player at best if you can replace him with better do it and become attached with his replacement. It’s not even about tough decisions needing to be made this summer it’s easy and obvious decisions



    I’m not afraid of change and I’m not attached to any of our players.

    I just think both AMN and Iwobi have showed signs of development and improvement even if small, they are homegrown and are used to the set up and way we play.

    Considering we are rumoured to have very little money I don’t think it makes any sense to replace home grown youngsters who can play a role in our squad moving forward and could well develop further into useful squad players.

    Just my opinion.

  108. Ishola70

    Ajax have remained loyal to a footballing philosophy and these players we see now are a product of that. They remained loyal to it even when they were an irrelevance in the big european competition for so long and it was said that they would not get back to being anything of real note because they were a side who had no money to spend in comparison to the bigger european league teams and that they played in an inferior league.

    We used to hear that Wenger was implementing a footballing philosophy and style of play through all the youth sides a long time ago. What happened there? Nothing of note and this was not just because 99% of these youth players were not good enough but also because the club were not brave enough to fully nurture them and give them a real chance to become first team players. They preferred to play it safe and buy older players from mid-table clubs in Spain or Germany who had international caps to their name. We all know how some of those turned out.

    Also Ajax may have an overall deeper footballing DNA than Arsenal. Perhaps.

  109. Dissenter

    Are you sure Willock wouldn’t have been better that wasting time on Elneny
    Are you sure Saka couldn’t have been played in one of these three games that we lost woefully, games where Auba looked like the waling dead.
    I’m not referring to a wholesale adoption of the academy, just certain players who may be able to match the physicality of the league.

  110. gambon


    Raul is effecively the football Managing Director.

    His direct reports are:

    – Head Coach
    – Director of Performance
    – Technical Director (still looking)
    – StatDNA & Analytics
    – Head of Academy
    – Director of Development

  111. Ishola70

    tbf though Ajax has better opportunities to nurture these players and get them playing regular first team football at a young age due to the league they play in. Less demanding than the EPL.

  112. Dissenter

    I made that point about Ajax when Pedro was drumming up Overmars as if he had invented the wheel.
    Overmars has just been an administrator implementing the Ajax philosophy, nothing innovative about that.
    Ajax have always been revolutionary since the 1970s. Their scouting has always been more far reaching than other European clubs. They found an unknown Nigerian player called Finidi George in a Nigerian club called Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1994. The first time most Nigerian’s even heard of this guy was when he played for Ajax in the CL final of 1995 against Juventus.
    The closest system to Ajax is Bayern because they have their philosophies and they keep ex-players around to implement it. Their system is insular because it’s almost 99.9% run by Dutch men.

  113. Un Na naai

    De Jong isnt a great player because he was given a chance – he was given a chance because he’s a great player.

    He was a £500k signing from lower league
    Only overmars spotted him he could still be there

    Ashley cole was on his way to palace as a forward and Harry Kane was deemed surplus at spurs until they had a striker injury crisis

    It’s not always that simple. You’re taking a Mourinho view on young talent.

  114. gunnershabz

    i still think we should really consider abu docourau of watford

    he is a good player, box to box beast

    i think he would do brillant for us

    i think he can be ramsey replace for his engine but he has better in game discipline

  115. gambon


    I would say Willock and Elneny are quite different players.

    Willock will probably go on loan to prove himself next season.

    Saka is 17. I really like him, but 17 is a bit young. He will go on tour this summer and get his chance to impress.

    Look at Chuba Akpom. People were calling for him to be involved in the first team, but he went on loan to Hull and scored 3 goals all season in the Championship.

    Look at Jeff Reine-Adeleide – people were calling for him to be involved. Hes just scored 3 and assisted 3 in 30 games in France. Certainly not good enough for us.

    I would love us to have a spine of academy players, but it rarely happens, because its luck of the draw. Its taken Ajax 24 years to unearth another great team since the last one broke up.

    I would say we currently have 6 players that are too good for U23 football.


    But the fact is, 3 of these 6 will probably end up in the Championship.

  116. Biggles

    I fully suspect Chambers will be back in the squad next year. That’s RB cover and CB cover sorted. He’s under a long-ish contract and cheaper than several of the others.

    No way we’d renew Jenks in the summer. Too expensive, not good enough. Same goes for Lichtsteiner.

    We probably will renew Monreal in the summer. He’s on £65k I believe. He’s not long turned 33, so this would be his last season with us presumably. I think we’d probably be looking for a new first choice LB, but that might have to wait until next summer depending on who else we sign.

    I’m on the fence about AMN. I think he’s more use than Elneny. I think cost alone will keep him with us – we’d spend more to replace him with a like for like and we need the numbers quite frankly.

  117. Valentin

    The truth is that no club can play a full premiership season with only 17 players instead of a squad of 25. That means that either U21 or over 21 Home Grown players have to be involved.

    Realistically we need an upgrade on four positions CB, LB, DM, CAM. If as suggested by some we were to decide to sell Iwobi, AMN, Nelson, Chambers this summer, that means that we need to replace 8 players including 4 HG in one transfer window.

    We can’t afford the best English players, especially as ManCity, ManUtd have the same position requirements LB, CB, CAM. Maguire, Chilwell will end up in Manchester.

    So we either buy second quality English players or we stick with the academy players for one extra year and we hope they come good.

    I’d rather we fix for the next four years our problem positions than buy sub standard players who will need upgrading in two years.

  118. Valentin

    Chupa Akpom looked good at U21 level, because he was faster and stronger than most defenders of his age. However he was lacking technique. As soon as he started playing against players he could not physically bully, he reached his ceiling.
    He is still making a great career for himself, winning the Greek league.

    That’s completely different to Willock, Saka, Nelson. Bar pace, none of them relies on physical advantage, but on technique, dribbling skill, vision and knack for late surge in the box.