Listed: Players who are up for grabs this summer (long read)

by & filed under News Review.

The HEAT is finally here, and football is over… so a straight swap out. Football for summer. I’ll take it. But only if the Champions League final goes the way of Liverpool… otherwise, I’m bringing the white walkers back and we’re going to destroy the world and plunge it into darkness.

Transfer rumours are hotting up, most of the rumours around the centre backs are kind of bland. We seem to be chasing down a lot of short folk. We had many back in the day when we struggled from set-pieces because we loved to hire Tommy V like players, who had a tremendous leap… or a Willy G, who loved to sit on the halfway line and tell everyone he was good at saving money. Wenger really only addressed height when he landed Per Mertesacker.

Umtiti is the really worrying link. He’s a fabulous player, a sublime talent on his day, but we are really playing with the red flames of Abou Diaby’s memory here. There is a reason that Barca is shifting an £80m player for £40m. He has a massive DON’T GO HERE sign attached to his knee. He’s missed 31 league games in the last 12 months.

‘But the medical team would call the shots’, very doubtful. Firstly, we signed Kimmy K with a broken back (spotted > overruled). Secondly, we’d sign him in the knowledge that he’s a massive risk. For me, it’d be like taking a punt on Ledley King back in the day (United thought about it). When fit, he’s going to win you the league, but you’d be cursing his issues every year with ‘what ifs.’

Fitness has to be a priority for Arsenal. We need strong hamstrings, a record of sustained on pitch play and nothing chronic in the closet. We do not have the money to be taking Kanu like risks of yesteryear.

… and be real, we already gave Barca free money for a player everyone knew would tank. Going back to make another very weird deal would offer incredibly poor optics for Raul. I don’t want our football guy keeping Barca sweet because of his DNA. You get me?

I’m hoping that Arsenal seek value in players that have buyout clauses or a couple of years to go on their deals. Julian Brandt is rumoured to be going for as little as £25m. Ziyeck is going to leave with a release clause of £25m, a fabulous player with outrageous pace and work ethic.

Players that have deals expiring next year:

  • Ryan Sessegnon
  • Thomas Meunier
  • Eric Bailly (steer clear, like Umtiti)
  • Nacho
  • Dries Mertens
  • El Shaarway
  • Allain Sain-Maximin
  • Raph Guerreiro
  • Ryan Fraser
  • Mario Gotze
  • Moise Keane
  • Rafinha
  • Kurzawa
  • Keylor Navas (#2 anyone?)
  • Adam Johnson

Just kidding on the last one. DIRTY NONCE. You just KNOW some Premier League chairman that is a nonce sympathiser is going to pull the ‘society must forgive’ card and roll with him. North of Manchester, no doubt.

The two-year deal players are also interesting, mainly because they’ll all be negotiating new contracts. Good clubs will be exiting them if it looks like they won’t sign. There’s some tasty names in this category.

  • Lio Messi (get on it Raul, we’ll let this one go)
  • Mauro Icardi
  • Thiago
  • Casemiro
  • Florian Thauvin
  • Memphis Depay
  • Seb Haller
  • Zielinski
  • Hummels
  • Carlos Soler
  • Ginter
  • Alex Telles
  • Grimaldo
  • Sarr
  • Vazquez
  • Julien Weigl

As you can see, lots of options if we want to play this summer. I don’t even have the list of players with buyout clauses.

Point being, we don’t have to take massive risks on mates rates names that come with health concerns. This league will not absorb any weakness. It’s faster, more competitive and more relentless than any other. The only way you compete is having more of your first team players fit than others.

It looked to me like Emery tanked his fitness plan this season, blowing up the front end of the season with OTT training regimes that hit him hard during the mid part of the season. December 2018 was a flashback to the dark days of Wenger, who famously bemoaned the science of fatigue a few weeks ago. If you don’t remember, we had an annual injury pileup because Wenger trained his players too intensely and didn’t rotate. He blamed luck, hair pills, witches, the vision of a Trump presidency… until we hired Shad, who took care of the nonsense.

Someone accused me of being hipster in the way I think about the game, for me, that’s a bit like telling a doctor he’s a hipster for reading medical journals. If you believe thinking about the future to gain an advantage is hipster, you really should keep those thoughts to yourself. The future is here, you can’t unfuture what has already arrived. Calling it hipster just makes you look dim.

Anyway, Ralph Rangnick spoke to Coaches Voice (great site), casually sipping on a cream atomised, fluggenhoffled, Germacano coffee that I believe was brewed from a rare strain of Russian coffee bean that garners its taste from the musical notes of Mikhail Glinka…. and gave his thoughts on respecting the ‘athletics’ guys (Shad and Burgess).

Five years ago, I would have thought it impossible that an athletics coach would tell me how many metres my team should run today, and how fast, in training. But that’s what’s happening. In the past, you’d have to trust your eyes and gut feeling as a manager to find the right dosage in training. Now, it’s a bit like picking up a rental car: they will tell you how much is in the tank and what your mileage is.

The athletics coaches are in charge of planning the whole week of training in terms of the intensity on any given day. We take our cues from them.

“Musical tastes aside, I have a strong connection with my players”

If you want to increase the speed of your game, though, you have to develop quicker minds rather than quicker feet.

Improvement translates as taking things in more quickly, analysing them more quickly, deciding more quickly, acting more quickly. At RB, we work on increasing the memory space and the processing pace. We put players into the Soccerbot, for example – a machine that simulates previous games and allows players to relive key moments of matches.

It’s PlayStation football, but with your feet. The players enjoy it so much we have a hard time getting some of them to stop.

YES RALPH. Love it. Again, the above shows you how the powershift is happening in elite football. The days of an assistant putting out cones are long gone. Each role is essential to building an elite sporting machine. Football follows the path of American sports, they lead the way on many things.

Anyway, my prediction is that clubs will start to move more towards specialist roles, versus the current broad strokes approach to coaching. We’ve already seen clubs take performance super seriously. I would imagine that more and more outfits are looking at people with more specialists offerings in defence, attack, and pressing. Ralph mentions in his piece that his team are trained to take risks in certain areas that present great counterpress opps, there must be a group of people working together to work out where the sweet spots are. Do we have that? RB is strategic about where they lose the ball. It’s a different level of thinking and it’s working for them.

Pep G just won the league with the least tackles of any team. Off the ball movement is now an absolute art in the Premier League. There is so much information that has to be absorbed by the modern player, that it’s no wonder major clubs are trying to pioneer ways of fast-tracking information into players brains so they can make better decisions.

Point being… when Barry down the Black Swan tells you football is about FIRST AND SECOND, tell him to fuck off, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Lyon didn’t sign Arteta, as I suspected, the Spaniard is being earmarked for City when Pep leaves. However, Aulas has infuriated some in the French press because he allowed Juninho to pick Sylvinho (left back for us that had to be booted for having a fake passport) as their new coach. His coaching experience extends to the Brazilian under 23s. It is a BOLD move, but again, it’s low risk for Aulas and the future of football clubs isn’t about that ONE GUY who will cost £15m a season and bring 50 of his mates, it’s going to have a more evenly spread system of responsibility and accountability. Football is basically replicating the organisational structures of corporate America.

GFFN bemoaned the hire because… JOSE AND WENGER WERE AVAILABLE. Rationalising that Aulas wanted to win the Champions League. I love that site, but whoever was manning the twitter lost their minds there. Jose just spent £360m at United and tanked them. He’s a nasty man with spiteful tendencies. He also doesn’t care about success anymore, he’s done. Then you have Arsene Wenger, who tried 20+ times to win the Champions League and failed… not to mention his HORRIBLE record with spending money, his grim Barry like views of the modern game and science combined with his terrible approach to tactics would chalk him off any right-thinking owner.

Wenger still not in a major job… shocker, right? Where is that PSG rumour when you need it?

Anyway, see you in the comments x

464 Responses to “Listed: Players who are up for grabs this summer (long read)”

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  1. Valentin


    You don’t scout players so late, unless you either have doubt about them or have not done so beforehand. What will watching a player in his last game of season, which happen to be a dead rubber will teach you about so player? Nothing, because that game will have no real intensity. Some players will just not go into tackle by fear of injury.

    Unless he went for personal reasons, I doubt that Emery went there to scout the fall back to the fall back option.

    Either way that does not paint the club and Raul in particular Raul in a good light.

  2. Marc

    “I was dismissed by Marc in his true arrogant fashion as someone who hadn’t been to a game so knew fuck all.”

    Well at least we agree on something.

  3. Champagne Charlie

    “Bamford we never needed to compete for titles under Wenger as far as Charles was concerned.. It was either we couldn’t compete financially or who would we get that is better than Wenger.“

    Do you ever tire of making up what others believe or say? You’re shameless on that front. Full of exaggerated bullshit.

  4. Champagne Charlie


    You seem to have a warped sense of self, constantly referring to times you’ve “embarrassed” me, and now it’s “caught me out”.

    What exactly are you referring to, you sound rather lame?

  5. Marc


    We don’t know which was part of the point I made earlier. People get far too invested in some stray tweet / newspaper report and take them as gospel.

    Personally I have no idea who we’ll sign this summer or how much we’ll spend, I think it’s highly likely that the EL final will make a big difference.

    Hopefully it’s a positive summer.

  6. Dissenter

    There nothing to suggest that Emery was scouting Partey at that Levante- Atletico game
    For all we know he may have been scouting a Levante player
    Truth is we just have to ‘wait and hope we win that EL final.

  7. Un na naai

    bennydevitoMay 19, 2019 13:49:57
    Un nai, Yes I did read the post and have already answered your question.Would it work? No it wouldn’t as we’ve already seen at Ajax in the article you yourself posted.

    Benny Benny Benny
    Tut tut tut

    A domestic double and champions league semi final with one the finest (apart from spurs) home grown side in Europe

    I’d say overmars and bergkamp have been a resounding success at Ajax. If you think otherwise then it’s safe to assume you feel emery and Raul have been an utter abomination by comparison with a far bigger budget, no?

  8. Danish Gooner

    It Will be a massive mistake If we fail to fight for kompany a booming voice in the dressing a model Pro and still only 33.

  9. Un na naai

    So with emery scouting his own players it looks very much to me as though he has a very very big say on who’s coming in and out at arsenal eh lads? Or is he just a massive Atleti fan? Why would he bother wasting money on a ticket and a flight if he’s unlikely to land the players he wants?


  10. Dissenter

    Klopp also wanted Karius to replace Mignolet
    He won that argument at least initially as it often happened when it’s a transfer committee
    We all know how Karius turned out.
    The big item mega signings were not from Klopp. The club signed VVD and Allison Becker regardless if Klopp initial reservations.
    If you recall Klopp was still railing against big money transfers when United signed Lukaku. That’s not how he operated at Dortmund.

  11. Bamford10

    Charlie is not the only Emery-outer who deserves rebuttal; let’s circle back to some of the things Pedro and gambon have said. These two have told us that all of the important metrics indicate that we were worse this season and that Emery is out of his depth.

    Again, the most important metric is total points and final table position: in both cases, Emery improved us. You can argue that he should have improved us more — maybe — but you cannot argue that our point total or final place in the table indicate that he is out of his depth.

    Further, regarding these underlying metrics — xG, chances created, xG against, etc. — gambon and Pedro put these forward as if there is only one explanation for their being down from the season prior: Emery’s inadequacies. But this simply isn’t true. One, if Emery decided to go with a practical, we-will-approach-every-match-differently approach because he didn’t have the players for any one approach and because he saw that our aims were practical and not philosophical, then these numbers were likely down simply because we weren’t playing in any one style or system or approach. That in itself would not be a mark against Emery. It would only be a mark against Emery if he did in fact have the players for a particular approach or if he had tried to inculcate a particular approach and failed or if we ended even further down the table from last season. But none of this can be said. So again, there are explanations for why certain underlying metrics might have been down other than “Emery doesn’t know what he’s doing”.

  12. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    As great a player he was it don’t normally translate to being good coach etc….

    Overmars was is the brains at Ajax

  13. Champagne Charlie


    Your weekend has consisted of writing monologue after monologue on here, often rehashing previous days conversations.

    As someone that works Monday – Friday as you do I wonder, do you even have a life?

  14. Champagne Charlie


    Yea, not like I take months off at a time or anything… Meanwhile you’re here within a fortnight of getting married, but it’s my life that revolves around this place 😂

  15. Tobs

    MarcMay 19, 2019 14:08:29
    It’s possible that Emery was looking at another player, or even had the weekend off decided to go home and catch a match at his old club with a mate.The amount of supposition on here sometimes is crazy. If we sign the guy Emery was checking him out. We can then spend months listening to CG, Pierre, Un and CC tell how it’s a terrible signing.

    Football manager watches football match. Doesn’t equate to scouting. Even if he was scouting, it may not be T Partey. He’s been on the scene for a while and is a known quantity. Going by our oft reported ‘war chest ‘ this summer, he’d be out of our range.

  16. Tobs

    ValentinMay 19, 2019 14:16:00
    @Marc,Except that in the only interview Raul did, the only thing he kept referring to is Barcelona. However Arsenal FC is not Barcelona not even Barcelona Lite.
    If he really want to be successful at Arsenal, he will have to burn bridges with people from his previous life. He works for Arsenal now. They are his rivals now.

    Ill advised as the Suarez loan has proven to be, at least it was on our teams in spite of Barcelona wanting an obligation to buy. There’s no permanent damage.

  17. Bamford10


    You post here around the clock, guy. How are you in position to criticize someone else for how much time he spends here? I’ll help you: you’re not.

    I like to think about Arsenal and football, and I like to think about these things at length. Le Grove gives me a space in which to do this. So be it.

    However, I have quite a full life outside of football and Arsenal; thanks for your interest in my affairs, though.

  18. Champagne Charlie


    Check the archives, I didn’t post for over a month just recently. You love to claim a lie when you’re ignorant of something, signs of a little man.

  19. Un na naai

    Bamford is the 40 year old virgin, squirming hardcore after claiming emery has no say in transfers and now he’s off scouting he’s got egg on his face once again, hence the monologue-fest

    Pure poetry

    Erm nobody owes bergkamp a living. Haven’t you seen the impact he, overmars and the de boers have had on Ajax? Where you been hiding bro? Canvassing for late term abortions no doubt

  20. Nelson

    I can’t wait to see who Raul and Emery will sign this Summer. I guess Emery prefers physical and hard workers. Skillful players are of lower priority unless the price is right.
    Seeing that we have been giving up the most shots on goal among the top 6, we have to replace Xhaka with a much faster and more physical DM. Hopefully, Emery won’t sign another D. Suarez type of player.

  21. Receding Hairline

    Not posting for over a month, that you took note of it tells it’s own story,and taking months off are two different things dude.

    Now tell Marc about your imaginary season ticket

  22. Champagne Charlie


    Receding more and more about yourself little man. Clinging onto Marc’s every word now to try and land an insult.

    Oh, no, you don’t think I’m a season ticket holder. The pain and suffering that causes.

  23. Receding Hairline

    Says a lot about you that you believe things written here are done to hurt you. Probably because that’s your own intent when you post.

    Others might just be having fun. Get over yourself lad,no one really cares. It’s all fun and games.

  24. Graham62

    What’s everyone’s take on the Eurovision?

    UK last place. Not surprising.

    The rest of the world hates us so much.

    Is it because of colonial rule? Or is it because of the reputation of our Aiya Naper brigade? You know the ones. Loud, disgusting and ignorant to other cultures.

    Maybe it’s because they know we’re not that concerned about the cockeyed event.

    How come Israel and frigging Australia are allowed to enter?

    At least Graham Norton provides some entertainment.

  25. Just Another Customer

    Yes Nelson the first signing will at least indicate how we play this transfer window out.

    Expecting Ever Banega soon on

  26. Jamie

    Graham –

    Not even ashamed to admit I love the Eurovision. It’s been a family tradition since I was in single-digit age to throw a Eurovision party; sweepstakes, Eurovision bingo (fire, contestant crying, mid-song costume change, thanking host country, …), copious bottles of wine.

    It’s so wonderfully tacky. Graham Norton is good, but he’s no Wogan.

    Make no mistake, the music is trash! The party, though.. I’m so hungover today.

  27. Marc


    You are aware of the rumour that “serious” music countries avoid putting anyone decent in the thing because the winner then has to host it and that costs a shit load of cash.

  28. Just Another Customer

    How good is Mount too by the way? As long these youths don’t have attitude problem I’m all for Project Youf 3.0. Wenger almost crack it but he overpaid the players due to anticipation of high release fee. Them getting huge contract after few decent appearances make that complacent. Which is what I’m afraid with the rumour of giving Guen a new deal already when he’s still too raw.

  29. Marc


    Careful – you do know that Pedro has a famed picture of Arteta under his pillow. One bad comment about the soon to be greatest coach of all time and you’re gone from here.

  30. Champagne Charlie


    You don’t do banter, that’s evident to anyone that’s spent more than a day on here. Have a right little meltdown anytime Emery gets critiqued bless you

  31. bennydevito

    Un na naaiMay 19, 2019    14:45:35

    So with emery scouting his own players it looks very much to me as though he has a very very big say on who’s coming in and out at arsenal eh lads? Or is he just a massive Atleti fan? Why would he bother wasting money on a ticket and a flight if he’s unlikely to land the players he wants?



    No back track at all Un nai, you’re really not getting it are you?

    Have a read of what I said to Pierre earlier today incase you missed it or are trying to ignore it.

    “bennydevitoMay 19, 2019    13:41:51


    He doesn’t have the final say though so is ultimately not “responsible”. He has an imput, just like my children do in what toys Father Christmas gets them when they write what they want on their Christmas lists. They’re not responsible for what they get – I am. I choise what I think are the most practical and affordable toys on their lists and I make the purchases.

    They’re not responsible for what Christmas presents they get just like Emery isn’t responsible for the transfers.”

    I also said this in another comment:

    bennydevitoMay 19, 2019    13:05:23

    PierreMay 19, 2019    12:04:21

    Over the years it has always been the manager that is the most important person at a football club and nothing has changed.


    “Emery’s not the manager – he’s the head coach, HUGE difference.

    Wenger was the manager, the CEO, the TD, the DOF rolled into one. He identified the players, he negotiated the contracts and he decided what the highest price Arsenal would pay.

    They have since moved away from that structure.

    Emery is NOT in control of the transfers, any of it.

    Emery will say the team needs a CM. He may suggest a player he feels will fit the position but the people above him will decide whether to go for that player or someo else, not Emery.

    Emery was watching Partey because he may have told his superiors he likes this player to replace Xhaka perhaps or Elneny, so Raul probably said to him, ok we haven’t got a TD in place or a head scout since Sven left so you can and watch him and see what you think.

    It’s not that difficult to understand this could be the scenario.”

    So Un nai, Emery may well have been sent by Raul to look at Partey because we still haven’t got a TD in place or replaced Sven. It doesn’t mean he’s “scouting his own players” at all because we have no idea why Emery was there, who he was uninterested in or not or whether it was even his idea to go there.

    None of this proves that Emery is scouting his own players. It is pure speculation being driven by you and Pierre amongst others who all seem to think Emery has the same power over Arsenal that Wenger had.

    He doesn’t.

    He’s the head coach.

    He’s not in charge of the transfers, just like Klopp isn’t at Liverpool when he wanted Brandt but Liverpool signed Salah.

  32. Marc


    Got to say I love your analogy of Arsenal’s management set up and the benny house hold’s Christmas.

    Mate if you can make that work for Brexit I reckon you could earn a fortune.

  33. Thomas


    Iceland making complete jokes of themselves with that Palestine flags bullshit. Embarrassing stuff really. The funny thing is they would be thrown from the highest building if they ever visited Palestine.

    Also Madonna, Jesus Christ. How awful was that? She’s finished.

  34. Marc


    All I seen of it was the headline on the Sky news website about her pulling a stunt.

    I think I heard something on the news yesterday about it being her first live appearance for years – is that true?

  35. Jamie

    Madonna’s performance would’ve improved 100-fold if she had maneuvered her eye patch to cover her mouth instead.

    Old lady needs to go home. She’s finished at the top level, but desperate to stay relevant.

  36. Receding Hairline

    Graham the final feels a bit delayed to me. The league ended a week too early or one might even say two weeks too early.

    Why play so many matches at once when there was time to space it out

  37. Un na naai

    None of this proves that Emery is scouting his own players. It is pure speculation being driven by you and Pierre amongst others who all seem to think Emery has the same power over Arsenal that Wenger had.

    He’s attending games checking out in olayers he wants. I’d say it’s the very definition of scouting wouldn’t you? I know you’re desperately trying to cling to the idea that he’s not responsible for the transfer and contract shit show but it’s been made very clear now, he’s pulled Ramsey’s contract, he brought in Suarez, he wanted Banega and he’s now scouting new signings, evidenced by…….emery attending games and scouting for new signings

    It doesn’t get any more black and white yet here you are claiming it’s pink!!!

  38. Just Another Customer

    Just end this season with a positive note ot may change the optic a bit.

    But screw the optic as long as we get into Champions League which means we might attract more players that way.

    It’s a more solid foundation rather than stuck in this Evropa League for yet another season.

  39. HighburyLegend

    “The HEAT is finally here, and football is over… so a straight swap out. Football for summer. I’ll take it. But only if the Champions League final goes the way of Liverpool…”

    Amazing… pedro really don’t give a shit about our ELC final.

  40. bennydevito

    Graham62May 19, 2019    16:09:37

    What’s everyone’s take on the Eurovision?

    UK last place. Not surprising.

    The rest of the world hates us so much.

    Is it because of colonial rule? Or is it because of the reputation of our Aiya Naper brigade? You know the ones. Loud, disgusting and ignorant to other cultures.

    Maybe it’s because they know we’re not that concerned about the cockeyed event.

    How come Israel and frigging Australia are allowed to enter?

    At least Graham Norton provides some entertainment.



    Russia were in it too. I think it’s grown beyond just being a European nation competition but rerains its name and identity.

    We always do terribly don’t we? I think you’re right that there is a political motive in the voting based probably on our colonial past, our continued meddling and invading of middle eastern countries for their resources and yes, the brits abroad, the Aya Napa brigade you’re absolutely right. We’re like a mob of marauding Tommeh the tit Robinsons and drunken football hooligans rolled into one, treating the locals with disrespect, getting drunk and coked up smashing the place up and shouting racist abuse at everyone. I went to Cyprus, Majorca and Faliraki in the past with an ex and have seen it for myself, shameful.

  41. Un na naai

    Colonial past?

    Not like the Germans, Romans, Spaniards French and Turks ever invaded neighbouring nations is it? Ottoman and German Empires were the worst in “European” history.

    Napolian? Spanish Armada? Roman Empire? French Dutch and Belgian colonies of Africa anyone? Maybe some of you need a history lesson.

  42. bennydevito

    Un nai,

    But how do you know he’s there scouting players he wants? How do you know he wasn’t sent there by Raul? How do you know he was even there scouting at all and wasn’t just taking a quick break back home before the final?

    You don’t! It’s pure speculation! 😂

    And as for Benega we have NEVER made 1 single enquiry for him. That was nothing but media speculation that Ballague stated as much.

    But you keep on spinning your speculation as fact if it makes you happy.

  43. Words on a Blog

    Looking at Man City and Liverpool throughout the season, in terms of how consistent they have been and how strongly they have finished and the strengths of their first 11s and overall squad, it is clear that they are both miles ahead of Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and Man U, who were all abject for the last 10 matches or so of the season and at times seemed to be competing to discover novel ways not to finish in the top 4.

    Next season, it’s likely that the Man C juggernaut continues with a few more (expensive) additions and replacements to their squad. Liverpool will do the same. So they are both likely to be well ahead of the “chasing” (limping?) pack.

    Chelsea face a transfer ban.
    Man U will spend a lot of money, probably foolishly, as they have in the recent past.
    Spurs will face stadium cost related financial constraints, and possibly, the departure of Special Sauce Poch, (to Juventus?) as it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to make sufficient funds available to him to strengthen the squad.

    So if that’s the case, provided that we (I.eRaul, Cagigao, amd Emery) don’t eff things up too much in the transfer window, we have a better chance of getting top 4 with hopefully a strengthened defence and midfield, and maybe a winger.

    I’d also say that Emery should focus on the cups (FA, Carabao and Europa/ECL) as it’s unlikely we get very close to Man C and Liverpool. In that context, Emery’s strength as a “reactive” manager focusing on negating the qualities of the opposition, may be helpful.

  44. Un na naai

    I went to Cyprus, Majorca and Faliraki in the past with an ex and have seen it for myself, shameful.

    I’ll agree with you on this, utterly cringeworthy. Have you been to Paris, Malmo, Cologne or Sicily lately though? Not the Brits behaving like pigs.

    Or the Irish acting like animals all over Oz?

  45. Un na naai

    I generally tend to keep away from any where popular with our own as it’s so shameful. Croatia is generally unspoiled by moronic Brits abroad so the people are always lovely. Same as Scandinavia. Really want to try Montenegro but I’ve heard the people are quite rude and unaccommodating

  46. bennydevito

    We don’t need a history lesson it’s well known by most people that the British Empire was the worst, invaded the most and is the most recent. After all after the break up of the ottoman Empire Palestine and much of the middle east went back into British Empire hands and the lines on the maps and the borders in the middle east today were drawn up by the British Empire after www.

    Not only that but the British commonwealth still exists and we very much are still seen as the ruling nation over many others.

    We’ve also got the worst reputation as tourists abroad for our yobbish neanderthal behaviour than any other nation.

    It’s no surprise we came last.

  47. bennydevito

    Sorry Pedro,

    When are we confirming Edu and what role could we bring Bergkamp in to do? I want him coaching the attacking youngsters like he did at Ajax, and his latest interview that Un nai posted sounds pretty much like a come and get me plea to Arsenal.

  48. Un na naai

    We don’t need a history lesson it’s well known by most people that the British Empire was the worst, invaded the most and is the most recent

    Tut tut

    Nazi Germany ended in 1946 (most recent)80 million dead
    Islamic invasion of India killed 400 million Hindus and Sikhs

    Ottoman Empire was still alive and kicking in the 1940s/50s too.

  49. Un na naai

    Yeah. Nowhere better in Europe
    Stunning, cheap, friendly and only a two and half hour flight.

  50. bennydevito

    Un nai,

    Again: nothing in that article PROVES Emery was there scouting. It is pure speculation on the article’s part. Nothing from Arsenal saying Emery was there looking at players.

    And even if Emery was there looking at players we still don’t know what ones and if he was ordered there by Raul or made his own decision to go.

    At this point it is all speculation. He could easily have been there having a break.

    If we do end up signing anyone who played in that game, unless Emery says otherwise we still won’t know if he was there specifically to scout said player or a decision was made to sign that player retrospectively after someone caught Emery’s eye.

    All speculation at this point.

  51. Receding Hairline

    Even if Emery was looking at a player yesterday what does that have to do with anything?

    Last summer Sven was clearly in charge of transfers.. Is that also being argued? He is no longer here so what happens while we sit around waiting for a TD? Nothing? Besides I don’t buy anyone needing to watch a match to see Thomas Partey

  52. bennydevito

    Yes Un, and the British Empire outlasted the Nazis hence handing over Palestine to Israel in 1948 it took over from the Ottomon empire after ww1. 1948 being 2 years after 1946.

    The ottoman empire ended after ww1 it git broke up. The British Empire still existed and still does, only recently giving back Hong Kong to China in 2997. We still own the Falklands and Gibraltar and many other territories.

    It is you I would suggest needs the history lesson.

  53. Words on a Blog

    Ozil and his fiancée broke fast with the New Ottoman Caliph Erdogan yesterday…..

    I’m really hoping that this is his PR team preparing the ground for a megabucks (to be honest even minbucks will do) transfer to an Erdogan favoured Turkish team next season.

  54. Nelson

    “It doesn’t get any more black and white yet here you are claiming it’s pink!!!”

    Shouldn’t it be grey? 🙂

  55. Un na naai


    While we are taking empires how many millions of Africans have been murdered, forced into slavery or subjugated by Islam?
    British empire was the worst… where do you go to school in your garden shed?

    Palestine was a barren wasteland until the Jews resumed control of the homeland they were driven from. And yes it was handed over by our government. The empire had long since passed.
    If that qualifies as the British empire then is Isis and the invasion of Europe by Middle East and North Africa the Islamic empire? Was it the American empire that invaded the Middle East?

    We can all toy with words and concepts until they fall in line with our viewpoint.

    And why would the club give a press conference stating emery is on a scouting mission for HIS OWN players that he wants for the team HE is building? How often did they release info like that during Wenger’s reign? Just accept it, emery is there scouting.

    Or is he on holiday?
    Or is he being forced by Raul for a player he’d rather not have to manage when he could have Suarez or Banega?

  56. Champagne Charlie

    “British empire was the worst… where do you go to school in your garden shed?“


  57. CG


    “”Raul signed off the Ozil deal. –

    No he didn’t he joined in Feb.

    He signed of the Mikki deal –

    No he didn’t he joined in Feb. “””

    Do you really ( REALLY) believe Raul waddled into the Arsenal on Feb 1st and had no SAY in what happened in the January transfer window that has just preceded it ??? Really…..

    His official starting date may have been 1st Feb****. But Rauls grubby fingerprints were all over those hectic deals that Jan.

    He signed off on Ozil excessive deal!
    He signed off on Mikkis excessive deal!

    He then thought it was sensible to appoint a functional, anti- flair, football coach in Emery and think it would be work out harmoniously.

    How the hell did Raul think Emery,Mikki and Raul would work well together …???

    If you allow a football agent to run the show- dont be surprised to witness conflicts of interest and incompetence everywhere.

    He is typical agent . And He choose Emery strategically – like a Chess Grandmaster chooses his next move.. …

    And you continue to be ridiculously naive.

    ***Wenger- recommended Vieria before his official starting date

    You clearly have no idea- how the real world works…

    Frightening naivety…

  58. Un na naai


    I’d take that with a pinch of salt
    No chance is emery blowing a limited budget on an 18 year old centre half who won’t reach maturity for another 4 years when our defence is leaking like the the titanic today.

  59. CG

    Raul strategically also ushered the much admired Dortmund Eye out the door- as quickly as possible

    Likewise , the popular Rambo

    And he is the process of appointing a Brazillian ( how absurd is that) on a gargantuan contract as Tech Dir.

    He is a very dangerous shark.
    Watch him- like a hawk…..

  60. Un na naai


    If we do win the Europa League as nice as it won’t change the fact that emery has underwhelmed this season. The EL is his get out of jail card. Should he lose the final then the season would end on a catastrophic note for him, the club and us, the fans.

  61. Un na naai

    Would anyone take a chance on Gotze and Hummels? I’d take Hummels. Could get 3-4 years out of a legend like him. Doubt he’d join us though.

  62. Receding Hairline

    Winning the Europa league gets us straight into the group stages of the champions league and will be our first European trophy since when?

    Yea fourth place is where its at, the fourth missed by a point or the third missed by two,that’s what all of us live for, who needs a European cup final, the one you all desperately wanted Wenger to sign off with, it’s now just a get out of jail card for a man in his first season.

    The nonsense

  63. Dissenter

    Are you surprised that the same people that wanted a manager with zero experience in the name of pizzaz are demonstrating fantastical thinking?

  64. Dissenter

    We haven’t won a European trophy in 25 years and the condescension of the trophy is laughable
    The same Ajax that reached the CL; semifinals were proudly contesting in the Europa league just two seasons ago.
    CG and is ilk just brings to life the type of fans that supported Wenger as he destroyed his own legacy.

  65. Receding Hairline

    Dissenter not really surprised. This clamor for ex-players as managers baffle me. The Copy cat approach won’t get us anywhere. We can chat our own course not try to recreate the Pep effect or the Zidane effect.

  66. Un na naai


    Wether you admit it or not, failing at the final hurdle in the league was never part of the plan to focus on a knockout competition with as you lot out it “a substandard squad”
    Let’s not pretend getting to the final was part of some grand master plan that included the signing of Denis Suarez.

    And all of a sudden you’re some global footballing sage? Looking down on Hummels with nothing to offer yourself? Chubby balding little man

  67. Receding Hairline

    Getting to the final of the Europa league was actually part of the plan from the beginning. In fact many on here saw it as our only realistic route back into the champions league. That was before we all got our different agendas.

    Only one pretending it’s a massive disappointment is you.

  68. Receding Hairline

    Yes I’m looking down at a 30 year old who has been on a gradual decline lately and who will command a big salary, guess you didn’t get the memo on bringing down the wage bill.

    Your lack of education shows when you write on here, I chuckled to myself when you went on a rant earlier about Brits being rowdy abroad, you are rowdy on here.

  69. Un na naai


    I’m not aboard dumb dumb. I’m at home.

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱
    You claim to be so highly educated then fold every single time Champagne Charlie holds one of your flimsy claims to the candle before raking you over the coals.

  70. Graham62


    “CG and his ilk just brings to life the type of fans that supported Wenger as he destroyed his own legacy”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  71. Un na naai

    Uncanny how your knowledge on world football is all of a sudden top notch when someone expresses admiration for a player yet fails spectacularly asked to remove your chubby balding arse from the fended it’s perched on.

  72. Receding Hairline

    Leave Charles alone and argue for yourself… I have never folded during an argument with him,saying your piece and moving on isn’t folding.
    Same way I will now ignore you,doesn’t mean I have folded, simply means I have come to my senses and realized you aren’t worth the effort.

    Your chubby balding lines are pathetic, haven’t you watched any teenage flicks lately battle angel?

  73. Marc

    “He signed off on Ozil excessive deal!
    He signed off on Mikkis excessive deal!

    No they are not facts, not even close to being facts or how the real world works – Sanllehi was appointed by Gazidis to work under him. Do you really think Gazidis needed permission from a subordinate whether to do a deal? You’re not naïve you’re somewhere between deluded and fucking la la.

    “But Rauls grubby fingerprints were all over those hectic deals that Jan.” The only finger prints on those deals were those of Gazidis.

    It’s also strange how you claim Sanllehi was working whilst on gardening leave on the Ozil and Miki deals but won’t give him the same credit for the Auba deal that has been a major success. We haven’t had a golden boot winner for 7 years and your hero sold that player at the end of that season to ManU!

  74. mysticleaves

    I saw this very interesting quote. I thought I should share. It’s very revisionist and next level. No wonder Barca are ahead of the curve in most things.

    “I don’t know how many signings there will be in the transfer window,” Valverde said. “That’s for the club to decide. I am part of that process but there are others who have their input. We have to build the best team possible.”

    Or, maybe, that’s how clubs with modern structure (which Arsenal is now a part of) works. lols

  75. mysticleaves

    “Let’s not pretend getting to the final was part of some grand master plan that included the signing of Denis Suarez.”

    Beating Chelsea to the EL was the way most (if not all) fans on le grove thought we would get back to ucl, even Pedro. Let’s not change the tune now.

  76. Un na naai


    Since when? We had champions league qualification in our hands and blew it already more than once this season.
    That’s a failure. The only thing that will save his season is a win v Chelsea now. If not then we’re are up shit creek with just £40m to spend and a manager that doesn’t know how to coach an already creaking defence after £70m worth of upgrades.

  77. Marc


    The sensible moderate posters on here all accept that the management structure of the club has been changed. There are on going issue’s such as Sven leaving and the delays in bringing in a Tech Dir but we do not have a single person deciding on who we sign, what we pay and what they earn.

    The stupid thing is we never had that when Wenger joined, it’s been a relatively recent thing. When Wenger joined David Dein was acting as a DOF, Wenger would identify players he liked / positions he wanted to strengthen and Dein would do the deals.

    Beyond Pedro likes the number of posts the clown school generate I can’t understand why he puts up with them. 5 years ago he would have binned them in 5 minutes.

  78. Words on a Blog


    Takuma Asano is coming back, but it’s not because Hannover don’t want him – that’s just a cover story.

    The real reason is because Emery is flexing his muscles on the Recruitment front, and he insisted that he wanted him back, over Cagigao’s objections…

  79. Words on a Blog


    Surely you got the memo – this is no place for sensible moderates.

    Spanish takeover.

    Emery out.

    Arteta is Our Basque Jesus – Emery out.

  80. Marc

    Again this £70 million worth of upgrades is twisting the truth although usually they also mention 5 signings. The money we spent was spread across a GK, a CB and 2 midfielders one of which was a 19 year old from the French 2nd division. Now if we look at the signings on an individual basis:

    Leno – Really good signing especially when you look at what some keepers were going for in the summer.

    Sok – Solid but not spectacular signing likes a card a little too much for my liking but there could be a bit of getting used to the pace of the PL in that.

    Torreira – Faded in the 2nd half of of the season but I’m happy to give him the benefit of the doubt after moving from a slower league, going to the WC qtr’s and not having a pre season.

    Guendozi – bought as a prospect. Looked good first half of the season and again faded. Needs to improve but that’s why he’s a prospect. Second season will be crucial.

    I genuinely thought a new manager would get the defence sorted quicker and Emery hasn’t managed that. Personal are certainly an issue and Emery’s going to have to show a marked improvement next season. The big question is can we shift the players who are a major part of the problem.

  81. Champagne Charlie


    Out of curiosity are the “sensible moderates” the same folk who were labelling Wenger a senile old cunt?

    Curious how someone isn’t sensible according to you because they don’t share your views. Follows a pattern with you.

  82. Marc


    I never got on board with calling Wenger that and I have always maintained the line against most views that hiss time at the club should not be viewed over 2 periods – successful and rubbish but 3, successful followed by the stadium move and then losing it.

    I’ve also previously commented that it’s a crying shame that he destroyed an amazing legacy by not knowing when to call it quits. If he’d have gone after the Hull Cup win much of the previous few years would’ve be forgotten.

  83. vickingz

    I don’t understand people clamouring for ziyech, you lot think iwobi won’t be beating ziyech in everything if he’s playing in eredivise? We need street ballers as wingers, this nigerian in Villarreal comes to mind. Just exchange him with iwobi, lobatan.

  84. mysticleaves

    sensibility is long gone in these quarters my friend. I bet even Pedro wishes CG was articulate or sensible but he’s good for business so why ban? lol

  85. CG


    Thanks for the post.

    You clearly have such ‘inbuilt’ Sycophantic personality traits- that had Arsenal FC foistered upon as a Robert Mugabe and Theresa May Managerial Dream Team- you would be singing the clubs praises for it

    Appointing Emery was a chronic mistake
    Promoting Raul to Head of Football was also a chronic mistake.

    They have no track record of success
    They are mediocre
    They are incredibly lucky to be in their posts ( Kroenkes to blame ultimately)

    Just accept it.,man

    Because its foolish to defend the indefensible.

    We can and must do better than these two Rejects.

  86. Un na naai


    Out of curiosity what is it that you find so offensive to warrant banning someone from commenting? Disagreeing with you on emery?

    Also are you claiming that emery is not choosing his own players to sign after clearly being reported by 5 news papers to be scouting in Madrid?

  87. Un na naai

    Is arteta not being employed in a coaching capacity by Manchester City? Amazing how the fitness team gains so much credit on these pages yet the manager’s go to guy is seems as useless.

    No wonder Pedro has labelled you flat earthed mongs

  88. Marc


    I’ve never thought Emery was more than a stepping stone, a steady pair of hands to allow us to get things under control and then move forward. Sanllehi was at Barca for 14 odd years (no track record? they didn’t win anything in that period?) and was promoted during that time. With that in mind I’m prepared to give him some time to see what he can do.

    The personality traits you paint me with are a reflection of you. My loyalty is Arsenal, when Wenger was past it I wanted him gone, if Emery doesn’t win the EL and is tanking by Christmas then he’ll be gone as well. The sycophantic traits you speak of are an inability to see Wenger was finished combined with an on going hatred of those who have replaced him.

    Let’s turn the psychology the other way. Why do you constantly bring up their nationalities? City have a Spanish DOF and manager they seem to be doing OK. You lay blame for things that happened before Sanllehi officially joined us yet won’t offer the credit the other way over the Auba signing.

    It all paints a very simple picture of someone with a major grudge who’s unwilling to judge each change with a clear mind.

    That’s it for me for now. Food to do and there seems to be what could be a good film on Film4.

  89. Dissenter

    Please stop referring to Marc as “mystic”

    There’s only one mystic…and it’s mysticleaves

  90. Dissenter

    How come the former Barca executives at city [ Soriano and Txiki Begiristain] get praise all the time but Raul Sanllehi can’t get any respect at all from the clowns of legrove?

  91. CG


    “””I’ve never thought Emery was more than a stepping stone, a steady pair of hands to allow us to get things under control””

    Since when have we become a stepping stone for anyone?
    How about innovation….

    Steady pair of hands.. ?what Are we digging up land mines in The Congo…

    And if things go badly awry( which they will) with the New Regime- do we look for another ‘stepping stone appointment – to get us under control.?

    What other major clubs appoint ‘stepping stone’ managers?

    I wish you a good ebening
    You are in total denial

  92. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Clubs dead
    Like the black taxi game in London….

    Like kestrel lager

    It’s dead

    Big stadium small ideas
    Small stadium big club

    Bring my arsenal back

  93. Valentin


    When you asked my opinion on French/Ligue 1 Goalkeeper, I mentioned Mike Maignan. Tonight he has just been voted best Ligue 1 Goalkeeper by his peers.

    He is one of the few goalkeepers who not only stop shots, but also catch corners and crosses instead of just punching them away.

  94. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    I really no longer care if it do well or fails

    Highbury the home

    Emeraites a conduit for laundering I’ll gotten gains

  95. englandsbest


    It was not crystal-gazing or the horse’s mouth that, at the turn of the year, made many of us conclude that the best hope of CL qualification lay in Arsenal winning the Europa Cup.

    There were five clubs with superior squads to Arsenal, no players of note were added, and we had a manager with a habit of winning the ‘Losers’ cup.

    Opportunities arose in PL. Chelsea tripped, Spurs stumbled, but only Man U fell.

  96. TheLegendaryDB10


    The club is dead RSPCA
    Dein leaving and leaving Highbury was the end of arsenal.

    You are more right than you thought. And you gotta have to give kudos to AW for this magnificent coup.

    This club is paralysed with complacency. All we have now is suits who are now just chasing this top 4 fable that AW promised them on a silver plate.

    Indeed I blame AW. I blame him.for being more worried about himself, even though he banked himself circa £100 million + in wages over the last 10 years. Instead of caring for the club, he only cared for himself. He bought dross who would be more happy to bank their obscene pay than actually do something worthwhile like winning a major trophy.

    The problem with our club is that we have 0 footbslling people on our board. No one to put the record straight on our footballing philosophy an ID. And this is what makes me sick. I am supporting a football club with people who are not even interested in winning anything. And this starts with the owner. His only remit is to get back in the top 4 so that he can make CL money and grow the value of The club. Nothing more.

    We’ve been totally screwed.

    As much as I want to put some faith in this summer’s TW, I am being very cynical in the actual outcome of our TW comes the closing day. I just do not trust them to do their all to do a good job.

    Kroenke is the worst thing that could have happened to us. His laisser-faire attitude will bring down our club to its knees. It only invited greedy people with no ambition in making out club actually competitive.

  97. Valentin


    he was in the list for two or less years on his deal.

    Who and what are you referring to?

    My last comment was about Mike Maignan, the French goalkeeper of the LOSC (Lille).
    I just learned today why Mike Maignan is so good with his feet. It is because before switching to goalkeeper he was a decent striker. He is really the archetype of the future goalkeeper: tall, catches rather than punches, good reflex, comfortable with his feet.

  98. Moray

    I like the sound of the SoccerBot, Pedro. If Arteta isn’t responsible for putting out fines any more, is he responsible for working this machine?

  99. Gonsterous

    Any one like the look of claude Maurice or would you prefer giving willock a go for the third striker role? Looks decent on YouTube but then so does Sanogoal.

  100. Freddie Ljungberg


    He looks pretty decent, hard to judge against that opposition though. Still, it’s the kind of players we have to take a punt on, we can’t wait until they cost 60m so sometimes we have to take the chance.
    Looks like he can play on the wings as well.

    Willock is not a striker, but if you mean Eddie I’ve never been that impressed with him, maybe he’ll come good after a loan spell but I have my doubts.

    Like William Saliba too, the 18 yo CB from St. Etienne, Tall, fast, good with his feet, can play out from the back.

    We have to start picking up the next 60-80m players before they cost that much and we can’t afford them anymore.

  101. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ziyech/Brandt + Saliba + Tierney + Claude Maurice would cost about the same as Palace wants for Zaha, 80m and would strengthen our team much more.

    Add in a CM like Doucoure or Partey and we’re one window away from challenging for the league again if it all works out.

    No reason we can’t do this if we can move some players on, don’t even have to sell any of our strikers.

    Chambers, Mustafi, Xhaka and Elneny would cover at least half of that. If we can’t find the remaining 60m we can pack it in already and stop pretending to be a big club. Half the PL will probably spend that or more this summer.

  102. Moray

    Great opinion piece from Jonathan Wilson on the state of Football. It has almost become like a Marvel film: assemble all the expensive players in one place and remove any peril by making them invincible. Football without excitement and regular upsets serving the giant corporate machines cannot continue in this vein; surely even the vacuous younger generations of fans will have had enough soon?

  103. Moray

    Freddie, that’s a good call. We need front line players who can come in and perform straight away but we also need strength in depth as the likes of Elneny, Iwobi and Jenks on the bench won’t fill anyone with confidence. Our problem is with both our first XI and our squad depth, which can only partly be mitigated using our youngsters.

  104. Freddie Ljungberg


    Yeah. I mean I would like a superstar winger to complete our attack but with a limited budget it’s better to take a punt on a kid with potential that can play on the wings and up front and fix our second biggest problem area after defence and replace Xhaka with someone much better, that is going to cost a bit though. Very much needed if we want to see any improvement next season.

    If we can get rid of Ozil and Mikhi we can add another Cam/winger to the mix.

    Do that now and we’ll be in a position next summer where we would only need a couple of additions and can spend our whole budget on them. Much preferable to just keep plugging holes with stopgaps every time and always needing 4-6 players.

  105. Un na naai


    I wouldn’t blame him entirely. He always had what he thought was the club’s best interests at heart. You shouldn’t doubt he loved the club but he was stuck in his times and perhaps his hubris was his downfall football wise.

    The stadium to me has nothing on Highbury. None of the rich and comforting aura of home. The marble halls, the history. The tight pitch and the fans being right on top of it. The old clock and the north bank.
    We’re the north bank we’re the north bank…..

    The club lost its soul the day it sold to kroenke. Gazidis was never an arsenal man. There is no arsenal identity or dna any more. No link to the fans. There’s not one player I’d consider a real arsenal man in the current squad either. Maybe some of the youngsters in time, which is why it is so important, now more than ever to bring some young blood into the team and develop that connection to the fans because I care less and less each year. They’ve sold off all the fan favourites and now we are stuck with ozil anf the rest.

    From top to bottom the club just has this distant quality now. Like an attraction behind a glass screen rather than the working man’s football club. Where you can talk to the players and shake their hand. Where your support feels valued.

    Spurs and Liverpool are an example to us in every single department.

  106. Freddie Ljungberg

    Un na

    Lille is also looking at him as a Pepe replacement, do we allow him to go there for 10m and then watch from the sidelines as someone else buys him for 60m in 2 years? Or do we take a punt? With the mismanagement of transfers and wages from the former administration this is the situation we’re in now.
    We also have a lot of positions to fill, all of them starters so we have to be smart about it. There’s not going to be any Pepe or Zaha coming in unless we sell one of our strikers.

  107. Un na naai


    We already have one of Europe’s most promising wingers at the club- Nelson.

    In all seriousness I have no idea how good Maurice can be as I haven’t watched a second of him playing but with gaping holes at the back right now I’d have thought that’s where we’d be looking at first and foremost? If we are going to recruit forward, wide positions then surely we want to be looking at someone who could come in and command a starting place and make an impact sooner rather than later though with one young and promising winger already at the club?

  108. Freddie Ljungberg

    Un na

    Even if Nelson was ready. Which he probably isn’t, we would still only have 1 winger at the club. If we can’t get rid of Ozil and we have to play him as Cam then getting an Ziyech/Brandt for one wing and a prospect on the other that can act as 3rd striker as well makes sense, we can’t depend on Auba and Laca both avoiding injury next season.

    I don’t see us making more than 2 max 3 additions in defence, but it’s not the only part of the team that’s weak and we’re in desperate need of reinforcement.