Cech and UEFA mess with our plans

by .

Nakhchivan restaurant, Baku, for FINE meats

It is official. Mikhi is out of the Europa League final. UEFA is kind of OK with a bit of casual racism, providing it’s putting football in countries that haven’t seen it at a high level before.

Smells bad people. Like your grandad’s nappy on a warm summer day. But are we surprised? Football’s governing bodies don’t care for anything outside cash money. FIFA literally let Qatar use slaves to build stadiums, their underlings were hardly going to buck scuzzy trends were they?

But what are Arsenal going to do about it? Boycott the game? Don’t be silly. There’s £80m riding on this match, that’s a lot of sparkly players, which is really all most British people need to forget any sort of human rights abuse questions, right people?

We were all pretty hunky dory about Silent Stan and his cute cowboy hat in the beginning— 10 years of soul destroying stagnation later, @JackMatchaBrew from St. Albans who is a disciple of beans on toast and a keen collector of vintage Panini stickers, is literally BEGGING for a man who allegedly threw an enemy in a vat of battery acid to take us out of our misery with a £190m investment in better players. We are a fickle bunch (but Jack, between me and you, I’m with you #GiveHimASeat).

It’s also a bit weird to lose your mind about this incident and be totally cool with that small sponsor from a certain country on our sleeves. I’m not saying Rwanda is a bad place, I’m not critiquing the wonderful people like an ignorant westerner, but Big Paul K, literally the Leo Messi of army generals, hasn’t exactly been Nelson Mandela of late (important read). A lot of good has gone on, no doubt, an OUTRAGEOUS turnaround job (think Rangnick taking RB from Div 4 to the Bundesliga), a progressive policy on plastic, an inviting hub for investment… but, as you’ve read, it’s not all great. 99% of the vote went to him in the last election, that kind of not great. We are taking money from a sponsor that might not be as classy as, say Emirates… no, that doesn’t work either… as say, Paddy Power… shit, they also crush lives… ok, let’s just say there’s a little bit of hypocrisy in calling for Arsenal to take a moral high ground this one time FOR NO BENEFICIAL REASON OUTSIDE FEELINGS.

… but here’s the thing, Vinai’s vision for the club is measured on feelings. If he was really ambitious, he’d shoot for this one big proud moment and take us out the comp. It’d be like the Kap advert, except we’d lose a shit tonne of money. But you know what, he won’t, and that’s my issue with the proud thing. We’re taking money from a strongman and we’ll just do our thing in Europa. I get it, I’d do the same, but my vision for Arsenal wouldn’t have been Tesco Proud Points.

We have to move forward, play the game, and shut the fuck up about all the surrounding bits and let the media start building hype about the actual match. No more sob stories about not being able to afford something expensive. No more petitions. No more crowd-pleasing ‘what we should do’ ideas. We’re playing the game.

So let’s talk about our goalkeeper. Petr Cech, in his last game ever. I think he should get the jersey, it’s the right thing to do, players are also very superstitious and… what?


To the bench Petr. You’ve been absolutely played here. Now you’re technically a Chelsea staffer, you cannot start.

How. Fucking. Dumb. This reminds me of the time we knew Cashers wanted to leave and we played him over Flamini in the Champions League final. DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

But, to counter, Mr Sarri is apparently the frontrunner for the newly open Juventus job. The Old Lady wants to play sexy football moving forward more in keeping with their flashy new brand, and CFC will let him go for £5m. Nothing like that as a little disruptor, am I right?

I was thinking about using racism against racism for winnertivity… hear me out. So Arsenal fans are good at the whole media thing. Let’s set up a fake Ancestry.com profile of Eden Hazard, make sure that it comes out as 80% Armenian. We’ll seed that news on social meeja using Arsenal fans to disseminate the misinformation like we dish out votes on internet polls. Then we’ll buy a banner plane and fly it over their equivalent of the TSA, it’ll say, ‘ASK FOR HIS DNA AT THE AIRPORT’. We’ll also flyer the city of Baku with well-produced advertising of his REAL nationality.

Hopefully, this will be enough to throw the authorities… he’ll be stopped at the airport. It takes two weeks for DNA to come through, we win the Europa, the WHOLE thing is a banterous scam, and the papers write how we used racism to prove that transfer clickbait is a scam… no… I’m getting mixed up. We used local racism to prove that love won’t help you cross a border. Ok, ok, I’m working on the case study narrative.

Scoff all you like… but do you have a better plan?

Back to Azerbaijan, I nominate Starapraga beer as the choice go-to. Why? Well, their website still uses flash, which is super vintage hipster. It’s a local beer… I found one called Afansa, with a really cool horse on it, but it was made by Carlsberg. This brand appears to be doing very well, stealing market share from the big boys, so it has an underdog spirit like Arsenal in this game.

Have one, and let me know how it goes.



497 Responses to “Cech and UEFA mess with our plans”

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  1. Words on a Blog


    Re Chambers, I’ve read a few Fulham blogs (saddo that I am) and I think for a good proportion of Fulham supporters he was their player of the season.

    I know it’s not saying much, but I think it’s fair to say he was a “stand-out player” for them. He’s paid around 25k/week so that should not detract from his transfer value

  2. gambon

    If we’re replacing Elneny with Palacios then I think its a good deal.

    Ramsey, not so much.

    We really do need someone that can come in and make a big impact. We also desperately need goals from players that arent called Aubameyang & Lacazette.

    Palacios is the type of player that could be superb in 2/3 years.

    Tielemans for me. Made a huge impact in his half season at Leicester.

  3. Emiratesstroller


    Gabriel had a decent reputation in Spain before we bought him. He was sold to Valencia for £9.90 according to Transfermarkt.

    Chambers is probably on the same level as Coquelin who fetched well below your valuation.

  4. gambon

    Chambers isnt on £25k per week

    Hes been at Arsenal 5 years, signed 2 contract extensions, and has played 83 games for us.

  5. Words on a Blog


    Re Chambers’ wages, I’ve seen £25k/week quoted in a number of places.

    Also seen £50k/week and £70k/week quoted!!!!

    Who knows what the reality is. I guess if he stays, or if he goes for a song, the upper end of the quoted spectrum will represent the truth

  6. Words on a Blog

    I think we should be able to get £20m for him:

    1) English
    2) Young
    3) good PL experience
    4) Versatile – can play CB, CDM or (at a pinch) RB
    5) Plays with a great deal of commitment (Fulham)

    I can easily see a low/mid table PL team taking him on for that kind of price

  7. Emiratesstroller


    If you can get £20 million for Chambers I would jump at the offer. However, his
    current valuation on Transfermarkt is just £12.60 million which is less than Coquelin.

    I will be very interested to see how much is offered and accepted by Arsenal should they decide to sell both Mustafi and Chambers + Elneny.

    My expectation is that we would realise maybe £40 million for the three players at most, which would cover one decent purchase.

  8. gambon

    Burnley paid £15m for Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough
    Everton paid £27m for Yerry Mina
    Leicester paid £19m for Caglar Soyuncu
    They also paid £13m for a CB from Zagreb
    Bournemouth paid £25m for Jefferson Lerma
    West Ham paid £22m for Issa Diop
    Brighton paid £15m for Yves Bissouma
    Huddersfield paid £18m for Terrence Kongolo
    Southampton paid £22.5m for Vestegaard
    Fulham paid £22m for Anguissa, and £15m for Alfie Mawson – and CHambers outperformed both comfortably.

    We wont struggle to sell Chambers.

  9. gambon

    “However, his
    current valuation on Transfermarkt is just £12.60 million which is less than Coquelin.”

    Every player I listed above moved for more than their ‘transfer valuation’

  10. gambon

    Fulham spent £37m on Anguissa (DM) and Mawson (CB)

    Chambers played more than both combined.

    Hes a good player, with a good reputation. If he had more pace he would be an Arsenal player, no doubt.

    Easily get £20m for him,

  11. Champagne Charlie

    Just to reiterate what’s been stated before on here by some about our stature and appeal. Former Barcelona man feels he has plenty “ammunition” in the transfer market when selling us:

    And Sanllehi said targets have asked for assurances of what level of European football Arsenal will be playing in next season.

    “It is something which comes into the conversations,” Sanllehi said. “Fortunately enough the image of Arsenal is strong enough.

    “Of course the fact we have not been in the Champions League for two years and we’re in question mark now for next season, that’s not helpful.”

    Sanllehi added: “We have a lot to offer a player. I don’t feel in disadvantage with anybody. The Premier League is exciting for any player in the world. London, Arsenal, the history, the dimension of the club, the stadium, the facilities at Colney, the fan base, the followers around the world and the exposure.

    “I feel like I have a lot of ammunition when I talk with players to engage them in our project.”

  12. Ishola70

    Gambon doesn’t want to see that Xhaka is a liability for the team defensively.

    He must think it’s all about the defenders. Replace those and all will be hunky dory. Well no it won’t as long as opposition keep sailing past Xhaka central.

    I think Gambon must like the idea of the deep lying play maker. So long as he looks alright on the ball then be damned with other areas which make an overall player.

    I don’t think Xhaka will be going anywhere soon either and whoever just recently improved and lengthened his contract needs shooting but it would not be for his “importance” Ticking the ball over and a few long sprayed passes which find their target occasionally is not high importance to me or others.

  13. Dissenter

    Chambers best performances for Fulham was sitting in front of the back four. I think he should deputize for Torriera.
    He’s a lot better than Elneny. He can also play CB and RB if push comes to shove. He’s our real utility player,
    Personally I wouldn’t sell Chambers.

  14. Words on a Blog


    Re Raul’s “ammunition”.

    He did sound very persuasive – he persuaded this gullible individual (me).

    Let’s hope he also manages to persuade a few decent players to come on over to the Arsenal.

  15. Words on a Blog


    I disagree, but only because Bielik, a (younger) and very similar player who is much more cultured and assured on the ball, is also on our books.

    We should integrate Bielik into the first team squad, and realise value by selling Chambers.

  16. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal’s ammunition when we buy is the wages we are prepared to pay.

    Unfortunately when we want to sell players that is an obstacle.


    As I said I would jump at an offer of £20 million for Chambers. However, the
    transfer fees you quoted are for players probably on much lower wages.

    Let’s see how much additional transfer budget Arsenal manage to generate this summer.

  17. Dissenter

    Raul was the deals man for Barcelona. He handled the convoluted Neymar deal and managed not to get charged with any crime.
    He knows what he’s talking about, that’s what he’s been doing with his adult life.
    I’m pretty sure you haven’t been dealing football business in the back room so he’s more trustworthy than you in this regard.

  18. Leedsgunner

    Elneny should be sold for £10m to £15m and his spot and game time to Joe W.illock. Put those sale proceeds towards a dominant defender or a left back.

    Another position I wouldn’t waste any transfer funds on is a back up goalkeeper. Martinez has done well on loan and he is hungry to prove himself. If we don’t trust him, sell him. He should fetch £5m. Again, put those proceeds into a dominant defender or a good left back… and promote Ilev. We are linked with a U20 German international on a free… fair enough. Ospina does not want to come back here, sell him on even for £3m and put those funds to better use.

    If Chambers is rated highly by Fulham we should approach them to do a part exchange plus cash for Chambers for Segnesson… for someone not yet 20 he has impressive first team experience… including obviously the EPL..

    Bearing in mind that Chambers is on a long contract his value should be £20m-£25m meaning that if we were willing to give a further £15m-£20m we should be able acquire a great up and coming left back. If we sell Elneny and Martinez smartly, we would have those funds… without impacting the main transfer kitty very much.

    If we want a young defender to challenge Holding, promote Bielik and Medley… and perhaps send Mavropanos on loan.

    If we think they are not good enough to challenge either send them out on loan or sell them on. We need to be more decisive and ruthless with our youth players.

    It’s not about complaining about what we don’t have but being more proactive with what we do have and acting decisively.

  19. gambon

    Im not a fan of putting CBs in midfield. They always lack the technique to move the ball around and break lines.

    Bielik looks interesting. Really made a mistake sending him to Charlton on loan, shouldve been a higher level loan.

    I think we will sell both.

  20. Champagne Charlie


    It’ll be a telling summer, he’s been brought in to achieve such things so his appointment is under scrutiny based on his returns.

    Lip service is one thing.

    On the Chambers debate…
    Don’t see why we couldn’t get 15+ mil comfortably for him, and Mustafi is 25+ mil in my book.

    Gambon hit the nail dead on when saying others don’t see some of our players in the manner we do. Chambers has proven himself useful, and Mustafi has still be out most used player this season (which as a selling point to others…).

  21. Dissenter

    I know we have had this conversation before.
    Chambers has had loans at premier league clubs, Bielik’s Linda have been with league 21clubs.
    Who do you trust more to slot In seamlessly if called upon?
    They’re re two divisions between Chambers and Beilik.

  22. Valentin

    Part 1 of the interview was ridicule because it was snake oil sales pitch to gullible supporters.

    Part 2 has a little more meat, but still light in overall strategy. Nothing in term of deadline/milestone. How many years to be competing for the league? How will the integration of U21 players into the first team take place?

  23. Champagne Charlie


    I’m not convinced you’ll get Chambers moving to the championship. He’s a decent football with a contract at Arsenal, if he moves it’ll likely be to a PL stalwart like Palace.

  24. Dissenter

    Raul looked like someone who’s not accustomed to working in front of cameras. He’s that guy no one sees pulling deals off in the shadows. He needs to work on his presentation skills.

  25. Dissenter

    Why do we expect that they will spill all the beans on their strategy in front of the cameras?
    This is a case of judge them by their actions [or inactions.

  26. Words on a Blog


    Re Bielik, in the end it’ll be Raul, Emery and the Technical team’s call. (I know I’ll never be able to persuade you!)

    For what it’s worth, Jeorge Bird, whose blog follows Arsenal youth and players on loan, rates Bielik more highly than Chambers….

  27. Leedsgunner

    Champagne Charlie

    If Palace was willing to do a deal, I’m all for it. £35m plus Chambers for Zaha would money well spent. Don’t think they will go for it though.

    Plus, we should be all over the promoted clubs Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa/Derby with our surplus players. They would be more than interested in EPL experience rich players like Mustafi, Elneny and Ospina.

  28. Words on a Blog


    As an executive listening to an internal presentation, I would expect far more detail and timelines in Raul’s talk.

    But it’s fair to say, for a corporate piece from Arsenal’s executive management to the fans, it was very open and reasonably detailed. I’m not sure there are any other comparable executive outlines of strategy at rival clubs that I’ve come across.

  29. gambon

    Also, TV money is up again from next season.

    So mid and lower PL teams will again have more to play with.

    Selling our unwanted players wont be too hard.

  30. Words on a Blog


    I think the integrity of your £20m valuation of Chambers is secure – provided he’s not being paid £70k/week as is quoted by some sources!

  31. englandsbest

    My take is that Sanlehi/Emery will sell off any of the players they get a decent offer for, and try to get rid of others (like Ozil) for nothing.

    The kind of transfer fees mooted by some on here are plain daft, not because the players are not worth that kind of fee, but because their wage demands will be too high.

  32. Steveyg87

    “Raul was the deals man for Barcelona. He handled the convoluted Neymar deal and managed not to get charged with any crime.”

    Brilliant. & his words regarding Arsenal not being a tough sell to the players, its difficult to disagree

  33. Leedsgunner

    I said earlier we need to be more decisive with our youth players. This means we need to give them a chance to prove themselves in first team football… but what does this mean?

    Earlier this year, Emery stated that that he sees to mean firstly, including them in first team training.

    However, we need to do more than that. We need to play our best youngsters more exposure in cup games so that our main squad is fresher for the EPL and hopefully the Champion’s League.

    Bearing in mind how W.illock and Nketiah took their chances against Burnley I hope they get more of a look in not just in the pre season but in the next campaign. They deserve the chance to be regular squad players like Guendouzi.

    English youngsters, because of the Sancho factor are well sought after now., especially by German clubs. If we don’t give them a chance they’ll be cherry picked by the likes of BvB and Bayern.

    We have a particularly rich crop of youngsters at the moment… nurtured very well by Ljungberg we must not lose them. Why not promote him to Assistant Manager? Then he can advise Emery directly who is most ready for the first team.

  34. Gbat

    After seeing the interview, I feel that for the first time in years that they have an actual plan. And if they stick to what they say, I’m expecting to see Ozil, Mustafi and Mkhitaryan leave.

    And they made the right call in pulling Ramsey’s contract.

  35. Pierre

    Apparently Emery sends out instructions for the type of players he wants as he’s not allowed to make those decisions off his own back .

    I would imagine the instructions are along these lines in level of importance.

    1) must track back
    2)must run, run and run a bit more .
    3) not show displeasure when substituted.( If not marginalized)
    4) must smile and wave to the crowd when substituted , giving a high 5 to the manager on exiting the pitch.(if not marginalized)
    6) must not look confused by the manager’s continual arm waving and gesturing on the touch line.( If not marginalized)
    7) must not have a nap when watching the never ending coaching videos ( if not marginalized)
    8) nod your head in agreement whenever the manager is issuing you with instructions even if you haven’t a clue what he is on about..( if not marginalized)

    If in any doubt ask Iwobi as he has mastered all of these, though he does look a little gormless at times but that is fine as he will run and run to the cows come home , plus he is good at nodding his head when given instructions and never shows displeasure at being substituted or benched ….hence iwobi will never be marginalised as he has the perfect profile for an Emery type player.

  36. Words on a Blog


    Look, we know you don’t rate Emery, and that’s fine.

    Bit it’s clear he’s here until next season.

    And if there’s no improvement in the team’s performances and results at that point in time, under the new structure, he’s very likely to be out.

    In the meanwhile, the players must track back……

  37. englandsbest

    Let’s be frank, in the Wenger years Arsenal home-produced Ashley Cole, and pretty much nobody else. Guys like Cesc, Theo, Ox were filched from other clubs. Wenger’s ‘British backbone’ turned out be nothing more than another of his vain boast..

    Compare with those he inherited from GG: Adams, Parlour, Merson, etc.

    So it’s no surprise that Maitland-Niles, Willocks, Nketiah, etc didn’y get much game-time. Years in the Wenger home producer has thoroughly squelched any natural talent they might have possessed.

  38. Leedsgunner

    Listening to Raul firsthand, I’ll give him this, he is much more convincing and articulate than Gazidas ever was… and he is in command of his brief.

    It could be still an illusion and just hot air but… I’m willing to see if he backs his impressive words with action this summer.

    I was encouraged especially at his repeated insistence that building the first team is a year long process, and the transfer window is just a crystallisation of all the preparation that happens beforehand. The absolute opposite of the previous manager…. thank goodness.

    Although, if this is true, what the heck happened in the winter transfer window just gone?!

    Well, as Arsenal fans, we’ve been here before. Talk is cheap. Action is what counts.

  39. Bob N16

    Sounds to me that there is at least one player who will only come if we have CL football. ST renewals have been delayed until the result of that game as it determines how much renewals will cost. If EL same price, if CL approx 15% more.
    A win next week pretty important you would say!

  40. Dissenter

    Raul is a football man through and through
    When Gazidis discussed football you just got the impression it was hot air from a polished attorney.
    With Raul it’s a bit different
    It’s nice that the club is at least TRYING to communicate with the fans
    Previously Wenger got hot under the collar when asked about how things worked behind the curtains. He would remind you about how many signings he’s made etc to dismiss the interviewer.