Ryan Fraser talk hots up – Wenger moves into tech

by & filed under News Review.

Well, whaaadya know… Danny Welbeck is rumoured to be joining Everton this summer.

Good for him. That looks like a good move. The England forward has been a solid servant for Arsenal, but he never really managed to unlock the next level in his game. Namely, he wasn’t that great at scoring goals, 32 in 120 odd appearances. A useful squad player, but really, in the end, he was just an expensive battering ram that picked up far too many injuries.

… but, we’ll always have Old Trafford Danny, what a moment to find your scoring boots. Also, he was part of that nearly moment when he scored that perfect header against Leicester at home when we thought we might win the league in 15/16. I loved that.

He might yet have a part to play in Baku. He’s travelled with the squad, he apparently scored 3 goals in the warm-up game, he’ll probably make the bench.

There are super hot rumours that we’re in for the MIGHTY Ryan Fraser. Some of the numbers being danced around are mental. £30m is what Bournemouth are looking for. The guy has one year on his deal, so that would be insanity. He’s a handy player and dropped numbers that are just as interesting as Zaha this season… however, I do worry about the one season wonder part of it. 15 assists and 8 goals is a decent return for a season, but the numbers before were flaccid at best, we’ve seen plenty of players over the years that do this, move up and tank (Danny Drinkwater). If we can land him as squad filler and not have to pay him SCOTTISH premium, then fine… but I personally think we’d be getting better value from someone like Hakim Zayich. Ryan Fraser feels a little Europa League in ambition, and we’re really don’t need to be there. Also, he’s 5ft4.

I really hope that Unai Emery doesn’t have a reaction to the laziness of Ozil this summer and solve it with a bunch of players that’ll bump up our running stats but struggle to deliver the extra magic we’ve desperately lacked. We can hire in sublime talent with power and pace. We shouldn’t lower our standards… which is why I guess I’d be more excited about Zaha. Firstly, he looks really cool… great branding opps. Secondly, he’s Danny W levels of battering ram, but he’s also very skilful. I’d not want to drop £70m on him, but £45m would reflect decent value in this market.

Arsene Wenger is BACK in the news again. This time, he’s admitting that the BIG job he promised us he all had left in him was likely not going to happen in the dugout…

“I came to a conclusion I want to share what I learned in my life,”

“Because I think life is only useful if at some stage you share what you know. In what way will it be? Will it be just winning football games, or will it be in another way? That’s what I have to decide. That decision will come very quickly.”

I mean, come on people, did you really think he was going to land a job at Madrid? Of course you didn’t. If a blogger can spot declining talents, you can bet your bottom dollar the recruiters at the major clubs can.

Anyway, Wenger, a man who does not believe in the science of the game… is a huge believer in tech. When you’re a millionaire, what better way to pass away your free time than investing in a fancy Israeli tech entrepreneur? Wenger had this to say on Playmaker, a chip that analyses performance FROM THE BOOT.

“I believe it’s the best available solution at the moment to measure performances,”

“I invested in this company. I’m not sponsored, I put my money in it. It’s not so much because I think it will make a huge amount of money, it’s more because I think that it’s something interesting that can help sport and football.”

What I LOVE about this comment is Wenger was very poor with data at Arsenal, now he’s fueling the beast! This is the video from Wenger’s new thing.

It looks like a cheap way of getting basic in-game data from chips in the boot. The stats details lined up here read very basic. So to get something like the above working, you’d have to have the ball chipped and every player on both teams hooked up. So it kind of looks like the best use case for it would be training? Do clubs not already do this? Is Wenger investing in something that already exists? Like the time I gave a months wages to internet sensation CheekBook.com? We’ll see…

I’m still out here trying to get funding for the LapCap. It’s a cap, for your laptop. My genius is still an untapped reservoir of liquid gold, contact deets for investment at the top of the website.

What I love about the big PR spin here, is a little later in the article, Wenger’s true colours come out…

“Today science has taken over. Science wants to predict the next performance when you have to rest players. And I believe sometimes if the managers are not strong enough, the science has too much power inside clubs. Because they have certainties,” he says.

“Above that, you still have the knowledge and experience of the manager. The modern manager must collect interesting data and, after, make decisions with his knowledge. And he has to be strong enough to do what he thinks is right. The knowledge is still important.

“The manager has to make the right decision. Because if you take only the physical data, you never play Messi. But if we are managers tomorrow we all play Messi. That’s where the knowledge comes in.”

Nooooooo! Guy Aharon must have been fuming!

The above commentary is exactly why Wenger can’t work his way back into the dugout. Ralph Rangnick, a 60-year-old, literally said the other day he never thought there’d be a day where he was told what to do by the athletics coaches, Wenger is still living on gut intuition. Which is why he failed to adapt on the back 9 of his career. He’d play his boys through the red zone, he’d not listen to the experts, and he’d take grave offence to anything that looked like a power grab within the club.

A modern manager is a CEO, not a dictator. You will always need that person to make decisions, but if you constantly override good information, with gut feel, you’ll never evolve. That goes for a lot of things in the game now. A manager should want to empower staff to make the right choices. If you take decisions that run against your top people, they either leave, or they stop innovating… you move into communist society mindset where people just tip their hat to the dear leader who will make everything A-ok. People get lazy, nothing moves, then when things go wrong, no one has the energy to pull you out of the hole.

Anyway, good to see Wenger back on the scene. Also amusing to read all the weirdos out there talking about him like he’s their surrogate father. Grow up… Emery is your father now, he’s making the rules, you’re going to follow them or land an arse tanning from his leather slipper.

I didn’t touch on the rumours that Freddie Ljungberg is being touted as the assistant to Emery next season, with Steve Bould being moved on. I don’t really care either way here, I love both players and Bouldy doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself. However, it’s a bit sloppy for a story like that to leak. Shouldn’t Emery be able to keep that under wraps?

Time to start getting excited as we build towards the Europa Final. The bookies has Chelsea down as the favourites. I have it close to 50/50… maybe 47/53 their way. Mainly because they have league winners in their side, and Eden Hazard is a one-man wrecking machine if he shows up. On the other hand, Unai is the Europa King, Sarri is unsettled and the Chelsea manager has NEVER won a trophy.

A massive coin toss…

Right, see you in the comments.

329 Responses to “Ryan Fraser talk hots up – Wenger moves into tech”

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  1. Pedro

    Negation, if you’re not happy to hear people question what’s going on at Arsenal… you should probably avoid the internet.

  2. Bob N16

    Marc, you give credit to Gazidis for a good kit deal but suggest as Chief Executive he had limited control in plenty of other areas. Are you absolving Gazidis of not taking responsibility and allowing Wenger to go on well past his sell buy date? Sounds like his title should have been commercial director.

  3. Negation


    That’s true (re:avoiding the internet) – I don’t run into these folk IRL. Anywho, I didn’t say I have a problem with people questioning what’s going on at Arsenal, I spoke about people who pick on the fans who are completely happy with Emery – there’s a difference.

  4. CG


    As someone who has pointed out from day one that Torreira is chronically short of endurance and stamina- and is totally unsuited to Prem soccer-it is hardly likely- I would be advocating another pint-sized midfielder.

    I have mentioned Brooks- on a few times.
    You (being the wise owl -you are ) were already aware of his exciting and blossoming talents.

    I’ll make a deal with my. You find a post- stating I want Fraser- And I’ll make a hefty donation to the EAAA…

    And I hope all the wonderful people who post on here- donate a little bit more too.

    For a great cause…


    Cant be fairer than that!

  5. Marc


    I think there was a seriously fucked up situation where Wenger had access to Kroenke and basically did as he pleased. Gazidis had an employee who basically wasn’t fully accountable to him. Doesn’t change the fact that the Ozil deal was enough for gross misconduct.

  6. englandsbest


    No, I have not read the book, neither would I, because it is quite obviously skewed to depict Arsenal as a Modern Super Club, another piece of PR fluff.

    Not for an instant do I believe that DD was Wenger’s yes-man. Events prove otherwise , indeed that he was nobody’s yes-man.

    DD made it quite clear that he did not want the Emirates if it meant an austerity programme. That is why he suggested Wembley. That is why he brought Kroenke over, to invest money in the Club.

    And when he saw that Kroenke wanted to own the club, he brought in Usmanov, because he knew the sort of guy Kroenke was.

    On all counts I find DD right, not wrong.

    One day we might get treated to DD’s memoirs., So far he has stayed loyally silent on the issue, or, maybe Danny engineered a legal obligation for him to remain silent.

  7. Dissenter

    The vibes around Chelsea are not very good right now.
    Hopefully this is the trophy that they don’t want to fight for.

  8. Marc

    Am I the only one who finds CG’s tone to other posters a little bit creepy?

    “You (being the wise owl -you are ) were already aware of his exciting and blossoming talents.”

    I mean if a neighbour spoke like that would you let your kids any where near him?

  9. Pedro

    I see Negation!

    You don’t run into folks that aren’t happy with Emery in real life?

    Or folks that attack fans for having opinions?

  10. Dissenter

    Just ignore CG
    This is a warning from the health department. He will do your head in.
    You have to wonder which rock provided the roof of his domicile.

  11. bennydevito


    What is the EAAA?

    And how do you expect me to find that specific post with the comment you made about Fraser? That’s virtually impossible.

  12. Pedro

    Marc, CG writes like a distinguished fellow, his tone isn’t creepy, he’s just a British extrovert. The type you’d meet at a pub, drinking Bombardier, lamenting cold lager.

  13. Marc


    Who’s then banged up for 20 years for kiddie fiddling.

    I have no issue with extroverts or even eccentrics but the more this guy talks the more I wonder.

  14. Dissenter

    I like Fraser, players that will burst their gut to explode on the big stage.
    With one year lefty on his contract, 10-12 million is exceedingly generous.
    Bournemouth can keep him and lose him on the free next season. They must be taking advice from Wenger.

  15. Dissenter

    How did we beat Valencia so convinced and then struggle against the dregs if the premier league at home?
    Emery has to be asked that question. I really want to hear what he is thinking in private.

  16. Marc


    That’s why I’m against buying in the PL and with English players it’s even worse unless there are special circumstances. Clubs price average to decent players at crazy levels. If Fraser is that good have a quite word with his agent, offer Bournemouth £5 million in Jan if we need him or have him on a free next summer.

  17. CG


    “”””I like Fraser, players that will burst their gut to explode””””

    Looking at of some fotos of him.

    There is a good chance – that could well happen.

    Too much Irn Bru this one
    Too many Cupcakes methinks.

    Steer well clear..

    Penetration is the name of the game….

    Zaha is the only show in town for Arsenal this window…

  18. Graham62

    Torreira had a very good season, all considering.

    Adapting to a new league, a new team and a new manager, was never going to be easy.

    Our defensive frailties put added pressure on him as did Emery’s tactical experiments. Despite all these teething difficulties, I still love the guy and feel he will prove to be a major asset for the club over the next few seasons.

    I’d give him a solid 7/10 for his first season.

  19. CG


    East Anglia Air Ambulance .
    Have you found any incriminating evidence re: Fraser?

    I am still waiting….

  20. Marc


    You also have to bear in mind he went to the qtr finals of the world cup and has been used to a winter break.

    A summer off and a full pre season should do him the world of good. A good summer from us and a replacement for Xhaka and he’ll look even better.

  21. Bob N16

    Marc/ Graham….I agree about Torreira. It was completely understandable that he’d have a dip during his first season. With a consistent role and a complimentary midfield partner, he could be inked in for years.

  22. Graham62

    The reason we did so well against Napoli and Valencia and struggled in the league is simple.

    The players really want to win the EL and lost focus and intensity in the PL. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

    Wednesday night will prove that it was all worth it.

  23. Marko

    Hey look if they were consistent performers we’d actually have a decent squad with decent players. But they’re not and we don’t

  24. WengerEagle

    Hard to believe that Barca paid 130-140 million for Coutinho.

    Genuinely looks like he’s forgotten how to play football over in Spain. The Dembele move was understandable as he’s unlike any player that they have in their squad and is young with immense re-sale value.

  25. Marko

    They’re going to have to do some serious serious scouting and planning for when Messi finally goes. It’s not enough to just piss away money and assume that’s enough. They’re basically going to have to do better than Coutinho, Malcom and Dembele. And no 108 million for Griezmann is not smart planning.

    Between guedes and Soler’s final ball Valencia should be out of sight here

  26. WengerEagle



    I think that they’re kind of fucked tbh, Barca fans should be soaking in every moment of the Messi era because the future looks bleak without him.

    He’s the only thing keeping them above Real Madrid these past few seasons and they will come again.

    La Masia is dead, they’ve absolutely nobody coming through anymore. Haven’t produced a quality player since Sergi Roberto and he’s not far off 30.

    Alena looks bang average and he’s their most ‘promising’ prospect.

  27. WengerEagle

    Considering their top scorer in all comps had 14 goals in 50 apps, I’d say that they had a very good season winning a trophy and finishing in a CL spot.

    Their top La Liga scorer was Parejo with 9 goals. If they had a goalscorer they’ve had finished above Real Madrid.

  28. Marko

    I thought Wague and Jaime were supposed to be hot shit. Yeah they’re on their way to being a bit shit I think

  29. WengerEagle

    You have to feel for Messi, he’s put up one of his best ever individual seasons and was three matches away from winning a treble. Such a shit way to finish a season considering they had the league sewn up well over a month ago.

    Shows you how cruel the game can be.

    Would love to see him win this summer’s Copa America.

  30. WengerEagle

    Probably for the best, he’s been unfortunate in that he won La Liga twice and made 2 Spanish Cup Finals, winning one in just 2 seasons but to lose not once but twice in the manner that they did in the CL QF/SF is a sackable offence for a side of Barcelona’s elite stature.

    Wasn’t too popular with the fans either as he’s very stubborn and rigid in his squad rotation and their style of play under him was pretty laboured which never goes down well given their Cruyff instilled total-ball identity.

    Bit curious though given Messi gave him strong public backing just yesterday and rallied behind him, something which I can honestly never remember him doing previously for a manager on the ropes.

  31. Valentin

    I wonder who was at Barcelona and doing that absolutely dreadful recruitment!
    I hope that they sacked him or letting him go somewhere else.

  32. Nelson

    “The players really want to win the EL and lost focus and intensity in the PL”

    I read that there is a hefty bonus associated with winning the EL for all the players. I won’t be surprise that it is also written in Emery’s contract. On the other hand, the board might have forgotten about this if Emery makes the top4 because it wasn’t expected.

  33. Valentin

    We have Özil on £350kpw on a 3.5 years contracts and we complain.

    ManUtd is offering to DeLigt £350kpw for 5 years. Have they not learned anything from the Sanchez and Paul Pogba deal?

    Fergie was right in refusing to deal with Mina Raiola.

  34. Words on a Blog


    Just going back to your earlier comment that Fraser doesn’t do enough from open play. I think the stats I linked to show him having open play key passes in the 96th percentile of all forwards in all European leagues going back to 2011/12.

    So he’s clearly not just a dead ball specialist….

  35. Champagne Charlie

    I’m all for us getting rid of the total non-performers like Chambers, Elneny, Jenks etc and signing 3/4 “Frasers” ie young, dynamic, pushing for a starting place, and with an apparent upside. My issue is his stature, give me Zaha over a midget.

    I don’t think we need special sauce this summer, I think we need some athletes, and some explosive performers. We’ve got some sauce in Laca/Auba, and hopefully Mesut can rediscover his swagger surrounded by a fresh batch (assuming we can’t flog).

    Make Arsenal rapid and tenacious please Emery.

  36. Valentin


    What exactly do you mean in the 96th percentile open play Key passes of all forwards in all European League going back to 2011/2012?

    I also said that a lot of assists are of the type that would not benefit us. Crosses. He is second behind Lucas Digne in that department. Despite his smally stature, Nkethia is a better header of the ball than both Lacazette and Aubameyang.

    Unless we retrained our strikers or get another tall striker, his crosses will be just us losing the ball to the opposition CBs.

  37. Words on a Blog

    I’m quoting the stats, which mean that only 4% of forwards in European leagues have had better stats on him for key passes from open play

  38. Words on a Blog


    By the way I don’t disagree with you when you say that we’d need better headers of the ball (eg.Nketiah) to be regularly playing for us to take advantage of his skill set.

  39. Champagne Charlie


    When you say crosses, are you specifically referencing aerial balls?

    Because a lot of modern wingers cut back and pick men out and that’s regarded a “cross”. I’ve no clue on his stats or his tendencies, I’m genuinely asking what his sort of inputs are in real terms?

  40. Words on a Blog


    If it were ever to come to pass that Arteta made it to Barca as manager, predict a meltdown bigger than Brexit on this website…..

    ….can you imagine the sheer volume of I told you sos. Pedro would go full Farage!

  41. Words on a Blog


    If it were ever to come to pass that Arteta made it to Barca as manager, I predict a meltdown bigger than Brexit on this website…..

    ….can you imagine the sheer volume of I told you sos. Pedro would go full Farage!

  42. Words on a Blog


    You’re right. as far as the statisticians are concerned, cutbacks are classed as “crosses”.

    From what I’ve seen of Fraser, he does both cutbacks and old style “crosses-for-headers.”

  43. Champagne Charlie


    He’s not 35 mil, let’s be clear there too. We should be playing big dicks with a club like Bournemouth, especially with him entering his final year on his contract.

    Dangle 20mil, give the player the eyes, and let him wriggle his way toward us. Or simply move on. We shouldn’t be dropping 30 mil on guys maybe/maybe not holding down a spot in the first XI.

    He’s a good option, you pay accordingly or it’s deja vu. Him in and Mkhi the fuck out would be grand business from a strategy perspective. Arguably better output, younger, less wages.

  44. Words on a Blog


    Yeah, agree, £20 million or thereabouts., but definitely not £30m or more, which seems to be way too high, given that he’s only had one season with a breakout performance/ stats

  45. WengerEagle

    Na not a fan of Fraser, good player but he hasn’t got another level to him ceiling wise.

    Cross specialist wouldn’t exactly thrive feeding Laca or Auba, neither who are particularly good aerially.

    He’s also a literal midget at 5 foot 4 and doesn’t dribble, not two qualities that we should be seeking in a wideman. Screams of cheap and convenient, it is a big fat no from me.

  46. Nelson

    Hopefully we win the Europa cup and then we’ll go for either Zaha or Pepe. I just want one of these two.

  47. Marko

    I don’t think we’re in for Fraser. The idea recently being touted is that we’ve got targets and we’re talking to them already and we’re just waiting to see if what competition we’ll be in next season before they drop. You get the sense that Europa League or champions league wouldn’t matter so much with regards to signing Fraser.

  48. Valentin


    Yes, I make a distinction between cutback, aerial crosses, on the floor crosses.
    Lacazette is very good at receiving the ball in the penalty box and shooting from there. However most aerial crosses are lost on him.

    In most of the games, Arsenal brought the ball into the penalty box only via cutback by the wingbacks (Kolasinac, Bellerin, AMN). In the last couple of games, in order to introduce more variety, Iwobi made some aerial crosses.

  49. Valentin


    Sorry I should have been explicit in my question.
    I meant how and why do they measure that from 2011/2012 season.
    As Frazer is only 25 and has only 3 seasons in the premiership, how can he be in the top 4 percentile for the last 8 years?

  50. Nelson

    I have a feeling if the game on Wednesday goes to extra time, Emery would bring in Welbeck. He is big, energetic and has a good header. He could be effective against a tired defense. Eddie not so much.

  51. Valentin


    After the Liverpool defeat there were rumours that the board wanted to sack him. Messi, who has been very rarely being publicly supportive of the previous manager begged Barcelona not let Valverde leave.
    Valverde has downplayed the rumours and Messi message. So he could well be staying.

  52. Valentin


    When we played a diamond formation with Ramsey at the top, he man marked Jorginho out of the game.
    I would not be surprised if Wellbeck or Willock started to nullify Jorginho.

  53. Words on a Blog


    His stats from this season would be benchmarked against the average of stats for the last 8 season.

    His stats from last year are nowhere near top 4% – so the worry would be that he is a one-season wonder.

  54. Valentin


    He could be a one season wonder.
    I think it is more likely that he is a system/personnel wonder. He simply has a special relationship with one player Callum Wilson who keep getting at the end of his crosses. If we were to buy him, he would not be able to replicate that telepathic connection.

  55. Marko

    Seems to be that Fraser is being somewhat dismissed because of his crosses and how wasted that would be at Arsenal given that we don’t play aerially to our strikers so I’d just like to point out that Callum Wilson has only scored 6 headed goals in the premier league.

  56. Valentin

    There was a tweets that showed that Ryan Frazer has 14 assists this season.
    8 from open play.
    5 from crosses resulting in a headed goal.

    Knowing that Lacazette ans Aubameyang rarement scores headed goals, that translate in 3 assists in a full season.
    Even Iwobi has more than 3 assists.

    Nothing in his stats suggests that he would be a good fit at Arsenal.

  57. Valentin

    Looking at his stats on statbomb, Ryan Fraser crosses a lot, loses the ball a lot, does not regain possession often, does not shoot often, is not particularly accurate in his shooting but win his fair share of free-kicks.

    Like I said, not exactly the kind of players who would be useful for our current way of playing or to our current set of strikers.

  58. Leedsgunner

    What about offering Özil to a Middle Eastern club? Money won’t be an issue for them and with Özil being the devout Muslim he is, he might agree to the move.

    Aren’t Qatari clubs always on the lookout for pros with big reputations?

    The club can thank me later.

  59. Leedsgunner

    If Ryan Fraser likes to cross doesn’t that mean he would be a helpful corner taker? We do have defenders who can score headers don’t we?

    Sokratis and Holding both have a good leap on them don’t they? Heck I think even Mustafi likes scoring those…!

  60. Nelson

    “I would not be surprised if Wellbeck or Willock started to nullify Jorginho”

    There is always two sides of a coin. Wellbeck and Willock may be able to limit Jorginho’s effectiveness, but they are not a #10. They won’t be able to create chances for our two strikers.

    If we are going to play the diamond formation, it would be 4 3 3. When we don’t have the ball, I’ll have Laca covering Jorginho. When we have the ball, I’ll play Ozil behind the two strikers.

  61. Sid


    That happened at the same time of the rumours of a major fallout with Steve Bould who was subsequently sidelined.

    Couldn’t find a single reference of this on Google. Could you point me to one?

    As Frazer is only 25 and has only 3 seasons in the premiership, how can he be in the top 4 percentile for the last 8 years?

    It could very well be, percentile references relative performance amongst a group of people, the period could be 1 month or a 100 years.

    If some guy performs extremely well in an exam to say achieve top 2 percentile in a particular but could also be in say top 3 percentile over the last 5 years or 10 years even though he appeared for only 1 exam.

  62. Words on a Blog


    It’s not a like for like comparison.

    It’s his figures this year compared to an average for the top percentiles over the last 8 years.

  63. Words on a Blog

    Regardless of the statistical intricacies, and whether Fraser is a one-season wonder or a “one-system wonder”, it’s clear that a player like Zaha would offer a lot more to the Arsenal’s attack than Fraser…more variety, a greater ability to beat opposing players in tight situations and in counterattacks etc.

    Its just that Zaha would cost some £30m more….and the club is signalling that there won’t be all that much in terms of a transfer “war chest”

  64. Chris


    Yeah I think that is the crux of it really. Zaha would be the better buy out of him and Fraser, but Palace want silly money for him, money we probably don’t have.

    Overall I think we may be better off forgetting both of them and finding a better option on the continent.

  65. Ishola70

    Said before Rodrigo De Paul of Udinese would fit the bill.

    Is a more all round player than Fraser who looks a little like a push and run merchant and De Paul looks to be at a reasonable price to sign unlike Zaha.

    No idea why Napoli look to have a clear run to sign De Paul and Arsenal are not sticking their noses in.

    The good thing about De Paul is that as well as being able to operate on the flanks he can slot in as ACM as well. He has been far the most influential player for Udinese season just gone.

  66. Leedsgunner

    Udinese have an excellent record of uncovering gems. Is De Paul Brazilian? He might bring with him work permit issues.

  67. Ishola70

    He’s Argentinian.

    Poch was interested in signing him so I don’t think work permit is an issue.

  68. Champagne Charlie

    Is there a touch of snobbery from some on Fraser because he’s not sexy, or particularly cultured a player?

    We could do with resetting the squad a bit to be geared more toward pace and stamina. Our technicians are hardly doing bits, and I’d replace Mkhi’s odd bit of magic with a relentless runner who crosses and scores with aplomb. This coming from someone that is incredibly fond of Ozil.

  69. Ishola70

    As well as having the footballing aspects he also has a good work ethic to go along with it.

    Unlike the Ozil man.

  70. Pierre

    It was the common consensus that our victory v Chelsea had a lot to do with our tactic of putting a player in Jorginho , rendering him ineffective .
    This is a tactic Tottenham had previously used to good effect in inflicting Chelsea’s first defeat of the season.

    Should we use this tactic on Wednesday and who should we use for that job ….we will probably start with our 2 strikers and wing backs though that is not a definite.
    Ramsey and Mhkitaryan are unavailable which leaves Iwobi or Ozil to play behind the strikers in the dual role of playmaker and nullifying Jourginho..

    An alternative would be playing without a CAM and have 3 in midfield and put maybe Torreira or Guendouzi on jorginho.

    Personally, I believe it is easier when a team is at home to apply the pressure on a player like jorginho as he is afforded less protection from officials plus their is more intensity in the game due to the home crowd generating a hostile atmosphere.

    I cant see Wednesday’s game having the atmosphere nor the intensity of a premier league game , I believe it may be a tactical battle similar to an away European tie.
    As long as we come away with trophy that is all that matters ,the performance or who plays is irrelevant though it would be nice to win with style ..it will probably be fine margins that decide the game , we have better strikers and that may prove to be the deciding factor .
    Of course , whether hazard is on his game or not is important, personally I think it is more important to nullify him in this particular game than jourginho.

  71. CG

    Champagne Charlie

    “””We could do with resetting the squad a bit to be geared more toward pace and stamina”””

    Looking at his dimensions – surely he will be bereft of pace and stamina.

    No manager in the world ( not even this twerp we currently have) surely can put a team out on that big Emirates pitch consisting Torriera and Fraser in our midfield

    We would be eaten alive by the majority of the Championship teams let alone the Prem ones..

    In a macabre way- I do hope we actually sign him up.

    It will be another step nearer- to the end of this miserable anti-football New Regime.

    If Fraser is seriously in their thoughts- we have bigger problems than even I feared.

    It will indeed be a fascinating few months…


  72. Words on a Blog


    Agreed – we could do with more pace, relentless and stamina, and I think we’re all a bit guilty of a little snobbery with regards to “unsexy” players, especially those from smaller English clubs.

    That being said, with Ozil’s decline, and the deterioration of our ExPected Goals and Expected Assists and number of big chances what we need most of all is a player or two who can contribute to creating big chances, assists and goals – especially when Ramsey is now off to Juve.

    We have incredibly productive strikers who have contributed to around half our goals scored. Hopefully we can find a player or players who can provide them with many more chances to score and chip in with 10goals or more too.

  73. Champagne Charlie

    I’m not a lover of Frasers stature, but from what I’ve seen he’s rapid and terrier-like. His physique isn’t slight either which cuts him some slack from me in that regard. I’d refer a bigger athlete, but he’s got a touch of the Tevez about him – not the quality.

    Yea I hear that, and completely agree. Just think we’re a project and I’m looking from a perspective of developing a squad over a two season (4 window) period. I’d rather we have a squad that can all contribute, with a view to getting the most out of our current star power.

    I’d layer the current lot with better “types”, quick, dynamic, aggressive, and potent players before adding the stardust – perhaps reaching to replace Ramsey. I’ve said before I’d sooner we buy 4/5 good players, with a good profile, for 20/25 mil than two 40/50 mil players.

    Doucoure would be my choice in CM tbh, losing Rambo, and wanting rid of Elneny, is a lot of movement for CM given 2/3 remaining have only been here 1 season. He’d tick the boxes physically and come knowing the league, and area of London. Unfortunately I see him being too expensive. But hopefully we’re going to see some cutting edge scouting to make the most of our budget.

  74. Words on a Blog


    Yeah, more mobility, speed and dynamism may also help to unlock “Ozil’s eye” for a key pass or an assist, on the (probably realistic) assumption he’s still with us next season.

    He’s been on the decline for the last couple of seasons, but I’m hoping we get at least one more “golden autumn” season out of him if he’s still around.

  75. Champagne Charlie


    Yea that’s what I’m thinking re:Ozil, I think the club has enough outgoings to replace before bothering to deal with his situation. Better to just look to get the most from him for a season and tackle that next summer.

    As you say, it’s entirely possible a new breed of player/energy around him will unlock his ability once again. His clock is ticking, just few we’ve got enough on the plate this time around.

  76. Pierre

    Fans have become a little fooled into thinking that Ramsey was a vital component in the Arsenal team this season but if one takes into account that he only started 13 league games and only 3 of those were as a central midfielder ( in which he played very well ) and the rest were as a CAM ( average at best) plus he was on the bench more often than not , it is clear to see see that his influence on the side is over exaggerated and maybe he won’t be so difficult to replace.

    He did seem to find a little niche in the side when he was reinstated into the side after the Bate defeat ..Emery used him in central midfield for a few games and he played exceptionally well , however he was then played as a CAM away to Napoli and picked up his season ending injury.

    Guendouzi with an extra years experience under his belt will show improvement , Willock hopefully will get game time , he may even get to start as many games as Ramsey ( 13 games ) in the league if we don’t sign a replacement….I’m sure Willock could also be on the bench as regularly as Ramsey was this season.

  77. Valentin


    Willock is very similar to Ramsey but with discipline. He could become our Lampard, a midfielder who score 15 goals a season. That would really alleviate the load on our strikers.

    Guendouzi best position should be deep laying midfielder or regista. He is not afraid of receiving the ball under pressure and his vertical play is great.
    However right now, he lacks the nous to shield the ball. He needs to be better with both feet in tight situation, but also learn to counter-lean. Look how Pogba uses his height and strength to fight opponent. By leaning toward them he keep them at bay. Most of the time they can only reach the ball by fouling him.
    Lately in some game Emery has also played him further up slightly on the wing. Hopefully that would help him develop the other aspect of his game that is lacking. The ability to drive forward to attract opposition and shoot if free or pass when a teammate is free. Whenever he drove forward, he froze not knowing what to do. He never looks like scoring and his shooting was abysmal.

  78. Doublethink

    Ryan Fraser for 30m or Malcolm for 35m is surely a no brainer.
    A winger that completes less dribbles per game than both Guendouzi and Bellerin isn’t what we’re looking for.

  79. Valentin


    Everybody know that Özil is not leaving this summer. So the best solution is to make the best use of him next season. Best outcome, he rediscover his form and contribute to the team.

    Whatever people think of Özil, we a need a more dynamic, physically strong centre midfield. Torreira is a terrier like player, but he can’t dominate a midfield when he is paired with Xhaka, Elneny or Guendouzi.
    Somebody who can receive the ball under pressure on the half turn and still break the line. Somebody who will be able to go toe to toe with some of the EPL bruisers and not come out like a broken eggshell.

  80. Marc


    Agree there’s more than a little revisionism going on around Ramsey and the impact he had on our season. It is a shame that he’s going to miss the final but the fact is him being injured isn’t an unusual event.

  81. Goonah

    “Chelsea want £130m for Eden Hazard, Sky Sports News understands.

    Real Madrid value the Belgium international at no more than €100m (£88m) due to the fact that he is entering the final 12 months of his contract at Stamford Bridge.”

    Would be great if he ran his contract down and played like Özil next season

  82. TitsMcGee

    Good for him. That looks like a good move. The England forward has been a solid servant for Arsenal, but he never really managed to unlock the next level in his game. Namely, he wasn’t that great at scoring goals, 32 in 120 odd appearances. A useful squad player, but really, in the end, he was just an expensive battering ram that picked up far too many injuries.”

    Everton was always his level. A good athlete but a shiite footballer. Even when he did score it was very rarely convincing, he’d bungle goals in after it glanced off of his shoulder etc.

    Good for him though.

  83. Marc


    Can’t remember which but one of the papers ran a story the other day about Chelsea not being able to afford to lose Hazard on a free as it will give them FFP issues.

    I think this is just a bit of brinkmanship from Chelsea. If they do decide to force the issue it could back fire on them – it’s not as if Hazard hasn’t downed tools before.

  84. Champagne Charlie


    I don’t drink from the fountain of Rambinho, but looking at next season his absence hurts the side if not suitably replaced.

    I tend to judge most players on what they’d ideally be offering us all things being equal. With Ramsey that’s double digits in goals and assists, which is significant.

    Offering Willock up, or saying that Guendouzi will mature after a year under his belt is optimism on the far end of the scale. Neither are doing jack to replace what’s being lost with Ramsey in the immediate season/s. Same way Smith-Rowe won’t pull the Jersey on and offer what Ozil can were he to get sold.

    Ramsey is leaving, he needs replaced.
    Welbeck is leaving, he needs replaced.

    Perhaps neither with the “same” type, but certainly their potential influence needs mitigating now they’re off. Nketiah isn’t offering what Welbz does when fit, none of the above are offering what Ramsey does.

  85. CG

    The G

    “”””Torreira is a terrier like player,””””

    I would say – he is in the Toy Dog category – as opposed to the Terrier one.

    I have seen more dynamism in an ageing Chihuahua.

    I ask all posters- actually study him. REALLY WATCH HIM !
    He has had a remarkable career in many ways- as he can barely run….

    After his Uruguayan summer and his exhaustive early autumn commitments – he will once again be flagging by Nov 2019 **
    ( tick tock)

    Surely, surely – we have to revert to a more aggressive, physical and athletic type of player. (Wilf Z)

    Absolutely absurd- to think we can persist with the Elnenys, Xhakas, ,Torreira, types and now possibly this diminutive Fraser Chap in the Prem in 2019.

    Think Spurs: Sissiko, Wanyama , Alley .etc

    is the name of the game in 2019!

    **BUY torriera /rambo swap next summer.

  86. Doom & gloom

    Would like to see a bit of physicality , height & pace added to the side & on that note ideally would want for CH Umtiti ,MF Thomas partey,wing Zaha all day long.Those three & dump the crap & we’re laughing…..😂

  87. Marc

    The Mail on Sunday has a piece today along the lines of Fergie being upset that ManU didn’t ask his advice on who to hire and they should have gone for the Poch.

    Now it’s perfectly possible I’m cracking up but wasn’t there loads of media coverage about OGS being Fergie’s prodigy etc etc?

    Seems as if Fergie only wants to be seen with a manager who’s doing well. Doesn’t bode well for the summer and upcoming season!

  88. Bob N16

    Torreira, great tackler, great anticipation, decent passer. CG, if you were any more patronising you’d be Phillip Green.

  89. CG

    Bob n16

    “””Torreira, great tackler, great anticipation, decent passer”””

    Excellent analysis and observations.

    (He is very good technically.)

    beautiful goal against The Potatoes too.

    But cant run
    no stamina or endurance
    too small
    ideal for Italian soccer.

    very much doubt he will be a first teamer before too long.

    and if Fraser comes too- nor will Emery ( thank gawd!)

  90. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Happy saint Michael Thomas day to you alll..

    30 years ago…

    Remember it like it was the other week….

    Thank you.

  91. Valentin


    I think that you are underestiming Torreira.
    Torreira is a little terrier and should be used exclusively in a defensive capacity. The problem is that he has been asked to be a box to box player to compensate for the lack of forward drive by Xhaka. In short he doing the job of 1.5 player, however unlike Kante who despite his smallish stature can be a box to box, Torreira can play that role. Kante is a freak of nature. His physical characteristics means that he can run longer than most. Torreira does not have that.

    Instead we should upgrade Xhaka with a powerful player who could do what Xhaka currently does, but with none of his shortcomings.

  92. Dream10


    Are we better off selling Torreira, who is more of a defensive player, and using some of that money for a box to box CM? Someone like Partey is capable of playing as a #6 and as an #8

  93. Bob N16

    Agreed Valentin….Xhaka does not compliment him. I liked your half turn/ acceleration skill set, to be a quality of his partner.

  94. Valentin


    A couple of days ago, you mentioned that next season Arsenal could do a Fulham in having 3 managers in a single season. First Emery, then Freddie as caretaker before settling on a permanent manager.

    I don’t think that this is likely. Because even if we have a terrible start of the season, Emery will be smart enough not to reach crisis point for himself.
    For example, I believe that next season he will initially persevere with the switch to man marking system at corners. That will be shown to be a bad move. But I am willing to bet that before December, he would have switch back to zonal. His current Spanish first assistant being sidelined in favour of Freddie or somebody else who would know better the league and the strength of the opposition.

    Also I can’t see Raul dejudging himself. He may decide not to renew Emery but will not sack him. By leaking that Emery will not be renewed, the position will be advertised and manager may make themselves available.

  95. Chris

    Torreira’s characteristics as a player are what we have been missing for a long time. The tenacity and bite in the midfield, he is comfortable going forward as I believe he started out as an attacking player.

    He is very good positionally and in the tackle so I’d like to see him remain in the defensive midfield position protecting the defence and have him complimented by a more complete central midfielder whose responsibility would be to drive the play forward, not Torreira.

  96. Valentin


    Upgrading Xhaka is the more pressing problem in our midfield. We can always decide to upgrade Torreira the following season.

  97. Dream10

    Bob N16

    We do have more pressing needs, particularly at the back. However, we can get a big fee for him and replace him with a similar style player who us much cheaper. Or upgrade on him by buying a player who can do more on the ball.

    If we can sell him for 60m plus, we should. He has the potential to be very good, don’t think he’ll be elite.

  98. Dream10


    I would like to see us upgrade on both Xhaka and Torreira. We’re a risk averse club, so don’t think we’ll change two CMs in a summer.

  99. Marko

    Torreira’s our best midfielder why would we get rid of our best midfielder? At 23 he’s only going to get better

  100. Valentin

    One of the mistake that Wenger did was to sell Coquelin without getting a replacement first.

    When we lost Cazorla, we lost a great midfield combo Coquelin-Cazorla. The combo Xhaka – Ramsey was never going to work. Ramsey did not have the discipline nor tackling ability of Coquelin. And Xhaka is not a patch on Cazorla.

    Also Coquelin was a much better player than he was able to show at Arsenal. Basically he was told, get the ball pass the ball to the better player. The problem is that Xhaka was not a better player.

    A Coquelin – Kondogbia would have been a great combination. The money we spent on Xhaka would have been better spend on Kondogbia.

  101. Nelson

    “Kante is a freak of nature. His physical characteristics means that he can run longer than most.”

    I think he has over extended himself. I heard that he has a set back and can’t play this week. I am not sure that he can still play like before.
    I agree that Torr should stay back and we sign another mid field general who can push the ball forward and links up with Ozil. The few times I watch Willock, his first touch needs improvement. Guen has a better first touch but he has to improve his physical strength. Also, he lets players running past him too easily. I haven’t seen AMN playing in a midfield role yet. We need to sign an established player to replace Ramsey.

  102. Valentin


    Kante has been misused all season long by Sarri.
    He is a long distance runner, but Sarri put him in a sprinter position.
    Kante does not have the burst of pace to leave defenders behind him. To continually use him as a advance inside forward is criminal.

    That misuse may well be responsible for his physical trouble. I hope that he recover well, but just after the final.

  103. Danish Gooner

    Guys and dolls it is 30 years since Arsenals biggest achievement enjoy everhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM2FLrlnNMc

  104. Marc


    Of all the issues we have with the team / squad that need fixing Torreira being an issue is so far down the list it’s a joke. Priorities (in my opinion) new CB / out Mustafi, new LB, at least one new CM and out Xhaka plus a wide player. We also need to make a decision on who’s back up keeper. With the budget limitations we have bringing in over 5 or 6 players is going to be difficult.

  105. Nelson


    “I hope that he recover well, but just after the final.”

    Why do you want to wish him recovering well? He is our enemy!

  106. CG

    Let me say firstly The G- what a privilege it is- to get your wonderful insight on all these AFC matters during these unsatisfactory times.

    And your impeccable manners are the beacon in which all posters should strive to attain ( I hope the Deplorables and Delinquents take heed)

    Anyway – back to business -I actually think you are overestimating LT.

    That’s why none of The Italian Big Hitters were in for him last summer..

    Torreira might have worked out had we remained at Highbury – on that lovely little pitch- but at The Emirates – but he will always been found wanting because of his dimension and endurance issues.

    We need Gilberto and Big Pat clones in the middle of the park – not garden gnome versions.

    As for Raul- he will drop his stooge Emery-as soon as the inevitable Spotlight falls on him.

    (PedRo – is doing outstanding work in this field )

    He is as slippery as they come- this one.(Raul- not PedRo)

    Be fascinating when/if Rafa B announces what he is doing at Newcastle next season

    IF Arsenal lose The Loosers Cup in Baku…

    Expect shenanigans from all the contenders.
    We know who they are by now….

    Kind Regards

  107. Marko

    To continually use him as a advance inside forward is criminal.

    He has not been used as an advance inside forward. Box to box midfielder sure a runner in midfield sure but inside forward no

  108. Dream10


    Yea defensive recruitment is key. It is worrying that talk of a LB has disappeared for a few months. It is probably more of a priority than CB. Main man Monreal has been over the hill for at least 12 months. Kolasinac is a back up at best.

  109. Marc


    Maybe we’ve got a LB lined up / deal done in principle?

    We wouldn’t announce anything before the final anyway.

  110. Chris


    Napoli apparently were in for Torreira last summer and were disappointed to lose out on him.

    You have to remember Torreira has played to the late stages of the World Cup and isn’t used to not having a winter break. I think he will only get better next season and hopefully used in a way that is better suited to his talents.

  111. Valentin


    Kante has been mostly been used as the player on the right of the midfield three in the 4-3-3 with Jorginho and Kovacic. However in some games he has also be used as right of the front three replacing William/Pedro. Hazard on the left, Morata then Higuain in the middle.

    However in both set of position he was expected to be sprinting forward rather than concentrating on defending.
    That to be is a criminal waste of one of the best defensive midfielder.