Guest Post: A trip to Holloway Road

by & filed under News Review.

This is the final instalment of Jonathan Blaustein’s guest post series. Please give him a big fat follow on the Twitter @JBlauPhoto

I was in North London a couple of weeks ago, staying just off the Holloway Road.

I hadn’t been back in 6 years, and the neighbourhood had certainly gentrified.

The London Metropolitan University put up a bunch of high-rise dorm buildings, since last I was there.

Shiny and modern, for sure.

I was walking along the Holloway Road, on a Tuesday morning, trying to figure out which lane led to the Emirates Stadium, as I’d only ever found it accidentally.

When I hit the first major crossroads, I looked to the left, but the road was curved, so I couldn’t see very far, and anyway, I didn’t see a stadium-top.

I was headed to buy some merch for myself and the kids, and when I looked across the street, those fancy new buildings caught my eye.

So much so that I raised my new iPhone to take a photograph.

As I went to snap the photo, a nice middle-aged Englishwoman walking behind me stopped, looked at the image on my screen, looked up, saw the buildings, and then said, “That’s a lovely photograph! So great of you to notice it. That’s really art!”

Of course that began a conversation, as I accompanied her to her office at the college in a building up the block.

I continued Southeast on the Holloway Road, trying to find the damn stadium.

I passed one intersection, because I couldn’t see it, and took the next one instead.

Finally, I saw signs, and followed them, dejected, as we seemed to walking just back where I came from.

(And I was in a time crunch as well.)

Sure enough, I finally saw the stadium gleaming in the London morning sun, and realized it was exactly where I’d just been.

I’d gone out of my way, and essentially walked in a circle, to get back to where I started. Only by the time I got there, I was annoyed, rather than excited.

Did I go into the Arsenal store anyway?

Yes, yes I did.

I bought things from the bargain bin, if you’re wondering, because all the cool new clothes were branded with the new marketing slogan “Kings of London.”

Kings of London.


Kings of London?

Are you fucking kidding me?

By what possible metric are Arsenal the best team in town? Let’s be honest.

Right now, we’re #3.

I know it. You know it.

And so do all the players who are going to sign for new teams this summer.

What kind of player, or better yet, what actual player will want to sign on for the Unai Emery era, if they’re also being recruited by City, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Tottenham?

Who would choose Arsenal over those teams, to join the Emery experiment, now that we’ll be in the Europa League for the 3rd consecutive year, and we just pulled a massive double-choke in the Premier and Europa Leagues.

So we’re clear, I’ve written a column here all year long. I was consistent. Let’s give Emery a year and see what he produces. Maybe his chokes at PSG were a thing of the past.

Maybe we were getting a bruised-but-still-high-end-talent who’s ready for redemption?

Like a Pre-Liverpool Klopp?

That was wishful thinking for a best case scenario, to mix my business jargon. And now, in early June, it has been proven farcical.

I know there were a few small green shoots this year, like beating Chelsea, Tottenham and ManU, and drawing with Liverpool.

And I guess PEA co-won the Golden Boot, and Laca emerged as awesome.

Guendouzi was fun, and Torriera had a few proper runs.

But now that I’ve gone through the pretense of looking at both sides, I’m here to say that if I were in charge of Arsenal, I’d be firing Unai Emery.


If Stan and Josh, much less Raul, want anyone to believe that accountability has returned to Arsenal, you can’t keep on a coach who oversaw that type of collapse.

Not after Late-Wenger.

Say this for the old man, at least he bagged those 3 FA Cups.

To choke as badly as Arsenal did at the end of the season, (not to mention PEA’s penalty choke against Tottenham,) will stain Unai Emery’s credibility forever.

He’s tarnished goods, for absolute certain, and his ceiling for greatness was likely limited to begin with.

Really, who was banging for “Emeryball” before he was hired?

Coach was a last-second panic hire by Gazidis, to get us out of the Europa League.

And it didn’t work.

So now, rather than wasting more time trying to slowly walk back the soft comfort that Wenger created, it’s time for a new, fresh, hard-working, grinder of a coach with a dynamic offensive AND defensive philosophy.

Someone the players will go to war for.

If I sound a lot like Pedro, it’s because I agree with him completely.

Sweep the decks.

Start over before you walk too many blocks in the wrong direction.

Because the truth is, when that lady interrupted me on the Holloway Road?

I was 150 meters from the stadium, and my camera was set to video.

I never got that photograph, and I walked right past the stadium, because I got distracted by a cute and comfortable little moment.

It seemed harmless at the time, but it cost me twenty minutes of wasted walking.

That’s what this year felt like, now that it’s done.

A fucking waste, with no trophies.

Start over, and do it right this time, before we’re looking at Everton and Watford and Wolves thinking, “Wow, how did they get ahead of us? We’ll have to work pretty hard to make sure we qualify for the Europa League again.”

That’s the cold truth.

We need our own Sean McVay.

And we need him now.

Remember to follow @JBlauPhoto!

656 Responses to “Guest Post: A trip to Holloway Road”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. CG

    With the exception of Huddersfield Town – I very much doubt any other club in the UK will have a more arbitrary transfer strategy than Arsenal this summer.

    There does not seem to be any semblance of a plan whatsoever.

    Are we buying players Raul wants, Emery wants or indeed Edu wants?

    Let’s hope there is Method in their Madness… but I very much doubt it..

    Uncharted waters here.
    It seems all very scattergun.

    I hope the Clowns do adhere to the old adage though.
    Quality over Quantity.

    Zaha and Zaha alone would be enough for us…

  2. Ray in LA

    Just read your post.

    If PEA hadn’t choked, we would be third-equal on points with Chelsea — the dialog would be very different.

    So I went back and looked at how we fared on losing a very long-term manager to how Man U fared

    They dropped from 1st to 7th and scored 25 less points

    We improved from 6th to 5th and scored 7 more points

    I’m not defending the collapse of our twin towers — the lame EPL closeout and the disaster in Baku — but I’m glad our first season after Wenger didn’t go Moyes-shaped

    Just saying

  3. Danny S


    2 very solid players in Anderson and Praet. They won’t set the world on fire but they also won’t make x mistakes per game.
    Plus Torreira played with Praet for 2 seasons.
    They would be sturdy additions and I’d say upgrades on Xhaka and Mustafi I hope.

    Add some youth team players, and some full backs and wingers of Emery’s choosing and we will be more solid next season.

    All this hinges obviously on how well we sell.

    Defence starts in the midfield. Solid well centred midfield is a good start.

  4. Marc


    That’s what so many fail to grasp – replacing a legacy manager who’s had so much control was never going to be easy or instantly result in success. Emery isn’t perfect but the handful of posters on here who constantly rail against him all want Wenger back a certain path to disaster which fortunately will never happen in any capacity – Pedro’s just got a crush on Arteta. That or he’s looking for a gig promoting hair products!

  5. Ray in LA

    Pep and Klopp’s first seasons weren’t so stellar, so I am cautiously hopeful

    What I don’t understand is why the defense didn’t progressively improve over the season — I can’t find any excuse for that

    We face teams who are supposed to have less talented players than ours but they are well-organized and thwart us

    I want our defense to thwart our opponents

  6. Champagne Charlie

    “Pep and Klopp’s first seasons weren’t so stellar, so I am cautiously hopeful“

    I’m not sure the cause for the optimism, what Pep and Klopp achieved before coming to England was something to salivate over.

    Can’t say the same for Emery, so hoping he’ll follow their lead is really stretching it imo.

  7. Receding Hairline

    Anyway seems this Carrasco thing has legs

    I heard the normally opportunistic Italian outfits (Milan,Inter and Roma) were put off by the financial implications of the deal. If indeed the rumored 20-25m pounds is the transfer fee we can only assume the wages and commission is the issue here

  8. Valentin


    I don’t think that young and hungry is better than experience and talent. I just rate talent, hunger, willingness to learn more than experience alone.

    Elneny is experienced. He went to two World Cup. But I don’t think he is good enough for Arsenal. I would rather have Willock in the team instead of him.
    I could cite Mustafi or Xhaka. Xhaka a leader of the Swiss team is very experienced but keep committing the same stupid mistake when put under pressure. Those players have reached their ceiling. No amount of coaching will eradicate those mistakes. So you either accept their limitations or try other players who may initially make the same mistakes but who don’t have yet reach their ceiling.

    You seem to think that I am in favour of all young players, I am not. I am in favour of using talented players who are sidelined because of their youth instead of experienced has-been and has-never-been and will-never-be.

    How does young players gain experience if not for a courageous or lucky manager to take a risk on them. Anelka was languishing in the PSG reserve, because they had more experienced players in front of him. Two years after he exploded at Arsenal, PSG paid what was a record fee for them to bring him back.

  9. Dissenter

    Carrasco will have to be ready to take a pay cut to make it work. Arsenal shouldn’t pay him Chinese super league wages.

  10. Champagne Charlie


    You’ve a cheek to mention anyone talking about Emery, obviously not particularly self-aware.

    In case you’ve also not noticed, that’s been a talker about subject today so allow me to carry on conversing with posters without your bitchy side commentary. Go send a few emails

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Just have to hope Carrasco turns up with a point to prove.

    Like I say this could be a genus move on our part. Got all summer to work on any fitness issues as well.

  12. Siddharth14

    Carrasco was quality when he was at Atletico. Let’s hope that he hasn’t lost the drive for the game, playing in an inferior league.

    As for the wages, I’m pretty sure he would have to take a paycut.

  13. CG

    So we really are looking at players in the Chinese league….
    And we then expect them to be a success in the toughtest ,most fiercest league in world soccer….

    Does our club- really have a footballing DeathWish?

    I hope ( to be fair- if he comes) he is better than the last Raul and Emery collaboration.

    The new Regime continue to run amok… and yet no one seems to be able to stop them..

  14. CG

    Perish the thought

    Of Buying an exciting,established player who lit up the Prem last year.

    Who also happens to be based in London
    And an Arsenal fan too.
    And will DEFINITELY hit the ground running in late August when the season starts.

    (Buying Zaha might also stop Chelsea or Spurs buying him too.)

  15. Graham62

    Just so everyone knows, the picture of Sanchez is when he was wearing an Arsenal shirt.

    Of course you all knew that.

    Why do you think I said “good on him”?

    Sanchez is a hero as far as we’re concerned.

  16. Danny S

    Zaha would come at an exorbitant premium and we would have to skimp in other areas. Plus Zaha isn’t THAT good.

    100% not an 80m player.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    The rumours coming from the now confirmed January negotiations suggest Carrasco was willing to take a pay cut.

    He’s saying all the right things anyway which gives me hope. Desperately wants a return, willing to cut his wages etc.

    The EPL is going to be a tough reintroduction though for him. Got to work on his fitness at Colney over the summer and play him in the preseason games.

  18. Danny S

    Carrasco does not excite me at all.

    He has not exactly dropped mad stats in the Chinese league or la liga.

    Plus you have to question a players mentality that goes to China in the first place.

    If this is where we are goi g with transfers I will be worried.

  19. Graham62

    Alexis Sanchez was the catalyst for change.

    I’d shake his hand if I met him in the street.

    Thanks Alexis.

  20. Champagne Charlie


    I get there’s some hesitation and some questions needing answered re: Carrasco.

    But, he could be a super signing for ‘cheap’ I’m this market. He’s a wide man, and is a top tier dribbler. Our current best version of that is Iwobinho…

  21. Freddie Ljungberg

    Carrasco could be a genius move for 25m or he could tank, still looks like he has it but hard to gauge that from the chinese league. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Him on the right and Claude Maurice on the left and we finally have actual wingers/wide forwards again, and for a very reasonable outlay.

    Hoping the Andersen/Praet rumours are just that and we’re going the Upemecano and Saliba route instead, much more upside there.

    Still need to sort out midfield though
    Rabiot + Ziyech/Palacios maybe?

    Links to Tierney again, which is nice, rumoured bids for Meunier.

    Could it be that we will actually see a competent transfer window for the first time in 15-20 years? Probably not but there’s still hope.

  22. Danny S

    I suppose he has to be an upgrade on Iwobi.

    I was just hoping for a little more, maybe Ziyach.

    He’d most likely come at half the wages of miki though so if he doesn’t make it he will be easy to offload next season.

  23. Cesc Appeal



    If we landed Carrasco and Claude Maurice for a total of £35 Million I think we could have pulled something off there. Like Sanllehi said, outsmart everyone else in the market.

    Really liking the rumours of Meunier and Tierney. Desperately needed.

    Those 4 signings could completely change the dynamics of this team.

  24. Gbat

    Carrasco is exactly the type of player we have been missing. Direct, pacy dribbler. And I can’t think of a better player we could sign for the £25m or whatever it is.

  25. Nelson

    I am afraid that the pressure from the fans and expectation from the board are pushing Emery to try short term quick fixes. I would rather he focus on building an identity of the team. He should also employ more youngsters, though that is mainly for the future. If the fans see improvements towards a clear identity, either high pressing, high defensive line, playout from the back, one time passing, overlap wing attack, etc, the fans will support the effort. Currently, no one knows how the team will play next year. Furthermore, if no youngsters are developed, then this year will be wasted.

  26. Cesc Appeal

    Danny S

    I like Ziyech, but he comes with a risk as well, sometimes Eredivise signings absolutely tank.

    We’re in the market of risk, we’ve got to take chances.

    Carrasco could tank, equally teams could be kicking themselves next season at the deal we pulled off.

  27. Cesc Appeal



    Strong links to young players like Saliba, Palacios and Calude Maurice and we’ve just promoted Ljungberg with one of the stated purposes being to be a link from the youth academy to the first team.

  28. Danny S

    Could we consider this a good window?


    I’ve not included other fringe sales*

  29. Freddie Ljungberg

    Danny S

    I wouldn’t mind Andersen that much, looks very good on the ball, tall, but not that fast.
    Would much rather we go for someone with the potential to really dominate that CB position though and become world class. Can’t really see that with Andersen but Upemecano is on his way and Saliba has the potential.

    Praet doesn’t really stand out in anything, looks like a very good squad player but we need a special player in CM and Praet doesn’t look like he has that extra level is the next level in him.

  30. Ishola70

    Danny S
    “Carrasco does not excite me at all. He has not exactly dropped mad stats in the Chinese league or la liga. Plus you have to question a players mentality that goes to China in the first place.”

    Noted for indiscipline as well while at Atletico.

    Not a great sign.

  31. Graham62

    It’s the PR machine that will accompany him.

    At least he’d be closer to his Mum and Dad.

    Zaha would not be your normal run-of-the-mill signing.

    If it happens though….. GREAT!

  32. Freddie Ljungberg

    Danny S

    Just from the out list it’s already a winner.

    Proper wingers and Fullbacks, improvements on Mustafi and a decent CM, I would take it 100% but think we can do better than the Sampdoria pair

  33. Dissenter

    Carrasco has to be a decent player because he kept his place in the competitive Belgian national team set-up

  34. Nelson


    I don’t think you have read my posts carefully. I don’t know what you don’t agree. I want Emery to play more youngsters.

  35. Ishola70

    No-one is doubting he has merits Dissenter.

    But it is known that he has had disciplinary problems in the past.

  36. Graham62

    Bob N16

    The first player to visibly question Wenger and help in bringing about change.

    You remember.

    Bournmouth away, 3-3, January 3rd 2017.

    “What the fudge am I doing here?”

    Wonderful moment.

  37. Danny S


    I’m being realistic in that list. It’s not my ‘dream list’ but it’s what I expect will be our level. Good solid players, and I fully expect some promising youth signings to be thrown in there.

  38. Ishola70

    And Dissenter

    You have done the criminal deed again of throwing out national team in relation to signing a player lol.

    We all know how that can go don’t we.

    Like Danny I don’t like the fact that Carrasco toddled off over to China at that age for the money. You can understand when older players go over there.

  39. Cesc Appeal


    I don’t think you read your post carefully.

    You think Emery is focusing on short term solutions and you would ‘rather’ he focus on younger players and implement an identity suggesting you don’t think he is.

    I think you’re wrong and I said why.

  40. Nelson


    I don’t say I think. I say I am worry. And I want the board and the fans to put less pressure on Emery so that he can plan for the future. That was the purpose of my post.

  41. Danny S

    I think Emery has a plan. I’m pretty sure he probably had 2 plans.

    Plan A obv hinged on CL qual. Then we obv have plan B. Which will be solid, but way less exciting.

  42. Cesc Appeal


    I don’t think you have to worry then.

    The signs are there the club is looking to young players and with the promotion of Ljungberg.

    Emery made a point of talking about using young players as well after the Europa League final.

    Need a healthy mix really.

    Hopefully we come out of the summer far healthier and more tenacious squad wise.

  43. Receding Hairline

    Now back from sending emails I see a few posters turning their nose up at Carrasco

    Well Witsel also went to China prematurely but is back in Europe and doing quite well. For a team with limited transfer budget and no wingers we as a fan base are sure choosy

  44. Danny S

    This has to be Willocks, Nelson and Nkitah’s break out seasons I think. Or they need to be moved on.

    What happened to smith-Rowe?

  45. gambon


    Smith Rowe is probably going to go back on loan again next season.

    Maybe with us being in the EL he will play cup games then go on loan in Jan.

  46. Freddie Ljungberg

    Would be nice if we could use ESR as makeweight in any potential deal for Konate or Upemecano seeing as they want him back on loan next season.

  47. Freddie Ljungberg

    Can’t see Nketiah make it here, too high of a level for him imo. Would love it if he proved me wrong though.

    Nelson and Willock at least has a chance but maybe too early for them next season.

  48. Bob N16

    Not sure if Sanchez is or was anything but an individual, a highly paid footballing mercenary. Promoting him as some sort of catalyst/hero is quite creative. But hey, if your son wants to put up Sanchez on his wall, good luck to him. I can think of so many more deserving players.

  49. Danny S

    I’ve just read that Spurs are interested in Andersen. Poch knows how to pick a defender so that at least is positive news.

  50. Danny S


    Graham can correct me here, but he called Sanchez the ‘catalyst for change’.
    I think he’s his hero because he was the beginning of the end for the senile one.

    Of course I could be completely barking up the wrong tree. Ha

  51. Graham62

    You mean all those players running across to celebrate whilst Sanchez still saw a victory.

    He may have been “a footballing mercenary” but he wanted to win.

    Stood out like a sore thumb in an environment made for acceptance of second best( or was it third or fourth ……not sure).

    Sorry Bob if you and other Arsenal fans couldn’t see it, that’s your problem.

  52. Graham62


    Why should I correct you?

    We needed something to happen and Sanchez provided the ammunition.

    Those that wanted change should thank him.

    I would.


  53. Danny S


    Personally I think Sanchez was a bit of a false positive in the arsenal team.

    Wenger gave him free reign. He was able to run around and play where her wanted.

    Had arsenal had any structure or game plan at the time. Like Barcelona before he moved and Man U after, Sanchez would have been half as effective.

    He also massively stifled Rambos impact on the team.

    He’s a very talented player with a winning mentality but he’s also incredibly selfish. That was very evident and in a proper set up he struggles.

  54. Graham62


    Sanchez wanted to go to MC but Arsen……al fudged that up for him.

    We only lost £60m on that. Never mind.

    Hit the jackpot at MU but was never going to fit into Mourinhos methods and philosophies.

    Ok he was “selfish” but still an absolute hero as far as I’m concerned.

    As I usually conclude………….Shoot me!

  55. Danny M.O

    Like any hard worker in the room, the lazy gits ostracized sanchez for being too “eager”. You dont make many friends when you show up the lazy sods in your company.

    To the arguement that sanchez stifled rambo is actually pathetic. Great players hit their numbers regardless. He played as a rw at barca and was hitting atleast 20 goals and assists. Bar that purple patch rambo had he has never hit those numbers since. lets face it he was a sick note who wanted to be a 10 but was more adequate as an 8. He never swallowed that reality pill, even when he played as an 8 he drifted to a 10 position and left us exposed.

    We have had some decent squads in the past couple of years compared to this dross. With some extra additions we could have won some titles circa the eduardo and Leicester years. It was wenger being a tightwad that cost us. The sanchez saga exposed how dissatisfied everyone was with wenger and how incompetent Gazidis was fpr offering ozil 350k.

  56. Danny S

    Danny MO

    Sanchez and Ozil froze Rambo out. Many of his runs into the box where ignored in favour of a pass to Sanchez, or ignored by Sanchez who chose to try and score.

    Didn’t Sanchez lose the ball a record 60 times in 2 games in his last season?

  57. Paulinho

    Sanchez did stifle Ramsey, in fact he stifled or negatively affected nearly every team he played in, which is why Barca booted him out despite him posting decent stats.

    Ramsey likes to make runs forward into inside left positions, and Sanchez ‘one trick’ pony continually stationed himself in that area, so it was an air-traffic controllers nightmare with those two in the side. Remember when we had to beat Olympiakos 3-0 away from home and we did so easily(without Sanchez) because Ramsey was able to make his runs.

    Sanchez suited Ozil because Ozil is a coward.

    Also, he didn’t want to be a number ten. He explained it quite clearly here:

    “I like to get the ball and drive the team forward. I’m not a No10, playing with my back to goal. I’ll try to play between the lines now and again if the game demands that and we’re pressing quite high. That can be a dangerous position to take up. But I like to start from a defensive position and drive the team forward with little one-twos around players. That’s where I prefer to play.”

  58. Champagne Charlie


    Stay out my inbox. I think there’s fair levels of concern about Carrasco given he chucked a career mid twenties and maybe isn’t the athlete many profile. That said, he could be an inspired signing so we shall see.

    Like Lichtsteiner, the idea itself is right imo. Let’s hope he works out just the thousand times better if it comes to pass

  59. Graham62

    Danny M.O

    Once Sanchez lost interest and his desire wavered the mistakes started to come.

    Not surprising really when you’re playing with so many “lazy gits” who were in their comfort zones.

    Night night folks.

  60. Danny S


    Sanchez always lost the ball a LOT, like any player who’s desire outweighs his talent.

    He just hit his peak in those 2 games.

  61. Danny S

    They don’t look anything like a couple.

    I can imagine her in bed satisfying herself while the man child improves his fortnight stats.

  62. Words on a Blog

    If Ozil moves to Istanbul I promise never to call Erdogan a tin-pot wannabe Turkish Trump ever again

  63. Gentlebris

    ‘I like Ziyech, but he comes with a risk as well, sometimes Eredivise signings absolutely tank.’

    Not Ziyech.

    That guy is a sure success.


    I can’t believe what is being said here.

    If we don’t hire one of Zaha or Ziyech, we have passed a great opportunity.

  64. Danny S

    Graham and Danny MO

    Is it also no coincidence that Rambo hit his ‘purple patch’ in 13/14 then Sanchez joined 14/15 and Rambos stats faltered due to the Ozil/Sanchez connection.

    Had Sanchez not had a problem with Ramsey, both their stats and the team would have benefitted.

  65. Cesc Appeal

    Apparently Ozil sat down on a chair next to his bride while the service was read, standing for it was a bit much.

  66. Danny S

    He’s not got her pregnant yet either. But his chances created stat is probably quite high which will please pierre.

  67. Receding Hairline

    I don’t see Yannick as a risk at all. It’s a smart move. 25 year old and desperate to reestablish himself in Europe. We don’t have any player that can touch him skill wise. You buy better than you have and he is better than we have because we have nothing out wide.

  68. Words on a Blog

    Pierre has been absent from this blog.

    He’s in a dark room, alone, on his third bottle of gin.

    Depressed and disillusioned that he’s been abandoned by Mesut despite everything.

    Mesut promised that he’d never leave him, he promised this thing with Amine was just a little fling…

  69. Receding Hairline

    And no the idea behind carrasco isn’t quite like the one behind licteiner or whatever. One is a young man who can actually still play football, the other was a bench player brought in for his “leadership” and “experience”.

  70. Champagne Charlie


    The two ideas are comparable, they’re seemingly smart ways of addressing a need. We needed a backup RB and thought Licht could do it, the fact he was awful doesn’t negate the idea itself being right.

    Same with Carrasco, he could absolutely tank and show us all why he fucked off to China. But the idea of getting a relative bargain and operating shrewdly with our resources is spot on.

  71. Ash79

    So how do Chelsea manage to get circa 150m for a player with 12 months left on his contract?

    We would have got 10m

    Football is bent as hell, something smells awfully fishy

  72. Danny M.O

    Looking at Carrasco’s highlights, he looks like a languid samir nasri type player.

    He can atleast shoot with his left which is an upgrade on iwobi already.

    The reason why iwobi amd kola wqs so effective was because one always overlapped and iwobi aĺways cut in. if one didnt play then the other was soo predictable.

    With carrasco being a nasri type lm-cam, i would purchase Sarr to provide width on the right. Auba for all his pace cnt dribble for shit.

    I think we will know more about Emery’s plans qhen we see his formation in pre-sesson. I personally think he used the 532 due to the available personnel. I want us to move to a 433 or atleast a 4231 again. We dont have the midfielders to play 442

  73. Nelson


    If Emery still wants to play wing back, he should use 5 2 2 1 and play with one striker only. On the left he could use, as you said, Iwobi and Kola overlapping. Kola plays better with Iwobi next to him. On the right, he could use Mikki and Bellerin overlapping each other. We could then sell one of our two strikers and use the fund for defense signing.

  74. Valentin

    Ryan Sessegnon is refusing to sign an extension with Fulham. Maybe it’s time to make a low ball offer for him.

  75. Leedsgunner

    Crystal Palace is just trying it on by slapping a £80m price tag on Zaha. He’s a good player but not THAT good… yet.

  76. Leedsgunner


    As long as Osei Tutu is sold with a reasonable buy back clause and a first refusal clause… we might see him back and not all is lost… especially if he does well.

    Or a firm offer from another team might prompt Arsenal to tie him down to another contract.

    Remember we have Daley Campbell also coming through… isn’t he a right back/wingback?

  77. Zimmie2652

    Campbell looked like quite the prospect and has a very promising future ahead of him. Sad to see him go.

  78. useroz

    Zaha is good but at 28(?) ,more a 50m top player. Not our play even at 50m sorry…

    Don’t know how many of the players being linked to us were known to us fans, before reported in the media. Shopping in 2nd/ 3rd tier basement again it seems.

    We should be seriously lookin at the Ziyeck types. Great if we get then but at least they are young(er) and have higher ceiling on paper.

    Arsenal or external counsels haven’t found a way to sack Ozil yet?

  79. Leedsgunner

    If Chambers was willing to go, we should try to swap for Ryan Segnesson for him from Fulham. We would then use a fringe player to fulfill a crucial need in left back… without spending a penny.

    James W.ilson and Matthew W.illock (Joe’s brother) go on a free by United. Worth a punt?

  80. Dream10


    Sesengnon as a long term LB? From the little I’ve seen of him, he’s seems one of those players that stuck btwn LB and LW.
    Bale was like this early at Spurs, however he’s levels above young Sesengon. Pochettino and co have been linked with him for 18 months. Reckon they get him this summer

    We should be able to get at least 20m for Chambers, if not 25-30m. Sanllehi should phone up Roy Hodgson and offer Calum to him.

  81. Receding Hairline

    Charles Carrasco left for China because they offered him the most money. Nothing to do with a lack of ability or application. He played for Simeone, you don’t play for that dude if you have a weak mentality.

    It was all about the money.

  82. Pierre

    “Zaha is good but at 28(?) ,more a 50m top player. Not our play even at 50m sorry…”

    He is actually 26 which is a peak age for a footballer..if Arsenal were to sign him(which I doubt) and he is a success ( which I’m convinced he would be) , he would still have a decent resale value in 3 years time if need be.

    Zaha has everything that Arsenal are missing at this present time. Pace, power and aggression and will walk into the Arsenal team , there would be no need for time for transition , it would be straight in and hit the ground running.

    I could see him transforming our away performances from dour , unimaginative , sterile football to an exciting counter attacking side.

    I have said before that an away side needs the fear factor and Arsenal do not have the fear factor away from home .
    Zaha would help to give Arsenal the fear factor with his ability to transfer defence into attack in seconds,
    Our strikers would benefit from having a player like Zaha as he attracts defenders which in turn opens up space for the players around him.

    I believe we should go all out to get him as he would help provide a positive vibe amongst the fans and players for the coming season , I don’t believe it would be a gamble, unlike many of the other players mentioned on here…
    Maybe try Iwobi and chambers and cash …..palace may go for that.

  83. terraloon

    Dream 10

    Outside the top 6 only 6 other clubs have paid transfer fees of over £20 million.

    Chambers is at best a very average player who had an ok ish season at Fulham who were terrible in defence and only marginally better in midfield .
    Prior to last season Chambers has not shown anything else that would remotely encourage a club in the top 6 to spend big on him and sorry I can’t see any PL club wanting to spend much more than around £10-£15 million on him.

  84. CG

    Graham and Pierre

    Concur…( Zaha)
    But off course we will not buy him

    Raul the Shark likes 5 or 6 summer signings ( not one Good Un)

    He loves a deal – does Raul. Especially a bad deal! Or a deal that suits him- not us.!

    He is one of those people in life ( Raul) – where he has to be doing a deal.

    (Think Redknapp.)

    He is always ducking and diving,scheming, interfering,cancelling,withdrawing, loaning. Always up to Something…..

    It’s why he appointed Emery
    It’s why he is appointing Edu.
    It’s why he gets on with Vinai
    It’s why Dortmund Eye- departed
    And Ramsey was ousted( no gains in keeping Rambo)

    He does love a Patsy though..
    Arsenal signing Zaha is so bleeding obviously the right summer business for us.

    It off course – cant possibly happen though

    Raul will bring us 5- 6 players instead
    All dross , all damaged -all from far flung places…and all mid table mediocrity….

  85. Graham62


    1. He’s world class and probably the hottest property on the planet at present.
    2. Chelski have the right people in place to make these decisions.
    3. They are not Arsenal FC.

  86. KAY Boss

    I don’t get it why some complain about where we’re shopping?
    Though I think the £40m-£50m budget is bogus. We might spend beyond that.
    As Vianai says we have to outsmart the market. No one should expect us to compete financially with the Utds, Madrids etc. It ain’t happening.
    Carrasco is a smart move if its done. And to those questioning his ability to perform @higher level, just remember a season ago, what Paulinho did at Barça

  87. CG

    Good Ebening Graham

    I’ll tell it – as I see it…..and always Exclusively on Le Grove( until I am banned)

    And I’ll be vindicated…

    Tick Tock……

  88. Dream10


    If I’m not wrong, we rejected a 20 or 22m bid for Chambers in the past. He’s gone on loan and done okay. Liverpool, Chelsea get good fees for players. No reason why we shouldn’t.

  89. CG


    If you fall for anything Vinai says.
    You are being very naive.

    A corporate lackey to his Bones….this one.

    What is his track record in football?
    Are no other clubs trying to ‘outsmart the market’?
    He should stick to his remit- marketing.
    Sponsors are on the slide.

    He gives the impression- we are Watford FC
    We are Arsenal FC
    He would do well to remember that.

    If we get Zaha in
    Elneny and Jenks out.

    And an exciting coach IN this summer – we would make some positive strides…..

    Off course – this wont happen

    Deals have to be seen to be done.

    A season from hell on the horizon….

  90. Danny S


    I’ll have some of the drugs you are on please. Must be a wonderful world you live in where we just pop out and solve all our issues with one average 80m signing.

    Any other league and Zaha is 40m tops. Why pay 40m over the odds?

  91. CG


    Quality over Quantity.

    (Think Liverpool mid 70s )

    In my personal opinion

    If we buy one player – Zaha.
    You in fact you are buying 18 other players.

    Because all other 18 players we have will improve with Zaha on the pitch…..

    He would be a sensational summer signing for us….

  92. Danny S


    You do talk some utter bollox sometimes haha.

    You buy messi, you transform a team. You buy Zaha, you get a good forward that still has shit players behind him.

    Zaha is not capable of carrying a team.

  93. Biggles

    Would I like to have Zaha in the team? Hell yeah!

    Would I pick signing Zaka over getting rid of Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal? No, because even mid-table solid signings in these positions would make us tougher and more defensively solid. And that will earn us a LOT more points than Zaha will.

  94. CG

    Palace scored 3 goals or more last season at:

    Man City

    Zaha played every game.
    Imagine if he had Arsenal players around him.( not Palace ones)

    If we dont buy him
    Someone else will.


    Gives Arsenal a chance ( with a competent manager and DoF ) to be an exciting and successful team.

    Zaha is actually unplayable.
    Watch him….

  95. Pierre

    “Sanchez did stifle Ramsey, in fact he stifled or negatively affected nearly every team he played in, which is why Barca booted him out despite him posting decent stats.”

    I know you have a high opinion of Ramsey but I would say that Sanchez brought more joy to Arsenal fans in his first 2 years at the club than Ramsey did in ten years.

    There needs to be a little perspective on Ramsey’s performances last season…

    His season consisted of , early season being tried by Emery as a CAM, a position he struggled with and was consequently benched for 9 consecutive league games from September.
    He was marginalised from the side from December through to February and was then reinstated back into the side after the Bate defeat.
    He played very well in centre mid for 4 or 5 games and then was unfortunately injured .
    I think that is a fair assessment of Ramsey’s season ..I do also believe that the manager is partly to blame for Ramsey’s lack of influence this season as he never seem to trust him until later in the season.

  96. Danny S

    How will Zaha improve mustafi and Xhaka? How will he stop their x amount of mistakes per game?

    How will he improve the left and right backs defensive ability?

    Mustafi and Xhaka going and 2 new full backs will save us more goals than Zaha will score.

    I don’t even know why I’m arguing with your blatant trolling to be honest haha.
    I hope it’s trolling anyway, if not then you genuinely in need of psychiatric help ha

  97. Emiratesstroller

    So the club has already offloaded 4 first team players whose contracts have expired with departure of Lichsteiner, Cech, Ramsey,Welbeck. This leaves Monreal on the books whose contract expires in June.

    Assuming that Arsenal follow the statement made last year that players will
    be offloaded if their contracts are due to expire in next 2 years unless renewed
    the following players could still leave this summer.

    Ospina June 2020
    Jenkinson June 2020
    Koscielny June 2020
    Aubameyang June 2021
    Mustafi 2021
    Ozil 2021
    Mkhitaryan June 2021

    My guess is that Arsenal will still attempt to shift out at least 3-4 of these players this summer. The most likely are Mustafi, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Ospina. Arsenal will attempt to offload Ozil but finding someone to pay his
    salary without incurring massive loss is a huge undertaking.

  98. CG


    If you dont know the answers to your questions
    I suggest you follow another sport….

    I will not waste my time with
    ignoramussus any more.

    What an absurd character.

  99. Pierre

    “Would I pick signing Zaka over getting rid of Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal? No, because even mid-table solid signings in these positions would make us tougher and more defensively solid. And that will earn us a LOT more points than Zaha will.”

    Just because Zaha is not a defensive player doesn’t mean he will be of no use to the team from a defensive perspective.

    especially away from home, Zaha will take the pressure off the defence with his ability to retain the ball under pressure, his ability to draw fouls from the opponent and his ability to break from defensive to attack within seconds .

    I believe our defence would benefit from having Zaha in the side.

  100. Danny S


    Would you be happy if we forked our 80m on Zaha and didn’t address any other part of the squad?

  101. China1

    I don’t want arsenal spending more than 20m on any player older than 27

    What if you buy zaha and for any reason whatsoever he flops you’ve just burned 70+m on a depreciating asset.

    I’m ok with signing some experienced heads to guide the younger players but not for top dollar. Zaha is value only for 40m.

    Also there is sometimes an element of players looking better than they really are due to various factors at hand.

    I bet if iwobi was playing week in week out for palace people here would love us to be linked with him as on paper he’s a hard working, Mobile player who can beat people and has a good frame for the league etc. but we watch him every week so we also see his flaws on a weekly basis in the plain light of day

    I’m not saying Zaha isn’t quality just that most of us aren’t watching him every week – and if you’re pumping 70+m on a 28 year old you better be damned certain that they are basically world class

  102. Danny S

    Would Zaha improve us currently? Yes.

    Would he solve all our issues? No

    Chelsea and Spurs will be much better next season. United will also make strides.

    We need more than Zaha.

  103. Graham62

    I think I’m going to adopt the CG method of posting from now on.

    Bulletin points. Lots of hard hitting opinions. Occasional lunacy(some of you probably already think I’m that way inclined) and a few ott percentage based reviews.

    Yep, 10000% ,I’m going to give it a go.