Edu speaks – it’s good!

by .

What is going on my darlings?!

I am currently in Washington with my dad.

The weather is disgusting. It hit 100 degrees yesterday, or 37.7 Celcius. We walked the landmarks in a fit of ‘let’s not be pussies about this’ and I can confirm this was a mistake.

I have no idea how the players are supposed to deal with this… peak temperature arrives at 1700!

There is a BIG game tonight as we take on the once-mighty Fiorentina. Another chance for some of the kids to shine. Another chance for Mustafi to show the world he is a total legend and well worth the £90k a week.

Some interesting snippets in and around the internet. Arseblog had an interesting piece from Sven about his time at Arsenal. It’s what we all knew… he fell out with leadership because they changed direction when Ivan G left.

The key takeaway – one I have debated at length with people is… the dreaded contacts approach to football is real.

Arsenal is the only club on the planet that can move in the direction of modernism, only to crush it and go back to something that reeks of old fashioned curtains. He basically said instead of being proactive, using tech, people and data to uncover value in a competitive market… we’re waiting for agents to bring players to us. Pretty much the exact strategy that’s seen United do so well since Fergie left.

I guess we have to hope that Edu has something to say about that. It is not efficient to rely on the opinion of people who have something to sell. That is not a forward-facing approach to building a super club. When it succeeds you can’t repeat it either… it’s built on luck of the draw.

Very depressing if our new technical director agrees with this… because, you know, it’s not a very technical way of looking at a game that is advancing at a rate of knots.

Don’t be a dinosaur, Edu.

It was amusing that the journo speaking to Sven pestered him about taking a smaller job, his response was basically – ‘we fill 60,000 for a relegation battle and we’re nosier. This isn’t a small club.’ Fair play.

Talking of Edu, it reads like he gave a personal response to my blog the other day.

There are a lot of things to do, but I will try to explain to you a little bit about almost everything. People always say that the technical director has to look after and be involved in the process of signing players, selling players, keeping players, loaning players. That’s an important part of the job of course and I understand that. But for me there are more important things in front of that – we have to look after what we have today. We have to work hard today. We have to look after our squad today. The future is the future, and signing players means sometimes the future, and of course I have to be involved in that process, but I also have to take care of today. I explained to the players when I arrived that I’m not the guy who stays inside the office and waits for someone to knock on my door and send a message to me. I want to be involved in the process, I want to be on the inside, I want to be with them, I want to be with Unai, I want to be with the staff as well, to try and advise them if they need it, and give some advice for them. Being involved is important and that’s what I really believe from today. The link with the academy is very important because people always forget about it, because they talk about signing big names, but we have to take care of the academy as well. That’s one point I have to be linked with.

So there are short-term things to address, and also medium-term things to address?

Yes, that’s part of my role as well, because in football there are short-term, medium-term and long-term [challenges] of course, but how do you share that? I have to look after short-, medium- and long-term, but Unai has to look after the very short-term [challenges], and that means Wednesday, Saturday, training sessions, looking after the opponents and the strategy of the games. I have to give him time to look after that situation, and he has to give all his energy to that very short-term, he has to look after that and I have to help him with it. And medium-term and long-term, when we look after the academy, maybe you’re talking about medium-term and long-term, so that’s important to me, to be linked very well with the academy as well. So as I said, Unai has to be focused with his energy on the very short-term, and I have to help him with that.

What do you say, Edu, to the fans who are concerned about the club’s future? Some fans are positive, some fans are less positive. What do you say to those who are less positive?

We have to understand the fans, we have to understand that. That’s important. But they have to understand us as well. Because we have a philosophy. The club is changing a lot, so I saw that before I signed up for technical director, I saw the many changes now Arsene has left. The structure of the club changes a lot. So that’s a process, and sometimes we need time. I understand that time is going against us but we have to be aware of that. But in the end, we’re going to give to [the fans] some good things I am sure. I am sure. Because since I started to talk with Vinai and Raul about that job, I felt the energy of the club. I felt the very positive things around it. That’s why I really believe and that’s why I am here as well, because I feel we will do good things in the future. Not the future-future, but nearly there!

Let’s jump one year into the future. If we spoke to you again then, where would you hope the club would be at that point?

I’m not saying [it’s a] dream, but [we need to be] focused to be fighting for the Champions League again. Of course that’s our target. To make the squad even stronger. I want to see the fans enjoying, as before, the club even more. I know how they live the club, how they love the club and we have to give them something back so they can enjoy again the club.

This reads really well for me… and the club are clearly trying to appease the whingers like me. They want the ground to be buzzing this season, which is fair.

What I like:

He’s addressing the now, he’s talking about stages to what he’s doing and he’s said that his goal is to fight for the Champions League.

No time frame… but I’m giving him one. 5 years. Champions League final. Make it happen!

Transfer wise, no one really has anything. All the deals we know we’re gunning for are just chugging along. Dani Ceballos is going to be a very interesting move for Arsenal, that would make me feel a lot better about the coming season. If we can bring in a couple of wide players and a centre back, at least we’ll have inched forward. The most important thing for me is building out the athleticism of the squad. It’s been painful to watch average teams bully us. We need a more brutish character this season, Zaha certainly gives us that sort of edge.

In the… ‘look who we let go OMG OMG’ instalment today. Ismail Bennacer just took the player of the tournament at AFCON. Ouch. It’s amazing how good other clubs have been at identifying the better prospects in our youth ranks.

Hopefully, Emery really does get pressured into playing the kids this season… John-Jules, Saka, Willock and Medley best be £30m players by the end of the season.

Interestingly, Chelsea HAS to take the youth approach. Top 4 could be battle of the kids.

Right, that’s me done, enjoy the game this evening and HYDRATE if you are in the ground.

535 Responses to “Edu speaks – it’s good!”

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  1. Pierre

    As I said the other day, an injury to Sokratis in the next few weeks and we are up the creek without a paddle.

    Back in May, the first thing we should have done is bought a dominant, reliable centre half …
    We could seriously regret not adding to the defence.

    We have holding and bellerin returning after serious long term injuries and they will need to be handled with kid gloves .
    We don’t want a situation as last season where Kosielny was grossly overused by the manager when he clearly was not ready to play a full game …

  2. Mysticleaves

    If if we’re up to me am absolutely keeping and playing Chambers. If Tierney is added to the 11 and Chambers, Bellerin and Holding gets major roles in the 11 this season it means Mustafi (whom I think can’t find his way back despite being a good defender that lost his way) and Kos won’t play more. That’s already a refreshed back 4 with Leno constantly improving. We could keep the goals count to say 40/42.

    And then if we add Zaha/Everton and Ceballos and also use Willock we dramatically improve our goals count. And I prefer this model as we came address all areas at once.

    People are really underestimating how width and penetrative midfield play can help out our defensive or give us shape. Improvement in this, and not improvement in defence this season will get us top4

  3. Champagne charlie


    The comparisons aren’t the same. Holding has less than 30 PL starts to his name, Chambers has 90. In that time one has shown clear value and promise, and he isn’t the one that cost 16 mil from Southampton.

    I’ve already stated 20 mil in the bank is worthless and I’d sooner keep Chambers, but the idea is that Arsenal should have people in place now to turn 20 mil into better than Chambers.

    That shouldn’t be something to question imo, you can apply it to any member of the squad and it’s a formula that should always be favoured. Sell X and buy better in Y? totally basic. Just so happens in the case of Chambers that he’s had no input at Arsenal for two years and the relative risk or quality of offset is actually at zero – before speculative ideas of what he can offer this term.

  4. Un na naai


    100% agree this highline is no good for us. Certainly not with the current personnel.
    I thought emery had an expansive dossier on every single player? Has he not watched us struggle with simple route 1 attacks over and over and over again? Yet he continues with the high line and high press pulling our best dmf out of position along with our hapless defence.

  5. Un na naai


    I would go along with that Philosophy in nearly every other area of the team (except Torreira) but we have only 3 capable centre halves in our squad in Sokratis, chambers and Holding so I’d be reluctant to sell either of those lads at all.

    Taking chambers in isolation though I guess it depends on wether or not you see anything in him and I do. Which is why I would keep him this season and give him a run in the centre of our defence.

    He looked the only defender yesterday actually reading the opposition attacks. Why not sign a centre half anyway and if chambers doesn’t step up then offload in one of the next two windows?

    Young players aren’t given enough of a chance anymore at clubs like arsenal.
    Chambers is at an age for a centre half to be coming into his own now.
    This is the time to see if he’s ready to command a place at a club like arsenal.

  6. Un na naai


    I concur. I really think he’s an improvement already on what we currently have and could improve further.
    At the very least he’s a better reserve dmf than elneny by far

    So why not flog elneny and Mustafi. Surely we can drum up £25m there between them?

  7. Pierre

    holding only played 30 PL games.

    I could never quite work out why Wenger never used Holding more in the 2017/18 season after he had such an excellent game against Costa in the cup final v Chelsea.
    I thought he would cement a place in the side.

    Was he injured ?

  8. Chris

    I see Zidane is making it no secret he wants Bale out.

    If only we could be as ruthless with a certain few.

    And I think everyone knows we need a centre back. Let’s see who these 3-4 players we should be excited about are over the next couple of weeks.

  9. Un na naai


    Same. What was he 21/22? He utterly dominated the best striker in the league, in a big derby cup final.

  10. Champagne charlie

    “but we have only 3 capable centre halves in our squad in Sokratis, chambers and Holding”

    Depends on your view of capable. Mustafi is car crash but 90% of the time is plenty capable. I’d argue there’s even greater reason to bin Chambers for an upgrade given your offerings there.

    Chambers didn’t make the grade at Arsenal, went on loan at Boro, changed nothing, went on loan at Fulham and couldn’t feature as a CB so moved into DM/CM, then returns. He for my money is NOT a good choice for curing our concerns at CB.

    “Young players aren’t given enough of a chance anymore at clubs like arsenal.”

    There’s a one to be walked between giving youth a chance and shooting yourself in the foot given the aspirations. For me there’s a disconnect between our academy and the first team, we don’t seem able to spot who is or isn’t worth giving time (Gnabry/Vela).

    But doesn’t mean we ought to indulge players like Chambers who’ve been on the books for 5 years and played nearly 100 PL matches just because the options aren’t particularly inspiring. It’s the whole ‘can’t be worse than X’ tag which simply isn’t well founded, and is pretty lazy. Can be worse, can be the same, can be better. I don’t think Chambers is better than Mustafi, I think he’s a different type of the same.

  11. Emiratesstroller

    Ishola 70

    I do not ignore all positions in our defence.

    The Centre Back positions are a priority, because realistically we have got
    only two who are fit for purpose namely Sokratis and Holding. Holding has
    been out injured for half a season and my view is that Sokratis is essentially a squad player and not a starting X1 player.

    All the other players who have either been described as CBs are either past their sell by date or not good enough to play for Arsenal.

    We have also got problems with full back positions. Bellerin has been out with
    a serious injury and it is unclear when he returns to fitness. However, when fit
    I do think that he is good enough to be a starting X1 player.

    That is not the case with LB position, which is why we need to buy this summer a player. We seem to be after Tierney. I am personally unsure whether he is the right player because there is a huge gulf between top teams in EPL and Scotland. My personal preference would have been Tagliafico having watched him play in Champions League.

    Moving onto the DMF position[s] I do not have the same view about Xhaka as
    many others who post her have. I thought that when he played alongside Torreira in the first half of last season. It was only when Torreira struggled later in the season that Xhaka’s faults reappeared. The key is to get Torreira
    match fit and adapt to English football. Also Guendouzi is probably okay as
    a bench player.

    So in the short term i.e. next season I want Arsenal to buy a new CB and LB.

  12. Mysticleaves

    Chris, did you see Bale’s agent saying Bale has a good and comfortable life in Spain and therefore isn’t going anywhere unless something really interesting happens? Which means a good team and no pay cuts. lol. As you were.

  13. Un na naai


    Yes he didn’t break into defence at Fulham but he was moved into midfield deliberately and became their best player there. I’m sure he started at centre back but Raineri has a preference for him in midfield though.
    The fact that he’s even being talked about for £20m after getting relegated with Fulham would indicate to me that there’s something there.

    He stays
    We get rid of elneny and Mustafi and we use that money

    I agree on Mustafi though. He is a good defender 90% the time but his lapses are so server that it’s not worth persevering with him any more
    We have three centre halves and a midfielder that we need to get off our books before we look at chambers.

    We aren’t going to agree on this so best to just let it go. I’m not trying to convince you and I’m clearly not going to. For me he stays.

  14. KAY Boss

    I like the way Zidane is going about the Bale issue. He’s made it clear, Bale isn’t part of his plans next season. Its a simple message get out of here because u are no use to me. Oh Zizou was phenomenon on the pitch and doing exactly in the dug out. Wish we could do that to our dross

  15. Thorough

    Me think part of our solution to the porous defence would include playing two deeplying midfielders whom are defensively responsible/astute. I’ll take any of Chambers/Bielik/Willock to partner Torreira.
    And it’s a farce that players like Elneny are still here.

  16. Un na naai


    We need dough to replace em
    Montreal are all going for free

    Mustafi and monreal are our only bankable players that I’d get rid of apart from Aubameyang who I’d have sold off already
    If we can get £70 plus then it’s too much to trundow for a 30 year old who will fizzle out in the coming 24 months at the level required.

    That £75m could be used to sign that winger we are chasing and a centre back.

  17. Un na naai


    Said the same myself yesterday

    When Holding is ready I’d look at chambers, torriera and Xakha as a midfield three to gain as much control in the middle as we can and provide an excellent defensive shield. It would also give tierney and bellerin more licence to get forward

  18. Nelson

    As someone has pointed it out, our players are not good enough to play high press and high defensive line. Once we loses the ball, every players should run back to his defensive position behind the ball, except the striker. I doubt Emery would try this tactics. He wants to win 4 – 3.

  19. Cesc Appeal

    The amount of people out there who still have Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil as the midfield core…that is a huge source of our problems.

    That is a press free zone, offers little to no protection to our defence and has limited possession ability in terms of controlling in any game that is moderately difficult or tougher.

    Thinking cheaply we need Dani Ceballos to come in and really work well and we need a youngster to take a step up this year. Otherwise that is something else we will need in the transfer market next year.

  20. Micheal

    I feel we need two central defenders – not one. Being realistic. Holding and Sokratis are the only two Prem quality CBs at Arsenal. Mustafi, Kos and Monreal are past it or not good enough and Mavro is apparently not trusted.

    At the same time, we must instill better defensive coaching, built around marking, discipline and athleticism. Give a coached defence the proper support of a discplined, mobile defensive midfielder (the opposite of Xhaka) in front and we can start to talk about improving our shocking defensive record.

  21. Thorough

    Un nai
    Only that I don’t want Xhaka anywhere near my team. I’ll rather keep Mustafi than Xhaka. Cant remember ever watching a midfielder so clumsy that he guarantees the opponent a potential goal or penalty every game. If he were a defender he would have made Mustafi look like Maldini and Baresi put together.

  22. Marc


    To be honest I think we’re stuck with Xhaka for at least the start of the season. If Ceballos comes in I can see him quickly replacing Ozil. The only hope with Xhaka is if one of the kids or Guendozi really step it up.

  23. Marko

    Agree last night was prime Xhaka. Just came on pretty much instantly made a mistake that lead to the opponent having a chance and made 2 fouls after being booked. Another waste of a season incoming with him at the heart of the midfield and possibly as captain. As for the defence enough is enough do something to it. I’d seriously shelve any plans to spend money on the attack until the defence is addressed and properly addressed. Unbelievable that they haven’t done more to that area

  24. Nelson

    Juv is playing Pjanic, Can and Matuidi as the midfield three. I don’t even see Ramsey in the subsitute bench…

  25. TR7


    ‘Added to that reports that Emery doesn’t fancy him at all and it doesn’t look to good for Mav at this point.’

    Emery has no understanding of defense and quality of defenders. The guy will continue with over the hill journeyman like Mustafi and Sokratis.

  26. Valentin

    Xhaka was in the pitch for less than 20 minutes, yet he succeeded in making me regretting the youngsters he replaced. Neither youngster central midfielders had a particularly good game, but in his little cameo Xhaka was the worst player on the pitch despite strong competition from Mustafi and Kolasinac.

    If Willock continue to impress, Emery may decide that a central midfield of Torreira and Willock may be a better option. More aggression, more able to handle a high defensive line.

  27. Marc


    I’m beginning to think we might not see some exits until after our window closes. If Mustafi etc see that they won’t get near the first team they may decide to look for a move.

  28. Cesc Appeal



    That is what I think, a 4-3-3 with Ceballos taking a CAM/CM role in a similar role to the one Fabregas played in that formation for us, Torreira deep at CDM and then likely we will start with Xhaka as CM but I hope Guendouzi or Willock (most likely candidates) take a step up and take the starting position from him.

    When you have a starting 11 with Kolasinac, Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil in it you’re asking for trouble.

    If you were to write down qualities a central midfield player should not have in the EPL I would imagine Xhaka would hit most of them. He has talent, but nowhere near enough to justify keeping him longterm. Also, his talent (possession) disappears somewhat in tough games as his possession play suffers under pressure.

    That is the effect of years of transfers with no plan or system in place and a geriatric dinosaur not wanting a team full of players with competitive, demanding mentalities.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    ‘If Mustafi etc see that they won’t get near the first team they may decide to look for a move.’

    Potentially more likely as well when they enter the last 18/12 months of their contracts along with limited play time.

  30. Marko

    I’m beginning to think we might not see some exits until after our window closes

    That is possible considering that other windows stay open until September. But that’s a very dangerous and it’s only smart if you have replacements already in before the end of our window which is something like 18/19 days. And right now it’s been weeks and we’re still talking about the same targets actually getting over the line no new targets that I can see. Sure anyway what’s another wasted season in the grand scheme of things

  31. Marc


    The other think we need to be careful of is pushing Holding too far too soon because of everyone’s eagerness to keep Mustafi away from the team.

  32. Valentin


    I don’t think that two of our most pressing issue will be address. We need:

    – 1 CB preferably left footed available to play right away. Saliba coming Next year, will not help us if we are out of the top 4 and Champion’s league for another year. Chambers can do a job if he plays alongside somebody who guides him like Per did for Holding during the Fa Cup final. Unfortunately Koscielny is gone and Sokratis is not positionally good enough to be that mentor.

    – 1 Central midfield one who can play defensive midfielder but who can also make forward pass even under pressure. Xhaka can make forward pass but not when under pressure and he can’t tackle. Elneny is better when position further up like he is for Egypt. When deeper, his poor passing range stunt our creativity.

  33. Marko

    It is amazing though that we still haven’t taken a hammer to that defence. Given the last 3 seasons our end of season collapse and the amount of goals conceded you’d assume that the imbeciles in charge would be moving heaven and Earth to properly address it. I mean it’s unbelievable not one single defender brought in not one defensive minded midfielder targeted at all. I swear if we don’t add up to 3 starting defenders we will be having the exact same season that we’ve been having for the last few years. Talk about Chambers and Sokratis and Holding all you like with crossed fingers and four leaf clovers coming out of your ears but they’re not good and we need defenders. Less said about the fullbacks the better

  34. TR7

    Marko, Emery and Raul are useless. The sooner you realize it, the better you will be at managing your expectations w.r.t AFC.

  35. Marko

    Oh I have no expectations with regards to Arsenal. I haven’t for over a decade. A constant disappointment and yet I can’t divorced her. A brief separation might be in order though

  36. Cesc Appeal



    Same thing with Bellerin.

    It means we’re going to have to start the season with Maitland Niles at RB and Mustafi at CB unless we can get another CB which it is rumorued Emery is pushing for.

    Far from ideal. Starting off at a major disadvantage.

    The comments about transfers make me hopeful, it’s not the usual shit we were used to with the geriatric about ‘of course we are always looking but it is not easy to replace the qualideeeeeee we have. If something comes up of qualideeeee and value we will buy’.

    Emery has basically said deals are being worked on, they are expensive and we want to do everything we those before we move onto second choice signings and we want up to 4 still.

    I think we can read into that we have money struggles (we all know) and the reason it’s taking time is agreeing how much money we pay this summer on the total and what the bonuses and staggered payment scheme will look like.

    If it’s 4 then likely Dani Ceballos and Tierney as the most likely. Then it could be Zaha, certainly a winger. Then maybe a CB?

    With the budget we have and the lack of saleable assets I’d be happy with that.

  37. Valentin

    Two young players surprised me, because they did not stand out when playing in the U21/reserve.

    Thomson at left back is clearly not ready for first team in the premiership, but could be given a runout in Domestic Cup and easy Europa League opponents. I am not sure why but I never saw him as making the grade at Arsenal.

    Robbie Burton was another who at youth team games seems to drift out of game, good moment but never have outstanding game. He was diligent and tidy. With a year on loan at a League 1 or abroad. Maybe concentration is a problem at lower level, but here the buzz of playing for the first team keep him on his toes. This season, we Should keep and let him train with the first team, but a loan next season in a Championship club or abroad should really help his development.

  38. Marko

    Such a shame we’ve got such limp dick ownership. Cause honestly we’re probably an extra 40-45 million away from properly addressing things. By that I mean get in the supposed 4 being worked on and assuming that the CB being targeted isn’t some 10 million one from Olympiakos it really in my mind leaves a DM and RB needed. Sangare and someone like Atal added would be addressing two of our most recent problem areas. And then we could spend what’s left of the European window selling players we don’t need

  39. Ishola70

    It’s very lazy to not address at least one of CB or CM.

    And when talking CM we are talking about one that is defensively responsible.

    These are positions that not need cost an arm and a leg.

    So if we don’t see at least one incoming in this position we must take it that those running the show don’t care for defence.

  40. Pierre

    I sense that Marko is starting to lose faith in our recruitment policy.

    Cesc Appeal and Marc still.trying to remain positive , desperation will set in unless something happens soon.

  41. Marko

    In other troll news CG hasn’t been on in a while maybe he slipped on his handkerchief and fell down the stairs. Good riddance

  42. Dream10

    Zaha is going to need to hand in a transfer request sharpish. Two and a half weeks left in the PL window

  43. Ishola70

    Also this talk of being better offensively will mean being better defensively is just chucking the towel in really.

    It’s chucking the towel in because the aim should always be for looking for a balanced side.

    It’s also not going to work in the long run unless other aspects of the team are improved. It’s thinking of the laziest order.

    Man City press ten times better than Arsenal do as well as having a good offense.

    Liverpool very disciplined midfield that offers protection as well as having individual player(s) in defensive positions that are seen as very good performers individually.

    Just to say throw more offense at the situation is not going to cut it.

  44. Marko

    Yeah spending 50-60 million on Zaha won’t all of a sudden make our defence better it won’t cut out the errors from the same players time and time again

  45. Nelson

    A word from a youngster “”Unai does not have to speak to us directly, Freddie comes to us and tells us what we need to do. It makes the transition from the academy to the first team much smoother.””

    Now I understand why Emery couldn’t play our youngsters more last year. They couldn’t understand Emery’s English. No wonder I saw Freddie very active on the sideline. He is the primary translator.

  46. Valentin

    Despite ManCity and Liverpool having better players than Arsenal, they both play systems with 3 central midfield players.
    Liverpool play 4-3-3, which in reality is more like a 4-2-1-3. Henderson is further of the central midfielder and is takes to help press the opposition. No more I am a 6 with the passing talent of a 10 non-sense for him.
    Man City version of 4-3-3 is more akin to 4-1-2-3. With Fernandinho the deeper of the central midfielder the last screen before the defense. With Gundogan, Silva acting in tandem as the first screen.

    Arsenal has no such system and except Torreira and Willock has no players who can play both as aggressive hunter defensive midfielder but with decent forward link-up.

    Getting better offensive players will not mask that we have no organisation in the centre and no reliable player there as well. Against some of the lower oppositions that can paper over the cracks, but against well organised teams with two strong aggressive hunters, our midfield will collapse, and our completely isoled attack will be blunted.

  47. Marc


    I am trying to remain optimistic – it’s not always easy but there’s not much more you can do.

    What I will say is despite the thoughts of many that Sanllehi is some idiot who just managed to fall into several highly paying jobs is he is not stupid. As a club we’ve been positioning the fans for months to expect a very limited transfer budget. To not manage to even spend the £45 million we’ve talked about would see the fans start the season in a more negative mood than I think we’ve seen for years and years.

    A late panic outside of targets that have been talked about for weeks would not do much to alter this.

  48. Marc

    “They couldn’t understand Emery’s English”

    Yeah if only in that several hundred million wage bill we had someone who appreciated that no being able to talk to someone is not ideal.

  49. Dream10

    Unbelievable from Ndombele. Guy comes on and creates a goal for Moura. One more win in the last six matches in the PL last season and Ndombele doesn’t join Spurs. He’ll go for big money to PSG, Real in two years. Utter nonsense.

  50. Valentin


    It is called the Peter principle. Somebody is elevated above his competency level. However if that person is ruthless enough to know when and how to eliminate anybody threatening their own position, they can survive. In the meantime their organisation suffer from their incompetence.

    If they are senior enough, the company can collapse. When the situation become intenable the person leave before being pushed out or is handsomely compensated to leave. Usually they then reappear somewhere else and repeat the same process.

    At Barcelona, Raul was allegedly the master wheeler dealer. The reality is quite different. It is like people who sell Ferrari who thinks that they are master salesperson. Most are not. They just happen to sell a product that sell itself. At Barcelona, dealing was easy, because the product is so enticing. You can suggest to players to behave in such way that their club is more or less forced to sell.

    Everybody has seen the UK and US version of the TV serie the office. That did not happen in a vacuum. Such ridiculous out of their depth boss do really exists.

  51. Dream10

    Emery has to go for more matches next season. We don’t have to be have as counter punchers to react to opposition’s tactics. His weakness from his time in Spain is building a defensive setup like Conte. His strength is going for games.
    One of Xhaka/Torreira plus one of Ceballos/Guendouzi/Willock, maybe two at times.

  52. Marc


    If we make the following signings Tierney, Saliba (goes back on loan), Ceballos (on loan) and a wide player with at least a high potential threshold, then add a CB as backup for a season.

    How would you rate that as a window?

  53. HighburyLegend

    The Young Gunners knows best!!

    Young talents/fresh start/very good ambiance between the young and the more experienced players means the season to come will not necessary be a disaster.

  54. Valentin


    I would rate that as a bare minimum.

    Ceballos is a good player, but not the right type for Arsenal. From the little I have seen of him, he plays as a 10, but with defensive awareness. We don’t need another 10, we need a 8. Ndombele would have been perfect for Arsenal. The annoying thing is that there are players in France who have his characteristics. They may not have as much talen as him, but some still are more suited to the position than Xhaka or Ceballos.

    Regarding the CB as a back-up. We need a proper CB not a back-up. Emery clearly prefer a back 4, but he knows that nor Mustafi, nor Nacho can play CB in a Back 4. So clearly he has written off Koscielny, Mavrapanos and Chambers. The latter two can play but need to be with a more senior mentor, a role that Sokratis can’t fulfill too rash and aggressive himself. So we need another CB for this season and maybe use him for the next as a back-up.
    That CB does not need to be a world class pro, just a decent model pro who can organise things.

    Tierney may be a great left back, but is he a good defender? Most of the modern full-backs are very good bombing forward but not so good defensively. The SPL is so low in quality, nobody knows for sure that he will make the step up. For the price quoted, I would like more certainty.

  55. Marc

    As I thought Valentin nothing is good enough. I don’t know whether you’re another of the closet Wenger fans who are enjoying seeing the club struggle to fix the mess he left or just someone incapable of getting any joy out of the club.

    We have a limited budget, players on salaries that mean they’re difficult to shift and you expect someone to wave a magic wand and fix everything.

  56. WengerEagle

    Starting to look like we’ll be lucky to see 4 brought in, Emery saying ‘up to four’.

    So Tierney, Ceballos (loan) and a wideman most likely. Not going to lie that would be a disappointing window and still desperately weak in the central areas.

  57. Ishola70

    Wanting an 8 in midfield or a competent CB is not really waving a magic wand tbf.

    Valentin is correct in his analysis of Ceballos. He plays like a 10 who can also offer some defensive play as well. Nothing wrong with the player individually he has some good arrtibutes but he isn’t going to offer control in the centre of the pitch because he will be on walkabouts further up playing his instinctive 10 game.

  58. Valentin


    This is the same usual tripe: You criticise the current team, because you are a closet AKB. Did it never occurred to you that some fans wants what’s best for the club and are not ready to settle for average.

    My opinion is that the team needs upgrade and some area are more important than others. I just think this current team is doing as bad if not worse than under Wenger.

    I made the point that Tierney may turn good, but I view his price was too high for the uncertainty: will he have completely recovered from his hernia operation (one of the potential consequence of such operation is recurring back spasm), will he have the quality to step up? If you really think that a £30 millions pound for an injured LB who has only played in the SPL is a fair price, I have a bridge to sell.

    The budget argument budget is really a lie and a bad excuse. At some point Arsenal will have to take a financial hit on the overpaid underdelivering players signed by the previous regime. Getting rid of them should not be an option. Doing nothing is taking a decision. Keeping the saleable assets such as Xhaka, Elneny, Chambers, Mhikitarian are bad decisions that the current team is taking.

    We should go after a mix of youth hungry with potential (found after a systemic analytical approach) and old who can do a job, or a still young with a chip on their shoulder ready for revenge.

    Our scattergun approach may yield some results, but will more likely leave us underwhelmed and unprepared for the new season.

  59. WengerEagle

    I’d say Ceballos is more of an 8.

    His end product needs a lot of work, even in his best season at Betis he was only directly responsible for a handful of goals all season.

  60. Valentin


    He is an attacking midfielder who is best when trying to control the ball further up the field and dictate the play. He has defensive awareness, but he is not the player who sit deep, tackle attackers, get the ball cleaning of them and burst past players.

  61. Ishola70

    Ceballos has played plenty of matches in more advanced positions than CM and on the flanks which indicates he really isn’t an 8.

    He is an attacking midfielder who has some defensive attributes about him.

    Quite a lot of players are listed as CM when in reality they are AMs.

    At Betis he was clearly seen as a focal point in attack in providing.

    He’ll play like Ramsey who was also meant to be box to box but in reality wasn’t.

    He has attributes to be box to box but I think his natural instincts are about further up the pitch.

  62. WengerEagle

    Numbers are quite restrictive when describing players, he’s more involved in the build up than your average 10 but he’s also not a disciplined CM in terms of holding his position in the centre and tracking opposing midfielders off the ball.

    Xhaka as the sweeper and gatekeeper in front of our fragile backline is still a huge cause for concern and will see us leak so many goals.

  63. Unai

    ‘Added to that reports that Emery doesn’t fancy him at all and it doesn’t look to good for Mav at this point.’

    Emery has no understanding of defense and quality of defenders. The guy will continue with over the hill journeyman like Mustafi and Sokratis.

    Did you watch Mav at all last season?

    Rabbit in headlights, guys definitely not ready for the prem regardless of how bad the other options are.

  64. TR7


    ‘Did you watch Mav at all last season?Rabbit in headlights, guys definitely not ready for the prem regardless of how bad the other options are.’

    A young teenager coming back from an injury layoff not looking up to speed in the limited game time he gets in a league still alien to him is hardly a matter of surprise. As far as I am concerned he has it in him to come good if the manager shows faith in him and gives him adequate game time. Talking of rabbit in headlights, what about calamitous Mustafi continuing to be a regular fixture in our starting line up for one more season at least ?

  65. Unai

    TR7, your right, hes a raw kid who needs game time.

    A loan? cup games? Fine.

    30+ games in the prem would be pure negligence.