ARSENAL SIGN PÉPÉ OMFG

by & filed under News Review.

Wow, wow, wow… Raul S has pulled off the shock signing of the summer, with Dave Ornstein announcing the Spaniard has reeled in one of the best talents in Ligue 1 with Nicolas Pépé.

I am SHOOK.

The above tweet is obviously a massive L on my part, but there are layers to my unprophetic words. Firstly, the fact we’ve managed to scrabble together €80m for a player is quite incredible. If there were a saying from this summer it’d be…

‘It’s all about the instalment plan, fam’

Secondly, I am HUGELY surprised that we were the only major club outside Napoli in for his talents. I know I have repeatedly defended what Arsenal is to players and managers around the world, but I didn’t think we were in that league of intrigue for names that had clubs like Paris and Liverpool sniffing. Just goes to show you, London is a huge pull, the full stadium is unique, the training ground is special, the chance to play must also be important, and the new guys must be able to sell a dream.

What a moment, I can’t remember Arsenal dropping a signing this major since we brought in Thierry Henry. He’s the right-winger of our dreams. The most exciting Ivorian since Yaya Toure stepped foot in Boreham Wood (Jokes Kolo, jokes). He scored 23 goals last season and gave 12 assists. He’s been making a contribution to Lille every 101 minutes, which is far more impressive than what Zaha has been doing at Palace over the past season. The best he’s mustered is a contribution every 152 in his best ever year last season.

The player himself is a joy to watch, for some reason I spent a lot of time watching Ligue 1 last year and he’s been one of the stand out guys. He’s powerfully built, standing at 6ft. I think he’s slightly lighter in frame than Zaha, but he’s electric on the ball. He has deft feet, he moves at pace, he’ll come deep, he’ll stretch teams and in front of goal last season he blew up.

We’ve struggled for years to add players with athleticism to our frontline, it’s great to see we’re finally moving in on players that are a huge issue for teams on the counter. When you have a shite defence like we do, the last thing we need is to be pressed into our own half because the only person chasing a long ball is Auba (who can be crowded out physically in big games).

Outside that, this has been a fucking great signing for the fans. This is a premium signing. I really think Zaha would have been good for us, but that could have gone the way of Welbeck, or it could have just been a move that was ok.

Pepe has a higher ceiling than Zaha, I think he’s better technically, and he’s 2 years younger. Our guy has resale value as well, which is super important when you look how we’re going to have to work the ins and outs moving forward.

It’ll also be good for the squad morale. No one wants to go back to preseason and have no new faces to look at. This will add the squad vibes and it’ll be just as fun for the players as it has been for the fans.

I know that a few of journos are saying the move favoured us because we were willing to give his agency team the commissions they wanted. It seems like the cost of football these days, but it’s dodgy all the same. We’ve lost out on lots of big names in the past because we’ve ignored the dark arts of the game, and now it looks like that’s where we’re playing them… but like most things in sport, you cease to care if you have a shiny new player rolling out in a redshirt.

I did think it was quite amusing that Raul and the exec leadership team spent an afternoon getting pounded at the fan Q&A for basically no reason… they could have just said we’d be signing Pepe this week and everyone would have shut the fuck up. It’s a bit like chewing out your partner for not doing anything for your birthday, then packing up your bags and leaving them, only find out their last-ditch attempt to meet you was a surprise birthday party with the Rolling Stones.

What I find particularly handsome about this summer is that the roof of the house has blown off and we’re out the front painting with a really nice Farrow and Ball shade of gray. Where are the defenders?!

Are we Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle? It’s looking that way… but hey, at least the players are exciting.

See you in the comments!

1,370 Responses to “ARSENAL SIGN PÉPÉ OMFG”

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  1. Paulinho

    Strange what happened. When Emery took over they had finished tenth, and he got them back to third within two seasons. Squad was seriously under-performing it seems.

  2. Un na naai

    Jaoquin should have had a better career and Vicente. Part of the golden era. Not like Spain needed them in the end though

  3. WengerEagle

    Unn

    We had arguably the best side in Europe in 2003 too, season that we threw away the league and squandered a title defence which would have turned into a 3 peat. Certainly were the best Euro side in 2004. Damning indictment on AW that we had one CL QF exit to show for those years with prime Henry, Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Cole, Campbell.

    2006 I wasn’t as disappointed as I was proud of the side. We had no right getting past Real Madrid, Juventus and an excellent Villarreal side headed by Riquelme with a defence of Flamini, Senderos, Toure and Eboue.

  4. Left testicle

    Leftside and Cesc,

    Here it is…
    https://youtu.be/LeYKSg-6pQs

    From 7:00. I can’t make it out which would explain the different reports. What do you guys think. I must say that his pronunciation has improved a lot over the last couple of months.

  5. Paulinho

    That 2006 side was made for Europe. Hleb and Fabrega were just unreal, and Ljungberg and Reyes put in admirable shifts in deeper roles. Henry played the lone striker role to perfection.

    We deserved to win the final as well.

  6. WengerEagle

    Joaquin was one of my favourite players to watch back in his early Real Betis days. One of the best dribblers/crossers and classic touchline wingers I’ve seen, Rothen for Monaco was another one.

    Joaquin hasn’t hit the heights that his talent warranted but he’s actually had a very impressive career from a longevity standpoint. 37/38 years old and he’s still putting in a decent return of 6 league goals for Real Betis including one in the win at the Nou Camp vs Barcelona.

    18 seasons of top flight football as a starter is incredible for a winger in the modern game.

  7. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    To this day the one that hurts the most because as you say, we deserved it. Outplayed Barcelona with 10 men for most of the match.

    Would have been such a perfect end for Henry here too if he sticks away one of those chances. I reckon he would have signed for them a year earlier had he won that Final as he would have delivered everything to the club.

  8. WengerEagle

    How much money do Bayern have to splash this summer?

    Already spent over 100m on Lucas Hernandez and Pavard, no way they sign Leroy Sane for under 80m. Could argue he’s worth a lot more than that given his age and some of the other transfer fees going around.

  9. Un na naai

    Eagle

    Same. But the one that hurts the mist is Chelsea 04
    Just killed me that did. We hadn’t lost to Chelsea in years at that point and they were so fucking jammy to get past us
    Had them on the ropes for both legs

    Again, profligacy in front of goal. Wenger’s training method of pass pass pass in front of goal can’t have helped when we had one or two opportunities in tight matches in Europe

    Apparently the team were not allowed to shoot in training. Not that we didn’t have enough good finishers to put them away though

  10. Paulinho

    WE – Funny about Henry. The sister of bird I’ve known for a long time is or was best friends with the English wife Henry had at the time, and she told me back in 05 that Henry would sign a new contract the following summer and leave after the first year of it, which is exactly what happened. I didn’t pay much attention at the time but it was obviously legit, which suggests he had planned to leave for a while.

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Left testicle

    It sounds like he says ‘one CB, one fielder and one winger’.

    Just trying to work out what fielder is, because there isn’t a ‘mid’ there I don’t think.

  12. Freddie Ljungberg

    CA

    I would absolutely sacrifice the LB position until next year if it meant another midfielder and a starting CB coming in.
    Our center is like marshmallow.

    With some actual wingers in the squad we won’t get as exposed down the flanks and it would alleviate the need for our fullbacks to constantly bomb forward, plus no one is going to fuck with Kola now.

    Oh well, we’ll see I guess, the only thing we can be sure of is that there will still be weaknesses left after the window, the question is where and how many.

  13. Champagne charlie

    Did it come to light why Marko got put on the naughty step? or is he on holiday at his cousins or something?

  14. Un na naai

    Did it come to light why Marko got put on the naughty step? or is he on holiday at his cousins or something?

    😂 😂 😂

    I bet he’s reading that.

  15. Leftsidesanch

    Left, Cesc

    I played it a few times and had it as fielder too. Some people have taken it that Tierney is a done deal and some believe he may have omitted mentioning it.

    I think theres too much smoke there for something not to be happening in that regard.

  16. Cesc Appeal

    FL

    Yeah we were never going to cure the total shower that is this squad this summer. Even with UCL football there would still be issues.

    You’re right on the full backs, provided the wingers pick up the slack. But at the same time full backs are so important, City and Liverpool became much better sides with great full backs.

    For me it all depends on the quality of the signings. I’d prefer one great signing than two mediocre ones in its place.

    If we don’t have the money to get everything done then leave it, provided we come out of the window having spent our budget and made some good acquisitions the fans will understand.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    Leftside

    I just can’t think that we won’t put everything into getting Tierney, we’ve chased him for this long.

  18. Paulinho

    I would rather buy Tierney as priority than some random non-descript centre back. He’s probably one of the last top class left-backs waiting to be scooped up.

    Surely we can do a loan for a relatively quick centre back than can play right back as well, Markus Babbel style.

  19. Leftsidesanch

    I won’t be surprised if he alongside Pepe is announced this week Cesc. A whole summer chasing him to not get him won’t paint us in the best light.

    Then if we can get in a proper CB…optimism will really build.

  20. Freddie Ljungberg

    CA

    judging what’s going on here I’m not so sure;)

    Agree that fullbacks are important, but Holding is out and always seems to pick up injuries, Sok is always good for a red card and isn’t the greatest anyway. Would be nice to get someone in that is a nailed on starter and can pair with Saliba next season.

    There’s talk of Rugani again, on loan with option to buy. I haven’t watched Serie A with any regularity since it was good in the 90s so not sure how good he is.

  21. Un na naai

    Paulinho

    Exactly. We want the players we need. No point wasting money on stop gaps. The moves we seem to be making are showing signs of a careful strategy rather than they buy anyone and see how he fits recipe of the past. Building a good team can be likended to chess
    You have to wait for the prices to fall into place before making your move
    They may have their eye on a specific target for next summer at centre half who ain’t available this summer
    Adding a new body now could block such a move next summer

    If these posters who call for patience truly mean it then they should accept that we are building here and wait for their “beast” centre half with patience themselves

  22. Un na naai

    If we get rugani and Ceballos on laan and they light the place up I’d be happy to sign them both next year
    We could have a nearly complete side this season if that happens.

  23. HillWood

    Still surprised we are still showing interest in a currently injured Jock Crock
    Thought the club would have learned their lesson by now

  24. Un na naai

    Hill wood

    We own our own data analysis team. Surely this feeds into transfer targets fitness and team compatibility. They must be targeting him for a specific set of reasons as they’ve focused on him solely all summer

  25. Paulinho

    Un – Exactly. Liverpool were under pressure to buy any old centre back but waited for VVD the following Jan.

  26. Ishola70

    Fans have been waiting for over a decade for a good defence.

    No idea why a side can’t both be good offensively as well as dangerous offensively.

    Maybe the football values of having a dodgy defence are just ingrained in the club.

    Pepe’s stats are very impressive in goalscoring and assists from the flank so the club are adding a 22 goal winger to an offense that were already comfortably third highest scorers in the league with 73 goals.

    Does that tell you that they intend to really fix defence any time soon?

  27. Ishola70

    Real Madrid won those CL titles in a row not just because of being dangerous offensively with Ronaldo but because also just as importantly they suffocated teams in midfield. Smothered them.

    When are the club going to seriously attempt to assemble a balanced side instead of overloading in one department?

  28. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ishola

    Rome wasn’t rebuilt in a day after it burned down, at least we seem to have a plan now and not just an old man fiddling with his zipper while watching it burn.

  29. Ishola70

    Freddie Ljungberg
    “Rome wasn’t rebuilt in a day after it burned down, at least we seem to have a plan now”

    No but was it built in the time fans have been waiting for a good Arsenal defence?

    What is the plan? To win games 5-4.

    Pepe is an exciting signing for sure but it’s not telling us that Arsenal are going to assemble a balanced squad. It could be telling us otherwise.

    As long as a player like Xhaka is being touted as Captain number one then the club are not serious in having a balanced team. He epitomises an unbalanced player himself. Only useful at times on the ball and offensively, horrible off the ball and defensively.

    Ceballos would give more to a side overall than a Granit Xhaka because he offers both on and off the ball.

    What can you do when so many fans still go in uproar when a DM is metioned and scream anti-football. This is the culture that is ingrained stemming from Arsene.

  30. Valentin

    Rome wasn’t rebuilt in one day.
    No, but they didn’t keep rebuilding the roof while the foundation keep sagging.
    Good strikers win you matches, but a good defense win you titles.
    Without a good defense, we may become the second highest scorer in the league instead of third, but that would mean nothing if we finish outside of the Champions league place because we keep leaking goals.

  31. Un na naai

    Fl

    Yes but big doesn’t necessarily mean great

    I’d rather wait and nab a carefully selected target than blow £10m just to have an additional body there
    Unless they are planning to offload Mustafi and koscielney this summer

    Even then that gives us 4 first team centre halves plus mavropanos. I would t want it getting in they way of nabbing someone of too wualitu next summer

    I’m liking the rugani talk though. Was earmarked as a top centre half a couple of years ago

  32. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ishola

    you’re praying to the choir about Xhaka, I would ship him out in a heartbeat.

    Val

    We’re nowhere near winning any titles, it’s going to take a couple of seasons before we can compete again, might as well do it like Liverpool did and enjoy some exciting football in the mean time. There’s signs with Tierney and Saliba that we’re not ignoring the defense but our squad has been allowed to deteriorate for years, it will take time to fix all of it.

  33. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    Agree for once, we need to be careful with our targets, ideal would be a starter that can partner Holding or Sok this year and the hopefully Saliba next with Holding and Sok becoming backups, would give us quality and depth in CBs for the first time in ages.

  34. Un na naai

    FL

    I’d like to see Holding grow into captain material myself. I believe he can be. He was showing Greg form last season and out Diego Costa in his pocket at such a young age. He’s got the mind set to really be a commanding centre half for me. Reads the game so well. But I’d want competition as it elevates the players who can step up

  35. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    I’m not sure he’s got the quality, showed some promise before his injury though, but that’s the problem, he seems to be breaking down far too often. Can’t pin our hopes on injury prone players anymore so either that stops or he gets relegated to backup.

    Was so frustrating seeing our midfield not get upgraded for years because of Ramsey and Wilshere and Diaby when you knew before a ball was kicked that they wouldn’t last a season between them. Those days need to be behind us if we want to progress. We can’t afford that kind of sentimentality.

  36. Un na naai

    I didn’t say don’t sign another defender. I’m clearly for that but if we have new cb competing with holding and Saliba next season then it’s a win/win

    I would like to see Holding rise to the challenge and become our lynchpin though. Ideally. We need a british voice at the club again. An identity

  37. Emiratesstroller

    The two games against Real Madrid and Lyon tell us everything that we need
    to know about our squad.

    The club has plenty of attacking resources and will not be short of goals particularly if Pepe arrives this summer.

    On the other hand our defence is not in good shape. We are woefully short at
    the moment of solid defenders not least in the absence of Bellerin and Holding.

    The idea that we can rely this season on players like Maitland-Niles, Jenkinson, Chambers, Monreal and Mustafi is precisely why Arsenal will continue to struggle to finish in top 4 in EPL and qualify for Champions League.

  38. Valentin

    Freddie,

    I meant title in general, not just premier League title. Should have said competition.

    The idea is still the same, we need to upgrade our defense, because it will let us down again this season. I can’t see Mustafi or Xhaka not dropping us in it two to three games each. We may be able to recover a couples of those games, but not all of them.

  39. Cesc Appeal

    If we can make a system where Pepe and Aubameyang act as forwards cutting in to be a goal threat with Lacazette in the middle and Bellerin and Tierney overlapping to provide width work we could be seriously great in attack. Really fluid and fast paced.

    The real step up would be if Bellerin and Tierney can effectively get back and fulfill the other side of their role which our other options cannot.

  40. Un na naai

    Ca

    Yeah I was thinking the same

    We need a solid 3 man midfield though. No advanced no10 for that to work and no high line either

  41. Cesc Appeal

    Un

    That’s the only thing, we need a solid centre in possession and when defending. Doesn’t have to be anything special, just solid.

    Right now Xhaka is like butter in the centre.

  42. Mr Serge

    We can still miss out on Pepe as he has not signed yet I am really loathe to celebrate until I see him in an arsenal shirt

  43. Mr Serge

    I have to say Chambers played well with Papa today he never messed around at the back once passed when he had to and cleared other times. We looked weaker as soon as he came off for Mustafi

  44. Zimmie2652

    Forgive me if it has been asked and beaten to death already, I haven’t read all the comments today. If we were going to throw a ton of money at Pepe this summer, why the hell didn’t we just say F it in the winter window while we were linked to him then? If I recall, the fee being touted then was roughly 24/30mil? We truly love shooting ourselves in the feet.

  45. Zimmie2652

    I know Raul and crew despise spending in the winter but damn, would’ve been a little easier to stomach that deal than watch the Barca flop hardly play.

  46. Nelson

    From the final 20 minutes of today’s game, I can see that ceballos and Xhaka form a good pair in midfield when we have the ball. Ceballos can carry the ball forward while Xhaka can execute his long pass. The problem is when we don’t have the ball. The opponent can break through our midfield easily. The team definitely needs Torr to sit at the base of the midfield to shield our defense.

  47. Caligooner

    Zimmie

    Probably because we were in pretty good shape at the time to accomplish the goal of qualifying for champs league without spending huge money.

  48. Mysticleaves

    “Strange what happened. When Emery took over they had finished tenth, and he got them back to third within two seasons. Squad was seriously under-performing it seems.”

    You say? Emery?

  49. Moray

    We are such a jekyl and Hyde club. Have been for years. What on earth are we doing signing a player like Pépé? It’s hugely exciting but it does look as though we will go in to next season with a dangerously sub par defence. Then I read this…

    Emery said: “We are working now with the captains. They are Xhaka, Ozil and Nacho Monreal. I want to add two more and then I am going to decide the number one, two, three, four and five in the next weeks.”

  50. Moray

    Nelson, we have a few options there in the middle and it’s not screamingly obvious who complements who in terms of playing style. It will be interesting and hopefully not too painful watching Emery try to make it work.

  51. China1

    If emery thinks xhaka and ozil are still captain material when fans want both sold for not being effective enough to even deserve to be on the pitch, it really does highlight that emery is a bit clueless about their shortcomings and how the fans see them

    I don’t like the idea of booing our own players, but I also sadly feel like emery will continue to be blind about these players unless the fans kick up a fuss

    Why is it so hard for a manager who reportedly spends so much time fawning over video analysis to notice these two players should be nowhere near the captaincy and probably shouldn’t even make the starting 11

  52. China1

    Monreals personality, experience and rapport with the fans is ok for vice captain material, but again he’s not actually good enough to be a first choice player anymore

    Is it really *that* hard for emery to notice?

  53. Moray

    How many games will Monreal
    Play anyway? Ditto Ozil. Surely the captain should be leading on the pitch. Xhaka seems to be a mainstay but I don’t see any leadership ability there.

  54. China1

    Moray you’re totally right but I’m afraid we’re still going to see lots of predictably bad midfield setups costing us points as emery has his favorites…

    What odds on seeing xhaka ozil and mustafi all on the pitch within the first 3 games of the season?

    Each of these players is going to make 30 appearances. I’m absolutely convinced of it

  55. China1

    I’m more worried about xhakas ability than his leadership tbh

    When the team is carrying the captain, you know you picked the wrong guy…

  56. Zimmie2652

    CaliGoon-
    I feel ya. It all just feels very meh now though when we coulda been ruthless and pounced early and gotten a deal done 30-40 mil cheaper and had him at bargain pricing. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 as they say.

  57. Dark Hei

    Kudos to Raul S and the team for bringing us bling joy in the form of Pepe.

    This is a guy that glitters.

    I think second to the “disbelief” segment up there with Ozil signing.

    Now all we need is to break the bank further with a pair of FBs.

    And yes, maybe, maybe the protest and the statement got the necessary push from the owners.

  58. Unai

    Zimmie, what give you the impression we would have been able to get Lille to sell their star player half way through the season for less than half price?

  59. Unai

    Hei, honestly dont this the protests had anything to do with this, think they look a bit premature now tbh.

    Not that I disagree, Stan n Josn need to know how we feel about the last few years and that we now expect change.

    Definitely looks like we have a plan, this isn’t some Wenger trolley dash.

  60. MidwestGun

    The 5 Captain thing is ridiculous … Why don’t we just make the whole team captains and number them ….. Yes …. I’m the 10th Captain today.

    Smacks of indecision and basically makes a mockery of the whole process. Not that surprised though if Emery changes captains like he does formations.

    If it was me I would make Papa and Lacazette captains and be done with it. A defensive player and 1 attacker. And they will both actually play. Pick one to be a vice captain if you wish. Emery has a hard on for captains being players with the most seniority at the Club.. problem is those are the ones that put us in the situation we are in.. and none of them are leaders. And while Papa and Laca might not be classic leaders they seem to actually care about what happens during the game. Ozil and Xhaka are about as indifferent as you can get, imo. Rolling your eyes at the referee is not a leadership quality.

  61. Unai

    The thing about getting your knickers in a twist over the captain thing us we really dont know how Emery uses them.

    It’s quite conceivable that he uses them as squad generals and manages through them on and off field, if that’s the case I dint really have a problem with it.

    What does a captain do in modern football anyway?

  62. Gentlebris

    Emery’s idea of captains is top top quality.

    But I think he could take it up some more by making Kos number one captain for this season.

    Beautiful choices.

  63. TallestTiz

    Quoting Emery, Arsenal.com says “A defender, Midfielder, and Winger”… I hope that doesn’t translate to Saliba, Ceballos and Winger, neither should it be Tierney, Ceballos and Winger.

    On the five captains, knowing Unai loves chopping tactics and set ups, is he having five captains to dui5 different set ups? Maybe some players will miss out of team with different set ups…. that’s ne trying to defend Unai… hahahaha

  64. Goobergooner

    Freddie

    “Just because you are a cunt doesn’t mean that all englishmen are cunts, see how that works? No, probably not, you’re too dense.”

    Hahahaha that was gold.

    Un Na you do yourself no favours you dimwit fuck.

    So when is Pepe getting here?

  65. Gentlebris

    If Bellerin is ready to rock and roll in time and Tierney comes and turns out he’s not a player for the hospital, then I think we would not be so bad at the rear.
    Sok can do a job and so is Holding, having Chambers backing them, Monreal and Mustafi at worst case scenarios is not such a total error, Mustafi could be though.

    When we line up Auba Laca Pépé in front, and we have Tierney and Bellerin sneaking up the wings, the oppositions themselves would be too busy to trouble nobody at the back, especially when they still have to go through Torreira before they arrive at the back.

    Summary is elite fullbacks can wait one window or two.

  66. Gentlebris

    ‘What does a captain do in modern football anyway?’

    A question Wenger could be imagined asking.

    Anyway anyone has any update on Laca’s knock?

  67. Unai

    So Citys captain is a perma-crock,

    United have no captain after the exit of the inspirational leader Antonio Valencia (lol).

    Klopp put the position up to a team vote.. clearly an important position for Klopp

    Loris at spuds, fair enough but hardly an influential leader.

    Chelsea had Cahill last season….

    Clearly Emerys not the only manager paying lip service to the position but I guess any opportunity to have a bash is still an opportunity no matter how insignificant.

  68. peanuts&monkeys

    Xhaka is not getting offloaded? OMFG! Xhaka is not a top-10 team PL level. I can’t fig out…is he a DM? if so, what is Torreira? Is he the key pass distributor from central midfield? does he not commit mistakes in that dept? he does. Anyways, is that a role strong enough for a dedicated player on the pitch?

    Xhaka’s Worth: Zero or Nothing?

  69. Jamie

    Missed the game yesterday. Any standout performances?

    I was at the Liverpool game in Edinburgh. They were repeatedly carved open by Insigne. Origi looked like Heskey. Ox was terrible. With no major signings, I can’t see them pushing City quite so hard this season.

  70. Pierre

    A real captain is a leader of men on and off the pitch ..

    They set the standards , over the years they have proved to be almost as important as the manager with their influence on the team.

    There importance is to be seen when you look back at influential figures at their respective clubs and see how the standards and level of performance drop when these players leave the club.

    I have made this point before on here of how many titles clubs have won when they leave the club.

    Mclintock….Arsenal .left 1973 ..no titles for 16 years.

    Alan Hansen ..Liverpool ….left 1992 …no title for 27 years and counting.

    Ryan Giggs …United….left 2013 ….no title for 6 years and counting.

    Vieira ..Arsenal …left 2006 …no title for 13 years and counting.

    Terry …Chelsea …left 2017 …no title for 2 years and counting .

    City haven’t replaced Company so without a leaders the club will they flounder..one wouldn’t think so but it will be interesting to see .

    If my observations are correct then Liverpool will win the league this season as they are the only club with a stand out influential leader on and off the pitch in Van Dyke.

  71. fsaf

    I thought about Ozil as well. He is the captain we’ve dreamt of since Vieira. If we give him more responsibility I am sure that he will escalate his performance to unseen levels. Emery should give Ozil the armband and let him lead us to glory.

    #ozi10forcaptain

  72. Freddie Ljungberg

    Fsaf

    Contact the authorities, your account has been hacked by the evil not-genius that is Pierre.

  73. Freddie Ljungberg

    “We have been working for the last few weeks to get the best team with the best players in our squad before our first game against Newcastle.

    “There are different players on the table with the possibility we can achieve their signature. At the beginning of the market, we were thinking to do one centre-back, one full-back and one winger. We are still thinking the same way.

    “Really I want a better team than last season with only new players who can improve the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.”

    This clearly shows that he’s not talking about Saliba, would be a great window if we can get Pep, Tierney and a starting CB in before the window closes. Even if the CB is on loan with option to buy like the talk is with Rugani.

  74. fsaf

    Weird that they’ve been thinking about a CB (that will make a difference THIS season) but there haven’t been any strong reports linking us with anyone (afaik). I thought a CB is coming but there’s not been enough noice on the matter. Not even near as much as there was for Tierney and Zaha/Pepe so I’m not sure what to think even though we’ve got mister Emery himself talking about it. It should mean that a CB is coming as well, which will make this transfer window’s INs very well thought out and executed. Of course we’re still not sure that the players are exactly the ones we needed but nobody can ever be. On paper they look a good fit in zones we needed quality people.

    Now can we please sell some of the dross. Thank you!

  75. CG

    Well Said, Mid west Gun

    “””Smacks of indecision and basically makes a mockery of the whole process. Not that surprised “”””

    You just cant pin this Emery Down -on what he is trying to achieve..

    What is it exactly?

    I have no idea who The Captain is?
    What the formation is ?
    What his plans are?

    Its Chameleon tactics
    Its 5 captains
    Its protagonists
    Its BullSh*t all the way with this one.

    He ain’t got a bloody clue
    And neither have the players.

    Footballers in many ways are like Dogs

    They like the Basic Ground Rules set from their master…..and then they will behave and perform better….

    As well as being the worst coach in the Prem he compounds it even further by being the most indecisive.

    Fascinating to see when the first Freddie and Emery Ructions occur….

  76. Receding Hairline

    “Weird that they’ve been thinking about a CB (that will make a difference THIS season) but there haven’t been any strong reports linking us with anyone (afaik)”

    No strong reports linked us with Pepe either

    Seeing as we are now chums with Jorge Mendes i am sure he can rustle up a quality center back….Sokratis and Lichteiner were our idea of quality last window

  77. Receding Hairline

    “Footballers in many ways are like Dogs They like the Basic Ground Rules set from their master…..and then they will behave and perform better….”

    It’s your blog Pedro but……………………………….

  78. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Footballers in many ways are like Dogs

    They like the Basic Ground Rules set from their master…..and then they will behave and perform better….

    As well as being the worst coach in the Prem he compounds it even further by being the most indecisive.”

    When you think he can’t get any dumber he proves you wrong, every single time.

    You have to give it to Tick Dick, he’s noting if not consistent.

  79. CG

    After 12 months of The Clown
    And all his video analysis expertise.

    Has any player actually improved under this man ?

    Just One will suffice.

  80. Unai

    Pierre, how many CL titles have Pool won without an influential captain?

    Correlation not causation.

    Also, you dont have to be captain to be a leader, Chelsea for example probably miss Terry’s ability and leadership qualities more than they miss him actually being club captain.

    Just think too much is made of the role, would having an inspirational leader stop Mustafis brain farts fir example?

  81. HighburyLegend

    @fsaf : I was joking about Ozil, and you have a serious problem if you believe that he can be our leader.

  82. Freddie Ljungberg

    Rumours on twitter that Roma wants Mustafi for 19m euros.

    I’m calling bullshit on that one but it would truly make this the best window ever if it actually happened.

  83. Unai

    It’s your blog Pedro but……………………………….

    Wasting your breath, his moronic brain shits are clearly good for engagement, blog writers wet dream.

    CG is a gift for Pedro.

  84. Receding Hairline

    Also i am getting tired of this assumption Freddie Ljunberg was promoted to assistant coach to baby sit Emery or teach him his job. If anyone has learning to do it’s Ljunberg

  85. CG

    1,2,3 Posters all complaining about me.

    You should all be focused on The Clown and The Spiv.

    5 Captains at Arsenal every season is an utter Disgrace
    And if you dont think it is not.

    You ain’t real Arsenal fans!

    T.h

  86. Graham62

    I can’t believe that some people on here are paying so much attention to the results of friendlies.

    Being “carved open” by a team clearly pumped up to prove themselves against the CL winners(second string team) is meaningless in the greater scheme of things. Physical contact is minimal, with players concerns centered on fitness levels more than anything else.

    Trying out new systems and players along with the bucket load of substitutions that take place, adds to the overall unimportance of the result.

    Even more significantly, the mindset of playing a friendly is totally different………for everyone involved.

    Of course you all know that.

  87. Unai

    You ain’t real Arsenal fans!

    Coming from the guy who criticises pretty much everything going on at the club, that’s a bit rich.

  88. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    My comment was from a couple of days ago, not my fault Goober dredged it up.

    And no, not a good cunt, just a cunt.

    The point is you think everyone from the same country is the same, which would make all englishmen cunts if you are the first they meet. Also this idea you have that everyone has to defend all decision their government make our every bad thing that happens in their country is demented.

    Can’t believe I had to spell it out for you, not a difficult concept to grasp really.

  89. Dream10

    Tancredi Palmeri tweeted Sami Khedira to join Arsenal. Another Italian journo tweeted yesterday that Khedira is a possibility. He and his agent were in a box watching the game yesterday.

    Khedira is a player I like a lot. However, he’s about four years past his prime. The big engine he used to have is gone. Hope he isn’t another Lichtsteiner.

  90. Un na naai

    Freddie

    I don’t defend my government at all and neither do I expect any individual to defend theirs

    Not sure why you thought that

  91. Graham62

    Coming from a guy who sat on his backside for a decade sucking on his “I love Arsenal” lollipop, as the club was disintegrating all around him.

    What a super fan you are.

  92. Pierre

    Unai
    “Also, you dont have to be captain to be a leader, Chelsea for example probably miss Terry’s ability and leadership qualities more than they miss him actually being club captain.”

    Thanks for confirming what I was saying.

  93. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    Oh I don’t know, maybe because you dredge up every breitbart info you can find about Sweden or Nigeria or whatever the country a poster you have your daily fights with are from and then expect them to defend or explain them.
    It’s your go to move on here ffs.

    Anyway, I’m not interested in getting dragged down to your level today again.

  94. Receding Hairline

    “Pep Guardiola has five “captains” in his Manchester City squad … and now we can reveal the pecking order.

    Vincent Kompany is the undoubted skipper, the man who always wears the armband when he plays – but the Blues boss wanted a team of leaders.

    At the start of the season Guardiola , together with his staff and players, nominated five senior men who he could turn to as team leaders – Kompany, David Silva , Sergio Aguero , Fernandinho and Kevin de Bruyne .”

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/man-city-captains-bruyne-aguero-14158761

  95. Freddie Ljungberg

    Don

    “Freddie the cuck bum licker thinks I’m a cunt….Oh my heart bleeds”

    It’s not really a matter of opinion, the evidence is pretty clear and you keep cementing the facts with pretty much every post you make, keep digging though, at least it’s slightly more amusing than CGs demented ramblings.

  96. Graham62

    I’ve said the same thing on here over and over again over the past couple of years. You could get together a group of Football savvy 8-10 year olds and they could give you far more intelligible answers and suggestions than some of the so called experts on here.

  97. CG

    Sid

    Correct
    You are on the ball.
    (Hugely improved )

    Buy Liverpool to finish outside the top 4.

    They are shot to pieces.

    Last seasons exploits have exhausted them

    Chelsea Dark Horses this year.
    Think Ajax ( last season)

    Everton If they Get Zaha – will be Top 4
    Palace get relegated if they sell Zaha

    Spurs romp title by 9 points.

    City win CL

    We are Going Nowhere.

  98. CG

    Graham

    “”””Liverpool will win the league.””””

    They hit 97 points last year and did not win it.

    They are mentally and physically shattered.

    (Hard season for Liverpool this season – to repeat those feats )

    Spurs are due a Big one( a trophy)
    No new stadium distraction this time
    Great manager
    Confidence accrued from CL final
    City -CL Distracted

    Spurs by 9 points.
    Buy Spurs for Title Glory

  99. Un na naai

    Freddie

    Glad I keep you amused
    Also glad you think I’m a cunt. Must be doing something right if I get under the skin of the likes of you.

  100. Frost

    Freddie

    “Rumours on twitter that Roma wants Mustafi for 19m euros”

    Lol Not sure why I read this as roma want 19m euros for Mustafi at first. Would still be money will spent if we gave them this for taking Mustafi.

  101. Un na naai

    Its got to be another city title this season
    If Liverpool can keep up their perfomance levels the serious credit must go to klopp

    They still have the Ox and Keita to come in and show their stuff though so that will be like two new signings 😂

  102. Pierre

    Due to the fact that we were told repeatedly that Emery had no input into the Suarez signing , I presume that Emery took a back seat regarding the acquisitions of Ceballos,Pepe and Salibas.

    We all know that Emery failed to get a performance out of Suarez , will Ceballos be any different , I’m not so sure.

    Ceballos looks a decent player ( as did Suarez) , I was at the game yesterday and I liked the way he demanded the ball and was positive in his distribution , he looked like he wanted to make an impression …he could be an asset .

    The question is , where will be play , alongside Xhaka , I can’t see it working as both are lacking in mobility , Ceballos doesn’t look like he has the quick feet of Santi Cazorla to get out of tight situations…it was Ceballos first game so he probably isn’t match fit , hence that mobility may improve.

    A role that may suit him is in a 4-3-3 with him being the more advanced of the midfield 3 …He doesn’t look like a no.10 in a 4-2-3-1 system..

    Will Emery be able to get a performance out of him or will be give up on him as he did Suarez… Did Emery actually want him or , as many repeatedly said on Le Grove, does he have no say or minimal on who comes into the club similar to suarez.

  103. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    Pre Season Friendlies are of course time to experiment so you are quite
    right that from a result perspective they don’t really matter.

    However, the concern is what we do already know and that is our defence is
    still a major problem. Conceding two silly goals in each of last two games is
    a concern.

    Sofar we have done nothing to improve our defence this season. The problems
    are same i.e..

    1. Poor levels of concentration [also confirmed by Emery]
    2.Poor defence at set pieces and corners particularly in air
    3.Wing Backs who don’t know how to defend properly

    These matters may improve slightly with return to fitness of Bellerin and Holding, but I am afraid that we will continue to leak goals as we have done
    in last 2 years.

  104. Receding Hairline

    Both goals conceded yesterday was petty amateurish Emirates

    The first one AMN had no interest in preventing the cross while the central defenders had no interest in defending against the big man in the box..free cross free header

    The second was just comical, hands in the air after failing in your duties

  105. Receding Hairline

    In as much as the way a team is setup plays a vital role in defensive solidity, nothing compensates for a lack for concentration, take your eyes off your man for one second and the damage is done no matter how well setup you are as a defensive unit

  106. Cesc Appeal

    It looks like Derby, Brentford and West Brom might be interested in Bielik. Arsenal are asking for £10 Million.

    Could be a nice boost in the funds we have this summer.

    Of course we have to think that which we benefit from could also be a hindrance if they want to pay that total with installments. Though it is a relatively low number.

    If the unthinkable happened and someone actually paid real money for Mustafi together with the Bielik fee we might have enough money to go and get a really good CB…on an installment plan, obviously. But that would be enough cash to make the first substantial payment.

    Interesting to see what happens with Elneny, Bielik, Mustafi etc and whether that changes anything for us in terms of buying as right now it looks as if Pepe and Tierney will take up most of our budget this summer.

  107. Freddie Ljungberg

    “We all know that Emery failed to get a performance out of Suarez ,”

    Don’t let the fact that he got injured just after arriving get in the way of a decent trolling attempt Pierre

  108. Un na naai

    Pierre

    With you 100% on Ceballos. He’s not a 10
    He’s best in a mf 3 and I would not pair him with xakha without a Torreira or a Chambers in alongside them

  109. Receding Hairline

    “These matters may improve slightly with return to fitness of Bellerin and Holding, but I am afraid that we will continue to leak goals as we have done
    in last 2 years.”

    We will be lucky to concede less than 40 goals next season even with Holding and Bellerin as things stand……we need those upgrades at fullback and one new face in central defense ….using Monreal there will be a calamity. He should have been allowed to leave

  110. Un na naai

    CA

    Hopefully man. Emery’s comments yesterday about being in for a centre half, is that in addition to Saliba? Does he consider the acquisition of Saliba to tick that box or are we definitely in for another cb?

  111. Receding Hairline

    Because Fulham played Chambers in midfield does not make him a DM.

    I don’t ant to see him in midfield for Arsenal, if he cannot prove himself in defense he should be sold. Glad he has not played there in preseason so no one at the club is thinking of him as a midfielder.

  112. Bob N16

    I think Ceballos will be playing more than Guendozi this season – much more direct, two-touch, productive. Guendozi clearly has qualities but I feel he slows the game down too much, wants too many touches, repeatedly does a short pass and then runs to that person to receive a two yard pass in return. How many times does he attempt to shield the ball and then loses possession?

    Having Torreira at the base of midfield makes a huge difference but I’m very hopeful that Ceballos could be a really important player for us. I would prefer to see Xhaka go but that seems unlikely so a Torreira, Xhaka, Ceballos three seems the best balanced with Ozil, Willock and Guendozi as back up.

  113. Freddie Ljungberg

    CA

    If we can get rid of Mustafi, Elneny, Kos, Jenks and sell Bielik it should be enough for a Top CB prospect like Upemecano.

    pathetic that we have to sell 5 players to be able to afford 1 quality player but that’s how bad our dross is, can’t wait to see all of them flushed out.

  114. Chitom

    “They are mentally and physically shattered.(Hard season for Liverpool this season – to repeat those feats )”

    “Spurs are due a Big one( a trophy)
    No new stadium distraction this time
    Great manager
    Confidence accrued from CL final
    City -CL Distracted Spurs by 9 points.
    Buy Spurs for Title Glory”

    So Spurs with a great manager and the squad valued higher by a couple hundred million ( transfermarkt) finished 1 point better than Arsenal lead by the worst manager in the EPL last season……………and now they’re going to run away with the league ?

    Looks like Liverpool aren’t the only ones mentally shattered, ha ha.
    Btw, don’t you Brits get universal health care ?
    Anyone who isn’t a Spurs fan and thinks they will win the league should be gently escorted away from their keyboard by a mental health professional for the fear of doing more damage to theirs already fragile state.

  115. Freddie Ljungberg

    Chitom

    CG is south african, refers to football as soccer and is presently hiding in the ventilation system of his mental institution with a stolen laptop and a handful of snickers, he’ll run out of food eventually and then it’s back to the padded cell he goes, we just have to hold out a little longer. There’s light at the end of the tunnel ( for us, not for CG)

  116. Receding Hairline

    I don’t know about Rugani..on loan with an option to buy not an obligation maybe. I find it difficult to believe we cannot get a competent cheap defender from leagues all around Europe. We just need someone who likes to defend, i don’t care how good he is on the ball.

  117. Guns of Brixton

    CG is south african, refers to football as soccer and is presently hiding in the ventilation system of his mental institution with a stolen laptop and a handful of snickers, he’ll run out of food eventually and then it’s back to the padded cell he goes, we just have to hold out a little longer. There’s light at the end of the tunnel ( for us, not for CG)

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    This explains everything!!! 😂😂😂😂

  118. Chika

    FL
    “CG is south african”

    I don’t think he is, think he’s only based in the country.

    What are your thoughts on Khedira potentially joining the fray?

  119. Biggles

    So CG thinks that Spurs will win the league, that Chelsea will be dark horses and that Everton will be top 4 if they sign Zaha?

    Spurs
    Man City
    Chelsea
    Everton

    Sounds about right…

  120. Valentin

    ManCity will win the league. However I am really worried that this year could be Spurs year. They narrowly miss the Champion’s league, but I can’t see Liverpool hitting the same height than last year.
    They have a great midfield and if NDombele if fit for the entire season, he could fire them to glory.
    Hopefully they miss their chance this season, with most of their better players leaving next season, the following one could be terrible for them.