How have we moved things forward?

by .

Oh man, it was totally an accident, I was wandering around the supermarket trying to find something that resembled healthy that could be cooked fast… and I accidentally bought something called Better Than Rice and a curry jackfruit pouch which is a vegan chicken substitute. I swear guys, this is NOT who I want to be…

Tasted pretty good though. Have to admit it. Also, I do feel smug because I’m pretty sure I just saved the planet with one meal? What did you eat? You fucking culinary terrorist.

Anyway, outside saving the world, I was thinking about the impact of Stan taking Arsenal private and Josh K telling us to all ‘be excited’ the other week.

Give it to him, he f*cking delivered hard. He even made Emery change his teeth, harsh, but that’s America people.

I wonder how they’re setting the club up financially now? Are they merging all their sports teams like some sort of mega content network? How is this summer working? How is Raul making the numbers continue to work? Or did everyone just get thrown off because Arsenal spent all season leaking they had no money to spend?

Everything the club is doing makes sense. They’ve invested in players before they’re out of our price range. They’ve taken a huge punt on someone that could be worth £150m in 2 seasons time. They’re trying to promote youth as a cost-saving measure. They’ve reorg’d around a serial winner.

From a business perspective, it would be a bad thing if we slinked into mediocrity. There’s no value in being shite in the world of democratised football content. This all makes total sense. But I feel uneasy, because Arsenal are finally doing things that make sense? What’s the catch?

I feel like one of those boys that went to Pleasure Island with Pinnochio. I’m out here, swigging citrus pale ale, smoking cigars, shooting pool with a puppet that has gender issues… but where’s the catch?

This just, you know, doesn’t feel very KSE.

Well, I guess that’s unfair. As we’ve constantly penned, Stan spends money, just not very well. The difference is KSE is now making good ‘soccer’ decisions. Maybe it took Josh to open his old man’s eyes to the utter corruption (legal) that was going on at the club. Everyone getting fat off over-generous pay packages, underserved long deals working in a no-pressure lifestyle. The opposite of an elite performance culture.

Now things have changed. There’s an urgency to the problems at hand. Let’s be more specific, there’s been an urgency in the last two weeks. This summer, if analysed in a debriefing, would still be classed as a bit of a mess.

I think the calmness from the fans has come from the realization that Raul seems to be a mafia-style killer in the world of football. We’ve not had someone ruthless before. Arsenal is on his terms.

The Nokia 3210 vibe of yesteryear is dead, we’re now dialling in on space phones. It looks great, we just need to see it move a little quicker because at the minute, we’re still fucked going into this season.

We’re still desperately under-resourced in defence. Jenkinson is in the squad for next year, Koscielny and Mustafi are still here and Nacho is now a captain and our first choice left-back.

Edu and Raul can pepper in as many exciting attacking players as they like, but reality will always bite in the Premier League if you don’t address the glaring realities. If you have a defence that collapses under pressure, you will be punished over and over again.

We are 7 days away from the Newcastle game. They are a terribly run club and they’ve let an elite manager slip away from them. They shouldn’t be a problem, but again, Emery and away form have not mixed well so far. I’ve read some people reverse engineer rationale for Pepe being so important because the club think our away form issue was a lack of pace going forward… could be… but that reads flimsy.

We’ll have to see what happens there.

This is a huge week for Raul. Does he pivot from Tierney after reading about his hip problems? Very worrying to read Adrian Clarke tweet that he had the same injury when he was young and it took a year to clear.

Who is the centre back? Raul is in Barca and we know they are desperate to move on Umtiti because… you know… he has a chronic knee problem. An outrageous talent and a World Cup winner, but no good to us if he’s taking 2 months off in December.

The Barca game today will give us some indication as to what to expect this season. La Liga for the Blaugrana starts on the 16th, so they’ll be fairly fit. Things we’ll need to be looking out for is who starts in defence and midfield. Is it going to be Xhaka and Mustafi again? If so, will Emery have done anything in preseason to address their glaring issues? Will Willock be a regular, adding more athleticism? How will Ozil be used? Will Ceballos be able to deal with the butchers in the league?

My big worry is preseason has looked pretty much exactly the same as last season. I also expect we’ll realise that most of the kids we’re purring over will not be features this season. Willock, Reiss and Martinelli are the big bets. I do like ESR, but he wasn’t exactly drowning in-game time at Leipzig.

Let’s see what today looks like… a 3pm kickoff for me for the first time in a while! I think London has to wait until November until they get their first one… sad times, fuck Europa.

See you in the comments! x

775 Responses to “How have we moved things forward?”

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  1. Tobs

    A bit worried about Tierney’s injury issues now. I hope it’s not as bad as reported or we’ve got alternatives.

  2. Tobs

    Umtiti with his knee injuries might be too much of a risk, unless it’s on a loan with an option rather than obligation to buy.

  3. Tobs

    Tierney’s injury issues may be the reason we’ve not gone back in yet. A deal is obviously there to be made.

  4. Tobs

    Hoping Willock kicks on and gets game time this season. He adds some physicality and mobility to our midfield.

  5. Marc

    If Tierney has a major issue why haven’t Celtic bitten our hands off?

    If you’ve got a wreck of a car that’s about to cost a load of money to fix and someone knocks on your door and says “I’ve always wanted to own one of them here’s £25,000” you don’t fuck about.

    Celtic are the ones putting out the injury stories – I just can’t see the logic in it unless it’s a smokescreen for the Celtic fans to justify why they sold him.

  6. Leftsidesanch

    I agree Marc, I think Celtic are trying to throw us off the scent. I’m not a fan of Lennon as well constantly mouthing off.

    Raul would have known about the injury problems because it isn’t a new injury. I said on here earlier in the summer that if we are to strike a deal there it would be very late as he is on the shelf currently.

  7. David Smith

    Credit to Raul. But really shows Wenger and Ivan for what they are.
    Wouldn’t touch Tierney at this stage

  8. Obum

    If umtiti is out by December we will have holding perfectly ready by then. No reason not to make the deal. We now have able backups. Umtiti, sokratis, holding and chambers. Not bad. Add saliba next year. And just get a xhaka replacement next season and we are good for the league

  9. James.wood

    Can’t say I like this Hire Purchase lark with these loan deals.

    It’s like paying rent on a property when you should be buying
    “It’s never yours .”

  10. Marc


    I’m not saying we should buy Tierney – at this point the constant injury stories are a concern.

    I just can’t understand the logic behind it for Celtic to keep saying a saleable asset is broken. The £25 million offer is a quarter of their turnover – it’s like us knowing Bellerin has serious complications and will never get back to being a good player – getting a bid for £95 million and announcing to the world he’s fucked.

  11. Ivan

    It shows more how useless Gazidis was. Wenger shouldnt have that much power in the first place.

    If we had proper structure all those years, it would br another story. Whats the point having manager that do everything? It only makes him less focused about managing team.

    I wonder how long will Gazidis last in Milan, and hoe much snake oil is left for him to sell…

  12. Pierre

    It’s good that we now have a quality potent wide player .
    It’s good that we have brought in Ceballos , a central midfield player who will hopefully demand the ball off the keeper and defenders and is clever enough to evade the press from the opposition.
    It’s good that we have Willock showing that he is more than capable of holding down a midfield slot if given the chance.

    We will see what our manager is made of …he has been given the tools to create a very exciting attacking football team , the difficult part is getting balance .

    He has some very good central midfielders in the side …Willock, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Xhaka to compliment Mhkitaryan,Ozil and Iwobi….

    It will be the midfield that will determine if we are successful or not this season.
    It should all be about discipline and protection and providing a platform for our exciting offensive talent to perform.

    Nobody knows how he will set the team up , the question is does the manager actually know.

  13. KAY Boss

    Pedro, please kind answer me. Was Clarke (in your post) talking about himself or Tierney? I’ll be glad with your response.
    Celtic are resigned to lose Tierney and they know it. It’s a propaganda machine they’ve set in motion with Neil Lennon as it’s operator. Just preparing the minds of their fans in the inevitable.
    As I said yesterday, Raul and Co. ain’t dumb. If they’ve to walk away, they will.

  14. Marc


    It was all going so well – “He has some very good central midfielders in the side ”

    Willock – check
    Torreira – check
    Guendozi – check
    Ceballos – check
    Xhaka – Doh!

  15. 5am

    I think we should leave Tierney for now and set up the deal to review in January, as there’s no point adding a crock that won’t be available to play for an extended period….

  16. Jamie

    The defender situation isn’t looking good.

    Umtiti on loan? Is that the best we can do? And if Tierney isn’t the guy for LB, who are the alternatives?

    Welcome back, Marko.

  17. Pierre

    The only midfielder there with any ability in the air is Xhaka ( and he’s not that great) , and most fans don’t want him in the team.

    Our full backs are poor in the air , AMN, Bellerin, Kolasinac and Monreal are all weak in that department.

    Mustafi is our best header of a ball and he probably won’t be a starter …Sokratis is decent enough in the air , Chambers doesn’t attack the ball with any authority.
    Also , taking into account that Leno is not a keeper who commands his area ( like cech) then one could see that ,if given the chance, teams could cause damage from set pieces.

    Also , taking into account that we have no giroud like figure to help out at defending set pieces and without a commanding physically imposing figure in midfield then it could be a problem.

  18. Marko

    Well I’ll be. Just so we’re clear if a player has ever had a knee injury does that then mean they have chronic knee problems? Cause if so then we might have an issue with Bellerin and Holding. And on Tierney the worries are frankly ridiculous he’s played 170 games for Celtic he played in 20 league games last season completed like 5 90 minute games since returning from the hip thing. If he’s injury prone at 22 and with 170 games under his belt well I dunno if I personally would believe that

  19. Jamie

    I’m guilty of worrying about Umtiti and Tierney’s injury records. Might be stupid of me. Marko makes fair points above re: knee injuries and Tierney’s appearances over the last few years.

    What is almost certain, however, is a fit Umtiti and Tierney improves our back line.

  20. Dissenter

    Glad to see you’ve come around
    You spent the last season arguing that the squad is good enough so why are you still trembling at he prospect of starting a new season with the likes of Mustafi.
    We kept telling. you that Mustafi, Elneny, Ozil, Mykhi and Iwobi (to some extent) were like aftershocks after 7.2 earthquake event…irreparably bad. You knew it but was in denial because it suited the narrative of the day.

    Bienvenido Pedro

  21. Marko

    I dunno if we’d even have a chance of Umtiti cause they brought in no CB’S so they’d be a bit short if he left. But then of course they could easily bring in someone before September. I wouldn’t mind us coming away from Barcelona with Nelson Semedo given they now have 3 RB’s with the promotion of Wague

  22. Jamie

    I have a strange feeling we’ll come away with a Barca player before the window closes.

    Raul is on the case this afternoon earning his corn.

    What is the point of Mkhi now we have Pepe (and since Ozil isn’t going anywhere)? Surely he has to know he’ll get so few minutes this season..

  23. Marko

    I personally can still see possibly one of Umtiti (persistent rumours), Upamecano (long standing interest in the vein of Pepe) or Ruben Diaz (rumours of him a few weeks back and we’re now firmly in bed with Jorge Mendes) coming in before Thursday. Might be tight. On Mendes absolutely delighted that we now have a regime willing to work with these types of people.

  24. CG

    The Joan Gamper Trophy later ………

    The last time Our Clown was at Camp Nou – he was pulling faces and hitting the turf as Barca’s 5th and 6 th goals went in…..

    Has he learnt his lessons how to play Barca at the Camp Nou or will there be more humiliation for Unai??

    (I think we all know the answer to that..)

    Tick Tock


  25. Dissenter

    I don’t want is to just sign defenders for he sake of it. We can’t afford to be saddled with bad players like we did with Mykhi.

    Let’s keep our gunpowder dry and keep looking for that special opportunity to get an exceptional center back.

    There aren’t exceptional defenders available which is why we bent over backwards for the Saliba deal. It’s obvious that Maguire isn’t worth anywhere in the world record transfer range. He won’t even be he best defender at United – Smalling is better than him imo.

  26. Dissenter

    I don’t think Mykhi gives a shit that he will get fewer minutes.
    He’s just here on to while away time before retirement and to make cheap nationalistic points.

  27. Wasi

    No Xhaka is not that good as u deem him to be(in the air). He’s got the frame and the power to be a menace but he isnt . His heading is actually quite poor. And is jumping reach is practically negligible. Diakaby’s goal against us in the EL semi should be a clear example of how bad Xhaka can be at set-pieces.

  28. Marko

    I don’t want is to just sign defenders for he sake of it. We can’t afford to be saddled with bad players like we did with Mykhi.

    You mustn’t be aware of the policy that is this summer. The clear strat and thought out signings show us no one’s being signed for the sake of it.

  29. CG


    “”””There aren’t exceptional defenders available which is why we bent over backwards for the Saliba deal”””””

    And no one knows if Saliba is exceptional either- because he has only played 18 games for St. Etienne. ( yes ,that’s correct .,18 games )

    He looks a physical specimen- granted

    The only thing exceptional about Saliba – is the preposterous fee.

    Reports were yesterday- Newcastles front line gave him a torrid time….( early days, I guess)

    “”Dunk- Lewis Dunk!””

    That’s the defender we need.

    If we dont want to get sunk- let’s get Dunk- would be my motto….

  30. Wasi

    I still think Mykhi can go to a top 4 Bundesliga team. Maybe a Leverkusen or leipzig. He is not gonna get any real game time this season . If Raul can get anything above 20 mil should be magic.

  31. CG

    Dunk . 6ft 4
    200 odd games for The Seagulls
    Old English Yeoman.
    Loves Defending
    Eats centre forwards for breakfast.

    Brighton’s Rock.

    We need our Dunk-irk!

  32. Dissenter

    What if there aren’t elite central defenders on the market?
    My point may be controversial… I want us to take a pass if everyone we truly desire is unattainable. There may be opportunities to get a pre-contract on another top young prospect refusing to sign an extension or something in January.
    For some reason, there’s a paucity of available top CBs this summer.

  33. Dissenter

    Spurs know how to spot a good central defender, they’ve proven this consistently over the last half decade. They too went head over heel for Saliba.
    Saliba is one of the most exciting talents in European footie. That’s just a fact
    This season may be difficult for him though since he’s an Arsenal layer parked away at Sg Etienne

  34. Pierre

    No Xhaka is not that good as u deem him to be(in the air). He’s got the frame and the power to be a menace but he isnt . His heading is actually quite poor. ”

    Of course , I never said he was that good , I said that compared to Torreira,Ceballos and Guendouzi he is the only midfielder with ability in the air , and I added “and he’s not that great”.

    You did conveniently miss my point though , which was our lack of aerial ability in the side could come back to haunt us at set pieces.

    No strikers who are big or physical enough to help defend set pieces.
    No midfielders who are big or physical enough.
    No full backs who are big or physical enough( Kolasinac the exception but is rubbish in the air)
    A keeper who doesn’t command his box.

  35. Marko

    What if there aren’t elite central defenders on the market?

    Define elite? And who said that they even have to be elite anyhow. Maguire is going for 80 million and he’s not elite. There’s defenders out there if you want to be able to find them. I doubt the only options available in Europe at the moment for us are Umtit or Rugani on loan as with anything Arsenal these days we have to be mindful of the budget. I’m hopeful though because there’s a lot of noise about some players leaving in that specific area and they’ll need replacing. Heard a couple days ago about us being interested in Umtiti AND Boubacar Kamara. That would be unbelievable business right there. That lad can also play DM and has a year left on his contract at cash strapped Marseille

  36. KAY Boss

    Dissenter, though your opinion, I disagree with your Maguire /Smalling post. Smalling is a brain fart away from colossal damage. Leicester did what they did as Utd were overly desperate for Maguire.
    Looking forward to a quality and healthy defender with attributes for the PL.
    Welcome home Marko.

  37. Dissenter

    I think you’ll find that getting a top defender on loan is as hard as finding a ready to go winger n January.
    I hope they learned from the Suarez deal.

    They may have to make a tough decision to pass on that what’s available in this last five days to avoid making another mistake. That’s going to disappoint many who can’t stand Mustafi.

    I say… they wait until a good opportunity comes, doesn’t even have to be European, it could come from South America in the copa libertadores.

  38. CG


    He is an exciting prospect
    But you dont pay that sort of money for excting prospects……

    You pay big money for proven players to perform instantly…

    30 mill for Saliba
    80 mill for Pepe

    110 million???

    Financial incontinence
    Financial incompetence

    How can Holding be worth 2.5 million
    And Saliba 30 million?

    We have a very expensive youth set up.

    Use it or Disband it.

  39. Dissenter

    That’s precisely my point
    Maguire is going for that much and he’s just another lumbering jack. He’s no where near VVD who’s the embodiment of “elite”

    I see these transfer markets at cyclical
    Sometimes here’s a glut of reasonable defenders md then it shifts to lots of midfielders. This is not a window where reasonably good CBS have moved much.

    Maybe when Leicester spend that bounty it will shift defenders around.

  40. Dissenter

    Actually the current thinking everywhere is to pay top dollar for exciting prospect because. their value can appreciate faster that your pocket boo very quickly.
    Spurs wanted Saliba … don’t forget that.

  41. Wasi

    I was just stating that Xhaka is just as bad as torreira/cabellos and guendouzi in the air. And our utter incompetence aerially is where we are gonna lose silly points against smaller teams. Just hope that the attack can again make up for it this year.

  42. Marc


    CG actually decreed Levy as the master when he thought the Spud’s had got Saliba.

    I’m not sure there’s a CB of the quality you want out there for us this summer. What I’m advocating is a player on loan so limited cost who’s a solid option rather than spectacular. It’s got to be better than Mustafi who just spreads nerves throughout the team and seeing his name on the team sheet must give the opposition confidence.

  43. Marko

    Actually a tonne of CB’s have moved this summer. None being available isn’t really an excuse for me. But with us it all comes down to money but I see absolutely no reason why we can’t get in at least two defensive players before the window closes especially considering the rumours surrounding Koscielny, Mustafi and apparently Chambers is now wanted. My guess is that we’ll get tonight’s game out of the way and go ham till Thursday

  44. CG

    Spurs never wanted Saliba(not for that price)

    They and St. Etienne were in cohorts…
    And we ended up paying more.

    And having to sign away 20% of any future sale

    Raul is Peter Risdale incarnated.

    (Because That’s what happen when you give amateurs the Keys to your Kingdom. )

    Splashing out on players- we dont really need for exhortatant amounts and revelling in it.

    We are the next Villa or Leeds Utd.
    Take your pick

    The Spiv will be long gone- time all this lot has to be paid for.

    Am I right or am I right?

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have recruited sofar three players for this season and one for next. All
    these acquisitions seem to be solid business.

    From my personal perspective we need to recruit at least one “quality” defender before transfer window closes and as far I am concerned that would be a successful transfer window. Personally I would rather recruit a decent CB rather than LB.

    Based on what is being suggested I would be reluctant to buy Tierney UNLESS
    I am 100% certain that he will be match fit within a definable period. Do we
    seriously want to have another unfit first choice full back apart from Bellerin
    at the start of the season?

  46. Pierre

    yes, Whichever way you look at it we need strengthening in that department.

    We did manage to defend quite well last season at set pieces when we used the zonal system , however it took a turn for the worse when we changed the way we set up at corners and started to concede on a regular basis.

    The manager and defensive coach will need to put a lot of time and effort into that area or if could cost us .
    Mustafi is actually pretty good at defending corners , he sees the flight of the ball quite well which also helps when we have corner as he can be quite a threat.

  47. Un na naai


    (From previous post)

    Yes this is my opinion. Football is a game if opinions. Managers make mistakes
    Emery in his short time as arsenal manager has made plenty already as did wenger before him.It was a mistake to let Bennacer leave, clearly.
    It was a mistake to keep Elneny clearly.I don’t need to be sir Alex to spot an obvious fuck up so please spare me the “you’re not an elite coach” diatribe We could all see the mistakes being made by the previous regime and those who aren’t being dishonest with themselves will see the ones being made by emery. You don’t need your gold coaching badge to know that Bennacer is a better cmf than elneny.

  48. Un na naai


    make cheap nationalistic points??? You mean he was asked not to participate in the final due to safety concerns and then when they (under pressure) relented he chose to continue along the safety option??

    What a muppet you are.

  49. þorkell einarsson

    Why not move towards Bale instead of Coutinho ?
    He is the next big thing apart from Ronaldo
    him and Zidane dont gel apparantly and gooners will
    love him after two goals in big game !!

  50. Un na naai


    We can’t afford him
    He wouldn’t come
    He’s injury prone and 30 so not worth what real would be asking for him

  51. Gentlebris

    You don’t need your gold coaching badge to know that Bennacer is a better cmf than elneny.’

    It’s like thinking you know more about surgery than a qualified surgeon just because you saw one make a mistake. Or like you think you can do better in a court than a qualified lawyer just because you saw one lose a case.
    Thick, very thick people think that, are you thick, Un?

    All these our ‘Wenger did that’ it’s just a matter of amateur opinions. The most terrible wrong Wenger did was Ozil’s contract and i like to beat him with that stick just for the fun of fandom.
    But if you are a top guy at anything resembling business management in real life, you would understand why Wenger/Gazidis gave Ozil that contract. As of then, after Alexis left, Mesut was the only big brand we had on board, and he was threatening to leave. In football, if you don’t have those big brand players, you don’t have no marketing edge. And if you think we bought Laca, Auba, and now Pépé in quick succession just because of footballing reasons then you are dumb. All this work is first and foremost to give Vinai the edge he needs to do business, then after to succeed on the field again first for Vinai and then for the fans.

    But those narratives are not fun to us fans, myself inclusive. So we come to a place like this to raise dust and make sure we are entertained on the field. And so we apply theories that fit our narratives, and honestly, it’s fun! But if you believe it too much, little bro, then you are dumb.

  52. CG


    Gazidas and his Chum- Raul signed off on Ozils contract…..nothing to do with Wenger

    Raul loves spending ( wasting ) other peoples money.

    He did at Barca
    He is doing at Arsenal.

    Wake up and smell the coffee- you Wally!

  53. Pedro

    VVD was an Arsenal target when he was at Celtic, no one was calling him elite then. There are always good player ready to move to great. To say there’s just nothing about is incorrect.

    I would suspect we have someone lined up in the same way we had Pepe lined up.

    Lewis Dunk would be a great signing for Arsenal. Rugani, Umtiti look gettable.

    Hoping we see some poachers come in for Mustafi this week.

  54. chris

    I don’t understand (if true) Man Utd’s move for Mandzukic. Can’t see him being a success in England. He has a better first touch than Lukaku mind.

  55. Receding Hairline

    Bennacer makes a 13m euro move to Milan and we haven’t been allowed to here the last of it from Un na nai and the frankly dense Vickingz. One would be forgiven to assume both watched all Empoli games last season to come to the conclusion he is better than anyone we have in midfield. If we go by performance at the AFCON we aren’t buying Pepe.

    Anyway I don’t have time to discuss our world class youth today. Those who are good enough with make it, some elsewhere. Again no club has a first eleven made up of their academy products. Even Amaechi has been sighted by Vikingz..again I wonder how many youth games he has watched.

    Marko u missed the Pepe signing or were you too shocked to post?

  56. Pedro

    Chris, looks a bit like the Chelsea move for Hig. Can’t see that being progressive, even if they score goals.

    Also odd that they’d move on Lukaku without an elite replacement lined up.

  57. Dissenter

    Un na
    The muppets show is missing a character if y you think the Azerbaijani government would have allowed anything to happen to Mykhi.
    Does your first class clown wit realize that several Armenian athletes have competed in Baku without drama?
    “Araks Marutyan, a lecturer at the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture (of which Mkhitaryan is an alumnus), compared the soccer player’s case to other Armenian athletes who have chosen to compete in Baku. “As a sports fan, I’d say Armenian boxers, for example, or any other Armenian athletes that went to Baku for various championships were taking a bigger risk compared with Mkhitaryan,” Marutyan told Eurasianet. “He is an internationally famous player for Arsenal and he is much more protected.”

    Some Armenians did not support what he did while some were proud of him.
    Fact is Azerbaijan provided ALL the typical security guarantees, short of having their president prostrate for the great Mykhi.

  58. Cesc Appeal

    Not really anything to do with being KSE or not, as many have said how good or bad Kroenke looks is determined by who is at the club but Kroenke is totally hands off.

    We now have a person who is master of the transfer market and knows everyone in the game. We have a more competent commercial/financial man and a competent contracts man.

    The idea at the club now is how can we use our resources to try and be the best club possible, not amateur hour action and financial/transfer policy centred on out of touch ideas and ‘values’.

    It’s not more ‘I don’t agree with this’ or ‘this offends me’ and it’s more ‘how can I get what this team needs with what we have, even if I need to stretch things to the limits, even if I need to be underhanded’.

    That’s why things suddenly look better off the field.

    From Wenger and Gazidis to Sanllehi, Fahmy, Venkatesham and Edu with Emery also chipping in.

    People who actually know what they’re doing and whose first priority is fulfilling their job title and club success not their personal ideals and values.

  59. Pedro


    In England, they don’t let you on the plane if you’re banned from the country accepting you.

  60. Un na naai


    I’m not saying I know more about coaching an elite football team than either emery or Wenger but I do know Bennacer is better than eleney

    Can’t you grasp that?
    And me pointing this out is nothing like thinking I’m a top surgeon. Get a grip

    That’s what this comments section is for
    Giving your two pence. Why come here otherwise?

    Are you just going to agree with every decision a manager makes because if you don’t it signifies your belief you’re on par with a fucking surgeon??

    Deary me……

  61. Elmo

    Brighton want at least £45m for Dunk, so if we were to go for him, it wouldn’t be as a speculative, cheap purchase we’re hoping works out, but isn’t a disaster if it doesn’t. If we pay that for him, he has to be a successful starting CB for 5 years.

    He’s combative, good in the air, organised and level headed, but is there any evidence that he has the ability to comfortably play out from the back? I want a no nonsense CB who is ‘defend first’ rather than a prancing show pony, but to play at our level you have to be comfortable on the ball.

  62. Pedro

    Elmo, he averaged 42 passes a game last season with an 83% success rate. That’s a good numbers in a team that was nearly relegated.

    He’d be an excellent signing, and at 27, he’d be good for 5 years.

  63. Pedro

    For context, VVD had a lower pass completion rate when he was at Celtic and sat around the 85% mark at Southampton.

  64. Marko

    You see that price for Firpo? Chump change. But we have our main targets and Tierney seems to be that guy. Which is why I’m still hopeful on Upamecano because he was seemingly our top target earlier in the summer

  65. Un na naai


    They couldn’t really guarantee that sort of safety inside the stadium could they? If 10,000 fans decide to storm the pitch and attack him or team members.

    Would you put yourself and your friends and colleagues in such a position? And why would they ask him not to travel first if they were so sure of his safety?
    It was only the subsequent backlash that altered the “safety” concerns. Why was he banned in the first place when we played in Azerbaijan in the group stages? They didn’t seem so sure of his personal safety then did they?

  66. bennydevito

    CG you’re just trolling now. You praise signing Maguire for £85m when statistically Mustafi outperformed him last season but slate signing Saliba who’s a huge prospect.

    “The only thing exceptional about Saliba – is the preposterous fee.

    Reports were yesterday- Newcastles front line gave him a torrid time….( early days, I guess)”

    This too is utter twaddle as the reports were quite the opposite and that Saliba was very good but let down by a poor cb partner.

    Liverpool, Man utd and Napoli all had bids accepted by Lille for Pepe. If he had gone to Utd or Liverpool for £72m and not us because we didn’t bid high enough you would have been all over it using it to level blame at Emery.

    It’s beyond boring.

  67. WengerEagle


    Re Bennacer and people watching Empoli, you could say the same about Tierney at Celtic.

    Who here has really extensively watched him in the SPL? My guess is nobody.

    Which is why I find it comical and strange the indignant attitude to possibly moving on through the list and bringing in another LB target if his injury is legit and Celtic continue to fuck around.

  68. MidwestGun

    and I accidentally bought something called Better Than Rice and a curry jackfruit pouch which is a vegan chicken substitute. I swear guys, this is NOT who I want to be…

    Ummm Pedro… did your insta-meal come in a plastic pouch? Then hate to tell you .. you aren’t savin the planet bro..

    I’m glad your extra environmental woke now… all the rage.

    Anyhow.. I think your assessment of Raul was off.. maybe what we needed was a little more ruthlessness but I do think you were spot on with Edu… No coincidence to me we released the hounds about 2 weeks after he got here. If it was only to give Raul the thumbs up.. or give him a second opinion then he already earned his paycheck. And I like the looks of Martinelli.

  69. Elmo

    Interesting numbers, Pedro. If we are looking at him, I hope they watch back his one international cap for England (friendly vs USA last November) and see how he did (I can’t remember it).

  70. WengerEagle

    Firpo just went to Barca for 17m plus add ons, Nico Schulz went to Dortmund for 17m, Theo Hernandez to Milan for 20m.

    Plenty of talented LB’s about for less than Celtic are turning their noses up at for Tierney.

  71. WengerEagle


    The alternative is a realistic scenario at this stage with less than a week of the window left and if we go into the season with Kola and Monreal the LB options we’re once again going to really struggle.

  72. Marko

    People need to get off the Tierney injury prone nonsense it’s getting ridiculous and this is from a guy who always preferred Grimaldo and Gaya to him. Would even consider Aaron Martin too. He’s 22 has played 170 games since breaking onto the scene and even completed 5 90 minute games since his hip injury. It’s pretty obvious that Lennon was talking about pain while kicking a ball as an excuse as to why he wasn’t in full training with the squad but we know why he’s not in full training with the squad

  73. Dream10

    Steve a fan of Lewis Dunk.

    Cucurella is a possibility as he is surplus to requirements now. He’ll be cheap enough, so another LB can be signed if we get CL football.

    We need a left sided CB. Would rather sign Diop or Upamecano rather than Umtiti.

  74. MidwestGun

    Fullbacks are our Achilles heel… neither side is good at the moment… I know everyone wants more CB’s but to me we could scrape by, maybe.. assuming Holding is close to coming back.. but if we have the same fb’s we have now to start the season …we are screwed.

    Although… it will certainly be exciting.. bit like climbing a mountain with no safety net.. no more 1-nil to the Arsenal… more like 4-3 to the Arsenal.

  75. chris

    Pep rocking white T-shirt with beige chinos/white trainers, looks like he is on a Next catalogue photo shoot

    1-0 City – Sterling. Sane off injured.

  76. WengerEagle

    Regardless of the injury murmurs though their comes a time when you have to walk away.

    Would be a different story if decent LB’s were scarce pickings but there are literally half a dozen minimum LB’s that are as good as Tierney and wouldn’t cost as much.

    Celtic would be more than happy to keep him so there’s a strong possibility that we end up signing no defenders come this time next week if we are hell-bent on Tierney and him alone for a cut price deal.

  77. Receding Hairline

    Midwest yes the center back thing has been overstated. Our full backs are also a problem. Those up field need to do better too. Defending shouldn’t be left to two center backs and a DM alone. Team shape also matters, Emery has to work on that too.

  78. Marko

    WE there are no words to describe how monumental the signing of Pepe and to a lesser extent Saliba is for the club going forward. Forward progressive long term planning on the Saliba signing and Pepe was just huge because it shows that going forward it’s not unthinkable when we’re linked to this or that top level talent that it could happen. It’s also probably the first major signing in decades that the club made while competing with other top clubs for his signature. Unheard of in the days of Wenger where he never ever competed for a player or never got involved with super agents (another good sign). Put it this way if Wenger was still in charge we wouldn’t have gotten him he would have gone to Lille looking for Pepe but came back with Bamba or Ikone if he was lucky

  79. MidwestGun

    Receding –
    Yep… That’s always been my biggest complaint about Emery is defensive awareness and organization.. and chopping and changing .. relying on clearly useless players.. especially defensively. He used Miki once as a fullback.. anyhow.. I’m a little encouraged that Freddie will have a good influence on that.. The youth players all seem well drilled on defensive fundamentals this preseason. … spacing and organization so maybe some of that will rub off. I hope. And less Mustafi of course would help.

  80. Freddie Ljungberg

    Not sure our weakness at CB has been overstated at all, we’re incredibly poor in quality there, and Holding seems injury prone.
    Sure, our fullback options are also shite but hopefully with Pepe and one of the youngsters stepping up they won’t have to bomb forward at every opportunity.
    We’re still soft through the middle though with Xhaka waving through the opposition so we really need a commanding CB.

    I wouldn’t touch any of the overpriced, average english CBs, 40-50m for players like Dunk who if he doesn’t work out we have to take a massive loss on? 27 already so no real hope of massive improvement either.

    At this stage I would take the Tierney money and the fee we got for Bielik and throw it at Leipzig for Upamecano, lube the deal up with some ESR loan action and we’re good to go.

  81. Dream10


    Emery was never a great defensive coach in the past. Not expecting more than marginal improvement.

  82. Marko

    Regardless of the injury murmurs though their comes a time when you have to walk away.

    I get this it’s been a common theme on here all summer whether it’s things not done in a timely manner or impatience or whatever but I think given how things have panned out the club have had a plan and they have their targets and we should back them considering that.

    Problem for me is they clearly see the LB as a problem position and want to address that and that’s great but why in gods name is the RB position not being addressed? It’s as important. I don’t think it can be emphasized enough how bad AMN is and how much we need starting FULLBACKS

  83. WengerEagle


    I agree on Pepe and I know that I’ve mentioned he’s padded his stats a bit with spot kicks but I do like his skillset and what he brings to the table, prefer him to Zaha and very glad that we opted for him out of the two as he brings more goals which was the number one priority that we needed to add to the frontline with the over-reliance on Auba and Laca. Lacazette imo needs to step up his goal count now too, he should be hitting 25ish rather than late teens with his pedigree.

    Given that we have only really brought in one first team addition from last season in Pepe though [Ceballos hopefully can bring the level that Ramsey did here], do you not feel that we have still overall failed to properly address the side?

    I mean we’re going into the season with Xhaka as a starting CM and Mustafi as our 3rd choice CB. As things stand Kola and Monreal as LB’s.

    We’ve shifted on not a single one of the deadwood besides Bielik who wasn’t part of the squad anyway.

  84. Freddie Ljungberg


    “and chopping and changing .. relying on clearly useless players.. especially defensively. ”

    Valid criticism, until you remember that almost all our defensive players are in that category:(
    Hope to fuck we get at least 1 defender in and that it’s a top class one.

  85. Graham62

    Steve Smith putting England to the sword…..again!

    Cheats do prosper.

    Imo, should have been banned from test cricket for life.

  86. MidwestGun

    Yeah I know that worries me… but nothing I can do about it at this point except strap in… I do think given Pepe. Failure is not an option for Emery this season.

    Although lets face it… failure should never be an option for a manager at Arsenal for a very long period. .. That’s all I ask really is that we keep accountability, which is what I feel we lost with Wenger. If Emery does well.. I will be happy about it. I got nothing personal against the man. But if he continues to make errors, I think change is probably gonna happen next season.

  87. WengerEagle

    Yeah that’s a fair point too. People presuming that Bellerin comes back from a near year long lay-off and ACL reconstructive surgery the exact same player have another thing coming and who’s there to ease his transition back into the first team picture anyhow, AMN?

  88. WengerEagle

    Salah gets so many chances, great player but he really is wasteful. Favourite for the golden boot again no doubt mind given the amount of times he gets himself into goalscoring positions.

  89. Marko

    Given that we have only really brought in one first team addition from last season in Pepe though [Ceballos hopefully can bring the level that Ramsey did here], do you not feel that we have still overall failed to properly address the side?

    Still time though. Yeah I was expecting more starting 11 additions as things stand now we’ve only addressed the starting 11 to the tune of two players but there’s every possiblity that it’ll be 4 by Thursday (knock on wood). But last summer it was 3 in Torreira, Sokratis and Leno. So it’s the slow rebuild that was expected.

    On Pepe though not to flog a dead horse or anything but this idea of him making the same runs as Auba made by a certain poster recently is the most ridiculous shite I’ve ever read. With Pepe in the side Auba won’t be playing RW so there’s no reason for the whole running from left to right nonsense that was alluded. Left footed RW is obviously going to make those runs but a right footed CF isn’t likely to be making the same runs. Also you only have to see him play or watch some videos to see Pepe does more than cut in from the left or stay on the shoulder of the last man. The amount of dribbling he does collecting the ball from deep I swear

  90. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Agree. Think Konaté is the better player. If we can sign him, convert him to an LCB. However, believe Leipzig are willing to sell Upamecano this window. Konaté and Mukiele are two I would love from Leipzig. Mukiele can play RB, RWB and CB in a three. He’s fast, agile and a decent height.

  91. Marko

    Surprised that Upamecano is always the name on everybody’s wishlists from Leipzig, Konate is better and younger.

    I think it’s mostly cause he’s got two years left on his contract. There both basically the same in terms of potential though for me. Upamecano shades it cause I think he’s less likely to make a mistake.

    As for the RB stuff I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone is targeted considering that not only is Mustafi linked with a move but also Jenkinson. It’s why Boubacar Kamara makes sense cause he can do a job at RB

  92. Freddie Ljungberg


    He’s also got 4 years left on his contract, Upamecano has 2. And he’s the one that’s been linked to us.

    not sure he’s that much better either.

  93. bennydevito

    Heard a bit of noise on Twitter that Ozil could be involved in the Coutinho deal in a swap plus cash deal. Ozil much more suited to and knows the Spanish league, likewise Coutinho the Premier league.

    Being 3 years younger I would take that deal in a heartbeat.

  94. MidwestGun

    Not to be controversial.. but I feel like Bielek is about the most over rated player talked about on here… lol

    Dude is literally irrelevant. But yet he gets talked about a ridiculous amount. He started one Carling Cup match once I think… or maybe he was a sub.. Never saw the big deal. We need a replacement for Xhaka and he isn’t it.

  95. WengerEagle


    We’ve only made one addition with Pepe though? Ceballos is a replacement for Ramsey.

    Dunno if you’ve seen that stat on Pepe being the most dispossessed Ligue 1 player last season is making the rounds, no doubt pulled up and circulated by a Manc or a Spud.

    Prolific dribblers are always going to be among the highest turnover rates, nature of the game that they play. Zaha was dispossessed more than any player in Europe’s top 5 leagues last season by FAR [4.2 times per game, Pepe was 2.9 times per game], conveniently wasn’t mentioned.

  96. WengerEagle


    With you on Mukiele, Halstenberg at LB and Orban at CB are also very good defenders, close to prime age too.

    Leipzig really do have a brilliant defence, shame that their midfield isn’t all that when compared to Bayern and Dortmund.

  97. bennydevito

    As for CB, why not bid for Ake? Leicester are now rumoured to be in for him to replace as too are City because they lost out on Maguire. He’s only 24, knows the Prem, is fast and good in the air. If City and Leicester are in for him we should be too and I reckon £35m would get him.

  98. WengerEagle


    Both are top prospects but Konate is better, ahead in his development. Was ever present for Leipzig last season in a really durable backline and shares the same physical gifts as Upamecano does, edges it when it comes to their ability to read the game for me.

  99. CG

    His name is Dunk!

    LEWIS Dunk!

    Never shaken; Never Stirred

    The man who will finally cure our defensive ills.

    100% Guaranteed.

    Am I right or am I right? ( bd)

  100. Freddie Ljungberg


    Maybe, would certainly not say no to either of them, but feel Upamecano is more gettable because of shorter contract, would maybe fit better with Saliba as well.

    Gone quiet on that front anyway so not likely to happen. Would be over the moon if it did though.

  101. WengerEagle

    It makes sense for Barca to consider a Coutinho loan because let’s face it, his market value has plummeted in the last 18 months since his arrival in Spain.

    If he comes over here and kills it on loan, they can sell him on next summer [still only 27-28] and probably take in 100m odd as opposed to 60-70m which is all anybody would pay for him now.

    25m loan fee is absurd and obviously would turn everybody off the idea, 10m loan fee much more reasonable.

  102. WengerEagle

    Not sure PSG would accommodate Coutinho any better than Barca did. He’s not cut out to play in a front 3 and is a liability defensively in a midfield 3.

    Another like James, Isco, Ozil, Dybala that needs to be indulged and catered to. Draxler is better in a midfield 3 due to his build and running power.

  103. WengerEagle

    If I’m PSG as well, I’d want Dembele as part of the Neymar swap much more than Coutinho.

    M’Bappe will be the CF within a year or two when Cavani declines and that will open up a flank slot. Even this season he could play RF with M’Bappe LF.