Thud.

by & filed under News Review.

I can’t say I was expecting to come away from the Barcelona game with a win, so there’s no point in throwing my kale puffs at the laptop. It’s preseason, Emery appears to still be feeling out his starting 11, nothing matters until the Newcastle game.

We had a fairly positive first half. We took the lead from the usual suspect… Auba. He received a ball from Mesut and unleashed a devastating strike past the Barca second choice keeper. It really was a brutal strike from a man who looks at the absolute peak of his physical and technical powers.

There was a notable performance from Willock. He didn’t let the game overawe him. He works hard, he shows great composure for a 19-year-old and his ability to read play and turn the ball over fast is going to be a big asset moving into the new season. That goal-line clearance he made really was spectacular, absolutely ace concentration.

The same problems were still there, hanging around like those greasy pigeons that eat the Chinese food at the Camden stables. The issues are now so familiar my heart doesn’t skip a beat. We looked confused in defence, particularly in the second half. It doesn’t matter how you chop it up, AMN is not a right back, Chambers is never going to make it, and Mustafi will always, always let players get in behind him. I’m also not sure about our continued attempts to play out the back from way deep, especially when we’re relying on slow players that make lots of mistakes to move the ball forward.

We also have the same old issues up top. Mikhi has been a disaster signing. He’s lost the pace that stood him out, and now he looks like he’s lost interest. He gives the ball away far too often and he’s painfully casual about being average.

The kids are showing promise, but most of them are greener than a bowl of salad. The pace on offer gives us a different dimension. There are flashed is excellence. I just struggle to see Emery giving them a chance in such a high-pressure season. Martinelli, Saka and Reiss all look like they need another loan… but given the choice, I think I’d rather see them in our starting 11 over Iwobi or Mikhi.

The transfer gossip post-match is centred around Umtiti and Tierney. Both are better than what we have. Both were very robust players until last season. Both represent a huge risk. Raul is in a tough spot, his contacts game has its limits, he didn’t have a chief scout for 7 months, and now he’s backed into a corner. If he blows money on them and they’re good for 40 games, we have a very strong chance of Champions League. If things go wrong, on the basis of what we’ve seen in preseason, we really could be in for a bit of a nightmare defensively.

Still, quite exciting, wouldn’t you say? In January we were all shitting our pants that this summer was going to be about #AnnouncePerisic and #WelcomeEverBanega. I’d take your shoe over those two.

Let’s see if Raul can make some magic happen before Sunday!

Check out the first podcast of the season. Big thanks @TopicalStorm for bringing the GOOD chat. You can stream the below through Stitcher, Spotify and iTunes. x

561 Responses to “Thud.”

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  1. JDavey

    Umtiti and tierney are risky but are risks we have to take. Defensively we will be a shambles without big name signings back there, cannot rely on the front three over a whole season.

  2. gunnershabz

    I did like the look of Martinelli, Cabellos and Saka when they came on

    Cabellos looks like a classy midfielder, if we can get him settled he will cause damage to other teams

    AMN he just needs to develop in midfield but it does look like Willock is coming for his place

    Raul has his work cut out in the next 4 days, does he gamble with Tierney and is there any other centre back after £80m Macquire we might find it difficult

    i think Barca has 4 centrebacks now, i have a feeling they will not sell

  3. gunnershabz

    I did like the look of Martinelli, Cabellos and Saka when they came on

    Cabellos looks like a classy midfielder, if we can get him settled he will cause damage to other teams

    AMN he just needs to develop in midfield but it does look like Willock is coming for his place

    Raul has his work cut out in the next 4 days, does he gamble with Tierney and is there any other centre back after £80m Macquire we might find it difficult

    i think Barca has 4 centrebacks now, i have a feeling they will not sell

    I thought chambers was not too bad

  4. Guns of Brixton

    Umtiti and tierney are risky but are risks we have to take.

    Yep. Bout nails it. The alternative of sticking with what we have is unacceptable

  5. gunnershabz

    but its good we lost yesterday in the way we did at least it will show RAUL and EDU we need defensive reinforcements now if we want to compete with the top teams in europe

    yesterday did show a good attacking goal but 2 defensive errors and we could of beaten barca

  6. Guns of Hackney

    I’d take Kim Kallstrom over Mustafi and Kos.

    If I were Arsenal and Umtiti and the pikey are legitimate options, I’d roll the dice.

  7. Receding Hairline

    Joao Cancelo moving to City for 27.5m plus Danilo

    In as much as we made some very good moves ourselves this window, a lot f very cheap defenders moved without us even trying.

    If we change our entire roll call of defensive players at the club not one person will question it, yet that is the area we haven’t even touched.

  8. Guns of Hackney

    RH

    Exactly. There are loads of players out there that would instantly be an improvement over our current back line but we’ve blown a whole summer chasing fucking Tierney.

    I’d take Cahill for nothing for starters.

  9. Chika

    Un

    Please, don’t remind me of Elneny’s presence.

    Our best midfield three should consist of Torriera/Ceballos/Ozil/Willock.

    I’d like to see Iwobi moved to CM, I really want to see actual wingers on the wings, the difference/impact is so crystal clear.

  10. Chika

    It’s quite sad watching AMN do that shit to himself. He has the physical attributes and flair to make it to a decent level. I wish we’ve got our RB well sorted, I’d certainly take him above Guendouzi for a CM role.

  11. Emiratesstroller

    We have played four games pre-season against major European Teams beatingBayern, drawing with Real Madrid [discounting penalties] and losing to Lyon and Barcelona.

    All four games have common denominators i.e. we scored first and then struggled to hang on.

    As has been the case for several seasons we struggle to keep a clean sheet.

    I appreciate that finding good defenders is not just a unique problem for Arsenal. There appears to be a dearth of genuine talent throughout Europe.

    However, the key difference between Arsenal and most of the other leading
    teams is that they are willing to spend money on solving the problem. Clubs
    like Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all willing to go the extra
    mile and spend £50-80 million if a quality player becomes available.

    Arsenal on the other hand seem to think that you can solve the problem by
    spending £10 million or even less. We are always looking in the bargain
    basement department. The one occasion we spent £30 million+ was on Mustafi and we have seen how that turned out.

    Man Utd have recognised their problem last season. They conceded even more goals than we did. They have focussed their priority and attention resolving the problem and will have spent £130 million on securing two top
    class players.

    It may not solve all their problems, but for sure they will be defensively more
    secure this season.

  12. Receding Hairline

    Part of the responsibilities of a football coach is to decide when to stop persisting with under-performers. Unai would do well to stop looking for ways to shoe horn Mikhi into the eleven.

    “I’d take Cahill for nothing for starters.”

    GOH everyone knows where i stand on Cahill, i don’t think handing a starting place to a 33 year old who was released by a rival for the top four places is forward thinking. Nor do i see how he is even better than Chambers at this point in his career.

    I am tired of watching us pick up old rejects from other clubs, we really should move on from the “stop-gap” mentality

  13. Paulinho

    Pierre – Who cares if Ceballos doesn’t score a lot of goals. For years you wanted two holding midfielders that didn’t go into the box, and just sat there shielding the ball.

    What happened, did Ramsey’s cameo in central midfield last season open your eyes to how beneficial runs from central midfield can be?

  14. Guns of Hackney

    RH

    I agree totally about Cahill…normally but. He is experienced, knows the league and could easily come in and do a job for us. Good in the air which we are vulnerable.

    He’s free mate. I’d bag him on a year deal and then start going hard for other options. Going into the new season with what we have is suicide.

  15. Receding Hairline

    GOH maybe it’s a bit personal for me with respect to Cahill. A player i never liked even in his prime being brought in for “save” our defense at 33 just doesn’t sit well with me personally. He was considered only good enough for 2 appearances by Sarri last season now he will just waltz in here to start because he is free??

  16. Guns of Hackney

    RH

    You won’t like my next suggestion then.

    Give Cahill the captaincy.
    The No.4 shirt.
    Highest paid player at club.
    Statue.
    Stand named after him.

    Good?

  17. Receding Hairline

    Can’t even get my head round Pierre’s obsession with Ceballos. desperately trying to compare his deal with the Suarez deal.

    Loved his quick feet to get past two Barca players last night and spread the ball to Saka. Lovely ball by Saka too. Except if Emery decides to play favorites which he shouldn’t, Iwobi must be fearing for his place. These youngsters have much more about their game than he does

  18. Receding Hairline

    “Give Cahill the captaincy.
    The No.4 shirt.
    Highest paid player at club.
    Statue.
    Stand named after him. Good?”

    Make him a player manager, Name the club Cahill FC, make him the technical director and CEO…..build the club in his image

  19. gambon

    Unfortunately this season is already a write off.

    We will be lucky to finish 6th.

    We have conceded 51 goals 2 seasons in a row, and we have changed absolutely nothing about the defence.

    In fact, our defence is now worse.

    Bellerin in inured, Holding is just back from injury and will take a while to get up to speed, Koscielny wants out, Mustafi is done, completely done at this level.

    Kolasinac and AMN are absolute disasters.

    Monreal is getting older.

    There is absolutely no way we will see any defensive improvement, if anything we will concede more goals and less clean sheets.

    Really like the look of Pepe and Ceballos, and think our kids can contribute well, but we have absolutely butchered this transfer window.

    I honestly dont think Emery has a clue how to set up a defence, and this season is going to be an embarrassment at times.

  20. Ivan The Terrible

    Umtiti is exactly the type of player we need. We aren’t flush with funds so need to gamble on players like him. We signed Overmars with a dodgy knee and he became a legend. Kanu had a hole in his hart and he turned out okay. Van Persie had more injuries than I’ve had cooked dinners yet United gambled on him and he won them the league almost single handedly.

    He’s proven at the top level both at domestic and international levels and is far better than anything we have.

  21. Receding Hairline

    “I honestly dont think Emery has a clue how to set up a defence, and this season is going to be an embarrassment at times.”

    I think his idea of defensive player is to put more bodies in defensive zones, this would have helped if the bodies actually knew how to defend.

    I fear we are going to be hopeless away from home again this season, playing within ourselves in desperate attempt to be defensively solid

  22. Wasi

    Emiratestroller
    Idk what u are blabbering about. Our recruitment this summer has been very good and better than all the other of the top 6 teams.
    AMN showed so much promise in the first half only to completely make us all forget it in the second. The lack of a true leader is concerning. Had Liverpool conceded such a comical own VVD would be either eating the player’s ear out or encouraging him. All our players were just standing still heads down.
    The countless times our defenders gave away the ball in our own third is even more concerning. Only Chambers seems to be the one who can play out of defense. Chambers was partly at fault for the Suarez goal but he had a good game mind you .At least we wont see Mustafi against Newcastle thats a relief.
    Willock I think is going to start against Newcastle. Was solid in offense and defense. Has got the right mindset and ability.
    Auba is looking at the peak if his powers. Golden boot loading again. Saka was very very good. Martinelli good . Nelson good.
    I seriously dont understand why Emery keeps playing mykhi . Has lost all interest in playing football in general. I can only remember one good moment with mykhi in the whole match. Saka,nelson should already be above him in the pecking order.
    Lastly our window is not over yet. Expect to see at least 1 more signing before Thursday hopefully 2.

  23. HighburyLegend

    “Mustafi will always, always let players get in behind him”

    That’s because he’s much too used to be fucked in the ass.
    Old habits die hard…

    #MustardiOUT

  24. gambon

    “Our recruitment this summer has been very good and better than all the other of the top 6 teams.”

    Erm, we have conceded 51 goals 2 seasons in a row, and we have exactly the same group of defenders as we had last season.

    We scored the 3rd most goals in the PL and spent £72m on a goalscoring winger.

    Meanwhile the 5 disasters (Koscielny, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac and Xhaka) are all still here. Pretty much every goal we concede is from one of these idiots making a basic error.

    We are like someone who’s house burns down, takes the insurance money and buys a second car with it.

  25. Spanishdave

    Do we have a defensive coach?
    If there was some organization at the back it would help.
    Emery is clueless

  26. Receding Hairline

    “We are like someone who’s house burns down, takes the insurance money and buys a second car with it.”

    Hmmmm

    We did need a winger or two Gambon, we really did. Same way we needed defenders. Although one can argue one need was more pressing than the other but. I just hope the extra year wait for Saliba is worth it.

  27. Receding Hairline

    Organization at the back is all well and good Spanish dave but games happen in real time. You can organize all you want but your defenders should have the ability to make split second decisions themselves. You weathered the storm at the Nou Camp and your right back casually passes the ball into his own net, how do you organize against that?

  28. gambon

    Chambers couldnt get a game at Fulham as a CB

    Hes going to be a disaster.

    Hes short, slow and weak. Everything you dont want in a CB.

  29. Logie Bear

    gambon:

    ” We are like someone who’s house burns down, takes the insurance money and buys a second car with it. ”

    Absolute quality comment – couldn’t agree more

  30. Paulinho

    Chambers just soft and slow. Slow feet,slow on the turn, and without a single redeeming feature. He’s worse than Mustafi by quite a bit.

  31. Wasi

    Gambon
    Raul and Edu are building for the future and not for this season. We have bought 4 players yet all with world class potential. We are still in for 2 more defenders.
    Last season we completely outscored our xG and we cant expect to do that every year. We lacked pace and crearuvity out wide and heavily relied on auba and laca. Cant do that every year.
    And we still have time to fix our defense. Hopefully 2 new faces come in before the window.
    This has been our best window in some time and we have time to make it our best.
    Why youd count our kos a disaster idk?
    Meanwhile if we get tierney and a cb in we wont have to see the rest 4 disaster in the first 11 hopefully.
    Tierney for kola
    Cb any1 for mustafi
    Bellerin for amn
    cabellos/willock/matty g for xhaka.

    See everything can be fixed. But its painfully clear Xhaka is our new captain and expect him to start every imp. game at least for the first few months.

  32. Paulinho

    Not quite as brain dead as Mustafi though, and less liable to make blatantly stupid decisions, so could still be the better option.

  33. Chika

    I’m trying hard to galvanize myself for the forthcoming season. I’m keen to watch Pepe, Ceballos and some of the youngsters but then I remember we are bedeviled with Xhaka, Mustafi and Mhki.

    More so, lamenting the prolonged absence of Holding buttresses the state of our defence.

    There’s absolutely no excuse if we don’t sign defenders. No valid excuse at all.

  34. gambon

    Receding

    I would take Cahill, as much as he wouldnt be ideal, he would still be our best CB by a distance.

    That says a lot more about our CBs than it does Cahill.

    If we dont buy at least 2 defenders this week, we wont be finishing in the top 6 IMO, let alone top 4.

  35. Paulinho

    Receding – Not really. He’s always reminded me a bit of Koscielny, albeit probably a physically stronger version, but not quite as quick.

  36. Chika

    Please, Chambers is not a credible option either. He’s such a weak ass. Him and Mustafi should have been sold.

    Our defence is our most pressing need but we’ve seen no movements at all for this season.

  37. Receding Hairline

    “If we dont buy at least 2 defenders this week, we wont be finishing in the top 6 IMO, let alone top 4.”

    Two center backs or does that include a full back??

    “Receding – Not really. He’s always reminded me a bit of Koscielny, albeit probably a physically stronger version, but not quite as quick.”

    Exactly, was never quick now you want to him to play out the back or play a high line…that’s how horror movies are made

  38. Receding Hairline

    “I would take Cahill, as much as he wouldnt be ideal, he would still be our best CB by a distance.That says a lot more about our CBs than it does Cahill.”

    This makes for scary reading. How did we arrive here?? Or yes it all happened last summer if some are to be believed.

    On one hand they argue Sven was the second coming of Christ and on the other hand they argue the new regime(of which Sven was an integral part) set us back three years

  39. gambon

    Receding

    I would say a LB and CB

    Realistically we need at least 2 CBs but we have to hope Saliba is ready next summer.

    Our success this season will be 100% correlated to how many minutes Mustafi, Kolasinac and AMN play.

    Our strategy in this final week of the transfer window needs to be based around ensuring they dont play very much.

  40. Receding Hairline

    “Our success this season will be 100% correlated to how many minutes Mustafi, Kolasinac and AMN play.”

    I hear you gambon

    I know if those three remain at the club somewhere along the line Emery will revert to the atrocious three at the back formation. I don’t think he knows we have a problem there considering he kept Monreal about and was actively fighting to keep Kos.

    He treats AMN and Kolasinac like they are vital players, although the pursuit of Tierney somehow points at an admission Kolasinac isn’t good enough, it’s all rather confusing really trying to figure out his though process when it comes to the defense

  41. fsaf

    RH: “a lot f very cheap defenders moved without us even trying”

    I mean Joao Cancelo moved to Juve for 40m euro and Danilo cost City 30m euro. £27m + Danilo even if Danilo dropped a bit of his evaluation makes the transfer worth around £50m and that’s for a right back where we got a good enough starter in Bellerin.

    When we have absolutely horrendous CBs and not good enough starter LB it doesn’t make sense to spend this kind of money on a RB. The other problematic position is AM but that has to wait since we can’t get rid of Ozil and Mikki.

  42. Paulinho

    Really concerned by the team spirit as well.

    Never seen such a random bunch of individuals thrown together.

  43. Guns of Hackney

    Cahill with a 97% vote. Landslide.

    Hambon is 100% correct. You don’t go from 2 x 51 goals to better with the same players…it just doesn’t work like that. Older, slower and more broken, yes. Not better.

    Two defenders ASAP. Don’t care who. Bodies.

  44. Leftsidesanch

    ‘Our success this season will be 100% correlated to how many minutes Mustafi, Kolasinac and AMN play’

    Of course, so much rides on Tierney coming in and hitting the ground running, Bellerin reaching a consistent level following his injury and any CB coming in, in place of Mustafi.

    The one positive in this window is that I also wanted us to be in a position where we don’t have to rely on Iwobi, Mikki and Ozil and we are there at least. Xhaka can be included but I think he has the backing of Emery so I’m sure he will be a prominent figure. He wore the armband yesterday too, so that clown is likely to captain the side.

  45. fsaf

    gambon: “If we dont buy at least 2 defenders this week, we wont be finishing in the top 6 IMO, let alone top 4.”

    Okay, buddy. You’re back to your best.

  46. Leftsidesanch

    I’d actually argue we are better off starting with Jenkinson at RB when Bellerin is out over AMN.

  47. Samesong

    If we dont buy at least 2 defenders this week, we wont be finishing in the top 6 IMO, let alone top 4.

    Even if we do Defenders still need time to gel.

  48. Receding Hairline

    We played seven games in preseason

    Scored 13 conceded 8, two clean sheets

    Doesn’t look good on paper but how many teams keep clean sheets in preseason

    “Really concerned by the team spirit as well.Never seen such a random bunch of individuals thrown together.”

    they all seem to get along well socially, problem is no on pitch chemistry, nobody really understands the other on the pitch. The so called Auba and Lacazette partnership is an insult to partnerships.

  49. Biggles

    In terms of CB, unless we’re going to spend BIG for somebody really good and really reliable, I think we want a short term solution. It could be Cahill on a one year deal, or it could be Rugani on a one year loan, or Umtiti on a loan to buy if he plays X number of games or… I’m sure there’s somebody else.

    What I don’t want is to spend significant-ish money on somebody that’s fairly average, where next summer with Saliba here they’d be out the team but never leave. One Squillaci is enough for a lifetime.

    If Tierney isn’t going to happen, then I hope we have a backup choice lined up. Danny Rose anybody? 😀

    I’m not quite as negative as gambon here, I think we might luck out and make top 4 if our goals are upped a bit more. He is right though that defence does need serious work if we’re to definitely improve.

    I’d really like to see some more of the dross go, although I’m aware that it is easier said than done to ship out players on juicy contracts. By dross, I mean Ozil, Mhkitaryan, Xhaka, Mustafi and to a lesser extent, Koscielny, Monreal and Elneny. I don’t mean Iwobi or AMN, because much as I don’t want them in the first team, they are cheap and you do need to have a squad. The rest cost a lot, have big wages and should have at least some value between them to sell on.

  50. Nelson

    Paulinho “He’s worse than Mustafi by quite a bit.”

    Only if you count the physical ability. Chambers is smarter and is aware of the danger. When Suarez ran between the two CBs, Chambers reacted to it. He could have done something if Suarez needed a first touch to control the ball. Mustafi was still day dreaming after the ball was in the net.

  51. Paulinho

    Receding – That’s pre-season though. Everyone has a smile on their face,and it’s all light-hearted, and I’m sure they all are amiable with each other on a superficial level.

    it’s when we get into October, November, and results start to go against us. Who is going to command respect and rally the troops. I see a lot of self-centred players in our dressing room who think about number one, and will point fingers. We’ve lost a lot of good characters in the summer, and I see a lot of chiefs, not a lot of Indians in the group.

    Hopefully we click on the pitch, and delay that scenario as long as possible.

  52. Paulinho

    “When Suarez ran between the two CBs, Chambers reacted to it”

    He should’ve reacted to it quicker. Mustafi was marshalling his man, and Chambers was the free man who had the picture – and Suarez – in front of him.

  53. Cesc Appeal

    Swansea apparently want Nketiah on loan, good move. He needs to play in a team where there is an expectation that he will contribute.

    I’m not a massive fan of Nketiah’s, certainly don’t think the’s to the level a lot of Arsenal fans think he is, this would be a really good test.

  54. fsaf

    Imma throw a bit of speculation but I think that our big plan was to sell Chambers 99% sure, possibly Mustafi but I’m not 100% sure on that. Chambers would have been £15-20m easy. Mustafi £20-25m not so easy. Koscielny would play 1 more year for us and cover CB until Saliba comes ready to take his spot.

    But it all changed when Kos threw his tantrum around. And we’re stuck where we are at. Cause even if we sell Kos it would be what? £3-4m it’s not the same money that Chambers would have brought us. And we would have been 5 times stronger with Kos than with Chambers.

    Now our whole plan was demolished we don’t know what to do cause we don’t have the money to do business unless we sell Mustafi who doesn’t want to leave. We’re not even sure if anyone wants him at all.

    And at the moment the most probable outcome will be to sell Kos for peanuts, loan another average CB and have Chambers and Mustafi stinking the place out.

    All cause Koscielny btw. Not a legend the way he handled his last moments for our club. Compare his behavior to the one of Bergkamp. Different universes.

  55. CG

    Paulinio

    “”””Really concerned by the team spirit as well.Never seen such a random bunch of individuals thrown together.””””

    THE MOST SALIENT POINT MADE THIS SUMMER ON THIS BLOG! (well observed: 10/10)

    The foto of the players on that plane departing to Barcelona yesterday was illuminating.

    We have no team spirit.

    Rambo. Welbeck , Cech gone
    Kos on strike,

    Regardless of what folk think of the above footballing abilities- they were solid Arsenal citizens respected by their team mates.

    the morale around the club – will be lower than a snakes belly.
    Easily the worst in the Prem.

    last season AFC 28-1 to win title
    this season AFC 70-1 to win title
    next season AFC 250-1 to win title.

  56. Guns of Hackney

    Leftside

    I’m pulling your chain. But let’s be honest, Arsenal have been butchering careers for a decade. Previously uninjured players come to us and instantly get career Enders.

  57. fsaf

    Mustafi is better than Chambers by quite a lot. Mustafi doesn’t have consistency and his decision making is terrible really often, but in one-offs he’s bossed Diego Costas, Lukakus, you name it.

    Obviously he hasn’t done well for us. At all. Hence we need a replacement. I’d rather have him over Chambers any day of the week though.

    Tbh I hoped Mustafi turns his bad performances around in a similar way that Otamendi did at City 2 seasons ago. But I think he needs a dominant CB paired with him, one that tells him what to do and when. Anyhow the ship has sailed and would gladly see the back of him especially if we could get Umtiti in. It would be a decent upgrade.

  58. Joel

    AMN is not essentially a right back but has been converted from his favoured position….in the same way as Cole and Clichy were but with the same lack of defensive coaching as Gibbs.
    There lies the problem. If Emery cant coach his team to defend then we are relying on bringing in someone who already knows how to defend and will try to do so at Arsenal in spite of the frailties that surround him.This means we have to spend an absolute fortune on a defensive star or bring in someone with loads of PL experience who might be able to help hold things together around him provided that his legs havent gone.I can understand the reticence of many concerning Cahill but as a stop gap he really fits the bill.He also has leadership qualities and “steel” that far outstrips anything that Xhaka might muster.Nevermind making HIM captain what about dropping him to the bench along with Mhiki and playing the likes of Torreira,Willock and Cebellos..Anyway Cahill could certainly improve our defensive capabilities until Holding is available,would be happy to rotate with him and Sokratis and could also mentor Saliba once he arrives next season.

  59. HighburyLegend

    “He’s worse than Mustafi by quite a bit.”

    Didn’t know that such a disaster player could exist…

  60. Guns of Hackney

    “Mustafi is better than Chambers by quite a lot”

    Broadmoor must be having internet access day.

    The most insane thing you’ll read today.

  61. Marc

    Apparently Lennon has come out and said he’s expecting another bid for Tierney.

    I can see this one happening and I think a lot of the scare stories about his injuries are to condition the Celtic fans that they’ve got a good deal because he’s a crock.

    We then desperately need a CB so Mustafi doesn’t even get near the bench. I have no idea what sort of budget we have but I’d guess we’re looking at a loan.

    If we get those done top 4 is more than a reasonable chance.

  62. fsaf

    Everytime I see Chambers play, I feel like it takes couple of seconds for him to realize what he wants to do, and then couple of seconds for him to actually transmit his brain process to his body. And then the turn motion itself takes another couple of seconds.

    Mustafi is the exact opposite. Reacts before he thinks. So at least his reaction time is fast. Lol

  63. James.wood

    Yes C G
    The club has become a meal ticket for players.
    Needs massive change from the top down.
    No good praising what a good bit of work getting
    Pépé was we did not need him our goal scoring record
    spoke for itself last season.

    WHY why WHY has the club not addressed the 4 STOOGES
    At the back.
    We have till Thursday/ Sunday????
    We are a laughing stock to other clubs.

  64. Marc

    It’s strange how Emery is slagged off because he can’t coach a defence and therefore has to buy defenders.

    When Klopp did that he was decreed a fucking genius.

  65. Sohara

    Come on guys, cheer up. The new season starts this weekend. We all know we are on a rebuilding exercise,& it will take time. But I believe we now have a great team working for us with Edu & Raul who appears to be the negotiator we have desperately needed for several years now . We only missed 4th by 1 point last year & a second half collapse in the Europa ..We were SO CLOSE .
    This year we have new good players coming in, Our young lads are REALLY stepping up big time , we may still get the defensive signings we need by Thursday. We have SO much to look forward to. Let’s just ALL enjoy going to the games ( or watching them on TV) and SUPPORT our players, Manager & Management team. COYG 4th place incoming

  66. Biggles

    Actually, I saw some stats yesterday that prove Mustafi is better than Harry Maguire.

    So I’m puzzled why there aren’t clubs literally queueing round the block to sign him.

    Of course, the stat that was missing was “Number of utter switchoffs that led to goals that cost the club points”.

  67. Pierre

    If one looks at it positively from the playing side point of view .

    We were ahead against Real Madrid , Barcelona and Lyon and playing pretty decent and looking comfortable in those games .

    So what happened , the manager made changes that disturbed the balance of the team , hence we lost all cohesion in our play and consequently lost the games.

    If anything is to be learnt from this in pre season it is game management ….If the manager gets it wrong , the team will suffer …If the manager keeps the balance of the side when making substitutions we may see the team perform for 90 minutes

    Individual mistakes have occurred , but sometimes these mistakes occur due to a build up of pressure ….It is the manager’s job to make sure he selects a team or makes changes that doesn’t add to the pressure …

    Teams like Madrid and Barca are masters at building up the pressure on the opposition defence , they pass ,pass and pass until defences lose their concentration and make the mistake that creates an opening .

    Arsenal and United were the masters of it back in the day , hence the last minute goals that regularly won or saved matches .

    Sadly , we have lost that ability to grind a team down as we are way too loose in possession as it is impossible to create pressure without the ball.

  68. Paulinho

    “Everytime I see Chambers play, I feel like it takes couple of seconds for him to realize what he wants to do, and then couple of seconds for him to actually transmit his brain process to his body. And then the turn motion itself takes another couple of seconds”

    Ha ha, spot on.

  69. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal on course to smash the 60 goals conceded milestone.

    It’s the defence that would get a shitter team relegated.

  70. Left testicle

    CA,
    Can we afford to let Nketiah go on loan? Do we want Auba and Laca playing the likes of the Carabao Cup etc?

  71. Leftsidesanch

    James Wood

    We absolutely required an addition out wide who could chip in with goals and release some of the burden on Auba and Laca. Last season Auba and Laca were efficient in front of goal, who’s to say that will be repeated this time out.

    We also need bodies at the back as the world has screamed.

  72. Marc

    Pierre

    Whilst I agree with some of what you say you are blowing the consequences of the changes out of proportion.

    It’s pre season and friendly matches – you get large number of changes and it affects the teams balance. The exact same thing happens to other teams and you see it happen regularly in International friendlies.

  73. Graham62

    There are several reasons “why the club has not addressed the 4 STOOGES”

    1. Nobody else wants them.
    2. Nobody can afford their wage demands.
    3. They are simply not good enough.
    4. They don’t want to leave.

    What more can I say?

    The fact that some posters on here are only just realising the seriousness of our situation just beggars belief.

  74. Receding Hairline

    “Leicester City won’t be signing Nathan Ake in this transfer window with Bournemouth valuing the Dutch defender at more than than £75m, Sky Sports News has been told.”

    75m big ones for Nathan Ake …what a time to be alive

  75. Marc

    Looking like Leicester have a problem trying to replace Maguire – everyone knows they’ve a huge wad of cash in their pocket and have to buy a defender.

    Accordingly everyone’s putting their prices up – I do however know of a PL experienced CB who’s available for £25 million and has the offer of 50,000 drivers willing to get him to a new stadium.

  76. gambon

    “What about Xhaka as a CB or sweeper? ”

    I couldnt think of a player anywhere in the world less suited to playing as a CB

  77. Pierre

    Marc
    “It’s pre season and friendly matches – you get large number of changes and it affects the teams balance. The exact same thing happens to other teams and you see it happen regularly in International friendlies.”s

    Weak argument I’m afraid.

    It didn’t happen to madrid, barca or Lyon against us did it ….their changes made them stronger …

    Surely you can make changes without affecting the balance of the team …It happens too regularly for my liking.

  78. Guns of Hackney

    “I couldnt think of a player anywhere in the world less suited to playing as a CB”

    Mustafi?

    Sometimes a change of position works for even the shittest of players.

  79. Pierre

    Plus it’s not good for confidence or morale if you keep losing game s from winning positions …friendlies or not.

  80. Receding Hairline

    “It didn’t happen to madrid, barca or Lyon against us did it ….their changes made them stronger …”

    Probably because they started with weaker teams and then changed to better ones, what exactly do we gain winning the Joan whatever cup???

  81. fsaf

    I’ve repeated multiple times in this blog that until we get rid of Ozil we wouldn’t stand any chance to bring back some of our former glory.

    But Raul, Edu and co took me by surprise mostly with Pepe’s ginarmously important transfer. I expect him to be our best player from the get go and have a glamorous first season for us.

    If we manage to land both Tierny and say Umtiti, which would be a 10/10 window for us as fans, yes, we won’t challenge for the title in yet another year, but I could definitely see us finishing 3rd. From 63 points in 17/18, we reached 70 in 18/19, we should be able to achieve 77 in 19/20 and consider it a decent season where we secure UCL football.

  82. Paulinho

    “What about Xhaka as a CB or sweeper? Might work.”

    What is it, free internet access day at Ashworth or something.

  83. Chika

    Emery’s response on signing defenders this summer: “But it has not changed, our idea and our message. Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that. If not, then not.”

    Is Emery taking the piss or is he drawing inspiration from a Wenger quote?

  84. Receding Hairline

    “When you see that getting quoted for Ake you can see why we did what we did with Saliba.”

    Yea now i see it

    Even Diaz from Benfica is quoted at 54m. John Stones cost someone 50m back in the days and he really sin’t that good a defender. I will be very curious to see what Raul does over the next few days, good thing he seems to be taking advise from Mendes, man did a lot of smashing deals for Wolves

  85. Marko

    Our success this season will be 100% correlated to how many minutes Mustafi, Kolasinac and AMN play.Our strategy in this final week of the transfer window needs to be based around ensuring they dont play very much.

    Can’t disagree with any of that I’ve been arguing all summer long that getting in a new starting RB was just as important as a LB. Kept hearing about how AMN isn’t that bad and how Bellerin is nearly back. As things stand now we’ve got 5 senior fullbacks at the club and not a single one of them know how to defend even just a little bit.

    Also to the person earlier who said that AMN is a DM instead of a RB grow up

  86. Ishola70

    Crazy that some posters still refuse to look at the midfield when discussing defensive matters.

    Arsenal used to control midfield in matches back in the day. This in turn helped the back line. Now it is hard to recall matches where Arsenal have controlled midfield in the last few seasons.

    Even matches against average teams like this first game against Newcastle coming up no-one can say without doubt that Arsenal will control the midfield in this game. A win is expected but not necessarily from showing clear superiority in midfield.

    What Arsenal have had for a few seasons is a passing midfield. Now posters go nuts about a midfield that can pass the ball well but when it results in the midfield being so obviously deficient in other midfield requirements then it becomes a problem.

    At least this Ceballos has shown that he has more to his game than just passing the ball. But whether this results in the whole midfield improving due to his presence is another matter.

    The midfield has lacked presence off the ball, has lacked the requirement of effective pressing off the ball, has lacked ball winners in the middle. But hey they pass the ball nicely at times when in possession.

  87. Vintage Gun

    “Can we afford to let Nketiah go on loan? Do we want Auba and Laca playing the likes of the Carabao Cup etc?”

    I’d loan him to Swansea.

    Auba, Laca, John Jules, Martinelli, And Pepe (In a Emergency) can all play uptop.

    Bit risky but i think we can just survive without Eddie for this season

  88. andy1886

    Absolutely correct Marc, preseason the objective is to get the players ready for the new season, all of them. That means variations in tactics, formations and multiple substitutions. What Emery does need to do however is go into the first match knowing how we will line up on a regular basis. No swapping defensive formations on a regular basis, even average defenders can work well as a unit if they are comfortable in their roles and well drilled.

    The really disappointing thing is that most Gooners can identify our weaknesses and have been able to for a year or two at least. Yet the club seem blind to them and even have the gall to honour one of the biggest culprits by making him captain.

  89. fsaf

    Now imagine next season a team without Ozil, Mikki, Mustafi, Xhaka, Jenkinson and Chambers (Elneny I consider sold hopefully). How good does it sound and how much wage is gonna free up… Now that we know Raul can seduce elite players to join all we need is a bit of money and to lower the sum of our wages.

  90. Receding Hairline

    Chika but the player has to improve us doesn’t he?? If he doesn’t what’s the point???

    We have brought in two players this summer who undoubtedly improve us, I don’t read much into statements but actions. Wenger literally pulled the plug on deals because Sanogo scored a goal in training

  91. Leftsidesanch

    ‘Leicester City won’t be signing Nathan Ake in this transfer window with Bournemouth valuing the Dutch defender at more than than £75m’

    I’m in a quandary whether to laugh or cry.

  92. Marko

    Anyway my hope in what remains of the transfer window is that we finally get Tierney in, bring in a CB and also nab Boubacar Kamara. Quotes from AVB suggests that he can’t wait until the English window so he can keep certain players beyond this transfer window. The implication being Kamara

  93. Cesc Appeal

    £75 Million for Ake?

    We have done really well with the £27 Million deal for Saliba. If he can develop in the way a lot of people think he will, in this market, we can build another stadium with his fee if Ake is worth £75 Million.

    I have never been for transfer market regulation but this is getting out of hand now. Prices like £26 Million for Mings, £85 Million for Maguire, £75 Million for Ake etc.

    Players have to be smart enough to insist on realistic release clauses.

  94. JAMES WOOD

    Graham 62 11.24.01
    The fact some posters on here are just realising how
    serious the situation BEGGARS BELIEF?- 🙂
    I think we all realise that Graham.?
    It’s been posted here enough.
    And as you have said as others who would want our DROSS.

  95. Batistuta

    Like I’ve been banging on, I’d take an experienced albeit aged Cahill type for a year than roll with what we’ve currently got at the back for another year, they’re all that bad coupled with having a manager who would rather win 5-4 than 1-0….. No matter how Liverpool were going foward, they didn’t get better till they sorted out that defence…

    Ishola

    I could live with that midfield for another year but not that defence, it’s very bad and filled with either aged players or just proper bad ones. We need better

  96. Receding Hairline

    “Unfortunately for the Gunners, new loan-signing Dani Ceballos suffered an injury against Barcelona.

    The Real Madrid midfielder was on the receiving end of a mistimed tackle from Clément Lenglet.

    Unai Emery has since confirmed the following on Dani Ceballos’s injury:

    My idea was to play Ceballos for about 20 minutes.

    He was very sore after Lenglet’s kick and he can’t train for the next few days.”

    He won’t be available for Newcastle then

  97. Cesc Appeal

    RH

    That was a naughty challenge.

    I wonder if it was because he’s a Madrid player?

    No a friendly appropriate challenge at all.

  98. Batistuta

    James

    If no one wants our dross then what’s the alternative? Keep them and let them keep costing us points because we have to play them as we don’t have other options?

    Bad players are moved on every summer so this suggestion that we can’t move ours because they’re so bad is quite ridiculous.

  99. Chika

    Receding Hairline

    “Chika but the player has to improve us doesn’t he?? If he doesn’t what’s the point??”

    Of course I firmly agree the player has to improve us.

    Are you categorically saying the reason we’ve not signed defenders for this season is solely because we’ve not found better than the shower shit we have?

  100. Batistuta

    Ceballos injured

    RH

    Don’t let Pierre see that, he’d have a full on orgasm thinking of ways to bash the manager with it

  101. Paulinho

    Ceballos wouldn’t started anyway. You don’t make your first start in the first league game of the season without starting a pre-season match.

  102. emery’s new teeth

    Emery is starting to sound like Wenger saying he is only going to buy players that are better than we have.
    It can’t be that hard to find a CB that’s better than we have.

    Dias, Djene, Konate, Upamecano, zagadou.
    I haven’t really seen any of these players play much but surely anyone of them would make us better.

    If we don’t sign a Fullback and CB things are not going to end well.

  103. S Asoa

    Spanish Dave
    We had a defensive coach ,still do, Bould. Does not have initiative but saved Wenger’s bacon when things got horrible.
    Emery does not have a clue about defending which he is loath to get exposed. So he pushes Bould out into Academy. Bergkamp speaks in wavelength he can understand, which is not bad. But effectively Emery has swept his deficiency under the bed. RIP 4th place. More goals for , what do they matter if we increased goals against ?

  104. fsaf

    RH,
    I wouldn’t start him this early anyways. We have numbers in CM for now. We need to damage control in the first couple of weeks until Pepe, Ceballos, Holding, Bellerin, hopefully Tierney and one can only hope Umtiti are ready to join the fight.

    I just named that lot of Pepe, Ceballos, Holding, Bellerin, Tierney, Umtiti and it felt really good on paper. Add Auba, Laca, Torreira, Guen and Leno and our starting 11 would look very impressive imo.

  105. andy1886

    If we really don’t have anything lined up at CB come mid week I would reluctantly try to strike a deal with Cahill. He really wouldn’t be a great option but if there was nothing else… well he would have to do. Better than making Kos stay which would be totally counter productive IMO. Trouble is he’ll probably want a signing on fee and a two year deal which may not suit us.

  106. Cesc Appeal

    I would imagine the Newcastle line up will be quite close to what we saw last night if there are no new signings, potentially even if there are.

    Leno, Maitland Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Willock, Ozil, Nelson, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

    If I was to guess.

    In the game against Burnley I think we will get Torreira, Dani Ceballos and Pepe introduced depending on how they look if they get minutes at Newcastle.

  107. Chika

    Batistuta

    “Bad players are moved on every summer so this suggestion that we can’t move ours because they’re so bad is quite ridiculous.”

    As far I’m concerned, the reason we’ve not moved on players is because were not really serious about it.

    How can certain players continue to hinder your progress and you claim you’re helpless in moving them so you’d rather just sit back and watch the decay unfold.

  108. kamp

    What happened to the Lemina rumours? He could have kept ANM off the field and when Bellerin returns press The midfielders for a starting position…

    As great as the summer has been, if we do not address this bantz defence we will be trounced by the press and pundits, the fans will kick off unnerving an already nervy set of ‘defenders’ and we’ll be back where we started last season.
    £80m for McGuire is silly, but Djene and whole host of other names batted about this summer would have improved us.
    If a Umtiti comes and Holding is truly the chosen one, I think we’ll be ok. But we are playing. A dangerous game with a week to go

  109. Marko

    Torreira has 5 mins preseason action in him and Guendouzi I think may have started one game basically prior to the tackle he had every chance of getting a start at Newcastle. Unless we’re assuming that all these mins in preseason for Willock were so he was ready for a start at Newcastle?

  110. Emiratesstroller

    Wasi

    It does not matter how many minutes Maitland-Niles and Mustafi play well. What matters is that they are both prone to making the same mistakes when
    we are under pressure.

    How many times last season were they out of position and made poor or rash tackles?

    A top class defender makes minimum mistakes during a game. Also when he
    does make a mistake more often than not it is not catastrophic.

    Unfortunately far too many of Arsenal’s goals conceded are self inflicted as was the case yesterday with Maitland -Niles own goal.

    Maitland-Niles is defensively poor. When he first played wing back position
    he was frequently out of position and somehow made recovery. However, it is
    blindingly obvious that he is now a targeted player by opposition.

    Chelsea targeted him specifically in the Europa Cup Final.

  111. JAMES WOOD

    BATISTUTA.11.48
    Bad players are moved on every season?
    So this suggestion we can’t move them on
    because their so bad is ridiculous.????

    THEN I ASK YOU WHY HAVE’NT WE.
    As you seem to no. -;0

  112. Wasi

    Nketiah needs minutes and he wont get that with us. Loaning him out should prove to be fruitful. We can have John-jules,martinelli and pepe as 3,4 and 5th strikers. Nketiah is too good for U23s and not good enough to usurp laca and auba in any circumstance,so loan him out for one season with an option to terminate the loan in jan just in case .
    Xhaka as a sweeper is as absurd as it comes. He is slower than a snail and sometimes his reading of the game is still that of a 21 year old’s.
    Who says no captain. We have a captain and his name is Xhaka. I don’t understand the way Emery deals with the media. Its clear as day why would he hide it. The players know it , the fans know it who’s he hiding it from.

  113. Receding Hairline

    “Are you categorically saying the reason we’ve not signed defenders for this season is solely because we’ve not found better than the shower shit we have?”

    Not really

    More to do with budget issues, poor planning, inability to move certain players on and the delusion Kos has one more season in him

  114. peanuts&monkeys

    AMN has to be sold. Arsenal cannot be playing the PL with such a gaping hole thru the right side.

    But that said, in the eyes of an Arsenal fan AMN is a dahling; leagues better than Mustafi. Mustafi is an unpardonable idiot.

  115. andy1886

    P&M, yes Chambers played at RB, also DM and possibly CB. At Arsenal Wenger tried him out as a RB before we lucked out with Bellerin but he was slow, not mobile enough and all together ill suited to that position. I would be tempted to move Mustafi to RB simply because his errors (which always happen sooner or later) are likely to be slightly less damaging there. AMN at RB has been a failed experiment for some time.

  116. Receding Hairline

    “RH Don’t let Pierre see that, he’d have a full on orgasm thinking of ways to bash the manager with it”

    Batistuta i posted it for his reading pleasure, too bad he is busy watching golf clips on youtube

  117. Cesc Appeal

    I also think if Nketiah doesn’t step up he can still do enough to improve his value for us to sell next summer.

  118. Cesc Appeal

    Leno or Sokratis are the best options for captain in my opinion.

    That says a lot about the state of the squad.

  119. Marko

    Irrespective of the prices of some or this notion of a severe lack of availability for defenders we need some. It never seems to be a problem for some clubs and it shouldn’t be a problem for us. The last couple weeks have been great but it’ll all be undone it we don’t bring in at least two defenders in what’s left of the window. Thursday 5 o’clock is the deadline.

  120. Moray

    Yes of course we need new bodies in defence urgently, but there must be a reason beyond money why we haven’t had a decently coached back line since Campbell left.

    We’ve had a few captains there too. Mert was captain for a full year while he was praying every game not to have to play. Kos was captain while being permanently injured.

    Why the hell cant we take defending seriously and dedicate proper coaching and drilling to our defenders? It’s not rocket science but it takes focus and hard work.

    We lack any leadership.

    Some of these cunts need a roasting. Mustafi has been booed through pre season and his agent still trots out the bullshit about him being committed to the club. Jenkinson has turned down decent offers for years from clubs which are still too good for him.

    No proper coaching and no leadership, particularly at the back. That is our problem. If emery can’t solve it this season he is gone.

  121. Receding Hairline

    Everton have brought in Gbamin and now going hard for Doucoure, if they get him not a chance in hell we control midfield when we roll up at the blue half of Merseyside ….the physicality alone will have Xhaka breaking out in sweat

    Still no power in our midfield nor in defense, Papa simply wrestles