Ceballos ready to explode

by .

via @t0wey (instagram)

The problem with relying on elite finishing only becomes a problem when the elite finishers pick up an injury.

Alexander Lacazette has finally been downed by the ankle knock he picked up a during preseason.

That leaves us relying on the team improving its chance creation output, or relying heavily on Auba over the next few weeks.

It also potentially opens the door for more Gabriel game time, which could be exciting, or it could be an absolute disaster.

Rob Holding might be back sooner than Hector and Kieran.

‘Rob Holding is in the same situation like Hector and Kieran Tierney, but he earned time and matches with the under-23s and we are going to decide if he can play with the under-23s, because the next week we are going to start in the Europa League, and after we are going to play the Carabao Cup. With more minutes with the under-23s, he can be closer to give us his performance.’

Great stuff, really hope we use the group stages properly this year. I don’t want to be cursing an Auba injury against a pub team.

I think we need to double down on making the team a little more creative. Ceballos has been talking in the press and he seems absolutely driven to succeed here. He even went as far as to say that the differences between Madrid and Arsenal are not really there.

“I love the city, I love the Premier League and love Arsenal,”

“I’m just really, really happy to be part of this great club. I’ve hardly noticed any difference in size between Real Madrid and Arsenal. And the fans are very passionate, they love the players. It’s much easier to adapt because they make you feel like you’ve been at the club for ever. I love the way everyone’s treated me. They’ve put a lot of faith in me.”

What a champion. I love him, he brings as much energy to his interviews as he does to the pitch. He wants to be loved, he wants to prove Zidane wrong and I think he’s pretty enamoured with life in England. He said this a few months back.

“The two good games I’ve had so far for Arsenal I never had in two years at Madrid. I didn’t play a lot but it’s also true that, when I played, I didn’t play as I can. That’s related to confidence but you have to be self-critical.”

Be an icon amongst the best fans in the world, or be a bit part in a star machine?

The way things are going for Zidane, there’s a big chance he won’t last the season, but if he does, then you’d have to put money on Raul making a play for the Spaniard. He’s of the right age, has a super attitude, and his ceiling is very high.

Emery says Tierney and Bellerin will be dropping games in the U23s before they make it back to the first team. The videos of Tierney nutmegging Mustafi are so damn good, I also like how thunderous it is when it comes to intensity levels, he’s going to be a very fun player to watch this season.

Emery is close to making a decision on his 5 captains. FFS…

Finally, Wenger has landed a job with FIFA. Great for him, that BEIN Sport deal finally paid dividends. No idea what the role entails, the man’s technical prowess certainly degraded in his final years. Classy organization to join, right?

See you in the comments! x

 

252 Responses to “Ceballos ready to explode”

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  1. Valentin

    That FIFA is a corrupt organisation, there is no doubt about it, but what a lot of people especially in Western countries don’t realise is that it also does a lot of behind the scene help in developing countries.

    Having Wenger organising coaching training session in those countries is all benefit for them. He still carry a great reputation across the world. Even a semi retired Wenger is more appealing than a Peter Reid or Sam Allardyce to foreign coaches.

    He is erudite and has now regained his enthusiasm for the game. In a less stressful environment and no day to day football responsibility, he may be able to transmit his knowledge and help shape the coaches of tomorrow.

  2. Ashwin Gunner

    Laca injury is worrying. He is the kind of guy who gives 200 percent on the pitch.

    Watford should be easy, unless players decide to throw the game.

  3. Guns of SF

    Pepe to score in this one.
    We need his goals – away games are why we bought him to add firepower since our defense melts in away fixtures.

    Ceballos should start this one

  4. Guns of SF

    Wenger and FIFA. Lets see how long he lasts in this corrupt organization.
    A test of Wengers values or how much he loves the $$$

  5. Eduardo

    FIFA is perfect fit for Wenger.

    French speaking
    No accountability
    Plenty of money and status

    Hopefully this means there is no chance of him returning to Arsenal in any capacity, though those rumours always sounded far-fetched.

  6. Chris

    Valentin

    I think at this stage this is a great move for Wenger and also for football. As you say he can pass on everything he knows and this may be of tremendous value in countries which need help.

    Can see him doing that for a couple of years and then maybe taking on an international job such as Japan.

  7. Wasi

    Nelson has to step up his game now that Laca is injured.He’s got Martinelli and Saka waiting on the wings to usurp him. Not to mention ESR is back too.
    Even in the training videos Tierney’s attitude looks determined to succeed. And megging Mustafi on your first training will only endear you to the fans.
    I believe Ceballos starting on the left is also a possibility. Depends how ready Emery deems Ozil is .

  8. Guns of SF

    Just to to make sure that we do not rush the young enthusiastic Tierney and Bellerin back too fast. We cannot afford a season where they are in and out of the team with niggling injuries

  9. Major_Jeneral

    Lacazette will be missed .

    i expect martinelli to start in his place . Probably going to be a 4-4-2 formation. I wont be surprised if Emery applies the same tactics like he used against Liverpool side.

  10. Silverhawk

    With Martinelli, we know it’s blistering pace and good finishing
    With Saka, we know it’s trickery and great pace
    With ESR, we know it’s an eye for goal, the final pass and play making abilities
    With Nelson, we know…? And no, his purple patch for Hoffenheim early last season doesn’t count.

  11. Wasi

    Silver
    I suppose Pace , dribbling, 1v1 and goals. But he still seems a bit immature and a bit short on confidence.

    Major
    I think its gonna be a 4-3-3 . . Watford shouldnt cause us many problems and Emery should take a positive approach to this game which i think he will. Their Midfield is pretty powerful though. Lets hope Emery chooses to start with Torreira to counter that.

  12. jwl

    Joke Friday –

    Did you hear about the blind Thai man who was able to tell what race people were by touch? It’s true! Just by feeling their hand, old man Nguyen could tell you if somebody was European, African, Polynesian, or American.

    He was best at Asian countries, just by practice, and could even tell what country someone was from, something he wasn’t quite capable of with other ethnicities – for instance, he could tell upon meeting her that his wife Nguyet was Vietnamese, his friend Wong was Chinese, and his dentist Edgar was Singaporean.

    We’l anyway, the Guinness Book of World Records eventually heard about him and sent out a team, since they’d never heard of anyone with this level of precision from simple touch. They ran several tests, asking him to hold the hands of several people and state their ethnicity. He did so, as he always had, with barely a hesitation.

    Then they decided to trick him. They brought in his wife Nguyet, his friend Wong, and his dentist Edgar. All three entered the room silently.

    The head researcher beckoned Wong over, and had him position himself in the same way all other tested people had been – but the researcher himself took Nguyen’s hand.

    “This person is European,” Nguyen said immediately.

    The researcher nodded to Wong, who said, “No Nguyen, it’s me.”

    Nguyen heard Wong’s voice from exactly where he would expect it. But he knew that he was holding a white man’s hand, and Wong was Chinese.

    “This is not your hand, Wong. This is a white man’s hand.”

    “That is Wong’s hand, Nguyen. Have we been going too long? Do you need a break?” The head researcher was impressed, but knew that he had to be absolutely certain about Nguyen’s abilities.

    Nguyen held firm. He shook his head strongly.

    “If this is Wong, why does it feel so white?”

  13. Silverhawk

    Some pace and trickery.

    That’s like describing Gray at Leicester. And he doesn’t even have Gray’s shooting accuracy.

    I know he’s still young and all but I’m struggling to see why he should be ahead Martinelli or Saka. Both bring more to the side than him.

  14. Marko

    FYI I wasn’t the person who said Willock will be a league one player I have no idea who said that. I did argue with the idea that his inclusion over someone like Mhiki and Özil last season was something so obvious though because he did fuck all last summer. I will always maintain that him and Osei Tutu shouldn’t have started the Europa League final.

  15. TheLegendaryDB10

    James Wood

    As Mr White would say: Hardy-fuckin’-har!

    As for AW working for FIFA… massive Lolz. A man who supposedly has morals and wants to play the game the right way ends up working for one of the most corrupt organisations of the planet? Yeah right…..

  16. Pierre

    Aubameyang picks up an injury and then what …

    Martinelli up front .
    Pepe up front .
    Maybe try mustafi up front if we become that desperate.

  17. Batistuta

    He’s getting game time over at Leeds, good for his confidence and good for us too, Lacazette is just resting the ankle according to all the outlets so don’t know how that translates to it being a bad decision letting Eddie go out on loan Pierre?

  18. Pierre

    Let’s hope there is a clause in the loan deal that enables Arsenal to call back Nketiah.

    If not , then I’m afraid its rank incompetence of the highest order.

  19. Batistuta

    How do City cope Aguero gets an injury?

    How are United going to hold up without Pogba or Martial tomorrow?

    Spurs if Kane does his knees again?

    Take a chill pill with the overly exciting chance to do what a lot of clubs do with their youngsters for a day Pierre

  20. Pierre

    Batistuta
    “He’s getting game time over at Leeds”

    Nketiah would have more game time if he was at Arsenal.

    At Arsenal
    6 Europa cup games ….starting.
    League cup games ( probably 2 or 3 games)..starting
    League games in the next few months now that Lacazette is injured.

    At Leeds
    No European games
    No league cup games as they are knocked out .
    2nd choice striker ( usually coming off the bench if he’s lucky)

    So how will he be getting more game time at Leeds.

  21. Wasi

    We still got John jules . And he doesnt look that far off first team level. Dont be surprised to see him against Forest. Also Martinelli, Nelson , Pepe can play upfront too.

  22. Marko

    One fit out and out striker at the club now for the next couple of months.

    He’s out for two or three weeks resting you fool

  23. Wasi

    Pierre
    Nketiah can challenge to be the first choice at Leeds. He couldn’t do that at Arsenal. And if Leeds 1st choice gets injured its Nketiah by default. Also Leeds are not just a passenger Championship team , they are fighting for promotion under a coach with a very good reputation. Also I really think John jules and Martinelli’s performances in the pre-season may have played a part in allowing Nketiah to go out on loan.

  24. Marko

    Pierre making those good points that he’s known for. Someone help him out with understanding an injury announced mid September until October isn’t a few months. Multiple sources saying that he needs rest… he’s broken alright.

    One of the best things to have happened to Nketiah is that loan to Leeds. It’s good long term planning and for the first time in his career he’s getting senior game time. It’s incredibly short sighted to keep him as third choice ST expecting an injury to happen.

  25. Pierre

    So we have xhaka who has been playing whilst carrying an injury and now , according to the manager , Lacazette has been playing whilst carrying an injury for a few weeks …..who’s next.

  26. Pierre

    Marko
    “One of the best things to have happened to Nketiah is that loan to Leeds. It’s good long term planning and for the first time in his career he’s getting senior game time. ”

    Absolute rubbish.
    He could be looking forward to starting 3 games for Arsenal in the next few weeks v Frankfurt, forest and Liege plus would no doubt have been on the bench for the league games as back up striker ..

    Instead , the best he can hope for are brief substitute appearances off the bench for Leeds.

  27. azed

    Absolute rubbish.
    He could be looking forward to starting 3 games for Arsenal in the next few weeks v Frankfurt, forest and Liege plus would no doubt have been on the bench for the league games as back up striker ..Instead , the best he can hope for are brief substitute appearances off the bench for Leeds.

    If Eddie cannot start for Leeds, he should definitely not be starting a game for Arsenal.

  28. Marko

    Instead , the best he can hope for are brief substitute appearances off the bench for Leeds.

    Mid September and he’s started and finished in two 90 min games out of his 5 appearences so far. Compared to the two whole 90 mins he got last season for us. He’s already playing more and scoring more at senior level than he ever has and likely ever would have been had he stayed with us. It’s a frankly stupid thing to keep bringing up because it’s a good loan, he’s doing well and literally no one laments the loss of a third choice ST. Except of course an idiot

  29. TheLegendaryDB10

    James Wood

    I can’t fault you for your cinematic knowledge!

    As for the joke….

    Joking, joking! It was a good one.

    It’s just good to see that Joke Friday is still well alive.

    All kudos go to jwl for single-handedly keeping this going for so long! (And Tony for recently joining in with some very good jokes!)

  30. TheLegendaryDB10

    Marko

    Except of course an idiot

    To be fair, it is an expected massive breakdown from a long serving worshipper of AW.

    Goes to show that his constant “i back the manager first” bollocks that he would spew out on the past is total BS.

    To be fair, it does show that deep down, he finally has concerns about the club and is finally putting The Arsenal before any manager.

  31. Pierre

    Marko
    “Mid September and he’s started and finished in two 90 min games out of his 5 appearences so far. ”

    Yes ,he has started in 2 league cup ties and has played a grand total of 48 mins in the championship as a substitute, he is still waiting for his first start in the league.

    This Thursday he will be sitting at home when he would’ve been starting for Arsenal v Frankfurt

    The week after he will be sitting at home doing nothing when would have been starting for Arsenal v forest .

    The following week he will be sitting at home doing nothing when he would have been starting for Arsenal v liege.

  32. HighburyLegend

    “Classy organization to join, right?”
    And mostly a very well paid job.
    But let’s not pretend money is arsene’s main motivation.
    Lol

  33. Marko

    A lot of he would have there little p. Worth noting this time last season all those Europa League games he played in two. I honestly don’t get the cry outs for Nketiah it’s pathetic scare mongering and hindsight nonsense. He needs games and the chance to play consistently and he wouldn’t have gotten that being third choice here. If John Jules and Balogan in a pinch can’t replace his nothingness from last season then what’s the point in them

  34. Valentin

    If Nkethia had stayed, he would not have played in the Europa League. Last season Emery cancelled his loan under the pretence that Nkethia was third choice striker and would be used. He was not.

    It has been stated that Emery wanted to keep Nkethia, so clearly somebody overruled him. That means that Edu or Raul did not believe either that Nkethia would see significant playing time this season under Emery.

    Lacazette injury is unfortunate, but it is a short term one. So even if Aubameyang also got injured, Pepe would have been preferred to Nkethia. Better he plays regularly at Leeds (Championship competition means nearly two games per week, so his turn will come), than barely featured in domestic and European competition for us.

  35. PieAFC

    He will learn more there than he will being a bit part player for us.

    Plus it will show what he’s made of. Too many kids think being in our academy or being associated with us they’ve already made it – then they fall of the wayside during a load spell.

    Talent but wrong attitude. He’s out to prove to people. At only 20, years ahead of him. I feel he needs to add a little more bulk to his frame though.

  36. PieAFC

    Plus, if Laca rest is precautionary, better it be now and not when it starts getting serious into the business end of the season.

    He’s already had two weeks off. Hopefully few more and he’s sorted. Then can hit our stride.

  37. TR7

    Alan Smith (ex-Arsenal striker) on Emery: “I have heard whispers, after all, that some of the players find their manager’s instructions confusing, that they do not really know what he wants them to do. If so, that does not bode well.”

  38. Mysticleaves

    TR7

    No man. I wasn’t. I always maintained he was talented but needed to learn the game, which became evident as the season went on. I merely urged caution. Marko and his people dismissed Willock and other youth players. Big difference.

  39. Chris

    Pierre you are way off the mark here. Lacazette is only supposed to be out for a few weeks, not months.

    Nketiah will likely see more game time at Leeds throughout the season in an extremely competitive division but will also learn from Bielsa. The guy himself has stated it is a great move for him and that he forced it through.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leeds-united/eddie-nketiah-leeds-united-arsenal-16881455.amp

    As usual you are like a rat up a drain pipe when there is the slightest opportunity to stick the boot into Emery.

  40. Sid

    Alan Smith (ex-Arsenal striker) on Emery: “I have heard whispers, after all, that some of the players find their manager’s instructions confusing,
    Even if you gave instructions in Turkish shkodaft will still be confused, give them in albanian to Haka he will still tackle in the box, give them to papasauce in greek he will still wrestle, I dont need whispers to know that

  41. Bob N16

    After Xmas last season Nketiah could have done with a loan where he was going to play regularly. I’m sure this would have affected the decision to send him on a season’s loan this year. He obviously needed game time.

    With Martinelli, Nelson , and Saka available to play wide in particular in the C Cup and E Cup, the need to keep Nketiah was less important. Having said that with PEA surely rested who is going to play up front in the lesser cup matches? Ozil as a false 9?

  42. Bojangles

    A short while ago folk in here were questioning Emery’s philosophy. Then there was other talk about having people with Arsenal DNA at the club. Can anyone put into words Arsenal FC’s philosophy?

  43. Valentin

    Bob,

    Last season Nkethia was supposed to on loan to Augsburg in Germany during the winter transfer window. At the eleventh hour (he was literally on his way to the airport), Emery cancelled his loan because of concern on the fitness of Lacazette and Aubameyang.

    He hardly featured for the rest of the season. Basically he has wasted six months at Arsenal. This summer Emery again wanted Nkethia to stay and promised him game time. However this time with Pepe (who can also play striker , he did for a year under Bielsa) arrival the likelihood of significant game time was even more remote. That must have influenced the decision to let him go to Leeds.

  44. Gentlebris

    Lacazette is our best player and losing him for just a game is bad, it’s like Liverpool losing Mane.

    But don’t make matters more horrible by playing Nelson. Nelson doesn’t have the sauce. He doesn’t seem to have the willpower to force his game to the next level.
    Martinelli should step in. He has that Neymar sauce without the dramatic arrogance(for now at least).

  45. Bob N16

    Is ‘sauce’ becoming a cliche?

    Writing off Nelson at the same time exhalting Martinelli, Gentle.
    Little evidnce just gut feeling. Nelson is yong and lacks experience, may develop.

  46. Silverhawk

    As a young player, if you want to impose yourself, when you get given a chance to you’ve got to be explosive. Get people talking about what you ACTUALLY DO on the PITCH. It was the same way Iwobi did, holding, AMN, even chambers. Most 9f them won the player of the month in their first run in the side. That’s how it’s done.

    Nelson wasn’t even in the top 7 best player for us on the pitch in each oh his appearances to far.

  47. bennydevito

    PierreSeptember 13, 2019    19:57:36

    Not the brightest of moves to let Nketiah go out on loan was it.

    PierreSeptember 13, 2019    20:05:08

    Let’s hope there is a clause in the loan deal that enables Arsenal to call back Nketiah.

    If not , then I’m afraid its rank incompetence of the highest order.

    >>>>>

    Pierre, who are you levying that incompetence at? Raul and Edu?

    Emery wanted him to stay but it was Nketiah himself who said he wanted to go to Leeds and the club decided that would be best for his development, and with Aubameyang, Pepe, Martinelli, Saka and Joyn Jules the club have obviously decided we’re covered baring the worst injury crisis.

    Despite your attempts to say otherwise Nketiah will get more game time at Leeds than with us and he will then be ready for a serious place in the first team next season.

    I can understand the argument for leaving him here though but maybe the club want to assess his potential at a club with less pressure and expectation that is still in a high quality competitive league.

  48. Gentlebris

    ‘Is ‘sauce’ becoming a cliche? Writing off Nelson at the same time exhalting Martinelli, Gentle.
    Little evidnce just gut feeling. Nelson is yong and lacks experience, may develop.’

    Bob,

    Pedro started the ‘sauce’ legendary on here and we might as well encourage the concept, it’s Pedro’s blog after all.

    Nelson has not shown any improvement in the last 18 months and the two games he has played this season showed nothing.

    Now Martinelli I trust, you see a kid on the ball and you know he’s class.

    Give Martinelli a run till Laca returns and the boy should tear things up.

  49. TR7

    Van Parsie : ‘if you are the coach of Arsenal, you should play to your own strengths and not adjust so much to the strength of the opponents, because a top six team should play to their own strengths.’

    He added: ‘I don’t think that balance is right. That is based on what I’ve seen, for example, in the bigger games like against Liverpool.

    ‘In my opinion, he is adjusting too much to the opponent, which you shouldn’t do if you are the coach of Arsenal.’

  50. HighburyLegend

    “Mustafi still has a future in the Arsenal team after deciding to stay at the Emirates this summer, manager Unai Emery has insisted.”

    #EmeryOut.

  51. Un na naai

    Maybe it is down to a lack of understanding. I have heard whispers, after all, that some of the players find their manager’s instructions confusing, that they do not really know what he wants them to do. If so, that does not bode well. A clarity of purpose is essential.

    Smudger in the guardian
    Not a surprise at all

  52. Un na naai

    He continues

    eadily stronger to cope much better on the back foot.

    I thought the studious Emery would have made improvements long before now. For someone who spends untold hours personally cutting up video of the opposition to show his players, you would have thought we would have seen a more organised reaction to losing the ball.

  53. Bob N16

    Gentle, I obviously hope you’re right about Martinelli.

    In the last year there have been moments of real promise for Nelson. I don’t think you can expect a linear improvement, he’s going to be inconsistent at his age.

    I feel he needs to take more risks, take on his man a little more, he’s understandably playing quite conservatively. Admittedly it was for England U23s in the week, but Nelson had some great touches and played really well. It is far too early to judge with any confidence on the basis of this seasons games.

    If you watched Guendouzi in the second half of last season you might have thought he was average but as a young player his potential hadn’t been reached and he was learning. Nelson needs and deserves time. If it doesn’t work out we’ll sell him and turn a real profit but let’s not forget we have a core of youth players who have played together for more than half their lives.

    They won’t all make it but there is a massive advantage of knowing your teammates’ game. I’m really looking forward tour our midweek cup games to see them play together…ESR, Willock, Nelson.

  54. Bob N16

    Tony, just got back from being on Hackney Marshes watching both my sons play football so haven’t had a chance to read the article but I hope the rugby players are feeling pressure, pressure to perform To perform under pressure is surely on a top players’ list of necessary qualities.

    Quietly confident…..

  55. WengerEagle

    Sadio Mane surely a top 5 wideman in Europe at this stage?

    Only players I would rate above him are Neymar, Hazard and Sterling, possibly Salah and M’Bappe although not sure they count as they are more CF’s than a widemen even though they start wide in a front 3.

  56. WengerEagle

    Levante have Zidane sweating at the Bernabeu, were 3-0 up and cruising but they’ve pegged them back to 3-2 with 10-15 mins left to play.

    Would be pure banter and surely would have Zidane one step closer to getting booted out the door.

  57. TR7

    Mane > Salah

    I have always had him as the most dangerous Liverpool player ahead of Salah even when the Egyptian was being talked in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo. Mane more direct and pacier and less predicable than Salah.

  58. WengerEagle

    Think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that he’s better than Salah.

    Certainly in the ballpark but you have to consider the fact that Salah is seen as the de facto danger man for Liverpool and doesn’t get the freedom or space that Mane is afforded as a result.

    Think Salah is more creative too, as dynamic as Mane is a dribbler he doesn’t have an eye for a pass and rarely clocks up assists.

    They work great in tandem and Firmino is the unsung hero of the front line with his unselfishness and work rate, does the job that Benzema did at Real for years.

  59. TR7

    Eye for a pass ? He fluffs several chances due to his selfishness or poor touch. May be it’s just me but I don’t find him to be a creative player. Very predictable with his runs and pattern of play. Firmino is the creative guy.

  60. Dissenter

    Mane = Firmino = Salah
    I never considered Salah better that the other two even when he was having that unbeleivable purple patch.

  61. Silverhawk

    Mr Serge

    All I’m saying is that as a youth player, there has to be something that stands you out as one to watch.

    What’s Nelson’s own?

  62. WengerEagle

    ‘Anyone of the front three is capable of that type of Firmino pass.’

    Come off it. Firmino has racked up 31 assists in the PL/CL since Mane has joined the club in 2016.

    Mane has 16 assists in the same period and 12 of those were in his first two seasons.

  63. Dissenter

    WE
    Capable of it – means just that
    Salah has had 21 assists in the premier league- that’s a lot of assists
    Mane’s 16 assists are lot too
    There are non-goal scoring attacking midfielders who will die for this numbers ….(cough, cough) Mesut Ozil in recent years

  64. Dissenter

    WE
    I think Firminho is fully capable of banging in goals too. It just seems he’s had to sacrifice something for the team.

  65. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    Yeah but Firmino has literally double the amount of assists that Mane does so clearly he’s more creative a player and has a better eye for a pass.

    Mane got 2 assists in all competitions last season when his goalscoring numbers went up to another level. It’s why guys like Hazard andNeymar are on another level because their assist numbers don’t suffer in this way. Both great creators and goalscorers.

  66. Leedsgunner

    “Emery is close to making a decision on his 5 captains.“

    Honestly this “five captain” debacle should be dropped.

    Criteria for choosing a captain. A player who can command authority on and off the field, who can organise others and play as the red and white deserves to be played in.

  67. Dissenter

    WE
    Very well
    iF I had to pick the best of the three because a gun was placed to my head….it would be Firminho.
    His unselfishness is helping Liverpool a lot.

  68. WengerEagle

    It’s like Benzema I mean it’s hardly a coincidence that Ronaldo leaves the club and he enjoys his best goalscoring season in years.

    He’s quietly scored 34 goals in 57 apps since the start of last season, pretty remarkable figures for a 31 year old that was seen as long past it and had scored 31 goals in 95 apps in the two prior seasons to that.

  69. Dissenter

    Leeds
    Guardiola too has a five captain approach. It seems it some Neo-European approach.
    That said, we haven’t been signing players with personalties of timber for a long time. Wenger filled the squad with “technical” players with no spine.
    I really don’t see a real captain material in that squad, unless we pick a young player like Holding.

  70. Samesong

    I think the competition at Liverpool between the players dictates there game. You know both Salah and Mane are competing to both out score each other.

    And too bloody right.

  71. WengerEagle

    TR7

    The three of them are brilliant as a front line together but it’s interesting, to me none of them would enjoy as much success playing in different sides.

    Mane is the most dynamic of the three and best dribbler and athlete. Only one where you’d back him more often than not to skin his man in a 1 vs 1 battle. Also has a great knack for finding the back of the net as we’ve seen in recent years.

    Salah is the out and out goalscorer and greediest of the three. Say what you like but every top side needs one of these. Lives for goals and often delivers in big matches. Versatile as well as he can play through the middle in a pinch. Also is a decent 1 vs 1 player albeit not on Mane’s level in that aspect. To me he’s the middle ground between Firmino and Mane as he’s quicker and a better 1 vs 1 player than Firmino but is also more creative than Mane. Doesn’t possess Firmino’s creativity or Mane’s ability to put his defender on toast.

    And Firmino brings balance to the other two with his ability to hold up the ball, link the midfield to the attack, harry and harrass defenders into rushing and making mistakes and his eye for a pass. Also has goals in him and big ones at that but he’s nowhere near as consistent as the other two in that aspect.

  72. WengerEagle

    ‘A captain doesn’t mean much in football to be honest, doesn’t matter whether you have 5 or none.’

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Tell that to Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane, Puyol, Cannavaro, Kompany, Gerrard, Terry, Cafu, Maldini, list of great captains that lifted and inspired their sides on a regular basis goes on.

  73. TR7

    WE /Same song

    Wouldn’t you agree the likes of Keane, Viera, Puyol etc. would have lead their respective teams on the pitch with the same zeal and fervor with or without the tag of a ‘captain’ ? You do need players who can lift the morale of a team when chips are down but there is no tactical or technical role a ‘captain’ plays in football.

  74. Leftsidesanch

    The United side looks very average with an inadequate bench. Of course injuries have played a part, they will do well to get something from this game today.

  75. Champagne charlie

    Weagle

    If Benzema had joined us and been numero uno he’d have rivalled Thierry for greatest striker in our history. That’s my view of his ability as a striker, he’s grossly underrated as a pure CF.

    He’s played the elite unselfish striker role better than anyone in the modern era for me. Perfect foil for Ronaldo and Bale (or whoever else made the trio). Suarez gives it a go at Barca after dominating as a CF proper, Firmino does it at Liverpool, Benz has made his career doing it at Real and won how much?

  76. Samesong

    Wouldn’t you agree the likes of Keane, Viera, Puyol etc. would have lead their respective teams on the pitch with the same zeal and fervor with or without the tag of a ‘captain

    I don’t know. The answer is in ‘given responsibility’ I instantly puts you in that mindset. I’ve played alot over the years and maybe from an outside perspective the captain responsibility isn’t really important.

    However let’s look at some of the things the captain does do.

    Calms down the players
    Receives tactics from manager on side line to communicate to other players

    Some captains can even can influence a manager into choosing team.

    Good players can lead

    Special players become captain except Xhaka

  77. Bob N16

    Just read the article on Arsenal.com about Willock. Comes across really well. Started turning up to Arsenal training with his older brothers at 4 and a half! Best mates Nketiah and Nelson.

  78. Bob N16

    All the best captains lead by example….forget about their influence off the pitch. They all also are vocal on the pitch. I prefer a centre back, if not centre midfield.

  79. Victorious

    The weekend couldn’t have gone any more worse..Our direct rivals for whatever positions whipping the floor with some pub teams

    Watch as we shit our pants at Watford tmao

  80. Mysticleaves

    About 3 or 4 posters here blasted Abraham as shit and not any good. I am guessing it’s the usual suspects that wrote off our own young guns.

    Abraham proved, with his loan deals, that he knew where the net is. Now he’s trusted to lead he will blossom and keep improving too. Good player to have.

    Also Mason Mount is another guy that might develop into a very very good midfielder. I see Lampard in him. If he gets close to that level he will be unstoppable

  81. Paulinho

    WE – Absolute class.

    Sterling and Sancho as dual deeper-lying attackers mean England are going to one hell of a watch for the next five or so years.

    Sancho is just a natural. Physically looks a bit podgy (called him a midget Troy Deeney last year), but speaks volumes of his natural talent that he still moves so smoothly.

  82. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    Fully agree on Benzema. My favourite CF to watch since Henry.

    No chance Ronaldo averages a goal a game in his time at Real Madrid with an old school no.9 up top. For all of the criticism that Benzema has received, he’s lasted a decade as the starting CF for the most ruthless and scrutinized club in world football with Perez as the owner.

    4 CL titles would suggest that it was a sound decision.

  83. terraloon

    Mystic.

    Third today for Abraham so that’s 7 so far. Bear in mind that Hazard was Chelsea top scorer last season with 16 and Pedro was second with 8.

    Now I don’t know about you but if they can sort out their defence ( Rudiger is back for them today ) and are playing a 3-4-3 today then I can see them challenging not for top 2 but certainly won’t be the disaster season that some were predicting.

  84. WengerEagle

    Paulinho

    Haha yeah he shouldn’t get past defenders with as much ease as he does if you were to assess his physique.

    Imo he’s the best u21 player in Europe after M’Bappe. He’s playing close to an elite level and he’s potentially a close to a decade away from his prime, scary stuff.

    Looks to have a great mentality too, Sterling said only midweek that he has been taken aback by Sancho’s professionalism at 19 and said he’s ahead of where Sterling was at that age.

    Dortmund’s best player already.

  85. Victorious

    Dortmund can be a force this season if they can keep Sanco fit

    Like the look of Bundesliga with them pushing Bayern all d way

    Liepzig is another potential challenger also

  86. Paulinho

    WE – He will soon consign Rashford to the bench and any pretense of competition between them will be short-lived.

    Got the perfect combination of pace, trickery, directness, and the composure to assess what’s around him.

  87. Mysticleaves

    Terrain

    I doubt if they will have the cool heads to keep things calm later. Even though they are trusting youth, it’s not by design. Think they will still finish 5th or pip spuds to 4th (I have us at 3rd). But yea they are a very interesting and appealing side now to watch. Abraham, Tomori, Mount, Pedro, Pulisic.