Hottest centre backs Edu SHOULD be looking at (long read)

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Mike McDonald back with a BEAST of a post about the hot centre backs of Europe. Pull out the popcorn, you are about to be educated. (Find him @Mike_MMcdonald)

Arsenal Football Club will be only be transformed when they correct three issues that have been largely ignored for over 15 years.

The right coach, a solid defensive unit and football that is 50% ‘off the ball.’

I’ve researched centre back options and with that said it’s fair to say that we may have our answer at the club already.

Sometimes a ‘good’ centre back can become the ‘perfect’ centre back with the right partner.

So it could be that Saliba and Holding is the answer? Saliba and Luiz?

Fair to say too that Saliba may not be able to fulfill his potential for a few years yet as he will only be 19 when he arrives.

Either way, with Arsenal far from being an intimidating defensive unit it would be neglectful to hope and not be proactive and at least be aware of who is out there.

When researching I discovered that there are 10’s of possible options so I’ve grouped them and commented on those I consider to be the best options.

Ligue 1 options

With the starting thought that it’s most likely going to be Saliba plus one, there is value in the thought that the perfect CB may need to be French speaking.

Benoit Badiashile

Age: 18     Height: 6ft 4in

Team: Monaco

Potential value: £30M

A target for Chelsea that could be snapped up before their ban ends.

A strong, powerful, quick modern day CB who has been trusted to play regularly since Henry departed the South of France.

Boubacar Kamara 

Age: 19 (about to be 20)

Height: 5ft 10in

Team: Marseille

Potential value: £35M

A much sort after player. Small for a CB but also played extensively at LB and DM. Already a target for PSG, Kamara excels in recovery speed, tackling and being two footed. This ability, alongside his versatility, creates an unusually calm CB.

Malang Sarr

Age: 20.     Height: 5ft 11in.

Team: Nice

Potential value: £30M

Sarr can play both at left back or centre left back. Played over 6000 minutes for a good Nice team at such a young age. A proactive CB who likes to pressure players whilst his partner sits off.

The 3 at PSG…Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe

Age: 35 (Silva).  25 (Marquinhos). 24 (Kimpembe)

Height: All 6ft

Team: PSG

Potential value: Free (Silva)  £80M (Marquinhos).    £50M (Kimpembe)

Silva may be in his last years but may compliment Saliba. Still starting for PSG after being replaced last year.

Marquinhos is having his best season. Arguably the best ‘footballer’ playing CB in world football. Can comfortably play DM too.

Kimpembe may get itchy if he can’t become first choice at PSG but may be waiting on Silva retiring.

Left sided CB who has been trusted by France ahead of many other great options.

French speaking and already playing in the PL

This may well be the best of both worlds. French speaking with PL experience.

Issa Diop

Age: 22.  Height: 6ft 4in

Team: West Ham

Potential value: £50M (overpriced PL value)

A leggy interception king who has recently been monitored by Man. Utd as well as others. Been a large part of an improving West Ham team.

Willy Boly

Age: 28.  Height: 6ft 3in

Team: Wolves

Potential value: £40M

An underrated regular in Wolves’ impressive team. Particularly dangerous at set pieces.

French speaking but playing elsewhere

Some very impressive names here. Some experienced, some younger. All with plenty of minutes under their belt.

Dayot Upamecano 

Age: 21    Height: 6ft 1in.

Team: RB Leipzig

Potential value: £60M

We allegedly bid for him last summer and may go back in January. Rumor has it that he is our choice.

Has everything needed as a CB apart from international experience but that has more to do with the litany of choices that Deschamps has. Particularly quick and good on the ball.

Ibrahim Konate

Age: 20 Height: 6 ft 4in

Team: RB Leipzig

Potential value: £50M

Fast, powerful with huge potential.

Can look clumsy on the ball. The fact that Leipzig have achieved CL football with two very young CB’s is a credit to both Konate and Upamecano.

Nicolas N’Koulou

Age: 29.   Height: 6ft 1in Team:Torino

Potential value: £15M

Tried to force his way out last summer. Experienced Cameroonian defender who has excelled in Serie A.

Raphael Varane

Age: 26   Height: 6ft 3in

Team: Real Madrid

Potential value: £100M

Unreal that he’s 26! Seems like he’s been around much longer. At his age and experience he would be ideal. Just don’t think he’s leaving RM for AFC.

Samuel Umtiti 

Age: 25 (about to be 26)

Height: 6ft

Team: Barcelona

Potential value: £50M

If Barcelona would sell and if he didn’t have a dodgy knee he could be another perfect choice.

Dan Axel Zagadou

Age: 20.    Height: 6ft 5in.

Team: Dortmund

Potential value: £35M

Quite possibly available as he’s only played twice this season. A monster of a player with strength, pace and obvious power at set plays. Can be error prone.

Serie A options

Always good to remember that Serie A teaches defenders to truly value clean sheets and the tactical side of the game.

Few Italian’s travel to the PL but the majority of this list are not Italians.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Age: 28.  Height: 6ft 1in.

Team: Napoli

Potential value: £120M

Well known by the majority as one of if not the best defender in the world. Doubtful that if he ever leaves that Arsenal would be his choice.

Gianluca Mancini

Age: 23.   Height: 6ft 3in.

Team: Roma

Potential value: £40M

Speed, technique and dominant in the air and becoming a regular member of the Italian National team.

Nikola Milenkovic

Age: 22    Height: 6ft 5in

Team: Fiorentina

Potential value: £40M

A versatile CB having played many times at RB too. Another Man Utd target who excels in his reading of the game and his unusually composed play belying his size.

Armando Izzo

Age: 6ft    Height: 27

Team: Torino

Potential value: £25M

An AFC target (probably a Mustafi replacement, but SM didn’t leave), excels in ball winning and interceptions. He led Serie A in both last season. An impressive stat considering the many good defenders in the league.

Alessio Romagnoli

Age: 24.    Height: 6 ft 1in.

Team: AC Milan

Potential value: £50M

A leader in the AC Milan team who has performed well in a team that has underperformed. A brave, front foot defender with the yellow cards to prove it.

Milan Skriniar

Age: 24.    Height: 6ft 1in

Team: Inter Milan

Potential value: £60M

Currently considered to be one of the best in Serie A.

The Slovakian is an all rounder that doesn’t have any clear lack. His strengths are 1 on 1 defending, positioning and use of the ball.

Very doubtful that with Inter’s resurgence that he leaves.

Stefan DeVrij

Age: 27.   Height: 6 ft 2in

Team: Inter Milan

Potential value: £40M

Another all round defender that has slowly worked his way to the top of the game. Recently called the best defender so far this season in Serie A.

Bundesliga options

Four very interesting options. From an experienced CL player who may want a final challenge to three established, fast and physical options.

Manuel Akanji

Age: 24.    Height: 6 ft 1in

Team: Dortmund

Potential value: £45M

Well known as being the smartest footballer currently playing. A math genius (what does that mean) with a naturally analytical mind.

Super quick with springs in his feet.

Become a regular since Diallo went to PSG.

Johnathan Tah

Age: 23    Height: 6ft 3in

Team: Bayer Leverkusen

Potential value: £40M

When all talk about wanting a ‘Van Dijk’ type, my thoughts go to Tah.

A huge and imposing athlete with obvious leadership and organization skills.

Mattias Ginter

Age: 25    Height: 6ft 2in

Team: M’gladbach

Potential value: £35M

Much like Varane, Ginter has been around for many years.

After years of injury and bouncing from big to small club he’s found home at Gladbach (currently top of the league) and a part of the national team.

A strong, quick leader.

Jerome Boateng

Age: 31     Height: 6ft 4in

Team: Bayern Munich

Potential value: £30M

A huge unit. Experience at every level. A little beyond his peak but has forced his way back into the Bayern team, although not regular.

Premier League options

Some out of sorts, out of favour and almost out of contract to three players who are rising stars and flying.

Toby Alderweireld

Age: 30.   Height: 6 ft 4in

Team: Spurs

Potential value: Free (as close to being out of contract)

On one level he is perfect. On the other, he plays for Spurs.

Nathan Ake

Age: 24.   Height: 5ft 11in

Team: Bournemouth

Potential value: £40M

Underrated, probably because he plays for AFCB. He also regularly starts for the best Dutch side in a generation.

Fast, brave and very athletic.

Available I’m sure.

Caglar Soyuncu

Age: 23.   Height: 6ft 2in

Team: Leicester

Potential value: £70M

Apart from a bizarre greasy rockstar hairstyle, Soyuncu has improved rapidly. Put on significant muscle this summer to add strength to his power, pace and aerial ability. Flavour of the month which will make him very hard to get.

Joe Gomez

Age: 22.   Height: 6 ft 3in

Team: Liverpool

Potential value: £40M

How is Gomez two inches taller than Koulibaly!?!

An impressive athlete who has found himself as 4th choice at Liverpool. You’d think he’s gettable but would Liverpool sell to us?

John Stones

Age: 25.   Height: 6ft 2in

Team: City

Potential value: £50M

A little mistake ridden and out of form but there is a very good CB in there.

Tyrone Mings

Age: 26    Height: 6 ft 3in

Team: Villa

Potential value: £45M

An old fashioned defender. Loves defending, huge passion and a fan favorite for those reasons. Not many ‘Tony Adams types’ left in the game but I see Mings as this.

La Liga options

Lesser known but all highly rated.

Hermoso was available last summer and Nuñez and Torres are new to the Spanish squad.

Pau Torres

Age: 22     Height: 6ft 4in

Team: Villarreal

Potential value: £35M

The first of three Spanish players linked with Arsenal over the last 3 months. Torres is having a fine season at an improving Villarreal. Strong in his game focus, desire to keep clean sheets and long passing. Could put Santi in his suitcase, 2 for 1. Yes, please!

Mario Hermoso

Age: 24.  Height: 5ft 11in

Team: Atletico Madrid

Potential value: £40M

Available all summer until Atleti picked him up late in the window.

A modern day classy CB on the outskirts of the Spanish first team.

Unai Nuñez

Age: 22.    Height: 6ft 1in

Team: Athletic Bilbao

Potential value: £35M

Another Spaniard with a strong passion for defending. Reminds me of Gabriel who was a better defender than many gave him credit. Good on the ball and at set pieces.

Portuguese options

It’s important to not forget that Portugal have won two major tournaments recently and that many of their players have achieved great success in the PL.

Ruben Dias

Age: 22.   Height: 6ft 2in

Team: Benfica

Potential value: £45M

A modern day ball playing CB.

Aerially dominant. Recently broken into a talented Portugal side. Been linked with Arsenal recently.

Young options/new names

Do Arsenal want two young CB’s?

Robin Koch

Age: 23     Height: 6ft 3in

Team: Freiburg

Potential value: £25M

A versatile CB/DM combo who has just broken into the German squad. Elite level fitness who blends a warrior style with a finesse that few young CB’s possess.

Ethan Ampadu 

Age: 19    Height: 6ft

Team: RB Leipzig (on loan from Chelsea)

Potential value: £30M

A natural footballer. Could comfortably play midfield as well as CB. Represented Wales more frequently than Chelsea or Leipzig which is a concern, but has the world at his feet.

Brandon Mechele

Age: 26.    Height: 6ft 3in

Team: Club Brugge

Potential value: £15M

Not a new name if you are Belgian, but a late bloomer who has recently made the National squad. A right footed versatile CB/RB.

A two footed ball winner.

Jhon Lucumi 

Age: 21. Height: 6ft 1in

Team: Genk

Potential value: £15M

A Colombian left sided CB with a big future. Pace, strength and bravery with lightning acceleration.

One for the future, or a risk for the present? Plays alongside Sander Berge who Arsenal need to keep eyes on too.

Merih Demiral 

Age: 21.   Height: 6 ft 4in

Team: Juventus

Potential value: £20M

A very interesting option. A Puyol type in attitude with similar fire. Quick, aggressive and determined Turkish international who is unfortunate to have only played once so far for Juve. Concern that he’s never settled anywhere, but cheap and itching to play. Could be the perfect fit for the club.

My recommendations

I have a shortlist of 8 based on availability and best fit for Arsenal.

SHORTLIST (in order of how I would approach them)….

  • 8th….. Ruben Dias
  • 7th… Johnathan Tah
  • 6th…. Willy Boly
  • 5th… Nathan Ake
  • 4th…. Martin Demiral
  • 3rd…. Dayot Upamecano
  • 2nd….. Caglar Soyuncu
  • 1st…. Tyrone Mings

My 1st choice would actually be Soyuncu but I think City will go for him leaving us flailing. Who doesn’t want Koulibaly too, right?

For the same reason I think Arsenal have little chance.

Mings might surprise you but I think Arsenal need a PL experienced CB. I also lean towards defenders that LOVE to defend. I’ve never understood the notion that ‘ability to play out of the back’ is the most talked about quality of any defender. It should be defending.

He has ridiculous stats on tackles and blocked shots in particular. He makes me feel safe.

I also think that in a short period he could lead the team.

Tyrone Mings for me.

I’d also sign Boubacar Kamara and loan him to an English team.

You?

@mike_mmcdonald

436 Responses to “Hottest centre backs Edu SHOULD be looking at (long read)”

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  1. China1

    We are an elite CB and an elite CM/DM from having a *really* good first 11 and decent bench

    For example if we had upemecano and kante (I know it’s not happening)

    ——————Leno
    Bel-Saliba-upemecano-Tierney
    ————-kante—guen
    ——————-ozil
    Pepe—————————-Martinelli
    ——————Auba

    Bench
    Martinez
    Luiz
    Chambers
    Torreira
    Willock
    Saka
    Laca

    That would be a seriously calable lineup. If we imagine we only have 20m to spend this summer (for arguments sake), don’t keep Ceballos and hold onto auba and laca. We could probably sell Reiss Nelson, mustafi, mikki, Smith Rowe, mav, sokratis, AMN combined for more than enough to buy upemecano outright, without touching the 20m which would go towards the CM.

    One can dream right

  2. salparadisenyc

    Highbury

    I’ll be honest mate, I googled ‘Arsenal Fixtures’ when I saw Vegas’s post, then realized in Vegas a Saturday can be a Monday, Tuesday etc.

    It always sunny and warm until the blackjack dealer goes fucking rogue on you.

  3. Pierre

    Leftie
    “I would genuinely have a back four of Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Tierney than those two experienced clowns Sok and Luiz in there.”

    Without any protection from midfield it makes no difference who is in the back 4, they would struggle.

    Referring back to our 1997/98 season , I recollect there being a discussion around november, between our defence ( Adams, Bould/keown, Dixon, winterburn) and our central midfielders.

    Our defence (Tony Adams) were basically saying that they were not getting enough protection from the midfield and that needed to change.

    What I am suggesting is , if our best ever back 4 were struggling without midfield protection and they had petit and Vieira in front of them , then it is no surprise that our defence at this present time is struggling without protection .

  4. Ishola70

    Nelson
    “I agree with what you said. But if we send out the same team from last Saturday to face Leicester City, we could get our ass kicked. I know many Arsenal supporters want to get rid of Emery. But I would never want our team to lose to achieve this goal. I want to fight till the end.”

    lol Nelson.

    I didn’t put out that team to purposely jeopardise.

    The problem with folks is that they are clutching when they give out that Chambers and Luiz are good options at DM. Luiz even more so. We have seen David Luiz struggle defensively when he is drawn out to the edge of his own penalty area when opponents run at him one on one. To put him in at DM is only going to further highlight his defensive weakness.

    Chambers ultimately is too slow to be seen as a really good DM and he himself has defensive lapses.

    The team I put up has Torreira in his more thought of position at DM deeper with Guendouzi. Yes I know Guendouzi is also a big risk because he can be dodgy defensively but perhaps with Torreira alongside this can help and him being told to be more disciplined in regards staying behind the ball more. Guendouzi is the only player that has had a standout match this season defensively and off the ball in the game against Newcastle so although he is erratic he has shown that he may be capable.

    Ceballos has never really been given a run as AM. More on the fringes around that position. Ultimately like many now I don’t think he has overall enough real standout quality but give him at least a chance in the AM position.

    David Luiz has had too many defensive lapses since he has joined Arsenal. Sokratis has actually been less defensively weak looking than Luiz. I’d put in Holding and hope that his rustiness has cleared somewhat after looking not the best in his comeback matches.

    At this stage and how the team are performing and lack of results it can be a case of just rolling the dice now against Leicester.

  5. Ishola70

    And a goalscoring AM.

    And ultimately probably another CB to go along with Saliba if he is as good as people are saying and hoping.

  6. salparadisenyc

    China

    Very capable lineup right there no question. This summer i’d suspect our main target will be finding the anchor for the MF with Xhaka out, attacking MF and potentially another CB.

  7. WengerEagle

    Would say that we still need a wide forward more than we need an attacking midfielder, I like the look of Saka but he doesn’t look a genuine wide forward to me. Not enough of a one vs one threat and he does better work from deeper as he’s not an explosive runner.

    Martinelli’s future is at CF, he has all of the instincts and the raw tools to develop into a top one at that.

    If Pepe works out [at the moment jury is definitely out on that] we still need a LF. No more of this shunting Auba or Laca out wide to accommodate the other one, sell one of them and reinvest to give us more balance, simples.

  8. WengerEagle

    And look I like Laca but Auba is the guy who’s going to score you 30 a season without breaking a sweat. Lacazette has yet to even crack 20 in all comps in a season for us, Giroud-esque numbers.

    Factor in that he’s a couple of years younger and he’s ultimately the one I’d sell for the greater good, especially now as Martinelli is emerging as a viable 2nd option.

  9. Guns of SF

    Laca I feel will be sold this summer… Auba will get a nice fat contract.
    We do need an upgrade in midfield. And please no La Liga players this time.
    We need prem tested players or those who can adapt to the intensity of the game.
    We are missing a Hazard like player in the center for us at AM… we get that type of player and its game on…

  10. Ishola70

    Well Auba or Laca could be out the door anyway if Arsenal don’t get back in CL.

    The lack of goalscoring from central midfield is a concern. It also gives the attack more unpredictability and threat if you have a goalscoring AM making late runs into the box in addition to just relying on the forwards which include any wide forward.

  11. WengerEagle

    It’s not exactly like Lacazette is prime Karim Benzema in his all round link-up CF lay either is it?

    Yes he’s a better footballer than Aubameyang is but for me it’s not a worthwhile trade-off if he’s scoring you 10-15 less goals a season resulting in a lot more dropped points.

  12. terraloon

    As most remember it was said that going forward players reaching the last year of their contracts will either be sold or allowed to run down their contracts.
    Other than Ceballos and Mackey no major issues at the end of this season.

    Fast forward however to the end of next season then PEA, Ozil,Sokratis,Luiz and Mustafi will all be out of contract by this point in time you would have expected their post June 2021 futures were already determined.

    The players on that list cost around £150million and potentially all could walk for free if not sold or given contract extensions in the next 12 months.

    I cant see any other than PEA justifying a contract extension and even then I can’t see him being offered anywhere near what he is currently on .

    As we know the value of players drops like a stone when they enter the last year of their contracts their value drops even further when the go past the age of 30 and with the exception of Mustafi all on that list are already north of that critical age.

    Arsenal yet again could soon be in a no win situation. The January window sees very little top player value transfers.

    Maybe one or two list will depart I somehow doubt that any other than Mustafi will and in reality I suspect a loan is more likely for him than a permanent transfer.

    In a few weeks we will get a better insight into what’s going on financial at Arsenal albeit the snapshot being prior to the supposed top drawer summer 2019 transfer window but we will be able to gain some understanding as to the long term consequences of such a big outlay in the last window and indeed the continuing absence from the CL.

    Will there be significant fees generated from outgoings in January? I doubt it although I can see Xhaka leaving but who on earth would pay big or indeed match his current wages?

    Will there be incomings in January ? Maybe someone on loan but I genuinely can’t see that their is any surplus in the coffers.

  13. WengerEagle

    Ishola

    It’s only beneficial to the side if they’re competent defensively and have the athleticism to get up and down the pitch for full ninety.

    I’d rather have three powerful midfielders that compromise offensive talent like Liverpool have that I can count on home, away and against any calibre of opposition than the silky flair type of CAM that disappears when the going gets tough and can get bullied out of matches.

    Obviously imperative that the front three have bags of goals in them for this to work mind.

    Somebody like James Maddison would be the dream but these guys go for one hundred million nowadays.

  14. Graham62

    CC

    I loved “The daily Arsenal”

    Durham was correct with most of his Arsenal rants.

    Tough to accept for some of you, I know.

  15. Ishola70

    Yes WE

    That’s why any thought of getting in a goalscoring AM would have to be coupled with also getting in a proper DM that can do a lot of the defensive tasks required and in more isolated situations.

    The problem with Torreira is that he isn’t a solitary last man DM. He is more a little pack player that needs another player alongside him. Torreira can work as DM in a close knit CM three playing close together but he isn’t really going to work as DM if the team want a more advanced goalscoring AM. He will be isolated too many times and he isn’t a great last man coverer in defence. He is more of a general presser of the ball.

  16. WengerEagle

    Ishola

    I just don’t see a long-term role for Toreirra if we’re pushing to once again be competitive.

    He’s a jack of all trades type, the problem with that is that he’s 5 foot 6 and slight. You can thrive with that skillset if you’re 6 foot and a powerful athlete like a Henderson or a Milner but he’s literally one of the shortest and lightest players in the league. He just isn’t built to excel in the PL and he’s not an exceptional footballer like a David Silva.

    I honestly think that we need to build the midfield from scratch. Ceballos is a tidy player and when he turns up he can be really good but he’s not consistent enough or versatile enough to warrant the 40m plus that Real will want for him.

    Guendouzi has a future here but he’s still too green and lacking a defensive game to call upon. Again wouldn’t be a big problem if he was exceptional on the ball or going forward- he’s not.

  17. Guns of SF

    Guen – at least he tries… good engine and not afraid- that is key.
    However, he is limited in what exactly he does well.

    Hopefully will develop
    We do need our mids to score… Ishola is right… our attack is so limited- defenders just focus on our forwards and wingers. No midfield threats to worry about.

    Ive always said that Ozil, for his limitations is not bad scoring wise. He can score but rarely puts himself into scoring positions. He is determined to pad stats with his assists. When he recieves the ball in the box he has a decent rate of scoring.

    Anyhow, Ozil is not the answer overall. We need to really get that one or two scoring threats from the middle… Would love a KDB type in the team

  18. Words on a Blog

    People seriously dissing Torreira on here an ddismissing his defensive capabilities.

    In the first half of last season he was the second coming of Kante, rated by external commentators and by Grovers. He had defensive tactical awareness, and was aggressive in his tackling.

    Then he lost form, a little, played less and was moved further forward. This season he has yet to play a single match as DM, one of my biggest gripes with Emery this season.

    Height is not the be all and end all of being a DM.

  19. CG

    Terraloon.

    Quality Analysis

    We have no players we can sell and make a profit on except:

    Saliba
    Martinelli
    Gendozy
    Holding and Bellerin

    All other players are Negative Equity Assets.

    Ie. Will receive less money than what we spent on them.

    Revenues are falling like Harry Kane in the penalty box.

    Sponsors scarpering.
    Severance packages soaring.

    Under qualified dopes as alleged executives not having a clue what to do.
    PlayBoy Owner.

    No doubt in my mind whatsoever Financial Armageddon is Coming.

    (No one has a clue.)

    You know miles more than The Charlatans we have in charge.

  20. Ishola70

    WE

    Guendouzi is the only midfielder this season to have a standout match defensively and off the ball against Newcastle away.

    Also he has been running around like a blue arse fly in covering ground many times for Xhaka when he was in the team.

    He has the potential no doubt but is still obviously raw and green and still needs to physically grow and it looks like he doesn’t even have a disciplined instruction in the team . Looks like it has been a case of run around for others.

    I’ll be more interested to see what happens with him as he matures and is given more disciplined role in the team.

    Many like to say that he is indisciplined himself in his play. Sometimes it doesn’t help if you are not even being given instructions to be disciplined in your play.

  21. Champagne charlie

    Weagle

    Disagree re: Laca/Auba. For me it’s Auba that should be flogged while he’s still hot (and 31 in the summer).

    Martinelli is proving likely to be the goal scoring heir, so I’d value Laca’s footballing influence, and big goals over a gluttony against weaker sides (Auba has a shocking record against big sides).

    Don’t see Auba ageing well for his attributes, and realistically we’re a good 18 months from being a team of much anyway. So as the pieces start coming together we’ll have an Auba turning 33 headlining the attack? Not sold. Laca will be producing what he does at 30 though.

  22. Ishola70

    Guendouzi though has been seen to be poor in the air and I don’t know why he keeps finding himself in key positions in aerial duels in the Arsenal penalty area.

    It may be a case that there isn’t an Arsenal midfielder that is seen to be good in the air which is a problem in itself.

    Tbf to Guendouzi no CM has the right or expectation to be good in the air. He may improve in this aspect as he bulks out and becomes stronger but at this time he is a weakness in the air as well as his erratic overall defensive play.

  23. Ishola70

    Words on a Blog
    “People seriously dissing Torreira on here an ddismissing his defensive capabilities.”

    People may not be dissing his defensive capabilities.

    More pointing to what sort of DM he is.

    Last season he was playing alongside Xhaka.

    Now this season people are screaming for him to be last man DM.

    He isn’t a last man DM.

  24. Guns of SF

    Emery does not have any sort of tactics offensively anymore it seems.
    What a dip from last season… and we had zero wingers!

    I think he assumes that we have “firepower” that we will somehow score.
    If all he does is scrimmage in training he has to leave!

  25. TR7

    Is there any one midfield combination that Emery has given time to develop in to a solid cohesive unit ? No. Much of our midfield woes is due to Emery.

  26. Words on a Blog

    Ishola,

    Re Torreira, don’t care whether he’s a last man DM, or part of a 2 man midfield with Guen, Xhaka or Ceballos, as long as he’s not played on the right or the tip of a midfield diamond, I’m happy.

    His main qualities are tactically defensive, not offensive.

  27. Redtruth

    The midfield has been in decline for the past 6-7 seasons.
    Unable to keep the ball has been a regular occurrence under both Wenger and Emery’s tenure.

  28. Pierre

    Ishola
    “That’s why any thought of getting in a goalscoring AM would have to be coupled with also getting in a proper DM that can do a lot of the defensive tasks required and in more isolated situations.”

    We already have that player at the club in Willock.
    4 goals in 9 starts, which is very good return.

    He also played a very disciplined role in the home game against Burnley with Guendouzi alongside and Ceballos as the CAM.

    It makes no difference to me if the know nothing’s do not rate him .
    I believe he has all the attributes to be a success and has that ability to arrive late in the box when needed.

  29. Ishola70

    Pierre

    I have never said I don’t rate Willock.

    More of a case that I haven’t seen enough of him to properly rate the guy but others have been proclaiming him in those same few matches that others see as not being long enough in scope to really judge.

    If you think he will be Arsenal’s goalscoring AM then so be it.

    I would need to see more of him to be convinced of that.

  30. Ishola70

    Crystal Palace bypass the midfield many times anyway. They are at their best in quick transition up to the forward players. No lingering in midfield.

    And Bats thinks Arsenal have a top midfield eh.

  31. Pierre

    Cha
    I’m sort of with you regarding Aubameyang if we get a top offer for him .

    Martinelli is looking the part I have to say, plus Nketiah may prove to be good enough.

    Both young and hungry and love scoring goals.

  32. TR7

    What great qualities do Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum have ? We had Santi, Ramsey and Ozil in our midfield who piss all over the current Liverpool trio in terms of pure quality. Even if you talk about our current midfield, players such as Ozil, Ceballos, Torr, Guen etc. have some useful qualities. We need a manager who can make optimum use of what we have.

  33. Pierre

    Ishola
    “I have never said I don’t rate Willock.”

    And I never said you did, though you did fail to mention him when talking about scoring goals from midfield.

  34. Ishola70

    TR7
    “What great qualities do Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum have ?”

    And Fabinho.

    They are good off the ball. They don’t have to be great on the ball or creative or goalscoring because they have a great front three and the best attacking fullback duo in world football.

    Now tell me an Arsenal midfielder that is good off the ball consistently? Torreira on occasions?

  35. Guns of SF

    our team sucks off the ball. Our build up is slow and predictable. We pass to the closest open man. We hardly do diagonal splitting passses. OTOH, we hoof the ball to Auba and 1/10 times he actually gets it and controls it…

    We give to Pepe and hope he does his “magic”
    its clear to me that Emery does not have a clue or any sort of offensive tactics other than, just give the ball and hope and pray.

  36. Dissenter

    I watched Leicester play out of the back recently. It was so quick you hardly noticed it. The goalie gets the ball and 3-4 players have gone into position to create the right angles for an outward pass.
    When we play out of the back, it’s so labored and painful to watch.

  37. Leftsidesanch

    Thats the problem Dissenter. Everything is so slow. I typed here in September that if we were going to persist with playing out from the back that we need to move the ball up the field much quicker. Doing it slowly invites pressure onto the players who then make rash decisions in the heat of the moment.

    The lunacy? They’re still instructed to play that way and their in game management is so poor they continue doing it.

  38. Ishola70

    Are Arsenal U21 worth a punt to be winning at half time against Cambridge away in the EFL trophy?

    Cambridge my not be that interested in the tournament with a more important DA Cup tie at the weekend.

    Odds 2.60

  39. Ishola70

    All this indicates is that Emery was wrong to make him captain and now he is admitting to it.

    Xhaka has even been taken out of the group of captains.

    Why did it have to take the fanbase to force him to make the decision.

    A gentlemans club that will just sail along unless challenged.

  40. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Your basing your prediction on mings… after 2 months, ffs

    Lad was out with bad injury for nigh on two years and is a left back by trade.

    For that to me it blurs and undermines what else has been wrote. Soz

  41. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Sal

    Where your thoughts on laca n Auba on not signing new contracts .

    Club won’t lose money again they will be sold imo .. either jan or next summer…

  42. salpardisenyc

    RSPC

    Hows it going mate.

    I certainly wouldn’t sign a new contract with the shit show of manager at moment if I was in either’s shoes, keep my powder dry and see whom club hierarchy goes with for next manager.

    From clubs POV think with potential rise in Martinelli they should lock one down selling other, at moment Laca looks to be one that will move if that happens. Zero chance imo either move in January with Champions league a necessity.

  43. Un na naai

    Graham (from previous)

    Yes and we moved stadium in 06
    But it was only ever going down hill after 04
    Best side the prem has seenBut either way that wasn’t the question
    Are you saying that those sides deserved no credit? Played the best football we’ve ever played in those years
    Yes he let it slip at the back for us but no credit? That team was an absolute delight going forward and anyone who was fortunate enough to have watched us in those days still link us to the higher end of the beautiful game because of it
    Those years made us synonymous with breathtaking attacking football

  44. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Terra

    Reading your post , then I would expect us to sell laca n mustafi , we will be lucky to get 50m the pair.

    Good game this Chelsea.

  45. Bojangles

    According to the latest report (rumour? See my previous post,) Real are interested in taking Auba off our hands come summer. Seems they may offer James in some kind of deal.

  46. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Sal..

    Doing well thank you sir..

    Hope your the same.

    Agree

    Laca will go January moving up Martinelli
    With possibly Eddie back next season..

    You never know.

  47. Un na naai

    Ishola
    “I have never said I don’t rate Willock.”

    Ishola
    That’s bollocks
    You and Freddie were cunting him off the day we got Ceballos
    2nd hottest day of the year
    I remember it well. Parked up in some shit hole in Camberwell sweating my tits off arguing with you that I didn’t rate Ceballos and that he would cut down on Willocks playing time
    Which he has, and willock is still outplaying him
    😂 😂

  48. Ishola70

    No Don

    I said he was being over-rated by some fans like yourself in relation to how much we have actually seen of the guy in the first team.

    This ties in with with wanting to see more of him before shouting from the roof tops about him.

    Unlike yourself I don’t care what nationality he is. I just care that Arsenal have good players.

    Your mania for English players extends to wanting to see Spurs win football matches. lol

  49. Receding Hairline

    Shocking from Barcelona this evening, absolutely shocking.

    Xhaka takes the fall for now ….guess he will be getting the Ozil treatment for a few weeks. I expect him to push for a move come January, he is done here.

  50. Dissenter

    The best part of this is that Xhaka will want out in the winter window.
    The game attending fans are the ones driving this club forward. I hope they never act like nice guys in the best traditions of the Arsenal way.

  51. Ishola70

    Victorious
    “We should get the Ajax coach,Guy is dripping with sauce!”

    Maybe so but he is also exploiting what we all know.

    That Chelsea are very dodgy defensively.

  52. Un na naai

    Ishola

    Ooooh. Backtracking are we??
    Funny. I mention I remember the day and your little flaps go.

    Na matey, you were arguing for Ceballos and stating how superior the is to willock. How you’ve watched him and I haven’t and bla bla bla. You and Freddy on the case.

  53. Un na naai

    Ishola

    Or maybe I could just see that he was a better option than Ceballos months ago and you couldn’t
    So now you’re using the my attachment to youth players to attempt to discredit me

    I was right.
    You was wrong.
    Now eat your humble pie 🥧

  54. Victorious

    The Ajax team is just a joy to watch,playing football as it should be with so much freedom skill,how exciting it must be for their fans

    Over at araenal we are left watching paint dry every week by Mr bland

    I’d absolutely get the Ajax coach and ask him to take Ziyech along..

  55. Ishola70

    Don

    The case still stands that Ceballos has more experience than Willock in first team football and prior performances in his overall career to date even though he hasn’t lived up to the hype and expectation of him from his first match for Arsenal.

    A 25 yard goal from Willock against an understrength Liverpool team in a kickabout match in the beer cup doesn’t mean Willock all of a sudden is the undoubted bees kness. He was being substituted in the more competitve matches prior for being invisible in matches.

    The situation still stands. Need to see more of Willock to be convinced that he is an absolute starlet.

  56. Victorious

    Ishola

    Ziyech is such a smooth Player though ,recall a handful of posters like yourself and I screaming for his signature in the summer

    He would have been such a glorious signing

  57. Victorious

    That Chelsea are very dodgy defensively

    Agree Chavs are such suspects defensively but Lamps do make up for such deficiency with by making them so devastating attacking wise

    Imagine a basket ball score when we play them.. Lol

    We don’t have a defense and now the attacking play is stalling as well, just so much pain watching this present arsenal wouldn’t u agree

  58. Un na naai

    Grant ElkinJuly 18, 2019 12:09:31
    Uni sacked a Christmas, Mourihno to replace him! You heard her first fams lol

    Jeeze

    This was a prophetic post

  59. Un na naai

    Ishola

    That one goal in the “beer cup” is more than Ceballos can manage with far more minutes.

    Ceballos is wank. Like I told you in June. Should have saved the loan fee and just stuck with willock. Given him the minutes and get him prem ready for a proper coach next season

    Who can take you super serial anyway you weirdoooo?

    You were claiming that Wenger and Kroenke was forcing his playing style on emery this season
    Hahaha
    Mong

  60. Un na naai

    Freddie LjungbergJuly 18, 2019 12:11:37
    I mean apart from his pace, vision, dribbling and finishing Ceballos is exactly like Arteta minus the lego hair, they’re both spanish right? Must be it.

    Un na naaiJuly 18, 2019 12:13:47
    Freddie????
    You what kid? Dribbling and finishing?? Erm, nope. He’s just a leightweight ball circulator. Which is no bad thing in the right side and league but he’s the midfield version of Morata for me. Wait and you’ll see. He will bomb and Madrid won’t be able to offload him. Take it to the bank.

    Ooooooh man was I right.

  61. Un na naai

    MarkoJuly 18, 2019 12:21:32
    Yes. I’d have him ahead of Cabellos. Where on earth does that indicate he’s in my first choice 11 for arsenal football club?Must try harderCeballos would be a starter for us. Did I just blow your little mind? Don’t worry about it

    Ah marko the cunt
    No wonder he’s in hiding. Every big call he’s made since wenger left has exploded in his face. Like a water balloon filled with spunk

  62. Un na naai

    Un na naaiJuly 18, 2019 12:26:56
    MarkoJust like Suarez and Lichtsteiner? Guendouzi? Yeah everyone who comes to the club is an instant starter. Baptista? Another one. Yossi Benayoun. Kim kallstrom…..:Cabellos is coming in after playing 16 odd games last season to the fucking premier league and is going to instantly command a starting place in our team?
    This isn’t Kroos or Modric. He’s not even a xakha or a torriera. This is Cabellos. A tippy tappy, leightweight, skinny little Spaniard. Not much difference with Suarez but he’s an instant starter??With all the time you have sitting around all day you’d think you’d spend someof it actually watching football rather than talk about it
    Freddie LjungbergJuly 18, 2019 12:28:44
    Dumbass still spelling Ceballos wrong and has no clue what kind of player he his, nothing new there.

    😂 😂 😂

    Oooooh soooo much ownage

  63. Un na naai

    Both these cunts gone into hiding now
    Hahaha
    Along with joe
    At least they feel shame
    More than I can say for Bamford, ishola and chubby bald cunt

  64. Un na naai

    MarkoJuly 18, 2019 12:35:46
    Don thinks we’re going through the whole effort of convincing Ceballos to join us over Spurs to then not start him. Oh Don you never cease to amaze me with your stupidity.

    😂 😂 😂 😎 😎
    Ah I should take a trip down memory lane more often. So sweet reading the mugs Make these half arsed predictions. Like they know a thing about football they haven’t learned off their PlayStation

  65. Gunnernet

    Lets hope Xhaka gets frozen the way Mesut was. I just hope Torreira returns at DM role now with Ozil at nr 10 role to give us some balance. OX scores again??

  66. Gunnernet

    I think Emery will try and exploit Xhaka in an attempt to make amends with fans.. He is desperate at the moment, at least sth good will come out of this..

  67. Un na naai

    Ishola70July 18, 2019 14:41:59
    Dissenter
    “The Ceballos deal will help Willock, competition is a very good thing..”Yes it can.But if both players perform to their capabilities Willock will not get a look in.And this loan deal shows really that Willock is indeed not good enough as yet.

    Ishoooola
    The sage of le grove

  68. Guns of SF

    Emery is a cowardly opportunist.
    Like Ozil, and now Xhaka, he creates the smokescreen to protect his ass.
    maybe he is smart

  69. Ishola70

    lol Don is on a victory parade it seems for some reason.

    Told ya Willock is the bollocks he yells.

    Don Willock was substituted in two games in succession in more competitive games before the Liverpool kickabout at Anfield.

    He still has lots to prove.

    We hope you are correct in your assertion that Willock is the real deal but this early trumpeting smacks of desperation and premature.

    I just hope you haven’t put the blockers on Willock given your poor predictions on here in the past.

    Reminiscing about Wenger is a safer past time for you Don.

    lol

  70. Victorious

    Un

    Not sure Ishola should be grouped with the Emery ass lickers

    He tends to plead Player poverty a lot though but ultimately still hold the position the man is whack

  71. Ishola70

    lol Teedle Dee joins with Teedle Dum.

    Pierre the football sage advocating fullbacks don’t pass the halfway line.

    Proclaimed Lichtsteiner a good looking signing. Indeed praised him in his first few matches.

    Come on Pierre. There is getting it wrong and there is getting it wrong.

    Lichtsteiner.

    And Ceballos was one of Pierre’s fav players a few months. Always liked him he said. Fav player of mine he said.

  72. Ishola70

    If this the end for Xhaka?

    Don had time for him in the past.

    Plenty of time.

    He liked his on the ball attributes. Couldn’t care less that he was a pauper off the ball. Typical Wenger fan outlook. Does not care how crap a player is off the ball.

  73. Un na naai

    Ishola

    Noooo. Don’t try it. The original discussion centred around Ceballos being a wasted signing when we had willock
    You claimed that Ceballos would tear it up, that he had skills and could dribble open teams up and I said no, he just flops around the centre circle playing short passes and goes nowhere

    I said he would get in the way of willock
    I said willock was better for us
    So far I’ve been right. And yeah, little victory parade

    Yay for me. And not the 3 goons.

  74. salpardisenyc

    Not so sure end for Xhaka, signed on until 2023 selling in January would mean taking absolute bath on value.

    Boss management.

  75. Ishola70

    Don I was agreeing with your man Pierre who stated Ceballos as one of his favourite players.

    I didn’t go as far as Pierre. hahaha

  76. Ishola70

    Pierre

    Lots of banter.

    Both my way and of course undobtedly your way. No problem.

    Is Ceballos still one of your fav players Pierre?

  77. Ishola70

    I was actually the only one on here after that Burnley match that said that Ceballos isn’t silky smooth and runs with a gait.

    Other posters didn’t like that at all at the time. Nah he’s smooth as silk they said.

  78. Champagne charlie

    Interesting folk think Xhaka is done and going to want a move in Jan.

    I wouldn’t blame him if he fancied moving on, but I don’t see some untenable position or whatever else. The manager of the club is about to get volleyed out of North London, I don’t think any player feeling twitchy to leave.

  79. Victorious

    Regardless of the result I will still take the Ten Haag the Ajax manager

    Arsenal don’t do defense anyway so a manager who would have us purring and scoring loads of goals for fun should always be welcomed

    Guy absolutely shits on Mr bland

  80. Pierre

    Ishola
    “And Ceballos was one of Pierre’s fav players a few months. Always liked him he said. Fav player of mine he said.”

    Nice try but not quite true is it….in fact I would go as far as to say you are talking bullshit.

    I knew very little about Ceballos before he came to Arsenal and my original comment when he came on in the Emirates cup was that he was as slow as Xhaka or he reminds me of xhaka …
    Hardly a great endorsement.

    However, on reflection, I do think he is a decent player but is playing under a manager who hasn’t a clue so it is impossible to judge his level.

    Personally Iwould play Ozil and Willock ahead of Ceballos.

  81. Ishola70

    Goodness Pierre just denies and tells fibs for fun.

    You were all over him Pierre after the Burnley match.

    All over him like a rash.

    One of my favs you said.

  82. Victorious

    CC

    The best thing will still be for Zhaka to make the move

    Any manager worth his salts wouldn’t select him anyway so unless we bring in another doofus as coach after Emery I think he’s finished at the club

  83. Redtruth

    Pierre
    “However, on reflection, I do think he Ceballos) is a decent player but is playing under a manager who hasn’t a clue so it is impossible to judge his level.”

    Neither have Real Madrid a clue hence sending him out on loan.

  84. Ishola70

    Pierre

    While we all reflect on Ceballos I think really he just doesn’t have the real top quality.

    At least you were willing right at the start to give him a go and see what pans out.

  85. Leftsidesanch

    I can see an example being made out of Granite and he will no doubt want games as a professional and even more so with the Euros pending.

    I can only see an exit for him. Unai was in typical waffle form when questioned on Xhakas future prospects at the club.

  86. Un na naai

    Ishola

    Yes but in Pierre’s defence, Ceballos had a good game. It was the only time in 3 months that he’s looked anything above a 5/10

    Other than that he’s done nothing.

    You however where shaking your little maracas way back in July along with the other retards on how he was a great signing and that he would be an instant starter and that he would outperform willock and Guendouzi

    Need a napkin mate? For that egg? It’s everywhere…. you stink of egg

  87. Pierre

    Ishola

    I think this will put this matter to bed.

    “Pierre
    July 30, 2019 09:46:50

    Ceballos is not too dissimilar to Xhaka in the way he plays the game , he has more flair but the pace of his game looks the same . I hear a lot on Le Grove about his dribbling skills but he is no Cazorla that’s for sure ….Xhaka and Ceballos in midfield doesn’t look a good combination.
    Again , he may be taking up important game time that Willock and Guendouzi need and deserve.”

  88. Un na naai

    Ishola

    I was perfectly willing. I even complimented him after the burnet game and said I’d be happy to eat my words

    That’s not what we are discussing here though. We are discussing you talking shit about a player you claimed to have watched whilst dismissing the (at the time) unpopular view that we may actually have better options already at the club and that wasting money and time on another lightweight Suarez type would impede the growth of a player like willock who’s shone more often than not when called upon
    So far, at 19, he’s outplayed Ceballos

    Just admit it
    You never really watched Ceballos before, you were yet again jumping on the band wagon

  89. Ishola70

    Well Willock hasn’t outperformed Ceballos in the proper competitive games first team matches has he Don so in that sense bang on the money. heh.

    Don you didn’t have a clue about Ceballos and was against him right from the start one because he was seen as an Emery acquisition and another because you were flag waving the St George.

    Great stuff Don.

  90. Un na naai

    Ishola

    No. I just didn’t rate him and thought he was a waste of time.

    And yes willock has outperformed Ceballos in competitive games this season.
    As Bamford would say-no question guy

  91. Ishola70

    Don

    It has not even been cemented that there are better attacking midfield options than Ceballos in the squad however much Ceballos has been seen as underwhelming.

    Willock was taken off twice in succession after disappointing in the proper first XI games just a few weeks ago.

    Only in your head and imagination is Willock undoubtedly a far superior option to Ceballos.

  92. Bamford10

    Chelsea are leagues better than us. LEAGUES. And no, not primarily because they have a manager who knows in precise terms what he wants to do with them, although that doesn’t hurt. It’s mostly because they have much better players. Lots of quickness, lots of pace, lots of athleticism, and plenty of technical players as well. They’re way, way ahead of us.

  93. Bamford10

    Un Na

    I haven’t said “guy” here in a couple of years. And Ceballos has his limitations, but he’s a much better footballer than Willock.

  94. Redtruth

    Pierre September 5, 2019 23:22:53
    “Is it ridiculous to assume that a player of Ceballos outstanding quality, as he proved tonight for Spain, should be a starter for Arsenal …I don’t think so .”

    What a cock….lol