Scouting Report: Centre midfielders assessed

by & filed under News Review.

My word, another scouting report from Mike McDonald. I’m flying today, so likely not back online until tomorrow. Have a good one!

A new midfielder for Arsenal

This next transfer blog is about locating a Central Midfielder, not necessarily finding another Granit Xhaka.
Honestly, I think that would give Xhaka too much credit as his career would’ve been better served going to Serie A when he left BM.

You also need to know that this is not about finding a modern day, athletic DM as that blog is here…
Scouting Report: Where we are, where we should buy

It includes Partey, N’didi, Soumare, Danilo, William Carvalho, Witzel, Javi Martinez, Szoboszlai, Busquets, Sangare, Zakaria and Bruno Fernandez.

Modern day football has a midfield three in many forms. Either in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1/3-5-2 or 3-4-3 with an Attacking Mid/False Nine.

Modern day midfields are made up of …..
a) A destroyer
b) A play maker
c) A line breaker (with and/or without the ball)

Arsenal actually have all three already. Torreira is a destroyer. Ceballos, Guendouzi and Xhaka are all different types of play makers. Willock and Maitlind-Niles are line breakers. Smith Rowe could be a play maker or line breaker.

A few teams are still using an Attacking Midfielder. Often they move from wide areas as Ceballos does for Spain, Nelson could do, Ozil is currently doing, ESR and Willock have been tried and Pepe could actually find himself as.

In my opinion, as a coach myself, it is hard to say how good these options are as Mikel Arteta’s biggest asset is his coaching skills. In his first game alone Torreira, Ozil and Xhaka had their best games of the season so perhaps the answer is local?

What Arsenal might then do is buy based on profile rather than replacing.

The profile we lack is height, mobility, athleticism, speed, penetration and positional sense.

Again, I say that Arteta could change some of this eg; Willock playing as a ‘line breaking #8.’
Ceballos has the ability to be a ‘play making #6.’ I’ve even wondered if Guendouzi could be an ‘energetic pressing #10?’

Most likely

Name: Adrien Rabiot
Position: CM
Age: 24
Height: 6ft 2
Club: Juventus
Nationality: France
Potential fee: Loan or 35M

About: I’m going to keep this profile simple. If the goal is to find a better version of Granit Xhaka as a player, Adrien Rabiot is that.
Has better dribbling ability, mobility, defensive ability, agility, speed and and an ego to play at the highest level. His mother, who is also his agent, has been a hindrance to him as she has placed unrealistic demands on his career. Hence why after half a season at Juve, he is wanting to move on.
If we can get Rabiot for a five month loan, I cannot see this being an initial problem.

Others in same category: Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg), Thomas Lemar (A.Madrid), Emre Can (Juventus), Kessie (AC Milan)

Generational talent

Not all in this category are CM’s. Again, there is an argument that AFC already have a play maker/regista or two. Some of these could be AM’s or ‘line breaking 8’s’ in a 3 man midfield

Name: Eduardo Camavinga
Position: CM
Age: 17
Height: 6ft
Club: Rennes
Nationality: France
Potential fee: 50M

About: One day you might remember that you read about Camavinga. One day very soon. You remembered his name as you thought he was a Bond villain but now you feel silly because he’s now the most talented midfielder in Europe.
Unless he falls off the track, Eduardo Camavinga is destined for superstardom.
A regular for Rennes at 16 and dominating at 17, Camavinga has everything. Statistically he is the best ball winner AND passer in French football. Is best as a line breaking 8, but plays as a deep lying playmaker with the dribbling ability of a winger. Got spider legs that seem to time tackles like only Kante can, yet the passing range of DeBruyne.
Part of me thinks he should go to a club like Lyon, then to an Arsenal before he has his pick of the elite. The other part of me thinks PSG will snap him up and he will struggle to play and regret the move. Then I watch him again and remind myself that once in a generation there is a player that can play for and start for an elite club as the play maker at the age of 17/18.
The biggest compliment I can pay him is to write a list of every quality that you’d want a midfielder to have. I’d say Camavinga at the age of 17, already ranks as an 8/10 or higher in every area.
If you haven’t yet seen Eduardo Camavinga bless your day and click above.

Name: Martin Ødegaard
Position: AM
Age: 21
Height: 5ft 9
Club: Real Madrid (on loan at Sociedad)
Nationality: Norway
Potential fee: 80M

About: When Mesut Ozil was at Real Madrid he was at his peak. Raking up titles, both team and individual. The king of the assist that Arsenal have rarely seen on a consistent basis.
Martin Ødegaard has this ability but has arguably started excelling more consistently at a younger age. You may remember him touring Europe‘s biggest clubs picking where he wanted to go. Many feel that he has been the best player so far in La Liga and he’s at Real Sociedad. Much like Valverde (below), there is no common sense reason for Real to sell as he is their future. It’s Real though and so you never know. Ordinarily plays as a 10, but perfectly able to play as an 8, penetrating on the dribble or floating between the lines. What I wish Dani Ceballos was, who has this level of talent but prefers to simply maintain possession in his eternal rondo. Heerenveen to Vitesse to Sociedad to Arsenal then on to Real Madrid, perhaps?

Others in this category….. Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg), Boubacar Kamara (CB who has played FB and DM… Marseille), Dani Olmo (Dinamo Zagreb), Phil Foden (City), Kai Havertz, Dejan Kulusevski (Parma), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Bruno Guimaraes (Athletico Paranese)

Established talents

Name: Fabian Ruiz
Position: CM
Age: 23
Height: 6ft 2
Club: Napoli
Nationality: Spain
Potential fee: 55M

About: Much like Rabiot, see Xhaka, think upgrade. Faster feet than both and more likely to use all surfaces of his golden left foot. Fabian also excels in his ‘second touch,’ the one that accelerates you away.
His fine form has seen him as a staple in the Spanish national team. An achievement that Granit Xhaka would never touch (if he were Spanish), due to his lack of mobility.
Real Madrid have been sniffing around but Fabian must be careful if he were to move as he has established himself. Could return to being an after thought at RM.

Name: Houssem Aouar
Position: CM
Age: 21
Height: 5ft 9
Club: Lyon
Nationality: France
Potential fee: 50M

About: Smooth. Graceful. Makes the hectic look simplistic. Small of frame and light on his feet, Aouar is a natural footballer. Much like Weigel at Dortmund, he makes me a little insecure as he looks too lightweight but he seems to glide effortlessly away from physical pressure.
You may remember Mikel Arteta teaching the players the concept of ‘ball, opponent, space and teammate’ at the first session. Aouar plays this way.
I was trying to think of a comparison to a player we’d all know and then I watched the video again and saw Arteta himself in his Everton days. Interesting.

Others in this category ….. Doucoure (Watford), Pellegrini (Roma), Van De Beek (Ajax), Zielinski (Napoli), Koke (AM), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Isco (RM), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Merino ( Real Sociedad), Nandez (Cagliari), DePaul (Udinese), Sanson (Marseille), Cyprien (Nice), Pulgar (Fiorentina), Bentancur (Juventus), Weigel (Dortmund), Saul Niguez(AM)

Possible for different reasons

Name: Federico Valverde
Position: CM
Age: 21
Height: 5ft 10
Club: Real Madrid
Nationality: Uruguay
Potential fee: £50M

About: As hot as fire in the Spanish capital right now. Valverde has broken into a super competitive midfield with his all-action style.
Valverde is a supremely athletic box to box #8 who has recently been called a ‘jack of all trades and a master of ALL.’
So, why would they sell a youngster that has broken into the first team when they normally ship out youngsters on loan?
Aubameyang.

It’s not likely as I’m sure they’d offer players they don’t want, but if Arsenal have the upper hand in negotiations, never discount a Real Madrid president from doing something that the coach and fans oppose, just to get a star player he wants.

Name: Santi Cazorla
Position: CM
Age: 35
Height: 5ft 6
Club: Villarreal
Nationality: Spain
Potential fee: loan or £10M

About: I wasn’t going to profile Santi but I went on YouTube and I couldn’t resist!
I think that this is a very real possibility for a variety of reasons.
The long term fix is likely to not have PL experience. Cazorla would give us this. If you are concerned about his age and form then recognize that he was not in Spanish squad whilst in his latter years at Arsenal. At the age of 35, he is now.
Five goals and four assists in 15 LaLiga games. A goal against both Barca and Real too. On fire!
Is it coincidence that he has mentioned many times that he didn’t say goodbye? Just saying.

Others in this category….. Allan (Napoli), Alcantara (Bayern), Lallana (Liverpool), Vidal and Arthur (Barca), N’domble and LoCelso (Spurs), Paredes (PSG)

Upcoming midfielders

Name: Kalvin Phillips
Position: DM/CM
Age: 24
Height: 5ft10
Club: Leeds
Nationality: England
Potential fee: 35M

About: Wow! How is he not playing in the PL? How??
I understand that he’s not played at higher levels but to my eyes he is quite easily England’s most talented defensive midfielder. That’s England’s weak point. How is he not in the squad? Watched the video yet?
Kalvin Phillips should become a top player at a top team. Hard as whatever is harder than hard. Fantastic feet too. Converted from a CM to DM but so talented , he could play either. Not entirely sure what PL refs and those lovely VAR folk will make of his force of tackling but they say Arsenal are too soft so..?
The modern day argument is, do you want a deep lying play maker or a ball winner. Kalvin Phillips says, ‘do you want both?’

Others in this category…..

Sander Berge (Genk), Mwepu (RB Salzburg), Aribo (Rangers)

Potential Attacking Mids in a 4-3-3

Ziyech (Ajax), Maddison (Leicester), Fekir (Betis), Mooy (Brighton), Grealish (Villa), James Rodriguez (Real), Yazici (Lille)

My choice

Initially after researching, I had a list of 48 options. Amongst a list of supremely talented midfielders, there was one stand out choice for the circumstances Arsenal are in.

I’d choose Santi Cazorla.

Arsenal have a young group of midfielders made even younger if Xhaka leaves.
A PL experienced player on a short term deal, who clearly wants to play for Arsenal again AND here’s the big one…. we’ve had an awful season so far. You want to lift the fanbase?
Can you imagine the happiness?!?

I’d also attempt to buy N’didi to initially partner Cazorla and Szoboszlai and send him on loan to a PL team to understand the physicality. I’d also buy back Bielik as a very useful squad player.

What will Arsenal do?

I think we will sign Rabiot on loan and buy Szoboszlai. I think we will sign Fernandinho and Thiago Alcantara in the summer.

You?

Like these transfer blogs? I write review blogs after every game @mike_mmcdonald

481 Responses to “Scouting Report: Centre midfielders assessed”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    Surely Senor Sauce Face wouldn’t allow that? Or Senor Sauce Executive?

    Doubt it very much.

    This is Arsenal behaving like 99.999999999999% of clubs and rejecting the first offer to extract more money.

  2. Pierre

    Football /sport is all about momentum and Arteta will understand this .

    He will go into the FA cup with a strong side I have no doubt as it is important to build on the feel good factor.

    The Leeds game is also an ideal opportunity to work on the tactics ,the positioning of the players and to build confidence.

    Imagine what a resounding win would do for the confidence of the squad , whereas a defeat with a weakened side would be a massive set back.

    The team will have had 5 days rest since the United game and will have 5 days rest before the palace game ,so tiredness should be no excuse.

    Of course , there will be a few changes, Lacazette , kolasinac( ankle) and he may give Ozil and /or Torriera a rest, but I don’t there will be wholesale changes

    The FA cup is a competition that we should be going all out to win at this present time as the league is unattainable and Europa is 5/6 weeks away.

    If come march/April we are still in the cup comps and we are challenging for 4 th spot , that is the time to make a decision.

    Going out of the FA cup would be a massive set back to what Arteta is trying to achieve.

  3. Marc

    Cesc

    It’d be about the best we could make out of the situation – the only other thought would be if they have any players we could look at in part exchange.

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    The way Mkhitaryan performed here he wasn’t worth £10 Million.

    If we end up with £15-20 Million out of him that is excellent.

    That could be near half Upamecano’s fee.

    Maybe the club might think loan Mustafi to a slower league as well and see if the same thing works.

  5. Cesc Appeal

    There are so many things we don’t know here.

    It might be we’re not asking for more money, rather more money up front (the whole lot most likely) to allow us to make some moves.

  6. Marko

    Marko, you have to give up telling me what goes on at Arsenal. You get your info from Google. I do not.

    Facts are facts mate. Those guys I get my info from on Google are usually football writers and institutions in the know. You know reputable sources. I can’t speak to your sources but given you referenced something I said in a tweet, something Val said in a post and thought Upamecano was injured for 350+ days last season recently I wouldn’t go thinking that you know everything.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Great point.

    What does he have, another year on his contract?

    That would be his £200 000 a week off the wage bill.

  8. Dissenter

    Pierre
    I couldn’t agree with you more
    Leeds offers Arteta another opportunity to get his ideas in. He will start with a lot of regulars and sub in kids like Tyreece John-Jules

  9. Marc

    Pierre

    It’s a tricky balance for Arteta – he’s asking the players to play at a much higher tempo than they have been so a chance to rotate is tempting, at the same time losing to Leeds undoes a degree of the feel good factor.

    I reckon we’ll see a mix, some of the returning injured players given a run out, maybe a kid or two but with enough experience to see us through (hopefully!)

  10. Pedro

    Pierre, very much doubt he’s thinking momentum… he’s probably looking at all the injuries and players coming back to fitness.

    His success depends on keeping players in good health. Leeds will rest players because they have a light squad in good shape in the league. Arteta will go with youth.

  11. Pedro

    Marko, your googling isn’t better than my information. You do this over and over and you are always wrong.

    Edu led the Arteta hire. It is on him if it fails or succeeds.

  12. Habesha Gooner

    If we get better at selling our fringe players for good fees our resurgence would be much quicker. Liverpool sold benteke for 32 mil, solanke for 18 mil, Ings (though he is looking like a steal now) 18 mil along with coutinho to fund their league title.

  13. Dissenter

    Marko
    Raul stated in that joint interview with Edu, that Edu was the one that led the search.
    Ultimately, it would have been decided by committee led by Josh Kroenke.

  14. Marc

    Cesc

    If we can get Mustafi out on loan it’d be a great idea – of course we can only do that if we bring in another CB this window.

    If we shift on some deadwood and bring in a good signing or two I wonder what certain people on here will find to slag of Sanllehi off for this time?

  15. Pedro

    Dissenter, he’s been told that about 5 times. He won’t budge because he googled something on TribalFootball that said different.

  16. Chris

    I’d have no issues seeing a mixture of youths and players who haven’t featured heavily under Arteta yet, to see how they take to the new system. This game would be the ideal opportunity to do that.

    Leeds have bigger fish to fry themselves in the Championship and while they will be up for it, they may well play a weakened side themselves.

  17. Marc

    Pedro has a point about Leeds – their absolute priority will be promotion so you’d assume that they’d look to rotate as well.

    We’ll find out in a couple of days.

  18. Champagne charlie

    Can it finally dawn on some people that we don’t have £2.50 players in the squad?

    ….and actually whether you personally dislike a player or not does fuck all to their transfer value or perception to other clubs/leagues?

    Just a thought, bored rigid of this constant pissing on our players like they’re League one standard. Some can be both unsuitable to us, and retain value. Wake up, smell the dark roast, it’s about time.

  19. Pedro

    Marc, they have one striker as well. No chance they’ll risk all that money and promotion on a 20% chance of winning.

  20. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Are you sitting in a nice cushy first class cabin sit, enjoying complimentary wifi?
    I always avoided airline wifi because it was expensive and very slow. I guess it’s improved.

  21. Pierre

    Pedro
    I can’t see him picking anymore than 4 from Nelson, Willock, , Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah and Guendouzi …Burton maybe in with a shout.

  22. Pedro

    Dissenter, no first class for me… but the Wifi on BA is surprisingly good… and way cheaper than domestic US.

  23. Champagne charlie

    “Edu led the Arteta hire. It is on him if it fails or succeeds.“

    Why is this contentious? Edu and Raul sat and said as much in an interview on Arsenal.com

  24. Cesc Appeal

    ‘If we shift on some deadwood and bring in a good signing or two I wonder what certain people on here will find to slag of Sanllehi off for this time?’

    Marc, you’re not keeping up.

    Anything good is Edu. Anything bad is Sanllehi.

    I honestly don’t want to have to tell you again.

  25. Marko

    You do this over and over and you are always wrong.

    Always getting banned too. What’s specifically am j wrong about? Not dismissing Raul having a say in the decision to hire Arteta? Him being Head of football operations one would assume that he had a say. That Emery was a Raul hire? Again I’m just stating stuff that has been written in the past that Ivan got cold feet and went safe with Emery. Pedro the attitude that you’re infallible because you have “contacts” and can’t be questioned is ridiculous in this day and age and on the internet. You get plenty wrong. Plenty.

  26. Habesha Gooner

    CC no ody argued they don’t have value if they played like their better selves. But the Miki, Elneny, and still mustafi played/play for arsenal weren’t of enough value in the transfer market.

  27. robel yonas from addis

    More english lads at Arsenal, when I started watching Arsenal tony Adams and dixion, ray paulor, were as important as the foreigner stars like vieria, once Thierry henry said Adams apwas vocal in the dressing room telling henry what it means to play for Arsenal…..the current problem we had with many of the players playing below par is because they are their for the huge money Arsenal offer, the english lad be raised in The english premier league culture the know what it means to the fans. Jack wilshere, Ramsey, ox chamberlin this are players we should try to bring back in midfield. I am not english or British citizen, but been following arsenal as a fan, I love Arsenal because of wenger. I want it to win the champions league before I die. Arteta is a big coupe for us he could have gone to another big club, he choose us, we need to use his coaching ability to improve the young players, like George graham did with the famous back four.

  28. Pedro

    Pierre,

    Reckon we’ll see ESR, club has high hopes there. Maybe Eddie gets a start. There’s usually a curveball kid when a new manager comes to a club.

    No way he’s going to risk the fitness of players that have gone to war for him. Europa and the League are where it’s at for Arteta. FA Cup a nice to have, but not that important.

  29. Marc

    Cesc

    Actually Cesc you’re wrong – anything bad is both Sanllehi and Edu anything good is still down to Sven.

    We’re about 6 months off Sven not getting credit for good signings! It’ll then be all down to Arteta.

  30. Chris

    For entertainments sake hopefully this Leeds tie is more akin to the 1992-93 games rather than the drab defeat we suffered in 1997.

    Also remembering the Henry game in 2012 and didn’t we have a last minute escape against them in 2011 I think? We seem to get them a lot in the cup!

    And my dad always used to say don’t mention the 72 final

  31. Pedro

    Marko, there is literally a video on the .com where Raul explains that Edu led it.

    It’s not open for debate.

    Marc, hopefully not. Think he’s going to be great for our football next season. Top 4 is a must.

  32. Cesc Appeal

    Marc

    I didn’t even know Mislintat was still a thing?

    I just thought he was a bloke who was here for a while, bought some ex players of his, threw a strop, got sacked, ended up at a Division 2 side.

    I didn’t know he’s still getting credit for things…must be the hair.

  33. Marc

    Cc

    “Pedro

    Agreed.

    2019 was #squadpoverty
    2020 about to be #coachingactuallyworks”

    And there was me hoping 2020 was going to be about beer and women.

  34. Marko

    Why is this contentious? Edu and Raul sat and said as much in an interview on Arsenal.com

    It’s not contentious at all. What is contentious is Pedro’s initial statement “nothing delights me more than Raul having very little to do with this move.”. The head of football whatever having little to do with the hiring of the manager despite being involved in the interviewing process both times around? Doesn’t seem likely does it. It just another case of Raul being incapable of doing anything right. They even get the manager they wanted and it’s because of Edu and despite Raul. It just doesn’t hold up. Fact is that if Raul wanted Carlo instead we would have gotten Carlo instead he would have found a way to do it but instead we hired Mikel.

  35. Marc

    Pedro

    Banter mate – I’d like nothing more than to tell you to fuck off you’re boring me repeating how you knew Arteta was going to do the Quadruple (CL, PL, FA Cup and League Cup) in his first full season!

  36. Pedro

    Marko, again, you don’t know the half about Raul, so I’d stop trying to big him up because you read a thing.

  37. Pierre

    Pedro
    Forgot about ESR, could come in for Ozil..

    I suppose when you look at it , a lot of the kids are quite experienced now and it’s not like throwing them in the deep end.

  38. Marko

    Marko, again, you don’t know the half about Raul

    Do tell mate.

    Oh by the way did you get that info on the Mhikitaryan bid from a “contact” or was it arseblog citing a source in Italy? Or was it a Twitter source? Cause if it was one of those and not a direct “contact” at the club then same

  39. Ernest Reed

    Why reject any offer for Mikki? He’s a busted flush and to rid yourself of his ridiculous wages, take what you can get and be thankful you can hit the reset button with that money.

    As for why Pedro is not fond of Raul? Likely the same reason as me, he’s a shifty eyed bloated weasel who know jack shit about talent and keeps his hand behind his back, concealing that knife he’d put into anyone’s back.

  40. Un na naai

    ChrisJanuary 3, 2020 19:50:20
    For entertainments sake hopefully this Leeds tie is more akin to the 1992-93 games rather than the drab defeat we suffered in 1997.

    Chris
    Leeds from 98-02 were a quality side
    I loved watching kewell and viduka for them back then
    Bowyer would score 15 goals a season from midfield
    Alan Smith and Micheal bridges were bright young stars and Ian Hart with those free kicks
    Kewell was my favourite though
    What a player he was in his early 20s

  41. Lego Hair

    Marko

    ‘ Marko, your googling isn’t better than my information. You do this over and over and you are always wrong.’

    OUCH.

    Try get off that string he’s got you on kid.

  42. Ernest Reed

    “The backpass, this blog thrives on free-flowing opinion on football. Bamford makes it about himself. He’s condescending, he’s rude and he can’t move on from being hideously wrong about Unai Emery. I can’t have the same argument dragging on into month 3, pissing every single commenter off.He’s been warned. He ignored it again. He is in the sin-bin, again.”

    Id say in roughly two hours time Bamford DM Bapple will be on the TwitterVerse slamming Pedro again for the horrible treatment. You got to feel for the Arseblog folks, the return of the Slapnuts Bapple is upon them, and they don’t know it yet.

  43. Ernest Reed

    Sincere hope that Santi dies not come back to the EPL. I loved his spark plug play and great attitude, but for the greater of his health, he’s not cut out for the EPL style of play. Stay in Spain and play a little more and enjoy it, he’s earned it and deserves it.

  44. Un na naai

    I think Bamford’s banning was a bit harsh
    Nobody is forced to respond to him and his people like him that bring in the thousands of comments Pedro was so pleased about on New Year’s Day
    Yeah he gets boring but no more so than Rh and his constant denial of reality regarding emery or Torreira or Arteta’s skills as a coach or Marko and his constant need for transfer shit talk

  45. Un na naai

    James wood
    Yeah but he was just expressing his view
    Clearly I vehemently disagree but I wouldn’t take away someone’s voice because they disagree with you
    But then i am a free speech absolutist

  46. Bill

    Not sure about Boateng. Great, physical player in his time. Now slower, older and more injury prone. Can’t see him being bullied, but I can see faster players simply running past him.
    Not the right decision but we do need strengthening – but not with someone in the twilight of his career.
    I suppose the real question is what are the achievable alternatives.

  47. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Un..
    Cheers will avoid…

    Started to watch the Irishman, good story but de Niro trying to act hard… in slo mo.

    Plus cgi put me off couldn’t take seriously.

  48. Un na naai

    R.S.P.C.ArsenalJanuary 3, 2020 20:51:03
    Strong links of Auba to real m Talking bout 70m deal cash n player,
    Do we get to pick the player…?

    Who was it saying yesterday that no way do real pay anything near £60m for Aubameyang?

  49. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Is there an6 player who had come back from serious injury ?

    Ox no
    Eduardo no
    Diary no
    Jack no

    Chambers …?
    Holding………?
    Bellerin………?
    Tiernay……?

    Maybe there is a case to sell chambers, holding, Bellerin…

  50. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Un

    No the deal is worth 70m

    There valuation..

    Auba 30m
    Callebos 20m

    Plus another 20 m player..

    I’m guessing

  51. Freddie Ljungberg

    A supposed rejected bid of 8.5m of our 200k a week attacking mid/winger is proof that squad poverty is not a thing or that the wage bill/recruiting wasn’t shite the last many years?

    I mean that would probably get us one leg of a replacement but not much more. If you have to sell on average 4 players to buy 1 it doesn’t prove you have a good thing going, smh.

  52. Nelson

    Arsenal U23s XI played today: Hein, Olowu, McGuinness, Medley, Bola, Smith, Olayinka, McEneff, Tormey, John-Jules, Balogun

    Obviously, none of them will feature against Leeds next Monday.

  53. PhD2020

    Actually looking forward to our next EPL matches under Arteta.

    It’s been a while since I’ve felt galvanised to bring myself to watch an Arsenal match.

    Certainly,looking forward to seeing more of Pepe being included in the starting line up..And also of Ozil doing what he does best..

    Onwards and upwards for 2020..

  54. Marc

    “Is there an6 player who had come back from serious injury ?”

    Well plenty on here think we should have given Ramsey whatever he wanted to stay.

    Double compound fracture of the Fibula and Tibia that was set in an open cast sounds pretty serious to me.

  55. Pierre

    Thinking about it, Arsenal could almost put a team out of 20 year olds (AMN the exception though homegrown)

    Centre backs experience the rest all kids.

    AMN saka..fullbacks
    Guendouzi, willock, ESR….. midfield
    Nelson, Nketiah, Martinelli…..strikers

  56. Chris

    Un

    There was a good article with Michael Bridges concerning the Leeds team from 99-00 I read the other day, brought back some memories. They were top of the league on Boxing Day that season, then they came to us and lost and it was the beginning of their downfall. They had a hard time after the Galatasaray incident also later that season.

    Their team was young and exciting for sure. When you think they had Kewell, Bridges, Bowyer, Smith and later added Ferdinand, Keane and Viduka. It was harder not to win the league with them on Champ Manager!

  57. Graham62

    The FA Cup is a great opportunity to showcase the youngsters and gauge Arteta’s influence on their games at such an early stage.

    Nketiah should be chomping at the bit.

  58. London gunner

    This blog is full of nancies anging up against bamford like a bunch of high school girls.

    Grow a pair ffs.

    He is entitled to his opinion as much as anyone, or is all we want is to hear our own opinion reflected back at us?

  59. Valentin

    I would love if Nkethia were to play on Monday evening against Leeds and get MOTM after scoring a hat trick.
    Seems like that Nkethia may be involved even if it just to spare Aubameyang and Lacazette. 5 games in 16 days may be too much for those. Better to keep them away from injuries.

  60. Pedro

    Freddie, squad poverty is when you tell people we have the 10th worst group of players in the league… or fret about relegation.

  61. bennydevito

    Bamford never learns does he.

    Tbf I never thought he was condescending, rude, arrogant at all, and definitely wasn’t insulting, unlike many of the others replying to him who were incredibly rude and insulting and seem to always escape punishment.

    Bamford’s problem was going over and over the same argument and never letting it go, making it worse by repeating the argument and reposting war and peace into the next post, it was a bit tedious it has to be said. It was only a matter of time before Pedro had to act.

    Saying Emery overachieved though even had my head spinning.

  62. Marc

    benny

    Bamford was a bit bonkers but generally polite with it. Guy just couldn’t stop repeating what he’d already been banned for.

  63. bennydevito

    I think with Kane’s injury and Mourinho reverting to type, we could see Spurs starting to drop a bit.

    Chelsea will continue to be hit and miss and will lose at least 3 more games and draw a few too.

    Utd will continue to struggle away from home against the lower teams with the low defensive block and it’s only a matter of time before results get worse because of pressure ramping up among their fans in the stadium and especially online who want Ole out because they are desperate for Pochettino.

    I actually think that if we can put a winning run together then we have an outside chance of top 4 this season. It’s unlikely, granted, but not impossible and certainly not something I’m expecting, but I’m always a glass half full kind of guy and believe in the power of positive thinking.

  64. Marc

    benny

    I agree – it won’t be easy or a forgone conclusion but we have a chance.

    The most interesting thing will be how the Spud’s deal with Kane’s injury. He was out with a bad injury last season and they coped really well.

    Will Mourinho manage that?

  65. Valentin

    Benny,

    I can see us getting into a run, however I worry that ultimately dithering on Emery’s backing cost us the few points to get into top 4 at the end of the season.
    I also would not be surprised if the top 4 ended up being Liverpool, ManCity, Leicester, and Chelsea by a whisker.
    Last season when Kane was injured, Son stepped up. I think the same will happen this year, however I think that Mourinho negative approach against top 6 teams may be their undoing this year. With the grumpy one trying to get draws and ending up with costly defeats.

  66. PhD2020

    bennydevitoJanuary 3, 2020 23:32:29
    Bamford never learns does he.Tbf I never thought he was condescending, rude, arrogant at all, and definitely wasn’t insulting,
    ———-
    LOL

    So,I guess when you are engaging in discussions with strangers in person,and are dismissive of their views..You usually reply with-“nonsense” ,”bogus”, “you’re a dishonest individual”,you are dumb or a dipshit” to paraphrase his words..

    Don’t know about how it is down in the West Country on a tractor- ‘Farmer Giles’, but down in the South East(London and the surrounding regions) -usually such talk would land you in the A&E ward, with your legs and arms in a plaster cast looking a bit mummified,with a wired up jaw and a few black eyes…

    Just saying…
    And furthermore, why has he managed to garner the same negative reaction on Arseblog and on Twitter,as he does on Le-Grove?

  67. Valentin

    I just concur with PhD, that in South London I have seen people like Bamford getting the Panda look after trying to explain to local how stupid and ignorant they were.

  68. Pedro

    PHD, I prefer London. It has so many of the things I love. Was far easier to be away from it when Arsenal were shit… if Arteta brings the magic back, I’ll have to come back.

    Brooklyn is very liveable though. I’m in Boerum Hill at the moment and it’s the nicest place I’ve lived. I stay here for the work, very difficult for me to be doing what I’m doing at the scale in London.

  69. Pedro

    Emery overachieving was a real last gasp argument based on the premise that the players were uncoachable. Think we’ve seen that’s a nonsense in 3 games. We’re not winning the league, but at least we know these athletes have some value in them.

  70. PhD2020

    PedroJanuary 4, 2020 00:16:41
    PHD, Benny was being sarcastic.
    —-
    He was? Are you sure??Don’t think so..Either way..

    Wow,in Brooklyn cool..
    Been there before..Actually was based in Manhattan for a while.But visited Fulton More (or Mare) not sure in Brooklyn..On a shopping expedition…

    Cool,would you live there long term?
    Or London is where the heart is?

    Great to hear,career wise things are working out on a level…

  71. bennydevito

    PhD,

    I didn’t see him make any of those remarks in his debate with Bill that’s for sure. He may occasionally when ganged up on and insulted retaliate but nothing near the manner he gets thrown at him or as often.

    Here you are now trying to throw a stereotype derogatory insult at me, was that necessary? Like I’ve never heard that before. You don’t have farms or tractors in the rural parts of south east London?

    And what’s with the ott oversensive reaction of violence towards a few supposed insults? Sounds like you’ve got a serious steroid and cocaine problem if that’s the reaction in your neck of the woods.

    Just saying…

    Furthermore I don’t read Arseblog or follow his Tweets so don’t see it. I guess Bamford sticking to his opinion so belligerently seems to rattle a lot of people. Not sure why as we’re all entitled to our opinions, and one is no more right than another because there is no law or metric of correctness on point of view.

  72. bennydevito

    Pedro,

    I wasn’t being sarcastic, I genuinely don’t see Bamford being rude or condescending at all, just a guy rightly or wrongly belligerently and stubbornly sticking to his opinion.

    The Emery overachieving thing though was quite the stretch.

    Anyway, fuck all that, how good is it to see Arsenal playing positively and with a clear plan again? It must have been great for you to be there and even though it’s very early days, you must feel pretty vindicated.

    Well done and fair play is all I can say.

    #LeGroveKnows
    #PedroKnowsBest

  73. PhD2020

    bennydevitoJanuary 4, 2020 00:30:45
    PhD,

    I didn’t see him make any of those remarks in his debate with Bill that’s for sure. He may occasionally when ganged up on and insulted retaliate but nothing near the manner he gets thrown at him or as often.Here you are now trying to throw a stereotype derogatory insult at me, was that necessary? Like I’ve never heard that before. You don’t have farms or tractors in the rural parts of south east London?And what’s with the ott oversensive reaction of violence towards a few supposed insults? Sounds like you’ve got a serious steroid and cocaine problem if that’s the reaction in your neck of the woods.
    ——-

    Funny that,you see me throwing at Farmer Giles,as derogatory insult..Though,I was jesting-but said so,in order to see how you would react.And react you did..Slighted on that comment.But not slighted on the comments he makes???

    Yet,you give a pass,or rather try to excuse your brother in arms-throwing around insulting ,patronising ,demeaning eulogies such as-‘nonsense’,”bogus”,”dipshit”, “dumb”, dishonest individual”, as a defense or a justification for such kind of behaviour.?
    Action,reaction springs to mind..

    And when I mention South East,I’m not talking about the South East of London.I’m talking about the South East of England(London and the surrounding regions).

    Now,if you think,this part of England has a steroid and cocaine problem..Let’s extend it,to other regions in the UK..Let’s try the North as an example-Yorkshire?..Maybe Scotland..?See,how well such talk goes down with the locals..

    I’m pretty sure the outcome would be the same,as in, he would end up in the A&E ward.

    Better still,let’s extend it to the States,to Australia,to Africa,to the M.East,in fact to the whole world..Let’see then,how such statements ,or figure of speech directed to the locals is well received?

    What will you say then?
    That they all have a steroid and cocaine problem..?

    Get real Benny…

  74. Nelson

    Benny
    “Chelsea will continue to be hit and miss and will lose at least 3 more games and draw a few too.”

    I expect that Chelsea will buy during this TW. They’ll get stronger. They will be knocked out by Bayern in the CL and will focus only on the EPL.

  75. Ernest Reed

    “Pedro,I wasn’t being sarcastic, I genuinely don’t see Bamford being rude or condescending at all, just a guy rightly or wrongly belligerently and stubbornly sticking to his opinion.”

    And you don’t think that being rude and condescending are properties of being belligerent and stubborn, Benny?

    No offence, but your statement regarding Bamford makes absolutely no sense – actually its downright insulting to ones intelligence. Trying to defend the indefensible is an all time low, even for you.

  76. Ernest Reed

    And lets make absolutely no mistake, Bamford is an asshole for his atrocious behaviour towards others, and its been going on for a long time.

  77. Ernest Reed

    “Emery overachieving was a real last gasp argument based on the premise that the players were uncoachable. Think we’ve seen that’s a nonsense in 3 games. We’re not winning the league, but at least we know these athletes have some value in them.”

    It is a very odd thing though Pedro, that they up and forgot the basics of the game. Agreed that Arteta has obviously been a good communicator of expectations and to your point previously, Emery was indeed very poor in this area. One thing is for certain, they are playing with purpose and whatever he has or is saying to them, its lit that proverbial fire under their collective butts.

  78. Bill

    I’m feeling good about Arsenal and actually more positive than I have done in 3-4 years. I’m hoping the trajectory of improvement continues, if so this could be the most positive I’ve felt about this wonderful club in nearly a decade.
    Have we won anything? No.
    Are we going to be Premiership champions this year? No.
    Next year? No.

    What I’m hoping we’ll be is a team that plays with verve, passion and athleticism. That this is transmitted to loyal and passionate supporters and that the coaching is supplemented by smart buys of young, top-of-the-class young players.
    Maybe in 2022 we may be in a position to compete for the top spot.

    Over confident? Maybe, but at least I’m so much more optimistic about our future than under the calamitous Emery. Maybe a nice guy but a terrible fit as a manager of our club.

    Onward and upwards.

  79. Leedsgunner

    Roma trying to purchase €10m… if it was me, I would have said yes and moved him on. I suspect if Roma offer a bit more we would take it.

    Here’s a thought. On transfermarkt, one of their top centre backs Gianluca Mancini is listed as worth the same as Mkhitaryan (€25m).

    Would they be open to a straight swap?

  80. Leedsgunner

    Sure we need to, in an ideal world, try to get better prices for our fringe players but at this point in time we need to start moving players like Mkhitaryan and Elneny on. As I said earlier on, if we get €10m for them each we should sell them on… it all adds up!

    Going forward buy quality going forward and we won’t have any problems selling players on.

  81. Bill

    Bamford isn’t here spouting the same nonsense with his interminable repetitive and circular arguments.

    He polluted this site. There is, however, no gag on free speech and I don’t believe Pedro tries to inhibit different opinions. It’s more a case of someone not being allowed to constantly metaphorically poke and prod to get a response, then claim to be a victim, or to distort what has been said to serve an agenda or to, basically, lie.

    I think he can reflect on his behaviour in his banishment. I’d like to think he will change but I can’t see any prospect of this.

    So, in the absence of Bamford, let’s NOT MENTION HIM AND DEBATE ARSENAL & FOOTBALL IN GENERAL.

  82. Ernest Reed

    “I think he can reflect on his behaviour in his banishment. I’d like to think he will change but I can’t see any prospect of this.”

    Reflect? Slam Pedro on Twitter and cry incessantly on how hard he had been done by, thats the reflection. Then i read your final sentence Bill, thanks for the smile it brought on.

  83. PhD2020

    Ernest ReedJanuary 4, 2020 01:02:24

    Let’s be honest-Benny is an apologist and an enabler of Bumford.Has been for a while along with Gertrude..
    So,don’t be surprised by his unequivocal defense of him..

    I mean,if you are ‘Farmer Giles on a tractor’ from the West Country,you are used to rolling around in pig muck..So,it’s normal -to be associated with pig muck-non? 🙂

  84. Ernest Reed

    Must admit, i’m scratching my head as to why they may have rejected any bid for Mikki? To rid yourselves of that salary, i think, would be the only objective. Thats just me, but if someone is crazy enough to take the habitual underachiever off your hands – hey take it and ask no further questions.

  85. bennydevito

    PhD,

    Chill your beans, I was actually jesting with you too. My steroid and cocaine quip was meant with humour.

  86. Ernest Reed

    What can i say PhD, some guys just have an inane ability to get under others skin. Its an attitude that consistently rubs you the wrong way. You know your being insulted and he ensures you know it too. End of.

  87. PhD2020

    bennydevitoJanuary 4, 2020 01:48:59
    PhD,Chill your beans, I was actually jesting with you too. My steroid and cocaine quip was meant with humour.

    Yeah,and my Farmer Giles on a tractor,rolling around in pig muck was said in jest too..(Not!!) 🙂

    Happy New Year Benny… 🙂

  88. bennydevito

    “And you don’t think that being rude and condescending are properties of being belligerent and stubborn, Benny?

    No offence, but your statement regarding Bamford makes absolutely no sense – actually its downright insulting to ones intelligence. Trying to defend the indefensible is an all time low, even for you.”

    An all time low, even for me? What does that mean?

  89. bennydevito

    PhD2020January 4, 2020    01:43:36

    Ernest ReedJanuary 4, 2020 01:02:24

    Let’s be honest-Benny is an apologist and an enabler of Bumford.Has been for a while along with Gertrude..
    So,don’t be surprised by his unequivocal defense of him..

    I mean,if you are ‘Farmer Giles on a tractor’ from the West Country,you are used to rolling around in pig muck..So,it’s normal -to be associated with pig muck-non?

    >>>>>

    I haven’t unequivocally defended Bamford at all. I’ve stated my opinion that I didn’t see anything he said as insulting when compared with the comments he gets back.

    Anyway fuck this row; I’ve just had Bamford having a go at me via DM on Twitter saying he was disappointed in my comments, that they were cowardly and bogus and that he has no interest in ever talking to me again.

    How’s that for gratitude?

  90. Ernest Reed

    “I’ve just had Bamford having a go at me via DM on Twitter saying he was disappointed in my comments, that they were cowardly and bogus and that he has no interest in ever talking to me again.”

    How old is this guy, seriously? This is nonsense you went through in grade school – kindergarten bullshit.

  91. PhD2020

    bennydevitoJanuary 4, 2020 02:00:45

    I haven’t unequivocally defended Bamford at all. I’ve stated my opinion that I didn’t see anything he said as insulting when compared with the comments he gets back.Anyway fuck this row; I’ve just had Bamford having a go at me via DM on Twitter saying he was disappointed in my comments, that they were cowardly and bogus and that he has no interest in ever talking to me again.How’s that for gratitude?
    ——-
    LMFAO

    How’s that for loyalty -hey Benny?

    He shits on anyone,that dares to criticise him.No one and I mean no one is spared his rod of poison..Told you,Perez Hilton. is vindicative,spiteful and nasty..

    Nice guy-hey??

  92. bennydevito

    Pedro,

    No I didn’t get to go. Christmas with 4 kids and my eldest’s birthday too means finances are tight, also don’t think the missus would appreciate me buggering off for the day leaving her to it. It’s an expensive jaunt getting across the country from the pig shit on my tractor.

    I want to take my Son for his first Arsenal game before it’s too late and he gets converted to Wolves by his Mother’s Dad and Brother. He’s been to quite a few Wolves games and has a shirt and has been a mascot ffs! Hopefully Arteta can stem the flow and make Arsenal hip again before I lose him permanently.

    Any help for 2 tickets together at some point would be great.

  93. bennydevito

    PhD,

    Yes I was pretty stunned it has to be said.

    I had to Google your reference to Perez Hilton by the way and now understand your analogy. I remember him on celebrity big brother some years back, that American guy who would argue with anything and never admit he was wrong.

    Lol!

  94. Pedro

    Benny, I’m not as well connected on the ticketing front, but I’ll have an ask around!

    Hope you had a good xmas with the kids!

  95. RockyRoe

    I don’t understand bamfords binning, from what i read he was FAR more polite than the group of posters making snide comments at him.

    So he had some views that in hindsight look weird, so what? Considering that none of the posters here can be called a pundit theirs views are not always the best version.

    Kinda seems like people ganged up on him and got him banned and Pedro obliged due to peer pressure and difference of opinion.

    Not to mention some of his views around who is accountable for signings, lower revenue etc were quite well made.

  96. Pedro

    Rocky, he was banned two months ago for constantly rehashing an opinion and making himself the centre of the comments.

    He was banned today for rehashing the same argument from two months ago, and making himself the centre of the comments.

    He was also warned twice this week about rehashing the same comment he rehashed today.

    This isn’t about being polite, it’s about spamming.

  97. Nelson

    For Bamford, I would say that there are a few posters here ganging up on him and argue with him. He appears to me like a religious person who would defend his believe till death.

  98. China1

    Mike McDonald wasn’t your conclusion at the end of this (very good read) to end up spending £100 oddm on a handful of midfielders?

    I don’t think we’re gonna do that. Frankly xhaka our and Kalvin Phillips in would be a very positive and exciting move. He’d totally replace the attributes xhaka has (reasonably tall and solid, good long passing) but add basically everything he’s missing. Phillips and torreira would be a really formidable pairing behind ozil or whoever is our long term AM