Arsenal target the future in defence

by & filed under News Review.

I do NOT like to gloat, but come on, Ole at the wheel? It’s my current binge-watch.

A month or so ago, after two solid wins against top 6 opposition, the media weighed into the irresistible.


Passion, heart, glory… call it what you want, OGS has his team of young lions achieving the sort of elevated football we haven’t seen at United since 1999. King Ole, he knew.

They do it EVERY FUCKING TIME and it makes me JOY EVERYWHERE.

What an utterly garbage coach he is, United are in so much trouble because they’ve basically hired in a beloved family labrador that has perma-diarrhea. He’s stinking out the house, the cream carpets will never be the same again… but who wants to be the one to put him out his misery?

Not me. That’s for sure. Let’s ride this out and hope Woodward makes the correct decision with some elephant strength Immodium, a £100m ‘last chance’ vet bill, and #4moreyears.

… back to Arsenal.

The hottest rumours on the internet are firmly focused on Upemacano being the #1 target for the club this January. That makes me very happy, I really worried we had some contacts scouting™ going with Boateng. The last thing we need is another high earner where the ceiling has collapsed due to a burst water pipe.

Bringing in a 21-year defender that can play in a highly technical system works for me. RB Leipzig is one of the best incubators in the world for talent, so you know he’ll be a hard worker, have an excellent attitude, and be open to new ideas as well as being receptive to feedback.

He still feels like a very big signing for us considering the financial challenges we have, but I guess if we were going for him in this summer, we’re just eating into an overdraft. My initial thoughts were that we’d sell a few players this window, but all of the potential liquid assets seem to have been retained and reinvigorated. The only problem child we have is Mustafi who interestingly wasn’t even trusted to play at right-back. He’s gone from World Cup winner to someone you wouldn’t start in your Sunday League pub team. What a shambles.

I think there are a few folk that worry that Arteta is blinded by players that have let us down, I see it differently, I think he’s probably thinking that signing in new players is a huge gamble and disruptive. If he can get 5 months out of players that know the club and the league, he’s far more likely to have a chance at winning trophies now and going on a run in the league.

That said, I think the summer will be very dramatic. We’ll absolutely have to shift on players to fund the sort of summer that’ll move the dynamic of the squad in the direction of an Arteta model of play.

Our biggest issues at the moment sit in the middle of defence and at full-back. I think we can probably deal with the full-back issue internally, but at centre back, we’re relying on two defenders on the back 9 to see us through the season, playing in a far more intense system than the one we operated in under Emery. I love Holding, but he looked shot the other night.

The numbers on Arteta are moving in the right direction. Interesting that in your head, you imagine that we’re playing a totally different game, but really, the most dramatic shift in the above numbers is the tightening of defence and the build-up stats.

Shines a light on why Arteta doesn’t really care for distance run stats, they’re not particularly important as we saw under Unai Emery’s headless chicken approach. He’s looking at how you use your energy in the most efficient way. The team is only running 4km extra a game, but exerting far more energy through the more intense style. It’ll be very interesting to see what those numbers look like by the end of the season.

I watched back the Leeds game again. Couple of things. I thought Martinez made some truly excellent saves, he really did keep us in the game. I also still can’t believe the output in the second half. It really does show how much of football is in the mind at the highest level. We went from absolute bums to menaces… despite the team being heavily fatigued. It might not last, but you cannot put a value on a winning culture built on dedication to 100% commitment on the pitch at all times. Some leaders can command that, others simply can’t. I really, really, really hope this continues through the next few years. It’s electric to watch when it works. Plenty of massive tests ahead, but I’m excited.

Also, some fool said it was Sheffield United at the weekend, it’s actually not, it’s Palace. I think this game is going to be very interesting, Arteta threw everything at the cup game, so how will his team respond against a side that has regularly bullied us? He’s constantly talking about aggression, I’d really love to see us show some bite against Hodgson’s side. I’m hoping the learning from the Leeds game is that we can’t let our foot off the gas, it’ll be a huge physical test, one that we bottled last season when it counted, so a win here would be symbolic and a very strong indicator of how well the rest of this season will pan out.

After that, the squad has a whole 7 days off to recuperate and get some proper TLC with the coach.

354 Responses to “Arsenal target the future in defence”

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  1. Freddie Ljungberg

    Poor Mustafi, even after changing his agent and only having 18 months left of his contract the best links he can get are still only Galatasaray on loan.

    Worst money we ever spent that 35m, at least we’ll get some money back for Xhaka when we finally decide to boot him out. Ozil a contender based on his contract and the last 2 years but he had a couple of very good years before his decline so was never completely useless.

  2. Jamie

    Spurs don’t have the money for Zaha.

    Eriksen, Vertonghen and Alderweireld all likely to walk on frees this summer and need to be replaced.

    Epic stadium debt, CL next season far from guaranteed and therefore a huge loss in revenue, they’re in quite a financial pickle.

  3. Freddie Ljungberg


    Alderweireld signed a new 4 year contract a couple of weeks ago. Vertonghen keen on renewing too apparently.

    Was hoping they would lose more players on frees this summer but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be that many. Still in trouble after mucking up the stadium build and hiring Jose the club wrecker.

  4. Marko

    TR7 it’s amazing how when a player performs poorly or awfully (over quite a long period) that it can be dismissed so easily because he’s still quite talented. I personally don’t know where you see this talent it hasn’t been on display in the previous 18-24 months at all. But I’ll play along. What exactly are his talents? Before you answer I’ll tell you what I see from the player. Eh fuck all really. Neither good enough offensively or defensively, not great technically speaking most of his passes seem sideways and backwards nothing special about it, his pace is good but what does it matter when he sometimes doesn’t do enough to get back into position or make overlapping runs, his concentration is really poor. Basically I can’t see why he gets such a free pass from some (not all thankfully) Arsenal fans. He is 22 as well so it’s not like he’s a complete novice btw. Honestly we’re just prolonging the inevitable despite the suppose talent he’s never going to be anything more than a back up RB at best. Anyone who ever suggests him for CM has got zero desire to see us improve at all

  5. Marko

    Vertongan will be 33 by the start of next season and Alderweirald 31 on the basis of their current season they are declining so Spurs signing them to new deals is pretty silly imo.

  6. Marc

    Signing Alderweirald on a 5 year deal at 31 is crazy.

    It also tells you that the big money offers he thought would roll in aren’t there. If Vertongan signs on it’ll mean the same thing, the big financial loss will be Eriksen.

  7. Northbanker

    I have only seen a little of Upamecano and what i have seen is all good. Nevertheless the valuation being quoted is crazy money and I share CG’s thoughts that pairing him and Saliba together, whilst a potentially excellent pairing, is still very much a massive financial gamble.

    We should start looking properly at home with someone used to EPL or Championship experience. The argument that it is cheaper to buy abroad no longer seems to be the case. English football takes at least 1/2 a season to adapt to and in the CB position that is a big problem.

    I am sure there are £10m buys out there that can provide the resilience we need.

  8. Northbanker

    And my previous post should also have added that the induction time means that if we do buy Upamecano and leave it to the summer to get a better price, then the gamble gets greater, albeit on slightly lower outlay, because now both players (Upa and Saliba) will be going through their induction together

  9. TR7


    AMN can beat a player, something which only a select few can do in our team. His passing, touch etc. is decent. He has good pace too. Under Arteta his performances has improved which suggests under proper instruction and guidance he can perform at a good level.

  10. Zacharse

    Also isnt the actual TR7 coaching these days? Would love to see him lining up on the bench w arteta freddie and per

  11. Frank C

    Can’t see Leipzig selling Upemacano now. They want to win the league and can’t afford to move him on. And why would they? This is not a traditional German owned and managed German team. They don’t need the cash. They need the title. If they want to move him on they will wait until the summer window. That window allows more time to put together big deals as well as allow teams to move on assets to raise funds for big acquisitions. Come the summer United, City, Bayern and perhaps Inter and Barcelona will line up or him and if he has a good second half I can see him going for up to $ 65 or $ 70 million. Not saying he’s worth it but Arsenal would be better looking for lower cost value.

  12. Freddie Ljungberg

    Vidal is 32, they want 17m for him and he likely wants high wages too.

    We have to keep building for the future with young top prospects. Only 30+ players should be short term loans if we can’t get our targets or don’t have the funds to cover all the positions we want to cover.

    Difficult coming in to the PL in that role at 32 as well. Man U are allegedly interested so maybe we’ll find out. I hope so because that’s one team out of the running for Soumare then.

  13. CG


    “”””Nevertheless the valuation being quoted is crazy money””””

    Crazy, crazy crazy..

    When Dortmund Eye was here.
    We were fairly sensible.

    Genduzi £7mill
    Sok £18 mill( still too expensive)
    Leno £20 mill
    Torreira £24 mill

    They all made sense.
    There was a strategy.

    Then he was ousted.

    And since then Raul has run total amok with his insane transfers and decimated the club finances.

    Exactly what he did at Barcelona
    Dembele at £100 million??

    There can only be trouble a head.

  14. Romford Pele

    Zacharse, heard quite a few rumblings with players. Both Cesc and Santi apparently want to go into coaching and Cesc has been opening his legs to Arsenal again recently. Wouldn’t surprise mt to see him back here at some stage.

    The one I thought would end up here is Xabi Alonso who is Arteta’s best friend.

  15. TT

    Frank C.
    Absolute no on lower cost defenders. We already have enough of them. If Upe is the best we can find out there then go for it and keep the dross we already have. What’s the point in buying more second or third tier defenders?

    And as for buying English defenders, anyone that is half decent will cos three times the equivalent foreign player.

  16. Romford Pele

    “And as for buying English defenders, anyone that is half decent will cos three times the equivalent foreign player.”

    This is it. You have Norwich valuing Ben Godfrey at £50m. Now I like him but that’s Upamecano money right there.

  17. CG


    “”””And as for buying English defenders, anyone that is half decent will cos three times the equivalent foreign player.”””

    Rob Holding
    John Stones
    Harry Maguire

    Bolton,Barnsley and Hull City
    All went cheaply at one time.

    Scouting and getting your hands dirty dear boy.

    The Hard Yards.
    Our problem- our swanky new executive team- dont like the grime of Grimsby on a Tuesday night.

    They don’t want that aroma of fish around their cudgels.

    Too bloody Up Themselves.

    Oodles of talent in the lower leagues.
    And they are all desperate to sell too.

  18. Leedsgunner

    Reiss Nelson is Jordan Sancho’s best mate as widely reported by the Athletic and other sources … worth an approach in the summer?

    I wonder if we offered something like Lacazette plus £30m whether Dortmund would go for it?

    Arteta was his youth coach as well when he was at Man City — it would be one statement of intent…

  19. Jamie

    Leeds –

    Dortmund just bought Haaland. No way they’d take Laca on as well [whose wages would be significant too].

    Sancho is going to go for at least £80m straight cash, imo.

  20. TT


    Rob. Holding first. He has not proven world class yet.

    Stones. Can he even get into the City team atm?

    And Harry….what did United pay for him again?

    If we want to progress we need to buy players that are either known big prospects or already the real thing.

    Nothing wrong buying young talent like Holding but not for the 1st team imo. And that’s what we need now.

  21. luke

    Xavi Alonso is first in line to manage real sociedad. Can see him going to Madrid after that. I doubt he wants to be a number 2

  22. Northbanker

    Think Southampton got VVD for something like £12m from Celtic

    There are always bargains if you look for them.

    CG – agree Sven was a big loss although not all came cheaply eg Auba (although if you got that return you’d always pay it). Mavrapanos may still only be £2m!

  23. Leedsgunner


    It’s because they bought Haaland, I think they would be willing to sell Sancho to recover some of the outlay… just a thought.

  24. Romford Pele

    Leeds – Sancho is almost impossible mate. He’s been touted for a fee of £140m. probably the most sought after young player in the world. We won’t pay that and I don’t think we should either. The majority of our money should be spent strengthening defence and midfield.

    Nelson is his best friend though. They grew up on the same estate and have been playing football since they were young. I also read that Athletic article which was a really good insight into Nelson. Arteta even managed him when he was 16. interesting that as youth nelson was rated higher but he hasn’t hit the heights his best mate has yet. I remember speaking to Gambon on here back in 2015 about him. He was one of the highest rated talents in the country. Wenger said he was one of the best young players he’d ever seen.

    Hasn’t yet worked out but he’s still young as he’s only 20. Arteta looks to have taken him on as his pet project so let’s see if he can push on and develop. Hopefully the goal on Monday will help his confidence.

  25. Romford Pele

    Luke – Xabi Alonso only started coaching last year. He said he wants to establish himself first so I don’t think he’ll be looking for a role for while. It’s important to remember Arteta started his coaching badges back in 2014 when he was still a player so is much further along in his development.

  26. Northbanker

    Romford – I hope he’s right but i haven’t seen anything great about Nelson at all. My gut feeling is that he is one of many youngsters that can’t make the next grade

  27. Romford Pele

    Northabnker – Think Southampton got VVD for something like £12m from Celtic

    This was before the new TV deals meant transfer prices inflated beyond belief.

    Right now all the English clubs have money which means they have no need to sell. You’ll have to pay a premium for players. Maguire went for £80m and Leicester tried to sign Lewis Dunk from brighton – were quoted £45m. even Villa bought Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth for nearly £30m.

    Money in the PL is insane right now.

  28. Romford Pele

    TT/Northbanker – yeah I don’t think Nelson has been great myself but it’s worth remembering players develop at different rates. You can’t judge everyone by the same metric. Not everyone can explode like a Cesc/Rooney at 16. With some it’s much further down the line/.

    We’ve all seen the quotes from Pep and the players themselves about the work Arteta did with Sterling and Sane etc so hopefully our young players like Nelson, Saka and Martinelli can benefit too.

  29. Leedsgunner


    I think there is a danger of us pulling another “Serge Gnabry” if we start jettisoning our youth players too soon.

    We need to give Reiss Nelson, ESR and Nketiah more time to come good.

    I’m probably in the minority here but I would include Ainsley Maitland Niles in this group too. If we manage this well, it will save our club millions.

  30. TT

    Leeds gunner.

    AMN has surprised me since Arteta came. I agree we need to be careful when discarding promising youth players. As Romford said players develop and mature at a different pace.

  31. Romford Pele

    Leeds – it’s always tough with young players though isn’t it? How much of a chance do you give them? how long do you persevere and when do you pull the plug if there’s no development?

    Definitely don’t want another Gnabry on our hands. Imagine he was LW right now ffs

  32. Northbanker

    Romford – I think that is one of the more exciting aspects about Arteta being in charge – its come at a time when we have anther golden generation of young players – not all admittedly academy – and if he can get another 20 or so% from them then that could be huge for us. It is ultimately the only way to really get our finances properly back under control.

  33. Northbanker

    A Martinelli / Guendouzi like purchase at £6m and an Iwobi type sale at 40m each season would help considerably too

  34. China1

    People love to write players off early

    Reiss Nelson has a very interesting loan spell last year and after a handful of average performances in a crap system under emery he was written off

    I for one still haven’t written him off.

    Holding was one of our best players last season until the injury. Comes back and plays a whole one bad game and he needs to go.

    I’m not writing him off either

    It’s always the trendbthat means something, not the individual performance. Bad players hit good form sometimes. Top players have poor patches. Unless a player has been consistently poor for a considerable length of time it may be too early to reach conclusions

  35. luke

    @romford, agreed, just going on what Sid Lowe has said on his pod. He’s highly rated and definitely in line to be sociedad’s manager in the near future. It’s his boyhood club if I’m not mistaken.

  36. China1

    Amn might yet come good. I’m not really convinced that he will but he has looked better under arteta so there is that.

    If he can even just be a reliable 7/10 defender that would be very useful for the squad if not as first choice, as backup

  37. TR7

    Plenty of potential future managers from the golden generation of Spanish midfielders – Xabi Alonso, Xavi and Cesc are all apparently interested in management. Cazorla, Silva, Iniesta etc. are still playing but it will not surprise if some of them take a shot at football management.

  38. China1

    It’s importabt to have a good few no frills players who may not be elite but will deliver a reliable 7/10 every week

    They might not be explosive or the difference, but their solid consistency enables those who have sporadic genius like ozil to plug away at their game without having to stress about player x/y/z around them

  39. Pedro

    Love Cesc, very intelligent. Wonder if he has the gravitas to be a manager?

    Alonso certainly does.

    Lots of Guardiola babies coming into management over the next 10 years, bit like Cruyff back in the day.

  40. Luteo Guenreira

    “The one I thought would end up here is Xabi Alonso who is Arteta’s best friend.”

    Christ those two must slay it when they hit the clubs together.

  41. Zacharse


    Vidal is older and expensive but to bring him into a team that has for more than a decade lacked steel and leadership in the midfield, and to have him playing near daily w lucas t, think that question answers itself. As for the cost, we both know that that number is random as hell if barca are trying to gethim out. I think its silly to assume anyone on a board like this or 95% of
    The info put into the press has any basis in reality.

  42. Zacharse

    Romford etc.
    think TR7 and cesc would be excellent additions. As for the xavis and guardiola love children, sounds lovely in theory…

  43. Marko

    AMN can beat a player, something which only a select few can do in our team.

    Doesn’t do it consistently.

    His passing, touch etc. is decent.

    It’s not it’s glorified.

    He has good pace too.


    Under Arteta his performances has improved which suggests under proper instruction and guidance he can perform at a good level.

    Granted he’s done well in a couple games but there’s far too many poor and awful performances under different managers to just forget that on the basis of his last two games. It’s ridiculously Arsenal like we’re doing it with AMN and Xhaka and Özil right now completely disregarding previous seasons and performances and solely judging the recent couple of games.

  44. Marko

    I wonder if we offered something like Lacazette plus £30m whether Dortmund would go for it?

    Sancho valued at 100 million at least and Dortmund just signed Haaland. Besides that 30 million and Lacazette? For arguably the best 19 year old in world football? Come off it.

  45. Graham62

    AMN problems are all mental.

    If Arteta can get into that head of his that he has to give it 100% every game, then we should see a massive improvement.

  46. Zacharse

    Still maintain if we sell mustafi elneny and miki and buy a defender we’re good. Dont understand why we’re not aiming to poach a uk player from a mid table team. Upamechanic seems like another smokescreen as we have saliba in a few months time. If david luiz can keep up his recent form for even a few months, def be happy w his contribution

  47. Pedro

    Zach, huge buzz around Saliba, but still wonder if it’s realistic to expect someone so young to make an impact in the league at his age. Not many 19 years olds at centre back doing things in the Prem.

  48. Champagne charlie


    Think it’s risky at best to hope a 19 year old can come in as a bonafide starter next season. Fully expect him to take the Laporte route, and have himself nailed down inside a couple of seasons.

    Unpopular opinion but we made a real error selling Gabriel Paulista for pennies. He’d have served us well right now, precisely the style of defender needed.

  49. Zacharse

    Doesn’t upamecan fall into the same
    Category though? My read is if we’re really looking to pay 50m, maybe target soyuncu or someone already making waves in the PL

  50. TT

    CC tbh with you I always rated Gabriel. Thought he was lot better than people gave him credit for.

    He would have been a good squad player if nothing else.

  51. Leedsgunner


    Mismanaging Serge Gnabry and missing out on his potential just as he was coming good has to be one of Wenger’s greatest miscalculations… even worse that the dozens of talents he failed to bring to club despite supposedly spotting them first.

    We had an outrageous talent on our hands and he let him go… after sending him to the likes of WBA under Tony Pulis… (lol.)

    Loans under Wenger were an absolute shambles. They were used to send players who Wenger was unable to sell into exile, in hopes that they would be forgotten.

    Player development didn’t come into it. It was more about Wenger not losing face over flops.

    Under Wenger if you were sent out on loan, you knew were basically given up on.

  52. Marc

    “Maguire has suffered a serious hip injury.”

    Oh no that’s terrible – poor OGS I mean no other managers in the PL have to cope with injuries.

    Fortunately he’s a genius and one of the top coaches in the world.

  53. Zacharse

    Feel like we could, w arteta at the helm
    Now, realistically be poaching players from wolves, leicester, even chelsea. You know mourinhos bound to do something dumb eventually, be a nice suckerpunch to steal someone worthwhile from the yids

  54. Big Dave

    You’ve got every right to gloat, Pedro. You got Arteta right and, like the rest of the world (minus Soamford) you’ve got OGS right.

    Loved the description “What an utterly garbage coach he is, United are in so much trouble because they’ve basically hired in a beloved family labrador that has perma-diarrhea”.

    Great. Utd are ruthless unlike our lot but they will find it more difficult to get rid of OGS because he was a loyal servant.

    I say give him 5 more years. I love it.

  55. Major_Jeneral

    In my honest opinion, It will be a mistake to consider selling off Nelson, Saka and any other youngsters . Especially now that we have a coach that can accommodate and develop them to be better. We should be patient.

    The mistakes made with Gnabry and Adelaide should not be repeated .

    Yes we cannot keep them all but we should not lose them so easily.

  56. Big Dave


    Didn’t you know, OGS is elite. Utd’s squad is stronger than our 10th-at-best squad and Utd’s kids are far better than our “overrated” kids.

    Utd have nothing to worry about.

  57. Marc

    The problem ManU have is the guy who hire’s the managers has now made so many bad decisions that if he fires OGS he’ll probably get fired himself. So he sticks with OGS and hopes it comes good.

  58. Champagne charlie

    Varane’s first 3 years in Spain yielded 7, 12, and 12 starts in La Liga.

    Took him until his 4th season to register 21 league starts.

    Expecting Saliba to come to Arsenal and drop 30 starts in the prem his first season is awfully ambitious, some might say foolish.

  59. Pedro

    Zacharse, but he’ll be 22 next year, still young, but he’ll have a lot of experience.

    I wonder if we’ll keep Luiz, he seems to like Arteta and I reckon he might fancy a coaching role at some point.

    CC, is Paulista still doing bits in Spain?

  60. Zacharse

    Youre right
    Upa’s had near 100 starts to salibas 25. Not sure age makes any difference but game time sure does, esp at a team whos been sitting in the top 3 for a while vs St E who definitely has not

  61. Zacharse

    Also re david luiz, hes a commander on the pitch when things are going right behind the scenes. Considering our long spell of no leadership, we should be looking to bring insome old heads even if they’ve lost a little pace, thats what the youngsters are there to cover

  62. Big Dave

    I have high Hope’s for Saka.

    Less hopeful for Nelson, but can’t go wrong in developing and selling. Same with Zech Medley.

    Not sure about Smith-Rowe and JJ. They need more game time – in JJ’s case any senior game time. Hoping if they dont make the grade they are sold for decent money

  63. Champagne charlie


    As far as I’m aware he’s one of the better performers there yea. He was 29 in November there so definitely not one of our smartest moves all in all.

    Don’t recall why he was shifted so quickly, if anything we tend to hold onto guys too long.

  64. Champagne charlie

    “Who exactly is expecting saliba to start 30 games next season?“

    30 of 36 PL games is about average for a starting CB wouldn’t you say?

    David Luiz has 18 starts in 21.
    Sokratis has 17 starts in 21.

    If Saliba is deemed a starter for next season it would be on the grounds he’s likely to drop around 30 PL starts. Which I maintain is fanciful.

  65. Brooklyn

    Pepe started more game than Varane every season he was there bar his last one. Pepe was 33-34 and Varane 23 when Varane started 25+ league games for a first time in a season. They had almost equal game(Varane started 20+ game) time that one season when both Ramos and Pepe were injured for some games, but Pepe again was starter/preferred for majority game very next season.

    Pepe was also starter ahead of Varane, injury permitting in every UCL season bar Pepe’s last season there. I.e. when Varane turned 23 and Pepe 33 or 34.

  66. Marc


    I did hear a rumour as to why Gabriel was moved on – now I have no idea how true it is but it sort of makes sense. Apparently Gabriel is not the sharpest tool in the box and just couldn’t learn the language and couldn’t settle over here.

  67. Champagne charlie


    Really? Footballers hardy known for their smarts, so find that an odd reason. Sure I’ve read how he felt he wasn’t given chances etc, but that can be as much to save face than anything.

    Poor from us if that is the case, club should always do their best to get a guy to settle as much as the player

  68. Marc


    As I said I have no idea how true it is and I agree that should be something the club should help with but clubs do have a thing about players learning the local lingo – one of the reasons Bale get’s so much grief at Madrid.

  69. Brooklyn

    This notion that young CB’s from another league will come and hit the ground running and we can keep unproven 5 U23 CB’s to see out the season is really like playing FIFA game.

    If we are getting Saliba and another supposedly good young CB, then keeping Chamber’s injury in mind, Mustafi, Mavropanos should be sold and maybe Holding loaned**. Two experienced CB’s, atleast one depending on how Holding performs till the end of the season should be kept.

    If Saliba and say Upamecano perform as expected than old players can stay among substitutes. If they complain their contract will end next season anyway.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    I am not a fan of AMN for a number of reasons.

    The main issue for me is his lack of “football intelligence or instinct”.

    Some have defended him, because he is playing out of position and is not a natural defender. That argument was also directed against Gibbs when he played for us.

    However, we have seen that Saka who has adapted recently to playing in lb position has demonstrated that he can play position even though he is not a
    natural defender.

    The difference between the two is “grey matter”.

  71. Marc


    If you’ve got the right coach directly players a lack of “grey matter” as you call it can be dealt with especially when they are still relatively young – it’s the likes of Mustafi and Xhaka who seem to be hardwired wit certain actions that are a problem.

  72. Freddie Ljungberg

    Chat that we’ve made a bid for Cavani, 6 months left of his contract so would be cheap/free if it’s a pre contract.

    Another 32 year old, but it makes a bit more sense if we know we’re going to lose Auba now or in the summer.

    Striker is one of the few positions where we have several youth prospects that look really promising, a move for Cavani would give them time to develop.

    Martinelli being the standout and will probably lead the line in a couple of years, Nketiah I’m not convinced by but both John-Jules and Balogun are highly rated.

    Would be a massive benefit if we didn’t have to spend big money on a striker to replace Auba and Laca when they move on and a stop gap elite striker and a couple of our kids can fill the void.

  73. Marko

    Varane’s first 3 years in Spain yielded 7, 12, and 12 starts in La Liga.

    True. I was thinking more second season at Madrid he made 30+ appearences. He started to oust Pepe and if it wasn’t for Jose and he natural distrust of using young players it likely would have been more. Way I see it on the one hand I’m not expecting him to hit the ground running but on the other hand if Holding and Chambers can make so many appearences for Arsenal then I expect Saliba to make a lot of appearences too. If he performs he’ll keep playing it’s that simple.

  74. Champagne charlie


    Don’t disagree, just think he’s a ‘down the line’ type of impact and we could stand to replace Sokratis starting place in the side by bringing someone in to relegate him to the position Mustafi will likely vacate.

    David Luiz plus whoever as the “starters” with Saliba, Holding, Chambers, Sokratis keeping them in check is a good formula imo.

  75. Marko

    Plus you have to factor in we don’t have great CB’s. If Saliba performs well he’s going to get games. It’s not going to be that difficult to displace some of the defenders we currently have. Christ if Upamecano is signed he’s a starter straight away ino

  76. Brooklyn

    How much would Raul Jimenez cost?? Target man, pretty quick for such a tall player, good hold up play excellent work rate in terms of pressing. 28 years of age meaning in his prime.

    Maybe Laca+ 10-20 million??

  77. Marko

    Don’t disagree. Also worth noting we kinda have to give him game time otherwise it might not be long before he looks for that move to Madrid.

  78. Brooklyn

    Jimenez had 20 maybe 25 G+A league season last year.

    Already has 8 goals and 6 assist this season. Most importantly at 6’3″ will provide variety to all of our other strikers without really diminishing offensive output.

  79. wattsy

    Many comments this time round on AMN some good, but most having major doubts about his future.

    Come on guys give the bloke a break, was not so long ago when he was showing some real promise from midfield, then his career got fucked by Uni , been constantly been played out of position, which he has done without complaint.
    The very least he deserves is a fair chance from his favored position, he then either makes it, or not.

    I still think there is a very good midfielder in there , still has pace and skill, perhaps as he does show much emotion, people think he is disinterested , do not think that is the case.

    Must give him time to prove his case, otherwise may find we have let another go , without being sure of his quality, meanwhile the poor guy will spend the rest of the season flogging himself for the club wherever we someone to fill a hole, whilst getting a load of shit chucked at him

  80. Freddie Ljungberg


    Sky is a buzzkill, I’m with Bild on this one.

    “Now Bild has what is presented as an update.

    On Wednesday afternoon they report the Gunners are asking for a €30m fee for their player. Hertha Berlin, the most interested club, are discussing things around the €25m mark.

    However, it’s stated that even if €30m is reached, Arsenal have another condition… they want to bring in a replacement first.

    Bild believe that man could be Adrien Rabiot, and they report, according to their own information, that Xhaka’s representatives are pushing for a decision because the player ‘absolutely wants to go to Berlin’.”

  81. Marko

    Freddie I hope it’s true. Seemingly Arteta has told him that he can leave in the summer so for the sake of a few months why risk the transfer especially when there are apparently players who could replace him available this month.

  82. Pedro

    Zach, I had a school friend that played for the Invincibles, he said something to the effect of ‘the difference in power between a teenager and a someone in their mid-twenties is massive.’ My thinking is that he might struggle with the power and pace. Could be wrong, that was a while back, but the youngest in the league tend to be about 23.

  83. Freddie Ljungberg


    Don’t think Saliba is going to struggle too much with the physical aspects of the league, he’s already a unit at 18 and bullying forwards in France. Can’t wait to see how he’s hoing to be at 21-22.

    Will take him some time to adapt of course like anyone else but our existing CBs are so bad that I can’t see it taking long for him to be a starter.

    Upamecano is built like a tank so same there but with more experience and further developed physically.

    Ideally we get one in now so we don’t have 2 rookies trying to adapt to the league at CB at the same time but it what it is.

  84. Valentin

    Outside of their young age and being talked early as future France Captain, there are more difference than similarity between Saliba at Arsenal and Varane at Real Madrid.
    Real Madrid had a settled good defense when Arsenal have a shamble of a defense. Varane may have been superior to Saliba in term of technique, but Varane was hesitant. Too often he was bullied off the ball by lesser players.
    That was the main reproach made against him by Real Madrid and France team coaches. He didn’t like playing against physical players and unfortunately for him against Real Madrid that was often only the only weapons strikers had.
    Hesitation and doubt and lack of fight are not things that Saliba suffers from.

  85. Henry Root

    I enjoy the more insightful analysis here. Pedro has had a vision for the club which way exceeded that of our senior execs and although it was/ is a gamble the upside for Arteta compared with that for Ancelotti ( at nearly three times the salary) is so much higher.
    And Romford Pele makes a huge amount of sense . I get very annoyed when I see posters saying things like ‘ AMN is shit’. He’s demonstrably not shit but he needs a coach who can develop and use him properly rather than the hopelessly disorganised and erratic Emery who has damaged our club and players so much. Going for deals like Vidal couldn’t be more misguided. We need to be looking at players like Ndidi or Gueye before they came to the PL. Vidal is an Everton style deal
    Re MU I have a number of friends who travel up from London to support them and have for over fifty years. They are desperate to be seen not to flip-flop on the successor to Ferguson and have shown loyalty to all of the managers they’ve had so far. The impact OGS had in his first few games was great news for the rest of the big clubs because it persuaded them to give him a longer try . He will be the fourth attempt to replace SAF and they are a very unstable club bailed out because of massive commercials. If Gazidis had done half the job they did on our commercials while we were getting CL each year we would be in a much healthier financial position. We are trying to build sponsorship while marooned in the Europa League . Hopefully we have replaced Wenger at the second attempt. I’m not sure they know who to appoint for the next man. I think it may be Allegri they go for but will his football fly against Klopp, Guardiola and hopefully Arteta . Pochettino is more their brand but is he a spent force? I think he would be the wiser choice

  86. Wenker-Wanger

    Can’t believe the shit comments about our young players.
    YOUNG PLAYERS…not fully developed and experienced.
    AMN has huge potential. The kid is also playing out of position.
    His speed (acceleration) is as good as it gets. YOU CANT COACH THAT.
    Im not going into his focus, his mistakes etc… All players make them. Lacazette sometimes can’t hit a barn door, but there isn’t any condemnation.
    Same for Reis’s nelson, He is still learning his trade, Believe me, I trialed for Fulham…the kids got good balance, two footed and quick. He is already a decent player. He will get better.
    Time will tell. Way too early to call them shit, fuckin ridiculous.

  87. Pedro

    Freddie, I hope so. I know they are getting mad reviews about how good he is at Arsenal, they really believe he’s a generational talent.

  88. Northbanker

    Agree on AMN – he’s got raw talent and speed and frankly has been a useful cover at RB

    Nelson – not so sure as Don’t think he can become super class and that is what we want in that position. There are better prospects inc Saka

    I think he will be another Iwobi type sale

  89. Marko

    Soumare seems like it could be dependent on Xhaka or vice versa. 27 year old for a 20 year old with tremendous amount of potential. I know what I’d go for. That whole passing between the lines shite shouldn’t be an issue with Torreira he’s shown he can do it

  90. Marko

    Hesitation and doubt and lack of fight are not things that Saliba suffers from.

    Agree. From what I’ve seen of him he plays far more assured and mature than his age.

  91. Bob N16

    I’m in the if AMN can be coached, he would be a keeper.

    Very interesting article in The Athletic about Nelson – sounds like he’s got he’s always been a fantastic talent and had a great mentality to improve.It also mentions the laissez faire attitude to coaching of Wenger that did not bring the best of Gnabry and The Jeff and suggests that Arteta will give the youngsters what they need to become better. Arteta has already praised Nelson’s attitude and his willingness to learn.
    Positive times.

  92. Freddie Ljungberg

    Wilshere another injury setback.

    Has only played 712 minutes since he left us 2 and a half years ago. Good value for money for the 100k a week they’re paying him.

    Can’t imagine how much we would have paid him if he was given a new contract.
    Amazing that there’s still people bemoaning that decision.

  93. Marko

    17 year old Brazilian right-back Yan Couto is expected to agree a summer move to a European club in the next few days with Arsenal and Leverkusen leading the race.
    Deal worth €5m.

    Next seasons back up RB looks like

  94. azed

    I don’t think Eddie would make it at Arsenal (sorry Pierre). He’s older than Martinelli but behind him in the pecking order and then there’s John Jules and Folarin Balogun behind him who look like more talented players than him. Eddie is probably the worst of a very good bunch of young forwards the club has on thier books.

  95. Champagne charlie

    Every time I watch Chilwell his transfer value takes a dip, hugely suspect defender.

    Can see him being one of these early promise types that evens out to just a good player.

  96. Dream10

    Champagne Charlie

    Agree with you. Think we were interested in signing him before he made his Leicester debut. Chelsea want him as their long term LB. English premium, not likely to become elite. Sell, sell, sell.

  97. DaleDaGooner

    I remember when people used to call Gabriel Paulista garbage, I used to wonder if they knew football at all, he was one of our better defenders, i remember him playing well against the dirty Chelsea striker that got him sent off. His problem was more language, we sold off Gabriel and kept Mustafi…dumb…the fans wanted Paulista out too.

  98. Champagne charlie


    50mil sort of money touted isn’t it? Wouldn’t go near him for that price personally.

    Watched him maybe 4/5 times in the last 6-8 weeks and he’s been suspect to dire defensively every single game without exaggeration. Had his arse caved by both City and Liverpool too which hardly signifies someone eager to take a step up.

    He’s very young still, but he doesn’t inspire for the sort of money touted. Not at all.

  99. Guns of Brixton

    Grealish has gotta sort his hair out if he ever does come here.

    Had our fill with Giroud. Cant do another

  100. Champagne charlie

    “Out of interest do villa have a better squad than Leicester!“

    Yea, pretty sure that’s how it works.

  101. Graham62

    Gnabry was a raw talent.

    Did Wenger see this? No, he didn’t.

    In 2013, when he scored at Swansea, I remember my son saying to me “Dad, Gnabry is special”. He was right.

    I’m sorry but if Wenger thought Sanogo was the bees knees how the fudge was he going to make the correct judgement call on Gnabry?

    I’m sorry but this mythical outlook on Wenger, by some posters on here, drives me up the frigging wall.

    Emery made some bad mistakes but, oh my goodness, they pale into insignificance compared to Wenger’s failings.

  102. Un na naai

    MarkoJanuary 8, 2020 20:19:35
    Hesitation and doubt and lack of fight are not things that Saliba suffers from.Agree. From what I’ve seen of him he plays far more assured and mature than his age.

    Same sort of shit you spit every time you get a new toy.
    Saliba is just the next Christmas puppy you throw away.

    Give it a year or two
    He’s not fast enough
    He doesn’t pass very well.
    We need two new centre halves

    Two years I give it

  103. Marko

    Don you struggling again with comprehension. Me excited to see Saliba in an Arsenal jersey and thinking he can contribute some straight away and you and that tiny brain of yours see that as me turning on him inside two seasons. You are a genius.

  104. kristoman

    6m they will never pay to us because the criteria for that money cannot mearnt by everton ala help them get top4

  105. Dissenter

    I just saw that Moussa Sissoko is out till April
    Spurs are so fcuking fcuked, how long will it take for Mourhino to start squealing like the little piggie that he is?

  106. China1

    Spurs have sissoko and Kane out long term

    Utd have Maguire our long term

    What odds on both failing to consistently pick up wins in the coming two months?

    Make no mistake arsenal are able to surge up the table to top 5 if we win 7 if the next 10 league games.

  107. China1

    And yeah if the wheels come off the spurs train early, it’s a certainty that Mourinho will have a meltdown and make matters worse

    He’ll be complaining publicly about squad depth then making sky digs that he can’t work miracles without investment. When that investment isn’t forthcoming over the summer it will be months of moaning, start the season with a negative atmosphere, more points dropped, another write off season and spurs only holding off sacking him because he’s expensive

    That’s my take…

  108. Words on a Blog


    Get with the program. The self-described “special one” has now evolved into the “nice one”. He will never ever complain in public about the even nicer Daniel Levy, who in any case, is as generous as they come, especially now that the magnificent stadium was built well within budget and a bidding war has just erupted for clubs to take the supremely talented Eriksen.

    This fake news thing is easy. Maybe I should run for President of the USA…..

  109. China1

    I know things were really desperate under emery but I do wonder if those who were calling for Mourinho feel a bit of regret about that

    Desperate times call for desperate measures but Mourinho…?

  110. Aussie Gooner

    There is absolutely no reason Saliba should not hit the ground running:
    A) He would have had a year to get his head around the fact that he will be an Arsenal player next season.
    B) He would have had time to psychologically adjust to the move to Arsenal/London and all it entails (ie finding somewhere to live, establishing relationships, adjust to his new surroundings etc)
    C) He would have had time to get over his injury concerns and be match fit from the get go
    D) He will have a full pre-season to integrate with his new team mates and to learn the ‘Arteta’ way and what is required of him

  111. Un na naai

    MarkoJanuary 8, 2020 23:17:07
    Don you struggling again with comprehension. Me excited to see Saliba in an Arsenal jersey and thinking he can contribute some straight away and you and that tiny brain of yours see that as me turning on him inside two seasons. You are a genius.

    2 years
    Mark my words