How computer games have impacted the next generation of players

by & filed under News Review.

I don’t want to toot my own horn over here, but I basically learned to mix sound like Jimmy Lovine yesterday.

Yes, I apologise, I made a hash of the volume in the podcast yesterday… but I have just learned how to fix it and combat white noise at the same time.

Go on, listen to the podcast right now and sue me for blowing your ears off because it’s so damn loud and pristine.

It’s nice to learn, but maybe not nice to have to listen to a podcast for the second time in a row… but please, do your job today and listen to it for a second time.

One of the sections of the podcast we talk about modern managers and why some of the older legends of the game are struggling to cut it in 2020. There was a great piece in The Times at the weekend that basically eviscerated the idea that young players care about the history of the club they are at, citing OGS constantly harking back to the 90s to spark something in his United players. It said he takes them to weekly quizzes… it’s so pathetically disconnected, it makes me a little sad.

‘Come on boys, I’ve got a terrific quiz for you today’

‘Don’t tut Pogba, I brought some of that rap music you like.

‘Jessie’

*OGS performs BIG dab*

‘I’ll see you at 5, bring the Wotsits’

The long and short is basically what I’ve been saying on here for a long time. The idea that a reputation for winning trophies in the past as marker for future success is fatally flawed. Players aren’t interested in reputation these days, that’s for fans and journos that think a bollocking fixes terminal decline in football teams.

The currency of modern football is ideas and vision. These young players coming through now want to know how to improve on the pitch and in the mind. You have to engage them with far softer kid gloves than you did in the past, and you have to be able to speak modern football.

The cultural reference is modern technology and what it has allowed these players to experience from their bedrooms.

Growing up was FIFA and Championship manager for me. It wasn’t to the level of complexity it is now, but I distinctly remember wasting disgusting amounts of my time waiting for the PC to load a season of Champ Man. I knew every player in the world, I knew the formations, I knew how transfer windows worked, I knew ballpark wages, I knew dates of birth by memory, I knew every player that was worth knowing in Europe because Champ Man has a legit scouting network. I was hooked, like a Champ Man smackhead. It literally fucked my education.

The thing that was missing through my era of gamification was the ability to watch the players. I knew Saviola, Bobby Pires, Henry and Bakircioglu (if you know, you know) were going to be big, but I had to wait for a World Cup to see them. Or be around for live tune-in on TransWorld Sport.

Fast forward to now, the kids can play FIFA and Champ Man, and actually watch the players they’re scouting in the games. These footballers are growing up experiencing tactical systems in games. They’re keeping abreast of the best footballers in the world because anyone they like has a highlights comp some nerd 14-year-old has made for them. Players have never been so educated.

The same is true of the kid fans. The obsessives can watch 2nd Division Brazilian football with 3 clicks of a mouse if they so choose. The entire world of football is available on Youtube.

So when Jose Mourinho comes into training and asks these players to play a cynical version of the game because he knows what’s going on, they don’t believe him. They don’t want to shithouse like they used to. They want to get better as players and Jose can’t offer that in 2020. The only way he can deliver a Premier League winning side is to buy it, but no one wants to invest in his methodology because it’s horrible.

Now, Arteta might turn out to be a duffer. But he’s getting more out of the Arsenal players than Carlo or Jose would have had out of them. He’s bringing them another level we straight up didn’t know existed. He knows each individual as a person, he knows their strengths and weaknesses, and he knows how to make them better in the context of the modern game. That’s what players buy into in 2020. Nerds.

The casual mocking of ‘this isn’t <insert game>” in 2020 starts to look increasingly ridiculous. Those games are driving up the knowledge of the players, sparking different sorts of conversations on the training ground, and requiring a different type of coach to manage the lust for improvement.

It’s very exciting and it makes me very happy to know we have a manager that probably dabbled in FIFA and Champ Man… because, you know, it basically means I could be a manager, right?

Ok, maybe not, but it’s interesting to see how gaming culture is impacting football in 2020.

Check out Drew. No fucking around. Cease and desist letter in the post from Adidas. Elite wedding attire stealthiness regardless!


Right, listen to the fucking podcast, leave me a 5* review praising the volume and get to work, there are bills to pay.

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287 Responses to “How computer games have impacted the next generation of players”

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  1. Guns of Brixton

    Football Manager was the one for prospective managers. 🤩

    I remember finding Julian Draxler as a talent there back in 2011/12.

    Im sure as rain scouts use FM to find players

  2. Romford Pele

    Not much Arsenal news now we have a week in between games.

    Barca finally sacked Valverde – at least two seasons late. Setien is a good coach and plays good football although his teams have often been naive defensively.

  3. Jim Lahey

    @RP –

    “Not much Arsenal news now we have a week in between games.!”

    We could finally have our very own eccentric billionaire to throw money at the club! But somehow I doubt it!

  4. CG

    Fascinating Read, many thanks, PedRo.

    “””Now, Arteta might turn out to be a duffer. But he’s getting more out of the Arsenal players than Carlo or Jose would have had out of them.”””””

    He probably is ( but its too early to say for sure )
    But Arteta ain’t getting more out of his players than the exceptional Nigel Pearson.

    And Pearson is as Old School as they come.
    Or Steve Bruce to think of it- if we look at the table and the players he has at his disposal.

    Quite Simply There will always be a place for young coaches and there will be a place for old ones too.

    As for players wanting to learn ( for 90% of them)….

    The only thing they yearn for is the cash and not getting their hands cold.

  5. Romford Pele

    Jim – you talking about Dangote? By all accounts he’s said that he’s always wanted to buy Arsenal but wouldn’t do it before 2020 so he could complete other investments as part of his portfolio. Let’s hope he can force the Kroenke’s out when the time comes!

  6. Vintage Gun

    Aaahhh good olde Champ Manager…

    I remember stumbling across a teenage Kompany and snapping him up for under £1m!

    The 1st time i won a cup (FA) i screamed so wildly that my mom banned me off the PC for a week.

  7. Romford Pele

    Bergkamp63 – it was in The Sun so not sure how much validity to give it. Plus City only have Laporte (been injured for months), Stones, Otamendi and Garcia as CBs. So with three fit CBs, with one being very inexperienced, don’t see how they sanction it.

  8. HighburyLegend

    “How computer games have impacted the next generation of players”

    And mostly, how Fortnite fucked them up.
    Just ask Pierre and his pal Mesut what they think of it.

  9. China1

    Lol I caned the shit out of PES as a kid. Then after thousands upon thousands of hours of experience I started setting myself new rules.

    No famous players, no players under 30, no good players, Scottish players only LOL

    I will always remember the absolute ecstasy of lobbing the Barca keeper from the edge of the box with a 36 year old ‘McKinley’ in a 3-0 win in the cup final. Average age on the pitch was 34 and I’d had to supplement my team of shit old Scottish players by playing a 36 year old second choice keeper on the right wing hahaha

  10. Romford Pele

    Funnily enough, i’ve been really impressed with how good we’ve defensively since Arteta has come in. I didn’t think we’d have a structure that would be in place so soon to limit the chances opposition would have on our goal. AMN padlocked Zaha at the weekend., It was very good.

    Where we need to improve actually imo is our phase of creating chances and adding disruptors going forward. At the moment all our attackers have their limits. We lack ball-carrying midfielders. We don’t have enough players who can disrupt and commit people through the centre. We used to have guys like Wilshere, Rosicky, Hleb, Santi who could all dribble and force players out of position. At the moment it’s too static going forward. We need a press-resistant midfielder like Kovacic at Chelsea. having someone like him and Soumare adds another layer of dynamism and unpredictability to our team.

    We also need more creativity. Ideally you have two creators and two finishers. So Auba and Pepe as the finishers. We’d need some better creators though. It will be interesting to see how Arteta goes about addressing that because we don’t have those profiles atm. He needs to be supported through the transfer market. There’s only so much coaching can take us.

  11. CG

    High Leg

    “”@CG : who’s your real idol, Pedro or Arteta ?? You can’t choose both!!””””

    One can not be impressed with the work PedRo puts in.

    All free.
    And I love things that are free.

    Must be impressed with my prediction that John Stones coming to Arsenal?

    I predicted it- a month ago.

    (My exclusives are free too.)

  12. Cesc Appeal

    It is going to be quiet a January then.

    The only sort of fan pleasing move I could see is a potential move for Guimaraes if Benfica mean we feel we have to move now or lose him…if we are genuinely that interested.

    Arteta wants Stones but as RP said given City’s CB situation not sure that happens, although Stones is said to feel out of favour with Guardiola.

    Mustafi proving hard to shift on…again. The day he is finally pushed off…

  13. Romford Pele

    CA, it’s annoying isn’t it. We’re feeling the brunt of poor squad building with poor profiles for a while. And the fact our commercials have been poor in addition to no CL has seen our revenue drop massively.

    Arteta is defo going to have to go all out for the EL. Along with Ajax, Inter and United, we’ll be the favourites. From a revenue perspective we have to be in Europe next season because at the moment we’re going to have to do a lot of selling before we can start buying.

  14. Pierre

    RP(strangely enough, the initials of the original Romford Pele,Ray Parlour)

    .” There’s only so much coaching can take us.”

    Patience

    Coaching his already fixing the defence.
    Coaching is already fixing the balance of the midfield.
    Coaching will fix our creativity.

    Patience.

  15. Romford Pele

    Pierre – Ray Parlour one of my favourite ever players plus he’s from ny neck of the woods, hence the name!

    RE coaching, fixing all, I don’t agree. The balance of the midfield has been better but it has its limits. We need more dynamism. Xhaka can’t dribble away from pressure. The midfield is still quite static. We don’t have enough dribblers or runners off the ball so it can still be quite predictable.

    And as of now Ozil is the only creative player in the team and he’s on the decline. That’s not enough. Coaching will only take you so far without the right level of talent. Those are areas we need to invest in.

  16. Spanishdave

    Back in the good days, Dennis, Robert and Tierney used to go back to the training ground in the afternoon and work on set plays.
    Our overpaid ones go home to their iPads and car showrooms.
    They will never become legends

  17. Emiratesstroller

    Deloittes have just published the revenues of the World’s leading football clubs
    and Arsenal’s ranking has nosedived.

    We are now ranked 11th in the list behind not only Man Utd and Man City but
    also Chelsea, Liverpool AND Spurs!

    Here are the reported revenues of those three clubs and ourselves.
    Liverpool £533 Million
    Spurs £459 Million
    Chelsea £452 Million
    Arsenal £392 Million

    This says everything about the catastrophic mismanagement of the club in recent years.

    The Kroenke family will need to make some urgent decisions about their financial commitment to club. If this continues I doubt that the club will
    get premium sponsors when the current deals expire.

  18. Wasi

    RP
    The defensive organisation since Arteta came in has really been good but tbh the groundwork had already started under Freddie. The main role played in our improved defensive structure has been of Torreira imo. Emery demanded Torreira to push forward a lot and make himself available in the box. This led to Xhaka defending vast spaces all alone and like Freddie said it was about physical sprints through which we were getting bombarded by shots in transition. Xhaka is a poor runner and couldnt stop the opponents counterattacks , being bypassed fairly easily.
    But now Torreira stays behind with Xhaka which lead to better cover during transition. This delays the opponents counter attack as they cannot easily bypass the middle third. The delay also allows our attacking players to fall back in shape .

    Amn has to be given credit for his improvement and Arteta as well. If he can stop Zaha there arent many he cant stop then. But it was also thanks to the defensive work being done by the attacking players. Zaha was regularly outnumbered 1 v 2 with Pepe tracking back diligently and their LB being a dud. And there aren’t many players who can regularly beat 2 defenders simultaneously.

    Wont be easy fo Bellerin to get back into the first 11 now. Will need to up his game. The inverted full back is role perfect for Amn which also Allows Kola to be in areas where he is most effective.

  19. Romford Pele

    Wasi – i’m not sure how much I credit to freddie tbh. You’re right in that he put Torreira back in his natural position but the general shape the team now has in and out of possession is much better under Arteta. He’s given us that level of compactness that we haven’t had in years. It’s weird because we drew 1-1 with Palace because bar that goal they virtually created nothing. We didn’t either but we haven’t looked compact like this out of possession for a while.

    AMN was very good again. Physically and technically he’s good and being used as an inverted FB helps him in how we build up. His lack of focus have always been his weaknesses. He has to keep this up for a prolonged period to win over doubters but I’ve been pleased with him and Torreira most so far.

    The flip side of having an invereted FB is that the right side is quite isolated now. I’m still not sure of the utilisation of Pepe. I don’t really want him hugging the touchline like an old fashioned winger. At Lille he was occupying the right half space with an overlapping FB. Right now he’s quite isolated on that side. Me personally I want him closer to goal where he can start getting shots off as we saw with that attempt that hit the post.

    I don’t know if we could recreate a situation where the LB could be more reserved and the RB could be higher up on Pepe’s side so we can station him more inside like Auba has been so far.

  20. Pierre

    RP
    “RE coaching, fixing all, I don’t agree.”

    Neither do I but you have said how impressed you are with the defensive improvement.
    I dont suppose Arteta has even started on the offensive side of our game .
    I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t a massive improvement by the end of the season with these same players.

    Midfield wise ,at the moment he is doing what needs to be done , making us solid, disciplined and playing risk free football, but I expect that to change in the next few months.

    Arteta may change system , he may bring in Ceballos in centre mid or he may bring in willock.

    Its probably only speculation, but if we were to bring in Stones he would suit the game that Arteta is trying to implement.

    Stones alongside Luiz will do it for me as it would give us more control in games and they both are progressive with the ball at their feet.

  21. Romford Pele

    Pierre – yeah it’s important to remember it’s only been 5 games and we can all acknowledge it’d be a process. I guess my initial assumption was that he’d work on the attack and scoring loads of goals first before fixing the defence. That’s the approach Klopp and Pep focused on first.

    I’m sure Arteta will start working on the offensive game. Aubameyang being suspended maybe gives us an option now to field a more balanced attack because while Laca, Auba, Ozil and pepe are good players, it’s not exactly balanced in it’s approach.

    Like I said, we need newer profiles, more athleticism in midfield and players who can transition with the ball at their feet to open up deep blocks. Ozil just doesn’t do that and he’s not a goal threat either so we’re gonna need to do stuff there.

    We’ll see how he goes about changing it.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    In terms of selling we need a massive clear out anyway.

    So many players in this squad are simply not good enough or are too similar and are away from being an EPL player.

    The problem we have is selling them. Look at Mustafi, it’s almost sad now, just no one wants him. We’re loaning people around because our buying and wage decisions have been negligent in recent years.

    The club have spent money, but I have no belief that Arsenal can perform the necessary squad turnover necessary. They’ve never been good at proactivity and large volume work.

    Said it last summer, Kroenke needs to put his hand in his pocket and help the club change this squad. The club managed to get a good amount of players in last summer but still worked to a £45 Million budget when you consider actual outlay in 2019 on players and then sales.

    That limits us to clubs accepting the structure of our deals and limited money up front (stopped the Zaha deal).

    Kroenke needs to give the club money in May even if he ends up getting a wedge back in September because of how business worked out (sales being better than expected), even if we have to pay him back over a number of years. That would be a bit shitty though considering how good he’s had it at Arsenal.

    4 managers in 2 years and the issues are there under each of them with this squad.

    Getting ready for ‘City IP coaching is like a new signing’.

  23. That Dreamcast Kid

    For me one of the perks is definitely the familiarity of footballing terms even for pre-school kids of various background and mother tongue. Easier to coach as they immediately get what we talk about.

    It’s usually me with my nephews playing Pro Evo these days and we usually talk dabble more in the gameplan than the actual play haha. For some of them the greater emphasis on simulation definitely helps in how to play in real life mostly basic positioning, teamwork and passing skills & vision.

  24. Romford Pele

    CA, Agreed that we need a clearout with mass changes.

    Like you say, we have a lot of players that nobody wants, either because they’re useless or on high wages, or both. Since 2016 we’ve spent money a lot of money but it’s been on a lot of wastage, while wasting wages at the same time too. When you compound that with lack of CL and poor revenue, it doesn’t make for good reading. So spending more money at a time when you don”t have loads coming in is only gonna be an issue long-term.

    The term pro-active is key. I have no problem signing players over a few transfer windows because I do think it’s unrealitsitc to sign 6/7 starters in one window anyway. From a wage and FFP perspective it’s not possible, and integrating them all can create issues too. But say you bought 3 this window, 4 in the summer, that’d make more sense.

    Kroenke has never looked like he wants to inject money into the club. Josh has been more involved and has said that he runs the club but it looks more like PR rather than anything else, especially when you have financially doped clubs who are getting help from their owners.

  25. Biggles

    Regarding the Deloitte list, we have actually increased revenue compared to the year before. In the 2019 list, we had revenues of €439m, this year we’re at €445m. Sadly though, in the 2018 list we were on €487m. The problem we have is that although we’ve increased revenues, other clubs are ramping them up way higher than us. The Spuds have gone up €170m in two years for instance and Liverpool even more so, going up €180m in the same two years, both blowing past us in the process.

    It’s almost like revenue is linked to success or something…

    Which makes me hope that the Kroenkes will realise that they need to open the chequebook and invest a bit so we can get back to top 4 ASAP. The longer they wait, the worse it will get. United have revenues of €711m, but they have already forecast a drop of nearly €100m for next year because of the lack of Champions League. They’ve set themselves up for mid-table mediocrity for quite some time I think. And we’re just as bad.

  26. Emiratesstroller

    James Wood

    Clearly both Man Utd and Spurs have larger debt piles than us.

    However, the issue is that Arsenal’s status in EPL is in decline. When we built
    Emirates Stadium we were told by the Board that the club would be able to
    compete with all the Major Clubs in World Football.

    Now we see that we are ranked fifth in EPL and our status is dropping like a
    tombstone. The so-called financial constraints imposed on the club by the
    owners has had an impact on both the calibre of our management and on the
    team as well.

    As matters stand I don’t see Arsenal qualifying for Champions League any time soon. That impacts not just on revenues, but our sponsorship potential and the calibre of players we are able to recruit.

  27. S Asoa

    There is no doubt that considering the stature of this Club, Kroenke has been a bad choice for Arsenal. But considering immediate damage Raul has been worse.

  28. Biggles

    The one thing I’m hoping for is that Mourinho does the business for us again by ruining Spurs now. He did a number on United from which they haven’t yet recovered and he actually made Chelsea a bit more averse to mass spending sprees.

    Only problem is that even if we can make up the ground on mighty teams like uh… Sheffield United and Wolves and Crystal Palace, I don’t see Leicester having a big enough collapse for us to catch them.

  29. Freddie Ljungberg

    S.Asoa.

    How so? Getting one manager appointment wrong? That’s hardly unique, happens at every single club.

    Lowering the wage bill over the summer by 35-45m? That was about time.

    Buying 4 future starters in one summer, 2 of which could very well be outstanding players for us based on their potential (Saliba, Martinelli) and Tierney and Pepe could very well be the best we’ve had in those positions for years… again based on potential more than what has been shown so far for obvious reasons.

    Think you’ve been partaking a little too heavily of the Raul is the devil oatmilk that Pedro has been serving…

  30. Wasi

    RP
    Pepe is hugging the touchline but he is not as isolated as he was before. He always has Ozil to support him in the inside right area. He maybe more effective playing near to the goal but his dribbling ability wont be as effective there imo.
    By playing wider he can drive with ball to the opposition defender before skinning him with speed. But he doesn’t do that often either which I think he should owing to his tremendous dribbling ability. Maybe when Tierney returns he can alternate with Amn/Bellerin as the inverted anf advanced Full backs.

  31. Romford Pele

    Wasi, you’re right he’s not as isolated as before but I still don’t think he’s getting into enough goalscoring positions. Neither Mane/Salah hug the touchline. They both start inside with overlaps from the FB.

    We should be limiting the amount of running/taking on he has to do imo.

    Here’s what the Lille owner Gerrard Lopez said about him: I think Pepe is a winger who is also a world-class finisher. This is a guy who played goalkeeper until he was 13. He understands them like few others — that’s why his finishes, even from long range, are rarely blasted and always placed. I say this because it’s one of the two factors that, I think, have slowed him a bit. We played Pepe in a 4-3-3 in a very specific position: He was wide, with freedom to come inside and a full-back behind him who always covered for him. Now he’s in a new team, his teammates don’t know him and he has to jell. That takes time; the same thing happened when he joined us and it took about six months for him to be very productive. In fact, we were almost relegated.

    He can’t control that [period of integration at a new club]. What he can control is his confidence. He has to be confident. There is so much pressure on him that sometimes, it gets to him and as a result he’s a less selfish player than he was when he was with us. He’ll pass sometimes when maybe he should have the confidence to finish. But I think he’ll get over both those factors. We’re already seeing glimpses of what he can do.

    https://www.espn.co.uk/football/french-ligue-1/story/4012678/lille-owner-gerard-lopez-is-pushing-the-limits-of-how-techdata-can-influence-a-club

  32. Romford Pele

    Pedro – welcome to my neck of the woods, next time i’ll take you for a pint! It’s very middle class and peaceful but i like it. For those of us that work in central, the transport links are good too. You got the distrcit line or C2C train which gets you into Fenchurch St in 20 mins. Not bad considering it’s zone 6!

  33. James wood

    Emirates 11.45.
    Just shows us all the calibre of the owners
    they are quite willing to keep dragging us down
    as long as they are grazing in the long grass.

    I saw a huge demonstration by the Man U supporters
    regarding the Glazers .
    ..?

  34. Pedro

    Romford, I grew up there. C2C really is treasure. I remember when Luis Boa Morte moved into town, good times, put the place on the map.

  35. Pedro

    Freddie, he wanted to give Emery a new 4 year deal and then fished for Nuno to replace him.

    Oat Milk Mafia has his number.

  36. Romford Pele

    Haha Pedro, yeah quite a few footballers and celebrities live round this way. I remember when Bale was at Spurs, he lived in Emerson Park – nice for some! Those houses round there are mad!

  37. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    Did that happen or was that just newspaper click bait? Don’t see Emery around or Nuno either for that matter so the immediate damage that S.Asoa thinks he has done is more in his imagination than anything else.

    Sure it can be argued that they waited too long to sack Emery, I have no problem with that. But it was reasonable to think things were going to be better after the summer with new signings, it wasn’t and he was let go after given a chance, not at the exact moment when it was clear he had lost it but pretty close, we don’t know the exact circumstances behind the scene to why he wasn’t fired a couple of weeks earlier but it’s hardly high treason regardless.

    The summer signings haven’t made an immediate impact but bar Luiz I think they will all be mainstays in the starting XI for many years or be sold on at a healthy profit.

  38. Nelson

    It is obvious that Palace has studied our team against Manure. They started by putting more manpower to stop Ozil and Pepe. When we tried to attack with Luiz’s long ball, they sent players to block the passing lane. I understand why Arteta wants John Stone. PapaSok is not a ball playing CB. It is impossible to come up with a plan B if you don’t have the required players.

  39. S Asoa

    Freddie L.

    “Think you’ve been partaking a little too heavily of the Raul is the devil oatmilk that Pedro has been serving…”

    Am a bit pragmatic , but had a good laugh at the way you put it mate 😂

  40. WengerEagle

    Wow, Valverde sacked at Barcelona. Not that it didn’t need doing, painfully limited coach but a weird time of the season to drop the guillotine.

    Guess blowing yet another chance at silverware in the Supercup was the last straw after blowing the CL SF at Anfield and the Copa Final vs Valencia.

    The guy that they brought in is a bit of a wild card. Betis gaffer who are an interesting but underwhelming outfit with the players that they have.

  41. Freddie Ljungberg

    S Asoa

    🙂

    Think you need to look a little further back to why we are in the mess we are now.

    Raul didn’t balloon the wage bill out of all proportion, he didn’t sign masses of trash players that no one wants to buy and all we can do is farm them out on loan.

    He’s the one who has to untangle the mess and since player contracts usually lasts longer than a year it was never going to be a quick fix.

    I’m not saying he’s the Messiah either, but from my perspective he’s off to a good start. More obviously needs to be done to get us to where we want to be but it’s difficult to catch up when you’ve been weighed down with a lot of dead weight.

  42. Marc

    “Anything in the John Stones rumour ?”

    If you even have to ask that after reading it in a Newpaper then all hope is wasted on you.

    Good grief.

  43. WengerEagle

    Inter Milan are a strange one, they have two of the most in-form CF’s in Italy in Lukaku and Martinez as well as Gabriel Barbosa still on the books and yet they are seemingly pursuing Olivier Giroud.

    Anyone explain the logic behind that from either party’s POV? Giroud is hardly going to get more game-time there is he?

    Looking to snag Ashley Young as well is pretty bizarre.

  44. Marc

    Emirates

    I’d say that those figures are taken from the last set of accounts so for Arsenal they wouldn’t include the new Adidas deal so they’d be another £30 million. What really stands out is the difference between EL and CL income which is why it’s so critical to get back in ASAP.

  45. Marc

    WE

    I’m sure I saw a rumour the other day that Barca was trying to sound out the Poch re the position. Now he’s gone on record saying he’d never manage Barca – it will be interesting if he stands by it.

  46. WengerEagle

    Yeah Lautaro looks very promising, his all-round game still needs work but there’s so much to work with there. Fast, powerful, ambidextrous, scores all types of goals with both feet and his head.

    Lukaku is what he is in regards to his choppy technique and lack of guile, difference is that Conte knows how to play him to his strengths and he has many. He definitely lost his way at United too, understandable given Mourinho losing the dressing room and Ole being completely clueless as to how to best utilise him.

  47. Romford Pele

    Eagle, Setien is a great coach. Plays fantastic football but his teams are a bit naive defensively.

    Valverde long overstayed his welcome. Absolutely trash coach.

    Barca are in trouble the moment Messi retires. They need to maximise the little time he has left at the top.

  48. Romford Pele

    “Anyone explain the logic behind that from either party’s POV? Giroud is hardly going to get more game-time there is he?Looking to snag Ashley Young as well is pretty bizarre.”

    Conte is a good coach but he has really weird taste in players. He’ll then dump them on the scrapheap then moan about not being backed. Very odd. Gotta remember he splashed £40m on Drinkwater for no reason whatsoever.

  49. Danny

    Emiratesstroller
    January 14, 2020 11:45:22
    ———————
    When we built Emirates Stadium we were told by the Board that the club….
    ———————–
    The russian scum mf Abramovich wasn’t around when we started on the Emirates. He single handedly destroyed football as we know it. Without him, Wenger and Ferguson would’ve fought it out for years, no bloody Mourinho, therefore the Boards forecast could’ve been a reality.

    I don’t see Arsenal qualifying for Champions League
    ————————————
    2 seasons ago we made the semis of the Europa cup. Last season we were runners up. There’s no reason why Arteta shouldn’t win it this season, at least on paper the remaining teams look easier that the previous 2 seasons.

  50. Graham62

    ES

    We have been mugged off ever since we left Highbury.

    Those “so called financial constraints” are not the real reason for our fall from grace, it was our fans failure to show some balls when it really mattered.

    Accepting the status quo is, imo, the real reason we find ourselves further down the pecking order, not the so called financial constraints you and so many others speak of.

  51. WengerEagle

    Marc

    If he stands by it and spurns the opportunity then he’s a fool. He’s not Barcelona born and bred, he managed Espanyol for only a couple of years. He shouldn’t be wedded to them like he is to Newell’s Old Boys.

    The gigs don’t get any better than being in charge of Messi-led Barcelona.

  52. Marc

    Danny

    We were also only a point off top 4 last season. Arteta has made all the right noises and seems to have the players on side but he does need to start adding results to the mix. We need a decent run in to the season for several reasons, it shows Arteta is going somewhere when we’re trying to sign new players and it gets some much needed confidence into the squad for next season when Arteta will be under huge pressure to achieve top 4 minimum.

  53. Romford Pele

    I’m not convinced Poch is as wedded to Espanyol and Spurs as he makes out. Spoke to a lot of people who reckoned the Arsenal job would’ve interested him. By that token it wouldn’t surprise me if he did go to Barca in the future,

  54. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle
    I suspect Poch is waiting for the PSG job in the summer and he will probably get offered that job.
    You’re really flogging guy for being true to his word. He must have felt a special connect to Espanyol, you don’t have to be native born to feel a special connection.
    ….and by the way, the next Barca manager will be handling a difficult transition when Messi starts to drop off – he’s 33 y/o in June.

  55. Romford Pele

    Messi is already on the wane and Barca’s recruitment policy is nothing short of shambolic. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them drop further once he retires. had Neymar stayed, they’d have at least 1 more CL for sure as that front three was virtually unstoppable.

    Neymar would’ve been primed to carry the torch too. They have nobody now.

  56. Elmo

    “but I had to wait for a World Cup to see them. Or be around for live tune-in on TransWorld Sport.”

    I thought people only tuned into TransWorld Sport to catch up on the kabbadi.

  57. Danny

    Marc
    ———–
    I think we should solely concentrate on winning the Europa Cup. There’s very little chance of us going down or of getting 5th, the FA Cup is good for the Europa Cup for next season but I think that’ll be hard this season to win.

  58. Marc

    WE

    I don’t know why but I’ve always had this feeling that he see’s himself at Madrid. Problem is you sit back waiting for the Madrid job that never happens and miss out on another huge chance in the meantime.

  59. WengerEagle

    RP

    Sounds a bit like Zeman, remember him? Not a winning coach but fuck me an entertaining one.

    Yeah I have a feeling that Real Madrid will rule supreme this decade over Barcelona, they no doubt will hope that Messi can collect a couple more titles before he sails off into the sunset.

    Real have serious youngsters in Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr, Valverde, Odegaard who is absolutely mustard and will be a superstar, Mendy, Asensio provided he returns from injury the same player.

    Only players flagging age-wise are Modric, Ramos, Bale and Benzema who is currently playing at near peak level.

    Whereas at Barca you will soon have Messi, Suarez, Pique, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Alba to replace who are all on wrong side of 30. No real outstanding youngsters outside of Dembele, De Jong and Arthur Melo. And I highly doubt Dembele stays long.

  60. Marc

    Danny

    It’d be fantastic if we could win the EL – a trophy is always a bonus and for Arteta in his first half season would be an achievement. What would be the real thing would be the CL football it brings with it.

    Problem is its not as easy as saying “right I think I’ll win the EL this season”.

  61. Danny

    Poch wasn’t considered for the Barca job because he can’t manage this season or he’ll lose the payout from Spurs, Emery also wont be back this season and just like Mourinho and Conte took a year off.

  62. azed

    RP

    Liverpool have three runners in midfield plus two fast CB’S who are good in 1 v 1 situations. It would be hard to replicate their system with our players.

    Infact with our squad, you either sacrifice the attack for compactness and defensive solidity or we push more players forward and deal with the outcome defensively.

  63. Dissenter

    Romford
    Spurs was Poch’s finest moment in management. There was never going to be an Arsenal moment for him. Why would anyone take a job that’s filled with so much drama?
    For what? to get to manager Mesut Ozil…no central defenders…with no prospect of big money coming in.
    It would have been a backward movement; coming to.rival club with a worse squad.

  64. WengerEagle

    Marc

    Maybe, Zidane has really turned it around there though and has them back to their league and CL winning form.

    I don’t see them winning the CL mind, don’t trust them to have a decisive scorer in big CL knockout moments. Ronaldo was that guy after all and they never replaced him.

    Benzema is great but I wouldn’t trust him in those moments like I do Ronaldo.

  65. Danny

    Marc
    Problem is its not as easy as saying “right I think I’ll win the EL this season”.
    —————–
    Of course there’s always a risk with cup competitions but these players now have a lot of experience in this competition after the last 2 attempts at it.

  66. Marc

    Danny

    So the Poch turns down the well paid Barca job so he can keep the Spud payoff?

    If he’s interested in football more than money it won’t even be a consideration.

  67. Romford Pele

    Eagle – yes that’s a decent comparison. Setien’s Betis side are always very good for a watch. Will be hard stepping up though as Valverde found out moving from Bilbao to Barca. Have to deal with more egos and an interfering board. Nowhere near the same. Hope he does well though.

    Madrid have been doing fantastic buying up all the best young talent. Have you seen Odegaard’s creative numbers this season? even better than Messi’s. That is something special. They’re also getting Reinier Jesus from Flamengo too. So if you add up up the amount of playmakers, they have Isco, James, Odegaard, Ceballos, Asensio, Kubo, Diaz and now Reinier Jesus. That’s way too much. At least 3 of those have to go in the summer. Odegaard would be a dream. Kubo is the Japanese Messi in waiting too. Can’t believe Barca let him go.

    Barca in comparison are nowhere near as good. Tbh ever since Xavi left the quality of football has deteriorated. They control games nowhere near to the same efficiency and that is the bulk of their problems. Messi is declining physiclally and how now having to do more. It won’t last, Still a demon of course but you see against the truly athletic sides like Liverpool, even he can’t do it all alone.

  68. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    Maybe, Tuchel is a chancer at PSG and it’s only a a matter of time before he’s shitcanned.

    I’m not hammering him for being loyal but Barcelona isn’t a managerial gig that you can turn down, come off of it. That’s as elite as it gets for a gaffer and there’s not a single one that wouldn’t bite the hand off for a pop.

  69. Marc

    “Of course there’s always a risk with cup competitions but these players now have a lot of experience in this competition after the last 2 attempts at it.”

    Previous Arsenal squads had plenty of experience of the CL after over 20 years in it but that didn’t make a difference did it.

  70. Dissenter

    WE
    Ageing physiology will catch up with Messi..and then what
    Barca have been shambllic in the market for at least 5 years. They gave an ageing squad. Messi aside.
    Poch will be wise to avoid managing them. They aren’t the crème de la crème anymore.

  71. Romford Pele

    Azed – yep good points. Arteta needs help in the transfer market. Saliba coming is a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can get someone like Upamecano/N’Dicka/Todibo too.

    We don’t need to copy Liverpool and I would never advise it. We should be ourselves but that comes with having more athletic profiles first and foremost.

  72. Romford Pele

    Dissenter – you’re absolutely spot on in your criticism but it’s still Arsenal. Much more iconic club. Like you say, more work is needed but we’ve spent loads of money since 2016. If it’s used more efficiently it’s nowhere near as big an issue.

    Doesn’t look like we’re gonna be too active this window. I can deal with that as long as we’re proactive in the summer.

    But I would really like Bruno Guimares who’s going for cheap atm. And our name is being continually mentioned. Hopefully it has substance.

  73. Danny

    Marc
    Previous Arsenal squads had plenty of experience of the CL after over 20 years in it but that didn’t make a difference did it.
    ————–
    Depends what Wenger’s target was which I believe was only to get out of the group stages which he succeeded every season!

  74. Danny

    If he’s interested in football more than money it won’t even be a consideration.
    ——————–
    I read somewhere that Spurs payed him 15 million quid so to relax till July seems like a no-brainer.

  75. WengerEagle

    RP

    Odegaard is sublime mate, it’s more than just the outstanding numbers, he passes the eye test with flying colours too. Guy literally glides past players as if they aren’t there and he has eyes on the back of his head, always has time on the ball which only the very best manage. He’s already a top three playmaker in Europe and the best in La Liga. No chance that Real entertain selling him, lucky Sociedad have him next season as well unless Zidane says fuck this which he might well.

    They’ll let half of that list go. All of Ceballos, James, Diaz and Isco will be sold I reckon although Zidane famously has a chub for Isco. He’s really disappointed me tbh, still a top player but he never kicked on these last couple of years and has regressed. Had the potential to be near Iniesta level imo with the way he was playing around the time of the WC, absolutely wrecking cats.

    Dead right on Barcelona, the football hasn’t been great since Pep left if we’re being honest. MSN served up some pretty special ball but that was nearly in spite of Enrique’s system and the CM.

    Messi is surprising me, I thought that he was finished being the best player in the world a couple of years ago when Neymar was out performing him at Barca. He’s kicked on back to his technical best though and Neymar has had all of the injury, attitude and chemistry problems over in Paris. For how much longer is the question, once he loses the ability to sprint past defenders his goal tally will drop like a stone. He hasn’t got Ronaldo’s option and ability to hang up top and feast on balls into the box because he’s five foot six.

    I’m just enjoying it while it lasts, was gutted they blew that tie at Anfield. Messi actually played great, didn’t deserve to lose.

  76. WengerEagle

    RP

    Your thoughts on Jadon Sancho?

    Imo by far your best youngster since Rooney. And has the potential to go further than Rooney ever did.

    He’s incredible. Best youngster around after M’Bappe hands down.

  77. Habesha Gooner

    How are benfica letting Gedson Fernandes go out on loan? and how are spurs pulling off these loan deals with an option to buy for good players? Locelso with an obligation to buy last summer and now Fernandes. We need to try for our main targets using a similar tactic. If we really want Bruno Guimares we should try loaning him now with an option to buy or obligation if he is our main target.

  78. Jim Lahey

    “Imo by far your best youngster since Rooney. And has the potential to go further than Rooney ever did.”

    Clearly you meant Theo Walcott?!

  79. Romford Pele

    Eagle – he’s amazing mate. Would be my #1 Ozil replacement. We’ve always had elite playmakers so it’s about time we had another. Won’t be him unfortunately but he’s so good and is only 21. Gotta remember everyone has known about him since he was 16 too.

    Yeah all of those guys will likely go. Isco has been a disappointment considering he’s still just 27 but the fact he’s not really in favour speaks volumes to me. James is another but looks like he’s gonna be more of a journeyman. Has never really settled anywhere and isn’t in favour. Ceballos and Diaz are talented players. Whether they scream top level remains to be seen. Sometimes with players it’s all about circumstance and having the right manager. I loved Ceballos at Betis but doesn’t seem to have adjusted to the pace of the league. Still very talented. Let’s see if Arteta integrates him.

    Yeah the MSN iteration of Barca was more focused on the front three rather than anything in midfield. It’s never been the same since Pep went.

    You know it’s still crazy with Messi. He’s still the best player in the world but not otherworldly like he used to be. Physicaly I think we’ve seen the decline over the 18 months. He can’t always accelerate past people like he used to. Before it was like 6 /7 times a game. Now it’s only about once or twice. But you have to remember this kid has been plsying top level football for over 15 years so the decline is always inevitable.

  80. Romford Pele

    Eagle – yeah he’s a fantstic talent. He has all the ability in the world. His assist numbers already are crazy. I’m not that surprised about the talents England are producing though. My mate is a coach and he says South London is the hotbed of talent in England. They’re all estate street ballers round there so for many of them it’s either football or crime. Not all of them are dedicated.

    But Sancho for me is next level. I’d say my only doubts around him are his pace. I’d say he’s quick but doesn’t have elite level acceleration. In the PL where intensity and transitions are key, you have to be able to create separation with your marker. Outside of Mahrez who is supremely skillful, I don’t know many wingers who aren’t rapid that have been a major success.

    Even look at Auba who was beyond rapid in Germany. He came here and he looks nowhere near as quick. harder to create separation here due to the level of athleticism.

  81. WengerEagle

    RP

    I’d well believe that. Sterling and Sancho are both from that part aren’t they? Abraham and Hudson-Odoi too. Sancho supposedly still hangs around the ends when he’s over in London.

    I think that he’s got another gear that he can go to when he’s running, because he’s a smooth technician I just think that he doesn’t opt to hang out wide too much to properly display it, he prefers to drift in centrally and that’s how he has so many goals and assists. Look at this goal vs Bayern in the Supercup.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGGr2r0iPYU

    He’s not rapid like M’Bappe or Dembele but he definitely is fast enough to drive transitions and beat his marker.

    Auba’s pace was a bit of a myth lol. Obviously incredibly quick over short distances but he’s never been a power sprinter like M’Bappe is.

  82. WengerEagle

    RP

    All of those players would do very well at other clubs, silly having them all rot on the bench.

    James is a system player but as we’ve seen with Monaco, Real Madrid for a time, Bayern for a time and for Colombia, when you cater to him he’s a phenomenal baller. Not an elite level one because he’s such a rigid fit mind. But anyone outside of the top five or six Euro clubs would love to have him.

    The playmaker position in general is a rigid fit with the modern pressing and athleticism-dominant game. It’s the reason why we’ve seen all of James, Fabregas, Ozil, Isco, Mata struggle in recent seasons.

    Old school playmakers that made up massively for their lack of mobility/aggression with their passing range, vision, pacing of the game and progression of play. These are all players that struggle against the press however and that’s the modern game.

    Riquelme was a phenom but he wouldn’t start for any of the Euro elite today.

  83. Romford Pele

    Eagle – loads of them, Sancho, RLC, CHO, Abraham, Joe Gomez, Lookman, Rice, AWB, Nelson, Nketiah, Sessegnon,. ESR, Patrick Roberts, Eze. All from the same area.

    Sterling is from North-West London so he’s the odd one out,

    I think Sancho will do well as he’s skillful like Mahrez so he can get away from his marker but the ones who usually thrive are the really fast ones.

    Mbappe and O. Demebele are defo top end of the speed spectrum. Even CHO at Chelsea is crazy quick but gotta see how he recovers from his achilles injury.

    England have a number of talented players. They should really be looking to go to the finals over the next three tournaments.

  84. Jim Lahey

    Was Henry the perfect striker? When I think back, I don’t remember him having any major weakness.. in the air maybe?

  85. Romford Pele

    Eagle – i’m not sure the traditional playmaker/#10 position is done at all, They’re just appearing in different guises. Either you recreate yourself as a CM as we’ve seen with KDB and Silva at City or if you are in a 4231 you just will have a multitude of roles to play.

    Spurs under Poch still played 4231. Even City themselves have used that formation this season with KDB at 10. So I don’t think the formation or the role is done. As with everything in football, it’s cyclical. What might not be in vogue now might be in vogue again in 5 or so years. That’s why i’m against copying the blueprints of other teams. take their good aspects? Sure. But you’ll just become a poor imitation if you copy it fully.

    For me the most important thing is athleticism. You need to be extremely fit. If you’re that you can play as a 10 easily. Grealish probably my favourite player to watch in the PL atm. He’s a 10 but can play CM and wide left too. Would like us to snare him if possible.

    Most fouled player in the league this season and playing for a pretty rubbish Villa side.

  86. Romford Pele

    Jim – as close to it as you can get, outside maybe the real Ronaldo who was the most complete striker i’ve ever seen. Henry didn’t score many headers but we weren’t exactly a team that crossed the ball a lot either.

  87. WengerEagle

    Jim

    Near perfect mate but he had his faults, to me has was too passive in the huge crunch matches in the PL vs United and in the CL until the Final season where he rectified that going off on Real Madrid and Juventus and even Barcelona in the Final, was just his finishing that let him down not for lack of aggression as he drove into all of the right positions.

    He should have scored a lot more than nine goals vs United for a player of his calibre on a team as strong as ours was. Didn’t have a good record at WHL either.

    From a technical standpoint, yeah only his header game was weak. Best finesse finisher I’ve ever seen, he never really put his laces through the ball.

  88. Jim Lahey

    @RP & WE –

    It just made me think when taking about the attributes of individual strikers when you put them all together you got Henry!

    Can still remember the night in Anfield when he was on the touchline knocked the ball ahead of himself, then ran up the other side of the touchline leaving two Liverpool players to eat his dust! Think that game ended 2-2…

    When I think back on the days of having Henry in the team, no matter how bad the team was around him I always felt like we had a chance because he was in the team! Can’t remember a player since having the same impact!

  89. Champagne charlie

    Henry was incredibly well-rounded, I’d argue his aerial game was good too but it was an area he never liked to go and preferred balls to feet.

    Still enjoy that bullet header against United last minute for the winner.

    As Weagle said, he never seemed to strike a ball in anger and it was all done with the instep.

  90. WengerEagle

    RP

    True re top end speedsters. I’m not sold on CHO, underwhelms me really. Still early days but I don’t see what’s so special about him.

    England NT looks pretty outstanding alright but your CM is pretty wooden and dull. No ballers in there at all. Maddison and Grealish both have guile and flair but neither are what I would call midfield players.

    Stacked at RB with TAA, Walker, Trippier and Bissaka. That’s pretty astounding in all honesty, as funny as Scotland’s best two players both being LB’s.

    Sterling-Kane-Sancho is a great front three but I see Soutgate persisting with Rashford over Sancho for the Euros.

  91. Romford Pele

    Jim – unfortunately Henrys don’t grow on trees. But he was the perfect blend of PnP mixed with technique. He could do it all and when he was on his game he was unstoppable. At time he did have mental blocks and didn’t produce when he should’ve but you can excuse that considering all he done for the club. Will be lucky if we ever see anyone better.

    The perfect playre for this current modern era too.

  92. Jim Lahey

    “was too passive in the huge crunch matches”

    I don’t think he ever scored in a final for Arsenal… is that right?!

    The opposite of Didier Drogba, THE big game player!

  93. Champagne charlie

    Jim

    RvP has that kind of impact in his last couple of years with us for me, he was unreal for a stretch.

    Auba/Laca levels below by comparison.

  94. Jim Lahey

    @CC –

    You’re dead right, having RVP in the team did feel like we always had a chance! To be honest I would swap both Laca and Auba for an in form RVP!

  95. Jim Lahey

    One thing about RVP if there is a free kick… I’m not standing in the wall! I remember a FK against Sunderland that was in before the keeper realised it had been hit!

  96. WengerEagle

    Anfield was the coming out party for so many of our imports.

    Rosicky, Julio Baptista, Arshavin, even Podolski and Cazorla both scored there on their debut too in a PL win haha.

    Miss those days, now we’re just hammered whenever we go there.

  97. Jim Lahey

    “Anfield was the coming out party for so many of our imports. ”

    The defending from us the night Arshavin scored 4! Horrendous! We went 4-3 up with a minute to go!!

  98. WengerEagle

    RP

    True, it’s kind of morphed into a wide playmaker role now to give teams technical balance as you see with Bernardo Silva/Mahrez at Citeh for example.

    These kinds of players can still play in CM but like you say, athleticism is a prerequisite and well as industry and the ability to win back possession. KDB and Bernardo both do this well at Citeh.

    Somebody like James who you have to completely indulge isn’t going to start for an elite winning team. He doesn’t offer you anything off the ball, he’s a throwback to the really old-school playmaker.

  99. Jim Lahey

    It probably says more about myself than anything else, but some of the most vivid memories I have being an Arsenal fan centre around some of our golries failures.

    2006 CL final, remember it like it was yesterday.
    2009 CL semi against United, that Gibbs slip..
    1999 FA Cup semi, Bergkamp penalty miss

  100. Jim Lahey

    “He doesn’t offer you anything off the ball”

    I remember or greatest No. 10 would gladly offer you an elbow in the face off the ball!!

  101. Aussie Gooner

    Tony

    (from last post)

    The bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales have been terrible of late. Today Melbourne’s air quality was the worst in the world! Yes ahead of highly industrialised areas of China and India. Two international tennis events were affected in Melbourne causing matches to be abandoned.

    The bush fire season started early this year due to years of drought in some places. Consequently there was a lot of material to burn including nearly two thousand houses. There is no chance of putting out the big fires in bush land/national parks, they just have to be allowed to burn themselves out. The bush fire season usually ends around March/April time but who knows this year!

    For the first time this year even the rain forests in Queensland have had fires, which is unprecedented. This is the scale of things here! I live in Western Australia which is pretty dry at the best of times so we don’t tend to have really bad fires very often.

    On a brighter note Melbourne is a fabulous city and I am sure your daughter will enjoy her time there.

  102. Romford Pele

    Eagle – Yeah there’s so many different ways of interpreting them. Some, like you say, will be used out wide to create technical overlaods and box teams in. Look how City played like 5 technical midfielders against United last week and absolutely swarmed them so they had no answer.

    If you’re gonna play someone unathletic, their technical level has to be so high that it offsets their physical limitations (completely press-resistant).

    I never want these type of players to be phased out the game though, that’s what makes football fun. If you had a team of hard-running robots it makes stuff boring as hell. Where’s the guile? Like everything in life you need balance.

  103. Jim Lahey

    “If you’re gonna play someone unathletic, their technical level has to be so high that it offsets their physical limitations”

    Matt le Tissier!

  104. Jim Lahey

    @RP –

    ” never want these type of players to be phased out the game though, that’s what makes football fun.”

    Could not agree more, its why you pay to watch football, gonna play my fan-boy card again, but its why I loved Santi for all his defensive limitations or Arshavin, players would could do things with a football no natural athlete could!

  105. Romford Pele

    Jim – 100% agree. It’s why I couldn’t get behind Emery. Even though the results and the process weren’t the worst, it was just terrible to watch. But as someone who played as an attacking midfielder myself maybe i’m bias!

  106. Romford Pele

    You know who I thought was gonna be top? Carlos Vela. His technique was sensational. Such an elegant player to watch but ended up in the MLS in his late 20s. That’s shocking. Shows you that despite having ability, if you’re hungry and motivated it doesn’t mean anything.

  107. WengerEagle

    Yeah Drogba was THE big game player, always delivered in the top matches in the PL and CL.

    The fucker loved playing against us more than anyone though. [13 goals in 15 aps] and Chelsea beat us in 11 of those 15 matches losing just once that one time that Johann Djourou daddied him in the Carlo led side when we put a beating on them at the Emirates.

    For comparison, his record vs Spurs was 6 goals in 20.
    He scored just 11 in 30 apps vs Liverpool
    He scored 4 goals in 15 matches vs United.

    Did he not even come back with Galatasaray and score a double against us in the Emirates Cup? Lol, we must have hurt him as a yooth.

  108. Jim Lahey

    @RP –

    Oh yeah, you could see very early on that the football was gone under Emery, was pretty sad to watch! At least under Arteta we are starting to see some of the one touch football creep back in!

    Also, we just don’t have the players to play that type of football anymore.

    Cesc, Santi, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Helb. At the moment we have nothing close to that talent in the team.

  109. Romford Pele

    “Cesc, Santi, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Helb. At the moment we have nothing close to that talent in the team.”

    That’s the worst thing. We need these types to play the possession-based style. We don’t have creativity atm which you’d never thought you’d say about an Arsenal team.

  110. WengerEagle

    Vela could have went right to the elite level of wide forwards but his heart was never in it, is on record as saying that he has no real interest in football and is a Basketball junkie and loves watching NBA.

    Probably a factor in the move lol, catch them Lakers games.

    Talent-wise he was amazing though. His production at Real Sociedad was pretty impressive too considering he didn’t give a shit.

  111. Jim Lahey

    Her is one for you, who is the most embarrassing player you have had on the back of a shirt?

    Yoann Gourcuff, beat that!