Welcome, Pablo Mari!

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Two posts in one day? Why the hell not. We just signed a brand spanking new player (on loan).

Welcome, Pablo Mari!

The deal for the Spaniard was rumoured to have fallen through on Sunday, turns out he forgot his walle, THE DEAL WAS ALWAYS ON GOD BLESS DAVID ORNSTEIN AND THAT EXPENSIVE PAYWALL. The medical has been passed, Arteta lands a ball-playing defender with a great left foot, that can lead, and hold a highline.

The player had this to say on his Instagram.

Today is the time to face a new challenge in my career.
I thank all the people without exception who were part of my story with @flamengo! These were unforgettable months, where I was able to live a dream with all of you. My thanks to the employees, members of the technical committee, comrades, and also to the entire RUBRO-NEGRA NATION. You will always be in my memory and my heart. ❤  
Once Flamengo, always Flamengo 🎶
I will continue cheering for great achievements and vibrating with you!
Gratitude, Pablo Marí.

On closer inspection, it does appear that we’ve taken quite the punt on Pablo. He made 22 appearances in Série A (Brazilian top league) and 6 in the Copa Libertadores (CL of SA which he won). That is a very small sample size of data unless we’re working off internal stats Arteta had on the player from his City days where he spent time out on loan at NAC Breda and Deportivo (in the second division).

This signing basically looks like the work of Edu. It’s a Hail Mary. If it works out, he’s the god of transfers. If it fails, well, he’ll go on the scrap heap of central defenders that have passed through the ranks over the last 20 odd years. Stepanovs/Cygan or Kolo/Koscielny. Worth noting that the club has taken punts on plenty of players who have played next to no first-team games at the highest level, Matteo G being a prime example, Gabriel being another… difference here is Mari is 26. Regardless, there might be a small sample to look at, but he won the biggest club trophy in Brazil, which is quite sexy imo.

What I like about him is his height and build. He’s a very Premier League looking player. The ultimate worry is the added pressure he’ll be under in England. Granit Xhaka looked like a true great in the Bundesliga, then he came here and had 0.4 seconds on the ball and he couldn’t handle it. That’s a hell of a learning curve to deal with and many top players have struggled with the adaptation needed.

Part of the concern that many of us have with any signing that comes through the door is that we don’t really trust the people looking after deals. Raul has overseen a pretty average 2 years, he shipped out his data man and went balls deep on some very odd signings.

Is this hire out of the data pool that identified Gabriel and Saliba? I damn well hope so. If it works, then we can have some faith that the summer is going to be an exciting one. This is what our Technical Director had to say.

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality. We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season. Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

Edu really should know a good player, he’s been around enough of them during his career. He knows what it takes to make it here.

One player who does look a sure-fire data-driven demon from the future is William Saliba. The Arsenal folks behind the scenes think he’s a generational talent and the word coming back from St Etienne is that he’s bossing training sessions, Debuchy feeding intel back to the club that he’s the real deal.

I still think it’s a huge ask to expect him to come right into the first team, but the more I watch him, the more I think he’s a freak and he’d adapt fairly quickly. If we’re a 3 year project, next year could be about bedding in wild talent, then we go big the year after and push for honours.

We could go from a poverty defence to one that looks pretty good next season. Holding, Saliba, Luiz and Mari. Hector, Tierney, AMN, and Kola. You can work with that. Even if the talent isn’t quite there, this Arsenal side is developing a defensive structure that is built on the entire team doing its bit, so reliance on individual brilliance is not as important as it used to be. We are hard to break down after a month of Arteta, imagine what we’ll be like next season with better players more suited to the vision?

I think the most important area that’ll need work in the summer is finding players that can move the ball between the lines in midfield. We really struggle there, part of that is a lack of players, part of that is a lack of athleticism in the middle of the park. Joe Willock can accelerate through the lines because he’s powerful, we need more players like that. Our whole squad should be built on power and pace because that has always been the only way to survive the Premier League.

Layer forward-thinking ideas over athletes and you really are in a good place.


We’re bringing Cedric Soares to the club (Ornstein). The 27-year-old right-back is in on a loan with a view to a permanent deal. This from a Southampton fan.

‘Well past it, and wasn’t brilliant in the first place – would say decent enough lower third of the Barclays full-back.’

Coaching staff are going to have their work cut out here.

Right, listen to my podcast and have a wonderful day.

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165 Responses to “Welcome, Pablo Mari!”

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  1. Freddie Ljungberg


    Maybe not but he’s 8 years younger and has more than 2 years of top fottball left unlike Auba, he also has a long contract so Everton doesn’t have to sell, unlike us if Auba doesn’t sign a new contract.

    Maybe you’re new to this whole football thing but this is how it works.

  2. Shaun

    5 year deal , 8 years younger …. yes we know all this but do you really think Barca really want maybe might be Ricoh when you can get dead cert Auba even for two more years of guaranteed goals , we are not talking Everton here we are talking Barca and they want it now …..get it

  3. useroz

    it’s good to bolster cover for defence to make the best of 2h of the season but are our senior folks in command or ‘guided’ by the same agents again? Especially if we pay well above the already inflated winter loan market…

    Both have prominent agents. Mari is with Canales and Soares has Mendes!

    i’d think most of us feel good when the club spends some (we ask dont we?) but not when it’s screwed. Consumer mindset?

    A reported 5m loan +wages for Soares! Not cool to loan another journeyman when he’d be out for 3 weeks,plus integration etc that could easily turn into 4 or 5. Is Soton paying us to get rid, like doing a Mustafi?

  4. Globalgunner

    FL. some people are best left in their parallel universe. In the real world, the figures for both players make total sense. On ability there is not that much between Auba and Richy and Richarlison has ways to go. Auba is at his peak. If i was at Barca I would come to the same evaluation.

  5. Pierre

    Under Arteta we have conceded 8 goals in 8 games.
    Only 3 of those 8 goals were conceded before the 83rd minute, meaning we are unable to see out games .

    Conceding 5 goals so late on is a killer for any team taken into consideration that we have only scored only one goal after the 63rd minute of games under Arteta.

    This is a follow on from Emery’s spell at Arsenal , we were very negative in the last 3rd of games and struggled to score in the last half hour.

    This is a mind set I believe, its physcological and needs to be addressed .

    Even against Bournemouth on Monday night one could see the team getting deeper and deeper as the match progressed, eventually conceding.

    Arteta must instruct the team to stay on the front foot for the 90 minutes to play the game in the opposition half.
    As soon as we drop deep we look vulnerable.

  6. useroz

    “Whatever you felt about Sanchez, he was a born winner.
    Giroud, on the otherhand,was not.”

    Don’t forget Giroudis a born winner ar hotels and pubs… though i suppose Sanchez has learned well.

    If Giroud reunites with the one, he’d have scored a hattrick and win the journeyman ballon d’or 2020 for his uncanny ability to hopping across all major London clubs! And a grand slam when he signs for West Ham after got flushed down the toilet bowl say after the one is sacked.

  7. shaun

    you lot are why we are where we are …if you do not think Barca have some of the best potential strikers in the world already in there ranks then you are pretty dumb …Auba already has a record of scoring a hi numbers of goals when playing with Dembele let alone Messi , this is proven not potential …Auba is predatory and does not rely on pace alone so has at least 3 years left at the top …so dummies you do not take 50 mil in January FOR A PROVEN 25 -30 GOAL A SEASON STRIKER . That’s why we get sold short as there are people at Arsenal who think just like Northwanker . I will say again Barca are offering 85 mil for Richo and you lot say we should take 50 for Auba which only makes sense to an idiot who is not trying to get the most for his asset .If we must sell we sell in the summer frigging hell you lot are dumb

  8. Sid

    My sauces tell me Arteta is at Arsenal on loan, once we win the EL he will be off to a club with ambition.

    You heard it here 1st!

  9. Biggles

    I love Auba. I don’t want to sell him. But we don’t have a money tree and a £50m fee for him with 18 months left of a 3.5 year contract gives us an accounting profit of around £24m (£56m ÷ 3.5, amortized at £16m per year). This is important because it gives us more to play with in future windows.

    The question is could we replace his goals? Hard to say. He’s single handedly kept us competitive over the last two seasons. Lacazette just doesn’t score enough and I think would be better suited to another league – I’d rather sell him and extend Auba for a year… But in a years time Auba might have considerably less sale value.

    And I don’t want arsenal to become a club where we accept lowering standards as players age out of loyalty or values or just liking them – I like Auba because he’s one of the hottest strikers in the league, if he’s not that, then I want him replaced. There’s no room for sentiment if you want to be successful.

    We possibly need to accept this season as close to a total loss in order to put us in a better state for next season. That night include selling Auba.

    Besides, think of all the games Eddie could get then. Can you really put a value on keeping Pierre happy?!