Auba deal signing would signify the trouble to come

by .

If I post at night, no one will read… but… no one will disagree.

Denilson was underrated.

Alex Song should have been a #10.

Peak Andre Arshavin was a top 5 EVER Arsenal player.

Steve Bould would have made a better interim manager than Unai Emery.

Xabi Alonso signing for Arsenal would have given Arsene Wenger one more title.

Wenger signing Thomas Tuchel as his assistant coach when he was in the Mainz backroom would have given him a Champions League.

Damn, so controversial.

Let’s start the day off with a flier. It appears that African parents can be embarrassing. Last week Thomas Partey’s dad trapped off the radio about an imminent Arsenal deal. The big man, Kike Marin, has scotched those rumours saying it’s agent talk to pump his Atleti deal.

This weekend, Auba’s dad basically said ‘SIGN DA TING’ on the social internet. Yep, he wants his boy to put pen to paper. WE LOVE AUBA’S PAPI.

Now, this could mean nothing. Parents drink, they say silly things OR, it could be a pretty obvious tell at the poker table of global transfers. Auba giving us his final years as an elite player would be quite staggering. He’s one of the best sharpshooters on planet earth. He would make Chelsea, City, United, Barca, and Madrid better. But he’s pining for Arsenal? What does that tell you?

Arteta is elite.

Ok, not that. It tells you that the world of football has shelved its plans (if true). It makes more sense for Auba to sign a hot deal now than wait for a Bosman in a years time. Why? Football is fucked.

When the most reckless CEO in world football says this:

“We have always believed that our commercial model gives us greater resilience than most clubs and we are grateful for the enduring support of our commercial partners in helping us achieve that,” he said.

“However, nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.”

Woodward added: “On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”

You know it’s game over for the rest of us. United were linked with Jadon Sancho and Harry Kane. £300m worth of talent. Now those rumours have gone cold. If you are a club with cash, your obligation as a CEO is to protect and build it. If you have been flying by the skin of your teeth and you have no cash, you’d better be slashing costs and summer transfer ambitions.

Think about how complicated it’s going to be.

Most clubs have asked players to take a wage cut or a deferral. That pissed the players off. Do you really think any club in their right mind would have the gall to go out and start splashing cash in the summer knowing they might have to cut salaries if the virus comes back hard in the winter?

Even swaps and free transfers are problematic and political. Arsenal are being heavily linked with Willian. I was told that deal was 98% certain before the pandemic, I’m not so sure now, but how is that going to go down with the players at Arsenal? He’s not coming for a pay decrease, so if we offer him a signing-on fee and a raise, what do you think the Arsenal players will say?

‘Fuck your pay cut.’

The summer is going to be tough. Clubs will have to work out a new market. It’ll have to be low on transfer outlay and it’ll most certainly see a huge reduction in the wages and agents fees on offer. This is a good thing, but where do you start here? You are obliterating free-market economics for a landscape covered in fog. How do you reduce transfers? Who sets the benchmark? How do you make it fair?

‘Spurs, Harry Kane can’t cost more than £25m’

How would that go down?

Which clubs are going to agree to cap wages? Arsenal would jump at the chance. Would Dirty Newcastle United and their new unsavoury owners? Doubtful. Maybe FIFA could implement draconian caps. Like a more aggressive FFP. But again, where do you start here? Could players sue? Would clubs like City find workarounds like colleges did in the US did for top basketball talent?

Who knows, but something will have to happen. Clubs are going to have to unite and behave more like they do in the NFL. Wage caps. Trades. Free agency. Obliterate the transfer fee.

They’re also going to have to do it fast. Nothing sharpens the mind like the threat of death, the challenge is whether clubs that have billionaire backers really see death as an outcome. Businesses have been able to adapt to do things no one thought possible in rapid time. Dyson made ventilators and Panera turned into a grocer in 14 days. Football reshaping the transfer market is a bit like asking the world to address climate change. Everyone has their own agenda and finding a true agreement is near impossible. What the world doesn’t have though is a governing body that could make the tough decisions for them. Will FIFA step up and sort this mess out? Will anyone listen?

We’ll see.

Those are my thoughts. I dare you to attack them sleepy heads. x

109 Responses to “Auba deal signing would signify the trouble to come”

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  1. Doyindav

    Arshavin should and and could have been a lot more.
    Shame he didn’t fancy putting the shift in on the left

  2. Guns of SF

    How is Auba signing a bad thing of things to come?
    I think you point is that the club is going to be really frugal in transfers due to the pay cuts of players. Hence, resigning Auba might be easier than spending transfer money to get a new striker?

    If only Ozil left and with this fat salary. That portion could go to major use

  3. Bojangles


    There is no need for you to give a reason but why was RT binned, again. Like CG, I mostly scroll past his posts anyway so I can’t say I miss his comments.

  4. Andy1886

    Can’t see us re-signing Auba, watch the PR team go into overdrive telling us Martinelli is the next big thing.

    Our biggest problem will be finding buyers for players on big wages, players we couldn’t sell even before COVID. Who is going to buy Mustafi? Mikhi is still on the books at £200k a week. We have EIGHT CB’s (no chance we should buy another when the midfield is a far bigger priority).

    Get ready for a thoroughly underwhelming summer window and a new season where Mesut gets out his beach towel to see out his £18m a year contract. If Arteta can make something out of that maybe he really is the Messiah?

  5. Overmars


    Denilson was underrated.
    Backwards and sidewards pass merchant. Couldn’t defend. Positionly rubbish. Couldn’t play the killer ball. Decent for a 5 yard pass to Cesc

    Alex Song should have been a #10.
    Possibly more suited as a box to box midfielder.

    Peak Andre Arshavin was a top 5 EVER Arsenal player.
    Peak Arshavin was quality. But I don’t think a peak Arshavin would have made it in the 98, 02 or 04 sides.

    Steve Bould would have made a better interim manager than Unai Emery.
    Steve Bruce would have made a better interim manager than Unai Emery.

    Xabi Alonso signing for Arsenal would have given Arsene Wenger one more title.
    Spot on.

    Wenger signing Thomas Tuchel as his assistant coach when he was in the Mainz backroom would have given him a Champions League.
    Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund and PSG hasn’t even come close to a Champions League yet.

  6. MD-Gunner

    With the present uncertainties those that have a contract which many of us may feel are unjustified, their contracts are ironclad. So they will either ride it out because they know they will not get those kind of wages at the next club and then either leave for free or retire. We as gunner fans are screwed for the next few years.

    With the mega takeover of Newcastle another top table competitor has entered the race, however because of Fair Play they can’t do what City did when they were bought by a multi billionaire because FP didn’t exist then. Newcastle can only spend what they make and go some 100 million in debt over a three year period unless they present a detailed plan on how they will generate the income in the years to come.

  7. Sid

    Denilson is xhakalson in a team with talent

    Song is a poor mans #10, jack of all trades in midfield master of non

    Asharvin cant argue with that

    Steve bould better manager than Emery? (Everytime the blogger mentions Emery he sounds like Amber Heard)

    Xabi Alonso would not have made much difference Wenger would have found other ways to self destruct

    Im telling you this for free!

  8. Sid

    Arsenal should stay away from Partey, his father sounds like one of those email fraudsters

    You heard it here 1st!

  9. Overmars

    I’ll throw some controversial statements out there for the fun of it:

    January 2014 – Berbatov was available from Fulham for around £2m. This was around the time Giroud’s goals dried up and we only had Sanogo, Park Chu-Young and Bendtner as back up through the middle. Instead, we signed Kim Kallstrom with a broken back, Berbatov went to Monaco and scored 9 goals in 15 games, and we crumbled in the league. If Wenger signed Berbatov, we would have won the league.

    Gervinho wasn’t as bad as everyone remembers. The Emirates crowd got on his back and he lost his confidence.

    Aaron Ramsey was VERY overrated.

    Ray Parlour deserves to be in everyones Arsenal all time first eleven.


  10. Sid

    We basically dont have a midfiel Ceb & ozil gone, if Arteta keeps xhakalson it will be his downfall, that leaves Dozi, Torr, willock,

  11. Dark Hei

    “Xabi Alonso signing for Arsenal would have given Arsene Wenger one more title.”

    I think it would have even prompted Cesc to stay.

  12. Sid

    Giroud&Alexis is cheaper but more effective combination than Auba&Ozil

    Ligue1 has offered better value to arsenal and the EPL than the bundesliga

    The 2014 world cup winning team was the poorest in the tornaments history

    Im telling you for free!

  13. China1

    If Arteta can get ozil to play well and work hard in 80% of matches over the course of a whole season I will fly to London and declare my love for Arteta there and then to LEGO hairs face

    I suspect that challenge is entirely impossible for anyone, however good Arteta might be at coaching

  14. Emiratesstroller

    The arrival of Arteta combined with frankly low expectations for our current
    squad provides an ideal opportunity for the club to “rebuild”.

    There was a huge clearout last summer with a lot of deadwood being offloaded
    and the recruitment and promotion of a number of young players.

    As I pointed out on several occasions Arsenal’s squad before Christmas was the youngest in the EPL . Many of the players had very limited experience of
    playing in that League.

    The rebuild process should be ongoing next season. There is a lot of work still to be done particularly in midfield and defence.

    When you analyse the current squad including those who are out on loan we
    have got currently FIVE players on books who are aged 30+ all of whom are on
    massive wages. These players have a combined wage packet approaching
    £1 million per week.

    Apart from perhaps Aubameyang can anyone suggest that Arsenal gets value
    for money from these players? If you are going to spend that sort of money then you want players who will GUARANTEE us at least a place in top 4 and
    are good enough to play in Champions League.

    We are not going to succeed in offloading all these players this summer, but
    perhaps we can at least get rid of at least two in Sokratis and Mkhitaryan.

    Messrs Luiz, Ozil and Aubameyang should not be offered a new contract, but
    should be allowed either to leave this summer if we receive a realistic transfer
    fee or at the end of their contracts next summer on Bosman.

    It is important that departures are properly managed, but the process is completed in the next three transfer windows.

    Personally I would not increase the offer to Aubameyang, because we could land up with the same situation that we are experiencing with Ozil.

  15. China1

    Xhaka will still be there next season, probably in the starting 11

    The bad joke that is his name being first on the team sheet will never end. Even when he’s 70 they’ll be wheeling him out into the middle of the park (with minimal change in the quality of his overall contribution outside of fewer fouls conceded)

    If the transfer window is so fucked that we can sign only one really good player, let it be xhaka’s replacement.

    We have a decent keeper. We have some decent and promise at FB. We have some okay CBs and Saliba as a major prospect. We have prospects out wide and up front.

    But with Ceballos gone, ozil being ozil and xhaka being xhaka it means torreira is our only part of the midfield spine who can be expected to play at a good level on a weekly basis.

    You don’t compete for titles without a midfield. I know torreira is also not considered elite and if so can be replaced in time, but for the love of god let’s please solve the xhaka problem

  16. Terraloon

    The close season /end of season( delete as appropriate) won’t provide anything like a level playing field.

    A few weeks ago some figures were published detailing sums still owed in respect of historical transfers ( something I have been banging on about for weeks)

    These figures are based on the 2018/19 accounts so it would appear they don’t include the 2019/20 transfer activity. Clubs in the supposed top 6 owe

    Liverpool £36.7 million
    City £83.7 million
    Spurs. £83.4 million
    Arsenal. £53.2 million
    Utd. £ 163 million
    Chelsea – £1 million

    Add on the impact of delayed season ticket income at all clubs, will hit Spurs and Arsenal far harder that at most clubs. Some will be in a far better position

    Players aren’t going to walk away from their huge contracts without then getting the same elsewhere which, for the majority isn’t a possibility. So expect at many clubs players to be returned to their parent clubs.

    I really expect a fire sale of unprecedented proportions. Clubs will be looking to raise money just to pay the old debts. Players clubs just don’t want to loose will be up for sale and even then at bargain fees. There will still be buyers out there .

    Will FIFA allow contracts to be broken ? I just can’t see that.

  17. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal’s wage structure has been unrealistic for a very long time and that is
    blindingly obvious when you look at what we are paying to players aged 30+
    as I highlighted earlier today.

    We are spending £1 million a week to 5 players aged 30+ who apart from Aubameyang do not warrant a place in our starting eleven.

    Sadly as you point out these players will remain on the books until their contracts expire. Let us hope that we are never confronted again with the
    Ozil experience.

    Ozil is a player who on current performance does not merit £50K pw let alone
    the £350K pw we are paying him.

  18. Pierre

    Next few seasons will all be about Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah, Nelson , Guendouzi, Smith Rowe and Willock and how they progress

    Add to that Balogun, Azeez and Sam Greenwood and you have a bunch of kids that could save Arsenal fortunes in transfer fees and wages.

    Arteta is the right man to try and realise the potential in this group.
    First and foremost he needs to persuade Saka to sign a new contract.
    If we lose Saka it will send out all the wrong signals to all the other kids in the group.

    As you can see , there are no defenders in that group of players so it is imperative Arteta builds a solid base at the back to allow these kids to flourish.

    Centre mid is still the problem area. A lot will depend on if Arteta sees enough potential in Guendouzi and Willock and whether he believes they can reach the required level.
    There are obvious doubts with these 2 but they are still only 20 years old and have come into the side at a difficult time with so many changes of manager.
    stability will help these 2 fulfil their potential.

    Smith Rowe could be the surprise package, his loan spell at Huddersfield would have done wonders for his confidence.

    Who’s to say that in a year or 2 we may have a line up consisting of Saka on the left, Nelson right , Nketiah/Martinelli up top, Smith rowe as the No.10 with Guendouzi and Willock controlling the midfield.

    One would expect a few of these players to not make the grade but I believe there is enough talent there to get the fans excited for the future.

    For next season I would expect to see the youth blended with the experienced players and hopefully we can see a few more players make the impact that Saka made last season and cement a place in the side.

  19. Emiratesstroller


    Development and progression of youth in current situation is the correct path
    to take, but whether Arsenal Supporters including those who post on Le Grove
    have the “patience” to accept that route is debatable.

    Most of our so-called experienced players i.e. those aged 27+ are neither good
    enough or offer good value for money and as I have already suggested today
    they are a millstone around the club’s neck.

    Josh Kroenke has recognised the problem albeit too late and one suspects that
    the days of offering £150K + pw wages to mediocre or underperforming players is over.

  20. Terraloon


    I don’t think it’s a question of saving it’s more to the point the money won’t be there so in the main it will be utilising players already at the club.

    I think we all love to see academy players come through but having to rely or indeed hope that players that have the potential do develop into top players is a worry as you say because the likelihood is that the vast majority of players with potential just can’t make the step up to first team player or indeed once they reach the magical age of 21 first team squad members.

    Very very soon new rules in the PL will be introduced restricting the number of non HG players alongside that it’s said there will be a requirement that all players who are not UK passport holders will require something akin to a Green Card and to get one will be far more difficult than the current system.

  21. Pierre

    We wont be the only ones to tighten their belts that’s for sure.

    Fortunately we have a good group of kids coming through, time will tell if they are good enough.

    What we do know is that they have coped quite well in Europe the last couple of seasons and in tough FA cup fixtures away to Bournemouth and Portsmouth this season , this is all good experience for them that will stand them in good stead.

    As for Le Grove and patience , that won’t happen in the comments section.

    We have already seen players like Guendouzi , willock , Nketiah and Nelson written off way too early.

    Martinelli was the exception to the norm in that he was being lauded as the next Ronaldo due to his excellent start.

    What we do need is a calming influence at the base of midfield like a Thiago or Witzel to control the pace of play.

  22. China1

    I don’t have high hopes but maybe arsenal will surprise us and have a good summer by taking advantage of bargain basement deals elsewhere

    We can pray at least

  23. CG


    “””””He’s one of the best sharpshooters on planet earth. He would make Chelsea, City, United, Barca, and Madrid better.”””””

    I very much have my doubts if PEA would make those top teams better.

    Dortmund have actually improved since we indulgently signed him.
    And paradoxically we have not.

    PEA is very similar to Ian Wright.
    Great individual goalscorers but not great team players.

    its just of the one those peculiarities of soccer I guess.

  24. Sid

    The signing of Pablo Mari was a positive change then we scored an own goal by signing Soares its now extra time
    If Saka does not sign it will be the equivalent of 2006 CL final.

  25. Micheal

    I believe the transfer market is all but dead. There is virtually no market in any recognisable form and the clubs will face perhaps two years of serious readjustment before normality returns.
    Football clubs, throughout the leagues, face a colossal cash flow problem – huge sums owed in wages, general upkeep and future transfer obligations and virutally no money coming in. Most clubs will find it very difficult to fund their future stay in the Premier League by selling playes.
    All talk of £50m+ transfer deals is fantasy. Players like Ozil and Xhaka on high wages and with questonable ability are virtually worthless in a market where clubs have very little free cash. These players are going nowhere in my view. In this market, even Harry Kane for £25m does not look far off the mark. And some clubs will be forced into fire sales where they will take anything on offer.
    There will be exceptions, such as the clubs owned by gangsters or despot dictators. But FFP means the days of Man City splurging £300m+ in one go are probably gone.
    Get used to the influx of youngsters and hope that AFC’s development programme is as good as it promises.

  26. Uwot?

    Wot get upamencano.why? Fee excessive & Bayern will nick him.doing what they always do in the for partey .AM will increase their personal terms ( which is really what the player wants),PS G will come calling & blow us out of the water.We seem to be dithering again.partly because of current climate & partly cos it’s what Arsenal do.Therefore sadly we can forget about having a Partey…………….

  27. andy1886

    Why all the optimism about Mari? He’s only played one game against a pretty average side. I’m not saying he’s no good but there isn’t any real evidence that he’ll make the grade in the PL yet. We’ll certainly need to clear a few CB’s out if we can, Chambers could still feature as a back up DM though I guess.

  28. Terraloon


    Pretty much as I see it.

    Suggestions that PEA is on offer for £30 million but no one is going to pay or perhaps need to pay that for a 30+ year old, in the last year of his contract & was being paid too much. Add to that he is at a club who will need to raise cash and cut the wage bill.

    If as you say Kane’s value would be circa £25 million with age, HG status in his side & a lot younger then PEAs value is what £10-15 million.

  29. CG

    Andy 1886

    “””””Why all the optimism about Mari?””””””””””

    Because he is new and shiny?

    Give him 12 games and he will be getting the Eboue or Xhaka treatment

    If he was any good – why has he been hiding in Brazil and been loaned out 4 times?

    Playing 91 games for Gimnastic is his claim to fame.

    Go with our boy Holding.
    (And get Tony Adams to teach him 3 days a week too.)

  30. Tom

    Go with our boy Holding.
    (And get Tony Adams to teach him 3 days a week too.)

    Why 3 days a week?
    Is it because Adams is only sober three days out of seven?

  31. Tom

    I admire some of the posters optimism but unless they are able to blow other clubs offers out of the water the Pepe deal style, Arsenal won’t be much of a draw for top talent for quite a while.

    The jury is still out on Arteta and his abilities as a manager ,and the football landscape has only gotten tougher.
    Considering all aspects and the scope of the challenge Arteta is facing, if he were to succeed, he definitely should be in line for a Noble Prize or at the very least a life time supply of free hambergers.

  32. Nelson

    I have a feeling that Arteta was pushed by the board to influence the players to agree on a pay cut. Now his job will be more difficult. Some youngsters will be looking for a different place to continue their carrier.

  33. Marc

    “Can we still get Alonso?

    I’m betting that he is still faster than Xhaka”

    Alonso’s Great Great Great Granddad is faster than Xhaka.

  34. Marc


    So ManU aren’t going to be able to afford Kane and Sancho – won’t the Spud’s need to generate cash? Even if it is true this just means they’ll adjust their aim. Just as ManU will be hit financially so will Arsenal, what do we do if ManU offer us £25 million or less for Auba? We either strengthen an opponent or risk losing the player on a free – it’s lose lose.

    I’d also disagree that football is fucked, it’s going to be a bumpy road for a while but things will normalise. So far Sky and BT haven’t pulled any cash out and if they restart the PL and televise every match clubs will look to make up some of the lost gate receipts through extra TV revenue.

    In a couple of years when the new TV deal is announced it’ll still much the same as it is now.

  35. Marc

    “,and the football landscape has only gotten tougher.”

    Has it?

    Spud’s – massive stadium debt and Mourinho will cause damage to the dressing room.

    ManU – OGS not a great manager, teams not all that either.

    Chelsea – inexperienced manager and team inconsistent.

    We’re competing for 2 CL spots with basically 3 other teams next season. I’d say we’ve got at least as good a chance as ManU and a better chance than the Spud’s.

  36. David Smith

    Agree with a few of your controversial statements Pedro, Arshavin was serious quality, but cannot escape the belief held by some that wenger resented him through some with the perception he was Ivans signing. Dropping him for Theo in that cup game, surely some sort of statement?
    Wenger had his qualities, but he could let side conflicts disrupt very talented players, especially if they had attitude about them, eg Szczesney , perhaps with his open contempt for Wenger acolyte, Gerry Peyton.

  37. Spanishdave

    The players can practice shooting from outside the box while they have got all this spare time.
    We are woeful scoring from this position from our midfield dummies.

  38. Rich

    If we don’t make any of our 3 incoming loan signing permanent? We have a first team squad of 29, and possibly no European football whatsoever.

    We have 7 centre half’s on our books, Sokratis, Mustafi, Saliba, Luiz, Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos.

    We’re in a terrible selling position, we’ll have an oversupply of overpaid dross, an undersupply of squad places, and maybe an under supply of games to go around.

    We were in a terrible selling position anyway, but I don’t see us being able to get much money in for players with 12 months remaining, other clubs will be able to count.

    And the idea of a wage cap needs to be put to bed pretty sharpish, the government or football association should never be in a position to decide your worth, market rates decide your worth, and this isn’t North Korea.

  39. Sid

    Chambers as a DM is a recepy for relegation, hes another jack of many trades master of non, would get rid him before Holding.
    Holding could be okayish with a proper midfield

  40. Spanishdave

    Not North Korea?
    We are in lockdown, police fines for going fishing , arrested for sitting on your own on a deserted beach, fined for driving to see your family. Can’t attend funerals.
    Politicians with guaranteed jobs and nice pensions telling self employed people to stay home and see their businesses go to the wall.

  41. Rich

    Chambers is a really good footballer, he’s just far too slow on the turn, I think he’d do really well in a team that sits deeper in a central position.

    But sitting on the halfway line, or playing at right back he just gets targeted, then gives away countless free kicks and the odd penalty, when he finds himself in a foot race.

  42. Rich

    I agree, the more power and control you handover to governments and bureaucrats, the more it goes to their heads, and they’ll just keep coming back for more.

    We desperately need to deregulate, and if you want to go out in the middle of a pandemic? It should be your call.

    But if you ignore government advice? And NHS resources are restricted? You go to the back of the line, actions have consequences.

    Society works much better when it’s based on freewill

  43. Spanishdave

    Hi Rich
    Yep free will and freedom of speech have gone.
    All they see is inside the bubble they live in.
    Here in Suffolk we have had 35 deaths and we are being punished for the high numbers in London.
    Our local MP won’t come out from behind the sofa, subsequently his voters are going bust.

  44. Nelson

    Football playing in a closed stadium lacks the emotion of the fan response. It feels more like a movie than a sport event.

  45. Micheal

    France has banned all sporting events until September. It means this seson’s Ligue 1 & 2 will not be resumed.

  46. G

    Nelson.. Saka {hopefully} martenelli..
    Nketiah.. Rowe.. Balogun.. Willock
    I think all these players will make it at Arsenal.. And Arteta to guide them
    My opinion future’s bright..

  47. Micheal

    Shutting down the French football season means UEFA’s plan to finish the Euorpean competitions is now effectively dead. I wonder if Premier League and EFL will now be persuaded to consider what has been unthinkable – cancel the 2019-20 season.

    A big call.

  48. Dissenter

    So now French and Dutch authorities have wisely axed football until September.
    The wall is closing in on the greedy premier league administrators. Even if they succeed in convincing Boris [not that hard since he allowed Cheltenham to proceed], the entire thing is a deck of cards.
    1. What will happen when one player or non-playing staff of one club test positive?
    Will they have to isolate all those who have had contact i.e the rest of the team and opposition team that were recently played.
    2. How do you justify usage of that sheer amount of covid-19 testing when the general public and some front-line staff still have to go through some hoops to get tested?

    I foresee that the idiocy and greed focus of the entire project will create the entertainment, not the football that will be played. The football will be drab and insipid drudgery played in empty stadiums.
    Ultimately, it well get shut-down prematurely. By that time Liverpool would have officially won the league but the question of relegation will still be in contention.

  49. Spanishdave

    All other sports are closed down it’s just the FA feeling sorry for Liverpool.Poor loves, they don’t deserve it do they.
    It’s just unfortunate a once in a generation thing. So get over it and move on.
    If it was us at the top they wouldn’t hesitate.

  50. Rene Costa

    Great news if he stay and great news if he goes , fore the most important thing is the team and the management, Arteta seems to know what he is doing and the players have adapted to his philosophy, we can only get better with time , I would love to see the end of this season and start fresh next season, the good times are only around the corner at the Emirates .

  51. andy1886

    I expect that the PL will cite Germany resuming football to justify their position and ignore the French and Dutch decision. But as said earlier, as soon as the first player or member of staff has to isolate the whole pack of cards will come tumbling down. The UK isn’t at German levels of testing and focusing resources on footballers isn’t going to go down well with the general public.

  52. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We won’t be buying …. we will be swapping

    No clubs have any cash,..
    can only survive with swaps till it settles down.

  53. Sid

    I would keep off any of Dormunds players once they are sold outside the bundesliga more times than not the turn out to befar from good, good from far like arsenal players.
    Jadon sancho included

    You heard it here 1st

  54. DigitalBob

    So the FIFA medical chair has said forget about this season. No doubt the premier league clubs will be looking at this financially and dither on a decision as Sid has said above.

    In any case Liverpool have an insurmountable lead so it should be easier to crown them the champions of an incomplete season than it has been for the dutch with Ajax and AZ level on points.

    It will be the bottom of the table teams that will kick up the most fuss and should it happen most likely they’ll have to waive relegation and/or add the top 2 from the championship next year? Is that feasible? fuck knows.

  55. DigitalBob

    Also Pedro – great post but –

    Denilson – please behave. He was woeful mostly and at times adequate.

    Alex Song – Maybe, for sure he was a better attacking force than a destructive one in the middle. That side of his game should have been nurtured a lot more.

    Arshavin – maybe on technical ability alone but his work rate and attitude would have caused issues in our title winning sides.

    Xabi Alonso – very likely, it would have great to see!

    Bouldy – doesnt have it and I dont think he would have done any better than Emery.

    Tuchel – Maybe, or more likely a couple of seasons being ignored by Arsene would have sent him back to germany jaded at how little he got from the experience.

  56. CG


    “”””””2. How do you justify usage of that sheer amount of covid-19 testing when the general public and some front-line staff still have to go through some hoops to get tested?””””””””””

    You cant.
    Its over and has been for a while.
    (Only the greedy rascals could not admit as much.)

    From The Clown to Corona- season 19/20 will indeed go down as The Season from Hell.

    I wonder who predicted that!

  57. Marc


    “It’s just unfortunate a once in a generation thing. So get over it and move on.”

    Nah mate it’s a once in a century thing.

  58. Marc

    Having a bit of football on the TV at the moment would definitely cheer me up a bit but doing it in a half arse way – I’ll pass. If they’re going to play out the PL season why no the FA Cup? Can you imagine an FA Cup final in an empty stadium?

    Simple fact is the Scouse vermin losing out on the title is enough too keep me amused for months.

    It’d also be crazy to try and have European football for next season if a) there are potential travel restrictions b) certain countries have completed league seasons and others haven’t.

    You’d have a team that’s in a competition on the previous seasons finishing position and then others who are in because of a pro rata points calculation or UEFA coefficient.

  59. Marc


    I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how Inter are supposed to be able to afford both Auba’s transfer fee and wage expectations when teams in the richest league in the world are all going to be on their knees.

  60. Bob N16

    Could Saliba join us now that France have finished their season? Obviously it’s very unlikely but theoretically his loan is effectively over.

  61. Andy1886

    Bob, I’m guessing he isn’t registered as part of our PL squad and we can’t add players until the window opens, so in short, no!

  62. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    He is on loan till end of June…

    Let’s just wipe out mouth this season is done an dusted.

    Start next season in September
    No cups
    No European football .
    Just 38 games to give players rest time because next year euro 2021
    Then world cup 2022 where the season will already be fucked.

  63. Marc

    Andy is of course right – Saliba could join the squad and train with us but we would not be able to register him to play for us at this moment in time.

    That does raise an interesting question – they restart the season in late mid May with it running into early July – what happens if a club has a player who’s contract expires in mid June? He could sign a couple of week extension but could just as easily say that’s it I’m off.

  64. Andy1886

    PL regulation 54.5.3 “However, a player returning from loan inside an EFL Closed Period will not be eligible for your Club until the opening of the next transfer window.”

    So definitely no, he couldn’t play.

  65. Marc


    No it’s not that easy – Atletico don’t won’t to sell Partey but he has a £47 million release clause. They’d have to value Laca at that amount to do a straight swap – a player plus cash deal is possible though.

  66. Terraloon


    The issue with out of contract players is a major issue and to a degree there is a similar issue with loan players because their deals all end at the end of June.

    There is provision to grant short term temporary contracts but they are only able to go ahead if the player is agreeable

    Atletico are in a major major hole.

    They have a new stadium, it seems likely that they will miss out on CL football and here’s the killer that when they took Morata on from Chelsea the first part of the agreement was an 18 month loan with a agreement to sign him for around £58 million on 1 July 2020.

    I just can’t see how Atletico will have the money they owe Chelsea so they are going to come to some sort of agreement with them ( would they want Partey or indeed any of Atletico players?) or sell players just to survive.

  67. Marc


    What if UEFA decide to pull European competition for “next” season – whenever that would start to stop unnecessary travel?

    As for players being willing to sign a short term extension – if everything gets pushed back for weeks or months then I can see them doing it. Where it gets complicated is where you have some leagues written off and some looking to complete, when do you “assign” a transfer window?

  68. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I think it could be on

    Lacs straight swap

    Aubs n jovic…

    But would rather youth
    Balogun given a chance

  69. Marc


    Laca isn’t currently worth £47 million in an “inflated” transfer market let alone one where everyone is broke. With his recent form and 2 years left to go on his contract he’s £35 million, £40 maximum if finances are fairly resilient. If they’re not we’ve got a £20 million striker we need to unload.

  70. Marc


    That’s sort of my point – too many unknowns at the moment.

    There are things that we know, there are things that we know we don’t know etc etc!

  71. Marc


    I wouldn’t have any issue with Auba signing a 2 year extension on current money, swapping Laca for Partey and dropping CG into Beirut dressed up as a Rabbi.

    I think we’d all be happy with that!

  72. Rich


    With clubs like Atletico in so much trouble, there’s never been a better time to invest.

    The problem we have is our squad numerically is too big, and shifting players is going to be extremely difficult, and we may be looking at no European football ourselves.

    Also our owners have short arms, and long pockets…

  73. G8

    With all due respect, you say there are only 35 death in your area and you protesting against the lockdown, fact that one death should still count, and if there was no restrictions fatalities could have been worse in hundreds or thousands..
    It’s not about politics or agenda, this pandemic is real and alrady over 120 thousands dead in Europe only.
    if there was no lockdown the number could have been million or more.
    There are doctors and nurses lost their lives doing their jobs and fighting this virus, imagine what their families are going through, lockdown or restrictions is nothing compared to what all bereaved families are going through
    That said ,we are all going to have fainancial difficulties, 95% of us ,and the world should find some salvage measures to keep everybody going, but this is not the priority now.
    The priority should be about fighting this virus and rescue as many lives as possible.

    Once it’s over , we have to adjust for little while before things go back to normal, providing no major disaster happens again

  74. Bojangles

    I would be surprised if the pl play out the remainder of this season. There would be too many health and security resources taken away from where they are most needed to begin with. Each game requires an ambulance on standby, medics and first aid staff. If an ambulance is required to transfer a player to hospital, that ambulance and medics would need to be isolated for 2 weeks minimum before it could be used again.

    The plan being to play three games per day twice per week you would need to plan for worse case scenarios, those being an injury to a player each game which would mean having 6 ambulances and medics on standby each week.

    To remove these assets from where they are most needed to indulge the pl would be irresponsible and unacceptable imo.

  75. China1

    In denial sons first six months he looked like another cesc. Great passing range, intelligent, calm on the ball etc. I don’t know what happened but he became incredibly average and all that early promise vanished

    Song was an excellent DM but wenger didn’t give him any instructions so he started drifting forwards and playing as a playmaker. Tbf he was actually doing that well, but he was vacating the DM role when no one else was capable of covering it. He either needed to be told to just sit or he needed a dedicated DM alongside him to give him license to go b2b and play those killer balls to RVP with a safety net behind him

    Arshavin was a bit of an ozil. Sublime talent, natural genius. Lazy git. He also should’ve been at AM rather than on the wing but still he was lazy as hell and needed to be accommodated by his team. But put him in an elite side and yeah he’d have looked the bees knees

  76. China1

    In a globalized world this pandemic is probably far more frequently going to happen than once a century.

    A combination of preparedness and luck will determine when we will sadly face this crap again. I only hope that lessons learnt during this will be lasting but humans have a habit of repeating their mistakes after a bit of time.

  77. China1

    Partey for laca straight swap is far too good to be true

    I’m not sure what value Atletico would get out of that. They’d be trading a key player for an inferior player in a position they already have some cover in, they’d be trading a player at the start of their prime for one at the end, they’d be trading a player in good form for one in piss poor form, they’d be trading a player with huge future sale value for one with minimal resale value.

    By all means arsenal should be trying to do this deal and if they are somehow dumb enough to even consider it throw in a couple more of a dead wood to make them feel like the deal is balanced lol.

    It would be an incredible deal if we pulled it off. Personally I’d be totally up for laca+mustafi+10m to get the deal over the line. Come on Atletico have a brain fart, do us a massive fucking favour and make it happen lol

  78. China1

    Really if we managed to somehow get partey for Laca plus cash then the only other major bit of business I’d hope this summer would be auba on a new contract.


    Reiss Nelson

    The squad clearly isn’t perfect. It’s young and rough around the edges but I think there’s quite a lot of talent and potential in there. There’s also a bit of versatility with a handful of players more than capable in multiple positions (chambers,saka,martinelli for example).

    This squad also assumes we sell xhaka and mustafi and don’t reinvest the money at all.

    Plenty of room for improvement and it still has ozil unfortunately, but I could definitely get behind that setup and it would mean going into the following summer we’d only need a couple of major signings to push on a bit further which should be realistic

  79. Habesha Gooner

    Fabrizio Romano and Gianluca dimarzio oth reporting our interest is very real in partey. That would mean the end of torriera. I don’t mind it if we can get back what we paid for him. I wouldn’t sell him if it were up to me. Xhaka is the one I would move on. Anyway fabrizio is also reporting we are in for a CB. honestly if we are signing Mari permanently we don’t need another one. We are just stock piling CBs. It’s either Mari is good enough or send him back and find another who is. About Aubameyang I would rather we sell him. I believe Martinelli is yo auba what Cesc was yo Viera. He can replace him if given the chance. That’s my belief. we are at the start of a cycle in my opinion. The young talent in our squad if nurtured properly could be ready in three years. Martinelli,Saka,Tierney, Saliba, Guendouzi, Nelson, Willock, Pepe, Bellerin, Torriera, Smith-Rowe, niles, Chambers and Holding all under 25. We need to tweak our squad. It’s our senior players that let us down( most of them). so patience and balancing the squad is the way to go.

  80. Northbanker

    Habesha – I agree. Hanging on to Auba at any cost is the road to financial ruin. I’d sell him and avoid all the final year contract bonanza he’d otherwise get and give Martinelli and Eddie more game time

    Gabby can also rotate with Saka on LW

    The one we really need to resign is Saka not Auba

  81. Spanishdave

    Two thousand people die each week from Flu and pneumonia each week in the UK and that’s with vaccines available.The majority of the deaths are people over 65 with other conditions .
    My point is that until this virus came along numbers of people dying from flu each year was not published in the press so for many it’s the first time people have known how many people die each day.
    We cannot stop the world and get off, people need money to survive and millions of people’s lives are being sacrificed for this flu.
    Cancer patients have not had treatment for over a month think of them.

  82. Pierre

    It’s a bit of a conundrum for Arteta.
    He has Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Pepe who are all quality players in their own right.
    However I don’t think they suit the style of football that Arteta wants to play.

    Arteta wants to play a high energy game, with players who are intelligent in their pressing and are positionally aware, especially from his offensive and midfield players…..his experienced players do not give him the energy and pressing for his philosophy to succeed.

    However, if he plays an offensive line up with a choice of 4 out of Martinelli, Nketiah, Saka, Smith Rowe, Nelson, wiĺlock , he immediately has what he’s looking for in respect of high energy and pressing.

    Arteta has already praised Nketiah’s intelligence in the centre forward role and also recognises the talent he has in .Martinelli along with the undoubted talent of Saka and the potential of Nelson.

    Arteta on Nketiah.

    “He has been phenomenal, the work rate he puts in, the rhythm that goes into his pressing, his understanding of the game, when to come and when to go in behind —and always in front of goal ready to score”

    The conundrum for Arteta is whether to play safe with experience or to do what Alex Ferguson did with Beckham, Scholes, Neville et al and take the risk with the kids.

    Personally, I can see that by the start of season 21/22( or earlier) the kids will be dominating the starting line up, the only experienced player left will be Pepe and that’s debatable due to the lack of energy in his game. However , if he plays to his full potential in the final 3rd , he could prove invaluable.

    Centre midfield is a position that Arteta knows will be pivotal in playing the style he wants and I dont think there is a player in the squad that can do what he requires.

    He will be going all out for the deep lying playmaker, who can comfortably take the ball under pressure from the keeper and defence and can control the tempo of the game.
    If it means he has to trade in one ( or 2) of his offensive 4 then I think he will be prepared to do this as it then frees up space for the kids to come into the side.

  83. Bob N16

    Good post Pierre,

    Agree with your summary. With the potential of our young attacking players and the need for serious talent in midfield, I would be surprised if Lacazette or PEA are not sold to raise funds.

    Martinelli and Saka, in particular, need games to flourish and feel that Lacazette in particular could be sold.

    As has been said by many, loads of times, some of the best TW work would be to offload players who are not contributing sufficiently. We can all make a list of 6-8 players who fall into this category. I wouldn’t expect much money for them in this market. Getting the payroll down would still be a win!

    There seems to be rumours of a couple of free transfers that have yet to be announced. With all our younger talent, I would expect Arteta to sign players who are experienced.

    I can’t get my head around the financials but that aside I feel very positive that we are at the beginning of upward curve with Arteta.

    I’d be happier still if Saka signed but am worried that his agent(s) might fancy moving him on to generate more fees!

  84. Valentin


    I am in complete agreement with what you wrote.
    The first big question is will he be able to execute his revolution. Circumstances and management may dictate that his preferred approach is executed in multiple phases.
    For example Özil is not leaving without a final year paid in full, so in that case we may be forced to keep him for an extra year. Also I doubt that management will authorise him to let Aubameyang, Lacazette, Xhaka, Mustafi leave on the cheap even he deemed them surplus to requirements.

    The second big question is will he show enough flexibility, because that high energy possession approach will not work in all circumstances. Against Wolves for example, a more circumspect approach may be more fruitful.