Players return

by .

Well happy Friday to you ALL.

Not a lot in the news today. A couple of journos saying Arsenal are interested in Thomas Partey, but the club doesn’t have the cash at the minute. SHOCKER. It’s exactly the same issue standing between me and Mercedes-Benz SL ‘Pagoda’ and a house in Saint Tropez.

Think that’ll be the theme around Europe this summer. Which is why I find it weird we’re also being linked with Tagliafico for £20m. I think even those numbers are excessive for the moment.

That we’re being linked with a left-back is odd just in general, unless the club is sure that Tierney is going to be a problem in the long term. He’s quite young to be written off as a crock, but we have been here before with plenty of players. Still don’t understand why we’d look for an expensive left-back if we have Saka. Martinelli makes the most sense on the left of midfield next year and if Saka is a top 3 left-back in the Premier League, it’d be odd to remove him. Do what you’re good at, not what you’d like to be good at (AMN rings a bell here).

Training appears to have started at most clubs, Kante is the latest to refuse to train, with Deeney as yesterday’s big name to say NO. I wonder what the deal is at Arsenal? Any dropouts? Mesut, Xhaka and a couple of the others have young kids and seem to spend a lot of time with family. Be interesting to see how this shapes over the next few weeks.

I’m also very excited to see how we come back. Arteta took over a burning heap of shit, now he’s had two months of ZOOM lessons with the players, now he’ll basically have 4 weeks of intensive preseason like Emery did when he first joined. Can he get an improved response?

*prays to god*

He’ll have all the component parts he lacked at the start. All his defenders will be back in the mixer, which will give him the power and pace he needs from wide positions and also the recovery pace we’ve lacked at times. He’ll technically have ‘first half of the season’ Mesut Ozil, which usually does a lot better. We’ll also have drilled youngsters. They’ll all be a little bit smarter, more confident, and hopefully, fitter.

We’re moving from a ‘plug the holes’ strategy to a more attack minded approach. Well, I hope we are. Being hard to beat is wonderful. Keeping clean sheets is a delight. However, I think the team is better than that. I’d like to see a bit more boldness to our game. We need to move the ball faster, our combination play needs to be less clunky, we need more goals. There needs to be a bit more imagination out on the pitch.

These final 10 games are important, but I don’t think we need to grind them out. We have a fully fit squad to choose from, I hope we can be more aggressive about how we approach the final games.

It’ll still be very tough to make the top 4, but not impossible. Everyone has had time with their players, all the names are returning, and some of the teams that were struggling will have long forgotten their stuttering form.

Arsenal needs to hit the ground running. Win 7 out of 10 games and we’ll be in a good position to make something happen with Europe.

What would YOU like to see for the run-in?

207 Responses to “Players return”

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  1. Guns of SF

    ” We’re moving from a ‘plug the holes’ strategy to a more attack minded approach. Well, I hope we are. Being hard to beat is wonderful. Keeping clean sheets is a delight. However, I think the team is better than that. I’d like to see a bit more boldness to our game. We need to move the ball faster, our combination play needs to be less clunky, we need more goals. There needs to be a bit more imagination out on the pitch.”

    Could not agree more…
    Our attack is painful to watch… one dimensional and slow.
    Our midfield is a huge part of the issue…. we simply do not have the players needed to create and defend. A refresh is needed big time…

  2. Guns of SF

    I want to see some new ideas in our attack, better transition offense, scoring and a stronger start to all games. I want to see us close out games when we take the lead and no late ties… I do not want to see any more draws… ! That has been our undoing so far. The inability to get the winning goal or conceding and then time runs out.

    The Arsenal of old would put teams to the sword right away… we need to get back to that. I hope Arteta has some plans with his mids and forwards to create more chances.

    If this is Auba’s last season, I would love for him to get Golden Boot. Also helps with his selling price!

  3. Marc


    I can’t see the LB link as being anything other than paper talk. Tierney joined with an injury connected to a hernia operation and then dislocated his shoulder but when he has played everyone has been impressed with what he’s done – as you say seems crazy to write him off. Also any money we do have must surely be spent on CM, the one area of the pitch where we are lacking real quality.

    With regards to Saka I’d like to see him move to LW providing he signs a new contract, I really think we’re going to lose at least one of Auba or Laca and whilst I don’t think Martinelli is ready to take on the burden of being first choice CF being backup will be another step in his education.

  4. Marc


    If the Summer Santa brought us 2 CM’s and a CAM I think we’d all do a naked jig!

    Our defence looks reasonable, forward line has good options, GK solid enough, CM argh!

  5. Uwot?

    Ideally I’d like to see a complete Liverpool collapse whereby they blame coronavirus,the government,FA,Everton ,the Media,dog in the street & anyone else they Can lay their theiving hands on oh & an Arsenal midfield that doesn’t look as though it’s wading through treacle.Get rid of Hacker & that will go along way to being achieved……..

  6. CG


    “””What would YOU like to see for the run-in?””””

    1. Players keeping possession of the ball and not running around like headless chickens chasing it in the July heat.

    2.I like to see MA wear a nice Arsenal blazer and not pretend he is Pep lite.

    3. And to see AMN play in his proper position.
    Which anyone with a footballing brain will tell you is center midfield.

    I ll even muster that if he is given half a chance he is more gifted than this Partey that his agents desperately want to flog to us.

    And that type of thing.

  7. Guns of SF

    A win over Pool and City would be nice… great confidence builder.
    I am guessing a draw with Pool and a loss to City

  8. Spanishdave

    What’s this thing with Bellerin photos is he gay.?
    How about photos of other players?
    Weird or what.
    I think Tierney is fragile when he did his shoulder he was out longer than other players with similar injuries.
    Bellerin is a dope

  9. Spanishdave

    Arteta is the first scruffy manager at Arsenal, our club was known for class and was always held as a quality club.
    He does let us down trying to be Pep and not his own man, sad really.

  10. CG

    “”””CG Arteta is the first scruffy manager at Arsenal, our club was known for class and was always held as a quality club.
    He does let us down trying to be Pep and not his own man, sad really.””””

    I agree Dave.
    We used to be such unique and exceptional club.

    Not now.

  11. James wood

    Putting half a dozen passes together going forward and scoring.?
    Instead of the malignant style we seemed to have developed by
    not having a functional midfield.

  12. Marc

    I’d prefer Arteta to wear a suit but I do think it’s a bit of a generational thing. Ultimately if he does the quadruple next season whilst wearing a dress no one would give a toss what he was wearing.

    There also seems to be a bit of a theme on here this afternoon – our midfield is shit. The good news is if we can all see it surely Arteta etc can as well?

  13. TheBayingMob

    What would YOU like to see for the run-in?

    Liverpool completely capitulate and lose the title or the season start then have to be stopped again then gets cancelled so they don’t get to win anything the fifthly scouse cunts

  14. CG

    “”””””I’d prefer Arteta to wear a suit but….”””””

    He was always immaculate when he was a player under our Wenger..

    2 years with Pep and his standards have dropped.

    Thank heavens he has not put a yellow ribbon on his lapel yet!

  15. Marc


    How about it gets cancelled after 2 matches when they’ve got a win and then a draw after a 98th minute offside equaliser scored by a player who should have been sent off at least twice after they’ve had 3 goals wrongly disallowed?

  16. Marc


    It gets better – it’s against Everton and at the final whistle Duncan’Disorderly head butts Klopp after Klopp starts whinging.

  17. TheBayingMob

    Ohhh ye baby, does he smash Klopp’s glasses embedding them into his fucking skull then does he rush out to celebrate in the center circle then claim afterward to not really know what all the fuss is about? Tell me! TELL ME!!!

  18. Marc


    It’s even better – The head-butt causes a fractured skull and severe brain damage, after a 3 month coma Klopp wakes up thinking he’s from Surrey and supports ManU.

  19. alex cutter

    I’d like to see Liverpool rewarded for the entertaining football they’ve played the past couple of years.

  20. jwl

    “The good news is if we can all see it surely Arteta etc can as well?”

    Marc – I am curious to find out what Arteta sees as well because Xhaka been in news again this week thanking Arteta for playing him so much and how he was convinced that he still part of team.

    This summer, I would love it f we brought in two players to replace Ozil and Xhaka, that would be best summer in over a decade.

  21. Marc


    If Xhaka is lining up as a starter next season Arteta will lose the crowd very quickly and his job 6-7 months later.

    I’d rather start with 10 men than include Xhaka in the team.

  22. Sid

    Arteta copy pasting Pep not only in dressing but onfield tactics thats how Wengers downfall began, trying tiki taka like Pep
    Symptoms of a lack of ze mental strength

    You heard it here 1st!

  23. Northbanker

    FFS – Arteta must wear a blazer – WTF are you on CG and SpanishDave – who gives a shit what he wears?

    Sure it might be nice if those of use who work in London still wear bowler hats and ties but actually we all found out we can do our jobs just as well without

  24. Northbanker

    I want a DM signed above all as i don’t really see anyone on the payroll being at he level required. At CAM I have a belief that ESR can emerge. At DM I don’t see Torreira being imposing enough and his sale should help to fund someone who can impose – probably Partey based on current betting.

  25. Caligooner

    Sell Auba to buy Partey.

    Sell torreira to buy kokcu.

    Exchange laca for Lemar.

    Lineup would be something along the lines of:
    Bellerin. Mari. Saliba. Tierney

    Partey. Xhaka
    Lemar. Kokcu/Ozil. Saka

    That’s not bad. Top flight striker wouldn’t hurt. Saka and gabi could be interchangeable on the left wing. Saka can drop back for tierney if he gets injured.


  26. Graham62

    Arteta is a smart guy whether he wears a suit, a polo shirt or a tracksuit.

    JHC, who gives a fudge what he wears as long as he gets Arsenal to perform better.

  27. Valentin


    What do you think if ManUtd suing Football Manager makers for the use of their name without their proper logo so they don’t have to pay a license fee for the copyrighted logo?

    To me it is just another signed of the desperation that is now engulfing the glaziers. Those leeches have been leaving on the back of their cash cow and it looks like they have bled it dry.

    If they start suing everybody, they may suddenly lose a lot of good will (I don’t think they care about that) and generate a lot of negative publicity. Deliberately courting controversy when you are trying to negotiate new sponsoring contracts may not be the best policy.

  28. Marc


    Last season Auba and Laca scored 35 PL goals between them and we finished 5th. Do you really think Martinelli and Nketiah would manage half of that between them?

  29. Marc


    I’m just surprised they haven’t done it before – the whole reason we changed our Crest / Badge is copy right reasons.

  30. Marc


    Thinking about it further surely Football Manager has to have some sort of deal with either the clubs or the Premier League as a whole?

    Where did you her this?

  31. Aussie Gooner

    Arteta could wear a tutu for all I care as long as Ozil, Mustafi and Xhaka are no where near the first team and he gets Abu and Saka to sign new contracts!

  32. Gonsterous

    Don’t get the hype with ESR. Got age on his side, but I don’t see him lighting up the championship with a strong huddlesfield side, and I don’t think he’ll make the step up to be playing for a top PL team.

    In my opinion, he’s just another Iwobi.
    Looks saucy because he’s young but not enough end product. Sell him off to Southampton in about a year or so.

  33. Sid

    I also dont get the ESR hype, he has to prove his fitness then we will be able to judge his ability.
    And WTF is Korkcu?

  34. Useroz

    “. .. Keeping clean sheets is a delight. However, I think the team is better than that. I’d like to see a bit more boldness to our game. We need to move the ball faster, our combination play needs to be less clunky, we need more goals. There needs to be a bit more imagination out on the pitch.”

    Our mid field is unable to deliver this sort of football unfortunately however good Arteta may be.

    In an ideal world almost the entire mid field can go but despite making 300m in the last 4 months the bastard owner is unable to recognise this is actually not a bad time to flex his financial muscles and get more for less and propel the club the higher ground! Ultimately improving his investment. Isn’t his only objective after all??

    Same things how we might play the share (and properties) markets isn’t it?

    So many rumours and insider claims in the media and we all know that 90%+ would be BS from the journos who WFH!! Imagine sitting in front of the laptop and dream up the moves for 8 hours a day. Omg.

    I’d measure “what good looks like” in this coming TW simply by the % of the fundamentally dross in first team that the club manages to move on

    That’s very important in time of cost management. If they do that well, it’s almost a by product we’d be able to take advantage of values in the market and there’s be plenty.

  35. Gonsterous

    Just an advice folks, not to be a downer but let’s keep the expectations to a minimum. It’s the same story every year, before football starts, arsenal fans start getting way too optimistic and hoping too much from the players only to be let down on opening day.
    When was the last time we won a game at the start of a season. It’s not the start of the season but it is a restart of sorts.
    I’m not holding out for much, for the rest of the season. We won’t get top 4, we won’t get better ( mainly because of the players) and we won’t have a fairy tale ending.
    The best we can hope for is a rebuild in the summer.

  36. Aussie Gooner

    I think we all know that Stan will not dip into his pockets. As far as he is concerned Arsenal is the perfect set up – won’t cost him a penny in investments and won’t waste any of his valuable time. Just sit back and watch the assest grow. It also gives his son a hobby!

  37. Useroz

    Even with Thomas Partey mid field would still not be good enough. What we have won’t get better like from an ok to great PL player all of a sudden.

    Would you expect Xhara having a breakout season for 2020/21?!

    Torreira is good but without PL physique. I half expected a serious injury any minute when watching him play. He over exert himself to compensate for his physical limitations. Great attitude but not fair to him tbh.

    What else would you honestly keep? Ozil? Haha. Xhara? For what? Ceballos can go back. Thank you. Who’s the kid again? Not good enough… ESR. May be but suffer a similar problem like Torreira having weak physique. Still young and may be bulked up. Who knows. That’s it really. So where’s the good attacking , fast transition, , fluid football going to coming from? I hold little hope we’d be watching this anytime soon. Will br ecstatic if proven wrong!!

    I hope Pepe really could turn a corner or we have a massive write off even with the purchase amortised.

    To me, tie down Saka is our top, top, top priority. Who else being linked with us (in similar bracket) is more exciting than Saka? Imagine the traffic and noise on Le grove if we were linked with a Barca/ Pool/ PSG / Bayern version of Saka for 30m!! And we may be unable to hold onto ours sitting there. Talking about criminal offence and negligence at the tallest order. Probably deserves a knighthood.

  38. Valentin

    Regarding ESR, I have been saying that ultimately I don’t see having a great career at Arsenal. Like Wilshere he can’t stay fit for a whole season, so he will only ever be a bit part player for us.
    Also for all his prowess going forward, he really lacks defensive awareness which is crucial for a central midfield player. Realistically, He can only play 10, and Arsenal does not play with a 10 anymore. Even Özil plays more like a 8 in Arteta setup.
    Physically he is not quick enough to play on the wing, he is not defensive enough to play as a 6. There is a reason why Arsenal is rumoured to be interested in Rabiot and Party. Both can play 8, have some physical in them.

  39. Marc


    For crying out loud ESR isn’t even 20 yet and you’re writing him off already. Steven Gerrard had injury problems in his early career would you have written him off as well?

  40. Marc


    On a serious note the extremes we get on here – you’ve got some writing off young players far too early and then some saying sell Laca and Auba because Nketiah and Martinelli can step up and replace them.

  41. Sid

    Martinelli already has more goals than lacazzete this season, Aubas goals can be got from contributions from Saka, proper AM like Buendia, CM upgrage, and Pepe

    Im telling you for free!

  42. Sid

    Liverpool became a better team after selling Coutinho who was the star player 2016/17,
    Klopp had ze mental strength to let him go, will Arteta do the same with Ozil, ,Xhakalson even Auba is replaceable?

    Im telling you for free!

  43. Marc


    Well I’m glad that’s free because it’s bollocks.

    Martinelli has scored 3 in the PL and Laca has 7. Auba is on to get 20 plus again, last season Auba and Laca got 35 between them and we finished 5th if you think we can challenge for a CL place next season with a striker replacing a big chunk of those goals you’re mad. Goals from Pepe etc are what’ll push us from 5th to 3rd or 4th.

    I’ve no issue with selling Laca but if Auba goes we will need to bring in a replacement – Martinelli and Nketiah are not ready to replace his goals yet.

  44. Marc


    “Liverpool became a better team after selling Coutinho who was the star player 2016/17,”

    13 goals and 7 assists that season. last season Laca got 13 goals and 10 assists.

    You do talk bollocks.

  45. Graham62


    “It’s up for grabs now!”

    Thanks for that.

    Will be sitting down to watch.

    One of the greatest moments ever as far as I’m concerned.

  46. Marc


    I don’t have a problem with the idea of selling him if we can get good money – I have an issue with people thinking we don’t need to replace his goals if we do sell him.

  47. Graham62

    Liverpool became a better team once they secured the services of the best defender in world football.


  48. Bojangles

    It doesn’t take much for some posters here to consign players to the garbage heap. Wonder how many bad games Martinelli needs before he becomes the next player not good enough for Arsenal.

  49. Marc


    That’s fine because you’re talking about replacing him – do you think we’d have a hope i hell of getting top 4 if we sold both players and didn’t add another striker?

  50. Terraloon


    100% with you on the Auba replacement thing.

    Nketiah is miles away from being PL starter ready. He was recalled from the Leeds loan . He scored one in around 5 games at Leeds .In the PL he has scored One every 6.5 league games .

    Martinelli is without doubt a top prospect. Of his 10 Arsenal goals 7 have been in the Carabo Cup or EL. He scores a goal in every 4.6 league games is nowhere near enough to trust in him as a starter .

    Both may well turn out to be top talents but no coach worth their salt would gamble on either getting close to 15 goals a season.

    PEA has scored every 1.5 league games. Laca has scored a league goal every 2.5 games.

    Replacing either PEA or Laca won’t be easy . There are around 10-15 PL clubs in the market for a striker. Uncovering a gem is rare and when you look at how much clubs like Newcastle/ Villa / WHU have wasted on strikers then you realise how difficult it will be even in deflated market.

    That said there are clubs out there that are going to have to sell their top asset players but you then are faced with the dilemma would any of the current Arsenal squad really be looking to move to a club where the likely is that their wages would inevitably be less?

  51. Marc


    That’s the issue we’re looking at right now – how do we move on well paid but poor players? The worst offenders are Mustafi and Xhaka on 90 and 100k per week (It’s not even worth discussing Ozil), Sok is looking like he’ll be surplus to requirements for next season and is on 90k and only has a year left on his contract.

    I’d be happy to sell Laca or use him in a swap deal, I do think that Martinelli could more or less cover what he’s done this season.

    What I can’t figure out is what will happen with Auba, he’s got a year left with what’s going on will anyone be interested in making a decent money offer for him? Will he be offered the salary he’d be looking for?

  52. Marc


    “You are the ones who keep banging about a youth team player because of youtube highlight”

    Who and when? If you read through the comments this morning you’ll see I’m saying they need to be given time.

  53. Chris

    I really have no idea what some people have against Aubameyang.

    Without his goals I shudder to think where we would be. His record since he joined us is absolutely phenomenal. Yet some just want to highlight how he gives away the ball, like pretty much any other player does.

    I find it hard to believe he can’t fit into any style of play Arteta wants to pursue. He can play wide or centre. And he is a bloody goal machine. One not easily replaced, certainly not completely by anyone already at the club.

    I hope he signs on for another contract.

  54. Chris


    Smith-Rowe needs an extended run of games in the first team before he can be judged properly.

    He has looked promising on loan at Huddersfield so hopefully a confidence booster there can see him return strongly for us.

  55. Marc


    I’m not saying don’t sell Auba – I’m saying we can’t sell him and not bring in another player.

    Thinking his goals will be shared round the current team is just plain daft.

  56. Chris

    Thinking his goals will be shared round the current team is just plain daft.

    Marc it is amazing how some think this will just magically happen after selling your top goal scorer.

  57. Habesha Gooner

    Auba in a team that really supplies him could really be phenomenal. But not with our midfield. And he is in to his last year of his contract. I want to fix this Auba and Laca dilemma for once this summer. We shouldnt have signed both in my opinion. I don’t mind selling them both and bringing in a CF and a LW. Edouard doesn’t look bad and is affordable. My choice would be though selling Laca and Keeping Auba on a reasonable contract. In a few seasons Martinelli would be ready to take over. I still think he can do the job but I don’t want to risk burn out at 18. he is too valuable. Then another LW to compete with Saka would completely balance our forward line. After that fixing our midfield is priority. A CAM and A CM is sorely needed. And that’s if torriera doesn’t leave. If he does we would need to replace him too. Defense needs tweaking with Kolasinac to go and bringing another LB. Mari or Another CB must be on the cards too. And this is assuming post Corona doesn’t completely decimate buying and selling players at lower prices. If every player’s value come down at the same rate, there might be some business to be done.

  58. Marc


    “When Ferguson sold Ruud Van Nistelroy every ManUtd wondered where the goals were going to come from. Following seasons the goals were shared across the team.”

    They already had Rooney and bought Tevez 07/08, Berbatov 08/09, Owen 09/10.

  59. Bob N16

    I think one of PEA and Laca need to be sold in order to give Saka, Martinelli and Nketiah more game time. If it wasn’t for PEA’s contract situation it would be a no brainer to sell Lacazette.

    Agree about the obvious importance to invest in CM. It would be a gamble but two starters in CM for PEA and Lac could be the start of a great team, with patience needed from the support!

  60. Bob N16

    If we sell Guendouzi, AMN and a couple of others, we might not need to sell both experienced strikers to pay for quality in CM.

  61. Marc


    We have to get back in to the CL – selling Auba and Laca and not bringing in 1 player to replace some of their goals and we’ll be bottom half of the table. Nketiah and Martinelli are not going to manage 30 PL goals between them next season.

  62. Sid

    Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, Auba and Laca have not taken us to the next level try something new better AM and
    Nketiah, Martinelli, new striker any of Edourd/jovic/Guirassy,

    And Marc, Martinelli has more goals than Laca if he had more minutes in the EPL than Laca he would have more EPL goals too

    Im telling you for free!

  63. Bob N16

    I agree it’s a gamble Marc but we’re overly dependent on PEA to score at the moment. There is an obvious argument for keeping him but do we just right off any transfer fee for keeping him for one more year?

    If new CMs can contribute with some goals that would obviously help. I do think quoting Martinelli’s strike rate this season is not exactly like for like if we given a consistent run at CF. With Saka and Tiernay whipping balls in from the left and with luck a fit enough Bellerin to support Pepe and overlap on the right, Martinelli in particular could flourish.

    On balance,I wouldn’t sell both but I’m worried that Saka won’t want to stay if that left wing position is open to him and the only way to then keep Martinelli happy would be to give him games at CF.

  64. Sid

    Teemu pukki, Dominic calvert lewin, chris wood, neil Murphy, Callum wilson offer more than Laca

    Im telling you for free!

  65. Marc

    In the 5 seasons previous to this one the 4th placed team has scored:

    18/19 – 67
    17/18 – 84
    16/17 – 78
    15/16 – 71
    14/15 – 62

    So if we say on average you’re going to need to score 70 odd PL goals to get 4th can someone tell me how many Martinelli, Nketiah, Pepe, Saka, Nelson, Ozil and this new CM are going to get each?

    The reason I ask is because Auba and Laca contribute about 30 between them.

  66. Marc


    We sold Anelka and Wright – yeah we bought Henry, We should Overmars and bought Pires.

    If we sell Auba we have to sign a new striker.

  67. Chris


    Can Aubameyang not adapt to this hard work, coaching, and the rest of it?

    Calling him a one trick pony is a bit much, even if he is, his trick is scoring a shed load of goals and he is very good at it wouldn’t you say? If he were to leave I don’t believe we can find a replacement who can immediately replicate what he brings without spending a big transfer fee. And I don’t think we will be doing that anytime soon.

    I must say Raul seems to have slipped up on one of his claims about contracts, he stated 2 years, sign up for longer or you go, well now we have Aubameyang and Saka nearing the end of their deals and we don’t seem to have learned from previous mistakes.

    His contract situation is delicate but

  68. Emiratesstroller

    Bob N16/Marc

    My personal view is that Arsenal should/must hold onto Aubameyang until
    the end of his contract even if it means that he leaves on a Bosman in June 2021.

    The way that the market is likely to operate this summer we will be lucky to secure £35 million on Aubameyang’s sale factoring in his age [32] and wages almost £200K pw.

    Finding a suitable replacement guaranteeing us at least 25 goals a season without spending £70 million plus is a remote possibility.

    If he were to stay then it would give Martinelli another season as his understudy to gain more experience and perhaps be his replacement in season 2021-2 and therefore save us spending mega bucks on a new CF.

    My view is that Arsenal should focus this Summer on spending transfer budget on other positions in defence and midfield.

  69. Marc


    Unless a very good offer were to come in for Auba or if he was playing up I’d keep him. If a good swap was on the cards I could go for that as well but this idea of selling both Laca and Auba to buy 2 CM’s and relying on 2 unproven kids one of whom has shown a lot of promise is madness. We’d be closer to relegation than CL football.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    For the record it is highly unlikely that Real Madrid and Barcelona would recruit a 33 year old as a first team regular even if available on a Bosman.

    RM offloaded Ronaldo at that age and he was a more prolific goalscorer.

    So my guess is that the incentive for Aubameyang to leave Arsenal will diminish at the end of his contract. This is not a player who will sulk like Sanchez and underperform if he stays next season.

    If Arsenal manage to upgrade other areas of our team his retention might
    give Arsenal the best chance of finishing in top 4 next season.

  71. Marc


    Because we also had Bergkamp and Overmars also Anelka did not step in and make us instantly more dangerous in 97 / 98 he scored 6 goals in 26 appearances, pro rated out he wouldn’t have got into double figures.

    All of that was playing without the pressure of having the expectation of getting a minimum of PL 15 goals.

  72. Bob N16

    ES, should we give up on keeping Saka? If we cannot offer him enough game time in his preferred position of LW I worry thathis agents will move him on (this could happen anyway).

    If transfer values have gone down then £35 m will buy allow more value incoming .

  73. Marc


    “We are looking for top four and chelsea, spurs and United’s attack are hardly formidable”

    Really they’ve all scored more than us.

    Chelsea – 51
    ManU – 44
    Spud’s – 47

    Arsenal – 40 without Auba and Laca’s goals – 17

  74. Marc


    If we sell both and do not buy a new striker we will be in trouble. I’m not saying don’t sell I’m saying you have to replace one of them if you sell both.

    If Arteta sanctions it, it will see him sacked or a panic buy in the Jan transfer window to avoid getting dragged into a relegation battle.

  75. Emiratesstroller

    Bob N16

    As I have indicated several times before I think that the agent of Saka could be the issue.

    I doubt that the problem is money. It could be that the player and agent don’t want to commit to a 5 year contract, although my suspicion is that this particular agent sees the opportunity of a fat commission now that Arsenal
    have allowed Saka’s contract to run down to one year.

    The problem for Arsenal is that the Agent has four other current Arsenal players on his books including Nkietah and Nelson.

    He is also agent of Iwobi.

  76. Marc


    You’ve got to stop this Pepe and Martinelli are not going to score 30 PL goals next season – it is never going to happen.

    To push forward we need Pepe to score more to make us better not replace what we’re already doing.

  77. Sid

    At the moment 18 yr old Martinelli, 1st season at Arsenal is performing equally if not better than laca, who would have thought

    Aubas 22goals can easily be replaced between 9Saka, 9pepe, 3new AM, 7new Striker

    You heard it here 1st

  78. Marc


    If it is the agent playing games and he’s looking for Saka to walk on a free in a years time then we’ve got to play hardball – sign on, be sold or we drop him from the squad completely. He doesn’t get used in cup matches, an injury crises and isn’t allowed to even train with any other players.

  79. WengerEagle

    ‘You’ve got to stop this Pepe and Martinelli are not going to score 30 PL goals next season – it is never going to happen.’

    Not that I agree with Un’s pov on cutting both our strikers loose but cast your mind back to the summer that Henry left for Barcelona.

    Who in their right mind with what they had seen to date from him would have backed Adebayor to score thirty goals that next season and twenty-four in the PL alone.

    Sometimes players that you wouldn’t expect can rise to the occasion and step-up to fill the void left by top calibre players. Not that I endorse selling Aubameyang.

  80. WengerEagle

    A rebuild is on the cards though so I could possibly get behind selling Aubameyang so long as he wasn’t out the door before Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Mustafi, Lacazette and Chambers AND we actually reinvested the funds in improving the XI.

    I would keep him though personally, I’d sell Lacazette to generate funds along with the above list [Ozil we just need rid of]. Let him mentor Martinelli for a couple of seasons and build towards putting creative talent around for Auba’s goalscoring talent to really flourish.

  81. Marc


    “16 goals between them with 10 games to go in their first season.”

    No they haven’t Pepe and Martinelli have scored 7 PL goals between them this season. Now I expect both to improve but Pepe’s improvement will be to improve the team’s position not replace what’s we’re already doing. Having Martinelli as backup to either Auba or a new striker I’m fine with.

  82. Bob N16

    Marc ‘why can’t we give Saka game time on LW?

    We obviously could but PEA was first choice on LW, followed by Martinelli. I’m not sure if PEA isn’t most effective coming in from the left. We could sell Laca, put PEA down the middle then it’s a toss up between Saka and Martinelli to play down the left.

  83. Marc


    Bearing in mind we’re all playing a huge dose of armchair manager I’d sell Laca or use him in a swap deal, I’d play Auba through the middle and let him roam across the front line with Pepe and Saka wide and use Martinelli as back up striker.

    If Martinelli is tearing it up – fantastic we know our first choice striker for the next 10 years.

  84. Marc


    Yes he has 17 which pro rated out over 28 games is 23 which is golden boot territory.

    Pepe and Martinelli DO NOT HAVE 16 PL goals between them it’s 7. Pepe has 4 and Martinelli has 3.

    You’re measuring Auba on the PL and Pepe and Martinelli on all competitions.

  85. HillWood

    Auba is 30yrs old
    His contract runs till 2021
    I’d hate to lose another player on a free
    Cash in on him now for whatever is the current market value

  86. Bob N16

    Marc, Martinelli’s figures are much lower than they would be if he was a regular starter. Pepe’s strike rate is sure to improve.

    Do agree with selling Laca but it’s going to piss me off if PEA goes on a free and is able to negotiate with a new club on 1st Jan. I would sell PEA if the the offer is big enough. Hope PSG don’t manage to do a deal for Icardi and splash the Qatari cash on PEA.

    If we do sell both, which I’d probably go with I’d hope we could get say a 22 year old in who fits the way Arteta wants to play and is hungry to step up. We would make a big saving on our payroll.

  87. Marc


    My argument has only been that we can’t sell both and not bring in a new striker. The squad does not currently have the goals in it.

  88. Bob N16

    I would make a fully fit Bellerin ( fingers crossed) captain. It would be a very young squad, inexperienced but with bundles of potential.

    Let’s go for it!

  89. Bob N16

    I appreciate that Marc.

    The trick would be to bring someone in who fits both on and off the pitch. You could possibly go for a more experienced CF but I’d rather go full on ‘project youth’.

  90. Dissenter

    ‘ Fine but would you buy a replacement striker?’

    You would need a replacement striker next season regardless, then you’ll be doing it without the proceeds of an Auba transfer.
    This issue is fundamentally simple. If we aren’t capable of learning from the Sanchez/Ozil/Ramsey mistake, then we deserve all the decay that comes our way.
    No ifs, ands or buts….his contract has one year left…he won’t extend ; SELL

  91. Northbanker

    I’m with the crowd on this
    Option 1 we sell Auba for what we can get. – which if an auction arises could be more than reported
    Option 2 he rinds his contract down and we get al of the tail end onerous liabilities in his contract with no residual value And he doesn’t perform at the levels seen previously
    Option 3 we extend and commit to a 3 year onerous contract and still no residual value but witness a declining force as he ages

    I don’t know why anyone thinks if we’re to rebuild Arsenal anything other than Option 1 won’t be a disaster

  92. Northbanker

    And Lacazette needs to go for whatever sum or swap value we can get irrespective of Auba going

    Marc – this isn’t just about next season but rebuilding on a sustainable basis for the future

  93. Marc


    Laca does need to go.

    I’ve now said about 30 times I’m not against selling Auba but if we do we have to buy a replacement.

  94. Marc


    In a years time Martinelli might be ready to take on the mantle as first choice striker but for next season it would be a gamble of negligent proportions.

  95. Marc


    “this isn’t just about next season but rebuilding on a sustainable basis for the future”

    Yes but if we don’t get CL football soon you’ll start to see all of these great young players we have leave. We’ve got ManU a basket case, Chelsea have an inexperienced manager and the Spud’s have Mourinho and the stadium debt – if we don’t make it now we’ll miss the opportunity.

  96. HillWood

    No crowd
    Less pressure for the kids
    Arteta more knowledgeable about them

    Combination -should have a couple of goals in them

  97. Ustyno

    I do think if we struggle to get a reasonable amount of money for Auba,he runs his contract while Martinelli understudies him as the deputy next season and by the upper season when Auba walks away Martinelli would have gotten atleast 2 years of premiership experience and then leads the team

    Might not really sound great,but we try to see if we can get champions league next season with Auba still leading.

    As for Lacazette he should be sold either for money or exchange this season,that way his wage is gone or perhaps reduced if someone is brought in

  98. izzo

    100% agree with Un. We need to move forward. Auba and Laca should be sold and replaced with a more experienced but young prolific striker than Martinelli and Nketiah and the remaining money from sales of other players reinvested into the entire center midfield which needs replacing.

  99. WengerEagle

    I mean were we to sell both Aubameyang and Lacazette, we would definitely need to bring in a twenty goal minimum marksman up top.

    Of how many of those are currently on the market, not an abundance exactly. Some potential options include Duvan Zapata, Lautaro Martinez, Mauro Icardi, Ben Yedder, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Haaland, Memphis Depay.

    Out of that list, Haaland along with Havertz, Werner and Martinez are pie in the sky options as they are all heading on to become world class players and will join Europe’s elite.

    I don’t see any of Zapata, Icardi or Ben Yedder as improvements on Aubameyang, think he’s the best player on that shortlist in fact.

    Leaving Depay who would be a really interesting potential option had he not unfortunately picked up that serious knee injury a few months back.

    So as it stands, I would keep Aubameyang along with Martinelli as out CF options next season and sell Lacazette to fund more creative midfielders/wide options.

  100. izzo

    I would give Leverkusen whatever money they ask to get Kai Havertz into our midfield. Nothing wrong with us snatching him before Bayern.

  101. Emiratesstroller

    For the record Aubameyang has scored one more goal than he did after 28 games in EPL last season. I would remind those who are keen to offload him that he won golden boot last season.

    No-one will argue if Aubameyang chooses to move to Real Madrid or Barcelona, but that is unlikely to happen. I don’t see either of them coming in for a 31 year old player and offering a decent transfer fee

    I don’t see PSG coming in to buy him either. They are trying to offload Cavani.

    So realistically the only other clubs who might come in are clubs in EPL
    like Newcastle with their Saudi Backers. Does anyone want to see him move there?

    My view is that Martinelli is certainly good enough to replace Lacazette next
    season, but not ready yet to compensate for goals lost if Aubameyang leaves.

  102. Marc


    We might actually see in the current climate that any offer we make is the best financial offer he has available.

  103. HillWood

    For the record
    Relying on one individual to get most of your goals is not a great approach
    We need a style of play to get whatever combination of our current youngsters scoring more between them
    And don’t forget we’re skint

  104. WengerEagle


    He’s far from perfect and I agree with you that ultimately we need better than Aubameyang up top to be competitive in the future but come on mate, he’s just about the last player on the XI that we need immediate improvement on.

    He’s scored against Spurs, United and Chelsea this season which isn’t a terrible big game record. And let’s face it, it’s far more important for where we are right now that we just have a guy that can score against sides outside of the top six as that’s who you play the vast majority of your matches against.

    And nobody in the league does that better than Aubameyang. Were it not for his goals we legitimately would be in the bottom half of the table, even factoring in somebody else would play in his absence.