June 20th. Put the beers on ice.

by .

The papers are hotting up with stories about Coutinho. The Spanish press is working very hard to connect Arsenal, Kia, and Arteta to 2016 fever dream.

What we know for sure.

  1. Barcelona need money, they are on an all-out assault to let everyone know that they are open for deals.
  2. Coutinho is struggling to find a home. He didn’t work out at Barcelona on the left. Bayern wouldn’t put him in the #10 position. He’s a bit lost.
  3. He’s very, very expensive. £250k a week in wages + £110m buyout clause.
  4. His agent is Kia.

Now, I’m not quite sure what’s going on here, but a move for Coutinho makes little sense for me. He looks a bit like a younger version of Mesut Ozil. He flourishes in a position that’s being sidelined. You have to build a team around him. He may have his best days behind him.

I’m not sure why Arsenal would entertain another traditional #10 that has failed at his last two clubs. Even if it’s just a loan for the season, that still seems like throwing money in the fire. Shouldn’t we be looking to find a player that can become what Coutinho was, but in the shape of now?

Bringing him to Arsenal for a season would cost a minimum of £13,000,000 in wages, and likely a £7,500,000 fee if we’re lucky. Maybe there’s a masterplan for him, I’d happily be proved wrong, but I just don’t think our approach to picking up expensive risks has worked out very well. We’re also very, very bad at loans going back to Julio Baptista.

We’ve also asked all our players to take cuts to their wages this season, I’m not sure piling in with big money on Coutinho is the right move politically (also worth noting his Barca salary is 75% less than it was last year, which might be driving some of this panic to move to the Premier League).

More of a worry, I’m not sure he’s right for the team. It’s certainly a terrible look that the two big names on Kia’s books are both being heavily linked (Willian). We’re like the new lottery winner that suddenly has hangers-on. It’s appalling to watch.

Talking of agents, it’s amusing to see that Mino Raiola is looking for Arsenal to take out the option to extend Mikhi’s contract another year and loan him back out to Roma. Nuts. We need to move the Armenian on ASAP. Another disaster signing, though I will say, a gamble that I could agree on at the time.

Players on the out seem to be shaping up. David Ornstein thinks Holding, Mustafi and Sokratis will be moved on. It’s a shame about Rob, he looked like a beast in the making after his FA Cup heroics, but injury and poor form hasn’t helped him. Sokratis needs a longer deal. Mustafi will now likely find himself a better club. What will be interesting is whether we sign another centre back, or we roll into next season with Saliba in the mixer. I heard that we were very interested in Diallo last season, but instead, opted for David Luiz for obvious reasons. It’ll be interesting to see if we go back for him this summer. Also, we’ve been linked to Fofana at St Etienne. All rumours, but the sort of young players I can get behind. It’s such a shame our footballing execs are more interested in having a seat at the table with elite agents, versus dealing with where we are as a club and playing in a market we can really dominate.

Jermaine Aliadiere has some not so subtle READ BETWEEN THE LINES commentary on Matteo Guendouzi.

“He’s like my little brother & I always told him that Arsenal would be a very good team for his development as a player & as a human being. He took my advice & came to the club, but I just feel Matteo hasn’t grown up as a human being yet”

“He’s grown up as a player, he’s matured massively as a player & every year he gets better. But unfortunately, as a man, he hasn’t grown and matured as much as I thought he would by joining Arsenal

“I think thats what he’s missing & why he’s not playing as much under Mikel because Mikel isn’t really up for that. He wants players who are going to do a job for the team & do what they ask him to do. If they arent happy to do that, then he’ll have someone else do it”

I’ve been telling you for a while that the noise around the young Frenchman hasn’t been great, one day I’ll share some of the stories, but not worth it right now. Needless to say, don’t be surprised if we ship him out somewhere this summer. He could probably do with a stint under Diego Simeone.

Final player who could be moving out is AMN. It’s not been great for him this season. His attitude has been poor. He complains far too much for someone so early in his career, he took that red under Emery that looked sloppy, then continued his bitching under Arteta when asked to play a role he didn’t fancy. I think you need to be adaptable in this game. He’d rather be in midfield at a lesser club than get game time regularly at right back. He’ll move, no doubt have a solid career, but the chances are, it’ll look more Theo Walcott than Cesc Fabregas.

As you can see, the shape up this summer won’t just be about the wage bill. It’ll be a savage culling of players that aren’t up to it from an attitude perspective. This sort of squad shaping is what should have happened two years ago. Better late than never. I just hope we don’t have as many hold outs as we did before. I don’t know how you force players out, but let’s be real, the time is different now, you’d be mad to hang on at a club if there’s the chance of a long contract elsewhere.

Right, that’s me done, who would YOU sell. Notes below. Also, heard that the game is definitely going to be back week of the 20th, Dani C was NOT lying.


185 Responses to “June 20th. Put the beers on ice.”

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  1. Wasi

    ‘I’ve been telling you for a while that the noise around the young Frenchman hasn’t been great, one day I’ll share some of the stories, but not worth it right now’

    Telling people not to beleive in ITK and then claiming to be one. Irony at its best.

    Liverpool definitely got overpaid with the Coutinho deal but had Valverde built a good system he would have been a great player for Barca. He was the best player for Brazil in the last WC and was the Liverpool’s talisman except for his last season there. To say Valverde misused him would be an understatement. After that he then went and bought Griezmann to play him on the LW where Coutinho had failed and Griezmann just like Coutinho also failed. You cant just play a 10 and a striker at LW and expect the same output you would get in their preferred position.

    And to say he hasnt performed well at Bayern is false.He’s got 8 goals and 6 assists in 15 starts and 7 sub appearances is a very good return. They just dont play him because they are not gonna buy him and would rather aid the development of Goretzka and Kimmich in their new positions.

    Anyways im not saying this because I want to see Coutinho at Arsenal next season its just to clear some of you guys’s misconceptions.

    I would rather give game time to ESR at the 10 next season with a view to developing his game as a free 8 and gradually shifting to a 4-3-3 . I dont know if thats what Arteta wants but the #10 position is fading and 4-3-3 seems to be the best suited for possession based football right now.

    Instead of selling id try to find a loaning club for Holding where he will be guaranteed first team football. For me personally id be looking at a deal with Reims for Disasi while offering Holding in a part exchange season long loan (with game time assurances). This will help offset some of the transfer fees while we get another high potential CB and guarantee game time for Holding which will in turn make him Arsenal ready or increase his value if we were to sell him. Doesn’t necessarily have to be Disasi tho. It could be Kabak at Schalke , Fofana at Etienne or some other player at some other club.

    Sell Sok at the first opportunity. 4-5 m should be enough for him.

    Sell Mustafi if we have 4 fit CB’s ( Saliba , Luiz , Mari, A new signing) otherwise keep him for cover.

    Other player to sell- Elneny(5 mil) , Mkhi ( 6-7 mil)
    Torreira ( 20m+ only if we find a good CM first like Soumare / Partey etc), then Xhaka if we can replace him too, then Laca/Auba if we can replace.

  2. Aussie Gooner

    Cummings appears to be a self righteous knob of epic proportions. Typical “do as I say not as I do” merchant who couldn’t lie straight in bed! Others have had to suffer, particularly those on the front line, while Cummings decided to take his family away for a little break for his wife’s birthday!

    All this bullshit about his sons welfare – he had plenty of family in London who could have helped him out. And the eye test argument is just lamentable. Puts a whole new perspective on driving while blind drunk! “Oh Officer I was seeing double so I just went for a 30 mile drive to test my vision”.

    It reminds me of a lecture I once attended regarding ethics; the lecturer asked why would anyone wish to drink and drive. A wise guy called out from the back “because you’re too pissed to walk”. Cummings would be proud!

  3. Emiratesstroller

    Aussie Gooner

    That is precisely the point you do not drive when you have an impairment. That
    is the law and has absolutely nothing to do with Corona Virus.

    Personally I feel sorry for Boris. He cannot win in the situation he finds himself.

    If he capitulates to the the press it will be seen as weakness on his part. Until
    now Boris has always ignored criticism whether in Parliament, during Election
    or even this Pandemic.

    Until now he has won the arguments despite the hostile environment.

  4. Pedro

    Wasi, I’ve been writing this for going on 14 years. I write for newspapers, go on radio, do TV, have ex pros on my podcasts, am friends with agents and journalists… there’s no irony in me knowing people in and around the club my friend. That’s just what happens when you do this.

  5. Wasi

    My bad Pedro , I didnt know about that. I thought you were an office man doing the blog as a pass time/ Hobby.

  6. CG


    Holding v Luiz.

    If you asked any Arsenal supporter after the 2018 FA Cup final , that in two years time – we want to oust the combative Rob Holding for that ageing Brazillian plonker David Luiz- they would think you are potty!

    But thats what you are in favor.

    David Luiz will ruin Arteta if he is not careful, damage Salibas development and seriously hinder any chance of Arsenal playing the type of soccer the premier league demands.

    Try and think for yourself and not just accept Kia and Edu’s trash!
    Holding has proved he can play in the prem.

    And Up an until his injury at Old Trafford was immense.

    Arteta should persist with him and not Luiz.

  7. Wasi

    According to Sky, Luiz’s contract was initially for only 12 months and we haven’t yet extended it further.

  8. CG

    Re: genduzi

    You don’t need to be Einstein or mini Einstein (our PedRo) to know genduzi will be out of the AFC exit door at first opportune moment.

    No coming back for him now.

  9. redandwhite83

    Would listen to offers on all, except: Leno, Saliba, Tierney, Saka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah and Martinelli.

  10. Terraloon


    Am just reading that as well.

    The reports go on to suggest he will walk for free because his £125 k a week wages are too high

    If and a big if this was only a 12 month guaranteed deal for £8 million some needs sacking

    Where’s Dominic-Cummings when you need him?

  11. Wasi


    ‘Holding has proved he can play in the prem.’

    ‘And Up an until his injury at Old Trafford was immense.’

    When did Holding prove himself. Apart from an extraordinary FA cup final performance and the 7-8 game run in the Emery honeymoon period Holding has been nothing but average. And after the ACL injury he has been terrible. So i dont know what proof you are talking about here. Just being English and big doesn’t make someone a good defender.

    I was also quite excited for Holding but his performances have dulled my expectations now.
    Also I said id prefer Holding to go out on loan so that he can improve his game. You are completely deluded if you think Holding is a better option than Luiz RIGHT NOW. And if he were to stay here next season he will only be a rotational option and wouldn’t help his cause as much . A loan is the best move for both Arsenal and Holding right now.

  12. Wasi

    ‘If and a big if this was only a 12 month guaranteed deal for £8 million some needs sacking’

    Bad business for sure. But if we recall it was a deal done in the last 2-3 days before deadline because Kos threw his toys out the pram.

  13. andy1886

    Terra, Cummings would claim that he didn’t know what he was signing as his eyes were dodgy. I’m with Stroller, hold your hands up and admit you made an error of judgement and most people would let it go. By coming up with some cock and bull story he made it worse.

  14. Emiratesstroller


    Forgive me but for all the left wing politics, remaininers, media and mud slung at Boris he has handled the situation during his career pretty well.

    1. He beat Ken Livingstone in two Mayoral Elections notwithstanding that London is a Labour Voting City.

    2. The Labour Party lost a General Election by a Landslide sending Corbyn and
    his left wing acolytes into oblivion.

    3. Notwithstanding all the mud slung at him in Parliament, The Law Courts and Media he won the Brexit debate and we have left EU at end of January.
    Most of his remain opponents including in his own party have vanished also
    into oblivion including the Speaker.

    4. There was a lot of sympathy for Boris during the Corona Virus Epidemic.

    As I said this current situation with Cummings has created a problem for him.
    It remains to be seen how it pans out..

  15. CG


    “””””A loan is the best move for both Arsenal and Holding right now.”””””

    He might not want to go out on loan or be sold.

    He might want to show Arteta that he is a better defender
    than these second raters we keep buying ( Mari and Luiz) and good on him if he does.

  16. Wasi


    He may not want but maybe he needs to.
    Up until now he has only shown that he is not yet ready. No matter how hard you train if you dont get game time your game’s not gonna develop as much.
    Just look at the likes of Chelsea and how they utilise clever loan to make players ready to play in the first team. ( Mount , Tammy , Reece , Zouma being the recent examples. )

  17. CG

    “””””Just look at the likes of Chelsea and how they utilise clever loan to make players ready to play in the first team. “”””””

    Chelsea know what they are doing Wasi.

    We ain’t got a clue.*

    Our lot make it up and jot it all down on the back of a fag packet!

    *and KSE allow it to continue too. Totally and utterly disinterested.

  18. Moray

    That’s a weird story about Luiz on sky sports. If I remember correctly it was pretty nailed on that we had signed a year extension. Perhaps the ink never flowed on that. I hope not. If he wants to join as a coach then maybe so, but I see no value to him or us as a player for next season.

  19. Marc

    Wasn’t one of the Sanllehi haters telling us a couple of weeks ago that we’d extended Luiz’s deal at a terrible time?

  20. Moray

    That’s a pretty fair comment, Thomas. We’ve gone from champions league contenders to champions league participators to premiership TOP four to mid table mainly through poor and sometimes shocking transfer decisions.

  21. Uwot?

    With regards to the “chavs” clever loan system for players then ready for the first team.If you throw enough of shit at wall som3 of it will eventually stick.They had I believe at some stage over the last couple of seasons,over 50 players out on loan .A complete piss take & manipulation of the system. Lets be clear.Financial doping.

  22. Moray

    @stroller, brexit hasn’t happened yet. I can sell anyone a Ferrari until they get into it and find it drives like a milk float. Just convincing a gullible, largely
    Ignorant and under employed public to vote to leave is not much of a feat. Delivering on the promises and negotiating like a demon will be the key and he’s made a pig’s ear of the one challenge he’s had so far. If you expect the UK to come out next year with razor sharp trade deals then prepare for disappointment. These pricks won’t have one.

  23. Valentin


    Q1) Your wife is sick with the disease, your parent that are in the at risk group are currently safe. what do you do:
    A) drive 5 hours while your wife is sick with an autistic kid who needs to pee every twice in. 30 minutes drive and then risking contaminating everybody who would meet you.

    B) stay at home. isolate your wife and ask for one of your parent to be close to you in case you need them.

    Option A is the best option for you and your kid to catch it. Option B is what leaflets provided by the government advised people to do.

    It’s your wife birthday. What do you do?
    A) take your wife and kid in tow and drive to a remote beauty spot for a picnic.

    B) take a 30 minutes drive in an hazardous road to check you eyesight.

    I can’t believe that you would fall for such blatant bullshit.

    The bottom line he lied and did not show any remorse or sign of empathy. The reason he got in the neck from some Tory newspapers has nothing to do with Brexit. Had he been clever, he would have been on TV crying and apologising and pretending that he was overwhelmed and he just flee to the countryside to be close to his parent. The crisis would have been averted.
    He could not even do that. Apologising was beneath him. His contempt and lack of empathy just confirmed what people have been saying all along. This is a sociopath who care about being in charge and nothing else.

  24. Valentin


    What Chelsea did with the loan system was not illegal, but it was against the spirit of the loan system. FIFA and UEFA have now put restrictions in place which means that Chelsea business model will not be allowed anymore.

    Personally I would want more people at Arsenal to have that ruthless efficient mind set.

  25. Terraloon


    It comes back to the point what rule did Chelsea break ?

    One of the reasons Chelsea’s approach is clever is that until you expose a player to senior football , see how they react when things are going well , how they react to not being treated as someone special then you have no idea if they have the mental strength. They get other clubs to pay for their development. Yes the6 make money from their loan army .

    Arsenal have made significant money from property development why is that ok when in reality it fits less comfortably with the objects of a football club than player trading including loaning players out ?

    Most academy players are decent to very good footballers yet the vast vast majority fall short.

    Arsenal, and it’s happening now, have youngsters that burst on the scene full of skill , full of promise but have never had to go through the challenges I mention above . Time after time the flaws or perhaps should I say the ability to take that next step don’t become evident in Arsenal players so after all the hype many of these academy players are sold on.

  26. Wasi

    ‘Arsenal, and it’s happening now, have youngsters that burst on the scene full of skill , full of promise but have never had to go through the challenges I mention above . Time after time the flaws or perhaps should I say the ability to take that next step don’t become evident in Arsenal players so after all the hype many of these academy players are sold on.’

    Spot on
    And in legal terms one could say Chelsea have exploited the academy system but they haven’t broken the rules because there were no rules like that in the first place.

  27. Aussie Gooner

    So the only thing stopping the Saudis taking over Newcastle is their involvement in illegal streaming of EPL matches through BeoutQ! So their solution? – Bid for the legitimate TV rights when the contract is due to be renegotiated in 2022! You couldn’t make it up! Perhaps they need to employ Dominic Cummings as a ‘consultant’ to push the deal through!

  28. Aussie Gooner

    Anyone notice that our academy only appears to produce strikers? This represents the current malaise in youth coaching in the UK. Every kid wants to be the big note striker and score all the goals! Fair enough but structured coaching at youth level should target and value defending and midfield as skill sets desirable to play at a higher level.

    There is still this notion that anyone without all the flair, tricks and speed will be a defender and left to pretty much get on with it without specific coaching. I should know – I was shoved into the left back position as a kid!