What’s the plan, Edu/Raul?

by & filed under News Review.

If you came here this morning expecting a pat on the head for sitting on your arse for three months, here it is.

Well done you.

Now let’s crash into the MONSTROSITY that is Arsenal FC.

Firstly, the FA released the agent fee data and certain sections of the fanbase seem to be very pleased the number is only £13m. This comment from Terraloon might help you work through your joy and temper it with a little bit of caution.

You can not determine from the list of payments made in that period how much the club have agreed to pay out in respect of transfers in.The schedule only records the money paid out directly to the club by intermediaries over a set period. It doesn’t tell us what those payments were in respect of or indeed when those transactions actually happened.

The second attachment does tell us what transactions happened but again we don’t know over what time period the agents will receive their fees

Agents get paid for all sorts of things such as arranging contract extensions , facilitating loans out , transfers out and yes transfers in.

Often clubs agree to bear the costs of an agent acting on behalf of a player but when they do those sums don’t appear on the list they are paid in effect via payroll and treated as a benefit in kind.

To prove the point look at two clubs. Liverpool and Chelsea . These two clubs in the period 1/2/19-31/1/20 . These two clubs paid out £30.38 million and £26.183 million respectively.

In effect two transfer windows. Liverpool paid out just £8.5 million in respect of a couple of minor transfers in and Chelsea who were unable to sign anyone In the summer 2019 window bar Kovacic whose loan they made permanent and in the January 20 window they didn’t sign anyone.

I think we can move on from that and leave the magical thinkers to their own conclusions.

What I do want to talk about is the bigger picture with Arsenal, because we’re missing it when we’re debating whether Soares has a nice attitude or David Luiz is an agent of death.

Arsenal don’t have a plan.

You can hunt for it, you can retrofit excuses, but the simple fact is there is no coherence in what we’re doing.

Why? Because we’re not honest about our standing in football at the moment.

David Luiz, Cedric Soares and maybe Pablo Mari offer no real long term value to Arsenal. It’s money down the drain unless they drive us to the Champions League. Even then, what was the point? They have no resale value, they are not helping us to win the thing, they have limited ceilings.

We are pissing money up the wall with no credible plan to move the club forward.

Ivan Gazidis threw a lot of money at making the Champions League by bringing in senior players just before Wenger left. It didn’t work. Raul threw massive money at senior players when Emery arrived and it didn’t work. Now we’re 12th in the league and we’re doing the same again. Even if it succeeds, we’re still throwing money down the drain. At best, we’re thinking a year in advance.

‘Maybe Willian can help us’ isn’t a strategy, it’s naive.

Why is this happening? Because we don’t know who we are and there’s no real strategy.

We shouldn’t be debating drossy that had their best years 5 years ago. Arsenal should be honest about their position in the world football and rip the plaster this summer. Move on the senior players that are letting us down. A clean sweep. That’s Auba, Lacazette, Mustafi, Kola, Luiz and the loan players.

If Torreira doesn’t like England, sell him. If Matteo is a head case with a grim attitude and Barcelona have £60m, sell him on.

Then decide on the plan. If it’s Borussia Dortmund 2.0, go for it. There is absolutely no reason, outside a coherent plan, that we can’t replicate what they do.

Build a player profile. 20-24 years old. Fit. Mobile. Fast. A good level of emotional intelligence.

Know where to pick them up from. Look at the Eastern European leagues. Fish from the same ponds where the elite youth end up going, like RB Salzburg. Act quick.

Return to the future. Contacts football is shit and it rarely delivers. Ban Kia from the training ground. Never let Canales in a brainstorm again. Set a process for how you get to the right list of players. Leave no one in any doubt as to why you signed a name.

Stop trying to do things the easy way. ‘Call Kia’ is how great clubs die. Relying on people with a conflict of interest to give you good advice on players is quite frankly, fucking embarrassing.

Our current strategy is shit. Load up with bums, and pray to the footballing gods that one season, it might work out. That is not a winning formula. It hasn’t worked for Manchester United with a real budget, and it won’t work for Arsenal who have spent all their cash and borrowed from future pots.

Arsenal has a great coach. There’s a reason all the leaks to the media have cited everyone bar him for the mess. He’s in a tough spot. He’s probably worried about his future right now, he’s likely struggling with the dynamics of having two bosses with very bad taste, and he’s probably wondering how he’s going to get a turn out of these players.

But so would any coach. Carlo and Jose are hardly flying. OGS didn’t exactly cover himself in glory last season. A select few of the Chelsea fanbase have been calling Frank a fraud all season. Implementing change after picking up a midseason fire is difficult.

Our senior players have been problematic. The contract issues have spilt out into the training ground. The pay cut wasn’t great. He’s had a red card. A bunch of injuries. His season has been derailed by a club that was hoping to deal with these issues this summer, rather than during the season.

But don’t think that has the coach down and out. He has all the ingredients to attain greatness and I am sure given time, a good summer, and the culling of the dross, he’ll find a way to make it work. People giving up after such a short period of time will realise in time that the only magic bullet now is the reshaping of the squad in the vision of the coach.

There will be more bumps. We will lose again. This season isn’t ending in glory.

However, keep the faith. The coach will prove the doubters wrong is Raul and Edu can pull it together this summer. If that doesn’t happen, we’re fucked whoever sits in the hot seat.

Tonight, we play Southampton in a bid to escape 11th position. What a moment. It’s time for a reaction from the squad. A moment for the manager to show that he can rally a nightmare situation and make some magic happen. Maybe… we’ll see a performance.

Also, Sheffield United and Palace are opening up a some space for us to chase… maybe. Sad times that I’m excited by that.

Let’s see what happens!

See you in the comments x

692 Responses to “What’s the plan, Edu/Raul?”

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  1. Wasi

    No worries. I just state what is right ( to me at least).
    I will never hammer a player just because some extremes hate .

  2. S Asoa

    In the midst of the other mediocrity called Ceballos, Pepe is so talented Arsenal do not know how to use him

  3. alex cutter

    “Cutter I have x finity wifi only? is this available online stream?’

    Not sure what you mean. I know that if I were away from home and had internet access I could watch it through the xfinity stream app on a mobile device.

  4. Goonies


    ‘ The fake crowd is so fuckin’ annoying.’

    Watch the channel without it. Can’t believe people actually want the fake shite crowd noise.

  5. Useroz

    So Martinelli really is injures?!

    Wot a waste No game time since the restart and now out. Hopefully back to fitness soon.

    Saka and Martinelli combo was very strong on the left

  6. S Asoa

    Seeing Bellerin can understand why a mediocre Soares can sub him .
    Don’t know why Artata will not yell abuses to this backpedal arsehole

  7. S Asoa

    Don’t know about the extent of Martinelli injury ,if at all. But that has been a political tool at Arsenal by Managers who want to discipline a player. Tried tactic of Monsieur Wenger

  8. MidwestGun

    Well yep our midfield is still definitely a blackhole. Wingers have to drop deep to get the ball.. and then we don’t have much play over the top of their backline. Also, Thank God Holding seems to be somewhat healthy.

  9. Majesticgooner

    No creativity, surely Arteta can see that,, feeding on scraps, nothing to get excited about, this is actually the worst side in the past 10 years, that’s the honest truth. Even now leading 1 nil I am not confident that we will win the match.

  10. Guns of SF

    Finally got some stream to work., clogging my mac with all sorts of pop up crap and porn. Work is going to love this

  11. Wasi

    Eddie caught up in 2 minds.
    No control in the opposition half.
    Saka , Holding and Xhaka are only ones passing the ball forward.
    Dont know what Ceballos is doing?
    Mustafi with 1 crucial tackle.
    Bellerin looks like a Championship player. Takes too long to control the ball , take a touch and pass it on. If he never recovers his pace , what will he do?
    KT is as reliable as ever. One of my favourites already.
    Pepe no involved but not at his fault at all. Ceballos and Bellerin the right sided Midfielder and RWB can’t seem to make 1 forward pass.
    Should be 3 goals up.

  12. Guns of SF

    still not much creativity … southampton still looking dangerous.
    Watch for Ings and the long ball..

    Need all players back on corners-

    We are being man marked very closely in this game…

  13. Nelson

    I suspect that Bellerin is asked by Arteta to pass the ball backward or sideways. Tierney is the one who keeps firing the ball forwards.

  14. Radio Raheem

    Better than I thought we would be. There is some intensity to our play unlike the last time round.

    Let’s see if they carry this to the second half.

  15. Ishola70

    Well we all have Mr McCarthy to thank for the gift.

    You need a touch like that when you are scratching around for a win.

    Thanks Alex. He looks a bit thick.

    Apart from the gift Southampton started brightly for the first 5 minutes or so but faded and Arsenal looked the likelier side even if it isn’t that impressive.

    Auba should have slotted home from the left.

    Tierney is an inverted fullback who is not advancing at all. Bellerin is getting forward but doing nothing of note. Bee caught on the ball a couple of times.

    Mustafi made a good intervention near the end of the half and Xhaka made two nice passes down the left channel.

    Overall this game is not being played at a high pace at all. Quite sedate. Probably due to the heat.

    Just need to keep a clean sheet now. Easy eh.

  16. Useroz

    Disappointed with Saka too. A few attempts driving to byline and that’s about it. Nothing special judging his performance post restart thou he did better than many others. Is it a lack of partnership??

    Auba is still Auba. Shot straight at the GK and hit the cross bar (goalie touched it slightly)…

    Have you seen our MF? Did they start the game?? Oh. Xhara did kick the balls a few times!

    Defence largely not troubled keep it that way.

    Forward play just sucks whichever way you look at it. Any coach worth a dime must have been able to put some patterns by now!! These forwards are supposed to be coach able according to many here Emery was shot but where’s the MA playbook? Left in City’s locker?

  17. Tom

    “This is clutching at straw. Arsenal should now buy players to appease their fans! I don’t think so. Arsenal should buy players that fit their need and who will improve the team, not because some keyboard warriors like the latest YouTube fads. We’re would you stop. Soon team selection and substitution will be decided by online survey!“

    So true, unless of course those keyboard warriors happened to be you, then Arsenal should definitely get the players keyboard warriors want.

  18. Goonies


    Tierney has been instructed to be more reserved cos that isn’t his game at all but if it works for the team great.

    Been pretty solid so far and created some decent chances.

  19. G8

    Started well, but faded after Eddies goal.
    Auba looked frustrated after missing that chance..
    Bellend is poor, and tafi is on a yellow!
    Also the whole team fitness is a concern

  20. Champagne Charlie

    Has a preseason vibe, heat totally suffocating any desire for players to sprint or make telling movement. Very sedate.

    Thank you GK

  21. TheBayingMob

    BayingWhy would you want fake noise that isn’t representative of the game your watching?”

    I think it’s actually really well done … or at least as good as it could be … personally I think it makes it a bit more immersive than just hearing the players yelping at each other … but also I can well understand that people don’t like it, I get that

  22. Ishola70


    “We are playing with a back 3 today”

    Are you watching the game Wasi?

    Tierney has been playing deep inside away from the touchline for a lot of the half.

  23. Guns of SF

    There is a lot of space in front or Pepe, he just needs a good pass, and a quick turn and its acres of space for him to run into…

    Bellerin/Dani etc need to find him…. give a good pass for crying out loud!

  24. Wasi

    More like are you watching the game?
    Tierney is on the left side of a back 3 with Saka playing as a wing back . But since Saka is taking up very high positions KT is moving up ahead a bit to cover the vacant space.

  25. MidwestGun

    Personally all this restart stuff has been pretty well crap from what I’ve seen.. Plus it’s just a way to legitimize the Scouser’s title more.. so that just annoys me anyhow.

  26. Goonies

    Baying it is well done in some instances but hearing the players and the managers Yelp at each other is the reality. It’s football stripped back it’s good for a short period but need the fans back ASAP

  27. TheBayingMob

    Pedro, you’re post is a little incoherent for me, on one hand the club is being taken over by the lunatics but Arteta is that good he will find a way to raise the team above it all and be brilliant.

    I get your stance on him, I get it that you have gone hard and doubled down on how highly you rate him, but at the same time if the club are in that much shit with it’s ownership and executive management, then surely a rookie coach has no chance?

    How can he if Cedric, Luiz and an injured Mari are being forced upon him? That doesn’t make any sense to me … I can understand he’s taking it like a trooper as he is not in a position to argue today, but if he’s going to be as successful as you say then he can’t take this shit laying down, his transfer funds and positioning have just been tied up for him for (what little is left of) the summer.

    For Arteta to succeed as you suggest it would take that management all pulling in the same direction, which you are arguing they are not …

  28. Valentin

    That pass from Martinez to Aubameyang is exactly the kind of terrific distribution that Leno never do.

    How is that not a goal !

  29. MidwestGun

    Last preseason Auba was by far our best .. sharpest player. This summer he looks barely interested, maybe he will play into shape. Or maybe he is worried about his contract stuff.. no idea.

  30. Radio Raheem

    Reminiscent of Southampton’s match against Norwich – they got better second half.

    We should simply sit back and counter.

  31. Ishola70

    tbf to Wasi when facing up defending Tierney is in a back three.

    It’s not a conventional back three though.

    When Arsenal are on the ball Tierney is looking to peel away even though he is still away from the touchline.

  32. Useroz

    “Auba should be scoring that.
    What is wrong with him today?“

    Unlike Luiz , his contract still isn’t sorted. No 350k a week. Auba does look worried!

  33. Chris

    I’ll take this win 1-0 right now. Scrappy so far but important to have that feeling again of the 3 points.

    Great kick by Martinez to set up Aubameyang, shame it couldn’t be finished off for the second. Hope to see more of that from the keeper.

  34. S Asoa

    What does Arteta have against Pepe ?
    Think Arteta is worse than Wenger in game management. Emery was better in substitutions, but had no logic in his playing style

  35. G8

    Why Pepe?
    He could always come with a special goal when needed.
    On performance Auba should’ve been off or shifted central in place of Eddie

  36. Buzzy

    One of those typcial games that we’re so used to…either this is going to finish 1-0 or 2-1 to the saints..we concede one and it’s as good as conceding two

  37. Guns of Hackney

    Lots more injuries.

    Who was it that said Tierney was an amazing signing and the response was “he’s always fucking injured”.

    Pepe off again for a child. Money well spent.

    Ya, Raul is a total non stop animal in the transfer market.

  38. Useroz

    Tierney cramping up on 66”??? V poor fitness

    Seriously don’t want to see Kolac in the pitch. Another waste of space, not dissimilar to Bellerin. Wot a pair of fullbacks we have!

    Ozil is concerned with UV….

  39. Goonies

    I’m sure some people on here have never kicked a ball.

    Just because we aren’t dominating possession or 5-0 up doesn’t mean we’re playing poorly or are in danger.

    We’ve got the lead we don’t need to over commit.

  40. Ishola70

    Can they hold out without conceding?

    This use of Tierney today could be a master stroke from Arteta lol

  41. Jim Lahey

    “We’ve got the lead we don’t need to over commit.”

    We are playing Southampton… Not Liverpool

  42. Guns of Hackney

    Cramps? Ha ha ha ha ha.

    60 mins in a little heat and the professional footballer has a cramp!

    Fuck me.

  43. Guns of Hackney

    Tierney was injury prone at Celtic. Now he’s come to a club notorious for butchering players. Clown.

  44. Buzzy

    What exactly does joe willock offer to this team? One of those typical ordinary players who play for a 1 to 2 years and then disappear into oblivion…uninspiring!

  45. Useroz

    Why I feel our goal is being peppered?

    Where are our forwards and star striker? Oh. Pepe is warming down already. Can we bring on Martinelli? oh he’s out of favour or injured.

    Who can we put on seriously?? Laca who doesn’t score away? Nelson the great? Giroud anyone?

  46. Ishola70

    Well Burnley have just taken the lead so they better hang on.

    Don’t want the embarrassment of Dyche leapfrogging.

  47. Majesticgooner

    This hurts , the lack bod attacking is football frightening, even teams like Southampton play with some structure, it’s so so painful to watch..

  48. prvhc

    Arteta is an apparently an attacking coach but all the stats and our general play don’t support that misconception.

  49. Ernest Reed

    Hope Tierney’s injury is more a precaution than injury, otherwise that kid is more fragile than micro thin glass.

  50. Ishola70

    Decent save from Martinez.

    We shall not, we shall not be breached.!

    We shall not, we shall not be breached!