CHAMPIONSHIP SCOUTING REPORT COME GET IT

by .

GUEST POST FROM THE MAIN MAN MIKE MCDONALD (FOLLOW)

I can’t remember a time in the last 20 years where there has been so much potential Premier League talent available in the Championship.

I think this has snuck up on us as coaches. Championship teams have suddenly made the conscious choice to ‘play football.’ In previous decades there has been a marked difference in the playing style as you looked at the lower leagues.

The result is two-fold. Potential becomes easier to spot as teams like Leeds/Brentford have players who not only understand modern football but they play it too. Secondly, you can slide them into a PL team with significantly less adaptation.

Arsenal not only need to look at some of these gems because finances may dictate but also because they are good enough. Some could even be elite.

You will enjoy these videos. Some will dazzle you. I haven’t priced these players as prices will depend on each club’s Covid impact.

CREATIVE PLAYERS:

Arsenal need a modern midfield, centre backs that can handle stress, and arguably need a creative player or two more than anything.

The Championship has more of this type of potential gem than any other type of player.

Said Benrahma (Brentford)

An inverted right-footed, left-winger. Can play both wings and as an attacking midfielder.

A difference maker with delicious feet who brings joy. If you see potential in Pepe, you will see the same here. Perhaps the player we hope Nelson could be.

Chelsea are allegedly very interested but have much competition in this area already. Arsenal could use him as a ‘wandering left-winger.’

What a talent!

Ebe Eze (QPR)

A powerful, direct, line breaking attacker. Has an equal eye for an assist as a goal. Reminds me of Martial with a similar toolbox of skills.

Can play as an 8 in a 4-3-3 or anywhere across the front 3 in a 4-2-3-1.

Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool on loan at Reading)

Very similar in playing style and looks to Eze, but taller and stronger.

Another fantastic natural footballer with a bag of creativity.

Much like Eze he can play as a line-breaking third midfielder or across the front three.

Would Liverpool sell or probably want to loan?

Matheus Pereira (West Brom)

After speaking to a handful of fans of Championship clubs, most felt that he is the best of the creative players. His loan from Sporting Lisbon is now obliged to be triggered for €9M.

Plays as a 10 or as a right-winger. Six goals and 12 assists to date. His primary qualities are his vision and high technical level. Has a wicked reverse pass.

If you watch this video, you will note a left-footed, elegant player who seems to glide around the field. Never known West Brom to have this type of player!

Michael Olise (Reading)

Yet another gifted creative player. Olise is a left-footed, attacking midfielder with the proverbial wand of a left foot. At 18, he may be the cheapest of the ‘creative’ list and a worthwhile investment due to his high ceiling. Seems to use the sole of his foot to bamboozle. Love it!

MODERN CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS:

Even though we all see the improvement in Xhaka and Ceballos, we all see the need for modern, athletic central midfielders.

Max Bird (Derby)

Arsenal need modern, athletic, tall, powerful midfielders to at least be on par with the vast majority.

Max Bird may not be this in the PL yet, but he has the profile. His most impressive quality lies in his ability to see both opportunity and danger quickly.

Bird plays alongside Rooney in the centre of midfield. Rooney recently claimed that he “wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the England squad within a year.” Much like Olise, at 19 years old it might be a wise investment?

Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)

With Leeds likely to go up, it’s highly unlikely that a hometown boy would reject the opportunity to play at least one season for Leeds in the PL.  I’ve included him however as I think he potentially has everything we need. An athletic centre or defensive midfielder who can deny and create. You will remember him as the hub of the one sided first half at the Emirates in January as Leeds totally dominated. It is hard to find a central midfielder who is a specialist in both areas, you normally have to find two.

Arsenal are pursuing Partey as he can do both, but so can Phillips. I’ll be very surprised if he’s not very close to England’s Euro 2021 squad as he’s a far better footballer than both Rice and Dier.

Kalvin Phillips will also be the player with the highest value in the Championship at around £35M.

Conor Gallagher (Swansea…. on loan from Chelsea)

A two way, two-footed creative central midfielder. An impressive eye for a pass in the final third as well as counter opportunities. A modern-day number 8, with boundless energy and goal threat.

Named Chelsea’s Academy player of the Year last season which is no mean feat amongst huge competition.

FULL BACKS/WING BACKS

We need a better option than Kolasinac and many including myself, think Bellerin is overrated.

Nathan Ferguson (WBA)

Ferguson is allegedly on his way to Palace. Smart move as he’ll play. Arsenal should take a look as he’s going to cost below £10M and has played both right and left back.

A fast, athletic, modern full back who at 19 has a very bright future.

Jayden Bogle (Derby)

Want your right back to be hugely confident on the ball? High technical ceiling? A huge attacking threat with the athleticism to recover?

You need to watch this video because people are starting to talk about Bogle.

Probably a better right wing back than right back.

Matty Cash (Forest)

A combative attacking right back who interestingly has the posture and profile of a defensive midfielder. Actually a converted winger who took advantage of Carl Jenkinson’s long term injury. Tough, quick and great in the tackle. Being tipped to get a call up to the Poland team through his grandparents heritage.

Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham)

Not the greatest video but you’ll get a little flavour of an emerging talent getting rave reviews at left back for Birmingham City. A tall powerful left back with a wicked left foot. Former winger, like Cash.

CENTRE BACKS:

The best CB in the Championship is Ben White but he is officially a Brighton player and I mentioned him in last weeks transfer blog.

Beyond Ben White there is one more worth your attention.

Pontus Jansson (Brentford)

A warrior. Arsenal fans pine for a Tony Adams type. Here he is. Not saying he is of this level but certainly a similar profile. Aggressive, strong, better on the ball than given credit for. This 29 year old Swedish international is worth a look.

STRIKER

Arsenal don’t need an unproven striker as they have Nketiah, Martinelli, John Jules and Balogun vying for this. What they will be interested in however, is the right profile of striker.

Arteta seems to like a willing presser. The ability to play with your back to goal, perhaps a false nine and I’m sure he’d love someone better in the air as in Saka and Tierney in particular we have good crossers but nobody great in the air.

So…

Ollie Watkins (Brentford)

To add to the list above, Watkins can create goals for himself off the dribble.

Tall, very fast and able to score in a variety of ways. Watkins will no doubt find himself in the PL with Brentford or somebody else, I’m sure.

VERDICT:

Firstly, I think it’s important that we don’t become snobby about this. The Championship truly has some gems. You’ll be aware that Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City) has just been signed by Dortmund. They play their youngsters like we do. A reminder that the most sought after creative player in the PL in Jack Grealish has played the majority of his minutes in the Championship.

I think Arsenal should take a close look at Bogle and Ferguson as wing-back options. Phillips would be a dream signing but it’s not happening yet.

We will need more than one creative force to finally connect the front and back. As Benrahma and Pereira will likely get promoted and be more expensive, I’d take a close look at Eze at QPR, who would no doubt need money and sell cheaper.

Follow me @Mike_Mmcdonald

432 Responses to “CHAMPIONSHIP SCOUTING REPORT COME GET IT”

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  1. Pierre

    Valentin
    ” It may be paradoxical, but Lacazette plays better without Aubameyang. He does not have to play the link-up man so much and can therefore make first post runs.”

    I question whether Lacazette makes near post runs.

  2. Just Another Customer

    so you mean play with our strength that is pace but then again it will be free for all in the midfield battle

    most important part is off the ball and run in behind

    if we perfect that gameplan we still have a chance

    now will be a great time for magic of the cup

  3. China1

    I think our academy isn’t doing badly the last few years.

    Has it produced any elite talents? Not yet, but I’m ok with that if we can churn out PL level players to pad out our squad with acceptable backups and sell them at a home grown/British premium to other PL teams a few years down the line

    We all like the idea of academy players becoming world beaters but in all the top teams it doesn’t happen that frequently. The more important point is if we are extracting some kind of value out of the academy. We sold iwobi for a small fortune considering and I think we have several players in that quality bracket now who will either step up as genuine quality, be acceptable bench players or get sold hopefully for useful cash. In any such case we’ll be winning

  4. China1

    How can spurs have greater commercial revenue than us? The club had a lot to answer for. No one even gives a shit about spurs. Arsenal are continuing to demonstrate that the money men don’t know what they’re doing and this has been the case for over a decade. We constantly under perform relative to the market

  5. CG

    Nelson

    “””””Looks like Vinni is not doing his job well.””””””

    Vinny would struggle to sell face masks to the public these days.

    Another gormless one – only The Arsenal who seem to want to employ.

    The worst ever candidate on The Apprentice has more business acumen than this waste of space.

    Tony Adams , so so accurate with his ‘Out of their Depth’ comments yesterday

  6. China1

    I wouldn’t rule out saka being good at AM but there’s a very big difference between him being awesome at crossing (he is) and being awesome at through balls, eye of the needle type passes

    He hasn’t yet demonstrated he has that in his locker.

    We really just need to stop over complicating things and put saka on the left with auba at CF. Only at arsenal is it some kind of hard requirement for a handful of players in any given match to be out of their best position. Holding can play LCB, Tierney LWB, Saka LWF. It’s really frustrating that Arteta is so unwilling to do this just so he can shoehorn in another CF in laca/Eddie

  7. Nelson

    For today’s game, I bet MC will have most of the ball. They won’t allow us to pass the ball upfield. Arteta may try again high pressing and take advantage of their errors. For that, I would prefer Reiss than Pepe. Reiss has a higher work rate.

  8. London gunner

    China

    Life isn’t just about work.

    Would hate to be raised in China I have many many Chinese friends mainly coders they tell me for a lot of kids its a hellish experience and even when they complete all the studying and exams they then get a job working way over 12 hours a day. Sure they are getting paid well but when they look back on their life 90% of it being spent in an office is pretty sad.

    I think the British system is far better if you want to work like a robot/slave no one will stop you but at the same time no one expects you to work like that.

    For me life isn’t just about work I like to finish after 9 hours go to the gym, or run or yoga or restaurant with friends or just chill on the sofa. With my previous role when I worked 12-14 hours I never felt I had time just to enjoy myself and also you begin to lose your sense of self and individualism you start to think of who you are just as what your job title is and what company are. Its a form of brainwashing.

    I get china has done great things but I think we should be moving to a model of automation and ai taking the bulk of jobs and then job sharing for what is left and then having some form of ubi to cover the edges.

    As someone who works in tech what’s coming on the horizon really would be stupid if we are still working 50 hour weeks in 5 to 10 years

  9. Sid

    Calypso
    How many African nations have won the World Cup?

    Viera, Mbappe – world cup
    Salah, Mane, Drogba – EPL

  10. Gentlebris

    ‘China goes too far one way and the UK too far the other. I’m trying to give my son the best of both with enough freedom and enough of a kick. Hope it works out’

    China,

    Believe me, that’s the way to go.

    If you remove the golden platform from a Brit in his/her early 20s and place him/her on same platform as a Nigerian/Ghanian/Gambian/Chinese/Korean in same age bracket, the young Brit would cry himself silly, asking for Mama.

    There was a time African/Asian were so left behind in science, commerce and art.
    Not these days, and if a young Brit can’t compete with young Africans/Asians under same social pressure, you can tell what the future looks like.

  11. China1

    London yeah agreed in the sense that China goes too far that way, but I think British society goes too far the other

    The upsides of Britain are abundantly clear and enough that I’ll probably move back in a year or two, but make no mistake there are downsides which are very real and noticeable when you spend time on the outside. The prevalence of Depression, dependency on welfare, a lack of motivation, people being too personally invested in righting all the wrongs of the world (I don’t think individual human beings are well equipped to shoulder the mental burden of a ‘woke’ society), physical/violent crime prevalence especially in certain areas of each city

    I love the UK and prefer it to China but it’s problems are not to be overlooked

    And I predict AI and automation is going to lead to a huge further spike in depression in the future. I don’t think it’s a good thing for people to have money in their pockets but nothing they need to do.

  12. China1

    Un YouTube is blocked here haha

    I’ll take your word the clips are good but I think we just need to play saka to his strengths. With auba in the box and saka and Tierney pushing forward on the left we’re going to get goals on the regular

  13. Leedsgunner

    Saka is a wonderfully versatile footballer but his strongest position is on the left wing.

    Therefore our strongest lineup for the cup match as I see it is…

    Martinez

    Bellerin—Mustafi—Luiz—Holding—Tierney

    Xhaka

    Pepe—Lacazette—Saka

    Aubameyang

    Subs

    AMN
    Nelson
    Willock
    Nketiah
    Sokratis
    Macey
    Balogun
    Cédric
    Torreira

  14. Marc

    China

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how AI is going to replace a huge percentage of jobs but people are still going to have the money to go and buy the stuff / services being made or supplied by AI.

  15. Gentlebris

    As for the game tonight, is it not sad that Arsenal are going to a cup semi final with 95% acceptance of loss before a ball is kicked?

    And it’s not even United!

  16. Marc

    Leeds

    Saka is a hugely promising talent but he’s not the finished article / reached his potential yet. For him to do that we need to decide on a position for him and play him there 99% of the time.

    If we keep moving him from LW to RW to CAM to LB to LWB we’ll be sitting here in a couple of years talking about another player who never nailed down a position properly.

    It’ll also make any future recruitment more complicated.

  17. Marc

    Un

    The Governments of the World can’t get Starbucks to pay the right amount of Corporation Tax – how the fuck are they going to get all these new “mega” companies to do it is beyond me.

  18. Pierre

    Leeds
    “MartinezBellerin—Mustafi—Luiz—Holding—Tierney

    Xhaka

    Pepe—Lacazette—Saka

    Aubameyang”

    Shit or bust for you then with that line up.

  19. China1

    Un I would do this

    —————-Martinez
    —-—mustafi-Luiz-holding
    Cedric-Ceballos-Torreira-Tierney
    —-—-Nelson————-Saka
    ———-———auba

    Saka can drift in when Tierney overlaps

  20. Sid

    1. The best team in Africa dont qualify for the World Cup. The African football schedule is crammed.

    2. There aren’t many African managers across the footballing world, many negatives that come with hiring foreign managers. Not speaking the language and not being from the region is extremely challenging.

    When clubs and football associations hire coaches they are also thinking of PR.
    white man, 40 to 60 years old, and with an alpha male mentality

  21. Marc

    Un

    I realise that mate – I think we have a pretty similar outlook on these things and a similarly low tolerance for the bullshit that is spouted about new tech etc.

  22. Gentlebris

    ‘Listen to this bollocks 🤦🏻‍♂️
    The English built a fucking empire before there were boats in Africa.’

    The Greek built a fucking Empire before England could learn to crawl. Where are the Greek on the food chain now?

    China was a third world shit hole when England was already a major world power. Today, China burdened with his billion population would still put England in his back pocket commerce versus commerce, tech vs tech, military strength vs military strength!

    Bollocks is when you would rather look backward than forward.

  23. Dissenter

    Unai na

    ‘ Marc, Tongue in cheek mate’

    Problem is your tongue is permanently fastened to your cheek with silly-glue.

  24. Sid

    Passing crossing dribbling and shooting. It’s all there!https://m.youtube.com/watch?
    v=dFkXcgaaw5Q
    And he’s English Sid😉 😎

    The future is bright for England, Rashford got a honourary doctorate, who knows,
    Sol Campell for prime minister?
    Meghan for Queen?

    You heard it here 1st😎

  25. China1

    Un yeah I agree it’s not everyone at all, but it is a common issue

    The depression part is my biggest concern. Oldest brother committed suicide, other older brother also suffers, half my male friends back home struggle with it. I really think the n1 cause is that in the west we are far too aware of all the ills of the world and shoulder the burden of trying to do the right thing or fight for justice

    GM food, environment concerns, poverty around the world, political issues around the world, foreign wars, corporations behaving badly, global warming, societal inequalities, the list is endless

    In the west we are constantly reminded of all these things and encouraged to do the right thing. Whilst that’s a great thing in principle, I think most human beings aren’t built to shoulder the burden of righting so many wrongs in the world. And I think the challenge is in the UK we have all this information and ‘woke’ world outlook and enough free time to let it bear down on a lot of people and get to them. I think when people are busy they have less time to dwell on it all and get sucked into how dark it all is

    But anyway – China clearly goes too far the other way. Which is why we’ll probably move back to the UK but I will apply a fraction of the Chinese outlook to my parenting and working style.

  26. Dissenter

    How many times does Arteta have play Pep to beat him.

    I posit that the number of games needed to beat [NNB] is at least 8.

  27. China1

    Marc yeah I hesitated on the AMN inclusion for that exact reason. Pepe is way more talented but I think against city I’d go for industry over talent.

    Not certain it’s the right decision but it’s what I’d do

  28. Sid

    Arsenal will beat man c, diet Pep has stumbled on a winning formula, 10 men behind the ball.

    We will also win the FA

    You heard it here 1st!

  29. Gentlebris

    Sid,

    African ain’t winning shit until a fifa rule be put in place that if your parents are from Africa, you play for Africa.

    Africans, because of the present economic constraints in the continent, tend to migrate a lot. Nigerians, for example, are everywhere in great numbers and Nigeria best football brains might be born all over the world.

    Imagine Dele Ali, Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Saka, Balogun and a host of others born in other countries in the Nigerian team. How soon before Nigeria win the world cup if it’s like that?

  30. Just Another Customer

    the change is from within not from the outside

    the woke movement of brute forcing is futile

    thus I only bother to improve myself because I’m just another agent of change

    at least that’s what I tell myself to keep my sanity in this insane world

  31. Sid

    Just Another CustomerJuly 18, 2020 10:58:16
    the change is from within not from the outsidethe woke movement of brute forcing is futile

    Time is with the oppressed and against the oppresser

  32. Gentlebris

    ‘You weren’t comparing us to the Greeks though were you? Venomous little toad aren’t you? Very hateful for a man who claims to be a good Christian.’

    Un, what a shameful excessive nuisance you are becoming by the hour.

    Where do you see the hate in what I wrote?

    You snobbishly dismissed Africa, and I gave you examples of how tables do turn.

    You are beyond pathetic and your brains are not even worth my fart.

    And pls, admit it, you don’t even have a life, that much could be perceived by the way you jump about here like a lost rabbit.

    Unlike you, hate is one thing I don’t do.

    And yes, Thank You Jesus, I’m a good Christian but by Grace alone.

  33. Kenyangunner

    The best system tonight should be 9-1

    Defend,defend,defend then pump it forward for Auba to chase!

  34. Sid

    Reality will sink in,

    The feudal lords grabbed the commons
    The law forced disempowered Europeans into employment.
    Ordinary Europeans were either shipped to or run away to the Americas

    Rinse repeat, rinse repeat

  35. Gentlebris

    ‘Defend,defend,defend then pump it forward for Auba to chase!’

    Auba can’t fight for long balls, no stamina and hunger in that direction.

    Laca could do a job though, but his height…

  36. Marc

    bris

    “Bollocks is when you would rather look backward than forward.”

    If that’s true can I stopped being blamed for all the problems in the world that were happened / caused several hundred years before I was born?

  37. Leedsgunner

    Our defensive midfield gets bypassed anyway…if we’re going to play with wingbacks, our best form of defence is attack. Lacazette is excellent in bringing in others into play and stitching the attack and midfield together.

    Nick a goal and then pack the bus.

    We did it against Liverpool we can do it again… I hope…

    Yes it’s dangerous but we need to go for it for the FA Cup and win it for entry into Europa League. If miss out on Europe altogether the chances of Aubameyang goes from slim to nothing not to mention attracting our top targets.

  38. Marc

    Un

    Or we could force anyone who isn’t “indigenous” to England to go back where they came from!

    Pedro – this of course is not my view – it’s just pointing out how stupid the comment by bris was.

  39. China1

    Yeah un. Whatever your experience of that is I hope it has a happier ending

    I think there’s a direct connection with how economically developed and comfortable your life is and the chance of facing depression. Those in developing countries are fighting for survival, or basic life improvements and don’t have time to notice or dwell on the darkness that’s out there.

    For myself I’ve found the solution is to try and draw a line in the sand and say I support and care about justice, doing the right thing etc but I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I can’t change the world myself and if I can be a reasonably decent person that will be enough. I want my son to understand the same.

    Pick battles you can win and know when the battle will do you more harm than good – and stay out of such battles rather than let them beat you down

  40. Marc

    Does the EL place place for the FA Cup go to the runners up if the winners are already in Europe or does it go to the next league position?

  41. Dissenter

    Marc
    The EL position defaults to the league
    Remember Watford didn’t earn a EL as reward for their 6-0 drubbing at last years final.

  42. Leftfootcurler

    Anyone who thinks David Luiz is a bad player should not want Upamecano.
    He is a player who is brilliant on the ball but makes a lot of defensive errors.

    As for this City game,we need lots of luck,like we got in the liverpool game.

    If City goes 4231 they are simply unbeatable. Nobody in europe would be able to beat them in that system.

    In their usual 433,Rodri can get isolated with the 2 AMs caught high up the pitch.
    If we get into such situations,we can get a quick counter off.

    The problem against liverpool was that we tried to play out from the back with our shit defenders against the liverpool press and lost the ball in our own half exposing ourselves to quick counters.

    That same problem is going to continue. We will probably concede in this manner unless we are super lucky like we were last game.

    And Arteta has to make up his mind whether he wants short terms results or is he ready to sacrifice short term results for long term gain.

    If he wants short term results,no Pepe at LW.
    Arsenal looked better attacking wise against Leicester because besides Auba,Saka also made runs in behind.
    2 players running in behind will give us penetration

    I would like to see if Saka can make those runs from LW.

    So Saka-Auba-Pepe is a trio I would start.
    Midfield is about fatigue/fitness issues.
    Most fresh players should play.
    I prefer Xhaka-Ceballos.

    Tierney at LCB,Kola at LWB ,AMN at RWB.

    So the team is-
    Saka-Auba-Pepe
    Xhaka-Ceballos
    Kola-Tierney-Luiz-Mustafi-AMN
    Martinez

    Best possible thing is to avoid passing out from the back and hit Saka,Auba,Pepe to expose City in transition.
    That would give us the best possible chance to win.
    Although we should still lose due to player quality.
    Need luck.

  43. Marc

    Dissenter

    Cheers – had forgotten that.

    So if we win the Cup we’re in Europe or the placing goes down to 7th – not easy but possible.

  44. Sid

    MarcJuly 18, 2020 11:18:43

    ”If that’s true can I stopped being blamed for all the problems in the world that were happened / caused several hundred years before I was born?

    Unfortunately it still goes on today, in subtely forms, but lets get back to football

  45. China1

    How many generations does someone need to be in a country to be a ‘real’ national?

    There was that interesting genealogy tv show years back where they had a huge group of people talking about where they thought they were from

    All of them were in reality mixed as fuck despite many seeming very ‘british’

    There was one white guy who was ranting about how Ian Wright shouldn’t have been allowed to play for England because he wasn’t truly English – he thought he, himself was a real Englishman ofc.

    Needless to say his bloodlines were from all over Europe and iirc there was even a tiny bit of African in him from a handful of generations back.

    He decided Wright was legitimately English after seeing his own results 😂😂

  46. Marc

    China

    The truth is the modern English are a mongrel race that have had so many different “interactions” over the last couple of thousand years that if you want to genuinely talk about who is a real “native” you’d be looking at the Celts.

  47. China1

    I’ve got a London mate out here who has a Pakistani Mum and a kashmiri dad (name Mohsin khan)

    He’s the most culturally English guy you’d ever meet. Born and bred Londoner. Chelsea supporting cunt, but an English Chelsea supporting cunt nonetheless!

    From birth until his mid 20s he never even left London once lol. He used to refer to anywhere outside the ring road as ‘north of the wall’ lol

  48. Marc

    China

    I was actually going back even further – England has been invaded by the Roman’s, the Vikings, the other lot of Vikings who spent a long weekend in Northern France and so on.

  49. Sid

    MarcJuly 18, 2020 11:33:37
    SidYeah but that isn’t me either!

    You are by being on pornhub using petroleum jelly from the Niger delta

    Im telling you for free!

  50. China1

    That was a question for Bris since he was doubting English kids national legitimacy based on their parents nationality

  51. Words on a Blog

    London Gunner/China,

    Here’s something sent to me from a Malaysian-Chinese friend.

    A gorgeous and completely naked British woman hails a taxi driven by a Chinese guy. He stops the cab and looks at her from top to bottom.
    Angrily she asks him, what’s the matter? why are you staring at me? have you never seen a naked woman before?

    The Chinese taxi driver replies: I’m not staring at you coz you’re naked. I’m looking and looking and I can’t see where you have the money to pay me.

    Moral of the story.

    You have to be like the Chinese!

    Focus on money and don’t get distracted.

  52. China1

    Part of me would love to see what my son would do if he was lucky enough to become an international standard footballer

    I often ask him what nationality he is for a laugh and never tell him which he should choose or put any pressure on him. He changes daily but usually says English haha

    Part of me would love to see him line up for England but I’d also be very proud of him if he lined up for China considering they need a good player far more than we do LOL

  53. China1

    Well my boy has been in China for all 3 (nearly 4 ) of his years apart from 2 weeks visiting this time last year but he’ll probably grow up in England , possibly Singapore

  54. Pierre

    LFC
    “I would like to see if Saka can make those runs from LW.”

    The problem with that is he will be up against possible the quickest and strongest runner in Kyle Walker .
    Very few get the better of him , Mane of liverpool possibly.

    That’s why I thought kolasinac could match Walker in speed and strength.
    Saka or Tierney may find it difficult.

  55. Radio Raheem

    If we play only one of Kolasinac, Mustafi and Luiz we might have a chance later. Anything else we lose and lose emphatically.

  56. Graham62

    People like Kia Joorabchian just get on my wick.

    In fact, I consider all football agents to be sleazeballs of the highest order and totally untrustworthy.

    I think you’d all agree with me when I say that sometimes you’ve just got to look at someone to realise that they’re not to be trusted. He would be one such person.

    Not disputing that he is highly successful and all that, but how the fudge do so many clubs get pulled in by these people.

    Yep, I know the players have these leeches doing all their dirty work for them but it still doesn’t account for…………………….Oh, hold on a sec! what am I thinking? Of course it all makes sense. The reason clubs get involved with leeches like Mr Joorabchian is that they also have the same slimey sleazeballs working in their midst.

    Also, with a name like KIA, how can he be truly trusted?

    CG I’m 100% in agreement with you on this particular subject.

    Silly me.🤪

  57. Daniel Altos

    Hope everyone is in great shape.This is a nice write up.I am a big fan of the championship and I can say that there are plenty of hidden gems there…Ollie Watkins has a 18m release clause,if auba and laca are going we should just go in hard for him and benrahma…that said
    I know a lot of attention goes to Leeds but for me brentford play the best football in the championship.

  58. Marc

    Un

    Yeah he seems to be getting himself sorted. The rumours are he was caught putting it about – let the lesson be learned “Flies spread disease so keep yours closed”

  59. Leftfootcurler

    Pierre

    Kola is significantly slower than Walker. Saka is faster than Kola too.
    Walker will probably drop into midfield as an inverted FB.
    I want Saka to be on the shoulder of the City’s defence line.
    Walker is not going to recover in time.
    There were chances in the previous game against City where Auba could have been put through on goal but likes of Willock,Nketiah doesn’t didnt see the opportunity.
    Walker was far too ahead in those situations.

  60. Daniel Altos

    we should just go in hardSteady on Dani Altos
    This warm weather must be getting the better of you

    @Un 😂 I wish you know how cold it is in my country right now

  61. MidwestGun

    I think you’d all agree with me when I say that sometimes you’ve just got to look at someone to realise that they’re not to be trusted. He would be one such person.
    _______
    Say what? No, no I don’t agree with you.. That is literally the definition of prejudice and racism. Judging somebody by how they look. No surprise you would be in agreement with CG then. Silly you indeed.

    You judge somebody by their actions.. and that’s the reason you shouldn’t trust super agents, because for the most part they are in it for the money and selfish reasons, no concern for the Club at all.

  62. Mark

    @ Un
    ” The English built a fucking empire before there were boats in Africa.”

    You really sound Stupid, coming out with crap like this. Answer this you Numpty, Were the Pyramids built before the British empire??

    Wasn’t a 3000yr old boat not found in Tutankhamen’s tomb???

    Stick to talking shit about football cos you obviously know shit about history!

  63. Graham62

    MidwestGuns

    Really!

    Note the word “sometimes”. Served me exceptionally well during my lifetime.

    If you consider this to be racism then I can only assume you’ve lived a very very sheltered life.

  64. MidwestGun

    Graham_
    When you look at a picture of Kia Joorabchian, if you didn’t know him or what he did, he looks pretty normal to me.. no different then any number of businessmen I see everyday in South Texas. He would fit right in.

    So yes that is prejudice judging whether a person can be trusted by his appearance.
    And nope not sheltered at all been around the block a few times.. Was in sales once.. and hiring for that matter and that’s the first thing you learn after a time is a persons appearance is not the determining factor nor where they are from.

  65. salparadisenyc

    Slightly gutted for Brentford, have been on fantastic winning streak and bottled it at end.

    Still hope though.

  66. Tom

    @ Un
    ” The English built a fucking empire before there were boats in Africa.” You really sound Stupid, coming out with crap like this. Answer this you Numpty, Were the Pyramids built before the British empire??Wasn’t a 3000yr old boat not found in Tutankhamen’s tomb???Stick to talking shit about football cos you obviously know shit about history!

    Mark
    Yeah but is Egypt even in Africa ?
    Un gets all his knowledge from movies and right wing websites, and last time I checked every Hollywood depiction of Egypt had an all white cast so clearly not an African nation then.

  67. Champagne Charlie

    Middy is bang on it, ‘he looks dodgy’ is the laziest form of prejudice going.

    Super agents can be an issue because of their actions and insidious behaviour, nothing to do with how they look – KIA included. That ain’t it chief.

  68. Tom

    Un
    Let’s hear it.
    Btw, easy City win today( unfortunately).
    No Arteta’s City insight knowledge can compensate for the fact Arsenal are uniquely ill suited to get the better of them.

  69. MidwestGun

    I mean, If we had to judge Pedro by his appearance God help us… Definitely wouldn’t trust a slightly balding playboy too handsome for his own good that clearly spends too much time drinking and too much time at the gym. eh?. 😀

  70. DivineSherlock

    I have seen now Pedro has altogether stopped match previews. I understand he cant do it for every one , maybe for big games like a Semi Final or something . Maybe a let some guest or commenter on here do it .

  71. gnarleygeorge9

    It’s times like now, FA Cup semi &/or Final you feel Gr8 to be a Briton. It’s a our tradition, & no one can take it away from us, no one!!!

  72. MidwestGun

    Anyhow… all that aside.. would love to get to that FA Cup final.. don’t even care how we do it. Formation, personnel, screw it…… just win, baby.

  73. Kenyangunner

    So Eqypt is not in Africa? I guess it is in South America.
    Below is a list of ancient africa empires.
    Ancient

    Ancient Carthage and its dependencies in 264 BC.
    Egyptian Empire (3150–30 BCE)
    Kingdom of Kerma (2500–1500 BCE)
    Kingdom of Kush (1070 BCE–350 CE)
    Carthaginian Empire (650–146 BCE)
    Kingdom of Blemmyes (600 BCE–3rd
    Ptolemaic Kingdom (306–30 BCE)
    Kingdom of Mauretania (285 BCE–431 CE and again (533–698 CE)
    Kingdom of Numidia (202–46 BCE)
    Kingdom of Makuria (340–1317 CE)
    Kingdom of Nobatia (350–650 CE)
    Kingdom of the Vandals and Alans (435–534 CE)

  74. MLC

    Pedro, please let me comment, I’m a supporter of Corinthians and Arsenal (I’m Brazilian). I don’t think you know the Kia story. In August 2004, a partnership contract was signed between Corinthians and MSI (Media Sports Investmentos), an investment fund based in London, represented in Brazil by Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian. The contract guaranteed MSI control over the Corinthians football department for 10 years, negotiating contracts and thus making a profit on the sale of players. In the first year, MSI invested around 115 million reais in hiring and brought to Corinthians names like Tevez, Mascherano. In 2006, the partnership starts to go into crisis, with the investigations on the origin of the MSI money, the disagreements between Kia and the leaders of Corinthians. The investigations by the Federal Police generated a series of charges against MSI and Kia Joorabchian. The crimes listed were: money laundering, currency evasion, tax evasion and conspiracy. The involvement of Russian tycoon Boris Berezoski was also found to be the head behind the deal. Boris is famous for his involvement with the Russian mafia, which reinforces the idea that MSI came to Corinthians with the strong intention of making money from obscure sources lawful.

  75. CG

    UN

    “”””And no. A city win is not a given. We did them in the fa cup semi final in 2017 against all odds.””””

    Yes, But Arsene Wenger was at the helm.
    His calmness, nous and knack is missing today,

    The greatest cup final manager of all time.

    Anyway FA Cups are easy to win nowadays though.So no real problems today.

  76. Tom

    KenyangunnerJuly 18, 2020 14:16:38
    So Eqypt is not in Africa? I guess it is in South America.
    Below is a list of ancient africa empires.
    Ancient

    Thanks for the list, half of these I remember from school.
    Ever heard of sarcasm?

  77. CG

    Tom

    “””””It always warms my heart when CG and I agree on something.””””

    Most folk , come around in the end, to my way of thinking,
    (I accept its a slow process)

    Although this Graham 62 is difficult to dislodge- crikey he is almost as stubborn as our Wenger.

    I am just surprised , he has not blamed Wenger for Brentford’s collapse today.

  78. Mark

    Un.
    ” I could school you into oblivion right now but I won’t. I’d rather not get banned for posting facts about ancient Egypt”

    I doubt that very much sunshine!

    Why would facts be offensive anywhere? Unless what you purport to be facts are more of ‘That’ bullshit ideology that got you banned last time.

    You also didn’t answer my question about the boat in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Which makes your original statement look as dumb as you feel right now.

    Seems like you want to try and draw some inference to the racial make up of the Egyptians, as the basis for your argument that you don’t want to mention.

    It must be hard to accept for you. But let me try to help you. Google castles in Africa. You will find ones in Ethiopia and all over Africa centuries older than anything in Europe (The European castles are actually copied from the earlier African ones). No doubt you will probably to rewrite history on this too.

    You said England had built an empire before Africa had boats. England and Africa were quoted.

    If you really think that Egypt which is in AFRICA and is regarded as one of the (if not the most) advanced civilisations this planet has seen didn’t have boats before the British empire then well, I think you need to go back to school before you are schooling anyone.

    Ps. There’s s a reason Napoleon shot at the Sphinx’s face with canons, must have been as hard to accept then as it is now for some. A monument built like that with the face of the janitor. Mmmm, just doesn’t so that plausible does it.
    The Olmec heads, they were just having a larf, carving heads from 50 ton granite blocks. They didn’t look like that themselves. Yet who were these unknown models, thatvthese ancient Banksy’s decided to immortalise in stone??

    But I suppose your Facts must be bulletproof and would clear all that up for me….

    So trust, me stick to football, or do some actual research and stop spouting crap over the net.

  79. CG

    Quite simply,
    Arsenal can not win today, if David Luiz starts.

    If he does not. By my algorithms. Arsenal well in the running.

  80. MidwestGun

    Finally got around to reading the Post.. I think Mike Mcdonald did a much better write up this time around.. More clear, concise and informative then the first attempt. Less fantasy football. So your getting better dude.. Le Grove will have you molded into shape in no time.

    Also, probably wasn’t clear to Graham.. I don’t think your a rascist, I just didn’t agree with your premise that we all can agree on what you said. Had you left that bit out probably wouldn’t have even brought it up.

  81. Tom

    Mark, you actually went through all this to prove that Un is full of shit?
    The best I can say for him is that he can be entertaining at times when he’s not being a raging racist, that is.
    Like the time he compared Ceballos’ haircut to a cockroach with a speck of furniture dust on his head lol

  82. MidwestGun

    Haha some of the discussions on here.. are funny at times. I think I’m gonna skip over the Egypt history lessons, today though. Time to find my lucky Arsenal boxers and get my viewing game plan in order.

  83. Graham62

    MidWestGun

    Maybe you should read MLC’s earlier post.

    No hard feelings though.

    Big day today. Let’s hope we do it.

    🍺🙏😷

  84. MidwestGun

    Graham-
    Yep.. yep.. would love an FA cup final after the shit year we have had..

    I agree Kia is most likely not an outstanding individual. But you can’t tell from what he looks like.. Honestly he looks like a dude I go surfing with minus the suit.

    Anyhow, gonna be tough… for sure. I so want to make a prediction of score but don’t want to jinx it.

  85. Mark

    Un,
    I think you’ve got more history than Gentlebris, for saying shit like this. Even now you mention indisputable facts.

    Hmmm sorry that and what comes out of your mouth (via the keyboard) never the twain shall meet.

    I don’t give a shit about the movement or views that you got banned for. Simply answering my question with facts wouldn’t get you banned either.
    You seem to be confusing Facts with Xenophobia, they ain’t the same mate.

    Stop playing with the Shit stick and maybe your arse will stop bleeding.
    Mug

  86. Chris

    Just watched highlights of the 2017 semi final to get in the mood further.

    What a fabulous ball in by Oxlade Chamberlain for Montreal’s goal, seems we played 3 at the back that day too.

    I’m not feeling overly confident and yet I am not fearing the worst either. I think that we now have the battling qualities to hang in there with teams who have superior quality and that will count for a lot in a one off game like this.

  87. SpanishDave

    Just had a fright
    I was going down a country lane and passed a car with a lady driver sporting a large pair of sunglasses and wearing a mask.
    She was on her own in the car!
    Bonkers.

  88. Nelson

    Up to now, Arteta’s team is losing the big one; against Olympiakos FC and the NLD. He is facing another test today.

  89. Mark

    Xenophobia is fine though as long as it’s the English eh? Please don’t play the victim, it’s embarrassing.
    FYI I took Bris comments iirc to be referencing the sense of entitlement and benefits of a stable society as producing kids who might find it touhh competing with kids who’ve grown up with disadvantage and in unstable or war torn societies.

    Whereas your statement was based on ignorant, incorrect nonsense. Which you are unable to reply to with any creditable facts. Still unable to it seems.

    Anyway I’ve said enough, but you need to be aware you will be challenged on some of the propaganda you spout, snd rightly so.

  90. Tom

    “Just had a fright
    I was going down a country lane and passed a car with a lady driver sporting a large pair of sunglasses and wearing a mask.
    She was on her own in the car!
    Bonkers.“

    Which was it , her wearing a mask , or driving without male supervision part?

  91. Pierre

    I get the feeling that 99%( or thereabouts) of Arsenal fans think that City will dominate similar to Liverpool the other night .

    I dont think so, I think we will have learnt from the other night and at least try and impose ourselves on the game.

    That’s not to say that City won’t have more possession, they will as they always do , whoever they play.
    I just think that Arsenal will have their moments in the game where we will create chances
    Against liverpool the other night we had Zero creativity, I can’t see that happening tonight.

    First goal is crucial.

  92. Tom

    CGJuly 18, 2020 14:32:48
    Tom“””””It always warms my heart when CG and I agree on something.””””Most folk , come around in the end, to my way of thinking,
    (I accept its a slow process)

    Sorry CG but I never needed convincing Wenger’s FA cup record was something special, or that he would be a hard act to follow.

    How’s your 87% prediction rate these days btw?
    Mourinho taking Spurs back to top four and Watford cracking top six (amongst others)must’ve made a huge dent in it, no lol.

  93. Jamie

    Don’t think lighting is going to strike twice in a week.

    I’m not optimistic about our chances tonight. Hoping for another miracle. I think we should just attack and what happens happens. Guns blazing. It’s a cup game, so fuck it.

  94. Nelson

    City doesn’t press as hard as the Pools. Our defenders will have chances to pass the ball. On the other hand, City’s passing attack can break down our defense easily even if we park the bus..

  95. Champagne Charlie

    Pierre

    Think you’re right to an extent, I feel like we’ll be better equipped centrally this time.

    Liverpool play through the wide areas be it Salah, Mane, TAA, or Robertson. Centrally they’re less impressive. City is the opposite, very dangerous centrally and through the lines.

    Can see Xhaka, Ceballos, and Torreira sitting, maybe even with Willock as a false 9 again to pack midfield. Auba/Laca possibly in a wide two.

  96. Sid

    We will win the penalty shoot out, there wont be defensive howlers from the opposite team today.

    You heard it here 1st!

  97. MidwestGun

    For me.. No costly errors playing out of the back and we might need Martinez to stand on his head a few times. Set piece defending gives me trauma. But I think we will have more chances and not so much long ball play as versus Pool. Really just need the sharp shooters to be sharp. Laca’s confidence has to be higher then normal, so, all things considered, it’s winnable. Say 35% chance.. we were playing decent until David Luiz, torpedoed the match last time. And injuries.

  98. Mark

    Un,

    Without trying to attack you it must be difficult for you at times, it’s like part of you knows what the right thing is, yet you have this other side. Is there inner conflict? I dunno.
    As some of what you post football wise, even if I disagree with some of it, it’s not always nonsense.
    You make fair points at times and generally have some understanding of the issues different people face. However you still have views /beliefs which go against that understanding.

    I think sometimes, just check yourself, before emotionally responding and hitting submit.
    You can believe whatever you choose, that’s your right. However maybe take the time to look into others opinions, information for yourself. Question what you hear or see more, I dunno. I don’t want to lecture you.

    We’re all Arsenal supporters so that should overide most differences, so let’s try to keep the Poli-trics out of it.

    COYG!!

  99. SpanishDave

    It was in deepest Suffolk!
    Tom you shouldn’t tempt me.
    Can’t see us wining tonight but it our only chance of a trophy, so if they can get some club spirit going who knows.

  100. Leedsgunner

    Cazorla is a free agent next week.

    If we win tonight, I would love to see Santi Cazorla come back on a short term contract to play in the FA Cup final and then retire after us winning the Cup.

    Then we can give him the proper send off he deserved. One of the most likeable players in the latter years of the Wenger era.

    Then he would join Arteta as a youth coach or scout.

  101. G8

    City have too many players to worry about, debrunye on his own can destroy us, add sterling, the Silvas, mahrez and Jesus and it’s almost impossible!
    Their defence is not as good , but they’re the masters of keeping the ball and pass it around
    We definitely need a miracle ..
    11 behind the ball and big sam tactic it’s then!

  102. Dissenter

    City don’t press as hard as Liverpool
    City do however press in a more intelligent manner that Liverpool

    Our season probably ends today. City have dominated these domestic cup competitions for a while. I do<hope we win the last two games of the season to at least have a chance of qualifying for the EL.