Team news ahead of the FA Cup final

by & filed under News Review.

It is FA Cup final eve and I am starting to get very excited about the possibilities of tomorrow.

Mikel Arteta gave a very good press conference, he looked calm, and he sounds very confident of having a good day.

Chelsea, who we just LOVE to play in finals, will be a tough game whoever players, but there are reports that Kante and Willian may both be missing for the game. The Brazilian, who has been linked heavily with Arsenal, has been pretty lethal since the restart. Kante is just an incredible player that you’d rather be on the bench.

There are no major injury issues we don’t know about. The biggest worry is going to be that we don’t have Mustafi for the final, he really has been pretty additive to our defensive structure, the idea of going with Luiz and Holding isn’t particularly reassuring, but it is what it is.

Two players we know won’t be there are Matteo and Ozil. The Frenchman isn’t training with us at the moment and Ozil is apparently in Turkey. There’s a story doing the rounds that Barca want us to take Coutinho for £9m and take Guen the other way. Someone was hinting that Arsenal might do one of those accounting tricks Barca did with Juve where they massively overstate the value of the player to book cashflow. That bit certainly wasn’t in the paper.

Coutinho for £9m? I mean, he’s a very good player, I’m just not sure I am thrilled by it. Still, for a club sitting in 8th in the league, it’s hard not to admit that he is better than anything we currently have in the squad from an attacking perspective. There’s also the reality that those sort of signings probably make the senior players in the squad purr.

Back to the FA Cup. Tomorrow is about making memories. Good ones that help bond the squad and build trust with the manager. That is outrageously important for a squad that has lots of young players. Mikel was part of our first trophy in a long while back in the day, he’s hoping to replicate that tomorrow.

“Absolutely. I’ve got pictures, memories, a lot of moments that made that day really nice. I think we have to understand the context of club was – I think eight or 10 years – without a trophy. We wanted to do it for everyone, for the club, for our fans, for Arsene as well who was handling the situation really well. We knew how important it was for him and it generated really good connection between the club, players and fans. The next day was beautiful, the celebrations with all our people in the streets, so great memories.”

We have a history with Chelsea and sadly, last year, we really let ourselves down under Emery. The team weren’t focused, prepared, or in good form. I think tomorrow will be a bit different. The team you will see will have an idea of what they need to do to win, they’ll likely be a lot more motivated than they were in the Premier League last week, and I suspect we’re going to cause Chelsea problems. That said, it’s clear they are in good shape under Frank Lampard and they will certainly get better now they can spend again.

“I don’t know how they are structured or what the resources are for them. Obviously you can see the squad they have at the moment, the amount of players that they have, the quality of the players that they have and the good work that they are doing. We have some really good players as well, we are a good squad and we are an incredible club so I think we are in a good position.”

I’ve heard the players at Chelsea love Frank Lampard, he’s a legend, extremely passionate, and he’s shown himself to be sharp tactically at times this season. He’s certainly no pushover and the hope there is that he becomes the next big thing.

It’s a similar vibe at Arsenal. Let the manager grow with the squad and make a new kind of history. This final is about two young coaches looking to make their way with young players.

Arteta also let the press conference know that he’s been chatting to the big man, Arsene.

“No I haven’t been in touch with him [this week].

“I have been in touch a few times in the last few months with him, but not before the final.

“It is a private conversation. It is great to have him on board, he gives you great advice and just talking to him, he has such knowledge, he is such an intelligent person, just knowing he is there that just knowing he is there and he is going to be supporting us and supporting me, I feel calmer.

“I think in the football world, you can talk about anything with him. You just have to learn, get the book out and take some notes.”

Very sweet.

I can’t wait for tomorrow.

I’ll be back with thoughts on the game tomorrow morning. Have an excellent day! x

215 Responses to “Team news ahead of the FA Cup final”

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  1. TallestTiz


    You stole it.
    Back to read the post. Hopefully Pedro won’t advocate for Saliba to be sold before he even kicks a ball for us
    Meanwhile, I saw him in training today

  2. Champagne charlie

    “Coutinho for £9m? I mean, he’s a very good player, I’m just not sure I am thrilled by it.”

    🤦🏻‍♂️ Going to just bite my lip on this one and fully focus on the cup final.

    HUUUUGE game for us, in terms of momentum more than anything else (obviously finance too), so fingers crossed we manage to deliver a final resolute 95 mins to end the season. Need the three amigos up front to put in a performance and cause their defence all manner of troubles.

    On Ozil: fact he’s in Turkey the eve of a cup final tells you everything you need to know about the man/professional. He could be getting the coldest of shoulders from Arteta and Edu, but he’s not even bothered enough to support his teammates as an experienced head. Shit mentality, and he’s completely destroyed my former love for him as a player.

  3. andy1886

    Not a huge fan but I’d take Coutinho for £9m. Sounds about as likely as Mesut being MOTM on Saturday though, so probably a moot discussion.

    It’s a game that could go either way, both teams are inconsistent but with the right game plan I’d back us. Let’s hope that Frankie boy hasn’t learned from our displays against ‘Pool and City in particular. I’d fancy Auba against their back line for sure.

  4. Dream10

    So Arsenal are demanding at least 8m from Brentford for Balogun.

    “Balogun has refused to sign a new contract after failing get assurances of a pathway into the first team and is happy to see out his current deal. He is highly regarded at other clubs in the Premier League & has been tracked by the likes of Liverpool, as well as teams in Germany.”

    If he is a player with a high ceiling, then you make a pathway for him. Love Nketiah, but I don’t think he’ll be a first XI guy for a top 6 side. Sell him and make space for the more talented Balogun. If two of the smartest side in England, Brentford and Liverpool are eyeing Balogun then you might have a quality player. Make space for the youngster who has the potential to become a top 4/6 starter in three to four yrs.

  5. Marko

    I can’t even be sarcastic? Fair enough. How about flatly disagreeing with you on the potential signing of someone who would add something we completely lack. All that for 9 million and a player we paid 7 million for. Sounds too good honestly

  6. Champagne Charlie


    We should be making that sort of money (and more) on academy players tbh. The cream will always rise, and we maybe lose the odd player but it’s what will help deliver success for the club.

  7. Pierre

    Champagne Charlie..

    “But I’m assured by Pierre that Arteta has something against Ozil, and it’s nothing to do with him being the furthest thing from a team player.”

    Yeah , greedy sod that Ozil , never a team player..shoots on sight, tries to dribble past the whole team, never passes to a team mate, only interested in personal glory and getting his name on the score sheet.

  8. Dream10


    Balogun might end up being a CL quality striker. I’m not sure Eddie will reach that level. These are the types of situations that will save a club millions. Top Championship and bottom PL clubs will be looking for strikers. Bournemouth/Villa/Watford/Norwich/ West Brom will all be looking for a starting #9. That’s the Nketiah market.

  9. andy1886

    Pierre, I’m sure that you’re very well aware that CC is talking about him clearing off to China rather than being at Wembley to cheer on his team mates.

    Better for all concerned if he left, but of course he’d rather sit and take the money.

  10. Habesha Gooner

    I would Include a huge buy back clause to who ever takes Balogun. 50 mil buy back clause and small clubs will agree to it. That way if he really shows potential at the top level we won’t scratch our heads. But I like how selling players is getting better at arsenal. Now we need to sell some of the old senior players. If not for their huge wages there would have been takers easily. I am always jealous watching Chelsea sell players that have even flopped for ridiculous fees. How they got Athletico to pay 100 mil for Costa and Morata I will never know.

  11. andy1886

    * make that Turkey, probably wishful thinking on my part but I’m not sure he’d be well received….

  12. Dream10


    He’s got the club by the balls. One yr deal left. Top prospect. Sell or give him a pathway by making him the #2/#3 striker.

  13. Pierre

    Champagne Charlie
    “, but he’s not even bothered enough to support his teammates as an experienced head. Shit mentality, and he’s completely destroyed my former love for him as a player.”

    There is the possibility that he has been told he is not wanted there, which he clearly is not.

  14. Mics

    As long as we have a buy back clause, Balogun leaving seems alright. It does seem like his ceiling is higher than Eddie’s.

    As far as Coutinho for nine mil and Guendouzi? I’m not a big fan of coutinho, but this seems like a really cheap way to boost the overall quality of the squad. To acquire an asset for very little, if nothing else. I don’t think we should consistently aim for players of Coutinho’s profile, but for such a low fee this might be a good exception to make.

  15. Nelson

    I think Frank may play Emerson Palmieri instead of Alonso to stop Pepe. Most likely, they’ll play Caballero in goal. Somehow you feel that Arteta will have a very clear game plan for the player to follow. That is the last game of the season. There is no tomorrow.

  16. Wasi


    That narrative is just your opinion with no facts and proof.

    You said we are lining up Super agents’s pockets.
    Reports showed we aren’t .

    You heavily pushed forward the agenda that Raul only deals with his mates.
    But in his only summer window, we got 6 players from 6 different agents.

    You also heavily pushed forward the agenda that Raul does not belive in data
    But the same man signed Saliba , Tierney , Martinelli , Ceballos and Pepe.

  17. Matt

    Holding and Luiz trying to deal with the very different threats that Pulisic and Giroud bring!! I will be mostly watching from behind the sofa. Holdings absence from the team caused some to become starry eyed about him. The truth is he
    Is not a good player and I can’t help but feel we will be telling about him costing us tomorrow. Hope I’m wrong

  18. NJ Gooner

    I hid behind the couch for the Man City game, expecting the worst.

    So, no surprise, I keep having PTSD about last year’s final against Chelsea. I know that we’ve improved. But so have they. Leaves me apprehensive.

    One issue is that both teams like to sit back and then counterattack. So, it could be a tactically strange game. Our wing backs’ speed in retreat will be very important. So, do you play AMN or Bellerin? Pray that MA doesn’t choose Kola.

    $9m for Coutinho? Sure, take him at that price. Not much downside if he is bad and a huge resale upside if he is good. But I find the idea that he will go at that price, even with the swap thrown in, unbelievable. Clickbait?

  19. Wasi

    Balogun hasn’t played 1 senior game and there folks saying he is already better than Nketiah.


    Not a big fan of Nketiah but if an 18 yo thinks he is bigger than the club you bin him , Period.
    Especially when it’s clear that at Arsenal there is a pathway for young players and he still wont sign a contract extension.

    On a side note – Any going player we sell , has to have a buy back and a sell on.

  20. Mics


    Chelsea have been making very smart moves in the transfer market and with their academy players for a good four or so years now. Obviously they have more money than we do, but that Marina lady is top class when it comes to transferring talent in and out. Since their fuck up with De Bruyne, which seems like it was a Mourinho problem more than anything else, they’ve been pretty well run.

  21. Marc

    “But in his only summer window, we got 6 players from 6 different agents.”

    My God it’s worse than we all feared, that’s right Sanlleni has more than one mate no wonder Pedro hates him!

  22. Wasi

    ‘Someone was hinting that Arsenal might do one of those accounting tricks Barca did with Juve where they massively overstate the value of the player to book cashflow. That bit certainly wasn’t in the paper.’

    Can someone good with finances explain this.
    Even if the overrated the player values , they still only made 12 mil, right?

  23. Pedro

    Marc, your boy had to get supervision from Clifford Chance. Not sure you can keep pretending this is an LG conspiracy.

  24. Dream10

    Holding and Tierney my primary concerns. They will have their hands full with Pulisic, Willian and Hudson-Odoi as wide centre backs. All three can beat a defender from a standing start.

    Worried about Ceballos as well. He’s done well in matches where we were the counter punchers. He may need to be more adventurous tmrw.

  25. Mics

    9m + Guendouzi does seem awfully cheap. But take into account that Barca can value Coutinho at whatever figure they want and then book that as this year’s revenue, while amortizing whatever Guendouzi is valued at over the period of his contract, like they did with Arthur. An accounting trick, basically. For a player they don’t want, it might well be worth it for the sake of their books. Their current leadership is a bit of a mess, and if they’d get rid of a player as promising as Arthur for the sake of their balance sheet, surely they wouldn’t be above doing the same with Coutinho.

  26. Pierre

    “Better for all concerned if he left,”

    Of course it is, but from a supporters point of view (Which I am) , Ozil leaving will only benefit the club if results and performances improve without him in the side…as yet there is no evidence of this.

    Ramsey was a player who frustrated me but I will say that we have missed him not being in the side.

    It’s all about the 90 minutes for me, if the team is proven to be weaker without a player then why leave him out or sell him.

    Xhaka is a player who is very limited and does nothing for me watching him play , however we are a better team when he is in the side so why wouldn’t I want him to play..

    As yet we have seen no evidence of this.

  27. TR7

    It’s absolutely clear now that Ozil is an untouchable or ‘non-negotiable’ at Arsenal. Areta has discarded him altogether. Can’t blame Arteta for binning him. Can’t blame Ozil either for being sulky and not being with the team for the final. Let us just hope we can sell Ozil for some good money.

  28. Marc


    I’m impressed you can write so well with that hook in your mouth.

    Mate you’ve been away too long – you don’t get banter anymore.

  29. Champagne Charlie

    I couldn’t comment on the comparative ability of those two mate, I just think we should become a bit more demanding of the academy players and turnover more (with buybacks etc) to have another organic means of creating cash for investment.

    Naturally you come to the defence of a player that’s fucked off to Turkey in the days before a cup final. Then rattle off him being a creative player as proof he’s a team player.

    There’s a whopping great difference between being a team player and being teammate. The fact Ozil is only interested in himself and not supporting his colleagues/young players the days leading up to a final is all the evidence needed to show he’s not part of the collective.

  30. Useroz

    If a kid got the club by the balls, tells you something about the competency of our management doesn’t it?

    Watched some clips of Balogun in the past. Ok but isn’t a Joelson hype I don’t think. 8m plus buyback is fine.

    Eddie isn’t looking the real deal tbh; couldn’t see what you could in Martinelli. 15m and we’d bite the hand off.

  31. Marc


    I don’t think Ozil hates Arsenal I think he just doesn’t care about football anymore. He’s effectively resigned with a years notice on a huge salary without having to do any work.

    It is a shame for someone with so much talent to let it go to waste.

  32. Mics


    Sales of players are counted as revenue for the current year, while the cost of buying a player is amortized over the length of the contract for accounting purposes.

    So with Arthur, whatever cash they received + whatever Arthur is valued at = revenue for this fiscal year. Idk the exact figures, so I’ll be making them up, but let’s say +60m for the fiscal year. Whatever Pjanic cost is spread out over the length of Pjanic’s contract. Let’s say he was valued at 50m. For this fiscal year, the ‘cost’ to Barca would be booked as -50m/years on contract. Just to keep the numbers simple, let’s say it’s a five year contract, that’s only an accounting outlay of -10m for this fiscal year (and the next four fiscal years).

    So just by making this deal, Barca would book an accounting revenue increase of 50m for the fiscal year. It’s just an accounting trick to balance their books.

  33. Majesticgooner

    We can use balogun to get either Watkins who is a gunner and looks a good player in the firminio mould or to get benrahma. Either would improve us

  34. Chris

    I’m more confident than I was for the 2017 final which I am going to take as a positive. Then again I was reasonably confident about the EL final (at least until the game started) so who knows. I am just going to watch “It’s only RayParlour” and the Ramsey winner on loop tomorrow for good vibes.

    Pedro – Went to listen to the latest podcast via Spotify (very good by the way) and top of the latest episodes was the podcast before the 2017 final, done by design? Or perhaps my Spotify is playing up, or i am a technophobe. In anycase I didn’t realise until it became clear it was previewing the 2017 final! I’d like to hear ‘Good old Arsenal’ at the start of your pods more often, not saying Mirror Man is bad but…

  35. Useroz

    Many versions out there on the Coutinho deal.

    Some say 9m is the loan fee and Barca pays half his €13m+ pa wages.

    Don’t know what to believe.

    If it’s a 9m + Guendouzi sale, his wages wouldn’t be much less than his reported 250k pw at Barca Do we want to commit to that level of wages without CL football??

    Why can’t we ditch the has beens and sign some 23 to 25 yo out there and the club surely knows. If we get two of Partey, Dominik S, van de Beek, or similar players we are set for the next 3+ years.

    Also please don’t be stupid paying 20m for Stones!! He also comes with high wages. Don’t need another second chance player.

  36. The Backpass

    “Pedro/MarcDo you see Ozil sticking around for 12 months without playing any football ?”


    No motivation for him anymore, he knows he wouldn’t play next season but he simply can’t give up that sweet cash.

  37. Left Testicle

    The club were stupid enough to give Ozil the deal. Ozil is greedy enough to take an early retirement on full pay.

  38. Gentlebris

    ‘We have a history with Chelsea and sadly, last year, we really let ourselves down under Emery. ‘

    Ending that with ‘under Emery’ was an unnecessary and an outdated persecution. You could make your point there without dropping Emery’s name.

    When are you gonna move on, Sir P?

    Eddie will turn out good I believe.

    Sharp as razor in attack and always focused on the game. Plus he doesn’t seem to have time for excessive showmanship. Give him one more season at least.

  39. Chris

    Hopefully the club will sit down with Ozil and his bigmouth agent and try to sort out his future away from the club this summer.

    Ozil must know he won’t likely play again for Arsenal. He does do many good things out of the game for charities etc but it doesn’t show him in a good light to just sit on his wages rather than play football elsewhere, he is the new Bogarde.

  40. Radio Raheem

    Has Ozil wasted his talent? His bank balance will suggest not. He has won a few medals too.

    Just messing I know what you mean. Whenever I see Kroos I think of what Ozil could’ve been.

  41. Un na naai

    Champagne CharlieJuly 31, 2020 19:34:32
    Giroud has won 7 of 7 finals at Wembley…I hate stats 😶

    And he won his final with chelsea last season in the euros
    I did say I wanted United to win
    There is an air of destiny about this game for him

  42. London gunner

    I think we are going to be disappointed can’t see us beating Chelsea.

    This will be like the europa final

  43. Leedsgunner

    Unless Balogun is determined to go I would hope we would try to keep him.

    If he does want to go please please please write in sell on clauses and buy back clauses so that we benefit from it…

    Brentford will have money if they sell Ollie Watkins or Said Benrahma, tell them £15m in cash plus add ons for performance targets.

    If Liverpool could sell Dominic Solanke for £20m and Chelsea Nathan Ake for the same we should be able to achieve at least £15m for one of the best prospects in our U23s. After all isn’t that why we hired Raul and Hus Fahmy? To get more out of our transfer negotiations?

    Time to step up!

  44. Un na naai

    Champagne Charlie

    £9m plus Guendouzi for Coutinho?? Now we are talking. That is great business.
    Now we need someone else. Another midfielder who’d can dictate play and open the opposition.
    To be fair if we sign Coutinho, Ceballos and Diawara in midfield this season I’d be pretty happy. With xakha, AMN, Joey Willock and ESR I think we’d be looking an awful lot better. Will need another creative player wide left though.

  45. Leedsgunner

    Veratti is what Wilshere should have been if he spent time learning his craft rather than learning new excuses.

    If you want to talk about someone who wasted his talent look no further than Jack Wilshere. He wasted his talent and Wenger didn’t help matters by utterly and completely overplaying him when he broke through.

    He had natural talent by the bucketload but thought he had it made when he was 18.

    If only Jack had Saka’s humility. He could have been a legend at Arsenal FC and our answer and then some to Gerrard.

  46. Pierre

    London Gunner
    “This will be like the europa final”

    No chance, it will be a game that Chelsea dominate the ball , unlike the Europa final.

    It will be a game where Arsenal will defend with discipline ( unlike the Europa final)

    It will be a game in which we have a manager who will have a game plan that works( unlike the europa final)

    And it will be a game that we win ( unlike the Europa final)

    And if we don’t win and play shit then of course I will blame Arteta for his stupid non negotiables that alienated Guendouzi and Ozil from the squad..

  47. Un na naai

    Jack was better than verrati
    He could pass and dribble. Tika taka and long balls.
    I don’t think we will ever get player like that through the academy again. Not that level. I like ESR and Saka though

  48. whiteydagooner

    ‘This will be like the europa final’
    London.. don’t think so mate
    Then then they had Hazard, we had Emery.

  49. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    That slow as a tortoise cock sucking marriage wrecking cunt fabregas has come out supporting Chelsea for tomorrow,

    He is a cunt who helped us achieve fuck all.
    Shit player no speed. Even his own club longed him out no good cunt.

  50. Leedsgunner

    Jack was unlucky at 18/19. By 21 he should have had the nous to change the way he played the game. He had the talent to do anything he wanted to, he just didn’t want to… because that was the way he wanted to play the game. Unlucky?

    Perhaps but if you don’t learn from your mistakes it’s not bad luck just stubbornness.

    As for Abou? I think Wenger genuinely felt sorry for him and got used to having him around like a comfort blanket.

  51. Leedsgunner

    So Cesc wants Chelsea to win huh?

    Taking his seat next to RvP then. Shame, I thought he was smarter than that.

    So much for once a Gooner always a Gooner…

    Not as far as Robin, Ashley and now Cesc is concerned imo.

    I hope we stick it to them tomorrow.

  52. Valentin


    Guendouzi + £9 millions for Countinho as a full purchase. Right now that sound like a bad deal.
    Barcelona can’t get rid of Countinho, his salary and huge fee is a drain on their resources.
    Even when on loan he is costing them.

    Let say that Coutinho is on £10 millions per year and he still has a 2 years contract left. Knowing that the best that Barcelona can hope is somebody willing to take him on loan and willing to pay 50% of his wage. So straight away he is costing them 10 millions.

    Guendouzi on the other hand is currently worth at least £20 millions. In two years time, he will be worth even more, especially if he is successful at Barcelona. So the deal should really them giving us Coutinho and paying us £9 millions to get Guendouzi.

    To show how crap financially the deal is
    If we were to take Coutinho on loan for two years on his current salary with a view to a permanent contract with him (no fee as his contract would have expired). We could still sell Guendouzi for £20 millions and basically offset Coutinho salary.

  53. Valentin


    They are exactly in the same situation Arsenal was with Mhkitaryan. We had to give him a free contract to get him off our wage bill.

    They can’t sell Coutinho. If they give him a free contract and buy Guendouzi, it would cost them £20 millions. So yes we would be doing them a favour by taking Coutinho.

  54. Champagne Charlie

    “Guendouzi + £9 millions for Countinho as a full purchase. Right now that sound like a bad deal.“

    Paying 9 mil to turn Guendouzi into Coutinho in our squad is a ludicrously good deal what are you smoking?

    Be like paying 5 mil to Palace to swap Nelson for Zaha. Indisputable upgrade.

  55. Dissenter

    Mesut Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut taking about Ozil;s plans for the next year; “‘When his deal is up, I estimate there is a ninety percent chance he will leave Arsenal.”

    Why only 90%?
    Is Sogut friends with Raul?

  56. andy1886

    Not sure where the Cesc thing came from. This from today’s Daily Mirror:

    Cesc Fabregas has suggested he’d rather see Arsenal win the FA Cup because the north London club “needs it more”.

  57. Valentin


    The market is in complete chaos. If you have a distressed asset that cost you but can’t sell, the buyer can dictate their term.
    Arsenal had to accept that reality for Mhkitaryan, I can’t see why Barcelona cannot accept that same reality.
    We can’t complain that we always lose money on bad deal, while at the same be willing to let bigger club get away with such deals.

    Give me one team that is currently willing to take Coutinho for 2 years on his full salary even on a free, because right now Barcelona can’t. They are in a bind and Let’s squeeze them.

  58. Champagne charlie


    Barca might be in a bind, but if you think Arsenal are getting out the deal with a superior player, a more greatly valued asset AND money on top, then you’re hopefully balls deep in some red wine.

    Otherwise what in the world are you on about.

  59. Leedsgunner


    Interesting analysis, looking at the short term versus long term gain… except isn’t it rather heavily premised on the fact Guendouzi will get his act together and blossom at Barca?

    I don’t think Guendouzi has the humility to pipe down and learn. His whole fall out with Arteta is because he thinks he is real deal and he doesn’t want to submit to Arteta’s rules.

    Incredibly arrogant, especially when he has won absolutely nothing.

    Who does he think he is? The second coming of Anelka and Vieira?

  60. Leedsgunner


    I agree with you that we should squeeze Barca though. Hate those self entitled pricks.

    I suppose a comparable situation would be if another club offered to take Özil off our books on full pay… I would imagine they would try to squeeze us to get it done.

  61. Valentin


    You are looking at the player quality rather than the financials.
    Consider both deals separately.

    How much do you think Countinho will fetch on the open market? Right now Barcelona can’t get rid of him and he is costing them £10 millions per year. Even his loan to Bayern did not cover his wage in full.

    Now look at Guendouzi. At a minimum he would fetch £20 millions.

    So if you combine both deals, clearly Arsenal should be on the winning side. From a player quality perspective that may sound bonkers, but from a financials one that make sense.

    For example Jordan Veretout is an average midfielder nowhere near the quality to Mhkitaryan. However if Arsenal had wanted to swap him for Mhkitaryan Arsenal would have to pay for the honour of swapping a him in exchange to a better player.

  62. Valentin


    For Cedric, Arteta wanted to extend Cedric until the new end of season, Southampton squeezed an extra 2 millions from us for the pleasure and Cedric extracted 4 years from us.
    I can’t see what’s wrong with using the reverse situation to our advantage.

  63. Champagne Charlie


    Your scenario leans heavily on assumptions ie Guendouzi fulfilling potential. You can have as much faith as you like in that when presenting the deal to Barca, but the facts of the matter are Coutinho being vastly superior to Guendouzi here and now.

    Guendouzi’s development is totally speculative and Arsenal do NOT hold the trump card there because we’re actively looking to sell the player too – can’t use it for Barca and omit it for us.

    So all said and done you’re heavily on the sauce if you think Arsenal are in any position to gain a fee and a superior player for a young player we’re throwing out the club. If we manage to somehow get Coutinho permanently for less than 10 mil and Guendouzi we’ve pulled a blinder.

  64. Valentin


    Right now The only way Barcelona could get some of their money is if in the middle East or in China some billionaire wanted buy Coutinho. However the player would still have accept that transfer. Right now Arsenal is the only club interested in Coutinho, willing to pay his wage and deemed acceptable by the player and his agents, so we have all the card. We can walk away from the negotiation table and it won’t cost us anything, they can’t. Usually Barcelona tap up our players to influence them to join. Right now Barcelona is doing the reverse. They are preparing their own fans to Coutinho leaving on a bad deal FOR THEM.

    We don’t have to sell Guendouzi to Barcelona. If they are not interested in Guendouzi, there are other clubs who are. Apart from maybe Aubameyang, they can pretty much pick whoever they want from our squad. If they don’t, they don’t.

    Again you are looking at it from a player quality, but the economics do not necessarily play like that. For example a great player in his last year of contract will fetch less than an good player on a 5 years contract. Great player in huge wage is worth less than good player on low wage.

  65. Elmo


    My understanding:
    The outstanding asset value on the balance sheet of the sold player (i.e. amount yet to be amortised) will be charged to the income statement in the financial year of sale.

    In Barca’s case the Coutinho transfer fee was c. £115m (£106m + £9m; the rest of the add-ons up to £142m won’t be hit) on a 5.5 year contract, so an amortisation charge of £20.9m p.a. He’s been at Barca for 2.5 years, so he will still be valued on Barca’s balance sheet at c. £62.7m.

    If Arsenal hand over £9m, Guendouzi would have to be valued at £53.7m within the deal for Barca not to book a player trading loss on sale. Once you include the reduction in Barca’s annual wage expense by replacing Coutinho with Guendouzi, say c. £8m (£240k pw down to £80k pw), and the reduction in annual amortisation charge by spreading what was previously Coutinho’s £20.9m p.a. charge for 3 years into Guendouzi’s £53.7m asset value over a 5 year contract, equal to £10.7m p.a. amortisation (i.e. £10.2m less p.a.), and you can start interpreting Barca as breaking even on their purchase of Coutinho and recruiting Guendouzi at an effective transfer fee of around £35m, which sounds more reasonable.

    In reality I think this deal has never and will never be considered, but I’d bet someone made up the ‘story’ (or perhaps planted the story in the case of an agent who heard both Barca and Arsenal had problems with players they wanted to go away) based on Guendouzi + £9m by working out something like above.

  66. Champagne Charlie


    I’m not, you’re just dreaming up a level of bravado that will not come to light in any potential transfer.

    I’m wondering why that’s the case, perhaps it’s setting the scene for lambasting any potential deal that could be heralded as ‘good business’ under Raul.

    Am I warm?

  67. Words on a Blog


    Your calculations make sense.

    (As you ack) what really doesn’t make sense is for the calculation to work, Guendouzi has to be valued at £53.7m. Even in a pre-Covid environment, one where Guen is the golden boy and plays all the time, it’s a stretch.

    Now it’s a fairy tale.

  68. Useroz

    The club has never been great at contract negotiations.

    Sucks at keeping players we wanted.

    Sucks at riding players we don’t want

    Sucks at new deals and probably super agent fees

  69. Wasi


    Thanks for the explanation. Didn’t know you could do that.


    From what I understand, Guendouzi could be valued for 100mil in this deal. But the total profit Barca will make on the swap is only 9 mil ( if reports are true ) so we’ll value/buy Coutinho at 109 mil.

    It doesn’t mean that Guendouzi is actually a 100 mil player.

  70. Elmo


    I think it very roughly boils down to:

    – Pros
    Costs reduced by c. £18.5m p.a. (next 3 years) during time of financial distress, and receive £9m up-front.
    Gain young prospect Guendouzi.
    Get rid of Coutinho problem without having to book a substantial player trading loss at time when likely already running at operating loss.
    – Cons
    Why not swap with a better prospect than Guendouzi? (limitation that under current circumstances the number of clubs who would even consider taking on £240k pw wage of fading 28 year old are tiny)

    – Pros
    Gain high level pro who might provide immediate missing creativity to team.
    Big name signing for marketing purposes in period Arsenal to lose 1 or 2 of the remaining brand names (Ozil + possibly PEA).

    – Cons
    Costs increased by c. £26m per year (assuming Coutinho 4 year contract at existing £240k pw) at time club is already loss-making and facing increasing financial distress. Only makes any sense if high salary, high amortisation player like PEA or Laca goes, along with Ozil dropping off wage bill next year.

    Ultimately just seems too expensive for Arsenal in our financial position, and for Barca they’d likely try and find a better swap or sale elsewhere first.
    Interesting, though, how some of these seemingly bizarrely unbalanced trades can start to make sense to both parties once the accounting is considered, especially in a disrupted, recessionary market where there are few big fish around willing to commit to huge wages.

  71. Gentlebris

    So can we sell Guen for £20m?

    Since Barca are dying to lay off Coutinho, would they accept £11m to be totally rid of Coutinho and his wages?

    Done that way, we gain £9m from the deal instead of losing £9m.

    Barca with Coutinho is almost as bad as us with Ozil, Barca would be happy to take £11m while Arsenal would be happy to take £1m.

    Val is right.

  72. China1

    Coutinho for 9m + a player most of us aren’t even sure is good enough for arsenal and who has discipline issues and doesn’t even play would be a truly remarkable deal if the Countinhos wages could be ‘reasonable’ (sub 200k)

    Pedro many of us agree an expensive one year loan for him might not be smart but let’s be real, a 9m + guen trade would be an absolute monster deal from Raul

  73. China1

    Elmo id be more than happy for us to sell laca to help with the wages since I want laca sold and not directly replaced anyway

    Out of interest, what is guen’s salary? Since you need to net that against the Coutinho salary for an accurate take on costs.

  74. Words on a Blog


    I suspect that, going forward, applicable FFP, European and domestic league rules on allowable losses are gonna have to be relaxed in this post-Covid environment as otherwise every other team in every league in Europe are gonna be faced with points deductions, given the loss of match day revenues and associated merchandising money. So the need for intricate deals to preserve (non cash) accounting profits and losses might ultimately not prove to be so important.

    For Arsenal as with other clubs, cash conservation is gonna he king for a while. You’re absolutely right in saying that the only way for a swap deal to work is for a few highly paid players (Auba or Laca to be moved on, and ideally Ozil to have a successful interview and get a new job while he’s “holidaying with a bad back” in Turkey.

  75. Wasi


    No way we can make money in the Coutinho- Guendouzi swap.
    Barca want Guendouzi + 9m according to the report .
    Dont think Barca will settle for so less. They’ll probably want more.

  76. Gonsterous

    Still coutinho deal is a weird one. Yes he is talented, but seems expensive.

    At the end of the day, will he help us get 10-15 points more than we got this season? If the answer is yes, then we need to get him.

    On the other hand, we could get someone younger, but he will need another season or two to really help us get back to the CL.

    So it’s a very tricky situation.

  77. Leedsgunner

    If the Coutinho swap demonstrates anything, it demonstrates what I have been saying for ages.

    A transfer window can only be deemed a success not only through who we bring in but also who we let go.

    If we are successful in selling Sokratis, Elneny, Guendouzi, Torreira, and Kolasinac even for modest sums and get their wages off the books… we can easily afford the swap. Otherwise it doesn’t make financial sense.

    That’s before we even talk about Özil…

  78. Leedsgunner

    Multiple reports saying that Özil is away tomorrow out of the country.

    Anybody know why?

    Surely this is with the club’s permission?

  79. Guns of SF

    Coutinho for 9M is great.
    However, he would need to take a salary reduction given our dire state. Take it or leave it. WE need to just give people the bottom line, to make decisions quicker. We need to get on with it with the nickel and diming crap ala Wenger.

    Tomorrow is the big game. We win

  80. Useroz

    Would you think the club would be more than happy if Ozil walks out and says bye right now? I bet Vinai would personally drive where Mr Messut would want to go….

    Not far off the Coutinho and Barca situation if we infer from the media.

    What’s clear on here is it’s not conclusive we believe Coutinho can help us get back to top 4, or gain 10+ points, or still has it to fight in the PL, after lack lustre spells in Spain and Germany where the leagues are slower.

    If it isn’t clear out (say, vs Partey who most on here would not disagree), stand firm and get Coutinho for free and take his wages off Barca A 3 year deal @ same wages would be €39m. That may be a more playable punt. Or just loan him for 2 year at half wages for €13m in total. To oil the deal, may throw in a €5m loan fee upfront.

    It’s about time Arsenal management grows a spine, before the starting 11 has one!

  81. Terraloon


    As far as football is concerned nothing surprises me.

    You call it click bait yet you firstly read it and then post the link.

    The Cole tapping up thing is now history and been done to death in the press to be honest tapping up goes on all the time at just about every club.

    At the time Arsenal choose to report it and we all know what happened but did that work out well in terms of Cole for Arsenal.? Once it was reported there was no way back and to be honest the loss of Cole and for the pathetic fee backfired spectacularly as far as Arsenal were concerned.

    As I say history as far as the press are concerned but I somehow doubt the likes of Cole, Mourinho or Jonathan Barnett will have forgotten their punishments for the tapping up incident.

    PEA is in all likelihood looking for a big contract and whilst we have no idea in terms of the stories accuracy I wouldn’t just dismiss it so easily. I very much doubt that there will be a denial issued by Arsenal or Chelsea .

    Irrespective the journalists job is to sell print they haven’t any loyalty save to themselves and their employers but there is no doubt that someone feed the snippet to the journalist and the motive for doing so. My guess would be that the Cole thing still wrangles and if there is any truth in the story that snippet , if true, would have emanated from someone with Chelsea connections.

  82. Useroz

    sorry typos and autocorrect

    I don’t think today’s game is as ‘easy’ as some thought on here. Chelsea is physically superior compared to City.

    We don’t tend to do well playing with thugs, before the refs ( both on pitch and hiding) weigh in. We’d simply wilt after 10, 15 min.

    I see the like of Ceballos, Holding, Pepe, Laca most susceptible. That’s along the ‘spine’ so to speak.

    Unless Arteta manages to find some ingenuity in his tactics (eg AMN on special op again) it’s going to be very tough.

  83. Pierre

    Ozil still the topic of the day I see …getting slagged off left right and centre, despite not playing since lockdown.

    Arteta pre lockdown

    “Yeah, I’m very pleased with him. (Ozil)
    Obviously I played with him and I know him so I try to pinch him as much as possible to do what he needs to do because I know how much he can give on the offensive side. But as well, Mesut – it’s a good example for this game. When we are dominant, when the whole process is properly done and you find the player in the right position, it’s the type of game that he wants. When that game becomes like this (gestures back and forth) that’s not his game. So he needs his teammates, he needs the right structure and organisation for him to flourish. Sometimes it’s not his fault, it’s about the team that is not supporting what he needs.”

    Arteta post lockdown when asked why Ozil isn’t playing.
    ” “Pure football reasons,” Arteta said at a news conference in july when asked why Ozil has not been selected.

    “”My only ambition is the best squad and the best players who give us the best opportunity to win the game.”

    I smell bullshit.

  84. Leftfootcurler

    I have a bad feeling about this final for some reason.

    Looking at the two teams and how they have both played,looks to be a close final.

    Just a bad feeling.

    Its less about making memories and more about getting into europa for me.

  85. Leftfootcurler


    Arteta is a politician. No point listening to what he says.
    See what he does.

    My take is-

    Ozil is benched because of 2 reasons.

    1) He didn’t take the 12.5% pay cut.
    2) He was starting to avoid/hide from challenges/tackles/duels/winning 50-50 balls.

    Controlling the 2nd balls is crucial part of the game in England.

    If your most talented and expensive player starts doing that,it puts a bad influence on the team.

    So he is not going to play.
    End of.

    No point discussing about him.
    We can’t cut him loose.
    Have to wait till his contract finishes,next July.

  86. Leftfootcurler

    “What’s clear on here is it’s not conclusive we believe Coutinho can help us get back to top 4, or gain 10+ points, or still has it to fight in the PL, after lack lustre spells in Spain and Germany where the leagues are slower.”

    Coutinho will help us gain 10+ points provided two things:-
    1) Auba stays
    2) Pepe starts making runs in behind.

    Coutinho needs 2 runners ahead of him.

    Coutinho’s spell at Bayern wasn’t lacklustre at all.
    He was very good.

    At Barca,he was always going to fail.
    He is a Ball dominant,BTL creator.

    Barca already has a ball dominant BTL creator in Messi.
    Messi needs runners,not another creator beside him.
    Their roles clashed and of course,Coutinho could not perform well.
    Messi and Coutinho can’t co exist.

    Similar thing with Griezmann. Messi and Griezmann can’t co exist.
    Doesn’t mean Griezmann is a bad player. If he plays the Martial role at Utd,he would score 20 in the league,easy.

  87. Bojangles

    Maybe iveissed something living outside of England so long. Since when has it been necessary to be an accountant to be an Arsenal fan. Let the club worry about the finances, just concentrate on the football.

    Coutinho would improve us immensely and we get rid of a pain in the arse at the same time. Plus signing Coutinho sends a clearessage to Özil that his services are no longer required.

  88. Ishola70


    “Coutinho will help us gain 10+ points provided two things:-”

    Your opening chip is only 10?

  89. Dissenter

    There’s something fundamentally wrong with letting the clubs highest paid players away on vacation in Turkey while the club is playing a FA cup final.

    It means the relationship between club and player is so broken down his non-playing presence is not wanted at Wembley. For most players that snobbery will be enough to send them moving away from the club, not Ozi though. He’s one of a kind.

  90. Sid

    I’ve got the bottle, bring me FA cup
    Pop the cork, and try a sup

    We’ll drink it down till the sun comes up

    Im telling you for free!

  91. Dissenter

    ‘ “Coutinho will help us gain 10+ points provided two things:-“

    It brings back memories of all the happy talk we all engaged in when Petr Cech was brought in from Chelsea. We eventually sold Wojciech Szczęsny for less than we paid Chelsea for Cech.

    The Coutinho talk is all settled here. Express skepticism and face arrows coming from all directions.

  92. Ishola70

    I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness
    Where is death’s sting?
    Where, grave, thy victory?

  93. Ishola70

    Val was about right when he said little 10s are a bit old fashion in today’s game.

    But maybe, just maybe, the little, little tiny fella could help us out.

  94. Leedsgunner

    “Plus signing Coutinho sends a clearessage to Özil that his services are no longer required…”

    I don’t think he really cares. He is practically retired.

  95. Dissenter

    Left foot curler
    Ozil is benched because of 2 reasons
    .1) He didn’t take the 12.5% pay cut.
    2) He was starting to avoid/hide from challenges/tackles/duels/winning 50-50 balls‘‘

    -I don’t believe Arteta would be dim enough to drop any player that can help the team win games. Remember that this is his first job out of the gates, why would he sabotage himself?
    – Ozil has been avoiding and hiding from challenges/tackles/duels ALL of his career. Not even Ozil will dispute this. Getting stuck in was never part of his attributes, if you believe he ever had any to begin with.

  96. Dissenter

    I hope this wretched miserable and deplorable season ends on a positive note.
    Hope it helps to launch Mikel Arteta to greater heights and gives the young players a feeling of what success looks like.

    I can’t imagine what a FA cup final without the fans will look like.

  97. Sid

    “-I don’t believe Arteta would be dim enough to drop any player that can help the team win games. Remember that this is his first job out of the gates, why would he sabotage himself?”

    Inexperience? its his 1st job, lololol

    Im telling you for free!

  98. Pierre

    So what we have on Le Grove today is

    Aubamayang plotting a move to Chelsea is click bait.

    Coutinho arriving for 9 million is not click bait.

    Could it actually be the other way round or could it be that neither is click bait , or could it be they are both click bait.

    The favourite is …they are both click bait though it appears that Le Grovellers are convinced that Coutinho is on his way to Arsenal.

    If would definitely solve a few problems if true..

  99. Gentlebris

    ‘No way we can make money in the Coutinho- Guendouzi swap.
    Barca want Guendouzi + 9m according to the report .
    Dont think Barca will settle for so less. They’ll probably want more.’


    Let’s calm down and look this over again.

    Bayern don’t want Coutinho.
    Barca, his current club, don’t want him.
    Real Madrid have their own Coutinho in Bale.
    Juve have a Dybala they tried binning last summer.
    PSG are occupied with Mbappe and Neymar, so I don’t think they want a Coutinho.
    Liverpool, United, Chelsea and Citey are not showing the slightest interest.

    So who wants to pay around £200,000 p/w for Coutinho?

    I’m not even sure Coutinho on a free is a good deal at around £200,000 p/w, his talents might have expired for all we know.

  100. Valentin

    Özil is on £17 millions a year in his last year of contract. If somebody were to come to Arsenal with the offer, I’ll take Özil off you if you pay me £10 millions, everybody would agree that would be a great deal for Arsenal. From a player quality that would ridiculous paying to get rid of a great player, but from a financial sense it would be paying ONLY £10 millions to get rid of a £17 millions drain.

    Coutinho is Barcelona equivalent Özil problem. Barcelona are trying to force Umtiti out and are willing to send on loan for a year with an option to buy.

    Let me creative.

    Countinho + Umtiti in exchange for Guendouzi + £30 millions paid over two years.
    Barcelona are not trying to make money on Coutinho, they are trying to show an amortisation profit for accounting purpose.
    So if they have Coutinho still at £70 millions and Umtiti at £10 millions from an amortisation pov, that deal let them pretend that Guendouzi is a £60 millions player and come ahead by £20 millions.

  101. Gentlebris

    ‘I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness
    Where is death’s sting?
    Where, grave, thy victory?’

    You just typed one of the most famous Christian hymns on le grove, the usual cynical suspects should come for your head shortly.

  102. Leedsgunner

    Aubameyang moving to Chelsea story could be a ploy by Chelsea to unsettle and embarrass Auba and unsettle him today. There’s a ring of truth to it…

    No doubt whilst the negotiations were going on it was confidential and probably under a gentlemen’s agreement that it would remain so. Well, that’s finished then.

    I hope it fires Aubameyang up to perform to remind them what they are missing… if we win it… it’s Thursday night football for another year but it might be just enough for Auba to stay and sign an extension.

    Then who knows? We might win the Europa League with Arteta…

  103. Gentlebris

    ‘Then who knows? We might win the Europa League with Arteta…’

    But we didn’t win the Europa league with Arteta!

  104. Leedsgunner

    Unless we sell some of our deadweight players I can’t see how Coutinho makes financial sense at £200 000 per week.

    We just got rid off Mkhitaryan off our books by loaning him for free to Roma and he was supposedly on £180 000 per week… it would be just replicating that problem all over again.

  105. Pierre

    Havertz to Chelsea.

    Looks like they are signing a dud according to Ralphael Hoginstein(german football expert).

    All I can say is thank god we are not in for him …

    “Will he play in the No 10 role and become the new Mesut Ozil .
    If you look at the unique combination he has of technical ability and eye for a pass, but also having the ability to score and create goals himself, and his runs to be good in the air, I think the best way to sum it up is that he’s a cross between Mesut Ozil and Michael Ballack.”

  106. Habesha Gooner

    Coutinho will be a good signing as long as we. an get his wages down to 150k to 180k. And then We may have to move ozil on. Lacazette is also on around 180k so if he is sold as well we could cover that.

    I just don’t like the fact that coutinho is an obvious failed at a big club signing that will cost huge wages. We should be looking for players that are going to become the best in the next few seasons. Yes coutinho has quality but I think he is past his very best level. It’s not to say he wouldn’t improve us but he is on the wane from his own standards. Klopp took the likes of Mane, Salah, Ox, Fabinho when there form was on the way up. And Even the Obvious signings Van Djik and Allison were improving their game all the time. An out of form coutinho is still better than what we got but will he be the same player for us as he was for Liverpool? That’s my fear in committing to this deal on huge wages.

    Regarding Ozil, They did the right thing giving him permission to go. If we don’t Involve him in anything he might just want to negotiate a pay off for a free transfer. Why would a player worth 100 mil and who has won a world cup want to stay a whole season doing nothing and adding 18 mil to his 100 mil when he can get paid up to 10 mil elsewhere to play football is what boggles my mind.

  107. Leedsgunner

    If Real Madrid is trying to balance their books (like us) I think if we offer a realistic amount for Ceballos they’ll take it.

    The unknown factor is what outside clubs decide to do. I can see Real Betis making a move for him… and Real Madrid will want to encourage an auction…