Arteta and the boys are back in Europe, quick shopping spree to follow

by .

I’m not really sure how to go about writing this, I’m deeply hungover, and buzzing with excitement at the same time. All the things you want to feel on the Sunday after your club chalks up FA Cup number 14, 7 in the last century, 7 in this one. I’m so gutted I can’t buy all the English papers today!

I made the point last week that the problem with this squad isn’t really talent, it’s character. Yesterday, we saw that in full effect. The players were focused, they were hungry, and they left every bead of sweat out on that field. As Robin Van Persie said after the game, they should be delivering to that level every three days.

The line-up was as expected, we played a 3-4-3, putting Tierney in as one of the centre backs again. Maitland-Niles landed a chance in a final, and the manager put all his faith in a front three of Pepe, Auba and Lacazette.

The game got off to a very bad start, Chelsea pressed us with intelligence and opened us up with ease, Pulisic was causing all sorts of issues for us with his power and intelligent running, he made the break from a clumsy passage of defending in our box that allowed Giroud to flick the ball into the American’s path to give a fairly simple finish.

We had seen this film before. Arsenal looked out of ideas and very nervous. Chelsea looked at their imperious best. We all feared a Baku rerun.

Though this time, we didn’t collapse. We had a solid 5 minutes heading into the drinks break, then Arteta went to town. He, along with Ian Wright according to journalists, had spotted that Chelsea were playing a very high line with slow defenders, the instruction was to get the ball out of defence quicker and exploit the space in behind. Lampard’s team talk compared to Mikel’s was chalk and cheese, our coach dishing out high-intensity instructions, Frank looked like he was dreaming about what he was having for dinner.

After the break, we really hacked into Chelsea’s dominance. We had a brilliant Pepe screamer disallowed for an offside in the build-up,  I was gutted at the time, but you still felt the game was tilting our way regardless. Then it happened, Arsenal played out the back, Tierney took up a position on the left touchline, he moved the ball forward then launched a perfect pass into Auba. Our fast striker had the better of Azpi, whose first tug was outside the box, Auba kept his balance, then the second tug came in the penalty area. The ref pointed to the spot, VAR backed him. Auba, after missing an important penalty at Wembley last season made no mistake this time, he sent Willy the wrong way with a powerful low strike.

Things started to go awry for Chelsea, Azpi went off with a hamstring injury, and they didn’t really know how to deal with our threat in behind them. Nicolas Pepe also started to pull strings in ways we’ve not really seen before. He was floating, a little like Ozil would, across the frontline. He was number 10ing… but, he was doing his share of defensive work. He made an absolutely vital interception outside our box in the second half which saved us.

The second half was going to be important, Lampard changed things at The Emirates and we had no reaction. Chelsea came out better. One of the defining early moments of the second half came when Pulisic broke free of our defence, Tierney, fearing opening up space, backed off him giving him a free shot… but the American pulled his hammy and scuffed his opp. I felt for the guy, but my word, what a lucky moment for us.

Chelsea continued to have some good moments, but Arsenal played it patiently, allowing them 59% of the possession, a little like the City game, knowing we have one of the greatest sharpshooters in the game if we found a chance.

The chance came.

Dani Ceballos was first to a loose high ball in our half, he cushioned his pass off his back. Hector picked up the ball and turned on the afterburners, powering through Chelsea’s centre like he was storming the lines, Christensen slid in, but dispossessed the ball to Pepe who had two options, he chose Auba who took the ball, faked right, slid the ball onto his left and chipped a keeper that stood tall because he knew he was being chipped.

WHAT A FUCKING GOAL! That is how you win cup finals. With unadulterated MAGIC.

Things continued to get worse for Chelsea, Kovacic earned a second yellow for an odd foul and took an early bath. Then they started to feel sorry for themselves and you could see the focus was gone. There was a lot of injury time, Chelsea went down to 9 men when they couldn’t replace the injured Pedro, then it was game over.

The final whistle went, the players ran onto the pitch, Emi Martinez, who was excellent again cried. Arsenal had done it, we had turned around our worst season in living memory and capped it with an FA Cup win. Our rookie manager landed a piece of silverware inside 7 months, he boasted the feat of winning both as a captain of Arsenal and now a head coach. I think George Graham also achieved that status, which bodes well, as he was also a master of defence.

So what did we learn?

We are on the right path with Mikel Arteta as the coach of Arsenal FC. It has always been clear to me that he is a generational coach and I think what he’s done at Arsenal in such a short space of time has been absolutely monumental. He came in and picked up a group of players that were deemed untouchable. He has been aggressively turning around a soiled culture. He resisted calls to return Matteo and Ozil to the squad, they didn’t even go to the ground yesterday. He dealt with a pandemic, caught covid himself, got his players to agree to a pay cut, and managed the contract issues that derailed the restart. He has begun to implement an identity, it’s not perfect, but you can see what he’s doing. The tactics he uses are smart and the players understand. We press for the entire game now, but most importantly, we battle.

The results, while muddled at times, point to a more competitive Arsenal. We have beaten United, Chelsea, City and Liverpool. We are better at defending, not perfect, but the structure of the side is vastly improved. Now, we’re trophy winners. The win is huge because now the fans believe and the world of football with pay attention. This isn’t a hipster pipedream now, it’s the real deal, we have wind in our sails and we have to capitalise on it.

Before I leave the topic of Mikel, does anyone still think we missed out on Jose, Carlo, Nuno? Does anyone think Frank Lampard’s one season at Derby was more valuable than 3 seasons learning under the best coach in the world? I didn’t think so. Raul and Edu will get pelters from me for their approach to transfers, but you have to give it to them, Arteta was a bold and visionary hire that took cojones to make. Well done.

The players deserve huge credit as well because this season has not been easy for them. Their response yesterday was exceptional. They all showed up.

Auba, what a day for him. He might be rubbish at lifting trophies, but he is one of the best strikers in the world and he keeps getting better. He has never sulked, never stopped smiling, and he has been absolutely devastating in front of goal.

Emi Martinez was brilliant again. He hasn’t put a foot wrong since coming in for Leno. His huge frame gives him so many advantages in England. He dominates his area, he catches nearly everything, and his shot-stopping has been second to none. How can he not be number one after the run of games he’s had?

Nicolas Pepe was brilliant. He kept his intensity levels high all game, he brought the crazy tricks and nutmegs, he was nearly decisive had it not been for the linos flag. He set the standard, that’s how he has to play every game moving forward.

We should also give praise to our defensive setup. Chelsea really weren’t given a lot yesterday. Luiz had a strong game, keeping Giroud very quiet. Holding was pretty good. Tierney was a beast again. I also thought AMN had a really promising game, he was much more defensive-minded in the second half, but he used his pace and smart runs really well in the first half. Also worth noting that Bellerin had one of his better games, he showed a lot of guts to power through midfield late on, it was such an important run.

Xhaka and Dani boy were strong in the middle of the park. Lacazette was aggressive and persistent in his play.

So, now we have Europe.

The club, from what I understand, is planning to do their shopping as fast as they can, so expect movement over the next 10 days. Willian didn’t play, I believe, because he is close to Arsenal. I hear that there are rumours that the deal he had on the table pre-covid looks quite different to the one we have with him now (less money), which is an interesting tidbit. We’re also seriously looking at Coutinho and you all know that the smoke around Partey has fire attached.

This news comes with the reality that we are going to have to sell players to raise funds because even with Europa, we are skint. That’s why I’m a little nervous about Auba. Let’s see though, Edu and Raul have to earn their money this summer. If you are a contacts kind of guy, then this market should be perfect, because we’re going to need to do a lot of wheeler-dealing to get this squad of players into shape to battle for top 4 next season.

… but we can talk more on that next week. Today, enjoy. This is what football is all about.

Right, on that note, tell me how you are feeling below!

268 Responses to “Arteta and the boys are back in Europe, quick shopping spree to follow”

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  1. GunnerDNA


    “Bris, anyone shitting on a cup win today is deeply troubled.”

    It’s noticeable you’re getting so much right since you start spending more time in NY or is it because of the COVID 😳

  2. Northbanker

    I hope going forward we seek to get point where 4-3-3 is our main formation. AMN can still be cultivated as a RB and I think now will probably respond well to this. It is in fact his best opportunity for getting a regular place in the team as potentially he is streets ahead of Bellerin and Cedric.

    That formation would need 3 new midfielders though and I dream of being told we have signed Partey (or Sangare my favoured option) – Grealish – Szobozlai.

  3. Champagne Charlie

    “I have mentioned specific names and documented your change of stance on them.”

    You’ve documented fuck all, especially with regards to Arteta being the driving force for any apparent change.

    – Guendouzi is his attitude
    – Ceballos has demonstrably improved, but he’s still physically limited like I’ve always said
    – Torreira is still physically limited and doesn’t offer enough with the ball
    – AMN is still talented, but would be an obvious way of making money to spend on the team

    Nothing to do with Arteta in any instance, just a pathetic jibe because you have opposite views.

    “Even now you conveninently talk about Chambers to negate my argument but ignore Holding and AMN who you never advocated to be sold before“

    Yes I have when rumours have erupted. You’re just pretty shit at following what pov I actually share when you’re too busy focused on undermining them.

    Obviously you totally ignored:

    “I’ve got plenty of time for his ability, but Arsenal have no money and he’s not delivered for Arsenal in any meaningful amount. So if there’s 20 mil bids floating about then the club is mugging itself off by letting another one slip by.

    The club has to have more ruthless a stance and back itself to go again. Otherwise what’s the point? How are we developing? There’s plenty of players I’d sell before him, but he’s not one to desperately cling to.“

    And you’re right, I’m certainly not going to a concede a point to someone that doesn’t have one.

  4. SouthernSlideTackle

    Agree with the Emi sentiments… he’s shown up against the best the PL has to offer. Would hate to give Leno up but I would offer him and £10 million to AM for Partey if they have any interest in selling Oblak. Heard he could go for £90 million-ish. Chelsea supposedly interested…

  5. Jim Lahey

    Arsenal (potential) squad next season:

    ——————————- Martínez/Leno —————————-

    Bellerín/Soares —– Saliba/Holding —– Luiz/Mari —– Tierney/Saka

    ——————– Partey/Xhaka —– Ceballos/Torreira ——————-

    ————————– Coutinho/Smith-Rowe ———————–

    Pepe/Nelson ——– Aubameyang/Lacazette ————- Willian/Martinelli

    Thats not a bad squad.

  6. The Backpass


    “Emilio Martinez is the perfect example of what was wrong with Arsenal handling of academy players. He has been there for 10 years at Arsenal but was never given a proper chance until the No1 was injured. Yet his loan at Reading was a great success. On the other hand Matt Macey whose loan have been failure has been treated the same ”

    Great success is over stating it eh? He has been loaned to 5+ clubs and only performed in one, blaming the club for this is wrong though. Its not like arsenal never gave him chance in cup competition and he never grabed it with both hands.

    Fair play to him now for taking his chances but you can’t really blame anyone at the club for this.

  7. Wasi

    Willian is a good player I think but if Pepe continues his upward trajectory and Auba stays then Willian won’t be anything more than an impact sub ( unless Pepe doesn’t train hard ofc).
    I’m not sure we should be giving a 3 yr deal for him to be an impact sub.

    I could get behind Coutinho but Willian idk. We have Reiss/Saka/Emile/Gabi to cover at RW/LW next season. So thats 2 starters and 4 covers for the wing positions. Adding Willian will make it 7 unless we sell Nelson to raise cash.

    If it were me I’d rather go for someone young like Joelson Fernandes instead of Willian unless Arteta really really wants Willian.

    I have a feeling we’ll get Coutinho and Partey over the line too.

    Raul and Edu just need to get the sales right.

  8. Wasi

    The new goalkeeping coach and Arteta have worked wonders with our keepers especially Martinez.
    Looks set to be our No.1 this lad.

  9. Chrispy

    Still feel beautiful the day after and some interesting comments and threads here today without that cunt, RT interjecting with his drivel.

  10. MGooner

    Rolls Royce Motors is owned by the Germans.

    But the holding – the one which makes engines for aircraft is English. They often manage to sell their stuff by bribing people. They even had to offer to return money to foreign governments in the past 😉

  11. MGooner

    Refreshing to hear we will have a budget and will target Coutino. He is world class and if we can lad a signing like him, we will have made a great step forward.

    But the news on Auba is not great. Zidane wants him at Real and there is no way we will manage to keep him.

    We need a quality replacement. Someone who can run at defenders and bury it at the back of the net.

    There are signs that we are reverting to our old style of play. That it counter attacking!

  12. James wood

    Leicester’s Söyüncü would do nicely.
    He would give you that bit of pace that
    is missing in that position.
    He also reads the game very well.
    Holding was skinned by several Chelsea players
    Pedro went past him with ease we lack pace in the centre.?

  13. Guns of SF

    Holding and Chambers are slow as molasses.
    Bellerin-/ Soares-average speed
    Tierney/ AMN- above average speed

    We need speedy defenders

    Mari is like the titanic

    Our most mobile are Mustafi, Luiz and Saliba

  14. Sid

    RR design team is based in Munich

    gearboxes, electronic equipment, and even the paint already come from BMW factories in Bavaria

    Im telling you for free!

  15. MGooner

    Not easy to find mobile defenders who are not prone to error.

    We went that route with Kozzer, Mustafi and Gabriel. How do we know that in a bacck 3, Holding, Chambers, Luiz are not better. It all depends on games I guess – in some you might need more pace.

  16. Guns of SF

    Auba made a promise to his grandfather I think he would play for Madrid.
    SO if that is the case, we need to jump on Edouard asap.
    Get Dani somehow in the deal too.

  17. MGooner

    Coutinho, Pepe and Willian on the wing are a fearsome trio. Add Auba to that and we are suddenly in with a shout for the top 4. Pity Ozil has retired as he could excel in a scenario like this.

    Our squad is still too thin to challenge for the top spot but if we make it to the top 4, that would provide more cash for the year after.

  18. Guns of SF

    I have not either, but the youtube vids you can tell he has the pace…plus his overall athleticism is great

  19. Dissenter

    The Auba to Real Madrid rumors are.old. Those stories are dated May 2020.
    They haven’t had time to cook up new ones.

    Madrid really can’t afford to sign Auba and pay him the wages we have on the tab,e.

  20. MGooner


    True but where do you get a bloke who has speed but does not run around like a headless chicken.

    Holding and Chambers have composure. We probably need a mix but many would tell you a sweeper is a thing of the past. Just like a no10 actually. All midfielders must defend and attack these days.

  21. Marc

    Just for reference on the German owned thing and German Engineering. The dominant team in F1 by some measure is Mercedes and they are based in Brackley Northamptonshire.

    Might be German owned but it seems they see plenty of value in the English.

  22. Guns of SF

    Dissenter, I am sure the corrupt POS that RM are, they can find a way to pay him. Bonus signings on, and other creative ways.
    If they dump salary with selling players they might have enough $ to pay his ass

  23. Jamie

    It would be tragic to lose Auba. It would need to be a mega bid (£50m) or I’d keep him for his final year.

    If a club comes in with serious money, replace him with Edouard.

  24. Guns of SF

    IF that Omishen fella is going for big money, then AUba is worth much more than he….

    Get Edouard, Partey and get on with it….

  25. Leedsgunner

    I hope the rumours saying that Arteta wants to bring Ivan Rakitic to Arsenal remains just that rumours… he’s a good player to be sure but he’s 32… too old for us.

  26. MGooner

    @ Dissenter

    they will try to offload Bale. Remember they already sold Ronaldo too + their receipts much much higher than ours -Shirt sales are strong when they add a new star.

  27. Laolu 'Akins' Akintobi

    It’s agreat felling to see we didn’t finish this season empty handed after all the inconsistencies and difficulties with injuries. Mike has brought a new spirit of positive attitude to the team and I hope with this cup triumph, we can keep our key players and reinforce the team in areas necessary and look forward to a brighter season. Kudos to the entire Gunners club; Coach, players, the rest of the tech team, management and of course fans for keeping faith.

  28. Northbanker

    If Auba goes, then Willian Would only then make sense. I would then like to see a nw top CF – Jovic has the edge on Edouard and i suspect we can get a good price. Saka and Martinelli then can develop through rotation.

    Reports today that Auba is demanding we sign Dembele for him to stay. That isn’t going to happen nor do we need it to. The real money still needs to be spent on the midfield.

  29. Laolu 'Akins' Akintobi

    It’s agreat felling to see we didn’t finish this season empty handed after all the inconsistencies and difficulties with injuries. Mikel has brought a new spirit of positive attitude to the team and I hope with this cup triumph, we can keep our key players and reinforce the team in areas necessary and look forward to a brighter season. Kudos to the entire Gunners club; Coach, players, the rest of the tech team, management and of course fans for keeping faith.

  30. Northbanker

    All these 30+ players we’re being linked with is not good news. I hope this is just white noise as this would be very poor strategy for the club and smacks of anyone will do.

  31. Marc

    “I would sell Auba for no less than 75M”

    Fuck me – guy’s in his 30’s, has one year left on his contract and the World’s GDP has just gone off a cliff.

    What I really want to know is if Pedro’s giving free drugs to posters where the fuck are mine?

  32. Aasim

    How will Partey fit in to the system. Will he replace Xhaka ? The only player good enough to pass between the lines … a player all managers seem to love because he shows good spirit and follows their instructions to the T … ? Will he replace Cabellos and further dent the little creativity that we have ? Will his presence mean 3 in the mid field and Cabellos playing further up with the two CBs being ?

  33. Jamie

    It’s kind of amazing how Alexis’ form has plummeted since his 2 amazing seasons with us. He only has like 10 goals since he left us.

    Reminds me of Torres. From elite numbers to totally off the boil in short order.

  34. Graham62


    Are you happy that we won yesterday?

    Are you also happy that we have a coach who is 100% committed to the Arsenal cause?

    Why so much negativity?

    Why can’t you breath in and accept the positivity that Arteta has brought to the club?

    Forget the internal politics.

    Try to rejoice in progression.

  35. James wood

    M gooner 20.16
    I thought we was talking about my original post Soyuncu
    Where does the the headless chicken type player or midfielders come
    in to your post.?
    Surely your not suggesting a Söyüncü is a headless bird

  36. Dissenter

    Alexis played a shit load of football before he moved on. WC and copa Americas every summer as well as non-stop Arsenal.
    It’s not surprising he fell off the cliff. United paid big money for burnt toast.

  37. Valentin

    When Ford bought Jaguar, they quickly found out that the name was living on past reputation. The motor design team was so bad, that Jaguar ended up with Ford Mondeo motor.

    RR was the same, big name, big past but years of under-investment meant most of complex parts had to be imported from Germany.

    Same thing with Liverpool, great British name but solved by German engineering. 😄

  38. Graham62

    We are far harder to play against.
    We don’t drop our heads when we fall behind.
    We are a defensive unit for the first time in years.
    We have a belief and an energy that is becoming infectious…………………….We have Kieran Tierney.

    He is key to our future progression.

  39. Pedro

    Valentin, the British are elite engineers, particularly in specialist manufacturing.

    Tim Waskett is Liverpool’s data guy and their Sporting Director Michael Edwards are both English… the engineers.

  40. CG


    “”””CG Are you happy that we won yesterday?”””

    off course, I am happy.

    Arsenal won their 14th FA Cup & our Wenger was absolutely instrumental in it.
    (9 players yesterday including manager signed by AW)

    Lets hope Arteta can follow in the great man’s steps and embellish that mighty legacy even further,

    A late time legacy reminder, that now reads:

    x 3 leagues Title
    x 1 Golden
    x 20 Top 4’s
    x 7.5 F A Cups
    x 7 Charity Shields

    he deserves that half yesterday …….No doubt about it.

  41. Thorough

    Let me throw a curved ball here.
    f Madrid really wants Auba I won’t even ask them for money. Get Ceballos and Bale on reduced wages.
    Spend our budget on Partey and Odsone Eduardo.
    Between Bale (a goal scoring winger that we’ve so needed) and Eduardo, we can comfortably replace Auba’s goals.
    We’ll need to replace him in 2 year’s time anyway.

  42. Pedro

    CG, you starting to get a little bit insecure about old Arsene now we’ve found a good replacement for him?

    Let it go, allow yourself to love again, give yourself to Mikel.

  43. Nelson

    Two plays high lighted yesterday’s game
    – Antonio Rudiger nutmegged by Bellerin
    – Kurt Zouma thoroughly embarrassed by Auba

    Football can be entertaining…

  44. CG


    “”””CG, you starting to get a little bit insecure about old Arsene now we’ve found a good replacement for him”””””


    You cant replace the likes of Wenger
    He is irreplaceable.( as we all know)

    But Arteta does seem to have The Midas Touch and is clearly talented.

    Such a shame he has an Executive Team of such chronic ineptitude assisting him.

    I think , he will be exasperated by them all within 10 months.

  45. Valentin


    It is not the quality of the people, it is the under investment that killed British industries. Engineering is not done in a vacuum. No great engineer can compensate having crappy or no tools.
    Lots of specialists or niche engineering is done in UK, but until recently government policy did not support them and worse let them be bought over and transferred abroad. Indeed the pilfering and asset stripping of British companies by investors was a national sport.

  46. Marc


    You’re half right but the start of the decay in British manufacturing and engineering companies was nationalisation. We’ve also seen a massive impact caused by the public preferring cheap foreign crap often manufactured in China over something better but more expensive manufactured over here.

  47. Marko

    Sami Mokbel: Arsenal will listen to sizable offers for Bellerin or Laca if they arrive. Sokratis, Guendouzi, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Kolasinac, Mustafi and Holding are in the shop window.


  48. Marc


    My only thoughts on that are A) a two year old could put that together and B) I thought we’d already let Miki leave on a free?

  49. Guns of SF

    Marc you are being a bit paranoid about the finances man.
    There is money, maybe not as much as before, but we can def buy players with good sales.
    how bad does Madrid want Auba? Tell me.
    everyone come with a price…. Auba would bang in mega goals in la Liga that is for sure…

    So Zidane better get his check book out and ready.

  50. Valentin


    There may be some cultural differences, but the desire to buy goods cheaper is universal. However government policies dictates the direction that capitalism takes in each country.

    My view is that public mood quite often is a consequence of previous government decisions. Nationalisation, asset stripping, and other industrial changes are just the consequence of previous policies (legal framework) and national mood.

    I give an example France used to have an “authorisation administrative de licenciement”. Basically companies could not make redundancies, they had to ask authorisation to do so. If you could not justify it, you were not allowed to do it. So asset stripping was never a possibility in France. You could not just buy a company and said I close it down and sell its part for more than I paid.

    Germany had a similar informal system in the Lander. No unilateral redundancy without union approval. The reason why there was so few asset stripping in Germany is that for tax purposes that was not worth it. Same thing Vulture funds were not given by law the economic space to thrive in Germany.

    Those differences in policy explain why different countries have followed different industrial path.

    Of course it is easier to blame the poor for their thirst of imported cheap goods than admitting years of mismanagement by governments. So let agree to disagree.

  51. Valentin

    The deal of releasing Mhkitaryan was concluded but never signed. Roma is having difficulty negotiating Mino Raiola signing on fee.
    What a shocker!

  52. Valentin

    Shame that Cazorla went to the middle East, as he could have resumed his partnership with Coquelin. Villarreal’s Emery are interested.

  53. Thorough

    I think player conditioning is getting better by the day. I won’t be surprised someone can still extract 3 years out of Bale. Zlatan is still rocking it at 38. i thought Immobile was finished when he left Dortmund but he’s dropped 35 goals this season I think.
    Moreover, Saka need a mentor for the next two years, and it’ll piss up our noisy neighbors too. What’s there not to like.

  54. Sid

    F1 Mercedes is based in Brackley, but the whole engine development is done back at home in Germany, in AMG’s headquarters and development center.

    The reason F1 are based in UK is only because of ww2 airfields abandoned were turned to race tracks around Brackley. Moving would be costly.

  55. Zacharse

    Espn reporting auba wants us to sign demebele from barca
    Someone has us in for Watfords doucore

    Im liking the rumors i see for the first time in a while tho i confess i know nothing about this sevilla CB

  56. Sid

    Cadburys is a criminal enterprise…..

    there are as many as 2 million child laborers in West Africa alone, many of whom were kidnapped and forced into the servitude of the chocolate industry

    Im telling you for free

  57. Zacharse

    Regarding the secodn yellow to kovacic that everyone seems to think wasnt fair, I thought his first yellow was quite aggressive if you watch the way he went in. Not surprised he finished early, he seems like that kind of player

  58. Kgw

    We need to get at least 2 central defenders. I must admit anytime I see Mustafi and Luis in defense, I worried to the end of the match.
    Great tram win, and by the way we are one of 2 teams in England with a trophy this year so far.

  59. Guns of SF

    No way we are getting Dembele… Not only is he a winger, which we have many of, but a perma crock. I have my doubts about this story. I think Auba would be smarter to demand the club sign his friend.

    Probably he has been told some of transfer targets , to get him to know we are trying to get competitive…

    He should also know ,that his signing on, would benefit the club as targets are more likely to want to come to us to play with him.

    So, he should know that his signing will be like a fishing rod. The big fish should come in

  60. The Godfather

    Anyone who dares ask the Kroenke’s for cash to fund a contract offer to Willian should be fired immediately. We’ve gotta make positive purchases geared towards long term success

  61. Leedsgunner

    Rafa Honigstein stating on the latest Totally Football podcast that both Real Madrid and Barcelona are struggling financially so they are unlikely to bid for Aubameyang…

    We need to shore up Aubameyang’s contract and then start adding key purchases in our defence and midfield to match Aubameyang’s outrageous skill and flair.

    Stories emerging that we are willing to sell up to 9 first team players… a step in the right direction if it means we’re bringing in quality over quality.

  62. Gonsterous

    Lmao at the comment section. Bunch of grown men acting like a child with a brand new shiny toy. Yes emi is Great, but why does that mean we have to sell leno? Unless it involves stupid money. If we sell leno, we then need to find another decent back up.
    People forget the amount of times almunia fked us when the no.1 was injured. That’s why we need a no.2 almost as good as rh e no.1

    Replacing and buying a new GK is the last thing we need to be doing.

  63. Emiratesstroller

    My guess is that Aubameyang will sit on his hands and wait and see what transfers Arsenal are concluding before making a final decision on whether to
    stay or leave.

    Arsenal will have a transfer budget on the scale that I have suggested on several occasions in the past. That is what our sponsorship from Adidas, Emirates and Rwanda is supposed to pay for.

    The loan of £200M from Kroenke will be covering shortfall in revenue, which
    pays for wages and other outgoings.

    Arsenal have been very disingenuous in recent seasons when discussing their
    transfer budget. They are always pleading poverty.

    The club will buy two or three strategic players this summer, because they have to do so if they are going to progress. The question is how they are going
    to handle the deals.

    There is also going to be a cost of offloading both Mkhitaryan and Ozil, which
    will need to be factored into the equation. Neither is going to generate a transfer fee and I suspect we may land up covering part of the wage bill.

  64. Leftfootcurler


    Problem with Willian is he is not enough of a goal threat against a good defensive block.
    If we have to get top 4,we have to create and score more against deep blocks.
    There is sufficient counter attacking threat in this team already.

  65. James wood

    I see we are linked to the Brazilian Diego Carlos
    Arteta clearly not happy with what he has in that
    area including the new players.?
    But at 68 Million hey?
    Go with my man Soyuncu at around 35-40 Million
    and with Premiership Nous the way to go on this vital

  66. MidwestGun

    Hmmm.. My opinion on unofficial Le Grove poll…. is No to Willian… Yes to Coutinho.

    Willian would have been a good signing 4 years ago.. not now. Coutinho.. for the right financial deal still has a lot of gas in the tank.. and would be a massive upgrade on anything we have in the midfield plus will pitch in with goals. We need more goals from other then Auba. Matty G swap deal sound good to me.

    And yes I am just now recovering from hangover but it still feels good. Incredible ending to a horrible season.. who would have predicted it halfway through the season? when relegation looked more likely.

    Guess that’s why they play the games. The next 4 weeks should be, tune into Le Grove time. Who knows what will happen? I’d say nobody. Wouldn’t be surprised about anything ranging from absolutely nothing. to 4 starters in this transfer window.

    Arteta though is the man …
    Get on the Sauce train or move to Turkey with Ozil.

    Might be a little long for a bumper sticker .. Ill work on it.

  67. Dark Hei

    Valentin has it right regarding first world industrialized nations.

    I deal with UK manufacturing and it is not what it once was.

    That part of buying out by corporations, strip mining the fixed assets and just retaining the brand while outsourcing the manufacturing to the Far East is what characterizes things.

    And why some of us have a deep distrust for the American corporate system. But it is the local policies that allow it to happen.

  68. Northbanker

    Coutinho is 28 whereas Willian is 31. The two are not therefore comparable in terms of assessing our future. We need to look to younger players for all positions but there is a case to be made for Coutinho if at the right price. Szobozlai would nevertheless be a far more exciting and Dortmund like buy.

  69. Valentin

    Dembele at the quoted £37 millions from Barcelona is a steal, but then you have two big questions. Who to sell to fund the purchase and who to bench from the current squad.
    Dembele on the right means Nelson is sold and Pepe at £72 millions on the bench. Dembele on the left means that Lacazette is sold, Saka is on the bench and Aubameyang as a No9.

    Nice problem to have.

  70. Sid

    Messi is 33 yrs expecting him to carry Barca without having Coutinho as back up will be tremendous miscalculation on their part.
    Coutinho will be in camp nou next season. Its all click bait.

    You heard it here 1st!

  71. Wasi


    That problem only arises if Dembele stays fit.

    Dembele is on the ssme talent level as Kai , Sancho and Haaland and for 37 mil is definitely a steal.
    But still its a hard pass for me. His injury record is horrible.

  72. Valentin


    You are right his injury is an issue.
    Maybe I am deluded, but I think that at Arsenal he would stay fit. He would not be able to maintain the same lifestyle at Arsenal. The intensity and relentless of the league and the Europa League in contrast to the Champion’s League would not give him as much free time.

    My concern would be more about his personality. Arteta has already clashed with one petulant French player, I can see that happening with Dembele as well.

  73. Valentin

    With Leno injured until at least the end of the calendar year and Matt Macey being released, we need a second goalkeeper.
    If we are interested in Ibrahim’s Sissoko from RC Strasbourg, We should have try to also buy Bingourou Kamara their No2 goalkeeper.

  74. Freddie Ljungberg


    Where have you seen that, is that the same voices in your head giving all this precious information away for free?

    Wouldn’t be a bad Partey alternative, or partner if Ceballos isn’t coming back, a bit raw but we’re probably not selling Xhaka:( anyway so he’d have time to adapt. Should be relatively cheap too.

  75. Kenyangunner

    Aubameyang and Pepe are both French. Why did they not choose to play for France?

    Patrick Viera is Senagalese , Steve Mandanda is Congolese why did they choose to play for France?

  76. Sid

    Freddie LjungbergAugust 3, 2020 07:54:04
    SidWhere have you seen that, is that the same voices in your head giving all this precious information away for free?

    Nordic humour/sarcasm is quite sexy

  77. Freddie Ljungberg


    It ain’t free…

    Seriously though, do you have a link to the Sissoko rumours? I know you’ve been banging on about him for ages so is it just wishful thinking or something substantial?

  78. Danny

    Monday morning, been at work 20 minutes, and already somebody has really pissed me off and I mean really got my goat, I was about to let him have it big time when I suddenly thought “WE WON THE CUP! WE WON THE FUCKIN’ CUP! and there’s nothing you can do to me that’s gonna bother me in anyway!!!

  79. Champagne Charlie

    “With Leno injured until at least the end of the calendar year and Matt Macey being released, we need a second goalkeeper.“

    Leno was flying about in training last week, what’s happened to rule him out for months?

  80. Chika


    “With Leno injured until at least the end of the calendar year.”

    I thought he was scheduled to return much earlier than that.

    Dembele for £37M is definitely tempting, the major concern would be his injuries, not “Saka on the bench”. There are enough games to go round and we surely shouldn’t expect too much from Saka too soon.

    Heard we nabbed some bad ass physio guy from PSG.

  81. Wasi


    Hoping Dembele will stay fit is as you said wishful thinking.
    If he cant handle the rigours of Spanish league then its more probable that he wont be able to handle the Prem too. Especially when the likes of Cresswell are out here to kill our players with no the refs providing no protection whatsoever.

  82. Pierre

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned how our academy players should be just as proud for us winning the cup.

    It was the kids who for us through the earlier rounds
    Leeds ( tough game) Nelson scoring the winner .
    Bournemouth away ( another tough game) Saka an Eddie.
    Portsmouth away( difficult game ) Eddie again,

    And then the more experienced players took over, with away win at Sheffield utd, City and then Chelsea.

    Next season, put a bet on Arsenal for a Europa, League cup double as our academy players will storm both of those competitions early in the season…

    Willock, Smith Rowe, Nelson , Eddie , Saka, along with a few new faces like john jules , Azeez, Balogun, Greenwood , Smith will be out to make a big impression on Arteta.

  83. Valentin


    He might, but goalkeepers can’t be introduced for the last 10 minutes at the end of games to get match fit. So their actual full rehabilitation takes longer than field player.

  84. Valentin


    Dembele was able to handle the much more rigorous Bundesliga. The root of his problems were not physical, they were due to his behaviour. The issue at Barcelona was that he was bored and he had nobody of his age group he could relate to.

    So he was playing video game with his mates back in France until 3 in the morning. Barcelona gave him a dietician but he kept ignoring him and gorging himself on junk food.

    I don’t think he would have the same problem at the Arsenal. He speak French and English so would not struggle language wise in the dressing room.

  85. Valentin

    Aubameyang is born in France of a Father from Gabon and a mother from Spain. So he could have represented any of those 3 countries.

    Aubameyang chose Gabon because
    1) his dad was a former Gabonese International
    2) he was a late developer. He was called once by the France U21. If I remember correctly it was more to stop him from being called by the Spanish U21 team. In the end he was never recalled and then switched to Gabon for a ACN that Gabon failed to qualify for.

    You will find that in his generation a lot of late developer switched countries when they failed to be called by the French national team.

  86. Guns of Brixton

    Dortmund stand to make a killing on this Sancho deal.

    I adore their model so much. They done the same thing with Dembele as well.

  87. Champagne Charlie

    Would much rather Depay than Dembele, don’t care how talented you are because if you rarely play it’s a complete irrelevance.

    Diaby 2.0

  88. Valentin

    Funny clickbait.

    “Sancho is having second thought about joining ManUtd and would prefer a move to Liverpool as he see them as more likely to win silverware next season.”

    What an slap down for ManUtd if after all that public chasing the player were to told them no.

  89. Valentin


    Depay missed many games through injury as well and he also a reputation for unprofessionalism. However Depay is primarily a striker or second striker when Dembele is an attacking midfielder, so Dembele from a squad perspective make more sense.
    That does not take into account the extortionate price Lyon will want for him, when Dembele at the quote £37 millions is a steal.
    Depay has also stated that he wanted to join a Champion’s League club, so he may not even be interested in joining us.

  90. Wasi


    The world knows about his hamstring issues.
    Sure his attitude at Barca hasn’t been up to par but his hamstring is his main issue.

    He wasn’t injured a lot in Dortmund because fortunately his hamstring was still 100% back then.
    His recurring injury issues started when he joined Barca. And we all know what that does to a player ( Wilshere , Diaby , Ramsey , etc)