New signings show focus on youth, what’s slowing the seniors?

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It’s starting to feel like the good old days when Wenger was in charge. We need first-team signings badly, but the club is out here bringing in teenagers. Yesterday it was Tim Akinola, today it’s Jonathan Dinzeyi from SPURS. We’ve landed a centre half for the U23s. It seems the club is keen to add low risk / high reward players to the setup next season.

I am totally game for these sorts of signings. Just because a young player leaves a club, doesn’t mean they can’t make it elsewhere. Look no further than some of the young players we’ve exited. Gnabry, Jeff, Malen, and Bennacer tells you all you need to know about how footballers develop.

The DM reckons we’re going to land Gabriel. ESPN’s James Olley is saying we have landed him as well. There’s a lot of smoke around this player. We clearly have a good relationship after we broke our transfer record with them last year. I really don’t think there’s much of a choice between Arsenal and Napoli. Do you want to be barked at by Gattuso? Or work under the tutelage of Mikel with Edu there to shoot the shit over Brazilian politics? I know where I’d be going, sorry Genaro.

The interesting part of the story is that the Italian club is going all out to bring Sokratis the other way. The Greek centre back has fallen massively out of favour with Mikel, likely because of his passing and love for on-pitch wrestling. I can’t be arsed to look, but Sokratis and Gattuso might have played at Milan together way back when. If we can move him on, that’d be great news for Arsenal considering the weight of his contract.

There’s a tantalising story doing the rounds that Champions League minted Rennes are interested in bringing David Luiz over for a couple of seasons. He’d give them a lot of experience and the slower pace of Ligue 1 would probably work really well for the 33-year-olds fitness. I like David Luiz the leader behind the scenes, but it’s hard to look past some of the problems he had last season. If you could get FA Cup Luiz week in week out, I’d be fine, but I don’t think that exists anymore and it’ll only get worse as his pace dissipates. I also don’t think he’s a bench kind of player. If he’s not playing, he’s a nuisance. Could be best for all parties if there’s a huge role for him in France.

There are many other questions fans are asking:

What are we doing about Thomas Partey?

Is there any truth in Aouar?

When will Auba sign the contract?

Are we going to be able to sell effectively?

Will we play the swap game?

One thing to note, the transfer window is open for quite a bit this season. We have until October 5th. It’ll be interesting to see if clubs wait to see what is going on with covid precautions. More fans means more money and less reason to sell. I also think it’s clear that a lot of the cash merry go round will start when the big clubs enter the fray. It’s a little slow everywhere. Champions League and Europa League hasn’t finished yet. Patience shall be the virtue of this summer.

Long and short, don’t panic yet, there’s a bit of time to warm things up. The club wanted a flying start, I suspect that recent events have tapered our speed to market, but I’m still confident we can have a very good summer.

ESPN Brazil reckon both Manchester clubs and Bayern were in for Willian. The scales were tipped our way because of Edu and London. Nice. I really hope he has a good 3 years with us.

Right, see you in the comments!

Listen to the podcast IF you have time… but know this, if you don’t have time, can we even be friends?


417 Responses to “New signings show focus on youth, what’s slowing the seniors?”

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  1. Champagne Charlie

    What happened to Forsberg? Was hotly talked about for a couple of seasons there and now seems a fringe player.

    He a crock?

  2. karim

    Noise in France is Gabriel has chosen us despite a late Napoli counter-offer and that it should be announced tomorrow. 5 year-deal apparently.

  3. MidwestGun

    Well … hell.. gave it a good run. Think it will be PSG/ Bayern Final.. probably the best as far as spectacle.

  4. karim


    Not really to be honest as I haven’t watched Lille a lot but he’s highly regarded in France and looks like he could adapt well to the epl.
    Let’s see, he could form a solid partnership with Saliba in the long run.

  5. Victorious

    No one seems to have watched this Gabriel at all, then why the over the top praises for the lad? Would be so bad if he comes and totally stinks the place out

  6. CG


    “”””No one seems to have watched this Gabriel at all,”””””

    Even I , and I think we have the biggest Dopes in world soccer running the club cant argue with the age , profile and physical prowess of this particular player.

    The fee seems ok too.
    (Just as well, The Spiv ain’t here – otherwise heaven knows what the fee would be.
    He does have form with Lille after all)

    Having said that, I do find it bizarre we are so obsessed with center backs.
    Even George Graham stopped on 5 with the Andy Linighan signing.

  7. karim


    Both of them definitely were the most exciting young defenders in the league.
    Saliba was kind of stopped in his progression because of injuries while Gabriel was excellent in their CL campaign.
    They’re both tall dominant defenders but they are quite good with the ball too.

  8. Valentin

    With a third player U23 player joining Arsenal, the new plan for the academy is taking shape. Arsenal is now pivoting toward British players of the age group from 17-23. Picking up academy players who have failed to go into their club first team, coach them extensively both physically, tactically but also psychologically for six months. Then to gradually introduce them to the first team.

    With BREXIT, English club may not be able to recruit the best of European 16 and 23 years. The new rule stipulates that only players worth £10 millions are automatically granted a work permit. So more British players were always on the card.

    The second part of the project is to build a better path to the first team. That means a better loan system. Selecting loan club for what they can do for the player development. Following the loaned players with regular review session and WhatsApp communication. It also means that the first team coach must be in communication with the U23 coach.

    Hopefully those players will be ready to become part of the first team. If they can’t make it, they can still be sold at a profit or at least at the cost of their coaching. So the academy could become self sufficient instead of drawing resources from the club.

  9. Champagne Charlie


    Good of us to be targeting standout talents like that, and encouraging that we’re attractive in our proposal to see off a host of excellent teams in acquiring these types.

    How’s Lyon’s situation being read in France? A wave of good sentiment for their displays in Europe currently but there must be a level of concern/disappointment at missing out on Europe totally next season? Such a staple for the side, are they coming to the end of a cycle there, or have they gotten some technical stuff wrong this PSG season? Pity nonetheless.

  10. RockyRoe

    I actually watched a fair bit of Gabriel, 10 odd matches.
    On one hand it’s never a good idea to pass judgement on a player who hasn’t played in epl on whether they would be able to adapt or not but I can see why arteta would want him.
    Lads got a great left foot pass on him and goes either way so I’m guessing both auba and pepe would always be in the game. He is nippy not super duper quick but decent pace. He does go to ground a fair bit which might be a problem, but on what we have right now, he is most definitely a clear upgrade.
    With him and saliba, 1 thing is for sure, our ariel defence will be much much better and if he works out, with Gabriel, saliba and Tierney our defence is set for 7-8 years if we can be competitive and keep them happy.
    I reckon, arteta will start with Mustafi and Gabriel, and then eventually move to Saliba and Gabriel, with Mustafi and Mari as backup and Chambers behind that.
    The central idea is, that with Saliba and Gabriel and Xhaka ahead, arteta now has 3 long ball specialist to capitalise on the pace of pepe and auba, instead of just Luiz.
    Tldr: paying 28 million on Gabriel will turn out to be much better business than 35 on mustafi or 12 on sokratis.

  11. bacaryisgod

    What we’re seeing here is Arteta applying the Man City model to our defence. If you remember, City went big to bring in Kyle Walker, Danilo and Mendy. Laporte and Ederson in for a combined 210m in the space of ONE year.

    They identified the weakness and poured money at it although not entirely successfully. Arteta clearly has decided that fixing our defence is our number one priority. Quite why he would be willing to offload Maitland-Niles as a result of that effort is a mystery. In fact, it makes the investment in Soares both in the loan deal and then a fat 4 year contract seem even more questionable or even shady.

    However, I love the Gabriel deal as it’s something we’ve all been pushing for. A young, clearly talented mobile and skillful defender with plenty of upside. I can see Mustafi and Luiz being preferred for the next season while Gabriel and Saliba adjust to the league. No problem there. With Holding and Mari as our 5th and 6th options this leaves Chambers and Sokratis as the odd CBs out. Could be worse tbh.

  12. Freddie Ljungberg


    Shady? Getting in a backup RB for free while selling AMN for 20m+ potentially, thereby covering most of the Gabriel fee. Strange definition of the word.
    It’s not like we have Man citys budget so moves like that are necessary to flesh out the funds.

    If Gabriel is bought it won’t be to sit on the bench, he’ll be a starter pretty much right away. Saliba won’t be far behind. Would be a different story if we had any other even half decent CBs but we don’t.

  13. CaliGooner

    I think chambers is better then holding and mustafi. On top if that he also has positional flexibility which makes him more valuable. However he probably brings a bigger fee which could mean he’s gone assuming his injury isn’t prohibitive.

    Hoping Saliba and Gabriel are the future. We need defensive stability. Understatement.

  14. Goobergooner

    Un na
    “One thing though, Pedro is going to gloat like crazy tomo over tuchel teaching the final when emery couldn’t even make a semi final.
    Big fat I told you so coming to some of you”

    There is no I told you so in tuchel being better than Emery.

    Get over the fact that some people actually tried to give Emery a chance as the ARSENAL manager. How fucking hard is that to grasp, instead of jumping on the he’s shit bandwagon at the very beginning of his appointment.

  15. Goobergooner

    How are you going there Tony?
    I’m stuck in Melbourne stage 4 lockdowns, tood down and forced to take annual leave. This blog is the only ‘excitement’ I’m getting haha

  16. bacaryisgod


    Disagree with you, I’m afraid. If you’re telling me that our best option was a Southampton cast-off who we first paid a hefty loan fee for then perhaps you should work under Raul in his next job.

    You might not think that Luiz and Mustafi will start next season but I’m pretty sure they both have Arteta’s trust although Mustafi’s injury might allow someone else to start. Don’t get me wrong because I really like both Saliba and Gabriel from the limited amount I’ve seen. It’s just that as we’ve seen with countless young defenders over the years, it’s better to be patient as they try to adjust to a new league.

  17. Freddie Ljungberg


    Best option for what? A PL experienced back up RB for minimal cost? That will allow us to raise some pretty decent funds. Any other suggestions?

    Hefty loan fee? It was reported as 1m. Peanuts in the football world.

    It’s possible they’ll start the season as our CB pairing but it won’t take long for Gabriel and Saliba to usurp them. It’s one thing playing Luiz and Mustafi when the only other options are Sokratis and Holding but with proper talent waiting in the wings it won’t take long for them to be sidelined.

  18. Goobergooner

    I really am quite keen to see what happens in the CB department.
    In all likelihood sok and holding or chambers are out.

    If Luiz goes I’d be so stoked. Yeah he had a couple of solid games and also is a respected and experienced winner within the game but he is just too error prone and I just can’t even justify his purchase in the first place.

    I have no clue on how Gabriel plays, but I do have to give Arteta the benefit of the doubt, as our backline really is poor, apart from Tierney. Won’t take much to be an improvement.

    In all honesty though, I could stand another season of our backline (+ Saliba being brought in) if we seriously upgrade CM and DM positions. If we spend the money on Gabriel and don’t get a proper option in the middle I’ll be disappointed.

    There is no way in hell both Arteta and Edu see our midfield as being capable over a season. Our lynchpin is xhaka for Christ’s sake. The only way I will take him in this team is as a squad rotation option.

  19. Goobergooner

    And if Arteta really is set on keeping xhaka, we need a proper beast next to him and a proper CAM or creative wide player (depending on our formation).

    I do see Willian as our wide left in a 343 or as a cam in 433.

    In my opinion (despite whatever amount he is paid) he is a solid acquisition compared to our current players. Technical as they come, still has quite the burst over the first few yards, can dribble, can pass, can take the ball on the half turn and drive forward.
    We need him in his current form.

    He will also be great for the young guns to look up to. Model pro and great at what he does.

  20. Goobergooner

    Regarding Soares, the fact that we paid a loan fee for a player who was free in 6 months time really is bizarre.

    I’m not against his signing, but 4 years straight off the bat without proving anything for us was strange as well.

    As a squad option he has experience in the league and really isn’t a bad player, the real question is what we do with Bellerin and AMN, and if one or both go we then need to replace our first choice RB position.
    This window isn’t the time for that I don’t think, unless we somehow make a motsa selling off our deadwood.

  21. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Regarding Soares, the fact that we paid a loan fee for a player who was free in 6 months time really is bizarre.”

    Not really imo. Think there was 2 reasons for it. It gave us a chance to evaluate his fit into the team and club without committing to a long deal, it also secured his services before he became a free agent would have potentially had more options on the table.

    4 years keeps him at the club until he’s 33, a good cutoff, or we can still move him on with 2 years left of his contract if we want when he’s 31.

    We only need to buy a starting RB if Bellerin gets sold. Wouldn’t mind that tbh, but not a priority. If AMN gets sold we can invest that money elsewhere and there’s plenty of gaps to fill.

  22. Goobergooner

    I mean do understand what you’re saying. But he was injured at the time. I can only hope he’s better than kallstrom and Suarez 😂😂😂

  23. Goobergooner

    Also I’m assuming it wasn’t just a loan fee though, he would have also got his signing on bonus when his contract ended at Southampton. Either way we paid 1m for barely any use of the player, except from the physios, and then a signing bonus.

  24. Goobergooner

    So for me it has the potential to have had 2 occassions where agents fees were paid. One for the loan deal with Southampton, and one for his contract.

  25. China1

    Anyone who has ever been to the city of Naples would not choose it over Arsenal

    Napoli is in a beautiful region of Italy but the city is an absolute dump

    As well the PL and the money in England etc are better. I assume napoli are in the CL next year but it’s a pretty bland project imo as they are never ever winning the league in the next 5 years with Juve still there and they’re not elite enough for the CL. They’re a good team but it’s not an exciting project imo

  26. Freddie Ljungberg


    Remains to be seen how good he’ll be, I’m not expecting too much honestly. After the clusterfuck our squad became under Wenger though and all the duds on long contracts it was always inevitable that we were going to see some squad reshuffling to free up funds, short term deals and loans. Just too much work to be done on our budget otherwise. As long as we get our first XI sorted for now I’ll be more than happy and then we can start adding quality to the rest of the squad.

  27. China1

    If we paid a signing on bonus to Soares then our negotiator should be lined up and shot

    You pay signing on fees to free agents attracting interest from other similar or bigger clubs. In this negotiation arsenal literally held 100% of the cards and didn’t need to be offering free incentives. Which is why I hope we bloody well didn’t

    But it’s arsenal so we probably did

  28. China1

    I had the ‘privilege’ of taking a coach through Napoli from the airport to a small town outside when I was 15 and I shit you not looking out the window as we drove I was just thinking ‘please don’t let this be where our hotel is’

    Absolutely shit lol

  29. Goobergooner

    Hahahaha China you funny bastard.

    But yeah Freddie, I totally agree with that last comment.

    Our wage bill is so disproportionate to our quality. Wenger’s socialist wage policy fucked us. And the Ozil contract and Sanchez fuck up are up there with the worst 2 moves this club could ever make.

  30. Goobergooner

    Just thinking about swapping Sanchez; our best player at the time, for mhki who United didn’t even want still makes the blood boil. Turning down a transfer fee and then swapping for a player proven to not be suited to the league was seriously pathetic management any way you slice it.

  31. Goobergooner

    And the fact that our best 2 players being in the last year of their contract was “ideal” really shows how out of touch Wenger and gazidis were.

  32. Tony

    Sorry Goober just finished training.

    I feel for you with the lock down. Oddly enough my daughter was due to be studying at RMT in Melbourne for her double degree in aerospace engineering. Now she’s having to study it online. She was really looking forward to spending time in Melbourne.

    Although we’re not in lockdown here it’s still wise for people with my underlying conditions, age and ‘A’ blood type to stay at home.

    Just agreed to do some work for a friend’s Indonesian company I can do from home, so plenty to keep me busy for the time being and then there’s Le-Grove to fill in any pockets of free time I have after keeping the family on an even keel.

    Hope things improve soon on the Covid front in Melbourne for you and my daughter.

  33. Goobergooner

    I finished my degree at RMIT, brilliant uni. Your daughter has quite the mind to be into aerospace engineering. That’s unreal!

    Good to hear you’re keeping busy though.

    And cheers for the well wishes.

    I hope all you Gooners are keeping safe!

  34. Northbanker

    Un – read that article too – the stats on Gabriel look very good – no serious errors at all (EPL will be more testing of course than France) and top level passing ability. Add in left foot , size and strength and his mobility (which is probably why he isn’t error prone as the lack of Mobility means a player compensates by giving away free kicks and penalties) and we have a serious addition to our 1st XI.

    He would surely walk in to the team which presumably would mean Luiz would move to RCB to partner him i the absence of Mustafi. Can’t see MA using Saliba at first but by the end of the season I would expect Saliba and Gabriel to have established themselves as first choice partnership. Let’s hope hey have Martinez behind them between the sticks.

  35. Goobergooner

    It’s a toss up between Martinez and Leno isn’t it.

    Having a CB pairing better in the air would reduce the need for the keeper having to come out all the time (despite the need for it to happen) but at the same time Leno’s shot stopping ability would be a bonus behind a better defence.

    Very hard decision for Arteta to make.

  36. Goobergooner

    And I’ll agree with that comment too.

    We still need that solidity in midfield so our CBS aren’t as exposed when we do play higher up the pitch and play opens up on the transition.

  37. Goobergooner

    I think I’m with you there. Especially for what we could make from Leno as you say, more funds for outfield positions and not losing anything at keeper. Will just need a cheap understudy then.

  38. Mr Serge

    I would take Martinez over Leno bigger collects the ball better and moves it out of defence as the better passer
    Leno is a better shot stopper
    Martinez is also home grown having been with us 10 years

  39. Goobergooner

    The fact that Martinez holds onto the ball instead of parrying more often than not is enough in itself for me, let alone his command of the box.

  40. Goobergooner

    Haha and yeah Ive also been told that it’s similar to London.
    I grew up in NSW near Sydney and then lived on the gold coast for 7 years, Melbourne was a mistake 😂😂 it is great as a holiday destination though, and for sport

  41. Goobergooner

    And Serge as you say, those tears mean so much to me as a fan even. It’s great seeing him grab his chance firmly with both hands (excuse the shitty pun), coming from the youth and absolutely giving his all for this club.

  42. Mr Serge

    Agreed worst season in memory ends on high and we have a great young manager that loves us and seems to know how to fix our issues

  43. Mr Serge

    Goober I was in Sydney for 3 weeks 10 years ago the Aussies where so nice I really enjoyed the place
    The flight on the other hand was no joke even though I flew Emirates

  44. Goobergooner

    I hope edu can do us proud too. Having arsenal men at the helm is really going to help us keep those Arsenal Values alive.

  45. Goobergooner

    Yep I am keen as for that flight one day when the world is working again. But I’m wayyyy too fidgety for that long of a trip, couldn’t even cope with a flight from Sydney to Bangkok.

  46. Goobergooner

    Mr Serge did you still get to games regularly? Like are you a season ticket holder? Or just get to games when you can?

  47. Goobergooner

    Un, are you an ST holder? Not that it matters we are all fans all the same. Just wondering out of pure envy that you guys can watch the team whenever haha.

  48. Tony

    Any long haul flights I’d go Qatar or Gulf Air. Both have excellent business class and where their economy also looks decent although I’ve never tried it.

    Emirates used to be ok but are more like the BA of the middle eastern airlines these days.

  49. Tom

    So PSG reaching the CL final, while beating the likes of Dortmund,Atalanta, and Timo Werner- less RB Leipzig, is somehow a validation of Tuchel’s greatness?
    Weren’t PSG always favorite to do that?

  50. DivineSherlock


    The quality of PSG was never in question , it was always whether they can deliver in big games . Did you even watch the game last night ? Tuchel did that , Guardiola couldnt beat Lyon . Put some respect on that name.

  51. Tom

    Divine Sherlock
    Nothing against Tuchel and definitely no disrespect meant, but winning against clubs bookies had PSG as the heavy favorites isn’t really overachieving is it now?
    Let them beat Bayern and win the actual trophy before we start awarding accolades.

  52. DivineSherlock


    But you still have to go on the field and defeat them , City were the bookies favorites didnt help them did it ? In the past campaigns too they had quality but got knocked out , you know it too . Tuchel has given them that extra edge , I am sure whatever the outcome of that final people will appreciate what he has done

  53. Goobergooner

    Un that is fair.

    So you got the best of arsenal back in the day. That’s great stuff.
    The players lounge would be unreal too!

  54. Goobergooner

    Haha Tony thanks for the advice.

    I’ll definitely be going economy. Going to be saving the moolah for the best seats at the Emirates when I can actually get there, and the pre and post game beers haha.

  55. Goobergooner

    Literally one stat in there that makes him a better defender than what we have….

    Errors leading to shots on goal. A total of zilch

  56. Habesha Gooner

    Is it just me that’s scratching my head about Guardiola who is about to spend 60 mil on Koulibaly? That’s on top of the 41 mil he spent on Ake. A 100 mil worth of center backs while he is about to discard 50 mil stones and 32 mil Otamendi. Insanity!!!

  57. Terraloon

    Was Willian even offered a one year deal at Chelsea? Have Arsenal been played?

    Reports on ESPN suggest that no long term deal was ever on the table

    The only meetings that appear to have taken place with Chelsea were about extending his contract to cover the extended 2019/20.

    Here’s what the report says

    He was reportedly willing to sign a new three-year deal with the Blues, but he was not offered a new contract, leaving him feeling ‘discredited’ after spending seven years at the club.

    Here’s Just Arsenals take on the saga

    “ This new revelation now shows that we may have acted in desperation and maybe if we had waited a little we still might have signed him on lower terms and maybe for fewer than three years”

    As I have said on here before Chelsea know things about his physical decline, his recovery etc etc that Arsenal won’t. On the face of it Willian seems a bargain but like Soares I don’t see the signings as knee jerk short term fixes that will impact negatively once short term moves into medium and on to long term

  58. Tom

    Sorry, steak and beer over soy for me all day. I never touch the stuff.
    The Tuchel vs Emery argument only lives in your seemingly tormented mind. Most don’t give a shit.
    Only RB Leipzig beat anyone of any real cup pedigree on a way to semis but at the end of the day it was still the third place Bundesliga club beating the third place la liga club, which btw you say is shit so nothing to see here.

    If anyone overachieved it was it was probably Nagelsmann so if Pedro wants to gloat about someone he might be the one.
    Let’s put Tuchel on hold until he beats Bayern and I promise you I’ll be the first one to admit his greatness. Lol.

  59. Goobergooner

    I just hope that isn’t the case Terraloon.

    He still seems good to go, but like you said they would have the full scope on him.

    And I’m assuming our medical team did thorough enough examinations to justify his contract

  60. Batistuta

    To be fair, Tuchel will have to actually win an European trophy first to be deemed better than anyone. The league there is a cake walk so can’t count that, if they don’t win it there’s always a possibly he’ll be moved on really.

    60 million for Koulibaly would be absolutely mental from Pep, i could give him 5 more defensively solid and faster CBs in the league over here, that said he may well do well in City’s system where they tend to have the ball a lot more but i wouldn’t be paying 60 million for the Senegalese

  61. CG


    “”””Was Willian even offered a one year deal at Chelsea? Have Arsenal been played?””””

    Yes. We have Edu, so what do you expect?

    I said at the time,this deal will go down in folklore.( probably under the heading)

    “””” most stupidist transfers ever”””

    Arsenal struggling , trying desperately to reduce costs, a global pandemic and they have persisted with giving a very average 32 year a £35 000 000 package.

    following on from Cedric and Luiz extensions -The club simply does not deserve success, if the people who keep making these deals keep their jobs

    In Vinnys case, They PROMOTED him….!

  62. Batistuta

    Resurgence of the premier league teams??

    United with Ole as coach?

    Chelsea who still haven’t fixed that defence?

    Pep with his mental block?

    Pool only ones you’d believe will be back.

    They’d have to massively improve over the summer to have a chance really

  63. China1

    Willians value for money over the lifetime of his contract is of course subject to what he does on the pitch in the coming seasons, but if he can repeat his form from this year into next season we will be noticeably better going forwards and that’s a very good thing considering we aren’t paying 40+m up front for the privilege

    I think now CM has to be top top top priority but if we do get this Gabriel signing over the line it would be very nice. I’m going to be cautiously optimistic that we will sign Gabriel and one quality CM. If that’s the extent of our purchasing then yes we will still be a few players short of an amazing team but we’ll be demonstrably better than last season and on paper good for a run to the CL places

    If we signed a DM/CM (Partey or otherwise) I wonder if we’d run a midfield 3 of xhaka, new CM + roll the dice on someone like smith Rowe. Willian on the left and Auba up top.

    If we can’t manage to sign a CM and an AM then that could be a possible outcome. Not ideal but would be curious to see if ESR is up to much

  64. Tom

    “For the record I’d have been delighted for Lyon or Leipzig to win it
    It’s a win for the game when the underdogs beat the oil clubs“

    It is ( a win for the game) but there just isn’t the same excitement watching a RB Leipzig/ Lyon final as PSG/ Bayern , not for me anyway.

    There just isn’t the same type of dirty pleasure in watching some fairly obscure player miss a sitter that could’ve won his club the final……….as opposed to , say, a Neymar ha ha.

  65. Dissenter

    It’s either you have to much free time on your hands or you’re trying to be the smartest person in the room…again.
    Like Unai na wrote already, every man and his dog knows Chelsea did everything but give William that third year.
    Go read the statement Lampard gave about Willian at the end. They didn’t want him to leave.

  66. Batistuta

    More chance for Spurs who looked better under Mourinho towards the end and Arsenal under Arteta than any of the teams in the champions league next season excluding Liverpool

  67. China1

    Liverpool won it last year and won the league this year. Why would they need to massively improve next year to have a chance? Liverpool are currently better than any team in Spain or Italy if we’re honest with a possible exception of Juve.

    City are an elite team too they just are bottlers deep in the CL but that can change any time, PSG were the same and are now in the final.

    Chelsea and Utd aren’t likely winning the CL next year but I’d fancy them both to likely get out of groups. From there it’s a bit of a coin toss

  68. China1

    For me Martinez has to start the season first choice. I rate Leno a lot but more so than ability, it’s that Martinez has a very calming influence on the defense which I actually think is just as important as shot stopping ability

    When you know you have a guy quietly collecting ball after ball your defenders feel that little bit less pressure imo which is a good thing.

  69. Batistuta

    A bit boring still going on and on about a deal for a player who massively improves Arsenal. Again, why this obsession with if he signed on for 4 or 5 years. Fernandinho is still going for City even at what 40 years I’d imagine.

    Jeez, grown adults getting their knickers in a twist of a player who again is miles better than anyone we have in his position, better stats, knows the league e.t.c.

    It’s like Wenger’s never left with the constant whinning about resale value and never buying players over a certain age.

  70. Goobergooner

    Mr Serge
    “Goober if you ever decide to come over I will be happy to get you s ticket to the game mate”

    That is very kind my friend. I appreciate the thought! Will take you up on that one-day, then beers are on me!

    But yeah that’s awesome you are a regular at games. Did you also have tickets at Highbury?

  71. Captain Tierney

    ‘There is no other player out there available to arsenal on par (talent wise) with this 32 year old Brazilian. Not that would come to us or is on less money.’

    Many players talent wise. But where do you find the same level of talent, experience , versatile , Prem ready and winner mentality available on a free.

    People on here will even believe Daily Mail when it says Raul was investigated and sacked to suit their confirmation bias and then discard Espn when they say Willian was attracting interest from top clubs because ofc Espn is not reliable. 😵

  72. CG


    “”” A bit boring still going on and on about a deal for a player who massively improves Arsenal”””””

    he doesnt, not one jot.

    After about game 3 he will be on the bench.
    and that is ,where he will spend most of his Arsenal retirement.( probably making schoolboy faces with his idiotoc chum Luiz on it)

    Arteta is just as culpable.
    He will be measured ultimately by his sigmings.

    And there have been some absolute shockers so far.

  73. Mr Serge

    I went to high hey regularly but never had a st then the ground was smaller and the waiting list was huge
    My uncle used to take me as a 5 year old as he never had kids then until he got married and moved away the family enclosure at Highbury had some of my fondest memories as a kid in the early 80s

  74. Tom

    “ I am sure whatever the outcome of that final people will appreciate what he has done”

    Devine Sherlock
    PSG fans might, but most neutrals like myself might say he beat teams he was supposed to but lost to the only side on equal financial footing, without playing any real scintillating football.
    I watched all their CL games and none have been of exceptional quality.
    The just did enough to get through.

  75. Tom

    “A bit boring still going on and on about a deal for a player who massively improves Arsenal. “

    Ha, if I didn’t t know any better I’d say you were new around here.
    If you think this is bad or boring just you wait till the season starts and Willian goes through a dry spell of a few games , or doesn’t start every game.

    I was against this deal but won’t spend a minute criticizing it because it changes nothing.

  76. Goobergooner


    I concur.

    Also I mentioned this earlier, but would there have been 2 sets of agents fees for the Soares deals?

  77. Tom

    I don’t like CL finals between same league clubs.
    They face each other too many times ( especially the PL clubs with the additional league cup fixtures when drawn against each other).

  78. Emiratesstroller

    Building a successful Starting X1 + Bench means that you have got 18 players in your squad who can interchange without lowering standards.

    The Goalkeeping position has always been problematic in any club, because there is only one position on the pitch where goalkeepers can play.

    The upshot is that most clubs choose to bring in one top class gk and then rely
    often on an experienced older player to sit on the bench.

    However, as has been the case with both Man Utd and Chelsea this season the
    first choice goalkeeper can often lose form or get a long term injury and that
    then impacts on overall performance of team and its confidence.

    Leno was Arsenal’s Number 1 Goalkeeper and there was never a debate whether Martinez should replace him. Indeed many argued that he was not
    good enough to be second string.

    What we have seen is that Martinez is more than capable of filling in for Leno
    and indeed many including myself feel that he is the more “solid” player.
    Personally I think that he is the more commanding player in his goal area under aerial bombardment and less prone to mistakes.

    I don’t think that there is much difference in other departments of game. Both
    are competent goalkeepers.

    Arsenal need to get back to a top 4 position in EPL and qualify for Champions
    League and that requires decent goalkeeper(s) at the club. This is the one position in the team where we do not have currently a concern.

    Martinez should start as number 1 next season as the incumbent goalkeeper, but if there is the slightest loss of form be replaced by Leno.

    We should not tinker with the squad in that position next season. If either
    Martinez or Leno wish to leave at end of next season when perhaps there are less critical weaknesses elsewhere in team/squad then fine move one on.

  79. Goobergooner

    Always with the sensible comments. Always a good read.

    I do not envy Arteta having that decision to make at the end of the day.

  80. Batistuta


    PSG haven’t impressed that much too really but I’m not sure their fans will care that much for performances if they win the thing.

    Weird maybe but i like Arteta and even Nagglesman more than i do Tuchel. Such a rigid manager

  81. Pierre

    “That fa cup is such a proud moment in Arsenal history, despite all the shit going on.”

    It’s just a pity that the entitled ones on here never saw it that way when we won it 3 times in 4 years.

    I’m sure you gobby, being an Arsenal supporter, was just as proud of the team and the manager not so long ago for such a fantastic achievement..

  82. Batistuta

    I did include they’d have to massively improve over the summer to have a chance.

    If you can’t have a discussion without resulting to swear words or insults then you’re quoting the wrong person man, I’m sure those who indulge you would be around sooner than later and you can engage in all the swearing you want

  83. Just Another Customer

    of course Pierre in fact I’m waiting with bated breath for his return to management albeit at international level

  84. shaun

    “For me Martinez has to start the season first choice. I rate Leno a lot but more so than ability, it’s that Martinez has a very calming influence on the defense which I actually think is just as important as shot stopping ability” agree and with bigger more mobile(faster) defenders in front of the keeper, the keeper will face less shots on goal in my opinion meaning teams will resort more to balls into the box and with the size of the keeper and say Saliba and Gabriel I doubt teams will get much joy that way .Back line will look very good bar the right back position which needs attention and on that point I don’t really agree with the Niles sale and he is not my favourite but is a country mile infront of Bellarin and sores in terms of physical attributes required . I am concerned with the CM position though and would like to know the thoughts on that position as it is looking like the position that is gonna cause us issues .Xhacka I don’t like as a prem player full stop and it does not look like we are holding onto Ceballos which makes the problem more complicated because even if we do get Partey we still have a serious issue in the middle .We have two CM’S controlling the team in Artea and Edu so what do people think they will do , not including Guen(20mil) or Torriea(20mil) as both should be sold in my opinion as I don’t really rate either of them and think they should be sold to generate cash along with Leno(controversial 20 mil) , Chambers(12mil ) , Soc(2-5 mil , holding (10 mil) which would get us around 80 mil so may be need to sell one more out of Laca and Niles to get the cash required BUT WHICH ONE

  85. Tom

    “But you still have to go on the field and defeat them , City were the bookies favorites didnt help them did it“

    Yes, but City beat RM prior , and while their loss to Lyon was clearly considered an upset, or even a choke job, no one would be posting on here what a great step City have taken making it into semis had they beat Lyon.

  86. Dissenter

    ‘ And yea that Pool vs Spurs final was one the worst in living memory. Absolute sleep inducing’

    …yes but not for the reasons you’re giving
    It was bland because Spurs conceded a penalty in the first 22 seconds, dubious penalty to be honest. Most refs won’t have given it , especially that early in a key game.
    As a gooner , the ref did me a favor but he killed that game football-wise. He gave Liverpool every 50-50 call.

  87. China1

    At the end of the day I didn’t necessarily approve of the Willian deal on paper but it’s very simple that if he stays fit and his legs don’t suddenly go, he makes us a better team immediately

    With him on the left, auba up front our wing and CF output improves

    If we buy a winger or want to use Martinelli/Saka there, Willian plays 10 and potentially our wing, AM and CF output improves

    This all assumes no other signings in midfield to compliment the team further as well.

    I was reluctant and I’m wary of the price involved at his age, but on paper, for next season he’s a really valuable player for us

  88. Goobergooner

    Pierre you Gobby twat.

    I enjoy every arsenal win. I never wish the team to lose. The way I support is a lot different to the locals but I still love this club all the same.
    I wanted Wenger out before he left. But I never wished him to lose.

    And I do believe those fa cups hindered our progress forward, as the kroenkes have no clue and I am assuming they thought that those wins meant we were still on the right track.

    FA cup wins are glorious nonetheless. And at those times sitting in my bed at 2am in the morning watching on my phone waking my gf up when we either conceded or scored means all the same regardless of the manager.

  89. Terraloon

    What I find strange is so many want to believe that Willian was offered a deal at Chelsea and one even points me to what Lampard says. No where does FL say that Willian was offered a two year deal or come to that any dea. What he said was he knew what the position was from the clubs point of view
    Then you have this
    “ Willian’s agent Kia Joorabchian has publicly admitted that his client has offers from five clubs. This includes three from overseas sides, an MLS club, understood to be Inter Miami, and two Premier League teams, that are thought to be Arsenal and Tottenham.“
    Surely if Chelsea had offered a contract he would have said so.
    Then we hear that Willian automatically improves Arsenal . I personally have my doubts and wasn’t in the camp that so many on here joined when talking about Cech on a massive 4 year deal or come to that Luiz all be it on a one year deal.
    Oh and Dissenter. Your entitled to your opinion and me mine.

  90. China1

    Shaun I agree with most of your points

    We need a CM surely. Arteta must push Edu to get a good signing over the line there

    I’d sell Laca and Bellerin (amongst others but that’s just me). Those two would ideally bring in 50+m which goes a long way towards improving our midfield without weakening our starting 11 at all imo

    Sales of some fringe/dross/troublemakers like Guen, sok, etc would hopefully generate enough to buy another quality CM then our starting 11 would be starting to go places properly

    But I’m going to cautiously expect that we’ll get Gabriel and one good CM. If we do that it will not be a bad window. If we can do more, even better .

    Tbh even tho I would sell laca, if he doesn’t end up sold, we could end up next season with an attack of


    That’s hardly a bad attack + tierney overlaps

    I also wonder if we don’t find a buyer for Torreira if he’ll end up back in the team alongside Xhaka. There’s very little competition in there atm with Ceballos going

  91. Batistuta


    Come on man, a penalty that early shouldn’t have meant the game entirely fazed out into a procession. Liverpool didn’t even have to break sweat after that and Spurs just huffed and puffed after that.

  92. Goobergooner

    Un na,

    The difference between Luiz and Willian is that Willian is actually a quality player.

    Luiz has had his moments but in reality is a shit player compared to world class CBS. Yes high standards I know.

    You only have to search up on YouTube to see his compilation of comedy defending errors.

    He was an absolute pore in defence for Brazil when Germany pumped them in the world cup. There is just so many examples of Luiz not being up to task. 3 pens conceded and 3 errors leading to goal this season for us.

    In my opinion, he is one of the poorer signings we have made.

  93. Tom

    Sevilla conceded an early pen against United on a type of after the shot contact you see in the PL every match day without penalty being awarded, and that didn’t make them stop playing their game.
    You don’t get thrown off your game because you concede an early goal in a game you know goals will be scored unless your are a soft underbelly club like Spurs.

  94. Graham62

    So the three teens convicted of PC Andrew Harper’s murder get a total of 42 years.


    Our judicial system is utter shite. These scumbags should be given life sentences, with no parole. I’m 100% in agreement with his widow on this.

    These three youngsters would not be shown such leniency anywhere else in the world and in many countries, for killing a member of the emergency services, there lives would have been over.

  95. Dissenter

    Tom and Batistuta
    From a gooner perspective, that penalty was great but if you were a neutral staying up late in Asia or missing work in America to watch the game, then it was a bummer.
    Liverpool were as nervous as abandoned cats, Spurs could have beaten them had that first minute penalty not robbed them off all thie pre-match planning. That penalty threw everything spurs had worked on away and they couldn’t deal with the senses of injustice.
    The ball hit Sissoko before it hit his hand and was in the edge of the box.
    Most refs wouldn’t have given it and the game deserved better from just that footballing spectacle perspective.
    From the Arsenal perspective of course it was great coming off the debacle in Baku.

  96. Goobergooner

    Un don’t get me wrong, we could have got someone better (and younger).

    But on a free transfer he is better than what we have in this current squad

  97. DivineSherlock


    No one is saying Tuchel is the next best thing ever. If you have seen them all season and dont think what they’ve done is great then I guess I’ll just have to disagree on that front. Even if he loses the final I dont think PSG will sack him . City was expected to make the finals , it is a disappointment for them same as PSG if they hadnt . So what you are saying is that a club performing to expectations should not be praised at all ? A bit strange mate honestly

  98. Dissenter

    Would you go to bed feeling better if the teens were lassoed, drawn and quartered? Maybe they can send you one of their body parts.
    Be glad you don’t leave in a country where police are treated like Demi gods even though they are public servants.
    Manslaughter is the the same as a willful killing . 16 or 13 years is enough time to punish anyone, provided they serve out most of it.

  99. TallestTiz

    Same way Wenger refused £60million for Alexis and literally lost him for nothing can be likened to Chelsea rejecting £60million+ for Willian and losing him for nothing.

    Football is funny is you look at things in a broader scope.
    Barca were on his trail for two years. Means there’s something food about him.

    I for one am not bothered about his ability especially if Arteta deploys him behind the striker more often as he can shoot well and play nice intricate passes.

    I’m looking forward to what Arteta does with Lacazette and Auba.
    Will he keep deploying Auba on the left or will he have a pattern that will have Auba be able to play on the last man’s shoulder or running from deep?
    In the latter case, I can imagine a Martinelli type playing on the left so that he can swap with Auba. Which will mean Willian playing behind the striker.

    Interesting times

  100. The Godfather

    It doesn’t matter who we sign in midfield or defense, as long as we are carrying
    the lead footed Xhak in the middle of the field, we aren’t going anywhere ..En of!
    The guy is a liability and a passenger … with the competition so tight and fierce he is one player we can’t afford to keep in the lineup

  101. Emiratesstroller

    There have been posters mostly I suspect closet Spurs supporters who have
    consistently belittled the FA Cup as a meaningless competition.

    No-one disputes that the Premier League is today the most important competition in English Football and is won mainly by the best financially resourced team.

    Since the EPL started in 1992-3 season only 7 clubs have won the Title and
    only one club in 21st century managed it and did not rank within the top 5
    elite clubs and that was Leicester.

    When you look at the FA Cup [in contrast to League Cup] in the same time scale the same 5 Clubs also dominate that competition as well.

    Arsenal’s record is more impressive in the FA Cup than in the EPL. Nevertheless the idea that Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool don’t take
    that trophy seriously is moonshine

    The only manager who belittled winning a Cup Competition was Pochettino
    and he is coincidentally the one person who has never won any trophy.

    It is inconceivable that any other Manager whether it is Ferguson, Wenger,
    Mourinho, Guardiola or Klopp would adopt such an attitude to winning the

  102. Tom

    Actually I didn’t care if the pen was given or not ,but just looking at players reactions( not always an indicator of a true pen, admittedly ) all Liverpool players appealed immediately , which should tell you something.

    In the Sevilla/ United game only one United player , Williams, half heartedly appealed while all others pointed to a corner flag asking referees to award a corner.
    Meanwhile all Sevilla players but one were like “ penalty, really? Ok , whatever”

    There are worse things than an early pen conceded to overcome in a game of football.

  103. China1

    Yeah spurs are truly bottle jobs

    They actually had a decent squad in recent years and achieved a grand total of bugger all

    Top 4 is not a trophy, it’s a stepping stone. CL finals are not a trophy, they’re a stepping stone. Spurs are getting worse, not better.

  104. China1

    Spurs at their absolute best are about the same as arsenal during our misery years of trophy drought

    Shit club. Shit manager. I do look forward to their fans finally shutting up when normality resumes and they’re finishing below us, empty handed and outside the CL as we continue to win trophies

  105. shaun

    Well who knows what Arteta is thinking with Luiz and Xhaka But yes we should get 25 mil for Bellarin and 30 for Laca but what we are more likely to see is below in my opinion


    xhacka ceballos

    teinry gabriel, luiz ,Mustaffi, bellarin
    maybe -ceballos but I would like to see below


    xhacka ceballos

    teinry gabriel, luiz ,saliba, niles

    – xhaka and Luiz but I just think they will be main stays unfortunately

  106. Dissenter

    Left testicle
    I read about it and followed it at the request of a British expat neighbor who wanted to point out the different way your system works.
    They were tried for manslaughter, if I m correct not murder. That’s what the evidence led to.
    Over here, the police would taint justice by intimidating the prosecutor and the jury. There will be a rotation of gallantly dressed officers filling the court room to stare down the jury until they give a damning verdict. Do you prefer the A erican system that selectively punishes?
    They got convicted and got the standard sentencing manslaughter earns in your system.

  107. shaun

    part of me wants to believe Xhaka will be dropped if we get Partey but part of me really believes Arteta actually rates Xhaka unfortunately

  108. Tom

    “ So what you are saying is that a club performing to expectations should not be praised at all ? A bit strange mate honestly”

    No, what I’m saying is that winning the trophy , in PSG case, is the bases for praising them considering their financial standing, and not merely beating “smaller “clubs on the way to final.

    Let’s flip the script for a moment and ask how many would call City going to the final a great achievement?