What Gabriel addresses in our defence + Arsenal look to America for coaching ideas

by .

Feels like we’re a little bit in stasis on the Gabriel signing, but some of the big transfer hitters have come out and stated that yes, he is our man, and he’ll be joining the Edu and Arteta project for FIVE years. Love it.

This really is a statement signing. The player has all the attributes we’re looking for in a defender. According to FreshArsenal, Gabriel isn’t really a ball-playing defender like you’d expect from a Brazilian, but he is an absolute machine when it comes to aerial duels. In France this season, he’s averaged a whopping 5.1 a game, which compares nicely to VVD on 4.9. I also didn’t realise he’s 6ft3. Next to Saliba at 6ft4, that’s quite an intimidating pairing.

What I love about this player is he speaks to a problem. I think 46% of our goals were conceded from setpieces, freekicks or penalties last season. We conceded 15 goals from setpieces alone. We’re trying to plug that with someone that has made his name dominating the box. That’s a smart move.

It’s also smart that we’re looking to hire Andreas Georgeson as a setpiece coach from Brentford. I’ve pondered the theory that the Premier League is becoming more like American sport. We’ve seen the rapid shift from KING managers who dominate every department and decision (Wenger)… to a more corporatised structure where you have specialist departments that are built out by Technical Directors. The thinking is that you put more specialism and accountability into these departments, and you don’t have situations where top managers leave and take 50 people out the door with them. Shad Forsythe doesn’t leave with Wenger. Gary O’D doesn’t leave with Emery. They report in to the Technical Director, or Head of Football, which gives them freedom to do what’s best for the club.

We’re now moving even harder into specialisms. Liverpool has a throw-in specialist. I’m pretty sure Jose Mourinho has a Head of Shithousery. That’s very much how American sport works. Defensive and offensive coaching has been a thing in NFL for a long time, but it goes deeper, you have kicking specialists, long snapper specialists. Anything that can give you an edge where others aren’t looking is worth finding a specialist.

It’s quite incredible because unrefined football fans like you and I have been saying for YEARS that ‘Arsenal should get Keown back in the mixer teaching the kids George Graham defending’, and now, Brentford are doing exactly that with a fancy exMalmo coach and it’s hip and acceptable. I am overjoyed that we’re tackling the big issues head-on with actual action.

Additionally, what I love about having a coach like Arteta is he doesn’t know everything. His greenness to the game is to the benefit of the club. He doesn’t have set ways of doing things. I think that makes you far more open to new ideas and experimentation, which is exactly what we need at Arsenal. Bring elite thinkers through the ranks and into the club, empower them to innovate and push boundaries, hopefully, reap the rewards on the pitch. A winning culture isn’t just about the players, it’s about every single person at the club having the same desire to win at whatever their job is. Hopefully, that’s the sort of energy that’s building out at Colney.

It’s also worth mentioning that Arsenal just signed Salah… not that one you fool, the Dutch kid who just left Feyenoord. It looks like Per Mertesacker has been working closely with people behind the scenes to set an agenda for how he wants to operate. These free transfers could be sniffed at as rejects, or we could be more positive and ponder whether there’s a… data story brewing that attracted Arsenal?

The Champions League tonight tells you how silly it is to write off any kid these days. I watched Serge G come on against Schalke and lose the ball, costing us a goal nearly immediately in the Champions League. I thought he looked more interesting than Theo did at the same age, but he went on to flunk at WBA and Wenger didn’t fancy him (which is telling, because Wenger loved to blood a kid). The story I was told by someone that knows him was Arsenal didn’t offer him a deal until AFTER he smashed it at the Olympics. Also, the player was horrified at how flummoxed the coaches were when a small French team shifted tactics and we had no answer (preseason). He moved, now he’s a star, lesson learned. Talent sometimes needs a different coach or a more compelling environment to be unleashed. Fingers crossed Arsenal can be that environment moving forward.

Before we go, I just want to say that all that shit I’ve been saying about 29-year-olds doesn’t count if we sign Thiago from Bayern. That’d be some statement. He’s a sublime midfielder. What an elevation that would be.

The Champions League will be fun this evening. I have to support Bayern here, I love the German side and what their game stands for. However, I spent a lot of time arguing with people on this blog about the sauce of Thomas Tuchel, particularly those who thought Emery was a better coach. Here we are chaps, sauce wins out again, the Emeryista on the worst losing streak of the year. Hopefully, it’s a fun game regardless, Hansi Flick is coach of the people, I’d love to see him lift the trophy. Let’s hope all the big players show up and it’s a final for the ages!

Right, see you in the comments. x

441 Responses to “What Gabriel addresses in our defence + Arsenal look to America for coaching ideas”

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  1. TR7


    I don’t think anyone saw it coming. Even Djoker had his doubts about competing with the likes of Fed and Nadal but he totally changed himself. I have watched Djoker from his very early days and he always played within himself. But since 2011 his fitness improved drastically and then he could run all day long to return almost everything that came his way from Fed and Rafa. Within a couple of years he had the best return in the game. Then he added power and thrust to his forehand and the rest they say is history. Federer was close to beating him in two finals/semifinals in the last 5 years and had he won those perhaps his record would have been safe. 2020 Wimbledon was his last realistic chance to add to his grand slam but the tournament was cenceled. At best he plays one more Wimbledon but he will be close to 39 then. Very unlikely he wins a slam in 2021.

  2. salparadisenyc


    Never been more gutted than watching a 37yrs old Federer on his day throw two match points away on the grass, eventually slipping to Joker.

    Federer for me is the GOAT, based on that backhand alone, like Anelka at 18 in the box. Pure silk.

  3. WengerEagle

    I actually think that there’s a decent chance that all three will end up retiring with 20 GS titles each.

    Would be amazed at Fed’s age of 39 if he had one left in him and I think that Nadal has one more FO in him before he drops further physically, guy is 34 and plays much more robust and unforgiving tennis on the body than Fed.

    Djoker could finish with the most if he has one or two more dominant tour years left in him, unlikely for me at his age. Definitely has the most left out of the three so I see him winning a few more before the new gen finally [lol] take over.

  4. WengerEagle

    Out of the new gen i only really like the look of Medvedev, guy is a gangster and capable of really high levels of performance ala Stan Wawrinka.

    Thiem is only elite on Clay and even on that he’s levels below Rafa. Zverev always flatters to deceive.

  5. TR7

    Zverev and Thiem are nothing special. Medevdev is currently best poised to win a few grand slams. Kyrgios is still the most outrageously talented player on the circuit but he is a lunatic.

  6. WengerEagle


    Anelka is another what could have been. He was the bigger talent out of him and Thierry as a youngster.

    Players that gifted go on to have decent careers anyway if they are in any way professional and Nico accomplished quite a lot considering he won a PL title and a CL at Real Madrid.

  7. TR7

    PSG are studying the possibility of moves for Ismaël Bennacer (AC Milan) & Mattéo Guendouzi (Arsenal), as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) will likely be too expensive, according to L’Équipe.

  8. WengerEagle


    Agreed, Anelka imo at his best potential wise could have developed into a similar kind of player to Samuel Eto’o.

    Whereas as you say, Henry did it all. He was our best goalscorer, best dribbler and most creative player all in one. Stunning player that even Mancs, Bin Dippers and Chavs online concede is head and shoulders the PL GOAT player.

  9. Pedro

    Adding another voice to Anelka.

    Elite level silk. The very best. One of the most spectacular teenagers I’ve ever seen play the game. Wish he’d stuck it out under Wenger.

  10. Champagne Charlie

    Would be shocked if PSG don’t show interest in Guendouzi, he’s arguably better than Ander Herrera right now.

  11. Bojangles

    “Messi and Maradonna were both better than pele. As is CR7.

    How often did you watch Pele play Un?

    Anyway, you can’t compare players over generations.

    Having said that, I would rank the following players in order of personal preference:

    Pele (Brazil)
    Puskas (Hungary)
    Maradona – Messi (Argentina)
    Ronaldo (Portugal)

  12. rollen

    MJ GOAT all sports. No competition.

    Pele GOAT in football.

    If they were playing now media hype would be unreal.

  13. Zeus

    Champagne CharlieAugust 23, 2020 23:27:00
    Would be shocked if PSG don’t show interest in Guendouzi, he’s arguably better than Ander Herrera right now.

    From the prices I’m hearing we want for guen, just add 10m and u get Aoure.

  14. reg

    I remember the European final played at Hampden Park in 1960 between Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid. Di Stefano was brilliant playing for Real. The result was 7-3 In favour of Real. Di Stefano scored from the Frankfurt goal line outside the box.
    He also had a hattrick. It was magic. One of the best finals ever imho. Over 127000 fans in attendance.

  15. Tom

    The Messi /Maradona debate is always an interesting one for me. Have Messi do the amount of drugs Maradona did while in his prime and allow defenders put in tackles on him that were legal in the eighties , and then we might have a better like to like comparison.
    For sheer professionalism and longevity Messi no doubt but talent alone probably Maradona.

  16. GunnerDNA

    “I was born in East London in 1940. Been Gunners fan since 1947 after idolizing Ted Drake”

    So what? 😳🤷🏾‍♂️

  17. Tom

    PSG had one shot on goal more, same amount of possession, less passes, and less pass accuracy than Lyon did against Bayern but on roughly 400m less talent worth.
    Considering Lyon beat the bookies favorite before losing to Bayern one could argue they had a more impressive showing than PSG in this season’s CL.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    I have watched many great footballers in my lifetime.

    The greatest British born footballer was possibly George Best a flawed character, but in his prime almost unplayable.

    I would assess that in the early years that I watched football possibly the finest
    player was Pele not just because he was the best player of his generation, but also because he played for a Brazilian team, which was possibly the greatest of
    any era.

    In the modern era it is difficult to separate Messi and Ronaldo. Both at their peak were fantastic players. Both are “goal machines”. If I had to pick one over
    the other I would choose possibly Ronaldo, because he is an exceptional physical specimen and seldom got injured during his career.

  19. Tom

    I’m too young to remember Pele but watching his best goals reel everything looks like slow motion.
    His “ten best “goals contain goals I’ve seen scored by many modern elite players every other week .

    Maradona scored every type of a goal in existence from a two foot tap in to a 55 yard power lob from a restart and everything in between.
    Putting six men on the ground- check
    Direct from a corner- check
    Bicycle with his left, his right, a ten yard dink over keeper, a 30 yard lob over keeper,
    He even scored with his hands lol.

  20. Sid

    The CL is a fraud, rigged so that some teams do not face each other till the later stages using hot and cold balls in the draw.
    Its a marketing scam

    Cristiano has 7 world cup goals 4 in 2018
    Messi has 6 world cup goals.

  21. Useroz

    If Arteta aims to win the CL within 3 years, this TW becomes critical. How far are we from Bayern? Especially its MF?

    I don’t think Tiago A. is the solution. If we have a good MF, sprinkle some experiences always help. But not where we are at.

  22. Guns of SF

    Thiago is a super thlete and a smart one to boot… I think he stays at bm ….

    Modern day players are so for that 29 is like 25 nowadays or less… the health and fitness now is unreal

  23. Overmars

    I remember people on here were moaning that we were looking at signing Jerome Boating from Bayern last season.

    He’s just won a Champions League as well as another Bundesliga and German Cup.

    A rock in the Bayern defence in the best team in Europe.

    It’s safe to say that the Le Grove experts were wrong.

  24. Sid

    regAugust 24, 2020 01:31:21
    I was born in East London in 1940. Been Gunners fan since 1947 after idolizing Ted Drake.

    Which experience has been worse between the war and covid19?

  25. Useroz

    “Maradona scored every type of a goal in existence from a two foot tap in to a 55 yard power lob from a restart and everything in between.”

    Everything in between includes his hand of God too!!

  26. Useroz

    Though I didn’t comment adversely on signing up Jerome Boating, what Afc and BM expect of him would be different. In other words, what values Boating needs to add to the BM give their squad and setup would be different had he joined Arsenal. It’s like putting Xhara in the BM last night may make him look great and very marketable again! Isn’t a like for like comparison I think.

  27. Just Another Customer

    Overmars I don’t think he will suit us at all.

    He’s just covered by the system with the support of pacy Alaba and Davies.

    I’m content with our current setup at CB right now. We don’t need another past it has beens.

  28. Emiratesstroller

    Pele was an exceptional footballer in many ways.

    First he played almost all his club football in Brazil for Santos with only two years at end of his career in New York. He averaged more than one goal per game.

    Second he was perhaps the greatest “international footballer” of all time and the only player in history to play in 3 World Cup Winning Teams. Again his goal scoring record as a ratio to games played is second to none and outperforms both Ronaldo and Messi.

    Pele was also regarded as a “team player” as well as the best player of his generation providing more assists than any of his contemporaries.

    By today’s standards he was a comparatively small man at 1.73m, but in contrast to today’s greats did not receive the degree of protection from referees which was afforded to today’s top footballers. I watched him being
    targeted and hacked down on many occasions by many of the opponents
    hatchet men. Yet unlike most modern footballers eg Neymar in yesterday’s
    CL Game he was never a prima donna.

    One final point he was just 16 when he won his first World Cup in Sweden and
    finished top scorer.

  29. TallestTiz

    Lots of backroom changes at Arsenal that it’s almost difficult to keep up with the news. Apparently Sal Bibbo is out. The Brentford set piece guy had already joined.
    Rumours of Dennis Bergkamp being lined up too

  30. DaveCee

    Gnabry was always a talent. Clearly better then Walcott (so was Ox). Wenger misjudged that situation badly. He should have recalled him from WBA rather than giving it the tough love.
    For a man who did such great things at Arsenal I really do feel quite ambivalent about him now.
    Here’s hoping for a Gabriel announcement today, I’m surprisingly anxious to see this done considering I’ve never watched the guy play. It just feels like an important transfer. The profile feels like what we have needed for a long time.
    Oh and hi all. And thanks Pedro, enjoyed your pieces on Raul!

  31. Useroz

    A brilliant football star aside, Pele was also a born ambassador. So free of commerciality.

    I really hope Arsenal is able to announce Gabriel this week ASAP and move onto selling and buying more.

    7amkickoff has quite a good post on Gabriel yesterday and is particular relevant as Arsenal has moved into Data 2.0 in the post Raul era. The post shows some interesting metrics on defense and has a comparison on Gabriel, Luiz and Saliba. I hope it works out as suggested!

  32. Useroz

    Didn’t know our defence ranks like this! Lucky to be a top 8 club!! Shows indirectly the importance of Auba’s goals….

    —- source 7amkickoff

    Arsenal are bottom of the Premier League almost all of the defensive categories. Here, let me list the with Arsenal’s rank last season:

    17th in tackles attempted
    16th in tackles won
    15th in tackles in their own 3rd
    18th in tackles in the middle 3rd
    13th in tackles in the attacking 3rd
    12th in total pressures applied
    16th in successful pressures
    8th in pressures in their own 3rd
    10th in pressures in the middle 3rd
    14th in pressures in the attacking 3rd
    14th in blocks
    20th in interceptions
    19th in players tackled+interceptions
    18th in goals allowed off set plays (15 goals allowed, 3rd worst)

  33. Calypso

    “One final point he was just 16 when he won his first World Cup in Sweden and
    finished top scorer.”

    WRONG – Pele was not 16 and he was not top scorer.

  34. Emiratesstroller


    I suggest you read his history. He played for Santos at 15 and was top scorer in his first season and he played for Brazil in international team the following season at 16 in World Cup in Sweden.

    He scored 77 goals in competitive internationals and over 90 goals if you include friendlies.

    Fontaine was a prolific goalscorer during his football career, but scored 30 goals in international games including friendlies.

    Like Messi Pele was not just a goal scorer, but has also a considerable assist record.

  35. Captain Tierney



    You can’t just force Luiz into coaching if he still thinks he’s got 2,3 years left in him.
    Its different being a leader in the squad and being a helpful figure in the staff. The relationship becomes very formal. Also what role would Luiz perform in Arteta’s staff?
    Surely he can’t be a defense specialist.

  36. Emiratesstroller

    Un na naii

    You cannot compare Pele with Messi when you discuss club football, because he never played in Europe.

    However, you can do so when making comparison at “international level”. Both
    Messi and Ronaldo are way short in the comparison stakes. Pele is the only footballer in history who has played in three World Cup Winning Teams.

  37. Calypso


    Pele was born in 1940 and Pele’s first World Cup was in Sweden 1958 which according to my maths makes it impossible for Pele to be 16.

  38. Emiratesstroller


    I stand corrected in one respect.

    He played his first club game for Santos at 15, followed by his first international game at 16 in 1957 and he was 17 at the time of the World Cup in Stockholm in 1958.

    He was born in October 1940 and the World Cup was played in Summer 1958
    so he was not 18 as you suggest.

  39. Graham62

    Federer is the greatest player ever because he played each and every point within the rules of the game.

    If certain rules had been applied, he would probably have won at least another 3 or 4 GS titles and Rafa and Novak, would have a few less.

    Controversial I know, but true.

  40. DivineSherlock

    The things Messi can do with football is stuff Ronaldo can only dream of. From purely a footballing point of view Messi is up there . Ronaldo is just an athlete (not that its not commendable) but its Football and Messi is unbelievable with it. Also Higuain buries that 2014 chance and we wouldnt even be having this debate.

  41. Tee

    Only a phenomenal player can simultaneously tops the scoring and assist charts in Europe.

    Hope Le grovers remember Messi has won 2 la Liga titles without xavi and iniesta. I don’t even see cr7 lifting the present Barca squad to the next level if he couldn’t do it for Juventus against Lyon.

    Cr7 is also great but for me, he doesn’t come close to Messi for me ability wise.

    Cr7 is a goal machine, nothing more while Messi is presently the best assist maker and also a goal machine.

    Even Eddin dzeko (never mind my spelling) came out to rubbish the public claim that cr7 is the first to score over 50 goals in 3 different leagues. Dzeko said he also had scored over 50 goals in 3 different leagues but the media act like they don’t see it.

    To those citing that cr7 has proved his mettle in different leagues, hope you know that all he has been doing is joining the winning team in each league? Even Juventus made UCL final before cr7 joined them but they haven’t gone anywhere near it since he joined them.

    They are both great but Messi tops it for me. Even Guadiola said no amount of tactics can hold Messi down.

  42. Jim Lahey

    In regards to Neymar. I don’t think I have ever seen a good game from him. Can’t say I watch many of his gamse but every time I do he stinks the place out. He is obviously a good player. But just does it when I am not watching apparently.

  43. Steveyg87

    Messi this Messi that, STFU about Messi already, he has proven that he only performs around world class players, he was probably Barcas worst player in the 8-2 thrashing, He’s in the top 3 of all time but not number 1. Love him or hate him Ronaldo has better stats and played for weaker teams. He’s the all time greatest, then Maradona, then Messi.

  44. Northbanker

    Just caught up with GunnerDNA response to reg from last night

    Will share for those who didn’t see

    GunnerDNAAugust 24, 2020 02:18:38
    “I was born in East London in 1940. Been Gunners fan since 1947 after idolizing Ted Drake”

    So what? 😳🤷🏾‍♂️

    This is about as rude and offensive as you could be – shame on you Gunner DNA

    He was responding btw to my interest in the fact he could remember the 1960 European Cup Final at Hampden – living history

    Reg – sorry mate I didn’t respond then as went back to bed

    Un – thanks for calling out the nasty little thug then

  45. TallestTiz

    Let me try to circumvent the Pedro webpage policy

    Pedro, I’m not sure if you permit external links. Apologies if I infringe here.

    Contrary to your opinion that Alcantara would be a good deal for us at 29, this piece narrates my personal opinion of gear over such a deal. I hope WE DON’T LOOK AT ALCANTARA!!


    Take out the bracket to get the link

  46. Jim Lahey

    @Un –

    Can’t say I know him personally so I am in no position to make judgement on him as a person! Just don’t see what all they hype is about. Is he on the decline and I am only catching him in his later years?

    I am just struggling to see why he is being mentioned in the same discussion as either Messi or Ronaldo.

  47. Northbanker

    Tallest – just read that blog and confirms my own concerns with this. I don’t see Thiago or Coutinho as progressive moves. Neither has the hunger to succeed imo.

    Going for Aouar and / or Szoboslai would be far more exciting and would start to give some strategic thinking (as we have with Saliba and Gabriel hopefully). I would for the same reason push hard for Soumare or Sangare over Partey although I can see some sense in this deal but not at that price).

    This is especially so after having invested longish term in Willian and Auba.

  48. Captain Tierney


    First of all we didn’t pay 20 mil for him. We paid 8 mil and thats how every transfer is perceived , you dont add up all the wages and the fees and VAT, etc.
    If that was the case , then Ronaldo cost Madrid 250mil + , and then cost Juventus 200mil + , Neymar cost 350 mil+ and Mbappe cost 250 mil , Messi cost 200mil+ and so on. I dont think anyone mentions these numbers when discussing how much any of these players cost.

    And secondly we bought him to be a starter and a direct replacement for Kos , but are keeping him to provide experience , leadership and a good rotation option(I hope he is a rotation option next year) .

    Come on mate , you’re better than this.

  49. Tee


    Cr7 played for weaker teams?

    It shows how myopic you are.

    Just tell me which of these is a weaker team- man u, Real Madrid, and Juventus.
    For your info the aforementioned teams are winning teams in their respective leagues before he joined them.

  50. Emiratesstroller

    Captain Tierney

    I agree with your last post.

    Arsenal need to hold onto to a number of experienced players in squad. As has
    been pointed out many times we will start next season most probably with 4
    players on the books aged [30+] in Luiz, Ozil, Willian and Aubameyang.

    Luiz and Ozil are likely to leave next summer and retaining this number is not
    overloading team.

    Arsenal’s priority once Gabriel is signed should be to beef up our midfield. Personally I think that we need to recruit at least two new players in that
    department as we are rather thin on ground if Guendouzi and Torreira leave.

    What we have seen in last two seasons also is how unbalanced our midfield has been and that is confirmed by the stats.

    I think that Arsenal will attempt still to buy Partey. They have made offers of
    Player Swap + Cash. AM are still attempting to get the player to sign a new
    contract + higher transfer threshold. So Far the player has refused to do so.

    If player does not sign new contract then I think that Arsenal will succeed in
    getting player either by swapping Lacazette + cash or paying the fee.

    I have always maintained that Arsenal have a much larger transfer budget than is being suggested and that is likely to be increased with sales.

  51. Northbanker

    Steveyg – I sincerely hope that is your name and you didn’t pick that moniker because you idolise the player? All the same not sure I’d want something that ties in with Liverpool whether it was my name or not

  52. Northbanker

    Luiz was a bad deal and I’m sure one that wouldn’t have taken place now but Arteta has to make use of what he has. It made sense to extend just to get continuity though.

  53. curse

    everytime I hear Harry McGuire manure captain I feel like I’m in the twilight zone.

    I swear he was at Leicester yesterday.

  54. Captain Tierney


    ‘You do total it when you’ve spent it all on a player who you claim was bought for his positive influence in the dressing room and not the pitch’

    Im pretty clear on my stance that Luiz was a bad deal even if it cost 15-16 mil in total.
    But you are twisting the argument to prove your point , which is what? If we buy a player you dont like so you add up anything you can to make him look worse?
    And again he wasn’t bought to be a positive influence. It was bad management by the club thinking Kos would stay when he had already told them he was gonna leave. And we didn’t have a lot of money to throw around on the deadline day when Kos threw his toys out the pram and we needed a direct replacement. Ofc everyone would have a loved a deadline day Upamecano swoop but the reality is we had already spent all of transfer budget last summer and then some.

    And tbf to Luiz he has been quite good under Arteta and all the young kids are in praise of him every interview they give. And you need such personalities in and around the young ones to help them. He can be a very good presence on the young kids which we have many and a good rotation option to start Europa games alongside the young players helping them on the pitch.
    And in a back 3 he starts all games for us even now.

  55. Dissenter

    That story in the Sun is paid for by MaGuire’s people.
    Albanian type gangster stabbed his sister with a metal straw…sister fainted…captain Maguire stepped in…tried to leave in a cab….accosted by undercover detectives…spent two nights in detention room [not jail cell]…charmed detectives with footie…detectives bought him snacks…blah, blah, blah.

    That story was written by a xenophobic idiot that was plied with a brown envelope for useful idiots.
    Even by tabloid standards, that article was very bad.
    Maguire had been drinking so that throws the story in the trash.

  56. HighburyLegend

    “if we sign Thiago from Bayern. That’d be some statement. ”

    lol that’s hilarious, knowing that he’ll probably sign for Liverpool.

  57. Emiratesstroller

    According to reports Gabriel learned to speak fluent French in his time at Lille
    so he will be able to communicate with Saliba as well as of course Luiz.

    Hopefully he will be able to pick up English as quickly unlike his namesake
    whose language skills when at Arsenal were abysmal and caused communication problems when playing alongside Mertesacker and Koscielny.

  58. Bojangles

    “Bojangles,No place for Jordan Henderson (England) in your list of all time elite footballers”

    There is but would take the mother of all comments in order to fit him in.

  59. CG


    “””””I get the distinct impression that Arteta agrees hence the move to sign Gabriel and Mari so quickly. Both left sided centre halves.”””””

    My interpretation is , Arteta has realised tall Mary ain’t up to it.
    And he is wise to do so.

    He may have looked good against Pompey but in the Prem when there are speed merchants everywhere he is hopeless and a total liability( ditto Cedric: ditto Luiz)

    At least ,this latest Brazilian center back , named Gabriel ( lets hope he is better than the last one we purchased with the same name) can run about like a premier defender and not look out of place.

    He does look a fine specimen indeed.

    He will get Sid’s juices going for sure, this one.

  60. Dissenter

    Unai na
    Did you miss the other stories in the tabloids that stated that Maguire had been in a £63k drinking spree all day with his friends all day leading up to the fight?

    …but yea, let’s just blame the Albanian gangster that stabbed his precious sister with a metal straw making her faint!

    It was a drunken brawl, end of. The player was pasted, his precious sister was pasted, they were all pasted. He still has to answer for his crime though. Don’t try to mitigate it by playing the ‘Albanian” gangster sterotype.

  61. Bojangles

    There are always mitigating circumstances (usually too stupid to warrant belief) put forward by the press and a few fans when and English footballer acts like a hooligan. Maguire’s a dip-shit who should have been left in the Greek prison until his court case.

  62. Tom

    When Sid says “and you can take that to the bank” he probably means a sperm bank.
    Maradona – 5’5”
    Messi- 5’7”
    Pele- 5’8”
    Ronaldo – 6’2”

    Ronaldo was borne with a huge advantage of having great genes ( not taking anything away from his hard work and dedication to his craft)

    Do you know how good you have to be to considered one of the best ever at 5 foot 5 inches.

  63. Dissenter

    Unai na
    You’re missing the part where drunken English tourists can be scumbags like anyone else.
    It’s always those ‘Albanian gangsters’ stabbing precious English aides with metal straws

  64. Champagne Charlie

    Maguire absolved of his delinquent actions because we can blame greasy Albanian monkeys, English mentality at its finest.

  65. Captain Tierney

    ‘We won’t be playing a back 3 moving forward and had Mari and chambers been fit for the remainder then Luiz wouldn’t have been starting games at all under Arteta.’

    We dont know if we will be playing a back 3 or back 4 next season. Only Arteta knows and his decision imo will depend hugely on the midfield signings make or dont make.

    Holding who you believe to be a better defender than both Chambers and Mari couldn’t get a minute in front of Luiz so your argument that Luiz wouldn’t start games had Mari and/or Chambers would be available is weak at best.

    The only game Arteta benched Luiz for Mari was one when his contract situation was in a limbo and the player and manager both said after the game the decision to bench him was because his head wasn’t in the right palace ( Contract standoff ) and not because of football reasons.

  66. bennydevito

    Un nai’s been watching too much Taken.

    Good afternoon Grovers,

    If we actually sign Gabriel, as well as Aour and Partey, and get Bergkamp in as our assistant, well, how exciting is that?


    And Arteta saying he’s signed Willian specifically towards a 3 yr plan to win the CL is really exciting.

  67. Captain Tierney

    Yes the same game he and the player said after the match that Luiz was benched for non-footballing reasons.
    And ofc Arteta then gave him a new contract and continued to play him over Holding who many believe to be a very good defender.

  68. Captain Tierney

    If its true Maguire’s sister was attacked and he stood up against those goons then Maguire should be honored not insulted.

  69. crimson

    Looks like Sam Greenwood is off to Leeds for around a million. If this does happen it will weaken our attack in the under 23s and with the likelihood of Balogun leaving to. Shame cause both are talents, scoring bucket loads at youth level that could help the future of the first team. Clauses need to be inserted in the negotiations.

  70. Tom

    Ronaldo isn’t even the most talented footballer named Ronaldo.
    His best ever actions on a football pitch usually come in space, a one v one, a towering header ( great leaping ability combined with height) or via powerful shot from either side. That’s a lot but not enough to be included in the best ever convo.

  71. Champagne Charlie

    Yes can’t wait until the facts come out that Maguire in fact thwarted ISIS mid-bender.

    Anything is possible with the United PR team in full panic mode. But the creative potential for the English United captain is unrivalled, exciting times.

  72. Jamie

    No civilized person assaults a police officer. Maguire is a reprobate.

    Reimagining the scenes where he and his gang of degenerates are sitting quietly sipping ouzo talking about funding children’s hospitals when out of nowhere they’re set upon by a pack of rabid [allegedly] Albanians.

    At best, Maguire and/or his sister were goaded into a fight. At worst, they were willing participants. At his age, it’s beyond embarrassing. Mental midget.

    Could’ve just as easily spoken to the bar manager, asked to have his party taken into the back while the police are called to ‘remove the aggressors’ from the scene.

    Instead, we all know what happened. Inebriated trash humans shouting shite at each other in public until someone loses an eye. Glad I don’t holiday with riffraff.

    p.s. Announce Gabriel!

  73. Captain Tierney

    ‘Ronaldo isn’t even the most talented footballer named Ronaldo.’

    Not the most talented. But only really Messi can claim to be the better footballer than Ronaldo.
    He is the 2nd Goat after Messi imo.

    Talent is not everything and I firmly believe that there are probably very very very few (maybe none) personalities in the world who work hard than this guy.

  74. Tom

    68 goals in 62 appearances with his national team, 365 goals in 427 games for his club, and 66 goals in 74 European club games. Amongst top scorers this player has the third highest goal to game ratio and no one ever even mentions his name when talking about best players ever.
    He is Gerd Muller and there’s more to being the best ever than just being a great goal scorer.

  75. Graham62


    I’m with you on this.

    Brits + Alcohol + Being abroad = total embarrassment.

    Respect where you are and the environment you are in.

    Never been to a ‘British holiday resort‘.

    Never intend to go to one either.

  76. crimson

    Finally good to see that our unwanted players are getting linked with moves away.
    Sokratis – three Italian clubs
    Guendouzi – PSG
    Holding – Leeds
    Elneny – Turkish clubs
    Miki – Roma
    Hopefully not just Clickbait. As Tierney will vouch for ‘every little helps’ to bump up our meagre transfer budget.

    Bergkamp back as a coach. Yes

  77. Jim Lahey

    @Captain Tierney –

    “Not the most talented. But only really Messi can claim to be the better footballer than Ronaldo.”

    Can’t agree with this. Ronaldo is an athletic phenom. No one comes close to him.

    But there are a lot of other players I would consider better “footballers” than him.

  78. Tom

    “Talent is not everything and I firmly believe that there are probably very very very few (maybe none) personalities in the world who work hard than this guy.“

    Yes , Ronaldo is a hard worker no doubt.
    But as wealthy as he is, he’s not a yet billionaire , and as we all know billionaires are the hardest working people ever.
    Btw, where’s is Marc these days?

  79. CG

    Captain T

    “”””If its true Maguire’s sister was attacked and he stood up against those goons then Maguire should be honored not insulted.”””””

    Well said Captain.

    there is hope for you yet.

  80. Northbanker

    Story breaking (Sun) that Leeds are going to sign Sam Greenwood for a ‘six figure sum’

    I really hope that is not true unless its a loan- Greenwood is one of our brightest prospects

  81. China1

    If CR7 and Messi has both been 3 foot 8 they’d have still been the defining players of their generation

    CR7 was blessed generically but that’s not why he’s where he is. There are a tonne of physically perfect footballers and absolutely none of them do what Ronaldo has done consistently since forever.

    Ronaldo is only 6’1. He’s a tiny bit shorter than me and in 2020 that’s in no way shape or form stand out tall. He scores those headers because his jumping technique and heading technique are out of this world good. Being 6’1 doesn’t mean much when you play against defenders and DMs who range from 6” to 6”4 on average.

    I know he is a smarmy shit and all but Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all tome and no amount of disliking his smug face will undo this

  82. Tom

    “”””If its true Maguire’s sister was attacked and he stood up against those goons then Maguire should be honored not insulted.”””””

    Yes, B( British)LM too?!?!

  83. Captain Tierney

    ‘Can’t agree with this. Ronaldo is an athletic phenom. No one comes close to him.

    But there are a lot of other players I would consider better “footballers” than him.’

    Unless they are scouting a player for a transfer , I dont think anyone compares a players physcial , technical and mental attributes separately.
    If that was the case then Messi wouldn’t be considered as the GOAT as there are countless players who are better physically and mentally than him.
    Its a total package.

    Fyi , Ronaldo is the first footballer to surpass 1 billion net worth during his career.

  84. China1


    “ Did the “metal straw” drip with greasy juice after the “stabbing” our precious…”

    This is such a bizarre comment and I’ve no idea what it is trying to imply but I like the fact that this is probably the first time ever this combination of words has been put together even in the same sentence, let alone in this order.

  85. CG


    “””””Looks like Sam Greenwood is off to Leeds for around a million.””””””

    Horrific short termism. ( AGAIN)

    So we are selling one of our best youngsters exactly at the same time we are recruiting Huddersfield Town and Spurs rejects.

    As I have said from day 1- this mob ain’t got a clue, they simply don’t know their arses from their elbows.

    Why are we selling our Greenwood to Leeds United?
    He could our Manchester United’s Greenwoods in a few seasons time.

    If he was called Gabriel and came from Sao Paulo he would not be going to Elland Road, thats for sure.


  86. Champagne Charlie

    AMN advanced talks with Wolves, seemed a banker the second they entered the picture.

    20+ million for him will help us nicely

  87. Tom

    What sort of jumping technique can one use to get a 40inch plus vertical? Asking for a friend.
    Timing and heading ability can be much improved, your vertical climb barely though no matter how hard you go at it in training.
    You either have it or don’t.

  88. CG

    North banker

    “”””I really hope that is not true unless its a loan- Greenwood is one of our brightest prospects”””””

    Absolute bonkers decision.

    Loose Loose on this one.

    An another shocking short term decision.

  89. Jim Lahey

    @Captain Tierney –

    So just to clarify, I personally consider a “player” to be the full package, everything combined. So for me Ronaldo is the second greatest player of all time. What I consider a “footballer” is based on technical ability alone.

    So (for me) at Arsenal Henry is the greatest player but Bergkamp is the greatest footballer.

    I believe that Bergkamp was a better footballer than Ronaldo but nowhere near as good a player as him.

  90. Tom

    Fyi , Ronaldo is the first footballer to surpass 1 billion net worth during his career.

    Has he?
    Damn, so it’s true then. Billionaires are the hardest working people.

  91. Jim Lahey

    And to end it here.

    There is no definite “greatest of all time”. As it is not quantifiable, there are too many variables.

    There were just two stand out players that we will probably never see the likes of again.

  92. CG

    Cha Cha

    “””””AMN advanced talks with Wolves, seemed a banker the second they entered the picture.20+ million for him will help us nicely””””””

    Traore probably told them to sign him.

    Another bonkers decision if it transpires.


  93. Dissenter

    You don’t have any reservations about AMN going to Wolves?
    We need the money, just that we are giving them a decent player who’s played at a high level like EL finals/FA cup finals.

  94. crimson

    I’m not against signing ‘rejects’ as you said like the kids from Huddersfield or spuds as Nketiah was rejected by Chelsea and is diamond. But selling Greenwood is a bit weird. There is a awful lot of things going on behind the scenes. BFG is heading the youth side set up and a clever guy, so it’s strange.

    I might be the only one but I like the new marble kit.

    Getting the guy from Brentford as a specialist set piece is a good move. As as we all know we are utter shite at defending them.

  95. Dissenter

    ‘Is Marc still banned? What did he actually do?RIP”

    He wanted Pedro to bin him so that he could go spend his summer in Paradise with 72 virgins.

  96. Captain Tierney


    Moaning about Greenwood ? Have you ever even watched him ?
    The only reason we are going to sell is because he must be refusing to sign a contract because we nabbed him from Sunderland as he has high potential.

    Amn if he gets us above 25 mil then that will mean 25 mil closer to Partey and we’ll all be the better for it.

  97. CG


    “”””””Moaning about Greenwood ? Have you ever even watched him ?”””””

    But Leeds United clearly have- so that’s all I need to know.

    As for Partey/AMN exchange.

    Worst decision Arsenal could possibly ever make.

    So its very probable.

    As Tony Adams recently alluded to.
    Edu is out of his depth with regards to squad building and has no experience of it.
    And it showing.

    The sooner he goes the same way his pal Don Raul the better it will be for the club. Stockpiling Brazilians at Arsenal is not , what I personally want to see.

  98. Valentin

    Regarding players, don’t listen to what Arteta said, but look at what he does.
    Luiz is interested in moving to Rennes, because he knows that despite Arteta liking him as a person and as a good voice in the changing room, Arteta does not fancy him as a defender, especially not in a back 4.
    As soon as Gabriel has adapted to the EPL and Mari has recovered, his game time will consist only of cup competitions.
    He is at a stage where he wants to play and he wants to prepare his post playing career. So any deal that will allow him to satisfy those twin demands will be evaluated by his team. There is nothing wrong with that.

  99. Champagne Charlie


    No, I don’t. The reason I don’t is because I’m honest about where we are right now as a football club and appreciate we need to make decisions that have now in mind, and later in mind too.

    We’re an organic club and unfortunately or otherwise we need to make money and back ourselves to evolve through succinct leadership and strategy. The latter part was heavily absent in recent years but I’m confident it’s here now.

    No player is off limits, we need to lessen the emotional attachment and think more critically and logically about next season and beyond. I like AMN, have long talked up his ability, I like Lacazette, I like Holding….but I like a successful Arsenal more.

    This is why Cedric was smart business, and why the critical gaze that got was totally knee jerk. You don’t have to be in awe of the player, you can think he’s average, but the club comes out of it with a big net gain. That’s the type of business we should be applauding at the club.

  100. CG

    “”””This is why Cedric was smart business””””

    No one should ever get banned.
    But you should be banned for a whole hour for this nonsense.

  101. Jamie

    Un –

    My sisters don’t go to the types of places rife with anti-social behaviour.

    One of them lives in Dubai, where perpetrators of physical assault disappear into dungeons. Everyone drinks but no one fights because there are consequences. Pretty simple.

    Fist fighting is for simple folk. No chance Maguire’s sister was the victim of a random or unprovoked attack. No doubt everyone acted like cunts, and she might have gotten the worst of it.

  102. Pedro

    SpanishDave, I don’t like shit banter, gaslighting, or general dimness.

    I don’t care who doesn’t like it.

  103. Reg

    Immediate post war years were hard in the UK. Covid is the worst tragedy I’ve experienced. Its bad here in the US where I live now. Seems to be going on and on………