Arsenal back at Wembley, will Arteta welcome back the outcasts?

by .

via Arsenal Instagram

Well, here we are, 3 weeks after our FA Cup final win, it’s here, the season curtain-raiser… Arsenal vs Liverpool in The Community Shield.

It’s hard to say it’s not an important game. All games have a psychological value, a big win sets you up for a confident start. A big loss can send you into a nervous territory. We need a good start this season, we need to set a new tone after the horrendous first 4 months of last season. We need to signal that the new era was, in fact, kicked off with that stunning FA Cup final win.

Both teams will be unfit. We’ve only had a few training sessions. Liverpool are in the same position as us. It’ll be a leggy game. There really was no other option. If you blitz your players after they’ve spent two months playing 3 games a week, you will absolutely pay for that later in the season when you need energy in the legs.

The big worry for Arsenal is we really haven’t addressed our central midfield position. Well, we have new bodies. Matteo G is now back in the family and Mo Elneny is available and scoring goals. Doesn’t really fill you with the same confidence you might have taken from seeing Ceballos, Partey, or Aouar starting.

No news on whether Mesut will start. Though Arteta’s impassioned defence of the club for the way they dealt with the pay cuts does indicate he’s still pretty pissed about the German playmakers carry-on over doing his part. Our young Spanish coach is every bit the company man. He also said Raul left with honour, which is, errr… oh fuck it, best leave that be, this is a new season. NO GRUDGES.

Back to the LACK of players.

It is what it is. I think we just have to accept it’s really hard to operate in a slow window when you have no money to play with. Cries that Don Raul has been missed are ridiculous. Last summer was very slow to start with, then we did a financial madness that has us tied up in knots this summer.

Still, on the face of it, you can’t argue with what we’ve done so far.

Saliba, Gabriel, Willian, with Guendouzi and ESR as the LIKE A NEW SIGNING players. Feeling just like it did under Arsene Wenger.

One area the club hasn’t been messing around in is in the coaching department. Arteta is bringing in names that he likes. The two latest are Carlos Questa and Miguel Molina. Both look like the new breed of young coaches that are starting to make their mark on the game. They come from Atleti and Juventus, Dom from the podcast I recorded the other night tells me that Cuesta is a bit like Rene Maric in the sense that he made the opportunity himself by writing and doing analysis online that attracted attention. Not sure which coach it was, but a journo once asked, ‘how did you make it as a top coach without being a top player’, and the response was, ‘I had more time to study.’ You’ll see more of that. We’re moving into a new era of coaching. Bold ideas, great with data, deeply into psychology… major fucking geeks. I LOVE IT. Just gotta hope it all works out for Arsenal, can’t have everyone calling me a hipster melt when we’re bottom of the league in January.

‘WE NEED SEAN DYCHE IN THE BUILDING’

Some disappointing news coming out of the club that Emi Martinez will be exited if the right offer comes in. Raul had him down for £20m, but the club might have to accept as little as £10m. Think this is being driven by the player. He doesn’t want to sign a new deal unless he’s #1. We won’t give him that luxury, so he’ll likely go to Spain. Good luck to him.

Feels a bit shit that a player can be instrumental in the club’s success, then get bombed off… but you can’t ask for ruthless behavior then get angry when it happens to your fave. Martinez has a small sample of games to choose from. Bernd Leno has been consistently great for longer. We are skint. Life goes on. Let’s hope we get a decent back-up keeper. Someone that is huge, loves to catch, and can pass like a hero.

Arsenal Twitter sleuths have just noticed that Leonardo, PSG Sporting Director, followed Hector Bellerin. OMG.

Wolves moved on Doherty onto Spurs for £14m. I suspect that’ll mean Wolves up the offer for AMN. Again, I’d be sad, but if the cash is going to get mainlined into our midfield, I’ll accept the exit with good grace.

Right, on that note, I shall bid you farewell. Enjoy the game today. Football is back. Let’s hope it’s a fun game AND MORE SILVERWARE!

x

854 Responses to “Arsenal back at Wembley, will Arteta welcome back the outcasts?”

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  1. gnarleygeorge9

    All things bright & beautiful,
    All Creatures great & small,
    Arsenal won another trophy,
    And tottenham won fuck all, again, again……!

  2. Marko

    At the very least Martinez deserves to retain his spot until he gives Arteta a reason to drop him.

    People do realize that Leno did nothing to warrant being dropped outside of getting injured right? I get the feeling that people just can’t remember or are flatly disregarding his form prior to injury where he was actually having a good season. But anyway

  3. WengerEagle

    Marko

    Why are you trying to convolute Martinez starting over Leno as being a permanent fixture?

    You ever hear of this novel concept called healthy competition? We have two very good GK’s which is a great situation to be in and we ought to take advantage of that by having both looking to outperform each other.

    You’re incapable of grasping that it doesn’t mean we’re demoting Leno to no. 2, he’ll just have to work bloody hard to wrestle that starting spot back off of Martinez, as it should be.

    He had another top game today by the way if you want to add that to your numbers, 11-13 now crikey.

  4. Marko

    You’re incapable of grasping that it doesn’t mean we’re demoting Leno to no. 2, he’ll just have to work bloody hard to wrestle that starting spot back off of Martinez, as it should be.

    You mean the spot he earned and held down for the last two seasons he’ll have to get that back from the guy who replaced him for 10-12 games? Makes sense seems very fair. Again one of the better performers throughout the season but people seem to forget about that fact

    He had another top game today by the way if you want to add that to your numbers, 11-13 now crikey.

    11-13 in his whole career? Wow crazy stuff

  5. salparadisenyc

    James to Everton is so bizarre, coup for them but I feel he goes more Ozil there.
    And nobody wants to pull an Ozil.

  6. WengerEagle

    ‘You mean the spot he earned and held down for the last two seasons he’ll have to get that back from the guy who replaced him for 10-12 games? Makes sense seems very fair.’

    ‘Held down’ lol, what a load of bollocks. Was he not alone in making the most individual errors that led to goals in the entire PL in his first season with 7? He was anything but holding things down in his first season.

    Look you’ve had a chub on for him since his Leverkusen days so I get it.

    Did he perform any better this season than Martinez? Martinez played 23 matches to Leno’s 32. Honest question.

  7. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    You seem to be dismissing the sentiment behind selling Martinez though, it’s not for shits and giggles.

    Would you rather Leno and Martinez in goals or Leno and Partey added? That’s the angle people are coming from. Martinez wasn’t on the radar a year ago, but now there’s talk of up to 20 mil coming for him. There’s a clear decision to make there and idk how strong the justification is for keeping him over selling and reinvesting in obvious problem areas.

  8. London gunner

    Marko

    Did martinez bang your gf? What’s your issue.

    Its very common in football for players to take their chances when another player gets injured.. You have to have healthy competition in football you can’t just pencil leno in as number 1 for life.

    Problem with you is you don’t belive in actual meritocracy or playing players down to form you just want to play players because of name recognition.

  9. salparadisenyc

    Very interesting to see what Arteta does with this goal keeping situation.

    It’s a harsh game, Leno may of done nothing barring ceding his position to injury but once it’s open… it’s a window in.

    In an ideal situation somebody fills it without missing a beat.

    Martinez has exceeded that, jumped thru the window and landed with a perfect 10. Each performance has been a showcase in ability and it definitely matches up to Leno’s, exceeds in certain areas. Not to mention he’s done it against the absolute top sides which only strengthens his argument.

    If i’m a manger I go with current form.

  10. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    You play 50-60 matches over a full season incl EL competition, for that you need two good GK.

    We literally have more than half a dozen players on the scrapheap we ought to look to be selling before considering to sell Martinez. Would be ridiculously short-sighted, if Leno went down with an injury again we’re looking at Macey.

    We have Elneny, Kolasinac, Chambers, Mavropanos, AMN, Sokratis, Mustafi and Guendouzi still on the books and people are looking to sell Martinez?

  11. WengerEagle

    ‘Problem with you is you don’t belive in actual meritocracy or playing players down to form you just want to play players because of name recognition.’

    Exactly and it’s not Oblak, Navas or Neuer that we’re benching here. Leno has been hit and miss since he’s signed if we’re being honest and Martinez since he’s been in the side has been every bit as good and better imo than Leno since he’s joined.

  12. WengerEagle

    ‘Not to mention he’s done it against the absolute top sides which only strengthens his argument.’

    Another good point, we’re not talking about performing against unpronouncable Eastern bloc sides in the EL, he’s doing the business against Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea.

  13. Carts

    “James will be class for Everton, really is mind-boggling that they can get a player of that ability but only reason he’s going there is Ancelotti I suppose”

    Yames is going to probably start the few couple games pulling strings till he blows his load after 65-70 mins

    Once he’s been sussed he’ll go missing then get flogged to China for 20m.

    Remember: he’s 29, he hasn’t played much football in the last couple season for various reasons. Not particularly athletics, or explosive for that matter.

    I’m not feeling this one.

  14. London gunner

    WE

    For me its that martinez hasn’t just been good as in a good in a pinch good or good as in he has exceeded low expectations good. He has shown complete performances and hasnt looked out of place in this arsenal side.

    I am a centrist so I don’t go to extremes all I can say is martinez has had less dodgy moments, errors or perfomances than leno and has shown improvements in certain areas. But its also a smaller sample size and there is a chance over a prolonged run of games these weaknesses or mistakes appear but that’s the whole point lets play him until/if he his form drops.

  15. WengerEagle

    Good to see you around these parts again Carts my guy.

    Not feeling Hhhhames no? I’m a self-confessed ‘fanboy’ as Bamford would term. Huge admirer of his ability and I’ve seen him carry Colombia NT in a way that Ozil never could so don’t think t he comparisons are too apt.

    Like these signings in the past, he’s either going to take the PL by storm or be an absolute expensive disaster. I fancy him to hit the ground running initially, lot will depend on the support that Everton give him though. Hardly have the most clinical front 2 in the league with Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin both decent but hardly top drawer.

    He’ll handsome up the PL at least, we’ve taken quite a knock since Graziano Pelle was sold to China and Giroud was made less visible through excessive benching.

  16. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    Come off it, you can pickup a decent number two for peanuts and the likelihood of needing them in a normal season is minimal at the best of times.

    Same argument for AMN, you can draw up a list of preferred outs all you like but do you ignore clear interest in players you’re not sure you want to sell and then not shift the ones you want to? Sounds like a royal way to fuck a window. Can speculate who you fancy selling all day, but when offers and interest is real it needs addressing.

  17. andy1886

    As has already been mentioned it’s not simply that keeper A is better than keeper B, they are two different type of player. Martinez in my opinion is a better option because he catches rather than punches, he commands the box better which when we’ve been vulnerable from set pieces is a great attribute, he’s more physically imposing, and has frequently proven to be good in one-on-ones.

    Leno may be a better shot stopper but he isn’t going to suddenly stop punching rather than catching (thus handing the ball back to the opposition rather than retaining it), and he isn’t suddenly going to become more commanding in the box.

    While each may continue to do what they do well IMO Martinez’s attributes are a better fit for what we need in a keeper.

  18. Carts

    I remember that cold night in Berkshire where Reading put 5 past Martinez…for those of you that don’t remember, we still went on to win 7-5 – in typical comedic fashion.

    If you had told me that 8 years later Martinez could well be going into 20/21 as our #1 keeper I’d have told you to eat a dick. Now here we are.

    Does Dejan Iliev still play for Arsenal?

  19. WengerEagle

    Well said LG.

    He may well be going through a purple patch but the only way we’ll find out for sure is to keep him in the XI until he shows us otherwise.

    You don’t just bench a lad playing that well. You ride that train until the wheels come off.

  20. salparadisenyc

    “You don’t just bench a lad playing that well. You ride that train until the wheels come off.”

    And then keep riding until the sparks fly.

  21. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    There has been real interest from Schalke in Kola and Wolves in AMN.

    What real interest has there been in Martinez? A rumour about Villa? And it was for 10m the one that I saw, by the time you replace him with even a cheap no.2 you’ve made what, a 5m profit?

    That might be enough to buy Partey’s left ankle.

  22. Carts

    Weagle

    Always a pleasure, fam!

    Spend most nights lurking like a serial nonce than I do posting. LG still best site closely followed by Keezmovies (for all the Marvel flicks and shit).

    I like James, don’t get me wrong but Everton are fucking pony; and to really get most out of James they need far more better attackers. Theodore on the right, Sigurdsson on the left…DEAD lol.

    What you saying…Phil Jones and Shelvey aren’t pulling his weight in the looks department? Fucki it, get James in here ASAP!!!

  23. Upstate Gooner

    Carts
    I remember that cold night in Berkshire where Reading put 5 past Martinez

    Bayern put 8 against Ter Stegen. Does that mean he’s crap? Anyone can have a night off especially when your defense is playing like shit in front of you. Oh, and I remember that game very well. Theo was unstoppable.

  24. Upstate Gooner

    “He’ll handsome up the PL at least, we’ve taken quite a knock since Graziano Pelle was sold to China and Giroud was made less visible through excessive benching.”

    LOL. Pelle was a handsome devil for sure. And I swear, my wife even watched a couple of Arsenal games here and there when we had Ollie (she doesn’t care for footy or sports in general) so that definitely says something.

  25. WengerEagle

    Pedro

    And I know that it probably counts for little but Auba and the lads seem to love him and the defenders really do have faith in him back there. An air of authority I haven’t seen since mad Jens, talented as Shezzer was he never really put them at ease like that.

  26. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    The real interest was more the fact Orny was spouting his intention to leave and that we wanted 20 mil.

    Kolasinac is a loan waiting to happen and AMN has Wolves up his arse but he too is getting the ‘no, can’t sell Ainsley’ treatment. It’s a piece of piss to pick your worst 5 players and want them out, but at some stage the realities and demands of the window need digested.

    Arsenal want Partey and Aouar, two players that massively improve us in key areas. Who of allllll the possible sales is a ‘no’ when that outcome is intended? For me there’s none, jettison any of those mentioned to bring that sort of quality on board.

  27. Paulinho

    Actually think there is fair chance Arteta will prefer Elneny over Guendouzi.

    He’s the more efficient, disciplined footballer of the two. Shame he’s such a lightweight physically.

  28. G

    Gutted when we sold Rocky and would b nearly as gutted if we sell Martinez even for 20mill..shd start as no. 1 till Leno can displace him..

  29. Marko

    Did he perform any better this season than Martinez? Martinez played 23 matches to Leno’s 32. Honest question.

    I mean circumstances were a bit different but yeah wasn’t Bernd like voted second best player or something for the season

  30. Jamie

    Good ebening.

    Our defending was an absolute shambles under Emery, so I think Leno did well under the circumstances.

    Impossible to ignore that everyone seems to be improving under Arteta. Still fairly stunned we’ve beaten Liverpool twice and City once in the space of 6 weeks.

    Stoked.

  31. Champagne Charlie

    “Our defending was an absolute shambles under Emery, so I think Leno did well under the circumstances.“

    This is being wildly overlooked for me. Martinez didn’t come into a shambles of a side and turn it on, he turned it on behind the most drilled Arsenal defence of the past decade.

    At least introduce that into the equation when discussing the two. Leno earned his plaudits with a horror show in front of him.

  32. Marko

    This is being wildly overlooked for me. Martinez didn’t come into a shambles of a side and turn it on, he turned it on behind the most drilled Arsenal defence of the past decade.

    I would say better but agree with the sentiment behind it. Martinez done well filling in for Leno and that’s it but he was very much helped by stability and a back 5 though meanwhile Leno had to perform under 3 managers and a shit show defence that conceded a fuck tonne of shots every game earlier in the season

  33. salparadisenyc

    Literally a thread I never thought possible after the long slow dirge of keepers we’ve endured.

    Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczęsny, Cech who looked tepid much of the time with our defense ahead. To now be litigating every potential point of our current situation, Martinez vs Leno.

    Its only rock n roll but I like it.

  34. luke

    @Pierre, I love Martinez too, but he hasnt ever shown this form with fans in the stadium. I don’t think that should be overlooked necessarily. Think we should keep both of them FWIW, but if we could get good $ for either one of them that would help us fix the midfield then so be it.

  35. Graham62

    When was the last time we could say, without doubt, that Arsenal’s defence was well drilled?

    Some on here were probably still on the Farley’s Rusks.

  36. Pierre

    London gunner
    “Marko
    Did martinez bang your gf? What’s your issue.”

    That’s quite amusing…

    The thought of Marko having a girlfriend I mean..

  37. Pierre

    Graham
    Try and resist the need to bring everything back to Wenger …it tends to make you look a little obsessive.

  38. China1

    Dissenter I don’t think it’s a new rule for keepers on penalties, it’s just enforcing one that was there for decades and usually inexplicably ignored by the refs

    Penalties are supposed to favour the striker – otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a penalty.

    I’m glad the rules should finally get enforced tho I’ve no confidence that PL refs will manage to do so consistently because they’re hopeless, but still

  39. Bojangles

    Martin Keown telling Arteta he should be making Martinez no 1. I know Keown is not the sharpest tool in the box but I give him credit for knowing a bit more about football and footballers than the LG experts.

  40. Bojangles

    Some posters here suggesting 10-12 games as go not enough to go on. Please explain how the lad is to put a longer string of games together if he is consigned to the bench.

    At least if he has to wait for Leno to make a mistake before he gets another chance, I doubt it will take 10-12 games. If he is still with us then.

  41. Dissenter

    Leno is a good keeper but he does have his limitations too.
    Like Wenger Eagle said , people are presenting him like he’s some Jan Oblak or Allison.

    Lets see how Arteta’s man management holds up, he made a comment about keepers being like wing backs/full backs. It;’s just that there has ti be a number one keeper to integrate play with the back four.

    Hope we can have a situation like Juventus who have two very good keepers; Sczezny and Mattia Perin.
    I understand where the people advocating for Leno are coming from, I just think Eni has some intangibles that make him a better keeper overall. I couldn’t say the same oof Leno even when he was staving utter disaster under Emery.

  42. Dissenter

    One way to make Martinez stay is to pay him the range of salaries that starting goalies earn in the league.
    That’s one quick fire way to defuse the situation.

  43. Bojangles

    “Speaking on Maitland-Niles’ future last week, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “We are reading a lot of news about our players which is not bad that other clubs want him but with Ainsley, he’s a player that I’ve said since I joined that I really like.

    “The best way to show that is that I have played him in the most important games of the season and he responded really well, so that’s where we are with the player.”

  44. Bojangles

    “Dominik Szoboszlai has pledged his future to RB Salzburg and ended all talk of him moving to the Emirates with Arsenal.”

  45. Tom

    Bojangles
    The only thing missing from the Arteta really likes AMN comments is that he’s not going anywhere because he’s a vital part of Arteta’s future plans.
    So I guess if the right offer comes along ……..

  46. Tom

    One way to make Martinez stay is to pay him the range of salaries that starting goalies earn in the league.
    That’s one quick fire way to defuse the situation.

    ———
    He would have to sign an extension then , which he said he won’t do unless he’s a starter ,so back to square one.

    Giving him a bumper pay on his current deal just to keep him less unhappy before he leaves in 2022 , is that smart use of funds?
    Although 20k is super low for a quality keeper, it must be said.

  47. Bojangles

    Un**ed in box seat to sign Van der Beek. Would have preferred us going in for him rather than Aouar. It’s also been reported that Barca have recently shown interest in him too, if that’s true there’s a good chance Koeman could persuade Van der Beek to head to Barca.

  48. MidwestGun

    Pretty clear to me, Leno has been Wally Pipped at this point. Ride the hot hand… Martinez has been near flawless.

  49. Leedsgunner

    Pleeeeeease Arsenal FC stop playing Sweet Caroline as our anthem.

    It’s creepy boring and utterly uninspiring.

  50. Tom

    “Hands, touching hands
    Reaching out, touching me, touching you” – pretty much an epidemiologist nightmare scenario during Covid lol.

  51. Sid

    A good perfomance from AMN that should push his value to 35m,
    His replacement Soares is crap, thats my Arsenal one step forward one step back.

  52. Tony

    Great win yesterday that will make the PL clubs look at us differently by continuing to take top 4 club scalps.

    Looking forward to seeing who we add to the squad by October 6.

    Posted a couple of days ago that I believe we’ll see far mote highs than lows this season. Yesterday’s performance only reinforces that view.

    Emi vs Leno
    If Emi is considered elite since the restart of last season and continuing that rich vein of form yesterday, I still say we need to move Leno on rather than Emi for all the positives many have posted here on LG.

    What is Oblak worth and other keepers who are considered elite? Around the £80 million mark according to Transfermarkt. However, we would be happy to sell Emi for £20million.

    Maybe we should get Stan K to buy Emi and then loan him back to us.

    AMN
    I hope the Ainsley haters eating a large dose of humble pie this morning with his MOM performance yesterday. I truly believe Arteta can both help AMN to become more consistent this season as well as finding AMN’s ceiling.

    Not sure how high that ceiling is but his level from the last few games is better than any utility play we have on our books.

    It seems like we have 2 PL tested and completely proven through recent games where we want to sell them to raise money on untested PL players: Partey who seems more mercenary rather than wanting to jump on the Arteta & Edu vision train that is slowly gaining momentum, and Aouar who has tested positive for Covid.

    We have Willian & Pepe to add to the midfield as well as the possibility of bringing back Ceballos. We should be able to sell and loan enough players to buy an additional young AM whom will take at least a season to bed into the PL.

    Alex
    Sorry weekends are always hectic with my daughter home having to study online rather than at RMIT in Melbourne and our son who keeps a busy calendar with his sports’ and art schedule.

    I generally just skim posts at the weekend to get the gist rather than any in-depth reading.

    “The world’s most interesting man’ That made me chuckle wondering which way I should take it.

    I’d say I’m a marmite kind of guy where I’m just a guy who has never let the grass grow under my feet who has been fortunate through true grit and determination and making educated decisions to have had more successes than failures in my 65 years from around the world.

    I don’t suffer fools gladly and never have and tend to gravitate towards characters with depth and knowledge of the world and business, music and MC clubs/nomad HOG riders.

    If I ever get to the States again: probably when my wife has to be there on business, I would happily hang with you.

    Keep fighting, Alex, and believing you can beat the odds.

    I know what it’s like to defy death from serious illness and disease that I’ve had to overcome for the last 30 years and continue to do so, although nothing as seriously complex & life threatening as what you’re having to battle.

    Your chemo and missing body parts more than trump my quintuple bypass and subsequent multiple stents adding latterly colon disease currently in remission. lol

  53. Habesha Gooner

    Dissenter
    Fabrizio Romano is reporting ajax are Willing to sell Donny Van de beek for 40 mil euros. I think he is a very good value at that price. I would love either Aouar or him.

  54. Useroz

    A shame Dominik Szoboszlai is no longer available but I bet Arsenal were never interested despite some rumours.

    Seriously don’t understand how the pros who work at the club. Szoboszlai is young, looks built for the PL and las good as any we are linked with and wasn’t on a mega fee (c €25m).

    Yet… we have Willock, Elneny, even Guendouzi and the almighty (salary) Ozil still loitering around. Arghhhh…

  55. Useroz

    van de beek at €40m is too good to be true. May be a covid sale but if true what are we waiting for?

    Oh, there’s not much of a market for our dross and Vinai couldn’t wave his financial magic wand.

  56. Sanmi

    SpanishDave

    About xhaka, what’s more bizarre is legrove dont know the value of Xhaka, is it that you guys don’t watch the games? Xhaka is undroppable. Even if we sign Partey, xhaka plays!
    Let me explain is role in the 352,
    He is key to us beating the press when we pass from the back, his passing range means Arteta wants him freed in the middle that’s why AMN moves infield to occupy another midfielder so Xhaka is free, once the ball gets to Xhaka, Aubameyang, pepe or saka knows the ball will find them in one swing pass.
    When the ball is in the opposition half, AMN is already infield Tierney then makes the over lapping run, xhaka moves to cover that left back position.
    Xhaka positional discipline in this team is next to none. No team he has played for drops him, no coach drops him, he rarely gets subbed, you think all the coaches are dumb? Including his national team?

  57. Sanmi

    Every coach gives Xhaka the most technically complex job in the team, he gets to do the multiple role.
    With Wenger: the starts in the middle then drops back to mid CB when we attack.
    With Emery: He starts in the middle then drops to LB when we attack.
    I already explained arteta’s.
    In his national team, he starts at CM.
    His positional awareness is very good.
    The only criticism is lack of athleticism, but that’s not his fault, he makes up for it by reading the game well. Arteta is making him more consistent by creating more room for him and telling him to keep it simple

  58. Valentin

    At Bayern Pep used to rely tactically a lot on Philip Lahm. He was a very intelligent footballer, defensivelt tactically aware who was able to fill multiple positions as Pep required.

    AMN is the same to Arteta. He is his Swiss army knife player. Can play at right fullback, left fullback, wingback tucked in to density midfield, defensive midfielder. He can do all that with a reasonable quality, because defensively on 1v1 situation he is rarely put on the back and when he does he has the pace to recover.

    All those quality made him invaluable to Arteta. He may not be the flashy player that some wants but the cost of replacing him is likely to be a lot more than £20 millions. Hence selling for that price is an absurdity.

  59. Receding Hairline

    Very difficult season to predict is coming up.

    Not enough time to plan and strategize, many players will get underserved third or fourth chances etc although some think it’s justified because they are playing under Arteta, like that would give them abilities they just don’t have.

    We need to get back into the champions league come the seasons end , thanks to the FA Cup win we have two possible avenues to do so. That should be the ultimate goal going into the season, to finish in the UCL places or win the Europa league.

  60. DaveCee

    It’s tough on Leno, but seeing the way Emi has performed and how he fits with the defenders it just seems logical that he keeps his place. Leno would probably command the higher fee of the 2 also.
    And can we agree that AMN should be kept and played without saying Soares is crap? He has done little wrong in his time on the pitch.
    Great we won y’day. I wasn’t sure we could.
    Nice to see Elneny play well too. No need to bin him off yet, we are light in CM and he is a useful player.

  61. Valentin

    Sanmi,

    Excellent posts.
    The problem is that both Xhaka and AMN are not highlight players. They don’t score goals, they don’t make busting lungs attack, they don’t make crunching tackle so often fans don’t see what they bring to the team.
    It remind me of Gilberto Silva. Near me in the stadium there was a thick fan who kept swearing against that lazy midfielder. A faorbfew were nodding in agreement, Until Gilberto broke his back and suddenly it became evident to everybody there was a Gilberto Silva hole in the middle.

    Partey will be used as the player to break the line and burst forward bringing a more central threat. However Xhaka will keep his place. He will stay behind and use his long passing game to put teammates into space.

  62. Receding Hairline

    No Valentine the problem with AMN and Xhaka is they are both average, if they leave Arsenal today they are moving to clubs below us in standing, without a doubt. We want players who cannot make the starting eleven at other top clubs starting for us week in week out and we wonder why we haven’t finished top four in years.

  63. Receding Hairline

    Funny enough the only midfielder at the club who could move to a top tier club none of you want anything to do with, Matteo Guendouzi…his crime seems to be he is viewed as an Emery favorite, as none of you on this blog bar Pedro complained of his attitude before.

  64. Habesha Gooner

    Donny van de beek will be a snip at £36 mil. We can have a hard time luring aouar here with the price on his head but van de beek is possible. I would hate to see a bruno, Pogba and Van de beek trio at United. They will never run out of creativity of that happens.

  65. Receding Hairline

    Wasted talent at 20? Some of you use words and phrases you don’t even know the meaning of.

    All his coaches have attested to his hard work both in training and on the pitch. What he does with his private time is his business.

    Spent months demonizing the kid and now you are all surprised the 60m pound bids from top clubs aren’t flying in. Real head scratcher that

  66. Aussie+Gooner

    Arsenal fans celebrating all over the world – good to see! I know we haven’t won the EPL or CL but it is still baby steps. This kind of win against the odds builds confidence. Look how well Martinez and AMN have performed recently. There is genuine competition for some spots in the team now and players seem to be responding accordingly. Arteta is clear on the commitment he wants from the players and if they don’t stack up they are out the door. Very interesting what he had to say about AMN having to be consistent in training. There were obviously issues in training which Arteta is aiming to straighten out.

    I don’t see many more players coming in/going out now. We will have to get by with what we have and get the best out of individual players. This is what Arteta is trying to achieve.

    Abu must sign – no ifs or buts – he is integral to our future success. Despite rumours of belligerence before arriving at Arsenal he has proved to be an exemplary player, leader and person who is able to lead by example. Also his interaction with the fan base is second to none! He is his own man! The Instagram call from Abu and his brother Willy to a stacked Troops from AFTV is priceless. I doubt any other top player would interact like this! i challenge anyone not to laugh at this!

  67. Habesha Gooner

    RH
    I agree Guendouzi is probably the only midfielder who can become world class at the club. But seeing arteta is pulling in the same direction, Guendouzi and Ozil being the only ones who aren’t on board isn’t great for me. I would have loved for us to keep him and get the best out of him. But Arteta has done enough to convince a lot of people. He has had weird choices in players but his results and performances have been good so far. It’s for that reason we should sell Guendouzi. I still think he will become world class somewhere else though.

  68. Terraloon

    The simple fact that AMN and indeed Martinez are being considered as potential departures are that Arsenal need funds .

    Now some talk about getting big money paid over a long period and in normal circumstances that would be fine but the dilemma is that all other clubs likewise need cash now as opposed to the future so that viciously distorts the market.

    It’s been said for weeks that most of the transfer activity will be by way of swaps or loans the majority of other deals will be by way of vastly reduced fees but with a bigger % up front. Arsenal are far from immune to having to accept that reality

    Let’s consider Partey for instance.

    AM are not just strapped for cash they are desperate .

    They aren’t going to accept say €10 million down on a €50 million transfer. They probably will want 50% now and Arsenal in all likelihood haven’t got €25 million just hanging around so they need to sell.

    So let’s now bring AMN into the scenario. Some say worth £30 million . So let’s say Spurs agree but want to pay £8 million now and the balance over 5 years. Is that acceptable?

    Probably not but when say Wolves come in with £20 in cash now with no staged payments what will the bean counters advise?

    We all know that there is a way of factoring staged transfer payments but the potential costs to clubs have become eye watering.

    Irrespective of all this very few clubs will be wanting to put any money on the table now nor will many commit to a loan with a commitment to buy the majority will be wanting to loan with an option to buy albeit at a higher fee.

    Cake tomorrow!

    The financial uncertainty of at least season 20/21 a will be a major consideration in any transfer and as we all know very very few clubs are in a position to do much if anything and it’s not just in terms of fees or indeed awarding improved contracts.

  69. James wood.

    RH “ what he does with his private life is he’s business “
    YES 100%.
    It’s what he does with his attitude in certain games on the pitch
    that let’s him down.
    Let his former club Lorient down.?
    Embarrassed Arsenal.
    Who would want to take that on.?

  70. Graham62

    It would be a travesty if Martinez were to leave.

    It is clear to us all that he is a better keeper than Leno and, significantly, his teammates feel far more comfortable with him between the sticks.

  71. Pierre

    Graham
    Besides Martinez’s handling being better than Leno , he is a physically imposing figure when coming for crosses and closing down strikers.

    Keepers like Kepa, De Gea , lloris and Leno are maybe more agile but they cannot and do not command their box due to their physique.

    A striker wouldn’t dare take on Martinez in a physical confrontation as he looks as solid as a rock and strikers would just bounce off of him, plus he is fearless when he comes out of goal.

    Bob wilson was the most fearless and brave ( or stupid) keeper I’ve seen in my lifetime, he would dive head first into the feet of incoming strikers , and in those days strikers were allowed to leave something on the keeper.

  72. Buzzy

    Agreed about Martinez..Artetas doing really well and I’m very excited by his project but in my opinion one of his weaknesses has been choosing the right personnel ..Here’s hoping he doesn’t make the blunder of dropping Emi just like he’s been committing one with playing Nkiteah even though the kid really offers nothing

  73. Raulishuss

    Nkethia might not be the finished article but he offers very good movement and help relatively with holding of play. He needs games but he’ll come good imo

  74. Sid

    Xhakalson beating the press is laughable. He cannot function when pressed. Thats the reason Arteta has used Luiz as our main passer.

    AMN is a great athletically, his problem is ze mental strength most likely a result of being raised by a messed up single mother. Needs a mentor/father figure.

    Soares is limited athletically and early signs is he has an average football brain. A bad combination.

  75. alex cutter

    ““The world’s most interesting man’ That made me chuckle wondering which way I should take it.”

    That campaign was pretty big in the US for a while, and though a little hyperbolic, seems appropriate for how it sounds like you’ve lived your life. Thx again.

  76. Valentin

    RH,

    AMN has been called up by the England team, so clearly there are other people who think that he can do a decent job. That idea that he is a bubbling buffoon who does not deserve to be on the pitch is a ridiculous notion. He is not a lower league player who blackmailed Arteta to be in first eleven. As Arteta said every time there was an important game, he was in the starting eleven. Every time there was a defensive problem wide, he was used.

    The same with Xhaka, he may be a limited player, but he does well what he is tasked to do. There is a reason why none of his coaches dropped him. They don’t expect him to suddenly become Vieira, Petit, Gilberto Silva or Messi but he is competent at his job.

    Jordan Henderson is Liverpool captain, yet nobody would say that he is an extraordinary player. He is a competent player diligent in his duty. Every teams need players like that.

  77. Useroz

    Arteta does have a unique appetite in putting certain players on the pitch , or on sale (as reported), that most of us layman couldn’t fully comprehend.

    The use of Xhara seems crucial in how Arteta wants to play. It shows. When Xhara was off injures, MF was terrible.

    Personally, don’t see Guendouzi becoming WC as some predict. Need way more than talent to become WC. Time would tell of course. But pace is something you couldn’t improve and he’s slower than Cesc. You’d tell when Cesc would be WC when played as a 16yo… not Guendouzi, not Willock, not Eddie. Not a matter of game time nor pre season. Eddie made the same mistakes since he came back from Leeds. Don’t see much improvement. Compared with what we all see when Saka and Martinelli started in Emery day …

    We need at least two good MFers this TW. It’d up to Vinai to figure out financing and accounting…. now that he’s an real exec at the club.

  78. andy1886

    Sanmi, on Xhaka, how you can have the audacity to say “guys don’t watch the games?” and follow that up with “The only criticism is lack of athleticism” is beyond me, it really is.

    How about his many and well documented brain fart moments?

    You claim he has great awareness yet he frequently has his pocket picked in dangerous areas (often just on front of our box).

    Don’t you think the fact that he can’t tackle properly would be a weakness for a player in his position? Obviously not.

    Yes he can play the the odd great pass, and he can cover Tierney when he moves forwards (wow – who else could do that?), but seriously if you can’t see that he’s a mediocre player you need glasses.

  79. Moe

    Valentin
    Good point about getting a replacement for AMN, will surely cost more than 20mil especially if the player is English. One more season and if his growth continues Arsenal can make a bonanza on him.
    Also, those wanting Emi sold to raise funds for midfield reinforcements are conveniently overlooking the fact that selling Leno brings in way more cash. Can’t even get a quality backup keepeer at 10mil come next season.

  80. Graham62

    Question to all our American based bloggers.

    Are all republicans ignorant or is it just a simple fact that they don’t get out enough?

    Sorry, I know, I should stick to football.

  81. Moe

    In sports you play the guy in form. That’s how the Nfl introduced the world to Tom Brady and the rest is history. There are many other examples. This Wengerite notion that you don’t lose your place because of an injury is so anti competition. Sports is all about what have you done for me lately. Sorry that’s harsh but it is what it is.

  82. Moe

    That’s how players get teams to pay him them ransoms, and why PEA can hold Arsenal to ransom at the moment. Strike when hot, and if gone cold the team will strike back. No unnecessary emotional attachments

  83. China1

    Yeah AMN isn’t a monster talent but what he is is very dependable, very versatile, cheap, young, home grown and this season has demonstrated that he has a good work ethic too

    As much as we want a team full of world beaters, this kind of player is very very useful to us right now. Every squad needs a few such players ideally for both rotation, reliability and versatility for different formations etc.

    How many do we have currently? Saka is another (more talented) player who can do a job all over the pitch but anyone else? Not really

    We should be rejecting offers for AMN that don’t go beyond his value to the team, which imo is over 30m right now.

    I know we want to improve the midfield but I actually think AMNhas a major role to play this season. If not a guaranteed starter or in a nailed on position, I still think he’s quite key

  84. China1

    Btw Saka’s play in the first half yesterday was fab

    Great passing, not only for his assist but that pass to nketiah 10 mins later was really ozil style. So clean and accurate and begging for Eddie to bury it

  85. China1

    I know the charity shield is a preseason friendly but in the last handful of weeks we’ve beaten city, Liverpool twice and Chelsea, winning an Fa cup and charity shield along the way

    You have to say if we can do this ‘without a midfield’ and some highly dubious CBs, best striker on the wing etc, you really do wonder if Arteta will deliver us to the promised land when he gets a few more quality players in

    Credit to Arteta he’s on a serious role at the moment. You no longer look at those fixture against the top sides as unwinnable. Each game can be won if we show up, which recently do we far more often than not

  86. Pedro

    CC, reckon we’ll raise our cash through the names we want to see gone.

    Torreira, Guendouzi, Lacazette, Kola, Holding and Mo Pirlo.

    Glad to see there’s been a rethink on Emi and AMN.