Need… a fix… of transfer news

by .

Ok, so it’s been a little slower on the feeds today.

No new players.

I feel empty and sad.

Where are my new players?

There are a few tidbits buzzing around.

Matteo G is not on the PSG wanted list now, they apparently switched things up to Hector Bellerin. I read a journo say that actually, they aren’t interested in Hector, we’ve offered him to them. Cheeky.

Back to Matteo.

It’s starting to look a little worrying for the 21-year-old ball progressor. Does his reputation precede him? Possibly. Or the market is just slow. If Cassano and Balotelli could consistently find good clubs, I’m pretty sure we’ll find a home for a young French U21 with a lot of experience under his belt.

There was an amazing story doing the rounds that Unai Emery is in for Martinez if he doesn’t seal a deal with Arsenal. Imagine wanting to go back to a coach with about as much sauce as a pack of Ryvita?

Big Ken Friar is off the board and into the PRESIDENT FOR LIFE position. Good for him. Ken Friar has been an incredible servant for Arsenal and I love him even more for allegedly 1) Being one of the first to call time on Unai Emery 2) Being the guy that wanted more oversight for Don Raul.

He exits head held high. If he was part of the siren crew, we should all be very grateful for his service. He’s played a massive role in saving Arsenal.

It’ll be very interesting to see how Arsenal shape the boardroom in his absence. It’s clear that bringing in someone like Tim Lewis added some incisive legal expertise, as well as some fan love. I wonder if they’ll continue to add more people like that? Who is our tech guy? Who is our brand expert? Would we consider an explayer for a bit of prestige? Do they need an advertising guy that ‘gets’ the internet?

I do have to say, I’d love to see Ian Wright make an appearance. He’s the true embodiment of what it is to be an Arsenal statesman. He’s the perfect representative for a younger more modern boardroom. Wrighty is cross-generational in appeal. Like, who doesn’t love him? He speaks to the players, he speaks to the fans, he embodies the class of Arsenal, but with a contemporary twist. What’s not to like about the idea?

Some may question what expertise an explayer would offer, I’m not so sure that’s a problem at board level. I think putting explayers in charge of technical positions can sometimes be problematic. AC Milan have had all sorts of issues with Maldini. They had to sack Boban. I also think Juve might run into trouble with their strong clique of salaried players who pushed Pirlo into the management role very early. United’s class of 92 might not have board seats, but they’ve certainly influenced some bang-average decision making there.

… but at board level, you need to find balance. Industry expertise can be balanced by Arsenal expertise. In Wright, you have someone that understands the culture of the club, the fans, and the city, so I think it’d be great. I am biased though.

Not sure whether Josh wants to make moves like that, but it’s a nice thought.

To change the topic… Fans will be BACK in the stadium for Sheffield United on October 3. The club is balloting who can go. It’ll be super weird, no doubt, but fuck it, at least we’ll have some people in the ground. I’m no covid expert, but the protests around America didn’t result in massive spikes. If everyone wears a mask, hopefully, we can bring more fans back into the fold.

Cagigao has spoken about Arsenal and he said what we’re all feeling.

“The club has a very good head coach & are not far from building a winning team, a lot of good groundwork has been laid. Wherever the future takes me, I will never forget my time at the club & feel privileged to have played my part”

What a superstar.

Right, that’s all I have time for today. Let’s hope Arsenal speed up the news so I can get my FIX OF TRANSFER GOODNESS.

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470 Responses to “Need… a fix… of transfer news”

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  1. Valentin

    Freddie,

    I remember getting into an argument with you and Marc when 2 days prior to his departure I wrote that Raul days at Arsenal were numbered. It was funny to see how you were still accusing of making things up ten minutes before Arsenal released the statement that Raul had left by mutual consent.

    Every players have their price. I trust my sources that there was an attempt to sell Pepe. I just asked Pedro whether he knew the context of the offer. The context of the offer changes everything. Who initiated the deal? Was it a real attempt?

    Regarding my view on Pepe. I have not changed my view: he is a limited player who would require to either change the club style of football to accommodate him or an extraordinary amount of coaching to extract the best of him. He was never worth £72 millions not including the agent fees. I complained about it at the time and Look Raul is gone because of them.

    I don’t understand your enthusiasm for a player you had never heard of 10 minutes before he was rumoured to join Arsenal. You look at Pulisic the player Chelsea bought for less and compare his impact it is clear that it was a bad deal.

  2. Marko

    My sources didn’t know the context of the offer.

    Val has sources inside the club? Given his predisposition to lying I’m going to call bullshit on that

  3. Freddie Ljungberg

    Val

    Yeah yeah, we get it you’re the real ITK, with sauces in your head telling you things about people you hate that no one else knows. Yawn.

    “he is a limited player who would require to either change the club style of football to accommodate him or an extraordinary amount of coaching to extract the best of him. He was never worth £72 millions not including the agent fees. I complained about it at the time and Look Raul is gone because of them.”

    We don’t have to change anything and no “extraordinary” amounts of anything is required, that’s just more bullshit from you. He started to look a lot better end of the season when he was adapting to the league. Our most turbulent season ever, with 3 managers and he still did fine.
    Pulisic had slightly better numbers in a much more stable team.

    Was that the 25m agents fee that only you know about?

    The club denied any investigation into the Pepe deal but of course you know better, you always do.

  4. Marko

    Pepe had 18 goal contributions in his first season which was a mess considering everything that happened at the club. No chance the club gives up on him

  5. Pierre

    http://7amkickoff.com/index.php/2020/07/22/what-arteta-has-done-to-xhaka/

    This link and the data it offers on Xhaka is very interesting though to me not in the slightest bit surprising.

    I’ve have mentioned numerous times since Arteta became manager , how very little of our play goes through the centre of the pitch.

    I said that I believe the reason for this is to aleviate mistakes in the centre of the pitch to take the pressure off of the defence, and to a certain extent this has been a successful tactic.

    However, this tactic makes it very easy to defend against as the ball will just be played amongst the central defenders, out to the wide players and back again and keep repeating until the opposition become bored.

    Even when Ozil was playing as the supposedly CAM ( which he wasn’t) he was often holding hands with Pepe on the right and very rarely picked the ball up in the hole in the central area.

    Early in the the FA cup final , the players made a near fatal mistak that must have made Arteta squirm…..Xhaka received the ball with his back to goal in the centre of the pitch and looked like a fish out of water and was immediately dispossessed, leading to a shot on target.

    That was the one and only time that Xhaka received such a pass in the final.

    This data on xhaka is particularly worrying I’m not sure there is anything positive to take from the stats offered in the link.

    If Arsenal are to dominate weaker opposition then the players must have confidence in our midfielders to be able to give them the ball in central areas to create chances for our strikers.

    If we start the new season with Xhaka, nothing changes.
    The other players will be instructed to bypass Xhaka , this will in turn lead us to playing the ball out wide and will restrict our creativity, something that has been evident since we returned from lockdown.

    We have had very good victories against top side since lockdown, I think it’s fair to say that they were performances that jose Mourinho would have been proud of.

    However, when we have to be creative we struggle, and this leads us back to the lack of creativity through the central areas.

    It all boils down to bringing in better technical players in midfield.

  6. Pedro

    Pierre, it’s pretty bland analysis.

    He’s basically saying that if numbers drop, it’s a bad thing.I referenced Michael Jordan the other day in that respect. Phil Jackson told him he’d have to sacrifice his numbers if he wanted to win trophies. No one said, oh, that means he’s half the player now.

    Arteta has give him a role that suits the team, not his stats. Same thing with Mesut. To get the German at his best, you have to thread everything through him… but that doesn’t work for the team. So when he returned, his numbers were worse, but he was doing more for the team.

    There are a lot of geeks that look at numbers but don’t really draw footballing insights from them. That’s why all the radars that do the rounds don’t often tell the actual story.‘Partey is shit because x stat’ or ‘Morata is elite because of his radar’

    You like that article because you think it means we need Mesut back in the side.

  7. Valentin

    Freddie,

    Still sore about denying the fact Raul’s days were numbered.
    It was funny how you and Marc disappeared as soon it was officially announced.

  8. Receding Hairline

    “Pierre, it’s pretty bland analysis.”

    Bland seems to be your answer to anything or anyone you don’t agree with

    “If we start the new season with Xhaka, nothing changes.
    The other players will be instructed to bypass Xhaka , this will in turn lead us to playing the ball out wide and will restrict our creativity, something that has been evident since we returned from lockdown.”

    Nothing bland about the above, we can all see it with our own eyes.

    Seems every game Xhaka plays without making a brain dead mistake is treated as proof of redemption. Arteta plans games around protecting Xhaka, yes we need to protect a player who is supposedly a vital part of our midfield.

  9. Valentin

    Freddie,

    I explained exactly beforehand that above a certain level unless they can safely be proven in a court of law, orherwise malfeasance and incompetence are never punished.

    It looks bad for the people who hired the guy and those who were supposed to supervise him/her. Usually after a shock exit, a bland statement is issued thanking the person for their work and wish the best for their future endeavours.

    The reality is that behind close door, the person is told in no uncertain terms that the game is up. They can either play along or they can be buried in so much bad PR and legal issues they would be lucky to get a job cleaning the floor at McDonald.

  10. Receding Hairline

    In as much as i don’t like the length of contract that brought Wilian here i am very excited to watch him play for us.

    A very unpredictable player who will liven up our attack, when we attack we are pretty predictable and ordinary, Saka helps to make us efficient when he plays because he always makes the right decision, with Willian we introduce an element of unpredictability.

    Valentin give the Pepe agenda a rest, he wasn’t worth 70ma and everyone knows it, but he is a good player and in the right setup can do a lot of damage.

  11. Freddie Ljungberg

    Val

    Disappeared? Think you need to check that again.
    I don’t care about Raul, he did a good job in the 1 transfer window he was in charge of, all the other stuff was just fluff and hearsay. If Edu does just as well or better I couldn’t give 2 fucks if Raul is in a Siberian Labour camp right now.

    Still sore about everyone calling you out for all your lying? You should probably get used to it.

  12. Words on a Blog

    Hmm, with respect to Xhaka’s declining numbers (which also happen to coincide with our improvement in form) isn’t it just a case of less passing through the middle when we’re playing 3-4-3 with two wingbacks and a central defender Like Luiz who is charged with making through passes?

    Pierre’s point about the absence of creativity against lesser teams still stands though.

  13. Freddie Ljungberg

    “I explained exactly beforehand that above a certain level unless they can safely be proven in a court of law, orherwise malfeasance and incompetence are never punished.”

    How convenient for you. Explain the 25m agent fees again that only you know about? Or maybe don’t because it’s boring as fuck.

  14. Pedro

    RH, it’s a minority view to think Xhaka is shite these days. But, you tend to end up in the minority view with your consistently appalling takes, so I’m not surprised you are buying into the Pierre propaganda here.

    ‘The eye’ test from someone that spent a day defending the honour of Emery is very amusing.

  15. Receding Hairline

    I don;t think Valentin lies, what he does is embellish details he drops here. He desperately wants to be seen as an ITK with impeccable sources not just at Arsenal but French football as well.

    Passing off newspaper articles and fourth hand info like he was in the room when it happened.

  16. Pedro

    Freddie, debating one particular part of the Raul story is a bit like arguing the weapon used in the 14th Jeffry Dahmer murder.

  17. Valentin

    Pierre,

    The question you forget to ask is:
    why does Arteta design a system to bypass the centre of midfield?
    Is it solely because of Xhaka or is it because like Pep, Klopp or Mourinho does he believe that having a deep laying creative player in the centre of midfield is a recipe to get under pressure.

    At ManCity, Pep has pushed the creative players on the wings. KdB, Sterling, Sané, Mahrez all play on the wings.
    At Liverpool, the creative players are the front 3 and the fullback. Their midfield is a functional midfield.
    Mourinho favours Sissoko and Eric Dier as central midfielders.

    So Xhaka may not the refine ball player, we all would like to have at Arsenal, but may he is fine in the role Arteta gives him.

    We all remember Ramsey galloping forward and leaving a huge gap centrally. We need an upgrade on Xhaka, but that does not mean that his upgrade would perform a vastly different role anyway.

  18. Thorough

    Pedro.
    That 7am story isn’t bland, it’s magnificent. The responses even shed more light on how useless Xhaka is – a midfielder being made sterile. I’ll leave the below for you.

    COMMENT: Would you say that Arteta is turning Xhaka into, dare we say it, a “defensive midfielder”?

    TIM REPLIES: July 22, 2020 at 1:17 pm
    not really. he’s not tackling a lot or winning possession a lot.

    I think it’s hard for you to agree Arteta gets some wrong but Xhaka is a blatant mistake. If we get a good bit of business done and Arteta removes Xhaka for Partey and let Auba play central we’ll look a lot better. Those are two cardinal mistakes in our first 11.

  19. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    It’s more about Vals constant lying and need to feel like a big shot ITK with made up shit that he claims to have first hand knowledge of.

    He’s been harping on about Pepe relentlessly since day one and now he’s the only one with not 1 but 2 sources that tells him we’re going to flog him and lose 30m when he’s starting to adapt? Sure…

    Raul and Dahmer? Classy.

  20. Pedro

    Thorough, I disagree.

    We spent 6 months trying to make the starting 11 hard to beat. Everyone took one for the team on that front. We had average defender, we had an unbalanced midfield, and no #10. It worked.

    Xhaka was integral. Nearly always in the starting 11. Put in some great performances.

    I’m not sure anyone at Arsenal is looking at his numbers dip and worrying.

    If he’s replaced this summer, great, but to denigrate what he does for the side is really naive.

  21. Valentin

    Freddie,

    I would love if Pedro were to implement that comment history. See how you and Marc suddenly stop commenting for a few hours after Raul departure was announced.

    You are more interested in trying to prove that Raul did a great job (which he did not) than actually supporting Arsenal. You and Marc suffered from the Raul/Emery Stockholm syndrome.

    How long before the effect of that emotional kidnapping subside?

  22. Pedro

    RH, again, you have no credibility when it comes to numbers.

    You didn’t believe in xG until it started going against Arteta. Who really cares what you think about analysis you don’t understand?

  23. Champagne Charlie

    Still a hot take about us restructuring the side to ‘protect Xhaka’, the mind boggles at some of these assertions. I guess Tierney was getting protected by playing CB? Laca being protected as a false 9? Ceballos protected playing in a pivot for the first time ever?

    Arteta found a formula that made us hard to beat, dead simple. Xhaka was drafted in as defensive martial backside left, Ceballos plugged the passing gap he vacated centrally, Laca became a link player in the absence of a proper 10 ahead of them, Tierney/Kolasinac played CB to provide a mobile partner either side of the sweeping centre half, and bobs your uncle we found a way to beat Liverpool twice, City, and Chelsea en route to an FA cup win.

    Pretty good stuff for apparently having a few total non-entities out there, all those games won with 7 men. Mikel Arteta, what a man.

  24. Receding Hairline

    Goal impact…football is gonna die at the hand of all this silly analysts and statistics.

    Football is a very simple sport, if your key midfielder panics under pressure, can’t tackle cleanly and lacks pace you can take solace in things like goal impact. No self respecting midfielder gets tucked into left back to avoid pressure.

  25. Pierre

    Valentin
    De bruyne nor David Silva play on the wings .

    Debruyne plays in an inside right position and will occasionally drift inside or drift out wide.

  26. Receding Hairline

    “You didn’t believe in xG until it started going against Arteta.”

    I still don;t believe in xG, you either score or you don’t. I brought it up because you would’t keep quiet about it a few months ago now its no longer a hot stat for you. Hope goal impact lasts longer, you are a cassanova when it comes to stats, you use and dump.

  27. Pedro

    5th best defensive record under Arteta in the league.

    12th under Emery.

    Xhaka pretty much the first name on the starting 11 during that time period.

  28. Marc

    ” I guess Tierney was getting protected by playing CB?”

    You’er better than that CC – Tierney was moved inside because we had to play 3 at the back and didn’t have players that Arteta trusted to do the job.

  29. Pedro

    RH, so if you don’t believe in a number very standardised in football stats, no one is really going to give a shit what you think about goal impact… or what your hot take is on stats in general.

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    “See how you and Marc suddenly stop commenting for a few hours after Raul departure was announced.”

    I have 3 kids and I’m in a different time zone, on the other side of the world in fact. I can’t be here 24 hours a day? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

    “You are more interested in trying to prove that Raul did a great job (which he did not) than actually supporting Arsenal.”

    I take that back. This was dumber.

    I’m not interested in proving nything.

    Saliba, Martinelli, Pepe, Tierney was a great window, the best we had in ages, I don’t care if it was Raul or the fairy godmother who pulled it off. That window was the real start of the rebuild of the team I support, of course I’m happy with that you imbecile.

    That’s 4 young starters for years to come all with incredibly high ceilings, they might not have made an immediate impact but that’s the basis of our team in the future right there.

  31. Pedro

    The debate isn’t whether I’d buy him or want to keep him… it’s that there are some real weak hot takes that aren’t grounded with the context CC just gave.

    NUMBER GOES UP = GOOD
    NUMBER GOES DOWN = BAD

    Is not how it works I’m afraid.

  32. Valentin

    RH,

    I know a certain number of youth team coaches, for the simple fact that years ago I was attending nearly all the youth games for family reasons.

    I put into contact some into touch with one of my former colleague’s girlfriend who happen to be a great employment lawyer. She helped a couple of people out of tight spots. Because of that I am still in contact with some. My colleague passed away, so I have no idea what happen to her.

    Those people have their own connection to Arsenal. When two of them both mentioned a £40 millions and a £60 millions deal for Pepe, I would assume that there is some truth in it.

    Hence me asking Pedro if he can confirm or infirm the rumour. Like I said, I have no idea who initiated the deal and whether the attempt was genuine.

  33. Pedro

    Marc, for sure. If we had someone who could replicate what he does, but with more mobility and power, I’d be more than game for an upgrade.

  34. Pierre

    Xhaka has been a decent player fot Arteta, to his credit he has changed his game for the benefit of the team..especially in the matches against top 4 sides.

    But let’s not forget that we have lost 4 league games out of 10 since returning from lockdown , so it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

    If we were to start the new season how we finished the final 10 games , we would be wallowing in mid table.

    So I believe it is fair and just to question where we can improve the team and in what positions are we lacking.

    The link that was posted shows Xhaka’s shortcomings and his declining influence on the game.

    Whether it is to bring in a couple of midfielders to improve our creativity and let Xhaka sit in front of the defence or bring in players to replace xhaka , it is vital that for Arsenal to progress, we must bring in more technical midfield player .

  35. Pedro

    Marc, we’re in 2020, it doesn’t matter who’d have broke into which team of the past.

    Would Auba have started over Thierry or Robin? No. Does that mean we should sell him? No.

  36. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    You know it’s not a slight on Arteta to admit that Xhaka isn’t very good and is a limited player right?

    He did good limiting his mistakes by effectively making Xhaka the 4th CB but we suffered going forwards because of it. Would be nice to have a CM that can actually play in midfield without losing possession constantly nd folding under pressure or when faced with some pace.

    He worked with what he had last season so of course Xhaka was going to play, not many other options. If we bring back Ceballos and buy Partey he’ll be out no doubt. I can’t wait for us to actually play with a competent, fully functional midfield again so some people can be reminded of what that looks like.

  37. Marc

    Pierre

    Exactly the Cup win was fantastic and we’re all pleased with the signs of improvement that we’ve seen but we dropped points in 50% of our league matches after the return from lockdown. Every reasonable fan looks at the team at the moment and sees that midfield is the weakest area and desperately needs improvement.

  38. Dissenter

    It doesn’t seem that there’s an obligation for Florentine to buy Torriera after one season.
    We may be edging out bets that he will do so well that there will be other suitors next summer to boost the transfer fee.

  39. Pedro

    Freddie, I don’t think Xhaka is a very limited player. He was mistake prone in an unstructured system… but he was pivotal under Favre who is a tactical monster, and he’s been a mainstay for Arteta. The fact they were looking at him at City tells you there’s something there.

    I would happily see him replaced, but this idea that we improved defensively so well and it was inspite of Xhaka is disingenuous.

  40. Marc

    “You know it’s not a slight on Arteta to admit that Xhaka isn’t very good and is a limited player right?”

    My only criticism of Arteta in relation to Xhaka is stopping his sale in Jan – a crazy decision. Beyond that he was limited in what he could do because he inherited the squad and had to make the best he could of the situation.

  41. GunnerDNA

    Xhaka isn’t a bad player but his limitation are there for all to see. Since he joined Arsenal we haven’t played a single minute in the CL. Irrespective of how he’s done for the last 6 months, for Arsenal to progress he needs to be replaced in the starting 11. The lengthy debate when facts are there to support it, is pointing to agendas. Arsenal fans seems to want to turn the sports into politics. Whatever MA is doing to hide Xhaka weakness is hindering another area of the team, that’s facts!

  42. Marc

    Pedro

    “The fact they were looking at him at City tells you there’s something there.”

    Not sure I believe that I think that’s got “saying something nice about one of my players” all over it.

  43. Marko

    5th best defensive record under Arteta in the league.12th under Emery.Xhaka pretty much the first name on the starting 11 during that time period.

    Are we discounting the previous 3 and a half seasons of performances from him? Or how under Arteta we went uber defensive (offense suffered to a massive degree) with 5 in the back to compensate for how garbage we were. Now if we’re to assume that going forward Mikel is interested in playing the same kind of football then we’ll likely see more of this “improvement” from Xhaka but if instead Mikel plans on playing higher up the pitch with more progressive and offensive football then we’ll see how Xhaka responds to it. I’m guessing he’s going to revert to type whether he even has a place in Mikel’s new Arsenal

  44. GunnerDNA

    Pedro,

    Freddie, I don’t think Xhaka is a very limited player. He was mistake prone in an unstructured system”

    You can’t be serious!

  45. Luteo Guenreira

    So from the looks of it Arsenal have been throwing names like Guendouzi and Bellerin at PSG and seeing what sticks? And predictably they may not be interested in either?

    This is the part of the news cycle where fans are brought back down to earth, I guess. Need to see some sales please.

    Lacazette is probably the most desirable asset we have that we’re looking to sell.

  46. Valentin

    Pierre,

    I am not love with Xhaka. I think that he is a limited player who lacks mobility and explosivity when playing in area that requires that.

    However I am willing to acknowledge that he has other quality and that Arteta is making full use of those other quality.

    The other point is that a lot of people are pinning their hope on a central midfielder general who will dominate plays. Outside of Italy no great teams plays anymore with a No10 or even deep laying midfield general.

    Most of the creative players have been pushed outside. You may call them inverted wingers, but this is the new reality.

    If Arsenal were to have an upgrade on Xhaka, I am not convinced that the style of play would radically change. I think that even if we were to buy Partey and Aouar, Xhaka will remain as part of a central midfield pair. As the system requires an anchor. Arteta would not trust Aouar to defend properly. Asking Partey to play the anchor would be denying his best asset which is his ability to break lines.

  47. Pedro

    Pierre, once in a lifetime season delay isn’t really where you should be looking for patterns.

    Arsenal finished 1 point off 4th when Arteta started sitting in the dugout.

    Can we do way better? Absolutely. But if we approached this season with the same squad, we’d be in contention for top 4… not midtable.

  48. Marc

    Luteo

    Which is why the crazy refusal to look at selling AMN is so bad. I’m not suggesting that we should sell him on the cheap but we need to look at which of our players are fringe players and can generate a decent fee.

  49. James wood.

    I see Xhaka as a
    Henderson.
    Parker
    Noble.
    Barry.
    Milner
    Winks
    Type player
    With Henderson being the best?
    However these players and former players
    where rarely criticised by their fans and in most
    cases regularly pencilled in from season to season.
    Xhaka is the best we have in that position and thus will
    be pencilled in until we have another player to do that
    job the above all do.

  50. Uwot?

    What exactly does hacker bring to the side that another 1/2 midfielders of above average ability( not necessarily world class ) couldn’t improve on? I’m curious.I will say under Arteta he’s less calamitous to be fair.But no one is going to convince me we’d improve as a side by a good 30% if we had better options.

  51. Champagne Charlie

    “You’er better than that CC – Tierney was moved inside because we had to play 3 at the back and didn’t have players that Arteta trusted to do the job.“

    The level of irony to talk about players Arteta trusted and to simultaneously dismiss Xhaka’s output.

    So I take it Xhaka wasn’t pulled back left to provide a progressive avenue that Tierney or Holding couldn’t? Or create space for him or his CM partner to get more time on the ball? Really odd to champion an idea that Arteta included Xhaka in the XI just to move him out the way.

    “Would be nice to have a CM that can actually play in midfield without losing possession constantly”

    Yea totally…

    – Ceballos played 1699 minutes in the PL and was dispossessed 30 times with a pass completion of 87%.

    – Xhaka played 2591 minutes in the PL and was dispossessed 12 times with a pass completion of 88%.

  52. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    I can’t be bothered going over something this obvious again so I’ll just copy paste what Marko said above:

    “Or how under Arteta we went uber defensive (offense suffered to a massive degree) with 5 in the back to compensate for how garbage we were. Now if we’re to assume that going forward Mikel is interested in playing the same kind of football then we’ll likely see more of this “improvement” from Xhaka but if instead Mikel plans on playing higher up the pitch with more progressive and offensive football then we’ll see how Xhaka responds to it. I’m guessing he’s going to revert to type whether he even has a place in Mikel’s new Arsenal”

    If we revert back from the 7 defensive players we played with against the top teams Xhaka will be drifting at sea again struggling to keep up, he didn’t when we played a low block but I really hope that’s not going to be the way forward with a new look defence and if we get some proper midfielders in.

    Don’t think that’s what Arteta has in mind, definitely not looking at the players we’re targeting.

  53. GunnerDNA

    Marc,

    “DNA

    Imagine being able to swap Xhaka for a peak Vieira or Gilberto? We’d have got top 4 and we’d looked a completely different outfit.”

    Its disrespectful to mention Xhaka in any sentence with Vieira and Gilberto. He’s no better than Alex Song or Mathieu Flamini before they got caught up in their own hype. What you aren’t noticing is that anything to justify the continuous hero worshiping of anything Mikel is constantly flooding the internet to justify that said agenda.

  54. Marc

    Freddie

    There’s actually a step beyond what you’ve said above. I think Arteta will be very conservative when playing against the top 4-6 teams but he can’t do that against lower teams, the fans will get on his back and it certainly didn’t work very well after lockdown.

  55. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Ceballos played 1699 minutes in the PL and was dispossessed 30 times with a pass completion of 87%.–

    Xhaka played 2591 minutes in the PL and was dispossessed 12 times with a pass completion of 88%.

    Ceballos struggled to adapt the first 6-8 months, but sure compare him to a player that’s been here the last 4 years and been racking up the mistakes leading to goals. When he’s been played in midfield, not as part of a back 7.

    Must be all those dribbles Xhaka attempts too, and the risky progressive passing….

  56. Pedro

    Freddie, we didn’t reshape the entire team around Xhaka’s weaknesses. If there were fears that Granit was going to fail next season in a more attacking system, Xhaka would be getting binned to Germany this summer.

    Notable he’s not on the outbound list. Likely because that analysis isn’t on the mark-o. lolol

  57. Marc

    DNA

    Yeah right now there are sections where criticism of anything Arteta does is attacked with more anger than the Church did when Life of Brian came out!

  58. Freddie Ljungberg

    Marc

    Yeah, I think we’ll still do it away to the top teams until the team building is complete and we can go toe to toe with them. But it’s only going to be a handful of matches.

    (After the new players have adapted of course, until then we’re probably forced to play the same way)

  59. Buzzy

    Till the time Xhaka works on his right foot, he’ll always be an average midfielder..his position is probably the one on the pitch which demands the highest technical prowess..his long passing ability and our new formation has somewhat covered his inability which primarily includes a poor first touch when receiving the ball facing away from a oncoming player..that will more often than not result in gifting the opposition the ball in the moat dangerous area as we’ve seen so often

  60. GunnerDNA

    Arsenal was lucky Xhaka big mistake didn’t cot them in the FA Cup final. Xhaka is like an accident waiting to happen in that midfield. Bin!

  61. Luteo Guenreira

    Marc

    Yeah the hesitancy to part with either Bellerin or AMN is curious to me. I feel like fans have a hard time staying in the moderate part of the spectrum in their opinions of players from the teams they support.

  62. Receding Hairline

    When/if Xhaka loses his place in the first team under Arteta expect a similar defense from Pedro explaining why, heck he might even use the “bland” analysis Pierre posted.

    For now we are in supreme leaders mode, wonder when it wears off and objective discussion’s about this team resume again on here.

  63. GunnerDNA

    “DNA

    Yeah right now there are sections where criticism of anything Arteta does is attacked with more anger than the Church did when Life of Brian came out!”

    They are the some of the same fans who formed the group WOB, and was always in constant fight against the fans who they see as AKB, now they are repeating the same thing, when the Club is the star.

  64. Thorough

    Pedro, Tim is a star nerd. He practically popularized xG and most of these Stat vocabularies that we bandy around. I’ll paste the crux of his argument here and if you still don’t agree we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    ‘here so…

    Ok so, here’s the deal: Mikel Arteta has “restored” Granit Xhaka by taking the ball away from him. His pass numbers per90 are down from 86 per game to 66 on the season and those have dropped even further to just 55 since the June restart.

    His total touches are down from 95 to 75 on the season and just 63 per90 since the restart. His touches in the final third are down from 18 to 11, and carries are down from 67 per90 last season to 55 this season and just 40 since the restart. And his progressive distance carried is down from 142 per90 last season, to 124 this season and an incredibly poor 88 since the restart.

    No longer being asked to be the main man with the ball, Xhaka’s pass completion percentage is up and his number of passes straight out of play are down from 1.37 p90 to 0.69 – his passes blocked, intercepted, and offside are all down similarly.

    Xhaka’s SCA90 (shot creating actions) numbers are also down: from open play, Xhaka’s SCA went from 2.08 per90 to 1.19. His progressive passing distance has cratered from over 400 per90 to 299 over the season and further down to 181 since the restart. And his number of progressive passes p90 are also down from 9.78 to 6.1 and just 4.1 since the restart.

    Xhaka’s passes into the final third are an astonishingly low 5.3 since June. This is a guy who averaged 10 final third passes per90 under Wenger and he’s had a total of 35 final third passes in the 8 matches since the restart.

    Arteta’s move to add a third center back has also relieved some of Xhaka’s defensive duties:

    tackles are down from 2.23 per90 last season to 1.2 since the restart
    interceptions are down from 1.2 last season to 0.75 since the restart
    Passes blocked are WAAAAAY up: 0.94 last season, 1.5 since the restart
    pressures are the same
    but the errors are all gone
    Now I know that someone will read this and say “yabbut we played Spurs and Liverpool since the restart and you will be correct! However… against Spurs, his progressive passing was 418m and progressive carries were 191m. And against Norwich he managed just 75m progressive carry distance.

    And before you cry “small sample size!” it’s not just these 8 matches, the entire season’s progressive passing numbers, touches, carries, shot creation numbers, tackles, etc. are all down.

    What it looks like in the stats and in the eye test is that Arteta has very smartly moved the focus away from Xhaka. Arteta simplified Xhaka’s game, told him to sit in front of the defenders more, penetrate less, run less, carry less, and even pass less. And since he’s no longer the main man with the ball in midfield that means that he’s no longer the main man that Arsenal fans want to criticize when things go wrong.

    Qq’

  65. Marko

    generally, when someone gets better, you don’t say…’but, what about 2018′

    Yeah but also when you discuss a player you don’t just focus on a really small time frame and disregard the unique circumstances involved and his everything else previous. Especially when you factor in that going forward with new signings and more time with the coach that we won’t likely be playing such boring pussified football. I mean if going forward Mikel plans on going with playing deep with 5 at the back and hoping to counter through the wingbacks like he was doing towards the end of the season then we’re going to be discussing much more dire issues in the future and Xhaka will be the least of our problems.

  66. Paulinho

    “Think there’s real interest in Hector.”

    Yep, I don’t remember an Ornstein tweet stating any top club were definitely in for Guendouzi.

  67. BacaryisGod

    I agree with those who think Valentin is an attention seeker. If his sources are so good he should know the answers to the questions he’s asking Pedro.

  68. Champagne Charlie

    Freddie

    Ceballos played what amounts to roughly 10 games less than Xhaka and was dispossessed nearly 20 times more than him.

    Disingenuous as you like to claim that down to ‘struggling to adapt’. Suppose I should expect nothing less

    – Ceballos made 1251 passes and 309 forward passes (24.7%). Or 70.4 and 17.4 per 90 mins.

    – Xhaka made 1903 passes and 531 forward passes (27.9%). Or 66.1 and 18.4 per 90 mins.

    Not exactly polarising given Xhaka was apparently shunted to left back and out the game so Ceballos could dictate things with his superior passing.

  69. Captain Tierney

    Xhaka’s improvement under Arteta is clear for any and everyone to see, if you are arguing against it then it means you cant accept that you just got proven wrong in your hot take that Xhaka is just a very bad player.
    I was in the Xhaka out camp for a long time and I’m happy that Xhaka is proving me wrong.
    He is making less and less mistakes now compared to under Wenger and Emery. Thats also down to Arteta drilling in the team a pattern of play especially when playing out from the back. This was the phase where Xhaka was guilty of losing the ball most, sometimes due to a lapse in concentration, sometimes due to his lack of mobility. Under Arteta , every player seems to know where the ball is going to go next and that had helped not only Xhaka but also the likes of Mustafi and Luiz.
    Xhaka is also not wasting possession by trying to score from 40 yards which was like a ritual for him Pre- Arteta or maybe pre-Xhaka-Arsenal fans drama.
    Add to that his positioning has increased and Arteta doesn’t use him as the deep lying midfielder to cover the backline like Emery and Wenger did. This allows him and the team to not get caught out on counters or tricky midfielders as much ad pre-Arteta.

    If we upgrade on Xhaka , it’ll be great, if we cant I’m sure he’ll do a good job for use next season.

  70. Freddie Ljungberg

    CC

    Disingenuous? Have a lie down. How much wasn’t Ceballos hammered on here for being crap first half of the season, you think he’s excepted from players coming from another league and needing time to adapt?

    He admitted as much himself and said he struggled with the pace of the game initially.

    Aren’t you the same guy constantly saying any new player will take a year before they can have any meaningful impact, especially younger players? What changed? Oh, yeah, you’re struggling to make Xhaka look good again. Carry on.

  71. Marko

    https://www.whoscored.com/PlayerComparison

    I mean you can check out the comparisons with Xhaka and Ceballos from last season with Ceballos coming out on top overall and some interesting categories which might explain the dispossessed stat charles threw up quite conveniently. Like I dunno maybe it could be explained away cause Ceballos made more dribbles and key passes per game than Xhaka. But yeah I dunno I personally think Ceballos’s stats pre lockdown matter little because he was injured for Mikel at the start and out of favour a little for the previous managers. His end of season form when he worked himself into the manager’s plans and flourished should be the better indicator

  72. Freddie Ljungberg

    Captain T

    “Xhaka’s improvement under Arteta is clear for any and everyone to see, if you are arguing against it then it means you cant accept that you just got proven wrong in your hot take that Xhaka is just a very bad player.

    He is making less and less mistakes now compared to under Wenger and Emery.

    Yeah, because he was played in a low defensive block and didn’t have to do the usual things a CM is expected to do, or at least much less of them.
    Are you expecting us to play like that the majority of the games next season? If so Xhaka is fine I guess. No need for Partey, roll on the good times of not being able to beat bottom half teams again.

  73. Zacharse

    Funny that Pedro is being called a nerd here. Numbers = Nerds

    Xhaka’s fine. He fights for the shirt. Yall should shut up about Players like him while we still have players like Guen and Ozil on the books. We made Europa League by the skin of our teeth after arteta ended what could Have spiraled out into a decade long disaster.
    Were not in champions league and we’re skint. Xhaka is reflective of that.

    Seeing news today that Lemar might have to go in a firesale, wont sign an extension, dont know how serious it really is but hes another classy player in need of an arteta shaped makeover. Hes pedro age as well i think (17-23) 🤣

  74. Champagne Charlie

    Thorough

    That data dive has absolutely no context to it at all, it revolves around one player to propagate an opinion.

    Where are the total team numbers of passes, progressions etc to illustrate that it wasn’t our entire team that was being simplified and it was Xhaka? It’s isolated data which tells half the story.

    Xhaka could’ve actually passed more relative to his previous self if the teams passing figures were halved for instance. Isolated data leaves more questions than answers to anything.

    Tells a story that Arteta came in, told Xhaka to pass less and upturned our whole output because of it. Management sounds easy on that basis, sign me up.

  75. Captain Tierney

    Mesut’s training with the first team again.
    Personally I’d love a Mesut comeback story but I’m heavily biased.

  76. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Yall should shut up about Players like him while we still have players like Guen and Ozil on the books”

    Nothing wrong with Guens fighting spirit or dedication on the pitch, it’s off field stuff that has seen him out of favour. With Ozil it’s both.

  77. Zacharse

    Also i’m glad to see Dani return. He can do a job and he knows his future is extremely tied up to what happens this season . Exactly what you want of a player coming in on loan

  78. Zacharse

    Guen refused to put the team before himself and apologize. Inthink thats the opposite of team spirit. That just looks like team spirit to NERDS

  79. Thorough

    What most Xhaka supporters don’t understand is that ‘taking away ball from your midfielder’ is a tacit agreement that he isn’t good enough. I’m Nigerian and we once had a player called Henry Nwosu. The coach told the team ‘do not pass to any marked player, but even with 2 people on Nwosu feel free to pass to him’. He’s probably the best playmaker we ever heard, older heads around me think he was even better than Jayjay.

    Those brain farts Xhaka was/is prone to is the reason why we can’t trust him with the ball, it’s called making do. If we really want to move forward we need to get rid of him from that first 11. You can’t have a midfielder who can’t be comfortable with the ball, it is not done.

    If Arsenal was in a UCL final, a level where games are decided on fine margins, will you trust Xhaka to provide a defense splitting pass or trust him not to give the opponent a free shot on goal as he does every 90 minutes?

  80. Captain Tierney

    Freddie

    We only played the deep block against Chelsea, Citeh and Pool.
    And Tbf , Xhaka is a better option to have against deep blocks than Partey.

    The reason for us not being able to win against low blocks was down to the lack of creativity in the side. Xhaka has never been a creator. He is a supplier, dictator but not a creator. The only really creative option we had last season was Mesut and us finishing 16th in chances created coincided with him being out of the team for most of the season.
    The next best creator we had last season was Pepe who had an up and down season.

  81. Pierre

    Tierney
    “Personally I’d love a Mesut comeback story but I’m heavily biased.”

    Who wouldn’t love a Mesut comeback , not that I’m biased in any way.

  82. Champagne Charlie

    Freddie

    I’m very forgiving of new players, but taking care of the ball is a basic skill and the newer the player the safer and more protective of the ball typically they are.

    I’d not have expected consistent attacking output (which was his remit when he arrived), but still he started like a house on fire if you don’t remember. Does that get counted because it was good? Then we discount the lesser inputs because they were bad?

    I’m happy with how Ceballos performed when he was rebranded, I think him and Xhaka did really well as a duo centrally and we profited heavily off their collaboration. But I stop short of this idea Ceballos replaces Xhaka when Partey arrives, it’s the other way around.

    Partey isn’t a defensive anchor in the manner Xhaka has developed, he’s a #8 ball carrier that is mobile and defensively/tactically astute. So where Ceballos did well in a pinch last season, I don’t think we’ll see that same approach as frequently this coming one with all arrivals landing. Xhaka will continue to do the dirty work, Partey will deliver a more dynamic and robust Ceballos effort, and Ceballos will collaborate further forward more often than not is my view.

  83. Pierre

    Tierney
    “. The only really creative option we had last season was Mesut and us finishing 16th in chances created coincided with him being out of the team for most of the season.”

    Get in…at last , someone who knows and understands the game.

    Imagine the uproar on Le Grove if I had said that.

  84. Zacharse

    Thorough

    Players much better than Xhaka have had much worse brain farts more recently. Should man city sell Ederson? Should liverpool sell can dijk? Xhaka shows he can play in a side that can win the fa cup and fet us back to Europe. Let him do hisntalking on the pitch this year. He deserves to be there after the improvement between the beginning and the end of last season

  85. Freddie Ljungberg

    Captain T

    We played 5 at the back in more games than that.

    Not claiming Xhaka is a creator, he’s obviously not, us playing lower because our CBs and CMs wouldn’t get exposed sure didn’t help us offensively though.

    Ozil created 1 big chance in all the matches he played. He wasn’t missed. We did miss a real creative player though, partly rectified with Willian who’s already a huge upgrade and maybe we’ll get something more there.

  86. Captain Tierney

    CC

    It was Dani playing as the deepest lying midfielder when paired with Xhaka so I think a Partey-Ceballos pivot might just work aplomb.

    Pierre

    Most here would hate that just like we are seeing now with Xhaka.
    Add to that his 350k a week wages and support for the Uighur population and the comment section might just go berserk.
    Thankfully, the fans in the stadium seem to support Mesut when he is on the pitch and are not bothered with his wages

  87. Thorough

    Champagne Charlie.
    We can debate all we want but what is clear and obvious is Arteta is taking the ball away from Xhaka and there’s a reason for it.

    Let me paste something from Tim in the comment session
    ‘I mean if a manager needed to come in and take the ball away from Fabregas, Vieira, or Cazorla and then just have those guys basically just sit static in midfield. Personally, I see these stats as hugely damning of the player and Arteta just throwing his hands up to fix him.’

    That’s my final take on Xhaka limitation.

    When are we signing Aouar and Partey?

  88. Habesha Gooner

    Yay Another Xhaka debate. I am hoping Aouar Partey and Ceballos bench him and He hopes to leave next season on good form ( provided he will play some games) and we can recoup some good money for him.

  89. englandsbest

    I’m an optimist. Ozil is training with first team to get himself fit for a medical so he can transfer to a club somewhere in Saudi Arabia.

  90. Marc

    “Xhaka’s improvement under Arteta is clear for any and everyone to see, if you are arguing against it then it means you cant accept that you just got proven wrong in your hot take that Xhaka is just a very bad player.”

    No one is saying Xhaka wasn’t better under Arteta – there are two arguments that are going on however. 1) is why Xhaka was better 2) being better than fucking awful doesn’t equal being good.

  91. Captain Tierney

    Freddie

    I agree that Ozil had his worst season last time out.
    But even then he was our top chance creator last season (maybe tied with Pepe or fell down to 2nd near the end of season).

    Do you recall when did we have our best patch of form last season?
    I do, it was when Arteta arrived, Arsenal were 11th, closer to relegation spot than 4th place with no hope of qualifying for Europe. Then we went unbeaten in the league until it shutdown so like 2 and half months . The fans and the team also started dreaming about Europe again.
    Do you recall what coincided with this purple patch?
    Ozil starting every league game.

    Go figure.

  92. SpanishDave

    To get 4th we need to construct a solid energetic creative midfield.
    We are a long way off achieving this
    Xhaka would not get a look in with any other top six club, he’s very average.

  93. Thorough

    Zacharse.
    Pires missed an open net.

    Henry could have won us UCL with a security goal.

    The difference is they don’t do that always.

    Xhaka does that every game.

    Even the first chance Chelsea had in the fa cup final was from Xhaka.

    This shit is gonna haunt and hurt us eventually.

  94. Freddie Ljungberg

    “Then we went unbeaten in the league until it shutdown so like 2 and half months . The fans and the team also started dreaming about Europe again.
    Do you recall what coincided with this purple patch?
    Ozil starting every league game.”

    Yup, I remember, we eked out draws or 1 goal wins in most of them and Ozil had very little impact as per usual.

    He did put in a bit more effort than normally though so credit to him I guess? Imagine if we had a top creative player in his place though, wouldn’t that have been nice…

  95. Marc

    Wasi

    “Do you recall when did we have our best patch of form last season?
    I do, it was when Arteta arrived, ”

    Er Arteta drew his first match, lost his second and then got a good win against ManU. In fact in his first 7 PL matches he only managed 1 win with 5 draws and a loss.

  96. Champagne Charlie

    “We can debate all we want but what is clear and obvious is Arteta is taking the ball away from Xhaka and there’s a reason for it.“

    That’s literally what isn’t clear and obvious. What’s clear and obvious, as stated in the numbers you gave, is that Xhaka was passing less etc etc, but there’s no context provided that points to it being a managerial cue, or whether he’s passing less because the team as a whole in that period was passing less and progressing play less.

    “It was Dani playing as the deepest lying midfielder when paired with Xhaka so I think a Partey-Ceballos pivot might just work aplomb.“

    Disagree mate, but excited at the prospect of having actual options this season. Xhaka, Partey, Ceballos, Aouar, Willock, ESR….even Willian is a really nice development. Hopefully all arrive.

  97. Marc

    MGooner

    Well the hope is that Coutinho is a back up plan if we can’t pull off the other signings we’re being linked to.

    Of course it might all be paper bollocks.

  98. Pierre

    It has to be said, we were playing better football before the lockdown.

    The FA cup was an incredible achievement by Arteta amd the team but I’m sure he recognises our weaknesses , especially when you look at our poor league form during the run in .

    I’m expecting him to address those weaknesses before the end of the transfer window .

  99. BacaryisGod

    MGooner

    Coutinho’s not coming. We want Partey and Partey wants us but we are scrambling to offload players to raise funds to buy him.

    That’s the best outcome we can hope for. Coutinho is a pipe dream.

  100. Captain Tierney

    Drawing and winning games was a whole lot better than losing week in week out under Emery.

    Then there’s also the human ascept to consider like players mental health after that horrific run of form and league position under Emery, the continuous downward spiral and negativity coming in from every available angle.
    Auba waiting for Barca , Laca being binned for Nketiah, Xhakagate, Ozilgate, Amn throwing his toys out the pram, Sokratis playing RB, 18yo academy player playing LB because both first team left backs out injured, murmurings of Raul scandal, etc etc.

  101. Captain Tierney

    CC

    If your disagreement is that Ceballos wasnt the deepest lying midfielder under Arteta then I would suggest you to check out the average position of our players under Arteta, I think that will clear the doubt.

    If you think Ceballos wont work with Partey, then its fair because only time will tell if it does or does not. Heck we dont even have Partey yet.

  102. Captain Tierney

    The Premier League confirms that it has today terminated its agreements for #PL coverage in China with its licensee in that territory.

    The #PL will not be commenting further on the matter at this stage

    Thoughts?

  103. Marc

    Wasi

    Interesting – Can’t see it being a case of the PL suddenly growing a sense of morality. I know company’s that had major issues with China copy products and breaking patents etc but unless they’ve been “reselling” matches to other countries I have no idea.

    Of course it might be China telling the PL we’re not paying anymore.

  104. Captain Tierney

    Marc

    Read somewhere they cut the streams because the licensee has previous payments due and is not paying up.
    I personally also cannot see the league growing a sense of morality considering the population of China and the money involved.

  105. azed

    I don’t like Xhaka but three different managers with different philosophies all played him. That should tell you there’s something about him.

  106. Tee

    Another xhaka argument day.

    Arteta didn’t change tactics all because of xhaka but because of the whole team.

    If you are justifying the “xhaka is rubbish” mantra because we haven’t made the UCL place since he joined then does the same makes aubameyang rubbish too? I stand to be corrected but did he play any UCL match for us?

    We are sweating to offload the soon to be world-class Guen – according to some here while xhaka was a subject of a £30M transfer in January. This shows that xhaka is presently more valuable than Guen – the headless chicken.

    Xhaka has his flaws just like any of our players and he isn’t the sole reason why we are shit in the middle like some posters are trying to paint here.

  107. Dissenter

    Does anyone think Ozil will put his body on the line for the team when he’s getting ready for the last major contract of his career?

    Arteta will probably give him a chance, he’ll laze about again and be banished from the team.

  108. Dissenter

    This is the fastest our transfer activity has ever been…and that just says a lot about how comatose we’ve been as a club for the past decade.
    Edu must be working his arse off at the moment.

  109. Chika

    “I am not love with Xhaka. I think that he is a limited player who lacks mobility and explosivity when playing in area that requires that.”

    Sounds like a description of Ceballos.

  110. Dissenter

    If you’re to believe Marko,Marc and Freddie, then you’ll be convinced that we are winning the league once we replace Xhaka.
    There’s no certainty a new midfielder will light up the scene so quickly. Ndombele struggled with Poch and then Mourhino, nothing is a given.

    Never forget tha Xhaka was ready to walk away from all the gooner drama, he’s not some leech sucking the life out of the club. He’s just a footballer with flawsand all, trying to do his best for the team

  111. Marc

    “I don’t like Xhaka but three different managers with different philosophies all played him.”

    Wenger – went senile and spent £35 million on a highly limited player.

    Emery – Pronounced by Le Grove as completely out of his depth at a club like Arsenal.

    Arteta – A rookie who inherited a squad.

  112. Marc

    “If you are justifying the “xhaka is rubbish” mantra because we haven’t made the UCL place since he joined then does the same makes aubameyang rubbish too?”

    Stupid comment bordering on retarded. In his 2 full seasons at Arsenal he’s won the Golden boot and come 2nd. He’s also the fastest player in our history to reach 50 PL goals.

  113. Marc

    Dissenter

    I’ve never said that but we’ll have a thousand fold better chance of getting CL football with a replacement unless the transfer committee royally fucks things up.

    With CL football comes more money and we’re more attractive to players we want to sign so in a strange way getting rid of Xhaka is the first step to winning the PL title again.

  114. Chika

    “I don’t like Xhaka but three different managers with different philosophies all played him. That should tell you there’s something about him.”

    Same with his previous club and national team. People dismissively say he was moved to an inverted LB role to accommodate his weaknesses, like he didn’t have to learn the new role and execute it adequately.

  115. London gunner

    Mad to think auba has never won a league title. He always plays for the underdogs. Feel bad for him coz his quality deserves it

  116. GunnerDNA

    I hope Ozil has already played his last game for Arsenal. Seeing him smiling in training photos is just sickening. He was just criticizing the Club and now he’s back acting like nothing happened. Shameless!