MAGICAL DEBUTS FOR WILLIAN AND GABRIEL

by .

Arsenal hit the ground running with a clinical dismantling of a hapless Fulham. The story of the day was all about the debutants. Willian landed two assists with a shout for a third and Gabriel kept a clean sheet and bulleted a header for his first goal.

The starting line-up looked very conservative, if Unai Emery had picked a starting 11 with so many defenders, we might have shrieked in complaint. However, this is a different era. Arteta’s 5 at the back is a little different. Maitland-Niles and Tierney added a lot to our attacking build-up play allowing us to play some joyful attacking football at times.

The midfield base was Xhaka and Elneny. Not where I thought we’d be at this stage of the season, but the two of them worked really well together. Mo(dric) is more mobile than Xhaka and he’s super tidy. He’s an engine room of a player, moving the ball fast, accurately (95% pcr), and mostly forwards. His height and size also gives us something. Granit Xhaka looked composed and fit, he completed the most progressive balls into the final third, his one into the box was a sight to behold, finding Auba with an over the shoulder pass Pirlo would have purred over.

Our defensive structure was solid again. Admittedly, Fulham really offered very little in way of threat. Our biggest errors were mostly self-made, the biggest scare came when AMN passed to Gabriel and the Brazilian ghosted the ball requiring Bernd Leno to be fast on his feet to stop the encroaching striker. He warmed as the game progressed. His erratic passing started to improve and his tackling sharpened. I think most of us forgot he’d not played for the best part of 6 months.

Rob Holding also looked very steady. Arsenal.com showed the Bolton boy dropping stepovers in training, he took that into Fulham’s half with a lovely bit of technique that opened up an attack. I wasn’t sure he had it in him to play at the level we need, but he’s getting better and better and the manager has told him he’s going nowhere.

Bernd Leno was under some extreme scrutiny. Martinez is off to Villa and there are a lot of hurt feelings in the fanbase. The German was fine. He’s a world-class keeper and he breezed the 90 minutes.

Hector Bellerin made a pretty excellent case for his continued inclusion in the plans of the manager. He looks fit, he’s grown out his fade, and he’s sharpened his attacking prowess. Everything about his game looks better at the moment. It is VERY interesting that after Vinai said Arsenal don’t sign players based on agent reccos that the squad didn’t contain Cedric Soares.

AMN worked hard for the team, his passing was a little off, 75% isn’t going to be his best number this season, but it was in the name of a vital role for our build-up play and he seemed to spend most of his time on the left. Rio Ferdinand had this to say on what he was doing for the team.

‘Maitland-Niles is a wing-back and when you speak about wing-backs you’d expect him to be in the wide areas, coming out consistently throughout the game.

‘He’s done anything but that, he comes in, passes the ball and his first run after that is to run inside and create an overload in midfield.

‘He comes straight into the midfield area and what that does is it causes confusion and causes them to have more numbers in there than they’d usually have.

‘After that, you’ve got the width being created by Aubameyang, your main goalscoring threat, and the left-sided centre-half, Tierney, he’s the man who creates the width.

‘It’s so different to what you expect from a three at the back. You normally see it being quite rigid and you know where people are.

‘When you’re a player out there and you don’t see players in the positions you expect to see them in, that is a confusing element.

‘That’s what Arteta seems to be doing and we see are they a well-drilled team? Yes, they are.’

Some people questioned Mikel keeping AMN. I couldn’t be more pro his inclusion. The guy is an absolute expert at executing tactical plans. I’m so happy for him, he’s an absolutely class act.

Tierney also had a good game, his pass completion was 86%, and some of them were dreamy to watch. He is going to be hugely important to our success this season, I really hope we keep him fit.

In attack, it was another positive game for Auba. We played out of the back in now trademark fashion, Willian switched the ball to him on the left, he cut inside and fizzed his shot into the top corner. We know what we’re getting with Auba, game-changing finishing every week. Rio Ferdinand told BT that he’s a player you always feel is going to do something, that’s a huge compliment.

Willian shut the doubters up (lololol) with an incredible debut. He’s sharp in the mind, he’s electric on the ball, and he gave us the sort of creativity we’ve been lacking. Near 100% pass completion. A hand in all 3 goals. He’s slotted right in. I think he’ll be very important to our success, what a dreamy player. I particularly liked that he kept Pepe benched. The Ivorian came roaring onto the field when he landed his minutes. We need a better level from him this season. The occasional flutter of magic isn’t enough at the highest level. We need him more present. Hopefully, Willian will push his game.

Not every game will be a simple as this one, but you can only play what is in front of you. I read that this game was our best xG against away from home in 5 years. The players were focused and motivated. Everyone wanted to be on the pitch. The squad is finally united around a vision. They all want success, and who would bet against it? We look a different animal these days and everything coming out of the club is positive. What a difference 6 months can make.

Do we still need signings? Absolutely. I think they’ll arrive. I think the biggest need is a dynamic #8.  We lack a bit of midfield dazzle. Balls into the box rarely come from central midfield, Xhaka and Elneny between them put the ball in the box once, so that needs to change, particularly against teams that’ll have more organised defensive structures. I think we’d all love a #6, but we could survive without one. Hopefully, we sign two players, the desire is there, the challenge is raising enough funds to make it happen.

The manager made a statement of Mesut and Matteo. They aren’t part of our future. Matteo will have to find a new club. Mesut will likely just sit out the season to make a point no one cares about.

Might also be worth a small mention about the Ceballos and Eddie dustup. It looked like handbags and both of them made up on Insta after the game. Best pals again.

Next up is West Ham. They are in total disarray. Players in open revolt against the club. A shambles on the pitch. We are normally a gift for beleaguered managers, let’s hope we’re not next Saturday. A huge Top 4 game today when Spurs and Everton go head to head at Goodison Park. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

WE ARE BACK! See you in the comments. x

 

520 Responses to “MAGICAL DEBUTS FOR WILLIAN AND GABRIEL”

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  1. Tom

    Redbro
    Pepe is by far the most instinctive and exciting dribbler in the league but his all around game is poor. Here’s hoping Arteta can unlock his potential.It would be a shame if there wasn’t more to his game than an occasional moment of brilliance.

  2. China1

    In the group stages, most EL teams are no better than Fulham. we just dispatched them without breaking a sweat with a team that had no saka, Pepe, Ceballos, luiz, Martinelli, etc etc

    We have a more than capable squad to bully it’s way through most EL games without most of the starting 11

  3. redbro14

    Tom, agree with you. Must produce more, as we are not as strong on the right hand side as we are on the left with Auba and Tierney.

  4. Pedro

    Stew, it was a great article.

    I think that risk is essential. Sanchez gave the ball away horrendously when he was in our side. I think the problem for Arsenal was we didn’t have a fail-safe plan. I reckon Arteta wants a risk taker back in the midfield.

    Also interesting that Thierry, in his prime, had the most shots on target and off target in the league.

  5. Graham62

    CG

    Must be great to be able to change your agenda just for the hell of it.

    From relegation fodder to winning the league in one fell swoop.

    You can do no wrong.

    Yep, just a troll.

  6. Marc

    OK today’s plan – the sun is shining and it’s a gorgeous day.

    F1 race and some Gazpacho for lunch.

    Then watch Everton bitch slap the Spuddie’s

    Followed by a rather excellent Bavette steak for evening meal.

    Oh yeah there maybe a couple of cold beers in the mix as well.

  7. Captain Tierney

    Red

    In the 3-4-3, Aoaur easily steps in for Elneny I reckon.
    But a 4-3-3 should be the best formation to allow him to play at his very best.

  8. salparadisenyc

    Would be a real coup for United if they were to pull Thiago from Klopp. Wish the player would just go back to Pep and put an end to all this its tormenting me.

    Imagine the United wage is pretty elevated.

  9. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    Ronaldo had some of the most obscene numbers for off target shooting and the like, real protagonists cycle through a large volume. If your attackers are one and two shots a game then it’s dreary reading.

    Alexis got lots of stick for turnovers and stray passes etc but the sheer volume he’d get through always boosted these “negative” statistical remarks.

    Arsenal need a passer in the final third that isn’t a 95% completed merchant, we need an 80-85% stud making outrageous efforts to probe and unlock things.

  10. Bojangles

    Goober

    “Bojangles
    What would the positives have been of keeping Wilshere?”

    Go back and read the post. I’m not guilty of mentioning Wilshire, now nor any time in the past 3 years.

  11. Marko

    Still AMN links to wolves which I’m delighted with because we still need to sell in order to buy the likes of Partey and Aouar and still so far the only ones seemingly being offered decent money is Martinez and AMN. Torreira again looks like a loan offer, Bellerin if he even is in the shop window looks like Barcelona are interested in a swap, Arteta looks like he’s having trouble letting go of Lacazette and Guendouzi doesn’t seem to be having a lot of interest. We might be forced to bite the bullet hold back the tears and like Martinez make a decision about AMN that benefits the club going forward.

  12. Marc

    Marko

    Why can’t Saka fill in / play at LWB? We know he’s capable of the defensive side of the game and he’ll offer us a left footed delivery as well.

    I just don’t see what AMN brings that is so amazing. Once we’ve got a full compliment of CB’s fit Tierney should be first choice whether it’s LB or LWB.

    It keeps coming back to the accusation that Arteta is hoarding players and we’ll end up pissing players off trying to keep everyone happy.

  13. Ernest Reed

    “How dare you suggest I’d partake in more than 2 beers on a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon that has loads of televised sport.”

    You are right Marc, more than 2 beers are for crappy weather days! Enjoy my good man!!

  14. Bamford10

    Leicester were not as strong a team post-COVID, but much of that was down to their being without key first-XI players (Maddison, Pereira and Chilwell). He may not be glamorous, but I think Rodgers is smart and organizes his teams well. What Leicester City do this season will depend a lot on whether they keep their key players healthy, IMO. If their best players remain healthy, they can compete for 4th. If they don’t, they’ll slip to 7th or 8th, I think.

  15. Marko

    Marc at this point it’s truly less about AMN himself and what he’s brings to the team (or not) and more about simple mathematics. Right now we need to sell to buy and we’re also looking at signing two players at approximately 50 million each one with a release clause which means in full up front. Now here’s the kicker through an inability to let go of certain players or players depreciating in value or through sheer lack of interest it looks as of right now that the only decent money we’re capable of getting in is (in quite fortuitous circumstances) by selling Martinez and AMN. Might not even be enough for the two players we’re trying to sign but we are where we are.

    I think 6 months ago if someone said that we were getting 20 million each for Martinez and AMN you wouldn’t believe that shit

  16. Pedro

    Marc, not sure you can accuse Arteta of hoarding when it comes to AMN. He’s been consistently excellent. He just made the England team. He had another great game yesterday. Just read the Rio quotes. He’s the right technical profile, he executes tactical plans perfectly, and he’s one of our best athletes. He’s not a fluke… he’s a well-coached player in a system that works for him

  17. Champagne charlie

    “CC, the article noted that Mesut has turned into a pass completion cuck and his assist rate has dropped“

    Didn’t even need to scan that article to know that, he’s gone from elite playmaker to elite possession recycler in the final third. I mean it’s beneficial to teams to have that competence in possession, but for a player like him it’s the complete opposite of what he’s paid the big bucks to do.

    Coutinho averages like 5 shots a game, it’s the reason he’s a pretty prolific goal threat from #10. Always a measure of a players mentality when they’ve the skill to execute and decide against it. It’s poor.

    Fully expect Aouar, if signed, to be that type of player to lose possession and have a higher turnover rate of other attackers. He’s the guy that’ll ask the questions over and over, or at least be groomed to do so.

  18. Bamford10

    Interesting that Saka didn’t even get a run in yesterday, although I guess you can’t play everyone. I think this might mean, though, that Arteta has every intention of keeping AMN. Sorry, Marko. While he could play Saka as the LWB, Saka is still only 19 and it seems like Arteta likes what he has seen out of AMN of late. If we are going to sign two more first-XI quality players before October 5, the club may need to dip into its pockets to do so (as opposed to covering these purchases entirely with sales). We will see.

  19. azed

    Didn’t even need to scan that article to know that, he’s gone from elite playmaker to elite possession recycler in the final third.

    CC

    Expect a lecture from Pierre about how Arteta is to blame because he doesn’t want his midfielders taking risk.

  20. Bamford10

    Marko

    I agree that it would be a little weird if Tierney were to remain the LCB, but I think Arteta may want to keep AMN no matter what, because of his versatility and his new-found apparent reliability. If we stay in a 3-4-3 and move Tierney to LWB, which is possible, Arteta may see AMN as a valuable back-up to Tierney. If we switch to 4-3-3, he may see AMN as both a back-up to Tierney and as someone who could fill in in central midfield in a pinch. I realize that you would prefer he be sold, but you may have to take that up with Arteta himself.

  21. Marc

    Marko

    That’s my point – the squads too big – AMN was out now he’s back in, Holding was out now he’s back in, Elneny who knows, we buy 2 CM’s and we’ve got Ceballos, new guy, new guy , Xhaka going into 2 or 3 spots, Saka was going to be a disaster if he didn’t sign on, signed a new contract and has hardly played since. Laca was going no idea now and we’ve got Willian and Pepe looking like they’re vying for the right forward position.

    It will probably fall into place over the next couple of matches but it’s very easy right now to look at Arteta as the proverbial fat kid in a sweet shop when as you say we do need to generate some cash.

    All of this is ignoring that AMN wanted to leave for first team football so we either stick with this formation or he’ll get pissed off.

  22. Pedro

    Marc, I don’t think we’ll see anything different for a while. I think the priority is going to be solidity, especially as he integrates new defenders that’ll need protecting. He’s trying to drill a cognitive style of play as well, so not sure we’ll see anything too brutal happening.

    This write up is good on Aouar. Can play a centre mid, but more devastating out on the left.

    https://ligue1analysis.com/houssem-aouar-201920-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics/analysis/player-analysis/

  23. Marc

    Pedro

    I’m not going to criticise Arteta for bedding in new signings – it’s the right thing to do. It’s what do we do when players are settled and everyone’s fit.

    There’s strength in depth and then there’s our squad.

  24. Marko

    If we stay in a 3-4-3 and move Tierney to LWB, which is possible, Arteta may see AMN as a valuable back-up to Tierney. If we switch to 4-3-3, he may see AMN as both a back-up to Tierney

    I would first say it’s more likely than possible that when everyone is fit and going that our best LB/LWB will in fact play LB/LWB. And second you say back up and that’s kinda exactly my point. Much like with Martinez it’s fantastic money for someone who is at best a backup. But anyway we will see what happens in the remainder of the window but one things for sure we ain’t addressing that midfield without sales and I personally will be so underwhelmed and frankly angry if by the end of the window our midfield remained the same because Arteta wanted to keep the likes of AMN as an example.

  25. Marc

    “Arteta may see AMN as a valuable back-up to Tierney. If we switch to 4-3-3, he may see AMN as both a back-up to Tierney”

    That’s great except AMN came out and declared he wanted to leave for first team football – we’ve seen Arteta won’t give unreasonable guarantees to players (correctly) so do we end up with a pissed off player who historically has been known to switch off or do we accommodate him?

  26. Marko

    it’s very easy right now to look at Arteta as the proverbial fat kid in a sweet shop when as you say we do need to generate some cash.

    Funny thing is before he joined I was expecting him to be completely different coming from Man City and Pep’s shadow. I expected a kind of ruthlessness and insistence on bringing in quality as much as he can and I’ll be honest with you I was kind of expecting and hoping for a manager who would love an insist on signings. But he’s honestly looking more like Wenger than Pep right now. There’s this hoarding attitude this kinda idea that he can improve players rather than move them on sort of thinking and I just don’t see it with some of these players. I mean I cannot believe how yet again it looks like another season where we’ll be having the likes of Ozil, Mustafi, chambers, Kolasinac and Xhaka in the squad. Like I can’t believe that some players are still here after everything we’ve been through these last number of seasons. And yet we’re to believe that with Pepe it’s a make or break season and if he doesn’t have a good one he’ll be sold next summer. His second season btw

  27. Marc

    Bojangles

    If selling AMN generates the money to buy a CM then yes – it’s not a personal vendetta just being what I consider to be practical.

  28. Marc

    Pedro

    Bloody hell you’re being hard work today! Yes AMN is getting first team football now but in 10 matches time when players are fit does he still get into the team?

  29. Pedro

    Marko, that’s what a squad if for. Great managers manage expectations and keep everyone happy. If AMN maintains this level, he’ll start.

  30. azed

    Pedro

    Getting Aouar right now would present a big dilemma for Arteta.

    In a 3-4-3, would you play Aouar in the middle with Xhaka? If so what happens to Ceballos?

    Aouar is better from the left and Arteta know that so would be move Aubameyang to the center and play Aouar on the left?

    I don’t think Arteta will ditch the 3-4-3 until Luiz is no longer a starter.

  31. DivineSherlock

    I dont mind Arteta giving players a second chance , a lot of these players had to play under terrible set ups. If Arteta was hired earlier ,dont think even Ramsey wouldve left . We are now seeing how really good these players are under the right set up .

  32. Marko

    I would definitely sell AMN if it meant we get both Aouar and Partey.

    It’s not just him it’s not going to be enough we’ll also need to sell Lacazette or Bellerin at the very least. God knows what our initial budget was at the start of the window but right now we’re kinda breaking even with selling Martinez for 20 million and buying Gabriel for 27. Actually no cause we also bought Mari for 7 or 8 million. So yeah I dunno where we’re at budget wise but obviously if we want Partey and Aouar we’ll need some significant sales the other way.

  33. Red Army

    Jamie did you see Elneny yesterday? Seems like that loan has turned him into a much improved player.

    And what is the main difference? I’ll let Mikel tell you…

    ‘ I think he needed a little bit of belief.’

    But there isn’t a stat for that is there Jamie so it doesn’t matter does it?

  34. Valentin

    It is frustrating to read so many non-sense about Aouar. Nobody in their right mind would play Aouar as a defensive midfielder in place of Elneny.
    Either Arteta intend to switch back to back four and add another attacker. In a 4-3-3 or in a 4-2-3-1.
    Or Arteta intend to use him as a left winger and use Aubameyang as a CF.

  35. Red Army

    ‘ this kinda idea that he can improve players rather than move them on sort of thinking’

    Marko I know it might be a strange thing for you to accept or understand that a manager, through coaching and a suitable game plan can actually improve players.

  36. Habesha Gooner

    Marko
    We were bidding 30 mil + Guendouzi before so I am thinking we might have around 30 mil with out sales. Torriera is going for around 22 mil I think. Martinez is going for 20. Sell AMN and we will have another 20. So that will be around 60 mil. We then would have around 90 mil by then. Selling the likes of Kolasinac and Sokratis might bring some money too.

    And we can’t sell both bellerin and AMN. we would be short at RB. And Selling bellerin for the price we want is out of the question now that PSG have signed Florenzi. Barcelona don’t have money so they aren’t a serious option. Lacazette is definitely staying from the interview he gave and Arteta also said as much.

  37. Marko

    If we sell Bellerin it solves the issue because AMN will be moved over to the right side

    I’m predicting that he’ll be back to his usual average self with the occasional fuck up if that happens. Funny people keep bringing him up as a RB/RWB and yet Mikel does not trust him in that position. Let’s be honest with ourselves here he’s only looking good because he’s doubling up as another LB. Having Tierney there helps him out massively. It’s like an improvement on Clichy and Gibbs but I imagine going forward Mikel would prefer to be playing with one LB on the pitch because you know he loves to talk that balance line and as he said we’re now imbalanced

  38. Bamford10

    Marko

    You mean, you don’t think our starting central midfield (Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos) is good enough as is? Hmmm, interesting. You think we need two additional first-XI midfielders (e.g., Partey & Aouar) to compete for top four? If so, I must say I agree. We may even need more than that.

  39. Marc

    Red Army

    No one’s saying Arteta can’t or hasn’t improved players – the questions are do you play AMN over Tierney at LWB and if so do you keep Tierney as the LCB?

    All of which then raises questions about midfield especially if we bring in some new players in midfield and do we switch to 4 at the back.

  40. Habesha Gooner

    Aston Villa have completed the signing of Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal – contract signed until June 2024. Talks on with Werder for Milot Rashica. And Arsenal keep working to sell players [Torreira too] and then will try again for a top midfielder [Aouar or Thomas] 🛑 #AFC #AVFC

    Atlético are still convinced to refuse any negotiation for Thomas [€50m release clause]. OL have turned down swap deals for Aouar and are still pretending €60m as price tag. Top targets, complicated deals. #AFC now need to sell players – also after extending Auba’s contract. 🛑

    Fabrizio Romano

    Well it is going to be one of them. not both.

  41. Marc

    Marko

    Personally I agree but I’m not going to get into that too much on here because he’s a current golden boy. What I would accept is sacrificing strength at RB for a season to massively improve midfield, it would leave us with a back 4 that would need a new RB to be set for almost a decade. A midfield set for a good couple of years and a potent attack.

  42. Marko

    Torriera is going for around 22 mil I think.

    It’s a loan he’s being linked with a loan. Kolasinac is being linked with a loan, Sokratis is being linked with a free transfer and Guendouzi seems like a loan waiting to happen. Hey look if we were to get decent money for these players then we wouldn’t need to sell AMN or Bellerin or Lacazette (I would still argue that we should those players) but we not going to get good money for Kolasinac or Torreira or Sokratis. It’s just not looking that way.

    Look it’s the same arguments for the last few weeks and nothing’s changed so we’ll see how the next couple weeks go we’ll see how far Mikel and Edu’s ambitions take us in the window.

  43. CG

    Graham

    “”””CGMust be great to be able to change your agenda just for the hell of it.From relegation fodder to winning the league in one fell swoop”‘”””””

    Yes ,reminescent of the Leicester City story then.

    If Arsenal win at Anfield.
    They will be top of the table after 3.
    And they would have beaten Liverpools Klopp x 3 times in a row within a space of 6 weeks.

    I have no doubt ,in my mind if Arsenal win the next 2 games and they dont get bogged down in Loosers Cup mire, either Arsenal or Manchester City will be champions of England next season.

    No doubts whatsoever.

    Its not that we are nececcairly good( we aint), the others look in disaray too.

  44. Bamford10

    Habesha

    Hence why I said it would be two summer windows before we had a top four quality squad again. I realize people want to be optimistic about what we can do this season, but short of adding two more first-XI quality players, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect this team to compete for top four. To each his own, though.

  45. Red Army

    Marc it’s a squad game and it give us more options and the ability to switch formations and have the personnel to do so.

    We’ve got a shit load of games and everyone will get games. We’ve complained for years about having no depth now you have people complaining when we do.

  46. Marko

    And Selling bellerin for the price we want is out of the question now that PSG have signed Florenzi. Barcelona don’t have money so they aren’t a serious option. Lacazette is definitely staying from the interview he gave and Arteta also said as much.

    Which again proves my point that as of right now the only sellable assets we have are Martinez and AMN and people are so against it. It’s the proverbial catch 22 with Arsenal fans they want improvement they want signings but at the same time have trouble in letting go certain players

  47. Receding Hairline

    It will be nice though to know after deadline day which players are here because Arteta wants them and which of them are here because we can’t move them on.

    I mean Holding was going then he wasn’t

    We negotiated with Wolves on AMN so clearly he was on his way then he wasn’t

    Seems a bit of confusion after every game/training session

  48. Marc

    Red Army

    As I said earlier there’s strength in depth and then there’s our squad and we’re still being linked to 1 or 2 CM’s and a striker whilst needing to get the wage bill under control.

  49. Marko

    You mean, you don’t think our starting central midfield (Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos) is good enough as is? Hmmm, interesting.

    Substitute interesting with obviously. I don’t think anyone thinks our current options at CM are remotely good enough over the course of a season

  50. Receding Hairline

    For the record the community shield friendly ended 1-1. This we beat Liverpool twice thing isn’t factual. The game after the 90 ended in a draw and in true friendly fashion went straight to penalties.

  51. Marc

    Receding

    From a distance and it could change between now and the end of the transfer window but it looks like a huge amount of indecision going on.

  52. Habesha Gooner

    Marko
    I am staying optimistic. Torriera is definitely going for some money, Don’t know how much. I think Kolasinac would have been sold for decent money if he wasn’t on astronomical wages. I still think someone will pay upto 10 mil for him. Sokratis might leave for free, I will give you that. I think we see eye to eye on AMN. I wouldn’t mind giving him a chance but not at the cost of playing the whole season with this midfield. I would sell him in heart beat. We wouldn’t look terrible without him. Arteta is indecisive at this point for me.

  53. GunnerDNA

    There’s no point in spending 100 million on two new midfielders and still continue with 3-4-3 formation. The football is too bland. Leeds don’t have the quality players that are at Arsenal but the manager gets them to play. I’m not a big fan of the intensity in their play but it’s better than what is on display at Arsenal. If the Club invest in Thomas Partey and Aouar the football that’s currently on display needs to improve.

  54. Marko

    Not letting holding go to Newcastle makes sense if we plan on getting rid of Sokratis, Chambers and Mustafi otherwise it’s silly. I mean if we end the window with just Sokratis leaving then that’s some next level hoarding right there or you don’t see a back 4 for the foreseeable future at Arsenal

  55. Marc

    Red Army

    Not at all I think we’ve got the makings of a great defence and a great forward lineup but midfield is a serious weak link. That’s not negative it’s fact – we all know we don’t have any money to spend without selling so who do you sell?

    I can’t be bothered to run through the squad options right now but have a look just how many players we have – it’s bonkers.

  56. Marc

    Marko

    The other side of that is also is the plan to go with 3 or 4 at the back – I know we’ll go 3 when away at Liverpool, ManU, City etc but what about home matches we expect to win.

  57. GunnerDNA

    RH,

    “West brom haven’t managed a shot on target. Only Leeds didn’t embarrass themselves first day out of the newly promoted and they were the ones away at Anfield”

    Fulham and West Brom are below the level that’s required to be PL teams. I’ve watched al the games of the new season and the most impressive team is Leeds. Won’t be surprised to see Chelsea or United crowned champions.

  58. Marko

    Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson seems to be the keeper we’re targeting to replace the mighty Emi Martinez. I know fuck all about him other than Inaki Canos seems to be recommending him and Mikel trusts him.

  59. salparadisenyc

    Shame regarding Emi, spends 10 years and gets to the cusp only to end up at Villa. Ideally for me he of stayed this season to battle it out. But i really can’t fault him for taking his chance, sad to see him go.

  60. Receding Hairline

    GunnerDna I hope they both pick up though. Tired of seeing teams come up to this division just to make up the numbers, irritating.

    Marc yes for a guy who has shown clarity in his ways since taking the job, the flip flopping on outgoings is surprising.

    On a lighter note, Arsenal target Salomon Kalou just bagged a degree in Business Administration from a university in France. Good on him.

  61. Bojangles

    Arsenal open to Torreira moving to Torino for €24 mil but not a loan deal. We are prepared to accept staggered payments on a permanent transfer. It was suggested this is the reason Torreira was not named in Saturday’s squad.

  62. Marc

    Red

    “DNA if we sign the 2 midfielders we’re after we’llbe playing a 433”

    Agree we might even go that way if we only buy 1 CM – we’ll then have without sales Tierney and Bellerin as first choice FB, AMN and Soares as backup with Saka, Mustafi and Chambers who can also cover there. Midfield 1 or 2 new guys who would be starters, Ceballos and Xhaka as you’d guess first choice with Elneny and AMN as back up – we’ve then still got Willock.

    You have to see why I’m talking about slimming the squad down a bit? I haven’t even included Torriera as I think he will definitely go.

  63. Marko

    yes for a guy who has shown clarity in his ways since taking the job, the flip flopping on outgoings is surprising.

    I’ll be honest with you I’m very surprised. I thought the idea of binning off a few players and bringing in the likes of Partey and Aouar would appeal to him

  64. Chris

    Regarding squad size it’s a slightly shorter season with potentially up to 70 games. Clever rotation will be needed. It’s good that we have this squad depth. Sure, sell who we can who clearly have no future, of Torreira does go for a fee similar to Martinez you would hope that would be enough to buy the one out of Aouar or Partey.

  65. Marko

    Yeah this season is going to be great for fans but killer for the players. There’s so much football going on straight to the Euros and the olympics next summer. Even more so since they didn’t cancel the league cup and let’s be honest with European football now taking place outside of a bubble (think Lisbon and germany) the likelihood of some cancelations along the way due to covid is high.

  66. Up 4 grabs now

    Evening, maybe after spending some time and having a preseason with some of the players arteta has seen who he thinks he can improve and is worth keeping?

    Elneney was always an ok player nothing spectacular, maybe arteta can use him as the defensive midfielder and move out xhaka. Or thinks eventually amn might be able to be used there.

    Holding has always looked a good player when he’s had a run in the side and has someone decent alongside him.

    Maybe this is why players that haven’t looked anything special and looked on there way out, are now being kept?

    It looks like torriera, sokratis, kolasinac will move on. And Martinez looks gone as well. That might bring in 50-55 million.

    Enough for a reserve keeper and 1 creative midfielder.

    I can live with that.

  67. Marc

    Chris

    This season is going to massively be about managing fitness because of the compressed tune frame but our problem is we have a tonne of players who are surplus to requirements but who won’t generate much of a fee so it becomes who can we sell for a decent fee who isn’t key to the squad.

  68. Pedro

    Up 4 Grabs, or maybe there hasn’t been a flip flop. Sounds like Holding asked to leave. We didn’t accept the bid from Wolves for AMN. Arteta has never said he’s selling anyone.

  69. Champagne charlie

    Marko
    Can you pause your transfer neurosis until the window is done? You fanny was dripping about Martinez a week ago and now he’s been sold. Let’s stop pretending we have a clue what an Arteta summer window remotely looks like.

    Spuds defender just got mugged for pace, Richarlison with the Sunday league finish.

  70. Up 4 grabs now

    Pedro, I dont think he’s flip flopping?
    I think most of the potential moves were lazy journalism.

    Like the people who said amn wanted to play only in midfield. Its a quote that was cut up to fit the narrative.

    I think arteta has actually had time to see what he has and has assessed the squad quite well.
    Also sometimes it happens players get a chance through an injury and dont look back.

  71. Chris

    Richarlison lost his composure completely there, all he needed to go was trap the ball with his left and side it to Calvert Lewis. Watch Spurs go and win now.

  72. Marko

    Arteta has never said he’s selling anyone.

    Managers tend not to do that sort of thing publicly but he has talked about ins and outs and talked about having too many in the squad

  73. Karsa

    I’m thinking Arteta isn’t hoarding players, rather playing his transfer hand carefully.

    I’d hate to see us bringing in 2nd choices now when a unexpected late selling frenzy would have allowed us 1st choice selections.

  74. Marko

    You fanny was dripping about Martinez a week ago and now he’s been sold. Let’s stop pretending we have a clue what an Arteta summer window remotely looks like.

    ???
    Anyway yeah… seems like Martinez has forced the issue for us

  75. Goobergooner

    100% Partey or his alternative. I’m going to be fucking pissed if we get another am or winger before sorting that dm cm spot

  76. Moe

    That’s it for Iwobi and Theo and Sigurdsson………….not starting for Everton any time soon. Allan looks a really good acquisition.

  77. Pedro

    Marko, so if you don’t know who Arteta is selling, you should probably stop saying you are surprised he is flip-flopping.

  78. London gunner

    Would rather sell guen than bellerin.

    Bellerin looks to have turned a corner was class yesterday.

    We shouldn’t have hone after guen in the media as a club it was a club it was irresponsible and tactically niave.

    Now its a lot harder to sell a so called bad egg

  79. Pedro

    £15M for AMN… and no… he’s been excellent for us.

    We just picked up £20m for a back-up keeper. Not about to sell and England international for shit money.

  80. Marc

    Pedro

    Seriously we need to do more than that though. The squad just has too many excess bodies – I think it could take next summer as well to get the squad to the right number of bodies – quality wise I think we’re making great strides though – get CM sorted and we’ve got a team.

  81. London gunner

    Pedro

    We openly went after him in the press and leaked stuff about him to make us seem the good guys.

    We should have gone high instead of going low and now its bit us in the ass.

    A clever move is keeping these things hush hush and under wraps.

  82. Pedro

    London, that certainly wasn’t an official PR strategy. Clubs leak stories (100 people at the training ground). If you’re a dickhead, the press will find out. No secrets in football.

  83. Marc

    London

    Have to agree Guendozi’s gone from being referred to as one of the top upcoming talents in Europe priced over £50 million (which was unrealistic) to no ones interested.

  84. Chris

    It would take at least £25 million to tempt into selling AMN, I personally feel he should be kept anyway due to his recent rapid improvement.

    There is still a few weeks and some moves to go in the window. We have already lost a very decent player in Martinez who will require replacing. Players such as Torreira, Kolasinac and Guendouzi et al could be moved on in the coming weeks. I would rather see us take the time to move the right players on than accept any old offer for players who would still be useful as part of a squad depth.

  85. G

    Can’t blame Emi for leaving.. You take over an injured colleague.. Play really well, win a trophy and then be told your dropped..
    He should of started the season in goal and could either ask to be transferred or fight for his place.. Bad management I feel. And what we making, probably 10 mill

  86. Pedro

    Chris, agree. You also need to make it clear that if you improve, the club will continue to invest in you. Bummed that we lost Emi, to lose our second most improved player would be disappointing.

  87. Marc

    Everyone talking about how improved AMN is and why we should keep him never seem to be able to answer a simple question – when everyone is more or less fit and we bring in 1 or 2 new CM’s what formation do we play and where does AMN fit into it?

  88. Buzzy

    Mourinho has become such a nothing manager…it’s like he’s this lonely old has been..i actually feel a bit sad for him ..at one point the whole of footballing world would know if he even took a dump..how times change

  89. London gunner

    Pedro

    My point really is instead of mitigating the damage we embellished and added to it.

    We could have poured water on the fire and made it seem much ado about nothing.

    The fact is we laid guen out in public put him up i the stocks and collars in the town square and threw proverbial tomato in his face.

    It was embarrassing way to treat a player given his all all season during a shit show.

    Whether you like guen or not it was shockingly niave way to go about business bu the club and now we are left with a formally passionate mad about arsenal player with some potential to a player who we can’t keep now and can’t sell either.

    Times like this the club should be operating with more finnese not piling on the damage. Cut off the nose to spite the face antics.