Arsenal gun for reinforcements in deadline day trolley dash

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Arsenal finished out the first mini-cycle of Premier League games sitting pretty in the top 4 having taken 9 points from 12. That was the target for Arteta and his team and they will be very pleased they delivered on it.

The Sheffield United game basically showed off our glaring problems that are a hangover from last season, they also painted the way forward. The grim opening 45 minutes had us in complete control of the game, but at a very slow pace, with absolutely nothing to show for it. We had shots on target, but they were stat-padding shots, the chances weren’t good enough. It is worth caveating this with the exhausting reality that we played Liverpool back to back inside 4 days. It was a safe half though, Sheffield United, who finished one place behind us last season, gave nothing to the game.

My biggest worry was seeing Bad David Luiz show up. He nearly had himself sent off inside the opening 5 minutes with a shirt tug after he mistimed his control of a pass, only the footballing gods and quick thinking of Bernd Leno saved us. He really is an infuriating player. You always know whether it’ll be his day or not within 60 seconds, it was not his day and he was a shambles.

The 4-3-3 that we adopted looked good for shape though. Our defending was solid and moving Saka further up the pitch worked well. Also interesting to see Mo dropping in as a false right back.

Gabriel was very reassuring with his assertive defending. It’s extremely impressive how fast he’s adapted to the league, he feels like our best defender already, he’s rapid, his passing is getting better, he’s careful with his sizeable power, and he seems to have a good grasp on communication with the rest of the group.

The second half saw an early recognition that we needed more edge in the final third. Nicolas Pepe was brought on for the largely anonymous Eddie Nketiah and we moved Auba into a more central role after watching him die out on the left all game. The team also started to pick up the pace, the passing was more aggressive and there was more of a one-touch vibe to our play.

Pepe was involved in the first goal. A fluid move that finished with Bellerin finding Saka at the back post. The newly-minted England international guided a very clever header into the top corner. What a week he’s had.

The goal after was all about the Pepe magic (Hector assist), his driving run and placed shot was exactly what we wanted from him when we bought him. He not only played a huge role in speeding up our play, he also defended with dogged aggression. He really wanted to change that game and he did. The 19 pass approach to that goal was the largest of the season. We might be meek going forward, but when we do make it click, it’s glorious to watch.

We still let Sheffield back into the game. McGoldrick made some space on the edge of our box and curled a perfect shot past Leno. Not sure there’s much you can do with a shot like that. We defended erratically closing out the game, Hector tweeting that we love to suffer was spot on, but we saw out the 94 minutes for the win.

So what did we learn?

There’s a formation and selection in this squad that gives us a more free-spirited kind of football… and it probably involves Saka, Auba in the middle, and an interested Nicolas Pepe. When Arteta made those changes, the whole vibe of the game shifted. Everyone kicked their play up a notch, our attackers looked more threatening, and we took chances in the final third.

We need to see more of that a lot more often.

As it stands, we have a painfully conservative midfield. They are much more comfortable pinging it around our half than they are in the final third. Mo Elneny is a solid player, but his instinct is backwards or sideways. There is very little desire for verticality in his game. He’s not a risk-taker. Ceballos was much better in the second half, he took some chances and some of his play out of the back was daring. He needs to be more involved in our final third play. His one-touch pass that slipped Auba in shows he’s capable.

The bright spark in the game was Saka. He’s probably our second-best player. His movement out wide was great today, he worked nicely with Tierney. I thought he also looked impressive when he drifted in and played more through the middle. He has the tools to unpick defences and he has the awareness to move through tight spaces. If it all goes to shit with the transfer window, he’d be worthy of giving more time in attacking positions.

Pepe also showed there’s still fight in him. He’s spent a long time not delivering goals (12 games I believe). The talent is there, but he lacks belief. Yesterday, he flew out of the traps with a chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t always play like that. His instinct was always to move forward, he’s better when he’s doing that, too often he looks for the cut back instead of forward locomotion. Hopefully this can be the true start to his season, it needs to be, because our attack looked bland before his arrival. He lifted Willian’s game in my view.

Let’s also talk about Hector Bellerin. He’s getting back to something that resembles form. 2 assists today that were absolutely vital in a game that offered nothing; from a player that has struggled with fitness and end product. He’s really starting to look a player, long may that form continue. It was interesting listening to Arteta after the game, he basically said he gave it straight to Bellerin about what he thought of him, then the player came back and said he wanted to commit to the project. Some might not like that, but I think you need people that love the club to stay at the club. It seems fairly clear that though the Cedric deal was unsexy, it was done because both Bellerin and AMN weren’t committed to the project.

Also worth pointing out that Arsenal were perfectly boring today. No drama. A simple win built upon the foundations of good defending. That cannot be said for many other teams we’d like to consider our brethren.

Let’s talk about that…

It was a fucking delight to see United get an absolute pasting at the hands of Spurs. I’m not sure how much you learn from that game because United were utterly, utterly dreadful… but, as I said yesterday, spending a shedload of cash doesn’t equate to points. It was totally nuts to see Liverpool trounced by Villa 7-2, shock of decade there. Exactly the same thing over at Leicester who were beasted 3-0 by West Ham. City were held by Leeds, they look lost.

Football is played on the pitch. We overplay the noise and the micro-moments we dislike, often losing sight of the bigger picture. As Carlo said at the weekend, it’s a simple game. Great prep, good coaching, and some luck goes a long way. There is no reason we can’t be decent this season if we continue improving on the basics and slowly build on the process. There is a plan there, it might not be sexy right now, but that doesn’t matter if it continues to be effective.

Good coaching does have its limits though. The fastest way to shift our fortunes is signing new players that can already do the specialist things we desire. This group of players are largely Emery’s vision (or Raul’s). Someone asked what Carlo would do with our squad, the response from everyone was ‘buy a new midfield.’ We need square pegs for square holes. That means a Partey or an Aouar. If you can’t get them, find players that look like them on Wyscout but at a lower price point. We cannot see out this season without addressing the midfield. We cannot excuse doing nothing.

Arteta sounded bullish in the press conference after. He said we are in for multiple players. The club is backing him. They are charging ahead.

Plenty to improve on, but hopefully, we can do that in conjunction with some excellent signings. Today is a big day. Matteo is off to Hertha, expect a lot more action… hopefully with some fresh meat coming our way.

Over to you, Edu.

1,005 Responses to “Arsenal gun for reinforcements in deadline day trolley dash”

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  1. Pierre

    “It just means you see him running around a lot without the ball.”

    Your words not mine ..just remember that when you and fred decide to bring it up in the future…which you will do.

    And when you do , I will remind you that they were your words not mine….

  2. Freddie Ljungberg


    Think Benrahma can play Cam as well, hot a bit of the Fekirs about him.

    But yeah, I think we’re done for now. Next summer our wage bill is going to be a lot healthier with Mustafi/Sok/Ozil off it by default and a couple of other high earners offloaded so hopefully we’ll add the missing pieces in midfield then.

  3. WengerEagle

    If it is limited to lower leagues I’m not sure tbh, not going to pretend that I watch the Championship although I did watch Brentford a bit post lockdown because of their front 3. Benrahma is very good.

    Of who I know about, you have Buendia and Cantwell from Norwich, Sema and Sarr from Watford are interesting too, Josh King as well is a baller very surprised a PL club has yet to come in for him.

  4. Marko

    Partey is listed as the same weight as Fabinho and not too far off Casemiro. Not a brick shit house sure but a strong lad. Obviously cause you don’t get the kind of reputation that he has if you’re a pussy fart

  5. salparadisenyc

    Have to think it would be a Buendia swoop and out with a hopeful loan out but really how many of these over payed extras would take that on, Championship footie?

    Zero quite likely.

    Keep the zipper up CC, Zaha will surely be touted come January and you can wheel it all out.

  6. China1

    Partey is a great signing. It only takes xhaka about an hour to have a new key cut tho so expect xhaka to remain an ever present in the first team regardless

  7. Dissenter

    It just goes the show that Onstein doesn’t know shite.
    Ornstein was still writing with authority that the Partey deal wasn’t happening on Monday morning.

  8. Dan Ahern

    Buendia’s an interesting player, surprised I haven’t really seen him linked this window. Guess it’s because of the domestic extension so nobody’s worried about it yet.

  9. Dan Ahern

    Despite failing to sell anyone except our best keeper, I don’t feel too bad about that window! Gabriel and Partey address our biggest weaknesses and give me hope I’ll live to see a four-man backline again. Cheers to that.

  10. Moray

    So, Guen, Mavro, Torreira out on loan only. Sokratis and Mustafi remain, though of course down the pecking order now. We also failed to shift Ozil and his bodyguard Kola.

    I suppose there’s still time to secure further loans to Europe and the Championship?

  11. Moray

    “You could quickly see that he was a player with attributes which were very advanced for his age,” Baños tells Sky Sports.

    What’s he trying to say about Partey’s age…?

    In seriousness, he looks like one of those players who makes everyone around him look and play better.

  12. Leftside

    Good chance Sokratis and one of Ozil/Kola don’t get registered. My bet is on Ozil.

    We still have to leave two non homegrown players out of the squad as per my discussion with Emirates Stroller the other day.

  13. Leftside

    Stoked with this Partey signing. Hopefully the whole side gets a lift.

    Next summers in tray would have me looking at an AM, another CB and another CM as Ceballos is a loan.

    We are now seeing the potential making of a very decent side.

  14. Leftfootcurler

    Great news that Partey has signed.
    He is a world class player.

    He is very similar to Roy Keane stylistically as I have said before.

    It’s a bit sad we didn’t fix the imbalance in attack though.

    Low chance creation and reliance on attackers being absolutely clincal will continue.

    That said we should be more of a threat.
    Partey’s athleticism will improve our pressing game.
    We should also build more from the right.
    Willian/Pepe have received a lot of unfair criticism this season. We just haven’t involved them in the game much.

    Mostly we attack through LHS.
    Hopefully we are more balanced now.

    In early part of his reign, Arteta had xhaka in LB ish position and pushed Saka high and wide and used xhaka’s passing to stretch the opposition’s shape and find attackers btl.

    Same thing will happen on RHS too,imo with Partey.

  15. prvhc

    Kolasinac still being at Arsenal frustrates me.
    He, like his pal Ozil, has decided taking a fat paycheck and sitting on his arse is better than playing football.

  16. Gonsterous

    Great news we got partey but 260k a week is day light robbery. 180-200 would have been tough to swallow but 260k. We never learn do we?

  17. raptora

    Fabrizio Romano 9 mins ago
    Atlético Madrid will also have an option to buy Lucas Torreira on June 2021 [after one year loan from Arsenal].
    Buy option clause price would be €21m.
    But let’s see about the relationship between #AFC and Atléti board after Thomas deal unexpected by Spanish side… ⚪️🔴

  18. raptora

    Honestly, Manure had the worst window out of any club in the EPL probably. To be able to land only Van de Beek, Telles and Cavani is as average as it gets when you think about they were talking all Summer long about Sancho and Dembele. They were better off just getting Bale and concentrate on their gaping holes in the rest of their team.

  19. GS88

    Man I’m gassed by this Thomas Partey signing. I did say on here yesterday that I could see us triggering his RC at some point on the last day of the window.

    As lots of people have been saying, he totally transforms our midfield, and also how we are now going to play.

    I would still of liked to have seen an AM/CAM come in. Even though Willian could play there. Maybe we would go for Buendia, or Cantrell?

    Anyway I’d rank this a 8/10 window.

  20. Guns of SF

    I remember a one Alex Song, a beast and big man always bombing forward. HE did score some goals for us actually. I know Partey smoke Song, and I cannot wait to see him.

    Our center just got really good

  21. GS88

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Some have said that it’ll take us probably another 2-3 windows to fix this squad. We could still do with RB, AM/CAM and a CF.

    We also don’t have a player who is a 1v1 specialist dibbler. So lets be a bit patient. It will come I’m sure.

  22. raptora

    Harry Redknapp says Tottenham can win the league after Spurs’ summer business

    I was ready to burst in laugh. I really was. And, ye, Spuds will not win it. But then I looked at their team. They did really well this Summer. I don’t like Redknapp either, but he is right when he says that they have a cover for every position. Their squad doesn’t have an obvious problem except for CB and they still have time to get someone from Championship.

    Lloris, Joe Hart…..
    Doherty, Aurier….. Alderweireld, Sanchez, Dier, Tanganga….. Reguilón, Davies
    Höjbjerg, Ndombele, Lo Celso, Winks, Sissoko, Gedson Fernandes
    Bale, Moura, Alli, Son, Kane, Bergwijn, Lamela, Vinícius

    If it wasn’t a Mourinho team or a spud team, this squad is a menace. They have far more goals than us in their attack if Jose sets them up in a proactive way. As things stand we literally have nobody but Auba that can score over 10 goals in the league, Lacazette managed exactly 10 last season, after him was Pepe with 5??? They have Kane, Son, Alli, Bale (if fit obviously).

    Hopefully our attack gets some much needed help with the addition of Partey. If we raise up the tempo with Thomas’ good fitness we’ll need to start scoring more. Auba looked desperate for service vs Sheffied Utd.

  23. Guns of SF

    I do hope with the EPL window still open, we can snag Buendia or Zaha somehow. Goals and assists are the key now for the club to address…from our mids.
    Pepe will have his moments but I do not trust he will turn out any better than last season.
    Whomever we get has to be a goal threat as well…. we simply need as much firepower as we can get and more

  24. raptora

    Agreed. But they have all the tools to be able to compete. They might not challenge for the whole season but a top 4 finish with the squad they have, it really looks like something to be expected. If they don’t finish in top 4 with what they have, it will be on mouninho and their spud genes.

  25. raptora

    Jack Wilshere has West Ham contract terminated by mutual consent
    “I have been fully fit for a large period of time at the club, including over the course of the last eight months – training hard everyday – but unfortunately I have not been given the opportunity to play.”

    Doesn’t Jacky boy tick all the boxes that we wanted to get from Aouar? The sweet comeback of the prodigy son. Heard it here first.

  26. SP

    This has been an amazing window. Partey and Gabriel are both world claas and the type of players we have been missing from ages.

    The domestic window is still open and I hope we quickly get Buendia on board.

    Only disappointing thing is we couldn’t ged rid of all our Deadwood. But let’s be honest that is not easy and always going to take time.

  27. bacaryisgod

    So who wins between our ‘Over 25s’ and our ’25s and under’? Scoring it as a boxing fight.

    GK: Leno beats Runarrson 10-8
    RCB/LCB/DF: Mustafi/Luiz/Mari loses to Holding/Gabriel/Tierney 9-10
    RWB/LWB: Cedric/Kolasinac loses to Bellerin/Saka 8-10
    CM: Partey/Xhaka beats Ceballos/Maitland-Niles 10-9
    RW/LW/CF: Willian/Auba/Laca beats Pepe/Martinelli/Nketiah 10-8
    Bench: Macey/Sokratis/Elneny/Ozil loses to Iliev/Saliba/Chambers/Willock/ESR/Nelson 9-10

    Over 25s: 56 points
    25s and under: 55 points

  28. Dark Hei


    The Partey deal was clearly last minute decision.

    Every Journo stated that Aour and Partey deals were dead in the water.

    But since this deal we did with Partey was unilateral on our part, there we no negos required. (All the more sweet and for the lols)

  29. karim

    Doesn’t Jacky boy tick all the boxes that we wanted to get from Aouar? The sweet comeback of the prodigy son. Heard it here first.

    No, he doesn’t.
    I like Jack but don’t you remember his pfa grass eater of the year award ?

  30. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal need to focus on improving their own team and setting realistic targets for this season.

    From my perspective finishing in top 4 and qualifying for Champions League is what we should be aiming for and winning a trophy like last season would be a bonus.

    Let’s be clear there are better teams on paper than us currently in EPL and more importantly there is going to be a lot of competition.

    Arsenal’s recruitment in this transfer window is not spectacular but we have two new players in Partey and Gabriel who will beef up our spine.

    Personally I am not a fan of making wholesale changes to our team/squad in one window.
    Players need time to adapt. Everyone raved when we bought Saliba last season, but it is clear
    that Arteta does not believe that he is ready for first team.

    On the other hand players like Saka, Tierney, Martinelli and Pepe have had time to bed in and will hopefully become important players in team/squad.

    Rome was not built in a day. I still think that Arsenal are a “work in progress”.

  31. China1

    Was this window perfect? No. We couldn’t shift on much of our dross abd get all the signings we hoped for

    However we got a quality tank of a CB who has 10 years ahead of him

    We got an elite CM with all our most needed characteristics

    And we got an experienced, good Winger/AM

    That’s a good step forwards and I can accept that we can work on other players in the coming windows

  32. Leftfootcurler


    Glad to see someone actually looked at the spurs squad before commenting.

    When I said spurs have a title challenge worthy squad but will be held back by Jose and eventually finish top 4, everyone laughed.

    Fortunately Jose isn’t that good.
    Spurs will struggle against low blocks and Jose can’t coach a good high press.

    Will give opponents time to build their play.
    No sustained pressure.

    These things will prevent Spurs from having a proper title challenge.

  33. Emiratesstroller


    Harry Redknapp looks at Spurs through rose tinted glasses. They will not win the league and
    there is in my view too much expectation placed on Bale’s shoulders.

    However, they are like ourselves a team aspiring to finish in top four. Let’s be perfectly clear
    Arsenal are competing with Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs for a top 4 place. There are also at least four other teams like Everton, Leicester, Wolves and Aston Villa
    who are very competitive this season who are going to be tough to beat.

  34. Leftfootcurler

    If you make the PL table from the date of Arteta’s first game as a manager, you will find that we are 3rd/4th in the table based on results.

    But we have had luck in three aspects:
    1) created barely anything, super clinical finishing got the goals. This will probably be unsustainable.

    2)the defence line dropped too deep, leading to a big space between the lines,so opposition attackers can get behind the midfield and attack our penalty box.

    3) defending from set pieces/crosses.

    We should have addressed these issues in the transfer window.
    If we had done that,we would have reduced the luck factor and become a genuine top 4 team.

    I hope we can atleast address the 3rd issue in training.

    I would say this TW is a solid 5/10

  35. Leftfootcurler


    I said it before Rednapp said it.
    His opinion is irrelevant to me.

    Spurs will not challenge for the title and they will be competing for the top 4 and I have explained why.

    Pochettino would have challenged for the title with this squad.
    They may not have won it under Poch, CB partnership would have held them back but they would have launched a proper challenge.

    As I have said before

    manager and the CB partnership would hold them back.

    Anyway I don’t want to discuss about Spurs.

  36. raptora

    In my opinion as things stand it’s Pool > City > Chelsea > Spuds > Arsenal > Manure.

    I can make the case we have a better squad than Manure at the moment and worse than the other 4 teams.

    I believe we have the 3rd best manager of the bunch though only behind Pep and Klopp which could be the difference maker in a the top 4 race.

  37. Leftfootcurler

    For me it’s
    Pool>city>Spurs> Utd>Chelsea>Arsenal.

    What is stopping this Arsenal squad from being a top 4 team is basically Sancho/Coutinho/Grealish/Maddison/Brandt/Buendia type player

    Our attack is imbalanced.
    If Arteta decides to play a ” functional” attack then
    Laca drops to the bench.
    Then we lack goals and creativity.

    If he plays laca,then Auba goes to LW and we lack creativity and ball retention.

    Should have simply bought one of above mentioned players,moved Auba to 9 and Saka RW, would have strongly challenged for top 4.

  38. Receding Hairline

    Raptora a bit too early to say Arteta is a better manager than Carlo Ancelloti or Jose Mourinho, I know we are all optimistic but come on. You are willfully ignoring years of success with different teams by those two. Let’s wait for the completion of the season before placing him just below only Klopp and Pep.

  39. peanuts&monkeys

    There is abs no way but t bring in Ozil in the fold immediately. There is no reason why Ozil cannot play from deep down where Willian started playing after Pepe came on Sunday. Ozil is so comfortable driving a game fwd from that position. he has done that several times while with the Germ national team. No reason why he cannot do that now.

  40. Northbanker


    I agree that Ozil needs to be brought back. We are paying a fortune so let’s at least use him now

    His use will be for matches where teams are using a low block against us – he is still our most creative player and he will be keen to demonstrate what he can do for next years contract

    There is no point though using him against a top 6 side where we will rely on the counter attack.

  41. raptora

    Arsenal brokered a £110m deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and will be paying him £260,000-a-week wages, £2.5m signing-on fee and 10 per cent agent commission, making him the club’s third-highest player behind Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    Oh my god. Say how Kroenke is not giving us money. Auba, Saka, Martinelli renewals along with Partey, Gabriel, Willian, Cedric, Mari, Ceballos. That’s in a COVID economy! You gotta give it to the club/owners. They did their part.

  42. Receding Hairline

    Raptora you hope Jose is washed up. Spurs are not playing like a team managed by a washed up man. I’m very worried by them as the players seem to be enjoying their football. They have more goals in their team than we do. Still very premature to declare Arteta a better manager than Jose fcking Mourinho no matter who you support. Come on!!!

  43. bacaryisgod

    Absolutely right, raptora.

    This year will be one of the rare times where we’re not sweating about player’s contracts running down.

    Here’s who we lose:

    Summer 2021: Sokratis, Ozil, Luiz, Mustafi, Macey, Ceballos (loan expires)
    Summer 2022: Lacazette, Kolasinac, Elneny, Chambers, Nketiah

    Other than Ceballos, there’s not a single key player in this group..

  44. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s progression is dependent on building a team and not about posters hopes that certain type of players will improve our performance.

    Some people who post on wanting to see more creativity and bucketful of goals even if it is at expense of defensive frailties.

    As I suggested many times the result is far more important than how many goals you score.
    The league title and positions are determined by getting the balance right and winning games and points. Teams have won titles scoring just over 70 goals in a season.

    However, we know that teams who leak goals seldom do well in league or pursuit of titles.
    This season we have seen already that there are several teams whose defence is leaky.

    That is why I think that the League will be highly competitive this season.

  45. Steveyg87

    “Spurs don’t win anything, but they are top 4 candidates.”

    They are in the quarters for the league cup. Trust me, Jose will be going for that trophy fully loaded. They just pasted ManU that ended 3rd last season at their home. Spurs have their tales up, the LB they signed from RM looks quality, the team seems to be clicking and I would say they have a slightly better front line than us. Add Bale to the mix, Jose has brought back the feel good factor, TBH, I’m not keen on facing them any time soon

  46. Receding Hairline

    Yes Raptora your opinion is that a multiple premier league winner, serie A and La liga thrown in with the two champions league and a few EL trophies, the league cups and FA cups just for dessert is a lesser football manager than Mikel Arteta. Its all good indeed.

    Some opinions can’t just be stated and you expect no one will bat an eye. There is supporting your team and manager then there is that. Enjoy your day

  47. Valentin

    Mourinho is back in London, so his family life is settled.
    He also know that he is at the last chance saloon for big club managerial role. Mess up at Spurs and that’s it, only second tier club for you from now. That seems to focus him.

    Levy has been smart enough to build a squad of talented players. So Mourinho may not have his exact preferred players, but he has enough talented players to make it a good team If Mourinho has his head screwed on correctly, they can really challenge. Not win the premiership but strangers thing have happen before.
    I do believe that he will try to go for the League Cup in order to instill that winner at all cost mentality. Lamela part in Martial sending off has shown that his training in dark arts and shithousery is now fully integrated. Nice people don’t win. Be nasty, be mean, cheat. Pretty much Mourinho’s motto.

  48. WengerEagle

    Spurs are bang average in midfield, none of their signings go a real way to addressing that.

    Only players that they have signed that are significant upgrades as far as I’m concerned are the fullbacks in Reguilon and Doherty. Hojberg and Carlos Vinicius aren’t doing anything in the way of intimidation I’m sorry.

    Bale is the wildcard. If he’s anything like his old self and has the right attitude then Spurs will be a big problem. His age, injury history and form over the last couple of seasons suggests that this is more than likely not to happen though and he’ll be another underwhelming shot superstar unable to make an impact.

  49. Receding Hairline

    Eagle Ndombele is back and playing well.

    Every top team in the country now have one weakness or the other. No single manager has a perfect team.

    Let’s sit back and enjoy the ride. By Christmas things will be a little more clearer.

  50. raptora

    Only thing that leaves bad taste in my mouth is the club moving on Guendouzi.

    Most appearances for Arsenal since 2018/19:

    1. Aubameyang 100
    2. Lacazette 92
    3. Torreira 89
    4. Granit Xhaka 87
    5. Guendouzi 82

    Matteo was a revelation in his first season. Fantastic talent. Gave his all on the pitch, lead us in several games where he was the main difference for us to get the points. Of course not a complete player but so young that could have became a real deal. Surely times better than some players that have kept getting chance after chance showing not much really like Willock. I think he could have definitely been of use in Europa and the cups, as well as in some Premier League games, talent and age wise he could have developed with us.

    Must have been a personal problem that made the club get rid of him. No other explanation. But what exactly was it?

  51. raptora

    Truth be told, who expected that a midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner/Fabinho will rule over the world? To be honest spuds don’t even need their midfield to create, they just need to be combative and move the ball to their flanks/forwards. Basically what we are doing but they have/had more power and more speed in Kane, Son, Bale, Alli.

  52. WengerEagle


    He’s played well for literally two games, he had a shit season last year so it’s far too early to tell if he has actually turned a corner or not. And I wouldn’t count on him when so much of the reason he flopped was mental and ill-discipline. Guy ran comparable numbers to goalkeepers off the ball.

    I’m just saying that it’s too early to label Spurs a terrifying threat. They’re still only a Kane injury away from disaster, Vinicius wasn’t even a starter at Benfica and he’s not rated by their supporters.

  53. Mr Serge

    Raporta I watched Guen a lot he is a bit of a headless chicken that chased the ball like a child
    Talented but needed harnessing nothing special imo
    The reason they moved him on is because he is a shit head
    He was out of order to Maupay and refused to apologise.
    He was rude to multiple members of staff at the club and basically a bad egg. attitude is as important as talent

  54. WengerEagle


    Pools midfield lacks creativity but it’s much stronger than Spurs CM, Winks and Hojberg is a mid table level midfield. N’Dombele is an erratic mess that has yet to shown he can be relied upon. Lo Celso is pretty much a forward and he’s talented but flawed too.

    And that’s making a huge assumption on Bale that he’ll be anywhere near his 2010-2017 level. Last few years he’s been well short of that and it’s likely that age and wear and tear from injuries has permanently declined him as a top player, we’ll have to wait and see.

  55. Gonsterous


    Yes arteta has burnt all bridges with guen. The best we can hope is he has a good loan and loads of clubs want to sign him. At least then we can may be get 20m+ for him.

  56. Dark Hei

    “There is abs no way but t bring in Ozil in the fold immediately.”

    Welcome back! Peanuts and Ozil.

    Unfortunately our quota for foreign players are busted. I am not sure about Ozil actually. It might be in bad form to not register say Sokratis.

  57. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle
    Lets wait to see what Bale is made of before we cast him off as washed up, shall we.
    We all made the same error with Anchelotti and many thought James was washed up. Bale gives spurs that big game winner option, easily earns them a couple of points that had no chance of winning without him.

  58. WengerEagle

    We’ll see if Guendouzi is really about anything or not this season, he couldn’t have went to a better club opportunity wise than Hertha Berlin who have built a really interesting side with Cunha, Piatek, Lukebakio, Cordhoba, Tousart and Boyata to name a few.

    They nearly snatched a draw at Bayern at the weekend, scored 3 goals at the Allianz and it took a Fergie time Lewandowski pen to put them away.

  59. WengerEagle


    I said that Bale is their wildcard, I’m not writing him off as washed. I’m just saying that banking on him to recapture his pre 2017 form is naive given all of the damage his body has taken. When was the last time he consistently put together a strong season? 2015/16 really isn’t it.

    James is very different. And I was on record here as saying that he would transform Everton by the way. He had only pretty much sat out a season (last year) and it was due to falling out of favour with Zidane, nothing to do with physical debilitating injuries like Bale has suffered.

  60. raptora

    Mr Serge,
    It’s what I’ve read too. A bad egg. But you don’t go in so many different charts as one of the best young players in the world. In 2019 there were reports that the club values him at 60m pounds and that PSG were interested. Fake news or not, you don’t get to earn rumors like that one, if you haven’t played really, really well.

    I will trust the club that they made the right call on it, but I cannot help myself and not feel sad about it.

    He’s loud, he’s young, he likes to party and is probably still childish. Not everyone can act as professionally as Martinelli and Saka at such a young age. I hope the club relies on Guendouzi getting his shit together in Germany and then coming back to us as a grown up man.

  61. Rosapirescastlesaka

    what countries are the transfer window still open in?
    With squad no.s need trimming can we cancel Ozil and Soks contracts?

  62. Receding Hairline

    I hate Arteta because I said its too early to label him the third best manager in a league that has four champions league winners as managers? Lol some of you just like to start stupid exchanges. Do you even know what hate means Dark Hei or you were just too eager to make a hair joke

  63. raptora

    Can’t cancel anything if there isn’t mutual concent. We can just not register but keep paying them. We are two extra on our non homegrown quota I believe so when we only consider the players that are currently out of favor, two out of Mustafi, Kolasinac, Ozil and Sokratis will not be registered to play in the Premier League.

    It’s actually funny that the list is compiled of the exact players I wanted out of the team with the addition of Xhaka.

  64. Dream10

    Signed two first XI players this summer window.
    Really good stuff.

    Clubs around Europe were desperate for CBs on loans or low fees. Massive failure by Edu not to shift at least three of them. Tuchel and PSG wanted Sokratis (worked together at Dortmund) on a free transfer as cover. Why not sanction the deal? Now, he probably join a Serie A side in January on loan/free. Chambers and Holding both had suitors. Arteta views Holding as a solution.

  65. Rosapirescastlesaka

    Papa Sok is a decent man and I think will mutually rip up the contract and sign for Everton or the likes .

    Ozil will probably sit there but if he had any self-worth would cancel it also and piss off to USA, getting his cash he desperately wants and be a success there.

    So Saliba stays, I dont know the personal problems that were discussed to but he has to take this one on the chin and power forward, I know its not easy in another country etc but he has good lads around him and maybe this will be the making of him .

    Shame we havent any Carabao cup games but he must aim for game time in the home games v Dundalk and Molde the end of October and who knows might push on from there .

  66. Steveyg87

    “Yes arteta has burnt all bridges with guen. The best we can hope is he has a good loan and loads of clubs want to sign him. At least then we can may be get 20m+ for him.”

    Arteta has done nothing of the sort. If reports are to be believe, Guen has an attitude problem… Ok, not the end of the world, a season away to get his head right. Believe me, if he does well, he will be back in the fold no doubt, he also knows not to cross Arteta again. Lets hope its lesson learnt. Like I said yesterday, underneath there is a superstar waiting to explode

  67. Terraloon


    Think that Stan has stumped up vast amounts just to get the Partey deal over the line and that’s before you even take into account what wage Partey will be on or indeed what his agent will have been paid

    As I pointed out yesterday this wasn’t paying the release clause it was funding the players buy out . Two vastly different scenarios the latter far more costly and based on AM statement they are very unlikely to try to minimise the sums that Arsenal will have to pay out.

    To enable the player to buy out the contract Arsenal will have in have to in effect given Partey €50 million . That will trigger a personal tax liability which Partey will owe the Spanish authorities .

    On top of that Partey probably will have had to personally pay VAT @18% ( yep that good ole VAT) that VAT is not reclaimable by Arsenal.

    Of course all those costs will have been factored in but unlike a normal transfer all those costs possibly save his personal tax liability may not be payable just yet but none the less Arsenal probably were looking at paying up to €70 -€ 100 million .

    Good Good player but he will have cost way more that €50 million and that sort of sum wasn’t just lying under a matteress so had to come from the club borrowing more ir more than likely from KSE

  68. Danny+S

    Why are papers trying to make Out we are ‘forking out’ £110m on Partey?
    Of course The player has wages and signing on fees, that’s like any other deal. The express even go as far as calling the wages etc ‘additional fees’. What a joke.

    Seems they can’t accept arsenal got a good deal and are making it look like we’ve paid a shit ton of cash.

  69. Emiratesstroller


    Why should we fear Spurs more than Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool?

    The facts are that Spurs have won just one trophy[League Cup] in over 20 years. Mourinho may have been in his heyday a very successful manager, but it does not mean that will continue

    Mourinho’s so called success has always been based on short termism. Sooner or later he
    upsets his player and the senior management of his clubs. Does a leopard change his spots?

  70. Danny+S


    Read below

    In Spain, buyout clauses have been mandatory in football contracts since 1985. If wishing to rescind their contract, the players are required to pay the buyout fee to their current club personally (via the league body), which would be advanced to them by the club signing them;[1][2][3] however this advance of funds was originally deemed by the Spanish government to be taxable income, requiring the buying club to pay income tax on top of the fee itself, with the prohibitively high costs involved in this dual transaction discouraging clubs from making such deals.[2][3] In October 2016 the laws were changed, with the buyout fee advances to the players no longer subject to tax, meaning only the fee itself had to be paid.[2][3]

  71. DigitalBob

    Danny – Yep pretty much. They need to spin it so it looks like its a bad deal financially despite it being a fairly standard outlay for midfielder of his quality. Add to the fact that he plays in a key area for us and in a position we’ve needed to address for some time and its a great deal.

  72. Valentin


    According to reports taking into account all the taxes liabilities, Arsenal will end up paying £66 millions.

    + £45 millions as transfer fee
    + £12 millions as tax: VAT + liabilities payable to Partey
    + £2 millions signing on bonus
    + £7 millions in agents commission and lawyers

    So overall about £66 millions. Because of the FX rate that could be a little bit more or a little bit less. Anyway less than £70 millions in one go.

    Which leads to the question: if Arsenal knew all along that it had that cash available for Partey why not work harder at getting rid of our unwanted players in order to generate more cash for Aouar.

    Kolasinac could not conclude a new contract because of his salary. If we lower our demand by 1 million, we still save more in salary. Anyway he will leave on a free at the end of the season after drawing a hefty salary and stinking the place out.
    Sokratis is not going to be registered in the premiership. Give him a free release and he will find a club willing to accommodate him.

  73. Dream10

    David Raya of Brentford is probably our major target from the championship. Homegrown as well. Can see the Icelandic fella going on a loan to a club a division below

  74. Dream10


    There is a rumor that Aouar’s brother was asking for a high commission fee to get the deal over the line.

  75. Emiratesstroller

    Digital Bob

    There is far too much concern expressed on Le Grove and elsewhere about Arsenal’s finances.

    On the one hand posters complain when Kroenke does not spend money and then there are
    complaints when we spent too much for Pepe in 2019.

    Arsenal is a “privately owned” company. The owner happens to be an astute businessman and exceptionally wealthy.

    I think that everyone knows by now that he was not particularly knowledgable about football and perhaps too trusting when it came to advice provided whether by Wenger, Gazidis or Raul. However, I do think that he is probably learning from his mistakes and putting the house in order.

    Everyone is in the same boat in this pandemic, but some clubs are more likely to come out
    of this crisis in better health than others. Kroenke is more likely than not to be amongst the
    winners rather than losers.

  76. Valentin

    Danny S,

    I think that change in 2016 did not completely abolished the tax liability. If memory serves me right, it just transferred the liability to the buying club rather than the player and as a legal entity it is not subject to the income tax. As corporate tax do not have the same brackets, so it is lower.

  77. Emiratesstroller


    I would not worry too much about the offload of unwanted players. It is only just three months before next transfer window reopens.

    Ozil, Mustafi, Sokratis, Luiz and Macey are now coming to the end of current contracts. Only
    Luiz possibly might see his renewed.

    Other players like Lacazette, Kolasinac, Elneny and Chambers will also leave in orderly fashion. It is clear to me that Arsenal are more concerned about changing the wage structure of players than securing transfer fees. We are paying top dollar for our best players
    and reducing wages elsewhere.

  78. Valentin


    I have read the same rumour that some of the issues with the deal with Aouar were due to his entourage.
    One of the stumbling block that Arsenal wanted to pay the agent fee in installment during the life of the contract, but that they did not want that: full upfront payment.

    But if you dare question Aouar character some will go into meltdown. Personally I think that a player character and entourage has a huge influence on his success in general and at a specific club in particular.
    Look at Guendouzi, a talented but a arrogant prick off the pitch.
    Look at Adebayor who had a chip on his shoulder all his career because of his family. Imagine the kind of career, he could have had if he been a sane and nurturing environment.

  79. Valentin


    This is a myth that we are reducing the wage bill.
    Under Raul according to official accounts despite trimming the number of first team squad we INCREASED it. Part of it may be because we now include payment in kind (agents fee) in it.

    But also because we have given pay rise to players: Xhaka, Elneny. Aubameyang has a higher salary, Partey is now at the same level than Mhkitaryan.
    Runar is on twice what Martinez was on £40kpw instead of £20kpw.

    I have no doubt that we are trying to do it. But that reduction will not start until next season. Özil being a prime example.

  80. Useroz

    260k per week is OTT even though I have confidence in this Partey guy.

    Too many 200k+ per week players close to/ over 30. These are effectively unsaleable assets.

    Surely we won’t extend the contracts of Laca, Mustafi, Kolac, etc so they’d run down their contracts and we get zilch?

    In which case why didn’t we let Sok to go on loan at PSG? At least they’d cover the wages??

    Contract (incl wages) management must be revamped or the club finance would continue to struggle unless KSE throws in 100m each transfer window.

  81. AFC Forever

    This morning this blog proved some football fans are reactive and ‘in the moment’. A couple of weeks ago Spurs were easily beaten by Everton & couldn’t beat a very poor Newcastle side. They were roundly criticised. One good win against an awful Man Utd team and they’re suddenly World beaters, going to win the league , better than Arsenal and guaranteed top 4. Same old
    delusion really.

    To the negative fan; don’t worry they will he looking at us seeing how we’ve improved, especially defensively. Were not soft anymore. Our defensive improvement off the ball has allowed us to beat Liverpool twice, Man City, Chelsea etc. all results that a while ago were unthinkable & shouldn’t be under appreciated. We would have lost those games under Emery.

    We’ve not there yet of course but we have improved especially without the ball and we have made some great signings. Gabriel is class & looks solid, Saliba is here now & we also have Mari too, thats a massive improvement not mentioned much.. Tierney is an uograde & Bellerin is getting sharper after his injury. We have Ceballos & now Partey to add more power & solidity plus an emerging Saka & Willians experience. Auba, Laca & Pepe are top class, Martinelli is to come back, that’s decent. Once the players become more familiar & we click on the creative side we are going to be a very difficult opponent.

    We should be optimistic not talking about them.