Insightful Thank You Tour + What’s up with Saliba?

by .

A lot has happened over the past 24 hours. The PR machine is whirring into action and it is super clear that the club wants you to know that:

  • KSE spend money
  • Edu is a man with a plan
  • Arteta is highly rated and his performance unlocked budget we didn’t have

We still don’t know the exact details of the cash injection/accounting trick, but it seems clear from the media that we had some help from our owners. KSE seem much keener to be seen as important to the process these days, a far cry from the years when Wenger was running the show. This is a good thing. KSE clubs are doing better these days. Well, the Nuggets are at least. Something must have clicked for them, because it now it looks like they realise investing in their teams can reap huge dividends.

The second reason I like the investment is that it seems to be tied to the impression the new staff has made. Mikel Arteta is a young manager, many thought that he was hired so the club could go cheap, but that FA Cup win and back door entry to the Europa League clearly gave him some cred points with the Kroenke family. The messaging has been clear, the Partey signing was a thumbs up to the progress. I really like that, it’s premature, but it seems the club already has an eye on City and Barca coming for their star at some point. If he has another good year, expect a renewed deal, and hopefully all the money from our CERTAIN TOP 4 FINISH, RIGHT?

It’s also worth noting that, although fans savage the Kroenke’s for not spending money, it doesn’t correlate with reality.

We’re the 10th highest net spenders in Europe 2010-19. Staggering, right? The money hasn’t been the problem, it’s who we’ve let spend it (a well-trodden narrative if you’ve been reading this site).

That shifts me onto phase two of the thank-you tour. Arsenal PR has been VERY keen to make sure people know Edu actually does things outside solitaire in the canteen. He has been front and centre over the last few weeks. He’s talking about his plan, he’s telling everyone he got the club excited about it, he’s very proud he delivered on it.

I am pleased with the way we worked because we are facing a very difficult situation with Covid and in the market, everyone is quite worried about the future, the planning, whether they have the money or not, the revenue, so it is quite challenging but the way we did it was amazing.

Edu and Arteta have hired players with more than just legs (As Edu actioned), they think they’ve hired winners. They wanted players to reshape the culture of the club. Willian will always look like a weird deal to me, but when you look at it through the lens of ‘winner’, you can’t argue. Partey, winner. Luiz, winner.

If you see Willian, he brings us experience and a very special physicality in terms of speed. If you see Gabriel, he gives us a lot of physicality and presence. Dani, quality. Thomas, physicality, quality and mentally he is very strong. But in the end if you see all these players we brought to the club, they are very good here (points to legs), but they are better here (points to head) which for me is very important because when you talk to the players, they have a lot of ambition, they are excited and they are hungry to win a title again. This, for me, is important to have in the players to not only be good here (points to legs), but good here (points to head). And they are.

What I do like about this Edu PR tour is that he could easily claim the glory, but he doesn’t.

It is not only Edu, it is not only Mikel Arteta, we have a lot of people around us in the club that it is important to mention as well, financial, legal, medical, recruitment, our loan manager, but we cannot forget of course the support, of which I received a lot of, from the board and the owners. Without them, we cannot do much and I feel really comfortable with the way we are working and communicating together, we are talking almost every day right now so that is brilliant. I tell them with that possibility to have that type of relationship, I feel much stronger. That is the way they give to me and to Mikel as well, so that is the way we are working right now.

Bar talking about himself in the third person, I do like leaders that pump their team. There’s a lovely pic of him celebrating them on Insta Stories. We’ve lacked that at Arsenal over the years. Empowering talent to make moves. I like that. It’s basic, but smart.

I also assume Edu wants to get ahead of me telling everyone there are questions marks over how good he is. He seems very, very happy with how things are going… I couldn’t be more pleased for him. He passed the first test this summer, i.e., no one is crying over Raul. We don’t need him and we’ve just proved that under the toughest footballing circumstances in our history.

This was a good window. The club made purposeful moves that can all be justified. We’ll have to forget about January. Focus on what we’ve seen in the last two months and it all makes sense. We’ve signed experienced winners, elite young talent, and we’ve taken a chance on 5-6 under 23s that might make it.

I am finding it VERY tough to be a blogger that has nothing to moan about.

Though I do find it interesting that there are so many spreadsheet merchants upset about Partey. I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy, but honestly, if we’ve been tracking Partey since his Almeria days, and our new recruitment team thinks he’s good enough to put their reps on the line with their paymasters, you’d have to imagine they might be looking at better data than the folk on the internet.

He’s a class signing. I am STILL in shock we did it. Partey is going to be fucking immense for us.

The club omitted Ozil from the Europa League squad along with Sokratis and Saliba.

He is finished. There are stories doing the rounds that we’re trying to buy him out of his deal. The club is trying to get a deal, he’s not budging. What a humiliating way to exit the building, being a petulant child. So ungraceful. He’ll soon realise that his power is linked to his age, then I suspect he’ll regret his last 3 years.

There’s also a lot of consternation about William Saliba. I don’t have an in on this at all. However, I do know two things. 1) If he were ready, he’d be playing. 2) Arteta doesn’t have a vendetta against Raul signings.

I have some thoughts on this. Firstly, Ligue 1 has a lot of great players, but it lacks the same power and pace we have in the Premier League. That’s not a debate, I really don’t care how much Ligue 1 you watch. Young players flourish there because there’s a lower level of competition.

I think it’s clear that he’s not physically up to the standard. He’s literally a teenager. There are very few teenage centre backs playing regularly anywhere in the world. Factor in that he was injured a lot last year, which might be linked to his body not adapting well to his huge frame. Jack was overplayed in his teenage years and now he’s being let go from West Ham in his twenties. Being overplayed at a young age isn’t great for you.

People seem to have taken offence to him being loaned to the Championship (if it happens). Now, there are two reasons this might be the case. We could have messed up the registration back to France. Or, Per Mertesacker, Ben Knapper, and Edu might reckon the things he’s lacking as a player right now are better serviced in the league below the Premiership. The Championship is incredibly fast, it’s beastly from an aggression perspective, and… it’s in England. What better place to toughen up and learn the lingo?

It’s a bit of uneducated opinion to say Championship football is a shit standard. Eze, Watkins, and Leeds are looking pretty damn ok so far this season. Maddison, Joe Gomez, and Andy Robertson all started there. I don’t think Arsenal fans would sniff at Buendia or Benrahma if they joined. William Saliba could do a lot worse than Brentford this season.

Ok, I am now off. Have a great day. Big love x

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407 Responses to “Insightful Thank You Tour + What’s up with Saliba?”

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  1. Rich

    You don’t always get an instant return on investment.

    You buy Saliba at 18 for €30mill, so you don’t have to buy him at 22 for €70mill.

    A championship move to pick up 40 games, makes a lot of sense.

    He can learn the language, get an understanding of our football, and it’s good succession planning, as next summer Luiz, Mustafi and Sokratis are out of contract.

    We’ve got 9 senior centre half’s on our books, next season we’ll have 6, we can then evaluate Mavropanos + Saliba’s progress, and go from there.

    The idea a 19yr old centre half with less than 40 senior appearances, was going to come in and become an automatic starter, was always far fetched.

    Particularly as we’re also trying to bed in a 22 yr old, with less than 50 appearances, think they’ll both be the future of our defence, just think we’ll have to wait a couple of years.


  2. Upstate Gooner

    Ha. Won an early tro4phy with a 3 comment. All because I couldn’t sleep and wanted some water. Cheers, everyone!

  3. Captain Tierney

    Along with Saliba, we should also loan out Nelson and Joe.
    As it stands we have Luiz, Gabriel, Rob, KT, Kola, Mustafi and possibly Mari and Chambers ahead of Saliba for the CB spot.
    Personally I would have liked to keep him and test him in the Europa and cup games and if he doesn’t seem ready then loan him out. But Arteta likes his experienced guys more and they are getting him the results and maybe he doesn’t want that Defensive solidity to fade away just to try and fit in an 19 yo who I think everybody believes has got s great career ahead of him.
    There’s no need to rush with Saliba. Some players cant handle a lot of football when their bodies are still growing and you run a risk of burning them out by pushing them. Jack being the prime example. Maybe R9 too.

    Nelson’s got Willian, Pepe, Auba, Saka, ahead of him for the wing spots. Maybe Gabi too after he returns from his injury.

    Willock’s got Partey, Dani, Xhaka and Elneny ahead of him currently and if we play with a 10 I guess ESR will have first dibs over Willock.

  4. Dark Hei

    Lets not get carried away with the generous owner narrative. Yet.

    1. We only started going into the red after Raul joined

    2. He was subsequently sacked

    3. That is just a snap shot in time versus the entire length of the Kronke’s tenure.

  5. DigitalBob

    Ozil – what a sad end to his Arsenal career. For a player of his pedigree I really didn’t expect him to go the Winston Bogarde/Florent Malouda Chelsea way.
    I understand the love of London and his lifestyle here but where’s the love of the game? How does it evaporate so quickly to the point where your prepared to sit on your arse for a year?

    In regards to Saliba – I for one thought he might have a chance to play but I also think his progress has been restricted due to the fact that we have a now confident Holding to pair with Gabriel or Luiz.
    We also have more prem ready centre backs in Mustafi, Chambers and maybe Mari to come back.
    A loan to Brentford or Norwich would be ideal for me.

  6. Emiratesstroller


    An intelligent post.

    Edu and presumably Arteta’s viewpoint on players to be recruited includes experienced players who offer winning mentality, intelligence and leadership.

    Players who are being recruited also need to fit into Arteta’s gameplan, which includes discipline, work ethic and ability to adapt to the requirements of the match and opposition

    I think that there is also growing evidence that the team and squad is far more “balanced”
    than we have seen for a very long time.

    Okay there are still far too many CBs still at the club than are needed and we know that there are positions in the team/squad which can and should be upgraded. Arsenal is still not
    the “finished article”.

    Nevertheless I do think that the building blocks are in place. What is also clear is that the
    dross and unwanted players will take at least 12 months to clear out.

    One of the lessons to be learned from the latest transfer window is that we should not rely
    on the media and press for rumours and accuracies of information.

    1. Their accuracy on our recruitment strategy and the club’s financial clout was wrong as
    demonstrated with acquisition of Partey.

    2. Torreira has been loaned to Athletico Madrid without an option or obligation to sell. This
    confirms that Arsenal and not Athletico Madrid are in control of situation.

    3. A clear and decisive decision has been taken on players to be offloaded even though
    difficult to achieve. There is no sentimentality in satisfying Ozil’s own demands and
    expectations. As far as the club is concerned they have contractural requirements so
    long as Ozil remains on books, but there is no obligation to play him.

    At the end of the day the club is becoming more professional, leaner, hopefully ambitious
    and fit for purpose.

  7. Ashwin Gunner

    Its a good thing that if Saliba is loaned to a championship team. Some team like say Swansea which plays with lots of passes and with aggression. The fact that he stays in England will mean he will learn the league, the opponents, the culture and the language. Arsenal Loan manager is one of the best in the league. They track the players very closely. I think it will be good for him in the long run.

    My worry is Konstantinos Mavropanos. he showed early promise but since then have been shunted to loan from three different managers (counting Wenger here as he played very limited under him)
    The fact that error prone Mustafi was ahead of him in the pecking order says a lot. Hope he has a good time in Stuttgart and comes back stronger.

  8. Cotswolds

    Great blog today. Agree that things are very positive and that there is a clear plan that is being executed on.

    Everyone at the club (bar Ozil but that has become so boring and he is being excluded anyway) is behind the plan and that can be very powerful for any organisation.

    A plan being executed + results builds trust, so that when and if Saliba goes out on loan one can believe it is a positive thing for club and player.

    As an aside well done for Saka last night, only good keeping stopped him scoring What a player Grealish is btw.

  9. Ashwin Gunner

    There are two things which defined the way we are going to operate in Transfer market in the future

    1) Partey signing – We literally got him in the most unethical way possible. And we dont even care what the other club or press has to say about that.
    2) Lucas to Athletico – Edu made sure that this does not have an option to buy. So even if he does tremendously well, Athletico have to buy him for more than 20 mil next season. If they decide they wont pursue, then we have a good DMF in our books who can be rotated with Partey.

    These were the kind of tricks which were not evident in Wenger era who used to play clean and by the book. The fact that we have people who are ruthless and care more about themselves (i.e the club) than the perception in the press is very good.

    A small word on Vinnai. The communication of the club has massively improved since he took over. He is making sure that the fanbase gets the news directly from the people who are in the midst of things. Be it Edu or Arteta or even himself, he is making sure that a positive message keeps on going to the fanbase. This is somethign which we lacked during Wenger / Gazidis era. Everything was opaque.

  10. Graeme Tuck

    Wherever Saliba goes on loan I would want to see him being a definite starter. No point in warming the bench for a season

  11. andy1886

    Another lesson – just ignore all the claims that (insert name here) new signing will be an absolute monster and come in and rip up the league from day one. We saw that with Saliba, he was going to be the next Tony Adams, but it hasn’t worked out that way so far has it?

    Same applies to Partey. He appears to have all the tools but let’s keep the hype to a minimum and give the guy a chance to settle.

  12. andy1886

    Ashwin, I’m being a pedant here, but if he joined Swansea he wouldn’t be staying in England. In the English league system sure.

    Norwich would seem to be a good fit considering they’ve just sold Godfrey to Everton so are a CB short.

  13. Left testicle

    The following comments from Edu are bit worrying…

    “One day I would like to show the fans how we work, or how we worked, because if you saw my plan six or seven months ago when I did it with Mikel (Arteta), Thomas was there already,” he told the club’s website.

    So you see how many months we had to try to find the right player for the club.

    So many things to do, so many meetings, we had to see how we were going to buy the player, if we had the financial situation to buy the player, the legal process, the financial process, talk to the player, talk to the agent, so there are a lot of things around this but in the end we did it!”
    Basically they identified a player and when about trying to buy him. What’s the big deal? That’s what he’s paid for – that’s what every club does.

  14. Left testicle

    Hopefully Saliba and Mavropanos will have good loan spells. Next season we could have the angel Gabriel, Saliba and Mavropanos allowing us to move more of the old guard out.

  15. Left testicle

    I thought Saka looked a little lost last night – to be expected for a 19 year old I suppose. AMN looked good.

  16. Sheldon

    I’m a bit hesitant to give Edu a thumbs up for this transfer window. Gabriel was basically done by Raul (I think we bought Gabriel and Pepe for a combined fee of 100million. Think they just needed the money upfront so we got Pepe expensive and Gabriel cheap).
    We failed to negotiate for Partey and had to pay his release clause. We failed to sign Aour, failed to sell Guendouzi and Torreira, left the Ozil saga still hanging over us, and still have most of the deadwood hanging around. Plus Lacazette has 2 years left but hasn’t renewed or been sold. Looks like he will also stick around and go for free.

  17. Ricky

    There is lots more spending and plotting to do. Saliba won’t be ready for possibly two seasons but more importantly, Upamecano has a £34m release clause and Arsenal cannot effort to let him go to any PL rivals. It’s not only important to buy once-in-a-generation-type players, we need to steal a page out of Alex Ferguson’s book and keep such players away from our rivals. Also need to go out and get Said Benrahma, and keep/play Ozil for his last season so Willock, Smith-Rowe and Benrahma can learn from a legend. Arteta needs to humble himself a bit. Stats don’t lie. Arteta/Arsenal won more games before lockdown with Ozil than without. What could Ozil have possibly done wrong before the break? Arsenal were on a climb back. Arsenal stalled after the break with draws and losses. They took 8th place because of other teams’ dip in form. Ozil is correct to sit out the rest of his 350k/week contract because he didn’t do anything wrong. And he was right not to accept the pay cut because Arsenal cannot be trusted to invest/reinvest/buy/sell wisely for a very long time now.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    Left testicle

    If you think back it was blindingly clear that there was on this occasion a high degree of planning.

    1. The family of Partey were very positive about the player coming to Arsenal.
    2. The player refused to sign a new contract with Athletico Madrid.
    3. Arsenal knew the “bottom line” if they had to buy the player.
    4. Arsenal attempted to soften the deal by including a potential swap of players.
    5. When that failed they accepted to loan Torreira to AM who were lulled into believing that
    they rather than Arsenal were in control of situation.
    6. Arsenal knew the precise contractural situation and that there was no obligation to deal
    with AM. They could simply deposit money with La Liga.
    7. The contract with agent and player was concluded long before the end of transfer
    8. As I posted many times this would be 24th hour deal and the club would attempt to
    generate transfer funds and unwanted players and their wages being forced to pay out
    full fee.

    Some may argue that we were machiavellian or even unethical, but I do agree that Edu and
    Arsenal’s contractural team did their homework properly something which the club has failed to do in past.

  19. Danny+S


    Wtf can Ozil teach Willock and ESR? 😂

    How to get more kills on fortnite? How not to track back? How not to close down? How to wangle a 350k contract and sit on your arse for 3 years? How to fake back pain? The best cold remedies for when your poorly and can’t play?

    Ozil is not a legend and he is mentally weak and possibly the worst mentor you could give a young footballer.

  20. GunnerDNA

    Good transfer window with 2 good players added to the spine of the team, we get all that but what’s the expectations of this team going forward? This team is actually a better and more balanced team than the ones in AW last 2 season and UE 1.5 season in charge imo. What’s the minimum can we expect as fans in terms of league placing in the PL and EL (semifinal or final)?

  21. Bamford10


    I think Covid made this a more difficult window for us than it might otherwise have been. Many clubs do not have the kind of money for transfers they would normally have. As for Lacazette, clubs should have more resources next summer and we can sell him then. Same for Guendouzi and Torreira.

  22. Sid

    Championship football is crap, mentioning 3 or so good players doesnt change the fact that it has a couple of hundreds of players 99% who are not Arsenal quality.

  23. Bamford10


    Sure, but he’ll be 30 next summer, and if another club wants him in their XI for the 21-22 season, they’ll need to buy him. Maybe we don’t get what we’d get if he was 28 or 29 and had two years left on his contract, but we should still be able to get 20-30m for him, no?

  24. shad


    Laca loves london and esp his best mate Auba. At one year left the club will sell him off since the worstcase scenario is offloading his wages from the books. In a year’s time we’ll hopefully have a better #10 and a ready Martinelli. Pace for days.

  25. AFC Forever

    RE: Saliba

    He was bought for the future that was obvious because we immediately loaned him back.

    The Premier league is a physical league and it’s one of the reasons foreign players often struggle on first arrival. Remember how Pires struggled and ended up telling Wenger he didn’t think he’d be able to make it here. That didn’t turn out too badly. Of course some players do hit the ground running, Anelka, but few do. Rumours have it that Pepe has been bulking up,; you need that physicality when you have rugby players leaving their foot in while English referees wave play on.

    As a Centre back you need to have that physical presence but you also have to have that nous and knowledge, which usually means experience. Look at van Dijk who took time to develop moving from Celtic to Southampton and then finally onto Liverpool. People forget he is 29. So Saliba was a punt for the future. He has time to develop; my own view is that he needs Championship football not another loan to the French league. He needs to gain experience of the physicality, speed and directness of the English game. His height is an advantage, along with his athleticism so all he needs is experience of the English game.

    I guess Arteta’s arrival has changed the approach too, we don’t need to risk players in a desperate need to fix the holes at the back. Players like the Brazilian Gabriel have come in and hit the ground running, perhaps surprising a few people. Holding has looked good alongside him and then you have David Luiz who arrived on a free, able to do a job there. Buying for the future is smart and Saliba is highly rated. I just hope he goes out to a Championship club and comes back a much better player who can go straight into the team. Time will tell.

  26. Bamford10


    I think we should expect a top 6 finish and the semi-final or better.

    Given Charlie and Pete thought this group of players was in the mix for top four without Partey, I’d say they should expect top four and the EL final.

  27. shad

    One positive of having a bloated squad is it keeps legs fresh. Which in tandem means if a castaway performs, their value goes up. Win Win.

  28. Bamford10

    Left Testicle

    I wouldn’t, but clubs do all kinds of things you or I wouldn’t. Look at his goal tallies in France. He is still a striker who can score goals. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think we could still get 20-25m for him. I don’t know; maybe I’m being optimistic. 18m?

  29. Left testicle

    I get Saliba is for the future but we paid / will be paying £27m for a future that might never happen. Massive, expensive gamble.

  30. Left testicle

    £27m tied up in Saliba who won’t play for us until next year at the earliest plus all those millions tied up in Ozil.

  31. Bamford10


    Nah, if they wanted to keep Lacazette, they would have already extended his contract, I think. There was a moment earlier in the window where Arteta was asked a question about Lacazette and his non-answer was telling. I forget the exact details, but I remember an Arsecast where they were saying it was fairly clear the club is looking to move Lacazette out. Arteta respects Lacazette’s work-rate; I don’t think he actually sees him as part of the plans beyond 2021.

  32. englandsbest

    I never for a moment doubted that Arteta would bring in a top-ranking midfielder. It’s time we took Mikel at his word.

    For me Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were two young talents stunted by Wenger. Both had the potential to be great players. Will he blame himself in his upcoming book? Hardly a chance. An egotist rarely blames himself. And if he does it’s only to say that even the best of us make mistakes.

  33. AFC Forever

    Lacazette is a very good player who has done well for us. Currently he’s being asked to do a difficult job on his own against two centre backs, which is not really his game. He doesn’t seem to complain, works hard and is important in our set-up.

    He has scored 40 goals in 100 matches.

    I don’t know why so many of you obsess on what a player is worth or how long his contract is. At the moment he is doing a good job for us and selling him would have been a bad move in the current climate. Player values are variables, price reflects performance. Sometimes it’s better that a player doesn’t have the comfort of a long contract, the Ozil situation proves that particular point. I would prefer a player who is hungry and perhaps is playing for an extension than one that couldn’t give a flying fig.

  34. HighburyLegend

    “He’ll soon realise that his power is linked to his age…”
    Sounds like a Star Wars quote to me. lol

    “…then I suspect he’ll regret his last 3 years.”
    Ozil will regret NOTHING.
    He just cares about 3 things : $$$$$/£££££, Erdogan, and his one and only fan, Pierre.

  35. Left testicle

    At the moment he is doing a good job for us and selling him would have been a bad move in the current climate.
    Not if we replace with better.

  36. HighburyLegend

    Concerning Saliba, Pedro, I suggest you to read what they think of his situation, in France.

    I’m not far to think the same : a waste of talent for us, and a bad decision from Arteta.

  37. AFC Forever


    French journalist Julien Laurens believes comparisons between the player and Real Madrid superstar Raphael Varane aren’t far off the mark:

    “I believe he is yes, he is in the mould of Varane,” He told ESPN FC.

    “They’ve got a lot of similarities actually, not just the youth and how they burst onto the scenes in France with their respective club – Lens obviously for Varane around 10 years ago or so and Saint-Etienne with Saliba now.

    “I think it was the right thing to do for him and for Arsenal as well to leave him another year in France on loan at Saint-Etienne for him then to come back this summer to England and to Arsenal, having gained a lot of maturity from his season in Ligue 1, especially with the bad injury he had.

    “He had to come back and work really hard to come back to his level so I think that will help him a lot and also because this year was very much a transition year for Arsenal. He will be very good for Arsenal coming into the summer, even if he’s still very young.

    “I think he will be a very good signing.

    Mathieu Debuchy, reckons Saliba is of the required standard already.

    “He’s a great player. I’m so happy for him to play next season for a big club like Arsenal,” his Saint-Etienne team-mate told the official Ligue 1 podcast.

    “He improves every game, and I think he is a great player. He’s strong, with good technique. He’s quick, too. I think he has a lot of quality to play at Arsenal.”

    Bacary Sagna highly rates him:-

    “He is very confident in defending, he is not afraid to defend one against one and most of the time he wins the duels, which is the best quality as a defender,” Sagna told Goal.

    “You need some security, you need some presence and he has that.

    “For him, staying in the French League after signing for Arsenal was the best decision he could make because he knew he was going to change to a bigger club, but he knew he had to improve his performances.

    “It was like a test, he had to step up his game during this season and the last game I watched of him was amazing. I analysed him as an Arsenal fan and he did very well.”

  38. AFC Forever

    “er, sell Lacazette for actual money”

    Wow, there I was thinking you wanted to trade him for a PS5, 4 games and a bag of peanuts.

  39. Ashwin Gunner

    if Saliba is so good, Why isn;t he breaking into Arteta’s plans. I mean he wasnt even featured for Carabao Cup ties. That is when the window was still open and there was no talks to send him into loan.

    Is it another case of he ticking Arteta like Ozil did?

  40. AFC Forever

    I am out of here.

    Some of you guys test the patience with your constant attempts to be negative and find someone to dig out at Arsenal.

  41. Left testicle

    You were the one stating that we couldn’t replace Lacazette with better as ‘we could only just afford Partey’. Sell Lacazette, replace with better and/or younger with a higher ceiling and a chance to get our investment and more back in the future.

  42. Left testicle

    I just suggested replacing a player at the end of his career with a player who is potentially better, is younger, faster and we could get a return on our investment. That’s a positive, but I guess you’re one of those hoarders who can’t letter go of any of our players and would like to see the likes of Wilshere and Welbeck return to the club.

  43. Nelson

    ” I really don’t care how much Ligue 1 you watch. Young players flourish there because there’s a lower level of competition.”

    Based on this, it is much saver to sign Partey than Aoua, if we wants to compete for a top4 spot this year.. Look at how long it takes for Pepe to adapt to the league. And Pepe’s You Tube video is much more impressive than those from Aouar.

  44. Kris

    “I think it’s clear that he’s not physically up to the standard.”

    That’s not clear at all, especially as Saliba was already stronger than Holding when he was 17.

    “Firstly, Ligue 1 has a lot of great players, but it lacks the same power and pace we have in the Premier League.”

    The pace of play is definitely slower, but the number of extremely powerful players is staggering. It’s the only league that can rival the EPL in that respect.
    Also, Pedro, the “I really don’t care how much Ligue 1 you watch,” just come off a bit too heavy on the arrogance.

  45. Karsa

    Usual negative bullshit from the usual sources.

    Arteta has clearly spelled out the thinking behind his development of Saliba. He’s been open and transparent and still the usual suspects find cause to criticise.

    And it’s hardly the managements fault that a global pandemic has made it all but impossible to shift on our unwanted players. You can’t compare this window with any other to date.

  46. Marc


    The problem is Pedro has such a “everything Arteta does is right” approach that it can now raise doubts over something he says that is probably right.

    Time will tell – if Saliba goes on loan for the rest of the season and is then integrated into the team for next season it was a plan, if he’s slowly written from Arsenal history it’ll raise more questions especially if he then goes on to be a top player.

  47. Kris

    “For me Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were two young talents stunted by Wenger.”

    What load of bollocks. Walcott never had any great potential because he was always the player with lowest footballing intelligence I’ve seen in my life. Didn’t have dribbling technique either and passing was erratic at best. Why was Wenger able to develop RVP, but failed with Theo?

    More complicated with Wilshere, but Jack’s problems were primarily injuries and again lack of intelligence (going beyond football)… And you all call Ozil lazy, but Jack’s defensive efforts were at least as bad if not worse.

  48. PhD2020

    bacaryisgodOctober 9, 2020 06:49:26
    When it comes to statues, I think there’s just 5 statues right now (Henry, Adams, Chapman, Bergkamp, Friar) with Arsene being the next in line.Getting a statue should be a rare tribute and involve a combination of excellence, loyalty, longevity and arguably club success.After Arsene, the only no-brainer is Ian Wright.After Wright, here are the other main contenders-Pat Rice (loses points for excellence but gains for loyalty and longevity)
    -Liam Brady (joined at 15, was brilliant but left us at his peak)
    -David Seaman (best keeper in the club’s history and won titles under Graham and Wenger).
    -Robert Pires (only six seasons for the club. Brilliant but one step down from Bergkamp and Henry)
    -Charlie George (a club legend but not because of sustained excellence)
    -Patrick Vieira (a glittering career but he even admitted he failed to control the rumours around possible transfers out of the club)The saddest omission is George Graham who is obviously disqualified for his ‘bung’ disloyalty to the club. If he had avoided the temptation he would be next in line for a statue.If I was in charge of the club, I would follow Wenger with Wright, Brady, Vieira, Rice and Seaman. Brady and Rice both make it based on their overall contribution to the club rather than just their playing days.In truth, we should probably just stop it at Wright as the seventh statue. It just depends how selective the club chooses to be. Still, it’s tough to omit Vieira when he was the captain and driving force of our greatest ever team


    No Statute for Patrick Vieira?

    You’ve lost the plot dude..??!!

    Strait Jacket to order.

  49. Nelson

    “Gabriel was basically done by Raul (I think we bought Gabriel and Pepe for a combined fee of 100million. ”

    Someone mixed up Gabriel with Saliba. Saliba was the one signed last year along with Pepe.

  50. englandsbest

    Wenger failed to bring out the best in Jack or Theo. It’s a simple as that. If they had a fault, it was their over-eagerness to please him.

  51. Guns of Hackney

    Saliba is 19. Not a child. Maradona was playing for Argentina at 17. Please stop with this “he’s only a kid bullshit”. If he’s happy to take millions in salary, he should be playing. Or perhaps we should pay him like most 19 year olds get? Minimum wage £7.50ph is it?

    Millennials will be the end of this planet. Sniffling little oik.

    This chump is another postman. Bet you.

  52. Graham62


    Agree 100%.



    Wenger, with the help of SGE, destroyed whatever chance Walcott had of fulfilling his potential by sending him to the 2006 WC in Germany.

    Hadn’t even played a EPL game.

    As for your comment that “Theo never had any great potential”, I’m afraid your way off track.

    Wenger persevered with playing him out wide when he was often far more effective through the middle and also he eroded Walcott’s confidence by withdrawing from games far too regularly.

    Poor man management imo.

  53. DigitalBob

    You can’t blame Arsene for Theo never developing any real skill on the wing. He was given ample opportunity to showcase himself out wide or upfront but he simply wasn’t as good as anyone hoped he’d be.

    Wilshire the same more or less. Jack’s primary issue was his lack of awareness when it came to when to release the ball.

    No way Arsene told him to hold onto that ball for a few more seconds or take a few more touches which more often than not resulted in more physical contact to Jack than was needed.

    Gnabry not getting a chance, yes, down to decisions made my Arsene, but Theo and Jack, nah not having it.

  54. Tom

    Pedro, good post.

    Andy, not a chance.
    Coming from a Simeone coached club, in his footballing prime, and put on such wages Partey will be expected to hit the ground running on day one.

    Shout out to Gazidis here, looking at the spending chart, Arsenal are almost like Bayern lol.

    Villa are easily the most improved PL club this season.
    Someone here said they would still struggle this year but didn’t say struggle to do what……easily mid table for me.

    I’ve started the Grealish bandwagon on here ever since I saw Villa’s first two games last season.
    Even at 120kpw now , he is still the biggest bargain around.
    KDB was responsible for 22% of City’s Pl goals and assists and was picked the player of the season, but Grealish blows him out of the water in that department with 34% of Villa’s.

  55. Northbanker

    The Saliba deal is looking very odd. We paid £28m for him and then loaned back for a season to St Etienne. Ok he was injured but he is still not ready. I don’t doubt Arteta’s view he needs to loan out and I’m relieved this can only be to an English side now so he can properly adapt to English football. An additional loan to France would have been pointless and I’m staggered it was even considered. I hope it is Brentford so he can stay in London and adapt to London life (to the extent there is such a thing in Covid).

    Nevertheless it now seems the case that Raul massively overpaid for someone who was at least 2 years away from being ready. Between him and Pepe he blew probably £40-50m of overpayments.

    MA must have known about WS deficiencies and that could well have been a prompt to the triggering of the 1 year extension of Luiz this summer.

  56. Nelson

    “The Saliba deal is looking very odd.”
    This is Raul’s act. Someone tried to defend it. We are taking a chance that he’ll come good in a few years. If we took that £28m and invested in a ready made EPL defender, we could have made the top4. Then we could have more funding to sign even better players.

  57. Marc

    What’s looking even odder is that Sven “Diamond Eyes” Mislintat was trying to buy Saliba at least a year before we actually bought him.

  58. Marc


    Yeah but we would also have had loads of fans moaning “Why didn’t we buy player X or Y before they cost £50 million”

    Every transfer has an element of risk and you are writing off Saliba already.

  59. Words on a Blog

    How many 19 year old centre backs are starting in the Premier League?

    I’m happy to be corrected, but to my knowledge, there ain’t any.

    All the reports from France say he is potentially world class. Arteta doesn’t think he’s quite ready for the PL. Plus, Mikel has an abundance of centre-backs.

    Loan him out to a decent Championship side like Brentford or Norwich so he can get game time. That should get him experience and preserve or better still enhance his value. In the meanwhile, get rid of the surplus centrebacks, either in Jan or next summer (if the Covid constraints on football club finances do not recede.).

  60. Tom

    GoH, correction sir, Maradona was playin for Argentina at 16, but the youngest defender on Menotti’s picked squad was in his early twenties.
    Also a far cry comparing the best player in the world playing a creative position with virtually zero defensive duties, to a CB in the PL where some of the attacking players look like NFL safeties.

  61. Nelson

    “you are writing off Saliba already.”

    Where do you read that I am writing off Saliba. I thought your English is better than that. I am criticizing Raul’s act. Of course, there is a chance that Saliba will come good. At least I hope so.

  62. Gommit

    Regarding Saliba, I think you are all forgetting one thing (I haven’t been arsed to look it up, so I might be wrong on this) .
    The big reason for signing him last summer and the loaning him out was to make sure that he will be defined as an homegrown player, which is something of great value as things stand. Sending him to the Championship is a great way to get him to learn English and get used to the culture. It does not matter in the great scheme of things if he does not play for us this season or not, but it is important that he gets the opportunity to continue his development so a loan move is most likely, be it now or in January. Bottom line, we want a future (homegrown) CB on our books.

  63. Marc


    It’s not only on here – the world really has completely lost the plot. On the Sky News website a day or two ago they had a piece about an open letter that has been signed by a load of Doctors and leading Scientists saying the Governments approach to COVID is wrong and we should be pursuing a herd immunity – just another piece of news the could attack the Government with.

    Guess what’s gone up on the Sky News website in the last hour or so? After an in depth investigation Sky News has discovered that an open letter in wide circulation (no mention that they reported it the other day) is signed by amongst others Dr Johnny Bananas, Dr Harold Shipman, Dr I P Freely as well as a wide range of nut jobs like Homeopaths.

    So Sky News has reported the bullshit and then “broken” the story that the original story was bullshit with any hint of “we fucked up sorry”.

    Sorry for the rant everyone but good grief.

  64. Words on a Blog


    Maradona, yeah, great example.

    The second half of his career he was addicted to cocaine, even if he still a great player.

    Maybe all Saliba needs is a couple of lines of coke to keep him going and available for selection by Arteta.

    But even that might not help, if your view that Mikel is a shit manager has any credence.

  65. andy1886


    I’m afraid that even Wenger has admitted that he was at fault for Wilshere’s early injury problems. In 2010/11, which he began aged 18yrs, he played 49 games. 49!!!!

    Young players are often still growing at that stage and injuries are much more likely if you over play them. During the summer leading into the 2011–12 season, Wilshere suffered a stress fracture ankle injury during an Emirates Cup pre-season friendly. That was the start of his ankle problems.

    He was ruled out for the rest of the season and subsequently suffered multiple injuries many of which were linked to this initial serious ankle injury.

  66. Graham62


    That’s what I’m saying, Walcott was not a natural wide player.

    By the way, I saw Walcott playing for Southampton youth at fifteen years of age.

    He scored a hat trick, playing through the middle.

    I knew, you knew, in fact we all knew, just how electric he could be.

    So yes, I do blame Wenger for his underdevelopment.

    Good luck to Theo now he’s back at Southampton.

  67. Marko

    My issue with Saliba is we made a big fuss getting him in the first place and a lot of clubs already are tracking him so we gotta be careful what we’re doing with the lad. I get the easing him into things part but I don’t get another loan personally. There’s enough games here to be had during the course of this pack very tight season and plenty opportunities to impress and given that Holding and Mustafi and likely Chambers will see game time I don’t understand why Saliba couldn’t be used or given the chance to impress over one of them. Especially considering that the likes of Mustafi and Luiz are running down their contracts not likely to get another and also that holding and Chambers aren’t good enough for us either. Like there’s no upside in us giving certain CB’s huge amounts of game time while Saliba is playing 40 odd games in the championship (potentially)

  68. WengerEagle


    Arteta’s clearly deemed Saliba nowhere near ready yet for first team football, he was signed last summer before Arteta came in as manager.

    I agree that a loan out to the Championship is hardly ideal for a 25m signing no matter how raw he is and would have preferred to see him at least loaned out to another PL club but Arteta must not have trusted him to play a role this season, only real explanation.

    If he’s no better than Sokratis is now then he’s got a long way to go in scope of improvement.

  69. DigitalBob

    Graham I see your point, I agree he has for me always been a forward and maybe Wenger making that decision a season or two earlier would have increased his output for us, but I firmly believe he was given opportunities to be “that guy” for Arsenal and didn’t fulfil that tremendous potential more so down to his own inability to develop his game more.

    I wish him well, he was always a good kid and became a good man, never in the headlines like a few of the English youngsters up in Manchester that have great technical ability for their age but not a sensible head among them.

  70. AFC Forever

    I read somewhere that Saliba only has one leg. apparently one of the trolls on leGrove spotted it.

    So imagine how Arteta felt when he saw Saliba at training, rumours have it he was hopping mad.

    Idiots like Mourinho, Bacary Sagna, Debouchy and a number of coaches all said he was a special talent but they failed to notice he had a part of his body missing. Just goes to show the so called experts haven’t git a clue what they are talking about.

    At least we know why he has joined Hoppenheim on loan in the Bundesliga.

  71. Captain Tierney

    ‘Far too many on here spend too much time looking for reasons to attack the club – it’s crazy.’

    Its seriously crazy. Makes you question if they are fans in the first place.

    Afc Forever

    Personally I hadnt noticed that too. Been too focused on the extraordinary physicality and talent he possesses, that I failed to notice the lad is missing a leg. Blimey.

  72. TT

    @AFC ForeverOctober 9, 2020 15:01:16

    lol Had a goodlLaugh at that.

    But seriously CT is spot on. Makes you wonder if these people are fans at all..

  73. crimson

    Really hope Tierney is back for Man City game and doesn’t have to self isolate. An exemption should be made. As he has had 3 negative results as well.

    Saliba isn’t ready in Artetas eyes and should be sent to the championship probably till the January window. As L Testicle said Brentford is pretty good idea with Benrahma or Raya coming next year. It’s a tough transition for a teenager to move away from home especially after his mum died over the summer. He is a talent in the making and should not be dismissed by the negative fuckwits that exist here.

    Another good piece today from Pedro.
    (can you please ban people who use the Party pun! We are gonna have it all year in media. It hurts my brain and lowest form of wit)

    Reading Lord Bendtners comments from his podcast.

  74. crimson

    Guns of Fuckney is right for once. Some degenerate Inferior human said this…

    “Millennials will be the end of this planet. Sniffling little oik.”

    Oh wait…

  75. DivineSherlock

    Pedro and others

    Is it only me that saw the news about Saliba’s mom . Let the lad grieve for god sake. He wanted to stay close to his family after she passed . The St.Etienne offer came to late so he couldnt make it . Lay off Saliba he is gonna rule the PL , just not in the present.

  76. bacaryisgod

    I’m worried about Saliba. He’s just 19 years old, his mother died recently and he’s at a new club and a new league with the pressure of a big price tag hanging over his head. Sending him off to a Championship team might destabilize him even more. I’m sure the club are sensitive to all of this, but he’s going to need to be handled very carefully.

  77. DivineSherlock

    Saliba didnt even went away on holiday after the season ended , he stayed and worked on his fitness. Its unfortunate what happened to him , we need him mentally ready to be there , Whenever that happens. Arsenal personally for me should not loan him , let him stay here maybe after December or in Europa league games he can make an impact.

  78. Pedro

    Divine, I don’t think that is the problem. It’s super simple, he’s not ready for the Premier League. Nothing to do with ability, it’s just his body… because he’s young.

  79. Thorough

    Isn’t there a better solution to all of this. Like a two-weeks holiday or something like that. Take the guy through some therapies, etc? Must we send him to Championship when everybody and their dogs know he’s better than all we’ve got in Central defence bar Gabriel?

  80. Pedro

    Thorough, he’s a professional footballer. Bad things happen. I am sure his mental state is not the issue here.

  81. Captain Tierney


    If you think his mentality isnt the one of the reasons he is not being given a baptism by fire then I dont know what to tell you.
    He is 19. He’s a kid and losing the person who loves you the most in the whole world is devastating.
    We tried to loan him back to his home and I’m pretty sure it was to move him closer to his family. This one is on Edu. Should have sorted this situation out before the deadline day.

    We know how ignorant our fanbase can be sometimes.
    If he starts, makes mistakes and the fans turn on him (some already have and he hasn’t played 1 competitive minute for us) it will be Extremely difficult mental place for him.

    Yes he is a professional footballer earning millions but he is just starting out and doesn’t know how to deal with criticism, negativity, etc because he has excelled at every level he’s played.

    In his current mental condition, maybe the club thinks he wont be able to handle the negativity that comes with playing for Arsenal ( especial if you are a CB).
    Just look at Mustafi’s example. And he is a grown up world cup winner who’s played in 3 different countries. He went through a period of depression playing football.

    Maybe the club thinks this can hinder his development and want to let him develop somewhere where he wont be in the spotlight all the time.

    And ofc this is not the only reason and he definitely may not be ready to play PL. Few 19 year olds are. But he cant challenge the likes of Holding, Mari and Mustafi for EL and Cup games. Thats not right.

  82. Little Mozart

    Winger destroyed Walcott? No way, Winger developed Ganesha’s,Van Persie….infact when Winger told van Persie that he was switching him to no.9 as our main striker even he can Persie didn’t like the idea but we know how that turned out. Henry was switched from the flanks to central. Walcott had nothing but speed don’t blame Winger for his luck of footballing brain.

  83. Marc


    That’s too much – my guess is their taking a view of you’ve only got to buy one match and you might as well subscribe to a full subscription.

  84. Thorough

    Saka and Martinelli comes to mind, hacking it with the senior team since 17.and to think Saliba was touted to be the Physical Specimen we’ve all been waiting for? I still think it’s got to be more mental than physical.

  85. wattsy

    With regards to Saliba just a kid in a mans body, new country , new language, plus did he not lose his Mother recently, a lot to deal with.

    Loan deal would be ideal, keep him close to the club, give him a season to settle in.

  86. Graham62

    Little Mozart

    I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with you.

    Wenger, or is it “Winger”, was culpable for many tactical/player failings over the years. The positives you talk of were more than outweighed by the negatives.

    Walcott could and should have given us so much more. Wenger was 80% to blame for that.

    It’s funny how some fans only remember the positives.

  87. Pedro

    Thorough, centre back is the most physical position in the team. Count the number of first-team 19-year-old centre backs in the Premier League. You won’t find many because they don’t exist.

    CT, I appreciated losing a loved one is awful… but it must also be awful to read people think you can’t handle it. He’s an adult, we all deal with trauma, I am sure this is not the problem for an ambitious player like Saliba.

  88. Pedro

    Thorough, also worth noting that just being big doesn’t mean you are ready. He was injured a lot last season, there are obviously reasons for that. If you break him again this season, you ruin his career.

  89. DivineSherlock


    While I agree he may not be physically ready , I was not sure people were taking into account of what has happened to him personally . He is an investment which needs to be protected. Still better to keep him rather than sending him out on loan . We have Enough games as it is .

  90. MidwestGun

    If he’s no better than Sokratis is now then he’s got a long way to go in scope of improvement.
    I don’t think that’s it at all Eagle.. Take a look at our upcoming schedule? Are we gonna throw Saliba in to sink or swim after a tough year personally for him against the likes of Man U, Leicester, City, Villa, Leeds etc… so if he isn’t going to play for months and get regular time what is he going to learn sitting on the bench? Young players need game reps and at a competitive level. That’s why I think he is going to be loaned. We need to win now. If it was strictly a talent situation then of course he would beat out Papa, Mustafi etc… but raw talent is not enough to garner a starting spot. Now maybe if we had no Covid and had a normal preseason, and the usual preparation for the season and then also not just had one of our worst seasons ever and had to switch managers a couple times. then he would be put into the starting lineup. Really don’t get the big conspiracy about it. Why is this a stick to beat Arteta with when it seems like he is doing the wise thing with a big investment?

  91. G8

    If it’s mental or psychological issue with saliba the best therapy is to play him and keep him busy not cast him away and pumb him with Prozac..
    He could play in league cups/ europa/ 10 mins cameo here or there..
    God ..Arteta even plays the emotional and nervous wreck kola in PL games

    I just hope it has nothing to do with the Guendouzi affair!

  92. Northbanker

    If Saliba does go somewhere like Brentford then chances are he could play more games

    So how does that fit the theory esp as the Championship is a school of hard knocks

  93. Luteo Guenreira

    “I can’t believe It’s funny how some fans only remember the positives.”

    Graham you are literally doing the exact same thing with Walcott. He was never as good as you are making him out to be.

    Although I will love him forever for that 2-0 hand gesture as he was being carted off against Spurs.

  94. AFC Forever

    Re: Saliba

    Speculate all you like it is irrelevant. The club know the player, his body, his mental state and whether he is ready or not.

    Come on guys, engage your brains before trying to nit pick at every opportunity it’s really not necessary.

    By the way, I lost my Mum in July to cancer. It was sudden, just a few weeks and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Things you wouldn’t expect can upset you and it’s really hard sometimes. Talk is cheap. My dads having bereavement counselling because he is struggling to get on with his life without Mum. It is pure ignorance to suggest Saliba can deal with it because he’s a professional sportsmen & got people around him. Just no. More men commit suicides than women and it’s usually the younger men. Take construction, its the highest risk for suicide and yet everyone thinks these are tough macho types. It is this ignorance about ‘man up’ or ‘toughen up’ etc at the root of all these problems. . The mind is a complex thing , some people are able to deal with things better than others. Why do you think Professional sports psychologists are so important? Sorry I’m getting emotional now. I’m not saying Saliba is or isn’t affected by the sad loss of his Mum, just saying don’t come on here passing it off as something that he can somehow brush off.

    Saliba is highly rated in France. The professional people at Arsenal will have assessed him and decided he may need to adjust to the English game before risking him. Physical league, plus he’s suffered a pretty nasty injury and there maybe a psychological issue thats pretty raw.. But ultimately, get off his back he is one of ours so support him and the club with whatever decision these professional people decide.

  95. MidwestGun

    So terrible… yeah, he’s the only one who has lost a parent.
    How many 19 year old football players who have signed a big contract ready to start a career at a tougher league for a new club in a different country have just lost their parent? I’ll wait for your list of players?

  96. Luteo Guenreira

    There’s no need to tiptoe around it, if Saliba is being considered for a loan it’s because the club/Arteta do not see him as good enough to be a genuine help this season. That’s not Arteta’s fault, nor is it really Saliba’s unless you want to blame a 19 year old for not developing as quickly as the fans would like. There was a lot of expectation thrown his way from the jump, and it may have been premature. But the hope is that he grows into the player we all envisioned. Obviously we’re not there yet though.

    You have to wonder though if the money wouldn’t have been better spent elsewhere if it’s going to take 2-3 years to develop him into a player. This doesn’t seem like it was a buy-and-stash plan like Chelsea have done with so many young talents either. I get age is a factor but there are cheaper CBs that have performed very well since arriving in the PL. Soyuncu comes to mind, believe we were he heavily linked to him the year before.

  97. AFC Forever


    “So terrible… yeah, he’s the only one who has lost a parent”

    You despicable individual. No surprise you can’t respect other people you vile cretin, you don’t even have the decency to respect yourself.