by .

Listen, we have to talk.

You’ve all been ‘ooooh, Mesut has to go’, now he ‘might’ be going you are crying into your keyboard sharing 2016 GOALS AND ASSISTS comps?

Grow up.

If Mesut is leaving, it’s because it suits his back account (at last).

Chris Wheatley said there have been talks between DC United and Fenerbache. It seems like the lean is more towards Turkey.

I suspect if he goes this month, Arsenal will still carry a portion of his wedge until Maybe, but any help is better than nothing.

The rumblings I am hearing are that there are three major priorities at the club right now.


The squad is badly bloated. That hits the bank account, but it also affects the training camp. Big names, dropped for kids, feeling very embarrassed is not how you create a high performance culture.

Our squad needs a dramatic trimming. Losing Mesut would be a HUGE win, hopefully he’ll take the toxic fanboys with him. The next highest priority on the list has to be Sokratis, who is taking the fancy of Genoa. Then we have to pray someone can pick up Mustafi, who can be difficult.

David Luiz will take care of himself within 5 months and the kids seem to like him, but we still have big issues. Xhaka, Mo and Willian need to be shipped as well, but I think that seems less likely.


This is an absolute necessity. The most dangerous miss in our squad. The club knows this. We’re about to move Matt Macey to Hibernian, but we’ll still be lumbered with the wholly unsuitable Runarsson.

Expect a loan deal here. It goes without saying, but the goalkeeping coach should be absolutely nowhere near this decision. Leave it with the analysts to pick the options. We need someone a bit older, that’s played at a top flight club in Europe, and ideally in the Premier League. Experience is absolutely key… no chances on the mates of someone at the club. Data driven, with an eye test as the confirmation.

At a basic level, look at keepers with 6 months on their deals: Fabianski, Sergio Romero, Gigi Buffon, Marko Dmitrovic, Tomáš Vaclík, Rui Silva, Begovic, Donnaruma and John bloody Ruddy. Nearly all of those names have extensive top level experience. None of them would crash us if the worst happened to Leno. They’d all be cut price right now.


The final priority is creativity, but this will only happen if there’s a really sexy opportunity. It seems fairly clear now that Arsenal has stumbled on a way forward. The obsession with short term fixes needs to end and we need to move forward. The biggest concern for the next 5 months is ESR and his fitness. Arteta went from ‘CANNOT COACH ATTACK’ to ‘THIS IS INTERESTING’ and most of that was because we added a competent #10. If we lose him to a hamstring, we’ll go back to being painfully bland again.

The rebuild now and in the summer needs to be heavily skewed in favour of fast players with the hunger to press for 90 minutes. The shape of the creative midfielder we find has to match that. There’s no use bringing in Eriksen… I’d even say that praying Isco wants to run of his gut seems a risk. I don’t know if Buendia is the answer, but at the very least, he matches the profile of player we should be taking a chance on.

So… an interesting month ahead. The right move is cull the squad before we grow. If we grow, let’s pray that we do it with a future facing mindset.

Right, I’m off to watch William Saliba run the defence over in Nice, a start right away, you love to see it.

See you in the comments. x


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Guns of SF


    Education is key. Higher education…. better paying careers.
    I know its not for everyone but a high quality education leading to college is the way for so many. it is a sure ticket overall.

    Rural america needs more of this to get our workforce more educated and able to do those jobs that go overseas so often.

    It is prioritizing education, which neither party really does well, the repubs pay literally no attention to it and wonder why we get dusted by all other countries

  2. Dark Hei

    The slow descent into madness happened during the Obama era.

    What the blue collared rural Americans were told is that they do not matter. The environment matter, globalization matters, minority rights matter but they, their jobs and their lifes don’t.

    This all can be avoided if they were given some help. Or at least they perceive some consideration is given to them. Like Trump doing this stupid trade war with China. He is clearly exploiting the masses but lip service is better than no service and insults.

  3. Dark Hei


    What Dissenter state is correct.

    There are other countries that integrate their own blue collared workers into the new economy better. But that requires a lot of deliberate consideration.

    It is a false argument that manufacturing in a modern economy is dead due to blah blah blah theories so we must all go China and the blue collared in US should just buck up or shut up.

    China, as the namesake “China” can attest, isn’t a cheap place to manufacture. It is an efficient place and that is due to government intervention.

  4. georgia boy

    What’s happening in America?

    Americans are fucking gullible. ALL OF THEM. Even the educated ones; their arrogance betrays them.

    Biden didn’t win the election, Trump lost it by being an asshole and not focusing on the positive things he has done for this country (great economy, no new wars, told Xi to suckadick) over the last four years. He can’t help himself. Anyone who knows anything about how he came up in NYC knew this about him before he got elected. But of course no one wants to hear that about their boy because the ideologically consistent thing to do at that point is to question his moves against one’s own principles. Oh, nobody has principles or an ethos anymore? Oopsy!

    The problem is…this is likely just the beginning. It makes me sad as an American but luckily for me I live in a place where you’re about as safe as you can possibly be (rural America).

    Raphael Warlock (lol) and Jon Ossoff won in my state today. Thanks Trump. And thanks Republican party of GA. Could have and should have kept both seats but instead you trot out Mr. Canadian Tuxedo and a 2×4 with blonde hair and one of the all time great lazy eyes. Neither of them sold themselves as anything other than daft fools. You didn’t need a marketing degree to know that. I didn’t vote for Warlock but I knew he would win, his ads were fucking outstanding. Ossoff rode his coattails to victory over a guy who has otherwise done a decent job for Georgians, not perfect but not a shitshow either.

    Thanks Donnie, you fucking fucko idiot fuck. A bullshitter to the end. Always was, and always will be. He never gave a shit about any American or about the integrity of what America stands for. Fuck him and rest of ’em.

  5. Dissenter

    Dark hei
    Actually No
    China’s rise is the result of efficient centralized planning, something western society are incapable of
    They trained millions of lower/mid-level technical workers in the 1980s/1990s, then facilitated another million or so Chinese youth to go get advanced degrees in the best western universities.

    China is indeed a cheaper place to manufacture because of centralized ownership and planning. Go check how much it cost for them to build a world leading bullet train infrastructure or airports. Go check the massive energy generation and grid they built in 15 years.

    It didn’t happen by chance, it was hard work and planning.

  6. Guns of SF

    China is the cheapest place on the earth to manufacture stuff pretty much
    The world is dependent on China.
    Trump should have taken a position to work with China on trade but no, he was elected to take on our economic enemy… another ploy during his campaign for votes.

    He wont touch China. He knows that would end badly.

    Biden does have a lot of work to do. I agree with rural and middle america. they need to be brought into the fold again, given opportunities and jobs, and a strong emphasis should be put on education with the Biden team. Our kids need the best to compete with the best in the world, That is not happening.

    PS, what is up with Loeffler? She looks like Barbie

  7. Dissenter

    “Trump should have taken a position to work with China on trade but no, he was elected to take on our economic enemy… another ploy during his campaign for votes.”

    China was never the enemy.
    They were just a potential partner that you have to keep at arms length ad set the riches of competition clearly.
    Instead he started a trade war that was unwinnable. The called his bluff and beat him up very badly. Good luck getting back the exclusive farming deals the US had with china. All those hogs and Soya beans have to go somewhere – The government can’t continue to subsidize farmers for Trump’s stupidity.

  8. Dissenter

    “PS, what is up with Loeffler? She looks like Barbie”

    C’mon she just lost a southern state to a black bible thumper.
    She only had to stand up for Republican principles and would have easily won. College educated republicans in the suburbs stayed home because they were embarrassed about how she became Trump’s poodle.

  9. Guns of SF


    I think Georgians had enough… what a turn around. Being a dem, I find it fascinating that a red state ( not even a purple state) turned blue… barely but enough in 2 elections to help Biden. Incredible.

    I know Biden wasnt the best candidate that was out there . I was a Bernie man myself.

    However Georgia really shocked me in a good way

  10. Guns of SF

    Turmp bullying Raffensberger and then this today, its just unbelievable
    Truly, The repubs have a criminal in the white house. I hope that he gets prosecuted when he leaves… there are too many lawsuits that will happen trust me

  11. Habesha Gooner

    Honestly though this how Hitler came to pass. Some of these Republicans have no one’s best interests but their own should be ashamed of themselves. The guy in the White House is a Buffoon. But As long as someone in power corroborates his story then his followers will believe him. It is like watching a movie to be honest. It doesn’t seem real. But one take away from this is how much elected officials have been corrupted to the point that they don’t care if the foundations of their country are shaken.

  12. Guns of SF


    Spot on…the internet has not made matters easier. So much disinformation gets spread and the rise of these conspiracy theories are rampant. OF course, all you need is about 15000 lunatics to believe them and act on them. Hence today…

    The amount of repubs that have sold their souls for personal gain by aligning to this fiend is remarkable. Also , how many jump ship when they know he is going down…. so many flip floppers

    Romney is the only consistent one in their ranks…. dude at least seems to have some backbone

  13. Habesha Gooner

    Guns of SF
    Some of them are already starting to scatter like rats to save themselves. Only the likes of Ted Cruz are still objecting the results. The thing that is shocking is that it took a storming of the Capitol for some of them to change their tune. It is just corrupted self interests driving these decisions. It is quite shocking.

  14. Guns of SF

    Ted Cruz is the head rat. The nastiest one with rabies, dripping in shit and garbage.
    Will do anything for personal gain. Will likely eat shit and drink piss if Trump told him to.

  15. Guns of SF


    Im reading some click baits about Bissouma. If we can get him it would be a coup that I like … not like the one today. A good coup.

    What a player- and partnered with partey would be immense.

  16. La croqueta

    “The next highest priority on the list has to be Sokratis, who is taking the fancy of Genoa. Then we have to pray someone can pick up Mustafi, who can be difficult.

    David Luiz will take care of himself within 5 months and the kids seem to like him, but we still have big issues. Xhaka, Mo and Willian need to be shipped as well, but I think that seems less likely.”
    This us kind of disingenuous. All these players contracts are up at the end of this season including Loans expiring luke Luiz. Arteta isn’t ‘getting rid’. They are simply running down their contracts until the end.

    As for the others who are “less likely” to leave. Well that’s simply because their contracts end next season. Not this. So again they are simply running down their contracts and the club can’t do anything about it. Except loans of course. Smh.

    Please everyone check transfermarkt and see for yourselves just how much “duds” still have a whole season left on their contracts.

  17. Bojangles


    “Arteta wasn’t here when the contract was running down. That’s not an excuse for his actions whilst here. He could have done more IMHO if he wanted to ensure he stays.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me you are suggesting a 19 year old should be allowed to hold a gun to the club’s head while making demands.

    I think gaining Balognan’s signature is a major priority for us but only if he wants to be part of the club. No player (including a 19 yo with potential) is bigger than the club. If he signs a new contract (which I believe he will), he should be sent out on loan to gain experience, the same as all young players.

  18. Tony

    There was some chatter yesterday that Arteta is considering bringing Douzi back from loan.

    May well be click bait, but maybe Arteta sees Douzi as a way of getting Saliba back on board and convince Bolagun to stay.

    The Saliba nonsense could well be Arteta’s Achilles heel, especially when results get bumpy again through Arteta’s incompetence/mistakes.

    Getting the kids fully bought into Arteta’s faux love and promises will take the immediate pressure off the rookie vindictive despot.

    Baiting and trolling at the same time what a ………………….

    Did you do all that and multitask further with your Ozil sock?

    Must have been a great night in your head you sad myopic man.

    The obsessives as you facially call them were the fans who wanted Wenger gone at a time we had both Klopp and Pep interested in takin g over from Wenger.

    You and others of your ilk who promote yourselves as true fans wanted Wenger to continue his lack of PL trophies, useless displays in the CL and clueless TWs for the long term.

    It’s why The Arsenal are in so much complete mess right now. It took Wenger 12 years to run the club down to this level.

    Funny how we so called obsessives saw the rot forming as far back as 2008.

    Yet you and your Super fan wannabes were completely oblivious so wrapped up in your love for a man who had disdain for the fans.

    As for Ozil Fenerbahçe and DC slugging it out for his services and not any PL top 4 team, or PSG, RM or Barca?

    Why do you think that is Pierre?

  19. Tony

    Mark is correct Arteta should have done more – at the very least shared game time with Eddie who was the wrong player for our needs with no hold up play etc.

    Not sure if you’ve noticed but Arteta has a problem with kids who stand up for themselves.

    The Saliba debacle ring any bells?

    How about Gwendouzi? That help jog your memory?

    You think Reis Nelson got a fair crack of the whip?

    If Arteta had the same thinking re youth as Emery had, we’d be in a better place now.

    There were other kids who could have got some playing time: Migel Azeez could have got time in cup games and Tyreece John-Jules, Sam Greenwood and not forgetting Moller.

    Fact is Arteta is playing ESR instead of Willian and Martinelli instead of Eddie was not by His choice but forced on him and we’ve won 3 on the bounce.

    Saliba seemed to have a decent game for Nice last night with no time to train with the team bar perhaps the odd session.

    I expect we’ll see much better from Saliba in the games to come, but had Saliba played like he did for Nice last night, he would have been good enough for the EL cup games where Arteta named several youth keepers and Mustafi etc.

    Wonder what your thoughts were on that?

  20. Emiratesstroller


    One should not judge Saliba on yesterday’s poor result.

    On the other hand there are serious questions to be asked about this player’s recruitment and for that matter some of the other transfers.

    We spent on transfers in Summer 2019 over £140 million and realistically only one of the
    four players recruited has turned out to be a success and that is Tierney. Messrs Pepe, Saliba
    and Luiz have offered poor value.

    Since then much of the scouting and management machinery at the club has been changed.
    One of the lessons learned from the last two financial years is that when you bring in players you don’t just look at the player’s football profile, but also at his personal background
    and whether he is likely to fit into culture of club.

    That was something developed by Shankly and Paisley at Liverpool in the 1960s and 1970s.
    They looked always at the character of the players that they wished to recruit. Incidentally
    it was a model subsequently followed by Arsenal at that time.

  21. Northbanker

    Morning all – great article on Tierney today in Arseblog – worth a read and probably underlines what we all think of him already.

  22. Tony

    So it would seem.

    Whatever you and I think It’ll not change the way the incompetents run the club from Arteta upwards.

  23. Habesha Gooner

    We talk about recruitment but If we play this summer right we have enormous room for getting a really good team. We shouldn’t be spending any money on forwards and Defenders. All the money must go to midfielders. We have assets to sell too. Along with expiring contracts from our wasters we have a massive chance to move forward. We just have to get the midfield recruitment right. Get Aouar, Buendia and Bissouma and we will have a team to really fear. We have assets like Chambers, Guendouzi, Torreira, Elneny, AMN and Lacazette to sell. With just adding a bit more money we could have a great team.

    GK LENO, New cheap Backup
    RB Bellerin, Soares
    RCB Saliba, Holding
    LCB Gabriel, Mari
    LB Tierney, New LB
    DM, Partey, Bissouma
    CM, Aouar, Partey, Willock, Azeez
    AM, Buendia, ESR
    RW, Saka, Pepe
    LW, Willian, Martinelli, Nelson
    CF Auba, Martinelli, Nketiah

    I could see this team winning the league in a few seasons if we play our cards right.
    We have assets of possibly 80 mil + in that list. Sell those players and reinvest in those three midfielders + Cheap backups at LB and GK and I see us taking a big leap.

  24. Dark Hei


    I probably oversold the “cheap” aspect as it is a relative term. However China isn’t the cheapest. Vietnam, Myanmar and India etc are by far cheaper.


    There are many companies who are guilty of 100% outsourcing to China. What they do is that they take some Chinese product and slap their own brand on it.

    Apple isn’t one of them. They develop everything in-house including assembly instructions. A lot of the equipment required to assemble the Iphones are made in Europe or licensed to US companies.

    So are they 100% assembled in China? Yes. But that is only part of the equation.

  25. Graham62


    Good morning.

    Just spent the last fifteen minutes de-icing the car. Bloody freezing outside. Something exhilarating though about this time of year when it’s minus temperatures outside and then coming back into a nice warm house.

    You hit the nail on the head in respect to Pierre. It’s always something I’ve never quite fathomed. How can we be called “entitled” or “obsessive “ just because we saw the rot setting in back in 2008.

    It says a lot about the mindset of an individual when they dwell on past glories and are prepared to accept embarrassment and failure as the norm.

    Of course they will argue that top 4 was achieved but surely that was the minimum requirement back then. We are in this mess because of one mans arrogance, it’s as simple as that.

    As we’re in Lockdown # 3, I’m seriously contemplating whether to write my own “My life in red and white “ autobiography, from a fans perspective. I’ll send a copy to Pierre. Should be finished by the Summer.

    I don’t hate Wenger or Mesut Ozil, it’s just that I no longer have any respect for them.


  26. Thorough

    Aside the awesome Stat, Nice’s coach had this to say ‘When you have a young player of his age – almost 20 years old – who has just arrived into a new squad and who shows such personality in the middle of a defence that he has known for one day, I think it’s very encouraging for what is to come.”

    THOSE saying he had a bad game definitely are agenda-driven.

  27. Dark Hei


    I would say that it is the club owners who ran the club down by keeping Wenger in charge with zero plan to manage him whatsoever.

    It is like the owner of a business who blames the CEO while keeping him 100% in charge.

    The club was just woefully unprepared. But to be fair, our ex-Ceo, Ivan G wasn’t a shining light of competency either.

    But what do I know. Maybe some American owners think this way. Just look at United.

  28. Northbanker

    Habesha – I don’t think we need 3 midfielders to progress. We should be keeping one eye always on our new talent coming through. Your ow logic is flawed anyway as you state no defenders but haven’t provided a solution for LB cover. That is why we need to keep AMN as he can provide cover as full back on either flank as well as cover in midfield (although it’s not a perfect solution for LB.

    I’m not convinced about RB either and think we need to upgrade there although we do have 4 or 5 prospects inc Osei-Tutu who could challenge there.

    I would think we will need a CAM to challenge or cover ESR. Cover at GK and LB may still be needed.

    If we can both buy Buendia and Bissouma then that will be more than enough to solve any midfield issues. A LB is probably the other target. I’m assuming we will solve GK cover this window but otherwise essential for Summer

  29. Graham62

    “Belief, togetherness, desire, spirit, mental strength”.

    The most embarrassing and nonsensical rhetoric that came out of Arsenal FC between 2006- 2018.

    Maybe that should be the title of my autobiography.

  30. london gunner

    Gonna get hate on this comment but arsenal fan tv has really improved its content.

    The stat analysis chat with the guy called James is very enlightening and puts evidence to a lot of the things I have been saying on this blog.

  31. Habesha Gooner

    North banker
    I don’t think any of our CMs are good enough apart from Partey. We need Aouar and Bissouma to have 3 midfielders who are very good for two positions. The other spot could go to an academy player though. CAM is neccessary as you pointed out.

    About the left back spot, AMN could take a backup LB spot but it would be conter productive to keep a player that has no starting role that could fetch us really good money. He isn’t good enough for midfield either. I wanted us to give him a shot there but he must be unconvincing for three managers to use him as an alternative fullback. We can get a cheap left back from the championship with potential. Liverpool got a world class LB in Robertson for 8 mil. But AMN could go for 20 to 25 mil. We should have sold him last summer to be honest. I haven’t mentioned Kolasinac and Xhaka who can be sold either. I don’t think of them as assets but as liabilities though. But someone Bayern Leverkusen offered 9 mil for kola last summer and We got an offer of 20 mil for xhaka a while back. It might look like FIFA but we need at least two more midfielders with quality to progress.

  32. shaun

    what’s more concerning is that Balagon is apparently on the transfer list after Arteta previously claimed he wanted to keep him , seems very odd but I say that as I don’t rate Nketiah at all and based on the limited appearances of Balaogon he looks to be a more complete forward than Nketiah

  33. Tony

    Actually think there is probably a market for such a book if written with humour and plenty of anecdotes to stir the imagination.

    I feel for your frozen suffering.

    Guess you’re going to have to ignore Pierre he just doesn’t know how to act around adults. I often think he has Tourette’s judging by the unintelligible noises he utters.

  34. Graham62


    Four questions.

    1. When we left Highbury in 2006, what were you hoping for as a fan?

    2. When you sat and witnessed the visible and predictable weaknesses and failings, what were you thinking?

    3. Excuses aside, because you tend to base everything post 2006 on excuses, do yo think that we would be in our present position if Wenger had left the club , as Tony highlighted, back in 2008?

    4. You consider yourself a super fan, whereas I consider you an embarrassment. Bearing this in mind, when Arsenal were constantly embarrassed during Wenger Mark 2’s reign, did you ever think to yourself that there was something seriously wrong with Wenger and his methods?

    Just curious.

  35. The Godfather

    “ I don’t hate Wenger or Mesut Ozil, it’s just that I no longer have any respect for them.”

    I’m sure neither Ozil or Wenger will sleep well tonite because of your proclaimed lack of respect 😭😭😭

  36. Northbanker

    Habesha – I get the point on AMN and yes if we can pick up a decent LB on the cheap then agreed although the sort of player we’d be looking for I’m not sure we’d make much of a turn on it.

    Aouar has been and gone – he’s priced himself out and doesn’t sound committed. Buendia should be cheaper and Prem ready, as is of course Bissouma. I’d still prefer to focus on those 2 – we have a number of decent prospects coming through – Azeez, Matt Smith, Catalin Cirjan who could all be pushing for places in a year’s time.

  37. Northbanker

    Also if we lose Balogun (for no fee) then putting aside the utter negligence of letting that happen , we need to find a younger cutting edge CF to play with Gabby and Saka as a front 3.

  38. englandsbest

    Apart from a decent GK, it would not surprise me if there were no incoming players in Jan. Nor would it disappoint me. The big treat would be the departure of Ozil, that alone would make a great window.

    Second on my list of wished-for departures would be Bellerin. IMO his negatives out-weigh his positives.

    As for the rest, Luiz, serves Arteta’s purpose in the sdressing-room, Willian may yet come good, Xhaka does his best

  39. Pierre

    To not give Balogun the game time he deserves could prove a monumental mistake if he decides to leave the club.

    One would have thought that the best way to convince a young player that the club wants him to stay is to play him.

  40. Karsa

    what’s more concerning is that Balagon is apparently on the transfer list

    Arteta reported today as saying that Balagun’s agent is the stumbling block and Balagun is definitely wanted at Arsenal.

  41. Pierre

    “Guess you’re going to have to ignore Pierre he just doesn’t know how to act around adults. ”

    Says he who refers to wanking socks on a daily basis…

  42. Chris

    Tierney is now such an important player for us and seems to keep his fitness, would spending a decent amount of money on a back up left back be wise?

    Perhaps we should think about giving Joel Lopez some minutes in the first team when appropriate? He has been part of the squad for the EL games I believe. He could be a free solution for that area.

  43. Nelson

    “Not sure if you’ve noticed but Arteta has a problem with kids who stand up for themselves.”

    Good observation. My guess is that Arteta is a rookie manager. He doesn’t have a history of past success like Mou or Ancelotti, etc. He needs a strong hand to keep the kids in line. But I believe that his man management will improve once he has gained more experience. I admire his fighting spirit. Emery couldn’t come out of the decline. Arteta was in a much worse situation with the long losing street. A lot of fans were all over him. Credit to him that he has turned it around.

  44. Graham62


    Arteta is 38 years of age, not 22.

    He should have an empathy for the youngsters at his age.

    He obviously doesn’t.

    That’s a flaw in his character.

    No ifs or buts.

  45. Pierre

    I will humour you..

    Q1). When we left Highbury in 2006, what were you hoping for as a fan?..

    A)To continue to enjoy watching the quality football that we had enjoyed for the previous 8 years.

    Q2) When you sat and witnessed the visible and predictable weaknesses and failings, what were you thinking?

    A) that wenger was doing an excellent job in keeping us competitive whilst playing open expansive football and repaying the debt for the Emirates without the bottomless pit of money of. city , United and chelsea

    Q3) . Excuses aside, because you tend to base everything post 2006 on excuses, do yo think that we would be in our present position if Wenger had left the club , as Tony highlighted, back in 2008?

    A3) difficult to say , all hypothetical of course but the only guide one has to this is to look at how the club has regressed in all areas in the 2 and half years since Wenger left despite spending 300 million.

    Q4) 4. You consider yourself a super fan, whereas I consider you an embarrassment. Bearing this in mind, when Arsenal were constantly embarrassed during Wenger Mark 2’s reign, did you ever think to yourself that there was something seriously wrong with Wenger and his methods?

    A4) all clubs have been embarrassed to some extent in the last 12 years including Ferguson’s United , consequently i prefer to look at the whole picture and recognised the difficulties in competing against 3 very wealthy clubs .

    Will just add that of course Wenger made many mistakes but he always stuck to his footballing principles and never tried to cheat his way to the top..

    It was said that to beat Arsenal you had to kick Arsenal and that’s what happened with regular broken legs without any protection from officials.

    To Wenger’s credit he built at least 4 quality sides….overmars/anelka……henry/pires….cesc/ rvp …Cazorla/Ozil/ sanchez …the only team that didn’t win trophies were the team that suffered 3 broken legs from horrendous tackles …remember “to beat Arsenal you had to kick Arsenal.”.

    I wanted Pep when he left Barcelona as i knew he was (and still is) the best in the world, we missed out on pep when i believed he would have come to Arsenal. ….
    this is the fault of the owner not Wenger…kronke showed no ambition.

    Would Pep had won more than Wenger and had us challenging for the title …probably.

    5/6 7 years ago , would kronke have given Pep the funds to transform the club …no .
    Would Pep had come to Arsenal without the promise from Kronke to spend some serious money ….no

    Consequently an ambitious manager like pep or klopp wouldn’t come near Arsenal with a barge pole.

    Taking this into consideration , we would have probably gone for an Emery or Moyes all them years ago as they would have been prepared to work with limited resources as wenger had done for all those years.

    If they had arrived 12 years ago we would probably be looking at championship football.

  46. Useroz

    Habesha Gooner

    Would agree with the need to strengthening the MF as suggested however it’s not going to happen with Edu and Arteta in charge.

    Aeteta is fast alienating most of our kids while jeopardizing future deals on young talent. Our competition will remind the players and agents of how our young prospects have been mistreated and / or mismanaged under Arteta. Saliba would be used as a prime example you bet.

    Unless and until Arteta isn’t in charge anymore and could adversely impact the development of young prospects, we’d be unable to rebuild, both on field and our reputation..

  47. Guns of Brixton

    It took 7 months to agree Baloguns first pro deal, the one players generally sign the day they turn 17. I just don’t believe it was his decision to stall that long, and I don’t this time either.

    Plus giving what Arteta said re his agent… well let what will be just be

  48. englandsbest

    Bob N16

    Agreed, and a decent offer and adequate replacement would not come amiss. But in the meantime
    he shows leadership quality on the pitch and tries his hardest.

  49. Emiratesstroller

    The Balogun story is beginning to look like the concern I suggested.

    Apparently, Club, Arteta and player want him to remain at Arsenal. The comment is ‘that we
    are not sure what the agent wants”

    I expressed concern last year that this agent represents 4 players who are currently registered at Arsenal. These include Saka!

    My suspicion looking at the number of young players on their list including Sancho is that
    the agents allow contracts to run down and their project is to secure for agency a large
    commission whether from current employer or transferee.

    One needs to ask the question why Balogun does not change agent if he wants to stay at

  50. Karsa

    I expressed concern last year that this agent represents 4 players who are currently registered at Arsenal. These include Saka!

    At least Saka signed. Here’s hoping the agent is just holding out for the best deal Arsenal will offer.

  51. Aussie+Gooner

    “Gunners hand Liverpool Balogun boost

    Liverpool could be in line for a surprise deal to sign Folarin Balogun from Arsenal for free.

    Arteta is keen to offload players this January, and The Independent claims Balogun has been deemed surplus to requirements – along with eight other players.”

    If this is true then it is shocking. One of the best thought of academy players allowed to run his contract down and leave for free to another EPL team – scandalous! How can a club of Arsenal’s stature still allow this kind of situation occur?

  52. Useroz


    Don’t see Arteta’s apparent inability to engaging with the kids a problem of lacking experience.

    Its in his blood and DNA, and more about his characters , social skills etc. So not going to genuinely change for the better anytime soon, unless his hands are forced.

  53. Useroz

    The Balogun debacle is a direct result of having people like Vinai, Edu and Arteta running Arteta Plc.

    As a collective, the trio simply lacks the wherewithal to get the right things done right!

    Will not be the last case either, especially if Balogun walks for free in the end.

  54. Northbanker

    I have been heavily critical of Arteta in recent weeks and very concerned about his overall judgement, as so many have here. However, we are all outsiders whatever some might think. There was quite obviously a massive discipline issue going on at this club prior to his appointment with player power refusing to turn up for Emery and this quickly overwhelmed Freddie when he took over a caretaker.

    Perhaps another more experienced manager might have tackled this issue differently. But it cannot be dismissed as Arteta probably felt he had to be tough. That was probably a huge issue with appointing a rookie.

    He now needs to quickly move on from this and start afresh. He has seen that a quick turnaround strategy relying on old warhorses doesn’t work (and ironically some of these were instigators in the discipline problem)and he needs to build the future with youth development. This is an imperative from both a playing point of view given the energy they provide but also of course a financial one.

    Let’s hope he learns quickly and permanently.

  55. Pierre

    “One needs to ask the question why Balogun does not change agent if he wants to stay at

    At the end of the day, his agent knows he has Arsenal by the short and curlies , he is holding all of the cards.

    His agent has probably assured Balogun that if he really wants to stay at Arsenal that will happen , but first he will try and get the best deal possible.

  56. Graham62

    Balogun is better than Nketiah in every facet of his game.

    Based my observations on seeing him play for just a few minutes.

    Arteta is totally clueless if he lets him go.

    Hope this is fake news.

  57. Dissenter

    The agent isn’t just dealing with Balogun. He’s dealing with Balogun’s advisers which has to include his family.
    It’s a bit condescending to think that the agent is to blame and not the self determination of a young man as well as his family.
    Have you considered that maybe Arsenal hasn’t served him well enough and he’s better off elsewhere?
    Balogun has to do the best thing for himself. It has nothing to do with the agent. The agent will give him options, he makes the final decision.

  58. Graham62

    Just a quick observation on the carnage in the US.

    Trump should not only be impeached but imprisoned or institutionalised.

    All those Republican members of Congress who supported Trump, should be stripped of office.

    The thugs who got arrested at the Capitol, should get life.


  59. Samir

    Will be disappointed if Balogun leaves. However, good luck to him.

    Nothing surprises me with Arsenal anymore. Seems the majority of big decisions they make are the wrong ones.

  60. Valentin


    Not going to happen.
    I am willing to bet that those 7 self serving senators who voted to overturn the election will be campaigning for the presidential election in 2024. They will use the same tricks than Trump and will try to rally his base to their candidacy.

  61. Valentin

    More and more rumours that Arteta tried to sell most of the youngsters to raise funds but that Edu puts his foot down.

    Arteta wanted to sell Saliba for £15~20 millions to buy a ready made replacement, but Edu vetoed that and made clear to all interested parties that the only deal available was a six months loan without an option to buy.

    Norwich wanting Nelson and Willock plus £20 millions for Buendia, but Edu only willing to go for free six months loan with Arsenal paying the salary of the two youngsters and again no option to buy.

  62. Victorious

    Balogun probably has come to the realization he’s got zero to no chances of making it as a first or second choice CF for Arsenal in the foreseeable future and has thus made the decision to move along,

    Aside the fact he’s got no chance of starting ahead of Laca or Auba, he’s also below the likes of Martinelli and Eddie in the pecking order.

    I’ll be surprised if he ends up at Liverpool though, he’ll probably join a midtable bottom PL club or Championshop level imo

  63. Nelson

    The TV just showed how the offices inside the Capital Hill was destroyed. That was not a demonstration. That was a mob.

    The way Trump raised this fight reminded me of Chairman Mao Zedong’s red army. You can fool people if you keep repeating the lie. “The election was stolen from me”

  64. Jamie

    “They will use the same tricks than Trump and will try to rally his base to their candidacy.”

    I hope they’re genuinely stupid enough to pursue this fool’s errand. All this will serve to do is split the Republican vote, as was played out in Georgia.

    Mainstream Trumpism is dead.

  65. Valentin

    Looking at the stats regarding the premier league goalkeeper, it is now clear that Arsenal needs an upgrade on Leno as well.
    Extrapolating from the stats of the athletic, Leno made two avoidable mistakes. Those two mistakes resulted in defeat by the odd goal, so Leno has cost us overall 4 PTS. At the end of the season, he may cost us 8pts. That could be the difference between no European competition and top 4.


  66. Karsa

    Leno made two avoidable mistakes.

    Was there any goalkeepers who made no avoidable mistakes?

    You would have to take the points from other teams too to make a judgement.

  67. Graham62


    Many thanks for your detailed response.

    Don’t agree with most of it but kudos to you for giving it a go.

  68. S Asoa

    “ Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun is on the verge of signing a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club, according to reports. The 19-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the season and is already able to negotiate with teams outside of the Premier League. According to The Athletic, Balogun is now close to signing a pre-contract with a foreign side, which would see him leave Arsenal at the end of the season. The report also claims that there are concerns from Balogun’s camp over the amount of playing time he has received this season. The forward is yet to play in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta and has made only four appearances as a substitute in the Europa League and one 13-minute cameo in the Carabao Cup last month. “

    Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/07/folarin-balogun-close-to-arsenal-exit-as-he-nears-pre-contract-agreement-13864298/?ito=cbshare
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

    and the pigeons come home to roost as likely Balogun off to Germany ?

  69. Valentin


    The US is a two parties system. Unless the republicans split into two parties: a conservative and nationalist one, people who viewed themselves will always end up voting for the republican candidates. If they have to choose between an honest decent democrat and a crook, demagogue republican, blind loyal republicans will hold their nose doing it, but they will still vote Republican.

    Primaries tend to favour the more active and more vocal candidates, Trump candidates will be selected in the republican primaries.

    Do you think that Ted Cruz, a spineless opportunist will suddenly grow a conscience? He knows that most moderate will see him as a dangerous traitor. His only chance is that the Trump base annoints him as Trump successor and force the hand of the moderate republicans.

  70. Valentin


    The stats are two more avoidable goals. Outstanding saves are offsetting avoidable mistakes that lead to goals.

  71. Graham62

    Has anyone on here seen Balogun play at youth level.

    Having only seen him play for a few minutes here and there in the Europa League, I would say he is a special talent.

    Opinions please.

  72. Karsa

    The stats are two more avoidable goals. Outstanding saves are offsetting avoidable mistakes that lead to goals.

    Indeed. But you can’t deduct points from one team without doing the same to all the rest before you can dispute league positions.

  73. Victorious

    The only reason why Balogun looks a talent is because Nketiah is dreadful so the bar is very low.

    Haven’t seen anything from him to merit a first team action for a club like arsenal

  74. La croqueta

    Conspiracy theory:

    I was wondering why all of a sudden is Eddie getting so much game time. Ahead of even Lacazette in many games. Well it seems to me the club were making their move regarding balogun early. If Eddie is older and getting game time. This will give the club the excuse as to why they can’t give balogun any gauruntees. The agent must be making demands or looking for guarantees for his client. Instead of bending to balos agent, the club put their eggs in eddies basket as he still has about 2 years. If he works out. Nobody cares about balogun. Baloguns agent would have to accept there are just better players ahead of him.

    But that didn’t happen. Balogun is better than eddie and probably better than Lacazette except for Lacazettes experience. So balogun has been in a strong negotiating position as the clubs alternatives are dross. Even the fan base are calling for balogun. Means what ever amount balos agent wants. They are confidently standing on it.

    The weird thing is. Why don’t the club want balogun anyway? They are watching him run down his contract knowing Liverpool are waiting. Does balo want 100, 120, 150kpw? I wouldn’t think so. This club is still a mess. That’s for sure.

  75. Nelson

    I am with Pierre on this. If you play Eddie alone, he is weak. I would like to see him playing with ESR, Saka and Martinelli in a four men attack. Eddie should play much better in a unit.

  76. london gunner

    I think at this point trump will end up in prison it will take a very long court case but he is fucked.

  77. Habesha Gooner

    According to Fabrizio 15 clubs have interest in balogun. You heard that right, 15!

    At this point we should try and negotiate a short term deal like three years and promise he will get his chance. Nketiah might be the under 21 English record holder but he has struggled at this level and he will do so in the future. There aren’t edges to his game. He is a poacher. I think we need to sell. At the end of this summer he too will have a year left if I read it correctly. Interests from this many teams suggests they think balogun is something special.

  78. london gunner

    Maybe the team were playing eddie to increase his value (clutching at straws) but hoping this is the case.

  79. Pierre

    Just listening to Arteta’s press conference and he is talking very positively about the Balgun situation, similar to the way he was discussing Saka’s new contract begore he signed..

    Balogun needs to show patience, Arsenal is the club for him.
    Lacazette will be gone in the summer and it could be a choice between Balogun and Eddie for the striker’s role.

    Both offer different things to the team but both are prolific in front of goal..

    I think Balogun will stay .

  80. Paddy got bored

    Is this now some Yank website??
    Its bad enough hearing these skeptics talk about spuds and calling players ballers!!
    But now it’s some political soundbar all about Trump.
    This is Arsenal fuck America there all mental always have been
    Go back to baseball, shooting bears and eating hot dogs and leave football alone

  81. Pierre

    “I am with Pierre on this. If you play Eddie alone, he is weak. I would like to see him playing with ESR, Saka and Martinelli in a four men attack. Eddie should play much better in a unit.”

    I have been saying for a while now that it is a collective thing with our kids coming through.

    Even Saka’s game has gone up a level with the introduction of Smith Rowe, and Smith rowe would not have had such an impact without Martinelli and Saka alongside him.

    How good would it be to see Balogun, Martinelli, Smith Rowe, Eddie, Saka and willock all starting v Newcastle at the weekend, just to see how good they can ve all playing together.

    Sadly we will probably see willian , pepe, Lacazette and Ceballos starting.

  82. Pierre

    “This is Arsenal fuck America there all mental always have been
    Go back to baseball, shooting bears and eating hot dogs and leave football alone”

    Ha ha …. at least jamie has a some knowledge when the subject is trump, football is not really his thing is it.

  83. london gunner


    Lacca is playing very well I get the criticism against him but arteta has every right to keep playing him until/if his form drops. (Doesn’t mean we can’t rotate though as laca knackers himself out after 70 mins)

  84. Dissenter

    I think Eddie has had enough chances for us to make the right call about him.
    He’s not good enough for the first team right now. He needs to be sent out on loan again.
    There may still be good footballer lurking somewhere in him but that good player is still far off.

  85. Valentin


    Of the 6 goalkeepers ahead of Leno with a negative impact:

    1 plays for Southampton that we have not yet faced.

    3 plays for team that we beat, so even if they were to make a mistake that would not change the final result: 3pts for us and 0 for them.

    2 plays for team that beat us, but against which our xG was less than our xGA. So unless you are arguing that they could have accidentally thrown the ball in their net, those two losses were expected. Leicester and Everton defeats were not flukes. The oppositions did not make any outstanding saves against us.

    So the bottom line, we are 4pts worse off than we should be. Extrapolate that over a full season and you have 8pts worse off. 8pts is the difference between getting 4th and finishing 8th outside the European places.

  86. Mark

    A small section from the article I posted;

    ” The 19-year-old certainly enjoyed a prominent role in the fixture. As shown by Whoscored.com, he completed more passes than any other player on the pitch.

    He also made two successful tackles and two clearances for Nice. And that prompted plenty of fans to suggest that they saw plenty of positives from Saliba’s debut performance.

    Admittedly, there were some who felt that his display vindicated Mikel Arteta’s decision to not use him in the first-half of the season. But others claimed that some of the problems with his contribution could be put down to his lack of game-time. ”

    Not too shabby considering he’s never played with any of the team before, and only arrived 24hrs earlier. Completed More passes than anyone else on the pitch !!

    Not ready my arse!

  87. Jamie

    “people who viewed themselves will always end up voting for the republican candidates.”

    This simply isn’t the case, as evidenced in the Georgia senate run-off yesterday. A historically red state turned blue because Trump split the Republican vote by both alienating certain conservative demographics and delegitimising the election process.

    Biden also flipped Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Wisconsin in the general. The election wasn’t even close, and Trump lost all three branches of government in one election. If Trump can’t win with Trumpism, no one can. It’s over.

    Ted Cruz will pivot back to anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and 2nd Amendment rights rhetoric that will continue to play well in Texas, but won’t win him anything nationally.

  88. Dissenter

    I have to say Jamie is quite informed about American politics, in a very nuanced way
    Have my differences with the king of snide 🙂 atill but his knowledge base is superb.

  89. Valentin


    Both loser incumbent senators have received record number of votes.
    The reason why they lost is that their opponents were able to increase the number of people to vote. As the guy in charge of Georgia election explained, the voting campaign that are mostly democrat were able to convince 100,000 EXTRA people to vote. That’s 100,000 people who did not participate to the presidential election but vote for a runoff.

    The same with Trump. Despite his atrocious presidency, he still got more votes (6.5 millions) in 2020 than in 2016. People hold up their nose, but still voted for him.

    Ted Cruz is an opportunist, but not an idiot. He has seen the number. He knows that if he can count on that base, he has a shot. Despite despising the deplorables, a seizable numbers of republicans will still vote with them.

  90. Valentin

    Ted Cruz, Trump Jnr, Ivanka will just spend the next 4 years to be the acceptable face of Trumpism.
    I fully expect them to continue with the rhetoric that they are the true voice of real America that others are trying to silence.

  91. Nelson

    “I think Eddie has had enough chances for us to make the right call about him.”

    Up to now, Eddie was deployed in Arteta’s 3 4 3 formation with Auba and Willian playing as part of the front three. Sometimes Pepe replaced Willian on the right. With this setup, even Auba and Laca looked like shit in the striker role. I still think we should give Eddie a chance to play with the other kids. If he still fails, then we’ll make a proper call.

  92. Tee

    “More and more rumours that Arteta tried to sell most of the youngsters to raise funds but that Edu puts his foot down”

    Can we have links to these rumours or they are just the usual personal made-up bullshit?

  93. Jamie

    Val –

    Voter turnout was huge, no doubt. Like I said, Trump failed to galvanise enough of the base to vote Republican. His base either didn’t vote or voted for the Dem candidate for reasons I already mentioned – thereby splitting the Republican vote.

    Dems (even the far-left acquiesced) united around their candidate(s) and voted in droves – the opposite of splitting a party vote.

    Getting a record number of votes as an incumbent is a lovely booby prize, but the other guy got way more in the popular and the Electoral College was a blowout.

    Anyway, we’ll go around in circles with this. I remember trying to convince Don a year ago that Trump was finished and he’d likely cost the GOP control of the senate on his way out the door. Sometimes best to just let these things play out.

  94. Raulishuss

    “More and more rumours that Arteta tried to sell most of the youngsters to raise funds but that Edu puts his foot down”

    I mean look at the above and you wonder why Arsenal fans are always been laughed at. Spreading bullshit just to fit his weird agenda. Shocked!

  95. Dissenter

    The problem with persisting with the likes of Eddie is that you’ll be taking away opportunities for other youngsters like Balogun.
    We’ve seen enough of Eddie to reasonably assess him. I’m not even advocating that we ditch him, let him go and prove himself on loan.

  96. andy1886

    Wenger spouting more bollocks – maybe he’d be better off being a social worker (from F365):

    Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is “not sure” he would’ve signed Sol Campbell from Spurs if he could go back in time.

    Despite Tottenham reportedly offering Campbell a contract that would’ve made him the highest paid player at the time, he chose to leave on a free transfer in 2001 to arch-rivals Arsenal.

    The former England international was labelled ‘Judas’ by some Spurs fans at the time, while he suffered from the backlash for many years after.

    And Wenger, who brought Campbell to Arsenal, claimed that he may have chosen to pursue another target if he had the opportunity to make the decision again.

    “I knew that it would cause heated debates in London, but I was truly con­vinced by the player,” Wenger told 11 Freunde.

    “I thought he was capable of facing the adver­sity. For me, it was easy because ever­y­body was con­scious that I had signed a great player. But for him, it was more com­pli­cated.”

    Wenger added: “The situa­tion was really stressful for Sol and he told me after­wards how severe it became.

    “He couldn’t go to cer­tain places for dinner or walk freely in London because of the anger of the Tot­tenham fans.

    “In hind­sight, I’m not sure if I would sign him again bea­ring in mind the dif­fi­cul­ties he faced.”

  97. Tee

    “I mean look at the above and you wonder why Arsenal fans are always been laughed at. Spreading bullshit just to fit his weird agenda. Shocked!”

    I thought I was the only one that read the bullshit.

    Arteta stated so clearly that the club want Balogun to stay, even Auba said he told the kids to be patient and that their time will surely come. But here we have someone saying Arteta wanted to sell all the kids but edu objected.

    Ask him for the links and you will be surprised by the usual summersault of comments that will follow

  98. Valentin


    I agree with you that Trump himself is finished, as he is now a red flag for most Americans.

    But my point is that Trumpism itself is not dead. Trump lost because he rallied more people AGAINST him, but he still rallied most of his base. His base in limited in size but large enough and vocal enough to highjack the republican primary.

    Those who are chasing that base are counting on that.
    Remove him from the ballot and those people who felt that they had to go vote and oust Trump may not, meanwhile people who support him will still drive for the annointed chief.
    That’s exactly why those 7 senators and Trump children are staying silent or refuse to explicit condemn what happen. They hope that apathy and complacency from Never Trumper but enthusiasm from Trump supporters leaves them with enough of an opening at the next election.

    I am not saying that this is what is going to happen. But it is clear that a few of those ghoulish opportunists think so.

  99. Tee

    “Wenger spouting more bollocks – maybe he’d be better off being a social worker (from F365):”

    Where is the bollock if I may ask?

    He said what really happened about big Sol to Arsenal but you are quick to call them bollocks because you are one them who prefer to dwell on his downfalls than his success

  100. andy1886

    Tee, it’s very simple, Wenger was employed to do the best for Arsenal, not to play mother to his players. The idea that he would not sign Campbell if he had his time again because the player got so much grief is ridiculous, he’s there to win football matches (no invincibles without Sol). What next, get someone from he Samaritans in?

    If he says he didn’t know how much abuse Sol would get he’s either incredibly niave or a liar. Everyone knew what would happen, death threats, all sorts of vile abuse. I expect that this is just more headline grabbing garbage by a man desperate to sell his rather dull autobiography.

  101. Dissenter

    Amen to that

    The capitol police opened the barricades to the insurrectionists and took selfies with them.

    One guy was dressed a Viking, another broke into the speakers office and beamed himself live…”scratching his balls” as his legs were on her table.

  102. Samir

    Arsenal have confirmed that they’ve borrowed £120m from the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).

    It’s a short term loan to help cash flow and not a transfer warchest.

    From Chris Wheatley

  103. Valentin

    So according to some Arteta is not trying to clear the squad at the expense of Willock, Nelson, Balogun…


    Arteta is a master of saying something in public and doing something that clearly contradict what he is saying.

    Non negotiable anyone?
    William went straight back into the team without having to perform a public apology tour.
    Same with Xhaka. Meanwhile Pepe…

    Last summer Arteta said that he wanted Balogun to stay, yet after he had been brought in by Freddie he was send back to train with the U23.

    I can’t even name all the BS excuses, Arteta came to justify Saliba exclusion. From not physically ready to mentally unstable due to personal tragedy. Using Saliba personal loss as justification did not go down very well with him and his agents.

  104. Freddie Ljungberg

    It’s on Arsenal.com as well.

    “As a result, we are taking a short-term £120 million loan through this facility to partially assist in managing the impact of the revenue losses attributable to the pandemic. This is a similar approach to that taken by a wide variety of major organisations across many industries including sport, and is repayable in May 2021.”

    very short term.

  105. Samir

    No, they’ve only just taken the loan recently. Maybe to pay off players now rather than waiting until the summers TV money?

  106. TR7

    Expect the club to use the funds to pay off wages of players such as Sokratis, Ozil etc. to hasten their departure from the club.

  107. TT

    “Having only seen him play for a few minutes here and there in the Europa League, I would say he is a special talent.”

    I had to laugh at this. We can now judge greatness from a few minute cameo….

  108. Graham62


    That was me.

    Only need to see GX play for a few seconds to see he’s not so special.

    It doesn’t take that long to give an honest appraisal of a player.

  109. Graham62


    At the level we’re talking about, spotting a special talent is quite easy.

    Remember the first time you saw Saka and Martinelli play.

  110. Mark

    Graham 62

    Exactly.! You can tell if a player has something about him in an instant. Just by the way they move, awareness and pass and more importantly as a forward finishing.

    I agree with Graham we’ve seen more than enough to know he’s a real talent.
    People seem to be confusing not being given a chance as not being good enough 🤔