EXITS WILL BE THE PRIORITY, THEN A KEEPER

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.

SELL PLAYERS

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.

BACK UP KEEPER

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.

CREATIVITY

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

507 Responses to “EXITS WILL BE THE PRIORITY, THEN A KEEPER”

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  1. Valentin

    The lack of chemistry between Pepe and Bellerin may as well be attributed to Pepe rather than Bellerin. Saka playing right winger has great chemistry with Bellerin. But then again Saka has the awareness and diligence of tracking back his opponent.

    When Pepe played on the left, his interaction with Tierney was even worse than with Bellerin. In his last game, Tierney was shouting at him for not making the correct runs, pointing to where he should have gone.

    He is on a different wavelength than most of his teammates.
    It remind me of a talk that Fabregas did about the Barcelona style of playing. By default midfielders tend to move toward each other. Players who does not have the ball get closer, because that’s the usual way. However because of the way Barcelona plays, Fabregas had to retrain his instinct and do the opposite.

    Because Barcelona try to always have triangles of a certain distance, when a teammate carries the ball toward you, you are not supposed to move until they are close enough and then you move to vacate you space and let them go there. The opponent who marks you has then to decide whether to follow you and leave the space you just vacated free for your teammate or to confront your teammate who can then pass to you unmarked.

    Fabregas explained that it took him a very long time to adjust to that new style. Pepe has the same issue. He is wired in a different way and just can’t adjust to his current teammates.

  2. Pierre

    Having saka on the right with Bellerin creates the perfect overload when we are attacking..

    Saka can cut in from the left for a Ziyech type cross/shot, whilst Bellerin can overlap if saka wants to use him for the right foot cut back..

    it’s all about timing, if Bellerin times his run to perfection , he pulls the defender away which allows Saka space to deliver .

  3. Sid

    Sanchez was surplus to requirements at Barca came to Arsenal and was unplayable at 26, went to man u and was crap.
    Theres no reason Pepe cant do well especially around 2 technical creative midfielder and him around the box.

  4. Mb

    Matt Macey joins Hibernian on a permanent transfer.
    Saliba loaned to Nice (no option to buy).
    Sead Kolasinac loaned to Schalke.
    LT on loan to atletico.
    Guen to hertha berlin.

    Pretty good so far. Move Ozil and Xhaka and that’s a good transfer window.

  5. China1

    The mismanagement of Pepe has been crap but saka has had an arguably tougher introduction to first team football playing in every position going practically and he’s earned nothing but praise

    So the blame for Pepe lies with both the management and Pepe himself

  6. Time Up

    “Against WestBrom Tierney lost it with him, because he did not make the simple inside run.”

    I think it was against Chelsea. He didn’t play against WBA.

  7. Time Up

    I think Pepe needs to practice playing with his right foot. I remember RVP use to be so one footed and once he started using his right foot, he turned into a world class player.

  8. Nelson

    I still think that with Pepe’s skill and his speed, he should be able to adapt. As China said, it is a failure on both the coach and the player.

  9. DivineSherlock

    I have not blamed Bellerin , what I am saying is that Pepe needs to build chemistry with the full back . But it cant happen unless he gets a good run of games . He had a good run of games when AMN was playing behind him . Bellerin and Saka are doing well because Saka is good in possesion , he doesnt lose the ball that much . Also he has played as a fullback he has that awareness .

  10. Time Up

    I’m surprised Arteta hasn’t thought of playing Chambers as CDM next to Partey with ESR in front of them. In my opinion from what I saw at Fulham, Chambers not top class in that position but better thanEl and Xhaka in that position.

  11. Time Up

    I don’t think we’ll sign anyone in this window. I can see Arteta thinking he could play Willian or ESR in the number 10 position. He played Willian there in the second half against Everton, we controlled most of the half and Willian did ok.

  12. englandsbest

    For me the main function of a full back is defence not attack. Some are able to do both effectively. Tierney does. Bellerin can’t. The difference probably lies in the mindset.

    Full-back is the easiest position to play on the pitch, the whole game is laid out in front of you. It allows Tierney to pick the right moment to attack, giving himself time to get back in defence if needs be.

    Too simple a role for a show-off like Bellerin, he fancies himself a spectacular winger. Result? Gaps left behind and suffocation of the man in front.

  13. Danny+S

    😂 Pierre you bellend.

    You mention Ozil in the same breath as De Bruyne and Salah?
    He’s not in the same planet.

    Hence why only the MLS and Fenerbache want him.

    You think if KDB and Salah were available on a free every top club in Europe would t be falling over themselves to sign them?

    Any chance to bring him up and you jump in it even if the comparison is absolute dog cock.

  14. Terraloon

    ES

    I am not suggesting that the % interest payable on the loan is low the fact is that Arsenal needed to draw down £120 million .
    The argument you put forward is the exact same justification used by Spurs supporters when they drew down £175 million . The fact remains that both Arsenal and indeed Spurs will have to pay back the borrowings.
    If it’s not been spent that great but in both instances it’s highly likely that a chunk, if not all of it will have been spent and these loans are very short term and the capital will be have to repaid and if it’s been spent and revenue continues to be depressed then that’s going to cause issues.
    As for cost cutting the suggestion in the AST article is that in wage terms the new contracts and new signings could be broadly neutral and yes Ozil will in all likelihood be of the payroll in months but his salary of circa £18 million pa is dwarfed by the loss of match day income.
    Of course the press release announcing the loan is written in such away as not to cause panic but unlike Spurs who used the subsidiary company that owns and operates their Stadium to borrow the money as far as I can see Arsenal have used the holding company .

  15. Pierre

    Time to go, in typical Le Grove fashion, the juveniles have arrived , i think I’ll leave jim, Danny and Mb to it .

  16. Mark

    Saliba’s response at his official unveiling
    ” When asked about potentially staying at the Allianz Arena, Saliba had an interesting response.

    “I have signed a 6 month contract, after these 6 months we will see what happens,” he said at his official unveiling to the press, via GFFN. “But for now I have signed for 6 months, I am going to give my all, and then we will see.”

    Was there any truth in the rumours it’s gonna be longer than 6 months? Doesn’t sound particularly keen on returning.
    I don’t like the feel of this whole thing. Really hope I’m wrong.
    No smoke and all that…

  17. Raulishuss

    Saliba says his first six months at Arsenal were very difficult because of lack training from the previous six months, adding that he lacked pace during friendly games and was not at his best physically. from the horse’s mouth

  18. WengerEagle

    Saliba situation has been handled atrociously, bizarre transfer.

    Either he’s been shafted by the club/management or he’s miles off of it playing-wise and we fucked up forking out such a heavy amount of benjamins on him with our limited budget.

    How can Fofana who wasn’t even rated as the bigger talent in France make such an immediate impact at Leicester in the PL but Saliba isn’t even capable of handling himself against the Binmen/Fishermen and Street Sweepers of Dundalk, Vienna and Molde?

    100 million on Pepe and Saliba and we solely rely on ESR and Saka for creative spark, fuck me.

  19. Mark

    No excuses for not getting any minutes in the Prem. Red card explained for the agenda seekers.

    He didn’t get any minutes to the detriment of the team/club cos Arteta was pissed he’d responded to comments made by Gwen and the Laca video.
    I reckon.

    That’s what I think. Petty !

  20. Raulishuss

    WE

    Nobodys to blame for Saliba, it was just circumstances sure the club kinda messed up with the loan at first but they quickly rectified this Jan. The lad said he was off the pace surely Arteta was trying to protect him the worst thing that could happen to him was to play when he wasn’t at the races

  21. WengerEagle

    ‘Hey guys any truth in the Julian Draxler rumours? and what do you guys think about him?’

    I mean he’s another one that I would have been keen to sign in 2015 and even though he’s still only 27, it kind of feels like his best years have already passed him by.

  22. Time Up

    Retired footballer Mesut Özil is the only player to have recorded the most assists for the season in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Euros and the World Cup.

  23. WengerEagle

    Raulishuss

    We shouldn’t have spunked so much money on him in that case.

    30m is an amount you would want to see some discernable impact on the XI within a couple of years, it’ll be 2 seasons without him playing a wet minute for us by the time we get him back from Nice.

    It’s not a knock on the lad, he’s very young but just a strange transfer all round. We’re not Man City, we can’t afford to spend that amount of money on a prospect years away from first team action.

  24. Time Up

    No to Draxler. He would only be successful in a team that with a lot of young talented players and needing an older head. We’ve enough experience players, even though most of them average.

  25. WengerEagle

    ‘Retired footballer Mesut Özil is the only player to have recorded the most assists for the season in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Euros and the World Cup.’

    Well, that’s a lie.

  26. Mark

    @Raulihuss

    “because of lack training from the previous six months, adding that he lacked pace during friendly games and was not at his best physically. from the horse’s mouth”

    He also says he felt he wasn’t given any chance to prove himself, and by the total lack of senior competitive football, I’d say he’s right.

    He was rated Nice best player by L’Equipe. On his debut FFS.
    Yet people still believe he was so in ready we had to play Mustafi and Kola over him in the Prem. It’s laughable and people are mentioning it, cos we’ve been suspect at the back and short of numbers.
    Yet we were unable to recognise the talent we had. yet again ( Like not giving ESR a chance ages ago) Selling Martinez (Better keeper).

    How does it look from the outside at a club run this way?
    Saying Saliba’s not good enough for us then playing Kola??
    We look like idiots!!

  27. Tee

    “He didn’t get any minutes to the detriment of the team/club cos Arteta was pissed he’d responded to comments made by Gwen and the Laca video.
    I reckon.That’s what I think. Petty !”

    That’s what you will always think since you can’t think of any other thing pertaining to arsenal other than a 19 years old player on loan.

    Saliba said he was rusty and it reflected in his first few games for us and that though he would love to have been allowed to get back to fitness but he was told from onset that he would be going on loan.

    Where arsenal fucked up was failure to finalize a loan deal for him before the window closed.

    ““I have signed a 6 month contract, after these 6 months we will see what happens,” he said at his official unveiling to the press, via GFFN. “But for now I have signed for 6 months, I am going to give my all, and then we will see.”

    That’s the best response expected of him because nothing is a given in club football. You are in the next minute and out the second. Expecting him to say otherwise says more about you than saliba.

    Fans should let the guy focus on his football. Enough of all these gymnastics of thought.

  28. Tee

    “Retired footballer Mesut Özil is the only player to have recorded the most assists for the season in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Euros and the World Cup.”

    Are you joking or serious with this fallacy?

  29. Jamie

    Mesut Ozil does not hold the assist record in the Premier League (KDB) , Bundesliga (Muller), La Liga (Messi), Euros (C Ronaldo), nor the World Cup (Pele).

  30. Freddie Ljungberg

    WE

    We couldn’t really predict his injury and corona when we signed him though. That’s what set him back a but. Should still have played in the cups.

    He said Arteta judged him not ready after the pre season games when he wasn’t match fit and then after he wasn’t included in the squads it was too late anyway. Poor handling of the whole thing.

    Time up

    We are getting rid of most of our older players though.

    Mustafi, Sokratis, Kola, Luiz, Ozil guaranteed to be gobe by summer latest.

    Xhaka hopefully next on the chopping block and Laca needs to be dealt with so he doesn’t run down his contract. Not many left after that.

    Not sure how he’s been lately at PSG or how his injury record is now but he’s got the skills for sure. PSG can easily ruin players so maybe he could have an upswing in form if he moves? Not totally against the idea if we’re skint and add a DM/CM too.

  31. Freddie Ljungberg

    Jamie

    Mesut Ozil does not hold the assist record in the Premier League (KDB) , Bundesliga (Muller), La Liga (Messi), Euros (C Ronaldo), nor the World Cup (Pele).

    He did say in a season though, and I’m guessing he meant in 1 world cup and euros. Don’t know if that’s correct either since I can’t be bothered looking up anything about that waster except to find out if he’s finally fucking off or not.

  32. Mark

    Tee

    you can’t think of any other thing pertaining to arsenal other than a 19 years old player on loan.

    I’ve mentioned quite a lot of other things as well as the Saliba cock up. It’s still very current regardless of your ‘ Well it’s done now…” Commentary.
    We are now hearing and seeing more from Saliba himself than we’ve ever had , so it’s relevant to me. You have your take on the situation, I have mine.

    But I’ll mention what I please thanks. If you don’t like it don’t read it.

  33. Tee

    Arteta acknowledged he made a mistake by excluding saliba from the europa squad and also failing to finalize the loan deal on time for him.

    It still baffles me that we still have fans still dwelling on a forgone action.

    The task at hand is to ship out some players either on loan or outright sale and of paramount importance, a new CAM coming in either on loan or permanently.

  34. Jamie

    Freddie –

    Yeah, I know what he meant.

    His La Liga assist record (19) came in a season (11/12) when Madrid scored 121 goals. Ronaldo alone scored 46 and assisted 12 that same season.

    Then there’s Messi. Also the same season (11/12), while he was equalling Ozil’s league assists (19), he also happened to score 50 league goals.

    Mesut scored 4.

  35. Tom

    “100 million on Pepe and Saliba and we solely rely on ESR and Saka for creative spark, fuck me.“

    The worst 100m spent in a single widow by any club not funded by state or oil money, when considered what was actually needed at the time.

    Kinda puts in a proper perspective all those — Emery has failed at a club “vastly improved “ by X amount transfer spend — posts written in the dying days of the Emery regime.

  36. Mark

    That’s the best response expected of him because nothing is a given in club football. You are in the next minute and out the second. Expecting him to say otherwise says more about you than saliba.

    Really ?? As opposed to him saying something like

    ” I’m happy to be able to finally show Arsenal + Fans what I can do, helping Nice in the process and Re-igniting /kick-starting my Arsenal career. Blah blah. ”

    Or how Ceballos has recently said ” I see myself playing for Real..”

    So you think that what he said was the best thing he could have said?

    You’re tripping mate.

  37. WengerEagle

    ‘Don’t know if that’s correct either since I can’t be bothered looking up anything about that waster except to find out if he’s finally fucking off or not.’

    It’s not correct.

    He was never the top assister in a World Cup. Schweinsteiger was in 2010 with 4 assists.

  38. Jamie

    And he hasn’t broken a single assist record, he’s only ever topped the charts at the expense of just about every other on-field responsibility over the 60 minute intervals he plays.

    KDB has also topped season assist charts in the Bundesliga and the EPL. Imagine how many assists he’d have gotten with Ronaldo in front of him.

    Arsenal spent £130m on Ozil’s fee and salary. Let that sink in. Then add the VAT and have a meltdown.

  39. WengerEagle

    And worth noting that of those Ozil accomplishments, only 1 of them was after 2012.

    Bundesliga top assists 2009/10
    La Liga top assists 2011/12
    Euro 2012 top assists [joint] with Gerrard, Arshavin and David Silva [3 assists]
    Premier League top assists 2015/16

    I don’t think that you’ll find many people that will deny that Ozil was world class back in his day but his best days were at Real Madrid/early Arsenal.

  40. WengerEagle

    Tom

    Not to mention that the resale value will be horrible on Pepe and also on Saliba if he doesn’t pan out.

    West Ham have just lost 25m on Haller after a year and a half.

  41. Tee

    “Kinda puts in a proper perspective all those — Emery has failed at a club “vastly improved “ by X amount transfer spend — posts written in the dying days of the Emery regime.”

    This still doesn’t change the fact that Emery tanked badly before he was rightly fired. Zaha alone couldn’t have saved his ass.

    I knew something was not right when iwobi was asking what formation they were playing after justing coming on as a substitute

  42. WengerEagle

    Speaking of Iwobi, that was the greatest feat the club have pulled off in the transfer market for years managing to rob Everton blind of 35m for him. Who in their right mind sanctioned that on their side?

    Always said that he was a painfully average player, nearly made me pine for Gervinho at times he was that bad.

  43. Foxy

    I think the problem with Pepe in the right us that his limitations are exposed by Bellerin’s limitations and our lack of a creative 10 whilst Saka can compensate and adapt.

    Often we have had Bellerin cutting inside to where Pepe should moving be and frequently Pepe would be on the blocks looking for a quick between the lines ball and it would just go sideways or backwards.

    Yes I would have Pepe playing whole practice games just with his right foot and working on goal line cut backs. Once defenders can no longer assume he will just want to cut in on to his left foot then he will be twice the player.

  44. Pierre

    What a sad bunch we have on here…

    Weagle , Jamie , Jim Lahey , Matt , fred , Tee ….take a bow..

    They have spent the last hour trying to convince themselves that Ozil’s superb assists record in every country he’s played in “is a lie”…..

    How stupid do they look….

  45. Foxy

    Plus more often then not Ozil would create an assist for another player through his vision and passing ability. I can forgive him for being poor defensively but his reluctance to burst through a gap and shoot when in the penalty area always frustrated and confused me.

  46. Time Up

    That stats for Ozil are correct read it again. Not saying he has all time top assist, it says he topped the assists for a season in those league and tournaments.

    I’m no a fan of Ozil, but the stats are correct.

  47. JOEL

    There is no denying that Nelson ,Willock ,Elneny and Cedric give their all in an Arsenal shirt but they are never going to win you games.
    As long as Arteta stands by his “favourites” to the detriment of the team’s success then Arsenal will continue to be :”also rans”.
    AMN and Balogun will undoubtedly look to leave as soon as they are able which won’t be surprising to anyone except the Manager …who obviously has no idea what actually constitutes “Man Management”!!