GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY FOR GABI.
Now, we begin.
There’s really nothing better as a writer than the penning a boring post about how things are pretty decent. It’s a joy after 3 months of writing about how an idea you really pushed was actually pretty terrible.
This week is about three things. Moving on deadwood. Praying for Gabi’s ankle. Winning three points in a tough game against Crystal Palace this Thursday.
Players aren’t moving out the door fast enough and everyone is getting themselves into a bind. Fans tend to lean harder into believing the rumours they don’t like (stole that from Arseblog). The latest is that Arsenal are putting their foot down with regards to selling Eddie Nkeitiah to West Ham. Are you fucking kidding me? Arsenal just borrowed £120m to see them through the season. If someone offers £30m for an academy player that hasn’t been able to dislodge our strikers in the worst goal drought in a decade, I think Boris Johnson might roll down to Highbury House and call in that loan early.
There are very few players on our books that aren’t for sale at the moment. Kieran Tierney to Napoli? No chance. Eddie to replace Haller at West Ham for £30m? No way we’re not considering that sort of deal. We do not have the financial luxury to keep passing on good cash for squad players only to bench them.
I fully expect Willock, Reiss, Eddie, Mustafi, and Sokratis to be on the market this window… loan or sale. Sad reality is that Nico Pepe should also be on that list. West Ham took a £20m ‘L’ on Haller, the player wasn’t good enough, so they took what they could for an asset that was fast depreciating. We should look to do the same with Nico. It’s clear he’s not at the level. His basic technique is off, he’s too one-footed, the positions he takes up don’t help the team, and if anything… he seems to be regressing.
Also, what the fuck is going on with AMN? Arguably, he’s our best right-back, third-best deep-lying midfielder, and our back-up left-back. Why is Joe Willock landing minutes over him? I hope he’s being given the job of marking Zaha on Thursday, if not, it again starts to look like another ‘I just don’t fancy him’ issue from a coach with hard-to-comprehend player taste principles.
The biggest weak point for him is the weird relationship he has with young players. Why isn’t he coaching AMN to be better than Elneny? Why was he about to loan out ESR when he was literally the only #10 at the club? Why doesn’t he embrace young players he can coach with the same passion he embraces older bums? Painful viewing.
He’ll say that plays Gabriel and Saka. Sure, but those two were Emery’s doing. Gabriel was not part of the action at the start of last season and we wondered. The talent isn’t in giving minutes to generational talents, it’s making decent young players great ones.
If you’re going to hoard young players, you have to give them minutes. If you aren’t going to do that, sell them. We have to break the cycle, because at the moment, we’re giving minutes to players with no resale value at the expense of pumping the value of talent that could pick up £20m plus this summer. That’s dim.
Edu needs to find his cajones this summer and put an end to this sort of thing. Arteta shouldn’t have the option of clogging the path for young players. Let’s hope this window and the summer see Arsenal own up to the truth… the future is kids and there are no shortcuts to be had with bum players nearing the end of their careers.
I’ve just made myself angry after starting this post stating that writing was going to be a breezy affair this week.
LISTEN TO THE ARSENAL OPINION PODCAST. Also, thanks to the sharp-eared listeners who corrected my error on Manor Solomon’s nationality.
He’s Israeli… not Brazilian… though that name easily passes the Brazilian test IMO. Could we not just pretend?