HOARDING YOUTH PLAYERS NEEDS TO STOP

by .

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.

Stupid football.

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?

ENJOY!

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511 Responses to “HOARDING YOUTH PLAYERS NEEDS TO STOP”

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  1. grooveydaddy

    AMN has gotta be in the doghouse, no other explanation, especially as he was the ‘go-to’ in big games last season.

    Makes even less sense turning down decent money for him last summer….

  2. Sean Mukiza

    Remember the AMN masterclass in midfield against Man united at OT in Wenger’s last season?? Pogba was even praising him after the game!

    Can’t let go of that performance. We need to get AMN in the middle of the park he has the sauce, athleticism, football brain and hunger to succeed we all know he wants to play there. Give him a run of three games and I promise you he’ll end someone’s Arsenal career.

  3. Time Up

    Spot on post 👍.

    Shakhtar would be asking around 50 to 60 mil for Solomon. He plays like Hazard and has great balance, just not been tested in top league. He tend to mostly move to his right side and in the PL they would work him out.

  4. shaun

    “I just don’t fancy him’ issue from a coach with hard-to-comprehend player taste principles” yep this is a problem that i think a lot of fans have with Arteta well that and the % thing but browsing through press reports this morning he appears to be learning and praising players who do maybe have some confidence issues which is a good thing as all Arsenal players are potential assets .Lets hope he is learning but as you say Pedro AMN needs to play against ZAHA on Thursday and most importantly and I am sure this goes for a lot of Arsenal fans is that Willian must not start on current form and we could really do with seeing Partey on Thursday as palace are quick ,physical and very athletic .Would not mind seeing AMN ,Gabriel ,Mari and Teinery as a back 4 with Partey in front but not sure how the two leftie CB’S can operate or if indeed they can actually play together…excuse the spelling

  5. Time Up

    Sean,

    AMN can never play in the middle for a top 6 or even 8 in the PL. He’s too relaxed and lose the ball too often, add to that his tracking back in some games is at walking pace.

  6. Kris

    Arteta has been lucky with the young players he inherited from Emery.

    But if he wants to remain as manager, he will have to either improve senior players or at least stop them from regressing>

    Willian, Auba, Pepe, Laca, Xhaka, Bellerin – are they better than they were a year ago?
    Overall, no. Probably slightly worse. Our sauce of a coach does not have the skill to instil confidence into players, so I don’t think he can ever become a top coach.

    But maybe if we continue overspending compared to rivals for another 2 years, we can get back to top 6 while playing shittier football. Yay!

  7. Time Up

    Xhaka just like the last time when he told the fans to F off, he came back had good 10 games or so, then started being Xhaka again. Since the red card he’s been great and as soon as he thinks he’s good, he would go back to being Xhaka and look bad again.

    Elneny has the right attitude and the heart, he just has limited ability for this level. Good squad player though.

    I really want to see Chambers in midfield if fit next to Partey and he that would work out.

  8. Pierre

    I think players should be carded for screaming out like schoolgirls whenever they are touched..

    Longstaff was hardley touched and has been made to look like a fool for his reaction to Smith Rowe’s tackle.

    They should be named and shamed …

  9. shaun

    Time up , that shouldn’t be a problem then as I think Arsenal are like 11th lol……………….lol all jokes aside I was thinking more of a right back position for the Palace game as I don’t rate either Bellarin or Soares and I think we know mr Saha is going to very interested in inflicting as much damage on Arsenal as possible , there are those who still rate Bellarin but for me he would be better placed at PSG ,Barca or better still on a green piece anti whaling boat with a rainbow mack and an over sized sun hat

  10. Pierre

    Fans shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves with our recent victories.

    Newcastle, Brighton and WBA are teams that offer very little going forward , palace and newcastle are next and then the tougher games start coming and that will give us an idea if we have really turned the corner.

  11. Time Up

    Pierre,

    You forgot Longstaff is Brit, we don’t do this cheating things in this country, only foreign players do that, and they should be shamed.

    That’s way you never hear of Rooney dive to end our 49 runs. However they can’t stop mentioning Bobby dive against Portsmouth.

  12. Graham62

    Crawleys Nick Tsaroulla is just 21.

    I wonder how many PL managers were watching yesterday’s game.

    I also hope Willock and Nelson were watching.

    That’s what desire and belief is all about.

    Some of our players take everything for granted and are spoilt rotten.

    Nick Tsaroulla deserves his break.

  13. Graham

    “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.”

    Wow Pedro that must have been tough to type.

    It is like you have finally realised what the rest of us saw months ago.

    Finally maybe you are stopping being a blogger with “hard-to-comprehend manager taste principles.”

  14. Time Up

    LOL Shaun,

    I agree at right back. He seems to enjoy doing the man marking and always does a good job. Maybe when he Marks someone it gives him his concentration back.

    I remember last season he marked Zaha out of the game at SP.

  15. Time Up

    Graham,

    Even ESR Emery gave him his debut two seasons ago and played him in the PL and Europa league before we los him to a long term injury then loaned him to Germany where he could not play due to injury.

  16. Pierre

    Kris
    “Arteta has been lucky with the young players he inherited from Emery.”

    Thet are Wenger boys , brought up playing football the wenger way , not the Emery headless chicken style of football that many are still craving for .

  17. shaun

    After Lego heads start of the season horror show, I don’t think he should still be there but it is what it is and we need to see if the coach is going to learn and change for the better that’s why I mention AMN and benching Willian .For me that would be learning, Niles will definitely play better with ESR and saka who if deployed on the right will cause all sorts of issues , so lets see what LEGO head does .Personally I would go with physicality and movement for the palace game that’s why I mention Gabriel and Mari in the CB positions , Teirny is first name on the sheet obviously then Partey if available but I want to see that right hand triangle tried by Arteta meaning Saka ,AMN and ESR .Stick Auba out left LACA up top and Elneney partnering as a CM and hopefully we have Martinelli as a sub but hey just hope the guy is ok really but yes this period of games will show if Lego head has actually learned anything from his horror show ….for me I will be very very disappointed to see willian and personally think PEPE should be coming on before willian

  18. Left Testicle

    £30m for Eddie, get Edouard or Daka or similar.

    Be interesting to see what Mikel does regarding centre backs when Gabriel is fit. I’d go Mari and Gabriel although they are both left footed.

  19. Bergkamp63

    Just hope Gabou Diabynelli is not crocked for the rest of the season. Thought it was his knee again not his ankle ?

  20. Tee

    Thanks pedro for this post. Exactly my sentiment.

    It’s getting tiring seeing a 19 years old and his agent holding us to ransome.

    I keep saying it’s as a result of our decline as a football club. It’s understandable when a performing senior player does that but a 19 years old who i can’t even remember going on loan for once to show what he’s gotten?

  21. T

    It would be really interesting to see arsenal play with a midfield of amn-partey-smithrowe

    It might be disaster or just outrageous class. Who knows.. but those three should benefit from each others talents. And they all have great movement and one touch passing. Something I have really missed past years.

    Leno
    Bellerin-holding-pablo-tierney
    Partey
    Saka-smithrowe-amn-auba
    Lacazette

    To me that looks the best team we could produce this season.

  22. Grant Elkin

    I think Arteta Wenger MK 2 seems to have favourites that he keeps picking regardless of form, and like Wenger did has lucked out on a system and players. Can you guys honestly say that ESR would of got the games he’s had, if it wasn’t for injury to others. I’m sorry but every time Arteta fields Willian he looses credibility with me. How can he be blind to the dross he produces on the pitch. As for not selling Eddie, that’s madness I like the young guy but sadly he’s not going to make it at Arsenal. 30m that could bring in a new #10 to help take the responsibility of ESR, baffling decision to say the least. I just hope Arteta isn’t trying to fill the team with yes men, as mentioned above how the hell is AMN not getting game time! Did he spill Arteta’s coffee or borrow his pen without asking?

  23. Tee

    “Willian, Auba, Pepe, Laca, Xhaka, Bellerin – are they better than they were a year ago?
    Overall, no. Probably slightly worse. Our sauce of a coach does not have the skill to instil confidence into players, so I don’t think he can ever become a top coach.”

    bellerin was better than when he first came back from injury. Auba’s form’s got nothing to do with Arteta. Laca wasn’t moving mountains last season. In fact, I could recollect that a lot of posters here wanted laca to be sold. Pepe was more of on and off form. Fans were of the opinion that he should be given last season as adaptation period and scrutinized this season. Xhaka? Is it the same one you have been blasting Arteta for refusing to sell last January?

    That Arteta won’t become a top coach is not written in the stars. It’s when managers starts to win medals on consistent basis that the name world-class is assigned to them.

    He is a novice who has won something. No amount of downplaying this will change the record.

  24. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    I don’t disagree that we should not be stockpiling young players. On the other hand you need
    to speculate if you wish to find the prize jewels like Saka and Martinelli.

    George Graham told me in 1990 that becoming a top class footballer was a one in a million chance and that was in the era when most players were recruited in UK. Today recruitment is on a global basis.

    I believe that the top EPL clubs hope to find at least one player every two years in their academy who makes the grade. If you achieve that it pays probably for the entire academy programme.

    So if you produce more than one as well as sell off one or two other players on annual basis
    it makes sense.

    As I posted earlier today on previous thread I do think recruiting also players from South America rather than Europe also is more cost effective.

    We have brought in three young players from South America in Martinelli, Gabriel and Mari
    the latter is Spanish but played on South America and no-one can argue that all three have
    been low budget good value buys.

    In contrast we spent £72 million on Pepe, which is hardly good value and we were offered
    Aouar at £55 million, which would be another high risk purchase. If you are going to spend
    mega bucks on any player you should be 100% sure of his ability and not buy speculatively.

    Manchester City, PSG and Chelsea can speculate when they buy, but it is high time that Arsenal follow the Liverpool model and are more prudent when we buy and spend money.

    Regarding Maitland-Niles. I think that he is a “good” footballer, but not a great one. I disagree
    with your viewpoint that he is our best right wing back. His problem is that he is a “utility”
    player. From my perspective Arsenal need to recruit and develop specialists in required
    positions and unfortunately AMN rather like Oxlade-Chamberlain does not fit into that mould.

    AMN is at the moment no better than a squad player and if we are offered in today’s market
    £20 million+ for his services I would take it. Nelson, Willock and Nketiah fall into a similar
    category. They are squad players and unlikely to become regular starting X1 players.

  25. I hate Green Bay

    We hear that Willian is on £250k and Runnarson £40k, my question is, how do we know?

    I cant believe either the club or the players have made a public announcement, but maybe Im wrong.

  26. Tee

    T,

    How many matches has amn played as a midfielder for us for you to put him in the midfield? I prefer he plays as a right back than in the middle. He looses concentration too easily.

  27. englandsbest

    Pedro, dis-anger yourself

    The idea of Arteta as coach was spot on, he is the right man for the job.

    We should be happy that Nketiah is NOT for sale: he is a natural goal scorer. The future lies with the young and vigorous.

    If at times Arteta’s choice of players seems odd, it’s rotation, an essential with so many games played in such a short time.

    If there is difficulty offloading players, the reason is their high wages, not Arteta’s fault.

    And if he persists with Pepe it’s because he believes the player will come good.

    And a ‘turned ankle’ generally recovers in a matter of days.

    Yes, this is a time to be joyous.

  28. Tee

    Englndbest,

    Read on goal.com that Martinelli was on the training ground today (didn’t train) and was more relaxed than on Saturday.

    He even watched the second half of the match in the stands.

    Hope he isn’t layed off for a long time

  29. shaun

    “Regarding Maitland-Niles. I think that he is a “good” footballer, but not a great one. I disagree
    with your viewpoint that he is our best right wing back. His problem is that he is a “utility”
    player. From my perspective Arsenal need to recruit and develop specialists in required
    positions and unfortunately AMN rather like Oxlade-Chamberlain does not fit into that mould.” don’t really agree with the above statement at all . I think you will find that in most Fans opinions AMN is our best RB option currently Bellarin has been very poor since his injury and I am not sure why you rated him before that anyway….AMN can play LB and i would say is about equal with Saka on the left back position just behind Teirny and also in the middle but would obviously benefit from some coaching from the “i made sterling great and am incredible with youth “coach. I don’t see the similarity with the ox at all and what you should remember is that AMN has had a long relationship with both Saka and ESR who are looking more and more like the future and is also infinitely more athletic than anything we have in the middle bar Partey

  30. Crabregas

    Willian is not on 250k a week. I think it is about 140-160 from more trusted sources.

    I would imagine the 250k is if he and the club meet all targets. Based on the quality of his output and the teams poor performances I don’t anticipate he is receiving his bonuses to be paid 250k. Every cloud haha

  31. Leedsgunner

    I’m a Nketiah fan but turning down £30m is stupid, if it was on the table from West Ham. If they are willing to insert a buy back or a sell on clause in there, lower the price to £28m and be done with it.

    Use that money to secure Balogun’s contract and part way pay for someone like Buendia… or a decent left back in the same fashion as Tierney. With all the best will in the world both ESR and KT will not be able to play every game and we risk injury if we try to do so… especially with their injury records.

    Arteta making the same mistakes that Wenger chose to make… not being ruthless enough and keeping players around because they make his ego feel good.

    I’m tired of losing players on a pittance or on a free because we dither, dwaddle and drag our feet!

  32. Graham62

    Wilko

    My perceptions of things may differ to yours, but I can tell you for a fact that there are better players playing in the lower leagues than are playing in the PL.

    Fate and luck can go against you. As for Nick Tsaroulla, you can see there’s a special talent there. Based on the fact he was involved in a car accident which halted his progress, it was great to see him proving that he’s on the way back. He was in the Spuds academy but was released by them in 2017-18 following the accident.

    By the way, I’m not disputing what Willock and Nelson have had to do to get where they are. What I am highlighting is that now they’ve got there, they should be grabbing the opportunity with both hands and showing and proving they belong there.

    I don’t see this with either of them.

    You do realise that for every Willock and Nelson there are thousands of other youngsters disposed of by clubs who have more talent but because of certain circumstances, never get the opportunity these two have had.

    What are your perceptions on Willock and Nelson?

  33. Crabregas

    @ES

    Re: the cost of Pepe and Aouar. James from Gunnerblog was on the Arsecast the other week and said how many players of 50-80m don’t really work out and how much of a risk it is. A quick thought of premier league players who have been poor since joining, or at least haven’t met expectation.

    Keita, Mendy, Ndombele, Jorginho, Morata, Kepa, Pepe, Lukaku and Pogba.

    The 20-30 million market is where the real value is and if it goes wrong, the hit the club has to take is less of an impact.
    Whether we can afford that kind of investment who knows but interesting nonetheless

  34. Leedsgunner

    Lots of historical revisionism going on yesterday.

    Özil was a panic buy because Wenger wanted to shut his critics down who lambasted him for being tight fisted, summer after winter after summer after winter…

    Remember that same summer he brought in Yaya Sanago and Mathieu Flamini (his second stint at Arsenal) on a free.

    Özil was a vanity project, nothing more nothing less for Wenger. A two finger salute from the Frenchman to his critics to prove he could still sign and attract the biggest players…. except financially it was a disaster.

  35. Graham62

    Being great as 12 year old doesn’t mean you’ll be great as a 20 year old.

    One of my gripes and has been for years, is that so many clubs ignore the lower leagues when it comes to recruiting talent.

    Shite, I’ve seen better GK’s playing for Worthing Town over the years, than the Icelandic fisherman we hired and who’s on £40k a week.

  36. Nelson

    according to Spotrac:

    Ozil…………£350,000
    Auba……….£250,000
    Partey…….£250,000
    Willian……£192,308
    Laca………..£182,063
    Bellerin…..£110,000
    Luiz………….£100,962
    Kola………….£100,000
    Leno………..£100,000
    Pepe………..£100,000
    Xhaka……..£100,000

    These are the highest earners.

  37. Emiratesstroller

    Crabregas

    I tend to agree with the point you make. Spending mega bucks makes only sense if the player
    is producing an exceptional performance level over several years. The problem is also increased by the wage demands, because once a player is on £100K pw + he is very difficult to shift if he fails to meet expectation.

  38. Leedsgunner

    Hoarding youth players can continue if we can learn to sell them on a good profit and reinvest the funds back into the first team.

    What needs to stop is the signing of pointless and well past the sell by date players like Cedric and Willian.

    AMN needs to play in place of Cedric for a start…

  39. Emiratesstroller

    I note that Holding has signed a new contract. Whilst I don’t think that he is a world class
    player I do think that we have now in Holding, Mari and Gabriel three decent CBs.

    If we can find a RCB who is genuinely World Class and a Team leader in defence I think that
    we have the makings of a solid Central Defence.

  40. Vintage Gun

    No point in everyone getting heated over Arteta “turning down” £30m from West Ham for Nketiah. As of now they haven’t even made an offer probably on their 5 man shortlist at best.
    Even then maybe for a loan.

    Looks like Runnerson’s getting shifted out though.

  41. Leedsgunner

    With Willian, we’ve just the club again with the salary of an ineffective passenger that we had with Mkhitaryan last few seasons.

    We need to be LEARNING FROM OUR MISTAKES not repeating them!

  42. Nelson

    Arteta hints at signing a GK temporary on load until Summer and then sign Brentford’s David Raya as our #2 GK in Summer.

  43. The Bard

    I dont think we will see much movement until the last days of the window. Every man and his dog knows we are trying to offload players so buyers have the advantage. All the speculation is just that rumour, nothing more.

  44. Pierre

    Nelson
    “Pierre must be busy with Ozil’s Monday Q&A session.”

    Be original Nelson …it’s never a wise move to tread the same path as the Le Groaners as they invariably get it wrong…

  45. La croqueta

    There’s really nothing better as a writer than the penning a boring post about how things are pretty decent.
    //

    ?????????? Pretty decent? WE ARE 11th! 8 loses. 7 wins. We are ARSENAL ffs!

    Ridiculous.

  46. Nelson

    Ozil is set to “talk about the past, present and future” with a question and answer session on Twitter on Monday evening. He may announce his departure himself on social media by passing the club.

  47. Mark

    Stroller
    “CBs.If we can find a RCB who is genuinely World Class and a Team leader in defence I think that
    we have the makings of a solid Central Defence.”

    We have one already, no? Should be ready to go at the start of the season. ( If he ever comes back)

  48. Sly

    Saucy coach with no Youth project

    Saliba MoM in his second match at Nice after 10 months of inactivity

    Balogun about to leave

    Hale Enders are Wenger products they were brought up in an academy from the age of 9(for the most part) with his imprint and training methods

  49. Habesha Gooner

    I would sell Nketiah in a heartbeat. Willock can also be good but he won’t be good enough to make us regret selling him too. The one I would be worried about selling is Reiss Nelson. As soon as he gets some type of confidence and a kick on the ass, He might make us regret selling him. I would keep all the youth including Balogun, except Nketiah and willock even if a great off comes for now.

    Crabregas I like that approach. You mostly fail with a really big signing. A 20 to 30 mil player will be okay. No one would be this much on Pepe if he was signed for 30 mil. Players in that class right now are available too. Buendia, Brandt, Manor Solomon and the like.

  50. Crabregas

    Emirates

    Even across Europe there is so much wastage spent between clubs within that bracket value.

    I think you’re right on salary. Now it is a case of any decent international would command 100k a week and if he does well, would likely demand a 50% pay rise. Whereas in the real world if you perform well you get a few less than 10% (and that’s being kind).

    Re: Holding. I think that is a good signing as he has stepped up and performed well this season. Hopefully that RCB is Saliba but we will wait and see what happens there.

  51. Crabregas

    Habesha

    It’s definitely where the value is. I know we spread out the Pepe money but if we purchased to 30m players and 1 20m player of all 3 don’t perform the loss is probably no more than 10million. If they kick on and perform then they are 50mil players that we can retain or sell on for profit. You can take a slightly more calculated risk at that point.

  52. Habesha Gooner

    And signing another CB is stupid. How many is it in the last few years? Get Saliba back at the end of the season.
    Then we would have 4 good CBs all in a good age.
    The only money that we should spend on the defense must come from the player we sell in that position. Sell bellerin or Soares, buy a new RB, Sell AMN, buy a new Lb replacement.
    We can’t go on spending on CBs every season when we have good enough players now and there is a huge gaping hole in midfield.

  53. Habesha Gooner

    Crabregas
    I was screaming for Ziyech the summer we signed pepe. I was screaming for us to sign buendia last summer too. There is plenty of value in the 20 to 30 mil market. At worst you sell that player around 15+. Torreira for example will go at that price. But if the player succeeds you mostly have great players.

    The extreme way to do this would be like Dortmund who sign 10 to 20 mil players and price them at 50 mil+. Aubameyang, Pulisic, Dembele all sold 50 mil+. Sancho on the same trajectory. They also made profit on the likes of miki and Gundogan too. That is hard to do in the premier league but you can succeed signing 30 mil players. Liverpool’s attackers, Mane, Salah, Firminho all signed for less than 35 mil. Diego jota in an expensive market was bought for 45. We need someone to really look at themselves about our recruitment. Young, with resale value and high potential is the way to go.

  54. ADKB

    Nelson:

    Willian……£192,308
    Laca………..£182,063
    Luiz………….£100,962

    Seriously? Willian earning more than Laca?

    And what’s up with the +£308, +£063, and +£962? Strange to me.

  55. AFC Forever

    The Pandemic has had a major impact on transfer activity. It might be okay for clubs that are financially doped and owned by foreign states (Man City are owned by Abu Dhabi) but for everyone else it’s increasingly difficult. You have to be careful making judgement calls on young players because they can improve suddenly; game time and confidence play a big role in development but it’s a vicious circle because they tend to get bit part roles and we’re expecting miracles. Fans are quick to judge because we compare to players who are already at the level we think we need. Martinelli and Smith Rowe are bucking the trend, their performances suggest they are good enough already for regular game time, despite the lack of game time and experience. Some players take longer to develop or don’t settle, like Pepe. Seems bizarre that De Bruyne wasn’t deemed good enough by Chelsea or Salah but we now know how good they are. By the way I’m not suggesting Pepe is as good as those two but just making the point that some players need time or new surroundings/better coaching etc.

    Positively speaking, we are sorting the defence out. Holding has just signed a new deal, which is good news because he’s looked solid. Pablo Mari has shown why he was a big part of the team that won the South American equivalent to the champions League and we all know how good Gabriel has looked. Mari and Gabriel both extremely composed and good with the ball. Those three are head and shoulders above Mustafi – who over commits and is sloppy with the ball.

    Also, Xhaka deserves praise because he gets a lot of stick on here, some deserved, some undeserved and some part of an agenda. When he came on on, like Smith Rowe and Lacazette, the game changed. His pass for the second goal was superb and his performance Saturday helped us win the game. We saw how ineffective we were without those three and Saka playing. Willian was again awful and Willock desperately needs game time we probably can’t give him, especially with Partey coming back.

    Thought Spuds were lucky; 6-0 win against 8th tier very meh and Bale look liked that was his level.

  56. zimmie2652

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9133493/Arsenal-outcast-William-Saliba-wins-Man-Match-award-just-second-game-loan-Nice.html

    Seems like there are others who feel Saliba could have been used based on after seeing him in 2 games for Nice.
    Kinda shits on the” he’s not good enough” narrative that was being peddled.

    Very very different take than the Mirror put out… https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/william-saliba-start-loan-nice-23292012

  57. China1

    I would love to see your imaginary phone contacts list man LOL

    No doubt includes Bojo, Buzz Aldrin and at some point likely Nelson Mandela as well 😂😂

  58. Captain Tierney

    Its great to see Saliba win Motm. I love the guy.
    Just a word of caution, the Motm award was a twitter poll and Arsenal twitter is massive.

  59. AFC Forever

    Zimmie

    Saliba is a highly respected prospect. The problem he had was a serious injury and the fact that when he did come back, the French season suddenly ended for the pandemic.

    He needs to get match fit and recovery fully and that is harder to achieve sitting on the Arsenal bench. Playing U23 football is game time but it’s not a high enough level to fully test a player. Sending him on loan is the sensible and right thing to do. Why risk him when we have Pablo Mari, Gabriel and Holding doing well?

    Saliba is another one of those players subjected to an agenda or conspiracy theory. The ignorance from some fans is sometimes alarming; almost as alarming as the way they swallow the agenda bollocks in the media. I sometimes wonder what motivates the type of fan who only peddles negativity and whatever the medias current narrative happens to be, without question or trying to apply logic.

  60. Pierre

    AFC forever
    “. Some players take longer to develop or don’t settle, like Pepe. Seems bizarre that De Bruyne wasn’t deemed good enough by Chelsea or Salah but we now know how good they are. By the way I’m not suggesting Pepe is as good as those two but just making the point that some players need time or new surroundings/better coaching etc.”

    I’ve been trying to educate the majority on here who write off players.

    Being in the wrong place at the wrong time and playing under the wrong manager can can have a massive effect on a player’s form and confidence…

    Emery has a lot to answer for in his use of Pepe, Ramsey Mhkitaryan and Ozil. ..what a waste of talent.
    The team became devoid of creativity at the start of last season and Emery was rightfully sacked .

    Arteta improved things marginally but the team were back to square one towards the end of last year..
    Hopefully, with the introduction of our academy players, we have now turned a corner.

    I believe Arteta has found a balanced offensive 4 in Aubameyang, Smith Rowe, Saka and Lacazette and for this season they should be our regular starters .

    Next season is the time for Arteta to introduce a couple more of our academy players into the first team and by the end of next season we should have at least 5 kids as regulat starters…

  61. Rich

    The players I’d like to see us targeting are 23-25, who’ve been playing in this country for at least 2-3 seasons, who know what the league is all about, speak the language, and can hit the ground running.

    Buying players from other league’s is risky, for every Bruno Fernandes, there’s a Pepe, Fred, Havertz, Werner, who either take a while to settle, or never do find their stride.

    Mkhitaryan was ripping up the Bundesliga and now Serie A

    But was hit + miss for both us + United.

    The obvious choices would be Grealish + Maddison, but both likely impossible, unless they have release clauses that can be activated.

  62. AFC Forever

    Pierre

    I think you should take some of the player judgement on here with a pinch of salt mate. It’s agenda driven nonsense.

  63. Upstate Gooner

    “And what’s up with the +£308, +£063, and +£962? Strange to me.”

    Simple math. Willian/his agent negotiated an annual salary of 10mil /year. Cool round number. Divide that by 52 weeks, and you’ll get his weekly salary.

  64. Chris

    Welcome news about Rob Holding’s new deal.

    ES – That right sided centre back could still be Saliba should be have a productive loan spell and be back for us next season.

  65. into the red

    Can’t disagree with this post, Pedro. The enigma that is Arteta. Does he have a clue what he is doing, or do random events play into the perception that he does? Before Saka came on, what did the team he put out on Saturday look like? A well-coached team, with a plan, working together? Or a random assembly of players with no clear direction? Newcastle should have buried the game before extra time, they had the chances.
    The pattern seems to be a manager that is loathe to let players go, even though he doesn’t give them time or apparently coach them much. The same man who pleaded with an old over-the-hill player to sign for a fortune, and doesn’t seem to have any idea how to use him. Does he just stumble on formations which work, or does he have an actual vision of how this squad can gel together?
    I am not seeing much evidence, We know Tierney, Saka, ESR and Martinelli will be the future, but will they be properly looked after, nurtured and not burnt out, and coached to bring out the best of their ability? All of that seems like the jury is out. I predict we will continue in a haphazard manner, with glimmers of real quality mixed up with the familiar jaded, idea-free blind alley football we have seen a lot of. Exasperating.

  66. Stephen Camfield

    If you are right about the £30m for Eddie we should jump at it because he is never going to be good enough for Arsenal, neither Willock nor Nelson . AMN is so much better than Willock and I am amazed that he is not playing more, I think midfield is his best position, and I agree, just get rid of Pepe who is a total joke and needs to be moved on.
    I am worried about Balogun though, he looks the real deal and we are set to lose him on a free.

  67. Rich

    We should go all out for Pedro Neto.

    Can play left + right wing, as a No10 + No8 and has even played centre mid.

    Having a player with similar quality to Saka with the same level of versatility, doesn’t hinder the progress of Saka or Smith-Rowe, but gives us the opportunity to rest + rotate our front line.

    If we could get him for £45-£50mill?

    I’m pretty sure his value would increase + not decrease over the next few years.

  68. China1

    Glad about holdings new deal I just hope his Salary is sensible

    He’s a good player and value for his place as a third choice CB and frequent rotation option, tho arsenal being arsenal I imagine he’s asked for 70k a week and they’ve insisted on giving him 400k a week for good measure

    This is arsenal after all

  69. China1

    I don’t want to sell Eddie but anything over 20m should be too good to refuse right now

    If we really turned down 30 that would be madness right now

  70. Nelson

    ADKB

    Willian……£192,308
    Laca………..£182,063
    Luiz………….£100,962

    Arsenal player contract is probably in annual salary. The weekly salary is calculated from the annual salary.
    Ozil…………..£18,200,000
    Auba………..£13,000,000
    Willian…….£10,000,000
    Luiz…………..£5,250,000
    Kola…………..£5,200,000

    The only exception is Laca. His annual salary is £9,467,273.

  71. China1

    I don’t really like the idea of us paying 45m for anyone right now

    We can’t afford to pay that kind of money and the player doesn’t work out for any reason. The days of us being able to reasonably afford such players is likely over for the short term – unless we can sell some dross for good money sharpish

  72. Globalgunner

    Arteta is no great coach, was no great player. The idea that he is this great philosopher of the game is neutered by his dumb ass decisions in game and off the pitch. He spends all game screaming at players telling each one who to pass to. Generational coach my butt.

    He couldn’t coach a Yorkshire Terrier to fetch a stick

    Nketiah, AMN, Willock. Sell, sell, sell.!

  73. Crabregas

    Habesha

    It’s mad that in this world we don’t ever seem to examine other clubs (at home and abroad) and follow what they are doing, or even test the water. We seem so set in our ways of messing up. It’s great that we signed Gabriel and Partey, but I think very good move we make is negatively impacted by the bad moves.

    Liverpool have built there squad on quite a few people who have improved and then sprinkled them with readymade a acquisitions like VVD and Alisson.

  74. Mark

    @Zimmie

    If you read it you’ll notice that the Mirror article says precious little about Saliba’s individual performance. With the clickbait headline do that people will click to read.

    Check out some highlights of the game I’m sure there’s stuff on YouTube. Judge for yourself. But the not ready for us line was utter nonsense. He could have been eased in,look at Mari.
    Anyway my point in this is not to just be negative. I’m scared we are gonna lose this guy,cos of some egotistical rookie mistake.

    Already the rumours about extending the loan are coming out. When I mentioned it before I was told he’s on loan for 6 months, that’s it, he’s under contract….
    All ignoring that Arteta could pull one of his freezing out/don’t want him acts, and we sell him and end up with inferior players like Holding cos he’s a good boy.
    Arteta says one thing but does another.

  75. Tom

    Leeds, Jamie

    Ozil numbers from the 2013-14 season to the January 2018 contract extension were almost identical to those of man City’s David Silva.

    Ozil- 67 assists, 37 goals in 15,136 minutes
    Silva – 63 assists, 37 goals in 14,709 minutes

    Ozil was on £140kpw in that time after the original transfer fee of £42,5m in 2013.
    Silva was on £135kpw till 2017 when he was upped to £220kpw and his original transfer fee was reported at £30m in 2010.

    Considering City scored 71 goals more than Arsenal in that period of time, which means Ozil had larger % of goals and assists to Arsenal’s total offensive output than Silva did to City’s , please explain how one can be considered the club legend and the other a total waste of money for that period.

    The new contract awarded to Ozil was an insane financial venture to be sure and I’ve been saying this since day one, but prior to that Ozil had earned his money.
    Anyone saying otherwise is the one rewriting history.

    As for whether he was a panic buy or not, that’s just an opinion based on your personal views.

  76. Freddie Ljungberg

    Gotta love when the same people who think Peep is useless and wants to get rid also think AMN is our saviour.

    He’s had a couple of good games for us over the years sprinkled in with some truly horrific ones(EL final, Man City in the carabobo) and the rest has just been below average. He’s still talked about like he’s a youth player but he’s 23 ffs, just 2 years younger than Pepe. He’s never going to make it as a starter for us, he’s waaaay too sloppy with the ball, even worse than Xhaka is.

    This season Pepe has started 3 games in the PL, all of them with a 7-0-3 formation, the rest of the games he’s been playing with Eddie up top, and Willock in midfield etc. I’d like to see him get a run of games in a proper line up before I’m willing to write him off completely. AMN on the other hand has been crap for years. Sell.

    Don’t know where 30m for Eddie came from, I’ve been reading 20m but even at that price we should have sold him, doubt the interest was real though. West Ham has also been linked to Daka for 25m and there’s no question who the much better player is between them.

  77. Graham

    Globalgunner – he would probably loan the Yorkshire terrier to a French kennel and bring in an Alsatian that has retired from the Chelsea police force and give him twice his previous dog food allowance to drop sticks.

    Oh and I guess keep a Pointer with a bad attitude to its owners (perhaps from Switzerland) as a central Midfielder

    I guess he could teach a dog to stand on the sidelines and bark pointlessly though as that’s pretty well the beginning and end of his coaching technique.

  78. ADKB

    Nelson:

    Sure, their weekly wages are based on annual salaries but they’re usually reported to be more round. than in reality. (Was it Tevez’s payslip that was leaked online some years back, showing “odd” figures?)

    Anyway the quoted Spotrac report had those 3 wages more “accurate”/”realistic” than others. That’s what caught my eye.

  79. Rich

    China1

    Buying from the foreign market for £45mill is risky

    Buying inside the internal market costs a bit more, but it’s safer

    Neto, Bissouma, Soyuncu, Buendia, Aarons, Lamptey

    Bayern Munich are apparently trying to sign Omar Richards from Reading on a pre-contract, who’s a left back.

    Surely we could pick him up for £4-£5mill with less than 6 months on his deal?

    If he’s good enough to provide competition for Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich, surely he’s good enough to provide competition for Tierney?

    In the summer I’d say it’s much safer to spend £60-£70mill on Maddison or Grealish

    Than £45mill on Aouar

    It’s safer to spend £45-£50mill on Neto, than £25mill on Solomon

    If we get our signings right the first time? It saves you money down the line

    If we’d have gone for Zaha instead of Pepe, we’d likely be in a much better position

  80. Jamie

    Tom –

    “Considering City scored 71 goals more than Arsenal in that period of time [..] please explain how one can be considered the club legend and the other a total waste of money for that period.”

    You answered your own question. We needed a goal-scorer (striker), Wenger breaks the club transfer fee record on another attacking mid who scores 1 goal for every 8 hours he’s on the pitch.

    We didn’t need him in the first place, and we doubled down on our initial mistake by offering him the most absurd contract extension in our club’s history.

  81. AFC Forever

    Tom

    All those professional people who rated Ozil were morons because the click baiters and the LeGrove fan base know much better. Some fans just blindly follow a narrative because it suits their various agendas. You really do have to have been beaten repeatedly with the stupid stick to say Ozil was a shit player who didn’t perform. The times I’ve seen him run games and display the natural vision few make me scratch my head. The problem is that if you have an agenda, saying anything positive about Ozil is simply not allowed – so rewriting history is necessary. His stats during the period you mention were outstanding and should not be ignored if we’re going to accept his poor seasons too.

  82. AFC Forever

    Rich
    “If we’d have gone for Zaha instead of Pepe, we’d likely be in a much better position”

    Can’t disagree with this. Plus he is a Gooner and he’d really want to do well.

  83. Freddie Ljungberg

    Wilko aka aubergine supercunt

    I think Pepe is a quality player that’s been misused, hell all of our forwards have looked like crap this season up until the last couple of games. That’s on the tactics and personnel choices. Arteta has made. Willian has been stinking the place out every game and still gets starts and is coming in off the bench ahead of Pepe, it’s stupid and smacks of favouritism.

    Xhaka is only decent with the ball when he’s under no pressure, as soon as he’s feeling a bit crowded he starts losing the ball and has to scythe down a player to recover, he’s also expert at finding opposition players for a breakaway out of nowhere, there’s a reason 99% of the fan base wants rid of him and it’s not because he’s assured on the ball….

  84. Pierre

    TomJanuary 11, 2021 15:15:19

    Couldn’t have put it better myself..

    From 2018 onwards , it was a case of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time under the wrong manager.

    Eriksen is suffering exactly the same problem atm as is Deli Alli.

    Debruyne and Salah suffered it at Chelsea , but they have now found a manager and club that are maximising their potential.

  85. Tom

    Jamie
    You picked the one paragraph from my post that suits your position but explain to me then how strikers score goals if not from a build up play and players like Ozil who feed them the ball.

    The fact Wenger was sitting on money and trusted substandard players to come good had not not do with Ozil of that period who did his part.

  86. Sly

    Arteta needs ‘technical security’ with his team and recruitment strategies which = older players
    I don’t expect this approach to change which means willian et al will retain their positions
    Youth will force themselves in on account of injuries etc
    I rate coaches who can advance youth development very highly.
    Not all top tier coaches have that ability
    It does appear arteta lacks capacity with talent recruitment and recognition

  87. Jamie

    Tom –

    I picked the one paragraph where you asked for an explanation to something.

    We needed a goal-scorer, Wenger massively overspent on an attacking mid when we already had creative mids in the squad.

    That’s why he was a waste of money and 4 times PL winner David Silva wasn’t. I don’t blame Ozil, I blame Wenger.

  88. China1

    But it’s not just about risk reward with high prices – it’s that we’re skint

    The first 11 isn’t so far away but The overall squad needs some work in the next 18 months.

    Backup keeper
    Backup LB
    First team CM
    Laca replacement?
    Elite CB (maybe not)
    Winger (subject to Pepe Willian and Nelson all failing)

    If we spend 45m on someone now, even assuming they are quality, it means we will be financially on the bare bones trying to fill those other roles in the next window and many of our most sellable assets are depreciating in value and also are being hoarded by Mikel.

    I’d rather we got a Buendia for 25m+ willock than get Neto for 45m. The remaining money if we have it at all can do more good for us in other positions imo

  89. Crabregas

    The problem wasn’t Ozil. He was a statement player that although we possibly needed someone in another position, he instantly made us a better team and with having him here, allowed us to attract someone of the quality of Sánchez.

    I thought at that time we were on a roll where we would sign 1 world class player each summer, with a CM/CB next on the list, Wenger opted to buy Cech instead. That summer we were the only club in the top 5 leagues in Europe to not buy and outfield player.

    If Wenger has carried on what he had done the previous two summers we would have really kicked on. Instead he thought he could outsmart both the market and other teams, when in reality he outsmarted nobody.

  90. China1

    And as much as the risk is much lower, league internal moves still carry significant risk

    Lukaku, zaha, Torres, Willian, cech are all fine examples of quality looking players who moved within the PL at great cost and disappointed significantly

    I’m not against your choice of player but I don’t feel comfortable with that risk

  91. Jamie

    Tom –

    You asked for an explanation and got one. Flat Earthers pivot from one question to the next when they don’t understand the science.

  92. Crabregas

    Before this season I would say Neto was an ok player. One that wouldn’t have much end product and often went down blind ally’s.
    To his credit he has played well this season and has created an output. Maybe he needed Jota to leave to give him the responsibility and opportunity. Either way I think 45m is steep for a played of his level at the moment. Maybe some of that money is for what he could be as he is only young, however I just don’t think we can afford to spend that amount on one player at the moment. Whether that be Neto or anyone else.

  93. Pierre

    Pedro
    “GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY FOR GABI.”

    The important thing for Martinelli is for him to get completely fit and feel confident in his body strength.

    He has years in front of him, patience is the key , patience from the club and the player.

    We can survive without him this season if the worst fears are confirmed.

    He is a player for the future and we don’t want him to go the same way as Jack Wilshere, he is a major asset for Arsenal football club and needs to be treated with kid gloves.

  94. Tom

    Tom –You asked for an explanation and got one. Flat Earthers pivot from one question to the next when they don’t understand the science.

    Cute

  95. China1

    ‘Xhaka looks after the ball better than anyone in the squad other than ozil’

    Not true at all. The vast majority of what he does is bargain basement stuff save for the very occasional pretty long diagonal high ball. With very few exceptions, most of what he does is just basic short passing to the easiest option available. It’s not impressive

  96. Emiratesstroller

    I have not written off Saliba as the fourth centre back, but until now he has not shown us that he is the finished article.

    The club needs four good centre backs to meet our annual commitments in England and Europe.

    Also we should be producing within our Academy decent defenders as well. During the Wenger era we failed to produce many young CBs at that level. He was more focussed on
    their football ability than producing proper defenders.

    A top class CB needs excellent concentration and positional sense as well as being a decent
    athlete.

    If you find the right players you can get at least 5-10 years service out of them.

  97. Vintage Gun

    “30m for Eddie is insane, even at 20m a good deal for us. Why dither about?`”

    Because West Ham haven’t made an offer yet, if at all this window. Hence Arteta saying he doesn’t EXPECT Nketiah to leave this window.

    If we got offered £20m plus for him Arteta would chase him out of the training centre.

  98. Freddie Ljungberg

    Wilko

    Not exactly interested in having an adult conversation with the poster that has been banned more than 15 times exactly because he can’t stop being abusive. I get it you’re in phase 1 of you reincarnation now, where you try to be somewhat sensible but you know you can’t hold the rage demons at bay much longer, just let the hate flow through you and get banned for the 17th time.

    Like I said, Pepe has started 3 games in the PL, in a crap formation, he’s been doing alright in the cups when he’s been playing but of course that’s not enough, can’t really show anything when you have someone that has both the looks and usefulness (on a football pitch) of a toilet brush ahead of you in the pecking order for absolutely no reason at all.

  99. Valentin

    China,

    Those are special cases.

    + Cech was past it when he left Chelsea to join Arsenal.

    + Torres never recovered from his injuries. He was already a spent force when Chelsea bought him. Then he was unmotivated and unable to adapt to a completely different system.

    + Lukaku was asked to replace a legend in Drogba when he was not ready. Also there was that misconception that because he was big and black, he was the same kind of player which he was not.

    + Zaha like Lukaku was not ready when he got his big move. Add that the fact he got David Moyes as manager, who clearly had his own problem to deal with.

    + Willian was past it and never a good fit for Arsenal. Willian thrive in counter-attacking team with a big man who can hold the ball. Basically he is a more active and more two footed version of Pepe. Asking him to play No10 in such a setting was always a fool’s errand, and even more at the salary and length of contract.

    There are numerous cases of purchase between EPL clubs that are good. Liverpool bought intelligently from Southampton and some relegated clubs. ManUtd bought RvP from Arsenal. Aston Villa bought Martinez.

    Bad transfers will always exists. It is the responsibility of the club to do their home work:

    + Will the player fit within the game style?

    + Will the player accept the rules the manager has? Some player can’t handle to be constantly rotated.

    + Will the player adapt to life at our club? Some players hates the fishbowl atmosphere of Newcastle.

    + Does the financial package (fees+salary) make sense for OUR club?

  100. Vintage Gun

    “I have not written off Saliba as the fourth centre back, but until now he has not shown us that he is the finished article.”

    Pretty hard to do that when you have zero appearances. A loan was the best option in the current situation but to say he has not shown us he’s the finished article at 19 with zero apps is a bit harsh.

  101. Valentin

    I mentioned to a friend that Arsenal academy had not produced a single premiership qualify CB. His answer was that it was not just Arsenal. None of the prime England academies have done it either in the last 10 years.
    His views is that like Arsenal at academy level, the defenders are quite either not good enough midfielders moved backward or are kept because of their on the ball aptitute. The result is that quite often, they are good player but poor defender. Like John Stones, good passer of the ball, but they don’t smell danger.

    Also U23 academy football does not prepare players for the physicality of professional football. Most of the accomplished CBs are players who have played in that position for a long time. So in England the more accomplished CBs emerge from the lower leagues where they have been playing against men for a couple of years. Most of them may not have great technique, but they are great defenders. Maguire, Ming, Lascelles are examples of that trend. Even Holding who emerged from Bolton.

    Anybody knows a football academy with great defenders?

  102. Dissenter

    Val
    “Anybody knows a football academy with great defenders?”
    Liverpool have a good bunch at their academy.
    Even the goalie was good enough to start a CL game..and did creditably well.

  103. China1

    Wilko context is exactly the point – because what does it mean that he looks after the ball well if the vast majority of what he does is basic recycling? Is this of any significant strategic value to the team? Is it anything that other players cannot do? Players like Saka, ESR, Tierney and pretty much all of our team are able to play simple short passes, mostly sideways and backwards. Doing so constantly is not actually especially valuable which is why some of our players actually try to make something happen and take some risks

    You are conflating the amount of times he spends simply recycling with him being the second best at it. They’re not the same thing.

    Being labeled the second best in our squad at Taking care of the ball should require more than just basic play. If you’re getting pressed and there aren’t any easy passes on, can you still keep the ball? Can you turn your man in tight spaces and keep the ball until a good passing opportunity arises and successfully make that pass when it does?

    You’re conflating playing a very basic and simple recycling game with being the second best at looking after the ball. The issue is quite specifically that most of our players who are better with the ball actually try to make things happen sometimes and take some risks in the process. A player who rarely ever takes a risk needn’t be applauded for their safety.

  104. Nelson

    Val
    “+ Willian was past it and never a good fit for Arsenal. Willian thrive in counter-attacking team with a big man who can hold the ball. Basically he is a more active and more two footed version of Pepe. Asking him to play No10 in such a setting was always a fool’s errand, and even more at the salary and length of contract.”

    Accurate description of Willian. On top of that, he has lost one step and his priority seems to be his restaurant business. He doesn’t have enough energy to play like ESR.

  105. Upstate Gooner

    “Anybody knows a football academy with great defenders?”

    You don’t have to go far, Valentin… just look at Burnley. Not only most of their defenders are English (with the exception of two who are Irish) but they are also all home grown, if I’m not mistaken. But it’s not just their academy now, is it? You also have to have a competent coach who can teach them the basics of defending (like not go to ground all the time), and sticking to a system that works. We don’t have that in Arteta.

  106. DUIFG

    Saliba is going to come back to haunt arteta, being vindictive isn’t a good look, can he be a man and admit he fucked up?

    I doubt it, he seems to love average workhorse cbs, let’s be honest he is loving the holding mari partnership

  107. Upstate Gooner

    Are people really discussing whether Xhaka is a good player or not? He’s shite, plain and simple. And I blame Arteta for convincing him to stay, and for picking him week in and week out. I don’t know exactly how many points he lost us on his own but I have no doubt we’d be better off without him in the squad.

  108. China1

    Valentine

    Willian was a good player just last season. This is undeniable. We put up good money for him because there was no evidence at that point that he would resemble the trash we’re seeing right now. We can agree on his salary and contract length being a joke, but on a reasonable salary he was on paper a perfectly reasonable signing because he was Clearly good last year

    As for lukaku failing because he was assumed to be the next drogba just because he was big and black – no not really. He was bought as a very well known and understood striker to Utd. They knew exactly what they were getting and we’d all seen it for years. He had a killer goal scoring record at Everton and had a reputation for bullying defenders. With elite creativity behind him at Utd he was considered a genuine threat to kick on as a top end CF. He didn’t fail because Utd thought he was the next drogba. How on earth do you reach that conclusion???

    The fact of the matter is there haven’t been all that many hugely expensive signings undertaken internally within the PL. most of the blockbuster fees went to players from other leagues.

    But while we’re on the topic, Harry Maguire has not been anywhere near his transfer value for Utd.

    The reality is there are several reasons why a player may or may not work out. Buying from the PL is safer than abroad if the player matches the profile you need, but it also usually involves heavy premiums that can often be dodged for similar quality players elsewhere. I just think arsenal can not afford to roll the dice on any 40m players right now unless we see some extremely positive outgoing AMs first. If we sold Eddie and AMN for a combined 45-50m tomorrow then it becomes another conversation – but until then it’s a very expensive gamble that we shouldn’t be risking

  109. Valentin

    Upstate,

    Just checked Burnley squad.
    None of their CBs were formed at their academy.
    According to Transfernarkt, their two young CBs still play mostly U23, and they have not formed at Burnley either. One went to Crew Alexandra then Everton FC and the other one was released by ManUtd.

  110. Valentin

    China,

    I was thinking of Lukaku previous transfer. But even at ManUtd, he was misused by OGS, who I am sure who would love to have him now. He may have been erratic at ManUtd, but under the tutelage of a proper coach, you can see that he has developed into a better and more rounded striker. At the time of his departure, lots of people thought that Rashford was going to eclipse him, that look unlikely now.

  111. NORG

    Arteta’s dream – a team of players in his mould. Can you imagine what Arteta would do with a modern day Cantona.

  112. Upstate Gooner

    Wilko
    I followed the whole conversation, and I think that’s exactly what’s been discussed. You’re making a point for Xhaka where no one in the right state of mind would. Xhaka epitomizes everything that’s wrong with Arsenal at the moment. And Arteta is the enabler.

  113. Upstate Gooner

    Valentin
    Just did a little research myself. Three of Burnley’s defenders are products of their own academy. And another one came from ManU where he’s been for less than a year (Jul 2015 – Jun 2016). For some reason, I thought Tarkowski was one of them as well but he spend a few years at Oldham Athletic prior. Mee too came from elsewhere (was registered with City for about a year).

  114. I hate Green Bay

    All this Eddie talk, West Ham havent made an offer, just expressed an interest. Some journalist probably threw in £30m.

    I really think we need to give JW and RN a bit more time to see of they can progress a bit more. Thats not the case with AMN because hes not a kid anymore, WYSIWYG with him, so if we like what we see, keep, if we dont, sell.

    Tranfer policy should be
    No one older than 24.
    No one cost more than £30m.
    Wage no more than £80k.
    Listen to any decent offer for anyone 29 or older.
    Im the first to admit I have the least knowledge of football on this site, but having 25 years experience at board room level (read bored room level) I know a bit about running businesses, and Arsenal should start running as a business first and football vlub second. Every treansfer / wage in or out needs to be examined by a non-footballing person whose sole remit is ‘Does this make sense?’

  115. Upstate Gooner

    Wilko

    I’m sure that even those who hate on Ozil the most will disagree with you on comparing him with Xhaka. One was (and some will argue still is a talented footballer), and the other is a bum. And it’s pretty clear to everyone who’s who. I don’t care what his pass completion percentage is. It’s always going to be high when you pass sideways and backwards all the time. That’s why Arteta probably loves him so much, reminds him of himself back in the day. For every one of his Hollywood passes, there’s 10 mistakes waiting to happen. Shit player who’s backed by a shit manager.