EDU, THE TERMINATOR

by .

We’re now in the territory of ITKness where people are trying to land the wins with, ‘MEDICAL PASSED’ or ‘MARTIN SHARED A GUMMI BEAR WITH THE FRONT DESK.’ Whatever is going on, it seems very much like the deal is close and Edu will have a deal he can parade as ‘one in, one out.’

This is a fantastic piece of business, hopefully the player settles well, and we see him with us next season.

There’s more good news on the horizon, despite claims to the contrary, it now seems like Mustafi is asking for a contract termination like his three Bundesliga buddies Mikhi, Ozil, and Sokratis managed to land. Again, this would be superb news. He’s not exactly easy to deal with and it’ll be great to move on another player that has had an Arsenal career of absolute MEH.

The squad would still have some deadweight and no doubt we could still do with loaning out some of the younger players, but overall, you’d have to celebrate the window. If we could find a back-up left-back, that’d really make me feel good about how we tackle the backend of the season.

Southampton is going to be a massive, massive test for Arsenal. Can the players that were rested against a strong FA Cup side at the weekend show us the way forward with another impressive display? Let’s hope so. Dropping Willian, Elneny, Pepe, and Eddie will give us a more potent flavour going forward and a different energy. Hopefully we can start the ball moving at speed and really get at a side that weren’t exactly scary on Saturday.

Both games are part of a Top 4 doubleheader. We have to win both to be considered competitive. United on Sunday is going to be huge to their title fight and our PR story. 6 points would really give us a sexy feeling. It’d also truncate the Premier League further.

We’ve seen the first major casualty of the season. Frank Lampard was given the boot over at Chelsea. They hired in a young manager and held him to world-class manager standards. They can afford to do that because they have big finances (£110m on exiting managers). Arsenal wouldn’t have been able to foot the bill for Arteta and we certainly wouldn’t have had the replacement fund to lure someone as good as Thomas Tuchel. The league run just became a lot harder.

Right, tick-tock Arsenal.com, where’s our new signing?

961 Responses to “EDU, THE TERMINATOR”

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  1. CazOnARola

    Pepe is s confidence player who also needs more time to impact the game. He is not suited to a Super Sub/instant impact role. Needs at least 65-70 min, but can be decisive in the final third like Theo. One of the best finishers at the club. Not sure when was the last time he started two games in a row, the second with the A team, so better players as well. He doesn’t function well in a disjointed team, unlike a player like Sanchez who thrives on chaos.

  2. roaaary

    Pepe was quality tonight. Was direct and involved throughout. He made a few mazy runs which brought me back to the Liverpool game when he first joined. Seen enough of him to know this is a 1 off though.

    Cedroc was solid at lb. Attacked and defended with purpose. Was positional excellent.

    Holding is proving the doubters wrong. Leadership potential in that guy. Hes a nice lad but has resilience and a willingness to crack on and learn despite all the setbacks hes faced.

    Still thought we looked vulnerable and weak at times. Luiz and bellerin is car crash stuff and other teams will pick them idiots apart.

    We also lost a lot of cheap possession after the 2nd goal when retreating to protect the lead. As partey returns to fitness I expect he will dominate in those situations but even at 50% he is a class act

  3. Henry19

    bacary
    “After this performance, I’ll take back my criticism of selecting mostly our reserves for the Cup game. Soton looked flat all game and having Saka, ESR and Laca fresh made a big difference.”

    Southampton played a strong Cup side because the manager decided the team were not struggling for points in the league.

  4. China1

    Saka with a goal an assist and a MOTM again

    This kid has more MOTM in this season than half of our squad have managed in their arsenal careers to date

    What a champ

  5. China1

    The table is so weird this season

    Normally you’d just want the teams above us to lose to the teams below us but considering the teams below us are not far behind and have games in hand I think we should be wishing for draws all round right now lol

  6. China1

    Since we’re not winning the league let’s pray Leicester do the unthinkable and win it again. But I see city as the clear favourite currently

    You never know though

  7. Bojanglesi

    Valentin

    “Funny how Saka said that he discussed the move with Laca before the game. .”So it looks like Laca and the youngsters took upon themselves to play that quicker more instinctive style of football

    What did Saka say
    “I spoke to him before the game about the opportunity, as soon as he got the ball I’m going to run in behind him. He listened and I scored a goal.”

    1st. Sounds like the sort of things team mates might discuss, nothing funny or odd about it at all
    2.How did you draw the conclusion that you did from what Saka stated?

    What about the part where he said

    “the boss makes everything clear to me and gives me the freedom to do what I want to do on the pitch.’

    That part just doesn’t fit your narrative so best not mention it. Right?

    ESR said very something very similar concerning Arteta allowing him the freedom to do what he wants on the pitch.

    Looks better to say everyone is having to follow Arteta’s instructions to the letter.

  8. Nelson

    Poor Marc. He must be wondering WHY??? Both Xhaka and Arteta have been reborn.

    Seeing what happened to Xhaka and Arteta, I wouldn’t rule out Willian yet.

  9. DivineSherlock

    Massive props to Cedric , playing at LB and bombing up and down the flank whole night . Helps when their first choice Full backs were absent but still pretty solid game . Also Pepe at LW , Arteta made a great decision there . Saka has owned the Right flank .

  10. Tee

    “That part just doesn’t fit your narrative so best not mention it. Right?”

    Were you expecting anything different from him?

    It’s even better this time around because I was expecting a thousand words post from him

  11. Aussie+Gooner

    China

    “Since we’re not winning the league let’s pray Leicester do the unthinkable and win it again. But I see city as the clear favourite currently ”

    Personally I would prefer $hitty to win the EPL title. We can then rest assured that their success is directly attributed to the money spent to build a squad second to none. If Leicester were to win it again it would cause uncomfortable questions to be asked yet again of how a club that spends relatively little can enjoy such success. That then brings into focus good management, executive and leadership, excellent scouting/acquisition networks and owners that are embedded in the club and community. A hard pill for me to swallow given our circumstances!!!!

  12. Guns of SF

    Leicester winning it, reinforced Wengers frugal spending and his idealology that you can win without spending much.
    Clearly it does not work that way….

    Smart spending yes. But you need to spend. Key word….
    Spend

  13. Tee

    Arteta on Nicolas Pepe getting booked for the substitution…

    “Well we were going to take Nico off and bring Gabi on but Emile got injured, so we had to change straight away. We didn’t want to use that substitution because then we’d have to make two. The referee believed that we were wasting time or something and he made a call.”

    This is for those who were mad that Gabi wasn’t introduced

  14. Aussie+Gooner

    I enjoyed watching the game – even if it kicked off at 4.15am for me. But I was at work so that was a bonus!

    The Southampton goal was partially down to Pepe naval gazing instead of going with his man (like everybody else did!). Poor lack of concentration. Did you see the look that Holding gave him! All players are now expected to help out in defence now a days. However he goes down the other end and does his thang! Good goal! And Saka is going to be immense – he is already doing it and bossing games at his tender age. We are so lucky to have him in our ranks, but we must pay him what he is due. Trying to go cheap on such a player will alert the ‘big clubs’/agents and reduce his self worth when he is trying his bollocks off and getting paid a fraction of what say someone like Willian is getting (can’t use the O word any more!!!!). Luckily he is a bright, educated, well balanced person who won’t have his head turned by the charlatans that may target him.

    Shout out to Cedric who put his head down and done the job out of position. He put in a few tasty long balls as well which caused Southampton grief. Well motivated playing his old club! And no Runnaarson on the bench! But I still can’t fathom why Arteta would bring on Willian instead of Martinelli. The lad will start to lose confidence fast if he doesn’t get game time in such circumstances. Maybe there is some truth in the rumour that Willian has appearance clauses in his contract!

  15. Sanmi

    Been a while. Just to remind people of my stance prior.
    1. Arnold of Liverpool is a shitty defender. I got criticized for it here. He won’t start for other top 6 team that don’t dominate.
    2. Regardless of who we buy, xhaka plays. He makes the team better. And he interprets the manager’s plan well. Always in position.
    3. Auba is a problem in our setup. He doesn’t do much until he scores. Pepe in my opinion should always play on the left, it forces him to pass rather than dribble every time.

  16. Northbanker

    We have got to ship Willian out of the club as soon as practicable. We are almost at a point where we have a top quality team / squad that needs a couple more additions and promotions from the Academy (Azeez, Moller, Balogun, Cirjan) . But this guy iand the need to keep giving him game time is seriously holding us back and will cost Arteta his job. if he doesn’t see the light soon.

    Re the debate on Man City v Leicester – I’m with China. I want to see how a well run club can take on and beat big money spenders. It will save the game overall and clearly make the point. Arsenal were once doing all of that well but since its US take over 10 or so years ago has completely lost the message.

    And it isn’t difficult – put in an ethos from top to bottom that youth is the way forward with a judicious sprinkling of bargain buys but with an age cap of say 24 (yes I know Partey was an exception but that is exactly what it should be seen as – an exception)

    We didn’t need Willian even if he was on a free. To sign up someone who was almost 32 (allegedly) for 3 years was gross negligence, even if he did have a decent final season with Chelsea.

  17. Captain Tierney

    Balogun, Eddie, Gabi cannot what do Laca does in the hybrid #9 role.
    Him playing and playing well is very important for our style of play right now.

    Playing any of the aforementioned 3 would just hamper the system.

    Also he is in a rich vein of form and playing for his last big paycheck. No reason to take him out of the team now. And I’m sure Arteta agrees. What we do with him in the summer will be tricky. Once he lands that 250k a week 3 yr deal theres a very good chance the inconsistent striker inside him will come back out.

  18. Kenyangunner

    Looks like there is a strange correlation between hefty contracts and declining performance.
    Auba was massive before the pay rise.

  19. Mysticleaves

    Cap

    Watching Balogun in the juniors he can do it excellently and even more, like run with the ball and make chances for himself ala Henry. His game against Brighton was just messy. Granted it’s the junior football but you don’t know for sure until you play him in the seniors.

  20. Mysticleaves

    Auba was already on 180k pw plus massive goal and win bonuses. And he was scoring every game! He was already on massive money. I bet a lot of his bonuses were negotiated down to accommodate the new 250k deal (as he’s ageing too). So I am guessing he’s been earning lesser since he signed as he’s not been scoring many and we haven’t won a lot.

  21. Captain Tierney

    Mystic

    Junior football and senior football are vastly different.
    Nketiah is the prime explore. He scores for fun in the U21s. But really struggles in senior football.
    Balogun to me looks more talented but it will take time for him to adjust to senior football, especially the physicality of the Prem.
    Lacazette is the best option for now.

    As for Auba, no way he is taking a pay cut in that situation. I believe his base salary will be around 250k a week.

  22. kjelli

    Xhaka made some fine forward passes last night.. and he never seems to get injured ?
    My motm goes to Lacazette who worked his socks off all game .. Partey with a few
    strange decisions and Pepe also but worked well to the end.. very enjoyable result..

  23. Mysticleaves

    Cap

    Agree with you re junior and senior football and their differences. But Nketiah was never a Henry or hold up/link up merchant even in the junior sides. He was always a poacher with great instincts and his game in the senior football has developed along those lines. Balogun’s game and transition to senior football will still see him deliver the kind of football he still delivers in the junior level. He’s not suddenly going to lose all that skill.

    As for Auba, never said he took a pay cut. He increased his basic wages but I am so sure his bonus packages weren’t as generous as in his last deal. That was probably why the contract took so long to sign. So whereas he could take home about 300k/350k with a win and goal scored in the other deal ,(180pw with win and goal bonuses) he could be taking 300k with win and goal bonuses in the new deal (250k pw)

  24. Kroenkephobe

    He’s a funny geezer that Hassehutl isn’t he?Done up in all that nylon club gear and baseball cap he reminds me a bit of an aging 80s hooligan. Just needs to swap the trainers for some diadoras and don a burberry deerstalker and he’d look the part. Teleport him to that miserable cockerel jockey corner pub outside WHL and the look would be complete. A fist waving, gurning numpty.

  25. Kroenkephobe

    Out on the piss with two other cap wearing bawbags Tony ayatollah Pulis and smiling assassin Jurgen bleached-gnashers Klopp.

  26. Dark Hei

    Honestly I am still kind of astonished that Arteta could turn things around.

    ESR is like Jack Wilshire of 2010-2011 season. The rabbit the manager pulled out of nowhere.

  27. Kenyangunner

    .
    @Dark Hei
    ‘Honestly I am still kind of astonished that Arteta could turn things around’

    Only that he still thinks Willian is still a game changer.

  28. Dolomite

    People really need to stop saying Partey had a bad game, he’s still not fully fit yet he anchors the whole team in a manner that NO OTHER MIDFIELDER can currently do.
    As decent as Xhaka was, if he was playing with El Neny Ceballlos or Willock he wouldn’t have had time and space to pick passes, he’d have been on the back foot defending..

    Sometimes we need to look at the bigger picture and not focus on individuals based on personal bias or favouritism.

  29. Captain Tierney

    Mysticleaves

    Junior football and senior football are vastly different.
    Nketiah is the prime explore. He scores for fun in the U21s. But really struggles in senior football.
    Balogun to me looks more talented but it will take time for him to adjust to senior football, especially the physicality of the Prem.
    Lacazette is the best option for now.

    As for Auba, no way he is taking a pay cut in that situation. I believe his base salary will be around 250k a week.

  30. Captain Tierney

    Dont know Partey had a bad game. He was decent and did his job very well. The 2 times he gave the ball away he recovered it himself.
    His presence alone elevates the midfield.

  31. Captain Tierney

    ‘So whereas he could take home about 300k/350k with a win and goal scored in the other deal ,(180pw with win and goal bonuses) he could be taking 300k with win and goal bonuses in the new deal (250k pw)’

    Mystic

    Dont know where you got this information from. At the time the journos reported Auba went from 200k a week to being on par with our best paid player i.e. Ozil at 350k a week.

    Him and his agents had the clear upper hand and I cant see any way his agents let Arsenal thrash a deal where Auba could earn less than what he did before under any circumstances.

    Balogun is a good all round player but it will take some time to translate that to senior football and it’s not even a guarantee.

    Ignore that duplicate comment.

  32. TT

    I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised that Aeteta was able to turn things around.

    I had him written off during the bad run but he has worked his way out of the slump.

    Win against United on Saturday and I’m optimistic we can make a run for 5th.

  33. Mr Serge

    Henry 19 the cancer on the ballbag of a warthog the guy cannot be a true fan he is never happy with anything

    I for one am happy Arteta is turning it around looks like he is learning from his mistakes and we can yet do something this year

  34. Northbanker

    I thought Thomas had a pretty good game – he lost possession a couple of times but mostly he was very tidy and delivered calm passes, mostly short, from the back. It was a very steadying influence on the game. He just didn’t deliver his trademark defence splitting long pass and for most of game he played deeper.

    Contrast tht with the man u game where he excelled – the difference was he played more offensively because he had Elneny as a partner and not Xhaka.

    Last night Xhakak did well with some incisive passing but defensively he was dreadful – his lack of speed is a problem in tackling and he gives away free kicks regularly in dangerous areas (as did Torreira)

    For those reasons I’s like a repeat of the Elneny-Partey partnership for Man u

  35. Mr Serge

    Deark Hei Xhaka is in the 11 because he is better than all bar one of the players in that area in this squad. hopefully we bring in a top cm in the summer and sell him

  36. Tenerife+Gooner

    Ok .thinking about it.Thomas did not play to the heights we believe he can reach.I understand the fitness issue.Optimistic he will have many ,many great performances for us.I may be slow,but also last night,Saka came of age big time.Great player in the making.

  37. Samesong

    ESR showed another dimension to his game last night. Pressing from the front. Made some very good interceptions.

    Saka to my knowledge made one stray pass all game. He is maturing into a very good player. His goal was excellent the awareness and confidence is growing.

    Cedric was also very good tonight, he had somethingto prove against his old team. Expected him to play well. Done well on the left.

  38. Bojanglesi

    I understand the call for youth, especially with Saka’s and esr’s success but you can’t have all youth. Experience is much needed to guide the youngsters and help them improve. Youth certainly have an excess of exuberance but an all youth team could not handle a season of pl. ATM, Arsenal are upside down, ie the youth are carrying the squad. This is not normal and is a sad indictment of senior players at this time but throwing untested youth at the team is not the way forward. Our young players need to gain experience outside of the club and introduced to the first team gradually.