SOME REALISM ABOUT BUILDING BACK BETTER NEXT SEASON

by .

I had a worry that the summer was going to be quiet on the fan chat front, boy was I wrong. Good mannered debate all over the place yesterday regarding a number of issues.

Let’s talk ownership first.

Patrick Vieira is in the media again talking about the wonders of the Daniel Ek Arsenal vision. Quite something that Paddy would kill his chances of a job at Arsenal to back a bid that has limited chances of success. More to the point, the wind in the Spotify sales appears to have died a death.

Daniel Ek has spoken to supporter groups. He’s spoken to explayers. He’s even spoken to the news. Yet here we are, 3 weeks later, and no one has a clue what the vision is and no one has a clue what his plan is to move the mood over at KSE to SELL SELL SELL.

We’d all love a Daniel Ek on a white horse horse charging into Highbury House with a bundle of cash, but it’s hard to get excited about the technology start-up equivalent of a rich guy shouting, ‘WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE MUSIC FOREVER’, without offering any clue as to how.

The Government are looking into the murky world of football business and how it impacts fans.

The Chair and panel will canvass fans’ views on ownership, governance and financial flows within the game. It will add to the recommendations of the English Football League’s Governance Review and the Government’s 2016 Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement.

In addition, they will assess if there is a need for an independent football regulator, charged with implementing regulation and compliance, and how that could work within the existing framework provided by the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

This expert panel brings together a wealth of knowledge and experience from across the football family to shape the future of our national game.

Their job will be to listen to fans and ensure their views are at the heart of reforms on governance, finance and improving day to day experience of supporters. Football is nothing without fans, and today we deliver on our promise to put them in the driving seat.

Tracey Crouch has been talking to groups and fans around the country to understand the concerns and worries. I think AISA met and the AST sent 4 people to chat with her. This is a good step, but it needs something tangible out the back end of it.

I was asked yesterday what I thought would be a good outcome? Honestly, I have no idea. But if the UK Gov can intervene in the microchip industry to protect UK IP, is there a world where the Gov could intervene to protect our culture? If American’s came to the UK and tried to move the Tower of London to Vermont, there’d be an intervention, is there a world where rules on what you can and cannot do with a football club are put in place? Lofty, but look, I said I didn’t know what I thought.

I think fan representation is the key issue here. Fans pushing for 10% of each club going to supporters trusts is the angle. I also think they’re looking at some sort of independent body to regulate the league as well.

I spoke on the podcast about fan repping. The challenge with nominating fans is that unless there’s a war (Super League), no one can agree. I honestly cannot stand the people that shout ‘THE AST DOESN’T SPEAK FOR ME.’ Like, honestly, if you do literally nothing but sit behind a Twitter account, then don’t expect to be spoken for. AISA, AST, Black Scarf, and plenty of other extremely active people have every right to be speaking for most of us. They are the best we have, if you want to change that reality, do something yourself, don’t just cry on the sidelines like people need to go out of their way to accommodate your laziness.

If it ever happened and there was a fan repping, it’d have to be incredibly democratic, which I’m sure it would be. They manage it well in Germany. Expanding supporter groups and giving them teeth would be great news for everyone, and I do not know a single person at the AST that would be against that. Let’s see where this goes.

Next up, the hot topic, WILLY SALIBA. I’m going to lean on Gambon from the comments to help us with this conundrum, because he had some pretty decent points about this whole debate.

The situation is this: Arsenal will add quality to the defence this summer. The system is better than the individuals. We made too many errors last season and the lack of quality on the ball stifles our ability to move through the lines at speed. We’ve had no right back all season, and the inversion is imperative to how we play, and our best centre back for how we want to play is/was David Luiz, even with the errors.

This is the comment (Gambon)

Honestly, the amount of AFC fans saying “we dont need a CB” is ridiculous, and makes me wonder if they have ever watched a game of football.

We have just lost our best CB.

We now have 4 CBs with Saliba returning, and not a single one of them has ever played an international game. Not a single cap.

Yet people think we will be fine with Gabriel, Mari, Saliba & Holding just because we have 4 warm bodies available to play.

All the big clubs play a high line, with effectively a back 2 when in possession.

Arsenal have been playing a back 3 in possession (Chambers or Xhaka dropping in).

This is because our defenders are so limited, so poor 1 vs 1, and so slow, that they cant be trusted in a 2.

Until this changes, this team is stuck.

By having 2 proper athletes at the back, we can push the extra man into midfield (2-3-5), which means suddenly we wont be getting out competed constantly in central MF, we will be able to get the ball to the play makers more often, and the attack will improve.

Assuming Arteta wants to do what Pep is doing at City, it is absolutely 100% vital that we sign a fast, high quality CB, and a RB that can invert.

The team cant move forward without this, simple as that.

I would have Gabriel, New CB, Saliba and Holding next season. I think long term it may be Saliba and New CB. I like Gabriel, but Im not sure he will be top top class.

The new CB has to be better than anything we have.

It’s quite incredible to me that the folk that are the most critical of Arteta’s decisions are the same people banging the drum for replacing David Luiz with teenage William Saliba this summer.

This is when you need absolute discipline in an operation. If you know the way you want to play and you marry that against the problems you have, you have a higher chance of getting to the right answers.

  • Our build up play is slow and imperfect because we don’t have confident ball players
  • We make too many errors, generally because we’re not that great on the ball

When you know the two above issues, is your solve a teenage defender that’s been playing solidly well at mid-table Nice?

Absolutely not. That idea is a bad one on any level, let alone when you marry it to your reality. We’re already making too many errors. We took one of the best performers in Ligue 1 last season and he’s been very, very inconsistent. No team in the league is rocking teenage centre backs on the regular bar Leicester City with Fofana.

So let’s talk about Fofana. A brilliant 19 year old talent from St Etienne. What happened to Leicester this season? They finished 5th. 6 points behind Arsenal. They conceded 50 goals. 11 more than Arsenal in their worst ever season. The ambition here isn’t 5th, it’s 4th and higher. Which top clubs in Europe are rocking 19 year olds at the heart of their defence?

The job of Arteta is absolutely clear next season, he needs to make the Champions League spots. If he doesn’t, his career is in the gutter. He’s not here to satisfy our itch to see 11 teenagers on the pitch. The fans – and I one hundred percent include myself in this – get the kids wrong all. the. time. Just look at our shitty record over the past 18 months. We BEGGED to see 80-Arsenal-appearances Joe Willock open our attack and it was a disaster. We thought Reiss Nelson was the next coming of christ (another that had a good scoring patch on loan), he bombed. We INSISTED AMN was good enough for our centre midfield, he went to WBA and Sam Allardyce told the media the player should just do as he’s told and play right back. We thought Eddie was the real deal. We genuinely think every problem we have can be solved by the kids. Mostly, it can’t unless they are elite (Saka, Martinelli, ESR).

We’re not the only fanbase that does this. Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea and double subbed CHO in week one. That’s a player Bayern were interested in that they caved and gave mega money to. Tammy Abrahams is not getting games, despite having a good run last season. Billy Gilmour, who looked absolutely mint last season, has managed 5 appearances this campaign. Why? Because Chelsea managers lose their jobs if they don’t make the top 4.

William Saliba is not our best centre back. He has an extremely high ceiling, no doubt, but he’s a kid. He should come back into the squad next season, be given the opportunity to fight for his place, but there is no world where the sensible option is to give him a starting berth.

‘WE HAVE TOO MANY CENTRE BACKS’

This is also a familiar retort to the idea of bringing in someone new. Yes, we have too many centre backs, but that isn’t a permanent construct. Contracted centre backs is protection for the club, if there’s a chance to upgrade, why wouldn’t you do it? Especially when our system lives or dies next season based on athletic, ball playing centre backs in the squad.

In Arteta’s second season at City, Pep took city from 78 points to 100 buying mostly defenders. They went from conceding 39 goals to 27. They went from 80 goals to 106. Everything gets better in our side if we have better defenders that can do the things required of the system. Replacing what David Luiz brought to our attacking play is essential, Saliba has that in him, but not from the get-go next season, so let’s add more quality if we can.

Sure, we need a Buendia, Odegaard, or a Aouar to really kick things up a notch. French football is in the absolute gutter at the moment, the fact that Lyon’s #8 can be picked up for half the price we were willing to pay this summer tells you what a state it is over there, and what an opportunity there is to find gems. BUT, we also need to upgrade at the back, because if the back 4 can all do the things they need to be doing, then our attackers get the ball in more promising positions, our attacking transitions are faster and more furious, and there are less unforced errors because players are more comfortable on the ball and our midfield always receives the ball in better areas.

RIGHT, that’s all I have today, see you in the comments.

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868 Responses to “SOME REALISM ABOUT BUILDING BACK BETTER NEXT SEASON”

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  1. Valentin

    Nice wants Galtier as their manager and are willing to offer more money (potentially a huge bonus if they qualify for Champion’s League) and more influence on the recruitment than Lyon.

    Also Nice wants to bring back both Saliba and Todibo.

  2. Ishola70

    Dream10

    The club went on that so-called terrible run which in fact wasn’t as poor as some are making out when you actually looked at some of the opposition in that run because the players decided to down tools on Emery.

    How are we getting on now Dream10 with Arteta?

  3. Ishola70

    Why should I judge a manager by whether players and failing players btw down tools on him or not.

  4. Northbanker

    Emery’s inability to communicate in English was part of his problem – i assume he doesn’t have the same issue in Spain! His insistence on forcing hige detail on players (a little like Don Review did at leeds) would not work well when he struggles with language. His tactics were awful and getting rid of him was the right decision but should have been after Baku.

    Arteta should go now and the Board need to get more ruthless in this respect

    Both have had 18m and both have not done enough

  5. Dissenter

    Emery’s terrible run was no were as bad as Arteta
    In the end he deserved his sack, same way Arteta deserved his inDecember and at the end of t season fir the collapse against Villarreal.

  6. Dream10

    Valentin

    I doubt Saliba will ever play for Arsenal as long as Arteta is in charge. Just like Guendouzi who tweeted congratulations to Emery this morning.

    Are OGC Nice trying to make the CL?

  7. Ishola70

    Only a couple of posters raise the question is the real problem actually Arsenal themselves and some of these current players rather than manager.

    What Arsenal have done now is compound the situation by appointing a manager that isn’t good enough along with these failing players.

    Bielsa can barely communicate in English and it doesn’t harm him at Leeds.

  8. Northbanker

    A new broom now would be perfect timing to allow egos to be put aside and look at the squad as it exists and consider which of our young players have a future here. Guendouzi, Saliba, Nketiah, Nelson, and Willock all require judgement calls which are not pre-prejudiced.

    New signings need to fit with a new coach.

  9. andy1886

    Stroller, four CB’s should be enough, if not we can recall Mavropanos. Also worth remembering that at a pinch Chambers and Tierney can play there and have done so previously. So potentially we have up to seven options, not four. In summary another CB should be way down our list of priorities.

  10. TR7

    Congratulations to Unai Emery for winning the Europa but it must be said he wasn’t good enough when he was at Arsenal and thus was rightly sacked.

  11. Vickingz

    Clubs are recalling/reappointing some of their formal managers, shouldn’t we consider reappointing Arsene Wenget?? Pedro

  12. Vickingz

    Tr7, it wasn’t about Emery not being good enough, it wasn’t really all down to that, he was being disrespected by the players, they just didn’t buy whatever he cooked, this was a little apparent in the way he was playing the young guns. How are these villareal players way better than these crop of players at arsenal and even the players that emery managed here?

  13. TR7

    I know Arteta will stay at Arsenal for the time being but I think we are missing a trick here as a lot of quality managers are available for hiring.

  14. Ishola70

    Whoever was the first to come in after Wenger was never going to be good enough.

    Many of the social media were playing that game from the start along with many Arsenal fans and it even filtered down to the players themselves.

  15. Vickingz

    I just hope arteta is truly seen for what he is really, he should have it, the ability to wrap around the young guns and nurture them but he doesn’t, he can’t be the big brother to these guys, he has a thin skin, his ego is way too fragile, he has a short fuse, very bad qualities of a coach

  16. shaun

    Agreed . In my opinion midfield has to be the top priority with a Bissouma type player and a Buendia type player being of equal importance even though I would lean more to the Bissouma acquisition as being more urgent .The majority of fans and you yourself have mentioned many times that out midfield is extremely poor in comparison with the teams occupying the top four positions . I don’t think the CD position should be the priority .I am going with Mr Garlic if reports are to be believed

  17. TR7

    Vickingz

    I understand what you are getting at and it is true that he wasn’t fully supported by the club especially in transfers but it was his job to earn the respect of players and ostracize the bad apples ( Mustafi, Kola, Ozil, Xhaka). It seemed like he had identified who were the rotten eggs but he could not clear the mess which is again his fault. And honestly I didn’t like his haphazard style of play, we rarely controlled games.

  18. Words on a blog

    BREAKING NEWS!!!

    HORDES OF TOP QUALITY MANAGERS SUDDENLY AVAILABLE FOR HIRE!

    OLD NEWS:

    ARSENAL OWNEES AND EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT STUDIOUSLY IGNORE AVAILABLE MANAGERS, KEEP FAITH IN THE “PROCESS” AND THE “PROJECT”

  19. Positive pete

    It’s getting more interesting by the minute re Arsenals supposed midfield transfer targets.The carrot crunchers are now saying there’s any extra 20% on any fee due to sell on fee clause Getaffe inserted in their deal with them.If true could be problematic?Odegarrd deal up in the air as Zidane leaving.Meaning he possibly will want to return to Madrid.
    Aouar may be a possibility as his loony price tag has dropped down to £ 22-25 million from the £70 plus quoted by their prat owner at Lyon.Due to fact no champions league football.( Thanks to Saliba
    Onto Bissouma.Apparently Brighton badly need a finisher.Lo & behold.I give you our own Eddie Nketiah.A partial swap deal has been mooted.Intersting.
    Plenty foe Edu & garlick dick to get stuck into.

  20. The BFB

    Congratulations to Unai Emery; an excellent result with an inferior set of players compared to his wealthy opponents. I have nothing against the man, it’s his replacement that fills me with trepidation.Just how much damage will he and Edu inflict on the club before he is shown the door? And how can we be optimistic about the summer transfer window when it depends on the judgement of those two numpties?

  21. andy1886

    TR7, a bit harsh on Emery. He identified the bad eggs but could only stop selecting them, he didn’t have the authority to get them out of the club. That failing was down to the likes of Raul.

  22. What a culture!

    This blog ( its author) was euphoric for Arteta appointment,which many of us knew will not improve the quality of the games. Emery was sacked too soon. The poor man had to battle with grossly underperforming but well paid players. He is way above as a quality manager compared to the novice Arteta who was verbose in telling us how he would improve the players and play. Now, it is time to say goodbye to this novice.
    Get a new manager who is not a former player or risk going down further.. Man Utd got their former player as the manager and their position in the PL table is because of the dreadful state of Spuds and Arsenal.

  23. Marko

    I know what you’re thinking let’s target Emery to replace Arteta he’s just so good a manager but why not Antonio Conte who’s absolutely a great manager and now available.

    No brainer

  24. TR7

    Conte is in the league of Pep and Klopp and looks like we will end up squandering the opportunity to sign all three of them at different points of time. Ok, Wenger was a legend and it wasn’t easy to move him on to make way for Pep and Klopp but Arteta ?

  25. Mb

    I would take Conte even if it comes with a bit of non-Arsenal way. Winning matters on the ground, and Conte is stubborn for things he wants.

    Winning, Transfers – both.

  26. Mr Serge

    Ode added to Madrid’s squad for next season he will stay there now zidane has left, buendia it is then.

  27. Kay

    So until now our only consolation has been spurs being spurs..
    With conte, surely they will improve
    No doubt about it.

    We are so screwed 😊

  28. WengerEagle

    Dream10

    Saul hasn’t really kicked on from a couple of years ago when he was at his best, is stagnating at Atletico now that he’s not an indispensable CM option with the rise of Marcos Llorente. Is regularly asked to tuck in at LWB with Hermoso more of a LCB than a LWB and he is on record as hating playing there (Saul).

    I don’t see him as a starter for Bayern is the only thing. Excellent as a back-up CM option but he isn’t breaking into the XI at the expense of Kimmich or Goretzka with Muller as CAM.

  29. Northbanker

    If we sign Bissouma and Buendia and hear some positive stuff about Saliba’s return to AFC then I will feel confident about next season, even accepting that Arteta will still be in charge

    Other signings would be on like for like – at RB and GK wit Bellerin and Leno leaving

    even if that means losing our star signing Willian back to rivals Chelsea (oh I wish)

  30. Rich

    Fabrizio Romano just tweeted this:

    Granit Xhaka has chances to leave Arsenal this summer as Willian, Hector Bellerin and many other players. Police cars revolving light #AFC

    AS Roma are interested in signing him and have opened talks with his agents, José Mourinho wants him – also Bundesliga clubs are in the race.

  31. Rich

    And this

    Yves Bissouma is appreciated and he’s ‘one of the options’ in the Arsenal list as midfielder but NOT the first one. #AFC are also looking at different kind of players in this position. Red circle

    Many clubs are interested in Bissouma – Liverpool too. The race is open.

  32. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Interesting point. Haven’t watched Atletico Madrid since they beat Liverpool last year and he was peripheral figure around that time. I suggested Bayern because Goretzka has a year left. If he comes to the Barclays as a free agent, he’s in line to receive a massive deal

    Looks like PSG and Bayern are competing for Hakimi.

  33. WengerEagle

    Conte would be a dream, pretty much the antithesis to Arteta’s masterplan 5+ year ‘project’ is the only thing.

    Doesn’t tend to last longer than 2 odd years anywhere.

  34. Frost

    Juve appoint a rookie in Pirlo, he fails to compete for the title barely getting them into the champions league, basically not hitting his targets for the season, what do they do? They sack him & bring back a better coach in Allegri. Big club Mentality….

    Meanwhile over at arsenal…..

    “Give him time” “Sauce” “table since Christmas” pathetic.

  35. WengerEagle

    Glad that Bissouma isn’t top of our list. Think people on here get too hung up on players being ‘PL proven’ even if they have a lower ceiling than an overseas one/are much more expensive.

    Not to say I would be unhappy with him, just believe there is better out there for less.

    Re Xhaka, as limited a player as he is one thing you cannot fault of his is attitude and application. Two massive boxes checked for a Mourinho favourite, could see that move happening as Serie A’s slower tempo would be ideal for him.

  36. Dissenter

    Yea, Conte is borderline mental
    He’s going to exhaust the patience of whatever new club hires him in 18 months
    He will win the something big in those 18 months – 2 years spell.

    The Inter owners were decisive
    It takes guts to do what they did but they have to take measures to keep the lights running in the club.

  37. Dissenter

    The owners have to be in the running for top 3 worst managers in the game.
    Only pathetic owners appoint a rookie and then surrender even more power to that rookie within one year.
    When the rookie fails, still yet they keep him in the hope that he will come good.

    Happy to watch the Arteta show, cos that’s what it is now.

  38. WengerEagle

    Dream

    PSG would be incredible with Hakimi and a legit LB. They have had to play back up CBs and Florenzi/ Mitchell Bakker there all season really which has been disastrous.

    If you intend on winning the CL, you cannot have Florenzi as your starting RB or Bakker/Diallo at LB.

    Has been a massive weak spot for them since Maxwell and Meunier left.

  39. Dissenter

    It maybe that Edu considers Bissouma to be too similar to Partey. Maybe they wants a ball playing central defender like Aouar.
    I just don’t think Ode should be on top of that list because he’s too one-footed. A proper ball playing midfielder should be ambidextrous….like Buendia.

  40. Dream10

    So Roma are looking to finalise the Xhaka deal for under 20m euros.

    If Joe Willock is sold, we’ll get some close to the same fee.

    Jorginho is definitely a possibility. Not sure if he made the Italy squad. Easy signing to make as he is the third choice Chelsea CM when Kovacic and Kanté are fit.

    Looks like Liverpool are in for Bissouma.

  41. Frost

    Guendouzi to Emery –

    What a journey! This Football… so smart and elegant! You made the dream of an entire city, of a club, a team, and of all the fans come true! You did it ! You know how to win trophies! Hats off Monsieur Emery.

    You are so unique.

    I am honored and proud to have had the opportunity to evolve by your side. Words will never be strong enough to qualify your personality, your benevolence and your authenticity in human relationships.

    All my congratulations coach @UnaiEmery_ and bravo to @VillarrealCF”

    Must be nice having youngsters love playing under you. Rookie can’t relate unfortunately.

  42. Frost

    “The Inter owners were decisive
    It takes guts to do what they did but they have to take measures to keep the lights running in the club.”

    Looking at the coaches currently available, Whoever they bring in, won’t be better than Conte.

    Doesn’t look like a smart decision to me, but we’ll see, I may be wrong.

  43. Champagne Charlie

    “Glad that Bissouma isn’t top of our list. Think people on here get too hung up on players being ‘PL proven’ even if they have a lower ceiling than an overseas one/are much more expensive.“

    Don’t think this is true at all, PL proven is a big plus in transfers and even more so when you’re talking about replacing one of two competent CM players at the club. You’ve been lukewarm about Partey as he’s transitioned to the league, makes perfect sense to value someone that doesn’t need as much, if any, adaptation.

    “Yves Bissouma is appreciated and he’s ‘one of the options’ in the Arsenal list as midfielder but NOT the first one. #AFC are also looking at different kind of players in this position. Red circle”

    Makes perfect sense. Arsenal aren’t in need of a tackle merchant, or defensive specialist. They need a technician and passer centrally, all the more so with a Xhaka exit.

    Mikel Merino would be such a move for me, super elegant and durable player, great all round profile, and some experience in England.

  44. Frost

    We are now valued at €1.4B, a 22% drop btw from €1.8B. 11th most valuable club in the world, behind Tottenham too who are Valued at €1.7B.

    Gets better.

  45. Gonsterous

    Never understood the abuse emery got during his unbeaten run. Yes he was poor at the end and deserved to be sacked, but during those positive results, I was optimistic that he would win the EL.

    Similarly, I was behind arteta when he won the FA cup. But he hasn’t kicked on from there and there comes a point when we have to stop backing him because like emery, he’s not good enough.
    Yes he has got till Christmas but the last season has really shown how out of his depth he is at a club like arsenal, where not everything is in place.

    What are his qualities? I don’t see any.
    If at Christmas we are 8th, is that good or bad? I’m not sure what the objective for next season is.

    Under Wenger it was top 4
    Under emery it was top 4
    Under arteta is it top 6 or 8?

  46. Valentin

    Unless Edu grows a pair, it is clear that Arteta does not want Saliba purely because of personality clash. Guendouzi may be an impossible prat, but a good manager would know how to focus his energy in a positive manner.

    Marseilles are bidding £8 millions for Guendouzi, nearly the same price we paid for him two years ago. His dispute with Arteta has completely destroyed his value. Saliba is now valued at £14 millions, basically half of what we paid for him two years go. Again Arteta destroyed his value.

  47. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    Partey’s struggles imo are more down to not being able to get into any sort of rhythm because if his injuries/absences than an adaption period so to speak.

    He has looked great in a lot of the big games this season like at Old Trafford, Spurs at home, Chelsea away.

    Take the point on PL experience being a big bonus but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether or not to pick up a player. Bissouma as you say is a very similar profile of player to Partey, we are more in need of a technician that is comfortable on the ball like a Kroos/Kimmich/Rodri at the elite end and enables us to play through the middle without resorting to long balls and decreases reliance on wing-play to break down low blocks.

    Even Parejo would be a significant upgrade and an ideal type albeit somebody younger and a bit better.

    They need to be press resistant and good off the ball too, not an abundance of those players knocking around but they do exist in decent numbers, more on the continent.

  48. Rich

    I really like Bissouma, my concern is the African cup

    We’ve already got Partey, Elneny, Aubameyang, Pepe

    Losing 2 players in midfield, and 2 forwards, leaves us light, particularly if we’ve got a couple of injuries coming out of the busy Xmas schedule

    The league is tight, every point is crucial, and we could lose players for up to 6 league games, and the FA Cup 3rd + 4th round

    We could maybe get away with losing 3 in different positions, but anything above that would be negligent

    I have a feeling we’ll try for Aouar again, who looks like a high risk, high reward type of gamble

    Only completed 90 mins 6 times this season, regularly gets subbed early in the second half, and has had his application called in question a couple of times this season as well

  49. WengerEagle

    Merino is a decent shout.

    Still personally a big fan of Aouar although he isn’t great off the ball, more of a hybrid 8-10 than a 6. Him and Partey would work well though imo with Partey acting as the anchor out of possession and Aouar coming deep when receiving the ball.

  50. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    No, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it should be a deciding factor in a deal. But in the case of CM, given our options, I’d be uneasy going into next season with Partey as the only player with a lick of PL experience.

    Really feel like any slack has been eaten into with how poor a season we’ve had, can’t be sat in October remarking how things will get going when X and Y get to grips with the league.

    If Xhaka leaves, then I expect 2 CM recruits to come in. Imo one of them needs to be reliable even if unspectacular or it’s all on Partey.

    On paper I had Partey and Xhaka as the reliable pair, both 28, anchoring our midfield which would allow a signing or two of a younger, sexier profile to come offer Saka/ESR type promise. When you remove one of them you diminish the window for any adaptation, whoever arrived better come correct or we’ll start in 2nd gear again.

  51. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    To be honest I think it’s more a reflection on how badly we have bought players in recent seasons from overseas that either haven’t adapted or have taken nearly 2 seasons to get going (Pepe) which makes people quite resistant to buying outside of the PL.

    I get it but fundamentally mosy good players from abroad generally adapt well to the PL. For us the list was endless for a long while when you look at how quickly Hleb, Rosicky, Sagna, Nasri, Arshavin, Cazorla, Sanchez, Ozil, Monreal and Aubameyang all took to the league.

    None of them had a lick of prior PL experience.

    It’s a similar overreaction to people believing that spending isn’t the way forward because of how badly we have spent since 2016 (500m spent).

  52. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Play Aouar in a two man CM with Partey is risky. I don’t see Partey as being defensive enough to put out all the fires. He needs someone to share the load. That is why he has played with Rodri, Saul and Xhaka.

  53. WengerEagle

    Dream10

    I really do not rate Partey’s game going forward as highly, he does all of his best work off the ball imo and should be a CDM primarily.

    Agree about Aouar not really being as suited to a double pivot, he’s better in a 3 man midfield. Ideally I would bring in him and De Paul to play alonside Partey. Good balance in that trio for me of running, technique and intelligence.

    De Paul isn’t a primadonna CAM that sits high up the pitch, he is not afraid to get his hands dirty and put in a tackle.

    People forget that we will be the better team vs 75% of teamd that come to the Emirates and will have the lions share of the ball (at least we need to aspire to be).

    A CM of Bissouma and Partey is going to struggle to break down a lot of defences that allow them time and space.

  54. Champagne Charlie

    Weagle

    Carlos Soler is another such player who operates as you describe Aouar, he’s had a good season at Valencia and they rarely charge a ransom. Not sure about having a Cm with that stature of player in the PL though, not unless the attacking midfielders sharply increase in quality to perform as a unit.

    I agree and disagree with that. Yes, obviously good players often can and do hit the ground running in the league, but when you’re buying several players in various key areas (this summer the whole midfield), then I think leaning on proven quality is a valid move.

    Liverpool made good strides with this tactic, they picked up some good performers from these shores and married them with exceptional talent from abroad. We’ve been gash at both avenues, so I guess it’s up to Arteta and Edu to deliver a full 180 on both.

    If we buy Buendia for instance I’d be less concerned with who we buy in CM because there’s more likelihood of him coming in and delivering at the top end for us in September. Just a bit uneasy at the prospect of 5 new faces who are arriving in England for the first time this summer. Asking a lot, even if it doesn’t mean they won’t gel to produce a madness.

  55. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    Liverpool made a couple of very smart pick ups alright with Milner on a free and Wijnaldum on the cheap from relegated Newcastle.

    I for the life of me struggle to see why Bissouma and Berge are both the favourites on here though over Anguissa.

    He’s far better than Berge and tit for tat in quality and PL top level experience with Bissouma. Has also played very well in Spain for Villarreal and in France for Marseille.

    Bissouma plays for a Brighton with no real financial need to sell compared to freshly relegated Fulham and Parker doesn’t seem to be a massive fan of his and will likely look to rebuild.

    Same age as Bissouma, could potentially be got for half the price.

    Nab him and Antonee Robinson off of Fulham for 50m and boom, that’s LB and CDM sorted.

  56. WengerEagle

    Buendia looks really good but Norwich will want an arm and a leg for him.

    He literally could be the difference between PL survival and relegation not to mention they have to kick up 20% of his fee to Getafe which further increases the price.

    I cannot see them entertaining a bid under 45-50m in all honesty.

  57. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    Bissouma may very well be just a smoke screen for what we really want to do. Too many ITKs are saying he’s not the first choice for Arsenal.
    We will know soon enough, many clubs are going top do their business early so they can get a proper pre=season.

  58. La croqueta

    Everything this ‘Cazorla’ is saying can be applied to Wenger and Mike. So for arguments sake lets say he’s right?

    Wenger wasn’t improving us
    Emery wasn’t
    Arteta isn’t.
    In fact Arteta has done worse than both Wenger and Emery.
    So what now? Where do we go and what do we do? I think you need to accept we have slipped down another level and have become Everton. In order to even match what Leicester have been doing since they won the league. We’ll need managers like Emery who know what they’re doing, whether or not the players or fans
    or the board ‘get it’.
    (The board didn’t back Emery with signings to support his ideas.They bought who THEY wanted. Not who HE wanted).

    I’m sure villareal have no clue what Emery is on about. I’m sure when he took off the CF and brought on the DM some of those players and fans complained about emery being negative and playing for the draw. But look who’s laughing now.
    Not Arsenal players. Not Arsenal fans. We’d celebrate if we got 5th at this point. Exactly where Emery left us. Arsenal fans to this day have this ‘holier than thou’ attitude. And its completely Illogical especially when the arrogance isn’t even supported by EUROPEAN SUCCESS. We’re the 3rd biggest club in english history. A honourable accolade. But at the end of the day. We’re still 3rd. So why do we look down our noses at others. How dare we. Smh.

  59. Gonsterous

    WE

    45-50m is a steal. When we have a gaping hole and need to fill, why do it with sub par players. Just pay the cash and fix a position permanently for a couple years.

    Pool did it with VVD. They didn’t go for a cheaper 25m option to then go and search for another 25m option. Just get the player and move on. Makes the team stronger and also makes the club look like it has a purpose and a plan.

  60. Nelson

    WE

    I also think that finding someone comparable to Bissouma’s capability but much cheaper shouldn’t be difficult. The Pools wants to sign him anyway.

  61. DivineSherlock

    Whoever is in charge at Arsenal should really be calling all these managers but we all know they wont. One of my really favorite manager these few years has been Gasperini from Atalanta . What a massive job he has done there , Bringing that attacking flair to Italy of all places ! Scoring goals for fun and qualifying for CL regularly. Imagine what he’d do with Arsenal .

  62. andy1886

    Not keen on Aouar, questionable character and I could easily see him clashing with Arteta. Not sure we can take the risk having already lost valuable ‘assets’ that couldn’t live with the ‘non-negotiables’.

  63. Kroenkephobe

    Rich
    If we’re looking for a tough right winger, maybe US international Milton Freedman could do a job for us?

  64. WengerEagle

    Agree DivineSherlock, Gasperini would be my number 1 choice to be gaffer. Has gotten more out of Papu Gomez, Ilicic, Zapata, Muriel, Gosens and De Roon than any other gaffer managed and these are not kids. They are nomadic veterans who have been around the block.

    Same people that say he couldn’t hack the transition to England probably said the same about Bielsa.

    Gonsterous

    45-50m is probably on the lower end, only 35-40m of that would go directly to Norwich. How much is PL status worth? So much more than that.

    And Buendia is by far their best player.

  65. Valentin

    Andy,

    I mentioned last year that Aouar has a worse reputation in France than Guendouzi. Guendouzi is viewed as an annoying prat man child, but still very professional. Aouar on the other hand is viewed as great when he is happy, but a nightmare when things do not go his way.

    He will turn up late, refuse to warm down if he has not played, Decide to not follow the coach instruction. And that’s even before we start talking about his entourage and his family who will demand a huge signing-on fee. Last summer it was rumoured to be around £10 millions.

    Within 6 months, Arteta and him would be at loggerheads. Arsenal would then have to sell him at a loss. People complain about Özil body language and his attitude off the pitch. Wait until they see Aouar having one of his tantrum.

  66. Rambo

    ‘Congratulations to Unai Emery for winning the Europa but it must be said he wasn’t good enough when he was at Arsenal and thus was rightly sacked.’

    Giving the oh buts, Really TR7?

    After months of pillorying Emery all the while praising the comedy duo Pooch and Arteta?

  67. Valentin

    Leicester just bought Soumare from Lille for less than half what the clubs are demanding for Bissouma and Anguissa. So clearly clubs put a huge premium on that premiership experience, because Soumare is at least the same level than those two.

  68. Rambo

    Emery proving class is permanent. You don’t win trophies in multiple countries by accident. Pedro and his cronies should be ashamed of the daily hatchet job that was a fixture here, but then sales and marketing is only slightly better than a politician.

  69. Left Testicle

    Weagle
    Buendia looks really good but Norwich will want an arm and a leg for him.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I’ll donate Pepe’s right leg. We just need to find an arm.

  70. TR7

    Rambo

    Poch is quality, there’s no doubt about that in my mind.

    Arteta deserved some praise early on for his FA Cup win and that also bought him some time. As his deficiencies became more and more apparent, people started losing faith in him.

    As for Emery his style and playing pattern was so random, arbitrary and devoid of any structure that it was certain to fail from the get go. He deserved most of the criticism he received. While Villa Real beat both United and Arsenal they didn’t really look any good to be honest. Fair play to Unai for lifting the trophy and yes he does know how to win the second tier European trophy but he is not elite or even very good.

  71. Tom

    Godfrey went to Everton for $30m and the Norwich chairman said Buendia’s transfer fee needs to be north of that, with 35m ( not sure what currency)as the starting point to any negotiations.

    Unless there’s a bidding war, Buendia might be available for less than some on here are guessing, since he’s apparently made it clear he wanted out.

  72. Danny

    TR7

    You call Poch “quality” who’s never one anything but Emery who’s won loads isn’t “even very good”.
    Sorry mate, can’t agree with that.

  73. Dissenter

    TR7
    “Poch is quality, there’s no doubt about that in my mind.”

    How can he be quality when he can’t even get PSG with Mbappe and Neymar over the line to win a league title?

    You were one of the posters piling on Emery for losing Ligue un to a Monaco team that was twice better than this Lile team that pipped PSG to the league title.

  74. Useroz

    Valentin

    Behaviors aside which we haven’t heard a lot Auoar doesn’t strike me as someone we desperately need at all. Don’t know if he’d fit in the team, can get used to the PL etc but he doesn’t appear sufficiently robust to be able to flourish.

    On top of YT clips, i watched some Ligue 1 games just to see how he generally played… well, it just proves most agents/ players can compile. interesting clips! Again, Szo was miles better and appears more fitting the rough PL. Edu missed the boat.

    Whoever we end up buying , don’t get midgets who may take 3 years to not fall over every.time he’s challenged!

    And don’t pay over the top. Make the club (and its fans) look stupid…

    Last, don’t dither and buy on the freaking last day of the TW… clubs already started buying. Surely we have people doing analyzes throughout the season… so make the darn decisions promptly. Can only sell before we buy is bullshit too if we are determined to sell whoever we sell.

  75. Dissenter

    That criticism of Emery being so random is also a big fat lie

    He has his own style but could never implement it in the sinking sands that Arsenal has become. We signed him to replace a generational manager that stayed 20 YEARS in the job
    Then Gazidis left
    Then Sven left

    It was chaos in the back room. He wanted Zaha in his second season, instead they overpaid for Pepe who was always goin to need time to bed in.

    Emery biggest problem is that he was too much of a gentleman who was too trusting to succeed in a club where no one looking after his interests.
    He was devoid of chutzpah; He should have walked away from Arsenal that first summer when they didn’t move Ozil out and get him Zaha
    Emery notoriously told Mustafi he was no longer needed the summer of 2018, yet the club didn’t act on what the manager wanted.. It’s no wonder the players didn’t respect him.

  76. Danny S

    Poch has won fuck all his entire career! Couldn’t even win a trophy at PSG.

    Isn’t he supposed to be the second most sauciest manager in football?

  77. Champagne Charlie

    Dissenter

    I thought Arteta inherited a “much better squad” than Emery? But now poor Emery never got Zaha? Did he not have a better squad then?

    You’re def not moving them goalposts like you accuse Pedro of or anything.

  78. Guns of SF

    I would pass on Aouar.
    The hype has died down a lot. Also, there has been nothing from his camp regarding a move, let alone to Arsenal

    Buendia is a similar version of him… forget Aouar

  79. Marko

    To be fair it’s looking like the great Poch is about to leave PSG trophy less and that is absolutely crazy. You know for someone so amazing he sure does try his best to avoid winning any trophies

  80. Valentin

    Poch won the French FA cup on penalties against Monaco after needing penalties to beat lowly Montpellier in the semi-final.

    Poch leaving within 6 months and going back to Spurs would just show how bonkers the situation must be at PSG behind the scene.

  81. Danny

    That criticism of Emery being so random is also a big fat lie
    ——————–
    We were 4th after 33 games with a game in hand over Chelsea in 5th and he fucked it up, he can never be forgiven for that.

  82. Valentin

    Does anybody think as well that Mkhitaryan is already requesting a transfer?
    Mino Raiola would have the ball to propose an swap Xhaka Vs Mkhitaryan and a pay rise for his client.

  83. Tom

    Poch joined PSG one point behind Lille and finished the season one point behind Lille.
    If he’s such an amazing coach , he failed to move the needle in one half a season with a superior talent.
    Tuchel came to Chelsea and even with less time to work with took them 5 places up the table and past the La Liga winners and runners up to CL final.

  84. Valentin

    Somebody earlier wanted to compare the Monaco team who won the league against this Lille team.
    Here is my 2 cents.
    I believe that the Monaco team had better individual players, but that this Lille team is a better team. Defensively they are very difficult to score against. They also have more leaders on the pitch: Maignan, Fonte, Burak. MBappe was just a precocious prodigy, but was not yet a vocal leader.

    However both team deserved their title. They made it using different path, but they were both great to watch.

  85. Tom

    Valentin, I don’t think anyone is saying Lille don’t deserve their title, or aren’t a very good team.
    You don’t win the French league unless you’re a very good team.

    The pushback was for the Emery tanked the league against Monaco narrative from certain quarters, which of course was laughable considering Monaco sold $400m worth of talent to four top European clubs alone in the next two seasons, after scoring 107 and conceding 31 in their winning season.

    Now, if you believe scoring 64 and conceding 23 is just as entertaining then to each it’s own, but I disagree.

  86. Dissenter

    Nelson/TR7
    Poch got a team that easily won the league last season and reached a CL final last season
    He got a team with Neymar and Mbappe that was coached by Tuchel
    …and of course he had enough time to right the ship to change course and win the league

    Poch needs to go back to Spuds because that’s his level.

  87. The backpass

    “I believe that the Monaco team had better individual players, but that this Lille team is a better team.”

    Sorry, this Lille team is not a better team.. I believe Monaco also got to CL semi final that season.

  88. Vintage Gun

    Weagle
    Buendia looks really good but Norwich will want an arm and a leg for him.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    “I’ll donate Pepe’s right leg. We just need to find an arm”

    Runnerson’s?

  89. Emiratesstroller

    I hope sincerely that Arsenal do not accept Roma “rejects” in exchange for Xhaka.

    For all the negativity about Xhaka he had a decent performance level for us this season. If
    he leaves then we should be aiming for upgrades in his position.

    Xhaka is worth in current market at least £20 million when you factor in the prices quoted for players that we are supposedly interested in.

    For example I don’t believe that Bissouma or Berge are worth double or treble the offers being
    made for Xhaka.

    Arsenal need to be more ambitious and ruthless in their negotiations than we have been in
    the past.