by .

I heard a great bit of advice once.

‘Treat each transfer window like it was your last’

Ok, I never heard that, but it feels that’s the mindset Mikel and Edu are taking to this window.

Arsenal coaching staff LOVED David Luiz, so to see him go was shocking to me.

Today, we’re hearing rumours on three players.

Fabrizio Romano, transfer god to millions, was absolutely emphatic that Willian is going to exit the club this summer. I do NOT know how this is going to happen. He’s on a mega-deal, his powers have declined, and he has 2 years left on his deal. But maybe we’re just so used to players like Ozil not giving a shit about being disliked? Willian might want to put use to his final years. He might want to actually play. This might also be some dark arts from Edu and Kia. Edu knows he’s under massive pressure, the Brazilian posse gotta look out for their own, Willian taking a free transfer elsewhere protects the system.

Whatever it is, it has a big fat approval from Le Grove.

There are also stories linking Xhaka with a move out of Arsenal. Roma, under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, are apparently looking at him. The player has been excellent this season, he’s limited, no doubt, but behind the scenes he’s been a leader, and on the pitch his output has been to the level where you could honestly say you were regretful if he wasn’t in the lineup. A move away from Arsenal at 28 is smart. He’ll go to a league where he’ll thrive and he’ll live in a City that is simply one of the best. £30m for him would be excellent business and his exit would give us a chance to move on a player with a better athletic profile.

The last exit is Hector Bellerin. He’s apparently attracting interest from Real Betis. The right-back fell massively out of favour this season. He lost his pace post-injury, he’s not moved his delivery forward, and he’s just fallen right into the middle of the road. I still love him though, what a guy, what an example, what a fashion inspiration.

These are the moves that shift a club forward. We’ve been nibbling around the edges shifting on periphery players, when the hard facts dictate you have to address the fatal flaws in some of the first-teamers. Xhaka, Willian, Luiz, and Hector are all starting 11 players… but their ceiling is low and stinks of average.

Changing culture properly often needs big shocks. When you start in a new business, there’s often a section of people that are incapable of changing because they’re so wounded by the ways of the past. To truly move on, you need to scrub the decks. When the biggest leaders behind the scenes are average performers, you can’t claim to have a high-performance culture. That’s where we are. The leaders aren’t good enough on the pitch, so though the professionalism might be to a level behind the scenes, you’re never going to hit the elite letting average performers carry the message.

You thought I was going to ignore it, didn’t you?


Honestly, has there been a better final this year?

Don Unai put on a defensive masterclass. He leant into the complacency of United. He took the pace out of the game, he riled his players up to believe they were underdog heroes, he took the game to penalties and made those Villareal superstars feel the winds of winnertivity were with them.

Spectacular. The penalties were so unbelievable. United, a side that wins more penalties than anyone in the Premier League, lost when David De Gea fucked his kick. Stunning.

That’s Unai Emery in his element. Playing with an underdog side, instructing in his native tongue, terrorising the visuals with brutal spoiling tactics.

It’s amusing to see his fan club back in business. Someone said ‘he’d never play a midfielder as a false #9’ negating the Torreira as #10 experiment. People were celebrating his cup final win as a black mark on Arteta, forgetting we won the FA Cup beating better teams. People were celebrating the humiliation of Arteta, missing that Emery took down OGS in his third season at United after spending £290m on players. Losing to the winner has a lesser sting.

The gutting thing is that we’d have beaten United in the final as well. The most sackable offence of the season was the galaxy braining of the semi-final. We should have gone with Saka at leftback, we should have played a balanced midfield. We should have taken a simpler approach. We didn’t, Arteta will learn, we move on with life and hope next season is sharper.

Talking of managers. Galtier, Zizou and Conte all exited their jobs. Spurs are trying to bring Poch back. Allegri is rejoining Juve. We’re about to see quite the shake-up in management. Very interesting.

Ok, shorter one today. See you in the comments.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Danny

    You’re correct, the FA wasn’t around then.
    I was just trying to remember what happened to our european campaign of 73-74 forgetting that there wasn’t one even though we finished 2nd.

  2. Tom

    Mr Serge
    Was Bundesliga slow as well?
    Mkhi was a victim of circumstances and a bad transfer advice from his agent ending up at possibly two worst clubs when Mourinho managed United, and then at Arsenal when the club lost its collective minds.
    How many Arsenal players excelled during Wenger’s last year and throughout the Emery’s tenure ?
    Besides, the point wasn’t how great Mkhi was or wasn’t, but rather that we gave him away for free and thought we did some great business there.

  3. Tom

    “Will be absolutely amazing to get rid of Xhaka, Willian and Leno in the same transfer window.“

    This is exactly what I’m talking about.
    Only Willian can be used in that sentence as it was written with any justification.
    Xhaka and Leno should bring a considerable transfer fee because they offer value, whether you like them or not.

  4. TR7


    Leno has cost us a lot of points. I think somehow he evades the scrutiny some of the other players get due to his tremendous ability as a shot stopper. We definitely need an upgrade on him.

  5. Tom

    If anyone still has any doubt how out of wack both United and Arsenal were in that particular period of time when Mkhi played there, perhaps they should revisit the Alexis Sanchez saga.
    Was the league too fast for him then too?

  6. Tom

    Well, if Leno has cost us a lot of points and somehow Arsenal still managed to be top three since the Xmas , then let’s just replace him and call it a day.
    Top of the league here we come.

  7. Vintage Gun

    “lampard as head coach of crystal palace. didn’t see that coming”

    Poor Palace fans. Lamps doesn’t deserve that job. He was yapping on about how his Chelsea players wern’t good enough earlier this season.

    6months later sans Lamps they have a CL final, played in the FA cup final and secured CL footy for next season.

    Same guy who got the Chelsea job after finishing 6th in the Championship and failing in the playoffs with Derby despite having Mount and Tomori in their ranks.

    He’s just a name

  8. Vintage Gun

    Speaking of GK’s i hope the Ajax Keeper Onana gets his ban overturned next week. Rumour is he’d be available for under £10m if successful.

    TOP keeper. Just needs to lay off the pills…

  9. Tom

    Any manager who gets the CP job shouted all right as long as Zaha plays there.
    Apparently he can get them five wins a season all by himself.

  10. Chris

    Grealish to City for £100 million apparently!

    It wouldn’t unsurprising to see them spend £250 million on Grealish and Kane. That would likely see them out of sight in the EPL for years.

  11. Rambo

    ” Lamps doesn’t deserve that job. He was yapping on about how his Chelsea players wern’t good enough earlier this season.”

    So same as Arteta then? Another overrated ‘young coach with big ideas’.

    If only management was just about throwing around big words and fresh perspectives

  12. Eduardo

    Kane at City could lead to Football Manager levels of dominance, assuming no key players leave.

    Not quite sure what they need/want Grealish for exactly, considering their existing squad depth?

  13. Gonsterous

    Pep with the bayern approach, buy up all the best players from the league and walk the league every year.

  14. Gonsterous

    Not paying lyon 55m last season for auoar was the best piece of business edu has done so far. Glad he over rules mikeal or else we would have had more problems.

    Apparently lyon want to get rid for 25-30m but I’d prefer buendia.

  15. Valentin

    Grealish to take over from Mahrez when he is gone at AFCON. A front line of Jesus/Kane, Sterling/Torres, Mahrez/Grealish KDB/Foden is scary.

  16. Eduardo


    Grealish is probably an upgrade on Mahrez overall (a very good player in his own right), but it still feels like a luxury purchase.

    A shame that the financial doping regs have proved so toothless as it will really threaten to kill the competition.

  17. Positive pete

    By all accounts Aouar purchase would be very bad news.Very bad indeed.Makes ozil probs look Tony.Very very stroppy personality.Late for training regularly ( another on) arguementative & demanding.The hangers on also demanding a cut of any action.Avoid like the plague.Dodged a bullet there.