NARROW PATH TO THE TOP

by .

We’ll start with the positives. English teams are without doubt the most exciting to watch in the world at the moment. That was a final brimming with beautiful technical football, put on by two managers that believe in football artistry. Chelsea were exceptional, they showed how to control a game against a better team. They were the more dangerous side over the 90 minutes and deserved to take home the trophy.

Some of the football though… just exceptional at times. Olivier Giroud, what a career…

There was a lot of handwringing after the game from Arsenal fans that think there are lessons to be learned from two clubs dripping in oil money. I’m not sure I can have that.

High standards with no constraints isn’t an admirable trait or one that’s replicable for Arsenal. Chelsea spent £250m in a pandemic summer on a top 4 squad. They sacked their manager in December and brought in a rockstar coach they’ve been in talks with for a few years.

People keep pointing out Thomas Tuchel to me like I wasn’t pointing him out on this website when he was at Mainz.

Thomas Tuchel: Now, I only know about this guy because Rapha Honigstein has high praise for his work on the BT European show. However, now I’ve made myself and expert on his life and journey and I love this guy. He took over Mainz back in 2009. He doesn’t have an incredible playing career, but he fundamentally understands people and what drives them. Go beyond that and he’s a master of the game as well. A real trailblazer. Apparently, the first thing he did when he tookover was take his players to a retreat to get to know them better. He noticed that at meal times, everyone ate at different times. There was no respect, no camaraderie. So he set about improving the manners of the squad to build unity. Then when you dig into his training methodology, it’s really interesting. His sides train on rhombus shaped pitches to cut out long ball passing. He has a great record against Bayern as well (as well as being tipped to manage them one day). He’s a clever guy who put strategy at core. I love this style of manager. Deep thinkers. Football is changing and the clever guy is winning. An amazing transformation over the course of the last 5 years.

Same people calling me a hipster for like Arteta were doing the exact same thing when I was talking about Tuchel. In fact, when he was sacked by Dortmund, people were in my mentions raising his failure as the death of hipster football managers. He’s an exceptional thinker, he’s improved/softened some of his more erratic behaviour, and now he’s winning the biggest trophies. But he wasn’t available to us in December, even if he was, he’d have all the same problems to deal with because he would want the players to do the same things Arteta struggles to get them to do. Bigger point, we’re not a rockstar destination at the moment.

Same for City. They spent £1.2b to get to their first Champions League final. The response to the poor tactics will be… spend £200m this summer. Hard to extract lessons from clubs that can do that. Obviously, they do a lot of good things, but fishing them out is hard because they always have the best players.

The lessons Arsenal need to take come from clubs like Liverpool, Leicester, and maybe Atleti. Those clubs do it the hard way. They put the best people in positions to make good decisions. They have a clear mission and vision for the football. They build a plan and they ruthlessly stick to it. They do things the hard way because they live in a world with financial constraints.

Arsenal hasn’t really behaved like we have financial constraints over the past 4 years. There have been 4 different plans, no consistency, and lessons that should have been learned haven’t been. The wastage in the system has been eye-watering.

This summer, that needs to change. There are reasons to be hopeful and look, I’m going out on a positive limb here because I have to have a fun summer this year after the misery of pandemic land.

IDENTITY

The last 18 months have been garbled from an identity perspective. We had half a squad dedicated to Wengerball, half to Emeryball, 8 center-backs, the most expensive bum of all time causing issues behind the scene. Arteta started with a shithouse approach, then tried to maintain a fine margins game as his strikers lost their shooting boots, then we tried to play a more creative brand of football post-Christmas to mixed reviews.

What I think we saw develop is an idea of how we want to play. It’s Manchester City lite. A brand of positional football underpinned by a solid defence. Clearly, we don’t have the players needed yet, but when we added more creators post-Dec 25th, the football moved forward.

Edu knows what he’s scouting for now. So do the analysts that sit in the backroom. We haven’t had that sort of clarity before. That should make the filter for great easier to judge.

PROFESSIONALISM

Again, this is a major stretch for me here because I don’t know. But Richard Garlick is trained in law, he’s worked on all aspects on a club level and he’s also an operator at the league level. He’ll need to bring process to Arsenal and maybe we’re starting to see some of that with basics like moving on the physio and using headhunters to find the new generation of scouts. No more contacts scouting, no more sweetheart deals for people Edu like, some rigour in the recruitment process. If he’s not here to bring that to the club, I have no idea why we hired him.

THE GIFT OF TIME

Last season was a mess for most clubs and nearly all managers. This season will be different. Clubs will get a full preseason, players will get a proper break from each other, coaching will make a difference. A rookie coach with no time to work with his players wasn’t ideal. Next season, there’s no Europe to worry about, so there are no excuses for not extracting the most out of the squad.

YOLO EXITS

Don’t even tell me you’ve not considered quitting your job to do something MAD like setting up craft beans on toast restaurant that sells one dish for £27. We’ve all been there and football players will be no different. Granit Xhaka probably wants out, why not? Willian might have had a realization that playing and being loved is more valuable than an extra £50k a week. We’re going to see exits this summer that move us on from comfort blanket players.

That’ll give us more cash to reshape the squad and go from incremental improvements to something more dramatic. Arsene Wenger did this at the start of his Arsenal career and again in 2001 I believe. The risks of shocking the system are that it takes time to settle the squad, but look, the risks of keeping players that aren’t right is you firmly entrench yourself in 8th position.

MONEY MONEY MONEY

As I mentioned the other day, there’s cash being injected into the system this summer. We don’t have to sell to buy, and hopefully we can sell and top up the pot. We could have a very big summer this year. The easiest way to jump a level is to invest in better players. We have the chance to do that this summer (did you read Pep confirm Arsenal is investing?).

Hopefully we’re not spending money on Mahrez like figures. With big money comes great responsibility. We should be using the cash to sign players that will have a residual value. Don’t just blow it on old players like we have done in the past.

CONCLUSION

The above points are spinning plates. They all have to be spinning by the end of the summer or we’ll fail next season. But there’s a path here. It’s a tight one, it’s fraught, but if we make smart decisions we can go into next season and surprise people.

Let’s see what the clubs has in store.

446 Responses to “NARROW PATH TO THE TOP”

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  1. Ishola70

    Guendouzi may have issues but the potential he showed if that is carried through at a later stage if he matures is going to eclipse that of Granit Xhaka who is a europa league level player.

    When Guendouzi was playing in midfield with Xhaka it wasn’t Granit showing leadership and driving the team forward on most occasions. It was the green immature rookie to that level of football Guendouzi that was doing that.

    People talk of Xhaka’s leadership now. It’s all plastic. He so-called leads the team from deep midfield. He plays deep midfied because he can’t hack the centre of the pitch.

    Some leader eh.

  2. CG

    ””””Matteo G cratered his own value.”””””””’

    I do know Steve Bruce has not cratered Joe Willock’s value.

    Bruce has been more beneficial to Arsenal FC than Mikel Arteta has this season. I do know that.

    I am sure Willock will not be chomping at the bit to get back to Arsenal’s training ground and sampling more Arteta ball coaching after his Newcastle’s sojourn.

    What fun he had there under Brucie’s man management.

    Record breaker.

  3. Ishola70

    Marc

    “and the Spud’s fans have started a petition for Arteta to be given a job for life.”

    lol

    Dem fuckers.

  4. Dissenter

    It’s a real pleasure reading posts in this blog when sarcasm is the staple

    Tom
    You’re the new king of caustic sarcasm, you know how to make it bite.

  5. Marc

    Ishola

    “People talk of Xhaka’s leadership now. ”

    Mate I remember the night where Xhaka showed us all the true meaning of leadership as he sauntered off by the longest possible route when we were chasing 3 points against Palace.

    Liking Arteta is one thing, justifying his every move no matter how bad is just strange.

  6. MD-Gunner

    IT IS BEGINNING:

    Expect more of this in the TW:
    According to the Sun, Arsenal ‘are dealt a blow in their pursuit of Tiago Tomas, with Sporting Lisbon reluctant to sell the £20m-rated star to a club without European football next season’ after guaranteeing themselves a Champions League spot.

  7. Marc

    Pedro

    That’s a lie – I have not been saying Xhaka is dog shit for 2 years. I’ve been saying he’s far worse than that and for longer than 2 years.

  8. prvhc

    Positive pete
    How about this Gazidis fella in to replace the ‘bum’ Edu ? Heard he specialises in taking out of sorts big clubs back to the Champions League . Could form a terrific partnership with Arteta

  9. Pedro

    Ish, yet here we are, Jose Mourinho making personal calls to bring him to Serie A and Matteo is getting binned off to Marseille. Makes you think

  10. Dissenter

    I believe it was Sid that captioned Pedro as “Kim Jung Peds” or something

    The man is always right about Arteta, that propaganda mill is now rigged to a solar powered engine.

    The collective value of the squad is rapidly vanishing under Arteta.
    He has not even given one minute of league football to the likes of Miguel Azeez. He’s awful with the youth players. I can’t stand him.
    I find myself missing Wenger these days, that’s a reflection of how I see Arteta.

  11. Positive pete

    Didn’t say it was stupid Marc.just repetitive & boring.According to the Athletic ( survey?) 80%Of Arsenal fans are satisfied so far with Artetas performance.Make of that what you will.Is it only on le grove that there is a vitriolic ,say ,hardcore 20% who are not?Either way it would be nice to change the mood music for awhile.At least until next season & see where we’re heading.Paradise or hell.😈

  12. Pedro

    PP, didn’t see that number… I thought Marc spoke for all fans when he said he’d get booed in the stadium?

    PP, who do you want us to sign?

  13. MD-Gunner

    No with regard to the Athletic survey about Arsenal:

    Does manager Mikel Arteta deserve to be in charge of Arsenal next season? NO=20.8%
    Does Edu deserve to be at Arsenal next season? NO=43.1%
    Does Vinai Venkatesham deserve to be at Arsenal next season? NO=56%
    Are Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) the right owners for Arsenal? NO=93.2%

    I voted NO on all of those questions the only explanation why there is such a large deviation between Arteta and the rest of the stooges is those 80% voting for Arteta must be supporters of other Premier league clubs. They would love to see Arteta stay because that would ensure Arsenal will be midtable.

  14. Ishola70

    Marc
    ”Mate I remember the night where Xhaka showed us all the true meaning of leadership as he sauntered off by the longest possible route when we were chasing 3 points against Palace.”

    The worst for me was when he ducked away from a header away at West Ham.

    He actually purposely put his head away from the ball.

    Then you hear him screaming at other players the infamous “we are scared” at Anfield.

    There are just so many instances with him of being an idiot and plastic.

    He’s a w@nker and ready to let slip his mask of so-called leader at any time.

    As someone else said here he is leader of remembering the players birthdays.

  15. Marc

    Pedro

    Tell me with a straight face that if fans had been in the stadium this past season Arteta would not have been booed?

    You think Arteta would’ve survived this season with fans in the stadium?

  16. Pedro

    Dissenter, must be tough typing out ‘BAD WITH KIDS’ as we read the facts that he gave more U21 minutes than any other manager in the league by a margin.

    This is why Positive Pete is mad at the board.

    FYI, I don’t need outside power sources for the propaganda machine.

  17. Marc

    “FYI, I don’t need outside power sources for the propaganda machine.”

    At least Pedro is going full on sustainable – the Arteta bandwagon powered by bullshit!

  18. Mr Serge

    If West ham can finish 6th with that squad with no Europe then we can finish 4,th with some improvement

  19. Ishola70

    Pedro

    We all know that we talk about potential with Guendouzi.

    With Xhaka this is as good as it gets and that is europa league level.

    Roma finished 7th in Serie A. Piss poor.

    About right for Xhaka.

  20. Marc

    Pedro

    “Fans would have helped.”

    They also would’ve helped all the teams we played in away matches as well.

    Arsenal are not the only club to have been affected by COVID.

  21. Pedro

    MD,

    When you say 79.8% of Arsenal fans think Arteta should be in charge, it frames it better.

    Quite something considering some of the noise on here.

  22. Mr Serge

    I have watched guendouzi play live for a couple of seasons he is shit he just charges about chasing the ball like a headless chicken with no end product

  23. Mr Serge

    Sorry Pedro guendouzi is amazing and i am amazed we are letting a talent like him go for peanuts as you were

  24. Pedro

    Ish,

    Granit Xhaka is scum… but you’re into the guy that dived in his only penalty box, behaved so badly he was called an animal by Berlin, and posted a pic of his holidays after an FA Cup win instead of saying congrats.

  25. Positive pete

    MD thanks for the figures.Interesting fans views on EdU & Vinai.And nearly 94% wanting the Krankies out.Hard to correlate with the 80% satisfaction rating for Arteta even if you allow for a sizeable proportion of “ disruptive voting” from outside influences.I maintain it is a Le Grove thing.But hey we’re all in the Arsenal family & all entitled to our views.

  26. Marc

    Serge

    You’re doing a Pedro – no one has talked up his ability or said he’s a good or even great player. The conversation has been about his value tanking under Arteta.

    We sell him for €7 or €8 million and that’s a lot of money lost we could’ve used to strengthen the team.

  27. Pedro

    Marc, I know about the other clubs, there was a 6 point gap between 8th and 4th. Bad year for everyone but you only want to talk about Arteta.

  28. Pedro

    Serge, Marc wants you to know that no one said Matteo was great, just that the entire market has his valuation from by a factor of 400%.

  29. Marc

    Funny how Mislintat who was according to Pedro a great guy forced out by Sanllehi doesn’t have any players of value left at the team.

    Pedro – mate you’re so back to front on this it’s worrying.

  30. andy1886

    Positive, if you actually read the Athletic article what they are saying is that they are prepared to give him another season on the basis that he has to improve. That’s not the same as being ‘satisfied’ with his performance. On the ‘performance’ measure a massive 84.5% said they were either ‘unhappy’ or ‘distraught’ with our performance this season.

    It’s last chance saloon time.

  31. Marc

    Pedro

    Er I only want to talk about Arteta? No happy to talk about other managers but as Arteta is the Arsenal manager he does take up most of my focus.

  32. Pedro

    Marc, Dortmund considering Sven as an RPL for Zorc, but sure, you were bang on about Sven. If only top clubs listened to your wisdom on Matteo’s valuation and exec choices.

  33. prvhc

    Positive Pete & Recently Positive Pete,
    40% of people in the US still believe the Earth was created less than 10,000 years ago.
    So just because a bunch of people believe something with questionable evidence doesn’t mean jack sh*t, especially with Arsenal fans and underperforming managers.

    So, you can take that 80% figure and throw it in the ‘irrelevant BS’ bin.

  34. MD-Gunner

    @Pedro you should have not stopped with your quote let me add that then

    The Athletic verdict:
    There’s no doubt Arteta has fallen beneath expectations this season, but it’s also reasonable to expect that a young coach may learn from his mistakes. What’s clear is that of the inexperienced trio leading Arsenal — technical director Edu, chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and himself — Arteta is the one who retains the most trust.

    How happy are you with Arsenal’s performance this season? Unhappy 70.8%, Distraught 13.7%

    84.5% are unhappy or distraught with Arsenal’s performance yet 80.2% feel he deserves to stay as manager. We are seeing here a great disparity between what the reality is and wishful thinking. How can 80% disapprove of the performance yet at the same time 80% want to keep the manage?

    The buck always stops with the manager, did so with Pep and the CL final, also stops with Arteta and Arsenal’s performance. Only one explanation, either the vote was RIGGED or more likely today’s Arsenal fans live a world separated from reality and facts.

  35. Marc

    Pedro

    Where’s Zorc going? He’d do a job for us.

    As for Mislintat – if he was so good why hasn’t any of his signings worked out? You can’t talk the guy up and then slag off every player he signed to protect Arteta.

    Good is good , bad is bad and then there’s Arteta.

  36. Pedro

    Andy, also tells you that the view of this blog is pretty mainstream. People want to see the project out. Shit season, but things to be hopeful for.

    I am… mainstream.

  37. andy1886

    MD-Gunner, if you read The Athletic regularly you’ll know that there are still plenty on there pining for both Wenger and Ozil which says a lot. Still surprised that the 20% figure was so low or even that 15% weren’t unhappy with how the season went.

  38. Positive pete

    Well Andy.I didn’t read the article.It came more by word of mouth/ hearsay.So I stand corrected on the 80% “ satsisfaction rating.Apologies.judging therefore by the “ performance” figure you’ve supplied they are far from satisfied.However & crucially ,unlike the sizeable a& vocal majority/ minority? On here,are prepared to give him another season.Me personally,Christmas.

  39. Mr Serge

    Marc i said guendouzi was pretty crap and Pedro joked that i should not say that as half the transfer market will be put off by my scouting report so i then apologised and said his great he was

  40. Northbanker

    The only reports on Guendouzi I have seen state the fee is expected to reach €12-18m. We paid £6.5m for him so a clear profit. With Guen it was always about potential – I’m sorry to see him go but we have to move on. The fact that Hertha don’t want him either tells plenty.

  41. Kroenkephobe

    Quite something considering some of the noise on here

    But Pedro you were making some of that noise when calling for Arteta’s head after Villareal.

    And wasn’t it Groucho Marx who said 80% of all statistics are made up?

  42. Marc

    Serge

    I don’t care about Guendozi being good or bad – if he’s a pain in the arse sell him no issue.

    My issue is don’t cost the club £20 million or more in doing so when we really need the money.

  43. Champagne Charlie

    Another day of Ishola making Xhaka the centre of his universe. Just needs to have a dig at Weagle about talking European football and he’s literally reliving his weekend.

  44. Pedro

    I’m not sure Groucho is a good inspiration for life in 2021. Not many businesses you can reel off that quote and survive

  45. Ishola70

    Charlie

    We have talked many issues on this thread today including Xhaka.

    That you trigger wholy on the Xhaka conversation says a lot.

    Defender to the last.

  46. Northbanker

    Marc – you can only get what clubs are prepared to pay.The deal likely to have add ons so will be difficult to assess properly. He’s gone on loan, didn’t impress that club either and now is one year from contract expiry. In those circumstances it is inevitable we will not get full value. Move on.

  47. Positive pete

    Marc.Not totally necessary to read the article.After all it’s hardly a legal matter.It was misinterpreted for which I apologised & appreciated the clarification from Andy.No need to get excitable…..

  48. Champagne Charlie

    Ishola

    I’m the one triggered even though you’ve failed to let another day pass without mentioning Xhaka anonymously online. Spectacular.

    I find the repetition amusing, as was the interaction between you and Weagle the other day. You’re so far off the deep end it’s comical. But bully for you, got a few comments in about general football before opening up a can of Xhaka.

    He lives in your head rent free, ouch.

  49. Positive pete

    Andy.If & it’s big if.A v.good transfer window will be reqd.Whether he or they are up to it.We’ll know soon enough.

  50. Ishola70

    Charlie only you get upset though it seems by having to respond all the time and Weagle for some reason at times.

    As long as he is still at the club making us suffer which has been the case since he joined then he will continually be called out.

    It’s something that you should be at peace with now but obviously not.

  51. Champagne Charlie

    Seems like the blame Arteta gets is picked up and put down at will regarding these players.

    If a player does well on loan (Saliba, Willock) then he’s a mug for sending them on loan, whereas a player tanks and is looking to leave the club (Guendouzi, Torreira) and he’s a mug again for screwing the value of the player.

    Pedro is the spin merchant though is he?

  52. Champagne Charlie

    Ishola

    Again, I’m upset since when? You’ve not got control over your own emotions so less of the bogus commentary about mine .

    I load Le Grove for the day and first comment at the top is you in your element, followed by the next 3/4 firmly on top #1. I find it amusing as I’ve stated, maybe you make peace with that

  53. MD-Gunner

    At the beginning of the next season we will find out the winners and losers of leaving or staying at Arsenal. Post some of your ideas here are mine:

    Winners:
    Ozil, CL qualification football
    Sokratis, CL qualification football
    Mkhitaryan, European Conference league (but Maureen as manager)

    Losers:
    Shkodran Mustafi, Looser looking for a new club

    50/50
    Emi, but he got regular No 1 starting position

  54. Tom

    “Tom
    You’re the new king of caustic sarcasm, you know how to make it bite.“

    Thank you Dissenter for kind words.,
    Someone had to pick up the slack from Jamie and FL , who fucked off probably to watch their crypto portfolio swell up beyond imagination.

  55. Pedro

    CC, we’ve also been wrestling with ‘shit coaching tanked his value’ but can’t resolve why no other major club has spotted the opportunity to pick up an undervalued superstar at a pittance.

  56. Champagne Charlie

    Pedro

    Oh I read that memo too. Looks like Xhaka is a wasteman because he’s going to Roma, and Guendouzi going to Marseille reads as: ‘Arteta fucked an elite talent because he didn’t keep him here and play him’

    Ignoring of course the obvious fact that he sent him on loan where said loan club have welcomed the end of that agreement. It’s a weird twist, but silly season and all that.

  57. Thorough

    So Guendozi is bad all of a sudden right and that has nothing to do with Arteta? So what happened to Xhaka who was worth closer to 30 mil before Arteta stopped the move? He turned shit without Arteta having anything to do with it again right?
    Shaking my head.

  58. Emiratesstroller

    I have been watching Guendouzi in the flesh probably more times than the majority of those
    who post on here. Moreover I monitored him “off the ball”, which you don’t do when you watch him on the screen.

    One thing I learned about Guendouzi is that he expends a lot of energy on the pitch with very little productivity. He was also exceeding lightweight in the tackle.

    The idea that he is a “great player” in the making is a myth. There was nothing I saw which
    suggested that he was an exceptional player. There were also far too many occasions when
    he lost the ball particularly in second half of games and his recovery was non existent as he
    lay prostrate on the ground hoping that the referee would award a free kick.

    His behaviour was a factor in the decision of Arteta and not just because of what happened
    against Brighton. By all accounts that was the finale after a series of previous incidents.

    There are some who post on here who seem to think that he is worth mega bucks. Considering that he would not be rated a starting X1 player at Arsenal I don’t think that he
    is worth more than £15 million tops in current transfer market factoring in also his behaviour and track record at other clubs.

    If we double the transfer fee we paid originally that is from my perspective a good deal for
    this player.

  59. Thorough

    Peddlers.
    Because nobody is linked to Guen doesn’t mean he’s shit. Manu haggle Penandez price for almost a year and nobody bothered. Klopp had a free run at Sallah from Roma. Stop putting baseless assertions out as some immutable truths. Who fought us for Cazorla or Hleb when we bought them? Or Diaby?

  60. Thorough

    Et.
    Arshavin was lazy as fuck but he was a dynamite. How many goals did Rosivky score in his entire Arsenal career? Was Willock anywhere near Guendozi s rating before he went to Newcastle and started scoring like it was running out of fashion. Oxlade can never be a central midfielder Arsenal fans kept saying, that’s exactly what he’s done in Liverpool even scoring a cracker enroute winning the UCL despite injury limiting him. Arsenal is not a place to judge a player. The coaches tend to burden or misuse the players and destroy them in the process. Guess who was utterly ridiculous we had to give him away again? Mkhitarian, yes the same guy who just had double digits in goals and assists this season.

  61. Ishola70

    Marseilles are a bit like Arsenal.

    Have a proud history but have fallen.

    Oh and they have won a european cup.

    But yeah complete mickey mouse move for Guendouzi.

    Very big fanbase as well and most know they were one of the biggest in France before the PSG money came in.

  62. Ishola70

    Thorough

    “Guess who was utterly ridiculous we had to give him away again? Mkhitarian, yes the same guy who just had double digits in goals and assists this season.”

    He was shit at Man United as well.

    Even Batistuta here the Italian poster says not much should be made of a player getting some numbers up in the present Serie A or making too big a deal out of it.

    And what did Mhiki’s numbers do for his side Roma this season? Not a lot. They ended up 7th.

    Mhiki given free rein. Mhiki excused team work load.

  63. Emiratesstroller

    Thorough

    If you don’t want to judge Guendouzi’s performance at Arsenal take a look at how he played at Berlin and his impact there.

    He played in 24 games. They won only 5 games when he played including 2 when he was a
    late sub.

    That does not suggest to me an influential player either defensively or offensively.

    I am 50-50 about Willock, but I have always rated him at a higher level than Guendouzi. Moreover he is home grown and conducts himself in a professional manner.

  64. Thorough

    Ishola.
    Was he shit at Dortmund too where he spent a longer time than Manu and Arsenal?
    What did Aubameyang’s goals do for us the 2 years he was top scorer in the Epl? Did we make UCL? Does that make him a bad player.
    Sanchez was shit in Manu and Arsenal too but he’s been amazing everywhere and just won the scuddeto. Maybe it’s Arsenal and Manu that are actually dysfunctional and not the players?

  65. CG

    Emirates

    “”””I have been watching Guendouzi in the flesh probably more times than the majority of those””””

    Well done. Good judgement there ES

    Well , it took me about 3 weeks to know he can’t play and is a 100% ‘wrong -un’. He should never have played for the club again after that Zaha tackle.

    Having said, once again it all.comes down to man managing players and not alerting potential buyers that you have rotten apples in your camp so you get the optimum price.

    (A Wenger sold Bentley 20 years ago for £20 000 000- and he was nearly as rotten as Genduzi.)

    Klopp is the current master- he has sold some filth in recent years for some serious prices.

  66. WengerEagle

    Our transfer business has been fucking horrendous for the past few years.

    Not that I rated Guendouzi, was one of the least enthused on here about him even in the Emery days but to only be breaking even on him given all of the hype is pretty dire.

    We paid 20m for Papa Sok and ended up letting him walk for nothing, paid 25m for Toreirra and will end up letting him walk for fuck all, paid 8m for Guendouzi as a 18/19 year old and a few years later are selling him for the same price, no increase in value at all.

    There’s serious chatter about Saliba being cut loose on a cut price deal after shelling put 30m for him, Pepe despite his recent purple patch would fetch us nowhere near the 72m that we invested in him.

    All the while we let one of the best keepers in the league leave for a 20m pittance.

    Absolute shambles of an operation from top to bottom whether you lay the blame mostly at Minislat’s door, Sanhelli’s, Arteta’s, Emery’s, Edu’s or Stan’s for hiring them all.

  67. Ishola70

    Thorough

    We all know what type of player Mhiki is. It’s no mystery.

    He needs to be given free rein attacking wise and excused from other team duties.

    This is what happened at Dortmund and he isn’t doing a lot of running around at Roma either other then when it’s about an assist or goal for him.

    This type of luxury player is mostly frowned upon now.

  68. Thorough

    Emirates.
    Stop judging a player because his team is poor. A player can only do well when a coach has built the team to function maximally. Robertson came from a relegated Hull city and went on to win UCL with Liverpool. Why not blame him for Hull going down?
    Wijnaldum went from Newcastle to Liverpool. Why didn’t he take Newcastle to UCL?
    Stop connecting points that have absolutely no correlation is what I’m trying to say..Even Arteta didn’t discard Guendozi cos he wasn’t talented enough, he did because of his useless intangibles. A French u21 captain can’t be a below average player pls. Stop rewriting history.

    That’s how ya’al were screaming that Saliba was shit yet he became a mainstay in lens, helped them survive relegation and a lot of clubs want him now.

    Arsenal is dysfunctional. Let’s fix it first before we start throwing the babies out with the bathwater.

  69. Kroenkephobe

    The idea that he is a “great player” in the making is a myth

    ES
    It’s not a myth, it’s an opinion. In much the same way as saying he’ll amount to nothing in future 8scan opinion.

    He’s another one who sharply divides fans unfortunately. I think there’s enough to suggest that he’s worth another try but if he fucks up then it’s sayonara. That said, it must be difficult for young players at Arsenal to feel as though they’re making any headway with Tets and Round. Saka being the only exception really.

  70. Thorough

    Ishola.
    If you, a fan, knows this much, then how come the team didn’t do their fact-finding before buying a player that does not suit us? You see why it’s unfair to paint something black or white based on whims.
    If we hadn’t watched Partey all those years in Athletico people will be telling us he’s shit now, no?

  71. Ishola70

    Thorough

    Mhiki was just thrown in as face saving when offloading Sanchez wasn’t he.

    A quite big name to appease a little the loss of Sanchez.

  72. Thorough

    Ishola.
    So should we then blame the player or the technical team that got him without bordering about his suitability? These guys keep committing sackable offence yet nobody gets punished for it. How can you buy a player on circa 200k wages for the sake of it. That probably pays the wages of 5 players in Brighton.

  73. Ishola70

    It was probably Wenger Thorough that said let’s have him as a face saver.

    I saw Mhiki once put in what you can call an overall team performance against Spurs at Wembley. He was very good both offensively and off the ball. Good work rate as well as doing his thing attacking wise.

    So he could do it but just doesn’t have the mentality to do this regularly or just isn’t interested to do it.

  74. Nelson

    Marc

    Saliba is probably worth less now. Reiss Nelson and Eddie could be doing better if they were sent out on loan like Willock.

  75. Mr Serge

    CG whenever sold Bentley for 20m you are garnishing the facts a little there bud we sold him for 2.5m to Blackburn but had a 50 percent sell on Clause and Blackburn sold him to spurs for 20m we got 10m so 12.5m all in it was also about 15 years ago not 20

  76. CG

    Serge

    (Corrections Accepted.)

    But you know what I mean
    You dont go around telling all and sundry you have troublesome players, do you?
    You say they are all wonderful.

    Even Arsenal execs should know the basics.

  77. bacaryisgod

    1. Guendouzi was not a trouble-maker under Emery and had a much higher value.
    2. That huge valuation on Guendouzi was formulaic nonsense that plugged in his first-team appearances, his age, his central midfield role and Arsenal’s Premier League position at the time. Nobody bought it at the time and it looks absolutely ridiculous now.
    3. Guendouzi was clearly acting immaturely in the Brighton game both with his actions and his words.
    4. Arteta handled it with a ham-fisted approach and Guendouzi in turn reacted dreadfully. I’m convinced more experienced, less arrogant manager would have handled the situation better.
    5. Guendouzi decided to defy Arteta and from that moment on there was no way back.
    6. While Guendouzi hasn’t thrived at Hertha, for the most part he’s still commanded a first-team place and it seems he’s worked his way back into the team’s good graces.
    7. He has talent and drive but I’m still not convinced he has the technical ability to be an elite level midfielder.
    8. Pedro has a point. We’re clearly going to take the best offer out there for him, and right now it’s not looking like a good one with very few interested buyers. That still might change if a team wants to take a chance on him. I think his ceiling is higher than his current valuation.

  78. bacaryisgod

    Thorough

    Did you really just write this?

    ‘Sanchez was shit in Manu and Arsenal too but he’s been amazing everywhere and just won the scuddeto. Maybe it’s Arsenal and Manu that are actually dysfunctional and not the players?’

    Alexis was great for us for most of time he was here and then seemingly aggravated his teammates with his attitude. off the field and selfishness on it. However, for much of his first three seasons he was remarkable. and was a goal in every two games scorer and provided a number of assists too.

    Winning the Scudetto really means nothing. He’s got 11 goals in 70 appearances for Inter. Not all of it is his fault. I think he destroyed his body with 2-3 years of constant year-round play for Arsenal and Chile without getting proper rest.

  79. LoveSausage

    ES,

    100% agree on Matteo. He had a decent work rate but no output, defensively or offensively. I don’t get why some people are all up in arms over him.

    I don’t think Arteta should still be in the job but using Matteo to beat him over the head is ridiculous. MA gave him plenty of chances, the guy proved over and over again that he’s a shithead. And even if he was some great talent, certain behaviours are toxic enough that they should never be tolerated. The price being discussed sounds realistic. We bought they guy for potential that didn’t materialise. Happens all the time with young players. Time to move on.

  80. China1

    Pedro this is silly

    ‘ What is Saka worth?
    What is ESR worth?
    What is Tierney worth?
    What is Martinelli worth?I’m not sure they declined in value. Even Pepe worth more now than under Emery.’

    Saka is worth more, everyone agrees. But that only happened a year in to the job when he finally noticed you can play him in his best position on the wing.

    ESR, yeah sure.

    Tierney? He’s not a kid dude. The only thing that made Tierney kick on is stringing games together without being injured. He was already quality

    Martinelli??? Why on earth would he be worth more now man? Under emery he was a ‘once in a 100 year talent’, getting rave reviews from ronaldinho and Klopp. This season arteta barely let him near a pitch until the last handful of games. His value will have obviously dropped

    Pepe? Arteta has managed Pepe just as poorly as emery until the last handful of games this season. I don’t think pepes value is based off the last 5 performances.

    Everyone else? Mostly Worse than before.

    Auba – worse
    Laca – about the same
    Gabriel – worse
    Xhaka – supposedly made him so much better but his value is getting lower lolz
    Bellerin – lower
    Partey – lower
    Willian – lower
    Mari and holding – about the same
    Leno – lower
    AMN – lower
    Saliba – lower
    Nelson – lower
    Guen – lower
    Torreira – lower
    El neny – the same
    Ceballos – lower

    We could do this all day. Spot the trend Pedro. The generational coach has taken most of the squad backwards not forwards and that is reflected in their transfer value as well as our performances, results and standings (or lack thereof) in every single competition

  81. China1

    The reason why Arteta gets blamed for Guen is because the only reason he got shunted out of the team and isolated, then sent packing was because he made one immature remark to an opposition player who had just intentionally injured his team mate and arteta grossly overreacted and tries to show him who is boss rather than putting his arm around him and saying ‘I actually like that you fought back and said some shit to him just be careful about what shit you say next time because certain things will make us look bad. Next time instead of saying anything about money, call him a neckless wanker. So yeah choose your words more carefully next time but good job sticking up for Leno’

    Case closed. Guen remains on side. Nothing bad has happened. No dramatic bs. It took all of 30 seconds to handle the situation.

    If arteta thinks how he handled it was correct how do you think he would’ve coped with a young hot head vieira playing for him? He’d have been freezing him out as difficult, aggressive and outspoken. Get a grip you’re managing a football team

  82. China1

    Love let’s put it this way

    Guen contributed far more in the first half and back end of this season than ceballos did. If those performances guen put in before Christmas for Berlin had been in an arsenal shirt that would’ve been a big help at a time when arsenal were at our worst.

    We gave those benefits up because arteta wanted to grand stand about a storm in a teacup incident.

    I have no love loss for guen. Sell him tomorrow I don’t care. But his handling was extremely novice

  83. Champagne Charlie

    Fuck me, over a year later and there’s still fans that think Guendouzi was banished for mocking another players wages.

  84. China1

    You’re right Charlie he wasn’t banished for that. He was banished for refusing to apologize about it despite the fact he needn’t have even been asked to

    He broke the set in stone non-negotiable… the same things Willian broke when fucking off to Dubai without consequence

    Good job Mikel

  85. LoveSausage

    China,

    I didn’t see him play at Hertha. But based on what I saw before he left there was a lot of running sideways with the ball. A bit faster than Cebalos but all in all very similar.

    IMO, Artetas coaching has been complete amateur hour. The guy seems to get things wrong more often than should be statistically possible. But Guen is one of the few things he got right.

  86. China1

    Love guen is a far from elite CM but he was getting rave reviews in the first half of the season in Berlin as one of their stand out players.

    That was at the same time we were absolutely tanking.

  87. Champagne Charlie

    Guendouzi had a different output under different conditions? I’m shocked.

    How was his output after he’d created similar conditions to those he found at Arsenal? Oh yea, was left out starting XI’s, criticised, then sent back to Arsenal the morning his loan agreement ended.

    Spectacular observation China, you’re good at this.

  88. China1

    Sent back to arsenal? Hertha don’t own the player dude.

    He was brought back into their first team in the second half of the season rather than left out to try forever to prove some point for the managers ego

    ‘ He led the boys. He played very, very good games and always gave everything for the club,’ Hertha sporting director Friedrich said.

    ‘But the fact is that he does not belong to Hertha and is going back.’ quote from their manager about him when he played his last game.

  89. China1

    Who knew that you can manage players, even drop them but still be strong enough to know in cases where forgiveness can be worth more than boneheadedness?

    It’s hard to imagine I know

  90. LoveSausage

    China,

    Managing egos is an important part of the job, no doubt. But the more high maintenance a player, the more you should be able to expect. Matteo was by many accounts a real piece of shit. There were too many stories for it to be some sort of PR hatchet job. But there was no output on the pitch. So I think the club felt it just wasn’t worth the effort.

  91. China1

    Love, sure (excellent name btw 😁)

    But my point isnt that guen is a great kid and no trouble at all. I fully believe he’s difficult. But just as Guen has some form of being awkward, so too does Arteta of freezing out players (especially young ones) for the smallest of (or literally zero) infringement.

    We can look at guens record and question it but equally compare with Arteta’s.

    Arteta cunted over saliba
    Arteta treated martinelli like an outcast for reasons unrelated to football or bad behavior
    Arteta outcasted AMN immediately after backing him a lot and turning down good money for him
    Arteta binned off Nelson who actually had some promise and raw talent in favour of eternally picking Willian irrespective of form
    He binned off Eddie from the first team despite not actively getting him out on loan or sold
    He cunted off ozil (ofc I do support that one)

    The point is we talk of guen and his habit of getting into trouble vindicating arteta. Sure. But then we have to discuss arteta and his form of strangely binning off young players on the regular

    So if this was wenger cunting off guen I’d be like right well wenger always backs his players and loves the kids so guen must be terrible for him to do that to him. I’d back wenger in that. But arteta has even worse form than Guen, so I’m not inclined to take his side on this.

    Guen has some problems but the manager was far too quick to do his default go to option and bin him off rather than seeing that he could use a bit more nuance in his approach and the club would’ve probably been marginally better for it

  92. China1

    Like I said put a 20 year old vieira in this team and he’d be sold within 18 months. Arteta can’t cope with this kind of player who has opinions and a hot head

  93. Nelson

    Love

    You seems to believe everything you read “many accounts”. I can guess that some of the accounts were from the same source who had a specific agenda. The fact is that Guen was a regular under Emery for a year. He is currently the captain of the France U21 national team. Those are facts and not some dirty rumors.

  94. LoveSausage

    Nelson,

    Not everything I read. Usually it’s not too difficult to see the difference between a hatchet job and a real thing. When there are many similar stories over a long period of time, there tends to be some truth in it. The only other explanation would be that the club was running a sustained campaign to erase the value of one of their assets. And that’s tinfoil hat stuff.

  95. LoveSausage

    China,

    Couldn’t agree more on Arteta’s track record. Like I said, I feel MG is one of the few things he got right. Otherwise, it’s been beyond the pale. For someone who’s supposedly THE coach sauce, he sure doesn’t seem to like coaching. Prefers predictable old players every time. Doesn’t matter how bad they are. And I’m not buying any of the BS about most U-21 minutes. We only got to that point through an unhealthy reliance on Saka and ESR. And even that only after he got himself fired over the old players. Except for those two, he’s shown zero interest in actually coaching the mistakes out of the young players.

  96. Kroenkephobe

    China
    Some good stuff there about Guen. Like you, I recognise that his behaviour probably hasn’t been that of a model professional but I don’t get all the pseudo tough talk about getting rid. That sort of criticism needs to be directed to some of the older players living off their past reputations, not the younger kids. Guen is probably gobby, belligerent and rough round the edges. So what if he’s not a fucking robot? Arteta needs to prove he can bring him back into the fold and rehabilitate his standing as a player.

  97. Gonsterous

    Twice we messed up the manager recruitment. First with emery and then with arteta.
    If we offer this job to Wenger, he wouldn’t touch it even if his life depended on it.

    After arteta the only managers will be able to pull are the likes of eddie howe and Graham potter. Great time to be an arsenal fan eh?

  98. Thorough

    BacaryIsGod.
    I can’t believe I wrote that too. Heat of the moment I guess. After Pires and Cazorla Sanchez had to be my most favorite Arsenal player.
    I was too he’ll bent on establishing that the club is dysfunctional I snucked in the wrong name.

  99. China1

    Divine one of the excuses that almost irks me is that everyone has been having a bad time of it this year and we are no exception

    City had a good season
    Chelsea had a good season
    Utd will not be too unhappy
    Leicester will not be unhappy
    Spurs – unhappy even when doing better than us
    West ham very happy
    Villa happy
    Leeds happy
    Everton ok
    Liverpool considering a ridiculous injury crisis for half the season – ok

    Half the league or more are give or take where they’d like/expect to be.

    The ‘we’re all struggling through this covid season together’ is a myth. Arsenal are one of the leagues biggest under achievers this season. No other way to dress it up than that

  100. China1

    I should note many arsenal fans are quite happy even tho we got worse. That’s the weird part of it

  101. Thorough

    Emirates roller.
    ThoroughIf you don’t want to judge Guendouzi’s performance at Arsenal take a look at how he played at Berlin and his impact there.He played in 24 games. They won only 5 games when he played including 2 when he was a
    late sub.

    Again, a young one joins a new club in a new league and an alien culture and you’re surprised he struggled? BTW I’m not even agreeing he strugled because 24 games is a lot for a young lad. Maybe they won only 5 of those because the team is actually shit. You never tho ht of that right? Using everything to justify Arteta is gonna come back to bite you in the end.
    Guess which young player had a stinker on loan again? Yes, Serge Gnabry, the boy who later won UCL with Bayern playing a sterling role. I’m sure you would have blamed him for West Brom playing shit because he’s the coach right?

  102. DivineSherlock

    China

    I agree , also what irks me is why we should we look at other clubs . Why shouldnt we as fans have a right to be unhappy about where we finished the season , how we finished it ? The unhappiness stems from the fact that with better decisions , smarter strategy this couldve been avoided . Instead we wasted a whole season .

  103. Habesha Gooner

    Arteta has sucked the value out of Guendouzi. He could have handled it in a different way. He could still have loaned him out and got better value this summer for him. But we are getting crap money because everybody knows there is no coming back for him and we need to sell. I don’t understand why our management lets teams know that we absolutely need to sell. If the exit to Berlin was amicable and was narrated like it was for his development then we might have gotten better value.

    On the merits of playing him, I think there is a player in there. If we had ruthless owners we should sell him all day and replace him. We need proven performers week in week out. He could be a good squad player for the here and now and maybe a starter for the future. But As of right now the inconsistency, the man child reputation and the fact that that Arteta froze him out goes against him. He is better than Ceballos and Elneny. That is for sure. But he isn’t signing a new contract while Areta is around. So we need to sell. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up at a big club like PSG or Barcelona in the future. If he just calms down and just focus on football, listen to his coaches a bit more he will be a very good midfielder.

  104. The Bard

    China I don’t know where you get the idea that some Arsenal fans are happy with where we are. From what I read and hear the dominant narrative is that if we had a world class manager and put Saliba in defence and/or played a different system all would be well. This narrative is delusional to my mind
    The structural problems at Arsenal are massive. You could have Pep as manager and we would still be struggling. Arsenal are a financial asset for the Kroenke’s nothing more. They have nil interest in moving the club forward. Until they go we will remain mired in mediocrity. All our focus next season should be getting rid of them. This could be done by protest and non attendance at games.

  105. Emiratesstroller

    If Guendouzi was such a great talent please explain why PSG offloaded him after just 2 years in their Academy?

    Guendouzi has been rated hard work at every club that he has played in and that is not a
    characteristic which any club is going to tolerate if it becomes an ongoing trait.

    The incident at Brighton was not the first time he had been a problem. There was trouble at a Camp in Dubai as well. By all accounts he had pissed off not only the coaches but several other players as well.

    Also if Guendouzi is such a great talent there would be a queue of clubs wanting to recruit him. That is clearly not the case.

    As I posted I watched Guendouzi throughout his playing time at Arsenal and there was absolutely nothing special in what he offers.

    Too many posters spend their time watching You Tube Clips rather than a full game when
    you can observe a player’s performance both ON and OFF the Ball.

  106. Pierre

    Lovesausage
    “Couldn’t agree more on Arteta’s track record. Like I said, I feel MG is one of the few things he got right”

    Time will tell as it did with his disrespectful treatment to Ozil.
    If we are looking at events on the football field then the treatment of ozil was obviously wrong , of that no one can deny.

    Ozil was our only CAM before Smith Rowe arrived on the scene and it destroyed our first 3 months of the season .
    The football was appalling, unwatchable in fact..

    Le groaners consistently bemoaned our lack of creativity during that period…..and they were right, though they couldn’t quite bring themselves to give the reason for this, which is understandable as they did celebrate Arteta’s treatment of Ozil so they would hardly admit that they got it wrong.

    So let’s see how it pans out for the French under 21 captain.
    Personally,I think we could regret selling him the way we regret selling Martinez and the way we could regret selling willock…..All players that would have made Arsenal a better football team on the pitch .

  107. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning,

    I don’t have all the information on what guendouzi got up to behind the scenes in Dubai or at the training ground.
    And maybe the people that comment on it are just listening to rumours that may or not be true or have been exaggerated?

    And I haven’t watched him at Berlin this season, but I would say this,
    People change, he’s just become a father. He may have gone to Berlin and thought damn I want to get back to the premier league, I want to show arsenal what I’m worth. I dont want to end up back in France.

    For me under Emery he was our best midfielder, a kid who was thrown in at the deep end because our midfield was so poor.
    He played in a midfield where he was partnered with xhaka.
    What might he be like partnered with someone decent? Or in a different system?
    It’s the same with torriera, midfield needs a rebuild maybe we should look at the players that were dumped.selling them now we won’t get decent money for them, maybe they can be redeemed?

    Tuchel brought a lot if players in from the cold that fat Frank discarded,
    And improved the team, they didn’t do too bad, as much as it pains me to say it.
    Maybe we just need a better manager?

  108. CG

    China

    “””””The ‘we’re all struggling through this covid season together’ is a myth. Arsenal are one of the leagues biggest under achievers this season. No other way to dress it up that””””””””””””””

    Well said, spinners have got to spin, I suppose.

    But WE CAN all see through the bullshite.

    By my reckoning, Every established big club will be in the Champions League next season ( eg Dortmund, Juventus, AC Milan etc). At some of them their executives played their part and changed managers mid season to achieve their CL targets.

    (They will get richer and further away and Covid was not an issue or an excuse for them.)

    Meanwhile increasingly debt ridden Arsenal finsihed 8th , lost to Villarreal in the second rate Euro trophy and kept theirs.

    Not really even an Arteta problem any more, 100% ,KSE problem.

    They rate him, they think he is good, competent able.

    No club, even Spurs deserve such imbecillic owners as this bunch.

  109. bacaryisgod

    Thorough

    Well said on Alexis Sanchez. For a while, you couldn’t find an Arsenal fan that wasn’t in love with his effort, skill and directness. I think peak Alexis would easily make it into an all-time Arsenal squad, even if we used him as an impact sub.

  110. bacaryisgod

    Pierre,

    Your dedication to finding a way to get Ozil in the conversation is truly breathtaking. I shjould start offering a betting line on how long you can keep this going for.

  111. bacaryisgod

    I also think there’s a typo in Pedro’s title of his post.

    ‘It should read ‘Narrow Path to the Top 4’. Pretty sure that there’s no path to the actual top.

  112. China1

    This England team is honestly nuts

    Grealish, saka, Foden, mount, Sancho, Sterling, Kane, this team needs to ATTACK because there are goals in this group. As ‘our’ cilla black would say… ‘a lorra lorra goals!!!’

  113. China1

    But I remember at the last World Cup sterling was doing his best Danny welbeck impression

    Elite springing skillz and absolutely no end product. Assuming he’s in the starting 11 he needs to cut that shit out for England