by .

So it seems that as well as Arteta being on holiday, so is Edu, hanging out in Portugal. I like it, working up that bronze tan so there’s a distinct contrast between his skin and that crisp white shirt. Nothing says Technical Director like a dreamy summer bronze on white combo.

The transfer window is now a day in and we have signed NO ONE.

That doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.

I love the Buendia story and its evolution. Arsenal were beaten by Aston Villa for speed, until they submitted their own bid, then didn’t go back with a second bid. So it would appear there was a price point we didn’t fancy dancing past. Makes total sense for a club with limited funds this summer. I totally forgot that Villa also put the feelers out for Smith Rowe. I suspect they’d not have moved for Emi if they’d landed our guy.

There are fresh links today to Neves, Lokonga, and Onana.

Granit Xhaka is close to making his move to AS Roma according to Chris W over at Football.London, making him one of the first signings for Jose Mourinho. This is fantastic news. He’s a good player, but don’t ever forget that his presence in our side correlated perfectly with the decline of the club. Too many errors in his game and a ceiling that hasn’t moved us up a level. It’s a good thing that he’s out the door. If one of the best leaders at your club tells the fans to fuck off, you have a leadership problem. I wish him all the best.

Reuben Neves is a similar profile player with Premier League experience. If there’s a busy summer of ins and outs, it’s important at least a few of the players know the league so there’s not a painful bedding in period. I’m not excited by Mr Neves, but how many of those sorts of players thrill? Not many. He’s a good player, he’s a better defender than Xhaka, and I think we’re all underestimating him because he’s not the P&P midfielder we were hopeful on / Wolves were shite last season.

Lokonga looks much more like ‘thriller’ talent. He has a similar profile to Thomas Partey, but if we’re building out midfield, we need young players like that. We can’t be losing Partey and hoping Elneny finds a level he doesn’t have.

Onana had his sentence for doping reduced to 9 months, so he can play as of November. He can play football the way Arsenal need a keeper to play. Fast off his line, good with the ball at his feet, very decent shot-stopper, and very young for someone who is capped with 50 games in the Champions League. Would he represent our first black first-team keeper? I can’t think of anyone else?

James M over at The Athletic has Arsenal linked with American right back, Tyler Adams. The Leipzig player can operate both as a right-back and a midfielder. He has a Tierney like athletic profile, and his versatility marks him out as talent because he can play that inverted role. Honestly, how excited would you be if you had a right-back that could offer us effective play like Tierney? It’d give us so much more balance and hopefully open up that right side so we don’t look so lopsided next season.

Sky Sports are saying that Arsenal are interested in Brighton defender Ben White. Again, it’s clear why, Brighton’s style is what Arteta wants. They are excellent in possession and Ben White has the experience we’re looking for in the Premier League, he’s with England, and he’s very young at 23. I honestly think we might see a shock exit this summer from our centre back collection. It’s also notable that Sami Mokbel has us linked to Tosin Adarabioyo, another 23-year-old English centre back of a right-sided nature. Someone has to leave and it’s obvious that there are those in the group that can’t do what Arteta needs. I also think any links to Brighton players should be taken seriously because I think Eddie would be a steal for a team that creates high-quality chances in the box but WILL NOT FINISH.

Finally, great that Daniel Ballard will take a loan in the Championship next season, promoted Blackpool will be interested, but apparently there are other suitors. I wish Saliba had moved to the Championship at the start of last season, he’d have done well and picked up the language in a more complete way. Arsenal are also bringing Patino into the first team, high hopes for him, which is great news for creating the image that Arsenal is a great place to develop.

Right, that’s all I have for you today. See you in the comments.


438 Responses to “TRANSFER ROUND-UP”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Useroz

    Sid. Unless some wires crossed in Eddie’s mind not sure he’d be a realistic alternative to Laca, even Edouard. We simply don’t and likely wouldn’t have the creativity to mouth feed Eddie, and he hasn’t shown he’d find something from nothing 😉

  2. Sid

    Thats the big problem,
    1) are we going to sign creative players to feed Eddie and Auba ?(there are signs of chemistry between Eddie, ESR, Saka )
    2) do we sign a CF that can bring others into play?(laca is not good enough for this role)

    My guess, is as good as yours

  3. Sid

    I seem to think Ode would play a better false #9 than the ESR/Willian experiment. Also a better CF than Laca, like Firminho who isnt a prolific scorer

  4. Bob N16

    Morning Tony,

    Appreciate your thoughts. I have to say the sun does not always shine in N16. Without going into details my oldest son was hospitalised for a month due to mental health problems in February and is still in recovery.

    Arsenal has always been my way getting away from the rest of my life, since the age of around 8. Up to my 20s an Arsenal defeat would ruin my weekends. Getting married, having children and generally maturing has got to where I am now; still obsessed by Arsenal but in a benevolent, half full kind of way. It’s now not the be all and end all but my interest hasn’t diminished. I still get angry, jump and scream with joy during matches.

    The internet has provided a more continuous stream of Arsenal news. I used to wait for my Dad to bring home the Standard from his work day. He would pass me the paper as he arrived home and I would turn to the back pages for any news on Arsenal( and Essex CC). Then Ceefax and Teletext came in, to be refreshed. Now it’s Legrove, Arseblog, Newsnow and BBC..

    Everybody on here as their own personal histories, where they are, what they’re doing, their experiences- but for the most part all are Arsenal fans. Diversity is a good thing, tolerance even more important. Scrolling down is a useful tool. I’ve also founded that I’ve deleted many a post before sending an angry response to an annoying poster.

    Anyway, off to walk the dog, meet up with my 2 year old grandson who’s in the park with my wife, ready to refresh Legrove and Newsnow on my return!

    Best wishes.

  5. Pierre

    “. We simply don’t and likely wouldn’t have the creativity to mouth feed Eddie, and he hasn’t shown he’d find something from nothing 😉”

    What you will find is that even a world class striker/poacher/goalscorer like Aubamayang struggled to make any impression pre Christmas with no creativity/service.

    I’m not sure how or why anyone would think that Eddie’s handful(less than) of league games during that period of chronic lack of creativity is enough to assess his qualities.

    We had exactly the same comments about Joe Willock and his supposed lack of ability and his inability to make an impression in the Premier League…the know nothings were wrong about Willock and they will be proved wrong about Eddie.

    What I find amusing is the same posters on Le grove who defend Arteta’s poor handling of Willock and Eddie , do not rate Arteta’s decision making.

    I find Arteta’s decision making very poor and very costly to the club in financial and playing terms.

    Started with Ozil
    Keeping Xhaka
    Replacing Smith Rowe with Odegaard

    The list goes on and on and 12 months on from the start of his poor decision making, we are in a worst place than we were before thenfirst lockdown.

    For a club like Arsenal to have players getting paid fortunes for not kicking a ball is criminal, and then having to continue to pay their wages despite having joined another club is beyond belief.

    Anyone who defends this amateurish decision making needs to take a step back and see what damage is being done to Arsenal football club.

    As I said , this will be a period of regret if we are not careful..

  6. englandsbest


    Best wishes for you, and a full recovery for your son.

    Your insight mirrors my own. Supporting Arsenal has been a kind of escape from reality. I guess we all need a safety-valve facing the daunting world out there.

  7. Emiratesstroller

    It is interesting that the two local newspapers in Camden and Islington are suggesting that
    Arsenal’s priority in this transfer window is Odegaard and they are hopeful that a deal will be achieved. They believe that Real Madrid need money to fund their own transfer programme.

    From my perspective the signing of Onana, Nunez and Odegaard would be a very good start
    to the rebuilding of the team. Realistically we don’t have the budget to make wholesale changes to our starting X1, but this would be a good start.

  8. Sid

    Eddie goals per shot and goals per shot on target is up there with Lautaro martinez, the difference is 4 starts against 30.
    Players that age need a run of games and the team structure to compliment their strengths

  9. Northbanker

    Useroz – tbh I don’t mind that we can’t compete with the big 3 or 4 (accepting that no longer includes us)

    What grates with me is that we have wasted hundreds of millions on poor players since the days of Wenger’s decline. You watch clubs like Leicester punch above its weight with astute buying (and selling) and see that there is a clear model to build here.

    We should be able to more than compete with Leicester and now Aston Villa and yet we can’t. We should be and need to become top of the next tree. A proper transfer strategy capping the age f players we buy, limiting contract extensions to players over 30 to 1 year and accepting the odd mega sale of a star player in his prime. We should be seen as the club best palced to nurture young stars (in fairness i think that is happening although blips like Saliba and Guen here).

    Five years of this would put us back in the competition. We would become a highly sustainable club

  10. CG


    ””””From my perspective the signing of Onana, Nunez and Odegaard would be a very good start
    to the rebuilding of the team.”””””’

    That aint rebuilding- that is just re -arranging the furniture.

    Leno is superior to the Doper. .

    Nunezzzzz is no better in my opinion than Xhaka and most certainly not £20 000 000 better.

    As for MO2 he aint as good as MO1- who the Imbeciles could’nt manage.

    Rebuilding is buying 2 of DCL, Toney, Lukaku and playing more direct and getting some goals.

    x10 goaless games at The Emirates last season.
    Lowest in the clubs history!

  11. Emiratesstroller


    First of all Arsenal averaged two goals per game after Christmas. So goalscoring was not such an issue in the second half of season.

    Arsenal did improve as Pedro has posted many times once we started shifting out of club t some of the deadwood and adding creativity.

    Most of our defeats and points lost were the result of “errors” originating from players like
    Leno, Luiz and Xhaka albeit the latter improved in the second half of season.

    What kills me is that vociferous critics of the management and team like you are now already finding fault with the players I list.

    Onana was not suspended because he was a druggie as you post, but because he injested a
    banned substance which is not performance enhancing. Both UEFA and CASC believed his version of events.

    Nunez is rated a more versatile player than Xhaka and an upgrade and Odegaard is also a
    gifted player.

    You list a bunch of strikers who Arsenal can neither afford and I suspect are not better than
    Aubameyang. Let’s judge Aubameyang next season, because I suspect that family issues and
    malaria had a lot to do with his performance.

  12. Duzie

    I think England could make the best out of these talents, if they had a better tactician. Here’s thinking that Southgate could be found out again, if he met a tactically-superior and more inventive manager.

  13. CG

    North Banker

    ”””””By Nunez you all mean Neves?”””””””””

    Nevezzzzz not the Wolves manager. What a ‘nothing ‘ player. Just what we don’t need.
    You get these types on a Bosman or don’t bother.

    (If A. Wenger could not do tippy tippy- this lot aint going to either.)

    We need to be more direct. Liverpool of 2 seasons ago were direct ( before Thiago scuppered them and Klopp started to get too clever)

  14. Emiratesstroller


    For the record Lukaku has managed to score 20 goals+ in one season when playing in EPL.
    Everyone knows that he is a “flat track bully” but he is not worth the sort of transfer fee that
    Inter Milan will demand.

    He was not exactly a success at Man Utd or Chelsea.

  15. Northbanker

    Time will tell on this CG – from what i’ve seen Neves is a better all-round player than Xhaka but doesn’t really excite me. I’d sooner see Bissouma signed and Lokonga as understudy. But if thats what we’re doing then so be it

    Leno is better than Onana? far from convinced you’re correct on this but of course he’s not Prem proven. Onana looks much more like Martinez in the way he commands the box and distributes.

  16. CG

    ”””What kills me is that vociferous critics of the management and team like you are now already finding fault with the players I list””””’

    Well , I would not let it get to you too much ES its only my opinion.

    I dont want The Doper, I dont want Nevez to replace Xhaka and I am indifferent to MO2.

    We struggle for goals, the center forwards are ageing and I believe you should always spend most of your scant resources on goal scorers.

    They win you them points and the punters like them too.

  17. CG


    ””””””Everyone knows that he is a “flat track bully” but he is not worth the sort of transfer fee that”””””””’

    They said that about Wenger.
    Now Villarreal bully us instead.

    Lukaku brilliantly managed by Conte won Inter Milan the Italian league this year on his own.
    Scores goal after goal and never gets injured.

  18. Marko

    So goalscoring was not such an issue in the second half of season.

    That’s not accurate. Post Christmas we scored one or zero goals in 16 games 8 defeats and 7 draws. We didn’t score in 9 games after Christmas so again that post Christmas form/table doesn’t tell the whole picture there was struggles throughout the season for Arsenal

  19. Marc

    Doesn’t matter if Leno is better than Onana if the reports are correct Leno wants to leave. The question then becomes who do we replace him with rather than should we keep Leno.

    The question of why we let Martinez go last summer to keep Leno when he clearly wasn’t settled is a whole other can of worms.

  20. Emiratesstroller


    There are plenty of decent Strikers aged 30+ so the age of Lacazette and Aubameyang was not in itself an issue.

    I don’t believe that Aubameyang is past his best, because he had a very good season in 2019/20 and scored 29 goals. As I posted there were offield issues and I suspect he will better next season.

    Lacazette would be in normal circumstances second string and is perfectly adequate in that
    role. However I would offload him if we got a decent transfer fee and can find a replacement,
    but that is not going to be one of the strikers you list.

  21. Marc


    The problem with Laca as second string is he’s on £180k per week – Harry Kane’s on £200k per week. We can’t afford to have back up players earning this amount of money when we can’t even make the new 3rd rate European competition.

    We really need a reset when it comes to our transfer business and the salaries we are paying a lot of players.

  22. Danny S

    I like odegaard and for the right money he wouldn’t be a bad signing but……..

    Last season was him playing for a) a big move b) to impress Madrid and work his way into their squad.

    This was probably his peak effort, and it didn’t exactly set the world alight.

    Once he signs that big deal, will he keep that up and even get better as you would hope he would.

  23. NORG

    interestingly most of the players we ‘off loaded’ are still on the payroll (until 30th June) or their salaries accrued until that date. The club received minuscule contributions to their salaries for some of these players.

  24. Emiratesstroller


    I think that the owner and club are well aware that we had too many overpaid players on books and that issue is being redressed following departure of Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Sokratis
    Kolasinac and Mustafi.

    Arsenal are offloading most of the remaining overpaid players. Luiz is leaving and I suspect Bellerin, Xhaka and Willian will also probably leave this summer.

    Having a couple of overpaid players on the books is no longer a major issue.

  25. NORG

    we, of course replaced deadwood with even more deadwood. The new deadwood was almost as expensive as the old deadwood.

  26. CG


    “”””Onana was not suspended because he was a druggie as you post, but because he injested a
    banned substance which is not performance enhancing. Both UEFA and CASC believed his version of events.””””

    I dont believe a word of it.
    I dont want him anywhere near Arsenal.

  27. andy1886

    Having Partey on £200k/wk and extending Laca on £180k/wk doesn’t exactly show that we’ve learned a great deal. Both are probably worth around half of that (maybe £120k/wk max for Partey and certainly no more than £100k/wk for Laca).

    Trouble is the club will likely throw money at middling players to get them to sign as the ‘project’ isn’t really doing it for anyone apart from Pedro and a few Arteta disciples.

  28. Bob N16

    Agree Marc,, Laca and PEA are all very well but our squad is not in a state where we can have a non starter earning £180,000 a week.

  29. Positive pete

    What’s worrying for me & its something CG pointed out.Is that we need to more direct & physical.unless we have these attributes in the prem.You’re going nowhere & will be bullied time & time again.I don’t mind Arsenal going for “ Ruby “ os he is an upgrade of sorts & error free( hopefully) but it’s very,very disconcerting not to see any progress on the Bissouma front or a valid alternative.

  30. andy1886

    I wonder how ESR will feel is we sign Odegaard on big money and play him in ESR’s best position? Apparantly Saka is on £30k/wk, already a better player than Ode. There are some serious salary imbalances that don’t reflect performance or ability, it’s a mess.

  31. Marko

    Also worth noting that we have a few players down to the final year of their contracts and I thought we were to stop doing this shit

  32. Dissenter

    ‘ Having Partey on £200k/wk and extending Laca on £180k/wk doesn’t exactly show that we’ve learned a great deal. ’

    It’s called the losers premium
    Players sacrifice competitive ambition to come live a relaxed life in London
    It beggars belief that we are still operating like a club routinely making £60-80 million from the CL every year.

  33. Dissenter

    Thank goodness the euros starts today
    Life without competitive football ….

    Expecting a crappy competition with players dropping like flies and lots of shitty teams in the competition, it wont come alive till the knock outs.

  34. Marko

    You want good players you want to convince them to join you you pay them well. Snapping up Partey from Atletico and paying him whatever is par for the course

  35. PhD2020

    CGJune 11, 2021 11:57:25
    Onana was not suspended because he was a druggie as you post, but because he injested a
    banned substance which is not performance enhancing. Both UEFA and CASC believed his version of events.””””

    I dont believe a word of it.
    I dont want him anywhere near Arsenal.

    Pretty naive to think,at the elite level in professional sports,not many athletes are doping or pretty much crossing the threshold of what constitutes illegal doping..

    Very,very,naive to think that it is an equal playing field,from ice hockey,to rugby,to tennis,athletics,basketball,football,etc,etc at the top level,less talk of it,at the amateur level.

    Pretty much misguided to think otherwise..

  36. Marc


    If Arteta is left at the club going into next season (season 22/23) we will see the likes or ESR and Martinelli sold, there’s already rumours about Saliba being sold.

    Saka will be playing but will look to leave as he’ll be too good for a team who’s not even making Europe.

  37. Marc


    God knows what happens if a big nation has a major COVID outbreak.

    Hopefully it’ll be a good tournament we could all do with the distraction.

  38. AFC Forever

    Anyone else looking forward to the Euro’s starting?

    Italy v Turkey tonight. Roberto Mancini’s Italian team managed to win all ten of their qualifiers, making them one of only eight sides in the history of the competition to qualify with a perfect record. Whether or not that form will mean anything we shall see but Italy has some real talent coming through. My best mate is an Italian, so I get a lot of youtube stuff sent through from him and he thinks this is one of the best Italian sides for years, I guess we will see.

    From what I have seen my pick of their players is the midfield player Manuel Locatelli – he is a proper baller. He left AC Milan at 19 to join one of the lower-ranking Serie A teams on loan, Sassuolo, before making it a permanent deal after he decided that if the manager at AC didn’t trust him, he didn’t want to be there. AC Milan regrets their decision, his performances for the Italian national team winning him lots of admirers.

    Technically Locatelli is a top player. He is a deep-lying ballplayer with an ability to ghost past players as if they aren’t there. He can go both ways and has two good feet. Many have compared him to Pirlo, which is high praise indeed. One of his best performances came in Sassuolo’s 3-1 defeat to Juventus towards the end of the season where he made 116 passes and achieved a success rate of 94.8 per cent. You can view on youtube. In his next game, against Parma, he produced another season-high making 12 long balls and scoring in a 3-1 victory.

    At Sisuloa he developed into what many described as the best deep-lying playmaker in Italian football and became a regular in the Italian national side. He is intelligent, makes good decisions can make all kind of passes – as well as being a clever ball-winner too. He doesn’t score lots of goals but the goals he does score tend to be a bit special due to his technical ability and vision.

    He proves that you have to be patient with young players. When he was promoted from the youth team at AC Milan, he had a spell during the 2016/17 season in which he had scored crucial goals in victories against teams like Juventus but he lacked consistently, due to him still learning the game and confidence issues. AC Milan didn’t trust teh process so they sent him out on loan, making the mistake of adding a buy out clause which allowed him to leave permanently. There is speculation in the Italian media that he is off after the tournament with rumours that Juve, Real, Man City & Arsenal have all spoken to his representatives. As football journalists are about as honest as a thief holding a bag of swag and a sawn-off shotgun, we shall just have to wait and see.

    Enjoy the game and let’s hope the tournament lives up to the expectations. I think Italy will do well & could go far but it is hard to see past World Cup Winners France. You just know the Germans will turn up and as for England, well they always let you down.

  39. CG

    “”””CG Thank goodness you are not a judge and jury.””””

    That CAS always buckle.

    They buckled under Man City pressure( They financially doped- GUILTY)

    They are now buckling under Osana pressure (GUILTY)

    Do you REALLY think he accidentally took his wifes medication???

    (They all use that one.)

    Standards ES! Standards!

  40. Tom

    Not exactly an expert on doping but I wonder what kind of performance enhancing drugs could a professional keeper be looking for.

    In any event, If Arsenal do sign him this summer, I fully expect Arteta having him on the bench in the match day squad even with the nine month playing ban.
    Along with the two other keepers of course , whoever they might be.

    Apparently the banned drug they found traces of in his urine was one that makes you pee a lot.
    I’m shocked Sid has let that one go thus far.

    Marijuana is also on the WADA’s banned substances list, so it’s a good thing they only test players and not coaches……..considering some of Arteta’s team selections and pressers.

  41. Sid

    A common application of diuretics is for the purposes of invalidating drug tests.[18] Diuretics increase the urine volume and dilute doping agents and their metabolites.

  42. Northbanker

    I don’t think we will know the answer to that CG – could he have mistaken the packet for aspirin? Unless we saw both packets then I don’t see how you can make that judgement.

    Furosemide is a diuretic for people with high blood pressure or renal issues. I don’t see how anyone could consider that would be performance enhancing

  43. Dissenter

    It’s actually common for athletes to make mistakes regarding the WADA banned substances list. The arbitration has spurned a very profitable subdivision of law over the past 4 decades.

    Frusemide is indeed nit performance enhancing in its own right. It’s not like anabolic steroids that build muscle and enhance training ], neither is is like a stimulant that boosts performance.

    They ban diuretics because they are used to mask banned drugs, by flushing them rapidly out through the urine . Also they can be used to gain temporary weigh status is fighting sports like boxing or judo. A super welterweight can become welterweight by losing 2 lbs of fluid quickly.

    Onana was a wee daft because he ought to know everything has to go through the club/s medical people for any professional athlete. There’s always that suspicion that he may have been trying to mask something more diabolical by using the frusemide. He got the heavy ban for possible deception.

    I expect that nay club that signs Onan will make him sign a morality clause, to make it easier to fire him the next time he does dumb shite like that.

  44. CG


    “””Furosemide is a diuretic for people with high blood pressure or renal issues.””””

    I ll need them if Edu and Arteta continue to remain on holiday whilst the window has opened.

    Was he really jet skiing in the Portugal seas ?

    Get them back in London

  45. Eduardo

    When Toure was found with banned substances in his system, he claimed he’d take one of his wife’s pills, too. Uncanny!

  46. Bob N16

    If Onana is an upgrade on Leno and we can get him for a bargain fee then I’m all for it. I am willing to give him ‘ a second chance’. The likelihood of him repeating his mistake seems remote.

    The message this sends out is not that we’re up for drug cheating but that we’re willing to be pragmatic in transfer dealings and that we’re willing to provide an opportunity for redemption. Saliba take note, Guendouzi forget about it!

  47. Northbanker

    I find it unbelievable that anyone with transfer responsibilities thinks they’re entitled to a holiday at their busiest tme of year. That would be like an accountant giving his tax staff a holiday in January

  48. raptora

    I’m throwing my opinion re Odegaard right now.
    He is not what we need.
    Replacing Ozil with Odegaard and Neves with Xhaka will not move the needle for our team.

    It’s like for like replacements and I was always under the impression that we weren’t competitive because we lacked pace, dynamism, strength and power.

    Looking at the EPL winners in recent years
    – neither Odegaard or Neves are anywhere close to the profile of the gegenpress players of Pool;
    – neither Odegaard or Neves are anywhere close to the profile of KdB or Gundogan.

    These 2 players will make us slow, make our whole style of play slow, we will not be able to move our whole team deeper in the opponent’s half because we will not have the pace to win the ball back again early or to go toe to toe with the opponent’s attacking players in terms of speed.

    I am firmly against the 2 transfers.

    Then there is the logic that Neves will be used in Fernandinho/Rodri position. It would mean that Partey can be the B2B player people think he could be. I’m not sure if he can be that player at all. But let’s compare for the sake of it.

    City have Rodri, Gundogan, KdB
    We’ll have Neves, Partey, Odegaard.

    In the EPL:
    Gundogan scored 13 goals and provided 4 assists in 2030 minutes (~23 full games)
    De Bruyne scored 6 goals and provided 12 assists in 1995 minutes (~22 full games)
    If we scale this into a full season they will finish with a combined 33 goals and 27 assists.

    Before the last 2 rounds of the EPL, Odegaard had a total of 1 goal and 0 assists in a total of 750 mins. In the last 2 games he managed 2 assists ending up with 1 goal and 2 assists in 860 mins.

    Can we expect any of our touted midfield 3 of Neves, Partey and Odegaard to provide anything close to City numbers? We’d be very lucky if they accumulate a total of 10 goals and 10 asssits. With Buendia here we could have expected 10 goals, 10 assists from him alone.

    In my opinion the talked midfield three doesn’t have what it takes. Neither in pace or pressing – Partey being the only one that fits the bill, or in the offensive part of the game.
    It has good control and not bad possession. But no dynamism, no speed, no urgency.

    We should be aiming at 70 goals which is 15 more than what we managed this season.

    We will be reliant on Auba scoring 20 goals, Pepe and Saka adding another 12 each, then 1st option forwards like Lacazette, Martinelli and ESR (maybe Willock) adding a total of 16 goals, and low scoring players like Odegaard, Partey, Neves, Gabriel to add additional 10 goals.

    I can’t see it.

    Imo the quoted midfield three is not that good in offence and not that good in defence. The only thing it gives us is more of the same ol’ Arteta special – useless sideways passing.

    I am against it.

  49. Northbanker

    Bob – agreed. We need a decent keeper who can command the box and distribute effectively. If Onana can do both of those and YT clippings look promising) then thats fine with me.

  50. Tom

    “Standards ES! Standards!

    Sakho sued WADA for lost wages and personal losses , after his tests came back positive for a substance that wasn’t even on the list of banned drugs………claiming WADA cost him his Liverpool career.
    WADA apparently said “Oops, our bad about the tests but Klopp just didn’t fancy you bro”

  51. Danny S

    Looking at Neves’s highlight reels, anyone comparing him to Xhaka is drunk.

    Xhaka is a very one dimensional player. Gets the ball in lots of space, looks up for a bit and pings a long ball. Gets the ball in a tight situation, turns backwards and passes. Either way, very slow static play.
    And if he isn’t planted in front of the defence his off the ball movement is painful.

    Neves however has way more to his game. Far more dynamic with a broader range of passes and most importantly his forward play has urgency to it. He’s not afraid to carry the ball either.

    He’d be a huge upgrade on Xhaka in all departments. And let’s face it we arnt signing Barella’s or Savic’s so Neves is about our level.

  52. Rich

    Going for Onana, and letting Leno go this summer, is risky

    Onana won’t play until November, he won’t have played competitive football for 9 months at that point

    He could be off for up to 5 weeks from Jan – Feb

    That’d be around half our season without our first choice keeper, and just one injury away from either Runarsson or a youth keeper, becoming our No1

    We’d be playing Russian roulette with our season, and the direct competition for Onana would have to be of a high standard

    I do like the look of Onana from the clips I’ve seen, having a keeper with a better passing range with both feet, than any of our current defenders or midfielders, would certainly be interesting, and is also a sad indictment of the quality we have through the spine of the pitch

    It’s a decent punt for the reported £7 million, but we’ll have to be very careful how we navigate it, we’d be signing a keeper guaranteed to miss 3 months, who’d be rusty, and then potentially leave 8 weeks later, for up to 5 weeks

    Is it worth the hassle?

  53. Champagne Charlie

    Odegaard getting ruled out for his lack of “pace, dynamism, strength and power.”. Yet amongst the midfielders quoted there’s admiration of Gundogan.

    Cant really make it up. Gundogan the powerful, dynamic, pace merchant suddenly?

  54. Thank you and goodnight

    Let’s not get our hopes up guys. Anyone we sign won’t be anything ‘worldly’ as anyone with ambition will not come over to be managed by an amateur run club and manager. We’re stuck for the foreseeable future in mid table limbo as long as Arteta and kroenkes remain at the club. I mean even now the muppet Arteta is trying to do away with Saliba without even giving him a chance. What player would come to play for Arteta seeing the way he’s handled and mismanaged players.

  55. Thank you and goodnight

    Odegaard isn’t worth the money. We have ESR who I think has a higher ceiling. Not saying he’s crap as he obviously isn’t, but he’s not the player many experts were predicting he would become when they first saw him play at 17

  56. raptora

    You are aware that Odegaard is no Cazorla or Cesc who didn’t have much speed but were very dynamic, always on the look for a one-two, always looking for ways to penetrate the midfield/defence with a run or a pass. Both of them were scoring goals and providing assists.

    Gundogan just scored 13 EPL goals. He is a CM and he is dynamic. Yes, it’s possible to not have the pace but be dynamic. He’s making great third-man runs. Very combative too. He was a peak Aaron Ramsey for City this season doing it all in every phase of the game.

    Does Odegaard compete with Gundogan in his defensive midfield play or in his goal scoring play? Nope.

    Also, thanks for attacking every post I make. Just the usual.

  57. Bob N16

    Fair enough Rich, still feel it’s worth going for Onana for a bargain price. If that means holding on to Leno until Jan or the following June, so be it.

  58. Marc

    No point in arguing over players like Ode – far too many variables: would he join us permanently? can we afford him? are we actually after him or is it just talk? And so on.

    Better to wait and see who we actually sign and then see how we do.

  59. raptora


    Agreed. I’d rather keep playing ESR in his best position – AM. He’ll give us more for free.

    Splashing 50+m for Odegaard is so overpriced. He’s a £35m luxury player for us.

  60. Rich

    Odegaard is a brilliant player, who has qualities we’re in desperately short supply of, and will also get the best out of some of our other players

    Aubameyang, Martinelli, Willock, Pepe, are all impact players, they’re not hugely involved in the game or build up

    We need these guys playing as close to goal as possible, they make the runs in behind, and we need players who can pick a pass and find those runs

    Odegaard complements good movement, we have good movement and goal scorers, we don’t have technicians who can provide the type of service they need to thrive

    Smith-Rowe offers a bit of both, he can drop into pockets, and pick a pass, but also provides penetration in behind

    Going into the season with only Smith-Rowe would be risky, we need a real technician in the final third, my preference would be Odegaard, but if that’s not viable, we have to sign a similar profile of player

    As much as we need surgery all over the pitch, a top class attacking midfielder should be our top priority

  61. Bob N16

    If Saliba settles in, we sign a powerful RB, then we may be fine going with Neves and Odegaard. Otherwise I’d go with Bissouma or similar next to Partey then I wouldn’t worry about speed and dynamism in the AM position, it would be all about vision and creativity. If Aouar’s head was screwed on I’d low ball Lyon(if that’s possible), pay whatever for Bissouma and get Odegaard in on a loan again,(if possible).

  62. raptora

    Marc: “No point in arguing over players like Ode – far too many variables”

    By the look of it, and according to many people, we let go of Buendia because Odegaard is the player we’re focussing on. Apparently the management don’t think the variables are that many and is willing to risk it by not going for players that were 100% on the market like Buendia.

  63. Marc


    I just can’t get excited over a link to a player when there’s a chance he’s going to say “no European football no way” on top of that if we are interested you just know Madrid will try and milk us for a fee when we’re broke.

    Too jaded by 30 years of bullshit gossip with a really crappy season on top of it.

    You’ve only got to look at last summers pursuit of Auour to see what could be repeated.

  64. Rich

    Bob N16

    I really like the look of Onana, granted highlights reels can be deceptive

    It’s a decent punt, but like you say, we’d have to be very careful letting Leno go this summer, and we’d have to have a better backup keeper than Runarsson from Aug-Nov and Jan-Feb

    Because anything else would be negligent , hopefully we’ve got a talented youngster in our academy

    Arteta + Edu panic me a bit, going into the season 1 injury away from Runarsson becoming our No1, was gross negligence

    At most clubs serious questions would be being asked, about how that was allowed to happen with so much on the line

    At Arsenal, I doubt anyone even noticed

  65. raptora

    Rich: “As much as we need surgery all over the pitch, a top class attacking midfielder should be our top priority”

    Sure, but top class attacking midfielders either score a lot or assist like crazy. Odegaard didn’t look capable of it but maybe they have seen him be that player in training. We know how important training is for Arteta.

    Odegaard looks like a Ozil who can’t assist like peak Ozil could. Also Ozil was a very dynamic offensive player in his peak which was in 2008-2016 from 20 to 28 yo. Odegaard is nowhere near peak Ozil at 22.

  66. CG


    “””A common application of diuretics is for the purposes of invalidating drug tests.[18] Diuretics increase the urine volume and dilute doping agents and their metabolites.”””””

    Sid knows.

    Shane Warne used the same trick.

    We have enough Dopes at the club, we dont need Dopers too.

  67. raptora

    We’re going to spend £50+m for a player who might develop under us when £50m should only be invested in ready players like Partey, Aubameyang, Alexis.

    When we are buying the idea of what a player might become, we should not spend more than £35m.

  68. Rich


    Grealish was a bit part player for Villa at 22

    Maddison was in his first season for Leicester, had a decedent year, but wasn’t pulling up any trees

    Bruno Fernandes as playing for Udinese, and certainly wasn’t pulling up any trees

    Look the progress in Mason Mount from last season, to this season

    De Bruyne was sacked off by Chelsea at 22

    Odegaard isn’t the finished article, 22yr olds aren’t supposed to be

    The question is, can we buy Odegaard for €40million at 22, and then develop him into an elite player over the next 12-24 months?

    Providing we can keep him fit, I’ve seen enough to suggest we certainly can, I think he’s a brilliant young player, who’s got qualities we desperately need, because nobody else can do what he can against teams parking the bus

  69. Marc

    “The question is, can we buy Odegaard for €40million at 22, and then develop him into an elite player over the next 12-24 months?”

    Well that’s the million dollar question at least we can look back on Arteta’s track record of developing young players knowing he’s the man to do it.

  70. Marc

    “We have enough Dopes at the club, we dont need Dopers too.”

    Sorry but bad news for you – in order to keep the fans awake during next season the clubs including amphetamines with every ticket sold.

  71. Gentlebris

    ‘Many hands wanting to be in that pot I would imagine.’


    Money pots have the habit of inviting many hands.

    And about my post re your epistle, I hope you know I was just looking for mischief.

    Cheers man!

  72. raptora

    “Well that’s the million dollar question at least we can look back on Arteta’s track record of developing young players knowing he’s the man to do it.”

    Or if the €40m quoted by Rich is actually €55-60+m

  73. Champagne Charlie

    “Also, thanks for attacking every post I make. Just the usual.“

    Embarrassing comment, just the usual indeed. You’re not special, you just make a lot of contestable remarks, often baseless, or flawed ones.

    “Does Odegaard compete with Gundogan in his defensive midfield play or in his goal scoring play? Nope.“

    For starters Odegaard is 22, Gundogan is 30. This is the second case of you making comparisons against fully established top tier players playing for a world class side. Before it was Bernardo Silva (27), now it’s Gundogan.

    This was Gundogans first ever double digit goal return in a league campaign, his previous high was 6 goals, and in his previous 4 seasons at Man City he’s returned 15 league goals combined. Even after his 13 goals this year that brings his average goal return to 5.6 goals a season.

    Odegaard had 2 at Heerenveen, 9 at Vitesse, and 4 at Sociedad in his only 3 full seasons at a top flight club. (5 goals per season)

    David Silva scored 60 league goals, and had 93 assists in 10 years. He was one of the best ever in the PL and averaged 6 goals and 9.3 assists per season.

    Influence extends beyond raw g/a figures. It’s such a limited picture when that’s all that’s touted when talking attacking output. Odegaard is a super talent as Rich points out, his ability to offer control, allow others time, pressure, and find a teammate in advanced areas is a major bonus to our attack.

  74. Gentlebris


    Respect…your points make a lot of sense regarding ode.

    But the issue is that I would pick ESR over him ten times in ten.

    Then I prefer boys at 22 having undeniable fire like our teenage Saka.

  75. Gentlebris

    ‘When we are buying the idea of what a player might become, we should not spend more than £35m.’

    Dope…but you are even going far.

    Dortmund mostly stop at £20m to £25m . £35m could even be silly money for potentials.

    Buying a prospect is like placing a good bet, you could still lose. So the stake has to be weighed.

  76. andy1886

    Still not sold on these ‘qualities’ that Odegaard apparaently has.

    As I recall they are that he gives us ‘control’ – which is fine but is useless without any end product, and makes the occasional defence splitting pass (which you would expect to be reflected in ‘assists’ but I don’t see that so far).

    Would much rather see a player in that position that has more end product.

  77. CG


    “””Influence extends beyond raw g/a figures. It’s such a limited picture when that’s all that’s touted when talking attacking output.

    Odegaard is a super talent as Rich points out, his ability to offer control, allow others time, pressure, and find a teammate in advanced areas is a major bonus to our attack.””‘

    Sound like Ozil then.

    No point in replacing Nevezzz with Xhaka
    & No point in replacing the MO’s.

    This needle everyone wants to see move aint moving a mm if you do the same.

    Window dressing.
    (Anthemptamines needed)

  78. Gentlebris

    Onana should be number 2 in his first season.

    Let’s put him through the test first before we allow Leno leave.

    Iwobi and Ighalo were breezing Onana at Afcon…not a good sign.

  79. Champagne Charlie

    “Let it be known that you compared Odegaard to David Silva. A player he doesn’t remind me of in a million years.“

    I actually didn’t though, I offered up David Silva’s goal and assist numbers following this comment you made:

    “Sure, but top class attacking midfielders either score a lot or assist like crazy.“

    But on the subject of David Silva, he’s far and away a better comparison to Odegaard than Ilkay Gundogan, who you even likened to Aaron Ramsey – a player that couldn’t be further from Odegaard.

  80. Rich


    Agree regarding price

    Arteta + Edu have no excuse, we’ve had a try before we buy, they should know exactly what it is we’d be potentially buying

    It’s a decimated market, I certainly don’t see us paying €60 million

    If we can get a deal done for €35-€45 mill maximum, including add ons, then it’s certainly something I hope we go for

    I think he’s got something special, he sounds like a leader, decent amount of experience, and with plenty of room to develop much further

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Ancholotti offered him a new deal and regular football, and we then had to look elsewhere

    There’s a few noises around Grealish + Maddison

    I don’t think Grealish is as far fetched as some think, because unless City make a move, we might get a free shot at him

    His shin injuries are a real concern, and he’s the antithesis of an Arteta type player, he’s a maverick, but with nowhere near the output of peak Alexis Sanchez

    It doesn’t take clever scouting to sign Grealish, just the transfer fee, wages, and a free run

    I love the player, but it’s exactly the type of unimaginative thing we’d do, rather than signing Grealish 12- 24 months ago, before his value skyrocketed, we pay at the top of the market

    And that where we could be with Odegaard now, pay £35-£40 million this summer, and in 18 months, he’s worth £80 million

    Maddison comes with a few red triangles attached to him, murmurs of a few disciplinary issues, and more interested in other things away from the pitch

    I like the player, but the last thing we need is another disinterested mercenary

    It’s not just talented players we need, we have to target the right type of characters

  81. raptora

    If you can show me where I compared Gundogan to Odegaard it would be helpful. I compared City’s midfield of this season to Arsenal’s potential midfield of next season. I mentioned Gundogan and KdB as they were the players who provided a lot of City’s attacking threat. And that we’ll be short of goals comparing their 2 to our 2. You, however, decided to pick Gundogan for whatever reason. Why didn’t you pick KdB to compare to Odegaard? Oh, yes, better pick the one who suits you. Well you lost that one as well.

    So please don’t put words in my mouth. Thank you.

  82. Marc


    You say you didn’t compare Ode and Silva but then say you put up Silva’s numbers if they weren’t in comparison then why put them up?

    I’m not going to argue with you – you do this type of thing frequently say one thing and then deny it with some convoluted upside down back to front bullshit.

    It does seem as if you are just trolling for an argument some of the time.

  83. AFC Forever

    Charlie & Rich

    You are both bang on about Odegaard. He is of course top quality and has shown what he brings to the team. The team dynamic changed when we bought him & Partey in & changed the way we played, hence the improvement post Christmas; you know the 23 game run we aren’t allowed to talk about because it offends certain people? The simple fact of the matter is that technical players who move the ball quickly, break lines and enable movement, open up play which creates chances. It affects other players. The David Silva point Charlie made was correct. Silva made chances, not necessarily with the final pass (which is the only one that counts in ‘stats’) but with his general play. An over reliance on stats without weighting exposes a lack of football understanding but is an ‘lazy’ way to debate. What is often forgotten too, is his ability to take up good positions without the ball & help the team defensively, he’s a clever player who works hard. I would love to sign him.

  84. Rich

    Odegaard is a super talent, with unbelievable potential

    By the sounds of it he’s hungry to play, be an important cog in a team, rather than a bit part player, and leave Real Madrid for Arsenal, in order for that to happen

    When a players got talent, intelligence, hunger, and desire

    There’s a very good chance that player will reach their full potential

    I was never a fan of Ozil, a joy to watch on his day, but generally found him meek and passive

    I don’t see that with Odegaard, he goes looking for the ball, he’s brave and tries to make things happen

    Each to their own, but I think he’d be a fantastic and really exciting signing, who has qualities that’ll get the best out of some of our other players

  85. raptora

    Rich: “If we can get a deal done for €35-€45 mill maximum, including add ons, then it’s certainly something I hope we go for”

    I agree. If the price is right – £35m to £40m max with addons it would be a decent move. Anything around and over £50m, is paying too much.

    Re Grealish and Maddison – Grealish is someone I’d love to see in our shirt. Sadly, the dreaming stops right there. The issues are that 1. He’s going to be very, very expensive, I would say over £70+m easy; 2. Buendia moved to Villa instead of here because probably the promised him – game time and ambition to progress in the table. I would gamble that Grealish will stay at Villa if no crazy City offer arrives.

    Maddison… I dunno. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think he has the potential to be top class. He’ll be expensive and he’s obviously a very good footballer. I’m not sure I’m convinced in his all-round play other than the decent goals and assists return he pops with. He’s a tidy player and he’ll do good in a lot of clubs. Just don’t think he’s good enough to be in an Arsenal team I’m wishing we’d become in the next 3 years. ESR could very well become as good as him in a year or two.

  86. andy1886

    Sounds suspiciously like the sort of thing that Pierre used to say about Ozil. The old ‘you’re too dumb to appreciate what he brings to the team’.

    Marc, I suspect that RM will use our desperation to screw us for top dollar. If he really was that good RM wouldn’t be selling him anyway.

  87. Champagne Charlie

    It’s written in plain English above, if you read that then you wouldn’t be at my ankles claiming I’m the one looking for an argument.

    “If you can show me where I compared Gundogan to Odegaard it would be helpful“

    This you…

    “Does Odegaard compete with Gundogan in his defensive midfield play or in his goal scoring play? Nope.”

  88. The Bard

    Rich I seen plenty of talent on show with Odegaard but not a massive amount of hunger to be honest. I would have thought he had more ambition than to sign for a midtable side.

  89. raptora

    It was a reply to what you said: “Odegaard getting ruled out for his lack of “pace, dynamism, strength and power.”. Yet amongst the midfielders quoted there’s admiration of Gundogan. Cant really make it up. Gundogan the powerful, dynamic, pace merchant suddenly?”

  90. raptora

    I was surely comparing midfield to midfield not player to player. Anyway, this back and forth is boring, childish and it doesn’t add anything relevant to the blog. Sorry I decided to share an opinion just so you can come and laugh it out.

  91. Marc

    And CC’s off.

    Not really interested in a guy’s opinion who claims to go to matches when he doesn’t. Claimed to have a season ticket when he doesn’t and once spent hours arguing that half of Henry’s PL goals in his first season were scored prior to Christmas / New Year.

    I’m sure he’ll be on explaining that I didn’t understand the complexities of what he was claiming whenever.

  92. Marko

    Look not to get involved or anything but only Arsenal fans think ESR is better than Martin Odegaard. Season after Sociedad if someone told me that he might end up signing for Arsenal I’d of bit their hand off. Don’t let a loan spell under a poor manager during a historically bad season fool you he’s a top top talent and we’d be lucky to have him. 22 by the way. Only worry I’d have with him and all new prospective signings is the manager and whether he could get the best out of him

  93. China1

    I am absolutely no expert on doping but how the fuck would banned substances help a keeper?

    Normally such substances or blood doping is to give you an unfair stamina boost or whatever.

    Keepers spent 90% of a match doing absolutely nothing and literally probably only cover a couple of hundred meters in a game. I don’t think a banned substance is going to make you jump any farther. Could it give you improved reactions? Maybe. But it all just seems very unlikely. Of all the positions to dope, GK is literally the most pointless

  94. Marc


    I don’t think you can really judge any player on last season under Arteta – even in the so called “better 2nd half” of the season we were poor a lot of the time, the tactics were off and the football dire.

  95. CG

    Zidane knows what it takes to be a top midfielder.

    He normally sends the average ones to us.

    £20 million take it or leave it.

  96. Marc


    Playing in goal for Arsenal with whats in front of the keeper and anything that’d calm the nerves would be a major help.

  97. Champagne Charlie


    You’re coming to me for an argument then claiming I’m argumentative. Bore off, haven’t said a word to you since you’ve been unbanned and here you are providing a running commentary of bullshit hot takes because you fancy yourself an authority on other people.

    Flattered, but not interested one bit.

  98. China1

    Ode is very good on his day. A little passive when it’s not

    He would need to reduce the number of meh days if he wants to make the next step. The talent is there and when he shows it it’s obvious. But he needs to take more risks. He plays with a little bit of fear in him and is a bit too safe. He has amazing vision and passing but he usually waits for someone to make that run before releasing them. If they don’t he’ll twist and turn a bit and usually go sideways or backwards. But his dribbling is quite good and if nobody is making that run I’d rather see him be more willing to try and beat his man more often and be the catalyst to create new moves, drag players out of position, get in behind and shoot or pass to whoever goes with him. Don’t always wait for others to make the run. Drive forward yourself.

    He does it here and there but unless he starts doing it more I think people will always feel like there’s more in there he’s not utilizing

  99. Marc


    I just told you I’m not interested – don’t bother to reply – if I want bullshit I’ll at least find someone who manages interesting bullshit.

  100. Rich

    The Bard

    In spite of the usual hyperbole, over the course of 38 games last season, the difference between 3rd + 8th, was marginal

    I expect others to improve next season, and the points tally needed to get in the CL, to be higher

    I said at the start of this season

    3rd – 4th slight overachievement

    5th-6th hitting par

    7th-8th slightly under par

    We’d get roughly 60-65 points and finish 5-6th, and it’s be fine margins between 3rd and 8th, I thought Liverpool would win the title, but I wasn’t too far off with the general picture

    We slightly underachieved in the league, we underachieved in the Europa, and our meek defence of the FA Cup, was disappointing

    Our aim now has to be to address the balance, and internal competitiveness of our squad, that means a first team squad of no more than 22

    Then improve quality in key areas

    This season we got 13 points from games against Liverpool, United, City, Spurs, Chelsea, and finished third in the head to head on points

    Next season we need to aim to at least match those 13 points from 30

    Then we have to be ruthless against the rest

    West Ham, Leicester, Everton Villa, Leeds will all be better, but we have to be aiming for 6/6 from every one of those teams, and then be near perfect against the bottom half

    With no European distractions, we have to come back with a squad capable of hitting 76+ points

    Chelsea got 4th with 67 points this season, but I’d be surprised if that was enough next season

    Just because were disappointing this season, doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from mistakes, rectify them, and then do better

    If we can clear the decks, make some astute moves, we can significantly improve our points tally next season, the competition is high though, and it’ll be close

    Hopefully Edu + Arteta don’t screw up, recognise what needs to be done, and KSE back them to do that

    It’s all to play for, but I have some doubts….

  101. Marko

    China literally everything you just wrote there meh, passive, on his day, needs to take more risks could be attributed to every player under Arteta last season. So in instances like that I’d say it’s less of a Odegaard issue and more of an Arsenal issue in general

  102. Ernest Reed

    “We slightly underachieved in the league, we underachieved in the Europa, and our meek defence of the FA Cup, was disappointing”

    Slightly underachieved in the league?

    Worst point totals in a significant period of time and thats qualifies as a slight underachievement – boy I’ll have whatever you are drinking and make it a double!

    You just took reality into a whole new stratosphere, Rich!

  103. China1

    Marko yeah but not saka

    Saka is probably the only player who has transcended arteta lol

    He had a quiet patch for a few weeks and the very occasional off game but he was over the 38 games generally fantastic game after game. Put everyone else to shame including the manager

  104. Rich



    Maybe his wife is dopey, and mixed up the paracetamol with her prescription, unlikely, but always a slight possibly

    Goalkeepers need elite concentration, stimulants would certainly help with that, I know there’s plenty of legal ones, but might explain it

    Maybe he got on the Jack n Jill’s, or the Charlie on a night out, and then needed to clean his system rapidly

    Whatever happened, he’s been punished, he’ll serve his sentence, life goes on…

    People always learn much more from their mistakes, than they do their successes, the bigger the fall, the better the lesson

    If we sign him, hopefully it’s not something he’ll do again 😂

  105. Spanishdave

    Ode is a talent
    Madrid brought him and he’s been pushed around from team to team because Modric didn’t fade but kept his fitness.
    He probably needs some stability in his life and being Norwegian England is a good place for him to settle and put down roots
    Problem is that Arteta is a boring coach and is too restrictive in his approach, this will not attract too many flair players.
    Get him if he’s eager to join us

  106. AFC Forever

    To follow up on the comments:-

    Odegaard showed himself to be one of the leading creative midfielders at Real Sociedad, and across Europe, so I don’t understand some of the claims being made by the SEB on here.

    Those of you who obsess as much on stats as you do the manager, may be interested in Odegaard’s smarterscout ratings from his last full season in la Liga (19/20) for Sociedad. Smarterscout, for those who don’t know, is a website that provides detailed analytics on players, ratings (0-99) similar to FIFA but powered by real data and advanced analytics. The higher the number, the higher that player rates compared with others in his position.

    So, to support claims about his attacking ability, Odegaard’s high numbers on xG from shot creation (92/99) show his actions were contributing strongly to his team creating scoring chances in Spain.
    Statsbomb showed that Odegaard was making 4.1 shot-creating actions — including the two offensive actions made prior to a shot being taken (e.g. passes, dribbles, drawing fouls) — per 90 minutes. His rate of involvement in shots placed him comfortably in the top 10 players in La Liga.

    Odegaards high xG from ball progression (88/99) shows he is a player who receives the ball and progresses the team upfield by passing and carrying the ball into dangerous areas, if you didn’t know that already. Looking at his carry and dribble volume rating (95/99), it is pretty obvious he does that a lot very successfully as a midfielder. This is further highlighted by Odegaard’s stats showing 3.2 carries into the final third per 90 mins last season — the seventh-highest player in La Liga.

    So what about incisive passes? His progressive passing rating (66/99) shows he regularly looks to move the ball upfield. Odegaard made 7.2 progressive passes per 90 mins (passes that move the ball towards the opponent’s goal at least 10 yards within the opponent’s half). This was the fifth most of any player in La Liga.

    I mentioned his defensive qualities in my earlier post. Odegaard’s defensive numbers that season showed how effective he is in stopping the opposition from progressing the ball, a key tactical element. His defending impact rating (89/99) demonstrates his effectiveness at forcing turnovers, which is key in preventing easy progression upfield — a key strength that Arteta has praised citing his value in winning the ball high upfield and starting attacks closer to the opposition’s goal; essential you have players with that ability in a pressing game.

    Odegaaard’s most likely fit in a team formation may be as one of two No 8s on either side of one holding player. It is argued that in a similar set-up system to the fluid 4-3-3 used by Man City (which evolves into say 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-4-0), he would offer something similar to that offered by players like David Silva (who Charlie mentioned). However, he provides a far superior pressing output than say Silva or even our Ozil provided, which the stats demonstrate. At Sociedad, he was one of La Ligas’s best players primarily because he was given a serious run of games which allowed him to gain match fitness and game awareness. Unfortunately, he had an interrupted half-season through injury at Arsenal, although when he played his quality was there for all to see, helping the team to improve creatively post New Year when he signed. We should also remember that he was playing with unfamiliar players, in a new league and within a team that was still developing and which at times was carrying its main striker and he still looked class.

  107. Rich

    Ernest Reid

    There was 6 points between ourselves and 4th, and 8points between ourselves and 8th

    The overall picture was roughly what I thought it’d be, I thought we should be finishing 5th-6th, and get roughly 60-65 points

    We were capable of 3rd – 4th, but would be a slight overachievement

    Could easily finish 7th – 8th, which would be a slight underachievement

    If we’d finished 2nd, a massive overachievement, because I thought that would involve us finishing above Liverpool or City

    And if we’d won the title, we’d be building Arteta a solid gold statue

    We finished 4points off 6th, it’s fine margins, a disappointing season

    We had a shocking run before Xmas, but the end picture wasn’t that surprising to me

    Where did you think we’d finish?

    How many points did you think we should be accumulating with this team?

    I obviously wanted the team to do much better, I just don’t have much faith in this squad of players

    Our squad is unbalanced, we had 10+ seniors outside the match day squad, 8 centre half’s, no established attacking midfielders

    Our squad was a mess, and still is, 3rd or 4th would have been a slight overachievement

    I still maintain that Emery slightly overachieved with 70 points in his first season

  108. Ernest Reed

    I had them finishing 6th, Rich. I cant honestly say i would classify the season in the way that you have, as slightly underachieving.

    For me this season was as poor an outcome as one would never hope for. The fact that those fine margins you speak of came into play, only confirms that Arsenal were likely fortunate that the league came back down to play at their level. This was an abysmal season, Rich. No other way to describe it for me.

  109. Marc


    You need to take into account that both Chelsea and the Spud’s sacked their managers and Liverpool’s wheels fell off. West Ham overachieved and won’t do as well next season, Leicester did Leicester and will repeat but outside of the Spud’s ( I refuse to think they’ll do well!) I expect everyone else above us to strengthen and do much better next season.

  110. Pierre

    Finally it has sunk in to le groaners that you can be a creative influence in a game of football without actually having an assist.

    Of course, this is more prevalent now than before as most assists now come from wider areas.
    Even a good percentage of Debruyne’s assists are from wider areas with wicked balls across the face of goal.
    Gone are the days of the Denis Bergkamp defence splitting pass.
    it’s more about creating overloads out wide to get behind the opposition defence.

    Anyway it’s good to see that Le Grove has finally seen sense when analysing creative players ….it’s taken a while for it to sink in but you got there in the end.

  111. PhD2020

    RichJune 11, 2021 16:44:32
    “We slightly underachieved in the league, we underachieved in the Europa, and our meek defence of the FA Cup, was disappointing”

    Really,now? We slightly under achieved in the league..Let’s take a cursory glance at the league points over the last decade or so,shall we…

    07/08-83 points
    08/09-72 points
    09/10-75 points
    10/11-68 points
    11/12- 70 points
    12/13-73 points
    13/14-79 points
    14/15-75 points
    15/16-71 points
    16/17-75 points
    17/18-63 points
    18/19-70 points
    19/20-56 points
    20/21-61 points

    We bottomed out of Europe all together,crashed out of the FAC.I’d say averaging the EPL total points out over 14 seasons-would have us averaging around 70.7 points.Bang on,where Emery had us at,before he was ceremoniously sacked..What’s Arteta done since then,over 18 months,save hit below the 70’s mark??Hmm..Hitting 56’s and 61’s out of the ball park.

    If we slightly underachieved under Arteta,what the heck was Emery achieving during his tenure?

  112. Davi

    Not sure what the points tallies really tell you without taking the rest of the league as context. My impression was that after Man city, there was a large group of teams that were fairly close together, so in some respects the season was much more competitive, aside from the actual title. Basically the points totals don’t necessarily equate to the quality of the sides – if there’s 8 closely matched teams in the top 10, you’d expect the points to be spread more thinly and the totals to be lower.

  113. Captain Tierney

    Arteta trying to sign 50 million defenders when it’s clear we need attacking reinforcements is like Wenger signing attacking midfielders when everyone could see our weakness was in defense.