by .

David Ornstein showered FIRE on the internet when he announced that we’d be targeting Ben White this summer in a £40-50m move.

Let’s start with the player. My uncle is a huge Leeds fan and said the guy is absolute class and he was gutted they couldn’t nab him to stay in the league. That’s all that is needed here, my uncle has the last say.

Outside that, what do we have? A capped England player. Not only a ballplayer, but someone that can dribble like a midfielder. He is fast. He’s 6ft 1, which isn’t the tallest, but next to Gabriel or Mari, you’re in good shape. The most important thing he has? He’s Premier League proven and he’s had a league winning run in the Championship. He’s physical enough to land in a Bielsa team, he’s solid enough to have landed promotion in team that leaves centre backs wide open on the counter. He’s been coached in a positional play system under Potter.

You simply cannot knock the profile of the player and to be honest, I am absolutely shocked the comp merchants propping lesser players are complaining about this sort of move. 23 years old, keeping Brighton in the league, landing England call-ups over other players in the Brighton backline that are English.

Part of the anger is people think this means the end of Saliba. I’m not sure why, because Saliba does the same things as White, except he hasn’t played a single minute in any English competition. If you think Mikel Arteta is going to roll career dice on a player that’s had half a season at Nice, you are totally nuts. That would be a move crazier than dropping ESR as a false 9 in an away leg of the Europa League. You don’t make the 3rd best defence in the league better with Saliba. You can’t complain that Arteta makes too many rookie mistakes, then encourage him to put a 20-year-old centre-back in the starting 11 from the start of the season, despite ZERO top clubs doing that. Also, don’t give me Fofana, Leicester finished 5 points ahead of us and conceded 50 goals last season. Saliba deserves to fight for his place, but he doesn’t deserve to start because Don Raul massively overpaid for him like he did with Pepe.

What you have is someone more proven in White as a tried and true starter, then you have someone coming up behind him with a massively high ceiling. That’s an exciting grouping of centre-backs.

People are also spitting feathers about priorities like transfers are only viable if they are done in order of importance.

Don’t be so fucking ridiculous.

If Arsenal have the funds for a £40m center-back, that gives credence to the story I had about KSE putting up funds this summer. This ‘might’ be the big one we’ve been begging for.

I also wouldn’t write off player exchanges being part of that deal. Brighton might have an interest in a few of our players, I’m thinking about Reiss Nelson, Eddie, and AMN. We could lower the fee by sending young English players who might fancy the top class coaching of Graham Potter.

The story, even if it’s untrue, also gives us power in the market, because it shows we’re not desperate for cash to move on our own ambitions forward. Part of Liverpool and Chelsea’s strength when selling is that they don’t need to sell. Last summer, we needed cash, so clubs lowballed us.

I also think people are extremely scarred by transfer windows of yesteryear. Signing a center-back doesn’t mean we won’t sell any. Arteta has said about 50 times we had too many players in that role. If anything, Ben White is a ruthless indictment on the players we currently have at the club. 3rd best defence in the league but no standout centre-backs? Someone is going to pay the price for that and I wouldn’t really be fussed who it was.

Also note this… signing a new deal isn’t always a celebration of faith. It can be about protecting an asset so we can sell it at some point. A lot of the players, since Huss Fahmy, have optional years Arsenal can add so we can land fees. If Arteta managed anything last season, it was making a lot of our players more appealing than they were before. The fact Xhaka is moving at basically 29 to a fairly big Italian club shows that there’s a market for our talent this summer.

If Arsenal can raise £100m, which we’re almost 30% of the way there now, then there’s a chance our summer could be a £200m one. Arsenal paid back the Government loan and took out another £120m via Barclays. In a world of cheap capital, why not invest in the dip?

Joe Willock – £20m

Hector – £30m

Reiss – £10m

Leno – £25m

Xhaka – £18m

Matteo – £8m

AMN – £20m

Mavropanos – £15m

Cal Chambers – £20m

There are deals to be made this summer and clubs are going to deal with us.

So in short, don’t shit your pants that we’re adding quality to our defence that we need. Our system doesn’t work without a ballplayer center-back and Saliba would be a huge risk to start there. What happened to Liverpool when they lost quality in defence? They dropped 30 points. What happened to City when they added Reuben Dias? He was one of their best players and they smashed the league. Uncomfortable defenders blow our system. A centre-back and right back that can invert move our attack forward.

There will be new midfielders, no doubt. Xhaka needs replacing. Ceballos needs replacing.

Don’t fret about the summer because the order makes no sense. Don’t fret about fees because there’s a complete plan about all the positions. Just worry about quality.

Right, on that note, I’ll see you in the comments. x



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. AFC Forever

    Danny. S

    “If you have a better CM pairing then you immediately take pressure off the defence.”

    True but I was talking about with the ball not just without. We need to fix CM too. We need better players that fit the way we play tactically is my point. We don’t need more players just better ones in key positions that fit the profile. We certainly need to offload.

  2. Marc

    I was actually talking about the idea of being first in the context of going after players but smart is still a good option.

  3. Mr Serge

    Could we really get rid of Leno
    In one window and bring in better players ?
    Dreamland stuff

  4. AFC Forever

    Mr Serge

    The squads too big, unbalanced & short on what we need. I hope we shed the deadwood & use the money wisely to improve in better & more tactically suitable players. The squad has been a problem fur years, we all know that, so to progress that had to change. Smaller squad, quality competition as opposed to volume of competition, is needed. A lot to ask in just one window maybe but we have to look forwards, not back

  5. Champagne Charlie


    That’s a concept that’s easy to digest until you realise it’s Arsenal we’re talking about. Transfer windows have a historical precedent of being anything but strategic, or efficient.

    Think everyone hopes Ben White at 45 mil represents the sexy start to a flurry of activity, but there’s nothing in the memory bank that points to that possibility.

    Edu and Arteta have to earn their corn this window though, I’ve said that 10 times over and will remain optimistic until shown otherwise. But splurge on a CB like that without then addressing the goal scoring potential of the team and the writing is on the wall.

  6. Rich

    We’ve got the basis of a good team, and some really talented youngsters, a few astute adjustments, can see us make strides

    Next season we need the right level of internal competition, having 10+ seniors outside the match-day squad isn’t healthy

    We need the right balance, having 8 centre half’s, but no established attacking midfielders, was nuts

    We tied Aubameyang down, who’s an elite goal scorer, but failed to get elite creators, I’m not surprised we did better with Smith-Rowe + Odegaard, and struggled early on

    Signing Odegaard 22, and tying Smith-Rowe 20 down for 5yrs, solves that issue for the medium to longer term

    Saka is a diamond, and potentially world class, we have to make sure we don’t burn him out physically or mentally

    I think Pepe is about to take off, there’s signs it’s starting to click for him

    Tierney is one of the leagues best left backs, Partey + Gabriel should be better next season

    Willock + Martinelli + Saliba are raw, but exciting young players

    It might be too late for Nelson who’s wasted 2 years of his development, but he’s another who could surprise, and become another Gnabry, shame we’ve mismanaged his early development

    If we can astutely complement that, there’s more than enough to work with

    Plenty of work to do, and how things pan out will be dependant on outgoings, and how clever our recruitment and squad planning is

    Hopefully we don’t screw it up

  7. Pedro

    CC, totally, let’s put the last window down to ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING’ and hope they come through with something intelligent this time around.

    I’m confident.

  8. Up 4 grabs now

    Just seen, since 2013 we have bought 30 players and haven’t made a profit on any of them when selling them on.

    The last time was Chamberlain and girooud 2011-12.
    Almost ten years and no profit and we’re supposed to trust the edu and the gang.

  9. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    It’s was all a dream …
    Used to read shoot magazine
    Charlie Nicholas on my wall …

    It’s happening bruv….. Lol

  10. Useroz

    OMG. Watching Erikson collapsed onto the pitch and medics performing CPR righr there …. is simply shocking scene. Feel awful.

    News updates seem to suggest he’s been resuscitated… jeez that looked a close call.

  11. Useroz

    Erikson collapsed during the Denmark vs Finland in the Euro. Approx 42″ . Medics were with him with 20 seconds but it really looked disturbing… first I saw during a game!

  12. Jamie

    Passing on Buendia only to spend more money on Ben White is peak nonsense until other areas of the squad are addressed first.

    The big prize isn’t going from the 3rd best defence in the league to the 2nd best defence in the league by having better CBs, it’s going from 55 goals scored to 65-70 by having more creativity in midfield.

    Feels like some crazy mental gymnastics to get behind every single move the club is allegedly making when [if true we’re going for another CB] our priorities are out of sync.

    Like CC said, I’d take him if he sacked off 3 CBs for a net zero transfer spend, but I’d just as soon take the cash for the CBs and throw it towards 1-2 midfielders/wide playmakers.

  13. Lacaqualidie

    I know it’s a footie blog and whatnot, but I think there are times to go a little off topic if it’s a good one. Here’s my anecdote regarding kids:

    Mate of mine at the time lived in a bungalow with his heavily pregnant wife expecting their second and their two year old daughter Amy. They lived next to another bungalow which housed Robin the gardener. This was in the grounds of a house with a large estate whose owner was the head of Sony UK.

    The summer was hot and Amy was a brown-eyed, little blonde, dressed in a pink dungaree skirt thing with her hair tied up in a scrunchie; brown as a berry, cute as a button and playing with the dog outside. Robin had got the hose out to do some watering.

    Amy’s bedroom was at the front of the bungalow which had a flower bed outside her window.

    We were all having a cup of tea in the living room when all of a sudden Amy came stomping in and with hands on her hips exclaimed, “That Robin – he’s got water – all over my fucking window!”

    We were in stitches and I’ve no idea how my mate’s wife didn’t give birth right there considered how doubled up with laughter she was.

    Amy is now 17/18 and looking at going to Oxford or Cambridge to study medicine.

    Me, I’m an uncle and enjoy looking after my brother’s two, but I’m glad I can hand them back!

  14. Pedro

    Jamie, depends what the Buendia deal is and depends where the price lands IF we are going for Ben White.

    People are basically concluding we don’t know what we’re doing based on two deals they don’t understand.

  15. Dissenter

    :”People are basically concluding we don’t know what we’re doing based on two deals they don’t understand.”

    People are concerned because the same duo that gave us Willian are still in charge.

  16. Pedro

    Diss, I understand, but it’s a bit like saying you’ll never trust a person after heartbreak, see how it goes this summer under a new model and circumstances

  17. curse

    I’ve been wondering for a while who our starting rcb will be, it’s no secret it wasn’t holding. few names came up, Tosin, Tapsoba etc…and now Ben white.
    A 23 year old, home grown, premier league proven, international, that has been working on his Laurent koscielny impression? perfect.

    Adams White Gabriel Tierney

    That’s a quick back line, playing high, squeezing and dominating teams will be a lot easier.

  18. Vintage Gun

    As for the summer window…….I think we’ll be alright. With the amount of CM’s we’re due to shed, its pretty obvious we will strengthen in that area, regardless if White came in.

    If fact, i’d go as far to say at least two new CMs will be with us next season. Regardless of other incomings.

  19. Ken

    Pedro, is Geoff still alive or did you and him fall out with each other or what? I never understood why he abandoned Le Grove. I feel like he saw what was coming before the rest of us.

  20. China1

    Nah Pedro sorry but spunking 50m on a CB would be just that, a ridiculous mid allocation of funds

    Firstly when have we are rubbish at getting value for money out of expensive signings. He may be good but is he 50m good? Half of the cost is his English and PL premium.

    Secondly we need 2 CMs, a RB, an AM and a keeper and you think we are going to spunk 50m on a CB and still have enough juice to cover all of the rest? NO CHANCE mate. Not a hope in hell.

    We will rock into next season with marginal gains at CB and be shockingly short in other positions. Just watch. No amount of liking arteta is going to change this

  21. China1

    Pedro people conclude we conclude we don’t know what we’re doing with two deals we don’t understand because they appear to be a continuation of badly thought out deals we’ve already seen them make

    If emery was in charge and doing this you’d be calling it nuts

  22. Ken

    Thanks Pedro, I wasn’t trying to be nosey or anything, just genuinely interested in what happened to Geoff. Glad he’s still among the living anyway, I hope he’s doing well these days.

  23. China1

    Also on what grounds do we place faith in their transfer strategy when it looks dubious? This is not prime wenger pulling world class rabbits out of his ass for pennies

    This is the same genius team that brought us:
    Martinez sale, 12 months later we need a keeper
    Willian signing, 12 months later we want him sold
    Mustafi offered a new contract, 12 months later a relegated German team decided he wasn’t good enough for a free transfer
    Saliba debacle, just pathetically mismanaged
    AMN debacle, a year after we turned down 20m let’s hope we can still get 15m for him…

    The list goes on and on. 50m for marginal gains at CB is going to go straight on this list. It’s absolutely ridiculously misplaced resources

  24. China1

    Also Pedro it’s odd you trumpeting such deals when you’ve spent years saying we should be buying smarter

    Buy great young bargains with a high ceiling for a low price. The Dortmund model. But when the smartest plan arteta has is to spunk all our reserve cash on English and PL premium you’re fine with it

    Ask yourself given the same exact scenario what decisions what Dortmund make this summer? Would they pay 50m on another CB (their transfer record is only about 33m…)

    Or would they let Saliba have a chance and be buying cheap smart young players in the positions where we are trash?

    Dortmund have let Bellingham play frequently in the first team at about 17 years old but Saliba needs to be 25 before he can get a crack. Genius

  25. China1

    Arsenal should not be going anywhere 50m for any players this year. That is a top end market price, with an English and PL premium on top. Even before covid that would be an incredibly expensive CB.

    During the pandemic throwing such money at players, even more so in one of our strongest positions, should be a sackable offense

  26. Mr Serge

    China Saliba is 20 he needs experience before he can start for us I am all for him having a loan for a year in the prem Ben White went on loan at 20 at Leeds done him the world of good

  27. Mr Serge

    China Bellingham plays in midfield a mistake does not end up as a goal most times like a cb or keeper not a great example

  28. Mr Serge

    Listen to Adams or keown they say cb is a specialist position more than any other you have learn your craft
    He can learn for another team to be ready for us

  29. Pedro

    Ken, he’s great. Just built himself a house. He stopped blogging because he was getting too enraged over Wenger and his commentary was not conducive to the modern world

  30. Dissenter

    Saliba has gone on loan already, and he did so well that he was shortlisted for teak of the season in France.
    The suggestion that he’s not good enough to play for us is laughable.

    Loans are not supposed to a place you park players away so that you can play the new expensive acquisition

  31. Gonsterous


    All 20m each? That’s fking optimistic isn’t it?

    Bellerin for 30m? Last I checked only sociedad was interested and they wouldn’t be able to cough out more than 15m for him

    The rest of the sales will all be cheaper than xhaka.
    So don’t get too optimistic

  32. Gonsterous

    Ben white may be good but I’m not comfortable dropping 40-50m for him. If he would have cost 25-30m I can understand arsenal going for him

    We complain about overpaying for saliba but then we want to go drop 40-50m for White
    How is he worth the money and Saliba isn’t considering saliba cost us half his asking fee

  33. Tony

    China 1
    Update on Mustafi is that he has been voted loser of the season by the Bundesliga players.

    Guess Arteta must have missed that in him when using Mustafi over Saliba.

  34. China1

    So let me see if I can summarize this ridiculous logic correctly

    Last season our defense was apparently very good. 3rd best in the league and all that.

    That defense had an extremely error prone and red card prone player starting most of the games (Luiz)

    Luiz is now gone so we need a replacement. That replacement cannot be saliba irrespective of ability and his really high ceiling because he might make some mistakes due to inexperience as he learns and grows

    Like luiz was doing on the regular you mean? In the 3rd best defense in the league?

    Right. Very consistent that logic.

  35. China1

    And not only can we not give Saliba a chance because there’s a chance he will make the odd error as he develops, so significant is the risk that we need to pay 50m to slightly reduce on that risk

    Absolutely bonkers. You lot cannot be serious

  36. China1

    If arteta came out and said we’ve just bid 100m for him some of you guys would be scrambling to explain that it is in fact clever business

  37. China1

    Arsenal started last season with Gabriel and holding. If arsenal are so terrified of saliba making one mistake it’s not like the alternatives are bad players. Holding Gabriel and mari are all workable options in a solid defense and all demonstrated as such at various stages of the season.

    The rush to explain away what would be a disgraceful waste of limited funds is frankly laughable

  38. China1

    Arsenal have signed 30 first team players excluding free contracts since 2013 and we’ve sold EVERY one at a loss. Not one profit

    And people trust arsenal to burn significant sums of money on players hoping for marginal gains in positions where we’re not even weak.

    If we sign him he’ll be the next player we’re selling at a loss in the future.

    It’s not rocket science to stop buying at the top end of the market is it

  39. China1

    As a point of reference, if he costs 40-50m, we would be signing one of the top 10 most expensive CBs in football history.

    Stellar business acumen we would be showing.

  40. Sid

    “”””R.S.P.C.ArsenalJune 12, 2021 22:16:49
    Serge It’s was all a dream …
    Used to read shoot magazine
    Charlie Nicholas on my wall …”””:::

    You know very well
    Who you are
    Don’t let ’em hold you down
    Reach for the stars
    You had a goal

  41. Useroz

    Well said, China. But intelligence and logic doesn’t always prevail with ex footballers, especially wannabe with ego , like offering unrealistic wages to a 31yo, allegedly buying another expensive car when there are 6 already in the stable…

  42. Kegunner

    Arsenal have an above average defence considering goals conceded last term. However they have a relegation spot midfield and sporadic attack. Midfield and attack need to be upgraded.

    At the same time additions to left back and right back, goal keeper sale of Martinez now looks insane given there seems to have been a plan to replace him.

    Any position sale needs to be replaced with better or upcoming youth player expected to be world class.

  43. Moray

    Nobody’s mentioned the fact we’re in for Correa too.

    Seemingly Arteta has pinpointed CB and striker as our biggest problems that need to be fixed first.

  44. Habesha Gooner

    You are wasting your breath on Pedro. He will defend whatever Arteta and Edu will do even if it is mental. Actually whatever Arteta will do because he batted for him. Spending even 25 mil on Ben white right now is stupid. This is Arteta saying none of Saliba, Mavropanos or Chambers are my players. I didn’t sign them and I can’t use them.

    If he was signing Ben white after we bought a CAM, 2 CMs, LB, RB, GK then I would be all for it. But spending even 40 mil on a CB that is worth 20 right now when we have all those Gaping holes to fix is the stupidest strategy any team can come up with. We need at least 6 new players before the CB coming in. I can already see the out come of this though. If Arteta signs Ben white, and we have shortage of funds to sign players in those positions (I know we will), then we will have last year’s patterns come back and we will fail miserably. We will right off the season in 6 months with arteta sacked, while we are holding our dick in our hands with a 40 mil CB we didn’t need. This is why I want a proper director of football. A manager or a coach should only decide the profile of the player he needs. And he shouldn’t dictate whether he will sign luxury purchases. And the director of football should identify positions which you are weak at and address those. And the manager should work what he has got. Chelsea are doing great this far with that strategy. Managers have inputs on signings. They don’t dictate it, which Arteta being a rookie seems to be doing now. It’s our sad reality.

  45. China1

    All this talk of arsenal having money to spend this summer is also a double edged sword

    It’s not going to be free money. It’s not money we earned (if we have it). It’s money from a loan or money Stan loans us.

    Whatever it is it’s not our own and will have to be paid back in the end. This idea that because we may have access to funds that we can use it to sign expensive luxury players in positions where we don’t urgently need intervention is dangerous for the club.

    Just because the bank gives you a credit card, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to spend the allowance on a 70inch TV when your roof is leaking and there’s no hot water

  46. TR7


    Yes we need a 50M defender in White to complement 27M Saliba and 30M Gabriel to ensure we can pass the ball better from the back. 25M Tierney and a new RB who may cost upwards of 30M will make our back line absolutely perfect. Hopefully in the next two windows we can buy 2 midfielders for 100M and two more forwards for 120M and hopefully by then we can get a glimpse of Arteta ball. I can’t fucking wait.

  47. Mee

    Xavi is doing a great job. Nice to see Cazorla!
    Quick passing makes Arteta’s head overheat. He can’t fathom such a style of football.

  48. Sid

    “””””The great maestro Xavi Hernandez getting even Al Sad to play some Tiki Taka”””””

    Diet Pep was deemed Not good enough for Tiki Taka, He has spent majority of his football hours under Moyes,

    He is trying to mimic what Guardiola is doing unsuccessfully because its not in him.
    How does someone with Tiki taka DNA have Steve round as an assistant?

  49. Sid

    Carzola/ a player of Carzolas profile has more +ve impact to a teams playing style including defence than signing CBs, Partey, Neves.

  50. Pierre

    “This is the same genius team that brought us:
    Martinez sale, 12 months later we need a keeper
    Willian signing, 12 months later we want him sold
    Mustafi offered a new contract, 12 months later a relegated German team decided he wasn’t good enough for a free transfer
    Saliba debacle, just pathetically mismanaged
    AMN debacle, a year after we turned down 20m let’s hope we can still get 15m for him…the list goes on and on.”

    You forgot to mention where it all started 12 months ago…..Ozil and then Guendouzi…

    The club should have nipped it in the bud then.
    what has followed has been a consequence of those 2 idiotic and classless decisions by Arteta.

    Le Grove can ignore the obvious all they like , but for the club/fans to allow Arteta to disrespect his own players with impunity ,then they have reaped what they have sowed.

    Without the Ozil and Guendouzi decisions there would be no Saliba, martinez, AMN etc ….guaranteed , as far as I’m concerned.

    No going back now , it’s shit or bust…either Arteta is a genius who will have the team playing sparkling entertaining football next season , which will see us climb the league table to a jam packed Emirates and drooling at the quality of the football.

    Or Arteta is a clueless , delusional fool, who will leave the club in a complete and utter mess , costing Arsenal football club millions with his poor decision making, and wasting the opportunity to build a team around a group of very talented young players .
    Smith rowe
    Nelson .

    Let’s see how it pans out…

  51. TR7

    Cazorla is so underrated. People talk about Xavi and Iniesta and they are undoubtedly among the greatest ever but I can’t help but feel Santi Cazorla could have reached those heights had he played for Barca.

    A midfield of Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi and Santi would have been absolutely insane, only for Spain national team did they all play together at the same time albeit only in patches.

  52. China1

    Guns perhaps they think the stand out CB was luiz. One of the most error prone and red card laden CBs in PL history. God forbid we let a young CB with massive potential in this team. After all he could drop a mistake! We didn’t have the third best defense in the league by letting error prone CBs in the team did we?

    Oh wait…

  53. Terraloon


    Xhaka isn’t going for nearly £20 it’s more like €17 and even at that sum Roma are having second thoughts. As for Matteo again Arsenal seem to have set a price but the deal is far from done.

    I know some bulk at it but you can’t just dismiss the costs that are linked to sales these two sales, if the go through, won’t deliver anywhere close to £30 million


    “It’s not going to be free money. It’s not money we earned (if we have it). It’s money from a loan or money Stan loans us.”

    Pedro pointed out yesterday that a sum ( he says £120 million) has been borrowed from Barclays. The thoughts in some quarters are it’s tens if not hundreds of millions more to fund amongst other things it seems player purchases.

    Some will say no we borrowed x amount to pay this or that but it doesn’t matter how the deckchairs are arranged Arsenal are getting deeper into debt with income streams shrinking.

    I am not suggesting it’s not a good time to borrow because interest rates are quite low but just a quick look at Barclays website shows loans aren’t for free nor are they close to the 0.5% that the £120 million attracted when backed by HM Government.

    I remember years ago the mantra used to be for individuals to consolidate all your loans into one bigger easily affordable loan and hey why not borrow a bit more and buy a car/ have a holiday ( delete as appropriate) and that’s what people did.

    Fast forward a year or so and those repayments whilst not crippling were a significant expense and that holiday was long gone or the car was now a rust bucket!

    We won’t know for quite a while just how much has been borrowed from the banks, from Stan, from whoever but yep you are right this money hasn’t been earned and whilst we don’t yet know what it’s going to cost in terms of interest or indeed repayment of the capital you can be damm sure it’s gonna cost something

    I am staggered at the amount of security that Barclays have taken, the suggestion to me and the fact that these charges aren’t second charges is that a number of loans of far greater worth than £120 million have indeed been consolidated and when you add to the equation that KSEs shares in Arsenal seem to be included in the security then you do wonder how far and how expensive this is all going to be

  54. TR7

    Xavi, Xabi, Iniesta, Cesc, Santi, Silva, Juan Mata and Busquets were all playing for Spain national team at the same time. Never ever will we see such a mesmerizing collection of midfielders playing together.

  55. WengerEagle

    Iniesta > Xavi > David Silva > Cesc Fabregas > Santi Cazorla imo.

    Xavi was undoubtedly the most influential player for Spain and Barcelona though, their steep midfield decline began with him slowing down.Just always felt that Iniesta was the slightly better player and often the magic man and difference maker.

    Iniesta kept the show on the road at Barca for a few more years at least which was enough to help them win that 2015 Champions League and a few more titles.

    Cesc had a few year spell in the PL that exceeded even David Silva but over the course of their careers, Silva has to get the nod for consistency.

  56. Terraloon

    One further thing I should have added .

    Pedro is giving the impression that a£120 million loan was going to add additional funds . It doesn’t. That£120 million provided cash for season 20/21 and in all likelihood was spent a long old while ago

  57. China1

    Terra imo we can discuss til the cows come home on the details and specifics and you raise some interesting info and thoughts in there, but my take is even simpler

    Which is that arsenal in 2021 have absolutely no business paying ‘top 10 in the world’, man city style transfer fees for *anyone* at all unless they are such a nailed on world beater like Haaland that the risk is virtually zero.

    We are not a CL team. We’re not even a EL team. We’re borrowing more and more to make ends meet with increasingly poor finances. If arsenal are paying 40+m for anyone this summer it’s probably not going to be a good deal and value for money.

    And besides it being reckless of the club to even entertain such fees when we clearly cannot afford them, arsenal have demonstrated conclusively, beyond any shred of a doubt that we have at best dubious records of spending money and downright shocking record in terms of extracting maximum value on the pitch or in sales from the players we get.

    Instead of buying a 50m player, least of all a luxury in a position where we are ok, I’d rather see us donate it all to charity frankly because it would be a better use of money. Or maybe just put it all as cash in a heap and light a massive bonfire as some kind of statement of artistic expression about negligence and fiscal wastage in our club. Would be better.

  58. Vickingz

    Told y’all arteta is a curse and the earlier he gets booted out the better for arsenal. Pedro is just like arteta, someone who just can’t be trusted, whose words mean nothing. Arteta was blaming himself for leaving out ozil from the list, blamed himself for some of our results, same way pedro occasionally comes out to agree that Arteta ain’t doing well after the bar must have gone lower than the lowest, only for him to turn a 360 degree few hours later.

    How can anyone look at the way Arteta has handled our players and not see that he shouldn’t be allowed to continue is beyond me. For over a year, he didn’t know his best eleven, didn’t know his best formation, his selection always leave you scratching your head, his in game management is zero, he drops performing players just to satisfy his ego, he would come out and blame himself for a poor result only for him to repeat the same action that got him the poor result again the next match. Prioritising a CB when we have about 4 to 5 players already in that position?

    Arteta and pedro out yet??

  59. WengerEagle

    Shame that the Euros expanded to 24 teams, the quality so far really hasn’t been great.

    Not one quality game as of yet. Hopefully that changes with Ingurland and Croatia.

    Croats have so much quality in Modric, Kovacic, Brozovic, Rebic, Perisic, Kramaric. If they had a good ST they would be contenders.

  60. WengerEagle


    Agree. For as much as Wayne Rooney is bantered he really was a top drawer player and he doesn’t give out compliments lightly.

    Said he was in no doubt that Iniesta was the best player in the world after the 2009 CL Final. Speaks to Iniesta’s quality that he would even get a mention near Messi.

  61. TR7

    England -Croatia
    France – Germany
    France – Portugal

    4 interesting games in group stage at least on paper. For me the tournament starts from knock out rounds.

  62. WengerEagle

    Yeah, every group looks a mismatch in talent other than group F.

    And even that is not overly interesting as 4 of the 6 3rd placed teams will qualify for the last 16.

    A bit ridiculous having 2/3 of the teams progress to the knockouts. Makes the groups feel a bit meaningless.

  63. WengerEagle

    Same thing will happen to the Champions League with the expansion, it will dilute the quality.

    All just a way for the greedy to get richer and line their pockets of course.

  64. WengerEagle

    Keep an eye on the Copa America too.

    Brazil the team to beat and it looks an even more certain bet now that they moved the tournament there.

    Messi’s last real chance to win silverware for Argentina. Would be nice to see him do it, he deserves it.

  65. James wood.

    Arsenals interest in MU ‘s Van De Beek. ( BBC)
    Suggests Odegaard is out of reach financially..
    Which is quite worrying as regard anyone tasty
    coming in.?

  66. Pierre

    “Cazorla is so underrated. People talk about Xavi and Iniesta and they are undoubtedly among the greatest ever but I can’t help but feel Santi Cazorla could have reached those heights had he played for Barca.”

    Arsenal were never the same when injuries finished his Arsenal career .
    We should at least have given him a chance to prove his fitness before giving him away…

    Originally I put a good percentage off the blame at Wenger’s feet for Cazorla ‘s original injury.
    It was against Norwich I think when Cazorla went down injured in the first half but wenger kept him on for way too long and in my opinion exacerbated the injury…

    ArsenalWenger/fans were robbed of too many quality players with long term injuries and it cost us dearly.

    These players would walk into the present Arsenal side.

  67. Useroz

    Doubting affordability of Odegarde ? Why should we feel confident about this TW then? Not that Odegarde necessarily meet our needs …

    How would we afford de Beek if couldn’t fund Odegarde… seriously?

  68. WengerEagle

    I wouldn’t take the Van de Beek links seriously. United won’t want to strenghten a potential rival for top 4.

    Heavy emphasis on ‘potential’ but still.

    And when have United ever sold us a good player in recent history?

  69. Captain Tierney

    Pedro stop selling every Arteta decision as a good one.
    Ben White looks like a good player. So does Saliba, so does Mavro.

    All are ready to compete. None is ready to start. The England call up narrative doesn’t hold much weight. White is lowest in the pecking order, even below Coady and Mings , two average football players. Should we buy them too?

    Recently, read a French football expert who is also a Brighton fan say that he doesn’t think White is much better than Saliba. Saliba has much better leadership qualities, is better in the air and just as good with the ball at his feet.
    Dont think you can refute any of those claims there.

    I am not against signing White but 40 million is a lot of money when we have so many other positions to upgrade upon before looking at CBs.
    We have missed out on Buendia, looks like Carlo wants Ode, RDP edging closer to Madrid.

    Our most pressing concern is AM but players who seem to be our preferred choices are slipping away.

    After that we need to sign 2 CMs, RB, a winger to replace Willian, GK, ST if Laca/Auba leave. If we still have money left then sure go spend 50 mil on a position we are already stacked in.

  70. WengerEagle

    United are about to snag an absolute bargain in Jadon Sancho.

    Hard to believe Dortmund are going to let him go for as little as 80m which won’t even be up front but I suppose they don’t have much of a choice now as he only has 2 years left on his deal and that price would be more than cut in half next year.

    Still, you would think that other teams would be in for him at that price like Chelsea and Liverpool. You are getting a world class English forward that has a decade + ahead of him.

  71. Captain Tierney

    I have stated this umpteenth times, I’ll say it again

    Cazorla injury started our downfall. We were top in the league and looking favourites to win it. Ozil was bubbling with Cazorla feeding him line breaking passes and we were creating chances for Fun.

    The moment he went down everything changed. He was probably our most important player.

    Such a unique profile. Honestly can’t think of any player who comes close to what Cazorla offered in recent seasons.
    Deep lying, two footed, chance creator, press resistant ball progressor with elite unorthodox style dribbling. Also had some great goals in him.

  72. Pierre

    I did originally put Ramsey in but as he isn’t of the same quality as the others,so I left him out ..he did have one stand out season though and if i would make a comparison, I would compare it to Arteta winning the FA cup in that Arteta’s fa Cup victory and Ramseys stand out season gave them a warped impression of their abilities to manage and play.the game.

    Both became a law unto themselves on and off the pitch as it became more about personal glory than the team’s.

    Wenger probably got the best out of Ramsey by allowing him to play with a lack of discipline as it has shown with Ramsey’s inability to make an impression in the juventus side..
    The same with Coleman with Wales who allowed Ramsey the freedom of the pitch.
    Watching Ramsey yesterday play a more disciplined role was quite painful as he was still wasteful with the ball despite playing deeper.

    If I was the Wales manager , I would play Ramsey and Bale off of the big striker higher up the pitch..
    They looked pretty toothless yesterday offensively.

  73. Useroz

    Guns of SFJune 13, 2021 07:31:52

    3rd best defence in the league but no standout centre-backs?isnt this an oxymoron”

    It’s only possible because of the constant yelping from the sideline by the generational one in 3 to 5 languages, you know.

  74. Pierre

    “The moment he went down everything changed. He was probably our most important player.Such a unique profile. Honestly can’t think of any player who comes close to what Cazorla offered in recent seasons.
    Deep lying, two footed, chance creator, press resistant ball progressor with elite unorthodox style dribbling. Also had some great goals in him.”


  75. Kroenkephobe

    I hope all you expectant In-ger-land fans in your living rooms this afternoon are getting ready to put your knee on your good old Axminster carpet (or that fancy Afghan rug) before the game. Southgate, Rashford and even Harry Kane have been pleasingly forthright this week. Good to see.

  76. Goonah


    “And when have United ever sold us a good player in recent history?”


    Wenger – “I can surprise you sometimes”

    Not recent but still golden
    He actually left a medical at Man City to join us

  77. Sid

    Messi has been exposed without Iniesta the Kingmaker, the power behind the throne. Messi hasnt won anything since his departure

  78. TR7

    Wouldn’t say Messi has been exposed without Iniesta. Look I am an Iniesta fanboy and probably among the very few who puts him right next to Messi even ahead of CR7 but Messi does not anyone else to showcase his ability. His solo goals and runs prove that he can do everything on his own.

  79. Useroz

    Ben White (or better) should be the sort we acquire, if we had just got back into CL football next season, to reinforce, refreshen up, and uplift the overall backline..

    Just watched a YT clip to remind myself how great White has been to deserve such priority in spite of our dire needs in MF, RB and perhaps ST departments.

    Well, White is better than Holding thats for sure…and that can be traced to his pace and strengths. Blocks and intercepts well, good recovery and nicks the ball last minute, etc. But White goes to ground a bit and tackles …

    Didn’t Arteta negatively remark on Salina”s going to ground often?

    Whute carries the ball forward, yes, but not as dramatic as reported… I’d say 9 out of 10 times he got past 1 or 2 but ended up losing the ball anyway.. Mind you, this is a clip of his highlights so I assume there aren’t better examples.

    Last not least, long balls Luiz style… the root cause of needing White apparently! Saw some 30, 40 yard passes in the clip but how many had he missed too? Success %?

    One thing surprisingly doesn’t feature in the clip… headers! In own box or the opposition half …zilch!! Is this a weakness as some suggested here? Or perhaps it’s a given and such highlights for defenders don’t usually include?

    Again, an upgrade for Holding and one I’d welcome if Arteta and Edu have already addressed the long awaited issues in some well known areas of the starting 11.

    In any case, Transfermarkt currently values White at €28m! Dunno if fair but it’s a popular reference. White’s inclusion in the England squad shouldn’t have counted for much, as someone already explained above.. Walcott infamously included at 17 In a WC too, so?

    If someone gets desperate and must nab White, let’s deal at £28m tops… or Holding + 10m, or Chambers +15m… or we’d be screwed , again 🙃

  80. Pierre

    Danny s
    Yeah, a shame about Eduardo, quality player cut off in his prime(literally) and then to rub salt into the wounds, we lose 2 points to a shit penalty decision when cliche clearly played the ball and then stood there looking guilty as fuck…

  81. Terraloon


    Think we are very much singing from the same hymn sheet.

    Spending even close to the sums being suggested is a gamble and that’s putting it mildly

    Non CL teams just cant afford £40-50 million players unless they are top drawer and whilst some rave about Ben White if he is value at £40-£50 million he won’t be coming to Arsenal he would be going elsewhere.
    Indeed it was said that he had been heavily scouted by Liverpool but they backed off because of a couple of flaws that they identified one being his lack of height( he is 6-0 ) another is he tends to lunge in and whilst in the championship he was quicker that most players the step up to the PL worried them in terms of giving away fouls. The other point was that it was considered his desire to bring the ball out from defence whilst a positive was also a concern as he exposed the whole defensive unit to the counter.

    Add to that if he indeed comes with a £50 million price tag you ain’t gonna get away with paying him £50-£60k a week he is going to be on north of £100k a week.

    As so many have said Arsenal need to be looking at the Asda range of players , not yet quite Lidl, but for one reason or the other so many still want Harrods produce.

    As a total aside it would seem that Billy Gilmour might be available on a 12 month loan and for me if there was even a 50% chance of getting him then they should go all in as he is going to be a world class midfielder and even now at age 19 he is a class act

  82. Terraloon


    The vast vast bulk of Whites highlights were in the Championship and that’s a vastly different standard to the PL

  83. CG


    “””The vast vast bulk of Whites highlights were in the Championship and that’s a vastly different standard to the PL””””

    I think the dopes might have got their wires crossed and are actually after Lewis Dunk.

    Dunk is a proper center back and natural leader

    White, 36 prem games , 6ft not the quickest.
    Technically profficient and never late for training

    £35 million for 36 prem games for Brighton.

    The Seagulls will take that.
    (Doubt if they will sell Boussama as well to Arsenal)

  84. Pierre

    I said earlier this week that Trippier is a player I’d love at Arsenal…a proper full back who could well start for England today.

    He also has top quality from dead ball situations…

    He would give us what we need for the next couple of years at least and is equally competent at left or right back…

  85. AFC Forever

    Some of you guys rally are missing the point. Probably because you always seek a negative angle to push. .Stop seeing this as you against the club and everyone else & debate from a football stand point If you read yesterday’s comment section the reason why someone like White may be required was explained. It is a far to common mistake on here that you compare apples to peats. ‘He’s another centre back’ completely ignored the number 1 priority, which is finding players who best fit the team ‘tactically’. It was why Klopp bought 23 players. With possession based football and a high press, different skill sets are required. Pep bought Ruben Dias for this reason, others said he wasn’t needed but he transformed the way they played Klopp bought Mane, for example – a player that when compared to other strikers offered the extra skills needed for the tactic of high ptess.Mane was bought because he best suited the high press, Playing from the back is a problem for us, our defending numbers are good but there are too many possession problems which slow our play and worse give the ball away cheaply. Whether or not White fixes that is a separate discussion of course.

  86. Kris

    See this blog is still mostly for Arteta and not Arsenal.

    Will give it a miss for a few more months until the fraud is gone.

  87. AFC Forever

    * sorry for typos.

    PS: just heard on the radio that Eriksen was a heart not brain issue. The doctor said if true then he will never play again. Very sad

  88. CG


    Re: White.

    He is just a more expensive version of Callum Chambers.(White started off at Saints too.)

    Saints produce these types by the bucket load in their South Coast labs and wait for Arsenal to pounce and spend millions on them.

    These auxiliary types never work any way.

    It seems to me the Dopes are trying to outsmart the market again.

    Keep it simple. For once. Utilise the defenders we have first ( Greek lad and Saliba)

  89. AFC Forever


    “I said earlier this week that Trippier is a player I’d love at Arsenal”

    Spurs really have moved on some talent. Tripper, Modric,, Eriksen – Campbell – they should become our feeder club!!

  90. China1

    AFC is possession from the back is your target then you pick Gabriel and saliba…

    Saves you 50m luxury signing

  91. Jamie

    Imagine Emery and Raul talking up a £40-50m centre back summer marquee signing after a season in which we had the 3rd best defence in the league and only scored 55 goals.

    Shut up and support the lads, am I right?

  92. Gentlebris

    One positive we don’t talk about often is we actually have players other clubs would want…players we don’t necessarily need. And that’s definitely a new edge, unlike the last few TWs.

  93. Marc


    Whilst it’s terrible to see a players career cut short it’s still better than the alternative. I was out pretty much all day yesterday so didn’t see it but from what I’ve heard several people at the BBC need firing for a complete decency.

  94. China1

    AFC you say people are doing apples and pears comparisons then justify arsenal signing one of the top 10 most expensive CBs ever mentioning pep doing the same at city. A club that has infinite resources and only needs luxury finishing touch signings each season

    As for klopp, he has proved himself incredibly astute in the market. How many of his signings are around 50m? A few in total. Those players were finishing touch players to get an *excellent* work in progress over the finish line as England and Europe’s best team over two seasons.

    Klopp also earned faith in this ability to get it right already many times at Dortmund. Meanwhile arteta and edu have got many transfers wrong.

    You’re living on a hope and a prayer right now that arsenal are getting this right. Arsenal are financially fucked so if we’re remortgaging the house just to treat ourselves to a Gucci suit then they all need sacking seriously

  95. Marc


    You just know that the once Arteta gets another CB he’ll change his mind on letting any leave – all except Saliba of course. What are the odds that on 1st September once the transfer window is closed the squad is just as bloated as it is now?

  96. Marc

    “Arsenal are financially fucked so if we’re remortgaging the house just to treat ourselves to a Gucci suit then they all need sacking seriously”

    Very well put China.

  97. Marko

    Gotta disagree with David Silva over Cesc. Loved them both and sure Silva had a bit more longevity to his career but Cesc in his pomp was better and more productive than David Silva. Close to call though. Iniesta was the daddy though and still getting new contracts in Japan so good for him

  98. Jamie

    Marc –

    “What are the odds that on 1st September once the transfer window is closed the squad is just as bloated as it is now?”

    I’d stick a pony on it all day long. Unless we keep paying them off/subbing their wages/letting them go for peanuts just to get the high earners out the door. Elite finance management, the files are IN the computer.

  99. WengerEagle

    Yeah you would very much expect that it is the end of Eriksen’s playing career.

    As tragic as that may be, things could have been far worse. Look at that poor kid that collapsed for Ajax a few years ago who never recovered and is severely brain damaged and in a vegetative state now.

    Also Eriksen is 29 and has had a very good career by any standard. Just fresh off of winning Serie A and he played a part down the stretch for Inter. Hopefully has made enough money too to financially secure his family’s futures including grandkids.

  100. WengerEagle


    I did say that and agree, Arsenal’s Cesc was better than prime Silva imo. There was no better CM in the PL in my opinion than Cesc from 2006-2010.

    But Silva managed to stay top class for 15 odd years, shit he is arguably Real Sociedad’s best player at 35. Cesc has been basically done since 2017 with 2014/15 his last great season.

    Silva managed 125 caps for Spain, 35 goals (4th highest, only behind Villa, Raul and Fernando Torres, all strikers) and 30 assists (2nd highest, to Fabregas with 33). Was a starter for their Euro 2008 + 2012 teams and in the 2010 World Cup.

  101. Marko

    Yeah I can’t disagree with that like I said the longevity of Silva would make him better but skill set and best of moments I got to go with Cesc. Like so many others (Hleb and himself comes to mind at the very least) you wonder what might have been had the player stayed in that good moment of their career and rode it out kinda like what Silva did at City surrounded by great players. If Cesc stayed at Arsenal a few more years who knows how much better his legacy would have been in world football.

    My favorite player after Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal

  102. Dream10

    Cancelo out for the tournament due to covid-19
    He’s the most entertaining Portuguese player. Best attacking fullback in the PL

  103. WengerEagle


    Was touted as having a higher ceiling than De Jong and Van de Beek by Ajax supporters, tragic indeed.

    Re Cesc, I’m with you. I get why he made the move to Barcelona and from a trophies standpoint it was the right move. Retrospectively it may be easy to say but it really wasn’t the right move from a playing POV though.

    Never got the feeling that Pep quite believed in him like Wenger did (to his credit). He was a cog in the Barca machine that was contructed around Xavi-Iniesta and Busquets in the middle of the park which forced him to play a far more advanced role which reduced his impact on the game.

    His 2009-10 season was his absolute peak, really did marry his exquisite passing and domination of games with an added deadly goal threat and Lampard-like ability to get in those brilliant spots in and around the box and on the end of moves.

    15 goals and 13 assists in just 26 PL appearances, if he played the full 38 he would have put up numbers rivalling this seasons’ Kane and from the middle of the park at that.

  104. WengerEagle


    He’ll be a miss no doubt but hard to be too sympathetic when you look at who Portugal have waiting in the wings in Nelson Semedo. Not exactly a scrub.

    Shane that Ricardo Pereira looks a different player post-injury, was the best RB in the league before it.

  105. Marko

    Listen he was generational Cesc I remember him at 16 playing like he’d been a professional for years alongside Vieira and co. Physically not too special and not really that fast and yet he carried this club for years

  106. Mark

    It really does seem that Fraud-eta is doing all he can do that he can push Saliba out of the club. Based on how successful his loan was, it doesn’t seem based on Saliba’s footballing ability. So what is it then?

    18 months in and Arteta doesn’t even know his starting Xl FFS. Offers Mustafi another contract and Champions Willian. If Arteta’s so great why after 1 season do all these senior players want out, (Xhaka, Leno, Luis etc) why don’t they trust the process?? Could it be that they don’t like the way they were thrown under the bus by Mikel with him not taking any of the blame himself?? That he’s a shit man manager who’s petty and has favourites? Or they’ve seen and heard enough of the Bullshit. Take your pick.

    Seeing Pedro and others trying to justify Arteta’s egotistical decisions is embarrassing. There’s absolutely no way that Saliba should not be integrated into the squad next season. Based on the stats he’s just dropped and if anyone with eyes has watched him.

    Yet all I hear is BS about how we can’t play Saliba cos he’s not experienced enough etc ( As China pointed out earlier) so we are considering spending stupid money on White 🤔🤔

    People had concerns about letting Arteta spend TW money , and I can understand why. So far it looks very uninspiring. I’ll wait till the window closes, but the Buendia saga hardly fills me with any confidence. Neither does even considering White at anything near that price.

    Turning down good money, only to not use said players, and be selling for less than we were offered!! Seems to be a theme for us Mihki , Xhaka, AMN, Eddie. When are we gonna learn.

    If Arteta is allowed to put his ego and himself ahead of the club, and he’s allowed to sell Saliba , I’m done with this club till he’s gone.

    All the so called superfans can keep peddling excuses for everything Arteta does until he’s sacked, and we’re mid table as that’s where we’re heading. Cos he’s obviously not learned anything, and we will remain a club of ridicule who are living off the glory days decades ago.

    You’ve got Snide-erlin advising Onana to swerve us cos we’re (Shit) not the team we used to be. Buendia choosing Villa over us should tell you everything you need to know. Yet people are trying to imply we didn’t really want him that much blah blah. Total Crap!

    Trust the process.

    Joke of a club.

  107. WengerEagle

    True. Jury is still out on Andre Silva although he looks to have turned a corner in Frankfurt.

    Weird how they have always had average strikers, even Pauleta wasn’t great and played for PSG back when they were rubbish.

    Nuno Gomes was shocking and won 80 caps. And who could forget Postiga although to his credit he did the world a favour and scored the goal to help dump out England’s much fapped over ‘golden generation’ in the Euros.

  108. Sid

    “”””””MarkoJune 13, 2021 12:08:51
    Good point as always Sid”””””

    Thank, for your appreciation to my inspired insight

  109. WengerEagle

    Lot of amazing players to shoehorn in for Portugal, like England probably have the most question marks as to how they will line up.

    Felix might not even start for them.