TRANSFER WINDOW PATTERNS ANALYSED

by .

Well Arsenal fans, I think we’re at that stage of the transfer window where we’re starting to see slight patterns emerge. 4 days. Yep, I have patterns to share.

  1. We’re going to be in a scrum for players this summer
  2. We’re going to sell a lot
  3. We’re going to buy a lot

Arsenal has money to spend, no doubt about it. The KSE apology tour comes with Benjamins.

Arteta seems willing to move on players we thought were his favorites, Granit Xhaka proving out there’s a ruthless streak we didn’t know existed, especially after last summer when it felt like he hoarded.

If things go well, we’re likely to see a very different 25-man squad next season. Wenger said you shouldn’t add more than 3 players, well, we’ll need at least 5 to stand still.

This is a hugely consequential moment however you cut it.

The thing that’s exciting me the most is the profile of player we’re looking at. I’ve been writing for years that we need to shift to a Dortmund+ model if we want to get back to the top. That means you adopt a model where you create a good coaching environment for the best young players in Europe and you snatch at them before it they the top level. Monaco, Leipzig, Atleti, Lille, Dortmund, and Ajax are superb at this.

The better you get at it, the more you make in player sales, the bigger the pot you have to play with each season. Arsenal needs to get good at selling if we want to get back to the top. That’s why it’s essential this summer is clever.

Ivan G convinced himself we could get back to the top by signing ‘experienced’ players in their prime. It did not work. Sven Mislintat barely got going before he left after seeing what the Barca guy was up to. Don Raul, the least creative of our football hires, thought you could beat the market using ‘contacts’ scouting, it did not work. Now Edu has the chance to show the world he can do something more interesting than what has gone before.

Edu has done some VERY weird stuff, but if we’re going to be kind, maybe we can lay the blame at the door at over-controlling scuzzy execs that are now out the door. This summer will be his last if he fails. Career death has a funny way of sharpening the mind. It is not a surprise that the Brazilian player cartel has told Willian to move on this summer. I expect best behaviour and signings closer to Martinelli and Partey vs Willian and Cedric Soares.

So far, things are looking sexier. The average age of the players we’ve been linked to is lower. The names are coming from less obvious sources. There have been very few names linked to mega-agents. Everything on paper ‘feels’ smarter.

Emi Buendia is the sort of player Arsenal SHOULD be looking at. Young, great technically, perfect athletic profile, ready to bang… without doubt we moved for him, there are just too many big journos on it to think otherwise. Something clearly put Arsenal off, because we are a bigger pull and no way he’s says no if we’re at offer stage. However, the ‘why’ it failed doesn’t fuss me. Who cares? Didn’t like the slag anyway. What seems clear is:

  1. Martin Odegaard might be harder to sign than we hoped. No way we’re signing two creators in that #10 role this summer
  2. If the Norwegian is off the agenda, we are might be looking for someone who can bring energy and numbers to the operation

If you can’t make Buendia work, fund someone that has lookalike statistics. Rodrigo De Paul? Sure, maybe last season when the Le Grove comments section was repping him, but probably too late now, once Mino is involved, you’re dead. But what does he have that we need as well? Bang-bang energy, chance creation, power, pace, ability to transition the ball PLUS sexy versatility.

Who else could we find? Well, we’re being linked with Lazio’s Joaquin Correa, for £17m. He plays as a second striker, but can very much occupy that hole in behind like a #10. He has pace, strength, great technical skills and he can move through tight spaces. Do I know if we’re in for him? No. But do I like the idea we’re looking where other clubs aren’t? Absolutely.

We didn’t nab Buendia, but two players that could do something similar are linked right after. Again, I have no idea if I’m the conspiracy theorist piecing together the relationship between Elon Musk and the Bill Gates tracker bots he put in the covid vaccine… but the rumours feel smarter than they did last summer.

Our transfer window cannot be about chasing the coattails of clubs already in the Champions League. There is a HUGE opportunity to take advantage of a burning European transfer market and build a squad that can bang. Give a stupid Tech Director £100m and they blow it on a player that will return fuck all. Give it to a smart one, they’ll turn that into £250m.

Do we have the Edu who took £36m and turned it into Willian over 3 years? Or the guy that pulled Martinelli out of Brazil and made him a £50m youth sensation that Klopp called a GOD? Who knows. Who knows.

But the rumours are sexier…

Lokongo, yes please. Huge potential from a country that has players banging all over the world.

Caqueret? Absolutely. The French league is full of diamonds and their clubs are BROKE.

Onana? What a good bit of business that would be.

Locatelli? He’s a big boy, but what a player.

Barella? OH MY LORD YES PLEASE.

Smart money can still be sexy.

There are obviously going to be positions we have to stock with Premier-League-ready players. I understand that. If you ship Xhaka, you can’t give his role to someone that’ll take 5 months to settle in England because that position is so important and the fans will oust Arteta if that doesn’t work.

Same for the RCB position. I honestly find the rage surrounding Saliba baffling, because it generally comes from the people most critical of Arteta’s inexperience. No club in the world takes a chance on a 20-year-old center-back for the first team with no Premier League or Championship experience. That. Would. Be. Absurd.

… but, if you bring in Ben White or someone of his profile, then Saliba has a good mentor and we can develop an amazing talent over the season in conjunction with a player that can give us stability (To just regulate how crazy starting Saliba in our defence at 20 is, remember, Brighton sent Ben White to Leeds at 21). I honestly believe Saliba is the safest of our centre-backs because he’s the only one that can play football the way Arteta needs him to play.

People also need to move away from the idea that you sign players in order of need.

No one slags their mum on Twitter for not loading the weekly food shop in order of physiological priority.

‘MUM I NEED TO SEE LEGUMES IN THE TROLLEY FIRST, WHY WOULD YOU PRIORITISE PICKLED ONION MONSTER MUNCH YOU LUNATIC?’

A transfer window is a jigsaw puzzle. There are 5 or 6 pieces that need to drop in. It doesn’t matter which order as long as each piece is filled come the end of July.

So there’s the view of the summer patterns.

Hopefully, we can ship players out in a ruthless fashion.

Hopefully, we can buy with intelligence and do it with speed.

Hopefully, 80% of the deals we do can impact the starting 11 before December.

This is the true start of a new era. Let’s see what the club has. If it’s shit, we’re absolutely finished.

____________________________________________________

The Christian Eriksen collapse was the worst thing I’ve seen in live sport.

This is not a moment for finger-wagging about things we do not understand.

We should celebrate the rapid reaction of everyone involved, especially the talented medics that kept him with us. We should celebrate the leadership of the players on the pitch. We should pray to whoever we pray to and celebrate that Christian is alive.

Life is really precious, there’s nothing more important, let’s hope he gets back to his best as soon as possible. xxx

578 Responses to “TRANSFER WINDOW PATTERNS ANALYSED”

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  1. GoonGoonerGone

    If Saliba is young, a rookie, inexperienced and isn’t ready for Arsenal, then why does that not apply to Arteta too?
    Can’t you’ll see the irony?
    And this from a man who had never coached a club in his life as a head coach before landing at AFC doing this to a young man who has more potential than him.
    Yet Pedro and his ilk will spin it any way to make it seem as if Arteta is doing the right things.
    Arteta will be fired next season.
    A manager coach who needs to bark instructions to his players for a full 94 minutes of a match is no coach.

  2. Rich

    Almunia

    The biggest critics, are usually the biggest optimists

    I’m not telling anyone to be more optimistic, they can be as miserable as they choose, I just don’t find any benefit in stressing over things that aren’t really under our control right now

    Arteta + Edu are going to be responsible for assemble our squad this summer, and as crazy as that seems, I don’t see any amount of whining changing that

    Hypotheticals over who we might sign, or who we failed to sign, or stressing over a teenage centre back, who may or not play for us next season

    I just find it a bit ridiculous, if we get to August, and we’ve done a load of stupid or inactive things, I’ll be ready to have a meltdown right beside you, like when we gave Willian a 3yr contract last summer

    I try to focus on the details of how we can improve, and look at how we can learn from our failures, rather than dwelling on our mistakes

    Sometimes I just like to throw a different narrative out there, just to change the direction of debate, keeps me amused while I should be working

    I’ve always thought that football managers don’t get enough time, sometimes you have to take a sideways or backwards step, before you can start moving forwards again

    And because they don’t have that luxury, they end up making short term decisions, with self preservation at the forefront of their thinking,

    For example, throwing in a youngster for 20 games to see how they develop can be fatal, and another manager can be the one who benefits from the bravery of the sacked manager

    Lampard did a lot of the donkey work bringing through young players at Chelsea, who are now maturing, but will get no credit for that, but he certainly made Tuchel’s job easier

    Realistically I don’t think we are much better than 5th 6th this season, and realistically the best we can hope for next season, is being in a dog fight to the finish for 3rd or 4th, which would involve finishing above at least one of City, United, Liverpool, Chelsea

    I obviously want us to do better, but evaluating our squad and others, that’s where we currently are, and we’d need a blinding summer to even compete with those clubs, as well as the rest who’ve made up ground

    Since me + you regularly quote Churchill back and forth to each , I’ve got a Churchill quote tattoo’d on me from my younger days

    “Play the game for more than you can afford to lose, only then will you learn the game”

    On a side note I really enjoy your posts as well, you’re like the statesman trying to keep things civil, I took what you said onboard the other day, thanks for the sound advice 👍

  3. Mb

    Re Saliba, we bought him 2 years back and he was playing so well for Saint that they put a clause for him to return on loan for a year.

    Then he comes back and suddenly goes so shit that he can’t play against Dundalk?

  4. andy1886

    Bob, no problem with that at all, the prospects for every manager are that they will eventually either get the sack or leave, but then again they do tend to get paid very well. It’s just a matter of timing be that this summer, Christmas or after 20+ years.

    @Positive Pete, as I’ve mentioned before if a manager gets a third season we would never have seen George Graham or Arsene Wenger appointed. Who’s to say the next manager will not be similar? It’s not unusual for a club to go through managers quite quickly until they get a good one.

  5. WengerEagle

    Almunia is a great new addition to here all right (or not, apologies if you are a veteran but can’t remember your Moniker too well past recently).

    Cracks me up with those poem/songs, really knows his football and doesn’t take himself too seriously and as Rich says takes the oxygen out of some of the fires on here between posters.

  6. Bob N16

    Marc, of course by not leading the club into European qualification Arteta has to take some responsibility for the reduced budget. But to simply highlight Arteta being to blame is, as I’m sure you’d agree, only part of the story of us finishing where we did.

    The weaknesses in our squad and the poor negotiations over many years has got us to where we are today. It’s so much easier to do ‘ a Liverpool’ and buy two top class players to fill your remaining gaps. As we all know we have arguably 4 or more staring positions to fill.

    Almunia, do you believe that Legrove posters had much of an effect on Wenger and Emery being sacked. If your answer is no then I wonder why you think they’ll make a difference about when Arteta gets the boot, assuming he does of course!

    Rich is just saying what others including myself feel that it maybe therapeutic( my words, not his) to repeatedly say Arteta out ( acknowledging that he was lucky not to be justifiably sacked in Dec or after the EL semi ) but it’s slightly pointless to continually slag him, as he will start next season in charge.

    There is nothing wrong with hoping that he has learnt lessons, he can now get in the players to play the way he believes will make us successful. Whetherhe gets sacked or not next season, I honestly doubt posting on Legrove will have made a jot of difference.

    Arteta has to take some responsibility over the decisions in the last 18 months, but not all. Before then, no blame at all. Next season, if he gets the players he wants with no European football there will be nowhere to hide.

  7. Mb

    I’m in the Arteta Out brigade but yes, he should be given this full season and transfer window with some money.

    However, I’m still not shift my expectations to top 6. A CL qualification at minimum!

  8. Dissenter

    If Arteta was lucky to not get sacked because the Kroenke’s are such horrible owners, are some fans supposed to just carry on and pretend that all is well.

    I always wonder why people who rightfully say that the Kroenke’s are bad owners are ready to accept the fruits of the bad ownership. In this case, it’s not setting expectations for is the bottom line for firing a manager.

  9. Marc

    Bob

    You need to remember I need the rage – I’m back in the stadium come August and Arteta is going to get it. Both barrels of a fucking howitzer!

  10. Bob N16

    Marc, I’ll be there too and in Block 6 we’ll be cheering on the team. There’s room for all types of supporters I suppose

    If we lose the first game, I’m sure you won’t be the only boo boy though. If you boo before we’re losing I’ll be surprised if you don’t get a negative response, I know you would anywhere near me!

  11. Marc

    Bob

    I’ll cheer the team but cheering Arsenal is not the same as cheering the manager.

    Where’s block 6? I’m in Block 100.

  12. WengerEagle

    Marcos Llorente at RB is such a waste.

    Wish he was in CM in place of Koke who is very one-paced and unadventurous.

    Looking forward to seeing Pedri and Ferran Torres.

  13. Rich

    Dissenter

    KSE have been a nightmare for Arsenal and have overseen our decline

    They didn’t care what was happening when Wenger was balancing the books, and the value of their asset was increasing

    Things are now very different, and hopefully our current situation was woken them up, because they’re now in a position, where they either sell, or invest into the team

    There’s really no third option for them this summer, and if they’re not selling, then I think we’ll spend north of £200 million, providing we can clear the decks, which could prove difficult

    Whether they’re wise to trust Edu + Arteta with that investment, is another thing entirely

    KSE’s ownership does bring a certain amount of security, Stan has fixed assets, and his wife is from one of the richest families on the planet

    I don’t oppose their ownership on morality grounds, I oppose their incompetence and lack of ambition up until now

    If they’re hanging around, you’d have to think that investing to put it right on the pitch, is the obvious step for them to make, because right now we’re haemorrhaging money, and the Arsenal brand is in the toilet

  14. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich
    Cant fault your reply,not that I was actively seeking to mind you. I like your philosophy regarding criticism and optimism,it really resonates with me, I think that’s why I admire some of Arteta’s critics because I see in them a burning desire to return Arsenal to the top. That’s not to say those who are willing to give him more time don’t have that exact same passion. On the topic of Churchill, did you see a cigar butt of his sold last month for 4.2k? They’d have been better off investing in a book of his quotes!

    Wenger Eagle
    All my footballing knowledge is now dated,but thank you. I wish I had your level of current information,it would make reasonable discussion of how to improve Arsenal a lot easier. All I can do is keep asking you!

  15. Marc

    Rich

    If we spend north of £200 million I’ll be stunned – we’d be talking about a net spend over £100 – £120 million assuming we shift all the players we want to move on.

    We lost almost £50 million season before last, a combined £70 odd million the three seasons before and God knows what the numbers for last season will be but we’re talking about a loss of revenue of £90 – £100 million so losses could easily hit £150 million.

    With all that in mind to think we’d spend what you’re talking about when we’ve also lost £30 million of European football revenue is just mad.

  16. Marc

    Bob

    Where’s the red section? A couple of my mates are 6 – 8 rows from the back lower tier North Bank they certainly get in and out of the stadium quicker than I do.

  17. Almuniasaynomore

    Bob
    How’s it going? I surely don’t think we here can effect a lot of change but that wasn’t why I was discussing the point with Rich. I think a lot of us, though I can only speak for myself obviously, come here for the opportunity to share thoughts, learn from others or just vent. So I do think what we say matters,not to those in charge of Arsenal, but to each other. So I was hoping that maybe some of us would agree to accept each others viewpoint without abusing each other for it. There will always be angry people I guess but when you can exchange views with someone on something you don’t agree on and still walk away on good terms then it feels like a little win for civility. I think that’s all we can do really but it’s something isn’t it?

  18. Dissenter

    Rich
    Cheers man
    I’m not picking you out specifically
    I just get the impression that we are kicking tires around while waiting for target that may not materialize eventually.

  19. Rich

    Marc

    If KSE had been paying attention, then we wouldn’t be where we are, they’ve sat idle while our decline has been setting in for years, and many of us could see it coming a mile off, but they were on the other side of the Atlantic doing god knows what….

    This mess has been years in construction

    They either need to put their hand in their pocket and fix a mess of their own making, by putting it right on the pitch

    Or step aside, and let someone else have a pop

    I’ve got some concerns around Ekk, how he’d finance the takeover, and then fund our rebuild

    For all KSE’s faults, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones, providing they become proactive in restoring our competitiveness and standing in the game, and undo the mistakes of the past

    Doing nothing really isn’t an option for them, it’s really a case of go hard, or pack up and go home for KSE

  20. Dissenter

    KSE doesn’t see sports in the competitive sense

    Arsenal is his first venture out of the safe American sporting landscape where everything is guaranteed. Once you own the the major league franchise in the states, the guardrails will keep it in cruise control profit mode.

  21. Radio Raheem

    Still not totally convinced by Ferran Torres, I’d have played Marcos Llorente upfront or Traore, Morata on the bench for Gerrard…all very easy behind a keyboard eh!

  22. Marc

    Rich

    I’m not saying the Kroenke’s aren’t to blame I’m saying that you’re adding weight to your argument because it’s what you want to happen.

    My guess is the aim will be to spend a net £20 – £30 odd million – the question is will they insist on on sales before we buy or take the risk we buy and then can’t sell / get the money we want for players?

  23. raptora

    Ek not having guaranteed financial stability is a huge problem for any billionaire that wants to own a sport club. The way it’s supposed to work is that the club should be a project of the owner, a way to achieve success in an area where the common people will learn his name, grow to respect him, and eventually his name will be remembered with good by millions of people/fans.

    I heard that Spotify can be turned irrelevant very easily. If you don’t have a large amount of extra money and your businesses are hanging this close to not being sustainable, you shouldn’t play around with a gigantic club such as Arsenal.

    If he loses his business, stealing from the club could become a real danger.

    Then again, our legends support him. And surely he cannot be worse than Kroenke. Right?

  24. Rich

    Dissenter

    All good brother 👍, it’s only lefties that send me over the edge lol….

    The PL is an entirely different opportunity for KSE

    Football is the most watched sport, and the PL is the most watched league, with a potential market audience of over 4.5 billion people

    It’s certainly high risk, high reward, and at the very top, requires investment, and some very smart and innovative people pulling the strings

    Right now KSE need to decide, do they want to hang around for the long term, and try and vacuum up their share of the global market?
    Or do they want to call it a day, and cash out with around £700-£800 million profit?

    If I had their type of wealth, I’d be going all in, the markets that will open up with football over the next 20 years as emerging markets grow, will be absolutely massive

  25. Bob N16

    Marc, looking at the stadium plan, if you’re in block 100, I,’m almost directly below you in the Lower Tier. As I’m in the back row you’d struggle to drop anything on me, just saying!

    You’re right Almunia, keeping it friendly but passionate, sometimes difficult to marry the two!

  26. Northbanker

    Its not so much about how much money the Krankies will put in, but whether they’re going to impose a proper thought out strategy. I could tolerate a couple more years of no trophies if a genuine rebuild was going on – which means nurturing and signing young players and an embargo on age 30+ has-beens

  27. raptora

    I would have played Ferran through the middle and pick either Adama or Oyarzabal to play on the wing. Fuck Morata. Even if he scores 2 goals today, I’ll still try to build my team without him.

  28. Marc

    Rich

    That’s where you are wrong “It’s certainly high risk, high reward” PL football is not high risk high reward – it’s high risk and basically zero return.

    You need to remove the emotion from the equation.

  29. Marc

    Bob

    “As I’m in the back row you’d struggle to drop anything on me, just saying!”

    You’re under estimate my ingenuity!

  30. Marc

    “You’re right Almunia, keeping it friendly but passionate, sometimes difficult to marry the two!”

    The problem with that is some people are what I would call “overly sensitive and need to man up” they of course would say “he’s really aggressive and abrasive”.

    It doesn’t help that you lose a degree of nuance when not talking face to face.

  31. Mb

    Refreshing to see Guendouzi changing his facebook cover to one in the red. I liked him 2 seasons back and I genuinely want to see him play before we sell.

    Same for Saliba, Willock, Balogun, Nelson. No one is advocating them to keep forever but been given a chance to prove is all we want.

  32. Rich

    Marc

    The other thing to watch, is that in spite of the football governing bodies flexing their muscles after the breakaway farce, it will have rocked them to their core

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see CL qualification from the PL increase to 5 or 6 teams in the next few years

    It’s not that I just want KSE to invest big, it’s that I think they don’t have a choice, unless they’re selling

    We’re in a mess, they either fix that mess, or they pack up and leave?

    Doing nothing, or doing little, doesn’t seem like a viable business option to me

    Our sponsorship + manufacturing deals are up in 3 years, they either put themselves in a strong position to negotiate better deals, or they see their revenues drop again, and the brand value drop by much more than the £200 million that I’m suggesting they invest

  33. Marc

    Rich

    I don’t disagree about our position I just don’t think the Kroenke’s have the mind set to look at the situation like you are.

    I think we could well see a European Super League set up with 2 tiers – the lower one the clubs qualify for for via league position the upper see’s 2 or 3 clubs drop into the lower tier the others stay in.

    One of the things that seemed to be missed in the whole debacle was the number of matches it would involve. You end up with a league system with 20 teams in it and that’s another 38 matches a season, current European football is closer to a third of that if you get to the final. You’d have all sorts of issues with fan burnout / over exposure as well as the cost of a ST if all these matches were on it, start playing the matches in China or the US and aside player fatigue you’d piss off the supporters who turn up week in week out.

  34. andy1886

    Amen to that Nelson, I’m probably alone in that I find City’s style boring. Prefer my football less cerebral and with a bit of passion (not the knuckle dragging kind though).

  35. Chris

    Regarding the ‘morality’ of our owners, I think some forget about the animal hunting channel Kroenke invested in and owned, showing animals being hunted and killed. This man is the owner of our club. He’s an absolute bastard and that’s being kind. I will always want him out even if we miraculously arrive at success under his ownership.

  36. Rich

    Marc

    The super league, ending the meritocratic nature of football, and our domestic game, won’t happen

    But Sky + BT sport will be gone soon

    They’ll find a way to broadcast to that potential market audience of 4.5+ billion directly

    £1-£2 per game, the revenues will be off the scale

    In the same way Ekk revolutionised the music game, the script of how we broadcast the game across the globe will 100% change, and the rewards will be massive

  37. Mr Serge

    So if the rumours are to be believed we are in for locatelli and white and bisouma that’s 120m straight away
    I will beleive it when I see it

  38. Tom

    “Amen to that Nelson, I’m probably alone in that I find City’s style boring. Prefer my football less cerebral and with a bit of passion“

    Andy, you’re not alone in this.
    I wouldn’t go as far as calling it boring but I’d say the PL didn’t become the most watched the world over because of the kind of football City play under Guardiola , or the kind Arteta wants Arsenal to play.

    The main point lost in the constant Arteta related back and forth on here is how sleep inducing his style has been.
    Even more appalling a comparison when some are trying to make it to Klopp and his first 2 Liverpool seasons.

  39. Rich

    Marc

    If only…..

    Sounds a much easier gig, the seller surely can’t believe his luck

    That’s even luckier than the people I’ve read about who’ve won the lottery twice

  40. AFC Forever

    Wengereagle

    Yes, since Isak went off Sweden have lost that threat on the break. Mind you this Spanish team are pretty boring & toothless, I never did rate Morata.

  41. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich
    I’ve been in the imaginary assets business for years now but in Ireland it’s called a mortgage. Who ever paid for that(for what?) better hope their name is never released, there’ll be a queue of snake oil salesmen at their door til the day they’re declared bankrupt.

  42. AFC Forever

    Northbanker, that could turn into a decent bet if Sweden had a striker. Best bet will be a set piece if they get in Spain’s half!

  43. AFC Forever

    This Spanish side he’s selected is pretty toothless and dull. They’ve had some great strikers over the years but not now, I don’t get the Morata hype

  44. andy1886

    Even more boring than the game is Danny Murphy’s commentary for the BBC. Has literally nothing interesting to say (heard him say in the first half that Sweden would probably wish that Zlatan was on the pitch , no shit Danny, that was worth your fee in itself..lol). In fact he’s so boring that I can never remember which one is Danny Murphy and which one is Danny Mills.

  45. AFC Forever

    Andy

    “so boring that I can never remember which one is Danny Murphy and which one is Danny Mills.”

    Now that did make me laugh. So true.

  46. AFC Forever

    So far the Dutch team have played the best football so far. As for Isak, he’s a proper handful.

  47. raptora

    Pretty sure the comment section died because everyone fell asleep watching Spain pass just for the sake of passing. This is the type of football Arteta is trying to make us play. Even Pep changed his style for the EPL. Mindless passing gets you nowhere. You need to make the horizontal through passes and be direct.

    I was so fresh when the game started and now I feel tired af.

  48. AFC Forever

    The problem with teams like Spain is they have no plan B to go to. Their football is pretty predictable, .that’s why I think France will win the Euro’s. They have far superior strikers & in Giroud they have the option of pumping balls into the box.

  49. WengerEagle

    I have been calling Morata a fraud for years, he was hugely popular on here a few years ago before he joined Chelsea.

    Remember heated debates over him with many saying his goals/mins ratio was amazing and therefore he could extrapolate that into 30+ over a season of full minutes.

    As we saw at Chelsea and Atletico, no chance of that!

  50. WengerEagle

    This Spain team in truth are pretty average when compared to the great teams of a decade ago.

    Santi Cazorla and Fabregas weren’t even starters for that Spain side and both would be the first name on the team aheet of this one.

    Xavi-Iniesta-Alonso were just a cheat code in CM with David Villa up top and Pedro and David Silva on the wings.

  51. AFC Forever

    WengerEagle

    I was never a fan. At Real Madrid he scored better than 1 every 2 games but everywhere else his numbers have been average. I would class him as overrated.

  52. salparadisenyc

    Strange case Morata, has played for Real Madrid, Juve, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid yet not really excelling at any. Loan specialist to fill the gap.

    When we we’re in the deep throws of Giroud , I entertained Morata but what a dodge that was. Criminal they didn’t shell it all on Suarez that summer, still stings with what iffffs.

  53. AFC Forever

    To be fair, Santi Cazorla would probably get in any team except that successful Spanish one. Watching the Dutch team the other day, Wijnaldum would walk in this average Spanish side.

  54. WengerEagle

    AFF

    His numbers were nice that season at Real only because he was a super-sub and would routinely come on against exhausted and stretched defences when they were already a goal or more up.

    Always been overrated for me too. Nice all round game but what good is that if you cannot hit a barndoor as a ST.

    Hardest job is sticking the ball in the back of the net. Is why Inzaghi even had a career.

  55. AFC Forever

    Sal, exactly that sums up Morata. Never settled anywhere because he doesn’t perform consistently. Spain have a problem based on tonight, where will their goals come from?

  56. AFC Forever

    WE

    It’s funny really, you get players who seem to lack technical ability but just always score. Morata is tidy enough but his finishing let’s him down & that’s confirmed by his numbers. Spain need to look elsewhere.

  57. salparadisenyc

    AFC

    Didn’t give Spain a remote chance in this tournament barring being one of the big four that can always do something but that first 45 was pretty encouraging for those that support them. Enrique tweaks it a bit anything possible.

    So let down by a few missed chances tonight, could of been dead and gone by 30 min. As AFC stated likely their downfall, whose scoring? Saw Morata in the starting XI and just knew, bizarre call from Enrique.

    Agree with Raptora, Oyarzabal should be starting with Moreno thru middle and hard to see Llorente wasted in full back but he has vibe he can literally play anywhere and cause damage.

  58. WengerEagle

    AFC

    Who was your favourite shithouse poacher back in the day?

    Inzaghi is hard to top.

    More modern example but Mario Gomez was another one, near useless unless he scored.

  59. AFC Forever

    Sal, the problem they have is you can’t play what you don’t have. How good is Moreno/Gerrard? Mallorca, Espanol & Villarreal suggest he’s not that top tier Spanish striker They’ll need some serious luck to win this, can’t see it.

  60. WengerEagle

    All great shouts.

    Toni seemed to run in slow-motion and yet somehow plundered in goals pretty much everywhere he went.

    Kiessling was another one, played for Leverkusen.

  61. AFC Forever

    WengerEagle

    For England Linekar. Bang average player until he got around that six yard box and he was lethal.

  62. WengerEagle

    I like Moreno but yeah, prime David Villa/Fernando Torres he is not.

    They really were spoiled back then.

    Prime Torres really was a force of nature. I would argue that we only really got to see it in full effect in 2007-08 but he was unplayable.

    Destroyed us too.

  63. AFC Forever

    Yaya Sanogo….!!! That was a really weird time, No competitive goal until he scored against Dortmund yet nominated for the Golden Boy Award. He’s in our folk law.

  64. Andy1886

    AFCF – Of course, think he scored around 25 goals one season (many of which were pens). Had one heck of a purple patch and then faded away just as quickly. Remember him being manager of Bishops Stortford later on too.

  65. Andy1886

    Raphael Meade looked a decent prospect at one time, you could see our academy beginning to develop some decent players even before George came along (Chris Whyte, Kroenke, Adams all around the same time). Can’t think of CB we’ve brought through since.

  66. izzo

    Imagine a 23 year old Ben White mentoring a 20 year old Saliba. LOL… a real head scratcher that. Sometimes I wonder why we all still read this blog and waste time arguing with Pedro and his Arteta cult.

  67. Aussie+Gooner

    “I’ve still reckon we could get Jack”

    Yeah – Jack Shit! The clever clubs have already been out tying up players before the Euros kicked off, not waiting to see who shines then face a mountain of competition we can’t compete against and the Euro Premium price tag we can’t afford. And yes I do remember John Jensen and the Rune Hauge scandal! In fact I watched ‘Summer of ‘92’ recently.

    And the Krankies will not be selling anytime soon. Ek does not have the financial clout without borrowing or bringing in others. Bottom line: Krankies don’t need to sell.

    As for Saliba being the poster boy for the Arteta out brigade – it is in fact the polar opposite. Most reasonably minded people want to see what Saliba can bring to the table before he is put to the sword. If that thought process happens to coincide with the Arteta out camp then go figure!!!

    I think a lot of people on here allow their prejudices to distort their rational thought processes!