by .


Completely disagreeable I’m afraid.

The big story from an Arsenal perspective is that Kieran Tierney is out of the team for Scotland. I really wish he hadn’t made the Euros, I do worry about him for next season. So important, yet so prone to 6 weeks out. That’s why Arsenal needs to really think about who they sign as his understudy. I remember we wasted literally years in the hope Abou Diaby would be able to manage a whole season in the first team, we never signed a good backup, and we paid for it. The back-up position for left back needs to be well thought out. If you sign someone young and Tierney stays fit, you’ve ruined their career. If you sign someone too old and Tierney gets injured, you might be in trouble. If you keep Kola, it’s trouble.

Overall, it’s going to be interesting to see how the pacing of the summer goes. How many years did we spend cursing the Euros for fucking up our transfer business?  This season, we have the double whammy with the Copa America in the mixer as well. The problem for Arsenal is that the slower the business, the more painful it’ll be integrating 5+ new players to the complex ideas on offer under Arteta. I will not lie, I’m a little worried that our business doesn’t feel warm and it’s mid-June.

Part of the pacing could be solved by signing players who already understand these systems. Ben White would make sense because Potter’s approach is very similar to the one Arteta is implementing. Signing players goes beyond just an athletic profile / how tight their control is, you also need to find players that are tactically intelligent so they can absorb information fast. I was in Austin a few months ago talking to a drummer at one of their famous studios (Arlyn), he said to make it there, you need to be able to lay down a perfect beat from sheet music instantly, or you don’t get work again (turns out, I will not be working in music). You need similar mind sponges in football. The fixtures come at you so fast, if you’re not a fast learner, you are in trouble especially where the game is heading.

There continues to be a pattern emerging with the sort of attacking player we’re looking at. Nabil Fekir is the latest bang-bang creative midfielder being linked. I’m not sure if the story is true, but Charles Watts reckons he’s been on the list in the past. I kind of hope he’s not on the list, 27 years old, with an underlying injury that would most certainly come out of hibernation if he played for us. That said, I like how he plays. Arsenal has been a lethargic team for a long while. We need some of that Bielsa/murderball in the starting 11.

There are still quite a few nothing rumours in the air. Locatelli for £40m is one of them. The craziest thing that happened today was Granit Xhaka dying his hair bleach blonde. I quite like it. New hair who dis type of moment. Whatever floats your boat.

ONE SURPRISE YOU MIGHT like is this delightful podcast I recorded with the very impressive Mike McDonald. I basically listen to him talk about midfielders for an hour. Tune in, it is WORTH it.

Tomorrow, Johnny and I will have a crack at a Livestream. Will let you know how it works out. I had a go today and couldn’t do the technology part.


Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. MidwestGun

    Personally, I’m not so much concerned about money being the issue this summer .. I’m more concerned about the number of transactions we need to complete.

    We need to move out 6-10 players and bring in at least 4 or 5 .. that’s 10 -15 transactions and we are struggling to complete one with Xhaka.

    Factor in also Euro’s and Copa and our DOF taking the first week off. Preseason starts July 13.. which I assume Arteta will be at.. Just don’t see it happening. As of now… have we done anything?

  2. Emiratesstroller


    Stop being the ” intellectual clever dick” that you are.

    There may be a lot of faults with Arsenal past and present, but one thing they are not is allowing “villains and crooks” to take a seat on the Board of Directors or take control of the club.

    Arsenal have avoided that situation on two separate occasions in last 30+ years with both
    Roger Levitt and Usmanov. On both occasions the Board had enough common sense to
    avoid the possibility of these two “gentleman” taking control of the club.

    Both were convicted criminals. In the case of Usmanov I don’t need Arsenal or the media
    to provide a background about this guy.

    It is not only Arsenal who has rejected Usmanov. The IOC have also rejected him as well.

  3. MidwestGun

    Especially concerned knowing historically our fall back position is to do nothing. or a last minute panic buy when fan pressure ramps up the last few days.

  4. Batistuta


    Feels like a trolley dash overpaying kinda summer for us, circa 2012 after United thumped us. No plan or early moves and plenty of excuses as to why nothing gets done or gets done very late

  5. Elmo

    Shame that LeGrove favourite Szobi is injured for Hungary. Would have been good seeing him against a strong Portugal team.

    Big time atmosphere with 60k Hungarians belting out the anthem.

  6. Champagne Charlie


    I disagree with Pedro’s shopping trolley analogy when it comes to transfers, it’s important to see a ‘plan’ develop with your business imo. Eyeing up sexy CB’s when you have 47 on the books and no CM’s makes fans nervous.

    I will always judge come the end, but you can’t tell me our business couldn’t get structured in such a way to provide some hope/confidence. Even dropping a Ruben Neves before Xhaka leaves the building would say ‘we know what we’re doing’.

    And there’s very little of that currency going around for them on transfers.

  7. Valentin

    If the Villains and Crooks had been applied years ago, most of today’s owner would have been rejected.
    Ken Bates, The Glaziers, Abramovitch, ENIC and many others would never have passed the owner fitness test.

    Many clubs have crook on their board, that’s not the issue. The real question is whether they want to buy a club to enrich themselves or to to rehabilitate themselves in the eye of the public.

  8. AFC Forever

    What a side Portugal have. So much talent. Dias & the ageing Peppe holding it together at the back.

    The threat of Fernandes, Jota, Silva and Ronaldo in the final third and even the bench is strong with Moutinho, Neves and Sanches. Can’t see Hungary getting anything but it’s a funny old game.

  9. S Asoa

    Diogo Jota is playing selfishly . Portugal got the talent, Hungary the brawn, playing physical. William has become less bulky ,but now is faster

  10. MidwestGun

    I will always judge come the end,
    CC.. I’m honestly trying to do that. But given our past it’s hard.. And I don’ think that the brass at Arsenal are making it any better as you pointed out the fan’s goodwill currency is near zero right now.

  11. raptora

    If they manage to repeat their Euro 2016 success, for a small country like Portugal, would be an absolutely massive achievement. Their fans are witnessing their golden generation.

  12. Champagne Charlie


    There’s no currency there at all. This window is a tell all about the competency of Edu/Arteta in a transfer window. Not only that but it’s a vitally important window for the club with contract situations and missing European football.

    I’m very surprised we’re not balls deep in a signing already that at least offers a kind of pacification to a nervy fan base.

    With all the outbound midfielders it would be nice to nail a new face down to drum up some hope of a refresh.

  13. Rich


    The pragmatism earlier in the season was a necessity, not through choice

    Partey + Smith-Rowe were injured

    Our other options were Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos, who all want the game played in front of them, and play in deeper areas, then we had Willock

    I like Willock, and suggested at the time to give him a run to see how he developed

    He has interesting qualities, and qualities the other 3 don’t, but he’s still quite raw, as the vast majority of 21yr olds are

    Against Leicester at the end of October, we played well in the first half, Luiz was having a blinder, but went off injured at half time

    Rodgers then showed the blueprint on how to stifle us, man-mark Xhaka, cede possession, keep shape, let Arsenal do all the work

    The more we had the ball, the less dangerous we were, and the more dangerous our opponents became, we were utterly toothless

    Villa, Wolves, Spurs, Burnley, Southampton and Everton then all pulled similar tricks

    Teams were happy to cede possession to us, because we lacked the craft, creativity and flair, to break teams down, we also shot ourselves in the foot on a fair few occasions, and that certainly didn’t help

    Smith-Rowe + Odegaard changed our season, that explains our first 14 games, and our last 24 games, the return of Partey also helped

    Aubameyang + Lacazette aren’t my cup of tea, but they are good strikers, and Pepe does have good end product

    What we lacked was technicians in the final third to give them the type of service they thrive on, outside of Saka + Tierney, nobody was creating, because none of our midfielders were designed to create

    Smith-Rowe + Odegaard make the ball stick in the final third, and they combine that with penetration

    Willock doesn’t make the ball stick, he’s all cut and thrust, he’s an impact player similar to Aubameyang, Pepe, Martinelli

    To get the best out of these 4 players, we need to surround them with technicians, and can only really play 2 of them at the same time

    Being pragmatic against the better teams and playing the fine margins, might not be pretty, but it’s effective

    If we go toe to toe with the better teams, we’ll be like lambs to the slaughter with this current squad

  14. Rich

    Heard an interesting theory on Ben White, we’re not looking to sign him as a right sided centre back

    We’re looking to sign him as a right back, defensive midfield hybrid

  15. S Asoa

    Reuben Dias gets the ball. But the noise from the home crowd
    Hungary got intercessions in their favour ,not that Portugal been sloppy.
    Jota selfish play and Portugal Lost 2 chances. Jota should go

  16. raptora

    Jota and Ronaldo have no chemistry, but by covering Ronaldo, teams open space for Jota. And Jota is always moving, you never know where he is. And if you cover Jota, Ronaldo pops up uncovered. Portugal needs both of them or they will become a far easier team to defend versus.

    I’ve talked about my aspirations towards Bernardo. In the recent years though, he hasn’t really develop into a star player. He’s been good for Man City, don’t get me wrong. But he’s been overshadowed by quite a few City players. I wouldn’t say no to seeing him in red and white.

  17. Jaffa

    Shame szoboszlai is out , was hoping to see him playing , quite the talent was disappointed we did not go for him

  18. Nelson

    Obviously, Jota and Ronaldo don’t talk to each other on the pitch. The miss from Ronaldo is because he didn’t expect Jota to let the ball go past him.