TRANSFER ROUND-UP: ARSENAL BUYING A FAST START

by .

It feels like I’ve been cranking content all week and what do I have to show for it?

NOTHING.

No one sold.

No one purchased.

I am starting to lose my patience. Thinking of sending Edu a seriously firm Instagram DM about my feelings.

The Granit Xhaka story is dragging like an N’Zogbia transfer rumour of yester-window. The clubs are in the final stages of negotiations, it looks like it’s going to happen, just get it done. After watching the Italy game, I couldn’t be happier. Xhaka is solid, but you’re simply not going anywhere with a good technician with no pace in midfield. If you are going to have no pace, be Locatelli with the low-punch shots. What a talent.

The story we’re all purring over is Sambi Lokonga. We really have no idea why, other than it feels intelligent and like a Wenger singing of old. New Youtube channel Latte Firm dropped this infographic.

Do I know what it all means? No. Am I going to draw sharp conclusions that this guy is taking Arsenal back to the absolute pinnacle of European football? Absolutely.

There is business to be done this summer and I think there’s a fine balance between making sure we’re ready for next season, whilst raiding European clubs on their knees. Sambi looks like a shadow player for Thomas Partey. Both seem to boast similar features. We need squad players with levels and we need to own them. Our Madrid loan options last season gave us the worst of both worlds. Odegaard did well, we wanted him, but Madrid saw enough promise to keep him. Ceballos had an absolute shocker, stunk out our first team for the most part, so we wasted development minutes on someone else’s player.

I am diving two-footed into the Premier League talent we’re trying to sign. James Maddison, without doubt, would be an excellent signing for Arsenal. Ben White, without doubt, would be an excellent signing for what need from a defender. There’s a lot of scoffing from Arsenal fans that spent 10 years demanding we ‘spend some fucking money’, now we’re doing it on players that will settle into the first team and deliver from day one, people are complaining about fees?

Ben White is a ball-playing centre-back that has made his mistakes at other clubs, he will complement our defence and pick up the good bits of David Luiz, whilst adding what he didn’t have… pace, motivation, and focus. You do not survive a season with Bielsa if you don’t put the work in, boast high levels of fitness, and have finesses on the ball with the ability to move the ball forward. While the internet was purring over Bissouma, their fans were purring over Ben White, who was named their player of the season in the fan vote. That’s the difference between actually watching Brighton and watching comps of Brighton.

James Maddison is an unquestionable talent that we lack. He’s 18 months younger than Grealish, 5 years younger than KDB, and since his Premier League debut he’s one bested by KDB for chance creation. How am I reading Arsenal fans scoff at this name? Someone moaned that he dresses like he’s buying from Hypebeast, what sort of criticism is that? If anything, signing him feels unrealistic because he’s the sort of player that ends up going to Chelsea or United.

Moving on two players of that age and profile moves us up a level instantly. You can’t argue the impact that would have on our season. When you ask Arsenal to spend some money, this is where the pennies should be going. If we’re trying to replicate the City model, this is our attempt at KDB and Dias.

I don’t even want to start on the Calvert Lewin rumors, that’d just be far too sexy for all of us to handle right now.

There’s still smart money to be spent elsewhere. Josh Doig, the Hibernian left-back, is being heavily linked. He’s 19-years-old and 6ft2, but he’s attracting a lot of attention. The worry is if Tierney breaks down, which is likely, you’ve an untested quantity filling in, but also, the benefit is then you are building out someone with a resale value and you also have a succession plan for KT (hopefully we don’t need one). The lesson from last season is young players are hungry and tend to take their chance. I’d be excited to have a promising back-up system being built out.

There’s a good keeper out there, somewhere, that we’ll have to pick up. Aaron Ramsdale for £20m does not feel like smart money when you can pick up someone like Onana for a pittance. Arsenal has been shocking with keeper signings over the years, our best #1 was Emi Martinez and we bombed him off. I know it goes without saying, but if you want an example of why a Ben White type player needs to be signed, just look at how our playing out the back dipped when Martinez left. The best keepers in world football these days can play through the lines better than Mo Elneny, we need to find one if we want to be more effective and unpredictable in this new system.

We also need to build out the right side of our defence. Cal Chambers is a very decent player, his delivery is excellent and he’s tactically astute (everyone at Arsenal loves him as well). The worry is that he very much looks like a centre-back playing right back. I have no idea where we’ll go here, but we need to find a player with the correct athletic profile that can invert. I know, I know… Ainsley could do that role, it’s such a shame he’d rather bum around in center-midfield at Watford than make a career at a club that could take him to the top but there we are. Delusions of grandeur is a bit of a problem with some of the Hale-Enders on the fringes.

We’ve also not spoken much about the #9 position, that might be because our hands are tied. I’m not sure anyone is giving Lacazette £180k a week and Auba on £350k a week is immovable unless he decides like Willian he just doesn’t fancy the slog. To be honest, I don’t think we’ll have a year like the last one from Auba again. The pattern of players we’re bringing in all points towards freeing him up earlier with better chances.

I also think Flo Balogun is going to be a very special player, he’s the closest player we have to Aguerro in style and athletic profile. I’m not sure how Arteta is going to manage his career because there’s a real story to be told with regards to loans. Do Arsenal keep Balogun on the bench like we did Eddie? Or do we send him on a short loan at the start of the season so he can develop in a starting 11? People get absolutely hysterical about loans, but forget that players like Harry Kane went on four of them. Same could be said of William Saliba. There’s no European football next season, what is best for his development? Our bench for 4 months, or Newcastle’s first team for the same time period to adapt to the language and the pace on someone else’s dime? Who knows, but the fact people get so emotional about it is a very, very Arsenal fan thing.

Finally, let’s talk about that time we spent a load of money with Lille that looked VERY odd. Remember I told you to look at the sort of people we were dealing with? Remember the exBarca exec that was at Lille at the time? Remember that outrageous fee we paid Lille who were in deep, deep shit that summer unless they sold at a big price?

If I speak, I am in trouble.

Football is a dirty game. Genaro Gattuso lost his job at Fiorentina after two weeks because he brought his super-agent buddy to the table. It is stunning that now Spurs are negotiating with him, mainly because he’s a bang-average coach, but also because it shows their lack of ideas… if you are outsourcing your Sporting Director role to a super-agent, you are fucked.

Talking of the Spurs manager job, let’s use this moment to highlight what I told you in December… fear what comes next. Spurs, for all the banter, is a London club with an elite stadium and a squad people thought could contend the title last season. They’ve been rejected by Poch and Conte. They had to lower themselves to Fonseca, who is a good coach, but coming out from under a cloud. Now they are bumming around with passion merchants and their unsavory handlers.

I’m telling you this because it feels like there’s a pattern emerging. The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world and rockstar managers will only join if they have to tools to win. The idea that we’ll sack Arteta and get Conte or Nagelsmann is fanciful because our project lacks elite levers. Spurs are struggling because no one wants to come here and fight four Goliaths with David money.

It’s still really funny though… really funny.

On that note, remember to check out the two podcasts we produced this week. They are of fine quality. Johnny is no full-time on the team, he changed his bio to reflect the blood agreement we have. Give him a follow on the internet here.

ACAST | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play

899 Responses to “TRANSFER ROUND-UP: ARSENAL BUYING A FAST START”

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  1. Mr Serge

    Pedro I agree people moaning that we are spending money tells me one thing these guys are just on here to moan whether it’s good news or bad that’s what they will do the sad sad bastards

  2. Marc

    “The lesson from last season is young players are hungry and tend to take their chance. I’d be excited to have a promising back-up system being built out.”

    But that doesn’t apply to giving Saliba a chance this season?

  3. Batistuta

    Lol so basically just recycling links to the same players.

    Said at the time this window has shades of the 2012 trolley dash summer transfer window. Perfect excuses all lined up.

    Also big fat LOL at Pierre on the other post saying logically we shouldn’t buy anyone this summer, i mean the chaos that’ll ensure from that will be worth the ticket money alone and also did you watch us play at all last season? We were god awful

  4. Ken

    Oh come on Pedro, the way he dresses speaks of his attitude. You don’t see the very best players dressing and carrying themselves like Jesse Pinkman.

  5. Mr Serge

    Marc a chance yes hang out coat on the fact he can be a key player at 20 when he won’t be and fail ? God no why do you think he is going for ready made 23 year olds ?
    I would give Saliba minutes off the bench and easy cup games

  6. Mb

    No one will moan if KSE decides to bring Mbappe.

    Or Mikel gets 7 more Ben Whites & wins the Premier League.

    People are moaning because they are not wrong assuming we will buy a CB (Holding, Saliba, Gabrielle, Mari) and miss to build a proper midfield (Elneny, Torreira, Xhaka).

  7. Marc

    Serge

    Who is suggesting Saliba should be starting every match?

    Read the part I quoted again:

    “The lesson from last season is young players are hungry and tend to take their chance. I’d be excited to have a promising back-up system being built out.”

    Pedro says “I’d be excited to have a promising back-up system being built out”

    Using Saliba as back up is precisely what I’m suggesting, if he’s awful stick him on loan in Jan if he’s playing well then he’ll earn promotion to first choice.

  8. Marc

    “You don’t see the very best players dressing and carrying themselves like Jesse Pinkman.”

    Two words: Emmanuel Eboue – class player classy dresser.

  9. Gonsterous

    Get in two top quality CM and fix the other issues internally

    Mari and Gabriel first XI CBs
    Saliba and holding back up

    Cedric at RB with chambers behind him
    Tierney at LB with AMN behind him

    Partey and two new CM in the middle of the park
    ESR in depending on the formation

    Saka auba and pepe up top
    Willian, laca and martinelli as back up

    Then we have other squad fillers:
    Elneny, willock, balogun, eddie, etc

    More than good enough for 45 games…

    The two CM should complement our defence and attack

  10. Mr Serge

    Marc I agree with you on that part he has to get minutes but also learn from experience players
    I don’t have a Saliba issue like a lot of people on here

  11. Rich

    Marc

    I’m not against giving Saliba minutes next season

    But if the option is send him out on loan to play every week, or have him stagnating on our bench, only playing a few domestic cup games, and sending his value plummeting

    Then the smart move is to send him out on loan again, this way we either get back a more mature player in 12 months time, or we at very least protect his value

    Young players need to play in order to develop, neither Arsenal or Saliba benefit from him warming the bench, Reiss Nelson is the perfect example of this

    Same with Balogun, if we can’t get rid of Lacazette, then there’s no value in Balogun stagnating for a season

    Send him out on loan, and when Lacazette potentially leaves for free next summer, we at least have a more mature + experienced internal replacement coming back

    Willock is another, I really like Willock, I get that he’s raw, but we either have to make space and play him

    Or give him another loan so he can develop, Willock wasting a season warming our bench, just stagnates his development, and plummets his value

    We should have send Nketiah + Nelson on loan to the Championship in January, set them up to succeed at a lower level, and pump their value

    We need to operate much smarter

  12. Vintage Gun

    “Do I know what it all means? No. Am I going to draw sharp conclusions that this guy is taking Arsenal back to the absolute pinnacle of European football? Absolutely.”

    Funny!

    Good post

  13. DigitalBob

    The key to this summer was always to get rid of the dross in the squad and improve the first 11 with better players. Ben White and Maddison are better players so while both seem like overpays particularly in the case of Ben White I’ll be happy if/when the deals go through.

    Lokonga for less than £20 million also looks like a good bit of business.

    Where I draw the line is with the likes of Ramsdale and Sander Berge for circa £50 million. That is bad business on players not good enough that I cannot get behind.

  14. Valentin

    Pedro,

    The legal issue at Lille OSC is not so much about the agent fees that it is about the fact that the previous owner just pocketed all the cash and left the club in a dire situation.

    I do suspect that they will also uncover malfeasance in term of agent fees retrocession and hidden accounts in murky jurisdiction, but that’s not the current object of the investigation.

    Gerard Lopez was brazen enough to think that he could repeat the exact same swindle in France a few months later. He tried to buy Bordeaux with somebody else cash a few weeks ago. The guy just buy clubs with somebody else money, make them successful on the pitch meanwhile he grabs as much money as possible, sell the club to some idiot who think that he has made a superb affair. The club then realise that all the money has been gobbled up somewhere else. Usually it is done in a very immoral but legal way. Maybe due to COVID he had been forced to take some shortcut and it backfired.

  15. Ernest Reed

    “Also big fat LOL at Pierre on the other post saying logically we shouldn’t buy anyone this summer, ”

    Pierre is Pierre, nothing more needs to be said. Take what he says with a grain of salt.

  16. Zacharse

    Poulsen on denmark/leipzig is a striker i wish wed take a look at. Been impressed w him since last years CL Semis.
    Ben white seems like an improvement on Kos. Im for it. Saliba will never reach the heights if hes allowed to go on like a bitchy hale ender. Wouldnt be surprised if last years drama w him fades fast when pre season starts

    Buy some **^%#=+ midfielders ffs!!

  17. Vintage Gun

    “Using Saliba as back up is precisely what I’m suggesting, if he’s awful stick him on loan in Jan if he’s playing well then he’ll earn promotion to first choice.”

    Perfect sense.

    Saliba comes back and fights for his place. Start him in the LC games and as a rotational option in the EPL. If he fails to make the grade then move him on. Simple

  18. Nelson

    I thought that Arteta’s priority is having players who can play out from the back. Then why he prefers Leno over Martinez. Now he wants to spend £20m on Ramsdale. I am lost.

  19. Frost

    Such a fluid player Isak. A tall guy doing what he just did to the 5 slovakia players should be a crime

    I mean sure, dribble the opposition, but don’t make professional players eat grass ffs!

  20. Zacharse

    Valentin

    Interesting take on lille. Its probably not super common knowledge but frank mccourt, current owner of marseille, used to own the LA Dodgers baseball team. He made his money in “parking lots” in boston- not exactly an above board way to become a billionaire. Lots of dirty ties… anyway interesting to me that he went straight for french football ownership when his $500b divorce went thru.
    My feeling is that what Lopez did at Lille has been done plenty of times, legally and illegally, and this time the methods will be uncovered more coherently than when leagues want to sweep up the problem issues. Curious to see what comes of it

  21. Frost

    “I thought that Arteta’s priority is having players who can play out from the back. Then why he prefers Leno over Martinez. Now he wants to spend £20m on Ramsdale. I am lost.”

    Trust the process.

    Arteta stans will tell you he has a plan.

  22. Marc

    Vintage

    I think I’m not the only one who’s major fear is we could see a £27 million signing sold after 2 seasons at a loss who never makes an appearance for us but goes on to be a top player.

  23. The Bard

    Some very good comments on the manager situation Pedro. I’m in total agreement. The Spurs debacle is a lesson we need to heed. Arteta is going to have a real baptism once the fans get back in the stadium. The Kroenke’s need to realise they have to invest heavily in the ‘now’ . If Arteta goes and I think he might if things don’t go well, we are in deep shit. What are the odds on Pulis or big Sam being next in line.

  24. Zacharse

    Frost
    How do you become a top passer in the PL if you havent played a game in the league?
    And of course a team like liverpool, miles ahead of us in scouting, would never poach a player from a lesser team like newcastle (wijn) stoke (shaqiri) hull (robertson). Didnt bayern give an extension to an ex stoke player (after he’d left psg). More great LG opinions…

  25. Valentin

    Zacharse,

    Financial regulations are a lot tighter in France which means that very few people do leverage buy out. it is a lot more difficult to make money If at every steps of the process you need to prove the origin of the funds, park them under French jurisdiction, justify the spending.

    For example even if you are owner of a company, it is illegal in France for a company director to use the company money on non company related activities such as refurbishing your house, buying a yacht for personal use.

    So France and French club are often unprepared when they face people of that grey style such as Frank McCourt and Lopez.

    However a lot of them are also discovering that they can make money, but not to the extend they initially hoped. At least not using legal way. A lot of US hedge/vulture funds tried the same thing that they did in Spain, but very few have been as successful in France.

    The DNCG (the French financial professional sport regulator agency) is a lot more competent than in other countries and it has a lot more power.

  26. Rich

    Marc

    Saliba looks like he has everything to become a real top player

    None of us really know if he’s currently ready or not though, players can develop quickly at that age, it’s about managing his development

    We definitely screwed up not getting him out last October, both Arsenal + Saliba would have benefitted from him playing a whole season, rather than wasting 3 months of his development

    Hopefully we’ll get a better look at him in pre-season, I don’t want us to sell him, because I think that would come back and haunt us in 12-24 months

    But also think it’s a storm in a teacup if we need to send him out one last time, he’s a 20yr old with less than 60 appearances, there’s countless examples of clubs buying young players, and then giving them multiple loans to develop elsewhere

  27. andy1886

    All purring over Lokonga? Must have missed that. Be honest 90% on here had never heard of him until the last couple of weeks. Might be good, may not be, YouTube highlights and selected stats can make almost anyone look good (even Xhaka).

    Ultimately Tets will pick his signings and will live or die on the results. All fine and dandy unless you’re the next hire and inherit another load of duff over paid primadonnas and we’re back to square one in another 2/3 year cycle.

  28. raptora

    We should close our eyes and trust Arteta and Edu with 150m. A defender no one noticed to be any special, Maddison and an average goalkeeper conceding over 60 goals in the League.
    I mean, with their track record, why should we be worried? It’s a transfer success after success.

  29. Bob N16

    The Bard, the only way we’d be in deep shit if the players we buy aren’t a good fit. If Arteta goes then our next manager will have a decent squad of players.

  30. Vintage Gun

    “I think I’m not the only one who’s major fear is we could see a £27 million signing sold after 2 seasons at a loss who never makes an appearance for us but goes on to be a top player.”

    Good chance of that scenario playing out as his career on the field has played out well so far. For St Etienne and Nice.

    The problem with loaning him out for a THIRD year would be that his contract would be down to two years upon his return. So unless he signs a new deal first (not likely) then i’m guessing a loan would only serve to fat up the lamb for a summer 2022 sacrifice.

    For me, if Ben White comes in then Holding goes out.

  31. China1

    Why are people pretending arsenal have been playing poverty for years and only just started spending???

    What weird nonsense is this?

    I don’t even remember the last time I heard someone say spend some fucking money because it was BEFORE WENGER EVEN LEFT

    In the last several years we’ve spent half a billion on bum transfers and people are pretending it’s still the early Emirates years to justify us spending even more

    Let me jog everyone’s memory

    Pepe 72m – may come good but terrible value thus far
    Auba 57m – lots of goals, zero of much else. Mixed bag
    Laca 48m – poor value
    Partey 45m – good player but not yet justified price at all
    Ozil 43m – just no.
    Xhaka 41m – even more no.
    Mustafi 37m – infinite no.
    Mikki 31m – no
    Saliba 27m – talented but we’re desperate to avoid playing him

    391m sterling of which how many of these have we extracted excellent value from?

    ‘Spend some fucking money’. This is the new post Christmas table folly where people reimagine that time rewinds 6 years and everyone is talking about us not being willing to spend big when we had massive reserves. Now we have fuck all actual money of our own because we keep spending big and getting fuck all actual return on the pitch.

    But never let reality get in the way of a nice dream of arsenal being Chelsea with a bottomless pit of cash that will be written off each this summer if we spunk it on expensive players

  32. Elmo

    “Talking of the Spurs manager job, let’s use this moment to highlight what I told you in December… fear what comes next… The idea that we’ll sack Arteta and get Conte or Nagelsmann is fanciful because our project lacks elite levers.”

    Be Careful Wot You Wish For.

  33. Marc

    Quite like Pedro’s headline: ARSENAL BUYING A FAST START

    4 points out of our first 3 matches is not out of the question but I don’t think anyone would class that as a fast start.

  34. Zacharse

    Valentin,

    That doesnt sound terribly different to usa rules. I think theres a bigger issue underlying the ones you raised and thats good old fashioned money. French league is not rich. French teams are not rich (excepting psg). The tv deal is incomparable to PL. i think when a billionaire comes in the rules change. I think the money issues w ligue 1 make it ripe for issues like that. Could be wrong, but mccourt was just such a terrible terrible
    owner in the us that him buying marseille could only mean one thing to me

  35. China1

    That list doesn’t include the ozil contract, the Willian contract and the Luiz. Chuck in a bit of kolasinac and you’re safely approaching or breaching 500m wasted by arsenal on dubious and dross in the last handful of years

    ‘Spend some fucking money’

    I can’t imagine anything worse honestly

  36. Marc

    China

    Add into that turning down £60 million for Sanchez who effectively left for nothing and letting Ramsey run his contract down until he had a mega money offer on the table from Juve.

  37. Champagne Charlie

    “We should close our eyes and trust Arteta and Edu with 150m. A defender no one noticed to be any special, Maddison and an average goalkeeper conceding over 60 goals in the League.“

    Well Pepe and Torreira have been terrible hype merchants the online community waxed lyrical over. Aubameyang was another, and he’s taken us no closer to being a top side again.

    Edu and Arteta might have everything to prove this summer, but if recent history tells us anything it’s that buying players that suit our needs is 1000x more important than bullshit names to get tongues wagging on the internet.

  38. Marc

    CC

    I wouldn’t have a problem if all of our signings this summer were relative unknowns. As you say if they’re the right player and the right fit then they’re the right choice.

  39. Marc

    andy

    It’s like the joke line in The Shawshank Redemption where all the inmates are innocent and were stitched up by their lawyers.

  40. andy1886

    To be honest I’m a bit shocked that every seems to have meekly accepted that the ‘process’ seems to be us becoming a knock off / Aldi copy of City. Can’t we find our own identity?

    Even if it was a good idea (it isn’t) by the time we get there everyone else will have moved on to the next fad.

  41. China1

    Yeah Marc didn’t even mention the waste in missed player sales

    Xhaka was going for 20+m, now struggling to get 15m
    AMN going for 20m who knows what now
    Martinez genuine quality, only 20m
    We literally pay players to leave us

    ‘Spend some fucking money!!!!’

    No. That credit card needs putting on board a nuke and launching straight at the sun. It should be detonated just before the nuke and card melt just in case but at least we can take solace that the gravity of the sun will ensure it’s dealt with if the nuke fails to go off

  42. Champagne Charlie

    New 5-year contract close to sealed for Tierney, ESR expected to be finalised soon too with player keen to stay and sign on.

    Must’ve heard Dissenter claim none of the young players wanted to sign on.

  43. Frost

    Not excited about any of the players we’ve been linked to tbh

    I do appreciate the functionality of buying proven PL players to makeup the spine of your team.

    Good logic. Not sure of the execution tho, with those we have in charge.
    .
    That their ability to pick the right players is questionable is an understatement.

    Maybe that changes when you’ve got abit of money to play with? We’ll see.

  44. Vickingz

    Pedro writes these days just to justify himself and his fanboys come to the comment session to hail their lord. We’ll all be here next season

  45. Frost

    “New 5-year contract close to sealed for Tierney, ESR expected to be finalised soon too with player keen to stay and sign on.”

    Best news I’ve heard this window.

  46. Rich

    BobN16

    2021/22

    White in, Saliba out on loan

    2022/23

    Sell Holding, bring back a more experienced + mature Saliba as an internal replacement for Holding, that to me seems like clever squad planning

    Next season there’s little room for error, we have to get back into Europe, but with no European distraction, we should really make that advantage count, and qualify for the CL

    Throwing a 20yr old centre back with less than 60 senior appearances, next to a 23yr old centre back with only 100 senior appearances

    Probably isn’t the smartest way to get back into the CL, and Saliba stagnating on the bench for a season, just stalls his development

    Particularly when we’re also blooding Saka 19, Smith-Rowe 21, Martinelli 20, and maybe Willock 22

    Throwing too many youngster in together, is unlikely to deliver us our objective

    Pairing Fofana with the experience of Evans is one thing, pairing two rookies together is another thing entirely

    Even pairing White + Gabriel together seems like a risk, but White is at least 2 seasons further down the track in his development than Saliba

  47. Pierre

    Batistuta
    “Also big fat LOL at Pierre on the other post saying logically we shouldn’t buy anyone this summer, i mean the chaos that’ll ensure from that will be worth the ticket money alone and also did you watch us play at all last season? We were god awful”

    What I said actually made sense.

    We already have a bloated squad and if we buy 3 or more players and the ones already at the club decide they don’t want to take a pay cut or move to an inferior club , we will be in exactly the same position as 6 months ago …namely having to pay them off to leave the club as its guaranteed that Arteta will get the hump and not include them in the squad .

    There are a long list of players who could decide that they don’t want to leave .

    Saliba
    Guendouzi
    Xhaka
    Willian
    Bellerin
    Kolasinac
    AMN
    Chambers
    Lacazette
    Torreira

    So for me the answer is until we sell , loan or pay off at least half of the above group, then it is pointless signing anyone as we will be left with a large group of unhappy players again.

    Streamline the squad this summer and then next summer we can be competitive in the transfer market as atm we are trying to compete with one arm tied behind our back…

    It has been a complete cock up the last 3 years and we are now in a position where we can’t realistically add to the squad without selling,loaning or paying off a number of players….

  48. TR7

    Maddison is a good midfielder. I like the way he plays – good tempo, decent passing skills, athletic and can deal with press. Partey and Maddison as central midfield combo can turn out to be really solid if not spectacular.

  49. andy1886

    Marc, you certainly got the joke bit right. We’re like the Rita Hayworth/Raquel Welch posters, when you look behind them there’s actually nothing there.

  50. Guns of SF

    Maddison is a pure 10.
    Would get run over in a back 2 ….
    I think Mike wants a 433

    never, TP and hopefully Aouar in the middle 3
    Aouar is loads cheaper now…. and is better as attacking 8

  51. Elmo

    Pedro

    Enjoying the pod with Mike McDonald. Like his description of the trend towards a coach-led game, where many managers covet control and management of risk over everything else. It’s exactly what Cesc talked about as pundit on the TV coverage a few days ago: a feeling that the game has overshot into becoming too robotic, where managers micro-manage everything and only allow creativity within a very limited, risk-averse lens.

    I’d be interested to see whether Cesc can succeed as a coach. He seems to have a sharp tactical mind, but with Big Weng’s commitment to the beautiful game.

    When are you going to have an echo chamber pod episode, with a big Arteta supporter? Every contributor joining you is Artetosceptic, so one troll episode would be funny.

  52. Marc

    TR7

    I wouldn’t say no to Maddison the question is should a midfield 2 that has a combined cost of £120 – £130 million be able to be described as “can turn out to be really solid if not spectacular.”

  53. Marc

    SF

    I don’t like the stat put up about Aouar on the previous post about him only being able to last 60 minutes in most matches.

    If he’s doing that in France the PL will eat him alive.

  54. AFC Forever

    Okay, so you want us to show ambition but you don’t want us to spend money. You think Arsenal is a joke of a club and that some lad called Saliba with his 26 games at Nice is our saviour. Well here is a bit about why Arsenal are showing ambition by persuing the Ben White transfer.

    Arsenal conceded just 39 goals in the Premier League, the third-best, a result of our improved ability to defend as a team without the ball. Something we had wanted for years. However, we only scored 55 times, which was the joint 9th and simply isn’t going to be good enough to take a top 4 spot imo.

    I mentioned yesterday our need for a ball playing centre half because playing from the back has been a real issue. At the time I hadn’t decided whether or not Ben White was who we needed but I was surprised, I shouldn’t have been of course, at how quickly the usuals grouped together to dismiss him and start the Saliba conversation. Luiz and Xhaka are leaving so it is bizarre not to reflect on how that would affect the team. After all, David Luiz and Xhaka were our only deep-lying ballplayers.

    Our problem playing out from the back is why David Luiz was the preferred choice and why Granit Xhaka was used to sit deep and move the ball. The centre-halves couldn’t be trusted to do that because they would make bad decisions and often make the wrong pass. Decison making is very important. So we had to compromise and compromise isn’t always a good thing. Our slow ball progression from centre back to Xhaka lead to slow build-up play and allowed the opposition to get set to defend against the transition. So at times, we went back or to the side, Arteta frantically waving his arms in the air as we all joined in. There were a number of times our centre backs played poor balls, which created opportunities or goals for the opposition. In the system, Arteta prefers it is essential we have ball-playing centre-halves who are able to move the ball quickly and accurately from the back but to do that you need players who have that ability, so our fluidity of play is effected and our attacking play blunted. This isn’t about fixing a defence that doesn’t concede a lot of goals it is about our ability to move the ball quickly from back to front and in transition. It is part of the attacking play. This explains why Arsenal have made a bid for Ben White. A player who caught so much attention it resulted in him receiving an International call-up – which probably added £20m to his value.

    Those who think White is just another centre back and fixing a problem we don’t have are wrong. Playing from the back is a serious problem that affects our entire team play. Last season, we switched to a back four, in possession our build-up play tends to be in a 3-2-5 or 2-3-5 which means the centre-halves have considerable demand placed on them. As mentioned before, Granit Xhaka was required to drop deep to provide the ball progression the centre-halves weren’t capable of, restricting the speed in which we can move the ball. It was why he was preferred as cover in the left-back spot because he could move the ball from deep. This was a compromise situation, which slowed up and blunted our build-up play, especially through the transition.

    Luiz (& Xhaka) leaving means we have a void to fill progressing the ball from the back and the coaching team have decided to prioritise a progressive, ball playing and technically-gifted ball centre half called Ben White. They have gone for what they consider to be a vital cog in the team and which without fixing would leave us with an even worse problem progressing from the back and the same slow build-up play. This is as important as fixing the midfield area because it is a vital part of team play when you build up from the back. The things we have often complained about endlessly is being fixed, that’s good surely?

    Expert analysis from the Athletic states: “For most of last season, White played as the right-sided centre-back in Brighton’s back three. He has the technical ability to operate in the confined spaces of the outside channel, and the speed to defend there if the move breaks down. His signing would be as much about what White does with the ball as without it. Both David Luiz and White like to get forward, as evidenced by their relatively similar score for receptions in the opponents’ box (57 and 49 respectively). White scores higher for his tendency to pass progressively — those which move the team upfield by ten metres or more — no mean feat given David Luiz effectively operated as one of Arsenal’s main playmakers. From a technical perspective, he certainly has the ability to help Arsenal play out from the back. His ball retention score of 51 is about average for a centre-back and shows he can play the low-value passes that keep the ball. White also has the ability to pass with both feet — something Arteta will have witnessed first hand. According to the smarterscout radars, David Luiz actually has a higher dribble and carry volume than White. Just looking at their minutes at centre-back, for every 100 touches that David Luiz has, he carries the ball 412 metres, the second highest rate in the Premier League. White, on the other hand carries it 264 metres per 100 touches, the 35th furthest among centre-backs. That’s a big drop-off but one explanation is that teams sit off Arsenal more, granting David Luiz time and opportunity to bring the ball out from the back. The tendency of the White to look to take others on has a rating of 1.1 times per 90 — the third highest among all Premier League centre-backs. Luiz does so 0.26 times per 90, 41st in the division. Again the big difference here is that White steps up into midfield at times and is engaging opponents higher up the pitch than Luiz. For every 100 touches White has on the ball, 10 of them are in the attacking third. That’s the sixth highest rate among centre-backs, and markedly more than David Luiz’s 5.4 per 100 touches. Of course, some of these come from set pieces, but for White, a higher proportion of his are from open play. While he still falls short of David Luiz on some performance metrics, his athletic profile suggests he may actually be more suited to the role than the Brazilian, especially as teams tend to sit off Arsenal which inflates Luiz’s ball carrying numbers.”

    I hope this helps to reframe the debate and provides added perspective, it certainly offers alternative content to the “Arsenal is a joke of a club” narrative.

  55. Frost

    “I wouldn’t say no to Maddison the question is should a midfield 2 that has a combined cost of £120 – £130 million be able to be described as “can turn out to be really solid if not spectacular.”

    Good argument.

    Maddison in means you have to draft in a top tackler too. Bissouma maybe?

    Maddi & Partey aren’t protecting that defence.

  56. Captain Tierney

    Maddison is KDB, Ben White is Dias and Balogun is Aguero.

    All of these players are good but someone is definitely in fantasy land 😂

    Whats next? Waiting for concrete links to declare Ramsdale as Allison

  57. WengerEagle

    ‘The usuals’

    AFC Forever you’ve got to stop this us vs them shit on here, it’s getting embarrassing at this point, you bleat on about it everyday and how you’re a ‘target’ on here.

    Champagne Charlie for example holds very similar views of the manager and the club like yourself but he at least accepts the critcism and can understand others POV, something which you seem incapable of on here of late.

    It isn’t hard to figure out why there is healthy scepticism about spunking 50m on Ben White if you can take off the Red and White glasses for a minute.

    You just take it for read that he must be an amazing ball playing defender because Arteta wants him, strange take.

  58. TR7

    “Maddison in means you have to draft in a top tackler too. Bissouma maybe?”

    I think nowadays there’s a lot of insistence on having a midfielder who can break the play and shield the defense. I much prefer proper central midfielders who can track back and have some defensive awareness rather than an out and out tackler.

  59. Frost

    “Partey-Maddison-ESR”

    Partey is literally the only one that can tackle here & we saw how catastrophic that was last season.

    Villarreal cutting through our midfield comes to mind. (City in the champions league final is a good example too)

    Love Partey. He can do most things but we are not controlling games if we don’t get a destroyer.

  60. Zacharse

    Forever
    You’d do better to save your breath here. Your point is well taken tho. If we lose the 2 players who have consistently moved the ball outta the back 3rd, we damn well better be replacing them with someone who has played in the PL for at least a season! 😂
    Think yr right that whites attacking/poss stats would change drastically the second he joins a top 6ish side. Didnt some rookie defenders get promoted as well?

  61. raptora

    Croatia’s coach is making a mess out of it. Plays Rebic (winger) as a CF and the CF (Kramaric) behind him. Perisic is basically not playing, how about moving him to the other wing or something. The coach is failing, that’s why he’s making a double sub now.

  62. Frost

    “I think nowadays there’s a lot of insistence on having a midfielder who can break the play and shield the defense”

    You should ask why.

    Kante bossed City because he was breaking up play & releasing people left right center. Motm performance. If Kante doesn’t start, Chelsea don’t win that game.

    “I much prefer proper central midfielders who can track back and have some defensive awareness rather than an out and out tackler.”

    Not sure there are alot of high quality ones out there who excel at both defense & attack. We’re lucky to have Partey who can tackle & evade a press, Maddison can’t tackle, ESR can’t..

    Pair Partey with a10 & a destroyer & you’re controlling games.

    Tbf having two Parteys & a10 may work too, goodluck finding another one tho.

  63. raptora

    I would argue that getting someone like Dumfries is top priority. If we get both flanks working, we don’t even need an AM that bad, proven by Pool and City playing without KDB (who is more of a CM) for a long time.

    Dumfries: “The Premier League and the Bundesliga, they suit my game. I can see the headlines again, but I think I can say this and I think everyone can see that I am ready to move on. I have played for four years at the highest level in the Netherlands and have played more than a hundred matches for PSV. It will soon be time for the next step.”

    If we could make it happen, Dumfries will be a phenomenal signing to get everyone going.

  64. WengerEagle

    Dumfries has looked brilliant hasn’t he? Was he your man Rap?

    What’s he like for PSV? Because I remember Blind and Janmaat looking quality at the WC in 2014 and neither were able to replicate it in the PL.

    Although Dumfries shits on both as an athlete.

  65. Rich

    AFC Forever

    Interesting stats, particularly with Luiz

    I’ve seen a few theories that we’re looking at Ben White as a right back/defensive midfielder hybrid

    Rather than a right sided centre back

    Some of your post, certainly ties in with that theory

  66. MidwestGun

    Sup y’all ? BIG BIG night of footie.. upcoming Engerland v Bravehearts. and then Messi v Suarez later.

    Getting my hype on… starting out with rum drinks. I think……need something to take the edge off its hotter then Satan’s mixtape. outside.

  67. Tom

    “Okay, so you want us to show ambition but you don’t want us to spend money. You think Arsenal is a joke of a club and that some lad called Saliba with his 26 games at Nice is our saviour”

    AFC, you must be the thickest poster on here of that’s what you’ve taken from the Saliba back and forth over the last six months or so.

    “Saliba the savior” said literally no one on here, like …….ever.
    But of course no one really thinks you’re thick , you’re just full of shit.
    But go ahead, tell us again how posters like Andy1886 are “disingenuous” in their views lol.

  68. Mr Serge

    Bore off China with your negative bullshit
    You usually post at night and have the site to yourself but you can’t come on here pissing and moaning and not get called out when I am about

  69. WengerEagle

    It made so much sense Middy because he was fast, strong, could tackle and had a hammer of a left peg.

    Forget every other possible attribute that a decent CDM needs.

  70. raptora

    WE,
    First time I ever watched him was several days ago in their first game of the Euro. Needed 10 mins to post here how we should have been all over him before the Euro started. Tall, fast, powerful, great crosses, super threat. Not sure how good his defensive game is as he’s been playing as a wing back for his NT team, but he adds so much to this Netherlands team.

    Sadly, now his price is off the charts. He’s doubled his price easily.

    You know what I dream for? Dumfries as a wing back in Conte’s favorite formation. At Arsenal.

  71. MidwestGun

    Yep.. Eagle… Unfortunately about the time .. I would be like.. OK maybe we should play him at DM.. he would get injured for about 2 months and the debate would die off.

  72. Gentlebris

    How did we even get behind in the money game?

    We were too big for the Arab Princes and the Russian moneybags to chase, but look where that has landed us…an American helped in through the backdoor has led us out of Europe entirely after flirting with Europa for a few years.

    We may be here snarling at each other till 8th becomes our yearly ambition.

  73. MidwestGun

    hahaha Yep the good old days don’t look so bad when you consider some of the stuff we ae debating these days. I never in a million years thought I would be praying for Elneny to get subbed in a match, for example.. Yet it happened several times last season.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures was my Balotelli reasoning basically we ended up with Sanogoal.. so….. I still don’t regret my Balosdeep campaigning..

  74. Frost

    “That is a question that needs to be answered. Are we looking to play 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 in the majority of matches?”

    Think Arteta loves the 4-3-3, but considering next season is a make or break for him I highly doubt he’ll switch from the 4-2-3-1 that saved him this season. Hence my insistence of getting a destroyer in there.

    Considering how he loves to build from the back I think the ability to pass ala Xhaka will be high on his list, fingers crossed the lad can defend too.

  75. Gentlebris

    We have a summer tournament among us football fans in my neighborhood. I have been appointed to coach Arsenal and the first game is 4 on Sunday.

    I hope I deliver this trophy.

  76. WengerEagle

    Middy

    Haha no shame in being a spokesperson for the Balosdeep campaign, he was a popular man on here that summer.

    We were dealing with Sanogo up top ffs. I’d sooner have stuck 50 year old Wrighty up there.

  77. Positive pete

    Is Saliba not an amazing ball playing defender too? Anyway word on the street is that we’re back to sniffing around Aouar? For a bargain basement £20 million? Have serious doubts that their wheeler dealer president who’s as sharp as a pencil will entertain anything near that amount.Whether they’re skint or not.If this transfer interest in genuine it will be interesting to see if Arsenal have improved in their negotiations.The final fee will tell us a lot.

  78. Gentlebris

    ‘Gentlebris………. I would go with a false 9 …. and play my defensive midfielder at left back. If I was you.’

    MidwestGun,

    I wouldn’t add that to the problem I already have with the team.

    We played a pre tournament game against Chelsea two days ago and were leading by one goal, entirely dominating the game, when my number 10 walked off the pitch in annoyance for
    allegedly being insulted by a Chelsea player, and he was my best player!

    We lost control of the match and lost.

    How do I stop more of that when the tournament begins on Sunday?

  79. Nelson

    Tierney starts

    England starting 11
    Pickford, James, Stones, Mings, Shaw, Phillips, Rice, Foden, Mount, Sterling, Kane

    Sub Ramsdale, Johnstone, Maguire, Trippier, Coady, Chilwell, Bellingham, Henderson, Grealish, Rashford, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin.

  80. Mr Serge

    We I am not pro tets at all I would love to get Conte in but I don’t think we could pull a top manager at the moment
    Hopefully this regine pulls it’s finger out of it’s arse and finally does something right
    This board would be as bad as spurs are hiring a new man
    It’s scary

  81. GoonGoonerGone

    Doesn’t matter if we sign Ronaldo and Messi.
    The great Arteta will coach both of them from the sidelines the entire match.

  82. Mr Serge

    I was at my wit’s end last season but we are not changing these guys so I say back the arses until they fuck up and I will be at the ground hounding them out with all the others

  83. Tom

    England could suit up two starting Xl and not raise many eyebrows, that’s how much talent they have available.
    Every one of their 20 field players starts for Poland , Slovakia and another half a dozen other countries in these Euroes.

  84. Gentlebris

    WengerEagle/Sid,

    Thanks so much for your good wishes, it means a lot at this crucial time, and I hope we win this trophy for The Arsenal.

    But I must confess my DM is around 40 and my goalie is around 45.

    Man Yooooo, on the other hand, parade a lot of young athletic brats. And unless these brats walk off the pitch once they are insulted, it may be difficult to win against them.

  85. MidwestGun

    How do I stop more of that when the tournament begins on Sunday?
    ——
    Not sure GentleBris sounds like you got a Diva situation where your best player is the craziest.. bit like Neymar. I’m sure you will work it out.