by .

I mean, every single time I complain about slow biz, Arsenal deal that day. No sooner had I let rip that our summer was going down the pan because Captain Edu was busy sailing on the Don Shouldwebedoingthis… we signed a player. Well, kind of.

David Ornstein revealed that the Ben White deal has clocked in at £50m, making the right-sided centre back our 3rd most expensive signing in history. For a club that took made players bring packed lunches last season to save money, this is quite the statement.

As fans, we’re in ‘if Edu is involved, there’s no doubt it’s bad’ mode at the moment… but no doubt if Liverpool or Chelsea did this we’d be praising their shrewd scouting. A bit like Ryan Bertrand causing an #ArtetaOut trending topic, until Leicester went there, and it was fine.

Whatever you think about the deal, this much is true.

He’s a truly unique talent in the way that he plays. He’s been coached by Bielsa, who plays murderball at training, he’s been developed further by the excellent Graham Potter at Brighton. He carries the ball like a midfielder, he can confidently move passes between the lines like David Luiz, and he’s now capped.

Then factor in the next most important thing: he’s robust. He dropped 46 appearances at Leeds during his single season there. He played 36 of Brighton’s 38 games last season. The guy has a body that is ready for the challenge. So, so important for Arsenal this season after watching what Thomas Partey’s unusual run last season did to our campaign. Derisk is my fave new term… and this signing has it all in my opinion.

The big question marks are the same for any young centre back with a newly minted profile: Can they do it at a big club?

Harry McG was mercilessly mocked when he went to United, he’s just made the finals of the Euros conceding two goals. Same for John Stones over at Manchester City. Whenever there is a young British centre back that lands a big move, everyone doubts them, it is absolutely standard. I can even remember West Ham fans telling me Rio was great but would struggle at a big club. I think most of that comes down to branding… when you have a boring name and you look like an 18-30s Ibiza club rep, people doubt your talent.

Changing that view is down to the player. Most Arsenal fans don’t know what to make of it, so let’s hope the plan in place is one that is sharp, because boy do we need him to level us up next season. Still, at 23, if he can do it, it’ll look a bargain in a few years time.

For me, this is a massive piece of the Arteta jigsaw. There can’t be reasons this season as to why the system didn’t work. There can’t be rogue ‘but that player wasn’t quite right’ this season. We need to see the finished product. That finished product needs ball playing centrebacks. Fullbacks that can move and deliver final balls. Creative players that can move the ball at speed and be decisive. Strikers that are finishing their chances.

Even if you don’t understand Ben White, know that he’s important, otherwise they’d have put that money elsewhere. Also, Sky reporting that medical is set for when he’s back from holiday is like, exactly what Le-Grove told you.

Apparently, the club wants to reveal the Kido Hart deal as well as the Sambi Lokonga signing. Honestly, I am really quite thrilled about Lokonga. Even if it doesn’t quite work out, the idea is right. It shows that we’re leaning into the analysts behind the scenes, it shows that we have the smarts at Arsenal to fish out value, and it once again reinforces that the powers that be took note of what old players bring to the dressing room.

The Kido Hart deal is also a superb piece of news. You can keep reading all these weirdos saying the club is crashing and Emery was a better idea than Arteta… but the kids who used to leave under Wenger are now signing deals. You do not entrust your future to a coach you don’t believe in. Kido Hart could have his pick of clubs on the continent, he chose to stay at Arsenal because he sees a future here. I think that’s fucking great news.

I still think the biggest worry for Arsenal fans is where we’re putting the money for the Xhaka replacement and who we’re going to bring in to cover for the loss of Martin Odegaard. We’re not moving things forward without those two positions being filled. Our midfield is not going to be a 21 year old in his first Premier League year.

The big rumblings are that Locatelli is the player they want. Again, he’s a bit slow, but he has so much power and craft to his game. The goss from Italy appears to be that Juventus tapping Sassuolo for a 2-year loan deal with an obligation to buy. Arsenal are sitting outside the office with two suitcases full of cash worth £40m. If you run Sassuolo, who are probably bleeding hard at the moment, are you really going to let Juve pull your pants down like that? Cash is king, particularly this season. You cannot be doing mega clubs favours like that. The club might not survive. It always feels like a longshot move… but if Juve don’t have money, that is a very difficult obstacle to manoeuvre. Can you imagine the fireworks if we managed to pull that deal off?

This is another red flag issue… if you wait 4 weeks and Juve miraculously find the cash, you are fucked, because no one else will deal.

How long do you wait for your primary targets?

What does it cost you?

Can you afford to go into a season with either of those two positions vacant?

Transfer windows for clubs like Arsenal are a moving target. There are so many variables. The job of Edu is to manage them to perfection. So far, he hasn’t always delivered, so this summer is huge.

… one thing we can say about Edu though, he doesn’t sit on money, and he will find players. Not always the players you want, but he finds them.

Arsenal play Rangers today. I’m expecting a sexier performance than the one we saw in the week, but again, calm down, it’s just a friendly.

Before I go… no one told me the new home kit had hooped socks. I am absolutely going full kit on this. Imagine me rolling to a meeting near you soon, wearing these like Payne-Stewart-plus-fours.

OI OI, listen to the podcast.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Moray

    Dissenter, Adebayor’s such a strange case.

    He did well for us. He later signed for Spuds but wasn’t really good enough to make us worry too much about it, until he scored against us.

    Arsenal is not a racist club. Most of our modern day heroes are black, and we’re pretty representative of north London in that respect.

    I guess this guy just touched a nerve, but I doubt the comments were “racist” as much as just trying to demean him through his poor upbringing (which admittedly isn’t much better).

  2. PhD2020

    MorayJuly 18, 2021 13:54:32
    Marc, the Turks are animals. Let’s not descend to their level. If that’s your benchmark then the UK is fucked



  3. Moray

    “I remember getting to the stadium and Arsenal fans were there. All I heard was the chant, ‘Your mother is a whore and your father washes elephants.”

    My point proved; there was never any proof about his father with the elephants.

  4. Moray

    PhD, proves my point *100 if that cunt Johnson has Turkish roots.

    I do have some Turkish friends, by the by, but they are Fuckign nuts and their global outlook seriously skewed.

  5. Rambo

    Don’t you all look back on the nineties and noughties and think what a cool time it was? Whether music, TV or generally anything social

    I do

    Or maybe its because I was born in the early 90s

  6. Moray

    I was born in the 70s and I look back on it with great fondness.

    I have to accept though that it was a time of strikes, serial killers, paedophiles and bad haircuts.

  7. China1

    Moray I’d tend to agree with that

    I would expect considering how comfortable and supportive arsenal have been about having loads (at some stages probably a majority) of black players and how many of the clubs most celebrated idols are black, very very few arsenal fans would have racist thoughts.

    The comments against Ade were quite disgraceful and very easily and understandably interpreted to be racist so the fans should’ve been punished heavily to make a statement – but as Moray said I expect it was more an extremely rubbish attempt to mock his dad’s poverty as opposed to much else. Even if it’s the case it was in incredibly poor taste, unacceptable and very easily interpreted to be racist so I don’t condone it one bit. But yeah I’d *expect* (I don’t know since I never even heard about those chants until you guys brought it up) that it was more extremely poor taste and poorly worded goading as opposed to being meant because the guy was specifically black.

    Ofc I don’t know and may be wrong, but racism is wildly out of character for arsenal fans in my experience. Around 2005 or so I think there might have even been a few games when we fielded all black players I forget. If you’re an arsenal fan and genuinely have a problem with black people then it’s gonna be a miserable experience that’s for sure

  8. Moray

    I haven’t been following the story at all, really, but I remember Beckham being vilified all those years ago for his red card against Argentina. I suspect the race issue here is kind of a sideline?

    The issue here for me is more about how England treats its players. One minute they’re Heroes and then they crash out and get jumped on. Saka is a teenager and agreed to take a pen and he’s vilified.

    Admittedly a lot of this is media-driven, but it’s just pathetic and a big part of the reason for England’ consistent lack of success at the highest level.

  9. China1

    Like Ashley cole was the most hated ex player ever by some distance and whilst there may have been instances I never once heard of racism levied at him by arsenal fans

    There was homophobic shit, ofc the cashley nicknames and tones of goading, but I’m not aware of any racist points.

  10. Moray

    Sid, there’s two ways to look at it: either God wants it, in which case why did he create something that immediately needs lopped off? Or else it is an aberration against nature, in which case why hasn’t natural selection down with the foreskin itself.

    If you think it’s unhealthy, you’re welcome to smell my bell end any time.

  11. Dissenter

    Arsenalmaren’t a racist club
    I agree 100%, same way I don’t consider Chelsea and other major English clubs racist.
    The only club that’s an exception is Milwall.
    That’s doesn’t mean we should excuse or water down isolated incidents where racist behaviors occur.
    I don’t consider Spain to be racist too even though the monkey chants were common for a while there. The fans doing it thought it was good fun and thought it demoralized opposition players, so what the heck.

  12. Moray

    My original argument was that we shouldn’t boo national anthems. But that I didn’t believe that should be enforced, except for morally.

    Any racist behaviour in this day and age should be punished accordingly.

  13. China1

    Moray at the end of the day I dunno what the true intent was that day, but it just seems remarkably out of character for arsenal fans to have an issue with someone for being black. Black people are a HUGE pillar of the arsenal players, fan base, history and success and we have an extremely good record on this for as long as I’ve been watching since the late 90s at least

    I mean we even had poor old Eboue. He even got bood by his own fans but it still didn’t resort to racism. It’s exceptionally out of character at arsenal

    So whilst I don’t know I would suspect it was more an extremely dumb and badly worded chant. Doesn’t make it right but seems more likely than hundreds or thousands of arsenal fans racially abusing someone. I mean there is a huge percentage of black arsenal fans at games. If some white guys were chanting something which they took to be racist you’d expect they would’ve kicked off too against the racists and it would’ve been much bigger news

  14. Moray

    China, I know it’s nuance, but it does seem to be more of a slating on his parent’s socio-economic situation than a racist slur per se? For instance, it’s not impugning his ability or associating him with genetic faults?

    As far as I’m concerned, so long as his mother is charging a fair rate, then I don’t see the issue…

  15. PhD2020

    As one commentator said:-It’s one of the most iconic goal celebrations by an ex-Arsenal player against his former team.The entire run from one length of the pitch to the other end,with Kolo Toure pulling him back.

    This clip never ages for me.

  16. Moray

    Sid, that’s some impressive expert knowledge on cocks there, but mine is approaching 50 years of working pretty well on demand. I don’t see much reason to need to give him a. Haircut.

  17. Dissenter

    The best part of the Adebayor clip is watching the seething madness of the fans

    If you spend that long abusing the guy, why get so angry when he comes right back at you

  18. PhD2020

    The Messi clip- taking off his shirt in front of the Real Madrid supporters at around 7mins-30 seconds into the clip was a classic moment.Celebrating his 500th goal..And the R.Madrid fans spewing their venom.

    Was pretty funny….

  19. PhD2020

    DissenterJuly 18, 2021 15:15:08
    The best part of the Adebayor clip is watching the seething madness of the fans

    Yep,that added to the scene.

  20. Moray

    That’s what football’s about. Local, national rivalries.

    There’s no point trying to sanitise all of that. The move to seating did take a lot of atmosphere away from football.

    And we’ve seen the important of having fans through last year. Just watching on tv, it’s clear the difference with a baying crowd and players’ nerve ends tingling.

  21. Dissenter

    The Dally Gbale celebration at 4.30 in that clip was very cheeky, butt cheek pun intended.

    Imagine if an Arsenal player had done that at a NLD, the explosion would have been like 15k tone of TNT.

    Arteta’s head would have combusted

  22. PhD2020

    DissenterJuly 18, 2021 16:07:36

    The image of TH14 scoring in the derby against Spurs,on his knees with the back of his shirt,as an image, never gets old.From 5 mins:50 secs.

    Quite an amazing visualisation till now.

    The Gbale pulling the shorts down is funny also.Quite cheeky.

  23. andy1886

    To be completely honest Arsenal have certainly within my lifetime have had a very multicultural fan base. Bar a few idiots I’ve seen very little racism, That said older supporters will remember some very unpleasant chants directed towards Sp*rs fans and I don’t just mean the Y-word, references to the holocaust can’t be just glossed over. I don’t think anyone is totally innocent if they are honest with themselves.

  24. Elmo

    “RichMay 12, 2021 23:36:32I hate Chelsea, I can’t stand their fans, and I’m delighted we’ve won a game of footballLast season we got our first away win against a top 6 team since 2016But I’m absolutely ecstatic——
    PhD2020May 12, 2021 23:48:19
    I get it.I really do….In a nutshell… You are what we would call-‘Low hanging fruit.”And your wife was unfortunate to pick you as a husband.I feel sorry for your wife.”

    “RichMay 13, 2021 00:56:30There’s only 2 genders, men have a penis, women have a vagina—–
    PhD2020May 13, 2021 01:09:56
    That’s it???I guess that is what your wife said to you,when you were considering gender transformation surgery….Nice to know”

    What was the alleged libel regarding his wife?

    In any case, I think you agree to disagree on outlook for the club. We will see how it pans out over the next 6 months, and we’ll have our answer on Tets.

  25. Elmo


    You didn’t, so technically there is no case to be cited. You never insulted his wife, only him.

    But yeah – Rich and yourself both contribute interesting, differing viewpoints on here, so no need to slag each other off!

  26. SAGG

    Dissenter PhD2020

    The big problem in that game wasnt the celebrarion. It was how on earth Adebayor wasnt send us for studs stump over Van Persie Face and Why did he do.that to a ex teammste? Van Persie was centimeters away of losing one eye.

  27. WengerEagle

    Getting a bit weird on here in the off-season. Little football news to talk about to be fair.

    Chelsea apparently have had an Abraham+cash/Hudson Odoi+ cash deals rejected by Dortmund for Haaland.

    Understandable. Abraham is a good CF but he doesn’t have an awfully high ceiling, unlikely to ever grow into a 30+ goal season ST.

    Whereas Haaland at age 20/21 is already a 40 goal season ST. And a near impossible to defend battering ram to boot.

    Don’t quite get the Hudson-Odoi hype myself, never been overly impressed by him but people rave about the kid and Bayern were very interested.

  28. China1

    Henry would’ve been seriously reprimanded by arteta for that spurs celebration

    Not-negotiables and all!

  29. WengerEagle


    Sorry only after seeing your Gravenberch question.

    I agree that he isn’t yet the full package and he needs to improve aspects of his game but I think that if you arse about for a year or two while he irons those creases out and gets more CL exposure that he will go from being attainable to a player like De Jong that Barcelona will be in for at a 70+m price.

    I don’t see him as slow, he’s a bit languid maybe but he definitely has a turn of pace about him to beat people vertically. Not too dissimilar a physical profile to Pogba.

  30. WengerEagle

    Anyone know how Fabrizio Romano came to be the breaking transfer news guy at such a young age (28)?

    How is it possible to be that in the know across so many countries in Europe? Is he a copy and paster non-citer fraud or legit?

  31. TR7


    Of course he is talented. The way he turns and glides past players is commendable. But what I am saying is we will need someone who can come in and make a big difference straight away. We had an opening for getting in a raw talent like Gravenberch but we chose to sign Lokonga. No more space for an experimental signing like Gravenberch.

  32. Dissenter

    Wenger Eagle
    The entire ITK thing us such BS
    There’s this AFC Bell Twitter guy that people trust because he predicted that we’ll sign Partey and now they quote him at every turn
    How can a guy in far away Dubai know the inner workings of Arsenal so much

  33. WengerEagle


    True, I think Gravenberch is capable of coming in now and making an impact though unlike Lokonga who likely will need more time.

    Gravenberch is 6’3 as well which helps for PL adaption, think Lokonga is a good bit smaller so he could struggle initially to adapt to the physicality of the league. (Some sources list him at 1.83m/6 foot while others like Whoscored have him at 1.73m/5’8?)

    You’re right though Lokonga is likely our CM signing for the future with the Partey partner likely to be a more experienced player.

  34. Marc


    Make a million predictions sooner or later you’ll get one right – people forget the number of bullshit predictions and remember the one they got right.

  35. WengerEagle


    Agree, most ITKs are full of shit and throw enough shit so that something eventually sticks.

    Romano seems to be in that elite tier of respected ITKs though along with Ornstein. More often than not is fire along with the smoke. Just find it surprising how he is that tight with so many clubs and in such an elite bracket at such a young age.

    His wiki says his career started at 18 with inside info from a Barcelona club rep on a transfer about to happen when he was just living in Naples. Guy just got an extremely lucky break like Andre Villas-Boas I guess who happened to live in Bobby Robson’a apartment complex as a teenager.

  36. SAGG

    Wenger Eagle

    He became friends with some Agents. How? i dont know maybe a family thing, friend, could be anything.

    And in some cases he just is a poacher, calling deals 99% done. I heard he is a easy going top guy (very different to media arrogant prats) so he exchange a lot with other journalists too.

    Thats what I what I know. I dont know the guy to confirm that info.

  37. WengerEagle


    Yeah have heard that he tends to nick a fair few soon to be announced deals and breaks them as his own.

    Just not sure how he can consistently get away with that.

  38. WengerEagle


    It’s a small world at the top ain’t it?

    Between Jorge Mendes and Mina Raiola they must represent half of the top talent in Europe. Kia Joorabchian and Pini Zahavi another notorious two back in the day.

    I get that they are the best at what they do but surely you wouldn’t want your agent with so many other higher-ranking players?

  39. TR7


    ‘I get that they are the best at what they do but surely you wouldn’t want your agent with so many other higher-ranking players?’

    No rather it is better for a footballer to be associated with a high profile agent. A Raiola or a Mendes can dictate terms to even big powerful clubs and help get their clients (footballers) fat contracts or if that doesn’t fructify they can engineer a move away to a club bigger than the one they are playing for. A low profile agent can’t really flex his muscles.

  40. Dissenter

    These Ramsdale rumors aren’t going anywhere soon

    Imagine if we finished the window with the goalie who has played for two relegated teams back to back in the last two seasons.

    Struggling to see how Pedro sells that

  41. PhD2020

    ElmoJuly 18, 2021 17:39:54

    You didn’t, so technically there is no case to be cited. You never insulted his wife, only him.

    Sorry chaps,just had to throw that in there.Just to clarify who(Rich) and what we are dealing with here..

    Apologies for the slight intermission.

  42. Chris

    I don’t think Pedro would defend signing Ramsdale, didn’t he post that he wasn’t happy with the rumour Arsenal have enquired about him?

    Okonkwo isn’t ready to be number 2, but you don’t want to sign another young keeper to impede any game time he may have. It’s shame we couldn’t keep on Ryan, someone of his age and experience as a stop gap on loan or low fee could be a logical option this summer, and keep cash reserved for the desperately needed midfield signings.

  43. zacharse

    Meanwhile to add to the increasing ridiculousness of global football
    spain will have 5 teams in the champions league this season. bit odd when english teams have made up 5/8 finalists in the last 4 w spain at 1/8. how does that work!?

  44. Dissenter

    It’s possible we sign Locatelli because Juventus don’t have money and they have too many midfielders.
    I hope he clears his head in time because he’s smitten with Juventus. He’s only 23 so we can always let him run down his contract and leave on a free to Juve when he’s 27 y/o.

  45. PhD2020

    DissenterJuly 18, 2021 19:14:53
    It’s possible we sign Locatelli because Juventus don’t have money and they have too many midfielders.
    I hope he clears his head in time because he’s smitten with Juventus. He’s only 23 so we can always let him run down his contract and leave on a free to Juve when he’s 27 y/o.
    You think that’s a viable proposition?Locatelli coming to Arsenal?

    Crazy notion…

  46. Tom

    “Struggling to see how Pedro sells that“

    Have you met Pedro?
    Advertisement industry is the king of all bs industries and there are plenty.

    Ben White is worth 50 million and one of the reasons for that is ….wait for it…….” the guy has a body that is ready for a challenge “ lol

  47. Chris


    Ryan is 29 so a good age in terms of his experience to be back up. Can’t blame him for wanting first team football though. I’m truth, it’s hard to find a decent back up who accepts that is exactly what he will be. And not being in Europe means virtually no opportunities for Okonkwo this season.

    One thing I’m sure of is not wanting Ramsdale at £20 million +

  48. Rich


    I’m not going to waste my time going through thousands of comments, particularly as Pedro regularly deletes most that cross the line

    I wasn’t offended, we were both as bad as each other in that particular exchange as I remember, so I certainly wasn’t an innocent bystander in that ridiculous petty squabble

    My point was that if you hold others up to standards, then you at least need to be able to hold yourself to the same standards, that you hold others to, at all times

    Which is basically impossible, because we’re all flawed, we all make mistakes, we all say things in the heat of the moment, and that’s called being human

    As we get older we get a bit better at it, it also helps having our mutual wise friend Almunia dishing out very sound advice from time to time

    I would suggest we just ignore each other, like me and another poster, would make this forum a much more amicable place, not just for others, but for both of us as well

    But I doubt you’ll take that olive branch, because you’re like a dog with a bone, and I really seem to get your back up for some reason

    People often dislike people who remind them of parts of themselves that they dislike, so maybe in “some” instances, we might be more alike than either of us would ever care to admit, the biggest fights and battles we have, are usually within ourselves

    But let’s not go there, I’m not sure other posters could take another round 😂

  49. Chris

    If Locatelli isn’t overly keen on coming here then stop pursuing him. I don’t like the idea of losing any potentilla valuable player on a free justified by getting 2-3 good years out of him. Haven’t we learned from that by now?

  50. Dissenter

    Re Locatelli
    Where else is he going to go?
    Juve have too many midfielders, many came on free transfers and are on very large wages.
    The player may come to us reluctantly, I agree that we still have to convince him about an ongoing “project”

  51. PhD2020

    Rich(BJ)July 18, 2021 19:22:19

    After making slanderous and character assassination statements, embarking on a prolonged smearing campaign..Look how when called out,Rich suddenly dials back or back tracks faster than the speed of light…Offering up an olive branch is your last roll of the dice?..

    If that’s not a resignation of defeat or a climb down..Heck,I’m Santa Claus on a sledge about to deliver your Christmas presents early doors.

    The state of him.

    Could not make it up.

    How’s that ‘L’-looking from your very end?By your own very damning words or admission quoted below:-

    RichJuly 18, 2021 12:10:00

    Both you and another poster said vile things about my wife, I’m not going to go back through thousands of other posts to get them

    But I’m sure plenty on here remember, as certainly do you

    I wouldn’t want a false apology anyway, because saying sorry would mean you have remorse, and I know you don’t

    I’d have much more respect if you stuck to your words and owned them, but you won’t, because I can read you like a book

    But after the vile things you and someone else posted, it might be better for you to just to accept the giant L, and post your apology now

    And here we are on the 18/7/2021

    RichJuly 18, 2021 19:22:19

    Which is basically impossible, because we’re all flawed, we all make mistakes, we all say things in the heat of the moment, and that’s called being human

    I would suggest we just ignore each other, like me and another poster, would make this forum a much more amicable place, not just for others, but for both of us as well

    But I doubt you’ll take that olive branch, because you’re like a dog with a bone, and I really seem to get your back up for some reason

    But let’s not go there, I’m not sure other posters could take another round 😂

    The complete state of him.
    Olive branches now is it?

    A complete treatise about reluctantly admitting -“I f*cked up big time” and I should swallow some humble pie,given the venomous attacks and labelling another poster as a wife attacker, a communist thug,who wants the populace silenced by violent methods or means.

    Nope,he-Rich(BJ) suddenly wants sympathy if not for him for others..
    Who’s the snow flake?


    You’re a dangerous one to avoid at all costs.