LOKONGA LANDS, EXPERIENCE NEXT?

by .

So here we are people. Sambi Lokonga lands at Arsenal as our second signing of the summer. The Belgian midfielder has already joined up with training and he looks VERY happy to be here. Just look at that finger point… so assertive.

Obviously, there aren’t many of us who know what he’s all about. This player has come straight from the transfer school of Wenger when he was at his absolute peak. Sambi has the right athletic profile compared to someone like Ceballos, he’s adept at interceptions because of his sharp mind, and he looks to have the full range of passing skills Thomas Partey boasts.

This sort of signing might not bang in year one, but for me, this is exactly where a club like Arsenal should be putting their money. Clearly, he’s been picked up by the analysts for his unique talents. The club has no doubt picked up secondary information from Vincent Kompany and maybe even Thierry, which means his character has been assessed. Then we’ve moved fairly rapidly to pull the deal over the line.

Arsenal has spent the last 5 years trying to shortcut success with older players that might have one last push in them. This summer, it looks like we’re getting back to basics of sorts by signing young players, with high ceilings, that can grow with a young coach famed for his developmental skills.

The idea here, I would imagine, is if this squad of young players gets us into the Champions League at some point, they’ll be ready to compete for the trophy right away… versus the shortcut method of fumbling into the competition, then having to drop a massive reboot to sustain ourselves.

I’m thrilled at the prospect of having athletes back in midfield, I truly am. This is a great signing and it speaks to lessons learned.

That said, I still think there’s going to be a sneak attack from transfer windows of the past at some point. James Maddison might be the dream, but it’ll be very tough to find the funds needed to move on him. It’d be sheer madness… and I think there are rumblings that Coutinho might be on the radar. He’ll be available for a pittance because Barca is broke, he’d solve an experience gap with have with our creative talents, the kids would probably love him there, and he’s Premier League proven.

On the flip-side, his injury record is absolutely woeful, this also makes him a peak-Wenger signing. Remember when he got lucky with Overmars knee, then developed a broken player saviour complex? I do. Edu is probably gambling on last season being the freak and looking to his fairly robust past before then. It’s risky business, but if you can get Coutinho firing, you really do have a player that can do it all creatively. Nooooot quite sure he’s going ramp up the intensity for you though.

Arteta is also seeking out leadership.

‘We need some senior players, players with different types of leadership in the team, with different qualities, people that complement each other.’

I’m not sure if Ben White is a leader or has the level of experience we are looking for, so who knows what we’re looking for here, or in what position. One would expect that it’ll likely come from whoever replaced Granit Xhaka, but I’m not sure that’s Neves?

We’ll see, it’s all rumours at the moment, but I tell you what, we’d be rude not to knock on the door at Barca and see if they have any jewels that we could bring to the carpet. Sergiño Dest anyone? 19 years old, a right-back, played 41 times for them last season? I mean… come on, let’s ask and see what they think.

In absolutely awful news, exArsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has been diagnosed with throat cancer. Everyone here wishes him the best and prays for a speedy recovery. Judging by his quotes, that got it early, and clearly, he’s going land elite levels of medical support. Cancer, what a fucking awful, awful thing.

Right, I’ll be on the Twitch Stream chatting all things Arsenal at 6pm GMT. Tune in or… don’t, but maybe do?

TWITCH STREAMT AT 6PM GMT

325 Responses to “LOKONGA LANDS, EXPERIENCE NEXT?”

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  1. Mark S

    I wish Ivan the best as well. The Xhaka transfer saga seems to be at a simmer. Maybe he lost the key, and he can’t move until he finds it! 😉

  2. Mark S

    Ceballos is a strange one to me. He had talent, however he also was prone to being daft. Wonder if he’ll cut it back in Spain?

  3. Positive pete

    They need to sort out that midfield & RB pronto.Then get rid of the deadwood.Hopefully it’s one of Maddisson/ Aouar AND Bissouma.As for RB “Destry rides again” look a a good shout.Would be good to screw the Barca b@ndits over.

  4. China1

    Mark ceballos will end up at a middling team like Villareal or sociedad and look pretty good when surrounded by average or inferior players and playing in a slower league. It his lack of a winning mentality will mean he’ll never kick on and get another shot at a major club

  5. andy1886

    Best wishes to IvanG, fingers crossed that he can beat it.

    Completely agree for once with Pedro, Sambi is exactly the sort of signing we should have been making for the past five years, unfortunately Coutinho is exactly the sort we should be avoiding like the plague.

  6. Valentin

    China1,

    I don’t think that Cebellos lacks ambition, I think it is a lack of self analysis that will be his downfall. He has talent but his deficiencies drag him down.
    For example he can be lackadaisical and at his age he should eliminate that from his game. Also he knows that he is not very good at shooting and releasing the ball early. But I have not seen him trying to improve those two aspects of his game.

    Nkethia always been a skinny guy. He must have realised that he need to have stronger upper body strength. This summer he was posting photo of him Willock and Saint Maximin working up. He came back and he looked to have considerably bulked up.

    Martinelli was benched, until his performance in training meant that Arteta could not ignore him. When benched, Cebellos lashed out at teammates. I don’t see the same level of dedication and desire to self improve from Cebellos, just frustration that he has not been given the opportunity he believe he deserves.

  7. englandsbest

    I’m thrilled too. The future lies with the young and vigorous.

    I’m looking at the ‘old heads’ still left in the squad, and I’m thinking, ‘There’s only one I’d really like to keep’. That’s right, Lacazette, a fit one. You can judge his worth by the way the youngsters crowd round him, go to him for advice, from his innate compulsion to guide them. He’s a kind of father-figure.

  8. NJ Gooner

    Wishing Ivan the best. I know that early detection is everything, based on family experience. I have seen both sides of that coin.

    I am thrilled with Sambi and was so impressed when I watched his Arsenal.com interview. He was more articulate in English than the guy interviewing him. It speaks well of his preparedness and maturity. It is probably unfair, but I am still reeling from Willian when it comes to signings like. Coutinho

  9. Aaron

    Repeat from last post.

    This kid might turn out to be a good signing, Albert Sambi Lokonga, but what is with AFC, are we the ACL reconstruction club??Maybe these surgeries heal better than in the past because of better surgical techniques and rehabilitation, but Hold and Bel took 18 months to get back to playing time, and Bel is not the player he once was speed wise.

    With Tierney being injured frequently, Mari never injured, then injury bug got him, concerned about AFC’s recruitment, as always.

    Can’t we just sign people that are robust? I mean how hard is it?

  10. Mullet

    Coutinho – No NO. NO. ALL DAY NO. His best days have long gone.

    Locatelli looks unlikely, but happily, we are tenaciously trying to snap him up.

    Maddison – he’s a pipe dream, Pedro. Best let it lie.

    Now, Aouar is an interesting punt. We were going to pick him up last year but didn’t have the funds. Presumably he was scouted and his data poured over by Dr Numbers. So, why are we waiting? He’s a quality player – suspect defensively, but an carry the ball with speed and dribble out of trouble. .That will be novel in this team.

    Bissouma next to Partey, assuming Locatelli aint turning up..

    I just want movement. Like others have said, we can’t afford a lengthy bedding in period.

    As for Gazidis, good luck, throat cancer not a pleasant thing to have

  11. Goobergooner

    “signing young players, with high ceilings, that can grow with a young coach famed for his developmental skills.”

    Just don’t mention Saliba.

    Good post though peds

  12. JOEL

    I presume that Lakonga has been brought in as squad back-up rather than as a “starter”at this stage.This being the case we still require someone to play in the “double pivot” alongside Partey.If this is Neto…all well and good although I would prefer either Bisouma or Sanches (who looked impressive at the Euros.Locatelli looks unlikely and its pointless waiting around for someone who would prefer to be elsewhere.
    Otherwise a new right back is an absolute necessity.I would think that Aarons would best suit as he brings down the number of non home grown players and has PL experience.Admittedly he’s over-priced …but it seems that’s the case in every instance!
    Whilst a World Class number 10 appeals I would have thought that any such player would stand in the way of ESR’s progression and therefore wouldn’t be at the top of my “priority list”.
    Far more important is a new goalkeeper.One who will challenge and potentially replace Leno.I would suggest that Johnstone would fit the bill.As someone who lives in Bournemouth I have seen a lot of Ramsdale…and he really isn’t good enough.Especially for the type of money being bandied about.
    I’d alsp ideally like to offload both Auba and Lacazette but given their wages and respective ages…Thats not going to happen.That said I would hate to see Tammy Abraham in an Arsenal shirt as he’s just too profligate in front of goal.
    Lastly its imperative that Edu removes some of the “deadwood”.Neketiah,Torreira,Kolasinac and Bellerin need to be moved on as quickly as possible…as well as Xhaka and Willock …both of whom are worth more in this market than they will ever be again..

  13. Mb

    Anyone familiar with ticket booking system?

    I was a red member last year, they are open to past history booking..

    It’s allowing me to select more than a ticket, can I bring a friend along with me if I buy 2-3 of them?

  14. Terraloon

    Here’s a little fact for you

    If Arsenal Sidon Ben White for £50 million that sum is more that they have received in respect of all fees received since they were formed in 1901

  15. Habesha Gooner

    I don’t want Coutinho. And I certainly don’t want him on loan. This summer we need to fix our issues with out right transfers. I would rather have someone like fekir who has still a point to prove at top level than Coutinho if we are signing older players. Rodrigo DePaul also was one of those kind of players. Coutinho has played for Inter Milan, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern. He will not be motivated to get back to where he was.

    Lokonga is a good signing. Kid looks to have a certain humility about him. And he is an athletic midfielder that won’t be out worked every game. It makes a nice change from having ceballos, Elneny and Xhaka who all had weaknesses in agility and speed. He can also pass. This is the kind of player we could get a massive profit on if it works out. He might be a starter or can be sold for big money in the future. Anderlecht are great for developing talent. Lukaku, Tielemans, Kompany, Mertens and to a lesser extent the likes dendoncker and Praet have all been developed by them. So they know what a player is capable of.

  16. TR7

    Get well soon Ivan. Cancer and heart related diseases have become so prevalent and common and seem to hit people even in their 30’s and 40’s now. Time to embrace mother nature else we are doomed.

  17. PhD2020

    China1July 20, 2021 16:01:16
    Mark ceballos will end up at a middling team like Villareal or sociedad and look pretty good when surrounded by average or inferior players and playing in a slower league. It his lack of a winning mentality will mean he’ll never kick on and get another shot at a major club

    ——-
    ValentinJuly 20, 2021 16:16:46
    China1,
    I don’t think that Cebellos lacks ambition, I think it is a lack of self analysis that will be his downfall. He has talent but his deficiencies drag him down.
    For example he can be lackadaisical and at his age he should eliminate that from his game.

    ——
    Maybe shades of David Bentley about him, attitude wise?Never really fulfilled his true potential as evidenced with his time with us,Norwich,Spurs,Blackburn Rovers,etc to name but a few clubs he was contracted to.

    He (D.Bentley)immediately sprung to mind when you both spoke of Cellabos,especially with regards to his attitude.

    Anyway, hope both of you are doing ok.

  18. DigitalBob

    All the best to Ivan, I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery!

    I’m happy with the transfer business so far, but the caveat is that my happiness is contingent on a couple more “big” moves being made. Lokonga and Tavares really fit the old Arsene profile, minimal expenditure for potential great rewards.

    Ben White doesn’t at £50 million but he is a good player with the potential to be very elite and most importantly he’s an improvement on the position from last season.

    Ideally we need to see a CAM and a CM coming in now to truly round up the window. Both need to be starting 11 material, if we can do that then I think we’re in a good place to meet certain expectations for this season.

  19. Up 4 grabs now

    Good ebening,

    Good luck Ivan in your battle, catching it early is a big plus.

    Let’s hope loko can hit the ground running, he doesn’t have to be the new Vieira, just Good enough to keep xhaka and elneney out of the team.

    If xhaka is playing against Brentford I give up.

    Coutinho is an interesting one, 28/29 if the wages were reasonable might be worth a punt.
    We ain’t get grealish and Maddison is your 60 million plus bracket.

    Barcelona are so screwed, and have to cull wages.
    Transfer mark value continho at 30 million.
    And Barcelona still owe the bindippers 30 million for his Transfer.
    That sounds a nice round number to me!

  20. Bigper

    ‘that can grow with a young coach famed for his developmental skills.
    The idea here, I would imagine, is if this squad of young players gets us into the Champions League at some point, they’ll be ready to compete for the trophy right away’

    …deluded

  21. The backpass

    Pedro

    “One would expect that it’ll likely come from whoever replaced Granit Xhaka, but I’m not sure that’s Neves?”

    I don’t think Neves would really improve us, but you don’t get to be a captain at age 18 without having leadership skills.

  22. Elmo

    Mb

    If you’re talking about the Emirates Cup (Mind Series) game against Chelsea, then yeah, you can buy up to 10 tickets using your expired membership and print off the tickets for entry.

    “Tickets are now available to all fully renewed members of The Arsenal Membership for the 2021/22, renewed Arsenal Women members from the 2020/21 season and all previous bookers. Subject to availability. (10 tickets per transaction).

    There will be no general sale for this fixture.”

    “Access to the stadium will be via a Ticketfast or digital ticket. You will be sent an email containing your Ticketfast ticket(s) in the week leading up to the event.

    If using a Ticketfast ticket, we encourage you to print the PDF attachment, but ticket(s) may also be scanned on a mobile device to gain entry to Emirates Stadium if you do not have access to a printer. “

  23. Moray

    Good luck to Ivan. Hopefully he will pull through it all quickly.

    We’ve been really slow this summer in moving players on. I suppose that’s largely because a) our players are shit and b) they are appealing to continental sides who haven’t a pot to piss in.

    I wonder if Sterling is still in the sights? It seems City also are looking to offload some players before signing Grealish.

  24. Terraloon

    Bob

    Didn’t make it crystal clear but if Arsenal spend £50 million on White Brighton will receive the fee and that sum is more than they have received in total for all players they , Brighton ,have sold

  25. Tee

    Update on xhaka

    Granit Xhaka will join Mourinho next week in the AsRoma training camp in Portugal, Algarve. Mourinho is pushing and waiting for him. Personal terms are already agreed. The deal between AsRoma and Arsenal is almost done. @SkySport#Transfers #AFC pic.twitter.com/pCgTBp8n57

    — Angelo Mangiante (@angelomangiante) July 20,

  26. Leedsgunner

    Neves was the Championship player they were all raving about in 2017 when he helped Wolves win promotion back to the EPL. He was that year’s equivalent of Buendia.

    At 24 he’s still young and he still has room to develop. As long as we don’t go silly with his wages there’s still some resale value there if we pick him up for a reasonable price. He’s would be an excellent player to have if we wanted experienced players to complement our youngsters.

  27. Guns of SF

    Im for Coutinho,…. I dont think he will pull a Willian on us. When fit, he was great…
    I would prefer a buy for Maddison. I dont care the price. If KSE have the cash to spend, spend it dammit.
    Drop the 60M.
    It aint my money, so get Maddison- quality or Aouar, or whomever

    the Key is do it fast. We need said players in for pre season

  28. Mark S

    Bentley and Jermaine Pennant are two guys that I think of that never quite filled their potential. You would see glimpses, however it always seemed that they felt that they had “arrived” when they still had a ways to go. I remember Pennant’s hattrick against Southampton for example, as a “woah” moment…however he never did fulfill that potential. A couple of years back I read an article saying that he was drunk from the night before when he scored it. He ended up being his own worst enemy! I don’t think Dani is at that level of incompetence, however he could go down that path very easily.

  29. Guns of SF

    I would not be that thrilled if we only got Coutinho as our CAM
    We need him plus someone else… Madd or Aouar – or ?

    IF the market is so slow, we should be pouncing on all sorts of prospects. Dest, yes! Ibrax- yes- lets tempt Barca and make offers.

    Camavinga- no news yet— make an offer!

    Now is the time to test the waters, and move forward or onto other targets. Edu needs to put the Mojito down and get on this shit

  30. TheBayingMob

    Bentley was a rat faced chav that never really had it in him; the worse youth miss of the last decade or so IMO was super Jacky Wilshere.

    I thought the guy had it all (including PASSHUN!), but so injury prone; I think in the mechanics of his run, in the way he played attracted constant knocks / fouls around the ankles and feet / metatarsals but also in the way Wenger beasted the fuck out of him until he was trodden into the ground. Shame. Wasted talent in my mind.

    I’m not even sure he has a club this year as he was released by Bournemouth at the end of last season after a short term deal.

  31. TheBayingMob

    “If KSE have the cash to spend, spend it dammit.”

    They have the cash, but I’d be fairly positive if we drop a huge sum this summer then it is intended the club pay KSE back, undoubtedly with some interest on top …

  32. Leedsgunner

    Further to my post about Lyon, if they are vulnerable another youngster I would think about bringing in is Rayan Cherki, a clever playmaker who has already scored at the top level and played in the Champions League.

    Any Lyon watchers here who care to shed any insight? All reports I’ve heard of him have been very very good.

  33. TheBayingMob

    “Now is the time to test the waters, and move forward or onto other targets. Edu needs to put the Mojito down and get on this shit”

    But Mojito’s are SO good, how can you put one down when the sun is out? You can’t, best just to have another one then get that shit done on a half cut facetime call …

  34. Valentin

    Jermaine Pennant’s life is sad, because you could see that his failure are the result of his upbringing and addiction.

    Bentley’s arrogant and cocky attitude was his downfall.

    I still think that English clubs should put in place a program against addiction. Bentley’s addiction was gambling.
    A lot of players come a background where too much money, free time lead to boredom and addiction.

    Lots of Italian clubs have a system where players spend 6~8 hours per day at the club, so it is viewed as a proper job and no boredom. It also instill a greater sense of professionalism than 2 hours of training per day as per the England clubs.

  35. Chrispy

    Wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone. Dad in remission from thoat cancer and wife in remission for lymphoma, so postive outcomes are possible these days. Wish IG all the best.

    I’m liking what we’ve done so far in the TW but starting to get jitters with 1st team starting CAM, CDM not coming through the door yet.

  36. Sly

    Pedro
    Blog was going well until this
    “a young coach famed for his developmental skills”
    Why so provocative bruh

  37. Northbanker

    I totally get why some would want Coutinho but he will still cost the earth in wages and it sidetracks us from getting the right younger player deal

    I’m sure Overmars was younger than Coutinho is now but I’d have to check that. These deals never fare well

    So its a no from me – we need to stick to a strategy and not bend with the wind

  38. Ustyno

    Pedro

    Is Arteta a developmental coach or is just you usual way of hyping him?

    Great post today except that line

  39. GoonGoonerGone

    Tavares comes in and immediately gets a game for Arsenal. Lokonga will too.
    Saliba plays for three seasons in the French version of the premier league.
    Aquits himself well. Highly regarded and has, the, talents and skills but given no chance by Arteta. Sent out on another punitive loan.
    Edu and the Kroenkes stand on the byline watching helplessly at Arteta’s madness.
    This is one of the many reasons why I wish Arteta gone and the sooner the better, though it’s not in my hands.

  40. WengerEagle

    Bentley just wasn’t too bothered about the game itself and hated everything professional/the politics that went along with it.

    He was just a Jack the lad that loved the money, fame, part scene and dressing room banter that went along with his footballing talent, didn’t seem to at all care for football itself past a casual interest.

    He’s given a few illuminating interviews post-retirement shedding light on his decision to retire at 28. I mean he was practically semi-retired by 25.

    Shame really but at least the guy seems happy. He was actually very good at Blackburn, remember him sticking a hat-rick past Fergie’s United side. On ball he was a poor-man’s Beckham which is actually a compliment given how elite Beck’s delivery was.

  41. Chris

    Wishing all the best and every success for Ivan G in his battle with cancer. From bitter personal experience losing a family member to this awful disease never gets easier. Thoughts are with him and his family.

  42. The Bard

    There sure are some miserable posters on here. Everyone is shite. We never buying anyone decent.
    Given we are a midtable side the club have done well to persuade 2 players to join.. Lets reserve judgment for 10 games in and see where we are. If he messes up the cupboard is pretty bare in the managerial stakes.
    Best wishes to Ivan

  43. Chris

    Wenger Eagle

    I read one of Bentley’s interviews also a while back. Like you say he just lost his appetite for the game after his move to Spurs ultimately failed.

    Still remember his goal against Boro at Highbury. An absolute peach of a chip.

  44. The Bard

    There sure are some miserable posters on here. We never buying anyone decent.
    Given we are a midtable side the club have done well to persuade 2 players to join.. Lets reserve judgment for 10 games in and see where we are. If he messes up the cupboard is pretty bare in the managerial stakes.
    Best wishes to Ivan

  45. Tom

    “I thought the guy had it all (including PASSHUN!), but so injury prone; I think in the mechanics of his run, in the way he played attracted constant knocks / fouls around the ankles and feet”

    TBM, Wilshere’s problem was in the way he dribbled with the ball , a long-ish stride pushing the ball a yard or two in front which always attracted challenges he himself never pulled out of. The McNair tackle at Old Trafford case in point.
    This and a complete lack of protection from refs was what destroyed his ankles rather than the minutes played.
    Diaby had much the same style of ball carrying and a similar result.

    The opposite of Grealish’s style of ball carrying— a short stride with the ball at his feet- which always puts him in control of any incoming challenge.

  46. Mr Serge

    Tom Wiltshire’s problem was we over played him and he got badly injured while he was in the red zone, his ankle was never the same
    Injury curtailed his career

  47. WengerEagle

    Valentin

    I’d say that Pennant and Bentley are far from being thee worst in regards to pissing their talent down the drain.

    At least they were respectable PL footballers for a time, especially Bentley.

    Look at someone like Ravel Morrison for a much more severe case of wasted talent. Kid by literally all accounts at United as per Alex Ferguson, Ferdinand, Rooney, Neville and Giggs was by FAR the most gifted young player on a youth team that included Paul Pogba.

    He’s 28 years old and he has made a grand total of 22 apps in a top 5 European League throughout his entire career to date and 16 of those were from West Ham back when he was 20 years old.

    Barring a spell in Mexico where he made 18 apps, he hasn’t made more than SEVEN apps in an entire league season since he was 21 and he has been at EIGHT different clubs in that time, he is now at his 9th with Derby County picking him up.

    Those are just astonishing numbers. Very rare to see a player so talented just self-implode his career like that with injuries being next to no factor.

  48. Dissenter

    Why doesn’t Elneny get mentioned on the list of players that need to leave?
    If you’re doing a rebuild then he should be ahead of Xhaka on the exit queue.

  49. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    You sure about that? In all of his post-retirement interviews he says outright that he just lost his hunger for the game and hated everything outside of kicking a ball itself on the professional front.

  50. WengerEagle

    Chris

    Yeah the lad has incredible ability on the ball, was a classic winger too which I used to admire a lot as a kid. Guys like Beckham, Bentley, Jerome Rothen, Giggs that loved to hug the touchline, take on defenders in one vs ones and whip crosses into the box.

    Those type of players are practically extinct in the modern game with the inside forwards/inverted playmakers now the default.

  51. MidwestGun

    Sergiño Dest anyone? 19 years old, a right-back,
    _________

    YESSS!!! please… This kid can do it all… would be a major major upgrade on Bellerin and Chambers.
    That said he is on record saying his preference is to stay at Barca. Not a fan of the project, I guess.
    We need a RB upgrade.. This is how the modern game is now.. you have to have 2 fullbacks that are some of your best players on the team. And they have to be able to get up and down the wing,. Tierney and Tavares are a good start on the left.. but our right side is a wasteland.

    Also, wish anyone, even Ivan G. good recovery with cancer.. awful thing.

  52. raptora

    Our notorious friend Bamford was on Twitch during the pod.

    j_m_bam: “Friends on LeGrove: Please DM me to pay up on our Leicester v Arsenal wager.”

  53. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    Losing hunger for the game is not only limited to partying though. Repeatedly having to come back from injury only to get re-injured soon afterwards is one reason for losing motivation.
    I agree that his addiction problems may have been contributory, he was plagued with many demons so it seems. It was common knowledge that he was a gambling addict.

  54. Northbanker

    Don’t really have a problem with Elneny Dissentet
    He is bench fodder and is happy to play that supporting role
    We’re not getting offers for any of our players other than ESR

  55. JayJay

    “Arsenal has spent the last 5 years trying to shortcut success with older players that might have one last push in them.”
    Sure Pedro
    Pepe, Leno, Saliba (still not given a chance), Guendouzi (fraudteta’s favourite just because he cares), Martinelli just to mention few, they’re all older players fitting in your agenda, get back on earth mate and give us some proper posts you have used to years ago, before you became new AKB

  56. Mr Serge

    Raptora he was indeed lol

    Midwest dest would be amazing Aaron’s probably more realistic although Barca need to sell as they can’t resign messi due to having to high a wage bill lol

  57. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    The partying was only one aspect of it I suspect.

    It wasn’t injury-related at all as per Bentley himself. He just didn’t like the direction that the game was trending in as per the horses’ mouth. Reading between the lines a bit, I reckon he would have loved the lads/drinking culture of the 90s and he was a casualty of the modern game’s every increasing professionalism surrounding training, fitness, diet and tolerance to heavy drinking of which there is none in the modern game as opposed to the 90s where players would spend half of their week in the pub.

    He is a happy-go lucky Chav that happened to be amazingly gifted at football. Without the desire to compete at the top, his talent alone was never going to carry him too far.

  58. WengerEagle

    Agree on the importance of a RB Middy.

    It’s weirdly been written off by some as surplus to requirements with Chambers and Soares but they are two lower to mid-table players at best.

    And outlet down the right is crucial to allow Saka to cut inside/make those diagonal runs to get himself into regular goal-scoring positions.

  59. Tom

    “Given we are a midtable side the club have done well to persuade 2 players to join..”

    The Bard, I like both signings but how difficult a task did you think it was to “persuade “ them two to come to Arsenal from the likes of Anderlecht and Benfica ?

    Tavares will go from £5kpw to somewhere around £30-40 kpw at Arsenal. For that type of a raise he should easily be persuaded to walk from Lisbon to Calais, swim the English Channel and walk all the way to London.

  60. MidwestGun

    Mr Serge… yep… Aaron’s probably more in … our range. A very good player as well… but I like Dest better. America is turning out a huge crop of very good fullbacks right now. All started with DeAndre Yedlin who never quite met his potential but seems to have spawned a lot of good young players at that position with his World Cup performance. in 2014.

  61. englandsbest

    All this whining about Arteta’s treatment of Saliba is nonsensical, a way of getting at him. Yeah, on the face of it, why isn’t the lad here here in the Arsenal squad? But it stands to reason that Arteta has a very good reason. What it is I know not, for the statement Arteta has made – the lad isn’t ready – can include a variety of reasons, some nothing to do with football.

    Meanwhile I’ll take Arteta at his word: the lad isn’t ready

  62. Dissenter

    Northbanker
    The problem with players who are too happy to warm the bench is that they are blocking the path of a young talent that needs the odd minutes to grow.
    Elneny looks like one who is just happy to live in London on Arsenal wages.

  63. MidwestGun

    Eagle-

    Agreed… going through a whole season with Chamber or Soares.. potentially Bellerin again at RB would be sad and could potentially undo any gains we make at other positions. Having a weakness there is easily exploited by the many tricky wingers in the PL.

  64. Pierre

    Haven’t seen much of Lokonga to be honest, so i thought i would have a little look on YouTube, and the thing that struck me is how similar his style of play is to Willock……..without the goals and attacking threat.

    I would say that everything i saw Lokonga do, Willock could do with ease ….

    Of course this is only youtube but youtube does tend to show the best of a player and Lokonga’s highlights are not over exciting.

    Yes I know he is a centre midfielder, but if you want to look at a centre midfielder with highlights that make you drool then look no further than Bissouma’s highlights .
    I posted his highlights on Le grove a year to 18 months or so ago and said we should sign him for 15/20 mil .

    I think we may have bought the wrong Brighton player, especially as centre mid is the position that needs addressing.

    Instead we have lokonga who is the similar age to Willock , similar physique to willock , similar style of play as willock but definitely not a similar goal scoring ratio as Willock.

    Maybe we should just play willock..

  65. PhD2020

    WengerEagleJuly 20, 2021 18:45:28

    Seems Wayne Rooney,is given Ravel Morrison an opportunity to earn a contract at Championship league club-Derby,who just staved off relegation last season finishing 21st out of 24th place.

    Certainly if there was ever a case or example of not fulfilling one’s potential or talent at the top level-this was a prime example.

    JP runs him close if we’re being honest.
    Especially when he and his missus were allegedly selling video clips or webcam sex shows of them fornicating on line as a side hustle.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5374541/Jermaine-Pennant-webcam-sex-shows-wife.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK

  66. PhD2020

    * Seems Wayne Rooney has given Ravel Morrison an opportunity to earn a contract at Championship league club-Derby,who just staved off relegation last season finishing 21st out of 24th place.

  67. JayJay

    Pierre,
    Don’t agree with you too often, but I think you might be right about lokonga and willock, also you’re definitely right regarding bissouma, but in the end of day it doesn’t matter as our generational coach is always right. God save Arsenal Football Club.

  68. Pierre

    Midwest
    The problem chambers has regarding the full back position is the fans memory of him doing his best Gus Caesar impression away to swansea all those years ago and being taken to the cleaners playing at right back.

    Last season i thought chambers did well at right back, he has an excellent first touch and good delivery in the final third and defensively has improved one on one..

    Yes we could do better but going into the seaon with chambers at right back is not so bad, especially as he is 6ft plus amd is decent in the air , which is an area we could get found out next season.

    As i have mentioned previously, don’t be surprised to see white at full back .

  69. MidwestGun

    Pierre-

    Can’t say as I completely disagree with your Lokonga assessment but I actually think we got him to backup Partey not start in place of Xhaka. AT least I hope not. Bissouma would be a good signing.

    Not as crazy about Joe Willy as you are. Wouldn’t be opposed to selling him, while his value is at the highest, to be honest. Unless we change our formation, don’t see how he fits in. And it would require Partey to sit in more as a DM. Are you suggesting we have a midfield of Willock Partey and ESR?

  70. MidwestGun

    I could see White as the right sided CB in a 3-4-3… but I don’t want to see him as a right back defending the likes of Sterling. NOt crazy about a 3 at the back formation really. I know it;s the trend.

  71. Pierre

    Mid
    Fitting willock in may prove to be the problem .

    Then again if you ask him to play like lokonga and not attack the box and and score ……Then he may fit in

  72. Valentin

    Leeds,

    I would stay clear of Cherki. I think that he had already hit his ceiling. My view is that in a couple of years he will be at middle level club in Ligue 1 after failing to establish himself abroad.

    He is not a proper No9, he lack the clinical finish of a pure striker. He can’t hold the ball with his back toward goal.

    He is not a proper winger either, as he lacks the pace to go past defenders.
    He works best in the middle of park behind a proper No9 and I am not sure that he is an upgrade on ESR.

  73. Tom

    “Wiltshire’s problem was we over played him and he got badly injured while he was in the red zone, his ankle was never the same
    Injury curtailed his career”

    Mr Serge , red zones are normally linked with muscle injuries, while ankle injuries are impact injuries.
    Wilshere did play a lot of minutes as a teenager but nothing close to Fabregas or Rooney , and their ankles were fine.
    His injuries were mostly due to the style of play.

  74. PhD2020

    TomJuly 20, 2021 19:50:07
    “Wiltshire’s problem was we over played him and he got badly injured while he was in the red zone, his ankle was never the same
    Injury curtailed his career”
    Mr Serge , red zones are normally linked with muscle injuries, while ankle injuries are impact injuries.

    Wilshere did play a lot of minutes as a teenager but nothing close to Fabregas or Rooney , and their ankles were fine.
    His injuries were mostly due to the style of play.

    ——
    I would have thought with Wilshire it was a combination of factors combined with his lifestyle.

    Clubbing, partying, drinking and smoking allegedly.
    I would have thought this kind of lifestyle exacerbates injuries.Makes you more susceptible to acquiring injuries more so than an athlete who lives a healthy lifestyle-non?

  75. SAGG

    WengerEagle

    You are talking about Morrison who.played for Atlas in Mexico?That guy is shit, he played in one of the worse teams in Mexico and was by far.the worse player in the league, everyone laughed at him.

    Not an inch of talent (Maybe he was talented as a teenager but he lost.it long time ago)

  76. WengerEagle

    PHD

    Pennant was almost as bad you’re right but by virtue of him spending a number of years as a PL starter at least he’s a level or two up on Morrison for me.

    SAGG

    Never said I rated Morrison myself but he was no doubt outrageously gifted as a teenager/20 year old. Maybe he did just lose the magic even without injuries by barely playing over the years, that can happen too.

  77. Kegunner

    Improvement in Arsenal midfield is imperative. Feeble defence is another problem. Center backs just aren’t alert. Striking force for too long had to paper the cracks. Good signs all around on the rebuild.

  78. WengerEagle

    Diaby’s leg muscles were just made of wet bog roll unfortunately.

    Mental how just one injury can destroy a player. Contact ones like Diaby, Eduardo, Dean Ashton, Alan Smith, etc and non-contact ones like Rosicky, Fernando Torres, Pato, Essien, Kaka, etc.

    Knee injuries tend to be the worst.

  79. PhD2020

    TomJuly 20, 2021 20:13:21
    PhD
    Diaby ?

    ——
    I’m implying Wilshere’s cause was not entirely helped by his alleged party boy lifestyle.
    Living such a lifestyle makes recovering harder.Bones weaker,more susceptible to breaking down and repairing of muscle groups a lot tougher ,especially as one gets older.

    Diaby on the other hand wasn’t down to lifestyle.Just that unfortunately he was injury prone.Some athletes are dealt that unfortunate mother nature card.A career blighted by injury.

    It’s on a case by case basis.

    Not sure,if that was a bit more self-explanatory.

    PS
    Just my thoughts of course.

  80. MD-Gunner

    The Athletic:
    “Arsenal withdraw from pre-season tour to USA due to COVID-19 cases at club”

    There goes the preparation for the season and good luck with those 1st six games, Man City, Chelsea and Sp*ds.

  81. Champagne Charlie

    MD

    Don’t think we’re going to have a holiday instead, we’ll arrange domestic friendlies and train as usual. We miss out on the travel, big fucking whoop.

    Maybe it’ll actually help get transfers over the line being based in England.

  82. PhD2020

    WengerEagleJuly 20, 2021 20:15:34
    Pennant was almost as bad you’re right but by virtue of him spending a number of years as a PL starter at least he’s a level or two up on Morrison for me.

    ——
    Fair enough.You do have a valid point.

    Crazy that JP played for Liverpool and won a runners up medal during the UEFA CL 2006/2007 campaign and played in Spain also.
    I remember this story of JP forgetting he owned a Porsche that he’d abandoned when he played for Real Zaragoza.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news/my-porsche-forgot-i-even-owned-one-says-jermaine-pennant-2189069.html

    JP certainly has had some crazy moments.

  83. Dissenter

    The FL pre-season tour to the US was ill-advised to be honest
    What’s the purpose of travelling so far away to a place inconducive weather for prepping, at a time when you can’t even meet fans?

    Good riddance, let them get proper rest in the UK

  84. Champagne Charlie

    Terraloon

    Covid isn’t going to cherry pick Colney to surface, missing out on a US swing won’t do us harm. Club will arrange alternatives, they’ve been dealing with cases since last week when the majority were in Scotland and unaffected.

    Might hurt outgoing transfers thinking about it, imagine trying to sell a guy with covid will be a chore.

  85. MD-Gunner

    @CC
    Arsenal were to take on Inter July 25th and then the winner of the Ecerton game on July 26. Lets see how that effect the game against Chelsea on August 1st.

  86. Champagne Charlie

    MD

    The club won’t like having to work on the fly, but I don’t think they’ll mind missing the US tour. It’s a commercial endeavour more than anything, gone are the days of us fucking off to Switzerland for a two week camp.

    Will benefit us more to be based here imo, sack off the sponsorship demands and just worry about fitness, camaraderie, and making transfer decisions.

  87. Tom

    If Wenger’s judgment re Yaya Toure hadn’t been off in 2004-05 he would’ve gotten him from Ukraine, or Greece once his passport issue got resolved, and there wouldn’t have been the whole Arsenal Diaby saga and the poor guy maybe could’ve had a longer career somewhere else.
    Too bad Wenger saw Yaya Toure as a striker.

    The butterfly effect of sorts , kinda.

  88. JayJay

    Goon

    “That’s you, mate. You can take Arteta’s words all day long without accusing others of whinging about Saiba’s disgusting treatment by Arteta. I suppose you’ll also take Arteta’s words about what a great player Willian is, won’t you?
    I will take my own words: ‘Arteta ain’t ready, never has been and never will be.’
    Arteta is a mediocre coach at best masquerading as an Arsenal manager and one who has the ability to pull the wool over your eyes and Pedro’s too.
    I have no wish to come on here when the top six(and we are certainly not one of them) disappear out of sight so that I can tell you: ‘I told you so’.”
    I would say amen if I was pedro, but I can’t as I’m against his agenda, so I can only say: bravo mate

  89. Ray+in+LA

    Just read “Analysing Fulham’s squad depth: Seven centre-backs, five right-backs but light up top” in the Athletic

    Any of the following interesting at RB?

    Right-back is a similar story, with five competing for the position. Steven Sessegnon has returned after a loan move to Bristol City. He will be hoping for more opportunities after a limited number under Scott Parker. Netherlands international Kenny Tete likely leads the way but with Cyrus Christie, Denis Odoi and Marlon Fossey also in contention, Silva will need to make a call here on who stays and goes.

  90. Mr Serge

    Tom you know Wiltshire had to wear an instep as well as one of his feet was slightly shorter than the other so that would not help his muscles as well as that nasty ankle injury

  91. Elmo

    The cancellation of the Fla. tour, as well as the closure of the Colney training centre in the past week, both due to Covid, do warn that it could be another irregular season.

    If the UK has 50k+ new positive Covid cases per day, rising 25%+ per week, and positive Covid cases and contacts are expected to isolate (500k+ per week), then there are going to be A LOT of groups of players forced to isolate in the coming months. Society is now open, their families are friends will be catching it, and the players can’t be in a bubble like last season when society was largely shut down.

  92. MidwestGun

    Well I’m bummed the US tour is canceled.. Was actually going to be able to watch it at a decent time on a network I actually get, Espn2. But yeah I seriously doubt the players care about it .. Plus you know Bamford was going to be there with a Le Grove Sucks banner spray painted on a bedsheet.

  93. Danny

    Stan must be releaved the tour is off, the last thing he wanted was to have to sit through 2 “soccer” matches that he doesn’t understand!

  94. Tom

    Midwest , Legrove sucks banner might’ve required two people holding it , wonder if Dariano would’ve been available to help out

  95. Pedro

    So… Raptora, Terraloon and MrSerge are all in the good graces because they attended the Twitch. The rest of you will be shadow-banned at the top of the hour. You are disgraceful.

  96. curse

    I noticed on Maddersgram a recent video he posted. It was an unsavory slow mo of himself taking a free kick.
    If he came here I’m sure he’d be the set piece taker and I’m sure that ability is part of what makes his price what it is.
    so I googled his injury history and it’s pretty regular till 20/21. That hip injury for 72 days for a guy who bends it like Beckham has my spidy sense tingling.

  97. MD-Gunner

    Jordan Henderson’s future is far from certain that while talks over an extension have taken place, no real progress has been made. The reality is that Liverpool’s owners FSG currently has bigger priorities to address in the squad. Therefore Arsenal have been installed as the surprise favourite to sign Jordan Henderson with bookmaker Coral.

    Here we go 31 years old and still 2 years on a contract what would a contract for him at Arsenal look like 3 years at ???£ per week?

  98. raptora

    Dissenter,
    This is info from a SkySports journo. He says:

    “Granit Xhaka will join Mourinho next week in the AsRoma training camp in Portugal, Algarve. Mourinho is pushing and waiting for him. Personal terms are already agreed. The deal between AsRoma and Arsenal is almost done.”

    I assume “almost done” means that there are no more differences between the clubs. Who gave up first or if they met in the middle, we’ll see. Info, at the moment, is that Xhaka is 99% gone.

    I’d loved it if we had all of our potential new players already bought and settling in the squad. Sadly, it’s wasn’t to be.

    Does anyone actually care if we sell Xhaka for £15m or £17m? We are/were literally pissing millions and millions in salaries for the likes of Ozil, Willian, Mustafi, Kolasinac etc month after month. Millions and millions. I’m not going to get too bothered by getting couple of millions less for a player that doesn’t want to play for us.

    Fair play to Xhaka for leaving, bringing in a transfer sum in Arsenal, and for not sucking money out of the club being a part time player like several others did/are doing.