ARSENAL WIN

by .

Finally,  the club kicked into gear and won a preseason game.

We beat MillWAWLL (it’s how you say it in saarf Laaandon) 4-1.

Goals form Chambers, Lacazette, Pepe and Balogun sealed the deal.

Did we concede from a setpiece? Not sure. High chance? Yes, but we have to wait until they stick it on the .com before we can confirm the specifics.

Does this win mean we’re winning the title? Absolutely. Put a bet on it right now, trophies are coming home baby.

What I am happy about is Balogun landing more minutes and taking his chance. I’d really love to see him given some time this season. He has something special… I mean, I think all the kids have something special until they break my heart and fly the nest for Swindon Town… but this kid? I think he’s different.

Transfer rumour wise, things are quiet, the ITKs and big-name journo’s take time off over the weekend.

The closest we’ve seen to anything is Ben White getting off a plane again. I’m not falling for it again, though the car he dropped into looked like the ‘new player wagon’ we’ve seen before.

There have been some tepid links to Bernado Silva, this one feels lazy, he’s a top player, but I’m not sure we’re going to be raiding City for their stars. Fans keep linking us to Jack Grealish. Again, a superb player, but give over people, he’s 26 years old, he’s going to want to be in the Champions League right away next season. Maddison seems a bit of a stretch even though I have personally heard it’s true that he wants in at the club. That leaves an increasingly smaller pool of top-tier creative talent to add to the squad. I mean, I say a small pool, I have no idea where we’re looking… but if you’re looking at ‘now’ players’, there isn’t a huge amount ticking all the boxes.

You could look at the squad we have for answers, but you are asking about 5 players to find the next level at the same time… again, it could happen, but the chances are it won’t.

Short post today, let’s see where the weekend takes us because we are getting awfully close to the start of the season and we’ve only made two confirmed additions… both back-ups. The starting 11 is the same.

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133 Responses to “ARSENAL WIN”

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  1. Kroenkephobe

    Pedro
    Nice one. Any victory over that lot is to savoured. And Flo drops a goal….wicked. Let’s hope we see some momentum building from this. Gonna check if it’s on YouTube.

  2. Umar

    Arsenal is always first on the table before the season starts provided AFC Bournemouth are not in the premier division

  3. Umar

    I would love to see us sign maddison. The trio of him, ESR and Saka would be great to see with partey and a new signing to provide cover. We might also see him and ESR as double 8s in front of partey against the teams we are likely to dominate with Pepe and Saka on the wings. I just pray our no 9 situation gets better this season. Having last seasons inconsistencies would be the ruin of the season.

  4. Guns of SF

    Just add in Bissouma/ Aouar like we stated back about 2 months ago.

    we will be ready

    Whatever happened to Sterling and Mahrez rumors??? I would take Sterling if avail.

    Now I read we are interested in Bernardo SIlva

    We are interested in a lot of players

  5. Daniel Altos

    Omar richards the new bayern lsft back from reading is looking quite good….thats some good scouting there

  6. Rich

    Tierney is brilliant, nothing complicated, just little give and go’s, finding half a yard, and putting the ball into a dangerous area

  7. Rich

    Pre-season games are only meaningless when we lose them

    When United get tanked 4-2 at QPR, they mean everything

  8. Aaron

    First half:
    Positive play from Tierney, ESR, Okwonko
    Average play from Partey, Elneny, Chambers, Pepe, Auba, Holding, Mari
    Poor play from Eddie

    Under press, Partey and Elneny are going to get eaten alive.
    ESR running way more than he has to

    No build up play between Eddie, Auba and anyone….

    Does Pepe even know what he is going to do with the ball? Automaticity with whom?
    Defending from set pieces is not looking good.

    Second half coming.

  9. Pierre

    Aaron
    “First half:
    Positive play from Tierney, ESR, Okwonko
    Average play from Partey, Elneny, Chambers, Pepe, Auba, Holding, Mari
    Poor play from Eddie”

    The only bit you got right was Tierney.

    The keeper should be nowhere near the first team , his decision making is dreadful.

    Aubamayang couldn’t play any worse if he tried .

    Lakonga looks nice and composed on the ball ..

    Nice goal from Balogun

  10. Aaron

    Pierre,

    Where did I say that Okwonko should be starting? No where…..

    Auba’s bicycle kick was excellent, and that let to a tap in, Auba does what he does very well…

    Just watching the flow of the game. Stand by my observations, it is just a friendly.

  11. Davi

    Chambers was class – I know it’s only a friendly, but he was class at the end of last season as well. Don’t get why no one seems to see it. Competitive, strong tackler, good in the air, good feet and as good a crosser as Tierney. The system we’re playing covers his lack of pace (which is overstated) and he also gets the odd goal from open play. Don’t think we need a replacement if we sell Bellerin.

  12. zacharse

    is zakaria any good?

    are we looking at Juve players? if they need to sell to buy locatelli and jesus, they must have a few solid players on the block…

  13. Aaron

    Second half:

    Positive play from Chambers to Laca for the finish, ESR to Auba to Pepe for the finish, Balo on a though ball for the finish, the youngsters Lokonga and Tavares slotted in nicely.

    Poor play from Holding to get beat near post on goal, Willian looking like the michelin man.

  14. Ray+in+LA

    zacharse

    there are rumours that Juve are in for Griezmann…that needs some serious selling to pay for both Griezmann and Locatelli

    and also Damsgaard — another target for them and who is available for 30-million

    If his Euro performance was typical he would fill some gaps for us 🙂

  15. Ray+in+LA

    well if our CBs had more of his technical skills and positional strength I would be happy

    and the dark arts — of which he is a master — is something we are very naive about

  16. Elmo

    From what I saw of Lokonga in the 2nd half: good, composed on the ball, looks to pass up the field (he was sitting deeper than Partey). The qualification is that there was almost no pressure on the ball, so he always had time to look up and scan the field.

    Will be interesting to see him in the Chavs/Spuds friendlies.

  17. Pedro

    ‘Pre-season games are only meaningless when we lose them

    When United get tanked 4-2 at QPR, they mean everything’

    This is the truth.

  18. Elmo

    Just reading an article on Lokonga. His family know North London already as his elder brother, Paul-Jose Mpoku, was at Spuds’ academy from 2008-11, going on loan with Kane to Orient.

    Should actually help him acclimatise quickly, as he can always call his brother with questions about living in the area.

  19. Bertie Mee

    Why on earth would Sterling consider coming to us at this stage ? He’d be hellishly expensive, we have no European football to offer him and he earns a fortune . His stock has risen after the Euros . It’s silly to even consider signing Grealish and Sterling .

  20. Zacharse

    Does seem credible at this moment that we’d be in for a huge signing. Hopefully its a bit more considered than the signing of ozil. No one should really be taking money figures seriously from the press but we all love to anyway. Maddison would be the best besides øde imo, going for aouar/isco etc wouldnt be half as quick at getting results which has to be the point for arteta

  21. Pierre

    https://youtu.be/mVgbyNiJAU8

    Can saka and smith rowe emulate these 2, there has already been signs of the telepathy between them that makes me think they will rip teams to pieces if they are played in the same area of the pitch..

    They have something special between them that must be allowed to grow..
    Arteta is such a fortunate manager to have such a talented group of young players coming through the system thanks to the guidance and tutelage of Wenger. .

    This could be a golden generation for Arsenal if they are allowed to grow together to fufil their potential…

    One must remember that fergies fledglings were not all superstars..
    Beckham , Scholes and Giggs were world class or close but the Nevilles and Butt were just good team/squad players and Ferguson knew the Nevilles and Butt were crucial to the team spirit and the togetherness of the team..

  22. Useroz

    Hope its click bait… saying we agreed terms with Tammy A and promised pay rise from 80k to 125k pw? ?

    Hey, he’s another Chelsea reject, God sake.

  23. Dream10

    Pierre

    I don’t think they will have the same on field relationship Ozil and Alexis had. Saka is a quality player, but he isn’t really a combination player. He’ll continue to play in forward areas because of his talent and our lack of top quality creative players like Ozil and Alexis. I know he wears #7 and wants to be an attacker, part of me wants to see him as a permanent LB. As good as Tierney can be, Saka is comfortably better going forward. He would start for CL contenders at LB, not at wide forward.

  24. Pedro

    Pierre, think you misspelt Freddie Ljungberg.

    ESR:

    “I speak to our loan manager every day and Freddie Ljungberg as well, I was on the phone to him the other day,”

    “I try to keep in contact with him because he’s helped me so much since I joined the first team.

    “He’s been there, he knows what it’s like. I speak to Freddie a lot.

    Saka:

    “He has been really good with me,”

    “From 14, when he took over my development, he challenged me in a way other coaches didn’t. He pushed me and saw my potential in a way other coaches didn’t.

    “All the way to the under-23s he was still pushing me and even in the first team he was still helping me, even until today. He has had a big influence on my career.

  25. China1

    Dream I think you underestimate how good Saka can become on the wing. He’s got it all and he’s just a boy – the numbers in terms of goals etc will come sooner or later.

    Cesc used to get criticized as a kid for being awesome but not scoring then one day it all changed and he was a key goal scorer from deep. Give it time

  26. Moray

    Jive can afford 30m For Locatelli if they want. Look at what they dropped on Ronaldo. They just know the player only wants to go there and will shithouse to get him on the cheap.

  27. Tom

    “Arsenal beat Millwall in a secret friendly” said one headline. Maybe that’s the ticket going forward then………………..play all matches in secret till May.

  28. Kroenkephobe

    Goober and Guns

    I used to watch baseball avidly when I lived in the States and I remember commentators would talk about the ‘dog days of summer’ at about this time of year. After reading your comments I looked up what it meant – all to do with ancient Greece and astronomy (astrology?) when sirius would rise at a time in the year when it was so hot and sultry that only dogs went out into the streets. Maybe the modern version involves being too wasted to type something into a device… Its so fucking hot here (in Wales of all places where its usually good for two days, then properly wet for three) that we only take our dog out once in the early am. I’ve heard about this trapped hot air pocket in NW USA guns – sounds extreme. And as for Australia.

    Coming back to Arsenal, I think there’ll be masses of pent up demand to talk about the team in the days leading up to Brentford. And the noise will not go away if we don’t make adventurous forays into the market. And if alarm bells start ringing a few games in, Tets will be feeling a different kind of heat.

  29. Moray

    If we can bring in Maddison, White and a decent right back. And then offload a few. I will be feeling pretty bullish about the season. I would prefer another body in midfield; maybe a loan deal for someone with something to prove. It’s a delicate balance between giving the youth a chance but not overplaying them, as we dont have European games this season

    If nothing else, it leaves Tets with nowhere to hide and everything on the table.

  30. andy1886

    You guys do realise that we’d be getting an older, injury prone Coutinho not the Liverpool version don’t you? Expensive wages and just kicks the can down the road. And then there’s the question is he even motivated to play well if it did happen?

  31. Guns of SF

    Andy I think he has to regain his fitness to be his best… its been sporadic since he left Pool.
    IF he can get back to 80 percent of his best, he would be great to have. We do need some experienced players, and if Laca leaves, that does not leave much left. Auba Leno and some others.
    Mike has talked about blending exp with youth, so I think this one does happen

  32. DivineSherlock

    andy1886

    not everyone is supposed to be an Ozil . Coutinho still loves to play football and not Fortnite , Also for Brazil he clearly would love to be a part of the WC squad . I would go far to say he is one of their best player , not on Neymar levels but pretty good.

  33. SAGG

    Coutinho is an injury waiting to happen. He has being more time in the bench and in treatments tablen than ok the pitch. Bringing him to Arsenal is just wanting more trouble here and a waste of wages.

    World Cup??? Yeah, there is a guy named Willian who wants to play at World Cup.for Brazil and win the CL in 2023.
    .
    There is a lot of talent around the world and we.want a player than cant kick a ball without breaking his leg while earns 250k a week.

    And for your Knowledge World Cup 2022 will.be in winter so, you can be shit all this season, then just play well for 3 months in the next one and you will get a call up for being an in form player.

  34. Tom

    Just took a glimpse at Coutinho’s Barca wages and saw Griezmann’s making €600kpw.
    What am I missing here?
    When has he ever been this elite?

  35. Pierre

    Pedro
    Of course freddie was a major factor in the development
    Of our academy players.

    Freddie was brought in by Wenger and what a wise decision it was.
    Ljungberg learnt from Wenger and I’m sure Wenger was influential in the superb work being done at Hale end .

    I do believe our academy players would be further up the line in their development if Freddie had stayed on as manager/head coach.

    Players like Martinelli, Willock , Nelson , Nketiah and Balogun would have a number of league games under their belt now if Freddie had stayed on as he would have puy his neck on the line to give the kids a chance..

    Freddie would have been ruthless in removing the experienced players that and in hindsight I wish he had been given the chance at Arsenal to bring the young players through as he had faith in them ..

    Despite the success of Saka and Smith Rowe who were instrumental in turning Arsenal’s season round, I get the feeling that Arteta is reluctant to trust the youth .

    Let’s be honest, Smith Rowe would probably have been sent out on loan last January if our season hadn’t started so dire and our creativity wasn’t Zero……Arteta is a very fortunate man to have such quality young players coming through that ultimately saved his job that was hanging by a thread at Christmas.

  36. S Asoa

    Nice to see an Arsenal type of win after a long time. Playing instinctive football. Outstanding were finishes by Pepe and Balogun. Auba changed his hairstyle and looks like this has improved his game.
    By the way could not see Arteta being a nuisance on the sidelines. Maybe the small training ground did not leave a space beyond the sidelines.
    OK ,was only against Millwall ,but will let it pass and enjoy the entertaining win

  37. S Asoa

    Niketiah started in the friendly. Balogan came as a substitute. To maintay THE BALANCE OF SHIT Arteta kept Elneny to backpass for no rhyme or reason except forever start out from the back and stay therein forever aka Artetaball

  38. China1

    Griezmann is a legend in his own mind. Thinks he’s as good as Messi

    He most definitely is not and never will be

  39. Northbanker

    “The Gunners are also looking at the possibility of signing Switzerland midfielder Denis Zakaria, 24, who has expressed a desire to leave Borussia Monchengladbach.” (Mirror)

    Hmmm = why does signing a Swiss midfielder from BM sound familiar??

  40. Gentlebris

    It’s so le grove to dismiss Auba so quickly after a bad season despite single handedly dragging us to a cup win and finishing a joint top highest scorer just the season before that.

    Arsenal are run pretty awful, but imagine if we were run by the hotheads here.

    Now to the transfers(and the lack of them):

    If the three musketeers don’t sign a new striker after going after Aguero(as confirmed by his daddy)and don’t sign an attacking midfielder after going after Buendia, then you would know they are just pissing against any wall in front of them without having a clear vision of what must be done to take this team forward.

  41. Useroz

    Finally positivity around the Ramsdale runour from today’s media….

    “Kevin Campbell told the Highbury Squad Podcast that there is ‘no chance’ Arsenal are signing Aaron Ramsdale.”

  42. Useroz

    Oh no…to Coutinhno even on loan. There must be plenty of midfielders could be had on sale or loan. Have our scouts also been on a cruise with Kia and Raul before Edu joined the party?

    Seriously, why piss away the loan fee and surely high wages on a likely injury prone has been? Even at 110k pw, which is HALF of what Willian’s on, would mean 2 – 3x of ESR…. is that smart use of fund?

    If the club could afford to spend £50m on an essentially 1 year PL CB, must be ample budget set aside proportionate to ruthlessly address our relatively dire midfield that didn’t rank 2nd or 3rd last season!

    Just go fix it eg Maddison who is being valued (€50m ) lower than Bernado S. (€70m) by Transfermarkt.

  43. Pierre

    One can see the Balogun is a quick learner in the way he took his goal coming in from the left.

    I can see the benefit of having a striker in this position as it immediately gives the team a bigger goal threat.
    Eddie also had a very accomplished first half and linked very well with Tierney and both Balogun and Nketiah understood the role they were being asked to play…

    I I know many question as to where Willock will play (if he stays) but i would ask the same question of Smith Rowe as he spends an awful amount of time out wide.

    Ozil used to be criticised on Le grove for drifting wide, obviously he was playing to the manager’s instructions as smith Rowe was , though i doubt if he will be criticised in the same manner…

    To me , it looks like we were playing closer to a 4-3-3 than the usual 4-2-3-1 thiugh it was quite difficult to ascertain the roles Pepe and Smith Rowe were playing on the right…
    Maybe Arteta has devised a new system.

    Personally I’d like to see Smith Rowe more central as he looks more comfortable there , but I’m not sure that is going to happen

    Lakonga’s debut reminded me of Guendouzi’s debut at Borehamwood which i went to .
    Guendouzi came on in the 2nd half and immediately looked comfortable on the ball and you could tell he was a decent player.
    The same with Lakonga , very tidy on the ball , always available, and for his first game kept it simple …a nice start.

    With regard to Balogun , will he become undroppable if he starts banging in the goals from the left..
    This will give Arteta a few selection problems if he does what with saka, smith rowe , martinelli , lacazette, willian and Pepe all looking for game time..

    For me , if a player is finding the back of the net regularly , they must start.
    We struggled last season up front , i thought Balogun should have been given a run but now hopefully will be his time to stake a claim in the starting line up or at worst an impact sub…

  44. Gonsterous

    How long till lokonga gets arsenal DNA and starts playing back passes to the CB?

    I only kid, he looks amazing and hopefully, this season is a success with arteta learning from his past mistakes ( what mistakes? Ask the AKBs)
    No excuses this time round, all or nothing eh?

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s transfer budget needs to be spent wisely this summer.

    The first two signings of Tavares and Lokango seems to be decent buys to fill holes in our squad.

    It is anticipated that White should be the third signing next week. He is costing a lot of money. Let us hope that he turns out to be as good as being suggested.

    That will complete the first part of the jigsaw.

    The next phase will involve recruitment of a second string goalkeeper and replacements for
    Xhaka and Odegaard in midfield. The replacement for Xhaka is for me a priority. Xhaka was
    a first team regular starter.

    I am totally opposed to buying Ramsdale. For a start the quoted transfer fee is ridiculous and
    second he is neither an upgrade on Leno nor for that matter a top class goalkeeper. He has
    played last two seasons in relegation bound teams at Bournemouth and Sheffield Utd, which
    is hardly a recommendation. I would far rather recruit a no risk low budget second string gk.

    If we need to replace Leno in the future let it be someone who is genuine top class.

    I am also unconvinced about offloading Lacazette this season unless we are getting a market price [at least £25 million] for the player. I would rather see Arsenal strengthen most
    other positions this summer and then focus on CF and GK positions in summer 2021.

  46. Bob N16

    Few thoughts from yesterday.

    I felt Arsenal were much better in the second half and without lumping on too heavily, I think this was mostly down to Elneny’s absence as well as Lacazette’s movement.

    Elneny is so conservative with his passing, on numerous occasions he chose not to play the early, progressive pass, not trusting his ability to find the man. First impressions that Samba Lokonga is much more likely to find the ‘forward pass’, as well as being able to give himself time to find a teammate if initially there’s nobody showing.

    Lacazette drops back into midfield often offering an outlet to the man on the ball, making us much more dangerous.

    ESR looked exciting every time he got possession but I felt he was running wide too much; if he can get in space more centrally he’ll be available more often and provide a direct threat in the middle.

    I hope PEA gets his shooting boots back on as he contributes little otherwise. Don’t see any chemistry between him and KT. KT often looked frustrated with the lack of options when he was looking to be progressive.

    Our midfield still needs sorting!

  47. Rich

    Pierre

    We need to make a decision with Balogun, I don’t see much value in keeping him around if we’re unsuccessful in moving on Lacazette or Aubameyang

    I really like Nketiah and think he’ll develop into a top striker, but it certainly looks like he’s leaving

    With no European football these’s no value in Balogun staying behind Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli, and Pepe who can move centrally as well

    Balogun looks like a top young talent, but we’re better off sending him out on loan to the Championship to pick up 40 games, rather than see him stagnate for the next 12 months

    We can then take stock next summer, we either pump Balogun’s value, or we have a more experienced player lined up as an internal replacement for Lacazette

    The worst outcome for both club and player is Balogun stays, and just plays a few minutes in the domestic cups, then wastes 12 months of his development

    Nketiah has just wasted 18 months, and Nelson the past 2 seasons, we’ve got to start managing the development and career trajectory of our young talent much smarter

  48. Karsa

    Emerites

    The lastest offer for Ramsdale is reported to be 18 mill plus add ons.

    As we appear to be looking for a keeper who will replace Leno in a year that doesn’t seem like an outrageous sum.

  49. Bob N16

    You’re right Rich, the CF situation at the club needs a radical fix. We have two very experienced CFs and three really young options. For that reason alone I could understand why a 24 year old target makes some sense.

    As usual by letting Laca and Nketiah go down to their last year, we’ ve put ourselves in a more difficult position than was necessary.

    In an ideal world, I would sell (!) PEA, buy Abraham, loan out Balogun. Nketiah, who I do rate , probably will have to be sold as it looks unlikely he’ll sign an extension. Then you’d have Abraham, Laca and Martinelli. Laca needs to be sold if PEA stays.

    Not sure how likely any of this is!

  50. Rich

    Bob N16

    I can’t work out what we do with Aubameyang, I was opposed to renewing him on a mega contract, I’ve never been his biggest fan

    Players usually dip physically in their 30s, so it was unlikely we’d keep him out on the left for another 3 seasons

    I’ve never fancied him centrally, he’ll score goals, but doesn’t provide a focal point, and his all around game is bland

    Lacazette’s link play is far superior

    I can see why we’re linked with Tammy Abraham, providing we can clear the deck, he’d provide a focal point to our attack, and would do well with the type of delivery we have from the wide areas, particularly if we can clear out some right backs, and managed to sign a player like Max Aarons

    But if we sold Laca, then signed Abraham, then what do you do with £300k p/w Aubameyang?

    I’d much rather Smith Rowe, Saka, Pepe, start ahead of Aubameyang on the left

    Aubameyang will bag us some goals, but I’d have no issue with us literally giving him away if the opportunity arose

  51. G

    Disagree emirates.. even if we don’t get as much as we want for Laca I would sell rather then lose him on a free..
    I wouldn’t even b bothered if we never signed a replacement and give balogan & Martenelli more chances

  52. Bob N16

    I agree Rich, PEA seems to prefer it on the left but his contribution in build up play is negligible and we have some great alternatives as you mention, I’d add Martinelli to the list. Just as Pepe would benefit from a RB that provides width overlapping on the right, KT would benefit from someone with good movement on the left.

    If we sort out our midfield it will help this imbalance but I can’t help feeling PEA isn’t great for the chemistry of our team, unless he starts scoring heavily of course!

  53. Pierre

    Stroller
    “I am also unconvinced about offloading Lacazette this season unless we are getting a market price [at least £25 million] for the player. ”

    He will leave for nothing in 12 months time, so it’s about weighing up the pros and cons..
    Personally , i would sell him for whatever we can get for him as it will open up a pathway for Balogun and Martinelli…

  54. Pierre

    Bob
    Aubameyang out wide in a 4-3-3 is fine as there is no tracking back
    Out wide in a 4-2-3-1 is a no for me as he hasn’t the energy or inclination to put in the leg work.

    I do think there is one really good season left in Aubameyang, i thought he would go to chelsea to replace Werner as their style is ideal for Aubameyang, I’m not sure we are playing to Aubameyang’s strengths which makes him a liability in the side

  55. Davi

    Can you imagine if Auba had been as bad for Wenger or Emery as he was last year? We’d have been miles off top 4, his goals were so important. Question is: was his poor form because of Arteta’s tactics or his natural decline due to age (or him just not caring anymore)?
    I hope he turns it around but the signs are not good (although I did think he put in a lot of effort yesterday, which is more promising) – doesn’t bode well for this season unless at least one of several players (Pepe, GM, ESR, Balogun) can step up in the goalscoring dept.

  56. Davi

    I’d rather keep Laca even if we lose him for free. We can’t get that much for him now anyway, and he’s a reliable option if Auba can’t pick it up, or the younger options aren’t able to take the mantle immediately.
    Better to lose Laca for nothing in 12 months and have a slim chance at top 4 than sell him now for little and kill our season off completely (which I think is likely unless we can find a replacement of similar quality)

  57. Almuniasaynomore

    Pedro,
    Can you see the posts that have fallen foul of the forbidden words? Can you help me out with that last one, I cant write that out again!

  58. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Arsenal’s priority this season is building a team and bench which is good enough to finish
    close to the top four in EPL.

    That will be achieved with a combination of stability, balance and a team which is fit for purpose. Personally I don’t subscribe to the idea that we make wholesale changes.

    We know that there are positions in the starting lineup which needed this summer an upgrade. Specifically the right side of defence [RB and RCB].

    Midfield has also been a weakness with lack of control, creativity and both assists and goals
    in that department. Xhaka will be leaving so Arsenal need to find a replacement and the
    AMF needs also more competition.

    Smith-Rowe is a very talented player, but he has been playing just half a season in first team.
    We need another player to compete with him in that department.

    I am not convinced that Arsenal needs to spend money on forwards this summer. The club
    has on its books five good players in Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Saka and Martinelli.
    What we need to improve is their goalscoring performances.

    So I look at the goalscoring expectation for each position over 38 games. We need the three
    positions to score collectively a minimum of 50 goals next season ie the CF position 25-30
    goals and RW and LW between 25-30 goals as well.

    Aubameyang and Lacazette should be able to score 25-30 goals as a collective in CF position and I would expect Pepe, Martinelli and Saka scoring between 10 and 15 each.

  59. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal should be aiming to score between 70 and 75 goals next season. That should be within
    our compass if Aubameyang returns to form and we recruit an AMF who has goalscoring
    potential.

  60. Kroenkephobe

    Hi Almunia,
    Ouch – that’s a modern day nightmare and no mistaking. I feel your pain.

    A novel way to compensate for words and posts that are verboten on here is to use (or drop) any derivative of the word ‘drop’. Any way, any time and with any meaning. I gather Pedro has added an algorithm where the inclusion of that word overrides any rude or unwelcome language and guarantees publication.

    Today feels like a beer day. I hope you’re getting plenty of this untypical weather too on your side of the Irish sea.

    Here’s one for you to mull over. An all time baltic sea XI, so any players over the years from countries with a coastline on the baltic. Sticking vaguely to actual positions of course.

  61. Pierre

    Davi
    “Question is: was his poor form because of Arteta’s tactics or his natural decline due to age (or him just not caring anymore)?”

    Obviously tactics , he’s the master of the one touch finish.

  62. Kroenkephobe

    Here’s mine.

    1. Lehmann (of course – beast of a keeper and properly confrontational). Hein or Mart Pooooom as reserve.
    2. Lydersen – the man who indirectly helped bring about the abdication of King George of Scotland).
    3. Stepanovs – sorry if that causes a flashback.
    4. Carl Jenkinson – the not so flying Finn. Finnish mum I seem to recall but made standard single cap for Ingerland.
    5. Mertesacker. Bee Eff Jeee!
    6. Stefan Schwartz. One of our best ever tacklers. Wish he’d stayed longer.
    7. Anders Limpar. Another player GG should never have sold. That long ranger at Anfield is etched in the mind, as well as the willingness to mix it with those cunts at OT in 91 (was it?).
    8. Johnny Jensen. See Lydersen. I was at Highbury when he scored in the loss to QP haha.
    9. Lucas – the Polish/German star with a hammer of a shot – Podolski. Loved the guy. Badly mistreated by old chihuahua head.
    10. Odegaard for that goal and all round performance in the NLD. Not sure I’d want him back though. Bit of an odd one for me.
    11. We love you Freddie, because you’ve got red hair…

    Honourable mentions for Glenn Kamara and Moritz Volz. Dishonourable mention for Nicky B and his Paddy Power pants.

  63. Almuniasaynomore

    Kroenkephobe,
    I actually took Tom’s advice and wrote a skit for everyone to enjoy but the forbidden word thing is killing me! I don’t use word or write them down first so I hope Pedro can rescue it.
    Feels like a beer day but not for me unfortunately! Going to get a few in on Thursday. Would you believe we’re only actually being let inside the pubs and restaurants
    tomorrow but we have to have proof of vaccination. Never saw the nation so motivated to be injected .
    That Baltic one is tough. I’m going to have to get the map out! Hleb? Poom? Will get back to you!

  64. China1

    Auba has never been good in the build up, he’s just an elite penalty box player

    If the club want him effective they need to have the players around him do the leg work. That or pick another CF like laca, balogun, martinelli etc and ask more of them

  65. China1

    Auba is to CF attacking what ozil is to creating

    You either accept their short comings and build a team of enablers around them to cover their weaknesses and pander to their strengths or you bin them off. I don’t think there’s a great deal of middle ground with such players

  66. Rich

    China1

    Completely agree, I’d be happy for us to give Aubameyang away this summer, if we could find anyone to take him

    He’ll bag us some goals, but I’d rather we focused on the balance of our attack

    Since we’re likely stuck with him, we have to try and extract value from him, he seems like the type of character who’d be a nightmare around the training ground and dressing room if he wasn’t involved

    I can see why we like Tammy Abraham, he’d provide a real focal point to our attack, and I think he’d do well in a team that has good delivery from wide areas

    But without outgoings, there’s no chance we sign another striker, we’ve already got too many on our books

  67. China1

    Pierre i wouldn’t say Auba on the left of a 4-3-3 is inherently any safer than in a 4-2-3-1, it’s all in the nuance and tactics of how that formation is managed

    Like in a 4-2-3-1 maybe the two will both be quite unadventurous and protect the defense – more so than in a 4-3-3 where there might be two b2b player who might bomb forwards to support the attack etc

    Likewise in a 4-2-3-1 what if the 10 is hard working and willing to put the mileage in to track back sometimes as needed off the ball?

    It’s all in the nuance of how the formation is or isn’t utilized rather than which of the two formations is chosen

  68. redbro14

    Getting very nervous about our recruitment for the first team starters. I can see a scenario where Sambi is now our only CM player, Chambers RB and ESR as no 10. It would be so Arsenal to move into a season short of what needs to be done to bring us back into contention. Hope I’m wrong….

  69. TR7

    Redbro

    We don’t need a right back if Bellerin leaves. Chambers and Soares are two decent options for the position. Saka can play there too if required.

  70. Mb

    Arsenal have completed the signing of Mike Biereth, a highly rated U18, from Fulham.

    During the 2020/21 season, he scored 21 goals and 13 assists in 21 appearances, and made a few appearances for the U-23s.

    Someone is keeping a check on highly rated youngsters, a good move.

  71. S Asoa

    JWI in 7am
    Clearly explains why Arsenal decline , largely involved Xaka and his unending minutes of play

    JW1 SAYS: July 22, 2021 at 10:40 am
    This set of ideas on advancing the ball forward more quickly– encapsulates why I feel Granit Xhaka’s statistical body of work– is Fool’s Gold. Strike the two or three times per season he’s involved in a boneheaded event on-pitch. What you reap from Xhaka’s never-ending minutes and left-sided forward-passing– is cancelled out by a necessity to rein-in other players in his immediate orbit. IMO, the short-leash on which Arteta kept the attack last season– is directly related to the need to limit Xhaka’s exposure defensively. The smaller the radius that Xhaka is responsible for in defense– the more he can benefit the team being on the field in both phases. But the smaller that sphere– the more other players’ efficiencies are affected as a detriment.
    ‘Consistently’ and ‘reliably’ sound positive.
    Until you modify each with ‘repetitive’ and ‘predictable’.
    Roma beckons. Take the next offer Edu.

  72. Trap

    You want to get Auba back to top form ditch pepe n go with 2 wide creators, at Dortmund he had wide and central creative players all around him …reus was the other player who could chip in with goals.let
    The illustration is just an example

    Partey
    Esro madd
    Saka. Greal
    Aubam

    He will hit 30 epl goals in such a team.

  73. Pierre

    China
    What is usual in a 4-2-3-1 is the wide player has to track back to avoid an overload on the full back, not so much in a 4-3-3 a midfielder can shuffle across.

    As you say , a lot depends on how the central midfielders are used.
    Liverpool rely on their front 3 and 2 full backs for their offensive play
    The 3 in midfield rarely get ahead of the ball and are there i feel mainly for stability.

    Arteta is keen on having 2 holding midfielders so we will see how it pans out.
    The 4-2-3-1 has been the most successful for Arteta so far.

  74. CaliGooner

    You can all stop posting as though Grealish is coming to Arsenal. He’s going to city and there isn’t a single great accomplished footballer that is going to sign for Arsenal over city at the moment.

  75. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Tr7

    I agree
    Think chambers has earned a chance to make it his own.

    Defends well. Gets forwards and crosses well.
    Lacks pace but has a decent football brain.

  76. Davi

    Pierre – he’s not looked like such a master recently. Movement of the ball comes into it as well. I seem to remember Auba scoring a lot of goals from cutting in on his right foot and curling them, 1v1 finishes. Don’t see so much of that now either.
    I don’t doubt the tactics have held him back a bit (especially in the first half of last season, which was truly dreadful), but I don’t think Emery’s tactics were so great either, I think he was just a better player than he is now. It happens to everyone at some point.

  77. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I personally expect balogun will be starting matches before Xmas..

    Think he is more developed than we give credit for.

  78. Rich

    We play 2-3-4-1 in possession

    Then move to a 4-5-1 out of possession

    In possession

    ……………….……Leno
    ………,..Holding Gabriel
    Chambers Partey Xhaka
    …….,.Odegaard Smith Rowe
    ….Saka……………….….Tierney
    …………..…..Lacazette

    We played different variations of this after Xmas, and when Tierney was out, we’d mirror it from left to right

    Chelsea, City, Brighton, Liverpool usually play different variants of it, the whole point seems to be to get 5 players operating in the opponents half, create a territorial dominance, and pin your opponent in

    Italy did something similar in the Euro’s, and after they lost their left back against Belgium, they encountered similar issues to when Tierney was out for us last season

  79. Northbanker

    Sentiments on Chambers shared by me as well. Unless we’re going to sign someone who is world class then Chambers is a great option. Let’s just bide our time to find the right one

  80. Rich

    Chambers has surprised me since he came back into the team, he’s done really well, his versatility is also handy

    I’d love us to sign Max Aarons from Norwich, to come in and compete with Chambers

    But unless we can sell Bellerin + Niles, and find someone to take Soares off our hands, then we don’t have the space in our squad to enter the market for another right back

    We’ve got far too many players, we need to exit door to start revolving at pace