FOUR STANDOUT PERFORMERS AGAINST WATFORD

by .

Arsenal smashed Watford 4-1 in a fairly simple outing.

The intensity of the game certainly wasn’t at Premier League level and Watford really looked a bit sad at times… but you can only play what is put in front of you and as afternoon’s go, it was pretty decent.

I won’t deep-dive the game too hard, but there were some standouts.

Sambi Lokonga: The 21-year-old looks very sharp. He picked up where he left off in the last game and took control in midfield. He seems like quite a big personality, loads of swagger on the pitch, he looks like he belongs. He also answers a very clear problem, namely, we are very slow at transitioning the ball forward. He brings all the control of Xhaka, but he does everything a little faster and with more ambition. I really like how he sits outside the edge of the opposition box and connects with runners. The one-touch passing is a delight as well. Very promising, he’ll be an important player quicker than we thought.

Eddie Nkeitiah: I’ve been quite critical of Eddie. He’s been a great finisher, but outside that, he can be anonymous in games in terms of contribution to the overall play. Out on the left, he showed that he has a lot of really positive attributes. He ran at the Watford backline, he pressed when needed, and he showed up with a great goal, cutting in and curling a shot into the far corner. I suspect he’ll be sold, I just wish he’d gone out on loan last season. That’s up to the player though, he chose to stay like Reiss and wasted a year of development.

Thomas Partey: He’s the boss in that midfield now. He showed off his range of passing and vision. He looked fit. He looked like the big boy in the playground who has decided based off zero evidence he’s peak-Juninho with long-range shooting and freekicks. This season, he’ll know the league, he’ll be acclimated, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to bang hard.

Nicolas Pepe: You know what goes nicely with a cup of Nico? A splash of ESR. The two look fantastic together. The backend of last season seems to have given Nico a lot of confidence. He had a lot of sauce to his game today. His movement was good, he used his power and pace well, and he showed that he’ll be a force in the G/A hunt this season. This is the big year for him, he needs to impose himself and make it happen.

Concerns? 

I really struggle with the idea that we’re going to roll another year with Mo Elneny. He seems like a beautiful human, but the football really isn’t up to much. Azeez, who scored a screamer, looks much more the part, and he seems to have built out athletically as well. We are an injury away from a stagnant midfield again next season and that is frightening.

I’m also a little worried about our strikers. Lacazette, right now, is our best option by a margin. Auba looks happier, but he’s not quite there on the pitch. It could be a bit of self-preservation, but the lack of sharpness is concerning. We’re creating a look of good movement and energy upfront, but it’s not converting with our strikers. That needs to be addressed this coming season.

Things to feel good about?

The squad is starting to play a bit more like an Arsenal team. The passing was accurate and fast, the combinations in the final third are much more interesting, we look far more fluid all over the pitch. We’re moving out of that overly choreographed feel into something more silky and cognitive. Part of that is the coaching settling in, the other part is just having a squad that feels more fit for purpose. Having two centre midfielders that can break the lines at speed gets the ball to our attackers fast. Having ESR and Pepe connecting with each other because their comms has improved whets the appetite. There’s still plenty to go, but things are going to be better next season.

I keep reading people say that our starting 11 is the same as last season. Sure, I get that, but it’s not the same starting 11 it was at the start of last season. The squad that’ll start this season will be the group of players that racked up top 4 form for 60% of the season. That alone is not enough, but we’re infinitely better off now than we were last summer, which is great news.

We’ll be announcing Ben White before this weekend… so you’ll have the Lokonga effect in defence, which again gives us more options.

We’ll have to make a move on Odegaard or Maddison pretty sharpish, that’ll add more sharpness and end product to our attack.

We might move on Tammy Abraham or… Lautaro Martinez (lol), which would give us more energy and aggression in a frontline that’s a touch soft.

I suspect there will be a replacement for Xhaka who has to be moving.

This summer could be a really good one. Next season is going to be different, that much I’m sure of.

Right, catch our latest podcast. We talk about ‘B-list’ England players, Sambi Lokonga, and debate Madders vs Odegaard.

GOOGLE | SPOTIFY | AUDIBLE | ACAST

239 Responses to “FOUR STANDOUT PERFORMERS AGAINST WATFORD”

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  1. SAGG

    Certainly refreshing that Bielsa recognizes White as.a top young talent, being one of the best coaches to work with young talent. (Maybe the best in the world).

  2. Dark Hei

    Ben is a replacement for Luiz who isn’t the best defender but was essential to Arteta’s system.

    I think he is probably the closest fit which was why we got him.

  3. Tony

    Godfather/ Pierre
    ‘I honestly can’t say this any better!
    Pierre please stop the Ozil defense … Cuz your posts will always have a gold star rating from me!
    What a perfect post !!!’

    Have to agree with that.

    Best thing Pierre ever did locking those socks away and concentrating on real football maters.

    Always a good read and at times illuminating.

    Whether White lives up to his lofty price tag remains to be seen. Certain knee jerkers here will pick up every single misstep or mistake will be highlighted in the loudest voice.

    White will need time to build a partnership with his LCB. Just hope his settling in period doesn’t cost goals and points or rightly so people will be asking why Saliba was loaned out again because of not being ready.

    What I’m alluding to is that I expect White to make mistakes where hopefully Mari/Gabriel anticipate to cover for a lapse of positioning, a missed header in the box or being let down by our current RBS and left scrambling.

    That should be acceptable for a new CB finding his feet for a few games.

    However, poor performance mistakes that cost goals and points are not excusable for a £50m player. Therefore, critical criticism would be fair comment.

    If nothing else White should be solid in his play. As I’d keep things tight according to his experience.

    If White turns out to be another Willian, then the onus is on Arteta and Edu, especially if White was bought at the expense of a quality 8/10 midfielder(s).

    I sincerely hope White makes the step up to our back line and makes a name for himself.

    What I am fiercely against is us paying £20m too much when we need to fix the MF and why the MF wasn’t sorted first?

    Still time to adequately fix the MF, but as the MF has needed fixing for a few years now, it’s not easy to accept bringing in a CB when it’s glaringly obvious the issues we have in MF, so it’s a waiting game for now.

    Biggest question I have is having had a season to plan for this TW will the most important acquisitions: MFs , arrive before the season begins or part of our famed trolly dash in the dying seconds of the TW as is our usual way of doing business.

    Hope all this is captured on video for our docu.

    The documentary should give our suits nowhere to hide.

  4. Chris

    Perhaps Lokonga will come in and play a lot of games from the off, I would prefer this to Xhaka coming back into the team, although if he stays the likelihood is he will start. This won’t improve our play from last season. I would rather accept some teething problems with Lokonga starting and adapting to the PL. although he obviously shouldn’t be allowed to sink if he struggles.

    Lokonga/Partey/ESR midfield sounds more exciting and dynamic than anything we put out last season.

    I do hope we add at least one more body in there though, be it Odegaard/Neves/Aouar….

  5. Pierre

    The thing is , if you give any inclination that you are fallible when passing out from the back , as we have already in pre season , the future opposition will have noted that and won’t give our defence a seconds respite.

    Alternately, if a team look composed and assured passing out from the back , the opposition will be more reluctant to press as they will be picked off..

    Unfortunately, we have started off on the wrong foot by looking nervous and not sharp enough with our passing and movement, so expect the opposition to make life very difficult for us early season.

    This will probably mean we will have to play long at times so Arteta really needs to devise an escape route from the press.

    Without a proper plan this can make the players look inadequate , which they are not..
    An obvious way to beat the high press is to push the full backs a little higher when Leno has the ball and this is when playing Chambers at right back is a bonus as he has height, strength and the technique to take the ball from Leno , this also takes as many as 4 or 5 of the opposition players out of the game who are looking to press high..

    City are the masters of this as they have a keeper who can ping a ball and put it on a sixpence to a team mate from 50/60 yards immediately turning defence into attack.

    This one move puts doubts into the opposition and their ability to press , consequently the opposition will ease off the press and you can play out from the back with ease..

  6. Davi

    I’m expecting White to at minimum be similar to Kos in ability. It’s just whether his inclusion has as much of an impact on the attack as it seems we are hoping – could be!
    I don’t think his passing will be as good as Luiz, but he appears to be good at stepping forwards to help progress the ball.
    His signing along with Lokonga appears to be addressing the issue we had when passing our of defence last season: that the ball would stay far too long with the defenders and DMs and not get to the forwards quickly enough.
    I do think, though the actual problem there was more to do with the lack of movement from the forwards, rather than the defenders not being good enough passers, but we’ll see.
    The fact that the White signing seems to marry well with the Lokonga signing at least hints that there’s a plan in effect, which is positive.

  7. PhD2020

    Tony/Pierre/Graham62
    Not sure,if anyone has been catching the Olympic Rugby 7’s .Some great matches over the last few days.

    The most interesting match,was the quarter final match up between Argentina and South Africa.With Argentina down to six men and in the closing stages down to five men with Lautauro Velez being sin binned and holding on for a 19-14 win-was a shock result.Marcos Moneto has been Argentina’s star player I reckon.

    Argentina beating GB for the bronze another shocker.

    Fiji showcased why they are the world’s best at 7’s.Took NZ apart in the final.

    The women’s 7’s is a pretty good display so far.
    Australian team(women’s) looking formidable.The USA(women’s) look like a powerhouse.The Fijian’s looking slick.

    Anyway the Olympics has served to be a positive welcome distraction (for me) from Arsenal’s transfer shenanigans.

  8. raptora

    “AS Roma are set to sign Eldor Shomurodov from Genoa, confirmed. [around €18m]”

    Roma are making transfers while we are holding for the 2-3m difference. Is it really worth it holding for such a negligle sum in the grand scheme of things?

    – It stops us from securing a CM starter as we are not sure if Xhaka is going to leave or not;
    – Another club could jump on our targets and complicate a deal;
    – The selling club will get frustrated that they won’t have enough time to get a replacement and will decide not to sell
    – The selling club might higher up the required transfer sum as the end of the window approaches;
    – The players might change their mind and decide against joining us as the deadline approaches (like Aouar did).

    In my opinion it’s not worth it at all.

  9. Sid

    Nicholas Pepe is a Bugatti that Diet Pep uses in the WRC,
    White is a Rolls Royce that Diet Pep will use in NASCAR

  10. Godfather

    Why are we still being linked with strikers when we are desperate for playmakers from the central midfield spot?
    Aside from the ridiculous amount spent on Ben White it’s part of what’s annoying about the club.

    Bissouma and Aouar and no one would even worry about Ben White. Why does everything have to be so complicated with Arsenal?

    This Tammy Abraham and the Inter Strikers link is almost laughable when we have Auba, Balogun, Laca, Nketiah and Martinelli all available to play at that position with limited opportunities cuz of the lack of European games.

    What are they smoking at the Emirates?

  11. CG

    So

    Vieria’s Palace sign central defender Anderson for £17 000 000

    (6ft 4 , aged 25, x 31 games for Fulham)

    Arteta’s Arsenal sign central defender White for £ 50 000 000

    (6ft, aged 23 x 36 games for BHA)

    Total laughing stock and taken to the cleaners.

    Grimsdale next…..

  12. PhD2020

    GodfatherJuly 29, 2021 12:38:23
    What are they smoking at the Emirates?

    Strong brand of Artedu exhaust fumes…..With a cocktail and umbrella of Boutrous Boutrous(Peter) for the added spin,twist and mule kick.

    🙂

  13. shaun

    They are definitely smoking something with this Abraham nonsense .It is like theses people don’t learn Čech came and all of a sudden became a shit keeper who use to go back to Chelsea whilst being an Arsenal employee on his days off , then we have Luiz deemed not good enough for Chelsea anymore So Arsenal take another cast off and what do we call him agent Luiz , defo Chelsea undercover with all those mistakes and red cards but hey we are not finished yet now for the Jewel in the crown the killer blow .again not deemed good enough for chelsea but lego head goes begging not once but three times and gets the absolute disaster that willian this mofo can’t even be bothered and turns up for pre-season 7 months pregnant and now you have these jokers on here telling you how Abraham is better than laca you couldn’t make it up .it’s like they think they will be making there team better by getting in Chelsea rejects and those same fools will look all confused when Chelsea win the third CL in ten years and arsenal are still struggling to get into the frigging competition. Absolute fools if they bring in Abraham but knowing Lego head he will probably sign him up for 200g a week on a ten year deal

  14. Batesy

    Good result and not a bad performance. Auba still not looking great and the team seems much better with Laca up front. Assuming he stays I have him starting our first game. We do look like we will be exactly the same as last year. White will replace Holding and be our new Luiz. He will give us better distribution out of the back and he is definitely Luiz like and not Kos. His passing looks excellent, not sure as good as Luiz but in reality no centre back in the league apart from maybe Vandyke and Toby A had that passing ability.
    I really don’t want to see us Selling Xhaka unless we can get a direct replacement. We don’t have anyone better in Midfield except Partey at the club as we speak. Even with his limitations he would walk straight in that team if fit. Anyone who says they would play Elneny or even Lokonga over him are mad or just Haters!

  15. Tony

    ‘Unfortunately, we have started off on the wrong foot by looking nervous and not sharp enough with our passing and movement, so expect the opposition to make life very difficult for us early season.’

    But it’s part of the ‘Process’ ask Pedro he knows all things Arteta.

    He could go on Masterminded for the subject. General knowledge might be a tough ask as it covers questions outside Arteta.

    PhD2020
    Missed all the Olympics so far but will catch The Lions next game.

    Sounds like some classic games.

  16. curse

    If they’re able to sell Laca for 10-15 and offer bells as part exchange for Martinez, that would be at least 20m off the 77.
    50m for potentially the next Kun? Might be leaning more towards that than Tammy for 40m. It’s close though, can’t assume Martinez would adapt while Tammy has already done it here.

    Martin being offered 6m a year? I’m sure that’s what they offered Tammy. Starting to look like 125k pw for a early/mid twenty is the going rate at Arsenal. Would that mean that long term a player would only exceed or get close to 200k pw if they were exceptional?

  17. Pedro

    Tony, getting a little desperate when you want to slag off process after a 4-1. Weak sauce when you don’t even like winning.

  18. DigitalBob

    Pedro – any thoughts on Xhaka? I have a feeling he might be staying, it feels like the Roma move has fallen through and we are just waiting for the announcement.

  19. S Asoa

    When are we playing MK Dons so that White can earn his loan spell ?
    Just asking on behalf of my friend Precedent

  20. Havyn

    CG
    ManU signed Maquire for 80m
    Wan Bissaka 50m

    Suddenly everyone is talking about Arsenal as if we’re the first to buy expensive defenders

    Pool bought Van Dyke 75m and theGK 72m

  21. China1

    Havyn white is the 8th most expensive defender ever

    50m isn’t a regular rate for a quality CB or you’d have loads of them by now surely?

    Btw wtf is this bellerin business

    Loan with an OPTION to buy? What on earth is that doing for us except saving a bit of wages for a year before we struggle to sell him next summer when they don’t exercise because he’s a bit shit

  22. PhD2020

    This Sunisa Lee for the USA seems to be the heir apparent to Simone Biles in the all round gymnastics. Quite a talent.

    Tony
    July 29, 2021 13:33:48

    Missed all the Olympics so far but will catch The Lions next game.
    —————-
    If you have time-worth checking out the (highlights or full match)quarter final Rugby 7’s game-Argentina vs South Africa.Full of drama.

    I missed out Emirates Stroller,as I think he’s a rugby fan also and anyone else I missed out.

  23. Chrispy

    If its true we’re getting White for 30m in year 1 and 10m per year in years 2 and 3, what will some on here find to moan about next?

  24. Rich

    Xhaka did well last season, other than his two brain farts against Burnley

    I can forgive one technical mistake, but the petulant sending off from such an experienced player was idiotic, we were just getting on top of the game, and then went on to lose 1-0

    Mistakes like that over the course of the season, usually end up proving really costly

    Quality competition for Leno + Smith Rowe are the two priority positions that have to be filled, regardless of outgoings

    Hopefully we can upgrade Xhaka and maybe Elneny as well, but without outgoings, there’s no room at the inn

    I’d definitely favour a left footer if Xhaka leaves, Bernardo Silva would be a dream replacement, or stylistically Camavinga looks like he would fit that role, but going with a teenager would carry some risks, particularly with the inexperience of Lokonga as well

  25. CJ

    “Bissouma + Ndidi both needed 18-24 months, Lokonga hitting the ground running would make him the rare exception, not the general rule”

    Rich this is false. Bissouma came from Lille the same summer as Pepe and took to the league like duck to water. It did not take Ndidi more than 4 months to acclimatize and take charge of Leicester’s midfield.

  26. Ray+in+LA

    Haven

    “Suddenly everyone is talking about Arsenal as if we’re the first to buy expensive defenders

    “Pool bought Van Dyke 75m”

    If White makes two thirds the positive impact of van Dyke…I will be very happy 🙂

  27. Ray+in+LA

    Haven ——->Havyn

    sorry didn’t notice the ‘autocorrect’

    and not necessarily disagreeing with you — just think it’s a large price spent on the wrong person

  28. andy1886

    Chrispy, that’s actually a heavily front loaded payment schedule. The majority of transfers are paid in stages over several years, Pepe for example, I think his fee was spread over five equal annual payments.

  29. CG

    Ray in LA

    ”””If White makes two thirds the positive impact of van Dyke…I will be very happy 🙂”””’

    But he won’t. The evidence in his career before- states he don’t move the needle a mm.

    (Leeds Utd improved without White and BHA remained exactly the same with him.)

    VVD was a Rolls Royce of a defender at Saints, let alone Liverpool.

    The signing of Benjamin White for £50 000 000 is Arsenal thinking they are getting a RR but are actually getting a Dacia Duster.

    Anderson now of Crystal Palace for £17 000 000 should be nearer Whites actual valuation.

  30. Globalgunner

    Pedro on his usual roll again

    When we win in pre season “Look, we just won, Stop complaining”

    When we lose its “This is pre season chaps, no biggie, Stop complaining”

    Lets be consisitent at least

  31. PhD2020

    HavynJuly 29, 2021 13:46:46
    CG
    ManU signed Maquire for 80m
    Wan Bissaka 50m

    Suddenly everyone is talking about Arsenal as if we’re the first to buy expensive defenders Pool bought Van Dyke 75m

    ——
    What the same Van Dyke bought for £75m- being named defender of the season for the 2018/2019 CL campaign,along with accumulating some of the following accolades:-

    -Premier League: 2019–20
    -UEFA Champions League: 2018–19
    -UEFA Champions League: 2018–19; runner-up: 2017–18

    -UEFA Super Cup: 2019

    -FIFA Club World Cup: 2019
    ———————
    Individual Awards
    ——————-
    -PFA Player’s Player of the Year 2018/19
    -Premier League Player of the Season 2018/19
    -UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award: 2018–19
    -UEFA Defender of the Season: 2018–19
    -The Best FIFA Men’s Player: 2019 (2nd place)
    -UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
    -Football Supporters’ Federation Player of the Year: 2019
    -UEFA Team of the Year: 2018, 2019, 2020

    —–

    The bar is set high I guess.I won’t bother about Alison’s achievements for his transfer fee and his contribution to the Liverpool team since 2018.

    Anyway,2021/22 season will see where we are at and what Artedu’s blueprint is for making us a force to be reckoned with over the forthcoming years.

    We follow the progress with steely eyes.

  32. Rich

    CJ

    So you think Ndidi hasn’t improved significantly since he signed as a 20yr old?

    And Bissouma hasn’t improved significantly since he signed for Brighton as a 21yr old?

    When they both signed, they were the finished articles, adjust instantly, and had no teething problems?

    Of course Ndidi is a more polished player at 23/24 than he was at 20/21, listening to Leicester fans, his passing has improved significantly

    Brighton fans saying Bissouma was massively inconsistent, it was only towards the end of 2019/20 season he started finding consistency

    The difference between a 21yr old with no PL appearances, and a 24yr old with 100+ PL appearances, is usually massive, particularly in central areas of the pitch

    It’s also much easier for young players at clubs like Leicester + Brighton where the expectations are lower, than for young + inexperienced players to make an instant impact at a club like Arsenal

    There’s many fans on here who think Arteta should be sacked if he doesn’t make top 4 this season,

    How many 21yr old deep lying midfielders are playing consistency at Chelsea, Liverpool, United or City this season?

  33. KAY Boss

    Our goal keeping problem has to do with the coaching. I’m not convinced by the present keeping coach.
    People should forget about Martinez. He’s now Villa’s problem. Pedro stop defending Arteta at all times. I’m still baffled he’s still our coach.

  34. Ray+in+LA

    The Athletic article comparing the transfer markets in the top five European leagues has many interesting points…

    https://theathletic.com/2731245/2021/07/27/the-transfer-window-analysed-how-the-pandemic-has-changed-clubs-spending-dramatically/?source=ukdfb

    Serie A buys more players than the PL [41 vs 33], the players are older [25.1 vs 22.8] and cheaper [median 3.6 vs 9.4] — and Serie A is three-times more likely to bring in a player on loan than the PL

    Not sure what that says about the Xhaka move 🙂

    White will be the only transfer above 40 million bar Sancho’s

  35. KAY Boss

    CJ, we sign a non english , you complain they are mercenaries. An English player is signed and you still complain about it. To you, if it’s not your lover Wenger doing the signings, it’s not a good one.
    Maybe something’s never changes with some people on here.

  36. Chrispy

    Thanks LT…… that whole 30+10+10 was really helpful 😉

    My point is though, everyone is losing their shit over the £50m fee blowing whatever budget we have when its not quite as clearcut as that. He might well turn out to be a bargain. Who knows?
    Its not my money or any of ours so cant see what the fuss is about.

  37. Dissenter

    “Anderson now of Crystal Palace for £17 000 000 should be nearer Whites actual valuation.”

    Anderson did very well last season, he stood out in that Fulham team
    White was largely unseen, nobody here singled him out as an exemplar in the Brighton team

    Bielsa’s recommendation is being used to justify our signing White but Leeds only offered 25 million for him. It’s amazing how his value doubled with one middling premier league season and inclusion into the England squad [after TAA pulled out] .

  38. Dissenter

    There’s nothing wrong with admitting that we are overpaying for White.

    The player will be supported by all and sundry here but we are overpaying for him; 50 million with 5 million [performance bonuses].

    Hope we wont start bargaining over pennies when the time comes to sign a CAM and AM

  39. TR7

    Curse

    “If they’re able to sell Laca for 10-15 and offer bells as part exchange for Martinez, that would be at least 20m off the 77.
    50m for potentially the next Kun? Might be leaning more towards that than Tammy for 40M”

    Laturo is not a good striker.

  40. Dissenter

    We are not the only ones with a bloated squad
    Chelsea have to move out some big names in their squad, so does United- the likes of Martial have to leave.
    It’s going to be hard to get rid of some of the excessive baggage we have without losses.
    It’s clubs like Crystal palace that will benefit. Steven Parish looked like a mad man at a the end of last season when 15 squad players where allowed to run out of their contracts but he’s going to get better players signed for a lot less this summer.

  41. China1

    Also van dyke is probably the best CB in the world. Liverpool were very well vindicated for the fee.

    Will white be one of the best in the world to justify his price? That’s up to him

  42. CG

    Dissenter

    ”””There’s nothing wrong with admitting that we are overpaying for White.”””’

    Crikey, no wonder BHA have ‘American Express ‘ sponsored on their shirts.

  43. BacaryisGod

    Dissenter-Pedro already linked to a clip of Bielsa saying they offered 30m for White but that’s not the main issue here.

    Most of us agree that last season was a massive disappointment. We missed all European competitions (even when UEFA added a new one) and losing to Emery was the tomato sauce flavoured crisps on a Spinal Tap s*it sandwich. We’ve all gone back and forth regarding the uptick since Christmas but no-one here thinks 8th or an Emery loss was acceptable.

    But here’s the good news. Because of no Europe and the crippling Covid revenue impact, I fully expected only a marginal investment in the squad (20-30m plus whatever revenues were generated from payer sales). The fact that we’re one of the few teams spending serious money is an important sign that the Kroenkes are prepared to compete at least financially.

    Of course, then it comes down to the judgement of Arteta and Edu in recruitment. They deserve credit on player retention (ESR, Balogun etc) but the jury’s out until we see 1) who ends up coming in 2) who leaves and 3) hoe we are playing and our league position 10-12 games in to the new season.

  44. China1

    Divine true it’s not whites fault but his success as a signing will be based on to what extent he is value for his fee

    Just like xhaka. If he was some 12m player I don’t think any of us would mind him being flawed

  45. Tom

    I’m a car enthusiast and I also watch more PL than anyone I know, and I’m here to tell you Pedro’s Leeds supporting uncle has no clue about cars or football when he says White is a RR of a defender.

    Rio Ferdinand was one and VVD is another , and that’s about it for the last 2 decades for RR defenders in the PL.

    Arsenal didn’t pay RR money for White anyways so how about we settle for a Mercedes Benz performance from him if we can get them.

  46. PhD2020

    £41 million + add ons for Varane from Real Madrid to Manure vs £50 million Ben White from BHA to Arsenal?

    Go figure…

    And we’re meant to be championing the Borussia Dortmund model??

    Go figure….

  47. WengerEagle

    West Ham are signing Areola on a loan to buy deal down the line from PSG.

    I mean, would that not have been a smarter option than paying 25m for Ramsdale?

  48. China1

    Taking the car analogy, I really like the latest BMW 5 series,. Not sure exactly what it costs currently but needless to say if I paid £120k for it no amount of it being a really nice car would make up for the fact that this is not value for money

  49. Tom

    I’ll say this much for White though , he is an athlete………..that Rashford clip most fans were deriding him for …….not necessarily a text book defending, but Rashford in the open field is as quick as any player in the world and White matched him for pace.

  50. curse

    TR7

    “Laturo is not a good striker”

    Can’t agree or disagree, haven’t watched him enough. first video I saw he looked very underwhelming, certainly not a 77m pound striker. But I dug for a while, analysed a bit and at 23 he has elite attributes.
    His ball control, retention, speed of thought, awareness, being in the right place at the right time, heading ability for a small guy, work rate and versatility is top notch.
    If diet Pep’ preferred CF is in the Kun mold I can see why this guy might get the nod.

  51. China1

    Varane’s list of trophies is unreal

    10 years, 18 trophies I think. Including 4 CLs… also a World Cup winner

  52. Dissenter

    Wenger eagle
    I saw that Areola deal and wondered the same but the genuises at Colney are looking at metadata you have no access
    You also wonder why are the so consumed about signing a 23 yr old keeper.

    27-28 is the sweet spot for goal keepers, unless they are like Donarrumma. That’s when they get matured.
    We should be signing a mature/experienced goalie to help the young defenders we are cumulating.

  53. PhD2020

    Excuse me for being a cynic-Weren’t we building a young albeit British project under an experienced manager in Arsene back in 2012,with the extended signings of:

    Ramsey
    Ox
    Gibbs
    Wilshere
    Walcott

    Look where that got us?Though Pierre will add some FAC’s as justification.
    At least, then,we were in the CL competitions.Albeit making up the numbers to be bounced out during the knock out rounds.

    Now,outside of top 6-finishing in 8th for two consecutive seasons and with no European competition, if it’s true we are hedging our bets on the following:

    -Ben White
    -Ramsdale
    -Tammy Abrahams

    What are the odds we get back into a CL contention or even a Europa place under Artedu during the 2021/22 season campaign?

    It’s almost as if,other clubs above or around us,do not not have better players or will seek to improve upon their squad(s) during the transfer period.

    What,everyone dumbs down their level of standards to suit Arsenal’s benchmark under Artedu?

  54. WengerEagle

    Curse

    Martinez’s passing numbers are horrendous for an elite ST, he’s way down in the 60s % wise. Also only passes <15 times per game.

    Pep would dry heave simply looking at those numbers.

  55. TR7

    Curse

    Have watched Lautaro a little bit. On his day which by the way are few and far between he is very good. But when he is off his game he goes completely missing. Not consistent and capable enough to lead an attack week in week out. He is a decent support striker. Watched him in Copa, he looked very ordinary even though he scored a couple of goals.

  56. Tom

    Dissenter, Do you know how difficult it is to go up and down twice in such a short amount of time? That in itself is a skill.
    Ok, I’m grasping at straws a bit here maybe, but I’m telling you, he’s an athlete.
    Holding only goes down once…………..I’ve heard rumors.

  57. CJ

    Some keepers look alright in a dogshit team, where they’re facing 20 shots a game.

    Leno under Mr. Good Evening, Richard Wright at Ipswich, Mignolet at Sunderland, Johnstone at West Brom last season.

    Whereas this lad still looked absolutely crap at both Bournemouth and Sheffield.

  58. Dissenter

    Tom
    I’ll take a slower defender who anticipates better and knows when to stay on his feet. Sliding all over the place is asking for contact that will lead to penalties. White was lucky that wasn’t Martial he faced up to there.

    I agree that coming back from a bum position for quickly is a measure of athleticism and competitiveness.

    Good managers will tell him to stay on his feet, just goes to show that we are paying for raw tapioca.

  59. Steveyg87

    Those getting their panties in a twist over the potential Ramsdale deal, which I believe will be in the region of around 25 mill, need to take a look at what’s happening at the club. We are making a concerted effort to get ball players in. Leno can’t play from the back, let me rephrase that. He sucks with the ball at his feet, he is a decent shot stopper point. If Arteta hasn’t identified this yet then I have no hope for this season

  60. Crabregas

    People making judgements about one clip…oh dear.

    I suppose it probably is the first and only time some people have seen him play so it’s no surprise.

  61. DivineSherlock

    China

    I think mainly because its a defender we are really gonna microanalyse him to the point where one backward pass to Leno will be derided , looking past the valuation I dont think there is anyone more highly rated English defender in PL . Lets not forget City paid the same amount for John Stones. It took Stones 3 years to look world class at City.

  62. Crabregas

    Plus Sol Campbell and John Terry were pretty good defenders who used to love a slide. I suppose they stayed raw tapioca as they never learned

  63. PhD2020

    And let’s be honest-how much money would Artedu have had ,if not Arteta spent to get us out of Europe and back into Europe, in his time here-over 20 months?

    -Tavares-£8 million
    -Lokonga-£16 million
    -Partey-£45 million
    -Gabriel-£23.4 million
    -Mari-£4.5 million
    -Runnarson-£1.8 million
    -Soares-£5.4 million
    -White-£50 million

    That’s almost £150 million + under Arteta& Artedu,being out of Europe and being in 8th place x2 , without accounting for potentially Ramsdale(£25 million) & T.A.(£40 million),which would take our transfer spend to over £210+ million in his time here .

    Are Artedu the guys,to really deliver the process?

  64. CJ

    “How many 21yr old deep lying midfielders are playing consistency at Chelsea, Liverpool, United or City this season?”

    If a player is good enough, a coach should play them. I really don’t care if our first XI is filled with U-23’s question is are they capable? I would rather Saliba got Mari, Holding’s and Luiz minutes last season the moment it the season was done as a contest. Rather have Saliba make David Luiz’s mistakes. Same thing for Lokonga vs whatever senior midfielder that will start ahead of him. Nelson should have been the one starting/getting subbed on in games at the tail end of last season instead of Willian. As for Ndidi/Bissouma you clearly stated 18-24 months and I’m saying that they showed the league what they were about in less time. At the tail end of 2019/2020 Bissouma was 7/8 months in at BHA.

  65. Vintage Gun

    Ben White is a very good footballer. A player who’s career trajectory has ben on the up and up since his debut.

    Newport , 51 apps, (42 in L2)
    Peterborough , 16 apps (15 in L1) half season loan
    Leeds, 49 apps (46 in C’ship)
    Brighton 39 apps (36 in PL)

    In four years he’s gone from a teenage rookie in L2 to a full international and a transfer to Arsenal as a starting CB with EVERY manager he has worked with saying that they tried to keep him. So to hear people talk like he’s rubbish is laughable when he has passed every career test thus far.

    My ONLY issues around White was the price tag (personally i think £30-35m) and whether the 50m outlay would impact our recruitment in other areas (namely midfield).

    Hefty fee aside, we have a very good player on our hands. We all should support him because he doesn’t decide his own transfer fee. We need to judge him on his performances and judge Mikel and Edu on his fee.

    But give him a chance first

  66. CJ

    Will rather have a team of Saka, Martinelli, ESR, Saliba, Lokonga, Gabriel, Balogun, Azeez, White than watch any more of Xhaka, Willian, Lacazette, Mari, Cedric, Bellerin stinking the place up. I repeat Saliba won’t have made the amount of mistakes Luiz made last season. What was the upside to Luiz? He was important to how we played?? There was no difference to our play or results whether Luiz was on or off. Absolutely none. This is one of the internet things that gets spoken of a lot times it starts resembling the truth.

  67. Rich

    CJ

    Bissouma signed in the summer of 2018 for the 2018/19 season

    So at the end of the 2019/20 season, he’d been there 2 seasons, it was only towards the end of that season he started finding consistency

    Luiz + Xhaka will make mistakes, but they have the experience to deal with those mistakes

    When young players make mistakes it can really effect their confidence, and they often need a period of of the team

    Case in point Gabriel last season, he started well, then made some mistakes, and needed a period out of the team before coming back

    He did well at times last season for someone so inexperienced, I’d expect him to be better this season, and better again next season, as he gains more experience and settles further int his environment

  68. curse

    WE

    Not sure anyone would class him as an elite striker and the passing stats for me need more context. Maybe he can’t pass for shit or maybe his role/system contributes to that?

    TR7

    I’ve read a few people echo the same, the first video I watched he came across as inconsistent. I’m not sold on him by any means but at 23 with some coaching who knows. We might be ok this season at CF but that’s if we’re lucky. I’d rather they try to sort out this elephant asap.

  69. Mb

    Anyone who think Ben White is crap because Radhford owned him, would probably also believe Ngolo Kante is sh*t because a 19 year old Martinelli owned him.

    It was brilliance of Rashford, doesn’t make White any inferior.

    He could be decent, could turn out to be a world class at Arsenal.

    Only concern should be that price tag!

  70. Mb

    And if a manager wants a defender, overpays for him, priorities it over the midfield need we have, I’m all IN but without compromising on the Champions League qualification.

    No shifting of goal post, no ‘post Christmas’ table, not even those pretty graphs and numbers; a top 4 for this season must be the bare minimum.

  71. WengerEagle

    Curse

    I am with TR7, the guy is definitely gifted and on his day is a very good ST but he’s not consistent enough for me to warrant paying through the nose for and if he is having a stinker in front of goal, he doesn’t contribute enough in other areas.

    There’s a real shortage of top class ST prospects coming through, most of the top ones around Europe in Messi, Ronaldo, Lewandowski, Benzema, Suarez, Kane, Lukaku, Gerard Moreno, Immobile are all 28+ with the vast majority of them 33+.

    Obvious top end exceptions being Haaland and Mbappe and a couple of others with potential in Lautaro Martinez, Isak, Vlahovic, Andre Silva but none of these have very well rounded games yet like the top shelf guys.

    A lot can change in a year, Haaland went from being a complete unknown to one of the highest rated STs on the planet in that space of time in 19/20, same with Mbappe in 16/17.

    Hopefully a couple of gems can emerge for us to replace Laca/Auba next summer.