MADDERS GETTING THE HEAVY LINKS

by .

A few things on the agenda today.

Thomas Partey’s rep came out with a eulogy to his injury yesterday, then quickly backtracked and told Arsenal fans not to panic. Let’s hope there’s some good news. It sounds like he’s going to miss the Brentford game regardless, which is annoying, but it’s not a death strike on our season.

There’s news doing the rounds that Arsenal are about to give Xhaka a forever contract to stay at Arsenal. There’s no way of cutting it, the news is disappointing. The player wanted to leave a month ago, now we can’t get a buyer for him we want to offer him more money and a deal until he’s is 34 years old? He’s deal has two years left to go, shouldn’t we just be extending a year? He just had the tournament of his life and the best bid we could land was £10m. I struggle to see how a transfer bounce next season sees a bid higher? Generally, there’s been logic behind most of things we’ve done this year, hopefully that’s just bad information in the system, because that is an awfully long contract for someone of that age that wanted out last week.

Still, it does appear that the reason we said no was a simple one: We couldn’t afford a replacement with £10m and that would eat into the rest of our summer plans.

Which brings us on nicely to the news that Arsenal are in fact heading in for James Maddison. If you told me we’d keep Xhaka if it meant we could sign Maddison, I am going to take that deal. The rumour has been hanging in the air like a rich attuned cologne for months, now it seems like we’re pushing in with offerings of some of our Hale-Enders. The whole thing still feels a little nuts to me, especially when the offer is Ainsley the other way. But we’ll see. If the player wants out and we have cash, these things can happen fast.

There’s also some more yin to yang. Mo Elneny might be hanging around the squad like the guy who overstays their welcome at your party… but some of the journos are saying that Azeez is going to be kept around this summer. You know what I like about this? Everything. The player looked transformed the other day, he’s moved from a waif-like child to a powerhouse in a few months. That’s putting in the hard-work and being rewarded.

What does hack me off is that a whole section of people have to immediately made it about Saliba. Can’t we just take it as ‘well, it’s clearly not a kids thing that is going on here’ and be happy for another Hale-Ender?

It is interesting though, because a lot of the kids are looking like men right now. Eddie has looked our best striker in preseason. He looks fit, focused and he’s making a difference every time he arrives on the pitch. The shame is we’ll end up keeping Lacazette around over one of the young players. There might be some regret in the system at some point with Eddie, because with games, he’ll bang them in. Trouble is, the club seems to have put their chips on Balogun and he shares an agent with Eddie. Can’t tell both players they’ll get minutes this season. One will have to go.

It’ll also be interesting to see what happens with Joe Willock. He caused chaos the other day, had a great stint with Newcastle, but if we’re going for Maddison, where does he fit? Seems the Geordies might have found some money for him, and be willing to go to £23m.

I also wanted to revisit the Chelsea game one more time, because some of the coverage of that game was embarrassing. It’s preseaon. Nothing matters bar fitness and tactical coaching. No one has any idea how much hard-work went on in the week prior to that game. No one knows what the purpose of the run-out was. Some fans seem more intent on being the first to call the season over than to actually let things play out and see where we land. The game was messy, but I’ve seen 4 comps of 4 different players doing the rounds… so clearly, there’s some good stuff going on. Thomas Partey is going to be on fire this season, Sambi Lokonga looked comfortable against good opposition, ESR is going to be more on the front foot this season… and it’s clear we’re not going to be deep-blocking against West Ham this season. The football is going to kick up a gear with a higher line with players that can handle it.

Imagine how much better things will be when we have all our transfer business done and we welcome back the two Gabriel’s and Bukayo Saka.

Finally, did anyone notice Spurs going for one of those European bargain right-sided ball-playing centre backs for £50m? Anyone following Chelsea tracking Kounde from broke Spain with a £60m bid? A lot of people slagging Arsenal for paying the English tax on Ben White… I’d maybe suggest it’s a tax on ball-playing centre backs that are 23 or younger, because those two are certainly not coming here on the bargain prices everyone critiqued Arsenal for not leaning in on.

Right, LIVE TWITCH STREAM AT 6PM UK TIME. Tune in… or don’t, just like, listen to the podcast later.

297 Responses to “MADDERS GETTING THE HEAVY LINKS”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    This is a season where the bulk of transfer business will be conducted in EPL. There is clearly very little money abroad.

    I think that it is also increasingly apparent that most of the money likely to be spent in the market is focussed on Home Grown Players such as Kane, Grealish, Maddison and White plus players who are already playing in the English game such as Buendia and Neves.

    The situation with Xhaka, Bellerin and Torreira highlights the acute shortage of funds elsewhere. Arsenal have not been unrealistic in what they are asking for these players.
    Euros20 Million for Bellerin and Xhaka would be considered reasonable in normal market conditions a fair price.

    Arsenal will buy another midfield player. It would seem that the two most likely options are
    Maddison and Odegaard. Both are likely to cost north of £50 million although I suspect that
    the deal will be constructed with an instalment plan similar to what has been negotiated
    with both Pepe and White.

  2. raptora

    A bit over the top to call Maddison a superstar. His 1 England app is as a sub in a 7-0 win vs Montenegro.

    Paying 70m is way overpriced. 50m absolute top.

    I guess we’ve reached the time when Arteta is basically pointing at players and demanding Arsenal to get them no matter what.

    White + Maddison for a combine fee of 120m when their real value is 80m at best? Are you insane?

    If only we were throwing these sums when Wenger was here. Hell, 120m brings you the absolute best players in the league maybe bar KDB.

    And here we are spending this amount of money on 2 players with a total of 3 combined NT appearances. Mind you, Saka has 9 apps and he is 19 yo.

    Especially knowing how starved out of money are 99% of the clubs on the continent. Are you bloody mental?

  3. Gentlebris

    Of all the tested and successful football/sporting directors in the world, we picked Edu; of all the smart business people with experiences in high offices in business who could be our managing director, we picked Vinai, of all the actual football managers with intimidating credentials, we picked an untested assistant coach…and you now wonder why Arsenal are making piss poor decisions day after day?

    You don’t intentionally sabotage yourself and then hope for some magic to happen.

    I think the Kroenkes are the issue. I don’t think they really care about Arsenal achieving sporting success.

  4. Godfather

    Sorry but Onuachu isn’t good enough for Arsenal.
    I’ve talked to some Nigerians who live and die for the game, and derision is the kindest thing they have to say about him .

    He isn’t even a Bonafide starter for them as he is behind Iheanacho and Osimhen. Nah I’ll pass. Not gonna go crazy over Belgian league stats plus no one major is in for him. Must be a reason.

  5. Ash79

    ….football is just banter now

    Hard to take seriously, might be my age or just everything in football just seems shit..

    Rivalry dead, all players are friends hugging and shit, all smiles..
    Money obliterated the game, 70m for maddison lol have a word, state oligarchs owned clubs..
    Media hyping up every piece of shit player that has 2 good consecutive games, and he subsequently gets in the England squad..
    No common sense VAR refereeing..
    Spurs finishing above arsenal every season

    I mean come on, wtf has happened

  6. David.D

    Think we are making a big mistake letting Willock go.
    Resigned to seeing AMN go as well as Eddie who to be honest cant really see much to his game apart from poaching.
    Balogun all day long over Eddie.
    But why not give Willock a chance at least.
    To see if he can replicate that form he showed for Newcastle.
    He has 2 years left.
    Let’s see what he can do this season for us first.
    Goalscoring midfielders with that knack are hard to come by.

  7. David.D

    Mr Serge
    I think its inevitable.
    Dont trust Arteta to actually invest time in Willock for the benefit of Arsenal.
    I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

  8. Leedsgunner

    Pedro

    We’ve had our differences about Arteta but having listened to your latest musings with Johnny you’ve brought me around to your way of thinking about Ben White.

    Great job on the pod, your best yet…

  9. NWM

    Champagne Charlie

    “Onana deal off with the emergence of bigger teams late in the day. Would prefer him to Ramsdale on value alone (though he can’t play until the new year?), rather meet the HG quota via Maddison and Tammy.”

    With all the U21s on Arsenal’s roster, most of whom will be classified as home grown after they turn 21, home grown quota isn’t an issue for Arsenal.
    The restriction is on the 17 player maximum on over 21 non home grown players,. Arsenal currently have 16 over 21 non home grown players including Kolasinac, Torreira, and Runarson. Even if Arsenal can’t sell them, I doubt this trio will still be around on Sept. 1. The rumor is they are currently working on a buyout for Kolasinac. So even without moving Willian or Cedric on, Arsenal should have room for as many as four new non home grown players.

  10. MD-Gunner

    Thought this was an excellent quote from someone on football365 about the forgotten Arsenal Player Torreira:
    “I sincerely hope Lucas outlasts Arteta – there is a player in there and I want to see him in the red and white again – far more than I want to watch Arteta’s dull style of football.”

  11. Gonsterous

    So if we are broke and have to sell before we buy, why did we spunk 50m on white?

    We should have kept saliba, and bought in bossouma along with lonkonga
    And now sell to buy a CAM. Everything would have been solved.

  12. Leedsgunner

    If Chelsea succeeds in bringing Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge I personally would ask for a very high loan fee from Inter with an obligation to buy OR suggest to them that unless they take Bellerin on a permanent deal the talks are off.

    With Hakimi and Lukaku both sold they won’t be short of money and I doubt they will sell Lautaro Martinez to us.

    If so I don’t see why we shouldn’t be given a fair price for Bellerin… say £25m minimum.

  13. Tony

    Arteta probably wanted to keep Xhaka all along as he hates his favorites leaving.

    Ode vs Madders?

    Madders offers more immediately IF he can stay fit for the season and, if Xhaka had left, I would opt for Madders.

    However, it seems Xhaka has Arteta’s trust for what that is worth, but seemingly worth enough to bypass Arteta’s non-negotiable for Xhaka wanting to leave the club; therefore, I’d prefer Ode over Madders.

    I disagree with Pierre (it had to happen sooner or later) Ode hasn’t become less of a player now older nor has he reached his ceiling.

    In Ode you have a player who has been shunted around and done well considering with RS in Spain and for us before his injury.

    Ode needs a top manager, such as Ten Hag, Naglesmann et al to help him become an elite player he has the potential to be.

    Arteta and Steve Round are not the right coaches for Ode in the long run, but they would be ok to play Ode next to Partey and possibly Lokonga, but not Xhaka. I doubt Arteta is going to last the season anyway, so the new manager has plenty to work with with Ode, Lokonga, ESR and Azeez with Patino to follow next season – plus who the new manager believes we need for the 6, 8 and 10 births.

    The Xhaka extension means, if he is played regularly as we suspect he will be, then top 4 will be completely out of the question, but we might scrape in with the EL cup. Why? Because we haven’t played in the CL league since Xhaka joined us and there are more clubs now vying for CL spots.

    If we buy Madders for £70m (£20m over priced) and we bought White for £55m (another £20m over priced), then the wasted £40 million that could have bought us a good RB or keeper.

    I doubt any other owner of a PL club would allow Arteta, Edu, Vinai and Graylick to lose the club so many £millions in player devaluations and players bought at greatly inflated prices.

    Graylick is some negotiator by the look at it even managing to allow sell on %s in his acquisition contracts as with White for BHA.

    I just want the season to start with fans in the Emirates and see what happens from there.

    Arteta just love hoodwinking Josh that they know what they’re doing and Josh is more the fool for believing them.

    Wonder what Wiggy is going to say tom his son when they realize they have spent (loading the club with more debt) over £300m and still no CL.

    None of that conversation will be good.

    Let the season begin bringing much flip flopping from the usual suspects.

  14. MidwestGun

    Lucas Torrierra looked terrible in the Copa….. Was subbed off in most matches. He doesn’t look mentally in the game anymore. Best to sell him. Physically too.. you cant make up for lack of size even though he tries, it’s not enough when you face other physical teams all the time. and like in the Copa… it was a physical tournament… he looked gassed by 50 mins. He clearly is not loving his time in Europe either .. every single quote by him .. is how much he wants to go back to South America.

    I think fans who want him back are remembering the romantized version of him when he first played for Arsenal. and haven’t seen him play lately.

  15. Tony

    Mikel Arteta wasted no time sending a pointed message to the decision makers at Arsenal about what would need to happen this summer.

    “They’re going to get better and they’re going to strengthen, so we need to get better.”
    After failing to qualify for European football for the first time in 25 years, the Gunners boss pulled no punches about the job at hand.

    “I think a project has its phases and I am telling you we are in a much better position today to be where we want to be very soon – if we do what we have to do.

    “But we have to be ruthless. There is no time to waste and there is a lot to do.”

    Arteta was insistent that the squad needed to change and on that end, Arsenal are some way short of achieving their overall objective this summer.

    The £50million signing of Ben White helps to shore up one of their main problem areas in defence.

    But their other two senior signings – Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares – both appear to be ones for the future, rather than instant starters.

    The pre-season injury to Thomas Partey means there is a good chance a midfield pairing of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny will be trotted out when the Premier League kicks off in just over a week’s time.

    As of yet, there has been no new No.10 for Arteta to build around, although tying Emile Smith Rowe to a long-term deal was a job well done.

    Going forward, it’s still the same names with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, battling with youngsters like Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun.

    Arteta revealed talks he had held with Josh Kroenke on the final day of the season, claiming the American ownership still had the ambition to help take the club to the next level.

    “The same that he says every time that we’re on the phone, that he’s very supportive, very passionate about the club and he wants to take the club to a different level,” he explained.

    “That’s the ambition and that’s why he’s here.”

    That hasn’t quite come to fruition yet and Arsenal fans will now be desperate to see the “aggressive” approach that Josh discussed at a recent fans’ forum meeting.

    “I think we’re not afraid to be aggressive at different points in time,” he said back in April.
    “Hopefully you’ve noticed over the last few transfer windows we have been more aggressive.”

    Recent reports have touted Arsenal with moves for James Maddison, Lautaro Martinez and Aaron Ramsdale a triple transfer swoop would likely see their spending eclipse £200m.

    That would be a sure sign that KSE are true to their word about taking the club to the next level and an even clearer sign that their aggressive transfer stance has continued.

    Taking the club to the next level? Aggressive transfer stance?

    Absolute top notch lip service served up to the Mirror online for us gooners.

  16. Northbanker

    If we signed Maddison it bcomes quite possible he may also play a deeper role from time to time so that the CMs would then be him and one of Xhake, Lokonga and Partey.

    If Partey can remain fit then he will be the only one in a near-automatic place. I think it is quite likely that Xhaka will not be an automatic starter anymore.

    I also think it is possible that he and MA have privately agreed he can leave next Summer. He will be 29 then and locking into a longer contract may help us to achieve maximum value in what may be a healthier transfer market, assuming stadiums are filled again.

  17. DivineSherlock

    The wise move would be to go for Harvey Barnes , his emergence is why Leicester is open to sell Maddinson. Not that I am against Maddinson , he is pretty much what we lack in attacking option. Has some fitness issues though.

  18. Northbanker

    So I for one am not that concerned about Xhaka staying. Lokonga and Azeez have more of a through route to develop and get first team football. I suspect Lokonga is actually quite Prem ready even now.

    i wasn’t that enamoured by the suggested replacements – Neves and even Locatelli – better players (although have to say that in Euros Xhaka looked better than both) but not enough of an upgrade to make focusing on that position a priority.

  19. Northbanker

    Tony – I get your points on Xhaka but the key difference is we will have more options if JM signs and Lokonga and Azeez come of age. More importantly Elneny will also move down the pecking order with a bit of luck.

  20. Batistuta

    What we have in said position

    Willock
    El neny
    Xhaka
    Partey
    Torreira
    Lokonga

    Im sure that’ll scare the crap out of a lot of top teams

  21. Batistuta

    Also there’s no European football which means less games for the youngsters to get a run out in say the Europa league to impress not like Arteta trusted them a lot last season anyway.

  22. Tony

    Northbanker
    I agree with your thinking but what worries me most at the moment is we end up either out of sight by Xmas for CL and possibly EL cup qualifications or playin g serious catch up.

    It’s not just Xhaka although he should no longer be with the club and should have gone during Emery’s tenure.

    It’s the combination of Xhaka, Arteta and probably Edu as well that really troubles me.

    I always live in hope with Arsenal and never want us to lose but I just can’t stand incompetence in life as well as business.

    With The Arsenal the incompetence from top down with the blind leading the blind just leaves me feeling so angry at KSE for letting it happen.

    It ends up with me feeling numb at the start of the season knowing we have little to no chance of getting back to the club we were once where I include Wenger’s first 9 years as being close to GG’s reign bar his last season and B Mee’s levels of good.

    W’ve had a few rough decades over the last 100 years but nothing I feel is as bad as it is today with everyone clueless above Doris the tea lady.

  23. curse

    I remember when it got to the point where I couldn’t see the fly’s name, hear it or see his bug eyed face without wanting to smash something.

    Lucas is in the same boat. embarrassing signing. Who ever thought it was a good idea to put a man child as DM needs a serious talking to.

    And we wonder why we’ve become a banter club.

  24. Tony

    Northbanker
    There’s a lot of ifs that = hope.

    If we sign Madders and IF Azeez is lucky to get minutes he should have got in the back end of last season.

    If Arteta doesn’t have his usual fixation with Arteta and Elneny who he seems to trust above others.

    Arteta is his own worst enemy and will make similar if not the same errors he’s made in the last 20 months.

    2 in 20 months and 9 days to the Brentford game and once again we’re scrambling to find out best starting 11.

    Why that is ask Arteta and Edu?

  25. Northbanker

    I’m scraping the positives out of this Tony – it’s too easy to dwell on the negatives and MA has so far underwhelmed me (and worse) with his apparent decision making. The one comfort I do get though, no doubt for a number of underlying reasons, is the number of our top young players who are signing on for long term contracts. This is something the club IS getting right and is a beacon ahead. If we can also ensure a pipeline from spotting and signing up emerging talent like Martinelli
    and Lokonga too then the future will ultimately be bright.

  26. Tony

    Wholeheartedly agree with you Northbanker.

    I feel that at some stage Arteta will stumble into something decent that salvages our season.

    However, if that doesn’t happen I believe that Josh and Stan will appoint a manager the club deserves and dispense with rookies for evermore.

  27. Pierre

    The Tottenham game on sunday is just a friendly and it is important not to get involved in a war on the pitch.

    The problem i find with these type of games is that early on in the game invariably the referee is more lenient and tends to let a few things go which would normally result in a free kick leading to a card..

    Some players are astute to realise this and take advantage of the refs leniency and up the anti when it comes to crossing the mark when making a tackle..

    No doubt , the Tottenham crowd will be their usual obnoxious self and will be baying for blood, so it is vital we do not get involved in a kicking match, which could easily happen.

    The game should be all about being ready for Brentford on friday night.
    The starting line up for the Tottenham game should be as close as possible to the 11 that will start v Brentford..

    ..

  28. Terraloon

    ES

    “The situation with Xhaka, Bellerin and Torreira highlights the acute shortage of funds elsewhere. Arsenal have not been unrealistic in what they are asking for these players.
    Euros20 Million for Bellerin and Xhaka would be considered reasonable in normal market conditions a fair price”

    It was obvious that funds were short in European football . For me your comment is odd because if we knew there was a lack of funds then so did Arsenal so despite what you say the price for Bellerin and Xhakas asking price isn’t reasonable in the current market.

    The irony will be that if Chelsea get Lukaku with Alonso thrown in as a sweetener then that ends Inters interest in Bellerin

  29. Habesha Gooner

    If we had decent owners, Arteta will be gone by the end of this season. Because no way are we finishing above 6th with Xhaka and Elneny as our options at CM. This was my concern when we went ahead with the signing of Ben White. Giving Saliba a chance and getting that Central midfield fixed was what any decent coach would have done. Arteta though likes what he likes and he is vindictive to some players.

    Xhaka’s new contract is the biggest fuck u to the fans I have seen in a while. It means Arteta doesn’t care what we think. To be honest it would be an admirable trait in a coach if it ended up as a positive decision for us. But Xhaka won’t be a positive. He will be one if the main reasons we won’t compete for top 4.

    I would have been okay with Saliba at the back. And we had a Bissouma or a Guimares in midfield, a Matheus Pereira or a Nabil fekir and a good RB instead of blowing all our money on Ben white. Not to say I don’t like Ben white but we had other much needed priorities. I would have taken whatever I could get for Xhaka too because no one thinks he is worth something if he can’t move for 15 mil.

    At the end of last season if you had asked 3 positions the fans thought we needed upgrades were, they would have said CAM, CM and RB. But now we have brought in a squad player CM for now who can be a starter for the future. That means all these positions haven’t been fixed at all. The only position we might fix is CAM from now to the end of the window. We won’t have good enough CMs unless partey stays fit for the whole season. And that is on Arteta.

    You live or die by your decisions, So I guess he will go at the end of this season. No way we are taking down Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Man United with Xhaka and elneny as options. Villa and Leicester along with Tottenham might be a threat to us to. I think we will finish around 6th. And that is not enough.

    It is so typical of Arsenal to kill all the optimism before the season Starts.

  30. Bob N16

    Anybody else feel that we should cash in on Holding, flog Bellerin and get in a 1st choice RB?

    If we want to play a high, pressing line – Holding is completely unsuited to the role. I know White will be first choice but stylistically Holding would not be a like for like replacement if W was unavailable.

  31. Bob N16

    Habesha, sadly agree with your post. There is still time in the TW and the three positions you discussed as a fan’s priority could still be sorted but it feels like it’ll be a supermarket dash.

    A back up GK on loan at the very least, has to happen.

  32. Northbanker

    Bob – totally agree that Holding should be sold if possible. Despite the thin market, he’s the type of player that will always interest the clod hoppers on the football world so £20m+.

    However, for me a top GK is the most pressing priority. Leno’s poor command of the box and even worse distribution is a major problem to our whole build-up play. A top RB would be great but….

  33. Valentin

    The biggest issue I have with Arteta squad building is that left to him, the club would be saddled with old timers on cushy long term contract.
    Aubameyang, Xhaka, Willian, Cedric will be well past their play by date at the end of their contract, but will still be among the top earners at the club. Bellerin may join that club as well if he signs an extension.

    Partey may still be a success on the pitch, but he will prove to be not good value for money. We could have hired somebody as good as him for half the money, half the wage but with the ability to stay fit for the whole of the season.

    And that is before we add the fact that Mustafi rejected an extension and that Luiz initial contract was so financially crippling.

  34. Pierre

    Bob
    “If we want to play a high, pressing line – Holding is completely unsuited to the role”

    The pressing starts from the front Bob , with Aubamayang, Pepe , Lacazette and Willian taking at least 2 of the 4 offensive places then I’m afraid a high pressing , high intensity game is doomed to fail..

    There is an easy solution…Put in any 4 of Balogun, Martinelli, Nketiah , Willock, Smith Rowe and Saka and you have in an instant a group who have the hunger and desire to close down the opposition and also have the necessary quality, movement and pace to hurt the opposition on the ball..

    I’m surprised that Arteta can’t see this…

  35. CG

    So Martinez when asked to leave the club gets his wishes granted but when Xhaka does the same (see Roma Quotes) he gets an extended contract.

    Thats our Arteta!
    Making it up as you go along!

  36. Pierre

    Valentin
    You are correct , the squad building is a mess…there are so many head shaking decisions that one finds difficult to comprehend…

    Just when I feel there is light at the end if the tunnel we are hit with the new contract for Xhaka , we are hit with Ramsdale , we are hit with the inevitable sale of willock and Nketiah( I’m hoping they stand there ground and wait for the inevitable sacking of Arteta).

  37. Sid

    Diet Pep will Not be playing a high pressing line and if he does with Xhakalson, Elneny, Partey in midfield,
    Auba, Pepe, Willian as fowards, he is a fool.

    Actually which style of football suits this squad?

  38. China1

    Lots of strong links to CMs today, not only Maddison

    I’ve been very clear that I consider CM and RB top priorities but if we sign a quality CM and AM I’ll call the window a success and settle for a just passable RB option (cal or Cedric, please not bellerin) in the mean time

    We’ll see

  39. Sid

    “”””””””There is an easy solution…Put in any 4 of Balogun, Martinelli, Nketiah , Willock, Smith Rowe and Saka “”””””””

    When Mertesacker takes over he will do this, Not Diet Pep

  40. Foxy

    Sid we cannot counter attack as we cannot progress the ball fast enough from the back and we cannot play against the so called low block due to lack of creativity.

  41. Chrispy

    If another CM/CAM comes in , then i’m fine with Xhaka staying. Letting him go for £10-£12m is worse than extending his contract and potentially selling in 12months time.

    But the CM/CAM signing is absolutely critical with a another keeper not far behind.

  42. Tom

    Chrispy, I’m no finance major but who’s gonna buy Xhaka next season when he’s one year older and on even higher wages, which I’m assuming Arsenal will put him on to compensate for declining his wishes to move?

  43. Valentin

    Pierre,

    I hope the same thing that Willock, Nkethia and Nelson have the fortitude to wait until Arteta’s sacking.

    His attempt at pressing from the back will surely backfire and White will be the scapegoat. Already it needed a big slice of luck and persistence by White to avoid a goal. Brighton could use him in that role as part of a back 3, because he has the extra security of 2 CBs behind him to cover. Having a CB to push forward like that in a back 4 is just asking for trouble.

    Every team will instruct their striker to move to the right between the RB and the RCB when not on the ball. They will then make a pass in midfield that White will try to intercept and then launch the ball in the space he just vacated.

  44. Habesha Gooner

    China
    That actually would be great. It would be a massive improvement if we flog Elneny and we sign a good CM. Xhaka as 4th choice would actually make us a decent side.

  45. Rich

    In the last 2 seasons we’ve pulled Saka + Smith Rowe out of our academy into the first team

    Would be great if another youngster steps up this season, maybe Martinelli

    I’d rather we put Willock on a 5yr deal rather than sell him for £22million, with no European football, Willock needs consistent playing time, if he’s not going to get it at Arsenal, then loan him out

    Willock kept Newcastle in the PL last season, staying in the PL is worth north of £100million, a £8-£10 million loan fee, and getting them to pay his wages, is still a good deal for them, we can then look at it again in 12 months

    Same with Nelson, extend his deal and send him somewhere he’ll play consistently, rather than sell him a the bottom of the market

    Balogun + Azeez need to play, send them out if we’re not going to play them ourselves, there’s no value keeping them to sit in the stands

    With Saliba, Willock, Nelson, Balogun, Azeez all out on loan, we could have internal replacements lined up next season that saves us potentially £100-£200 million, maybe send Patino out in January as a finishing school after the African cup has finished, who’s the most highly rated of the lot

    We need to start using the loan market much smarter to develop our young players or put them in the shop window

    If Azeez or Patino did hang around this season, one of them could potentially be the surprise package, because Elneny really isn’t up to much, Partey looks a bit fragile, and a pathway could develop

  46. Sid

    White had Bissouma in midfield at Brighton,
    Partey had Koke and Saul at Athletico

    Whatever you choose to do with that info is up to you

  47. China1

    Habesha I’d be totally fine with xhaka as 4th choice

    As much as I bag on him I’m more than happy to have him make up numbers, be a good influence in the dressing room, and as far as 4th choice CMs go he’d be very much an acceptable level

    I just cannot under any circumstances see us play xhakaneny in PL matches and likewise he should absolutely not be the default option to get regular starts. As 4th choice, totally fine with him. 4th choice isn’t expected to be world class. We’re not city. He’s fine. Tho I’d hope his salary isn’t massive

    But let’s be real. It’s gonna be xhakaneny for at least 8 league games this season isn’t it? And xhaka will probably get 20+ starts. It’s fate. Accept it

  48. Tom

    Rich, and who’s Saliba replacing in Arsenal back line next season?

    At last seasons end I predicted Guen going back to France, Odegaard staying at RM, and Saliba going out on another loan most likely back to France. All three have apparently come to past, which makes my other prediction of Saliba to never play for Arteta a good shout as well.
    I’m sticking with it.

  49. China1

    Andy I don’t approve of it either financially. I would’ve sold him for 10m lol

    But my point is if he’s signing a new cL tract I can live with it only if he’s 4th for the 2 dm/cm spots.

  50. Tom

    Xhaka is not riding pines under Arteta no matter who else is coming in or not.
    He’s Arteta’s favorite and a nailed on starter

  51. KAY Boss

    Some bigging up nelson like he’s produced a saka level performance. Be real guys, he’s been atrocious anytime I’ve watched him play. We’re crying for improvement and upgrade on the squad, yet people think nelson and his like must not be booted out.
    I need a mention of a match he performed above average.

  52. Valentin

    Most big companies have a wage policy. Usually it is a fancy way of saying that they have an excel sheet where you have the hierarchical level, seniority level, criticality to the business and a salary band associated with those inputs.

    That grid is constantly reviewed against the market for companies of similar standing and characteristics (geography, …).

    Anybody drawing a salary above their band is then pushed out or has to accept a lower or no bonus to compensate for “Too expensive – Above Market Value” tag.

    At Arsenal we seem to offer better terms!?!

    Xhaka was already on too much money compared to its intrinsic value. He was willing to take a massive pay cut to join Roma. So why extend his terms AND increase his salary?

  53. Kris

    To those saying Torreira’s size is a huge obstacle:
    What was his size when he first joined and was very good in the EPL?
    (not that I want him to stay, but that argument lacks any sort of intelligence)

    Also, Xhaka’s contract extension will not increase his value because he will be one year older, and since his salary is way too high any single year of extension actually reduces his value. So even if the market bounces back in 12 months, his real value will even with an extension not exceed 15 – 17 M.
    When we’re ready to overpay for White and Maddison a combined 20 – 30 M, why is getting 3 – 5 M less than he’s worth a major issue with selling Xhaka?
    Let’s face it, Tets loves his Swiss kapo.

  54. Tom

    Assuming White becomes a success and solves Arsenal’s needs at his position, it will have taken Arsenal only north of £100m to accomplish this feat.
    £30m spent on Saliba, another £20m plus on Luiz, and now £50m plus on White.
    We may rescue some of it back when Saliba gets sold on a cheap a year from now , then again maybe not, if he decides to give Arsenal the one finger salute and run down his contract.

  55. Chris

    A new Xhaka deal just doesn’t make sense on so many levels.

    It’s a risk to hope for an improved market next year.

    If the extension is due to a release clause then it surely would not be much higher than what has been reportedly offered this summer. Why not sell this summer and avoid the higher wages/signing on fee?

    Most importantly, we do not progress the quality and efficiency of our midfield with the error prone Xhaka.

    If the club were being aggressive and ruthless in the market, Xhaka wouldn’t be here still. He is a visible symptom of our decline ever since he signed.

    However, there is not much we can do. Arteta clearly loves the player and that is all there is to it. Even if Edu doesn’t share the same sentiment, how much more power does he have over Arteta to insist he moves on? Are they not still ‘equals’?

  56. Pierre

    In the history of the premier league , has there EVER been a loan spell as good as Willock’s 6 month loan at Newcastle….8 goals in 11 starts FROM MIDFIELD

    I’ve had pedro and charlie telling me it was easier for Willock at Newcastle as they are a counter attacking side…..yeah right.

    Over the years there has been Klinsmann, Lukaku, campo, George Weah, Henril Larsson, Dugarry , Sturridge and many more who have had loan spells , and none had the impact or the numbers of Willock and he is a kid compared to these players and a MIDFIELDER .

    Willock plays 20 mins v chelsea and scores a cracking “goal “, a clean beautiful strike with his instep from 20 yards that had the keeper rooted to the ground.

    That one strike should be enough to convince anyone that last season was no fluke, and yet according to reports , we have accepted an offer from Newcastle…..a sackable offence in my eyes.

  57. Rich

    Tom

    I wouldn’t write Saliba off as an investment just yet, he’s 20, and only 40% into his original investment cycle

    I’d have preferred it if we’d extended his contract before sending him out again, but if he plays consistently this season, he could easily replace Mari or Holding in the squad next season

    You don’t always get an instant return on investment, sometimes you have to wait for that investment to mature

    There’s also a 50/50 chance Arteta will get the boot before next summer, a new manager may well fancy Saliba

    If we don’t add at least a keeper and a quality attacking midfielder in the next few weeks, it’s almost certain Arteta will be gone by the New Year

  58. Chris

    Totally with you on Willock, Pierre. I want him to stay.

    A knack for being in the right place at the right time, or simply, just getting his name on the scoresheet. Not to be sniffed at and he is one of our own.

  59. Distanced hairline

    How do y’all want xhaka out so badly when we got a liability in aubameyang, hes having a good time enjoying a world class salary for free, xhaka played his role better and will be in the top 5 best players for us last season,

  60. Mee

    No way Xhaka agreed to stay without the assurance of starting PL games (which he already kind of has with MA in charge.) He would have kicked up a fuss and left the club otherwise. Next year he will be worth something like 1 million pounds considering his bigger salary.

    What I can’t get with under MA is the double standards. When Martinez indicated he wanted to leave, the two clowns were quick to take the cash. When its Xhaka’s turn, he gets what he wants. The same player who was assaulting Burnley players on the pitch and cost us points with his red card. When Pepe and Guen did the same, MA was critical.

    Can’t wait for MA to say we lost because Xhaka was unavailable to play left back one more time. As if he doesn’t play there whether there is a left back or not.

  61. CG

    Chris

    ””’A knack for being in the right place at the right time, or simply, just getting his name on the scoresheet. Not to be sniffed at and he is one of our own.”””

    The great Brian Clough used to state ‘ the hardest thing to do in the game , is to score a goal’.

    This Willock can’t pass for toffee , can’t head the ball, he can barely trap it- but anyone who scores 9/9 has a unique talent.

    Willock maybe difficult to accommodate in your team – well that makes he even more dangerous to the opposition.

    Extending GX, persisting with Elneny and selling Willock for peanuts sounds like a thing A& E specialise in.

    A. Wenger would have Willock scoring 15 goals for Arsenal this season.

  62. Tom

    “I wouldn’t write Saliba off as an investment just yet, he’s 20, and only 40% into his original investment cycle“

    Unless he can be recalled mid season and by Arsenal’s new manager ( taking a huge chance here if Pedro’s a foot) he’s staying in France till May 2022 and that’s 60% into his original investment cycle.

  63. andy1886

    KAY Boss: “I need a mention of a match he performed above average.”

    Easy. Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1 on 15/7/20.

    Nelson hussled VVD into the mistake from which Laca scored our first and then he scored the winner after that.

    You must have a poor memory!

  64. Raulishuss

    i see the clamour for selling willock and eddie and tbh im baffled. Im definately keep them both. Eddie especially is going to suprise many i’ll happily kick one of auba and laca out to give eddie as much playing time as possible

  65. salparadisenyc

    This window is all about bettering the starting XI, if that requires selling 2 of Nketiah, Willock and AMN then get her done.

    With Martinelli and Balogun waiting in the wings for me that puts Eddie in surplus zone, other obvious makeweight is AMN who if we’re honest should of been sold last summer considering how much Arteta utilized him.

  66. China1

    I don’t think Nelson has proved he’s elite but I also don’t get the criticism

    He had a very good loan at hidden he in a couple of years back and was one of their best players. He came back and played just a handful of games, most of those cameos. In those he’s looked rough cut but also has had some good moments as well.

    But I’m not sure how much you can expect out of any player who never gets anywhere near the field. For every ESR or Martinelli who comes in out of nowhere and is great immediately, I can name you 10 players who actually need a run of games to find themselves.

    It’s not easy at all to go from just training for 6 straight months to come on for 20 mins in a real game and people ask why you didn’t blow people away in it…

    So I don’t have any particular expectations about his future. If anything I think he won’t make it. But writing him off makes no sense because the kid simply has had fuck all chances

  67. Gentlebris

    ‘Sorry but Onuachu isn’t good enough for Arsenal.
    I’ve talked to some Nigerians who live and die for the game, and derision is the kindest thing they have to say about him .He isn’t even a Bonafide starter for them as he is behind Iheanacho and Osimhen.’

    The Nigerians you spoke to don’t understand Nigeria football than I do.

    In the last rounds of Nigeria national team engagement, Onuachu scored two goals, Osinhmen scored 1 goal, Iheanecho scored none.

    Then the national team of Nigeria doesn’t have fluid football which could benefit a deadly striker like Onuachu. Haaland would struggle big time to score for Nigeria.

  68. DigitalBob

    Selling Willock for £22-£23M is a mistake. Unfortunately, such is the talent of the kid its not even mistake over the long term which is obvious but it’s a mistake over the short term as he will outperform both Elneny and Xhaka this season.

    Be prepared for a season of comparing Willock’s goal scoring heroics with Xhaka/Elneny’s pass completion and amount of interceptions they have per game. But I guess as they fit “the system” and, in Xhaka’s case, are no longer error prone some will say they are better fits for an Arsenal midfield.

  69. CG

    Rich

    ”””’There’s also a 50/50 chance Arteta will get the boot before next summer, a new manager may well fancy Saliba””””

    Any manager ( except this one) would want a 6 ft 4 strapping athletic center back, aged 20.

    One that played against the likes of Mpbabbe and Neymar and performed adequately.

    The sole reason , Arteta has spent most of the transfer funds on White and persists with the plodders Holding and Mary is because of his personal dislike to the player.

    Holding or Saliba?
    Mary or Saliba?
    Chambers or Saliba?

    Only Arteta would choose the former in each instance.

  70. David.D

    This is why Arteta really fucks me off.
    You send out your young players to see if they can cut it..
    Willock goes on loan and smashes it.
    Any fucking manager worth his salt would be chomping at the bit to get the kid back and see if he can integrate and replicate that form with the mentality he is one of ours and could save us a fortune.
    Not Mikel fucking Arteta no!
    He would rather sell one of our promising youngsters who is young and vibrant and will come back to haunt us one day.
    Move Elneny on who i do like by the way , great professional but lets make room for Willock and Azeez.
    These guys are the next generation.

  71. Rich

    When I repeatedly suggested giving Willock a run of games early on last season, I was consistently told he’d never be good enough….

    Tom

    The premium on athletic, ball playing centre backs, is around £50 million

    Ben White = £50 million
    Maguire = £80million
    Varane = £40million
    Romero = £50million
    Kounde = £60 million

    If Marseille have a good season and Saliba gets voted their player of the season, he makes the Ligue 1 team of the season, and is in the mix for Ligue 1 young player of the season

    Then he’s a £60 million centre half

    He ideally comes back to Arsenal and plays, if not, we sell him at a 100% profit

    I’ve never had a problem with the €30 million investment, our issue wasn’t that we took a medium term punt on a young centre back, our issue was that our immediate term punts have mainly been terrible, and that we didn’t extend Saliba’s contract before sending him out again

  72. Dissenter

    Rich
    You moan so much about Arsenal’s penchant for making horrible mistakes but you have this knack of backing all of them mistakes.
    Then your magical thinking come in to rescue the day; Saliba will become that £60 million player after all and we all lived happily ever after.

  73. andy1886

    Local newspaper in Sheffield claiming Arsenal want Berge as well as Ramsdale in a £75m double deal. Probably complete garbage, I certainly hope so anyway.

  74. Champagne Charlie

    Rich

    You’re awful with finances.

    There was nothing smart about the initial signing of Saliba. We were desperate for quality that summer having come within 2 points of CL football. Spending almost a third of our budget on a player that wouldn’t play for us for 12 months minimum was utterly ridiculous.

    Perfectly reasonable if the fee was less than 10 mil like other speculative transfers (Martinelli, Tavares), but how you have the audacity to call our 10th biggest transfer, and most expensive teenager ever, a “punt” I’ll never know.

    If we spent that money again this window on some teenager in Europe this place would rightly erupt at the incompetence.

  75. Rich

    CC

    Our issue wasn’t that we budgeted a fraction of our revenue on a medium term punt, before the pandemic that was completely within our resources

    The issue was that when we invested for the immediate, we invested very badly

    Well run clubs with our budget “should” be able to do both

    It’s not that we couldn’t afford to invest that money, Arsenal have spent loads of money, it’s that the people running the club are hopelessly incompetent

  76. Champagne Charlie

    “Our issue wasn’t that we budgeted a fraction of our revenue on a medium term punt, before the pandemic that was completely within our resources“

    Yes it was.

    The transfer budget is already a budgeted portion of our revenue. So to use almost a third of that on a teenager we wouldn’t see for at least 12 months and ignore the current squad composition was negligent.

    Stop trying to justify it by basically saying we could afford it. Obviously we could afford it, we don’t do things we can’t literally afford. But it doesn’t make them smart or sensible.

  77. Gentlebris

    I don’t have a problem with Willock being sold, but I don’t think selling Nketia is a hot idea. That kid is a true 9 and he’s improving all the time.

  78. Gentlebris

    The Saliba affair is horrible to say the least. £27m and he doesn’t kick a senior ball for us in 3 seasons.

    Who here would want his football club run like that?

  79. Rich

    CC

    Whether you invest £10 million on a young player, loan him out for 3 years, and flip him for £20 million in 3 years time

    Or if you invest £25million in a young player, loan him out for 3 years, and flip him for £50 million in 3 years time

    The profit is 100% on both transfers, but the margin on the higher level punt is much bigger

    Van Dijk cost Liverpool £80 million, even if Arsenal had £80 million, we couldn’t sign a defender that good

    We haven’t had a truly world class centre back on our books since prime Sol Campbell 16 years ago

    Getting hold of truly world class players is difficult, Monreal was good, but it took us 15 years to replace Ashley Cole, and stake a genuine claim for having the league’s best left back

    We haven’t replaced Cazorla in 4 years, we haven’t had a world top 5 player since Henry went to Barcelona 15 years ago

    If Saliba develops over the next 12 months and is on the way to truly world class status, then €30 million will be a drop in the ocean, providing we keep hold of him

    Once these types of talents move into top clubs, it becomes almost impossible to then prize them away

    The idea Arsenal couldn’t afford to address their needs in the immediate, and take the odd medium term punt, stands up to no real type of scrutiny

    Arsenal have spent loads of money on fees + wages for players to make an immediate impact, more than enough to challenge with smarter investment

    Our issue is that we’ve had incompetent people pulling the strings

    Not that we invested a fraction of our money on a player we thought could become one of the best in the world

    It’s you who doesn’t seem to understand finance

    Willian reported £30mill 3yr contract, dead money for a declining player

    Sokratis £17million, £90k p/w, 3yrs = £31million

    Mustafi £35million £90k p/w 5yr contract = £58,400,000

    Luiz £8million £120k p/w 2 years = £20,480,000

    Kolasinac Free £120k p/w 5yr deal = £31,200,000

    All those players have cost us a fortune, they’ve held no resale value, they’ve provided little value on the pitch, they’ve either left for free, or we’ve paid them to leave

    Saliba £25million £30k p/w 5yr contract = £32,800,000

    We’ve likely got loan fees and clubs to pay his wages to cover some of that cost

    If he plays a blinder this season, young athletic ball playing centre backs hold a premium of £50 million, if we renew his contract and he sits in our defence for the next decade, then we’re smoking a pipe

    We spent £72million + £120 k p/w on Pepe

    Leicester spent £22million Maddison, £18million Soyuncu, £40million Tilemans

    They’d flip those players now Maddison £60-£70mill, Soyuncu £30-£40mill, Tilemans £60mill

    Where we’d be lucky to get £30 mill for Pepe in this market

  80. Almuniasaynomore

    A dimly lit restaurant, the camera slowly zooms in on a darkly dressed couple eating in an isolated corner. The two men constantly scan the room as they speak, uttering each word softly as though being overheard could cost them their lives.

    Edu:So many years, so much planning, it is difficult for my mind to accept that the moment is almost upon us.
    MA: You do yourself an injustice my friend. Struggling to understand things is your forte.
    Edu:Ehhhmm…thanks.
    MA: Hold firm now my old friend and we will see this through. 9 more days until the footballing world will bear witness to the greatest resurrection since Lazarus.
    Edu: You really think the fans will accept it when you name you and I as the starting central midfield pairing against Brentford?
    MA: Accept it? Accept it?? They will be ecstatic. The world will not have seen such an explosion of joy since Sid discovered playboy tv.
    Edu: But how can you be so sure boss? Won’t they think we’re past it?
    MA: Ah my friend, I have been methodical in my preparation, no stone left unturned. I knew in May 2016 that I would stop at nothing to have my vengeance on the club that shunned me.
    Edu:What happened boss?
    MA: It was the POTY awards, my final season, an opportunity for the club to thank me for my outstanding contribution on the pitch. Wenger began telling the audience that this year’s winner was the greatest Spanish midfielder since Fabregas. Naturally I stood up and began to shake the hands of those around me. By the time I was ready to take my triumphant strides to the podium, the old fool was handing the award to Santi fucking Cazorla. I was humiliated, I had to swerve and pretend I was going to the toilet.
    Edu: Tough one boss, skillfully feinting to go one way and then the other was never really your thing.
    MA: I know. It was obvious to all. There and then I swore I would prove them all wrong. But I knew I would need an accomplice. Someone else who knew what it was like to live in the shadows at this club. To be unrecognised, deemed inferior to his peers. Another midfield general who was shunned in his prime!
    Edu: Absolutely boss………..who did you pick?
    MA: You, you half baked moron!!
    Edu:Sorry boss,I always forget that bit. What did you do next?
    MA: Well I knew the only way I could get a manager to put me in the Arsenal starting 11 was if i became manager myself. I bought Gazidis his watch but the fool left before I could call in the favour. What many didn’t know was that I had tried to convince Wenger not to sell me but the old buzzard said he had everything he needed in Ozil.
    Edu: So what did you do?
    MA: I bought Ozil the ps4 and a lifetime subscription to fortnite. I was sure that once he was fully addicted and started turning up to training with his two eyes hanging out of his head, Wenger would realise his mistake and keep me instead. But for some reason he never noticed……….
    Edu: But you didn’t give up?
    MA: Of course not, I waited until I became manager and finished him off myself!
    Edu: Brilliant boss.
    MA: Yes but there were many more problems to overcome. I had to pay off Ozil and Mikhitarian so the fans would not expect skillful midfielders. It was a question of lowering expectations you see. The likes of Guendouzi and Torreira were far too energetic, I couldn’t allow the Arsenal fans to expect that kind of commitment so I ditched them with the old ‘attitude problem’ card.
    Edu: But you had to keep some players ……
    MA: Exactly. I had to keep players that the fans would hate so much that they would fall over in gratitude when you and I replaced them.
    Edu: So that’s why you won’t let me sell Xhaka or Elneny?
    MA: But of course. A captain who told his own fans to fuck off and a midfielder who’s about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. When I drop them for the Brentford game I’m going to be bloody feted.
    Edu: But how did you get rid of Partey?
    MA: Yes, that was difficult. He was too good to drop, i knew he’d have to be injured. I got caught pushing him back on the pitch against spurs so I knew this time I’d have to be a bit more subtle. A couple of pre season ‘friendlies’ against Chelsea and Spurs ought to do it!
    Edu: Boss, I don’t want to put a damper on your plans, but those new shirts are a little tight, won’t we look a bit….out of shape?
    MA: Indeed, I thought of that also, hence I have freely circulated photos of Willian in our new kit to the media. Compared to him we’ll look like prime Bo Derek! Now there’s a “10” I wouldn’t mind signing!
    Edu: So, you’re the one whose been putting the selection boxes in his locker!
    MA: Indeed.
    Edu: And those ‘ supplements ‘ you’ve been giving him, they’re jelly beans aren’t they?
    MA: Guilty as charged.
    Edu: So all we have to do now is avoid signing a midfielder until Friday week and we are really back!
    MA: Arnold fucking Schwarzenegger baby.
    Edu: Will I throw out a few more rumours just to keep the fans off our backs?
    MA: Of course, let the word out that Barcelona’s crisis is so bad we’re sniffing around Pedri.
    Edu: Ah, boss, just how gullible do you think the fans are……….

  81. Gonsterous

    Xhaka extending and then going for 20m next season is exactly the type of thinking akbs do.
    We will get the same offer for xhaka next season. A year older and on more wages. Do the maths.

  82. Positive pete

    Almunia,you nailed it.lol! A masterpiece.I can see it now.Unless a miracle occurs it’s happening.Leicester pulling a Brighton.Any moron could have seen it coming but not our transfer team.No one wants our deadwood.Repeat.No one wants our deadwood.Cash is king.Except when it comes to us.Where clubs will offer us every peice of shit they’ve got to reduce the price.The world & its dog see us as fools in the market.No respect.

  83. Marko

    Nothing wrong with the Saliba signing whatsoever he’s highly rated he could have made an impact but we’re being managed by a complete bum who doesn’t know what to do him now two seasons in a row. Remember last season he kept him here only to give game time to Mustafi and make Holding a starter after he himself nearly went to Newcastle on loan. Sailba did nothing for 6 months then was loaned to nice which was successful and then this summer comes along and dumbfuck can’t even give him a preseason. Under Arteta Saliba has gotten absolutely zero chances to convince which is pretty awful management any way you cut it

  84. S Asoa

    Aluminasaynomore
    Been reading your creative pieces recently. Lifelike like Jason Bourne series. Fantastico !

    and thanks buddy for raising a chuckle speaking of the unspeakable .

  85. Sid

    “”””””MA: Accept it? Accept it?? They will be ecstatic. The world will not have seen such an explosion of joy since Sid discovered playboy tv.””””””””

    Why you gotta do me like that?

  86. The Bard

    Some of the stuff on here about the transfers is clueless. Arsenal currently are like a man in the desert dying of thirst. He is going have to have to pay top dollar for water. All the clubs know where we are and where we expect to be, our bargaining position is weak. Getting into a stand off is pointless because we cant afford another season stuck in mid table.

  87. Valentin

    Maybe we should start a pool to determine when Arteta is getting the sack.
    I am think that will be around 6 Dec 2021.
    Defeat to Liverpool, miraculous draw against Newcastle, unlucky defeat against ManUtd due to a Bruno Fernandes dive earning them an undeserved penalty, then defeat to Everton could be the last straw that break the camel’s back.

  88. Almuniasaynomore

    Sid,
    Apologies, I tried to contact your agent to clarify the referencing of your name but she was busy in LA with her other clients on some casting couch or something.

    Val,
    We may have written Nicholas Cage off too early, saw ‘ Pig’ last night, unusual film but I really enjoyed it. Cage was fabulous.

    Thanks for the compliments on the sketches lads, I’m doing them because it helps me vent. As long as you guys enjoy them I don’t mind doing them and thanks to Pedro for allowing them, proof you have a good sense of humour.

  89. Almuniasaynomore

    China,
    It was more a reflection of how he was now so bad that if he was in a film you knew not to watch it. Same with Bruce Willis. But like I said, he proved he can still pick a good one now and again.

  90. Valentin

    Almunia,

    I was told the same thing that Cage performance in Pig was great as it was subdued compared to ‘Turn up to 11’ late style of acting.
    But like I wrote, once in a blue he has a great performance and hope is restored before being dashed by the next movie release.

    Maybe he needs the money and he has fun turning the crazy volume up to 11 when shooting those bad movies. Maybe it is his way of dulling the pain of having to make those crappy movies for the money.

    But there is definitely a great actor in there.

  91. Useroz

    Almuniasaynomore
    You for to look deeper… Spuds has a sleeper here somewhere and the tea ladies believe it’s Vinai

  92. Almuniasaynomore

    Useroz,
    I’m working on that story!

    Val,
    Yeah, you’re spot on. Someone on IMDb reviewed it and called it one of Cage’s bi annual decent performances. Still like you said, there is an actor in there somewhere…..

  93. Valentin

    Bruce Willis has been on the decline for years and I don’t remember a good performance from him for years. The last good one I remember is Red 2.

    His career is turning to the Steven Segal type. To mega star to direct to video, to past caring guy more interested in the pay check and food/ girls around the set than the movie.

    At least Nic Cage has the intelligence or good sense to once in a while throw a bone to his supporter with a good performance in a watchable movie.

  94. Almuniasaynomore

    Sal,
    Will check that out,thanks.

    Val,
    Another I fear for is Mel Gibson. Some horrible stuff recently. ( though some will say no change there!) I’ve always liked his films.

  95. Tom

    Bruce Willis is who studios get for b movies’ cameos to sucker the naive into buying their crap these days.
    His dramatic range is about that of a broom stick.

    Nic Cage has done some shit work but never in the same league.

  96. DivineSherlock

    Almuniasaynomore

    Do you watch lot of comedies or you write while you’re high ? You come up with some brilliant stuff xD .

  97. Champagne Charlie

    Rich

    I’m not reading through all that, you do your best to convolute a very simple argument.

    When you need something now, you don’t put a third of your budget into something for later and miss out now.

    If Arsenal were to secure a 30 mil deal for Max Aaron’s to join next summer but fall short of a securing a CAM this window there would be chaos. Why? Because it would be utterly ridiculous to concern ourselves with next season and beyond before preparing the best we could for this one. We are not at that level.

    Saying ‘but we can afford it’ doesn’t rationalise the decision whatsoever.

  98. Rich

    I’m away grafting for a few weeks, hopefully we get off to a flyer, and do plenty of common sense things over the next few weeks, I won’t be holding my breath…..

    COYG

    Stay safe guys, try not to kill each other 😂

  99. Valentin

    Mel Gibson is different, in a sense that even in his recent mediocre movies he seems to be professional and able to produce a decent performance.

    I have only been able to see half of Fatman, but he was good in it. Also despite a lot of criticism, this movie is a master piece compared to the excrement Bruce Willis is performing in.

  100. Rich

    CC

    I’ll have to get the last word in against my old sparring partner 😂

    You might want to take time to read my post, you might then have a much better understanding of what you’re talking about, rather than the usual dribble you spew out

    Have fun pal xxx

  101. bacaryisgod

    Valentin

    Bruce Willis is just raking in the dollars at this point by pumping out 2nd or 3rd rate action movies. The producers pre-sell the International rights to ensure a profit. Neither he nor the producers care if the film is any good as they’ve already landed on a winning formula.

  102. Dissenter

    Most of the Hollywood productions have been B or C grade movies sponsored by Asian benefactors. The likes of Stallone, Bruce Willis and Nicholas Cage are just squezzing out trashy movies

    The better producers/directors spend more time making shows for streaming services like Netflix.
    The better productions tend to be international, typically European. The material from Spain has been amazingly good.

  103. MD-Gunner

    Villa, here is a club that is ruthless, with ambition and have their shit together in the TW unlike Arsenal atm.

    “Villa have had a busier transfer window than most and on Wednesday announced the arrivals of Danny Ings and Leon Bailey.”

    And they are not finished yet in this TW, Villa is another contender for top 6, why? Their manager has a plan that does not reek with puking sauce.