PHASE 2 LEARNINGS

by .

Welcome to Monday precious ones.

It’s international break. Kill me. Honestly, why do we need so many of these? Can you beleive Mr Wenger would ideally like this period to be AN ENTIRE MONTH OF FOOTBALL. Honestly, he fell off so hard. I cannot believe that all that good work he did managing his reputation, to just jump right into bed with FIFA and try and reinvent the game to have World Cups every two years, something he’d have hated as a manager. Really shoddy.

Anyway, I’ll take this break on the chin.

We’re going to have to be Perspective FC today because this season moves in phases and we have to look at how we’re tracking.

This batch of games was overall, a big improvement on what we saw in the first three games. 10 points from a possible 12. We’re 4 points off Top 4 having played 3 top teams so far. As Johnny said in the podcast, we’re now at a crossroads. We’ve lost some games we wanted to win and won some games we thought we’d lose.

Now it’s all about how we move on to the next phase: Consistency.

Some of that is going to come with time. Whether you want to accept it or not, this is a new team of players and new teams take time to bed in. Factor in that it’s the youngest in the league and you have to consider other elements like experience and maturity.

The game at the weekend was a prime example of what a lack of experience gives you. The weather was absolutely dreadful, Brighton’s press was bang on-point, and we didn’t have an answer.

Liverpool had the same issue against City. They were totally boxed in during the first half. Everyone was one step off the pace. The team reacted by stepping off City, which is exactly what Pep wants you to do against him.

Listen to how Klopp dealt with the issue tactically.

It takes time and experience to do that. Arsenal’s young players didn’t know how to respond and didn’t really have the confidence to step up against the Brighton press. There was too much fear in the system. Long balls were the easier option, but tactically, Potter had an answer for that. Auba can’t play in a side that has a midfield frightened to break the press. He’s at his best when the ball is moved into his feet at speed. We don’t have an Olivier Giroud for long-ball football. Our players can’t allow themselves to be press-bitches like we were under Wenger. There needs to be more bravery in the system going forward.

Confidence doing that will come. Players like Tomi and Lokonga have never played a game that intense in their careers. They will learn and adapt. That’s just how it goes when you move the Premier League. Look at how hard it has been for players at all club. Emerson Royal and Christian Romero are taking their time to bed in. Jadon Sancho has been way off the pace and he’s English. Saul has had his problems. If it’s happening elsewhere, there should be forgiveness when it happens to us with less experienced players. Remember, it took Thierry 7 games to score his first goal, and Robert Pires took a long time to show that he had teeth.

Just as important for me was the fact we didn’t concede and our defensive structure looked solid for the most part. Brighton are excellent from set-plays and we dealt with it. Even more impressive when you consider the level of wind that was going off that day.

There’s still work to be done in the final third. It’s sloppy for the most part. But we are creating chances. Brighton wasn’t our best run out, but it’s worth noting that they conceded the third lowest xG last season. They are hard to get at. Their setup is well structured and they make it tough from a chance creation perspective. I very much doubt Palace, Villa, or Watford will have that level of discipline with their defending when we go there after the break.

Regardless, we need to see more shots finding the target. Thomas Partey needs to lay off the long-rangers, and our better players need to get sharper.

Overall, the key things we learned from Phase 2 of the season.

  • The young players we signed are good and will get better
  • We have seen what peak Arteta-ball can look like
  • Arsenal can still defend, but now we’re doing it with players that can pass

If you need a bit of a hand with the explainer on what has changed, no one does it better than Statman Dave.

Just a quick one today, there is much to be done at work. If you desperately want more content, then check out our video or listen to the latest podcast.

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362 Responses to “PHASE 2 LEARNINGS”

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  1. Rich

    Sid

    Things aren’t static, different teams will both progress and regress, at different stages of their cycles

    Arsenal have had to start from scratch and build a new young team

    Ramsdale 23, he’s got a good amount of experience for his age, but should still improve significantly

    Tomiyasu 22, played 4 PL games, even the very best needed some adjustment period

    White 23, his best days should be ahead of him

    Gabriel 23, he’s developing well

    Sambi 21, played 4 PL games

    Saka 20, we’ve not even scratched the surface of his overall potential

    Smith Rowe 21, one of the most exciting young talents in the league, but he’s played less than 30 PL games, he’s still learning

    Odegaard 22, brilliant young player, I’m confident he’ll surprise a lot of people over the next 12-18 months

    I’m excited to see how this young team develops over the next 12-18 months

    There’ll be ups + downs, but the direction of travel is as exciting as it’s been for a long time

  2. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    I think you have been one of the posters along with many others that have been saying that the transfers in this season have been very good.

    Now to start I am not saying here that these transfers won’t turn out good. What I don’t understand is how posters can term a transfer window as very good after just a few matches in the EPL.

    As others have pointed out we don’t have a “new” offense from last season. It seems people have distinguished from their memory that Odegaard was actually at Arsenal for half a season last term.

    The only new transfers that came in this season that are seen as definite first team starters are Ben White and Tomiyasu.

    As said before we have already seen Odegaard previously for half a season.

    Lokonga now has a chance to stake a claim in Xhaka’a absence but let’s not kid ourselves that he is seen as first choice with Arteta implying all the time that Xhaka is golden along with some posters.

    Ramsdale is not top level atm. He may improve with time. He is in the first team atm because he is showing far more character and game than Leno has done consistently for a long time. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Leno gets his place back over time. I would not necessarily agree with that but it is very possible if Ramsdale has a few clangers going forward.

    Tavares is obviously a back-up signing.

    So basically for nailed on first team starters it is Ben White and Tomiyasu.

    Funnily enough you are one of those that seems critical of the Ben White signing.

    So that now leaves you with one player Tomiyasu in regards nailed on first team player in this very good transfer window you keep on about lol.

    The attack is the same as last season.

    The midfield in Arteta’s eyes is the same as last season = Xhaka, Partey and Odegaard(half a season last term)

    So when you break it down this line offered by you and many others that this is very good transfer window because of the young age angle doesn’t relate in terms of actual nailed on first team players. Maybe the future but not as in right now.

    Many teams buy players that are back-ups or younger players that although may not be signed for the immediate present could be first team down the line. That is nothing special.

  3. MidwestGun

    He(Xhaka) is very technical, vocal and bleeds for the club. I think as fans we need to love the guy more. He has given everything to the club even after getting very little in return.
    ________
    Say what? You can not be serious.. Xhaka very publicly wanted out of the Club this past summer. Only 2 years ago as Captain of the team he walked off the pitch flipped the fans the middle finger, took off his shirt and threw it on the ground. Bleeds for the Club? Please. Give me a break Not even gonna address the” very technical” part of your comment other then to say his technical abilities have cost us more games then I can remember. but he was just suspended only a few weeks ago for his amazing technical abilities. I swear some people have no memory past last week.

  4. Ishola70

    Really the line is this is a very good transfer window because we didn’t buy any older experienced players this time around.

    Dortmund buy older experienced players as well along with the younger players.

    But what Dortmund seem to do is buy young players with the obvious intent of them being first team straight from the off many times.

    I mention Dortmund because they seem to be mentioned many times in relation to this season’s Arsenal summer transfer window.

  5. Dissenter

    Ishola
    “I think you have been one of the posters along with many others that have been saying that the transfers in this season have been very good.”

    I thought four of the six signings were very good. Xhaka’s non-exit dampened things a lot.
    I wasn’t for Ramsdale but he’s proved to be stronger in the areas where Leno is weakest. His enthusiasm, direct communion and sheer presence has been exhilarating. He will still have some moments because he plays on the edge of massive risks.
    I wasn’t for Ben White, largely because we had a project that didn’t even get a whiff of a chance. Looking back, I also resented the sheer hype driving the transfer. I’m still on the undecided column regarding White- and that’s being polite. Hope he does the Ramsdale on me.

    We overcorrected the horrible singings of Soares and Willian to going very young. We should have gotten another prime-time 23-27 year old central midfielder, like Bissouma, into the team. I would have taken that instead of the ball-playing central defender that cost 50 million.

  6. Gonsterous

    It’s funny how no one mentions the first failed project of arteta.
    But ready made players, and win the CL in three seasons.

    Took us back wards and now it’s project youth, with no definite time line as to when we will be back in Europe or competing the CL.
    Convenient for everyone involved.

  7. Ishola70

    And let’s be real.

    If an older experienced player becomes available to sign further down the line that suits Arsenal’s budget and fits what they want in a player he will be purchased.

    So this new land of Arsenal youth isn’t quite what many believe it is.

    As said before Dortmund sign older experienced players along with the younger ones and they always seem to be the template in all this.

  8. Dissenter

    Ishola
    Dortmund don’t combine a young- managerial project with their younger player project.
    When they fired Lucien Favre last season, his assistant manager was appointed as interim manager. He wasn’t so shabby and won them a domestic competition but they still fired him to sign a substantive manager in Marco Rose.

  9. Ishola70

    lol Dissenter you have only one player in all this in this summer’s transfer window that you term very good that is a nailed on first team starter and also that is a genuine new signing that you actually rate and that is Tomiyasu.

    One.

    Lots of clubs buy players for the future in transfer windows that are not nailed on first team starters straight from the beginning. It’s nothing special. In fact it is very common with clubs.

  10. raptora

    Ashwin Gunner: Xhaka “bleeds for the club”.

    Xhaka’s agent José Noguera: “Look, I will say it frankly and honestly: We are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin. So we told Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu Gaspar – as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta. It’s only about the transfer fee of the clubs.”

    Blick believe the fee offered so far has been in the region of €25m and has even submitted the offer in writing.

    “Granit would like to switch to Germany again.”

    New Gunners boss Mikel Arteta recently revealed his admiration for Xhaka, and how he tried convincing Pep Guardiola to sign him while at Manchester City.

    “When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching in 2016 and we were looking in that position, Xhaka was one of the players on my list,” Arteta confessed.

    “That is how much I liked him. I was happy when ­Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.”

  11. Pierre

    Rich
    “Arsenal have had to start from scratch and build a new young team”

    You do realise that this was Arteta’s choice /doing, he didn’t have to start from scratch did he.

    He chose to sell our best keeper
    He chose to freeze out our most creative player
    He chose to loan out Guendouzi who has a better pass percentage than any of our midfielders and is now captain of Marseille.
    He chose to ignore saliba and then loan him out.
    He chose to ignore AMN after he put in outstanding performances during our fa cup run.
    He chose to sell the prolific willock
    He chose to loan Mavropanos

    He already had Tierney at left back
    He already had the fantastic xhaka in midfield
    He already had a prolific goalscorer in Aubameyang
    He already had a quality striker in Lacazette
    He already had smith rowe
    He already had saka , thats 2 of the best youngsters in europe.
    He already had Pepe.

    He chose to sign Cedric
    He chose to sign Mari
    He chose to sign willian

    So it’s bullshit to say he HAD to start from scratch …basically he cocked it up after covid and now he is trying to rectify his mistakes .

  12. Tom

    What are the odds that if Arsenal come eighth end of season Rich, Englandsbest and a few others will compile a list of all close plays that went against us, including unlucky ball bounces, miss kicks, and 50/50 ref decisions to make the point it was a circumstantial close margins failure really rather than a real failure?

  13. Ishola70

    Dissenter

    I am not talking about Arteta.

    You know my views on Arteta. For me he has to improve considerably for him to be a real worthy manager of Arsenal FC.

    I’m simply on about this “very good” transfer window you keep going on about.

    It may turn out very good in the future with some of these players but only two are nailed on first team starters with one of those a player that you seem not to rate.

    Clubs all over all the place buy younger players for the future but not nailed on first teamers right from the start and yet funnily enough we don’t hear these clubs as being very good in their transfer windows or going on a “project”

  14. Nelson

    Mid

    I agree with your post. Only those dieheart Arteta worshiper wanted to paint a different picture.

    On the other hand, Arteta has currently a system which operators much better with Xhaka. He has Tierney playing high up with Xhaka backing him. He also has Partey who has good chemistry with Xhaka. That’s what I called plan A. Of course, there are many other plan B’s which will function much better without Xhaka. I am interest to see whether Arteta can come up other systems successfully in the next 3 months..

  15. Ishola70

    Tom
    “What are the odds that if Arsenal come eighth end of season Rich, Englandsbest and a few others will compile a list of all close plays that went against us, including unlucky ball bounces, miss kicks, and 50/50 ref decisions to make the point it was a circumstantial close margins failure really rather than a real failure?”

    Small margins Tom. All about small margins.

  16. Rich

    Tom

    What are the odds that if Arsenal finish 5th, which is 1 place above where you expect us to finish

    That’ll you’ll stop whinging, and looking for any little reason to kick the club?

  17. Dissenter

    The new policy of signing youngsters is the half measures that the Kroenkes used to rein in Arteta’s penchant for seeking oldies.
    It was dictated to Arteta from higher ups.

  18. Pierre

    If it wasn’t for a couple of wenger boys , I’m not sure there would be much confidence in this present side.

    Saka and smith rowe are undroppable in my eyes,
    they are our most technical players
    they are ou most exciting players
    they are our game changers
    they give the fans hope
    they are the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Pedro talks about phase 2, for me phase 2 is the next integration of the hale end boys.

    Sadly we have sold willock , Eddie’s Arsenal career is hanging by a thread , but we have Balogun , Azeez and the wonderful Charlie Patino to come in and let’s not write off Martinelli and saliba…..

  19. Graham62

    Pierre

    Brilliant!

    englandsbest

    You should take a look at Barcelona’s history and philosophies before putting Pep and Arteta together as rookie coaches.

    Pep was a player within the Barcelona set up for 13 years from 1988-2001 before becoming their manager in 2007.

    He coached the Barca B team for a season before taking over the full squad in 2008. The rest is history.

    He was brought up on a winning, stylish philosophy of football.

    He was never a rookie because Barcelona knew what they were getting.

    It is an insult to everyone to compare the two.

  20. Tom

    Here’s another hypothetical on a slow football news day for you……..suppose Benitez makes top four with Everton this season — I know it’s a really long shot but not impossible— the inevitable conclusion then would be he is an excellent manager outperforming his clubs talent and lack of spending and therefore comparing favorably to Arteta.

    Impossible to shot down, right?

    Not so fast , actually quite easy if you don’t set hard targets and frame the debate just the right way, like say, Arteta isn’t interested in merely making top four , his goal is to win the league and that takes a different approach, spending, and timeframe.

    Who would bet money that last sentence wouldn’t appear on Legrove if that were to happen?
    Not me.

  21. MidwestGun

    Nelson-
    I feel like the same people who say we can’t function without Xhaka were the same ones that were telling me we can’t function without Bellerin.. but I could be wrong. No way does Xhaka bleed for the Club though.. ESR bleeds for the Club… He grew up wanting to play for us…started at our academy at a young age.. Clearly loves the Club.. was beaming like the sun when he scored in the NLD . People sometimes have a funny sense of loyalty to some of our players who don’t give it back and assign feelings to those players that don’t exist.

    AS for Arteta.. He has to get our attack fixed or he won’t last.. That;s the bottom line with him. Im not overly optimistic about it.. Because of our emphasis on defending.. thats what we practice… JDP… thats where we spent our money and that’s what we see on the pitch. But it is possible to get things right as we have seen in very brief moments but it’s going to take adjustments or expirements as Pierre put it to get things right and I just don’t know if we will see that. But the current level of goal scoring isn’t sustainable to getting the points we need.

  22. Ishola70

    Pierre spoils his good comment previously though by banging on about Wenger again.

    We are in re-build because the vast majority of what Wenger left behind wasn’t good enough.

    Wenger told everybody that what he left behind was good for the next manager coming in. It was so good that Wenger himself couldn’t get top four in his last two seasons.

    So was Wenger unintentionally questioning himself then.

  23. Tom

    “What are the odds that if Arsenal finish 5th, which is 1 place above where you expect us to finish That’ll you’ll stop whinging, and looking for any little reason to kick the club?“

    I’d say a 100%

  24. Zacharse

    China1October 5, 2021 10:13:36
    The other issue is that many of us ‘bed wetters’ take issue with people telling us to ignore the bad and only be positive about the food when many of the same people were incredibly negative when Emery and even arsene was here. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    Emery was fucking garbage, and he went. Wenger lost it and he went. Arteta is still here, when he goes you can rub it in whoevers face you want. Personally
    I dont care nor does it matter- but the bad faith arguing about “oh this team isnt new, the attack has been playing
    Together for years”
    Odegaard six months minus the end of the season injury- so less than half season for ode. Esr breaks into
    The first team a little before him so
    Theres half a season and saka and auba playing
    Together for a year more or so! Oh my why havent they all Mind melded. Great fucking bad faith point.
    Then we have GK RB RCB and a mf
    And how many epl games has partey played? A full season? Not exactly a settled vet of the squad…

    The bad right now should be obvious, arteta dealing w his own issues but also the issues of wenger and emery- lack of leadership lack of continuity the bullshit half assed recruitment straight up failure since basicLly emirates move.
    A soft club that showed Over the last 4 games they dont want to play that way anymore

    if things come right over the next cpl months and it turns out we are improving and climbing towards CL- all The bedwetters will have to make their wet beds and be forced to admit they know fuck all about the intangibles of sport- loyalty, commitment, teamwork, killer instinct-
    And that a lot or this whining and yelling is just an echo of The media- claude, roy keane, jermain jenas, carragher- at least skip bayless doesnt care about football other wise It might be too much to take.

  25. englandsbest

    Tom

    How about if Arsenal end the season 6th or better. Will you be saying Arteta was lucky,, had the best players, spent the most money, etc, etc?

  26. raptora

    zacharse: “And that a lot or this whining and yelling is just an echo of The media- claude, roy keane, jermain jenas, carragher- at least skip bayless doesnt care about football other wise It might be too much to take.”

    I don’t really read, watch or listen to any of them. In fact, the only blog I read and the only pod I watch/listen to is LeGrove. I give a rat’s ass what the media’s narrative is on the problems/success of my team. My opinion is based on my understanding, my views and on the views of the quality posters in this blog.

  27. Tom

    “The bad right now should be obvious, arteta dealing w his own issues but also the issues of wenger and emery- lack of leadership lack of continuity the bullshit half assed recruitment straight up failure since basicLly emirates move.“

    Zach , what are the Wenger issues Arteta is still dealing with?

  28. Tom

    “How about if Arsenal end the season 6th or better. Will you be saying Arteta was lucky,, had the best players, spent the most money, etc, etc?“

    No, because I don’t move goal posts.

  29. Zacharse

    I’d say the biggest issue that is a wenger issue that arteta is dealing w still is the MF

    I can go on if thats not good enough, if some would rather see a starting pair of elneny and AMN…

  30. Zacharse

    James wood

    Ive barely used the term bedwetters on here but i really wanted to mix metaphors and have the bedwetters make a wet bed
    Truly that was all lol

  31. Jamie

    “all The bedwetters will have to make their wet beds and be forced to admit they know fuck all about the intangibles of sport – loyalty, commitment, teamwork, killer instinct”

    Those aren’t intangibles.

  32. Rich

    Pierre

    I hate to break it to you, but Ozil was regressing, he was finished at the top level, and that’s why he’s now sitting on the Fenerbahce bench

    It was clear to anyone with a functioning pair of eyes, that Ozil was on the slide from 2017

    If he was applying himself, then he’d have been playing

    I like Guendouzi, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up at a top club in 2-3 years, but he wasn’t exactly pulling up any trees in Germany last season, at which point he’ll still only be 24/25…..

    Saka + Smith Rowe are brilliant, but there’s always an offset with young players, even the very best of them

    We haven’t even scratched the surface of their overall potential, because they’re 20 + 21, Smith Rowe hasn’t even played 30 PL games yet

    How did Niles do with a run of games in midfield for West Brom? He’s a decent squad player, but it’s a hard case to make that his inclusion moves the needle significantly

    Willock is 22, he’s incredibly raw in aspects of his game

    He’s a top talent, Newcastle is a good move for him, 2-3 seasons of consistent football, and he’ll likely end up at a top club

    He’s not a deep lying midfielder like you seem to think though, and is certainly more suited to a counter attacking team

    Martinez chose to leave, he had a 95% chance of starting the season, we should never give a 100% guarantee to any player, they have to earn that right

    Saliba isn’t the first, and won’t be the last 20yr old centre back who’s sent out to gain experience

    Did Arteta sign Mari, Cedric Willian?

    He might have? But what’s said in public + private, are usually 2 very different things

    All we really know is that the guy who was friendly with their agents was sacked

    I like Eddie, but he needs to play consistently, so unless we throw him in, then it’s best for his career that he leaves

    If he’d been out playing every week for the last 18 months, the conversation around him would be a very different one

    Hopefully we don’t make the same mistake with Balogun, who looks way past the point over under 23 football being beneficial

  33. englandsbest

    Graham52

    A rookie is a rookie is a rookie. It means the guy hasn’t done the job before.

    Are you saying that if Arsenal knew what they were doing, Arteta wasn’t a rookie. If so, I find that reasoning hard to understand.

    The only knowhow I have of football is as a player and as a fan. So I give you thumbs up if you have deep-seated knowledge. And I wish you’d show some in your mournful posts.

  34. Graham62

    I’m not being negative here but can someone on here take the time and effort to explain to me the reasons why Arteta is so special.
    Bulletin points would suffice.
    Any relevant data provided would also be beneficial.
    Please don’t use the words “patience” and “time” in your response.

    I await anyone’s feedback.

  35. MidwestGun

    I hate to break it to you, but Ozil was regressing, he was finished at the top level,
    _________
    Hahaha Now you’ve done it… Pierre is gonna go postal on ya.. Pierre doesn’t do regression.. as evidenced by his undying love for Arsene. That’s his achilles heel. Other then that though he talks sense, mostly.

  36. Zacharse

    Ish

    Id almost guarantee that even though we’re not yet firing on all cylinders, we will be and we wont be losing, but may be drawing for a while, away games at midtable etc. teams that play to intimidate us

    I imagine w a few more games like the brighton one where we arent aT our best but dont let the team sink to their worst and lose, we see big strides. We’ve had so many individual errors and bad luck that we’re still expecting the worst and not quite free of the disaster thats been going on since the last year of emery

  37. Zacharse

    Graham the fact that he played in the epl for length of time and the teams he did puts him in the 1% of footballers to begin with. He’s no more specialthan anyone elseatthat level but what everyone whoseworked w him says about him is that his work ethic and focusis incredible. I dont think he the end all if he is greatbuthe is top level at the moment (fa cup win counts for somethingto arsenal fans no?)

  38. Pierre

    If i was to give an analysis of our new signings and my first impressions , I would say that in the main they have done well.

    The pressure they were under after a poor start made it incredibly difficult as the media were ready to pounce on any poor performances.

    These are my honest opinions of them.

    Ramsdale
    Surprisingly good so far , his enthusiasm shines through and importantly he looks to dominate his box..
    I’m not 100% sure about him by any means as he has had fortune on his side on a few occasions, for instance

    dropping a simpe cross that the Brighton player blazed over.

    An underhit pass to xhaka v Tottenham that coukd have easily been disastrous

    Caught in possession v burnley but got away with it

    But generally hos handling, positioning , decision making and shot atopping have been ok.

    White
    He’s ok, nothing special , the best we can hope for is that he becomes another koscielny type player, though I’m not sure he has the aggression in his game .
    He may have a tendency to switch off and not anticipate danger , which is worrying

    Tomiyasu
    A definite positive, though he struggled in the first half v brighton which i think he will learn from.
    Good in the air generally and another who shows enthusiasm which ahould rub off on his team mates .

    Lakonga i like a lot.
    Received unfair criticism v brighton , i thought he did ok.
    Good awareness , composed on the ball and reads the game well, a good team player who’s technically sound.

    Tavares
    Could be pushing for a start as Tierney is off form, Tavares has shown good energy and pace in the few minutes he’s been on the pitch, remains to be seen if he has a good football brain

    Odegaard
    Does have a good football brain but i am 50/50 on him.
    The positives are he works hard for the team( runs around a lot) , he is very good on the ball if we are dominating the ball and can pick a pass when given time .
    The thing is , I’m not sure he is conning everyone as he runs around a lot and never makes a tackle, he shys away from winning the ball in the air and i don’t think he likes the physical side of the game as the merest contact will see him lose the ball.
    Ozil was rightly criticised for not liking the physical side of the game but being brave is not only about steaming into tackles, for me the brave players are players like saka and smith rowe who commit the opposition by attacking them knowing they will be tackled or fouled .
    Odegaard wwill take the easy option and rarely commits the opposition for fear of being kicked.
    You rarely see Odegaard involved in any physical action on the pitch as he is very clever at running around a lot, which the fans love , but he never gets close enough to make a tackle…

    He may get found out in the end as his creativity is not up to Ozil’s level so he may have to put his body in where it hurts to convince me at least.

  39. Zacharse

    Graham
    Solid CV (for a rookie)
    History with the club
    Played under wenger (continuity)
    Won fa cup less than a year in
    SPEAKSFLUENTENGLISH
    Well respected amongst peers
    Good w youth and player development

  40. Pierre

    Ishola
    “Pierre spoils his good comment previously though by banging on about Wenger again.”

    Saying saka and smith rowe were wenger boys(which they are) is not banging on about wenger again .

  41. MidwestGun

    I think with any transfer window you have to wait about a season to see how it pans out. Have to wait for the initial rush of enthusiasm to wear off and see how the players settle after the grind of a long season. Remember Chamakh started out great guns.
    But I do think about 50% of our signings will work out long term and thats a pretty good percentage. If I had to guess I would say TT, Loko and Ramsdale would be the ones that will be remembered in 5 years time as good signings. No major injuries of course. Odegaard for me depends on how we end up using him. Would rather we used ESR as a 10.

    For me Saka and ESR are more a product of Freddie Lundjburg’s developement.. not Wenger… Of course Freddie played for Wenger so indirectly I suppose. But then again so did Arteta. So not sure that matters.

  42. Ishola70

    zacharse

    It was an interesting comment for perhaps not what you replied with.

    If the last four matches are the Arteta template we won’t be ding much.

  43. MidwestGun

    Damn International breaks are brutal. You know it’s bad when your sitting around trying to figure out how to use a bird identifier app. Northern Mockingbird, apparently.

  44. Matt B

    ‘Ramsdale
    Surprisingly good so far’

    Well yeh, if you wrote him off before he even kicked a ball in red+white, as you did Pierre and a whole litany of others on here.

    So, why she should we take the word of anyone such as yourself who is so closed minded as to rubbish a player before you’ve even seen him kick a ball.

    Stick to Ozil mate

  45. Matt B

    Actually, that was rude — appreciate your take on a lot of things Pierre, just bemused as to why so many people dismissed White and Ramsdale before they’d even seen them play

  46. raptora

    “why so many people dismissed White and Ramsdale before they’d even seen them play”

    Must have something to do with shelling 80m in defence, for 2 players that were not universally recognized.

    You read Watkins or Calvert-Lewin or even the likes of Mings, Cash, Cresswell and just like now, in the blog, people are excited for Watkins just by some gossip dropping.

    80m is a truckload of money and we spent it in defence, for 2 players of unknown quality, both risky signings that can go either way. They are not a Varane, or a Lukaku that you know their absolute quality and that both of them will most probably do well/great. They are 2 players that most fans either didn’t know or had not great opinion of.

    You cannot tell me that in the tens and hundreds of people posting in the blog, not even one had the football eyes to see the unquestionable quality of these 2 stone cold reserves in the English squad along with the pure class of Ben Godfrey and Sam Johnstone and speak about how they would love to have them in our team before the gossip that we want them dropped.

    Excuse the fans questioning a stupidly high price tag deals for players that did not catch the eye. We are talking about White becoming the 9th most expensive defender of all time and Ramsdale – the 7th most expensive goalkeeper of all time. Goodness me. Can’t believe some fans dared question the transfers.