by .

If you’ve been reading Le Grove for a while, you’ll know I don’t really raise my hand on transfer rumours, because it’s a risky game. There are very few that truly know what they are doing in this space, David Ornstein is obviously the best in the business, BBC on the resume, an actual journalist, can cut through the bullshit, has real contacts, very rarely misses. There are others that get good information, but it’s peddled via agents, the deal with the devil there is part of your messaging is good faith, but the other part is shifting nonsense, being the authentic face of bullshit designed to whip up interest.

If a big name Twitter account says X player is moving to BIG club, it might not be true, but that Twitter account creates 1000 stories that make it feel true. Football is a game of emotion and execs all have the same biases and ticks you do. So this tactic can be fruitful because a front-of-mind name for you can be a front-of-mind name in an insecure scouting office.

So, first up on the nonsense chart.

The Daily Mail reckon Cedric Soares has been denied a move to Atletico by the move of Ainsley. This is a big fat NONSENSE. Remember, Cedric was a player so average Southampton assumed that when his deal ran out, he’d go to a lower league club. The idea that Diego Simeone is going to swoop in for a £90k a week right back that; as someone neatly put it the other day,  is still our 4th best right back after shipping a few, is utter dross. This is a story of Kia’s imagination designed to fool other clubs into thinking there might be a player there. If Arsenal could shake his £90k a week salary, they’d stick Bernd Leno at right-back for the rest of the season. Cedric might land a move, but let’s be real, Soares can’t do anything Trippier can do, and if he’s not an Arteta or a Hassenhutl player, he’s not a Simeone player.

The second mega noise is around Dusan Vlahovic’s camp and club. Fiorentina folk are telling anyone that wants to listen that Arsenal needs to do something, like, so bloody crazy if they want the bring the striker over this January.

This story has flaws.

Firstly, the £58m price tag. Who are they kidding? The player has 18 months left on his deal, 12 in the summer, it would be nuts if they managed to squeeze £50m for the player in this market. Fiorentina desperately needs a club like Arsenal to come for their player now, because in the summer, the price drops again.

Then you have the summer. The pickings are slim when it comes to clubs with the money and the prestige to be a draw.

  • PSG – Haaland / Lukaku / Ronaldo
  • City – Kane / Haaland
  • Barca – skint (dreaming of Haaland)
  • Chelsea – Lukaku (Haaland)
  • United – Too many strikers
  • Liverpool – No room
  • Spurs – Broke
  • Juve – Would want a 6 year loan

It’s hard to ask for something crazy in a market of one.

Then let’s talk about the wages. The Mail again saying we’d need crazy money. He’s reportedly asking for £300k a week. Come on people. Are we losing our damn minds? Arsenal isn’t going to him with that money when we have Saka, Martinelli, and Smith Rowe on our book earning around £120k a week at best. We’re not going to fuck our wage structure on a 21-year-old that doesn’t have many options outside us / hasn’t proved himself outside a tier 4 league. You think Juve are going to give him that? No chance. They’ll ask Fiorentina to pay his wages on the loan move they’ll want.

The more noise I read about Vlahovic, the more I think the move is unlikely. This chatter is all driven by agents via Italian Football Twitter, but where there’s smoke… there’s usually a really annoying player that’ll come and want to leave after year one unless they land a new deal.

Again, think about the currency of the internet: Information. Look at how much info out of accounts linked to agents. This is part of a negotiation or it’s part of a noisy ‘PLEASE SOMEONE DRIVE UP THE PRICE’ campaign.

I’m going to say it again, I think Jack Wilshere might be an option this month, remember, it only takes a second to sign a deal.

Arsenal aren’t loaded this January, pulling money from the summer for a striker makes sense, but I don’t think we’ll be finding £60m for a midfielder. I suspect the pattern you see with the striker is what you’re going to see with the midfielder.

  • Age Profile: 21-24
  • Appearances: 2 seasons of consistent first-team action in a major league
  • Contract: 6-18months left on deal so the fee can be lower

Who knows what the specificity is going to be, but I suspect we’ll be looking at an understudy for Granit Xhaka after nearly losing him in the summer and someone that can add a bit of bite and edge heading into the end of the year.

The key for the window is to manage the emotion of it. The easiest thing to do would be to waste money on someone (Gini). The temptation will be to break the strategy with someone older that could block the path of a young player that simply needs a 6-month loan to put themselves in contention.

We don’t need to do anything wild. Arsenal has a wild couple of weeks coming up. The job is clear. We need to beat Liverpool for cheating their COVID testing, then we have to go to Spurs this weekend and take a point or more. After that, beat Burnley and we are game on for the Top 4 race for the rest of the season.

All we need to do is ride four games, then we enter into Phase 6 of the season with a 17 day break. Last season, I think Arteta took the team to Dubai. Get into that break without too much damage and the players will get some sun, they’ll have a mini-preseason with the new players, then we’ll jump back into Phase 6 of the season fresh, with no Europe, no more cups, just pure focus and a clear objective to chase.

Back to Liverpool. The press now seems pretty clear that, yes, conspiracies do happen in football, but only because Jurgen Klopp was dim enough to reveal it in the press. Liverpool opened their training ground a day after our postponed game, then admitted they had 10 false-negative tests. You’ve a better chance of winning the lottery than getting than many bad test results. Is there any other way of framing this outside cheating? There’s not.

At the core, this is a huge compliment. Jurgen Klopp has fucked Liverpool’s season by January again, which is a huge, huge failure on his part. He needs an insurance trophy, that is now the League Cup. He wants a good news story. Last Thursday, he knew Arsenal were in outstanding form, he didn’t have all the players he needed, so they gamed the system and had the event moved by Rick Parry (exLiverpool exec). False positives are rare. A load of them, at a professional football club, is impossible. This needs to be punished by more than a cursory fine.

Still, the ACTUAL positive here is Arsenal didn’t have Xhaka, who was really sick, and now they do. Arteta needs a performance, the boys need to get some good news into those tired legs, now they have a chip on their collective shoulders, so let’s see what we can do there.

I will say again… media that play the: ‘Hmmmffhhhopppphhh, fans are so dumb when they call out cheating in the game’ really embarrassed themselves with the lack of probing around what Liverpool did. Call it out, Klopp is a disgrace. Be a little curious on other things like referees and the drab data associated with how they behave around certain clubs.

Final piece related to Cup nightmares and the internet. Nottingham Forest are trying to get a promotion this season, they are in the mixer for the Play-offs. Did anyone think it was nuts that Steve Cooper went out of his way to shit-house Arsenal and put Djed Spence, their excellent full-back, in the shop window like that? Boro’ now has a proper coach in Chris Wilder, who must be wondering why a player that can go toe-to-toe with Martinelli is out on loan to a rival, and now the rest of the Premier League is looking at the same player and wondering if they need a new right-back. Mad put your best silver on show in a trophy you can’t win, but here we are, that’s football for ya.

Ok, have fun in the comments and WATCH THE DAMN SHOW (subscribe too) or LISTEN (subscribe) to it. Johnny seems to have won MoTP for his showing. Thank you for watching and tuning in, we love you. x


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Guns of SF

    Def no on Vlahovic
    Isak yes!

    we also sorely lack strikers who can dribble the ball. Laca is ok… but we need someone who can create space and also run at defenders.
    Isak- checks the dribbling, finishing, height boxes…. not so sure his heading ability, but he is also young and experienced.

  2. Guns of SF


    Richarlison is my kind of striker and I have praised him plenty.
    Works his socks off, good in air, and decent with his feet.

    Aggression levels off the charts.
    Street kid, knows how to fight… tough mentality.

  3. Dissenter

    Isak’s goal scoring numbers are deplorable He’s scored as many league goals as Martinelli in more games

    People seem to be latching unto the sleeky player we say at the Euros but he’s not replicating these performances at the club level.
    It’s like crowning Xhaka as world class based on his Euro performances.

  4. Unoni

    I feel like Arteta doesn’t understand what has been working for him when it comes to the CF role. He Luke’s out and out goalscorers. It’s why he persisted with Auba so much. And that’s why he also like a poacher like Nketiah. Vlahovic has more tools to his game like physicality and Aerial prowess. But he is still not an elite player but an elite goalscorer. And that is not the right fit for us IMO.


    I totally agree with this. I cannot yndetand why he is persisting with this style of forward whe it is so unsuited to the rest of the team and the style of play.
    Every time we go with laca and fit clever footballers with an eye for goal around him, our form improves immediately

  5. Habesha Gooner

    I am always impressed with him when he plays. He isn’t up there on the stats but if he played for a top team, he would get those numbers up. But you are right it would take a ridiculous amount of money to get him.


    I would argue DCL has improved because of Richarlson. Richarlson is known for doing his own dirty work. What he could do better at is finishing and a bit of decision making.

  6. Dissenter

    I’m not sure, I think the lad was supreme at the Euros which is why he dominates discussion here.
    He’s not a prolific goal scorer.

    I wonder why David Jonathan David doesn’t come up more.

    He hard working as an ant and has had to work to defy stereotypes because he’s Canadian from the MLS. He started out in Belgium and has worked his way up to Lille. He’s exhausted that already after winning Ligue un and needs to take a next step up.

    He’s going to jump at the chance to come to Arsenal without drama and will work hard for us while scoring goals.

  7. Dissenter

    I’m just saying you can’t ignore Isak’s poor numbers and I don’t understand why many people are willing to gloss over that central fact.

  8. Guns of SF

    Diss Im with you on David, and yes players from the “Americas” do tend to have it harder to overcome this stereotype. US players, Mexican, Central American etc.
    Unless you from brazil or argentina, its really tough.

  9. Guns of SF

    I think that DCL and Richarlison both are exactly what we need in our team, to be honest- given our style and what our needs are.
    Replace laca and Auba with those 2 and its money money money.
    Cha Ching

  10. Habesha Gooner

    I have watched Isak play numerous times. He isn’t prolific. But what he brings is fear from opponents. His dribbling ability is insane. And he has speed. Remember Henry scaring everyone with a trick and his speed? That is what Isak primarily brings. He has been poor this year but he was scoring at a good rate last year.

    Anyway we have a lot of options. Goyiri, Darwin Nunez at benfica are also options besides David, Isak and DCL. If Vlahovic doesn’t come then we will get another hotshot striker.

  11. Unoni

    I’m just saying you can’t ignore Isak’s poor numbers and I don’t understand why many people are willing to gloss over that central fact.

    Numbers aren’t the be all and end all at his age. Drogba, Henry, rvp, shearer, vieri even Messi and cr7 were not offering up numbers at that age. The promise is in the game play. Saka and ESR aren’t offering elite numbers yet are considered two of the biggest prospects in world football right now.
    I like Isak from what I’ve seen. I like Jovic too. Not seen to much of Vlahovic or David personally myself so can’t say there

  12. Venga, Dani

    Richarlison can press but his hold up play with his back to goal IMO is not enough to lead a line. DCL is a bully and allows Richarlison to thrive. They do compliment each other very nicely though

  13. Unoni

    I think a forward line of martinelli isak and Saka with ESR and Odegaard floating behind could be the most fearsome in world football in 2 years
    I’d still like to see Pepe get some action in there though. Very underrated and offers end product whenever he starts

  14. izzo

    You guys need to chill on the keeping Laca bullshit. He is leaving. he’s a Lyon boy what makes you think he wants a one year extension to “teach” or “lead” the younger players? You are all sounding out the same tropes when we signed and extended David Luiz. Laca will do what is best for his career which is to move on for his last big pay contract. None of this sentimental bullshit you all keep peddling around. Fact is why his contract runs out and he hasn’t and isn’t renewing. You all behave like there’s a tiny pool of footballers in world football when there’s always a stream of talent every passing year. Its not the end of the world if we don’t get the flavor of the year Vlahovic or whatever the fuck.

  15. izzo

    Get the next best younger version. Simple. Don’t care how much he cost and from where he comes from. That’s what Edu and the scouting team are paid to do. Laca is not a unicorn. There are players out there that are/will be better and younger. Pedro has constantly said we are in transition blah blah blah then buy the player that fits into that transition.

  16. Unoni


    Yeah. That’s what the whole discussion is about
    But you can’t expect a 20 year old to be parachuted into a side like arsenal and to be able to consistently offer mature performances. It’s extremely rare and those players usually cost more than a club like arsenal can afford

  17. raptora

    Jonathan David has one of the ugliest highlight videos I’ve seen. Literally 80% of his goals are easy finishes from chances he gets served on a silver platter. He wouldn’t get even 1/3 of the easy chances in the EPL. No way.

    There is a chance he’s the Pepe of CFs and his goals are artificially pumped.

  18. Topside Northbank

    Chris Wood release clause updated 25m!

    Under the radar we have signed a player from West Brom 16 year old Lino Sousa a left back.

  19. izzo

    There’s a lot of players in the age range of 20-25 we can buy right now to replace Laca rather than giving him an “Auba” contract to stay. Are we not supposed to struggle/suffer to get back to the top? I’d rather see younger players struggle than Laca struggling on his bumper contract. Live and learn. Twice bitten by Ozil and Auba. Time to DO BETTER as a club.

  20. WengerEagle

    Newcastle will be relegated which will be hilarious for the Richest club in the world.

    May even see the Saudi’s pull the plug. It has happened before with sugar daddies that got bored in Malaga, Anzhi and Monaco so it can easily happen to Newcastle.

  21. Habesha Gooner

    Wenger Eagle
    DCL wouldn’t join. They are barely convincing old timers to join. Younger players will wait to see if they will survive this season to join. Chris wood is a double move I think. To score some headers from Trippier and St maximan. And also to weaken Burnley. 20 mil though is ridiculous.

  22. izzo

    All the signs point to Newcastle going down hence their purchase of Chris Wood. I’ll take Allan Saint-Maximin as backup to our young wingers in the summer.

  23. Unoni


    Who? Name names? Who’s gonna come in and form the partnerships on the field that laca has with the younger players next season?

    And I’m not saying offer him a 3 year deal on £300k
    1 year on current wages. Just like we did with bergkamp and Keown, year on year. Best way with over 30s. Arsene knew

  24. WengerEagle

    Agree Habesha on both accounts.

    I still would have thrown a big offer Everton’s way to tempt both parties.

    Tripper sold out for the bag, hope he enjoys dropping from CL football to Championship football in hos peak years.

  25. Unoni

    I was all for letting auba and ozil leave in any way possible. But a olayer like Lacazette is well worth keeping around. Always had a better attitude, work ethic, team ethic, leadership. And he turns up when you need him to. He will never be prolific but he makes us a better team and enhances the more talented younger generation with his selfless work and ability to spin and pop balls off on the half way line, acting as the springboard for decisive counters

  26. andy1886

    Unoni, I can only repeat that Laca HAS been offered a one year deal with an option for a second year but he turned it down. He wants a longer deal and one big last pay day. Leaving on a free he can pick up another year’s wages in lieu of a transfer fee. Then there’s his agent who will pick up a nice wedge.

  27. Guns of SF

    bye Laca,
    Cant say I hate the fella. He tried, busted his ass and had only a few down streaks in his career here.
    Auba way worse despite starting hot the first 2 seasons.

    Yea I see Laca in Spain or France.

  28. izzo

    Unoni we all know and can names players from all the transfer rumours but like you said they have to “form” partnerships and that takes time. Smart planning would be to bring them in now in January hence why i hope we’re bringing in a Striker now and use the rest of the season as bedding in period. Don’t care who it is whether its Isak, Vlahovic, Jovic, or even an unknown name like how we got Tomiyasu which is my preference for signings moving forward. Just have to trust that the transfer team have done their homework.

  29. WengerEagle

    Always have been Laca > Auba myself even if the latter pretty much single-handedly won us that FA Cup which he deserves a lot of props for.

    Laca has always been more complete, just a shame he has never been clinical in front of goal for us.

  30. Unoni


    I was unaware of that. That’s a shame. If it’s true then let him leave for free. I wouldn’t see the club held over a barrel again. But he won’t be joining a better club than arsenal so I’d hold out until the end

    Yes we all know the kids of 20/21 years of age
    But I want to know these strikes you’re referring to in their mid 20s
    You say laca is not a unicorn. Well who comes in and does his job next season immediately?

  31. Guns of SF

    Laca needs a partner to lead the line. With Weng, and his prefferred 442 it would have been fine…

    This 4231 BS is hard for the lone striker… someone his size and skill set.

    Even with Auba ( just think its a chemistry thing) did not work that great

  32. izzo


    Literally named them and you’re making it out like nobody else can do what Laca does? What does Laca do again? Not score….riggggggght. fabulous then any striker from age 20 -25 would do then. Again we’re in transition and you think we can’t progress without extending Laca and i’m telling you we can and will and every new player adapts differently (odegaard /tomiyasu) and if you don’t buy them you’ll never know. Living in fear and sticking with Laca(which means giving him more money he doesn’t deserve) is not the way to progress.

  33. Guns of SF

    We had to sell Olly to get Auba in that weird deal
    So Auba won us the FA cup so it was worth it. His first 2 seasons he was fire.
    Then bad drop off….
    I think we have all seen now how limited he is, takes one touch and passes, safely or crosses. Never ever seen him take on a defender dribbling.. and be sucessful.
    Not a speed merchant either… thought he was
    He is a poacher. Quick one touch shooting that is it.
    Not bad, but we need so much more

  34. Unoni

    . Living in fear and sticking with Laca(which means giving him more money he doesn’t deserve) is not the way to progress.

    Yeah. Just throw martinelli or Balogun at it. What’s the worst that can happen? Laca isn’t a Unicorn after all.
    Anyone can do what he does. 🤦🏻‍♂️
    We literally have 4 other strikers at the club right now and none of them enhance us the way he does when he’s deployed as lone striker izzo.
    Like I said, if it were so easy we’d already have his replacement

  35. Mr Serge

    Guns love him what a fighter he can’t even see properly without his glasses, very dangerous ground game and very good striker, think he beats Justin although reckon mcgregor will jump the queue

  36. Dissenter

    Actually, I think Chris Wood’s transfer gives Newcastle a very good chance of survival It’s a very practical solution to goal scoring.

    Who else could they have signed, who is willing to go to a team that has not won a single game and are relegation bound?
    Newcastle have some good wingers, ….lump the ball to Chris and be ready to pick up the pieces.

  37. WengerEagle


    Oliveira is an animal, looked certain that Dustin was going to finish him in that 1st round but Charles weathered the storm and went on to outclass him. Was an amazing fight.

    Agree with Serge, do not see Gaethje beating him either although he hits a lot harder than DP so always a chance that he sleeps him. Olivieira the much more skilled fighter though so would expect him to win.

    McGregor would get beaten down and finished. Only LW contender I see troubling Charles for now barring Khabib unretiring is his cousin Islam who looks scary good and dominant albeit not as great as Khabib was/is.

  38. Guns of SF

    Is it me or does Oliveira seem to get beat up on purpose in the first round, to then, tire out and look for mistakes from his opponent? It seems all his fights, he is done in the first but comes back. I wonder if this is a real strategy. if so it is brilliant

  39. WengerEagle

    A LW to watch out for mind is Joel Alvarez, keep an eye out for him Guns and Serge. He fights again next month and is absolutely massive, comical he is even a LW he is so big think he is 6″3 and not exactly thin.

    He is finishing his opponents in bery impressive fashion, 1st round Submission of Joseph Duffy and 1st round KO of Thiago Moises who is decent.

    Has an elite ground game, very exciting prospect and only 28 which is young for UFC.

  40. Mr Serge

    WEagle I am excited for Joel Alvarez as well some nice up and comers lately,my thoughts on Islam is you can stop him if you have a good ground game or can strike, he is easier to hit than khabib was.

    What’s your though on Kamzat ? People are losing their minds over him but I think he is untested yet

  41. Guns of SF

    Most of Oliveira opponents are head hunters…

    He just takes the blows and then wham!

    True submission artist. To me that is more exciting than a KO

  42. Pierre

    This is how it works on Le grove.

    We lose a game without xhaka and we are told that xhaka was missed despite the fact that a week earlier he was culpable for Arsenal losing to man city.

    We lose a game with Lakonga and we are told that he is not of the required standard….

    Arteta subs tavares early v forest ( wrongly in my opinion), and is now written of .

    Holding similar, lose a game , obviously not good enough .

    Cedric similar , obviously not good enough.

    Eddie misses a sitter…..written off as a championship player…

    And then we have the new untouchables on le grove because we won a few recent games against lowly opposition but get a free pass v forest

    Lacazette came on as sub and done nothing against forest , a goal every 290 minutes in the prem this season , let’s give him a new contract as he is one of the untouchables.

    Odegaard , 65 passes v forest and not one pass to charlie patino , he created nothing v a championship side , he passed to saka and he passed backwards but ignored Patino , meaning that Martinelli was living off scraps, but no word of criticism for Odegaard as he is now one of the untouchables.

    Tierney , came on , did nothing , was no better than tavares but he is one of the untouchables so we’ll ignore the fact that he made no improvement to the side.

    Martinelli…top of the untouchables, was nullified by a loanee from Middlesbrough, he was against a player who had more pace than him , hence why he struggled, plus he is living off scraps due to Odegaard refusing to switch play to the left and settling for the easy xhakaesque pass to saka…
    Why Arteta left Martinelli tight on the touchline god only knows , it was obvious from very early on in the game that the forest full back had him in his pocket so why not give him a run up top.

    Ben white is an untouchable , much easier to blame Holding for the defeat than one of the untouchables .

    Saka is of course an untouchable, and rightly so as he has earned the right , unlike a few of the others.
    Saka received no protection from the ref but again, why didn’t Arteta change things around with our front 4, saka may have posed a different threat for the right back, .martinelli up top may have made different runs to Eddie meaning Odegaard may have actually tried to be slightly creative , but no , Arteta did nothing except make the pathetic decision to take off Tavares that made no difference to our game whatsoever.

  43. Dissenter

    Pierre is indeed right that there is pack mentality here.
    He is also right that there are untouchables, just like not being able to say that Patino was invisible, young age and all, which is not a knock on his quality.

    It was a collective shit who on Sunday, no one should have been spared.

  44. Luteo Guenreira

    “ Khamzat v Oliveira would be interesting”

    Oliveira started his career as a featherweight, trying to match him up with a guy whose walk-around weight is 90kg is ridiculous. Chimaev would likely smash anybody from lightweight if they fought at 170lb due to the sheer size difference. It’s not like 30 years ago anymore when you saw Royce Gracie overcoming 50lb weight differences, the bigger guys are just as skilled now.

    And getting punched on purpose in a fight is far from brilliant, it actually might be the worst strategy ever. Ali got Parkinson’s from that shit.

    Big fan of Do Bronx though, his last few fights have definitely not been short on entertainment.

  45. Guns of SF

    Yea I agree, too much weight difference
    I would however like to see Charlie take on another submission specialist.
    I know it might be a bore fest, but his JJ is really top top class.
    Not sure who the opponent could be, as most of straight up strikers but I am just excited about Bronx. you have to admit he looks like he going down in the first most times… then gets up and wham!

  46. WengerEagle


    Huge fan of Khamzat, how can you not be? Has more UFC wins than strikes absorbed, lol is absurd and unheard of.

    I think that he is future Champ material, he ragdolls Gilbert Burns imo and that should get him a title shot.

  47. izzo

    You clearly have a hard time grasping English. If you really are that poster “Don” then I just remembered its an exercise in futility debating with you.

    Any to the point about pack mentality on Legrove about Arsenal players. Count me out because i couldn’t care less about any of the current players whether they stay or leave. They can be replaced by a superior or lesser player and who cares its a team sport afterall. 90+ minutes of entertainment and its over life goes on until the next game. Seeing grown men weep over players is hilarious. I can never understand the so called connection with men that are overpaid and ridiculously wealthy who are so disconnected from real world reality. I honestly don’t have the mindset to be a fanboy of celebrities. Weird.

  48. Tony

    Amen Izzo.

    Don’s love for Wilshire surpasses Pierre’s Eddie fascination 10 fold.

    He’s never wrong, too, until he is.

    It’s silly season with the TW that invites all sorts of characters’s speculations here.

    The only players talked about here that should be sourced are the likes of Bruno Guimares or better, not looking at strikers to buy and potential loans for MF, especially a 21yo CF not tested in the PL where there are talks of £178m package to buy him. If we bought Dustan and he didn’t work out where his value drops on £300 per week, how do we sell him?

    Without a solid MF we can’t create, hence no shots on target against Championship side Forrest who did have shots on target.

    I think it was ES last night that said we need a DMF and CMF and he’s absolutely right.

    They should have been the first players bought where we should have been in negotiations prior to the window opening.

    Now we have big games coming up with a patched up MF likely to be filled with loans while we try to keep hold of 4th.

    Inside Right
    Excellent post last night.

  49. Gonsterous

    Ffs, hope those new laca contract stories are all rubbish.

    Decent player but hardly finds the back of the net.

  50. Dissenter

    I dare to write this but Oliver Giroud was a better signing than Lacazette

    I’ll never understand the clamor for Laca
    Hoe many assists or goals does he get, for £180k weekly with a £46 million transfer fee player?

  51. Dissenter

    Compare the ability to bring others into the game and actual assists

    I believe Giroud cost us about £9.6 million in 2012, spent 6.5 years
    Laca cost us £46.5 million, he would have spent 5 years by the time his contract is done

    Even when you are the time adjustments, the difference is stark
    Then you factor in assist creation

    People used to ridicule Giroud here and I got tonnes of abuse for saying he was a decent player, now the same people are creaming themselves up over a lesser player.

  52. Raulishuss

    Pierre is so shameless. Had to round just avoid eddie of any blame. UNTOUCHABLE. LOL.

    ALVAREZ Is a monster. I’m telling you for $1

  53. China1

    We all knew liverpool were gaming the system and cheating to move a game they didn’t fancy at that moment. What is truly shocking is that Klopp basically just admitted it with the false positives comment. What was he thinking blurting that out?

  54. DivineSherlock


    If it was Laca in place of Giroud in 2015 , we’d win the league . Stop creaming over Giroud the donkey. The guy missed more big chances than we can create right now .

  55. China1

    Not sure we would’ve won the league with laca. We were quite a way back from Leicester plus Girouds link up play contributed to far more goals than Laca’s does.

    Giroud was a much better hold up and link up player and better in the air. Plus whilst he’d have barren patches he scored a useful number of goals too.

    Giroud was not world class but he was a better player than Laca and his career has consistently reflected that. He will retire with a CV which will beat laca’ sun probably every meaningful metric

  56. China1

    How many headed goals has laca got since arteta came on despite us having periods of each season when we threw 20000 high crosses into the box? Giroud would’ve been converting some of those

    Laca is not even an especially good goal scorer and whilst his link up play is useful it’s miles behind girouds link up. Not even a little bit close

  57. China1

    Laca and girouds goals per appearance in the PL is almost identical. If giroud was a donkey (he did have his moments) then laca is even more of a donkey because he’s not a better goal scorer and he’s far inferior in terms of link up

  58. China1

    Yes that expression was infuriating as he always looked gobsmacked that he’d missed even tho he missed big chances all the time 😂😂😂

  59. Sid

    Why is dog fighting illegal while humans are let to brutalize each other in the name of boxing and UFC?

    I guess human life is of less value than a dog.

  60. China1

    Sid because humans mutually agree to the terms of a boxing fight and are even paid for it whereas dogs are forced into that situation with or without their consent and with no guarantee of any kind of compensation befitting it. Ain’t complicated!

  61. Mb

    “”People used to ridicule Giroud here and I got tonnes of abuse for saying he was a decent player, now the same people are creaming themselves up over a lesser player.””

    Because the standards were high at some point in time..

  62. Luteo Guenreira

    Giroud and his haircut was brought in to replace RVP and his left foot. A truly admirable coif it was, but no amount of sexy hair was was going to fill RVP’s shoes. RVP’s left foot is another level. It may have been unfair to him at the time but Oli was never going to be seen as good enough. Think most fans appreciated him more after he left though.

    This phenomenon also has the opposite effect sometimes too, like when many fans convinced themselves for a decade that somewhere inside Theo Walcott was a world class player that would live up to Thierry’s number 14 simply because he inherited the number.

  63. Luteo Guenreira

    “ are even paid for it”

    I thought the payment to the dogfighting dogs was the fact that the winning dog gets to eat the losing dog? I’m pretty certain that’s where the phrase “dog eat dog” originated from.

  64. Guns of SF

    Olly was a good lad.
    Nice guys
    Choir boy leader
    This was when I feel we were getting soft, all these soft kids coming into the team.
    But Olly did his best, given his many limitations.
    Better than Theo, Bendtner, and some others probably

  65. Sid

    We declined to midtable because of tolerating average players like Giroud, Xhakalson, Lacazette,

    A downgrade on RVP, Santi/Rosiky/santi

    A team with Samir, Cesc and RVP automatically qualifies for CL. We lack that quality in the current team.

  66. Habesha Gooner

    I think Lacazette’s career tragectory would have been much better if we hadn’t signed aubameyang and had decent players around him. I feel like it is the same thing with Benzema and Ronaldo. Lacazette didn’t play the role he wanted and when he did he had no decent wingers and CAMs to play with.

    Giroud had a ridiculous amount of support. We had Cazorla, Ozil, Samchez and Walcott on the wings, and Ramsey and Wislhere to come on. Lacazette saw that for one season at best. I remember one game that we lost during Wenger’s era at the Emirates. That was against United. Lingard scored the winner I think. But Lacazette and Sanchez with Ozil battered them. Degea was making world class saves left right and center. And apart from scoring Lacazette was a beast that day. That was the player he could have been for us.

    Then he had to play with Miki, Iwobi, and Auba as wingers, Xhaka and Ramsey and a retired Ozil. We have never had creators around him. And that is why he has struggled with us.

    I am not saying he would have been better than Giroud but the support behind them was ridiculously different in class.

  67. Saladin

    Apart from his blistering pace, Theo was an exceptionally average footballer. His fundamentals were all over the fucking place. Cannot believe we handed Henry’s number over to him so easily.

  68. raptora

    Lacazette was worse than Giroud. Not surprising that Giroud was not only ahead of him in the French NT, but Lacazette couldn’t even make into the squad of a Benzemaless NT. 16 games and 3 goals for Laca Vs 110 games and 46 goals for Giroud is absolutely pathetic and shows the reality without Arsenal in the picture. Even when he was still in Lyon and free scoring he was never able to crack it into the NT.

    Some of you make it as Lacazette is the dream player for a fast and dangerous front line – well France had exactly that with Mbappe, Griezmann, Martial, Coman, Dembele yet Lacazette was never even close to making a good NT career.

    It’s because Laca is/was so inferior to Giroud in the overall play while he was scoring at the same rate that playing Laca ahead of Giroud made absolutely no sense at all. Giroud was a better target man, better at defending and attacking crosses, better at winning first balls, better at combining with the players around him (42 assist in his stay here, Laca has 32), better at opening space for his teammates, he was a pain in the ass to defend versus.

    Both couldn’t score often enough to be elite and they never had the required pace but Giroud was much better in almost everything else compared to Laca. The Laca revisionism is strong in here at the moment.

  69. DivineSherlock


    Giroud had Sanchez , Walcott , Ozil Ramsey and Cazorla behind him . Lacazette had to struggle with post contract Ozil , Iwobi/Mkhitaryan , Pepe and adjust Aubameyang into lineup. I think you guys are way overestimating Giroud’s abilities . Prime Ozil had 8 games to break Henry’s record of 20assists in a season , Giroud failed to score in 10 consecutive league games or so at the end of the run .

  70. DivineSherlock

    Not to mention fullbacks Giroud had Monreal + Bellerin pre-injury and Lacazette went through Kolasinac/ Lichtsteiner/ Cedric and god knows how many shit RBs who provided none of that crossing .

  71. Unoni

    Mr SergeJanuary 11, 2022 22:24:01
    Don there are 50 players that can do what laca does and as many that can do a better job, I for one am not afraid of letting him go and replacing him

    Who are they? Why don’t we have one of them?

  72. Unoni


    I’m not crying at all. I’d be very happy to have a striker who offers more than Lacazette.
    Where we differ is that I think it’s harder to find that guy who will come in next season and provide what he provides to the rest of the team (not just goals) while being of an age to demonstrate to the younger forwards and allow them room to grow into that position and make it their own
    I would be delighted if Balogun or martinelli could take the prem by storm next season as no9.
    But the truth is neither are ready and Lacazette is already here, already adjusted and settled, already has an on field relationship with his team mates and already improved our performance

  73. Terraloon

    My guess is that Newcastle are signing players that are desperate

    Tripper was desperate to get back to England, his family never moved to Spain. I can’t believe a player who was first choice at a CL team in Spain sees it as a good career move.
    Remain in Spain playing top tier football & then yes he probably would bet a WC Squad berth. If Newcastle get relegated which is a real possibility then he will have blown his chances

    Wood is desperate no doubt to get one last big contract. He is a decent enough player but he isn’t prolific.

    Do these two signings really smack of a plan ?

  74. Shaun

    I think Pierre is right with most of his comments and especially about lego head as he rarely shows this genius generational coaching side for in game management and that’s the worry as lego head could have changed formation or done something in his power to change the course of the game but he did nothing . I thought Eddie ,holding and Logonka were all awful .vERY WORRIED ABOUT THE SPUDS GAME THOUGH AND FOR THE LIFE OF ME I JUST CAN’T UNDERSTAND HOW LEGO HEAD HAS NOT GIVEN ANY MINUTES TO LOGONKA knowing he would be relying on him in this period .The boy looked so far of the pace he was lost

  75. China1

    Terra Tripper even won the league last year

    I guess he sees his domestic career as mission accomplished and just wants a big deal for the years he has left

  76. China1

    Divine I don’t over estimate his abilities because I always felt giroud was not good enough to be a nailed on starter for us

    He was a big step down from rvp, Henry, Bergkamp this caliber of player. Not in the same league

    But his career has imo reflected his ability pretty well. He’s always been a fantastic link up player and hold up player. He has a good touch, awesome flicks etc. his primary shortcoming was that he wasn’t a top end goal scorer.

    But if you compare with laca there’s a reason his career has been less fruitful at domestic and international level. He’s absolutely not as good a hold up or link up player. And he’s not a better goal scorer either

    Honestly speaking I think it’s that with auba up front we’ve been so starved of anything remotely resembling link up or anything other than box play that laca having good work rate and being useful at link up now feels like it’s this huge deal when in reality he’s still not playing like a top end CF – just much better than auba who was playing shite

  77. Tony


    One can hope.

  78. China1

    Laca’s biggest strength is that he’s a hustler and he’s awkward to play against sometimes

    But in order to be effective he has to bust such a gut that he’s absolutely spent by the 65th minute

    Giroud didn’t need to sprint for 65 mins to make an important contribution. Laca has to do that because he lacks the qualities to influence the game much without it

  79. Unoni

    The other issue on our young forwards is that I don’t feel confident that Arteta is equipped yet to “unleash” a young forward and give him the belief and support to really make a splash the way wenger would. Were Wenger in charge right now I’d bet that either martinelli or Balogun would be getting more minutes at no9 and would be looking far more comfortable being the leading man.

  80. NORG


    Tony – you can borrow my prayer mat.

  81. Mr Serge

    TerraloonJanuary 12, 2022 08:17:01
    My guess is that Newcastle are signing players that are desperateTripper was desperate to get back to England, his family never moved to Spain. I can’t believe a player who was first choice at a CL team in Spain sees it as a good career move.
    Remain in Spain playing top tier football & then yes he probably would bet a WC Squad berth. If Newcastle get relegated which is a real possibility then he will have blown his chancesWood is desperate no doubt to get one last big contract. He is a decent enough player but he isn’t prolific.Do these two signings really smack of a plan ?

    Terra buying woods weakens a direct rival its a smart move, city did it to us in 2010 to 2012 and where are the respected clubs now?

    city ruined us back then and RVP being sold to Man u also messed us up and we have not recovered yet

  82. Mr Serge

    china i don’t rate lacca he only has work rate and like you say he is shot by the 65th minute, hence my there are 50 strikers like Lacca coment to Don

  83. Pierre

    Lacazette has his benefits to the the team as he is like an annoying little fly , in that he keeps coming back for more.
    He milks every challenge , which does have its benefits as it makes the defender wary of challenging him and the more naive referees will fall for his antics

    A lack of pace and a lack of awareness in the box are a negative for him and that will always mean he will never be prolific as he is too busy gapppling with defenders in the box , whereas the more intelligent striker will .make blind side runs.

    In saying that, Lacazette has been our best option recently in bringing others into play and should be first option in the big games as his aggression and will to win is infectious…

    It’s very easy to say there are better options out there, but there are no guarantees.
    Playing as a striker for Arteta’s Arsenal is a thankless job as so much of the play is out wide , though this has improved recently..

    An Arsenal striker rarely makes more than 20 passes a game so is living off scraps most of the time and that is why all our strikers under Arteta have struggled.

    Partey will be the key in the next couple of years as he is very perceptive in his passing and also looks to commit defenders, this will help the striker , whoever he is…

    Odegaard has improved , although he was very disappointing v forest as he reverted back to the no risk game that was evident earlier in the season.
    What happened to the late runs into the box that has produced goals and assists recently , i doubt that he made one run into the box v forest and i would put Martinelli and saka into that category.
    Odegaard reverted back to chasing shadows and waving his arms about in a vain attempt to impress Arteta..

    That doesn’t impress me , more impressive would be Odegaard doing his job of being the creative hub in the team which was sadly lacking v forest.

    Maybe they were playing under Arteta’s orders to protect the midfield.

  84. Domagoj+B

    You know delusion level is in full swing when Pedro says that haging xhaka back for the next game is a good thing, especially as we see how composed he is in games vs big clubs.

  85. Unoni


    Very well put. I couldn’t disagree with any of it. Odegaard is still on 22 though and clearly has levels above his current showing. Some of his passes recently have been delicious and in a year or two I expect him and ESR to be 2 of the top 5 creative mids in the world. They really are that good

  86. Pierre

    Gerrard bringing coutinho in could prove to be a masterstroke .
    Buendia will be the one to make way as he looks a little lightweight.

    There is a lot of energy in this villa team, my prediction is that Wolves and villa are going to have a say in the battle for European football , it will be interesting to see how it pans out as the title race could be over within the next month or so, which will mean all the excitement will be in the battle for europe.

  87. Nelson

    I guess Arteta would move Ode back as CM and play ESR as #10. I don’t like Ode’s defensive game. I would prefer move White as DM and play Holding as CB instead. Against the Pool and Spuds away, it is important to strengthen the defense..

  88. Unoni


    What about ESR in cmf with xakha? He has the energy to bomb on. Wether or not he’s aware enough to choose his moments like a young Paul scholes is yet to be seen

  89. NORG

    Pierre, EB

    Gerrard already has a close relationship with Coutinho. He knows his capabilities past and present. No Doubt he will discuss in depth how to best use his experience. Gerrard is likely to get more out of Coutinho than most other managers.

  90. Positive pete

    See we’re being linked by a few outlets to Arthur Melo.please God No.A midget with attitude problems who plays like a crab.No No No.If that’s the best Edu/ Arteta can come up with this window we ain’t making top four.That’s for sure.& I don’t give a f** k he’s Brazilian.So was “ Deckchair Denilson…….

  91. Gonsterous


    Big step up from the youth to the first team so I’m not going to be putting money on per performing miracles if he becomes manager.

    After diet pep , we need to get Viera back ( if he does well at palace)

  92. Pierre

    “How about posting something good about Arsenal for a change. Or is that off your agenda”

    Strange thing to say considering i get slaughtered for my defence of Arsenal players …

    If you had a brain you would be able to see that over the years no poster has received as much abuse as me on Le grove for defending the likes of wenger , wilshire, Mhkitaryan, Ozil , academy players.

    Maybe it is beyond your intelligence to understand that my defence of players like Eddie and joe willock is saying “something good” about Arsenal.

    In reality , you mean “something good” about Arteta and that is your agenda ….not mine I’m afraid , I’m still straight down the middle regarding Arteta and the loan of AMN is up there with the very worst of crass decisions

  93. Buzzy

    Better hope Juve lose the final tonight. Else we are getting Melo for sure. The guy will get slaughtered here England. Way too lightweight. It might just be the worst signing we have ever made.

  94. Pierre

    Many looked at Charlie Patino’s performance against forest as underwhelming ..not me.

    He was obviously told to keep it simple and not to encourage the opposition to kick lumps out of him.

    There is a Barcelona documentary called “take the ball, pass the ball” and that is exactly how Patino played the game v forest, the main problem was he wasn’t given the ball enough , players like Odegaard and White didn’t trust him enough to give him the ball , i doubt that Patino received more than 2 passes from white or Odegaard during the whole game..

    Patino on the ball , made the game look too easy, he took the ball and he passed the ball with ease .
    Players who make the game look easy are often misunderstood as they can make half a yard of space with a drop of a shoulder..

    I liked the way he didn’t go chasing about the pitch to get involved in the game , i liked the way he didn’t get frustrated and let the game come to him.
    He did have every right to get frustrated as he was often ignored when in good a good position to receive the ball

    Don’t get me wrong , he didn’t do(or try) anything special but sometimes the hardest part for a kid coming into the game is to try not to over impress by playing his unnatural game .

    I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of him in the coming months .

  95. Tom

    Pierre, you want an analysis of the Forest game? Here it is: burn the tape and those all white kits along with it.

    It’s painful reading some of your agenda driven analysis, it really is.
    Here’s the crux of it all …….which as a student of the game you must know……..when not a single Arsenal player had a good showing it usually means one of two things:
    a) the team was underprepared and out coached,
    b) the players thought they’d show up and Forest will just lie down and spread their legs for them.
    I think it was both.

    Who thought Saka would’ve been stifled by a Newcastle reject Jack fucking Colback?

  96. Samesong


    Sunderland game was the same. Player’s didn’t want to pass to him.
    I get your analysis of Patino. Also looking forward to watching him play more. Think he will surprise some these folk.