by .

Here. We. Go.

Arsenal are the prime target for all the hot goss this window because Mikel Arteta broke all his Ikea crockery and DEMANDED we go shopping at John Lewis.

The Dusan Vlahovic story seems hot online, I have no idea what the real deal is, but as expected, the fees that were being spoken about yesterday are now starting to come into line with something a little more realistic. Italian Sky reporting Fiorentina would like a shit ton of money, but they’d deal at 55m Euros plus Lucas Torreira. That’s quite the climb down from 69m euros yesterday.

Mikel Arteta once again reiterated in his press conference that every player he speaks to wants to join the club.

‘Historically, this club has been targeting the best players in the world and the best players in the world were always interested to come here’

… so let’s be real here if we are talking to Dusan, we’re not begging for his services. Edu and Arteta rarely miss and seem to do their homework, if the deal is progressing, it’s because they know the player wants a piece of it.

My suspicions are not very insightful.

  • Dusan Vlahovic wants a good deal.
  • Fiorentina wants a good deal.
  • There is only one club that will deal in January, which is Arsenal.
  • If another club comes in, the money goes up for all parties.

Johnny made a good analogy in the podcast about trying to do your pulling business before the lights go up. I think Vlahovic’s team is doing a last scan around the bar before making the decision to leave with the only offer.

Quick Spurs interlude. Matt Law reckons Barca couldn’t believe any club would pay the fee Spurs dropped for Emerson Royal. Lol, remember Arsenal fans losing their shit that we’d signed Tomi over him? I do.

The next deal the transfer accounts are talking about is Arthur Melo of Brazil. He’s a #8, 25 yrs old, he’s capped, he’s at Juve, played at Barca, was part of a mad swap deal massively overvalued him and Pjanic. He sound look like a good boy, there have been behavior issues with booze in the past, but he certainly has a lot of talent, finesse, and raw power. He was savaged for being a bit of a boring safe player to watch at Barca; without meaning to be rude, he sounds quite Xhaka-ish. Secure, not particularly adventurous, but I guess that’s what Arteta needs in that role. It’s a weird signing, but I guess we have to keep reminding ourselves… this is an emergency cover option, not the future of our midfield.

News on outgoing players is: BALOGUN HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.

He’s moved to Boro as they chase promotion under the excellent coaching of Chris Wilder.

I like this move for many reasons.

  1. Balogun is a mature adult. No sulking. He’s just cracking on with his future and he’ll go to the most northern parts of England to fulfill his potential.  This is his Huddersfield moment, we all know he can go to the top, now he needs to use this time to sharpen, grow bully boy teeth, and get some confidence.
  2. Chris Wilder is a great coach. What he did with Sheffield United was nothing short of a miracle. He’s progressive, he likes young players, he will make Balogun a star.
  3. Wilder has long had a football crush on Balogun. He likes the players, tried to signing him at Sheff U, which means this move isn’t a panic… it’s strategic. When a coach likes a player, they play them.

Arteta said Eddie is staying at the club, we’ll see there. If Palace comes in with a fee, it’d be hard to say no to it. The player wants big dollar, close to £100k a week, I’m not sure Palace are going to offer that. So his best bet if it’s about money, will be to wait and see who is there with a signing on bonus this summer. Rumours are French and German clubs want a piece of the action.

Talking football…

Arteta is going to seriously need to consider more rotation as we head into the back half of the season. Sambi Lokonga is a top player, but like any player, if he doesn’t get minutes, he’ll struggle when called upon. Arsenal played him on a long stretch of games until November the 27th, then we didn’t really see him until Nottingham Forest last week. The best managers in the league make everyone feel involved. I know we don’t have the depth of other sides, but come on, we have to be fair to Lokonga, he was part of that winning run, dropping him for 6 weeks wasn’t smart. There’s a lot on the line this season, but we’ll be better equipped to deal with bad moments if more players are trusted to take on minutes.

Nuno Tavares apparently reacted very well to the early sub. Arteta said he didn’t complain and that moments like this make the best people stronger. I really hope that’s the case, we won’t find out until we need him, because KT will need a rest at some point. Hopefully Nuno can come back fighting and play as well as he did at the start of the season.

Right, that’s me done. Have fun in the comments. x


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Sid

    Kos and Mert complimented each other, it helped the midfielders ahead were good at controlling the tempo of the game too.

    Matt Hummels form without Per dipped, he was the glue that held any CB partnership together.

  2. raptora

    Speaking of Koscielny, I read this week that he is banished for good from Bordeaux’s team and stripped of his captaincy, supposedly due to poor form. Probably there’s more to it I’d guess.

  3. Tony

    I don’t think people here Divine really start to believe the rumors/clickbait, but just generally stay a y/n preference. At least I do.

    Youri is one of those, ‘yes please if true’ which of course 90%+ are not.

  4. Unoni

    I’d want someone with better ball skills than tielemans. Someone who really runs the game from the middle with the sharpest of footballing brains, vision and technical quality. That clever midfielder has been replaced by the “beast” this site used to crow about. It’s all athletics in central midfield these days expect where it counts. Look at city, they have athletes there yes but they are littered with clever ball players and game readers in the middle of the pitch too.

  5. Unoni

    I can’t help but feel that with AMN it’s personal. He never met Arteta down. In fact he marked out chelsea Liverpool and city at wing back to take us to 2 trophies min 6 months under Arteta.
    But something must have pissed Arteta off. Maybe it was the “legs” comment he made in sky after participating in a carling cup win that irritated him. Because performance wise ainsely has been more consistent, wherever played than many of our starters

  6. Unoni

    I expect martinelli to go through another dry patch and to be banished to the bench again. Just have that feeling.
    When he’s good he’s electric but he does seem to have those missing spells in him too. If he can get consistency into his game, especially with the ball at his feet and running at opponents, it will really give him the ability to decide his form, rather than relying on the creatives to bring him to life

  7. Raulishuss

    Kos is one of the most overrated player in our history. Dude had clown syndrome since day 1(sent off in his first match and his time with us was filled with high class blunder and red cards). Only difference btw him and xhaka is kos had pace to burn so he looked more pleasing in the eye. Per didnt play for almost a year, came back towards the end of the season and held rob holdings hand to repel champions chelsea to lift an fa cup. Now that’s a boss.

  8. Raulishuss

    We should strive for a competitive environment, that’s why arteta is still pleading poverty. We need our bench players to put as much pressure on the starting players as much as possible. As it is, it’s just ain’t happening yet but i’m sure we’ll get there, arteta looks like he doesn’t want people to settle for less.

  9. Unoni


    Our worst form always coincided with Koscielney being out. We went out of Europa twice due to him being injured.

  10. Raulishuss

    kos had too many error in him to be classed as a top cb. People ridiculed luiz and he was a far better player than kos imo plus the way he left i can never forgive that even tho val tried to bring up several rubbish excuses for him, it was just damn right disrespectful to the club.

  11. Dark Hei

    Well with regards to Kos and Mert, all I have say is that if Gabriel White is just as good, I will be pretty happy

    And we will be looking at top 4.

    Both of them are limited as individuals but as a partnership, they work very well.

    I have sympathy for Kos. His career at Arsenal is book marked by Squid and Mustafi.

  12. Unoni

    RaulishussJanuary 13, 2022 08:12:56
    Unoni put it this way. How many world 33 x2 would kos had gotten into in his hey day?

    😂 😂
    Only one man alive knows the answer to that question.

  13. Unoni

    Dark hei

    Also, Wenger (as much a I loved him) used to create teams which left centre halves exposed to counters, isolated and unprotected. There were periods when we defended well but the system was geared towards attacking football and defence was rarely received enough focus and planning.
    Many a defender lost their reputation under Wenger.

  14. Samesong

    Liverpool going for Allison in goal tonight. That’s a first!!!

    I think they will be taking todays game very serious. Wish we did the same.

  15. kjelli

    How come Liverpools youngsters all seem ready for the first team, when introduced, while
    arsenals youths are nowhere near premier league level, but hyped to the Skye by everyone ..? Why haven’t we sold Nketia ages
    ago !!?

  16. Domi B

    Great post Pedro.

    I agree, I was thinking about the same thing yesterday, how mikel has bad management of the part of squad which is not his first teamers. And they are needed/deserve respect and rotation is necessary. Here we talk about holding, chambers, pepe, even cedric, mari and nuno. He risks running his favourites to the ground while others are not played at all. And he really does act like he has very clear favourites.

  17. Habesha Gooner

    Youri Tielemans to Arsenal? And people think we can do better than him at CM???

    He is a top player honestly. I don’t think we can get him. But if we did, I would be over the moon. He is an attacking CM that can pass well. He would add lots of dimensions to our game.

  18. raptora

    Don: “I’d crawl over a thousand Luiz’ to get to one Koscielney.
    David Luiz Was an abomination.”

    Total transfer fee:
    Luiz – £106m
    Koscielny – £17m.

    Team trophies:
    Luiz – 20
    Kos – 5

    Individual trophies:
    Luiz – 13
    LPFP Primeira Liga Player of the Year: 2009–10, Premier League Player of the Month: March 2011, FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball: 2012, FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2014, FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2014, FIFA FIFPro World XI 2nd team: 2013, FIFA FIFPro World XI 3rd team: 2015, 2017, Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2014–15, 2015–16, PFA Team of the Year: 2016–17 Premier League, ESM Team of the Year: 2016–17, UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2018–19

    Kos – 2
    Ligue 2 Team of the Year and UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season 2018–19

    Looking through rose-tinted glasses to someone who has cost us multiple trophies and managed to win 5 trophies in 9 seasons for us, while the other one was winning trophies left, right and center and also won 2 trophies 2 years at Arsenal.

  19. Dark Hei


    The system caters to the attack and not defense. I think the entire team spend their time drilling their passing systems.

    That is likely Wenger’s decision. Perhaps he feels that this is time better well spent.

    Peak Wenger ball never had an issue with a “bad defense”. It is the Wenger team that does not have a convincing attack, that is when you notice the bad defense.

  20. Unoni


    I am a big fan of tielemans but yes very similar (for me) to Partey and Lakonga in his game.
    I would prefer more of a technical leader in there than to keep adding to the profile we already have
    I keep using the word variety and it may sound dull but the more feathers we have to our bow, the better.
    I want someone in the mid file who can control the game in a way that cesc would. Through elite technical capability and footballing intelligence

  21. Unoni

    Dark hei

    In all of his 23 years at the club, the only time the attack was not top 4 capable was when he let sanchez go and replaced with auba

  22. Dark Hei


    Those are redudant comparisons.

    They are both capable defenders given the right system suited for them.

    Put them in the wrong setup and Kos runs into Chezzer while Luiz’s Brazil concedes 7 goals.

  23. Matt B

    Raulishuss: Kos over-rated — are you serious? I think Gabriel is the closest we’ve had to Kos and that’s a big compliment to the former. Both played on the front foot with aggressive quick challenges and both are fast.

    – Kos received 5 red cards in 255 PL appearances
    – Gabriel has 2 red cards in 40 appearances

    So your comparison is a bit off

  24. Dark Hei


    Sanchez was tanking by then. I think Wenger sensed that his own days are numbered and chased for the short term glory which clouded his judgement.

    BTW, he didn’t even know Auba was coming in.

    Another time the attack was blunt was the post Cesc era.

  25. Unoni


    I dont think he will fulfil his promise at all. I’m not sure I ever saw the fuss with him. Best and today on the ball but never really excelled at any specific facet of a midfielder’s game.

  26. raptora

    Don: “In all of his 23 years at the club, the only time the attack was not top 4 capable was when he let sanchez go and replaced with auba”

    Funny that we managed 74 and 73 goals in Wenger’s last season and Emery’s only full season and normally to be in top 4 you need to score around 70 goals. It’s only under Arteta that we somehow “lost” 20 goals per season somewhere.

  27. Unoni

    Dark hei

    Had Wenger given him the contract he ended up giving ozil and supplied a front man who could finish the big changes that Giroud (as much a I was a fan) missed with such alarming regularity, then I believe sanchez would have continued that form at arsenal. I’m no Wenger basher but I concede he made some fatal mistakes.

    The post cesc era still had rvp. When we sold rvp we still had great attacking potential, the 2013 season where Ramsey scored over 20 goals stands out, and then we signed sanchez who reinvigorated our attack.

    Regarding defenders
    Sorry but I never fancied David Luiz. Not for me. Yes he could excel in a 3 man defence but my opinion of him has never changed. The man was a liability in waiting throughout his career

  28. David.D

    I would love us to get to wembley and beat Chelsea…..again!
    2017 and 2020 when we were very much the underdogs are one of the greatest days as a fan.
    The euphoria was amazing.
    No doubt if we can get past Liverpool Chelsea will want revenge badly.
    I couldnt bear losing to them. it would be horrible. Unbearable so i’m not going to be overly distraught IF we don’t get to the final.
    I really really hope we do but there IS definitely a mental block at anfield which we need to overcome.
    To have any chance we have to take a minimum one goal defeat to the 2nd leg.
    Trophies are massive and always will be but given a choice for THIS season only.
    Caraboa cup or top 4.
    it has to be top 4 for me.
    Simply Top 4 gets us back in the champions league and is better long term for our prospects,to get back to where we want to be and the revenue it would bring in and the better level of players we could attract in the summer it has to be top 4.
    I’m being greedy though.
    Lets do both!!

  29. raptora

    Don: ” never really excelled at any specific facet of a midfielder’s game”

    That’s valid for Tielemans and I see a ton of people want him and brand him top class. It’s not that bad to be just solid at everything a midfielder does.

  30. Unoni


    Yes. I agree. I posted yesterday on how it Wenger had Balogun and martinelli then I’d trust at least one of the two would be getting regular game time now at no9, scoring goals and looking far more comfortable as the leading man than they do.
    That I don’t feel Arteta is equipped (yet) to give confidence belief and support to a young striker so that they can step onto a field of seasoned pros and bloody their noses the way a young forward would under Wenger.

  31. Unoni


    Name me one top class midfielder who was just ok at everything.
    When you add in his obvious attitude issues then you have to ask yourself “does he bring enough to warrant persisting with?”
    Not for me.
    Petulant little shit he was
    It was the talk of how he treated the staff at Colney which got me. Talking shit on the field is gamesmanship. Talking down to kit men and dinner ladies is symptomatic of a nasty young man

  32. raptora

    Don: “Had Wenger given him the contract he ended up giving ozil”

    You’re forgetting that Alexis fell of a cliff, similar to Auba really. Alexis already looked like a different player in the Confederations Cup in 2017 with Chile. Then playing for us, he was not the same and we all thought it’s because he’s throwing fits but it proved that he wasn’t top drawer in Manure and Inter.

    We shouldn’t have renewed neither him or Ozil. Spent players who were no longer top class. Money down the drain.

  33. Unoni


    Oh I get you. Emery used that attackto score goals
    Well, when Wenger let sanchez go he had laca for half a season and auba for half a season. Neither had beefed in fully and their team mates hadn’t got used to their game and playing styles yet.
    When emery came he had that benefit but also the fact that they outperformed xg to a heroic extent.
    The following season emery was found out and binned before Xmas leaving us in 11th place by the time Arteta came in and won the fa cup beating city and Chelsea in the process

    My point being that wengers final season was our most blunt and disjointed attack in 23 years
    Worsened still by emery removing the creative heartbeat of the team (6 attacking mids in 1 year)

  34. Chika

    I like the profile of midfielders we’ve been linked with, Neves, Bruno G and now there are reports Edu initiated conversations with Tielemans’ agents weeks ago.

  35. Unoni


    I disagree
    I think sanchez would have continued his form had Wenger given him a class striker to play with and a better contract. His form tanked when he was looking for the new contract. He was never the sharpest tool apparently. Wenger instead threw his lot in with ozil and was gone in a year.

    I can never prove a hypothesis like this but I do believe had we used the ozil money on sanchez we’d not have lost top 4 status

  36. Chika

    Dybala is in the final 6 months of his contract and has refused to extend. Who was it that predicted players leaving for free would be on the rise but was mocked?

  37. TR7

    Koss was a tremendous centre back. If anything he is underrated by many because of his mistakes in a few big games. In terms of sheer capability he was absolutely class.

  38. Unoni

    Tr7 agree
    He should have captained dance to the World Cup win
    Total gem of a signing
    Vermaelen could have been too. Such a capable defender
    Was meant to have went dow with a Coke habit though.

  39. raptora

    You know Guendouzi would have shaped differently under Wenger. He needs a father figure to guide him on the right path especially in the new times where some young players are millionaires by the age of 20.

    Even Emery had Guen in a good place. Arteta was the worst manager that Guen could have imagined – young and desperate to proof a point so the players take him seriously. It’s actually Guen who was the victim of Arteta not thinkiing twice on banishing him. Most managers wouldn’t throw away an incredibly highly rated young midfielder potential 50m player to the wolves. It was not in Arsenal’s favor what he did to Guen.

  40. Jamie

    Over £1 billion spent on transfers-in during the last EPL summer transfer window alone, but yeah, Wenger was totally right about players moving on free transfers becoming the norm.

    That’s why we’re ready to splash £60m + VAT + wages + agent’s fees + national insurance on a 21 year old striker who can move for free in 18 months, and also why Arsenal spent over £150m on new recruits in the summer

    Story checks out.

  41. Unoni


    Maybe but I just don’t rate Guendouzi that highly
    Wenger had a far better midfielder in wilshere and if anything wenger took his career the other way. Should have built the team around Jack

  42. Unoni


    He wasn’t a crock until he was over used was he?
    He was the best young mid in the world along with Pogba
    Light years above Guendouzi

  43. raptora

    Guendouzi has started 25 out 27 games for the Liverpool of France, he’s 22 yo and was called to one of the strongest National team in the world.

    We have given him away for £9.3m. WHICH IS NOT AN OPTION according to L’Equipe. It’s an obligation to buy as long as Marseille don’t get relegated which is absurd because they are sitting on a tied 2nd place with a game in hand.

    Guendouzi for 9m when we are rocking the place with Xhaka, Elneny, who isn’t even available in the time we need him the most, and Lokonga who was twice as expensive. At the moment we have around 1 CM available. Courtesy of Arteta.

  44. Jamie

    “Messi and mbappe on free
    Lacazette and sanchez on a free”

    Ben White £50m
    Tomi £20m
    Ode – £35m
    Ramsdale £30m

    What a fucking dumb game.

  45. Unoni


    I’m not sure Wenger ever said there would be no big money transfers. Wasn’t it more along the lines of Bosman transfers and swaps becoming more frequent?
    You’re right though, pointless game

  46. Unoni

    Literally the two most valuable players in the world going on a free within a year but absolute stratospheric levels of denial taking place

  47. Unoni


    I’d take xakha over Guendouzi. We also have partey ESR Odegaard and lakonga with more incoming.
    Not sure our midfield has regressed since ejecting Guendouzi.

  48. Unoni

    B Kamara

    All set to run their contract out in 6 months

  49. raptora

    “He wasn’t a crock until he was over used was he?”

    He had 1 season of EPL football in 2010/11 before he got injured in the Summer during an Emirates Cup game. He got injured once, and he never recovered. He played 0 games in 2011/12 and he was never the same player again. How could Wenger build his team around him? He was injured more than half the time. And he got injured after 1 season of football.

    Cesc had 100 games for us by the time Wilshere got injured with 60 games.

    Hardly Wenger’s fault Wilshere’s playstyle was with lower body weight, keeping the ball close to his feet and he wasn’t smart enough to move his foot away before a dangerous contact was about to happen. Not saying that it’s always possible, obviously it’s not, but smart players know when to jump or just not go into a challenge. Else careers end prematurely like it happened with Jack. I wouldn’t blame Wenger one bit for Wilshere’s sad career.

  50. Pierre

    Sanchez without Ozil was never the same player.

    Ozil without Sanchez was never the same player.

    From day one they were a match made in heaven, Sanchez craves the ball in the right areas and Ozil was happy to oblige.

    I look at Martinelli and see him developing into a sanchez type player .
    Endless energy , comes alive in front of goal, can be frustrating at times but he is a player that needs feeding, the more you feed him the better decisions he will make.

    At present he is living on scraps as Odegaard plays more on the right centre and too much of the play goes theough Odegaard, consequently Martinelli doesn’t see enough of the ball as Odegaard predominantly favours Saka.

    Smith rowe is the player that will lift Martinelli’s game if given the chance, he gives it quick and early and rarely has more than 2 touches unless he is running with the ball.

    Martinelli standing on the touchline on half way line is a waste of his pace and excellent running off the ball..

  51. Unoni


    I agree that we haven’t made the most of the players available to sell in the market
    Could have had £35-£40m for AMN and Nketiah if we were decisive while stock was high
    Similar to torriera and Guendouzi, could have made £40m plus had we done it the right way
    Didn’t change my opinion on Guendouzi as a player though

  52. Unoni


    I agree martinelli does remind me of sanchez
    If we can find a way to get Odegaard and ESR feeding him while keeping Saka on the field we could have the most fearsome forward like in the world

  53. IAT-Robbie

    “Our worst form always coincided with Koscielney being out. We went out of Europa twice due to him being injured”

    Kos was a great servant to the club. I don’t care about how he left as he was simply standing up for himself.

    However, he always did have an individual mistake in him. Don’t forget that he was also responsible for an error which led to us conceding the away goal in the Europa home fixture against Atletico. Even if he had not been injured in the away fixture and the score finished 0-0, we would have been knocked out anyway.

  54. Unoni


    I’ve done the Wilshere debate to death. Mixture of bad luck and over playing. He over played cesc too. Which is why he burned out before 30, not without his one long term injury issues before leaving us

  55. Raulishuss

    Isn’t it time to just hand the dumbest poster award to bamford clone aka raptora? The liverpool of france? How stupid is this guy?

  56. raptora

    Many examples of players being finished by the time they turn 30, and also many examples of players being still quality deep into their 30s. It’s got to do with far too many variables to be sure what’s the reason for the early decline of a player compared to another player. I don’t think it’s reasonable to put it all on playing top football from an early age.

  57. Unoni


    In most cases, players who excelled as teenagers and were overplayed burned out before 30
    Fowler Owen Rooney pato cesc Jack cassano.
    The ones who lasted were nurtured. Becks scholes Rio gerrard Lampard all grew into the team more gradually and were protected. Young players need to be taken out of the team for stints for their own development Especially in the premier league.

  58. raptora

    “Sanchez admitted Ozil was a dream player for him.””

    Funny that Ozil picked Di Maria ahead of Alexis in his dream team XI but found a place for Santi in it.

  59. IAT-Robbie


    Luiz might be the more accomplished player but we definitely got the worst version of him here at Arsenal. Which is what matters. The rate that he made errors, conceded penalties and got red cards at Arsenal was quite worrying.

    I definitely agree about Guendouzi though. For all of Lokonga’s good qualities and potential, I’m yet to see how he has been an upgrade on what Douzi provided us. I also have never seen Sambi take control of a game the way Douzi did for us against Aston Villa, Chelsea and Spurs.

    Many people were complaining that Sambi was “hiding” in the game against Nottingham Forest. I don’t see Guendouzi doing that. His courage was probably his best attribute.

  60. Unoni


    3 games in 2 seasons where he did more than be tofu in possession doesn’t warrant such acclaim for me.
    For a lad who never hid, he sure didn’t stand out much on the field

  61. IAT-Robbie


    Out of your list of free agents. I think Kamara and Kessie would be transformative signings for our midfield. Either player can play as a lone pivot or in a double pivot. Kessie, especially, is very versatile and can play whatever role is required of him.

    As for Douzi, I don’t expect you to agree but I think it’s a fair point. He did have more good games for us than just those three but those were standout performances for me. You say Douzi was tofu in possession, which was true at times, but doesn’t Sambi have the same weakness?

    I can point to at least two matches, Liverpool and Crystal Palace, where Sambi was caught in possession in dangerous areas.