by .

Listen, at the end of the day, we all have to collectively take an L on Spurs last season. They had more in the locker than Arsenal when it came down to it and we have to work out a way to be better next season.

What I can’t have is all this bollocks about what a genius Antonio Conte is, it’s totally nauseating. There are two schools of thought when it comes to creating success at a football club.

You do it the hard way like Liverpool. Set a vision, hire the right people, recruit talent, grow the talent, create sustainable success over years.

You do it the fast way like Inter Milan. Your vision is ‘win at all costs’, you hire in a short term world class manager, you let him sign NOW players, you pray to all the gods he delivers, you worry about what’s next after he wins something big.

Today, I’m going to talk to you about Spurs season in general and how I see this Inter Milan approach working out for them.

Spurs had a few things that went for them this season that are very unlikely to go for them for this upcoming term.

The most impressive thing they did this season was go unbeaten in 4 games against Liverpool and City. You could call this ruthless consistency, you could call it peak-Conte, or you could just say they had a pretty lucky run.

Against City, they scored 4 goals across two games from 8 shots on target. City had almost double the attempts at their goal over the two games, that sort of luck against them doesn’t usually hold.

Similar story against Liverpool in which they drew two games. 40 shots to 20. Spurs also had Liverpool after they played a draining game in the Champions League semi-finals, how many times did Arsenal play big teams after European exploits this season? Let’s talk about that December game against Liverpool, Harry Kane goes in for a leg breaker, doesn’t get a red card from the same ref that sent off Holding for a shoulder barge, then Robertson gets a sending off later in the match. Spurs avoid a 3 game ban for Harry Kane who scores in 2 of the next 3 games.

Let’s talk about sendings off last season. Which team was bottom of the league for sendings off?

Spurs with 1. Which team was top of the league for having the most players sent off against them? Spurs. They didn’t lose a single game in which a red card was awarded to the other team… but the two games when they picked up the only red card, they lost… to Mura and Crystal Palace. They beat Vitesse when going down to 10 men because the Dutch side went down to 9. Do you think that trend holds next season?

Spurs 3rd top goalscorer last season was OWN GOAL. Only Saka and Smith Rowe scored more than OWN GOAL did for Spurs. That is a remarkable statistic that you are really going to struggle to convince me is a feature we’ll see next season.

The season’s luckiest come back, statistically calculated by Oracle, was… Spurs vs Leicester when they scored two goals in injury time. It had a 0.02% chance of happening. How many games go to 95 minutes? How many go to 97 minutes? It was madness. They are litearlly winning awards for their improbable luck.

Then let’s move onto something that Spurs do get credit for. Son and Kane. Two of the best strikers to never have won a trophy. Those two were the cheat code. They are 28 and 29, both managed to start 35 and 37 games respectively. Incredible work from their fitness team, but I’m gonna do a madness here and gamble that with Champions League next season, that pristine fitness is unlikely to happen ever again. Do you think the genius of Conte is going to manage that sort of loss well?

My bet here is that Spurs are going to be on the struggle bus next season. They will have to manage 3 games a week from September, their squad is old, and Conte is pretty notorious for being poor at managing more than a game a week… even at Spurs. I mean, he’s so bad at it, Spurs had to get themeslves disqualified from the Europa Conference League so he could do his job this season.


Everyone is talking about the £150m loan like it’s purely for transfers, but I’m not so sure. Spurs have two loan players they’ve committed big money towards and Daniel Levey is the shrewdest operator in the game, he fights over every penny, I’m not sure he’s one for announcing to the world exactly how much cash his club has available with a stock issue. Spurs are £706m in debt, tehy had a pretax loss of £80m last November, they’ve just raised £100m, and there’s £50m due on Romero/Bentancur this summer. They have an option of £45m on Kululevski. That’s £90m gone already if this cash is for transfers. Where is the rest of the rebuild money coming from and do you REALLY think Antonio Conte and Paratici are the types to speculate to accumulate with young up and comers? Their first signing of the summer is Ivan Perisic, a 33-year-old Arsenal fans were arguing was too old when we were linked 4 years ago. Their second looks like it’ll be Fraser Forster, a 34 year old.

‘Those are shrewd signings’ feels like the sort of chatter we had when we signed Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, and Mikhi. It is REALLY hard to make the transition from one of the slower leagues in Europe to the most powerful at 33 years old. But, I don’t give a shit, he might be a good player, but Spurs loading up with geriatrics is exactly the sort of short-term thinking I’m all about for them. My hope is Daniel Levy lets Conte have a summer like he did after he won the league with Chelsea. He dropped a team that landed 93 points to 5th on 70 points.

Spurs have a poverty version of what happened at Chelsea. Conte has come in, taken a decent team to a better position, now the power will reside with him. When he got the power with the West London club, he signed Alvaro Morata, Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, and Zappacosta. If he can repeat this in 2022, I will be VERY happy.

It is super odd to watch Daniel Levy roll dice like a drunk in a casino with people that have a history of leaving an expensive mess.

… but again, I’m here for it.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the Champions League final. I have to say, I’d much prefer Liverpool to win, but the story of Benzema feels like a powerful narrative. Should be a delicious afternoon of football. I hope you are cracking a few beers and spending it with friends. Have a great day and sign up to our Patreon if you like our content.

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  1. Pierre

    Distanced Hairline
    “Arteta ruined it for us from the git, we let guendozi go without a proper reason mavropanos is a proper backup, let saliba stay on loan too long, ”

    Of course our main concern is our lack of creativity, which has been slowly regressing year on year.
    This of course coincides with Ozil playing less and less and now apparently we were 17th in the league for big chances created last season ( without Ozil…with Odegaard) ) whereas in 2017/18 season we were 2nd .for big chances created ( with Ozil …without Odegaard).

    So , as much as many can’t bring themselves to say it because they celebrated Arteta’s decision to alienate Ozil, the reason we are struggling creatively as a team is because we miss the influence of a bona fide playmaker who makes other the team tick..

  2. Graham62


    Good morning.

    I think Ozil did a great job of alienating himself, even before Arteta arrived.

  3. Gbadebo Ojomo

    I hate it when Pedro compares Arsenal to Tot’ham. What’s your problem with Tot’ham or any other English team that are doing better. Why can’t you just focus on Arsenal? If it’s not Emery.. it’s Conte.. And I love Raptora reply to the article immediately. Common, we’re Arsenal.. we don’t need to look at what any other club is doing.. Even on Twitter, most Arsenal fans keep focusing on Tot’ham.. And yes, Conte is better than Arteta. The table don’t lie at the end of the day. I hope this season – Arteta can get better and improve the team results next season after improving the team spirit this season.

  4. Pierre

    “I think Ozil did a great job of alienating himself, even before Arteta arrived.”

    Good morning Graham .

    In a way you are correct , he shouldn’t have questioned why The Arsenal players were the only group of players who were asked to accept the pay cut, plus he shouldn’t have shown concern for his fellow employees by asking for a guarantee that no employee at the club would be laid off..

    Unfortunately, Ozil’s fears were proved correct and despite the players agreeing to a wage cut , many employees were laid off a few months later..

  5. TR7

    City deserved to win the Champions League. They are by far the best team in Europe. Real Madrid rode their luck in the tournament while much heralded Liverpool failed to score a goal in 3 finals they played this season.

  6. Bob N16

    Graham flogging Arteta, Pierre flogging Ozil….plus ca change!

    On a separate note, when will Liverpool acknowledge that they have a minority of supporters who try and skank it into big matches. Innocent Liverpool fans had their experienced tarnished because of fellow fans attempting to get into the stadium without a valid ticket. Blame should go to the police being heavy handed – I was CS gassed after the Cup Winner’s Cup final- not pleasant. Also 20,000 allocation is also a joke. Thankfully no serious injuries but Liverpool fans have a history of this- no need to mention when!

    The press will look to blame anybody but those rogue Liverpool supporters.

  7. Terraloon


    City deserved to win the Champions League. They are by far the best team in Europe. Real Madrid rode their luck in the tournament while much heralded Liverpool failed to score a goal in 3 finals they played this season.

    No no no.

    The best team over 38 games wins the league.

    The team that wins a knockout competition ( which the CL is past the group stage ) win it because they were the better against opponents either in one offs or over two legs.

  8. Distanced hairline

    wonder why arteta never tried Pepe in the middle, the boy can score, nketia is easily bullied, nketia’s positional smartness will only yeild results when we have a carzola-esque player, even a prime ozil woulda been magic with nketia. And I also know that Esr is better than ode in the middle cos there is more goals to his game, arteta destroyed everything,

  9. China1

    City did not deserve to win anything except the league

    They didn’t do enough to knock Madrid out. Madrid also beat a whole host of top teams along the way. Madrid deserved to beat city and deserved to win the CL

  10. TR7


    Luck plays a huge factor in all knock out tournaments including the UCL. City outplayed Real for most of the 180 minutes and ideally should have killed the game in the first leg.

  11. China1

    I don’t think Eddie gets bullied all that much anymore

    I don’t expect him to compete that well in the air with much bigger CBs, but on the ball he’s absolutely fine.

    People are still thinking of the bambi nketiah of yesteryear when they think of him being a real lightweight. He’s much heavier and stronger than he used to be

  12. China1

    TR7 yeah but it’s their fault for wasting chances

    You have to win over the full length of the game, not just play better for most of it.

    Missing loads of chances is a negative mark against city not a positive

  13. Distanced hairline

    Tbh ozil was becoming a liability, it was like playing a man down for most parts of the game till he shows up for some minutes and dissapears again, auba was almost like that sometimes, was too weak for a winger and wasn’t giving his best anymore,

  14. China1

    Having loads of possession and chances but failing to put a game to bed is worth little more than time wasting in the grand scheme of things. It’s dead time which if the opposition does well can get you killed later. As Madrid proved

    As well when real came back into the tie city completely bottled it and started panicking. If they wanna win the CL they can’t be doing that especially against a top team

  15. Bob N16

    As an institution Real Madrid are difficult to love, their Franco history and the Castilian state institutionalised bias has allowed them to dominate. Makes me laugh at the irony of them getting pissed off by PSG’s state sponsorship. Their present team is effective but harder to like; admire maybe in their ability to find a way to win.

    Liverpool, a great team, so well organised, very few mistakes. Thiago not being fit made a serious difference to them and underlined the creative limitations in their CM.

    City are my favourite team to watch( after Arsenal!). KdB, Foden and Cancelo are particularly great. I know as a team their style of play is not to everybody’s tastes but I love their pure style of pass and move. Unless they get hit by key injuries then with Haaland coming in, it’s hard to see how they won’t be the best team in Europe next season. I think they deserve to win the CL and even though they didn’t win this year I believe they are still the best team.

  16. Terraloon


    Define luck.

    What did that golfer say about the more he practices the luckier some say he got !

    City lost because Real Madrid scored more goals. The fact that they had more corners more shots or whatever is irreverent . Football isn’t like Rugby where you can fluke a win by punting over penalties where the real winner should be all about tries.

  17. Bob N16

    I think it is possible to say RM deserved to win the CL but City we’re the better side. The best teams don’t always win a cup tournament.

  18. China1

    Haaland is definitely a concern but honestly until he’s here we’ve no idea how well that transfer will work

    On paper that team plus him is nailed on titles but football isn’t that predictable. Maybe he’ll come and have his leg broken. Or his early career dominance will fade a little. Or he’ll find the PL a fair bit harder. Even if he does great maybe other players will get injured or lose form and city will have a worse season.

    But on paper, yeah that’s a very scary team with Halaand

  19. TR7


    “What did that golfer say about the more he practices the luckier some say he got ”

    Haven’t checked the statistics but my guess is City score more frequently than Real do, at least that must be the case over the last few years. There are fluke wins in football, happens all the time.

    Remember Chelsea winning the league under De Matteo ? They were outplayed in every knock out game in UCL and yet somehow went all the way.

  20. Bob N16

    True China but Haaland appears to have a good attitude so it’ll probably be only injuries that will stop him scoring 25+ goals in PL next year.

  21. Bob N16

    Gary Player came out with the quote about luck..

    Dare I mention the 2006 FA cup final in Cardiff. Arsenal must have been the first team to win the FA cup without having a shot on target. Similarly when Liverpool beat us, we battered them and Owen smash and grabbed it.

  22. andy1886

    Can’t say that I agree that the best team always wins the league. Take the 1998-99 season. We were clearly the better team and although you can point to our late slip up at Leeds we missed out by a point to a United side that benefitted from dodgy penalties, Fergie time and all sorts of favourable decisions.

  23. Mr Serge

    Bob I agree with you regarding madrids history, also think city are a better side
    Happy pool never won I was with a bunch of mates that are all plastic scousers, the songs they were singing were so loud even up to half time, as soon as the goal went in it was very quiet, lol I could not help myself I jumped in the air with joy when it went in.

    Last night I loved football again lol

  24. IAT-Robbie

    “Pedro dissed Emery – he has a superb cup run beating BM
    Pedro dissed Carlo – goes onto to win CL 4th effing time
    Pedro dissed Conte and still dissing – secures top 4 and god knows what is he going to win next season …….
    Just sayin 😊”

    So what you’re sayin, Kay, is that Pedro’s stamp of disapproval is like a good luck charm?

    In that case, I’ll be on the lookout for my lottery win😁

  25. englandsbest

    Wow. what a game the CL final (once it got started). Totally absorbing from start to finish. The quality, the teamwork ,from both side- amazing.

    On reflection, lucky we came 5th, not fourth. It will another season and the needed signings to get to their level.

  26. David Smith

    Interesting article Pedro, would agree that Spurs situation does look a little unsustainable.
    But I suspect some of the things that “ went for them “ could continue, Kane , and to a lesser extent, Son getting away with things for starters. Spurs have an interesting relationship with the media, and certainly get a much better press than Arsenal , this could filter down to officials, pundits whereas many of our players seem to be on the end of constant negative press , for instance, pundits highlighting and sometimes, overplaying anything Xhaka does ,wrong, compared with, say, Kane, Mane or a bunch of others means it is open season on Xhaka for any ref who wants to grab the limelight and red card someone.. whereas if they issue a harsh red to someone like Kane, they won’t hear the last of it in the media, so they don’t bother even going there.
    Kane and Son have a habit of getting soft pens, especially against us, that will likely continue.
    But overall, tend to agree with you on this article, and also the widely. Held belief that any further signs of trouble or perceived lack of ambition, Conte will do his scorched earth thing.
    I suspect he has agreed to stay on there because something he is waiting for is not yet available
    As for us, there were mitigating circumstances , some of them very predictable, but we just ran out of players at a vital stage. We must not do this again. Other teams seem to keep players fit better than we have done for some time, must be a learning point there , Shads successor will be busy.

  27. London gunner


    City definitely didn’t deserve to win if you can’t close out a game and constantly capitulate then no you don’t deserve the win.

    City is a game of 90 minutes and Real Madrid though I hate them deserved the CL based on the merits of their football.

  28. Markymark

    Situation about Kane is that he’s an England poster boy. Shearer got the sage treatment.
    A fair percentage of the journo’s are either Hammers or Spuds. You get the odd pro Arsenal one ( Daily Mirror ) but they feed from the trough of Herts / Essex tribal loyalties.
    TBF the way trends are going the sporting press will almost become irrelevant within 10-15 years. Not all good though because just like with politics it will silo with pure partisan blog / YouTube journalism and less capacity to see the game as a whole that at least some national journalists attempted to do

  29. Jonko

    I was on the verge of giving up watching football when Coutinho scored that goal at Etihad…6 days later I can’t wait for the new season to start…funny old game..yeah i HATE Liverpool!

  30. David Smith

    Agree MM, would also say that some of the Arsenal supporting journalists are among the most critical of the team, perhaps they have to try harder in the environment you refer to

  31. Loyika

    Madrid went through PSG, Chelsea, Citeh and Pool to win their 14th UCL and we are saying they were lucky to win!?

    No lucky is Liverpool who won 2 Cups on Pens and are being hailed as this great team for all times by the Liverpool biased pundits out there….

  32. Tom

    Pedro’s take on Conte’s Tottenham is like his take on Artetals Arsenal but in reverse.
    Everything he says is influenced by the heavy bias he’s incapable of shaking not even for a minute.
    Which is fine of course but why would anyone take it too seriously, especially when he’s been dead wrong thus far.

    Kane hasn’t had a sub 3000 minutes season for Tottenham since he broke into their starting Xl (not bad for a guy with glass ankles ) in 20140, and half the time he’s been closer to, or over the 4K minute mark……………. but the next season will be the one he finally breaks down is exactly the type of analysis I’m talking about.

  33. Mee

    “On reflection, lucky we came 5th, not fourth. It will another season and the needed signings to get to their level.”

    What kind of statement is this?

  34. CG

    Had Arteta been appointed Real Madrid manager , a year ago.

    They would not be European and Spanish Champions today.

    He would have ousted Modric, Marcello and Kroos for being too old.
    He would have ousted Courtois because he can’ t use his right boot.
    He would have ousted Benzema for his off the field shenanigans ( blackmail case)

    But he would have recruited a raft of young overrated and overpriced Spaniards and called it ‘el

    Ancelotti ( and Klopp and Conte) showing why big clubs have big managers ,so needed in the modern game, with the players now having so much more power.

    Sensational management for his Real Madrid side to defeat Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool.

  35. Tom

    Liverpool played seven games more than Real Madrid this season in a much harder league, and Salah had over 5k minutes for club and country.
    They won both domestic cups and went to the wire in the league against the best side in Europe
    The same people who say Arteta failed to rotate his squad gloss right over those facts.

    If there’s anything Klopp will take from this season is to concentrate on the league and CL and let the second string players fight it out everywhere else.
    It is simply impossible to ask players for 5k minutes in a season and stay clinical when it really counts.
    Salah was their worst player in first half vs RM and late, when they needed a spark, they had nothing to give but hopeful balls to no one.

  36. Loyika

    Salah was rubbish in the AFCON when it mattered, also rubbish in the World Cup Qualifiers against Senegal when it mattered, let’s not make it seem as if Salah doesn’t have a knack of going missing in some games.

    To be fair he did play well yesterday and he is a great player but he tends to go missing in “Clutch!” games lately….Mane is more reliable in those than Salah.

  37. Mysticleaves


    I see what you did there when Weagle pulled you up on the Liverpool not being paupers thing. You pulled up Bale and hazard who had no effect in yesterday’s final or even their whole UCL run this season.

    The Liverpool starting eleven yesterday cost about 400m while Madrid cost about 273m.

    The 14 players for Liverpool bumps it up to 520m while Rodrygo, Ceballos and Camavinga (Madrid subs yesterday) bumps Madrid up to 367m. Still not even up to the cost of Liverpool’s starting 11.

    No player in Madrid’s first team cost more than 50m (Militao) while atleast 2 players on pool starting 11 cost more than 50m.

    Liverpool aren’t exactly paupers. They have spent a lot of money to assemble their squad.

  38. Loyika

    All this talk about Pool playing more games and what not and the EPL being the toughest league and what not is just pages in a story book….Fact of the matter is Citeh won the league, Real the UCL and La Liga and Pool won the FAC and Carabo…end of.

    They could go on and win all trophies before them next season and if that happens they will be hailed accordingly but as Pep alluded to, Pool have only won 1 prem title and he has won 4 and they are seen as the better team!? Because they pushed him all the way to win!? He was even polite, if it was Fergie in his shoes he would have thrown a fit at his press conference (always did when people kept heaping praise on Arsenal even when we came 2nd most times).

  39. Nelson

    Initially, I was surprised that Spuds wants to sign the old Perisic. Pedro is mocking about it. Then I find out that it is a free transfer. Conte knows what he is doing. But I still can’t see he could get a team capable of competing with MC and the Pool next season. Conte won’t be satisfied with top4. He’ll jump ship sooner or later. For that matter, I prefer Arteta’s “process”, if only he cut off all his galaxy decisions like playing Xhaka as LB, Lokonga as the lone DM or Holding covering Son.

  40. CG

    Mystic Leaves

    ””’CG Bang on about what Arteta would have done to real Madrid.””

    You think Ancelotti cares about left sided/right sided center backs, or goalkeepers that can’ t use both feet or that Modric can’ t run around the pitch at 36 or Benzema has his off the pitch problems……?

    Of course not- he man manages the players properly, keeps it simple and lets them get on with it.
    (None of this Arteta nonsense shouting from the touchlines for 90 minutes.)

    He would have been perfect for us post Wenger. Even if it were for x 2 seasons,.

  41. IAT-Robbie


    The only thing is… Would Madrid have even let Arteta get that far “en su proceso” in the first place. Real Madrid are led by Perez, an extremely ruthless businessman. Meanwhile, we are led by Venkatesham.

    I don’t see Arteta at Madrid lasting a month longer after falling out with the first player. Perez doesn’t have patience for stuff like that.

  42. EdTheREd

    ““On reflection, lucky we came 5th, not fourth. ”

    Oh my. Pedro’s best mate on this blog is either a coward, or (as I suspected for a while) not an Arsenal fan.

  43. Siddeeq

    Real Madrid are good at identifying players that lack ze mental strength and sell them to gullible managers

  44. Un

    Great piece in arseblog today about how fans of English teams are treated when going abroad to watch games

    Totally agree
    It’s disgraceful. Then they try to point rhe finger when their thuggish officers start battering innocent people and spraying them with pepper spray and tear gas.
    Why would you put your money into such organisations?

  45. Un


    Without their teenagers they’d never have made it to he final. Facetious and erroneous comment

    Like arsenal can compete for ready made stars with clubs like madrid

  46. curse

    you make your own luck?
    Levy is pretty connected isn’t he?
    Funny how all the crazy officiating decisions against us is swept under the carpet. Not to say we didn’t add to our own demise but jesus christ! absolute bonkers, though just a microcosm of this “civilised” circus.
    Will the tots spend that CL money well? we’ll see. I don’t like that they have a better stadium. The players seemed to be overwhelmed by their neighbors extravagance and played like it. They need to be renovating The Grove like yesterday. Along with getting better shirt sponsors and renaming the stadium. Kinda surprised it doesn’t annoy people more, every time I see Emirates my face looks disgusted.
    Anywho, looking forward to this window, the exciting part of this project begins. finally

  47. Tom

    “I see what you did there when Weagle pulled you up on the Liverpool not being paupers thing. You pulled up Bale and hazard who had no effect in yesterday’s final or even their whole UCL run this season.”

    Mysticleaves, and why would we or anyone care whether Madrid chose to play Bale or Hazard in any of their CL games ? They are still on the bench ready to play aren’t they.
    So whatever they payed for them is still relevant in that context, which btw Weagle brought up and not me.

    I don’t suppose when you discuss Arsenal’s transfer spending vis a vis their opponents you exclude Pepe and Saliba because Arteta doesn’t fancy either one at the moment, do you?

    But let’s ignore that for a moment and get back to the fact no one said Liverpool were paupers and Klopp was the plucky underdog. In fact he was the favorite yesterday and people who picked him as the favorite didn’t exactly make a huge blunder considering 24 to 4 total shots and 9 to 2 shots on goal stats.

    As for your transfer spend on players participating, I find market value and not the transfer fee is a better metric of the talent level and Madrid had $700m worth vs Pool’s $800m.
    And that includes the cut rate $11m for Modric and $30m for Benz who would be one of the first name on anyone’s list for any final.

  48. WengerEagle

    Good post Mystic.

    Not sure how with a straight face anyone can deny even in this day and age that £400m is an expensive first XI and £520m on the 14 players used.

    It’s possible to concede that Klopp and Liverpool are not quite the plucky underdogs some make them out to be. Are they on par with City’s spending? Of course not, but as said yesterday they are closer to City than some midtable club’s spending.

    If you spend £600m on assembling a sqyad then you should be competing for titles. Do not take United’s hilarious incompetence as the norm, they are a priceless deviation.

  49. WengerEagle

    Market value is a terrible metric to go off of Tom.

    I remember when Guendouzi’s ‘market value’ was quoted at £70m. It is nonsensical and fiction.

  50. David Smith

    Think the stadium thing is over played. Ours was designed over 20 years ago, and though it needs work, it’s not the worst, and it’s closer than some to being paid for

  51. WengerEagle

    “They are still on the bench ready to play aren’t they.”

    You are really reaching there to be honest. You played nearly as many meaningful CL minutes as both combined.

  52. Almuniasaynomore

    I don’t understand the victimhood that English fans embrace. There is a dangerous thuggish element that may be a minority but a deadly one at that. To consider themselves treated unfairly is to turn a blind eye to some horrendous events. Here’s one where they turned Lansdowne into a war zone in a pre planned and totally unprovoked attack,ripping up seats and throwing them at the crowd below,many of whom were children.
    To sweep this stuff under the carpet is irresponsible.

  53. Tom

    I suppose then when Barca won the CL with Messi, Iniesta Xavi, and Busquets they did it on the cheap because they spent zero in transfers on them.

  54. WengerEagle

    Also Bale was bought in 2013 so it is weird to bring up his transfer fee when comparing it to Klopp’s spend who arrived at Liverpool 2.5 years after this and Bale hasn’t been even really relevant to Real Madrid in 3 years.

  55. TR7

    Yes Klopp too has spent considerable amount of money to build this Liverpool team. It is just that Pep’s City pay over the odds for players because they don’t need to haggle over prices that spending of Liverpool is somehow gets overshadowed.

  56. Tom

    Comparing Liverpool position to RM in their domestic leagues or in Europe is like night and day.
    Klopp is literally the only draw for players to consider that club when United, City, and until Roman got the boot, Chelsea were interested,
    Even in Wenger years players took less money to join Arsenal over Pool.

    While Real is the club everyone wants to play for no matter the manager.
    They recently asked Kroos if he wanted to come back to Bayern and he laughed in their faces.

  57. WengerEagle


    How many homegrown players are in the Real XI? Again don’t see your point. You’re cherry-picking a very rste exception from over a decade ago.

  58. Robert Pires

    “I suppose then when Barca won the CL with Messi, Iniesta Xavi, and Busquets they did it on the cheap because they spent zero in transfers on them.”

    You are correct.

    Not very cheap, though, because they still had a few expensive acquisitions, just not nearly as expensive as the total of ManU or Chelsea (or Real back in those days).

  59. WengerEagle

    I don’t even know what argument you are making any more Tom?

    Are you still in denial that £600m is a lot of money to spend and that Klopp hasn’t done all this on the cheap?

  60. Tom

    Weagle, so let me get this straight,
    Wages are irrelevant because Real pays crazy wages, and transfers are only relevant if in the last two years and players are still fancied ………but I’m the one reaching, ok

  61. WengerEagle


    No, a 2013 transfer is irrelevant because Klopp was still in Germany when he was bought. And that is £100m right there.

    Bale hasn’t been used since 2019 and was bought in 2013 so why include him in a comparison list for the two squads assembled with Klopp as manager since 2016?

    Is £600m a lot to spend or not in your opinion?

  62. TR7

    Every club at the top of the pyramid spends a lot of money.

    City, Chelsea, United and Liverpool have paid big money for players.

    Real Madrid and Barca have huge pulling power and still spend mega in transfer market.

    Bayern Munich have ravaged numerous Bundesliga clubs by plucking their best players. Besides every German international eventually wants to play for them.

    PSG a basket case of petro dollar club

    Only Seria A clubs spend less but then Italian clubs haven’t had much success in UCL in recent times.

  63. WengerEagle

    Of course TR7, good luck competing in the modern game without a massive spend.

    Happens every so often that we see something glorious like Leicester’s title win (well, not this lol), Monaco and Lille winning Ligue 1 and Atletico winning La Liga in 2014 with a low spend but generally yes, the major competitions are dominated by the big spenders.

    Klopp has done phonemenal at Liverpool so I don’t want anything I am pointing out taken out of context. But he has had significant investment behind him and has not done it alone.

    He needed a £200m injection of VVD, Alisson and Fabinho to take them from a very good side to an elite side. They actually spent a further £70m than that but Keita and Shaqiri were squad players that season. So a £270m spend in 2018.

    They were not elite in 2018 and finished 4th in the PL. Poch did the same thing with the Spuds in 2019.

  64. Habesha Gooner

    Yes klopp has spent a lot of money. But he has spent less than a lot of teams. Gone are the days that you can win anything by spending pennies. We have spent more than Klopp in the past five years. So have United. And a lot of other teams. Investing without strategy is nothing.

    I am glad they didn’t win both of the major trophies. But it still is an achievement going right down to the wire for those prizes. Ot means your team has done everything in their power to get there and they just came up short. I would be heartbroken if I were a Liverpool fan but I wouldn’t be disappointed in the team. As fans that’s all you could ask for. I would kill to be in their place right now.

  65. englandsbest


    An honest statement. If we we’d made it into CL,we stood no chance of winning – and I have an aversion to Arsenal competing with no chance of winning. A measure of respect for the Club.

    Yes, I know about the extra cash, its attraction to possible signings – but what fan wants Arsenal to be cannon fodder for the true competitors?

  66. WengerEagle


    We have been run laughably while Liverpool have been a water-tight operation since 2016.

    £72m for Pepe, a fringe player nowadays who barely gets a look-in. Looks a £20m player at best. Pool got the best CB on the planet in VVD for the same fee.

    We have yet to even use a £30m player in Saliba while Pool are buying pieces like Salah and Mane for only a handful of million more than that.

    This is why I roll my eyes when Pedro creams about how ‘elite’ an operation we are and how all the data nerds at the club know best. We have yet to actually see this materialize on the pitch. As you say we have outspent or been on par with Liverpool in spend since 2016 which is really embarrassing.

  67. curse

    I agree, I’d rather be where we are in stadium terms 100%, 20 years is a long time though, no safe standing etc…
    I guess I’m missing the days when we were the innovators/trend setters. This new regime appears to be getting back to that in fairness. The renovations though pale in comparison to the naming rights and sponsors. I like that Arsenal have brought community business into the frame recently. Begins to feel like propaganda though when you see who else we’re in bed with. I think they’re missing a trick hanging onto certain sponsors.

  68. Tom

    I don’t even know what argument you are making any more Tom?
    Are you still in denial that £600m is a lot of money to spend and that Klopp hasn’t done all this on the cheap?

    Weagle, the same argument I always make , which is show me what you’ve won and how much money it took to get you there.

    Klopp has taken two clubs to CL finals and this is the only time he’s lost when on even footing.
    He lost to Bayern with Dortmund on half the Bavarian’s wage bill.

    He lost to RM in 2018 when Ronaldo and Bale transfers accounted for half of Liverpool’s.
    I’m assuming Bale was still relevant then since he scored a banger and Karius let in his shot from distance.

    Then he beat the ”lowly” Spurs, which btw no one said was such a great achievement since he was the clear favorite ( consistency, remember?)

    And then he absolutely battered RM (stats show it) but lost narrowly to a team on the hottest streak in CL in resent years chock full of talented players.

    And while you call all that an underwhelming record in the finals (it might be), at the same time you are waxing lyrical about Pep coming close last season, even though Mendy didn’t have to make a single save for Chelsea on the day. Lol.

    Just admit you kidding at this point so we can all move on from this to more relevant topics like why Conte was a disastrous hire we should all be celebrating.

  69. englandsbest


    There are victims and there is ‘victimhood’, a way to make people feel sorry for you. Like women seen on TV bursting into tears for that purpose. What happened to the stiff upper lip?

  70. Habesha Gooner

    To be honest, the problems came way before we started these young players. 72 mil for Pepe, 50 mil for Lacazette, 56 mil for Auba (although he was good for us for a while), 35 mil for Mustafi, 18 mil for Sokratis, 33 mil for Xhaka, 18 mil for Lucas Perez, 14 mil for Mari (Arteta’s fault), 26 mil for Torreira and the list goes on. We would be lucky to make 60 mil on those investments in resale value.

    I don’t think we have been as poor at recruitment since Arteta came in. But the results are yet to be seen. The next few years will tell how much success there is.

    Gabriel and Odegaard have been Bargains in my eyes. Tomi and Tierney would be too if they stayed fit. We might succeed with Ramsdale or break even. If he shows his early season form as his true level then he can become a bargain. We will break even with Partey too if he stays fit. We overpaid on white. A 35 mil CB at best.

    The one thing we never do well is selling fringe players. The likes of Bellerin are ruined as values. But we could have done well with the likes of AMN.

    And As a strategy, we should focus on signing players that are 25 and under. 26 at the max. Pool are doing that very well. Their players may be older now but they signed most of them around 24 to 26.

  71. IAT-Robbie

    “If we we’d made it into CL,we stood no chance of winning – and I have an aversion to Arsenal competing with no chance of winning. A measure of respect for the Club.”

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Is this a serious comment?

    Even Sporting, Olympiacos and Napoli fans don’t say stuff like this.

    There’s always a chance to finish 3rd in the group and get demoted to the Europa League anyway.

  72. WengerEagle


    Liverpool are no paupers and Klopp has spent a lot of money to assemble such an amazing squad was the main point, you are spinning off into other directions about Real, Pep, Bale and Hazard, etc. Losing track of what argument is being made.

    And give over with the goofy ‘battered and stats show it’ take. 24 efforts and how many were meaningful? Courtois made two excellent saves all night, one from Mane and one from Salah. The rest were saves you would expect a keeper of his quality to make.

    Does anybody else who watched the match last night really believe that Rela got battered? Lol no chance. They had a goal ruled out for a bizarre ‘offside’ and clinically took the other chance like Chelsea last season did. They were otherwise largely in control and never looked panicked.

  73. Habesha Gooner

    You don’t rate Odegaard. But he has been a very successful signing. 30 mil in this day and age is nothing for a player like him. We could get at least 50 mil if we were to sell him today.

    Same for Gabriel. We paid 27 mil for him. He cost less than every Center Back United have got. Half of most of City’s center backs.

    Both of them have been Bargains. And this isn’t their top level yet. They have more to go too.

  74. WengerEagle


    Time will tell indeed. Not seen much inprovement myself this season overall and certainly not what you would expect with a £135m haul.

    8 points total with a much inferior GD if you exclude the last day stat-padding massacre of a hungover Everton from celebrating guaranteed safety on Thursday night before the Sun.

    And that was with no midweek games since Jan. No Cup distractions at all, dumped out of the 3rd round by Forest.

    Do some of these players we are buying have better resale value at least? Sure but that should never be the motivation for buying a player in the first place if your goal is to be a competing team.

  75. Habesha Gooner

    Some of the negativity in our fan base is ridiculous to me. A 23 year old Odegaard didn’t deliver the CL football in the end. But he is still a superb player.

    I saw a poll where United fans picked him ahead of Bruno Fernandez. Most chelsea fans said they would take him, same for spurs fans. We don’t have to shit on our players if they are doing okay.

  76. WengerEagle

    Don’t Arsenal fans notoriously hack online polls?

    I am sure there was a rather infamous example. They are to be taken with the biggest truckload of salt.

  77. Bob N16

    To quote, the sage that is Michael Owen, ‘The team that scores most goals usually wins’. Liverpool didn’t score and RM scored so…..

  78. TR7


    Just because we can possibly sell Ode for more than what we paid for him does not make him a successful signing. I am sure that’s not the aim of AFC. Ode flops against all good teams is what makes his signing a waste of money. Recycling the ball is not “success”.

  79. Habesha Gooner

    Do you believe this us the best our players can do or do you think they have levels to go?

    If you think the players are alright then the recruitment is okay. Then the question will be the manager. He has recruited well. But I don’t know if he is getting the best out of them.

    I personally think the recruitment has been good. The manager though has made some shocking decisions that has let the team down. I think he is okay at getting the best out of average Joe’s. The likes of Xhaka and Elneny. But I don’t know if he is the best at getting the best out of the best players. If he doesn’t make top 4 next season then we will see what these players are made of under a different manager.

  80. CG


    ””’TR7 You don’t rate Odegaard. But he has been a very successful signing.””

    Real Madrid , know what they are doing and thats why they flogged him to us for £30 000 000.
    (He is a poor man’s Ozil.)

    Good player in the home matches against fodder: not one for Newcastle away – when the whole season is riding on it.

  81. WengerEagle

    Half of my town support United and I have yet to talk to a supporter that prefers Odegaard to Bruno Fernandes.

    Didn’t Bruno actually top that cherry-picked ‘big chances created’ stat that attempted to put Ode in a positive light?

  82. IAT-Robbie


    If, hypothetically, Arsenal had finished 3rd in our inaugural return to the Champions League ( like next season), I literally wouldn’t care.

    Why would I. We’d still have the Europa League to play for. Athletico Madrid pipped us to the Europa League trophy under similar circumstances. Their fans didn’t care.

  83. TR7

    “I saw a poll where United fans picked him ahead of Bruno Fernandez”

    That’s not a ringing endorsement. Both are average players.

  84. Habesha Gooner

    Newcastle, Man city if they didn’t have Foden, Bernardo and Debruyne, Barcelona if they weren’t in a financial crisis. I genuinely believe he is a 50 mil player right now.

  85. WengerEagle


    If we are spending all this money to assemble a perennial top 4 chasing team then sure it looks legit but we keep getting told that we will compete for titles within a year or so.

    I am not convinced by this group. As others have said the people making these title predictions are making the dangerous assumption that all young players improve exponentially which is not the case.

    Is Odegaard a good player? Clearly yes. On his day he is excellent but he has too many days where he looks half asleep and is anonymous.

    At least Ozil consistently showed up against the less than top sides on a weekly basis from 2013-2017.

  86. englandsbest


    Following your line of thought, why stop there? Why not count 4th place as a trophy?

    Demotion into Europa was just a ‘fake’ way of adding interest (and money) to a second-tier tournament.

  87. WengerEagle


    So Newcastle who are in the infant stage of their project and are spunking £30m on strikers that don’t score goals or can run may pay over the odds for him?

    It doesn’t really prove the argument, Newcastle right now have to massively overpay for players because everyone can see them coming for miles.

    Ode doesn’t get into City’s team or close to it. Grealish was one of the best players in the PL last season and even he cannot crack the XI consistently.

    I think you overrate Ode. He’s not going to be an elite midfielder for us imo.

  88. WengerEagle

    He clearly doesn’t need to be elite by the way, I would be over the moon with very good even.

    Think you and Rich particularly though see him as the next coming of KDB tho which he isn’t going to come close to. KDB is a phenom, Ode is a good player and potentially very good.

  89. Nelson

    Klopp spoke to BT Sport after the game:” The opponent set up with a deep formation,. Courtois made top saves. We conceded a goal after a throw-in.”

  90. CG


    ””I think you overrate Ode. He’s not going to be an elite midfielder for us imo.””

    Q) Does he perform in the big matches away?
    A) No

    Q) Did Zidane rate him ?
    A) No

    Q) Does Zidane know about midfielders?
    A) Yes.

  91. andy1886

    All this exaggerating certain players or a manager’s merits really doesn’t do them any favours. If Arteta had been sold as a decent young manager learning his trade who had potential to be great one day most people would accept that. But hailing him from the off as a ‘generational’ talent based on zero evidence just pisses people off and prejudices them against him from the start. Most of us are not stupid so don’t try and treat us like we are.

    Same applies to players. Certain posters have been hailing Odegaard as ‘world class’ again based on very little. He may well develop into a very good player but he’s nowhere near the finished article just yet. The occasion impressive performance and a few little tricks and flicks in the majority of games don’t make him a stand-out player. F365 did their ‘top ten’ players in various categories recently. For defenders Gabriel featured (Ben White didn’t). For attacking midfielders Arsenal had two entries, ESR and Saka. Odegaard wasn’t mentioned.

  92. WengerEagle

    Did Real Madrid regret selling Ozil? Clearly not, they went on to win 4 CL titles in 5 years without him.

    Will Real regret selling Odegaard? Well that hasn’t got off to a convincing start either with the CL and La Liga triumphs.

  93. englandsbest

    As ever there are two major competitions: others count, but nowhere near as much.

    Time was they were the first division and the FA Cup. Nowadays they are the premiership and the CL

    All the same, winning the Europa would be nice.

  94. WengerEagle

    It’s why I don’t subscribe to this all signings must be below 26 stuff.

    You saw how easily we mentally capitulated in the pressure games at Spurs and Newcastle with something on the line. You need those veterans and some leadership to guide the younger players when things are not going your way and you are facing adversity and intense pressure.

    Why do we never win games when we go behind? Same reason.

    33 year old David Luiz a serial winner and a PL/CL champion was massive for us in winning that FA Cup in 2020 at the heart of the defence. The sole reason that Arteta is even still at the club is winning that trophy imo.

  95. IAT-Robbie


    Bellerin’s value only crashed because he got demotivated after Arteta and the club rejected a £25m bid from PSG for him. (I think) it’s not just a case of us selling too low, it’s also that we’ve garnered a reputation for being difficult to deal with.

    We’ve rejected so many bids for players over the years and left things to the last minute. Only to see them leave on a free or negligible sum.

    Xhaka – Roma
    AMN – Wolves
    Bellerin – PSG
    Mustafi – Inter Milan
    Lacazette – Roma
    Sanchez – Man City
    Chambers – Middlesbrough, Leicester, Fulham
    Torreira – AC Milan

    I believe that if you sell slightly below value to a club with real purchasing power, you can overcharge them the next time they come asking.

    Chelsea did the same thing with Courtois and Hazard.
    Southampton did the same thing with Mane and Van Dijk.
    Roma did the same thing Salah and Alisson
    Spurs did the same thing with Modric and Bale
    Benfica did the same thing with Sanches and Hernandez.

    The list goes on…

    The important thing is that a business relationship is established. We don’t usually get to the first stage.

  96. IAT-Robbie


    LoL. Following YOUR line of thought, why stop there? Why not count 5th place as a trophy? Seeing as you’re implying we’re not worthy of the Champions League.

  97. Habesha Gooner

    Madrid clearly didn’t want to sell Odegaard. They wanted to get funds for Mbappe. And I didn’t say he was going to be elite. Not sure you can say that about any player except for rare talents like Haaland and Mbappe.

    But at 30 mil he is going to be very good value. And he is going to be very good player for us. It doesn’t matter that a lot of clubs are in financial crisis. But he is a 50 mil player. He has raised his profile since he has come in. And he is 23. How many players are genuinely consistent over a full season at 23? Not may.

    I don’t understand how anyone can say Real chose to keep their old CMs. They were clearly raising funds and they sold one asset that wasn’t in favor with the manager.

    I will bet though, Odegaard will be one of the most creative players in the league next season.

  98. G

    ‘’ Some of the negativity in our fan base is ridiculous to me. A 23 year old Odegaard didn’t deliver the CL football in the end. But he is still a superb player.‘’
    Spot on, though some believe he just passes sideways

  99. Jonko

    Mane leaving Pool..another blow for them…Salah VVD and many others.on the wrong side of 30..the downfall has started..not that they were too dominant anyway..second to City always but this was the last season where they really had a chance and like always they bottled it…long may the scouser misery continue. Here’s how I can sum up Liverpool and Klopp vs Pep and Man City debate:

    Pep and City are the victims of their own success

    Liverpool and Klopp are the victims of their own ambition

    That right there is the difference

    Liverpool will always be known as the “almost there” team that failed and failed gloriously

    But unfortunately in football “almost” doesn’t count and is neither remembered

  100. Habesha Gooner

    IAT robbie
    We are clearly shit at selling players.

    Wenger eagle
    It’s why I don’t subscribe to this all signings must be below 26 stuff.

    We capitulated this time but we won’t in three years if our players stay together and we keep adding quality.

    Liverpool the model team for building a team on a budget, signed all their main players 26 or under. Thiago the only one that bucked the trend and even then they signed a world class CM at 27 mil not at 50 mil+.

    They succeeded when they were reaching the ages of 27 to 30. But there is a difference between signing a lot of 27+ year olds together and expecting them to click instantly and signing 24 year olds that stay together for 3 years and click at that time. Most teams that succeed for a sustained period stay together at least 3 years.

    We need to sign 26 and under and expect them to succeed in two three years. That is the smartest strategy. We might not win that way for sure but it is the closest way to reach the levels that city and Liverpool have set.

  101. Habesha Gooner

    Sadio Mane wanting to leave Liverpool is a big blow to our chances of signing Gnabry. Liverpool will probably go for Gnabry now. I can even see a swap with pool paying a little bit of money.

    Bayern get their CF in Mane and sell Lewandowski to Barcelona and they will get a new winger. Liverpool will have their winger replacement and have Jota and Firminho as STs.

    We will be the real losers in this.

  102. Nigel Tufnel

    It’s natural to have an Arsenal bias on an Arsenal blog.

    What do you expect?

    Then, the next most normal thing is to be biased against tottenham and any other English club.

    I compliment other clubs occasionally, but my preference is always clear. When people attack Pedro for being a normal gooner, it is just bizarre.

    How does anyone not get this?

  103. Aaron

    Two points:
    reaL, managed by a great manager who fits that team well, won the game the only way they could have.

    we are not managed by that same type of manager nor are we run with the same type of ruthlessness.


    Appreciate your insights, but you are way off on this one. Most who saw that CL game know that Courtois single handedly won them that game.
    At best without those saves it would have been 3 or 4 to 2 pool most days.
    At least pool tried to attack, while reaL looked like playing optimum moaniho, which was the correct way to win the cup!

    Back to AFC, we ain’t going nowhere with our current operation.

  104. Nigel Tufnel


    I’m not surprised opposing fans appreciate ødegaard. I understand rating players of other teams, I just think some Grovers do it more than normal.

  105. Robert Pires

    “Madrid clearly didn’t want to sell Odegaard. They wanted to get funds for Mbappe.”

    What kind of buy-back clause have they inserted then?

    Oh, and we’re supposed to wait ANOTHER 3 years for this team to gel? Fuck off. That sort of planning virtually never works out. For one thing, if players stop developing, it’s a bust. If they do develop, many will be gone to bigger clubs.
    Not Odegaard, though. 4th – 8th is his level.

    “I don’t understand how anyone can say Real chose to keep their old CMs.”

    EVERYONE says that because both Modric and Kroos are still better than Odegaard. Modric will be 40 before Odegaard is better than him. The reason Odegaard was sold is because he is Real Betis or Real Sociedad level, not Real Madrid.

  106. Wicked Willy

    I wonder if there’s anyone here who raves about Real Madrid’s way of doing things but also raves about Ozil? Because of course RM got shot of Ozil, apparently because of his off field shenanigans. In fact I believe it was Ancellotti who got shot of him. So people blaming Arteta for getting rid of Ozil and other undesirables whilst praising Ancellotti’s man-management seem to be overlooking this fact.

    We all know Ozil was truly gifted, but he wasn’t suited to the modern pressing game, and he has been a consistent disruptive influence. I’m quite satisfied with Odegaard’s trajectory, and yes, RM got rid of him too, but not because of off the field antics, but because he insisted on leaving.

  107. andy1886

    Of course he insisted on leaving, here’s what Ancelloti had to say about him last August just prior to the start of their league season:

    Ancelotti: “I’ve told Odegaard there are eight players in his position and for now he’s not registered”

    And that’s a direct quote.

  108. China1

    Weagle ozil absolutely did not consistently show up against sub top 6 sides. He vanished very often against average and lower sides, especially away from home and if they were up for the game

  109. Pierre

    Nigel Tufnell
    “I compliment other clubs occasionally, but my preference is always clear. When people attack Pedro for being a normal gooner, it is just bizarre.”

    A normal gooner, are you sure about that

    Have you forgotten the previous 10 years or so before Arteta arrived.
    Pedro and his cronies were an embarrassment to Arsenal football club with their continuous abuse towards Arsena Wenger…

    It is only now that we are seeing what a difficult job it is to manage Arsenal what with the never ending anti Arsenal bias from the media and the referees , as well as a small percentage of entitled “fans ” who should hold their head in shame.

  110. Tom

    Mane spent his best years on £100kpw , which is incredible considering what the likes of Bayern, City, PSG, and Real pay similar talent.

  111. Naija+soccer

    I can’t picture Mane leaving Liverpool. Him and Liverpool are a match made in heaven. Going to Bayern Munich to replace Lewandowski ? I don’t really see it.

  112. Naija+soccer

    How many big chances did Odegaard created this season ? Maybe that will shed light on how devastating his vision and techniques are.

    If we are only 17th in big chances created, that’s a sign that we are not one of the top attacking teams. It also reflects badly on the main chance creator.

  113. Pedro

    Naija, it’s such a bullshit stat.

    Who is responsible for the big chance? The player moving or the passer?
    Are big chances different for better players? Thierry Henry would turn a half chance into a big chance because he was elite
    We had 100 more shots at goal than Spurs this season. We were 4th in the league for shots at goal and 4th for shots on target. 6th for goals… but 17th for big chances? Like, honestly, what a drossy statistic. That would indicate we must be doing outrageous things in front of goal despite out conversion rate in front of goal being terrible.

    Anyway, new post.

  114. Thorough

    Anyone who prefers Odegard to Fernandes is being disingenuous. I can count 4 playmaker in non top-4 teams that can give us better. And it’s a lie that we underate out players, Cazotla came in and won us all over in a matter of weeks. We’ve watched Odegard for 18 months and nobody knows what he’s really spectacular at.

    Even Ancelloti is giving Ceballos minutes even though we all derided him. He ever even bothered to waste time on Odegard. That must mean something,