by .



Oh, you want to know what I’m talking about?

David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano and a bunch of Portuguese journos are saying that we are in for attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira.

Talk about classic early 2000s Arsenal WOAH WHERE DID THAT COME FROM transfer news.

The player is 5ft7, he seems to play all across the midfield, his end delivery is most excellent, the player racked up 14 assists last season. Vieira also fits the mould from a profile perspective, he’s 22 years old, he’s made 76 apps for the Portuguese giants, and I suspect he has VERY good character. Dare I say he has a bit of the Santi’s in tight spaces?


Porto season ticket holder and Arsenal fan @ruipbcribeiro had this say after I commented on my expertise of the players after watching 12 minutes of Youtube videos.

A lot of the players videos show off his ability to break play from deep with accurate long balls and some of his final 3rd work looked very Tielemans/Xhaka-ish. But, apparently, he’s more of a second striker and an attacking midfielder.

Do I know how he fits into this Arsenal starting 11? No. But I’m sure there’s a cunning plan. He’s very good in tight spots, control seems to be a key component of his game, and his final ball looks really, really sharp.

I didn’t expect this sort of signing, but he does check the box of ‘better end product’ that we need. Arsenal has to find more goals next season, this guy might help us get there. 7 goals isn’t the greatest in Portugal but combined with 16 assists, it shows where things couldn’t be going for someone very young.

What is very interesting is no one picked up on this deal. Arsenal don’t have the biggest wallet, so they have to make their moves in silence, if we pull this off, it’ll be quite something because none of the big journos had a clue.

There are some other stories doing the rounds, the Italian journos who called the Vlahovic bid are saying we’re looking at Oshimen for £80m, some German folk are saying Nkunku for £100m (lol), and The Times are reporting that we’re frontrunners for Gabi Jesus and that deal will be done.

One day after crying like babies on the Patreon Podcast, we’re out here perking up and puffing out our chests?

A good day. Why don’t YOU tell ME how you think this transfers works for our squad?

Also, sign up to the Patreon for FRESH content.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Danny S


    The obsession of having a striker that’s good with his head is due to having nearly 3 years of watching our players pump crosses into the box and no one getting on the end of them.

    It’s either we get a striker that can handle crosses or Arteta changes his playing style…..

  2. Un

    This is exactly the sort of signing we should be making
    Clever players with technical ability
    Would have preferred someone with a bit more dribbling ability but 100% behind this sort of move/profile over fucking bissouma

  3. Wicked Willy


    Hickey really is as two footed as Santi, is quite remarkable. From what I’ve seen of him, he has that ability to play a really expansive fullback role like Cancelo does, and I’ve even wondered if he would be suited to a Kimmich style transition in time. However, still young, so difficult to get too excited, but his ceiling is immense.

    I’d still rather take Zinchenko, because he can deliver today. That said, Hickey could cover both RB & LB, so Cedric becomes 4th choice full back, and that gives Tavares a year to go out on loan and polish those rough edges. We would then be able to see how him and Cuffey developed next year, and plan our fullback rotation options accordingly next summer.

  4. Bob N16

    Was looking at the list of Euro U21 players of the tournament, Viera the most recent, Canavaro and Figo make the list…as does Ceballos! Not sure if it tells us much.

  5. Wicked Willy

    Bob, as previously discussed, that’s not the main reason why I’m excited by him. BUT, given that every transfer carries risk, and there are no slam dunk transfers as demonstrated by Lukaku, Hazard to Madrid, Pogba, Grealish etc, it does suggest there is a deliciously high probability of him becoming a superstar. Given all the other boxes he ticks, he seems to be a low risk, high ceiling investment, and one that probably wont’t be too much of a burden on wages.

  6. Samesong

    Le grove are setting some high expectations already with the Viera lad. He will need time to settle and adjust to the physicality of the EPL. Looks a prospect But let’s no gas him up too much.

  7. Un

    Just comparing his style.
    This is a smart move in my book and exactky the type of player our midfield needs. We have enough large defensive midfielders already

  8. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s goalscoring weakness last season is not down to lack of height or inability to head
    a ball.

    For a start we were fairly potent at set pieces and corners where our central defenders scored quite a number of goals from headers. Also I am reminded of the great header from which Nketiah scored a goal at the end of season.

    Arsenal’s lack of goals last season was primarily down to the poor performances of both
    Aubameyang and Lacazette who scored collectively around 10 goals. The lack of goal
    conversion when Lacazette played was down to the player being too often out of position
    or slow to react to crosses and not his lack of height or heading ability.

  9. DigitalBob

    Pleasantly surprised by the nature of this deal. Quick creative technician that has the potential to be great but well worth the risk for the price. The key thing with any transfer is does he improve us as whole, and this is certainly a yes.

    In Arsene’s best years we had multiple creative points in the first 11 and to me this transfer is also positive in that Edu/Arteta have recognised we need more creativity.

    He will need time to adapt so won’t be straight into the first 11 in my opinion. Also, anyone thinking this is what ends ESR’s arsenal career needs to tone it down a bit. I suspect as a few have said he’ll be the rotation option for Odegaard who imo needs to be kept on his toes to realise his full potential.

    One other thing many may not have realised is that you can’t bring in a player like Raphinha and say ok your Saka’s backup. Especially when he knows he’s starting calibre player for a team like Barcelona this season for a fee or next season leaving as a free agent.

  10. Siddeeq

    Technical players are always welcome. We could move any of Martinelli/ESR/Pepe to CF instead of buying Jesus who is Not a huge upgrade.

  11. The fishing gunner

    This signing has me worried about ESR potential future at the club, I hope I’m wrong but if he bangs ESR could move on to get regular games. Would be a real shame as he’s one of our own.

  12. andy1886

    DBob, a couple of issues with your ESR thoughts. Firstly, Arteta has given him very little time as a #10, which incidentally is a role that Vieira also plays so no obvious reason why that would change now.

    Second point is that you’re viewing this from a fan perspective not the player’s perspective. If you were ESR would you be happy to be a ‘rotation option’ when the guy you’re going to rotate with is the captain of the first XI, a favourite of the manager and one of the first names on the team sheet? Remember that you’re a full England International and someone another PL side (Villa) had bid £30m+ for a year ago.

    Getting cup games and a few against nobodies in Europe isn’t an attractive option for a young player with such huge potential.

  13. Thorough

    Anybody complaining about Viera doesn’t get it.
    U21 players before the breakout and become unaffordable is our level now.

    And btw, Odegard isn’t good enough to play make for a top 4 team.

    He even shares the same name with Paddy. What’s there not to like?

  14. raptora

    DigitalBob: “The key thing with any transfer is does he improve us as whole, and this is certainly a yes.”

    I mean that’s not really the key thing as almost any expensive transfer will improve any team in the world.

    Same thing can be said about Bissouma because when Partey breaks who do we have that can play his role? Elneny sure, but imagine if Partey gets injured for half a season? It will be disasterous. A player of Bissouma’s profile would guarantee us the option to play with 2 strong defensive players that can also move the ball forward, and the necessity to have a solid backup for Partey.

    Same thing can be said about LW where Martinelli’s end product needs to improve and sharply. He literally had no competition last season because ESR was honestly a squad player.

    Same thing can be said about RW where when we sell Pepe, Saka will be left on his own and yeah we could just play there the likes of ESR or Marti or now Vieira but it won’t be their main position and our game will suffer for it.

    Same could be said for any other position including CB where we are stacked with bodies but imagine we were to bring someone top class like Skriniar – would he improve us as a whole? Absolutely and certainly – yes!

  15. TR7

    Arteta had made a comment about Arsenal having players like Arshavin, Nasri, Cazorla, Rosicky, Ozil etc. and that Arsenal will have to have a similar array of talented attacking players for the club to move to next level.

    I think with Saka, ESR, Viera, Martinelli, Odegaard etc. he is trying to replicate what Wenger did which was assembling and playing together a lot of creative attacking players. This is why I don’t see there is any threat to ESR position in the team. My only gripe is limited game time he is getting. For me ESR and Saka are the best two attacking players we have and they should play more than anyone else.

  16. Major_Jeneral

    We complain of squad depth in quality and at the same time cry about how signings will affect our favorites(ESR Saka, Martinelli etc). Mancity wouldnt have wom the league if there is no competition for places. Foden is talented but Pep never shouldered all the work on him . He had other players to push him to his best such that he can fight for his place in the line-up.

    Arsenal for a long time have not had competition for places in their lineups for years so it it is important to change that trend. We lost out last because of lack of squad depth(Quality wise). Saka got burnt out. Tierny and Party injured with no matured replacement for them. ESR had Covid earlier in the season and he did not really recover after that.

    It is time we embrace competition for place rather than protection of places in the line-ups.

  17. Ollie

    People complaining about ESR’s lack of game time in the second half of the season, but IMO his level completely dropped and it was therefore justified. I’m not sure if it was just me, but he looked so lethargic and unfit every time he played post January. Was it injuries?

  18. raptora

    With Odegaard’s transfer last season and ESR already on the verge of becoming a main player in the team (remember we declined atleast £30m from Villa), we all thought that the AM position is settled for the next 5 years.

    What happens? A year later we bring ANOTHER AM! Why? Did Ode fail to deliver as they hoped for? Is ESR not considered AM anymore? It’s just weird.

    Like when you have 2 very talented young players for one position, does it make sense to splurge £35m for another prospect playing exactly the same position? It makes little sense on the outside.

    We all love technicians, but it’s odd. 2 talented players should have been enough if we were told that Ode is all that.

  19. Valentin


    You are misconstruing what has been said. The issue is not on set pieces where the new guy has done good job defensively, but in open play.

    As mentioned by numerous others, we have seen for the last 2.5 years Arsenal pumping crosses to midget strikers surrounded by giant CBs. Even if they had Tim Cahill sense of anticipation because of the nature of the crosses they are never going to outmuscle or outjump the defenders.

    Contrarily to what Arteta said, sending more crosses will not necessarily lead to more goals. I don’t think that we scored a single headed goals from open play. 0% headed goals from open play crosses will still result in 0 goals even if we bombarded the opposition penalty boxes Stoke style.

    So Arteta either need to change his style of crosses and attacking play or buy a player who fit into that style hence a 6’2″ beader of the ball being desired.

    ManCity attacking players are on the shortish side (until Haaland arrived), but they do score a lot of goals on crosses. However those crosses are not looping passes but cutback, and low hard 5 yard for tap ins. So having a big bruiser is not a requirement, but having an attacking style adapted to the type of players we have is.

  20. Pierre

    Regarding losing smith rowe, selling Odegaard is the better option for me..
    The way i lòok at it , there must be some concern over the creativity in the team , spending 30 odd million on a playmaker puts a question mark on Odegaard’s position in the team…

    Odegaard made the no.10 position his own last season and our creativity was poor , i didn’t see Odegaard link with Eddie whichbfor me was disappointing, maybe the fabio/eddie partnership will flourish …..if Arteta actually gives them the opportunity to play together.

  21. AFC Forever

    Nice post Pedro.

    I remember a while back when Arteta was talking about the lack of technical ability within the playing squad. For years we all complained about that and reminisced about players like Cazorla, probably the player I enjoyed watching the most.

    Arteta said this when interviewed some time back:

    “Look at the players that we had in the past at the club in those positions. You go back to Cazorla, to Rosicky, to Arshavin when he played there, to Ramsey, to Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack used to play in those pockets all the time. That is a lot of players who are now not here. We have to renew that cycle, because, if not, those kind of players won’t be there for us anymore. They are a big part of what the squad needs.”

    Spot on Mikel. When you look at the Man City squad it is full of highly technical players who interchange and produce movement, which is hard to pick up. You need players that can find those spaces and have the ability to make the most of the opportunity. It’s a nightmare for defenders.The more of those types of player you have, the more creative you become; and the more fun it is to watch. To play in Europe and manage the inevitable injuries that we seem to suffer more than most, you need a proper squad, not a group of fringe players and options too.

    Vieira joins other talented ‘young’ players like ESR, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Tomi and of course the young Brazilian prospect Marquinos. If you include the possibility of Jesus coming in, you would have to be completely nuts if you didn’t see exciting times ahead. These are proper talented players we are accumulating and a clear plan. I love it….!!

  22. TR7

    “What happens? A year later we bring ANOTHER AM”

    I think Viera will be used as a back up for Saka. The way he plays he can be handy playing on the right. Can be deployed as a no 8 too if required. I don’t see him being used as a CAM. ESR and Ode likely to play as attacking midfielders.

  23. Mr Serge

    Major Jneral exactly this lets hope they all happen we lost top 4 last season because of a lack of talent upfront and behind lets not do that again

  24. Samesong

    ESR probably my favourite player in the team. But he is injury prone and has fitness issues. All you have to do is google his injury history.

    I think last season the covid affected him and physically and mentally. Never came back to form after that purple patch of scoring.

    ESR is a also a massive confidence player. Pat on the back type of player. Needs encouraging just like most young players.

    I am not going to write him off just yet. Hoping he’ll be back even stronger after in pre-season.

  25. Mr Serge

    esr as Samesong says has massive injury issues he could not get any form going as he has a persistent ankle problem plus he got covid twice, he is young he will get better physically, i remember a young Gerrard being injured a lot in his late teens early twenties, he had a good career

  26. raptora

    They had this experiment at City with Bernardo Silva where he was rotating with Mahrez on the right wing. He was doing well, no doubt. But his best position was demonstrated before and I feel it’s a shame to waste that type of player’s influence by shoving him on the wing. Personal opinion ofc but Bernardo just an example of a player that was wasted on the wings.

  27. AFC Forever

    Samesong/Mr Serge

    You are both correct.

    ESR’s injuries have been well documented. Arteta spoke about it being frustrating not to be able to work with him enough on the training ground, because he needed to improve his fitness levels.

    He’s a young lad, he has plenty of time on his side.

  28. andy1886

    Another consideration is that Saka hasn’t signed that new contract. If it doesn’t happen do we sell this summer rather than get much less when he has one year to go? If that’s the plan then better to get a replacement in first rather than pay through the nose after we’ve cashed in on a big player.

  29. TR7


    Bernardo’s playing style is not direct which hampers his ability to be effective on wings. Viera from whatever YT videos I have seen is more direct which hopefully will result in him being able to influence games from wide areas too.

  30. raptora

    The notion that we are signing a winger is wrong.
    We are signing an AM or a second striker that Arteta might decide to move to a new position or might not.

    In 21/22 Vieira has 2 LM starts and 2 LM appearances as a sub and a total of ONE RW game – the one that everyone seems to look at vs Liverpool. It’s his ONLY RW game for the whole season. 85% of his games are as either AM or SS.

    Yes, we might use him somewhere else, but he doesn’t “play on the right”, he’s played there once.

    And regarding the U21 Euro Championship:

    8 games played all from Attacking midfield – 7 goals, 2 assists.

  31. Habesha Gooner

    ESR will get his minutes. He isn’t too good to sit on the bench from time to time. You could make a case for Martinelli,ESR or Odegaard. Now we have added this kid viera. So there will be plenty of games and rotation. Plus there is a 5 sub rule too so all these players will get at least sub appearances at the very least.

    Everyone will have to bide their time. Only Saka is a guaranteed starter for me. And we will run him down if we can’t get someone to play in his position when he needs a break.

    This what ot is going to take to somehow get closer to the city’s and Liverpool’s of this world

  32. Mr Serge

    raptoraJune 17, 2022 11:12:27
    The notion that we are signing a winger is wrong.
    We are signing an AM or a second striker that Arteta might decide to move to a new position or might not.

    i am just saying what Romano said i dont know where we will play him
    nor do you

  33. raptora

    Fabrizio Romano
    🚨🇵🇹 | Vieira > Arsenal: 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐠𝐨!
    Arsenal have reached full agreement with Porto for offensive midfielder Fábio Vieira, here we go! ⚪️🔴

    “i dont know where we will play him, nor do you”

    That’s exactly what I said, didn’t I?

  34. raptora

    Fabrizio Romano
    “Arsenal are still working on Youri Tielemans deal with Leicester waiting for an official proposal.”

    I expect Tielemans to join too. A bit worrying that our alternative to Partey will be Elneny and that’s it.

    However, I’m really happy that Xhaka is likely to be marginalized even if Tielemans wasn’t my preferred choice.

  35. DigitalBob

    Andy – I hear you but I think your opening sentence is key, under Arteta I don’t think ESR is seen as a no 10 but more of a wide option. So, and again this is all speculation as none of us are on the coaching staff, I think its Martinelli and ESR rotating on the LW and Odegaard and Vieira rotating in the number 8 position. Vieira seems to be very versatile, so he’ll probably play in a few positions.

    I don’t think any of ESR, Ode or Fabio Vieira should be a nailed-on starter and each needs to be pushing every week to be in the first 11, that’s the challenge for top flight footballers, especially in this age range.

    If we are supposed to be Man City light surely legitimate competition for places is key to any success?

    Raptora – Firstly with you on Bissouma, it was a logical transfer I think we’ve missed out on. I doubt Partey stays fit and when the time comes for his understudy to play regularly, we have to hope a midfield of Lokonga and Tielemens with Elneny in the rotation is solid enough. It is risky.

  36. WengerEagle

    In talks with Jesus too apparently, seems concrete.

    Really rate him as a player, just hope that we addanother goalscorer too and a wide one at that. We have lots of creative talent now but not a lot in the way of goals.

  37. Habesha Gooner

    The beauty of signing cheap young players like Tavarez is either they make it or you sell them for what you brought them for. Atalanta could use him well too. A LWB role is better for him than a LB role.

    And if they blow up you will get a player like Martinelli for 6 mil. Our strategy has been much better now. Youth project with a bit of experienced 24 to 26 year olds is the way to go.

  38. Un

    Amazing how many change tac so quickly
    This is exactly what I’ve been saying since emery gave away all of our technical players
    This is exactly the sort of midfield we need. This is exactly what this team lacks.
    I never get tired of being right….

  39. WengerEagle

    Our last technically brilliant midfield was 2011 with Cesc and Jack in the middle and Nasri, Arshavin as wide playmakers.

    I never felt that Ozil and Cazorla meshed really well as a pair funny enough. Both were outstanding players but disn’t have the chemistry that Cesc had with Nasri, Hleb, Rosicky.

    Both combined better with Ramsey than each other.

  40. Habesha Gooner

    ESR had 11 goals, Odegaard 7 goals, Saka 11 goals, Martinelli had 6 goals. These players will improve their put puts as we get better. We missed out on top 4 because our CFs didn’t get any more than 5 goals each. That will change with Jesus. Add 10 or so goals to last season tally and we would have made top 4 comfortably. I don’t know if this Viera kid will provide some goals too.

    I am hoping we catch Chelsea. Because they had a crap season. Rudiger, Christiensen and probably Azpilicueta will all leave, they have a problem finding a CF, and their DMs are declining badly. They have scoring problems along with their CB exodus.

    Spurs though look very strong. These signings like Bissouma, Spence, Perisic go straight in to their XI. They are adding depth with likes of Forester. May be Richarlison and Eriksen probably too. They will be favourite for 3rd because of their additions and their front three.

  41. Un


    Jack Santi rosicky Ramsey and Giroud all combined beautifully for some outstanding 1-2 touch goals
    The Jack goal vs Norwich springs to mind and rosicky got a couple vs spurs and Sunderland if I remember correctly with some beautiful combination work.

  42. WengerEagle

    I think that either we see Odegaard dropping deeper to play next to Partey and one of ESR/Vieira as the CAM or bringing in another CM- Odegaard as the 10 and Vieira/ESR playing mainly at LF.

    In this event we will need Jesus to be much more like he was in his first 18 months at City and very much in hungry for goals ST mode.

    8 PL goals and 8 assists won’t cut it. We’ll need more like 15+ PL goals and 5 assists from him.

  43. Un


    Expect Nketiah to improve upon his 10 goals next season too
    The kid produced as much in 13 matches as auba and Lacazette did over a season, goal wise

  44. TR7

    I still think we need a quality CDM for even our attacking players to flourish and avoid getting physically dominated by the likes of Spurs, Palace, Pool etc.

  45. WengerEagle


    Agreed they had some sublime moments and goals but in terms of all-round controlling and dominating matches, we haven’t done that consistently since 10/11 imo.

    We went toe to toe with the greatest club side in history and gave them a much harder game than Fergie’s United managed in the Final. 1st leg anyways, 2nd leg was one sided and RVP bullshit sending off ended it as a contest.

  46. raptora

    4-3-3 supposedly a midfield of Partey and Tielemans with one more. We played that already last season with Partey and Xhaka + Odegaard. Xhaka still had more responsibilities in defence than Odegaard and I don’t expect that to change with Tielemans in place of Xhaka. The 3rd guy in that midfield three, will be more offensive than the rest – which fits the profile of Ode, Vieira and ESR.

  47. Un

    Reading that we are still going for tielemans despite he vieira signing
    Midfield looking great
    Defence looking good with Saliba coming in
    Goalkeeper is great
    A wide player and a striker and we are looking very bloody healthy

  48. InsideRight

    So according to Fabrizio Romano’s tweet, Vieira is coming for £30m up front and another £4m if conditions are met, at current exchange rates.

  49. Habesha Gooner

    Absolutely. He was third choice for half the season and 2nd choice for the 2nd half of the season. And we only played PL games in the 2nd half of the season.

    The target for him must be 15 goals. Anything more is a bonus.

    We are one Partey injury away from a crisis at DM. Elneny did ok last season. But we will get slaughtered like spurs did when we roll up with him in those type of matches. I am hoping Sambi justifies his transfer fee next season. I still don’t think he is ready to play a No 6 role. But Arteta must see him that way to ignore the deep position and go for Tielemans and Viera.

  50. Un


    That sending off is without doubt the single worst refereeing decision I’ve ever seen. That’s from an England fan. (England have been shafted so many times by refs down the years.

  51. Un

    The 07-08 and 10-11 squads were superior but I’m not sure I agree
    We controlled and dominated the ball in plenty of matches during the Giroud/Santi years, just not as consistently

  52. WengerEagle


    I don’t see ESR and Saka scoring much more than 22 PL goals combined, they are victims of their own success in front of goal this season if anything. I would be more confident in Saka scoring 10-15 than I would ESR.

    I also don’t see Odegaard improving on 7 too much, he is a 7-10 goal guy at best for me. Marti will score more though and Eddie looks to have goals in him from the bench.

  53. WengerEagle

    That is my point though Un.

    We didn’t dominate nearly as much in the post Fabregas years. And definitely not in the big matches.

    No chance we would have went stroke for stroke with prime Pep’s Barca with the later teams. Too busy getting abused by Bayern, Monaco and lesser Barca in those seasons.

  54. raptora

    I agree with you completely. But we’re still going for Tielemans so that removes Ode dropping deeper in midfield entirely.

    Watching us play a midfield three of Flamini, Cesc, Hleb and Song, Cesc, Nasri has left me craving for that football and even if we didn’t win anything back then, it was such a joy to watch. Even in later years Coquelin, Santi, Ozil although a scuffed version was still very good to watch.

    Going for Tielemans we won’t have that fine playing deeper playmaker in the mould of Cesc and Santi. Odegaard has a more similar profile to that player than Tielemans and I would have enjoyed if we had tried that with Vieira or ESR as the more attacking midfielder.

  55. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    I think Arteta will end up dropping both Martinelli and ESR in a few matches. Don’t think he is a big fan of either player despite what he says

  56. TR7


    I don’t know much about Sangare.

    Anyone of Ndidi, Rice or Neves will do for me but not sure any of them is gettable at reasonable price. If Anguissa is available then we should try for him. I don’t trust Partey given his injury record. I am afraid Arteta will once again overlook to CDM position. Had we got one last season we would have qualified for CL.

  57. Un


    Yeah I agree

    But with a compliment like Saka ESR Odegaard vieira tielemans martinelli and Jesus I think we may have what we need to dominate the final third and create and finish a lot more chances

  58. WengerEagle

    As much as I loved Cazorla as a player (my favourite Arsrnal player of the past 10 years) I always find it odd that he is rated higher than Fabregas by some Gooners.

    Cesc performed on all levels for us and in all comps. Cazorla as great as he was domestically wasn’t the same player in the CL. I am pretty sure that he never scored once for us in Europe which is very surprising for a player of his amazing ability.

    Whereas Cesc had so many iconic CL moments like Juventus in 2006 running the show in midfield vs Vieira, that whole campaign really. The 2008 winner at the San Siro back when it was still a fortress and Milan were defending champs, stepping up on a broken leg to convert the pen vs Barca at the Emirates, the through-ball to Nasri for Arshavin’s winner in 2011, list goes on.

  59. WengerEagle


    I agree and do not think that Arteta fancies ESR especially. Think he has warmed some to Martinelli though and sees his potential at least.

    But yeah it is concerning how ESR doesn’t seem to have a path into the XI besides that LF spot. I am convinced (Habesha who’s opinion I really respect disagrees) that ESR will succeed as a CAM and a predominatly central player like a Mason Mount.

  60. WengerEagle


    Have seen a fair few on here put Santi > Cesc.

    For me it’s not close either. Cesc was a genius and our best midfielder since prime Vieira hands down imo.

  61. WengerEagle


    Rice will cost £80m plus, forget about him. Think Wolves value Neves at £60m and for me he is worth nowhere near that.

    Ndidi is a very good player. He has looked prone to injury too though and the last thing we need is another Partey crock case.

  62. Un

    Santi was silkier than cesc in the ball, I know that’s quite some statement) but cesc imposed his will on games in a way only very few midfielders can and have in my time watching football
    In the prem I can only really say Lampard gerrard vieira keane and yaya have down the years.

  63. Habesha Gooner

    Opening offer for Jesus rejected for Jesus rejected according to Charles watts. The offer was 30 mil. I think Arsenal are trying to get him for around 35 mil. That would be a very good deal.

  64. Vintage Gun

    “Have seen a fair few on here put Santi > Cesc.”

    Names and addresses if you can WEagle. I’ll handle the rest.

    I regards to formations for next season, i can see us being quite flexible depending on the opposition and player availability/form. However come May i think that 4-3-3 will have been our most used formation.

    Party – Tielemans – Odegaard Starting

    El Neny- Sambi – Vieira Backup

    LW- Smith Rowe/ Martinelli

    RW – Saka/ Vieira

    CF – Jesus/ Eddie

    The good thing is that the attacking players are quite interchangeable. For example, ESR can play LW or attacking 8/10. Martinelli LW or CF. Vieira 8/10 or RW etc.

    With four competitions and a packed World Cup season there will be plenty games to go around .

  65. raptora

    Nketiah is official. He’s supposedly turned down offers from other Premier League teams and from the Bundesliga as well.

    Reading that City are about to replace Fernandinho with Kalvin Phillips, meaning Rodri’s reserve. Am I the only one that doesn’t rate Phillips so highly? I’m sure Pep could have done better and cheaper buying from abroad than the £50-60m they will have to cough up for the Englishman.

    Anyways, Leeds got sooo lucky they managed to survive, they’re about to extract some serious money for both Phillips and Raphinha and the money wouldn’t have been the same if they were about to play in Championship next season.

  66. AFC Forever

    Habesha, yes £35m is a steal for Jesus. We are slowly creating the ability to develop a more fluid interchangeable system, which is important. You have to have options too and that means having a deep squad that isn’t dependent on fringe players. ESR will be a valuable part of that, he has been hampered by his injury’s but he’s got a lot to add. We are building a squad with some scary young talent, the addition of the highly rate Marquinos shouldn’t be forgotten either. Shaping up to be a very good summer.

  67. RP7

    Partey plays on average 2.100 minutes per season in all comps for us these last two seasons (about 2.100 each).

    Next year we will play around 5.000 minutes total.
    Which mean Elneny or Lokong will likely be our defensive midfielders for about 3.000 minutes or 2.500 at least.

    That’s why people are upset we didn’t go for Bissouma.
    3.000 minutes of Bissouma vs 3.000 minutes of Elneny/Lokonga gives us about 4, 5 points more in the league plus greatly increases chances of winning the Europa. Hey, wouldn’t it have been great had we got 4 points more this year??

    The 2nd reason why many of us would rather this Vieira money had gone towards Bissouma is that we see ESR as a great attacking midfield option, and with him and Odegaard we think priorities lies elsewhere.

    Not because we’re ‘moaners’ or don’t like Vieira. I actually like him very much, though unlike Pedro haven’t been following him since he was 15.

    Anyway, what’s done is done, and I hope now Pepe is out because Vieira will need more playing time than waiting for Odegaard to be injured.

  68. AFC Forever

    Vintage Gun

    “I regards to formations for next season, i can see us being quite flexible depending on the opposition and player availability/form. However come May i think that 4-3-3 will have been our most used formation.”

    Yes we will be flexible that is what is being created.

    Football has changed now. Back in the day players tended to have a fixed position on the pitch as part of a functional and rigid 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 system. Football has evolved and is much more fluid today. A 4-4-3 we employ won’t be rigid. Like City’s. From a coaching perspective, the pitch has become stretched due to the various rule changes affecting playing out from the back. This has created opportunities to further develop positional play and pressing which creates space and movement. Todays players are much more athletic than yesteryear too, so it’s a lot quicker too and full backs are now providing the attacking width to push players into more dangerous positions, or sometimes inverted.

    Today it is all about movement and interchange. Manchester City are the best at it . They operate in the 4-3-3 system but it is highly fluid, allowing for positional rotation and fluidity. Their formation and team structure changes throughout the game. Defensively they can be 4-3-3, 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 etc. In attack, it’s rarely a 4-3-3, due to the movement and attacking fluidity from all their players that support the attacking dimension.

    For example, Bernardo Silva’s will play as the right-sided central-midfielder, linking up with Rodri through the middle with perhaps Gundogan pushing on from the left. Bernardo Silva and Gundogan will rotate around with others, usually the false nine in the team – which can be Phil Foden. Jesus may be out on the right with Grealish very wide on the left. Now this may change with Haaland but City have been successful playing technically gifted players in a system built on rotational play & interchange where players are constantly changing their position, left to right, back to front. This movement in possession and the pressing out of possession demands a lot on the players but City are able to replace like for like. Obviously they had the ability to buy whoever they want but the principle remains the same.

    As you say, this idea it has to be Odegaard, Vieira, ESR or one of them has to be sold, as someone said earlier, is simply not true.. Of course, there will be a degree of rotation, it is important you are able to do that; it’s a lot harder with ‘fringe’ players who weaken the structure. This is why bringing Jesus in would be a great addition not least because he is familiar with the discipline required in this zonal structure of interchange.

  69. Mr Serge

    FBJune 17, 2022 14:08:09
    Dame Vieira Out, Fab Vieira InA lovely few days to be reading LeGrove

    and his best mate killjoy

  70. FB

    I share the sense of excitement over Vieira. Out of the blue, and had never heard of him, but the consensus amongst some of you experts appears really positive.

    I’m of an age in remembering when Mirandinha, the first Brazilian, arrived at Newcastle. Growing up with famous Brazil sides of Pele, they always seemed so glamorous.

    Martinelli gives me the same feeling of excitement, and that brings me to other summer signing, Marquinhos.

    Literally seen one goal from him, and all the old anticipation comes flooding back.

    Fun times

  71. Chika

    Really like this new kid we’re signing. I’m more interested in raising the quality of our squad than worrying about game time for X player.

  72. AFC Forever

    “Dame Vieira Out, Fab Vieira In A lovely few days to be reading LeGrov”

    Nice one!! He was obviously a spud troll posting under multiple monikers. I had him pegged long ago, he didn’t have the brains to avoid certain repetitive phrases. He was Killroy+TM, Old & Wise and Dame Vieira. I might have missed his other pseudonyms. Very childish.

  73. Crimson

    Haters will hate. No amount of signings will be enough for some rebrebates on here. Just reactionary comments.
    And comparison between players is just foolish.
    Enjoy the sunshine…. whatever happens, happens
    Write negative stuff…..
    Do your thing.

  74. InsideRight

    I’ve seen three different comments over the last couple of days saying Nketiah is official. There’s nothing on the .com so I was wondering where it was confirmed.

  75. raptora

    @Fabrizio Romano
    2:31 PM · Jun 17, 2022
    Arsenal update. Eddie Nketiah has just signed new contract until June 2027, deal completed and sealed today after verbal agreement days ago. Official statement soon. 🚨📑 #AFC

    Nketiah turned down multiple bids from Bundesliga and Premier League clubs to stay at Arsenal.

  76. Almuniasaynomore

    Removal of alternate perspectives is never to be celebrated. Abusive posters,yes, but neither TRVL or Killroy come under that heading. There are 5 or 6 posters here who are far closer to being consistently abusive that have never been binned. Not healthy in any area to suppress thoughts simply because they oppose your own.

  77. Mr Serge

    AlmuniasaynomoreJune 17, 2022 14:38:52
    Removal of alternate perspectives is never to be celebrated. Abusive posters,yes, but neither TRVL or Killroy come under that heading. There are 5 or 6 posters here who are far closer to being consistently abusive that have never been binned. Not healthy in any area to suppress thoughts simply because they oppose your own.

    how about abusers that tell people to ignore your posts and are rude just because your opinion is different and how dare you be optimistic?
    even if they are jerks of the highest order? i e killjoy

  78. FB


    By the way, I have really enjoyed some very funny content from you. So thanks for that.

    Alternative perspectives are to be encouraged, of course.

    However, Dame Vieira was simply boring and that IS a crime. Reading his pompous monologues was like wading through treacle, then there was the tedious and never ending negativity.

  79. Mr Serge

    dont mind vera lynn at all i actually like his posts the are eloquant if a little misguided sometimes, but killjoy is a diiferent breed

  80. Pedro


    I’m certainly with FB. Those posters were very boring. I know that you like to align yourself with the people that shit on Arsenal all day, but that’s not really in the spirit of the blog. That’s rule 1 if you want to check in.

    Every time you open a window on here, it breathes new oxygen into the comments. I’ve been doing this enough. years to know who is toxic and who is not.

  81. Almuniasaynomore

    Serge/ FB,
    I get that it’s n ever easy chosing to be optimistic. Always being critical/ cynical means you never have to put faith in something. But there are people who want to hope but have seen enough that they believe it’s unwarranted. The abuse isn’t acceptable though, no matter what the perspective.
    Thank you. It was exactly because I didn’t want to offend the optimists here that I have started writing the sketches on Mb’s site londonisred. If people are fed up of negativity I get that so I tried to avoid winding them up with satire… it was only ever meant to give people a reason to smile.

  82. GD4

    This is like a typical Wenger stupid ass decision.
    We need a legit Boss man in the middle of the park to relieve the pressure on Partey and we go sign another show pony when we already have SMITH ROWE and Odegaard.
    Is this not another Lokonga type signing for more money?

    Go and steal Bissouma you fools!!

  83. FB


    Negativity can be done with wit and charm

    It can also be so tedious as to stink the place out

  84. Almuniasaynomore

    I would agree. But I’d also point out that positivity can likewise be painted in a wonderful and hopeful way…….or forced upon people as a unarguable fact. Anyway,I think we’re singing from the same hymn sheet even if we’re looking at it from different sides, Have a good one.

  85. Doublethink

    Our first significant signing of the summer and he’s played the majority of games in the only position we have adequate cover, generational stuff.

  86. gnarleygeorge9

    “Go and steal Bissouma you fools”

    If the fella is convicted of rape, wouldn’t that be ‘Go & break Buffouna out of jail’

  87. andy1886

    “who is toxic and who is not”

    How about a certain poster who’s sole objective seems to be to come on here and call anyone he doesn’t like a “C*nt”?

  88. Almuniasaynomore

    Thanks Serge, I’d swap my satire for your season ticket though,I am long overdue a trip to the Emirates. Will find some of you guys for a pint then.

  89. TR7

    “How about a certain poster who’s sole objective seems to be to come on here and call anyone he doesn’t like a “C*nt”?”

    That certain poster never has a footballing point to make. Comes in, calls a few people out using cuss words and off he goes. But then it’s all cool because he supports Arteta.

  90. AFC Forever


    “This is like a typical Wenger stupid ass decision. Go and steal Bissouma you fools!!`’

    Firstly, theft is a criminal offence.

    Secondly, so too is sexually assaulting someone, although at this stage it is just an allegation and Bissouma is innocent until proven guilty. What we do know is that he has had his bail extended several times and along with his mate, is still under Police investigation.

    Now there might be nothing to it but that does not alter the fact that signing him would have been a risk. The last thing we need is another player who starts missing a bunch of games.

  91. Tom

    “Dame Vieira was simply boring and that IS a crime. Reading his pompous monologues was like wading through treacle, then there was the tedious and never ending negativity.”

    The obvious question then why read any of his posts?
    I don’t.

  92. Tom

    “Comes in, calls a few people out using cuss words and off he goes. But then it’s all cool because he supports Arteta.”

    Surely you aren’t suggesting double standards in Pedro’s blog of love policy.

  93. Almuniasaynomore

    Actually,before I commit to actually doing something with what’s left of the afternoon there are two posters,Tony and Rich who haven’t been on in a while. If you are reading this lads then I hope you and your families are well and you have simply chosen to take a break. I miss reading your posts even though you’d cancel each other out with your arguments! Be well

  94. Wicked Willy

    Although Bissouma seemingly makes sense (except the problems with the law), there may well be other equally compelling options that they may surprise us with. It may be that Sambi comes back built like a total unit and becomes a very able deputy. Or it may be that Tielemans means we can flex to a double pivot without it costing us as many points as it did last season. Or it may be that Partey returns to the fitness levels he had at Atletico (more likely than Tierney me thinks).

    It’s a risk, because he is such a showstopper at #6, but if we can all see it, Edu and Arteta can too. Despite what some think, they both have high level footballing intelligence. I’m sure the Partey question has been deeply considered.

    It is also possible that the other additions like Viera help to compensate for the ‘lost 5 points’ in the event of significant Partey absence, by gaining us 5 points we wouldn’t have done if we’d favoured Bissouma over Vieira.

    Unless you have City’s budget and pulling power, it’s difficult to have two world class players in every position, and it will take time for us to get there.

    I am however confident that if we get our targets this summer, we will challenge much more competitively for CL next season, and then we can mop up the rest next summer so that we start to have two legends in every part of the pitch.

    Although I find being patient a challenge, I am content with the prospect of adding Saliba, Vieira, Tielemans, Jesus and then maybe one or two others later in the window.

  95. Crimson

    The under 18s / 23s manager needs to be sorted, after Betsy and mic left to go to creepy Crawley. To compete in the future we need Per to make a good appointment. As we don’t have the financial might of others. Youth is so damn important.
    Especially when we have a few gems coming through.

  96. Wicked Willy

    Thinking on the Bissouma thing, which I would have very much supported, I’m reminded of how much I wanted Ndombele when he was at Lyon. I honestly thought he was going to be the next superstar all action midfielder. Alas, it didn’t work out for that lot, and we can only hope that Bissouma develops a bit of the Ndombeles!!!

  97. GD4

    AFC last time I checked you’re innocent until proven guilty.
    So you’re either a bigot who thinks any person of color charged is guilty or your ignorant of the law

  98. WengerEagle

    Bissouma has years of solid production behind him in the PL though.

    N’Dombele was supposedly lazy over in France too but he would turn it on in the CL which got him noticed. Not sure if I have seen a lazier CM in the modern PL.

  99. GD4

    An African Midfield Wall of Partey and Bissouma was a no brainer decision that would’ve solved all of our many problems and elevated our defense and attack.
    Those two jokers Edu and Arteta totally bottled it.
    Ya know what I don’t give a shyt.
    I’m not wasting any more emotions on this stupid ass club.
    Fools can’t get out of their own damn way but think they are smarter than everyone else with these so called “didn’t see that coming signings”.

    This is as stupid as signing Ozil when you had peak Wilshere, Santi and Rosicky …

  100. AFC Forever

    Wicked Willy

    Impatience creates frustration and we are all guilty of that. You make a lot of sensible points. As I detailed at 13:35 football has moved on from this idea of rigid formations. I won’t repeat what I said but you have to be able to create fluidity and have players who can interchange within a system. This idea every player has a fixed position is old school. I personally love technical players because they have the best football ability with the ball. You can coach them to do things lesser players can’t, so the ceiling is higher. As you say, we’ve had to rely too many times on ‘lesser’ players to come in and do a job. We need more than that. We struggled to get the same minutes from our key players as other teams and therefore had to rely on fringe players. To move the needle you need better players in the squad and to be able to use them in various positions or as back-ups without weakening the team. You are right, Man City have been able to buy any player they want, the signings of Grealish and Haaland demonstrate that so we have to try something different. I’m pleased we are going down this road, young technical players. What’s not to like.

  101. GoonerDave

    Squeezing racism out of that comment makes you this week’s Friday Fanny.
    Of course his impending court case means there’s an element of risk involved. You are the only one who brought race into it. You absolute, blithering idiot. I bet you wake up each morning outraged on behalf of others.
    People like you are the real racists – you just can’t see beyond colour.

  102. Positive pete

    Must say the last few days have been like a breath of fresh air without the snidy,wind up negativity of certain bedwetter posters.It was tedious in the extreme & glad they’re binned? Or f** kd off.Don’t mind criticism,if it’s constructive & inoffensive fair enough.As I’ve said on many an occasion .We’re are a broad church of many opinions of what’s right for our great club.

  103. Pierre

    “,I’m certainly with FB. Those posters were very boring. I know that you like to align yourself with the people that shit on Arsenal all day, but that’s not really in the spirit of the blog. That’s rule 1 if you want to check in.”

    Have the rules changed, up until 2 years ago the ” spirit of the blog ” was to actively encourage le groaners to “shit on Arsenal “, especially on the manager who produced pure football that was both exciting and exhilarating at a fraction of the cost of the present manager.

  104. Tom

    Sexual assault at a nightclub with dozens of people around …….. either Bissouma is the dumbest footballer who ever lived, or this is another shake down attempt of a wealthy athlete.

  105. Wicked Willy


    I totally hear you. It’s beginning to feel like we’re moving in the direction of Total Football!

  106. Mr Serge

    apperently it was his mate that touched a girls arse and he got implicated, this won’t go any further for Bisouma i do hope he flops at spurs but somehow doubt it
    what i know will happen is conte will throw out his toys and leave ina huff

  107. AFC Forever


    “N’Dombele was supposedly lazy over in France too but he would turn it on in the CL which got him noticed. Not sure if I have seen a lazier CM in the modern PL.”

    Good point. Pogba can be like that at times, awesome talent but sometimes he just can’t be bothered. There was a similar debate on this the other day.

    N’Dombele has serious ability but you need more than that, especially in the PL where you have to be at it for 90 minutes. The academies are full of talented youngsters but the ones that make it will be the ones who work the hardest. I always look at the lad at Liverpool, Milner, as an example of someone who has managed to obtain the absolute maximum out of his talent through his incredible desire. Talent isn’t everything.