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So we’ve gone from being very sad at the lack of activity, to me and Johnny dropping a miserable Patreon about how anxious we were, TO ACTION!

Fabio Vieira is in for a medical today, the story around the silence of the deal is that he only wanted to play for Arsenal, despite interest from a host of other clubs. Kind of knocks the idea Europa League being an impediment on the head, right?

It’s also expected that Eddie Nkeitiah is going to sign a new deal, Fabrizio Romano saying it’s a 5 year offer, there was interest from Germany and England, and there are also strong rumours he’ll be our new #14. I like that because why the fuck not? He was treated poorly by Arteta last season and when he was asked to play because Lacazette picked up covid, he absolutely smashed his chance with goals and gut busting contributions. He has earned that new deal and if you don’t like it, keep quiet, because he will deliver next season. Most of the slander around him is because Premier League fans still can’t accept that it is really hard to make it as a young player in the hardest league in the world, especially as a striker. BIG season from him incoming.

A lot of the big papers are leading with the Gabriel Jesus deal. I doubted the move, I inadvertently slandered the good name of David Ornstein, and it appears the tallboy summer I had hoped for was NOT on the cards. So you know what I’m gonna do? Delete all the evidence that I ever suggested this rumour wasn’t right. The story is £50m, but I think that’s a hopeful fee from City. I reckon it’ll be lower, but who knows, hardly the best negotiators of fee, are we?

The Youri Tielemans deal is also looking like a goer. This one has been all over the training ground for a while, which means the players have been gassing like old ladies at a greasy spoon, and that means agents have probably been swapping rumours. You are going to look VERY foolish if you doubt his ability, just look at some of the bits he’s been doing for Belgium the past couple of weeks. He’s top talent, our Thiago, he will make us MUCH better.

I was asking a Technical Director about the Tielemanns move and what he thinks. He basically said he’s an exceptional passer, he’s great in tight spaces, and he reads the game well. I asked about the pace worry and he was adamant that you don’t need to speed to excel as a deep-lying midfielder or a box-to-box because you are rarely running at someone one v one. Teams pack out the midfield, you almost never get to stretch your legs and run, so the main attribute you need is the ability to operate in tight spaces and find passes for… the fast players out wide and up front. Add to that the dead ball abilities of the Belgian, it really is hard to understand why anyone would be criticizing the signing. Experience, pedigree, specialist skills, elite character… perfect.

If you assume we have about the same money as we did last season, net £130m, we can start to see how the summer is shaping up.


-£30m Vieira

-£40m Gabriel

-£25m Tielemans

-£35m full-back coverage

That’s a pretty decent summer that covers off goals, end product in the final 3rd with coverage of Saka and Odegaard, competition for Thomas Partey, and cover for Kieran Tierney.

Then factor in we have the best keeper in MLS giving competition for Aaron Ramsdale and we have Europe’s best young centre-back dropping into the squad… well, it’s hard to argue our summer hasn’t been needle-moving.

All of the players we’ve added give us high levels of technical ability throughout the squad. We’ve added depth, we’ve added new options we didn’t have before, and all the players come with character.

The Fabio Vieira signing just gets better by the minute. I wondered what his character was like, then heard he’d been made Portugal U21 captain, which is all I need to know. He was being kept out of the Porto side earlier in the season by Luis Dias, he was told he needed to add more aggression to his game, and now he’s a much more complete player.

Did I ask someone if this skinny lad could handle the Premier League bullies? Yes I did. Then someone showed me this video.

Reading the tea leaves, I wonder if Mikel Arteta has looked at his striking options, seen that they are not the biggest of players, and decided he needs a City-like player to unlock his forward line. Fabio Vieira looks VERY much like the sort of player Pep has been pulling out of Portugal for years.

I do love that so many people have been whining to me that they don’t see the Arsenal strategy, now we’re seeing the dust settle on what this window is trying to bring, how much clearer could it be?

We’re signing hungry young players, with extreme levels of technical prowess, and this window has added goals and final product.

Is it time to stop doubting the vision of Arteta and Edu? I think so. We seem to be moving out of the banter era at great speed now, so we should all be happy.

The fixtures rolled pretty well for Arsenal as well. Is that down to me? I asked my guy with a PHD in statistics and he said 100% yes.

There is no such thing as an easy run in the Premier League, but opening against Palace, in the summer, on a fresh pitch, with all our first team players ain’t the worst. We don’t play a top 4 challenger until we meet United away in early September. The best bit of news for our horror show of an October is that Manchester City play Liverpool 3 days before we meet them at home. You won’t get a better advantage than that.

Did I like that printed who we were playing after our European games to make it easy for me? Yes I damn well did.

The Premier League matches we play immediately after the UEL group games are at home to Everton, Brentford away, Liverpool at home, Leeds United away, Nottingham Forest at home and away to Chelsea. These are all due to be moved back to the Sunday (or Monday if selected for live TV coverage).

Yes. We have two big teams after they’ve played BIG games in Europe with their first teams. Let’s hope Arteta leans into the squad so we have fresher players for those games. Can’t be having any of that Arsene Wenger mindset where he’d play Santi against Ludogorets in a game we’d win with a reserve team.

Not that I want to pump KSE too much. But they have got to the playoffs in basketball, they have won a Super Bowl, and now their hockey team is in the Stanley Cup Final. I think we need to give them some credit, they’ve gone from not giving a shit about winning, to being VERY successful. I like what they are doing at Arsenal. It takes a bit of time for truth to catch up with reality… but what is going on at Arsenal is very smart, more people are going to tune into that reality next season.

Finally, before I go, I tapped @ZachLowy, an expert on all things Portugal, for a quick download on our new signing. Check it out, subscribe to the channel, and join our Patreon if you’d like to. (Check out his excellent write-up on Fabio here).

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  1. englandsbest

    So wot was it all about with Eddie? Arteta wanted him and he wanted to stay. For that reason alone it was odds-on that he WOULD stay. More money? More minutes? Nah, Eddie is much too laid back. His agent making a nuisance of himself. More likely. And why not? Eddie is exceptional, with a rare talent, an innate knack for scoring goals, the most valued asset in pro football.

    Who needs Haaland?

  2. Double Double

    Agreed, I like Nketiah, I hope we don’t sign someone to similar that blocks his way. He reminds me of a young Wrighty, has that knack for finding a goal out of nothing. I hope he goes on to be as prolific, whether it be in the 14 shirt or 114

  3. Wicked Willy

    Who cares about the #14? Theo took it, and had all the problems that Jonko is moaning about. Henry is a club legend, but I’m not sure his career merits the club being on top toes about his numbers especially not 15 years after he left.

    And if it inspired the lad to step up, in the same way the 10 seems to have inspired ESR to bang the goals in, I’m all for it!

    Talk about first world grievances…

  4. Bob N16

    Jenko, interesting how supporters can have such a different take on a player.

    It’s not that Nketiah is supposed to be our first choice CB. He has made real strides. He only got a starting run at the end f the season and took his chance. He has decent pace, work rate, his touch is fine, combines well with his team mates and really has that striker’s sniff for goal.

    To find an equivalent replacement who would need time to assimilate into the team. If we decide to sell him in 2/3 years we will make serious money on a home grown player.

  5. Double Double

    Have to say Jonko, Ode does not inspire me, there is something about him, everyone says he’s quick, but he always strikes me as slow and never seems to win a tackle. I think if that Vieira is all that he’ll probably lose his place.

  6. TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

    Bob N16

    So with the players Tets is assembling do you think we are moving towards his vision of playing Tiki-taka ?
    If he is I can dig it. Barca was version 1.0 City is version 2.0. If we can get anywhere near, we’re in dreamland.

  7. Tom

    “Have to say Jonko, Ode does not inspire me, there is something about him, everyone says he’s quick, but he always strikes me as slow and never seems to win a tackle. I think if that Vieira is all that he’ll probably lose his place.”

    Vieira’s Porto heatmap for touches isn’t much different from Odegaard’s so that’s a possibility.
    Although considering Ode had been given the captains armband, and the fact Vieira seems a bit fragile and weak on defensive side of ball ………probably unlikely.

    One thing for sure, he’s in for a culture shock once he gets to face the Dan Burn types and the PL refs.

  8. Bob N16

    TLTIDB, I have no idea if Arteta is intending to play a Tiki-Taka brand of football.

    To a great degree, the players that you have obviously dictate the most effective way to play.

    My major bugbear is that we have needed a midfield where all the players are technically excellent and can play 1 or 2 touch football, needing to be able to receive the ball under pressure, are quick and provide targets for our defence to play a progressive pass. Then you need the attacking players to move well too, to always allow the player in possession at least one progressive option.

    You need variety so a defender, if he sees a forward player making a run, can hit the long ball. Don’t be predictable- mix it up.

    I’m hoping that Arteta gets all the players he wants which finally allows him to play the way he’d really like his team to perform. I think the signs are promising going into this window but Arteta can have no excuses if he’s backed in the market which provides him a solid squad of say 16/17 quality players who he can really rely on.

    I’’m banging the same drum I know but I would prefer if Xhaka and to a lesser extent Holding are upgraded. The midfield has to be sorted and although Viera looks promising, we don’t want to see too much of Xhaka and Elneny when we are up against quality opposition as they constipate the midfield. They are exponents of ‘the horse shoe’ way of playing which I can’t stand!

  9. Br0wnie

    It seems like most have written off Reiss Nelson yet he had a successful loan spell this year after a slow start. We clearly need a backup for Saka to play Europa League and Pepe hasn’t worked out. It could be argued that Nelson should be given a look in preseason.. He is on contract and would cost us nothing.

    Another option is Omari Hutchinson. Widely considered to be one of the most exciting young prospects in England, he is being mentioned as a player who will be retained by the club this year to be used in Europa League. Whether either of these players would be ready or capable for Premier League duty should Saka be injured is debatable but they are intriguing options